Digital Marketing Services That Brings You More Customers and More Sales
Trust a Digital Marketer with More Than 17 Years’ Experience
Whether you’re trying to get more traffic to your website, want more sales leads, would like your phone to ring off the hook, get more appointments or more customers walking through your door, we have digital marketing services and solutions that will help you accomplish your digital advertising and promotional goals:
Digital Marketing Services Offered:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Online Local Business Directories: Listings, Optimization and Updates
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)/Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Management
- Content Marketing
- Reputation Marketing and Management
- WordPress Website Design and Development
- Social Media Management: Setup, Social Media Updates, Advertising, Marketing — and even Social Media Retargeting
- Inbound Marketing
- UX, User Experience, Usability Testing
- Social WiFi (This is a FUN one! If you want to socially engage with your customers like never before, you MUST contact us and ask about Social WiFi. If you’re a business that currently offers free WiFi, this is something you should definitely look into — now!…Wow!)
- Targeted Digital Display Advertising and Retargeting
- Video Marketing
- Native Advertising
- Mobile App Development
- Mobile Websites
- Text Message/SMS Marketing
- Online Appointment Setting Software Integration
- DIY Training/Coaching – one-on-one, self-paced or corporate training
Where Should You Start? Your Digital Marketing Adventure Begins Here…
When it comes to Internet marketing, you typically don’t want to go with just one digital strategy. A successful digital marketing campaign involves multiple tactics so you’re reaching your target audience anywhere they are. (Ever heard the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”?)
When it comes to digital marketing, the whole purpose is for your future customers to find you where they’re at. (Believe me, people don’t like to have ads interrupt them, they want to be informed about products and services they’re looking for at the moment they’re looking for them. Then they happily look forward to seeing what you have to offer.)
First Things First: Is Your Website All That It Can Be?
One of the best ways to get started with digital marketing is to first take a look at your website and put that house in order. After all, the first thing people see when they do an online search is your website — and you need to make an awesome first impression that makes visitors want to stay and learn more about your business, products and services. I know it can be tough, but it’s time to be honest with yourself and take a good hard look to see if your website needs to be updated to better reflect your business’ brand. (And if you don’t have a website yet, don’t worry — it’s not too late! With technology all around us and this 24/7 life we live in, a professional-looking website is mandatory if you want to thrive and kick some butt. So no more stalling….let’s get that site up for you!)
Also, if your website is more than a few years old (3-5 years old) or you had a friend or relative create it for you (which is typically a “no-no”) chances are your business’ site is ready for a refresh — or you need a new website altogether so you can take advantage of the latest website technologies. (Try not to worry about hurting your friend or relative’s feelings. If you explain it to them, they’ll understand, I’m sure…)
(Early Bird Tip: Clients often ask me why they need to update their website every 3-5 years – or more often in some cases. Well, just like Microsoft updates MS Office to include new, cool features and Pepsi changes the way their pop cans look to fit with the times, new website development technologies and attention-getting, search engine friendly styles come and go. Think of your website as THE sign in front of your business — the first thing your potential clients or customers see before they walk through your door. Does your sign look professional? Is it scratched and weather worn? Is it hanging crooked? Are the lights burned out? Is it on poster board with your business’ name and phone number written in a Sharpie marker? If so, you’d seriously need a new sign in front of your building; right? The same is true for your website. If it looks cheap or dated, it will turn visitors off and you’ll lose business to your competitors who have a way better, professional or more user friendly site. If this helps make it clearer for you, your manager or your accountant, think of your website as a capital expense and investment, NOT a marketing expense.)
Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to websites: These days your website must be mobile friendly. (If you want to rank higher on the search engines, Google is basically demanding that your site look phenomenal on a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet. They’re even calling out mobile-friendly websites when people do searches on their mobile device. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, why would Google even want to display your site when someone searches for a business like yours when they’re on a mobile device? Answer: They probably wouldn’t.)
More and more people are doing searches on smartphones and tablets than on desktop computers. Google recognizes that people are using their mobile devices to search online, so they give “bonus” points in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) if your site is mobile friendly.
(Early Bird Tip: Google gives special treatment to websites that are mobile friendly. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, a new website should be the first thing to do on your digital marketing to-do list. If you’re not sure whether your site is mobile friendly or not, you can test how your site looks on various mobile devices by just entering your website URL on this site. Google also has a tool that tests your site to see if it’s mobile friendly.)
My Website Already Rocks…What Next? Probably SEO.
If you already have a kickin’ website that’s mobile friendly and keeps visitors on your site consuming your valuable content, it’s time to look at the other digital marketing strategies and options that will help your business grow and plan your digital course of action. (Oh, that’s where we come in and get to know your business, find out your goals, objectives and help plan your digital marketing road map to success!)
But…if you have a pretty darned good website, typically the next step is to get your website found on Google and the other search engines (like Bing and Yahoo!) as well as make sure that
your business’ information is accurately listed on the hundreds of important Online Local Business Directories the search engines use to find businesses like yours.
If You Build It, Will They Come? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Will Get Visitors To Your Site
Sorry. Field of Dreams was a great movie (Early Bird Tip: The movie, Field of Dreams, was filmed in Dyersville, IA. I went to high school in Dyersville, which sorta makes me a celebrity in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon kind of way. I never actually met Kevin Costner but I heard he’s a pretty nice guy.)
Unfortunately the famous line from the movie “If you build it, he/they will come” doesn’t hold true for websites. You have to WORK hard — and I mean really hard — to get your website found online through the search engines.
So….If you have a great website, are people finding you on the search engines? (If you’re not showing up high in the search engine results for important search terms for your market, you’re missing out. 91.5% of traffic comes from the first page of search results.)
There’s a whole slew of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies that we utilize to help your site rank higher on Google, Bing and Yahoo! And we’ll work closely with you to help develop that strategy.
(Early Bird Tip: WARNING! There are a lot of SEO “experts” that do SEO the wrong way — ways that can actually get you into trouble with Google and kicked off their radar completely (it’s called being “black listed”). So if you get calls or emails from these types of agencies and they make any promises about getting your site ranked in a certain position on Google, either press the delete key and delete their stinky email or pause and tell them, “Promising or guaranteeing a specific rank goes against Google’s policies and I can report you to the FTC.” That will usually get you off their mailing list — quickly!
Here are a few other things Google warns you about people calling claiming to be Search Engine Optimization (SEO) “experts”:
How to Select Digital Marketing Firms (From Google):
Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you spam emails like this:
I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”
Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.
Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.
Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or “throwaway” domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google’s index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to “help” you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.
You should never have to link to an SEO.
Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don’t affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines — at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.
While you consider whether to go with an SEO [firm], you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press. While Google doesn’t comment on specific companies, we’ve encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.
Be sure to understand where the money goes.
While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they “control” other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn’t work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you’re considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.
What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?
What are some other things to look out for? There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. It’s far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO:
- owns shadow domains
- puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
- offers to sell keywords in the address bar
- doesn’t distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
- guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
- operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
- gets traffic from “fake” search engines, spyware, or scumware
- has had domains removed from Google’s index or is not itself listed in Google
Have No Fear: We Can Create a Customized SEO Solution Just For You
Okay, hopefully I didn’t scare you too much with the Google warning stuff, but we feel obliged to let our clients know that if it sounds too good to be true — it probably is. (Early Bird Tip: If someone is telling you that they can do your SEO for $500 or under, they’re NOT doing proper SEO. When done correctly, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) takes an enormous amount of time. That SEO firm that low-balls you on cost is either a) doing things against Google’s terms of service to get you to rank high quickly, but will eventually get you in trouble with Google b) is not really doing anything at all and is just collecting a check from you each month c) is automating their process or is outsourcing to another country (when it comes to SEO automation AND outsourcing is bad, bad, bad) or d) some other slimy thing.
early bird digital marketing is Here to Help Your Business Grow
Go ahead, let’s get started! Give me a call at 319-409-3287 or email us today and I’ll be happy to talk with you about your business, where you’re currently at from a digital marketing perspective and how we can help you grow your business through well-done digital marketing. Unlike larger digital marketing agencies with a ton of overhead, we’re nimble, professional and can customize a digital marketing solution that fits your budget.