June 3rd, 2015

8 Simple Tips to Grow Your Business with Inbound Marketing

Category:Magento SEO, Marketing | Posted By Mai Erne on June 3rd, 2015

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There is one main obstacle to growing your business that has evolved in recent years. Your potential buyers are being over-saturated with information due to the increase in availability of this information.

In fact, Sirius Decisions reported the average sales cycle has increased 22% over the past five years due to more decision makers being involved in the buying process. So it has become your job as a business owner to make sure that this information is coming to them at the right time, in the right format, on the right platforms.

Here are some of the most helpful tips to help grow your business with inbound marketing.

1) Define Your Business

  • What are the key performance indicators you want to measure?
  • What are your revenue goals?
  • What does growing your business mean to you? (Amount of leads coming in, revenue generated, customers acquired, numbers of retainers, etc.)
  • What is your sales process like? (Length, content used to educate prospects, number of people prospects might talk to, etc.)

2) Study Up on Your Industry

You might think you know your industry inside and out but there will always be changes, updates, and new innovations around the corner.

In order to get a better grasp of what’s going on and to stay ahead of the curve, industry research is a must.

  • What are your competitors doing in regard to content on their website?
  • What current events and news are going on?
  • Is there a business to business marketplace you can participate in?
  • What are the current industry statistics to your goals?

3) Understand Your Customer

To understand your customer better, talking to the sales team always helps. They are the ones in direct contact with your potential customers which means they hold a lot of insight into what your customers want. Here are some questions to ask:

  • What 5 questions does your sales team answer the most?
  • What are the biggest pain points for customers when they come to you?
  • What are your customer demographics?
  • What messaging do they respond to most?

4) Publish the Right Content

Write content around the questions, issues, and challenges your potential customers want the answers to. This will help your potential customers not only find valuable information, but also help introduce them to your brand.

5) Publish Content Consistently

This depends on time and budget. If you’re outsourcing blog writing then you can blog numerous times a week, if you have one in-house person responsible for blogging maybe you can only do it once or twice. Just make sure it’s consistent!

6) Determine the Right Angle

Your competitors are probably already blogging so take some tips from what their strategy looks like. If they have a niche in the industry that they blog about a lot then maybe find your business’ niche and blog on what you know best in order to stand out.

7) Use a Calls-to-Action

Placing a CTA at the end of your blog urging visitors to download premium content will definitely help grow your leads and sales.

8) Determine the Right Content

Premium content is more in depth than blogging and should include more middle of the funnel information that your website visitors will fill out a form to learn about. 

Blogging brings people to your site but premium content will convert these people to leads for your sales team if you’re offering content that they might want to know more about.

June 1st, 2015

Google Authority Changes, Focus on Social Media

Category:Hara Partners | Posted By Mai Erne on June 1st, 2015

Google Authority no longer exists. Many companies previously used it for their rank and credibility among competitors. It was a tool for companies to monitor their progress. The benefits were innumberal for marketers, creators and businesses. Most importantly, businesses had authority in their industry.

Social media used to be a helpful tool compared to Google Authority. Now social media isn’t a tool, but an operating system for businesses to grow. The use of social media will directly correlate to a company’s growth. Companies can still have a certain type of authority, it will just take more work with a different perspective from that of Google Authority.

Social Media as Google Authority

Some of the most popular accounts on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook are seen as experts in their field. Users go back to their pages or feeds to see what new things have been posted. If the information is interesting and posted consistently, people will look and search for the information. The focus shouldn’t be about promotions, but inbound marketing tools.

One of the biggest changes will be how the content is written. It’s not about how the search engine looks for the information, but how users search for the information. A large portion of the information is passed between people via “sharing.” A function Google Authority didn’t have was mass sharing in a single interface. Many Internet sensations are created virtually overnight by the capability of social media sharing.

A simple way to build a large fan base is to share information. Not all of the content in a business’s social media page has to about the company. It can be from others, which creates a singular database for people to check and follow. As users share information for a single origin, others will look into that page. Sharing other businesses’ information can help build clientele.

It’s no longer about rankings, but likes and shares. Social media is now an online marketing hub that businesses will have to rely on. The question now is, how will businesses create interesting and consistent information for people to share?

 

google authority

Since Google Authority ceases to exist, blogging is a useful tool for maintaining credibility in the market. Blogging takes a lot time and effort, but it creates a streamlined database for users to search through for information. When blogging have a schedule. People will look for it if they think you have information they can trust. It’s a type of authorship to strive for without Google Authority.

A blog, much like the idea of social media, should be used to share information from others in conjunction to promoting your own information. When other information is shared, your credibility will automatically increase. If a blog is full of promotions for the company, the reader will automatically be deterred. Instead, entice the browser. Again, it’s not for writing for the search engage but for the people using the browsers.

Keys of Blogging

Blogging doesn’t have to be completely written. Google Authority looked for key words. Now, though, users are looking for something different. A new phenomenon of video blogging has emerged. This is an easy and simple way to explore different methods of communicating information. Sharing videos from others on your blog also helps with an increase in viewers. It’s an interactive tool that many people are looking for. Video blogging can sometimes be the fastest way of obtaining information.

Creating connections on the internet is becoming just as important as personal connections. Some helpful techniques for blogging without Google Authority can be found at SEO Blog. Sharing different content from other bloggers may prompt them to share your information, especially if you have useful information people are looking for. Readers will see the bloggers they trust sharing your information, which will automatically prompt the reader look into what you have to teach them.

Having other bloggers writing for your blog will also give you an extreme amount of exposure. If they post on your blog, they will share it on their blog as a marketing technique for themselves. Again, it creates a larger readership. Many bloggers will be looking for as much exposure as you are. Create a system with other companies, especially those who could turn into clients.

May 28th, 2015

How to Remove the Trailing Slash from a URL

Category:Magento SEO | Posted By Mai Erne on May 28th, 2015

The trailing slash (also known as the slash that you see at the end of URL links) creates a common problem when optimizing websites for duplicate content. For instance, while elieandmai.com and elieandmail.com/ will both link to the same webpage, search engines will still divide link authority over the links, which means that the website will receive far less value.

In order to remove the trailing slash, you’ll have to implement a 301 redirection to the page with the trailing slash. This can be done with a few lines of code in the .htaccess file allowing you to redirect all incoming traffic without a trailing slash to the same URL.

This can be done with a few lines of code in the .htaccess file allowing you to redirect all incoming traffic without a trailing slash to the same URL.

elieandmai-trailing

(make sure domain.com is replaced with your root domain)

If you decide to redirect all pages with a trailing slash to an URL without trailing slash, the following code will do this for you:

elieandmai-trailing2

Explanation of this add trailing slash .htaccess rewrite rule

The first line tells Magento that this is code for the rewrite engine of the mod_rewrite module of Magento.

The 2nd line sets the current directory as page root.

May 23rd, 2015

A Comprehensive Approach to Magento SEO

Category:Magento SEO | Posted By Mai Erne on May 23rd, 2015

In this blog post, you’ll learn how to develop an effective keyword strategy for your Magento website, some general Magento admin panel configurations to make it more Magento SEO friendly, how to create the robot.txt and sitemap.xml files, and how to set up Google Analytics for a Magento store.

One of the hallmarks of Magento, which distinguishes it from other eCommerce CMSs, is the extent of customization it offers. In Magento, unlike most other eCommerce CMSs, we have the flexibility to customize every page, every product, and every snippet of code within its framework for search engines.

In this series, we’ll cover all the fundamentals you need to know to best equip your Magento website to rank well in search engine result pages, giving a boost to your sales and revenues.

All SEO optimization campaigns start with effective planning of a keyword strategy. This is also true when it comes to eCommerce platforms. While planning a keyword strategy for an eCommerce platform, we have to maintain an effective balance between three important factors:

  1. Relevance means that the page optimized for specific keyword(s) should have relevant content on it.
  2. Purpose implies that the content of the page should also direct users towards the ultimate purpose of the website, i.e. to drive sales.
  3. Structure means that page’s authority from an SEO perspective is inversely proportional to its depth in the website structure. Therefore, the homepage has more authority than a product or CMS page. Hence, a homepage should be optimized for more broad and competitive keywords, while the pages deep in the website structure should be optimized for more specific and less competitive keywords.

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To have an effective keyword strategy, we have to consider each of these three factors. We have to ensure that our keyword resides on the page with enough strength to enable to it to perform, and we also have to guarantee that it is sufficiently relevant to the page’s content to keep the visitor engaged. This should all help in accomplishing the main purpose of the website.

May 18th, 2015

7 Common Magento SEO Mistakes

Category:Magento SEO | Posted By Mai Erne on May 18th, 2015

7 Common Magento SEO Mistakes

When dealing with Magento store’s SEO, these are the 7 most common Magento mistakes that you may encounter. Some of these are inherited from the development stage of your projects. This checklist will be useful for anyone launching a new store or checking their live site.

1. Homepage title “home”

The homepage is usually a CMS page. Go in there and change the title of the page into something more suitable such as “Blue Widgets Online Store – Example.com”.

2. Using “default description” field

System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head > Default description – Leave this blank or you’ll have such a mess of duplicate descriptions on your store that don’t really describe the given URL that it will be unbelievable. Also, please make sure your meta keywords are not “magento, magento commerce” etc.

3. Not turning on rel=canonical

Save yourself from lots of duplicate content issues. Turn canonicals on for both products and categories.

4. Logo title and/or alt “Magento Commerce”

Logo, usually in the top left of your website. Don’t have it say “Magento Commerce.” This is a very common mistake.

5. Forgetting to turn meta robots to “index, follow” and remove robots.txt disallow after a move from staging/dev site to the live site

System > Configuration > General > Design > HTML Head > Default robots “INDEX, FOLLOW”.

Sometimes people leave this as noindex, nofollow on dev server and forget to change it when they migrate to the live server.

6. Having a default layered navigation

Layered navigation is a hell for the SEO. For more detailed explanation on this issue, read this guide on how to handle Magento layered navigation SEO issues.

7. Building a sitemap with sample products and sample categories

Check what’s in your sitemap.xml before you submit it to Google—amd avoid the sample products, if you can.