What is the goal of your website?

Is it to work as a brochure for your business, to tell the story of your brand, and to ultimately help sell your services? Now stop to think for a moment. When you wrote your services page, did you think about your company (and personal) values or did you just start listing off what you offer?

So often when we are reworking websites for clients, we see their services pages simply stating what they can do. These pages get lost in the shuffle of competitors’ websites and don’t leave a lasting impression of the benefits of working with you, only the features.

Definitions.

Features vs Benefits: What is it vs what is it for ME.
  • Features are defined as surface statements about your product, such as what it can do, its dimensions and specs and so on.
  • Benefits, by definition, show the end result of what a product can actually accomplish for the reader.

If you aren’t listing all of the features, what should you do?

Rather than starting the writing process with the service in mind, start with your customer. Paint a picture and be as specific as possible. What are their fears? What problems do they face in everyday life? Actually write down their narrative and start telling their story. Through your writing, show this individual that you understand what they are struggling to accomplish and try to make an emotional connection with them.

Validate how they feel and ask how they would envision their life or business if this stress was taken off the table. Take the time to write out how their life could change if they were no longer held back by their fears. Again, focus on the emotional aspects of the journey.

Now, how do your services help to solve these issues and what is your process? How is working with you different from working with your competition? What is the cost of staying in the now versus signing up for your services?

At the end of the page, add a call to action to entice your reader to take the next step.

Take a look at what you’ve written. Have you listed off the features or are you actually telling a story that your prospects will relate to? The process of forming your services pages as a story can help you attract the people with whom you want to work rather than just anyone who could benefit from the services. It is a way of showing your values and the value you bring to your clients while at the same time coming across as your authentic self.

Give this exercise a try and let me know what a difference it makes in your business!

What is the goal of your website? Is it to work as a brochure for your business, to tell the story of your brand, and to ultimately help sell your services? Now stop to think for a moment. When you wrote your services page, did you think about your company (and personal) values or did you just start listing off what you offer? So often when we are reworking websites for clients, we see their services pages simply stating what they can do. These pages get lost in the shuffle of competitors' websites and don't leave a lasting impression of the benefits of working with you, only the features.

A lot of business owners say they’re too busy managing their business that they don’t have time to write blogs. Others put off blogging because they think it’s just a waste of their time and effort. What they fail to realize is that blogging is a great tool that can provide a wide range of benefits for their business. This is especially beneficial for small businesses.

If your business doesn’t already have a blog, we encourage you to create one today. Here are 4 reasons why your business should be writing a blog. Hopefully, these benefits would encourage you to start a blog for your business.

Establish your business as an industry leader

Blogging allows you to share your expertise. Here, you can post how-to articles, tutorials, trends, industry news, your thoughts or opinion about relevant topics and more. If you run out of ideas to write about, we suggest that you listen to questions customers and prospects usually ask, and answer them in your blog. By providing them with helpful information, people will eventually look to you as a reliable source for information in your industry.

Let your brand’s personality shine.

Blogging gives you a chance to reach potential and existing customers. Through this platform, you can share your business’ story, provide more information about your products and services, as well as future events. Every post you publish helps increase brand awareness and provides more insight into your company. Through this platform, you can show people what your business is all about.

Drive traffic to your website

Writing blogs is one of the most effective ways to attract prospective customers and bring traffic to your website. Most people go online when looking for answers or when they want to learn more about certain topics. If you can provide them with content that are interesting, informative and unique, they’ll keep coming back to your website. Once you gain the trust of your target audience, it would be easier for you to turn them into paying customers.

Boost search engine optimization

Blogging is an effective way to improve your site’s SEO –if you do it right, that is. When people research about specific topics, most of them would only visit websites on the first page of search engines. Some would only check out the first 3 sites.

Search engines like Google reward websites that produce great content. By taking time to create good quality content and publishing one on a regular basis, your website is likely to rank on search engines. But if you write poor quality content or just copy someone else’s blog posts, Google will penalize you by placing your site on the last page.

With all the benefits listed above, now is the best time to start a blog for your business. If you need help writing them, please contact BIMS today. We can help you create blog posts that are informative, unique and relevant to your business.

You wrote a blog… now what?

We often are asked, “I wrote an article, what happens now?” This checklist provides an overview of the steps to publish your blog or article and how to share it as part of your digital marketing content strategy.

Prepare for Publishing

  • Write an effective post title that includes keywords and is persuasive
  • Divide text into smaller sections with headings
  • Deep link to past posts
  • Add a question at the end to encourage discussion
  • Add on-brand, SEO-ready images
  • Add “alt text” to your images, which will be used as your Pinterest pin description
  • Add a featured image (on WordPress)
  • Make sure your blog contains keywords and header tags

Share your Blog

  • Pin your post image onto Pinterest
  • Schedule it to be pinned to any Pinterest group boards that are relevant
  • Share your post on Facebook and Twitter
  • Create a LinkedIn Group Discussion from your Blog Post
  • Post your blog to your LinkedIn Company Page and Personal Profile
  • Schedule your post for Twitter 3-5 more times over next few days and weeks
  • Share an excerpt from your article to Medium.com
  • Respond to comments
  • Check the analytics of your post to see how much engagement it received. The worksheets in our Blogging eBook offer one place to store this information.
  • In 1-2 months, repin your post onto Pinterest and re-share on other social media channels

We often are asked, “I wrote an article, what happens now?” This checklist provides an overview of the steps to publish your blog or article and how to share it as part of your digital marketing content strategy.

Creating an editorial calendar for your marketing collateral is often an overlooked piece in designing your small business’ web strategy. These calendars create a easy to understand reference for your blog topics, newsletters, social media posts, and promotions. They allow you to keep ahead of upcoming holidays and make it so you don’t feel like you are always playing catch-up.

Because many of us wear different hats within our business, it isn’t unexpected that some things just fall through the cracks. Unfortunately, however, sticking to a content calendar really is an income-generating task that should garner a space in your list of top-priorities. It is also something you can outsource if it makes sense for your business.

What should your Editorial Calendar include and why is it important for your business?

Your editorial calendar should be broken down by quarter, month, week, and even day. Additionally, it should include a column for blogs, newsletters, promotions, social media posts, videos, etc, and a column for results.

When you put together your calendar, think about what you can commit to. Realistically, can you commit to writing a fresh article once a month, or every day? Do you have the systems in place to post daily to your social media networks or only a few times per week? Is there a social media network that you are most passionate about? Perhaps you should just focus on building this up rather than getting burned out trying to tackle too much at once.

The next step is figuring out which topics to discuss. To brainstorm this, I recommend the following process:

  1. Your products and services
  2. Your background
  3. Your clients and their success stories
  4. Common questions you receive
  5. Topics that interest your target market
  6. Following the topics trade journals (or even your competitors) discuss
  7. Holiday or seasonal topics
  8. National organizations and their promotional schedules
  9. Topics you are passionate about
  10. Other news outlets and articles

For each of these topics, brainstorm a short list of specific topics you can discuss. Add any necessary links in your notes or bullet points to provide more context.

Now, think of the context for posting these. Can you post once per month on certain topics while only quarterly for others? Are there natural sales promotions that go along with the topics? What about videos? We have one client who has committed to filming quarterly reports rather than taking the time to write and format his analysis.

Now it is time to add these to your content calendar.

We’ve put together this workbook to help you organize your topics and ideas.

Why follow an editorial calendar?

Editorial calendars make it easier to stay consistent and keep yourself from being reactive. Consistency can truly transform a business as prospects come to know what to expect and trust you before taking the leap to being a paying customer.

Additionally, being proactive about the content you need to put out allows you to be more mindful about your business and messaging.

Stay tuned for more information on how to build your social media posts into your content calendar for your business!

Blogging Your Business

What’s up with 60 Blogs in 60 Days?

This is a challenge I’m making for business owners (or marketing managers) to blog every day for 60 days straight. In our mind, blogging is one of the most important content creation activities you can do online. It not only is a way to show your expertise, it also provides collateral for you to share through other marketing avenues, and aides in boosting your on-site SEO.

Most small business owners can realistically commit to writing one blog every month, or those who really understand the value make an effort to blog once a week or hire a contractor to provide a few additional blogs here and there. Now imagine Google is trying to figure out which website is more relevant – one that has had 12 blogs in the past year, or one that has been actively updated, every day, for the past month?

Additionally, the blogs are a place for you to explore and dive deeper into topics that you haven’t focused on for a while or topics your clients and prospects care about. This additional writing can help you to position yourself as the expert you truly are.

What’s my goal with 60 x 60?

We have a team of individuals who write blogs for our business and for our clients. These blogs are incredible, but our writers aren’t in the daily grind of operating a digital marketing agency.

My goals for committing to 60 x 60 are two fold:

  1. To cultivate a community of business owners who are looking for support and guidance as they too work to change their business through blogging.
  2. To explore topics and create resources that we’ve rewritten over and over again for clients and prospects. These blogs are hopefully going to allow me to share my knowledge from the last 10 years of digital marketing and empower others to better position themselves online.

How can you get involved?

The more the merrier as we jump into the quest to write 60 blogs in 60 days! Please join our Facebook Group to gain insights into what practices and tips have worked for others on this journey or write in the comments about how you’ve taken your blog to the next level. We want to hear your successes (and failures), your goals, and the actual results of this practice!

Looking forward to working by your side as we transform our businesses!

Blogging Your Business

Driving traffic to their website is one of the goals a lot of online marketers and business owners share. This is especially important for those who are selling online. But it’s not just about getting people to visit your site; it’s more of driving the right people to your site. SEO plays an invaluable role here.

SEO will help your potential customers and clients find your website and increase your sales in the process. How? It all starts with the words they type into the search box.

Here are some keys to selecting highly effective SEO keywords.

Create a list of topics that are relevant to your business

Take a look at the content, articles, and categories in your site. If you have a business blog, there are probably some topics that you often write about. Start there. If you want to get a high ranking on a keyword, it should be based on a topic you’re already writing about. Otherwise, you’re going to fail.

From these topics, make a list of keywords that you think your target audience will be using to search for your business. For this to be effective, the terms you choose should be specific enough that you’ll be able to get a high search rank for it, but broad enough that a lot of people will search of it.

Use SEO tools

There are a lot of tools and data resources that you can use to gather and analyze the necessary data. These tools play a significant role in selecting your target keywords. This is important as the right keywords will build the foundation of your SEO campaign. Unfortunately, this can be a costly and tedious process, and not all businesses have the resources to invest in such tools

Luckily, there are several tools that you can use for free. Google Keyword Planner, Moz, Google Search Console, Keyword Tool and Google Analytics are just some of them. These tools will help boost your organic rankings on search engines and instantly improve your marketing.

Refine your list

If you notice an increase in traffic to your site but there is still no improvement in your sales, then you need to refine your keywords. As mentioned earlier, you need to attract the right people in order to reach your end goals. To do that, you’ll need to take a look at your keywords and determine which one delivers the most conversion. Use those keywords in your content and optimize your landing page as well.

Keys to Selecting Highly Effective SEO Keywords

Finding ways to attract and encourage people to keep coming back to your site is no easy feat. If you are looking for ways to generate a stream of targeted traffic that converts, we recommend that you incorporate visual content into your digital marketing campaign.

Visual content is one of the most powerful online marketing tools. They are easy to consume and understand. On top of that, they also increase engagement, brand awareness and earn more new business.

Here are 3 types of visual content that will increase your conversion rate:

Infographics

We live in an era where an average person has an attention span of about 8 seconds. People want to get the information they want fast. Otherwise, they’ll move on swiftly to the next site. Infographics can help you reach your audience and grab their attention, mostly because you make things easier for them.

People love infographics. They are filled with valuable information, but are presented in a user-friendly layout. It requires less time to read, absorb and get the gist of information.

Images

Every day, the average consumer is exposed to a large volume of advertising messages. As such, it can be easy for your content to get lost in the jungle. Providing your text content with an appealing image can help you cut through the noise.

Photos are a great way to showcase your products and services. Take some photos of behind the scenes of your brand. Take some snaps shots of your team members, as well as the process that goes into creating your product. You may also include some photos of happy customers who have recently purchased your products or availed your services.

Videos

Studies suggest that posts with videos attract 300% more inbound links than text-only posts. But in order to set yourself apart in the digital era, you need to make sure that your video is of the highest caliber.

A great video serves as an extra clout for your campaign. It is useful for presenting common problems and then showing people how your products can solve that problem. Also, it is imperative that the videos are congruent with the overall style and ethos of your brand.

3 Types of Visual Content That Will Increase Your Conversion Rate

Take a look at the people around you and you’ll notice that majority of them are using their smartphones. According to a study that was conducted by Deloitte, most Americans would check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up and continue to do so throughout the day. In fact, a huge percentage of Americans check their phones 46 times per day.

If your website isn’t mobile optimized, it will look cluttered and unreadable on a 5-inch screen. With our fast evolving digital landscape, websites that aren’t mobile friendly are becoming defunct.

Here are 4 reasons why your business must have a mobile friendly website:

Mobile users make frequent purchases

Ask a business owner what they’re business goals are, and we bet majority of them would say “increased sales”. According to studies, mobile users buy more and spend more as compared to their desktop counterparts.

While tablet usage is comparatively lower than smart phone use, tablet users are said to be the biggest spenders. In fact, they spend 50% more per purchase than smartphone users. Take advantage of this by making sure that your website is mobile optimized. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on revenue-generating opportunities for your business.

Over half of the web traffic is mobile

As mentioned above, the number one goal of business owners is to increase sales. Next on their list would probably be more traffic to their website. If your goal is to drive traffic to your site, you need to be thinking mobile.

As of 2014, over half of all web traffic is via mobile. In fact, studies suggest that mobile media consumption as of this year was 21% higher than that of desktop.

Improve user experience

People are more likely to return to your website or purchase your products if you offer a satisfying mobile experience. Since mobile users are always on the go, they have limited time to wait. They want to get what they need fast. If you can’t give it to them, they’ll leave and move on to your competition.

You might be offering the most unique, valuable and useful products on the market, but people aren’t going to purchase if your site’s mobile experience is poor or non-existent.

Everyone is on mobile

More and more people are spending more time on their mobile devices. After all, it’s more convenient. It allows us to check our emails, log in to our social media accounts, check the news or research something even when we’re on the go.

4 Reasons Why You Must Have a Mobile Friendly Website

SEO Mistakes to AvoidSo you have finally decided to incorporate SEO into your online marketing strategy. That’s great! You chose a keyword and started using it into your content. You have uploaded those contents one after the other, and now you’re hoping that your website will land at the very top of Google’s rankings.

If you want to increase your website traffic, it is important to have search engine optimization in mind when creating contents for your website. That plan starts by avoiding the mistakes most website owners make.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a roundup of the most common SEO mistakes people make. Most of these mistakes cause huge, deal-breaking, rank-destroying disasters.

Copying content

Google wants high quality, original content. If you think you can trick Google by stealing some pieces of content from your competitors, think again. Copying content is not only illegal; Google will punish you for it. In fact, it will push your site so far down no one is going to ever read your content.

Writing original, compelling content takes time and effort. But if you want your website to stand the test of time, then you need to work hard for it.

Bad content

Poor content will not only weaken your ranking, it won’t simply make an impact to your readers. For your content to flourish, we advise that you choose topics that are of interest to your target audience. Do your research and write articles that are informative, relevant and unique. Supply your audience with a steady stream of high-quality content and watch as your rankings improve over time.

Not using the right keywords

Some people use generic keywords such as health, weight loss, baking or love. These types of keywords are too broad. While they can help you reach a wide range of audience, chances are it’s the wrong type of traffic.

To improve your chances of landing on the top three spots, consider using more specific keywords. As an added bonus, this will help you attract prospective customers who might be interested in buying your products.

Keyword stuffing

This is a common mistake newcomers often make. While it is important to incorporate the keywords into your content, make sure you don’t overdo it. Otherwise, it’s going to sound spammy. You want the article to sound natural and not forced.

 

content  creationContent is the new method of advertising. Over the years, business owners and marketers have realized the importance of utilizing content in their marketing strategy. Because of this, most companies have made a commitment to push content out there to keep feeding the masses with information. Audiences today, however, have wised up. That said, the importance of quality content cannot be stressed enough.

Forget about the dry press release and the hard sell. Rather, provide your audience with good content that they can to share with others.

Here are 3 reasons why high quality content still matters

Helps improve your ranking on search engines

Every user is searching for content in some form or another. Some businesses, however, think that the more content they have, the better their chances are of appearing in Google or other search engines. What they fail to realize is that quality is one of the key ingredients of a successful content marketing.

Google’s primary goal is to provide users the best results possible. Search engines are getting better at sniffing out bad content. Google, for instance, constantly update their algorithms to ensure that top-ranking sites contain high quality and relevant information. Just having something on your site is not necessarily good.

First impressions matter

In this digital age, people first visit your website and read through your content to decide whether you’re a credible business. It is often the first interaction a prospective customer has with your brand. Hence, it is important to take time to make your website as appealing as possible.

If your site is full of bad writing and grammatical errors, users are likely to migrate away from your site. Remember, contents that aren’t well written convey incompetence and laziness. These are two things you certainly don’t want associated with your business.

Attention is getting harder to grab

With professional services firms now churning out more content than ever, there is far more marketplace noise to cut through in order to capture the attention of your target audience. Companies that provide high quality content are those that are succeeding in reaching their audiences and converting their visitors into paying customers.