Our Smart Startup program was developed with the needs of new businesses in mind, to provide a way to create a new website at low cost and with an eye towards expanding into using HubSpot marketing automation in due time.
Keywords are the foundation to everything you want to do to promote your business online. Getting a first page, organic search ranking for any keyword is more difficult than following a simple formula, but you can increase your odds by creating quality content, using well-researched keywords, and working to distribute it, thus generating backlinks.
The first step is to generate a large number of keywords, then manually eliminate phrases that are not relevant and filter them against positive and negative keywords. The initial keywords list comes from from you, keywords used by your competitors that you provide, and use of keyword suggestion tools.
Second, we want to separate out high-traffic phrases - keywords with the ability to deliver at least 10 to 30 visitors (click-throughs) per day, if you had the #1 ranked search position for that keyword.
We then can assess the level and strength of competition for the high-traffic phrases that we want to target. For example, if a competitive website is using the same keyword in both their Page Title and in the Anchor Text of an external, inbound link, we know the site is seriously targeting that keyword. Do we want to go after keywords with high levels of competition or low levels of competition? Both! If the keyword has low competition, you might see the results in weeks or maybe days. If the keyword has high competition, we just know that it will take a long time to produce results; 3 to 6 months is highly optimistic estimate but we usually estimate 6 to 18 months.
When grouping keywords for reference in developing and tagging content, I have found it preferable to create a “mind-map” that more easily allows for shifting keywords around via a drag-and-drop interface. A free mind-map account will be setup on your behalf that you can access at any time during or after the project.
After we determine the high traffic phrases worth targeting, we can then analyze each keyword to reveal the websites that show up within the first 10 results in a Google search for that keyword. From there, we can dig into which sites are potential partners for content development, competitors, suppliers, etc. There is so much to learn!
If you have a website and are getting plenty of visitors but few leads and sales, we have some work to do together. Odds are your website was designed as “brochureware,” but with rapid advances in marketing your site needs a website refresh to go beyond providing static information with no clear next steps, to creating visitor engagement.
From the moment someone lands on your website it should pass the 10 second “blink test,” meaning that visitors understand what your company does and what you want them to do, nearly immediately.
Websites should have a nice design, content applicable to the needs of target audiences, good back-end and front-end SEO for organic search, landing pages for downloadable material, and calls-to-action throughout the site to generate leads: Buy here, Download this, Fill this out. Product and service descriptions should go beyond providing specs and address the buyer’s goals, whatever they may be.
Websites should be “responsive” to display well on any mobile device that is used. Much of the web today is still not optimized for mobile, despite the fact that over two billion people worldwide went online using their mobile phone device in 2014, and this only increased in 2015 (Source: eMarketer).
Marketing automation platforms, such as HubSpot, allows us to have full transparencytransparency into who is visiting your site, what they do there, and how people are responding to your email marketing campaigns. Not only does the software provide visibility to track the behavior of a visitor, using their IP address, once they accept a premium content offer and provide their contact information, all the visitor’s prior engagement history is available in their profile. We can then continue to offer premium content and ask questions that build our understanding of who they are and their needs.
Over time, with enough data, it can be determined what set of behaviors, taken together, indicate that a visitor is serious and ready to buy, which is done by assigning a value to each behavior known as “lead scoring.” When a minimum score is achieved, your sales team can be notified to step in and close the deal.
SEO is a subset of Search Engine Marketing, also known as organic search. SEO considerations include keyword research, on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
Keyword research is the foundation of all good on-page and off-page SEO. On-page SEO involves working high ranking keywords into areas that affect your search engine rankings: page and blog text, headlines, meta-tags (titles and meta-descriptions), slugs (URLs), as well as some non-obvious things such as image sizes and usage of alt-text, usage of heading tags, page load times, bounce rates, and responsive design techniques for mobile devices.
Off-page SEO considers all the external factors: creating high-quality backlinks from working high ranking keywords into press releases, whitepapers, presentations, social media posts, directory listings, and comments on other blogs, as well as, social media shares, mobile apps, microsites, and other link-building activities. Essentially, off-page SEO includes anything that is put out into the world as part of your brand messaging, in order to see a better result from your inbound marketing strategy.
Google and other search engines use “semantic search” when delivering organic search results, without which results would be very literal and may not deliver the searcher’s intentions. Semantic search considers the context of the words around it, location of the searcher, synonyms, natural language styles, etc., to extract meaning and provide relevant search results. For example, when someone searches “Dodger Dog” the search engine primarily delivers information about the famous MLB hot dog and FARMER JOHN®, not an actual dog in a Dodger’s outfit (although that’s pretty cute!), even though very few words actually appeared in the search. Similarly, we have the option to use a form of semantic search called Latent Symantec Indexing, when working on your paid search strategy.
While SEM is the parent of SEO, it primarily is concerned with paid search advertising, which can be pay-per-click (PPC) ads and banner (display) ads. The most popular platforms for paid search are Google Adwords, Yahoo Bing Network (YBN), Advertising.com/AOL (which includes Huffington Post, ESPN and news media websites such as ABC), Facebook and LinkedIn.
If you have already conducted PPC campaigns, we will audit them to determine problem and success areas. Then we will put into place an optimal roadmap of search and display network solutions to get on track and profitable, removing poor performing terms and optimizing keyword usage.
One advanced PPC tactic that we can make use of is creating silo/mirror campaigns, which are dedicated to specific settings such as a particular network (search vs. display), geography (states, cities, DMA), match type (broad, phrase, exact match), and so forth. However, for Google Adwords, mobile and tablet campaigns are no longer able to be siloed away from desktop campaigns due to Google’s changed rules, meaning you can no longer set specific budgets for specific devices. On the plus side, Google’s built-in Conversion Optimizer may be able to automatically create a mobile or tablet-only silo, should your desktop conversions be so terrible that Google bids them out of existence via its algorithm.
While you do not have to use marketing automation to have our expert team help you with your paid search campaigns, if you are using HubSpot, it becomes more critical that we manage it in order to leverage your paid search budget to drive traffic to premium content pieces that can convert visitors to leads, as well as, to supportive products being marketed.
If we manage both your marketing automation and paid search, we can then leverage Latent Symantec Indexing (LSI) to deliver highly relevant content that is more engaging for the searcher. LSI identifies patterns in relationships between terms and concepts contained in an unstructured collection of text, e.g., a search on paintbrush rollers means that there is a paint project underway and the searcher will likely need other supplies. The use of LSI improves your organic search results and over time can reduce your paid search spend, ultimately driving your costs down.
A good content marketing strategy plan targets your potential buyers’ goals and needs at different Lifecycle stages.
The first stage is known as “Top of Funnel” or “ToFu.” Content at this stage is focused on delivering early-stage information that creates awareness that you exist in your product category, educates and reaches potential customers where they live online. Think of ToFu content as anything that attracts anyone in your market to you through social media, such as, blog articles, tip sheets, eBooks, etc. This content should educate your audience on a specific question, need or pain point that they’re looking to address but without a sales tie-in, as the goal at this stage is to introduce yourself and build rapport. The world’s best ToFu is based on answering real-life questions people have when they first come to your website or in response to your YouTube videos.
The next stage is known as “Middle of Funnel” or “MoFu.” Consider this content anything distributed through email marketing, working to convert leads into ones interested in what you have to offer, by driving traffic to targeted landing pages with a call-to-action. At this stage, leads should provide relevant data points about their business when registering to download a piece, so that you can build a more robust profile on them. This type of content includes advanced eBooks, case studies, whitepapers, videos, detailed comparison guides between you and your competitors, or tutorials on how to use your product. The content should continue to educate, build credibility and position your company as the best solution to the lead’s needs and challenges. High quality content drives people to become a stronger lead and give up more information, but they are still not qualified at this stage.
The last stage, known as “Bottom of Funnel” or “BoFu.” At this stage you continue to send high quality content, special offers, and pitch them on your products or services. Special offers can be offered such as a free assessment, free trial, or discount code to use at the time of transaction, an executive summary or sales kit. These final offers must be enticing enough to turn leads into customers. Also now is the time that sales can engage them one-to-one to qualify them.
A good social marketing strategy plan is narrowed, targeting only those sites that are most relevant for your business. We will setup or reconfigure your social media presence as part of your overall content marketing strategy.
The first step is that we will ensure that your social profiles have a similar look and feel as your website, to maintain your brand’s consistency in the market.
Next we will push content out to your social channels. Content can be blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, videos, presentations, case studies, and curated content from third parties. Gated premium content pieces allow us to capture leads and assign them to buyer personas for lead nurturing. HubSpot gives us total control over your social channels, allowing us to post, see responses to posts, interact with visitors, and track their social activity, all within one application.
Lastly, we will monitor and respond - or prompt you to respond - in HubSpot to the interactions that take place through your social channels. Since your marketing activities are tied into your contact database, it is easy to see which customers and leads are interacting with your content. This also allows you to see the number of leads that social media is generating for your company, and which content pieces shared through your social channels have turned into closed business, for transparent reporting of your social marketing ROI.
If you host or participate in events, such as a tradeshows or on-site promotions, you want to engage with customers in a memorable way during the event, plus continue to engage with them long after the event ends.
We offer USB-pluggable branded promotional cards that, when plugged into a computer, launch either an existing web page or we can build a custom, hosted landing page to share sales collateral, videos, catalog, social marketing profiles, data capture of form information, and more. Since your collateral is hosted online and can be updated anytime,
BuzzCards are more cost-effective than other cards where you must buy memory and host on the card itself. BuzzCards can be made of plastic or paper, with your company logo, icon, or any image that relates to your marketing campaign. Paper BuzzCards can be die-cut into any cool shape and can be printed as part of a larger flier. Reward or sweepstakes programs can be added, based upon user activities.
BuzzCards can be tied into your marketing automation process so that once your customer views or downloads material accessible through the card, it can place them into a buyer persona and trigger a workflow process.
Our USB cards allow for full analytics and remote access. Marketers and other project owners have access to a Dashboard for tracking your online/offline campaign’s marketing ROI.