Category Archives: Local Marketing

14 Must-Have Assets to Diversify Your SEO Portfolio

There are so many tricks and tactics you can use to boost your SEO strategy that sometimes it can feel completely overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve put together 14 of our favorite white hat SEO techniques you can use to pump up your search engine marketing.

14 Must have assets to diversify your SEO portfolio

1. Speed up your site

Buy a subscription to a caching service (or get a plugin), host images yourself and reduce the weight of your website to make it go faster. Gtmetrix will give you a free speed report that you can use to help you find where you can speed things along. Speed is a ranking factor, so the faster your site the better your SEO.

2. Remove duplicate content

A holdover from the era of SEO keyword stuffing, Google punishes duplicate content pretty severely. Use a tool like Screaming Frog to make sure you don’t have duplicated content on your site.

3. Focus keywords in H1 and H2 tags

SEO keywords still remain important, despite Google’s best efforts to the contrary. To get the most bang for your keyword buck, try and focus on using them NATURALLY in H1 and H2 headings.

4. Limit H1 tags to one per page

There should only be one H1 tag per page. A blog, for example, might use H1 tags for their titles. If you’re using H1 tags for subheadings, switch them to H2 tags.

5. Specify what anchor text people linking to your site should use

If you have a network of bloggers linking to your site, specify what anchor text they use (anchor text is the text that you actually link, so if we linked to the Wikipedia page about anchors, the word ‘anchor’ is the anchor text). Google uses anchor text to work out what the page that’s being linked to is about, and it can help raise your authority within Google’s SEO rankings.

6. Add alt tags to your images

When Google crawls your site, it can’t see pictures – it relies on alt tags to know what the picture is. Without an alt tag (or with an alt tag that’s useless like 12345.png), Google won’t know what to make of it – and you’ll miss out on the SEO help.

7. Make your site look good on mobile

Google has been using mobile friendliness as a ranking factor since at least 2015. Make sure you’re getting the most from your development and web marketing dollars by making your site mobile friendly. Whether you opt for a responsive design, a mobile microsite or a mobile app, just make sure it looks good on a phone.

8. Use LSI keywords

LSI keywords, or Latent Semantic Indexing, are essentially related keywords to the ones you’re using. For example, if you’re using the keyword ‘website SEO’, an LSI keyword might be search engine optimization tools. There are many sources for LSI keywords, including Google’s ‘related terms’, Google AdWords, LSI keyword generators and tools like Jaaxy.

9. Write longer content

It’s become clear over the last couple of years that longer content tends to perform better than short stuff (generally, there are plenty of caveats here). Focusing on longer pieces gives you a chance to maximize SEO content value, as well as provide more opportunity for long tail keywords.

10. Write a great snippet

A snippet is the stuff that comes up when your site shows up in the search engine rankings. Here is ours:

Burkhart Snippet

You want to make sure yours makes sense, is legible and draws your readers in. The more people who click, the better your SEO ranking is going to be.

11. Make your site an HTTPS secure site

Getting an SSL certificate to make your website a secure one (it’ll show up as HTTPS instead of HTTP) is a quick and easy way to get a guaranteed SEO win. Google wants sites to be more secure, so they use security as a ranking factor. Getting your website a SSL certificate will help (they’re pretty cheap).

12. Provide incentives for reviews

Reviews are critical, especially for local SEO. First, it will help people know how great your business are since it’s social proof. Second, Moz attributed 5% of search engine ranking to social signals. For most franchises (especially restaurant franchises) that means reviews.

13. Respond to comments

The more comments you have, the more content you have on your site (which is good). It also shows deeper user engagement, which Google loves. To encourage comments, have a CTA at the end of your blog posts asking for comments, and make sure you respond when people write them.

14. Link each page internally and externally

With various updates over the years and an increasing focus on authority, Google’s made it clear that being connected to the network of the internet is really important. An easy way to do this is to make sure every post or page you write for your site has 1-2 internal links, as well as 1-2 external ones. The stronger your connection is to the broader network, the better off your site is going to be.

There you have it. 14 (mostly) quick and (mostly) easy SEO techniques you can start to apply to your site. With these in your back pocket, you’ll be number one in the SERPS in no time.

Think you’ve got a great SEO strategy that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

10 Ways to Manage Your Online Business Reputation

Your business’ reputation is no longer just about how well you advertise your business or how good your customer experience is. Online reputation is now equally important – and can be even harder to salvage if it goes south. Here are the 10 best ways to manage your online reputation to prevent that from happening.

10 Ways To Manage Your Online Business Reputation

1. Put someone in charge of online customer engagement

It’s probably best that someone on your marketing team runs this as well, or hire an agency. The goal is accountability – you don’t want your online reputation to slip between the cracks.

2. Be transparent – ask for input and feedback

Your customers should feel encouraged to give feedback – and you should welcome it. Continue reading 10 Ways to Manage Your Online Business Reputation

4 Ways to Reduce Hyperchoice and Increase Sales: How Professional Service Providers can Leverage Retail Trends

Even though hyperchoice has been a hot discussion item in the retail industry, it hasn’t received much attention in professional services industries. After writing a whitepaper on the topic for an analytic software client, we started thinking how our professional service organizations could benefit from understanding the trend.

Even if the word hyperchoice is foreign, the concept will be familiar.

shutterstock_191834021 (1)

Hyperchoice occurs when the sheer mass of selections causes a buyer to get frustrated, lengthening the research process and/or abandoning the purchase altogether. We often assume that the more choices, the better. However, according to an University of Texas study on the psychological effects of consumer hyperchoice, it often leads consumers to experience confusion and regret.  Research shows that when given less options, customers make decisions quicker, with more confidence and experience less post-purchase regret.

Reducing Hyperchoice in Professional Services

Limiting options in order to increase sales might seem counterintuitive at first, but really requires applying a different mindset to your marketing approach to potential customers.

1 – Focus on Referrals

Regardless of the sophistication level of your typical customer, everyone gains confidence in a decision when they receive a referral from a trusted source. Recommendations often cause a purchaser to limit their set of options to only those where they were referred.

Efforts to develop strong referral partner relationships are proven to produce significant returns. Be creative in how you reach out to referral sources. What motivates these professionals and would make them feel special? How can you get their attention? Invite referrals to a special event at your facility. Send them something they could use in their business. And don’t forget to stay in touch. One-time actions are soon forgotten.

2 – Simplify Your Proposals

A great opportunity to simplify your customer’s decision is the proposal process. Yet all too often, a proposal is viewed as an opportunity to showcase all you can do. Remembering the effect hyperchoice can have on your audience and don’t overwhelm your buyer.

shutterstock_170940128

If you’re at the proposal stage, your prospect already knows your breadth of services. Take advantage of this chance to showcase how your most relevant solutions will impact them. Demonstrate that you listened to their needs and keep it short. Don’t try to sell every service. Your customer will appreciate your efforts to simplify their decision.

3 – Customize Your Message

You probably already use targeting and segmenting in your marketing. Customization of your message is another step in this process. Regardless of your communication method, there is no reason to send the same message to everyone. Tailor your content based on the recipient, their industry or demographics and their needs.

Small steps such as using variable print options to customize a brochure based on the recipient’s background can go a long way. On your website, be sure prospects can find valuable information, specific to their situation, quickly.

4 – Get Back to Basics

Above all else, don’t forget to be the trusted expert that you are in your field. Nothing can replace face-to-face communication where you get to know someone, understand their needs and use your service expertise to recommend the appropriate solution.

– Meghan Mayer Martin, Burkhart Marketing Associates

Want to learn more about reducing hyperchoice and increasing your bottom line? Contact Burkhart Marketing Associates and discover how we generate measurable returns for professional service providers.

How to Fill the World Cup Void

What are we going to tweet about after the World Cup Ends?

Whether you enjoy soccer or not, the World Cup was big. How big? We’re talking HUGE! We knew it was going to create a great amount of interaction on social media, but the engagement levels and post analytics still managed to knock our socks off!

Here’s some of the data (Hold onto your socks!):

  1. The World Cup final was the most-discussed sporting event ever on Facebook, with an estimated 280 million interactions — likes, posts and comments — from 88 million users.
    1. That’s are 35 million MORE interactions than the record 245 million during the 2013 Super Bowl.
  2. The most popular match on Twitter was Germany’s 7-1 victory over Brazil in the semi-final, which sparked 35.6 million tweets.
  3. The month-long World Cup generated 3 billion Facebook interactions overall.
  4. Nike was the most-viewed brand of the tournament worldwide, releasing eight campaigns that generated almost 240.7 million views.
  5. Unruly Media, a social video technology company, reported that a video from Activia yogurt featuring Shakira was the most shared of the World Cup, at 4.7 million, followed by Nike with 2.6 million, and Samsung with 1.3 million.
  6. Data from Twitter shows that each time a player took a penalty shot, Twitter reacted by going silent.Sports fans around the world seem to hold their breath – whether they’re in the stadiums, watching on TV or live tweeting – when a player makes that fateful penalty kick.

But after crowning Germany as World Cup champions this weekend, twitter seems distinctly quieter. Here are BMA’s top five ideas of what we will see filling that void over the next few months:

  1. Football. Or should we say American Football. We’re getting into Fantasy Draft season and before you know it you’ll be spending every Sunday on the couch in front of your TV.
  2. Christmas and Thanksgiving. You’re probably thinking NO WAY, but let us remind you Black Friday is only four short months away.
  3. Movies. New releases like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dumb and Dumber To will likely stir up some Twitter and Facebook activity.
  4. Selfies. We’re obsessed with the word and the act so we’ll fill our World Cup void with more and more selfies.
  5. Weather. When all else fails the small talk always turns to the weather.

So you better get to tweeting and posting. We have a mighty large void to fill!

——

Are looking for creative ways to insert your brand into topical conversation and storm social media channels? BMA’s mission is to outthink, outwork, outperform and have fun doing it. We can provide all the right tools for a full-service and integrated approach. Check out Burkhart Marketing Associates on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

Ideas. Action. Results.


The Selfie Shared Around the World

Last night during the Oscars, the celeb-infested Samsung selfie brought down twitter with an ever growing 2.6 million retweets.

Between the first time tweeter Meryl Streep, the presence of Hollywood royalty, Brad and Angelina, and the inclusion of the night’s biggest winners, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey and Lupita Nyong’o Ellen’s instantly viral tweet shutdown Twitter for a reported two minutes.

The brief Twitter hiatus didn’t keep users from sharing. The tweet shattered records for the most retweets of all time. The previous most retweeted tweet of all time was Barack Obama’s tweet, “Four more years” after successfully winning a second term in office.

Why everyone was exercising his or her thumbs to quickly share Ellen’s tweet, some might have missed the Samsung product placement. The use of Samsung’s phone was part of Samsung’s announcement of their “One Samsung” campaign.

As part of the Samsung and ABC agreement, Samsung sponsored 10 tweets that were sent by the official Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences twitter handle.  These tweets all included celeb selfies taken backstage. Samsung also ran commercials during live show that fully announced their new campaign offerings.

Samsung got additional coverage later in the evening when Ellen was seen taking additional selfies backstage using an iPhone. Although the word had began to spread that perhaps Ellen preferred Apple over Samsung the talk only continued the Samsung Conversation.

Although Samsung left the awards without the golden Oscar, we think they struck marketing gold this award season.

——-

Are looking for creative ways to insert your brand into topical conversation and storm social media channels? BMA’s mission is to outthink, outwork, outperform and have fun doing it. We can provide all the right tools for a full-service and integrated approach. Check out Burkhart Marketing Associates on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter

Ideas. Action. Results. 

 

The Right Tools for Digital Marketing

When starting out in digital marketing you have to search for the right tools. You need tools of communication, tools of creativity, tools of knowledge and along the way you’ll discover the need for many other tools.

We have our toolbox open and we’re ready to show you how to nail Digital Marketing! We’re no carpenters, but when it comes to the digital stuff, we know what to do.

Build Digital Content Differently

Content. Building content doesn’t require a large budget, but it can have a huge impact on your business. It will increase traffic to your site and it will keep people coming back for more.

Easy right? Don’t forget your tools!

You’ll need to analyze your competitors before you start building your content. Determine how you can build differently. Once you decide the right angle you can start chipping away at blogs, videos, presentations and infographics.

Form a Crew of People to Support Your Digital Marketing Efforts

It’s important to let your family and friends know what you’ve set out to do. Email or reach out to everyone in your personal and professional network. More than likely, they are going to want to help you get started.

Share What You’ve Built
Once you’ve built your brand and content the real work begins. Now it’s time to show it off! You wouldn’t spend hours building a beautiful wooden chair and then put it in the closet, so why would you let your content just sit on your website?

Remember that crew you formed earlier? Now is the time to utilize their powers.

Social media is a great way to syndicate your content. With creativity and great content you should be able to develop a big following. It won’t be instant or easy, but remember your crew can simplify the process.

Bring More People to Your Door
SEO can be complicated but it’s worth the time. You’ll need a strong, well thought out SEO strategy to compete online. You’ve built the content and you have the crew, but without an investment in SEO, how will people know what you have to offer?

The Key Benefits of Investing in SEO

  • A high ROI
  • A longer-lasting strategy than a pay-per-click campaign
  • A higher click-through-rate and higher conversion rate than pay-per-click campaigns
  • A cost-effective way to grow your business and build a strong online brand presence
  • An increase in traffic

The one challenge is that you need to have the patience to do it right. It won’t be a huge success and generate money immediately. It may take a few months to optimize.

Find Your Tools and Build Your Digital Marketing Plan
The bottom line is that there are many options to drive traffic. Don’t get overwhelmed! Start with picking just one channel, once you’ve mastered it, move onto the next. There are numerous resources to help you. BMA is one of them! So don’t make any more excuse. Get started now.

Just remember, with the right tools you can do anything.

Burkhart Marketing Associates is a full-service Indianapolis Marketing Firm. BMA’s mission is to outthink, outwork, outperform and have fun doing it. Contact BMA today if you are looking for a plan and process for digital Marketing. We can provide all the right tools for a full-service and integrated approach. Check out Burkhart Marketing Associates on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter

Ideas. Action. Results.

Reputation Matters, So Does List Segmentation

You probably already know what list segmentation is, but are you utilizing it to build your reputation for your business? Let’s cover the basics. List segmentation is the process of dividing your prospect/customer list (or database) into distinct groups of buyers. By doing this you can improve your marketing efforts through the targeting of a highly applicable message to a defined audience.

Continue reading Reputation Matters, So Does List Segmentation

Pin Down the Power of Pinterest

Since its debut in March of 2010, Pinterest has been changing the lives of millions. From recipes to DIY projects to wedding planning to fashion, the site has it all. It’s easy to use. It’s fun to look at. And it’s totally addicting!

I know, without a doubt, that Pinterest has changed the world. Don’t believe me? In January 2012, comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark.

Continue reading Pin Down the Power of Pinterest

Don’t Let Halloween Creep Past You

Where are all the Halloween ads? According to the National Retail Federation, 7 in 10 Americans are planning to celebrate Halloween this year.

It appears that most marketers are skipping Halloween, which is an $8 billion holiday, and are headed straight to the Christmas isle. If you’re skipping out on marketing for Halloween you could be missing some opportunities.

Continue reading Don’t Let Halloween Creep Past You

What’s Your Social Media IQ?

If someone asked you how many social networks you actively use, how many would you say? Two, Five, Ten? A recent study done by a technology market research firm revealed that the average social media user has two (active) accounts.

Each social media network positions themselves in a way that they each help you with a different aspect in your life. Facebook for your personal updates, Twitter for the latest news, Pinterest for DIY projects and recipes and before you know it you’ve spent 5 hours browsing the web. Which may not be good for your health, but businesses love it!

Continue reading What’s Your Social Media IQ?