10 Must-Know SEO Tips to Boost Your Search Rankings

10 Must-Know SEO Tips to Boost Your Search Rankings

Updated January 7, 2019

SEO is considered as the main element to ultimately getting more website traffic. This means that you also want to be sure to use the best white hat methods and search engine optimization strategy On-Site and offsite for best results. Here are some of the most important fundamental SEO tips.

Whether you have a small or big business website, using proper SEO techniques can help Google, Yahoo, and other search Engines to rank your website higher in the SERPs. (Search Engine Results Pages) when customers or clients search for keywords that are relevant to your business.

  1. Operating a great website is not all about having the slickest or coolest looking website. It is equally important to have a site that users will find easy to navigate and employing the best SEO techniques to drive traffic towards your site.
  2. Before writing content for your website, you will need to make a set of keywords to utilize that provides the best SEO results. You can do this by checking out the keyword’s monthly search volume. Choose keywords that contain good search volume level and lower competition and avoid the keywords with the best and lowest search volume. Do this and you’ll you’ll be a more successful in your online endeavours as a website owner. Quite simply, don’t make an effort to rank in search engines for the keywords like “Houses” or “Doors” as this is a complete waste of time and money. The intent of the keyword is now more crucial than ever. In the last couple of year we have seen a significant change in the way Google delivers search results.
    Google Keyword Planner is definitely one of the tools you must use. You can access this in your Google adwords account. There are some other amazing tools for keyword research…
    Checkout Answer The Public. We really love this amazing tool. It will provide you a ton of questions that people ask about any topic. Just put in your target keyword and it will generate an overwhelming number of questions you can work with. Many bloggers use this to come up with blog post ideas.
    Also try UberSuggest. It is now run by SEO and online marketing expert Neil Patel. If you haven’t heard of Neil, you should check out.  He gives away amazing online marketing advice.  Try UbberSuggest, it’s free and it will help you come up with a lot of keyword phrases that you may never think of.

    Keywordtool.io is another excellent keyword research tool worth trying out.The above tools are free to use. If you need more intensive research tools and advanced options there are plenty for great tools that have a monthly subscription based model. Some of the best ones are Ahrefs, Wordracker, SEMRushMOZSEOBook

  3. Your website budget must be shared between Web Design, SEO, and Online Marketing. Be sure to reserve a large portion of your website budget for search engine optimization and Online marketing, it’ll be the best investment you make for your business if done effectively.
  4. Once you build the best keywords or keyword phrase for every single of your website web pages that phrase should be present in the title Meta tags, descriptions, and URLs. For On-Site, content writing the keyword or keyword phrase should be within the first three or four words of the headings on the page. This is also true for article writing titles.
  5. When you don’t have any pages that currently rank well, you have a greater chance of ranking when you choose less competitive, keyword phrases or long-tail keywords related to your niche. Focus on relevant low volume keywords at first and then once they rank well it means you are building authority on that topic. Once you have done that you can focus in on the more competitive high search volume keywords. It applies to writing content for your site or articles as well.
  6. Don’t overuse any keyword phrases in your web page content because search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing consider this spam and although they don’t claim to penalize, it will feel like they do because you will end up with a lower page rank for keyword stuffing/cramming your web page content. This also applies to the blog posts you write. Always strive for high-quality content that will provide value to your readers.
  7. While creating a web page bear it in mind that it is best to use a hyphen rather than an underscore in the URL Because this can result in better search engine optimization and keyword search results. This page is a good example. After the domain URL ending in .com/ you will add the title of this page with a hyphen between each word – “10-must-know-seo-tips-to-boost-your-search-rankings”
  8. Another one of the greatest SEO techniques for best search engine optimization is giving your viewers with content that offers great information, answers to a relevant question, a solution or something that just entertains them. The content must be well crafted, clear & concise, and totally correct. Keep the website frequently up to date with great content and overtime; it could even become an authority website. Answering questions is one of the most powerful methods you can use to write content. For one, it will provide you with endless possibilities for topics to write about when you have difficulty coming up with ideas. You can find excellent sources for questions at Quora as well as Answer The Public mentioned above.
  9. All SEO strategies start at the top of each of your website page. Use your keyword phrase in the first word of the first paragraph on each of your site web pages, like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines focus more on keywords nearby to the top of the page, a lot more than other parts of your website.
  10. Include your keyword phrase in anchor text links for your On-site web content and also within articles, PR releases or blogs. When you get an Off-site anchor text link, it will help you get a backlink from do follow sites, and that subsequently helps boost your page rank. Having more backlinks can and will surely get you better search results.

Also check out our recent post – WHY CONTENT MARKETING IS THE KEY TO GOOD SEO

Essential Do-It-Yourself SEO guide to get more traffic

Essential Do-It-Yourself SEO guide to get more traffic

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of tweaking your website for improved performance on the search engine results pages. There are some people who believe that learning the complexities of SEO is next to impossible unless you are a dedicated professional.

There’s no question that there is much to learn in SEO but if you have some time and patience you can achieve results that can really pay off in the long run. You can save a lot of money not having to rely on Google Adwords. This is a Do-It-Yourself SEO guide meant for website owners. It is not a comprehensive guide for SEO professionals.

This post is primarily about “On Page SEO” which involves what you can do to improve your web pages. This must be done first. Next you’ll need to do “Off Page SEO” which includes acquiring backlinks to your website, Social Media outreach and a whole lot more so we’ll cover this in another post.

We’ve put together some steps to help you if you want to do it yourself. There’s also a huge list of links to free and paid SEO Tools and resources at the end of this article!

Step 1 – Choose the Ideal Keywords

The most important starting point is choosing the most effective keywords. Making solid choices will keep your campaign focused and it won’t be so overwhelming. Once you achieve results for 1 or 2 terms you will find it easier next time.  If you are sure you have the best keywords already then you can skip this part but I highly recommend that you revisit this phase often.

I usually start with the Keyword Tool in Google Adwords. Use this to explore all the keyword combinations you can think of and it also tells you how many times that term is searched in a month so you’ll know if it’s worth your time to pursue. Sign into Adwords with your Google account. You’ll be prompted to sign up for one if you don’t already have one.

Set up a new campaign answering a few simple questions and afterwards make sure the campaign is paused so you don’t get charged for running ads. Now it’s time do so some research.

Keyword Research

Once you have a campaign set up, click on the Tools link in the very top menu and select Keyword Planner from the drop down menu. On the page that loads, click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”.  Then enter a couple of phrases that are relevant for your business.

If you have a roofing company you might enter roof repair, roofer, roofing contractors. Hit enter and you will get results back that show how many times those phrases and related phrases are searched for each month. It also hows how much it would cost per click if you ran an AdWords campaign. This is also a good indicator of competition.

If you are a local business then you’ll make to make sure you are looking at results for your location and not the whole world. The screen hot below show where you can filter by location ie. Toronto, Canada etc.

SEO -Google Analytics

When companies are paying like $15 per click, you know it is highly competitive but worth ranking for. If you can rank high in organic results for one of those words it would be very valuable to you. Copy all the words you would like to rank for. If there are several then I you can click the “Download” button (see below) and it will download an Excel file or .CSV to your computer or Google Drive.

SEO -Google Analytics

Google AdWords’ CPC (Cost Per Click) provides excellent data on how well a term converts — basically, the higher the cost, the better it will sell. Learn from the trial and error of others – the higher the amount your competitors are paying per click, the more valuable that traffic must be for them. Click on the header of the CPC column to sort your keywords by their Cost Per Click — and look at the conversion rate.

Take your time to really think about the keywords. If you have been trying to rank high for a keyword and it is just not working then choose another variation and get success with it first. Once you get success with a few keywords it will get easier.

Using the roofing company example, the words “roofing experts” had a very high cost per click $35.22 and is likely very competitive while “residential roofing” is $15.70 but get just as many searches every month and is likely easier to rank for.

Consider the intent of a keyword phrase as well. A person searching a phrase like “repair leaking roof” may be looking for information they can use to fix it themselves so it may not have potential for an immediate sale of your services but it may be a good idea to write a DIY article on the subject. It’s in the spirit of sharing useful information, it helps build your reputation and it boosts your authority on the subject as far as Google is concerned. Plus, who knows, the person reading the article may decide that it’s not worth doing themselves because of the extra tools and time that it will take so you might sell you services after all.

Earn more search hits by using longer or plural versions of keywords. Keyword stemming is a popular technique of some search engines. For example, using “roofer” as your keyword may not result in hits from people who search for “roofing” or “roofers.” Always use the longest form of a keyword. This will ensure that your site comes up in a variety of different searches.

Like I said this keyword research phase is very important so think it through carefully.

Another tool we like to use is SEMrush. It’s is a powerful and versatile tools that is amazing at competitive research. It’s free for a few searches. See links to more SEO tools and resources at the end of this post.

Keyword.io is a free keyword generating tool that’s worth trying. It will give you tons of variations and then you can export those to a CSV file and upload to Google Keyword planner to see how many searched there are for those. Then you can decide if they are worth using.

Step 2 – Great Content

Your first priority when trying to get a higher ranking should be to write great, informative, and totally unique content. It’s important to say something new. This can range from a different spin on subject matter to covering a more detailed aspect of your subject matter. There is a lot of traffic on the Internet and you’ll want to stand out in order to keep traffic coming to you. People stick around when you offer them information that is unique and has great content.

Hone in on one component of your business on each page. It really is a mistake to try to cram in each of your services or products into just one posting. This practice confuses customers, and as a result, they won’t return. Having each product the sole focus of its own page yields much better results and Google like it better that way too.

Google likes fresh content so for most businesses the solution is to have a blog and post articles on a regular basis. The extra time involved to do that is certainly a challenge for many companies so you may want to consider outsourcing that task. That can be done at a reasonable cost – some starting around $100/month.

Step 3 – On Page SEO & Technical Adjustments

Titles, Descriptions, & H1 Tags (DON’T Repeat!)

You must include the exact keywords you selected within the title of the page and the body text. The title should be both relevant and easy to remember. Although, at times an off the wall title will work, if it leaves an impression on the reader. People will click on the link to your site since it will fit the user’s search results. Here’s a great guide to writing effective headlines. I highly recommend that you install the SEO by Yoast plugin as it will let you know if your title is too long, if you have enough keywords and lots of helpful tips.

The common recommendation used to be that you put your exact match keyword in your URL, your title tag, your meta description and your H1 tag.

That’s just not the case anymore as Google rejects over-optimization.

Instead, what you want to do is use your synonyms and partial matches to give the page meaning, but not repeat the same keywords over and over.

Example: If you are ranking a page about “Vancouver Roofing Repairs,” don’t just keep repeating that one key phrase in your title, description and h1.

Instead, you can replace instances of that phrase with variations like…

  • “Vancouver Roofers”
  • “Roofers in Vancouver ”
  • “Roofing repair companies in Vancouver” etc.

Google is better at detecting synonyms now, which means you will start  ranking for more long tail phrases as well!

The easier your website is to read, the more likely people are to return time and time again. Including accessibility functions like the ability to enlarge fonts can help your site rank higher. It is important that your site is designed to attract the attention of both your viewers and the search engines.

A great way to increase the flow of traffic to your site is by placing key search terms within the main page of your site.  The first paragraph of your page should feature the target keyword at least on time.  It’s only necessary to use the keyword once in your body text, but you can certainly put it in more as long as it sounds natural in the context. It’s very important to not over use the keywords making it unnatural.

More Tech Stuff

A site map for your site is an important for yout SEO strategy. This is how search engines find out information about your website. Large sites may have several maps. As a guide try not to have more than 100 links on each map. If you need to generate a site map there are many free tools you can use – here are a few we like: xml-sitemaps.com. Here’s a good Sitemap plugin if you use WordPress.

You also need to have a robots.txt file. You can read more about it and generate one by clicking here.

Step 4 -Website Audit

After you’ve done the work, run a website audit to see if you have everything covered. There’s a great FREE Audit tool at woorank.com .  Just enter you URL and it will send you all a report of all the things that can be done to improve your Search Ranking.

Another excellent tool to use is the SEO Quake plugin for Google Chrome. It can provide a page diagnosis and lots of other great info. Click here to get it.

That’s it for On-Page SEO

Getting the On Page optimization done is a must before you take the next steps of building links and reaching out through Social Media.

What’s Next?


Getting backlinks to your site from other websites is the next most important thing to do. It’s a whole other enchilada and I’ll cover that in another post. However, you can start by asking reputable companies,  customers and non-profits to provide links to your web site. Your site will receive more favourable treatment when search engines see that your site has received good quality links.

Always provide the best in content and verifiable information. When you do, reputable websites will feel comfortable featuring your website. Create content that these organizations will find useful and worthy.

SEO does not have to be just for professionals. You can effectively implement your own SEO strategies by applying easy and proven methods, like the suggestions in this article. Follow these steps you will improve your numbers.

Social Media

Google algorithms also look at activity coming from Social Networks so today a website needs to be easily shareable. I will write another post that goes into more depth about Social Media strategy.  For now, assuming you already have some Social Media accounts like Facebook, Twitter etc., there are many plugins out that you can use to connect you site with your Social Media accounts. Sumome is awesome and currently my favourite. It’s also great for building up your email list. For now, reach out and connect as much as you can.


If you haven’t already, install Google Analytics to track all kinds of data relating to the traffic that comes to your site. Sign into your Google account here. Once you are logged, click on “Admin” in the top menu. Then from the account menu, select “Create new account”. Fill in your website URL and a few other fields and then you will be provided with the Tracking ID that beginning with “UA-“.

SEO - google-analytics-guide

If you use WordPress, install a Google Analytics Plugin. I like one called Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. It makes it very easy to install analytics and it gives you a basic report right into the WordPress Dashboard so you can see how many visitors you have had without having to login to Google Analytics.

If you aren’t using WordPress or you don’t want to use a plugin then go back to the Admin Menu in Google Analytics and click on  “Tracking info” form the side menu and select “Tracking Code” from the sub menu.  You will see a box with the tracking code. It starts with <script>. Select all the code in that box and copy it. Paste this javascript tracking code into your website template page so that it appears before the closing </head> tag. It needs to be in the template page so that it is inserted on all pages.

Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly

It is now essential that your website is mobile friendly because Google just announced that it is switching from a desktop focused index to a mobile-first indexing. That’s big news, because Google always favoured desktop versions of websites for ranking but with the fast rising use of mobile devices I can understand why.

You can easily find out if your site passes the mobile friendly test by clicking here. If you pass great. If not you go some work to do. You may want to talk to your web developer about that. If you want to do it yourself here’s a good place to start.

There’s a a great open source project called AMP  (Accelerated Mobile Pages) that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere.

If you have a WordPress site here’s a YouTube video that show how you can implement it quite easily. It may take some tweaking beyond what this video shows but it does work in most cases. (Video by Scott from Curation Suite)


I hope this helps. If you need any help with this, let us know.


Links to SEO Resources

Google Adwords Keyword Tool – This is the best starting point for your keyword research in SEO. It all starts here!

Google Analytics – Definitely the most valuable free tool out there. Who is going to have better Google data than Google. It’s the first you should install on your website after it is built.

Google Webmaster Tools – This is a must have. You need Google Webmaster Tools set up  so you can ‘communicate’ with Google about your site.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test – Make sure your site passes the Mobile Friendly test – it’s important!

Google PageSpeed Insights – A slow loading website will have a negative effect on your rankings – check it here.

Bing Webmaster Tools – Some folks use Bing and this is their version of webmaster tools.

SEO Site Tools – A Chrome Extention – This free chrome plugin can provide you with instant useful information on any site.

SEO Quake plugin for Google Chrome – Provides extensive page diagnostics.

SEO by Yoast – Helps you optimize the content of your web pages.

MOZ SEO Toolbar –  This is the quickest way to check stats while browsing around.

SEM Rush – You can use it a few times for free. It’s fairly expensive but it’s an amazing tool so it’s worth it if you are doing a lot of SEO work.

Keyword.io – An awesome keyword suggestion tool.

30+ Ultimate Headline Formulas – An excellent article with formulas for writing great headlines.

Browseo.net – See how search engines view your site with Browseo.

XML Sitemap Generator – You need to have an XML sitemap you can create one here.

CopyScape – Check to see wether or not you have duplicate content on your page.

Open Site Explorer – Lost of great data about links – great for analyzing the competition.

Ahrefs – Another excellent link analysis tool.

Removeem  – Check to see if your Anchor Text is over optimized.

Woorank – Check your SEO score

SEO PowerSuite – It’s awesome and we use this one a lot for Rank Tracking and Keyword research. It’s not free but you can try it out for free.

AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages

You can take a do-it-yourself approach to learning the tips and tricks of becoming an SEO. There are a number of resources out there that can help to educate you. These include great websites and books on the subject. w3 Schools is an excellent site where you learn HTML and all kinds of programming languages.  MOZ is and excellent source for learning SEO. Here’s a link to the 12 Best Free Online Resources for Learning SEO.

The Importance Of Content Marketing

The Importance Of Content Marketing

Content marketing has evolved a lot over the past few years. While quality content has always been a hallmark of successful online marketing, the way people use quality content has changed.

Plenty of businesses and individuals have relied on content as a go-to marketing tool for years. And, for a long time, text-based content remained king. Most online marketing funnels, such as blog posts and link building, relied on text-based content to network and, eventually build an audience.

The evolution of technology has changed all of that. A decade ago, people didn’t have access to other forms of content, such as videos and images. Most people had dial-up Internet access, so it was difficult to access that type of content on a regular basis.

Today, most people use faster Internet connections that have evolved with the times. Video and image-based content are the norm now, and with most people watching or viewing some type of image-based content nowadays, businesses need to adapt and start marketing with that form of content, too.

2016 was a revelation for many businesses in that respect. And, there’s a reason behind that. In this article, let’s learn about why content marketing’s so important nowadays.

Why is content marketing important?

Content marketing is a necessity for businesses if they want to have a successful online marketing campaign. It even helps businesses convert prospects into leads far faster than other marketing methods have in the past and it will help your Google ranking. Here are a few other reasons why that’s the case.

Content: more than text

Content, in the early days of the web, mainly referred to text-based content like articles, blog posts and web copy. Nowadays, content is more than just text. You can lots of interactive elements and of video which is the most engaging of all.

Include text, images, audio and video . And, they’re not just useful separately, either. People now combine all four elements to create multimedia content for their audiences to view and consume.

If you write some great content, you can also re-purpose it by turing it into a slideshow and posting it on slideshare, make a video with it and post it on YouTube, Vimeo and lots of other video sites. Turn it into a PDF and post it on document sharing sites like Scribd. Maybe use it to capture leads by making it downloadable after users give you their email.

Now that technology has evolved to allow people access to information at any time, so has content.

Studies have show that longer content is gets better results. Articles with over 2,000 words get shared a lot more that shorter articles of only 500 words. The most obvious reason being that longer articles provide more value because they can get into a lot more detail.

Don’t forget about mobile, too

Mobile platforms exploded over the course of this decade—and it’s only going to go up from here.

More people access content from their mobile devices nowadays. In fact, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are some people’s only form of web access. With the aforementioned fast becoming a reality, it’s imperative for businesses to get on board with promoting their goods and services via mobile platforms.

Of course, it’s an even better idea to start developing content befitting a mobile device. That means utilizing responsive web design. Responsive web design is a type of practice used to create websites and web pages that fit any device where people view that website or web page.

Responsive web design displays content properly, and in ways attractive enough for people to, well, want more out of that content. There’s a reason why many businesses want their websites and web pages to be responsible. Not only does it look attractive, but it’s the best practice, too.

Your content, your story

Another thing about content marketing in this decade is the phenomenon of telling your story to your audience.

Creating content that reaches out to your followers is one of the elements of having a successful content marketing campaign. Don’t believe that?

When people are encouraged to act after reading content, they’re acting because something within that content encouraged them to act. In most cases, the content appealed to them enough. It spoke to them.

You can speak directly to your audience if you create content that engages. That content can be as simple as a blog post to as intricate as a series of video advertisements geared toward showing others your work process.

People want to relate to the brands they love to buy. They also want their favorite brands to be transparent. By staying transparent, relatable and honest with your audience, you’ll gain the potential to grow that audience in the future.

Promote your old and new content

Of course, you can’t really create content that’ll languish in the depths of the web. You have to, eventually, promoting your older content alongside your new content, too.

There’s always an audience for something on the web. And, your content isn’t going anywhere, either. Content from the mid to late 1990s still exists on the web somewhere, so it’s not like your content will disappear in the next decade.

Even if the information is outdated, it doesn’t hurt to update that content. That way, you’ll have twice as much content to promote when you do decide to finally update.

As you can see, content marketing is a vital part of promoting and building a business via the web. Content marketing is so effective that it actually helps small businesses save money on online marketing. So, that alone makes content marketing worth trying at least once.

Powerhouse Online Marketing Plans and Tips

Powerhouse Online Marketing Plans and Tips

Last updated: Sept 30th 2016

Online marketing covers a range of possibilities. Some of your online marketing plans will make demands of your web design ambitions. Others will cover the potential of social media marketing. There are literally dozens and dozens of tips out there that are yours for the taking. Your responsibility, which some might call an unenviable one, is to choose amongst all the suggestions and concepts to find the ones that are right for you.

It’s not an unenviable task by any means. Although online marketing has become increasingly elaborate and complex over the past few years, it is by no means impossible. Whether you’re looking at online marketing plans in a broad sense, or if you’re considering your options with social media marketing specifically, you can find tips that are viable in your situation.

One thing is for certain: Great web design is really only the beginning.

The Future Of Online Marketing

The future of online marketing is actually quite exciting when you think about it. Social media marketing is getting bigger and bigger. The algorithms of search engines like Google and Bing are becoming increasingly smarter. While it’s true that these things are becoming a bit crowded with possibilities, it’s still a fairly straightforward matter to develop strong marketing tactics for your website and business. Website design is no less important now than it was ten years ago. It’s just that there are more things to consider as you build your website and prepare for it to go live.

As stated before, some online marketing tactics can be implemented as you’re designing and building your website. It’s just commonsense in this day and age to let your visitors share things from your page on their favorite social media sites. It’s a good idea to research your SEO (search engine optimization) possibilities ahead of time, and have content on your site ready to go on launch date that keeps your SEO options in mind. Is blogging something you’ll want to incorporate in your online marketing strategies? You’ll certainly want to keep that in mind.

The list goes on. The possibilities are not quite endless, but they’re certainly going to feel that way.

Essential Online Marketing Plans & Strategies

If you’re new to the world of online marketing or social media marketing, the following suggestions are worth keeping in mind as you research and learn. If you have an established website with a good social media presence, it never hurts to see if your online marketing strategies could use a little tweaking or enhancing:

  • Look for social media outlets that are ideal to your marketing: Twitter is perfect for businesses that are keenly interested in establishing strong human connections. Facebook is an established social media entity that allows you to share content and interact with your audience. Those are just two possibilities. There are dozens and dozens of others out there. Pinterest has become extremely popular with companies that sell furniture, clothing, or jewelry. Instagram allows you to connect to followers who are eager to share their stories (and pictures) with the world. Are you starting to get the picture? Research your social media options. Find out which ones are going to generate the kind of attention you’re after. Don’t overextend yourself. Focus on four or five that have the strongest potential.
  • Build a dedicated following: While building an audience, keep in mind that you want to build what is called a proprietary audience. This refers to an audience that is only going to be interested in what you have to say. Your content, offers, and level of personal interaction should be peerless.
  • Don’t publish just because: Steady content on your website, your blog, and your social media outlets are certainly essential. However, strong online marketing or social media marketing emphasizes the importance of quality over quantity. Don’t publish just because you feel as though you need to. Publish because you have something genuinely compelling to share. That means you’re going to have to work hard to create that content.
  • Look for outside help: If you can afford it, you may want to consider a social media manager or online marketing company. In the same way that an expert can help you with your web design, these individuals can help you focus your online marketing or social media marketing strategies.
  • Prioritize: A good rule of thumb for many websites lists content, the user’s experience, social media, links for traffic, and basic search engine optimization on-page material as being the order in which you should focus your priorities.
  • Value organic over non-organic: Avoid any opportunities to build your audience in non-organic ways. Buying Facebook likes is a small but important example of this. It won’t do you any favors in the long run.

Build Your Audience

Never forget that your audience is indeed out there. Even if you’re a smaller company, you can still compete with the bigger fish.

Keeping Up With Social Media Marketing: Trends For Small Businesses

Keeping Up With Social Media Marketing: Trends For Small Businesses


Small businesses just don’t know how good they have it. Gone are the days of offline marketing that would take weeks to months to see results. Now a small business can start marketing online use a Social Media Marketing campaign and see results as soon as a few days, if they do it right.

Even if you only make a few sales or leads per day, you are reaching customers that you may have never otherwise found. And, it’s still something exemplifying the power of social media marketing when utilized to its fullest potential.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is online marketing with a social media twist. Instead of exclusively relying on online advertisements to push your business, most of the pushing is done via social media.

This form of marketing takes marketing to social media networks, which helps people achieve their goals for marketing, communication and, eventually, branding for their business. Social media marketing involves sharing content, images and videos across social networks. Of course, social sharing is a huge part of using social networks, but the most important aspect of this type of sharing lies in its marketing ability.

Businesses, especially small businesses, need social media marketing for those reasons. If they share content with their followers, their followers will more or less get a taste of what they can offer them as a business. That may lead to potential sales and, in some cases, a customer for life.

Social media marketing isn’t the easiest form of marketing, but it’s pretty simple to start using. I mean, everyone can open their own business-related social media account. But, it takes a smart marketer to use social networks to their full advantage.

Businesses can learn how to effectively integrate social media into their online marketing campaigns themselves but it is time consuming and there will be a lot of trial and error. A better strategy might be to hire a professional online marketing company to kick thing off in the right direction and take over the campaign gradually if it seems more cost-effective. This way you can also be sure that things are set up properly so that you can measure the results of your efforts.

Social media marketing trends for small businesses

2013 was when social media marketing made some sort of a shift. Many people weren’t seeing results from the practice, mainly because they didn’t understand how to effectively utilize social media marketing in the first place. It’s that reason why today’s social media marketing trends are heading in a direction benefiting businesses who finally want to use social media marketing to their advantage.

There are many great web based tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, Spokal and others that connect all these elements and make the process much easier. Our new favorite tool is Spokal. If you are using WordPress, and why wouldn’t you, it’s got some great integrated tools that are really done well.

I won’t go into great detail here but one of the features I like best is the calendar for scheduling tweets – it’s brilliant. I highly recommend trying it out.

Most demographics use social media in some way. That’s why businesses who use social media marketing need to reach their audiences via the platform ‘in some way,’ as they say.

So, how can small businesses best utilize social media marketing? Well, it’s simple. In order to fully take advantage of social media marketing, small business owners should study social media marketing trends.

In this article, we’re going to take a brief look at many social media marketing trends that small businesses can use throughout the rest of the year.

Invest in social media now

Social media has plenty of benefits. Thanks to those benefits, it’s important for small businesses to hop on the social media bandwagon now, and before it’s too late to reach their target market.

Social media helps small businesses reach their goals. When you use social media as a marketing tool, it has the potential to impact your referral traffic, lead generation, website traffic and, eventually, overall revenue. There are plenty of reasons behind that, too:

  • Social media helps boost social signals.
  • Social media helps improve company brand awareness.
  • Social media promotes word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Social media helps boost customer trust and loyalty.
  • Social media helps boost business’ reach and influence over their audience.

These benefits pretty much describe why social media marketing is a necessity for small businesses today. So, start investing now before 2015 arrives.

Images + social media = success?

Including powerful images has proven to be more effective than just using text. While there’s nothing wrong with text only to deliver your message, images ultimately win out for various reasons.

The biggest reason is that images simply grab people’s attention more than text does. When people look at images, they’re immediately drawn in by the content—and may want to act.

Small businesses can take advantage of that just by adding attractive and informative images to their business’ social media marketing campaign. When I mean informative, I mean images that are relevant to the product or service you might sell. People like learning about things as soon as they stumble upon them, so make that image worth their time and attention.

Don’t rule out micro-video

2016’s halfway over, and we’re already seeing results from the rise of micro-video. Popularized by the micro-blogging network, Twitter, micro-video is another social media phenomenon used by many social network users today.

Micro-videos are no longer than 15 seconds, which allows people to convey powerful bits of content in mere seconds. Plenty of micro-videos have reached viral status, since the content’s short and pretty easy to consume.

Businesses can actually take advantage of micro-video as an inexpensive way to promote their products or services. Just remember to make the video memorable. Although it’s easier to be informative and present facts, it’s even better to make the experience worth watching. In other words, be creative with how you convey information to your eager and waiting audience.

Social media marketing is the present for small businesses who want to build an effective marketing campaign. Given the types of trends out there today, it’s important for small business owners to observe them, learn and use what they known to build a successful social media marketing campaign.

Are You Living Your Brand?

Are You Living Your Brand?

Branding is a marketing technique that has the potential to elevate your business and achieve great success. It involves helping your customers to form a recognizable association with you. It also has to do with the overall experience they have when interacting with your company. Developing your brand involves capturing the essence of your business and then developing ways to articulate your message to your customers that is consistent with your brand. No matter what method is used to interact with your customers they should get a consistent experience.

Visually link your business with good design, a logo, slogan, website and colours and observe the positive results very soon. Research and really understand who your audience is. Ask questions like: What are their spending habits? Values? Concerns? Needs? How does your product/service fit into their life? Is there a certain age range that your products/services appeal to? Do they live in large cities, small towns…? The possible questions are infinite but really think it through and you will come up with many that are important for your business. By answering these direct questions and adapting your message to appeal to your audience and you will soon see positive results.

The closer the focus the more connected the buyer will feel with your brand. It is imperative when communicating that you exchange information about the product in the same way your buyer talks. For example: if they are sophisticated, intelligent and affluent, speak to them with sophistication and parallel their style. If your audience is young, free-spirited adults don’t sound like parents; simply connect with your audience on their comfort level. Clients, community members and friends should know the personality of your business. Employees must understand and carry out the persona inside the brand.

Some great ways to do this are to hire those you believe already possess the desired traits, throw company parties, be a part of community events, and hold relaxed company meetings on communicating the brand consistently. Be sure to communicate your brand message, logo and tagline on company material consistently. These include: websites, marketing, advertising, public relations, e-mail, letterheads, business cards, and product packaging.

Place your brand on any objects related to your products or services. Employees must understand the brand and know how to effectively apply the brand in their communications. Don’t let employees design their own flyers or ads without approval unless of course they have been trained and hired to do so. One thing we all know is that change happens.  Therefore it’s important to evaluate and re-evaluate your brand. Simple changes without changing the overall message are needed to survival. Grow with and ahead of your buyer.

Don’t let your brand make you look out of touch.