Blogs

How Inbound Links Can Help Small Businesses Grow

LM3 inbound links

How Inbound Links Can Help Small Businesses Grow

We all know social media marketing (SMM) has become a critical component of search engine marketing (SEM) because search engine vendors have been steadily altering their algorithms to include shares of brand-generated content on social media sites in their rank algorithm. And while social media shares certainly reflect brand advocacy, they also have a very powerful affect on search engine result page (SERP) ranking, because they create inbound links to your websiteContinue reading How Inbound Links Can Help Small Businesses Grow

Benefits of SEO and PPC: A small business tutorial

LM3 Benefits of SEO and PPC

The Benefits of SEO and PPC for Small Businesses

First, I want to disclose I usually work with small businesses and non-profit organizations that have small marketing budgets, which means there aren’t often a plethora of funds available for search engine marketing. And while both #PPC and #SEO approaches are valuable and worthwhile website marketing tools, they’re both going to cost your business money. However, while I’m generally more partial to #SEO, both methods are important for website rank.


Benefits of search engine optimization (SEO) marketing campaigns

Consider for example your organization is a non-profit entity. More often than not, you probably have a limited budget – and most of that probably goes to service development, operations and personnel cost. In my opinion, non-profit organizations should utilize SEO tactics in their websites, blog posts, social media referral traffic, and website link-building to naturally grow their website presence. In a non-profit’s case, the value SEO traffic is generally better. Why? Because organic search results are 8.5x more likely to be clicked on than paid search ads.

The same is true for niche products and services. Generally, these types of products/services require detailed, long-tail keywords to describe their offerings. If these keywords and phrases are used naturally in content marketing efforts – specifically throughout their website, blog posts, social media streams and earned media placements – Google and other search engines will reward the website with a high-ranking search result. Investing time into your company’s SEO by producing regular, fresh and interesting industry content is key to attracting search bots to index the content and maintain your search result rank.

But please remember, SEO is not “free.” While you won’t incur any up-front costs (like a PPC campaign) to “run” your SEO marketing strategy, you’ll likely have to hire an SEO strategist (PS: We can totally help! 😉 ) to advise on content creation and delivery mediums to attract search engine spiders, or invest your personal time into developing SEO content.


Benefits of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns

PPC campaigns are really great for businesses in that they get results fast! If you’re looking to drive search traffic to your site and don’t mind forking out some cash, PPC ads allow your business to create ads targeting search keyword combinations (and eliminations!) at budgets you control. What’s really great about PPC ads are that they’re easily customizable and can be targeted to virtually all locations, meaning you’re not longer paying for ads delivered to areas you don’t service. And bonus: monitoring your programs and campaigns allow you to determine which keywords perform best, and allows you to make changes as needed for the most bang for your advertising buck.

While PPC ads are useful for almost any business, PPC ads are especially useful in moving search traffic to landing pages designed to clean out old product inventory or promote an odd event. Moreover, companies in competitive industries can especially benefit from PPC campaigns as it’s a good rule of thumb your competitors are utilizing search advertising and your business should absolutely be visible amongst competitors.

Another bonus of PPC ad campaigns is they can be tailored to customers in all stages of the buying cycle. Consider the following example of a Google search for a reliable supplier of horse-grooming brushes, which generated five different ads from five different vendors, leaving a variety of suggestions to choose from. I don’t know jack about “the best” horse-grooming brushes, so I alter my search to find “the best horse-grooming brushes.) This result produced new companies and products, indicating vendors understand the importance of utilizing both long and short-tail keywords in their ad campaigns. If you decide to run with PPC Ads, remember short-tail keyword searches usually come from customers in the beginning of the purchasing cycle; whereas long-tail keywords are often used in searches when customers are ready to buy. So plan your ad sets accordingly!


I hope I’ve given some easy-to-understand examples of the benefits of both search marketing tactics. While PPC ads drive lots of traffic to your site while they’re running, that traffic will diminish – or end – once the ad set finishes. That’s why I prefer using #SEO over #PPC campaigns, because the long-term value for your investment is just better. The more relevant and fresh content you produce, the more credible your business will become: both to your customers and search engine spiders.

Ready to start optimizing your website and develop your ad campaigns? Contact us!

 

SEO or paid SEM: Which is better for my small business?

LM3 Search engine marketing

Is SEO or PPC better for my small business?


 Working in both marketing and public relations capacities, we’ve come to realize search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-Click search engine marketing (SEM) work well together to create a solid website presence and search results listing. And since more than 40% of e-commerce sales for products in 2013 were generated by user-based search engine queries, companies with online shopping capabilities should invest heavily in #SEO and #SEM. But many small businesses still struggle with which approach is better, so we’ve outlined the very basics of each in this post. Continue reading SEO or paid SEM: Which is better for my small business?

The Difference Between Meta tags and Keywords in SEO

LM3 Content marketing.pngThe Difference Between Meta tags and Keywords in SEO

What are Meta tags?
Meta tags are the descriptive keyword data written in your website’s HTML coding that tells search engine spiders exactly what the web page is about. #Metatags contain descriptive keywords and phrases that describe your business functions and available products, but can also contain keywords customers might search for to find your #smallbusiness.

While Meta tag data is no longer a vital component of search engine ranking, it is the first bit of information displayed in search query results below your business website link. So don’t ignore it, because if you don’t describe your Meta tag information, search engines will attempt to fill it in for you. You’ve got about 155 available characters – including spaces – so use them to your advantage!  LM3 Google search.png


What are website keywords?
Website keywords are the key words and phrases that describe your small business and are used throughout the website’s visible content. Website #keywords and phrases should be used in the your website page titles, in the header text and sporadically throughout page content. However, don’t overuse keywords – your website can actually be penalized for keyword-stuffing and as a result will lower your website page rank.

Website keywords have a much more prominent effect in search engine algorithm rankings and #SEO results, so be very strategic when developing them. But don’t be too vague in your keywords, either. For example, if you’re an e-commerce sneaker sales company, don’t just use “sneakers” in your keyword content. Consider more long-tail, specific phrases like: “high-quality, running shoes,” or “durable, soccer cleats.”


While the differences between Meta tags and website keywords are clear, search engine spiders use them both in tandem to determine your website content, and determine your page’s “validity and authority,” which ultimately results in where your small business will rank in the search engine result pages (SERP.)

Need more help with your small business keyword research? Contact us!

Four reasons small businesses should use Twitter

Four Reasons Small Businesses Should Use Twitter

UsingTwitterCustomerService

Many small businesses are hesitant to use Twitter for customer service, especially if they’re managing multiple social media accounts. This is usually a mistake because Twitter can drive large volumes of customer traffic to websitesincrease brand awareness and build customer connections.

But should a small businesses use #Twitter for customer service?  The short answer is YES!  Twitter is the gateway to connecting with industry influencers, attracting new customers and networking with other small businesses – which creates opportunities for new sales! Continue reading Four reasons small businesses should use Twitter

Create Your Social Media Strategy: 3 Tips for Small Businesses

Create Your Social Media Strategy: 3 Tips for Small Businesses
facebook like

Social media is a part of our daily lives

Social media has become an intricate part of our daily lives. To. The. Detail. Not only do we brush our teeth in the morning – we feel we have to update our Facebook page to tell people we’re brushing our teeth. Our incessant need to share everything – with everyone – has overtaken us.

And the need to share now includes what brands and products we’re happy – and not so happy – with. Now, when we update our tooth brushing schedule, we tell our friends what brand we use (Props, Colgate Optic White!) So it’s more important than ever that your small business starts eavesdropping on conversations, because those convos are happening around your business every day!  Continue reading Create Your Social Media Strategy: 3 Tips for Small Businesses

Market Basket: Crisis Management Faux Pas

Market Basket – Crisis Management Faux PasMarketBasketLogo-png

Ugh. Can it get any worse for the Market Basket Grocery chain? Not only are thousands of long-time employees and their families rallying against leadership, many of the 71 stores’ perishables departments – like produce and shellfish – are beginning to resemble looted big-box stores. A sad, lonely melon here…a group of hiding scallops there. And the company’s management team is MIA.

Minus one ad taken out “for consumers” in the Boston Globe, Market Basket corporate big-wigs have hit the mute button on their phones, emails and mouths. Thus, the media has gone into full Rambo commentary and speculation mode and consumers are revolting by the second – taking their wallets and business elsewhere. So when it comes to crisis management, this former MB employee – now turned PR pro, says: “Dear Market Basket: you’re doing it wrong.”

While it’s ideal for businesses to already have crisis management plans in place, I recognize this is not always the case. So in the spirit of this local business chaos, I’ve highlighted some of Market Basket’s #crisismanagement mistakes and offer tips to manage public relations and reputation crises. 

Continue reading Market Basket: Crisis Management Faux Pas

Social Media: Future Implications for Small Business Owners

Social Media: Future Implications for Small Business Owners

Businessman with social network icons floating around his head 3

The social media landscape is constantly changing. Even for social media marketers, new platforms launching every other week are overwhelming to learn, understand and explain to clients. In fact, it seems that once we accustom to one platform, it’s time to learn another! These changes are most likely attributed to shifts in technology and human behaviors, and in this post, I’ll discuss how these changes may impact small businesses in the future.  Continue reading Social Media: Future Implications for Small Business Owners