Tag Archives: seo

Benefits of Working with a Google Partner Agency

Google Partner. You’ve probably seen that name and badge floating around the internet — but what exactly is a Google Partner?

A Google Partner is a company that has demonstrated AdWords skill and expertise and has helped clients grow their customer base and revenue through AdWords campaigns. Agencies that achieve Google Partner status are dedicated to search advertising and continuously exceed Google’s standards to maintain Google Partner status.

If you’re looking for an agency to help with your digital marketing efforts, it’s important to make sure they’re certified by Google. Here are some of the benefits of working with a Google Partner:

Work with a Certified Staff

Working with a Google Partner agency assures that their staff members are experts in creating and managing strong, successful AdWords campaigns. With access to the most up-to-date practices and training, a Google Partner agency will have the skills needed to optimize your campaigns and ensure continuous growth.

Receive the Full Advantage of AdWords Features

Google Partners have extensive knowledge in all of the features of Google AdWords. This level of mastery provides them with the capability to help their clients become more profitable with the use of:

  • Expanded text ads
  • Progressive demographic targeting
  • Integration with physical locations
  • Ad extensions
  • Sitelink extensions
  • Call tracking
  • Conversion tracking
  • Negative keywords to eliminate wasted spend

Get Help from a Dedicated Google Representative

Getting in touch with someone at Google isn’t always the easiest task. Every Google Partner agency has access to its own Google representative. This means that Google Partner agencies can address and resolve any AdWords-related client issues much faster than non-Google Partner agencies, saving time and money.

Stay Ahead of Competition with Beta Features

Agencies that have earned a Google Partner badge are among the first to have access to Google’s beta features. When Google develops a new feature or application, its partners have access to test these features before it becomes available to the general public, giving you an edge up on any competitors not working with a Google Partner.

Are you ready to make sure your prospective customers will be able to find you as they begin searching online for solutions to their needs?

As a Google Partner agency, GREENCREST thoroughly understands search engine marketing best practices to help its clients increase traffic to their website. Contact us today to see how online marketing can help your bottom line.

 

How to Build an Online Marketing Fire

Knowing how to build a fire is just as essential for survival in the online marketing world as it is in the wilderness. A blazing campfire provides warmth, light and a way to cook food. The fire you want to build online increases awareness and generates online leads.

Fire-Starting Tools

To start a fire in the great outdoors, you typically need a match and strike board, a piece of flint and steel or a magnifying glass and the sun. In marketing, we consider having a well-defined brand and a strategic plan as the bare necessities to ignite the flame for your business.

Your audience needs to understand who you are as a company, what you stand for and why you’re in business. Without a well-thought-out brand, you run the risk of looking like and sounding like your competitors, and you will be stuck in a continuous lowest-price-wins battle. Without a strategic plan, you’re wandering through the wilderness battling the unexpected and rather than focusing on what you need to do to reach your goals.

Tinder

No matter where you are, creating a flame can be a lot of hard work — and it’s all for naught if there is no tinder to catch the flame.

In digital marketing, your “tinder” would be your website. Your website is the hub, or the core of all your online marketing efforts. For your website to attract and retain traffic — or “catch fire” — it must be optimized for search engines, easy-to-use and appealing. Without a well-optimized and user-friendly website, you will end up rubbing two sticks together all night long with no results.

However, while tinder catches fire easily, the fire quickly dies out without added support.

Kindling

When building a fire, you need materials that provide more substance than tinder provides to keep the flame burning long enough for your fuel wood to catch. This is where kindling comes in.

In marketing, you can use search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. When following best practices, SEO and online advertising can quickly and easily increase awareness and direct traffic to your website. Just as kindling must be dry to work, your website and online ads must be optimized with keywords to work.

Fuel Wood

The fuel wood might take a little longer to catch fire, but it is what ultimately keeps your fire hot and burning. And if you notice your fire is starting to die down, you can throw more fuel wood on top to keep it going. In marketing, fuel wood is a mix of owned and earned channels.

Content marketing is one owned channel that can help “fuel the flame,” and it includes pieces such as white papers, case studies, e-books or webinars. Advertising such as print, TV or radio also add to the discussion, increase awareness and even drive website traffic. Additionally, email marketing can help nurture the fire and keep it going.

Public relations is one example of an earned “fuel” or channel. When your company receives media coverage from third-party sources, it helps boost your credibility and increase “buzz”. Word of mouth — whether it’s in person or online via social media — is also earned, and it can be a very powerful tool to build a blazing fire.

Building a fire is not as easy as it first appears. It involves a lot of knowledge, preparation, tools and hard work—similar to effective online marketing campaigns. Luckily, the GREENCREST team is ready to support you! Contact us today to get started.

 

Get Found Online with YouTube SEO

online marketing

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine, after Google? And it is becoming more popular year over year. Video marketing in particular is becoming a mainstay as social media and search engines give it special emphasis in search results and newsfeeds.

According to YouTube, more than 300 hours of video were uploaded to the site in 2015. With so much clutter, businesses can’t expect prospects to find and watch their videos nevertheless have a video go viral.

Therefore, instead of going into all the reasons why your company should be on YouTube or partake in video marketing, I will explain the basics of how to get your video found with YouTube SEO.

Think in keywords

You most likely know the importance of using search engine optimization (SEO) for your website, but have you thought about the importance of optimizing your videos with relevant keywords as well?

As with any Web page or blog article, it’s best to select a focus keyword that relates to the video topic. Make sure the keyword is in the video title, description and tags. Research to see if there are currently any videos showing up in search results for a particular keyword. If so, it’s likely a good keyword to use for your video.

Utilize video descriptions 

You have a 5,000-character limit in the description area of the video. This is the perfect opportunity to include engaging, keyword-rich written content on your video’s page. Include important keywords that relate to your video. Include external links to other videos or landing pages that discuss the same topic.

YouTube and Google use your video’s title, description and tags to rank your video. Take advantage of the high character count and include long video descriptions.

Attract views and likes immediately

Views and engagement are the most important factors in achieving a high-ranking video on YouTube and Google. The No. 1 way to attract an audience is to provide quality content with an engaging title.

By “quality,” I don’t mean it has to be professionally developed. It simply needs to address a common need of your viewers and provide a solution.

“How to” videos, for example, are becoming increasingly popular as many people prefer to watch how something is done rather than read about it. To put it simply, provide value to your viewers.

Also, share your video on social media and other online communities that can relate to or are interested in your video’s topic.

Increase your channel subscriptions

On YouTube, subscribers are essentially people who follow your YouTube channel to ensure they see your latest videos. To increase the number of subscribers, it is best to include a call to action within every video that encourages the viewer to subscribe to your channel. This can be done by verbally saying it within the video and/or by using annotations (graphics or buttons that have a call to action).

Adding a YouTube “subscribe” widget to your website and blog can also help increase your subscriber base.

 

In summary, if you want to optimize YouTube videos, it is important that you provide valuable content, create engaging titles, include important keywords in a long video description, share it on social media and increase the number of subscribers.

The more keywords and engagement you have associated with the video, the more clout you will receive from YouTube and the search engines.

 

If your company needs help with its video marketing strategies and SEO efforts, don’t hesitate to contact the GREENCREST team!

 

Boost Online Conversions with Ad and Landing Page Updates

Tablet computer and financial charts

Receiving online conversions through paid search campaigns requires efforts in more than just ad copy and creativity. Just as important is how those ads appear and where they’re sending users. When you’re focusing on gaining online conversions, your search campaigns should include features like images, sitelink extensions, reviews, testimonials and more.

We’ll explore some essential ad features and landing page updates that we guarantee will help increase your online conversions.

Ad Extensions

These helpful little tools are a simple, yet effective way to get a little more specific with your ads. Sitelink extensions allow your ad to present additional details below the ads like the brands and products you carry, services you provide, etc. and link each individual topic to its own landing page. When using sitelink extensions, it is important to make sure your landing pages are relevant and show correlating content in order to increase user experience and conversions.

Images

Including images with your ads immediately helps them stand out from the clutter of basic text ads. Google has been continuing to increase the number of images allowed to show on search engine results pages because they know people respond better when they can visually see what is being advertised. If a customer sees the product they’re looking for and follows the ad to a landing page with the same product, they’re more likely to make the online conversion because they easily found what they were originally looking for.

Helpful tip: design a campaign using shopping ads to be able to show even more images, along with product pricing, availability and more!

Reviews

Giving people the option to review your products and services provides even more opportunity for conversions because you:

  • Show users that you’re confident in your excellent customer service and deliver exceptional products.
  • Give users a chance to learn a bit more about the products from a third-party perspective rather than strictly selling the benefits and features in the ad.

Incorporating reviews in the ads and on the related landing pages helps keep everything consistent and makes navigating your site easier and more clear for users, because they’re seeing the same things from the ad represented on the landing pages.

Make sure your reviews are current and up-to-date. In order to keep your reviews showing on the ads, ask customers to review products, rate their experience and more. Reviews that are older than 12 months do not appear on the Google Search Network.

So, while the copy of your ad is extremely important in presenting users with specific information, it is even more beneficial to enhance ads with additional features to help boost online conversions.

Contact the team at GREENCREST and let us help you set up your paid search campaigns, enhance your ads, or increase your online conversions with these search engine marketing updates.

5 Marketing Myths that Cost Companies Customers and Sales

 

website design and development

 

There are dangerous marketing myths that are currently holding companies back from increased profits. The truth is, good marketing is integrated and includes a blend of social media, brand development, advertising, public relations, and website and search engine optimization (SEO).

Many companies are still struggling to incorporate essential aspects of digital marketing into their business plans — such as social media and mobile marketing — because they think it is too expensive or they don’t need it. However, with the continuous growth of e-commerce and social media, companies can’t afford not to invest in marketing.

 

Let’s take a look at the five most common marketing myths and how to overcome them.

 

1. “I have a small budget and I can’t afford marketing”

Some companies don’t want to invest in marketing because they don’t see the value. However, a solid marketing plan can help boost awareness, improve sales and help a company gain more customers. Marketing is an investment, not a one-time purchase.

 

2. “I already have a marketing plan”

 While companies may have a marketing plan, it is often incomplete. The best marketing plans encompass an integrated approach — such as print advertising, public relations and trade shows — and digital media — such as social media, website/SEO and mobile marketing.

A comprehensive marketing strategy evaluates the worth of various marketing tactics and implements the best traditional and digital media options for a company and its budget.

 

3. “My business is doing well, so I don’t need to invest in marketing”

While business may be doing well, that can change in an instant. No new business pipeline can mean you’re out of business if a customer has to cut their budget or chooses to go in a new direction.

Marketing is a great tool to engage with customers, nurture prospects, generate leads and boost sales. Positive interaction with clients will help them remember your company and create a lasting relationship. And, nurturing inactive clients can encourage them come back to you.

 

4.  “We already advertise, so we don’t need marketing”

Advertising is an important part of an overall marketing strategy, but it’s not the only part. Various tactics contribute to a successful marketing plan, not just advertising.

It can be difficult to select which marketing strategies to implement, but it’s important to evaluate which will work best for your company.

 

5. “Social media is a waste of time for my business”

Not being on social media is a lost opportunity—it decreases your business’s online credibility in the eye of the consumer. In fact, many customers, especially the millennial generation, research a company and their social media sites before making a purchasing decision.

While every social media outlet isn’t the best option for all companies, it is important to research the target audience. Social media allows companies to interact with clients and build meaningful relationships that can greatly impact customer purchasing decisions, thus affecting the bottom line.

 

We can help!

If you’re not sure where to start, GREENCREST can help. GREENCREST specializes in traditional and digital marketing strategies. We can help your organization navigate the marketing world and create a solid, integrated marketing strategy. Speak with a marketing expert today!

 

7 Tips to Enhance Your Lead Generation Marketing Efforts

Above view of several business people planning work at round table

 

Finding new customers is the lifeblood of most businesses. Few of us have customers lining up at the door, so “hunting” for new customer leads is a critical component of generating revenue. Yet, according to a research report by BPM Forum, most companies never follow up on 80 percent of the leads they generate.

With some strategic efforts, you can ensure that valuable lead generation efforts are not wasted at your company:

  1. Use the Right Marketing Tool — Make certain you’re using lead generation tactics, if you’re trying to generate leads. Marketing tactics such as email, direct mail, trade shows and pay-per-click ads are designed primarily to generate leads. Other marketing tactics, such as print ads, public relations, and social media, are better at creating buzz and brand awareness. Make sure you are using the right tool for the right job.
  2. Map Your Lead Process — Marketing is expensive and you don’t want to waste precious dollars on leads that fall through the crack. Create a written procedure that maps exactly what happens to every lead the moment it enters your database.
  3. Track and Measure — Measuring and counting leads is one of the easiest metrics in the marketing tool bag, as is tracking which marketing tactic does the best job of generating the best leads. Metrics like cost-per-lead are a good start, but lead-to-sale ratio is even better, because with a little effort you should be able to track a lead all the way to a sale.
  4. Define a Good Lead versus a So-So Lead — Work with your sales and marketing teams to describe the ideal customer in terms of demographics, job title, and job function. But don’t stop there; dig deeper to identify the customer’s needs, desires, and concerns. Armed with this information, you can tailor your messaging to the customer’s specific needs.
  5. Develop a Lead Scoring System — Once you’ve defined a good lead, develop a lead scoring system based on demographics, as well as actions the customer takes. Visiting your website, stopping by your trade show booth, attending a webinar, or downloading a white paper from your web site, for example, can all increase the lead score assigned to a potential customer. The higher the score, the more likely the customer is to make a purchase.
  6. Keep Trying — Don’t throw away a lead just because they say “no” the first time. Send the lead back to the marketing team, so it can be nurtured until the lead is ready to re-engage with the sales team.
  7. Marketing and Sales Alignment — Make sure the sales and marketing teams are on the same page when it comes to leads. The marketing team should keep nurturing leads until the lead achieves a certain score in your lead scoring system. At that point, the lead is ready to be turned over to sales. Both teams need to agree and align on this process.

Taking these simple steps will improve your efforts to attract new customers. They also will help you properly vet each valuable lead before turning it over to your sales team. More importantly, you’ll be able to determine which of your lead-generation marketing tactics performs the best, and then you can adjust accordingly.

Contact us today to learn about how our strategies can help you enhance your marketing skills and generate more leads!

From Smart Business 

 

4 strategies to improve bottom line, generate leads

Image of two young businessmen discussing project at meeting

Most business owners know that the best time to sell a business or attract potential buyers or investors is when that business is healthy. And one mark of a healthy business is a strong bottom line.

It pays, therefore, for business owners to pay attention to how well they are attracting sales leads and making sure that customers can find you where they searching for solutions — online.

To break through to your audience, here are four sure-fire strategies to generate leads and cement brand loyalty for years to come.

Make it easy for people to find you

The first rule of online lead generation is to make sure customers can find your website. Make sure you have an optimized website.

You can optimize your website by identifying the keywords and search terms customers use to find services like yours. Then, once you know the most popular search terms, make sure you use them prominently throughout your website.

You can also pay to make sure your page shows up first in search results by bidding or paying on keyword phrases relevant to your target market and search engine. In addition, social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offer ads that will target a specific audience.

Listen and offer good advice

Social media can be a tremendous source of leads. But in order to succeed, you must educate and not try to sell. People are tired of the constant barrage of marketing messages.

Instead, customers are looking for useful, educational information that will help them do something better. Listen in to the conversations on social media.

After you have a good feel for the dialogue, chime in with your own unique insight. Better yet, start a blog and post at least twice a week.

Do everything you can to capture email addresses

Just attracting people to your website is OK, but convincing a Web visitor to give you their email address allows you to continue the conversation.

The best way to do this goes back to point number two, and that is you should offer visitors to your website something of value. Free infographics, white papers and e-books are some of the many types of content people want, and they will generate online leads.

Maximize your hard work

You’ve created good content and you have a list of email addresses. But to maximize your efforts, you must stay in touch with those leads to avoid letting them get cold.

If they liked your white paper, send your eBook next. Follow up a few weeks after that with another piece of content.

Meanwhile watch your website to see if they return. If so, it’s time to turn this valuable lead over to your sales team.

Four bonus tips

  1. Update your company profile in online directories.
  2. Make sure your website is mobile ready.
  3. If your business is local, make sure you register with local directories.
  4. Don’t forget, customer reviews are a powerful tool for adding credibility. Look into services like Yelp or Google My Business.

From Smart Business. 

3 Remarkable Stats that Prove the Power of Video Marketing

3 remarkable stats that prove the power of video marketing

2016 has been heralded by many as “the year of video.” According to Cisco, more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic will be video content by 2019. Video marketing isn’t just the future, it’s now: 96% of B2B organizations use video in some capacity in their marketing campaigns, and 73% report positive results to their ROI, according to a survey conducted by ReelSEO.

With so many incredible stats, it’s hard to believe some companies still have not added video to their marketing plans. If you haven’t yet added video to your strategic marketing plan, maybe these numbers will change your mind.

3 Reasons to Include Video in Your Marketing Strategy:

 

1. Branding

The best way to tell your brand story is through video. Not just telling, but showing users who you are while eliciting an emotional connection to your brand through video will turn prospects into customers and raving fans. A customer loyalty study by Mori found that emotionally engaged customers are three times more likely to recommend the brand, three times more likely to re-purchase, are much less price sensitive and are less likely to shop competitors. (44% rarely or never shop around)

 

2. SEO

Websites with video will experience higher rankings in Google because video is considered rich media and valuable user content. According to older reports, video is 50 times more likely to get organic page ranks in Google than plain text results. In 2016, Brightcove found that video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines.

 

3. Conversions

Video can improve rankings, increase traffic and quickly explain brands and products, but can it actually convert?

  • According to Eye View Digital, having a video on your landing page can increase conversions by 86%.
  • Vidyard reports that 70% of marketers using video claim video produces more conversions than any other content.
  • Another study found that using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.
  • 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

 

Interested in learning what video marketing can do for your numbers? Contact GREENCREST and talk with a video marketing specialist today.

 

 

5 Essential SEO Tips to Improve Your Rankings

Search Engine Optimization SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of any company’s digital marketing strategy. With Google’s ever-changing algorithm, SEO tactics are evolving, growing and changing the way we build websites. It is important for your company to stay ahead of the curve because, otherwise, what good is a website that your customers can’t find?

Here are five essential tips for SEO success with your site:

1. Mobile

Having a mobile-friendly website used to be a luxury. Today, it is mandatory. Google announced last year that there are now more searches performed on mobile devices than on desktops. Users will be seeing your website from their tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. Is your site ready for this? Make sure your site is mobile-friendly, or your rankings will suffer, drastically.

2. Optimization

Not only do you want to make sure your site is built to be seen across devices, you want to make sure it is built so search engines can read it. This includes adding meta data, alt text, h1 headers and enough of the keyword-rich content for a search engine to understand and place your site in relevant search results. Optimizing your site can boost your rankings, which places your website towards the top of the search results.

3. Content

Content is everything. How would we know what a site was for without content? We wouldn’t, and neither would Google. High-quality, relevant content with the right keywords is the simplest way to implement SEO best practices on your site. Unique content is key. Using duplicate content can hurt your rankings. Be sure to include at least 250 words of content on each relevant page of your site.

4. Keywords

With content, come keywords. Keywords are words or phrases users will type into search engines to make your site appear. The more relevant keywords you have, the more your site just might appear. You should be able to know off the top of your head what your main keywords are, but if you’d like to explore further possibilities, using Google’s Keyword Planner can be a great tool. However, be very wary of keyword stuffing. It can damage your reputation with Google and make your rankings drop. No one likes to be tricked, especially Google.

5. User Experience

Last, but not least, consider user experience. You must take into account a user’s experience on your website. This helps not only users but your SEO rankings as well. Does your landing page have a clear purpose and call to action? Are your links broken? Is your text readable? Not only would these errors make your site frustrating for a user, they would hurt your SEO rankings.

Understanding and implementing these essential tips will ensure your website is ready for today’s search engines.

Contact us to speak with our Google-certified SEO experts and get started on boosting your site’s SEO rankings today!

 

Are You Ready? Google Algorithm Update Makes Mobile-Friendly Websites a Must

 

Google Algorithm Update 2015

Today, Google is changing its algorithm to rank mobile-friendly websites higher in mobile search results. It will also crawl content from apps to display relevant app information for a search.

What does this mean for you?

Website search traffic from mobile devices has increased by 20% within the last year, so having a mobile-friendly and responsive web design is now more important than ever. Starting today, if your website is not mobile-friendly, it will affect your search engine optimization (SEO), or whether or not your website shows up in Google search results.

Does your website pass the test?

You can test your website using this free tool from Google Developers. This tool will explain if your website is mobile-friendly or if there are issues accessing your website from a mobile device. For example, are links too close together? Are users able to click your phone number and call, or is it within an image that’s not clickable? The tool also reports whether or not your website is responsive (see below).

What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design allows a single website to adapt to different devices and displays according to the size of the screen. People can view a website from a wide variety of devices—from small smart phone and tablet screens to large television screens. It’s important to make sure website visitors can easily view and use your website from screens of all sizes. If you need help, the GREENCREST web design and development team can help ensure your website is mobile-responsive and search-friendly!

What’s this about apps?

Google is now searching apps to find relevant content to display in mobile search results. For example, if a person has the Yelp app installed on their smart phone or tablet and searches on Google for “pizza near me,” a pizza place that is listed on Yelp will show up towards the top of their search results.

Does your company want to promote its own app to mobile users? The Google Algorithm update is great news for you! Make sure your app is indexed by Google so it has a chance to display on page one for relevant searches.

To make sure your website and/or mobile app is ready for this major change, contact GREENCREST!