Topic: Marketing

Google X: Searching for More

Posted on October 7, 2015 by - Marketing

Google X

For many of us, a sneak peek into Google X would look a lot like a science fiction movie set. This division of Google is dedicated solely to innovation on a massive scale. The prerequisites for their projects include needing to affect millions, if not billions, of people and resembling something from sci-fi. Behind Google X’s innovations are valuable lessons to be learned. Let’s take a look at a few of their latest innovations and how we can learn from them.

Project Loon

Project LoonHow do you give everyone access to the Internet? Google’s answer to this question comes in the form of Project Loon. In a nutshell, Project Loon uses specialized weather balloons launched into the stratosphere to provide Internet access. By being in the stratosphere, the weather balloons can take advantage of natural winds in order to travel to the required areas and are safe from planes or natural disasters. This means that even when a hurricane destroys your telephone lines, Project Loon can provide you with the Internet required to contact emergency services.

The Lesson: There are multiple solutions to any given problem. Embrace them all to find truly unique innovations.

Self-Driving Cars

Google's Self-driving carObviously driverless cars were already an idea from science fiction, but that’s not the only reason Google X sought out to create them. It came from trying to solve a problem by ignoring other tactics. Google X wanted to find a way to stop automobile accidents, but needed to do so in a non-incremental fashion. While other companies created assisted parking and radar detectors on cars, Google worked to remove human error from the equation entirely. You can either help someone drive a car or drive it for them.

The Lesson: Sometimes ignoring the obvious and easy solutions can lead you to an even better one.

Modular Phones

Project AraHow do you stop technology from advancing so fast and requiring consumers to purchase new tech every few months? You begin by rethinking how you make that technology. That’s where Google’s Modular Phones began their ongoing journey. Instead of forcing customers to buy a new phone to receive new features, what if they could just buy the new features? These phones allow owners to purchase features for the phone in order to upgrade it. So you want that shiny new camera on the latest phone, but don’t want to spend $200+ to get it? Then try spending $25 to upgrade your camera on your existing modular phone.

The Lesson: Adaptability is king in a world surrounded by technological innovation.

Quick Tips to Use YouTube for SEO

Posted on September 17, 2015 by - Marketing, SEO

YouTube Logo

 

In an age when video dominates how people receive information, SEO experts have looked to YouTube as another tool to be optimized for search engines. YouTube SEO is still a new field, but already there are tips and tricks to making your videos work for you. Whether your company is currently running a YouTube channel or is still in the planning stage, here are a few quick tips for using YouTube for SEO purposes.

Use Keywords in Your Video

No matter what type of SEO you are doing, keywords are king. Even with YouTube, including the right keywords in your title, description and video are important. Make sure to write long descriptions for every one of your videos (over 150 words) and include keywords in those descriptions. Also be sure to include your company name, address and contact information in the description of your video. If you want to take it one step further, then you can work to actually use certain keywords in your videos. By using keywords in your videos, Google will use its auto-caption technology to capture those keywords and associate them with that video. You can even transcribe your own videos if you want to be sure those keywords are captured.

Choose Your Topic Wisely

Your topic is even more important than your keywords. Your company does not want to be competing for markets of millions of customers. Finding a niche market in your industry that would benefit from videos the most is the best method for success. Use this SerpStats tool to discover what topics are best for your industry. Be sure to click the “only questions” filter once you enter your search term to discover what questions customers might be asking. Use your videos to answer those questions.

Understand How YouTube Recommends Videos

Now it’s time to understand how YouTube ranks videos. The best thing to understand is that subscriptions hold far more SEO power than likes. If YouTube sees that a viewer subscribed to your channel after watching a video, that video will rank much higher than if that viewer simply liked it. You need to build your YouTube campaign around gaining subscribers. So instead of doing a company overview video, create a playlist of specific videos that detail your company’s products. Be sure to answer industry questions and consider making a “Debunking ______ Myths” series to continually answer questions viewers might have. By building video series instead of single videos, you give viewers more reason to subscribe instead of like.

YouTube SEO is still a new field that is constantly changing. If you or your company needs help building a YouTube community, contact Thoughtwire Media today.

The Importance of Photographic SEO

Posted on September 16, 2015 by - Marketing, SEO

Photographic SEO

 

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the list of tips and tricks can stretch a mile long, but they will forever be overshadowed by one fact: content is king. What you put on your site to gain a visitor’s interest will prove more useful than any SEO tactic. Ask yourself this question: “If my website had the first search engine result for my industry, would I be able to keep it by engaging users?” The fact is, even if SEO strategies work perfectly to drive traffic to the website, if your content does not engage that traffic then SEO is pointless. The best way to engage your visitors is through your visuals. We are going to talk about Photographic SEO, or the practice of using your website’s visuals to help SEO efforts.

Taking a Clean Picture

For many small businesses, the photos that are used on their website are taken by the owner on a basic $100 camera. The sad truth is that visitors can spot this instantly. When it comes to Photographic SEO, hiring a professional photographer to take the pictures for your website can do wonders. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but clean, crisp photographs build a sense of professionalism to your site that builds trust and portrays quality. If you cannot afford to hire a professional photographer, then Shutterstock and iStockPhoto may become your best friend. If you plan on using stock photos, however, make sure that you exclusively use stock photos. If visitors see a high-resolution, edited photograph next to your cheap camera’s photo, the progress is destroyed.

Showcasing Your Business

Clean, quality photographs on a website are pointless if they do not show visitors what they want to see. Imagine navigating through a hotel’s website, but only seeing pictures of the outside or the surrounding area. Even if the pictures are absolutely beautiful, you won’t be purchasing a room until you see the inside. Better yet, imagine shopping for a car online, but never seeing an image of the entire car or the interior. Your pictures need to showcase what your business has to offer. If you are selling products online, then make sure to take multiple picture from different angles of each product. If you sell services then showcase customers using that service. Until a visitor sees what they are getting for their time and money, they won’t spend either.

If you are worried that your website’s visuals aren’t leading to sales, contact Thoughtwire Media online or by phone at (800) 367-2570.

Why SEO and Marketing go Hand-in-Hand

Posted on August 21, 2015 by - Marketing, SEO

Hand ShakingIn recent years, marketing departments have been rapidly expanding with technology. We have seen more focus on social media strategists, SEO specialists and content marketers than ever before, but some companies are approaching this incorrectly.

When you begin to think of SEO as a separate department from marketing, then your SEO strategy will fail. The truth is that SEO, social media and content marketing are all different parts of a grand marketing strategy. Your content writers and social media specialists need to understand basic SEO if they want to succeed. Likewise, SEO experts need to have a comprehensive knowledge of social media tactics and content strategies. Each of these areas works to inform the other, and by doing so the entire marketing strategy is more effective.

For example, your SEO team may outline the key words and phrases that your website should rank for. Your content writers will then include those keywords in their titles, subheads and content. Your social media coordinators will use those keywords when promoting your site. Your advertisers will work to place ads on search engines for those keywords and so on.

When it all comes together, then the SEO team works to find new keywords and strategies. By doing this, the efforts of the marketing department are united and more effective. Without support from social media, your website will not receive the authority needed for search rankings. Without keyword-focused content, your blogs won’t drive traffic to your site. This is why SEO and marketing should not be treated as separate departments, but instead SEO should be seen as a method of uniting and improving your marketing strategy.

If you have yet to form your SEO, social media or content strategy, contact Thoughtwire Media by filling out our online form.

Using Unknown Holidays in Social Media

Posted on August 7, 2015 by - Marketing, Social Media

It’s time to talk about how you can use upcoming holidays and awareness months to drive customers to your store, but not holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. We are here to cover the holidays that you may not know about, but can still use to boost your online marketing. Companies constantly use holidays or cultural events like the Super Bowl to easily boost their online marketing, but how many of them mention National Night Out or National Grandparents Day?

By using these niche holidays to specify your social media message, you will be able to make your posts both unique and timely. Read below about some upcoming holidays that might be worth mentioning on social media. Click here for a more comprehensive list of upcoming holidays.

Minor Holidays Infographic

 

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Posted on July 31, 2015 by - Development, Marketing

Website making moneyEvery business starts with a goal in mind and a bottom line.  If your website is designed well, it should reflect your goals and steer visitors towards performing an action that benefits your business. Whether you want visitors to make a purchase, submit contact forms or visit a page with directions, any of these goals can be monitored and optimized. This is the world of Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO for short. Even the most basic CRO techniques can mean the difference between paying for your website and your website paying for itself.

Understanding CRO Basics

To start work with CRO, there are a few terms that you need to be learn:

  1. A “Conversion” is simply the term used when someone completes a specific task. Making a purchase is an easy example of a conversion. When the customer finally pays for their item, they have officially made a conversion.
  2. Conversion Rate refers to the percentage of visitors to your site that converted, compared to the amount of visitors who did not. So if one out of every 100 customers submits a contact form, then your website has a conversion rate of one percent.
  3. Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of editing or testing your website in order to increase your conversion rate. This process ranges from testing new home pages to using different wording for a title.

How Can CRO Help My Business?

So why do companies spend hours on CRO? The answer is simple: CRO directly ties to your company’s goals. Let’s say you are a catering business and want to get more people to request quotes for your events. Here are a few CRO techniques that might be implemented:

  1. Alternative Calls-to-Action and content could be tested to see if a specific phrase might trigger more visitors to request a quote
  2. A shorter request form might be tested against the current one to see if fewer fields might lead to less visitors leaving before completing the contact form
  3. Multiple variations of your home page could be tested to see if any new design might lead more visitors to stay on your site and fill out a request

If you are not tracking your website’s conversions, then you are missing a huge opportunity to make your website work for you. Call Thoughtwire at (800) 367-2570 or contact Thoughtwire here to start optimizing your website.

Why Email Marketing is Important

Posted on July 15, 2015 by - Branding, Marketing

At the bottom of every major business’ website, you see a button asking you to “Subscribe to Our Newsletter,” but have you ever wondered why that button exists? The truth is that the most successful companies use email marketing to drive sales and customer loyalty. To find out how they do this, we must dive into the world of email marketing.

Why Do Customers Subscribe to Newsletters?

If you think customers subscribe to your newsletter for a multitude of reasons, you might be wrong. A 2014 Nielsen study noted only two major reasons customers subscribe to company newsletters:

  1. 28 percent of online shoppers subscribe to stay informed about a company
  2. 27 percent of online shoppers subscribe in order to save money

With this information, you now know that over half of your subscribers want to either hear company news or receive a discount for subscribing. You also know that if you offer the right discount, 27 percent of your email subscribers are likely to use it, driving your sales during the promotion period.

What Can Email Marketing Do for Me?

By creating an email marketing campaign, you are creating a direct connection to your best customers. When sending emails periodically, businesses are constantly building a relationship with their customers and continually giving them a reason to come back.

Some studies suggest that over 50 percent of people check their email hourly! Your emails can promote current specials, remind customers of deals or simply update subscribers on your business’ news. In any of these cases, your business benefits from increased customer engagement, targeted branding and possibly sales!

Tips for Email Marketing

So now you know what your customers want and how it can help you, but before you begin an email marketing campaign there are four tips from EmailMonday that you should follow:

  1. Do not send too many emails. Send them once per week at most, always at the same time.
  2. Send relevant content to your subscribers. You already know what they want; send it to them!
  3. Make it BIG! Users often complain about their emails being too small to read.
  4. Make sure your website and email are mobile-friendly for your mobile email subscribers.

Call Thoughtwire at (800) 367-2570 or contact Thoughtwire here to get started on your email marketing campaign.

Controlling Online Reviews

Posted on June 5, 2015 by - Marketing

Online Reviews

You don’t need an in-depth study or 100-page analysis to tell you that people use reviews to help them make purchasing decisions. Just ask yourself, have you ever read a hotel review, restaurant recap or noticed the amount of “stars” next to certain establishments?

Everyone is looking for honest opinions and experiences from real people, devoid of motive. It’s great for consumers and for a lot of online businesses. The problem arises when negative reviews get posted and businesses don’t know what to do them.

The first thing to understand is that reviews are a necessary evil. From an SEO perspective, there’s a good chance more people will go to a third party site to read a review of your restaurant, for example, before they go to your actual website.

“Again, it depends on the business. For example, if it’s a travel-related search, such as a hotel search, you’re going to see TripAdvisor results high up in most cases. How that differs, as far as which review sites predominate for any given search,” said author Bill Tancer.

The key is to ensure there are positive reviews for real people. And to deal with the negative reviews in a way that they disappear.

Are you getting the online reviews you want? Are you having trouble with bad reviews and opinions? Get immediate reputation management from Thoughtwire. Make sure the algorithms see the right reviews to present to consumers.

You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune on Online Marketing

Posted on May 12, 2015 by - Marketing

4 cheap ways to boost your

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you own a small business and haven’t begun to dive into the world of online marketing, what’s holding you back? If you’re afraid that you won’t see a return on your investment and you just don’t have the money, know that you don’t have to spend a lot to get started.

Yes, you should have a mobile-responsive website, you should be paying Facebook and Twitter to advertise on their massive platforms and you should look into hiring a marketing agency or hiring a full-time employee to manage your brand. While these things are important and almost always pay off in the end if done correctly, they can be costly upfront.

Here are 4 inexpensive ways to start marketing your company online:

1. Social Media Engagement – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn are all free to join for companies. You can look into paid options to boost your presence down the road, but start by simply creating profiles and begin posting informative, appealing content.

2. Local Listings – Consumers are driven by online reviews. It is absolutely essential for your small business to start garnering reviews on Google+, Yelp, Angie’s List and Yahoo Local, to name a few. These services are either free or very inexpensive.

3. Blogging – If you have a website, start blogging. It will accomplish two main things: one, it shows search engine crawlers that your website is being updated consistently with fresh content. Two, it provides value to your customers and increases the likelihood of someone sharing a page from your website.

4. Reach Out – Find related forums, blogs and message boards and offer your input, reach out to local news outlets and ask them to highlight your business, or sponsor a local event. What do the last two have to do with online marketing? Your search engine ranking will improve when other websites feature your website, even if you’re merely a sponsor and a credible website just features your logo and a link back to your site.

We all know that time is money. The four options above are all relatively cheap ways to start marketing your business online and growing your company; however, it takes time to blog, engage on social media, reach out to other local businesses, etc.

That’s where we come in. For as little as a few hundred dollars a month, Thoughtwire will begin establishing an online presence for your business. We will spend the time and utilize our knowledge and expertise to get you started the right way! Give us a call this week: 800-367-2570.

5 Ways Your Online Marketing Can Improve

Posted on March 19, 2015 by - Marketing

Online Marketing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the beginning of the Internet, companies have been looking to use the powerful system of interconnected computer networks to sell their products and services.

Internet marketing has drastically changed since the early days of keyword-stuffing and creating bad backlinks. Google and Social Media are probably the main factors in the evolution of online marketing.

With Google emphasizing user experience and a wide array of factors for ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and Social Media being as powerful as ever in getting eyes on your business, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and exhibit forward-thinking when it comes in online marketing in 2015 and beyond.

Here are 5 ways your online marketing can improve:

1. Have a mobile-responsive website: In 2015, your website must be found easily on a smartphone or tablet. Having a high-quality, fast-loading mobile website will satisfy your customers and help your SEO efforts.

2. Create and share more video: Video travels more easily now than it ever has. YouTube was instrumental in popularizing the “viral video,” but now most Social Media platforms support embedded video. It’s not go-viral-or-go-home, either. Creating explainer videos or video ads are important in spreading your message, even if they don’t have 2 billion views.

3. Practice mobile marketing: Location-based marketing and beacons are becoming more popular in drawing foot traffic. Mobile coupons and contests are also effective in targeting shoppers during holidays or big events.

4. Create, find and share: Create content, find your niche and share what you have to say! It’s a 3-step process that is easier said than done. However, creating high-quality content and finding the right places to share it will do wonders for your online marketing. You should have a strategy that incorporates your blog and Social Media.

5. Create a mobile app: Mobile apps aren’t for everyone. They aren’t necessarily one of the staples of a great online marketing plan but with Google announcing Mobile App Indexing and the continued rise in smartphone usage, if you can create a relevant mobile app for your business, all the better!

At Thoughtwire Media, we have experts in place that can help you with any of the above online marketing strategies. If you need a customized online marketing strategy that is customized for your business, contact us here or give us a call at 800-367-2570.