The Most Important Things to Build Trust on Your Website
25/07/16 Content Marketing

The Most Important Things to Build Trust on Your Website

What turns visitors into customers on your website? Lots of things. Adding these 6 core trust elements will boost your sales. In an age where anyone with an internet connection can immediately become a business, what’s more important than building trust? Not much…

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What Are Digital Marketing Micromoments?
25/06/16 Content Marketing

What Are Digital Marketing Micromoments?

Have you heard of “micromoments?” In digital marketing they’re small opportunities to win new customers. Learn more in this post.

Can you tell me what a “micromoment” is?

I’m sure just by looking at the word you can offer a guess.

In digital marketing, it refers to four situations, according to Google. And that’s when consumers want to:

  1. Know
  2. Go
  3. Do
  4. Buy

How do you make sure you’ve designed your website so you’ve maximized your opportunity to capture your share of marketing “micromoments?” Well, it’s not easy.

But here’s some steps you can follow:

  1. See How Many Searches Come from Mobile Devices

The overwhelming majority of “micromoments” happen on smartphones. It’s logical. When someone wants to know, go, do, or buy, they’re going to whip out their smartphone and search.

For the keywords you target, you can see the number of mobile searches on that term per month in Google’s Keyword Planner. Check it out in action here for the keyword “Dallas HVAC:”

Micromoments

Let’s see, 63.3% come from computers, and 32.2% from mobile devices. Makes sense. When people need an HVAC contractor, they’re probably at home and search on their desktop computer. And they probably search rather carefully, to make sure they find the best one.

They’re not out and about and suddenly decide they have the need to find an HVAC service.

  1. At A High Level, You Need To Do This

With micromoments, these are the high-level criteria you need to fulfill to be successful:

  1. Being present – You musts know the micromoments for your industry and have a plan for addressing them.
  2. Being useful – Whatever the consumer’s need, you must be able to fulfill it – now.
  3. Being quick – Mobile searchers want fast answers. You must give them exactly what they want in seconds.

Google observes that people stay more loyal to the micromoment need they have than they do the brand. So, if you’re worried about them using you versus big-name competitors, let go of that.

  1. Use Micromoment Mapping to Meet Your Customer’s Needs

For each of the four “micromoment” situations (know, go, do, buy), you must create your own custom map. Use these simple questions to guide the creation process:

  • What would potential customers like to know about the products and services you offer?
  • What might customers search that would lead them to physically visiting your location?
  • What would customers come to your location to do, and how might they search for that?
  • What would customers buy from you, and how would they compare that to the competition?

As you can see, these questions don’t have simple or fast answers. And the answers will certainly change over time.

But, the more intensely you study them, the better. That’s all for now… and all the best to you as you work on optimizing your website for customer “micromoments.”

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How to Make the Right Giveaway to Build Your High-ROI E-mail List
09/12/15 Content Marketing

How to Make the Right Giveaway to Build Your High-ROI E-mail List

SMBs often overlook the use of e-mail newsletters. Learn how to easily get subscribers on your newsletter, your most powerful business-building tool.

Your e-mail newsletter truly is the “secret weapon” in your marketing arsenal.

Getting high search rankings is a great start for growing your business. That gets you regular visitors, who you can then work on signing up to your newsletter.

In a previous post, I explained why you need to grow your e-mail newsletter list. I’ll summarize some of the main reasons here:

  • People who sign up for your e-mail newsletter are your best, most dedicated customers. They only sign up because they already know, like, and trust you a lot.
  • It’s cheap (in terms of both time and money) to send out a monthly newsletter to remind your subscribers of what you do.
  • People on your newsletter list will buy from you again and again.
  • Your newsletter list is immune to those nasty changes Google unexpectedly makes from time to time.

But you have to get people on your list in the first place. To make that happen, you bait them into signing up by offering a tantalizing free incentive.

Here’s what to do:

  1. You Should Just Offer Content

Don’t offer a big coupon or discount on your services. You’ll get mostly people only interested in getting the big discount. They’ll unsubscribe from your list as soon as they get it.

When you offer content, it means they like you, your company, what you do, and how you can help them. That makes them highly likely to be high-paying customers for a long, long time.

  1. What Content Should You Offer?

Remember, the golden rule of content is to:

“Offer something that’s more useful than anything like it on the internet.”

So let’s say you’re a siding contractor. Your free content could show customers how to care for their siding after you install it.

So you’d research other blogs and watch YouTube videos to see what other people say. You’d notice some things they miss, or that aren’t quite right.

You talk about that stuff, in addition to all the basics. You could talk about types of pressure washers to use, brands you like the most, whether to rent or buy one, where to rent or buy one, what to do, what mistakes to avoid – every last detail you can think of.

You can write a guide and include detailed images. If you’re not a writer, you can shoot a series of videos with your smartphone.

But Won’t That Cost You Business? After All, Now Your Customers Can Do It Themselves

Some will, no doubt.

But most don’t have the time. Or they realize it’s a better use of their time to hire an seo to do it.

In most people’s minds, they’ll think of how helpful you were to them. And then your name pops up when they need your services, or when one of their friends or family members do.

So, you get word-of-mouth referrals on top of more subscribers to your newsletter.

Your free content doesn’t have to be pretty. Be as professional in your presentation as you can, but don’t obsess over it.

Simply be useful, make it easy, and people will sign up in droves to your newsletter list.

And you’ll have more stable and consistent revenues for years to come.

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4 Easy Ways to Identify Content Ideas Your Customers Will Love
01/10/15 Content Marketing

4 Easy Ways to Identify Content Ideas Your Customers Will Love

Finding engaging content ideas is easy…when you know how. Learn 4 simple techniques for finding such ideas in this post.

One of small businesses’ biggest struggles, and I hear it over and over again, is finding stuff to blog about.

Well, I have good news for you: interesting content ideas hide all around you in plain sight.

You just haven’t had anyone show you where to look for them.

When you find ideas that interest your customers, you engage them and build relationships. Over time, they get to know, like, and trust you. And when they finally need what you sell, your name pops into their head.

Write the “wrong” ideas that bore them, and this process never even starts. They forget about you and move on to someone else that’s more useful and helpful.

So here’s some easy ways to find topics you know they’ll love:

  1. What questions do customers ask you in person over and over again?

Make a list of the most common ones. Those are blog post ideas that’ll be a resounding success. Questions that require a more in-depth response could be “special reports.”

You can also give brief answers in your FAQ section.

  1. Research with Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo’s a tool that’s absurdly easy to use. Go to their website. Enter in your topic by keyword. That’s it.

What’s really important, and I can’t stress this enough, is to look at the number of social shares each topic gets. The more social shares, the more attractive the topic. So, you can write your unique slant on the same topic.

Or maybe you can clarify something mentioned in that topic. Or you can disagree with it entirely.

You get to view 10 results for free, and you get something like 5 free searches daily. No need to use the paid version unless you want to become a serious content powerhouse (i.e. you want to hire a freelance writer to write your content for you).

  1. Industry and Competitor Blogs, and YouTube

The idea here is similar to Buzzsumo. Go to your competitor’s blogs, and leading industry blogs. Research topics on YouTube.

Buzzsumo doesn’t catch everything (but it is a nice tool).

Again, you’re looking for topics with the most social shares on these sites.

  1. Ask Your Customers What They’d Like to Know

Do this in person when they stop by. Or shoot a message out to your e-mail list. If one person wants to know, odds are many others do too.

One Way NOT to Do This: Searching Randomly on a Social Media Site Like Twitter

You can certainly go to Twitter, follow others in your niche, and see what they write about.

But that’s a huge mistake!

And that’s because you have no evidence supporting the popularity of the content. On Twitter, anyone can publish anything. And they might be publishing stuff they think their customers want to know…but really don’t care about.

That’s why you always get some evidence that at least some customers will like your topic: social shares, or the words directly from their mouths.

Remember, the Internet is Word-of-Mouth on Steroids

Because you can get so up close and personal with your customers, you can build relationships with them that are stronger than they were before the internet.

And when you’ve built those relationships, that increases word-of-mouth referrals.

Since social media makes it so easy to communicate and share, you can build lots of strong relationships and more sales much faster than you could before the web.

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The Way-Too-Busy-Person’s Guide to Writing Content
23/09/15 Content Marketing

The Way-Too-Busy-Person’s Guide to Writing Content

What? Now Google expects everyone to be a pro writer? Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. Learn how to write awesome content in just minutes.

With its recent “Phantom” update, Google continues to push the quality of the Internet to new heights.

That’s good news for searchers.

Sheesh! But, that means more work for small business owners.

And since you have so much free time in your schedule, it fits in just perfectly, doesn’t it? 🙂

Hope you picked up on the sarcasm there. But it’s the reality you now have to deal with. Instead of active penalties and punishments, many SEOs wished Google assigned “good” for high-quality work and “less good” for lower quality stuff. But that’s a loooong discussion for another time.

In the meantime, you can use this simple guide to write content. All you need is just a couple 500-word blog posts each month to do the job.

Let’s get to it:

  1. Find Topics

You may know your competitor’s blogs. That’s a great place to find ideas. If they average 25-50 social shares per post, you have a reliable gauge of which posts do well.

You can also use BuzzSumo to find some of the most popular topics on the entire web. You get 10 results for free – that’s all you need. Paying’s not necessary.

AllTop aggregates popular blogs from around the web. It instantly exposes you to hundreds of ideas. Simply Google “[your keyword]+ AllTop.”

You can also write topics around your customer’s most common questions.

  1. What Parts of Your Content Should You Pay Attention To?

The title makes or breaks your post. Spend most of your time writing that.

You can use this title generator to create hundreds of interesting titles. The wording’s a little awkward, so you might have to clean it up a little. But, it gives you unique titles fast.

The first paragraph is your lead. You have to put your most interesting stuff right there so people read the rest of your content.

Interesting ways to write your lead paragraph:

  • Show why common thinking isn’t right
  • Use a startling fact from a credible resource
  • Tell a story from personal experience
  • Overcome an objection
  • Explain why your post offers unique information that can’t be found anywhere else
  1. You Must Use Interesting Sub-Heads!

Did you know web users read just 20% of the typical web page, and 28% at most (according to web usability expert Jakob Nielsen)?

Your best chances to get attention are:

  • Page title
  • Lead paragraph
  • Sub-heads
  • Bullet-points
  • One-sentence paragraphs (like you see at the beginning of this post)

A good way to use sub-heads is to allude to what information comes next. Wet your reader’s taste buds, but don’t give them the full story!

Examples of tantalizing sub-heads:

  • Most Homeowners Think Their A/C Doesn’t Need Winter Maintenance, But…
  • The Real Reason Your Home Isn’t as Comfortable As You Want
  • The Most Recommended Cure for Insect Pests (And Why it Doesn’t Work)

Whew, Well, That’s Enough!

99.9% of businesses don’t use these techniques…at all. So just being aware of them…that puts you way ahead of the pack.

And they’re boiled down to fast and easy nuts and bolts, so you get things done quick.

Use these techniques today – and I guarantee you’ll get a better response from your readers.

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