How can Your Business Build Brand Awareness with Content Marketing?

Building brand awareness can be tough for small businesses, but an effective content marketing strategy makes it a little easier.

And in this post, we explore four great options that any company can try.

 

Write Guest Posts

Guest posts can introduce your brand to an existing audience, help your business earn more credibility, and demonstrate thought leadership.

But your guest posts have to be valuable and relevant to the site’s audience to be effective. Apparently, 79 percent of editors feel content written by guests is “too promotional”, and if yours falls into that category, it might not be published at all.

Take the time to find blogs related to your industry, products, or services, and look at the level of social shares their posts achieve. Sites accepting guest posts tend to offer detailed submission requirements and guidelines, so read these carefully before pitching.

 

Launch a Podcast

Podcasts are everywhere. More than half of the United States’ population has listened to at least one, and there are more than 550,000 active shows out there. And people who listen to podcasts are more likely to follow businesses on social media, too, which means you could gain another valuable touchpoint.

So, why not create your own show?

This gives you a chance to become a thought leader and present your business’s human side. Find out if any of your competitors run a podcast and make sure your ideas don’t overlap with theirs. Try to recognize what makes your favorite shows work, too.

Perhaps record a few practice episodes before releasing your first. This lets your host(s) get used to the process, establish a voice, and build a format without feeling under pressure to be entertaining from the start.

 

Take Advantage of Email Marketing and Newsletters

Email marketing is around 40 times more effective at helping companies acquire new customers than Twitter and Facebook.

You can capture visitors’ email addresses by offering gated content on your website, such as an ebook, whitepaper, or maybe even a podcast. The content has to offer real value to prospects, though. They’re pretty unlikely to submit their email address for information or advice they could find somewhere else.

Marketing emails and newsletters should be tailored to subscribers, with content that’s relevant to their interests or buying history. Personalize subject lines to include recipient names, as this can take open rates from 15 percent to more than 18 percent.

 

Share Content Across Social Media (Even if it’s Not Your Own)

Every piece of content your business generates should be shared across all of your social channels, not just Facebook. Encourage followers to comment with their opinions, suggest ideas for future content, and share posts with friends who might find them interesting.

Interact with followers who comment and show that you value their insights. And don’t be afraid to share content from high-authority blogs or sites, as long as it’s not written by a competitor.

 

An effective content marketing strategy will help build brand awareness and bring your business to a wider audience. Follow these tips to start making an impact.

Want help from a professional digital marketing team? Our Orange County Marketing experts can help you increase your company’s visibility and engagement with a tailored strategy. Get in touch for your free marketing analysis today.

 

 

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Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses – The Right Way to Reach Your Audience

A well-planned content marketing strategy is a crucial asset for any small business, though it’s not easy. You might find yourself sweating at the prospect of having to write blog posts three times a week or putting together a comprehensive whitepaper. but the truth is, all the hard work can really pay off.

Just ask those small businesses posting blogs on a regular basis and earning 126 percent more lead growth than those that don’t have a blog.

So, to help you get more out of your content marketing, we’ve put together the following tips.

 

Know Who You’re Writing For

One of the most important steps in building a good content marketing strategy is understanding your audience. If you try to write for everyone, the results could be vague and, most likely, interesting to no one.

But when you focus your aim and write for a specific segment, you can inject more truth and power into your content.

Think about your current customer base, your competition, and the pain points your business addresses. This helps clarify your ideal reader and the action you want them to take.

 

A Content Calendar is Key to Success

It might be tempting to create content as and when the mood takes you. Especially when your small business is operated by a skeleton crew with little spare time to flex their creative muscles.

But implementing a content calendar establishes a tighter focus and boosts relevance. For example, generating ideas for Christmas-themed content weeks in advance gives you the time to think carefully about the sort of answers your audience will be looking to solve in the run up to the season.

Planning themes and topics early reduces time wasted scrabbling for ideas on the day a blog post is due, too.

 

Use Long-form Content to Achieve Better Results

Research shows long-form content brings stronger results, with articles of more than 2000 words performing well for around 56 percent of creators.

That’s not to say you should never publish short posts, such as news updates, insights into forthcoming products, or simple articles offering a quick read.

Just make sure to publish long-form content that demonstrates thought leadership and gives readers something they can sink their teeth into regularly.

 

Experiment with Visual Content

Images help users process information and grasp the core topics or themes of a piece of content before they even start reading. Posts including images generate 650 percent higher engagement and earn three times as many links as text-only ones.

Try publishing infographics and videos on a regular basis, but spend time and money getting them to a professional standard first. When using images in your content, use original photos or graphics as often as you can. Only rely on stock visuals when you have no other option.

These content marketing tips can help small businesses build more effective campaigns and reach the right people. But it can be difficult to implement a strict plan when you have a company to run and a team to manage.

Want to work with a professional Orange County SEO agency committed to achieve real results instead? Just get in touch for a free marketing analysis now.

 

 

 

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How to use Featured Snippets

How can You Use Featured Snippets in Your SEO Campaign?

 

We’ve all seen featured snippets by now, even if you don’t know them by name.

They’ve quickly become a common fixture on SERPs (search engine results page), helping users to find fast answers from an authority source just by clicking on one of the snippets at the top of the page.

Each featured snippet includes a link to the site, unlike answer boxes, which makes them a valuable addition to your SEO campaign. But how can you make the most of them?

 

Focus on Answering Questions

Featured snippets commonly answer questions, such as ‘what is a backlink?’ or ‘how do you bake a cake step by step?’.

How to use Featured Snippets
How you can Use Featured Snippets

Dedicate a full page to a question, with images, videos, strong keywords, and an in-depth answer that offers real value to searchers. Focus on giving the reader all the information they need in a well-structured format, incorporating keyword-rich header tags (H2, H3).

 

Embrace Lists

Lists are another type of featured snippet. They may appear in response to searches for ‘where should I stay in San Francisco?’ or ‘the best CRM tools’ (see below).

Featured Snippets List
Embrace Lists in Featured Snippets

A glance at the list gives users a fast answer, but still leaves enough missing to encourage a click through to the site. Lists’ accessibility can help to boost user engagement and aid scannability.

You may not be able to work lists into every piece of content you create, but try to include them when constructing pages dedicated to answering questions.

 

Build Authority to Gain Google’s Recognition

Google draws on authority sites for featured snippets, to ensure maximum value and expertise. So, if you want to increase your site’s chances of being picked, you need to build authority.

How can you do this?

  • Pay attention to your title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt tags
  • Make sure all content is high-quality and formatted in an engaging way
  • Work on achieving backlinks from other authority sites, to build your own credibility
  • Optimize your website for mobile devices

Building authority takes time and patience, but it’ll pay off when Google starts to notice you.

 

Add High-quality Pictures and Videos to Boost Value

Pictures and videos can increase your content’s value. Visual media has the power to convey meaning and present examples to users, answering questions in a more engaging way than text alone. Humans are more likely to remember visuals than words, and content with visuals tends to earn 94 percent more views than text-only content.

These are especially valuable for how-to pieces or resolving complex issues. One good way to increase videos’ impact is to create a transcript, so Google gains a clearer insight into its content.

Take advantage of these ideas to help your site rank for featured snippets. If you manage this, you’ll gain valuable real estate on SERPs and secure more traffic.

Want to learn more about increasing your visibility and ranking? Get in touch with our Orange County SEO experts now, and we’ll give you a FREE pro-marketing analysis.

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Essential SEO Trends for 2020 Every Business Has to Know

Essential SEO Trends for 2020 Every Business Has to Know

SEO trends come. SEO trends go.

Staying on top of the latest ones can help you strategize, make well-informed decisions, and adjust your work processes to accommodate industry changes. But what are the most important SEO trends worth your attention in 2020?

 

The Ongoing Rise of Featured Snippets

Featured snippets have become a regular fixture on SERPs (search engine results pages), and that’s set to become par for the course.

Featured snippets are a summarized version of answers to users’ search queries, pulled from multiple pieces of content. They also typically appear at the top of a page, taking prime position ahead of the highest-ranking organic results.

Businesses can take advantage of featured snippets by structuring content to include questions and answers.

 

Voice Search Dictates Content and Keywords

Our smartphones keep us connected to a world of information at all times. But, even better, we can use voice search to find immediate answers to questions without typing a single word.

This convenience is driving the proliferation of voice search so much it accounts for 20 percent of searches performed within the Google App.

As with featured snippets, your business can increase the chances of ranking higher by structuring content in a way that answers clear questions. Long-tail keywords are a key part of optimizing for voice search, too.

 

Mobile Optimization Continues to Influence Rankings

Google has switched to mobile-first indexing, giving ranking priority to websites optimized for mobile rather than just desktop. There’s no excuse for any business to inflict its desktop site on mobile users, especially if it’s already designed poorly.

In 2020, more companies and organizations must embrace mobile optimization to compete. Aim to keep the user experience as smooth, fluid, and convenient as possible.

 

Videos are a Must for Engagement

One of the biggest SEO trends for 2020 is the inclusion of video. Obviously, YouTube is a marketing behemoth now, but video has become increasingly vital on social networks too. With videos, companies can convey messages and communicate with their target audience in less time than with text-based content.

Videos also lend themselves to social sharing and can utilize other elements (music, sound effects, language, facial expressions) to inspire an emotional response. It can be much harder to move people with words alone.

92 percent of marketers using video claim it’s a key element of their marketing strategy, an increase of 17 percent on 2018’s figure. Implementing video into your marketing campaign demands careful planning, investment in the proper equipment, and (potentially) a professional production crew.

However, there’s real potential to generate leads and achieve good ROI if you can get your video marketing right.

These SEO trends are set to make a big impact on the industry in 2020. That’s why it’s worth paying attention to each, and watching out for others emerging over the next 12 months.

Otherwise, you run the risk of falling behind — and losing customers to your more SEO-savvy competitors.

 

Want help from an Orange County SEO team of experts to help you grow your business in 2020? Just get in touch today for a FREE marketing analysis!

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How can You Boost Engagement on Your Website?

How engaging is your website?

If you can’t answer this question, it’s time to give it some thought.

And in this post on boosting engagement, our Orange County SEO experts give you plenty to think about. Let’s start with user experience.

 

The Power of Good UX

User experience (UX) is a key part of building and maintaining an engaging site, especially now that mobile search is so important to the digital marketing landscape.

Every business has to make sure its site gives visitors exactly what they’re looking for in the fastest time. The layout, presentation and content should all be designed for a smooth browsing experience.

Research by Google backs this up:

  • 61 percent of users will jump to a different site if they can’t find what they’re looking for on yours quickly
  • 50 percent will visit a business’s website less often if it’s not mobile-optimised, even if they like its products and services

So, the main factors to focus on:

  • Speed (fast load times, logical progression from page to page}
  • Convenience (value visitors’ time: show them what they’re looking for fast)
  • Mobile Optimization (make sure your site can be browsed on smartphones easily)

 

Keep Content Clear and Readable

It’s tempting to show off and pack your content with sophisticated language or technical jargon. But if you do this, you increase the odds of visitors clicking away out of boredom or frustration.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Content should be tailored to your target audience: speak their language and address their pain points.
  • Keep the layout clean and tidy with plenty of white space.
  • Use images and videos to break text up.
  • Make content valuable and ensure it serves a purpose.

 

Encourage Interaction

Invite visitors to communicate with your business and reach out to your customer support team to find out more about products or services. This can increase engagement and show users you value their input.

One effective way to do this is implementing live chat and / or chatbots. This lets visitors speak with an agent quickly and easily right on the website. There’s no need to login to an email account and draft a message or leave the browser to dial a number.

Live chat should be easy to access on every page. Don’t make users go searching high and low for it or they could click away to a business that makes things a little simpler.

 

Working with Experts

Working with a seasoned SEO team is a great way to boost your website’s engagement. Our Orange County SEO agency has helped many businesses give customers a better, smoother browsing and buying experience.

Want to know more? Get in touch with us today.

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How Can You Write Amazing Content for Your Website?

 

Creating great content for your website is fundamental in any successful SEO campaign.

Of course, when we say ‘content’, that incorporates images, videos, slides, audio and text. But in this post, we’re going to focus on writing quality copy with the power to help boost your website’s performance.

Producing engaging, valuable copy isn’t easy, but there are a few things you can do to get on the right track.

 

Read Up on Your Competitors

What are other businesses in your sector doing with their content?

Are they publishing blog posts on a daily basis? Do they distribute press releases at regular intervals, keeping the world up to date on their latest news? How about their landing pages?

Take time to explore their websites and identify what they’re doing well. But don’t forget to take note of any mistakes or oversights you spot. This is a great way to understand what you need to do to get an edge.

 

Focus on Value

Don’t just create content as a flimsy excuse to pack keywords onto your pages. Not only will readers recognize your shameless attempt to manipulate search engines, but said engines themselves will know exactly what you’re doing too.

Write content people actually want to read and share with others. Take advantage of your own or your employees’ knowledge to share insights into topics relevant to your business.

Long-form content has its place too, with first-page results on Google having an average content length of over 1,800 words.

 

Know Who You’re Writing For

Have a clear idea of your target reader in mind. Consider creating personas representing different segments of your audience, and determine what type of content they prefer to read.

Keep this in mind when writing content. Know who you’re targeting with each piece and gather feedback to determine how successful it is. This can give you valuable ideas for future content, making it more engaging and effective.

 

Leave it to Professionals

It should go without saying that the quality of your content has to be of a high standard.

Trying to write your own content can be risky, especially if you lack the skills to do it well. Trusting professionals to handle your content instead is the smartest option.

They’ll know how to write engaging copy, insert keywords organically and structure pieces to aid readability.

 

At Nett Solutions, our Orange County digital marketing team is committed to helping you achieve stronger rankings through an effective SEO campaign. We’ll make sure your content is high quality and suited to your target audience.

Want to know more about how we can help? Just get in touch!

 

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SEO Trends for 2019 You Have to Know

SEO Trends for 2019 You Have to Know

Each new year brings fresh SEO trends every business should embrace to stay on top of their marketing game.

2019 is on the doorstep, and we’re excited to see what it has in store for the wonderful world of SEO — so we’ve decided to explore the biggest trends you have to know about!

Faster Load Times

No one likes staring at a half-loaded page, waiting for content to appear. It’s infuriating, especially when you need answers in a hurry.

Keeping load times as short as possible is important — and this will only become even truer in 2019, as more of us depend on mobile searches. There’s still some way to go, though: the average mobile page-load time is 15.3 seconds.

The more time your pages take to load, the more likely visitors are to click away. Speed is now a ranking signal for mobile searches, so businesses have to focus on this to keep Google on side.

Longer, Deeper Content

Long-form content will be in vogue during 2019. You’ll need to give visitors content offering value, with useful or eye-opening information to take away from it.

Long-form content helps to keep readers on your site for more time too, opening up additional opportunities to hook them. Use content to build relationships with potential and existing customers, and try to make your headlines as irresistible as possible.

Going Social

Social media will still be a vital channel between customers and brands in 2019. Chatting on Facebook and Twitter is much faster and more convenient than calling a helpline.

People can access direct support while they communicate with friends on their social networks, without having to use a different channel. It’s also easy for your business to target prospects sharing interests and activities with your existing customers through advertising.

It’s essential to stay active on social media too: show your followers you care enough to respond quickly and share content they’re likely to enjoy.

Voice Search Matters

Voice search has made finding the information you want faster and easier than ever. You don’t need to type anymore — you just speak and Google does the rest!

In 2019, this will keep becoming more popular, and you’ll have to keep that in mind when coming up with keywords. Long-tail terms are helpful, as is an overall conversational tone that reflects the way in which people speak.

Adding FAQs to your site is a big help when targeting voice searchers too, so try to match the exact phrases people are likely to use.

At Nett Solutions, our Orange County digital marketing experts are here to help you in 2019! We’ll create an effective SEO campaign tailored to your business and audience, so what are you waiting for? Just get in touch now!

 

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5-Essential-Image-Tips-to-Benefit-Your-SEO-Campaign

5 Essential Image Tips to Benefit Your SEO Campaign

Never underestimate the power of visual content.

Put yourself in potential customers’ shoes: if you landed on a website looking for a specific product or service, would you be impressed if there were no images? Would you feel this was a dynamic brand that cared about engaging buyers?

It’s unlikely one page after another consisting of blocks of text would win you over. Images are essential to convey information that complements your copy: you need to show off your products / services, introduce your team (even if just a few members) and, ultimately, make your website exciting to look at.

Images can make a big difference to your SEO campaign, and in this post, we look at 5 essential tips you need to know.

 

Be Original

Stock images definitely have their place. Quality stock pictures can fill a gap and still add a professional touch to your site, but use them sparingly.

Users will recognize stock images when they appear on countless sites, and if they see them on yours, they may feel it makes you a little less credible. Use original pictures as much as you can to be authentic, and ensure they’re of a high quality.

Slick, polished images help you stand out in search results and make your site unique.

 

Don’t Overload your Site

Too much visual content can affect your site’s performance, causing pages to load slower than they should.

JPEG images are typically best for maintaining decent load times, and cope well with compression, allowing images to load faster without too much of a drop in quality. PNG images are of a higher quality but too many can strain your load times.

Consider using PNG files for your most crucial images and JPEGs for the rest.

 

Keep your Captions Specific

Captions are a useful addition to your images. This is a brief line or two of text that explains the picture’s purpose, allowing readers to understand what they’re seeing straight away.

Captions can help search engines identify how relevant your images are to users.

 

Apply Descriptive Names to Images

Like captions, descriptive file names with quality keywords let search engines know the image’s content. It has to put the picture in context and boost your chances of being discovered by a user.

If a prospect runs an image search, a descriptive title can get your website put on clear display, hopefully driving more traffic your way.

 

Keep Background Images Minimal

Images in your page backgrounds and / or borders may add satisfying decoration to your site, but they only add extra data that has to be loaded.

If you find your site is taking longer to load, non-essential images like these could be to blame. You have to balance images that add obvious visual appeal with those that don’t.

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How_can_you_Drive_More_Traffic_to_your_Website

How can you Drive More Traffic to your Website?

Driving more traffic to your website isn’t easy. You’re just one of thousands of businesses competing in the digital marketplace, and building your brand into a strong contender for people’s money takes a lot of hard work.

There are certain steps you can take to drive more traffic to your website and increase your conversion rates. Join our Orange County digital marketing team as we explore your options!

 

Keep your content flowing

Content, content, content.

Good, valuable, informative, shareable content is crucial. You have to identify what your target audience is and make sure you’re crafting content that speaks to them.

You have to keep publishing fresh content regularly too, at least twice a week. Whether this is blogs, articles, guides or videos, keep it coming. After all, companies publishing a blog have 97 percent more inbound links.

 

Hyping new product launches

You can’t afford to keep releasing new products again and again, but you have to make the most of the opportunity each launch offers.

Take the time to build the release up in the weeks ahead. Create press releases, exclusive reveal videos and interviews with the designers etc. Make the new product seem like big news and prospects may just believe it is.

 

Explore other forms of media

Have you considered creating a YouTube channel for your brand? How about a podcast?

Depending on the products or services you offer, one or both of these options might seem pretty unlikely. If you sell, say, cleaning products created by other companies, videos or podcasts may appear to be a stretch.

However, you could still produce YouTube content offering valuable information on how best to use your goods. Creating video content helps you build your brand and engage prospects, while you can maximize your video description with a CTA and keywords.

Video is predicted to account for 80 percent of the world’s traffic by next year, so you’re missing out if you don’t get on-board.

If you’re in an industry that seems better suited to podcasts (such as tech), why not give it a try? Like videos, these can help you generate more brand awareness and forge stronger connections with buyers.

 

Engage more people on social media

Social media is a valuable tool to reach new customers and keep existing buyers engaged.

Make an effort to share content across Facebook, Twitter etc., using striking images, hashtags (in moderation) and a CTA. Always be responsive to people’s comments or questions, or else prospects may assume you don’t care for their input.

Avoid spreading yourself too thin, though. Don’t think you have to be present on every social media channel, especially not to start with. Just two will be enough in the beginning: focus on building a loyal group of followers before expanding.

When these people share your content, your brand will appear on the feeds of users who may not see it otherwise.

 

Nett Solutions’ Orange County digital marketing specialists can help drive more traffic to your website and build your online presence. Want to know more about what we can do? Just get in touch!

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Top SEO Tips for Niche Companies

 Are you operating in a niche market?

If you are, then you’ll know marketing a smaller company can be incredibly difficult. However, an effective, well-structured SEO campaign can help you promote your company properly and grow your customer base significantly.

If you’re looking to expand your niche business’s reach in an organic way, read on for some top SEO tips.

 

Engage your customers to build brand loyalty

You need to make engaging your customers and prospects a priority from day one. Your digital marketing campaign should include social media marketing (SMM), incorporating both paid ads and regular posts.

Make a real effort to engage users, whether they’re current followers or not. Visual content is critical to grab attention on social media, so use images and videos throughout your posts.

The more eye-catching and clear to understand your marketing materials are, the more likely people are to share them. Brand posts with images have been shown to achieve more interactions than those without.

Never bombard users with a slew of promotional posts. Focus on captivating rather than selling, selling, selling.

Visual content is obviously just as important on your website. Keep your text brief and to the point, but make sure your blogs, product pages, and more are rich with visuals too. Short videos introducing your brand and your team can convey background information in a much more accessible way than expecting a visitor to read blocks of text.

 

Check out your competition

Even in niche businesses, you’ll face some competition. Unless you’ve created a product or service that nobody else on the planet has, you should be able to research what rival companies are doing to expand their reach.

What are they doing on social media? How are their blog posts distributed and what traction do they get?

Take the time to look at the competition ahead of you and behind you. See what to do and what not to do in your own SEO campaign.

 

Make friends in high places

One particularly effective SEO technique for niche businesses is to make connections with useful websites.

For example, if your business specializes in creating accessories for games consoles, consider trying to forge links with a high-profile blog focused on games. Can you get them to review some of your products, whether this is in blog posts or videos on YouTube? Are you able to make an impact with their audience?

However, only choose blogs or sites that aren’t in direct competition with you or already linked to other rivals of yours. Do your research first.

At Nett Solutions, our Orange County SEO team can help your niche business expand your reach and build a bigger reputation. Give us a call to discuss your options now!

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