Author Archives: Susie

In : Business Tips, Digital Marketing Comments : 0 Author : Susie Date : 26 Jun 2019
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Pay per click (PPC) advertising gives firms a viable opportunity to achieve (and even exceed) goals and meet targets faster. Through the help of sites such as Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads, digital marketers have convenient and easy-to-use platforms to create banner or text advertisements and launch campaigns. The option to set ad budgets and pay only for actual clicks further makes PPC campaigns cost-efficient and appealing. With all the promise and convenience online ads can bring, it can be frustrating if you discover none of your campaigns are bringing the leads and conversions you are expecting. Read on to figure out why your PPC strategy is not working and what can you do to get better results:

Neglecting keyword research.

 

Keyword research has a huge role in ensuring the success of your PPC campaigns. You want to bid on keywords that will not burn a hole in your pocket but will drive positive results. It can be a tricky process because it is not as simple as bidding on low-cost or high-cost keywords. In Google Adwords, the goal is to bid on keywords that are most relevant to your ad group and create quality ads to increase your quality score. The quality score influences the cost of your PPC campaigns, so a good rating will allow you to increase your ad’s visibility at a lower cost. The following are some tips to help determine the most relevant keywords for your PPC ads.

 

  • Brainstorm and analyze. Come up with a list of keywords that align with your goals, target clients and products. It is also a must to use online tools to check the search volume of certain keywords and research how competitive they are. Generally, you want keywords with high search volume but low competition. It helps to check which companies are bidding for your target keywords in order to gain insight about the probability of your ad appearing in a search page. Other factors that can determine the success of your choices include using long tail keywords and eliminating negative keywords.
  • Monitor performance. Once your ad is up and running, regularly check the performance of your chosen keywords. Regular monitoring is important because the cost and relevance of your keywords fluctuate with web trends. Online ad platform has features that will let you see the performing underperforming keywords and make necessary adjustments.  

Vague and ineffective PPC ad message.

 

If your PPC campaign ad is sadly not getting any clicks, it is probably because it fails to capture the attention of your target clients. The texts in your ad copy should feature your unique selling proposition (USP). It means you have to come up with a message that clearly identifies the benefits that your product offers. The message should also define what sets you apart from competitors. You have limited characters to work within an ad text, so it is a task that requires skill and creativity. The following are a few tips to help you craft a compelling message:

 

  • Be specific. Avoid writing generic ads or messages that target a broad group of people.  Instead, write a concise message that speaks to your target customers. To do this, write your text ad with a buyer persona in mind. Without ample knowledge about the backgrounds and preferences of your target buyers, you may end up with a message that is too broad, vague and unappealing.  

 

 

  • Do not overpromise. To gain attention, it is a protocol that your text ad should offer a solution or value. Still, do not forget to be clear and honest as you state the benefits that your product can bring. State the best features and benefits without promising too much or making bogus claims. If your ad comes with claims, such as being the best or leading brand, it is essential that you add proof that supports the claim. Making extravagant offers can lead to distrust and damage your PPC campaign, as well as your brand’s reputation in the long run.

 

Poorly structured landing page.

 

A high click-through rate (CTR) is a good sign, but unfortunately, it does not always equate to a high conversion rate.

If your PPC campaigns are getting clicks but you are not seeing improvements in your sales funnel, you may want to inspect your landing page. The page where the visitor will be redirected after clicking an ad should contain all the elements that will encourage the user to proceed to your end goal. If this is not the case, your clicks will likely result in bounces. The following are some suggestions to optimize your landing page:

  • It should match what is in the ad. If your ad is about apartments for rent in New York City, but the landing page shows listings of various real estate properties in that city, visitors will get confused and likely leave. Users arrive on your landing page because of something they saw in the ad, so keep their interest by showing exactly what the ad promises.

 

  • Highlight your CTA. The landing page should clearly show the steps that will lead a user to the conversion page. Make it easy for a user to perform your desired action by placing your call-to-action (CTA) buttons in a strategic location of the page.  Do not hide the sign-up form or checkout cart by making it easily recognizable. Enhancing the visual design and using powerful words in your CTA button will greatly help.

Companies, whether big or small, need to invest a portion of their income in advertising. BecauseInternet is available and accessible 24/7, almost anywhere in the world, running PPC campaigns is one of the best options to promote a product or service. Keep in mind, managing online ads requires expertise, research, and strategies. Without those elements, a PPC ad is bound to fail. Invest wisely and ensure success by seeking the guidance of Birch River Design Group. Our team can efficiently build and monitor your campaigns. Start exploring the benefits of pay-per-click advertising by getting in touch with us. Fill out our request form today!

In : Digital Marketing Comments : 0 Author : Susie Date : 19 Jun 2019
Side View Of Hand Holding Touchpad With Drawn Email Icons On Whi

Email marketing has been around for years, so it is easy to doubt its relevance in a field that constantly emphasizes the need to follow trends. Moreover, newer options to advertise through digital means, such as social media or video marketing, seems to be an easier way to reach out to a wide audience. So comes the question: Is it better for web marketers to stop sending email blasts? Is it better to instead put more effort in other forms of online promotion? Apparently not, since data coming from stats and surveys suggest that email marketing continues to be a powerful way to promote offers and find customers.

Is email marketing still effective?

 

According to a study done by Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B (business to business) marketers consider email marketing as an extremely important part of their strategy. Meanwhile, a survey from Hubspot reveals that half of the respondents from the US prefer to receive communications from brands through email. Statista also reports that the number of email users is growing at a rate of 2.35% every year. With these figures, firms that undermine the impact of email marketing are throwing away a great opportunity. Brands that send emails to subscribers may have found a strategy that has stood the test of time. However, this doesn’t mean there is no room for change. To further explore the benefits of sending email campaigns, digital marketers also need to adapt to the changing times. The following are ways to introduce innovations and upgrade your email marketing strategies:

Email personalization.

 

People generally skim through a list of emails to choose messages to open or discard. This means that aside from crafting a wonderful message, web marketers should also add elements that will encourage the recipient to open the email. One thing you can try is email personalization. Making people feel that a certain email is custom-made has been proven to be an effective tactic. This ensures your email blasts will not be wasted. A study done by Aberdeen showed that personalized emails increase click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversion rate by 10%.

Mobile optimization for email campaigns.

 

Hubspot reports that 46% of emails are being opened through mobile devices today. The said figure can even increase as more people access online sites through their smartphones. Therefore, it is important to ensure that an email marketing campaign looks readable on various devices and operating systems. To ensure that mobile optimization is in place in email campaigns you can use a responsive template and minimize the number of images.

Automated emails.

 

The amount of e-commerce sites grows each day and the buying and checkout process can be long. There is a high chance that a user abandons the cart and disappears just before the transaction is complete. The good news is, the latest technology provides a way to make the users come back through the use of automated emails. Use triggered emails to make new subscribers feel welcome or as a way to request customer’s feedback. Sending automated emails is a way to increase customer loyalty, engagement, and conversions. This makes email marketing campaigns a vital factor in your advertising strategy.

Are you on the lookout for a reliable and competent digital marketing agency in Scottsdale, Arizona? Look no further, Birch River Design Group offers firms excellent full-scale digital services. Our team is ready to walk you through the process of utilizing digital and web-based platforms for your marketing goals! Start your journey to online success by giving us a call today!

In : Branding, Business Tips, Digital Marketing Comments : 0 Author : Susie Date : 12 Jun 2019
Text Sign Showing Giving Brand. Conceptual Photo The Process Of

For small businesses aiming to introduce a new product, the process can feel like hitting a hard, solid wall. To be able to compete and even beat leading brands, startups need a strong marketing strategy that can successfully get through the thick barrier. The overall action plan of a firm in boosting the appeal and value of a product is known by the term “branding.” The branding effect is so powerful that it can convince a consumer to choose a product of average quality over a better product. So, if you have an excellent product but are still at a loss on why customers and profits are not coming, there must be something wrong with the way you are presenting it to the consumers. Read on to see if your company is guilty of committing branding mistakes:

Ignoring the importance of a brand name.

 

Choosing a brand name is not something you can take lightly or do on a whim. A business owner needs to think long term because once given, your name will no longer be easy to change. As a crucial aspect that will stick to your brand for years, it is just right to spend time mulling over the perfect name. You want a name that is easy to recall and can help establish the personality you want to build for your brand. Brainstorming sessions and survey forms can help a firm come up with a catchy and unique name. An effective brand name should also present your product in a positive light, so it is essential to ensure the name you choose is not associated with anything negative.

Not making an effort to be consistent.

 

The market is teeming with products of all kinds, so one of the foremost goals of a new business is to stand apart from others. Great branding strategies should help people remember and identify their brand. It will be so much harder to do this if you do not practice consistent branding efforts. Build a character you want for your brand by exhibiting the same personality and talking with the same voice in all your campaign platforms in order to avoid this branding mistake. This would mean using the same color scheme, style, and logo. By being consistent, you establish familiarity and help gain target clients’ trust and patronage. Developing a brand style guide can help a product achieve consistency in branding.

Underestimating the power of visuals.

 

Great visuals capture people’s attention: business owners should know how to use this fact to their advantage. The visual elements of your branding strategy, such as a company logo and brochure, can play a huge role in how people will perceive your brand. Your brand can appear excellent, or mediocre, depending on the visuals you use. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in enhancing the visual elements of your product. Aside from colors and images, effective visuals should also consider the age range and lifestyle of target clients. Through appropriate and appealing visuals, brands become more interesting and attractive, encouraging patronage from clients.

Overdoing it.

 

It is important to exert a lot of effort in your branding campaigns, but overdoing it may jeopardize your goals. In terms of visual design, simple and clean design is often a better way to represent a product. In creating content, a clear and simple message to define your brand’s purpose can be more effective. Putting in too many design elements or using highfalutin words can make a product appear complicated and pretentious.

Whether you are just starting your branding journey or need to fix branding mistakes, it pays to seek advice from an agency with adequate knowledge and experience. Our team at Birch River Design Group is passionate and committed to helping businesses succeed. Schedule a meeting with us today so we can discuss and design an effective branding strategy for your firm!

E-Commerce

The rise of online shopping has made entrepreneurship easy and open for all. Through e-commerce platforms, anyone can set up an online store and start selling in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about the potential of an e-commerce business to rake in handsome profits. With the growing competition and evolving technology, the chances for success in the digital landscape is as elusive and complicated as ever. But a poorly-performing e-commerce store doesn’t mean the end of the road of your online marketing journey. By continuously looking for ways to correct mistakes and improve, your business can meet or even exceed your marketing goals. Start enhancing the income-generating potential of your e-commerce business with the following tips.

Invest in User Experience

Is your e-commerce website giving your customers a pleasant online shopping experience? If not, then your website visitors are likely to leave before even looking into your products or services. To avoid losing prospective customers, web marketers should carefully scrutinize the user experience of the brand’s website. Things to look out for to ensure that the website will provide utmost convenience for the consumers include page speed, design, and content. The website should be quick to load and easy to navigate. It should also contain content that will help your potential customers believe they are making a wise purchasing decision investing in your products.

Utilize Great Imagery

Having a number of high-quality images in your e-commerce website makes it easier for your website visitors to convert into customers. If you’re selling products, having just one or two is not enough to present your products with all possible angles. For example, if you’re selling apparel, images should show the front, back, sides, and close-ups of the clothing. A zoom feature will also help a buyer determine the quality of the product. It also leaves the impression that you as the seller are confident about the products you’re offering.

Provide Detailed Information

Some people hesitate to buy a product because they have little to no information about the product, how it functions or of the company itself. It is important to show why your products will be beneficial to them. Add content that informs and educates your target clients about your products. Blogs or dedicated pages on your e-commerce website that detail the advantages of what you’re selling can encourage a user to give your product a try. A video demonstrating how to properly use your company’s product can also more effectively turn your site visitors into buyers. As proof, a study done by Forbes shows that 90% of customers say that product videos help them in making purchasing decisions.

Reduce Extra Purchasing Fees

Everyone wants a great deal. Despite the convenience online shopping brings, additional charges in transacting online can turn off many consumers. In fact, a report from Shopify claims that 56% of shoppers leave an e-commerce website because of unexpected costs. Finding ways to reduce extra charges can prevent your shoppers from abandoning their cart. If possible, offer free shipping or offer discounts on bulk purchases.

Continue to Innovate

When it comes to your e-commerce website, you and your team should always be at the forefront of enhancing features and striving to make it more user-friendly. Lengthy registration processes can be a main paint point for consumers that can discourage a user from further exploring your website. Consider providing a registration option that allows users to purchase or checkout as a guest. A customer service section that incorporates a live chat to promptly answer questions or adding a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page is another great addition to your site. Be sure to offer a detailed page with clear messaging on your policies when it comes to returns and exchanges to make users feel at ease when making a purchase.

Building and managing an e-commerce store involves many rigorous tasks and processes. The intense competition with similar e-commerce websites makes online marketing even more challenging. Most of the time, a digital marketing venture can be a hit and miss process. Avoid mistakes and skyrocket your path to success by working with Birch River Design Group. We are passionate and committed to helping brands experience the positive impact of comprehensive digital marketing solutions. Get in touch with us today!

 

Mobile optimization

A forecast from Statista predicts that by 2020 there will be 4.78 billion mobile users around the world. Even without this proof, it is easy to see the huge effect smartphones have brought to all aspects of society. Today, people use smartphones and other digital devices for information, education, and communication. Pocket-sized smartwatches allow for interactions and transactions of all kinds. A report published in Marketing Charts shows that more people prefer to purchase things online using their smartphones rather than computers. The above points present the stressed importance for brands that wish to stay relevant and competitive: You have to invest in mobile optimization.

What is mobile optimization?

Mobile optimization refers to the effort of making sure that a user can easily navigate a website on a mobile device. Before smartphones, marketers would develop high-ranking websites that garnered a lot of traffic while perfectly functioning on a desktop. This is no longer enough. As the usage of mobile devices increases, it has become a high priority for companies to create and maintain a mobile-friendly version of their existing website. The following tips can help you optimize your website for mobile users.

Prioritize page speed.

Page speed has always been a crucial factor in website design and function. Smartphones are built on the idea that all the technology someone could ever need can be handheld and accessed instantaneously. Therefore, a web developer should look for ways to improve page speed on mobile devices. With growing competition, a slow loading page will result in high bounce rates and low traffic. Limiting the number of redirects on a page and optimizing code for CSS, JavaScript, and HTML are some actions that can make a website load considerably faster.

Responsive design is the way to go.

It’s frustrating to access a website on your phone just to discover that the page looks distorted or broken. For that reason, a mobile-optimized website should be able to adapt to various types of handheld devices and operating systems. Whether someone accesses the site on Android or iOS, the layout, design, and function should be consistent on each device. This is possible by using responsive web design. Through this design approach, a web page can easily adjust to the layout and screen size of various devices. According to Wikipedia, responsive web design is achieved through the use of fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and CSS3 media queries.

Design for mobile use.

Google recently announced mobile-first indexing. Their search engines will assess the mobile version of a site for indexing. This means web designers and developers will need to prioritize mobile optimization now more than ever. In order to shift your focus to mobile optimization, you should design and develop your brand’s website with mobile device compatibility in mind. For one, web developers are not advised to use Flash, as it’s not compatible with many mobile browsers. Moreover, the links and buttons on a page should also be designed for thumb navigation.

Same content and functionalities as the desktop version.

Potential customers who access your website, whether using a computer or a smartphone, should have a seamless user experience. It is no longer acceptable to have a mobile version that has a stark difference from the desktop version. You don’t want your users to feel like they are missing out by accessing your website through their phones. Ideally, the mobile version of your website should display the same content and offer the same functionality as that of your desktop version.

Use tools to check mobile optimization.

The Internet is loaded with hundreds of useful tools that web developers can use to assess mobile optimization. Web Google provides a mobile-friendly test, a free tool that allows web developers to instantly check if their website is properly optimized for mobile devices. Moreover, this tool from Google provides insights into the positive and negative areas of your website. If you want more proof, a page in Small SEO Tools also offers the same free service.

The emergence of new digital technologies promises numerous benefits for companies today. These advancements boost profits, increase productivity, and improve customer satisfaction. Make technology work for your business by entrusting your online campaigns to a team that has thorough knowledge and experience in digital marketing. Let us offer digital solutions you can adapt to in order for you to meet the sales and marketing goals of your brand. Request a meeting with us today to get started on your digital strategy!

 

In : Business Tips, Digital Marketing Comments : 0 Author : Susie Date : 22 May 2019
Lead Generation strategy

Lead generation, the process of creating a list of prospects that can ultimately turn into loyal clients, plays a huge role in business development. A perfect strategy to pitch your products and services is useless if you can’t get through to your target customers. The tasks and processes involved in lead generation, though, is far from easy. In digital marketing, rapid technological changes and developments may mean that old techniques used in acquiring customers are no longer effective. As competition grows, lead generation specialists are under more pressure than ever to come up with ingenious ways to connect to their customers. The following are some tips and suggestions for creating an effective lead  generation strategy.

Offer something valuable for free.

Email marketing continues to be an effective way to reach out to people who might be interested in a certain product or service. An online survey reveals the majority of U.S. consumers prefer to receive offers from brands through email. An impressive number of email subscribers can be a gold mine. But people don’t give their email addresses away easily. It’s important to give prospects a good reason to subscribe to your mailing list. In exchange for entering their email and information, offer something useful and valuable such as free e-books, tools or product samples.

Tips:

 

  • Have a target client in mind. In order for your lead magnet work to your advantage, you need an email list with quality leads. Narrow down your list to those who actually need your services and offer something that your target clients will find useful. For example, a free template for an editorial calendar ensures that you attract digital marketers while an e-book for expats will connect you to migrants and overseas workers.
  • Offer incentives for sharing.  Give your audience a reason to share your free guides or templates by adding a share button to your landing page or email campaigns. Offering a reward to your subscribers for sharing can further grow your email list when you give them an incentive. For example, you can run a contest for those who share the offer or give an exclusive discount.

Allow sign-ups using third party sites.

Most e-commerce websites require registration in order to fully utilize their portal. This is a step that allows your business to gather data and information that will be extremely useful in your marketing strategy. The bad news? Many users would rather skip the registration process. A compilation of research shows that going through a registration process turns off many users. Web developers can solve this by making the registration requirement  fast and easy. One way to do this is by allowing users to sign-up using third-party sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Google. It removes the hassle of going through lengthy online forms and creating a new username and password.

Tips:

  • Enhance your landing page. If you want to encourage more people to sign up, you need to exert effort on your landing page. Think strategically about the marketing language you will use and overall design. Make sure your sign-up form is in a strategic location on your landing page. Design is crucial to grabbing people’s attention and earning their trust. Your landing page should have a visually-appealing design and call-to-action (CTA) button. To speak right to your potential customers, it is equally as important to come up with a powerful message.

 

  • Do split testing.  You want to know if the landing page you create is helping your business capture profitable leads. Split testing (creating more than one version) will allow you to see the effect each one has on users who hit your landing pages. From there you can determine which ones are resonating and will help determine the best strategies to apply. Perhaps the language on one page is more appealing than the other, or the images used might also play a part in their performance. Split testing and creating A/B pages can be done with tools such as Instapage.

 

Create a lead generation team.

Gathering data about your potential clients and coming up with strategies to lead them to making a purchase is one of the most (if not the most) challenging areas in marketing. If you want to fill your sales pipeline fast, you can’t expect to get the results you desire by expecting your staff to multi-task. It is important to have a dedicated lead generation team. Whether generating leads for business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) clients, this team can solely focus on boosting the earning potential of a firm through lead generation.

Tips:

  • Be innovative. The goal to acquire customers and outwit competitors requires creativity and innovation. Lead generation specialists should be on the lookout for new tools they can use to upgrade their inbound and outbound marketing strategies. They should be ready to research and try new techniques to gain clients.
  • Monitor your success. It is essential to measure and monitor the success of your lead generation team’s strategies. Sales and revenues should increase with a successful lead generation strategy. Set expectations for what success looks like for lead generation and utilize analytics tools to help set and measure goals.

Lead generation is one of the services that our team confidently offers our clients. Birch River Design Group is trained and experienced in creating innovative lead generation strategies. We can help you reach your target audience and build a list of qualified leads. Request a meeting with us today so we can start discussing the strategies that can propel your business forward!

 

There is no doubt that the Internet has managed to connect people from all around the world. Amidst all the technological advancement, another obstacle in effective communication remains: the language barrier. For a brand looking to enter a foreign market through digital, building a web presence that is available in just one language is not enough. The need to bridge the gap between different languages is becoming increasingly important. The solution to this issue? Website localization. Read on to learn about website localization, why it is important and the benefits that come with it.

What is Website Localization?

Web localization is the process of modifying the content and functionality of a website so it blends with the language and culture of your clientele in a specific area or location. It isn’t just about translating an online content to the desired language or having a text translator on your website. Web localization is about altering your content and adapting it to your potential consumer’s culture. Its main aim is to mold your content to the needs and specifications of various people in your target markets. This allows your potential consumers to more feel at home or connected to your brand. The comfort and assurance it gives your audience enhances their experience and encourages engagement. It ultimately helps your brand gain the trust and loyalty of your target consumers.

Benefits of Website Localization

 

 

  • Opens the door for market expansion

 

E-commerce websites and businesses have a relatively easier time when it comes to reaching a wider audience. Today, you can advertise products and services to anyone with online access. But if you want an effective way to expand your market share, web localization is the way to go. Going multilingual can help you seal partnerships and transactions with clients who are living on different continents. The process you have to undertake to implement web localization can be expensive and daunting. But the potential to boost your revenue and bottom line makes it well worth the investment.  

 

  • Increases online visibility.

Stiff competition makes search engine optimization (SEO) challenging. But your efforts to increase your SEO will be in vain if your brand’s content isn’t appearing on search engine result pages (SERP). Thankfully, web localization offers a new SEO technique. A website with translations in a potential consumer’s local language will gives you even more keyword rankings. Having keywords in a local language gives you a huge edge over your competition and increases your chances of a higher ranking. Translating your website in the languages of your target consumers puts you ahead of your competitors and increases your opportunities to boost revenue.

 

Is web localization necessary?

 

English is used by 1.7 billion people around the world. But statistics show that only 20% of people are native speakers of the so called universal language. This accounts for merely 4.73% of the world’s total population. If your marketing strategies are solely available in English, you are wasting the potential to connect to almost 95% of the world’s population.

If your business doesn’t sell products online you might be thinking that web localization isn’t an immediate concern. Or perhaps implementing a strategy around language translation is not top of mind. A study of consumer behavior reveals that 81% of shoppers do online research before making purchase decisions. Therefore, online content (on your website, social media page or ad) about your brand can make or break your marketing strategy. If this content is available in more than one language, you increase your chances of making a huge impact on your target buyers.

Web localization, SEO strategies and pay-per click campaigns. Are you a bit overwhelmed with all of these strategies that build a successful online presence? Our team at Birch River Design Group can help. We are driven with the goal of helping companies explore the advantages that digital technology can bring. Give us a call today so we can discuss your digital marketing needs!

Voice Search Technology

With the influence of technology likely to intensify in the years to come, the way people search for information online is rapidly transforming. From typing queries into a search engine, more and more people are starting to explore the convenience of using voice search. A forecast report from ComScore even shows that by 2020, half of searches will be done through voice search. As a relatively new area of technology and search, it is crucial as a business owner to understand the techniques to make it work to your advantage. Prepare for this new way to search and future-proof your business with the following tips.

What is voice search and how is it used?

As the name implies, voice search is a technology where users can simply use voice commands instead of typing keywords to search for information online. This innovation works through the use of automatic speech recognition or voice-to-text mechanisms. Today speech recognition technology used in voice search is commonly used by voice-enabled digital assistants. Apple was the first company to offer a voice assistant with their introduction of Siri in 2011. Three years later, more tech giants launched their own digital assistants: Cortana for Microsoft and Alexa for Amazon. In May 2016, Google launched their own version of voice assistant with Google Home. With technology companies continuously enhancing the functionalities of voice search for consumers, it is clear this new technology will only continue to grow.

Why is voice search gaining popularity?

Anything that makes life more convenient is bound to be a success. Because speaking to search is much simpler than typing keywords, it is no wonder that voice search is gaining in popularity as the future of search. You can also attribute its popularity to the rising usage of mobile devices. Voice search assistants are often a main feature of smartphones and devices, making digital assistants relatively accessible. Along with the convenience it brings, voice search also has its share of challenges. The tendency of the machine to mistakenly interpret spoken queries is one of the difficulties a user may face when making a voice command.

New Practices To Implement For Voice Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) has largely focused on text-based queries. With the increasing use of voice search, it is bound to bring about changes to best practices for optimizing digital content. For brands that want to stay competitive, this stresses  the importance of implementing a competent voice search strategy. The following are tactics that digital marketers can do to implement voice engine optimization (VEO).

  • Focus on long-tail keywords.

Writing takes time. Before voice search, users tended to type just one to two phrases when searching for something on the web. Voice search takes the effort of writing away as people start to simply tell their devices what they need or are searching for. This makes a good keyword strategy highly important. When you write any piece of content for your brand your business, it is crucial to include long-tail keywords or phrases. Question phrases are also great suggestions as people tend to talk to the digital assistants as if they are humans. Because of this, it is best to incorporate keywords that sound like natural conversations.

  • Prioritize page speed.

Page speed continues to be a crucial factor in website rankings. Voice search represents a faster, fuss-free way to obtain any information a user needs. A fast-loading website is the perfect complement to this feature. To avoid losing clients and risking a low site ranking, both the desktop and mobile version of your company’s website should prioritize page speed.

  • Update content to match voice search queries.

Useful and original content will remain king despite technological developments. However, a little change in how you present content will go a long way. In the world of voice search, content that provides brief, yet complete answers to user’s questions are the way to go. Long-form content will always be crucial, but always be sure to optimize your website and content for voice search. One simple way to do this is by adding a page for frequently asked questions (FAQs).

  • Watch out for updates.

Voice search optimization is a relatively new area of search technology. There is still a lot to learn and discover about it. It is also a fast-growing market, so the best tips and strategies in utilizing it for your business can change at any time. In order to know how to effectively use this technology to market your brand, it is best to keep track of the latest updates and trends.

Birch River Design Group knows the importance of keeping up with the latest in digital marketing and search technologies. Our team is ready and capable to walk you through the process to get your business ready for future developments such as voice search. Request a meeting with us today to discuss how we can help you achieve your business goals!

 

Blogging Trends

Digitally-savvy business owners understand the positive impact blogging has on a company’s overall marketing strategy. With business blogging, companies of all sizes create a way to engage and connect with their existing and potential clients online. A blog also has the potential to increase sales and profit. Moreover, starting a blog appears relatively simple and affordable. At a glance, the process seems as simple as choosing a blog platform (e.g. WordPress, Wix or Blogger) and publishing content. But is it really that easy?

With the Internet Live Stats for 2018 showing that over 2 billion blog posts are published every year, the chances of your blog being buried among your competition can be quite high. Therefore, a strong strategy that follows best blogging practices is essential. For your blogging efforts to succeed, you have to keep track of the latest trends in the blogosphere that can help you stay ahead of competitors. Read on for the best blogging practices and the latest blogging trends.

Best Blogging Practices

Fill it with evergreen content.

Writing about trending topics has its share of advantages. It can draw traffic to your site for a period of time, but then visitors may start dwindling as soon as the interest about the topic wanes. For visitors to keep on flocking to your site, it is best to create a blog that is packed with evergreen content. This is content that remains relevant to your users regardless of how much time passes. So along with articles about the latest trending topics, invest in creating content that your users will find highly valuable long after its publication date. Basic information, step-by-step tutorials and smart tips are few examples of content that stand the test of time.

Make it search-engine friendly.

Make it easy for search engines to discover your blog by gaining knowledge about proper on-page and off-page optimization strategies. Inserting the right keywords in your meta tags and descriptions as well as designing a user-friendly blog layout are just a few of the things to keep in mind. To make sure that your search engine optimization (SEO) techniques are working or to make adjustments when necessary, use tools that provide insights about your website’s performance such as Google Analytics.

Connect with your audience.

A blog with zero engagement is like a party with no guests. The opportunity to interact with your audience makes blogging exciting. You want users to feel that there is an actual person behind the website. Keep the engagement in your blog active by taking time to read and reply to comments. You can get creative and run contests or promotions to encourage engagement.

Latest Blogging Trends

Write longer blog posts.

Unique and fresh content is the lifeline of your blog. One way that search engines gauge the quality of a post is by its length. Currently, a blog with a word count of at least 500 words is enough to be favored by search engines. However, blogging experts today advise bloggers to create content that is even longer. To stay on top of search engine result pages (SERP), you may need to start writing content that is over 1,000 words. A post as long as this is likely to be packed with useful information that your audience would love to share and gives you an opportunity to incorporate more keywords. It also makes your content stand out from shorter, less informational blog posts.

Add videos to your blog posts.

According to a forecast released by Cisco Virtual Network, internet traffic will soon be dominated by videos. Even without this data, it is easy to see that most people prefer to watch videos rather than read an article. So for your blog to stay interesting, adding videos in your posts is a wise move. Another option is creating original videos for your entire content strategy, but with accompanying transcription.

Blogging without direction is like starting a journey without a map; you will likely end up nowhere. If you want your business blog to serve as a ladder that will get you closer to your goals, seeking the guidance of a competent digital marketing agency will greatly help. Birch River Design Group is ready to share our expertise in effective blog marketing. Give us a call and let us know how we can help your business!

Hashtag strategy

Every social media marketer should know the importance of hashtag strategy. Not long ago, ‘hashtag’ was an unknown term. Yet since it was introduced by Twitter in 2007,  its usage and application has continued to spread like wildfire. Initially intended  as a way to group Twitter messages about a certain topic, their use and functionality have evolved. Today hashtags are crucial if you want to increase your chances of someone finding, viewing or engaging with your posts on social media. The popularity of hashtags even led the American Dialect Society to declare it as their word of the year in 2012.

Creating a hashtag strategy is important for organizing marketing campaigns, boosting your brand’s online presence or even creating a trending topic around a new service or product. It is a simple, effective way to drive your marketing efforts across social platforms. Still, businesses who want to maximize the benefits of hashtags cannot simply add them without putting forth much thought. For a hashtag campaign to do wonders, the following tips should be considered if you want to improve your engagement.

Consider the social media platform.

Today it is nearly impossible not to come across a hashtag when you scroll through the feed of any social platform. You are free to use hashtags when you create a post on any platform, whether on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.  They’re even applicable when you type a search query into Google. However, using the same strategy in all channels may not give you the results you want. Best practices and rules regarding hashtag use differ per platform. While Twitter considers one to three hashtags per post as ideal, Instagram allow up to 30 hashtags. Facebook and LinkedIn on the other hand, do not recommend adding multiple hashtags in every post. In order to positively complement your social media marketing strategy, take time to study the platforms where you want to use them.

Mind your tags.

Hashtags are a crucial part of any marketing campaign you start. Whether it is to increase brand awareness or promote a specific campaign, people will start to associate it with the hashtags you choose. They also play a great role in ensuring that posts get noticed and discovered. It is therefore important to take time to carefully decide which ones you will use for your brand. They should be relevant and relay something about your niche. Prior to using a hashtag, you can search for it to see if there are previous posts connected to it. This will help you avoid being attached to negative, controversial or crowded hashtags by accident.

For your hashtags to be search engine friendly, you need to utilize your target keywords. Be creative and unique by crafting ones that will capture people’s attention. You want something simple and easy to recall. Specific hashtags can also help connect your brand to your target audience. For example, if you are tweeting about a business summit in Los Angeles, you can add the keywords #LosAngeles or #LA to narrow your audience to those who are in the area.

Employ the help of tools.

Do you need help monitoring your hashtags? An application that can gauge the success of your hashtag campaigns can help. The good news is that there are a lot of available tools and apps that can help make your tagging tasks a breeze. Some tools are free while others require a fee. Research the best tools for your needs and see how they can help with your overall strategy.

Jump on the bandwagon.

Popular events and controversial issues can generate a number of trending hashtags, and who says you shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon? It’s like joining the hottest party of the moment — a golden opportunity to be seen and converse with the people you want to reach. Aside from increasing your visibility and engagement, creating posts about current interests will paint a good image of your business. It will present your brand as something that is empathetic and proactive. To reach more people, you can also create posts for popular weekly hashtags such as #TBT or #MotivationMonday.

Birch River Design Group is passionate about helping companies grow through the effective use of digital marketing strategies. We understand how vital effective social media marketing is for your business. Contact us today so we can start discussing your business goals and social media strategy!