Search Engine Optimization: Why Do Keywords Matter?

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Why Do Keywords Matters?

For a business owner in the digital age, some of the technical terms floating around can be somewhat intimidating. Naturally, you are familiar with business jargon, but when social media experts start throwing all of these terms out there is can be somewhat confusing. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of those terms that leaves business owners scratching their heads in confusion.

Even if you read articles on the subject, you usually end up walking away with more questions than you started out with. You might read about Google Penguin, Panda, or Hummingbird and find that there are really no actionable steps to take. The truth is that this is done intentionally. Rather than toil through article after article of technical jargon, a better first place to start is with keywords.

Understanding Search Engine Optimization

Google is the number one search engine in the world today. In fact, many other search engines try to mimic Google in the way they operate to help capture a wider audience. This is why most social media experts turn to Google algorithms to help devise the best SEO strategies. What you might not have ever heard before is that no one really knows all of the details behind Google’s search algorithms. In other words, SEO is not an exact science.

Understanding this, it is very important that you take full advantage of those aspects that are understood. Among those factors, keywords are one of the most powerful ways to help improve your search rankings.

Finding the Right Keywords

Of course, knowing that keywords are important, and knowing which keywords are important, is a very significant distinction. When planning out your keyword strategy, you cannot simply use words that you think work. Instead, there are actually tools available online to help you pick out the most powerful search terms for your industry. This will help devise a solid keyword strategy and ensure that you can get the most out of your SEO efforts.

Though there are certainly other factors that come into play, keywords are ultimately one of the most powerful ways to boost your company’s position online. Search engine optimization may not be an exact science, but keyword usage can be clearly measured, making it a very actionable step for the ambitious business owner. If you are not using keywords in your online content, then you are failing to capture your online audience, which could lead to serious challenges down the road.

Three Benefits of Blogging You Might Have Missed

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Three Benefits of Blogging You Might Have Missed

 

Most business owners now understand the importance of blogging in terms of raising the profile of their business, both online and in their local community. But even those who were early adopters of blogging as part of their marketing strategy for their business don’t always think of the following three benefits:

1. Ward off competition

It’s true: Blogging can help your business stave off a competitor. Let’s say you run a small consulting firm specializing in helping companies save money on their telecommunications bill. If you’re doing it well, your blog is full of stories of satisfied customers and tips that make it clear that you’re the expert in a particular niche. Why would a potential competitor want to have to try to prove that she is more awesome than you when you’ve already cornered that market?

2. Attract investors

In the same vein, having this record of your thoughts and experiences can also lead to someone saying, “That company has a great business model and is led by a fabulous person. I’d like to meet with them and see if I can be part of their future success.” And once you sit down with this potential investor, they already feel as though they know you, your dreams and your company’s raison d’être.

3. Organize your own thoughts (and get feedback!)

Kind of like keeping a journal, a business blog helps you keep track of ideas that you’re considering for your company. Better yet, they’re ideas that your audience can weigh in on. Say you run a small chain of coffee houses in a tri-state area and you hit upon an idea: What if your stores hosted an open mike night or a poetry slam? By blogging about it, you can both record your idea and gauge potential interest in these events. Maybe your readers aren’t that interested in either idea, but they would like to see you make room for a mother/daughter tea event. There’s extra revenue, just like that.

We know what you’re thinking: “Man, I have GOT to get on this blogging thing, even though I have no time!” Don’t worry… we can help you out. We work closely with our clients to go beyond informative blog writing — we study your industry, learn its acronyms, talk about your dreams. In short, we capture your voice.

So when it’s time to finally start that blog, or turn your existing one over to a professional who can be sure it gets updated more than once a quarter, give us a call at (800) 299-5498 or shoot us an email at hello [at] brandsplat [dot] com. We’ll have your blog working for you in no time!

How to Instagram Like the Big Brands

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Social media experts seemed a bit confused by Instagram when it first launched back in 2010. Would people actually care about photo sharing? Moreover, could this kind of platform really be social? And could brands find ways to make Instagram work for them? Three years later, the answer to those questions is a resounding “Yes!” Instagram has fast become the darling of social media marketing, and a new study shows just how Fortune 500 use Instagram. Turns out, the Instagram habits of the big boys are things every company can try.

According to the study conducted by TrackMaven, the best time to post on Instagram is, well, anytime. Marketing types often think social media ends with the workday, but TrackMaven found that user activity stayed virtually the same on Instagram on weekends as it was on the weekdays. As far as filters go, Fortune 500s used #nofilter the most on their Instagram photos, but the “Mayfair” filter performed the best. Also, Fortune 500 companies seem to be loving Instagram’s version of Vine  new video feature. Nike, Starbucks, Foot Locker, Apple and Ralph Lauren are the top five most active Fortune 500 brands on Instagram. Yet it should be noted that while 123 of the Fortune 500 companies have Instagram accounts, only 22 percent have active accounts.

For small businesses who want to get better at Instagram marketing, these are fascinating things to hear and chock full of lessons. For starters, post on Instagram all day, every day. Since photo sharing often happens from events (which happen whenever), normal business hours should be happily ignored. In fact, Instagram photos posted on the weekends have a better chance of getting “likes” with more folks off work and on their phones. Also, go crazy with the hashtags. As Mashable’s Jessica Lee puts it, “It’s often considered a social media faux pas to use more than two hashtags in a tweet; however, on Instagram, that rule can be thrown out the window. The data prove otherwise for bigger brands, showing that four to 11 hashtags can increase up to on average 77 interactions per Instagram post.” Lee also reminds us not to clog the bottom of the post with hashtags; rather, we’d do well to pepper them seamlessly throughout the post instead.

Finally, in order to have big-time rocking Instagram success, you actually have to use the darn thing! Pictures from trade shows, mouth-watering snapshots of the day’s specials and exclusive backstage photos make for great Instagram posts. Remember, the top five only became the top five because they were inspired by Instagram’s endless ways to connect by sharing amazing, funny and interesting original images.