keyword suggestions and volume from Ubersuggest

Free SEO Tools: How to Rank Higher Without Paying a Dime

November 15th, 2018 Posted by SEO 0 comments on “Free SEO Tools: How to Rank Higher Without Paying a Dime”

There are now some truly amazing free SEO tools that can get you very close to all the way toward ranking higher for targeted online searches.

Wait.

Is it really possible to fully optimize for Google’s algorithm without paying for expensive SEO tools?

I would say yes. Now it is. And that’s awesome.

How to Optimize Your Existing Website for Search Engines

Once you’ve done your initial pass at optimizing your website for your target keyword phrases, you should monitor and work to improve your rankings over time.

As I often tell our team and our clients, the work of SEO never really ends.

We all need to remain vigilant to continue to reap the rewards of targeted search traffic from customers and clients who are looking online for exactly what we offer.

Here’s the process I follow when I’m optimizing my own pet portrait company’s website for Google search. While I love using fancy paid SEO tools like AhrefsSEMRush and Moz Pro, I can get pretty dang far using just the following free SEO tools:

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Come Hear Us Discuss Multi-Channel Marketing at the DreamBank in Madison on Nov 27

November 14th, 2018 Posted by Digital Marketing, Multichannel Marketing 0 comments on “Come Hear Us Discuss Multi-Channel Marketing at the DreamBank in Madison on Nov 27”

 

We’re returning to speak at the DreamBank in Madison on Nov 27 on the topic of Multi-Channel Marketing. Can’t wait to see you there!

 

Click here to register for free.

 

 

How Retailers Can Run Better Social Media Ads

November 6th, 2018 Posted by Digital Marketing, Facebook Ads 0 comments on “How Retailers Can Run Better Social Media Ads”

Social advertising has taken off in a big way. Companies of all sizes are using social ads to get their brand in front of their target customers, generate traffic, and boost sales. Retailers especially can take advantage of the benefits provided by social ads.

But how can you get more from your ads? Here are some strategies to get you started.

Get the Basics Right

First of all, you want to make sure you get all the basics right. What does that mean?

Use compelling images. Visuals will get more attention and will bring your ads to life. Remember, social media is a crowded place. People are looking for content that catches their eye, and there is a lot of it out there. You have to stand out to get noticed.

Also, make sure you take a mobile-first approach. Obviously, it is important how your ads look on the desktop version, but mobile should be the priority. And use enticing language to make sure you attract people to your ads with your copy.

Engage Using Videos

Videos are a great way to help your social ads get more attention, and they can be even more engaging than images.

People love watching videos online, and they are a great way to show off your products and build trust by showing the actual faces behind your company. You could create video testimonials for social proof, interview people in your business, or show your products being used. Definitely experiment with video ads to see if they can get you more clicks and engagement.

Any time you can encourage engagement in the form of likes, shares and comments, you should! Prompt viewers to leave a comment or tag a friend. When Facebook sees strong engagement on an ad, that can drive your cost per click (CPC) down.

Experiment with Audiences

There are many options for targeting audiences on social websites. Facebook especially provides you with lots of options where you can target by age, interests, behaviors, and more.

Targeting based on interests can be especially effective. If you sell a certain type of product, you can target people with similar interests who will be more likely to be interested in your product.

For example, Splendid Beast is a pet painting business that targets their Facebook ads based on people who love dogs, specific dog breeds, and cats. They also create lookalike audiences based on previous purchasers and website visitors, then remarket to people who have already visited the website or interacted with their Facebook page.

You could also target people at certain moments in their lives, such as when they are getting married.

Experiment with these options. Start by targeting your main target market, but try different audiences as well by making tweaks. Once you have run a few ads, you will see what is working for you.

Advertise Promotions

Using promotions is a time-tested strategy to make more sales. But you need people to discover your promotions. When you post an update on your social account that you have a 24-hour discount, you’re just hoping that your customers see it.

That’s why you should use advertising. Create a standard ad just like you normally would, but make the promotion the main focus. Let your targets know that they can get a special discount if they act fast. A great offer will get noticed, so use this technique to break through the noise.

Use the Store Visits Feature

If you have multiple locations, you might be able to use the Store Visits feature in Facebook. This is where you can create different ads with maps and copy that is specific to the store that is located nearest to the target, and it’s a great way to send people to your physical stores.

Keep Things Fresh

Always try to do new things with your ads, and don’t be tempted to run the same ad all the time. If something works, that’s great. But experiment further. Change the images and the copy, otherwise people will quickly get bored if they see the same ad all the time.

Consider having five or 10 types of ads, some showing products, others showing reviews, and others with special roundups and collections. Then change your copy to use different messages so you are not saying the same thing all the time.

Find out what works, then optimize it further and keep on changing what you are doing to keep your targets interested.

Target Existing Customers

One simple technique is to focus your efforts on your existing customers. It’s cheaper and easier to sell to existing customers because they have already shown an interest in your products. Getting new customers, on the other hand, is hard work—and more expensive.

On Facebook, you can do this by using custom audiences. This is where you define the exact audience you want to display your ads to, which could include customers on your email list.

You should also create a lookalike audience based on your customer or email list, so Facebook can use its algorithm to help you find more customers and subscribers. Sometimes you can supercharge this technique by “layering in” interests. For example, Splendid Beast sometimes targets dog lovers who are also lookalikes of previous purchasers.

Use Facebook Collection Ads

Facebook Collection Ads are a great option for retailers. Using these, you can show a main image or video then display product recommendations. They are a great way to advertise a collection of products, especially around a certain time of year like the holidays.

Use Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are one of Facebook’s killer advertising techniques, and these are perfect for retailers.

And its efficacy is well-known, even for brands on the lower end of the financial scale. One need only take a look at the ad overheads of high-performing businesses of less than $10k to see that, for many of them, their highest expense is on Facebook social ads. Shop Trucksy alone spends $500 a month on its Facebook ads, but reports $8000 average monthly profits!

You will need to use the Facebook pixel on your website to use dynamic ads. Install it on every page, and this will then analyze the actions of visitors. You can then decide who to show your ads to based on their behavior.

It’s a very powerful tool because you can use it to advertise to people who have looked at specific products on your website or who have visited certain pages. You could then provide the visitor with a special discount on that product and give them a push using your ad.

Experiment with Different Platforms

When you find something that works for you, don’t stop there. If you find that Facebook ads work well, experiment on Twitter or Pinterest. You may find that other platforms are even more effective.

Always experiment with new platforms and types of ads, and constantly improve your results.

Social ads are a fantastic way to find new customers and get repeat sales from existing customers. If you have been using social advertising with unexceptional results, try some of the above techniques. Keep on experimenting and optimizing, and you may find that social ads can be one of your most effective ways to drive sales.

How to track your campaigns correctly using UTM parameters and Google Analytics channel groupings

September 15th, 2018 Posted by Google Analytics 0 comments on “How to track your campaigns correctly using UTM parameters and Google Analytics channel groupings”

That’s nice that Google Analytics has all this info about our website traffic, but how do we see whether our campaigns are truly effective?

Well, good news, assuming you’ve set up Google Analytics goals to track, you can see if visitors are taking those actions after clicking particular links, whether from emails, Facebook ads, Google Display Ads, or even referral links from other websites.

Check it out in the video below. We also discuss our recommendation around how to handle Paid Social Ads, given the fact that Google Analytics came out before there were social media ads.

Here’s the UTM tracking templates spreadsheet mentioned in the video. Please select File > Download to save your own copy for your use. Use these recommendations in conjunction with a campaign URL builder.

This lesson is an excerpt from our Digital Marketing Mastery course. You can learn more about the course and watch the first class for free here.

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SEO Case Study: #1 National Ranking in less than a year

September 5th, 2018 Posted by National SEO 0 comments on “SEO Case Study: #1 National Ranking in less than a year”

Check out this SEO Case Study in which we discuss how we ranked Splendid Beast #1 for dog paintings in under a year and with fewer backlinks than the competitors.

 

 

One thing we didn’t dwell on in the video was “dwell time,” which is the amount of time users spend on the page or site after they click your link. From looking at the analytics, the dwell time for this page and for the site from this organic landing page has been really good. Google is likely interpreting that as a sign that we’re showing the searcher what they want to see: dog paintings.

 

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What's possible now with digital marketing?

What’s Possible Now in Digital Marketing? Digital Marketing Mastery Class Kickoff

August 11th, 2018 Posted by Digital Marketing 1 comment on “What’s Possible Now in Digital Marketing? Digital Marketing Mastery Class Kickoff”

Digital marketing is changing so fast that it’s next to impossible for any marketer or business owner to keep up.

Luckily it all boils down to some basics.

You want:

  • the right people to see your brand and offerings at the right time
  • more people contacting you or buying from your website
  • more people coming to your website
  • more people coming back to your website
  • to measure what’s working and what isn’t so you can improve

Our Digital Marketing Mastery Course

To go more in-depth on how to do each of these things, we’re launching a course called Digital Marketing Mastery to show you the latest techniques and tricks to earn more leads and sales online.

We love keeping up with this stuff and teaching others what we learn and what we see working for our business and our clients.

We made the first class in our 6-month course free, and you can catch the re-recording of it below. It’s called, “What’s Possible Now With Digital Marketing.”

Check it out!

 

 

 

Note we’ll have an in-person class (at 555 D’Onofrio, Madison WI) as well as an online-only option if you’re outside town or can’t make our class dates.

What will the course cover and when are the classes?

As you can see from the syllabus and schedule, we’ll be covering the best strategies and tactics to increase business using

  • Google Analytics
  • SEO
  • Google Ads
  • Website Conversion Optimization
  • Social Media Marketing (organic and paid).

Most of the in-person classes will be on Wednesdays at 3:30 pm, but we have a few Mondays in there, too.

Who will this class be perfect for?

  • Marketing Directors
  • Marketing Team Members
  • Business owners who handle their own marketing

What problems will this address?

  • I don’t know where to start
  • I don’t where to focus
  • I don’t have a strategy, plan or budget
  • I can’t keep up with all the changes in online marketing
  • I get stuck when trying to implement digital strategies and could use step-by-step instruction I can refer back to

What outcomes can I expect?

At least twice as many website leads in the next 12 months.

This assumes you’re ready to invest in the paid online advertising channels we’ll teach you to use. Appropriate budgets will vary based on business and industry, but you should be ready to spend $500-1,000 per month in ads at the very minimum to test the strategies we’ll teach.

What requisites are there?

You should be eager to learn and implement the best strategies and tactics in online marketing.

To get the most benefit, you need to be able to make changes to your website or have someone who can.

We strongly favor WordPress as a website platform and Content Management System, but most of what we discuss can be done on other platforms like Wix, Squarespace, HubSpot, etc.

How much does it cost and when do I need to sign up by?

We have three options:

  1. (EXPIRED) $900 if you pay $150/mo. for 6 months. This covers the 12 in-person classes, Q&A after each, and lifetime online access to the re-recordings in case you miss a class or need to review. Sign-up ends Aug 22 for this option.
  2. (EXPIRED) $750 one-time payment if paid by Aug 15 (saves $150, or one month). Includes everything in Option 1.
  3. $500 for lifetime access to the online videos only, no in-person or Q&A

 

Ready to learn digital marketing step-by-step?

Great!

Select your option below and we’ll send you an invoice. Once that’s paid, you’ll receive login access to the Digital Marketing Mastery website.

Digital Marketing Mastery

Ready to learn how to earn more business online?
  • Want to join us in person on the west side of Madison or only online at your own pace? We'll send an invoice you can pay via Credit, Check or PayPal.

 

How to Write Guest Posts

How to Write High-Quality Guest Posts

July 17th, 2018 Posted by Blogging, Guest Blog 0 comments on “How to Write High-Quality Guest Posts”

We get pitched on guest posts all the time on our site. The pitches are often terrible and so are the submissions. As a result, we’ve drastically reduced the number of guest posts we accept. They often create extra work for us, instead of providing us free value in exchange for great SEO links.

But that’s not how guest posts have to be. They can be a great opportunity that’s mutually beneficial to both the writer and the site owner. If you’re interested in writing a guest post for someone and you want it be awesome, here’s how to do it.

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Facebook Ad Targeting & Measurement: Audiences & the Facebook Pixel

June 20th, 2018 Posted by Facebook Ads 0 comments on “Facebook Ad Targeting & Measurement: Audiences & the Facebook Pixel”

We recently spoke about digital marketing for an Ask the Expert put on the by Middleton Chamber of Commerce, specifically on how to target audiences using Facebook ads and how to measure the results using the Facebook pixel.

Here’s the re-recording we made for YouTube in case you missed it or need a review.

This is the perfect starting point for businesses who are struggling to get traction from their organic and boosted Facebook posts, which either don’t reach people anymore or don’t reach the right people.

 

website migration

Website Migration SEO: How To Redesign Your Website Without Losing SEO Traffic

June 9th, 2018 Posted by Local SEO, SEO 0 comments on “Website Migration SEO: How To Redesign Your Website Without Losing SEO Traffic”

Don’t neglect search engine optimization in the flurry of excitement around the launch of a redesigned website. Everything on the new site is fresh and up-to-date, and it looks slick as hell – but is that good or bad for your SEO?

It doesn’t have to be bad at all! We’ll explain how to maintain strong SEO and stay in Google’s good favor when you migrate to a newly updated website. It starts with knowing your old site and making sure nothing is lost or forgotten. Then we’ll tell you how to create redirects to avoid errors and confusion. Lastly, we’ll explain how you can make sure Google knows what you’re doing, so that the search engine will be friendly to your new site.

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Use this email template to ask for Google Reviews

May 30th, 2018 Posted by Google, Local SEO, Reviews, SEO 2 comments on “Use this email template to ask for Google Reviews”
Updated May 2018 to include the most relevant info and provide everything you need for Google reviews outreach.

 

Reviews on your Google My Business page are a likely ranking factor for Local SEO. And as you may know, once your business gets five reviews (update: nowadays you don’t even need this many), your stars start appearing.
Wisconsin SEO map pack results plumber
Those stars next to your business name help you stand out and make searchers want to click on your listing. Just look at the example above for “plumber verona.” Which of the three would you click if your shower drain was backed up?

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Free Talk and Webcast: 6 Steps To Earning More Leads Using Local SEO

May 10th, 2018 Posted by Speaking 0 comments on “Free Talk and Webcast: 6 Steps To Earning More Leads Using Local SEO”

Looking to learn how to make your business website appear at the top in local online searches? Join us on May 15 in-person at the DreamBank in downtown Madison, WI at noon or tune in remotely via the webcast. See you there!

 

6 Steps To Earning More Leads Using Local SEO

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 from 12:00-1:00 pm.

You can sign up for the in-person talk here on Eventbrite.

You can sign up for the Webcast here on Eventbrite.

 

 

Why Aren’t You Using Custom Intent Audiences for Display Ads?

May 8th, 2018 Posted by Google Display Ads 0 comments on “Why Aren’t You Using Custom Intent Audiences for Display Ads?”

What if you could only show your banner ads to people who are in the market for what you sell AND only pay when people click?

Oh wait, you can!

By using Custom Intent Audiences in Google Display Ads, which Google rolled out rather quietly last November.

While everyone focuses on Facebook, this could be your chance to break through to find cheaper clicks, better targeting and positive ROI.

 

Business to Business (B2B) Marketing: Bring Prospects to Your Site

April 27th, 2018 Posted by B2B Marketing 0 comments on “Business to Business (B2B) Marketing: Bring Prospects to Your Site”

B2B marketing presents challenges for even the savviest online marketers. “My prospective clients aren’t on Facebook, what do I do?” Luckily, there are still options when you’re selling to other businesses.

 

We describe a few of the most promising paid channels in this video.

 

 

 

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Senior Living Marketing: Make Your Website a Lead Generation Machine for New Residents

March 19th, 2018 Posted by Assisted Living Marketing 0 comments on “Senior Living Marketing: Make Your Website a Lead Generation Machine for New Residents”

Huge thanks to the Wisconsin Assisted Living Association (WALA) for inviting us to speak about senior living marketing at their annual spring conference last week.

Here are the slides we used to discuss conversion optimization, website analytics, Google AdWords, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Display Ads and social media marketing.

 

 

Free Assisted Living Digital Marketing Webinars

Want to learn how we helped Milestone Senior Living increase their unit occupancy 11.8% in nine months?

Looking for help implementing these strategies at your organization?

 

How To Improve Your Old Blog Posts (2018)

March 14th, 2018 Posted by Blogging 0 comments on “How To Improve Your Old Blog Posts (2018)”

You don’t always need to write brand new blog posts to increase your organic SEO traffic. In fact, you can and should go through your old posts and see how they can be optimized for keyword phrases you might not have considered. In this video, we discuss how to find SEO opportunities based on your previous blog posts.

Improve Your Existing Blog Posts for Better SEO

 

 

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Madison WI SEO Keyword Research Plumber

Keyword Research: The first step for every page on your website

February 26th, 2018 Posted by Local SEO, SEO 4 comments on “Keyword Research: The first step for every page on your website”

Most business owners would avoid setting up shop to sell things people don’t want, yet they regularly plop content and pages on their website with hardly a thought for what their customers want. Keyword research should be your roadmap; let the search data guide how you create your website, from your regular pages to your blog posts. It’s now possible to know the demand for what you offer before you even create it!
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Your Ultimate ‘How To’ On Writing Social Media Captions

February 3rd, 2018 Posted by Digital Marketing 0 comments on “Your Ultimate ‘How To’ On Writing Social Media Captions”

Visual content is all the rage, and nailing this aspect of your marketing is sure to give your brand a boost. Yet while a picture speaks a thousand words, sometime you need to add a few of your own in order to engage with your audience, and get them involved with your content.

These captions serve a range of purposes, from explaining the image itself, to offering up an insight or opinion on the image’s content, or giving details of a related product or promotion. They serve as the voice of your brand, speaking directly to your customers as they take an interest in your content.

However, it’s not always easy to stand out from the crowd, so it’s important to ensure your caption game is on point. Here are some tips on creating killer captions for your visual content, and how this can help your business go from strength to strength in 2018.

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WordPress speed tips

Make Your WordPress Site Load Fast as Hell

January 22nd, 2018 Posted by Web Design 1 comment on “Make Your WordPress Site Load Fast as Hell”

You click the first search result. The loading bar hangs at one third. You can’t see a thing on the webpage yet. How long do you wait around for that site to get its act together?

No more than a few seconds, if you’re like most people. Maybe less on mobile. This is intuitive evidence that page load speed is actually pretty important. If prospective visitors are turning away from your site and bouncing because it’s sloooow, then you’ve got a problem. We want to help you solve that problem.

Let’s start with two reasons why your site speed matters.

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How to do SEO for your local business: The Local SEO Checklist

November 20th, 2017 Posted by Local SEO, SEO 1 comment on “How to do SEO for your local business: The Local SEO Checklist”

Note: Looking for an actionable Local SEO Checklist for 2018? At the end of this post, you can download a PDF that distills all the important points into checklist items. You can also watch our in-depth video below.

“I know I need to work on SEO for my business’s website, but there’s so much to do and learn and I don’t know where to start.”

If that’s something you’ve said (or found yourself thinking), then this blog post is for you!

We want to de-mystify this arcane art of search engine optimization. We’re doing that by giving you a checklist-style guide to the main things you should be concerned about when it comes to SEO for your local business.

First off, here’s the big picture as a series of straightforward bullet points:

The Local SEO Checklist

  1. Find the keywords you want to target and rank for.
  2. Use your keywords for effective onsite optimization.
  3. Proactively work on link building.
  4. Get your Google My Business page up to date and ask for Google reviews.
  5. Create, post, and promote unique, high-quality, original content.
  6. Use website analytics to measure your results.
  7. Have a snappy and responsive mobile site that loads quickly.

Now we’ll take a look at each of these items, and explain how you can take practical steps to improve your business’s SEO.

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How to Build an Email Marketing List

November 15th, 2017 Posted by Digital Marketing 0 comments on “How to Build an Email Marketing List”

At first glance, email marketing might sound a bit old-fashioned and out-of-date. Social media have opened a world of new opportunities for advertising and have been a hot topic for marketing experts over the last few years. So why would one still prefer email over other forms of online marketing?

The first and most important factor is mere quantity. To mention just some of the stats – while Facebook has 1.6 billion users, almost a billion more people use email. Furthermore, 91% of them use this channel daily, and for 58% of them, it’s the first thing they check online, compared to Facebook’s 57% and 11% respectively. Differences are radical when it comes to ROI as well, with email marketing being 4 times more successful than social media. The crucial reason for this is the fact that email is still the media most frequently used for transactions, as well as for doing business. A journey that starts by setting the list up and ends with collecting the money can be divided into three steps: developing the list, maintaining it and, last but definitely not least, converting.

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