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Part 4:
Sanctuary Marketing Group Founder, Chris Auman and Online Marketing Strategist, Jason Jividen field common questions received from our customers seeking to improve their Online Marketing Strategy.

Question: What could make Search Engine Optimization Better?

Answer: People look at SEO in many cases sort of magic trick, or as a sort of universal key or somehow its gonna solve the problem – not the case

Most important thing to remember about Search Engine Optimization is that we are massing an audience. Now when have that audience and bring them to the door, the next most important thing you can do is figure out what to do with them?

Often time when SEO falls apart its because the site itself is NOT optimized to convert that traffic that they are building into customers

As we get better at directing traffic towards a specific purpose and action, SEO becomes infinitely more important because as you connect a targeted audience to exactly what you are trying to do for them…and THEN you can bring them to your front door.

Now you’ve got something that can raise the bottom line on and dramatically change your business.

VIDEO: Using SEO to Improve Conversion

Application-MarketingBy Tom Murphy – Online Marketing Strategist, Sanctuary Marketing Group

Now in the year 2011, it’s a pretty safe bet that nearly every company has some sort of website.  The question is, how much are they taking advantage of that website?  It has become glaringly apparent that a common weakness in many websites that I’ve come across is a roadblock between their company and the consumer.  That is, they don’t speak the language of the consumer.

 

Think of the last time that you visited a website and thought to yourself, “what the heck does this company do!?” or “What would I use that for?”  My guess is that it probably wasn’t very long ago.  You see product photos and all these product numbers but don’t have a clue what they’re used for or how they’ll solve a problem.

The Common Mistake

Lets be honest, companies love their products and love all the industry jargon that goes along with those products, but it’s not practical information for the consumers looking for a solution. Consumer’s go to the web because they are looking for something in particular – they’re looking for solutions.

For example, let’s say I need to start packaging golf tees.  Your company might have the perfect product for me to package golf tees, but I will never know it unless you tell me that product can do it.

If I’m on your website, more than likely I see “the G9000” and “the r4500” and all the specs that go along with those machines.  Nowhere do I see it boldly stated “this is what the G9000 is used for and what problem it solves.”

How does this relate to conversion and sales?

With the proliferation of web searching and the shrinking of corporate and government structures, many web searches are no longer performed by engineers and experienced product managers.

Often times, especially in the manufacturing and building industries these searches are initiated by staffers whose expertise may be in accounts payable, or administration – not engineering or manufacturing. We can’t discount the everyday Joe Shmoe that hops on the web to go surfing for something that caught his attention while sitting on the couch at night. (more…)

Speak the Language of the Consumer: Application vs. Product Marketing

A website is supposed to do two main things: educate and make a sale. It is simple, beautiful, almost elegant in its way. Some sites may look more complicated than that, but they are all dedicated to those two main goals. And both of those goals are related to one another as well.

In the world of senior living facilities, the competition is fierce. After all, consider this: the senior population is the largest growing age group so products and services that are aimed directly to them or to the family that is responsible for caring for them can be very big business, indeed. But, in a market that is that choked with choices, you have to be able to stand head and shoulders above everyone else to get anyone’s attention at all.

It is the rare business that does not have at least some information on the internet these days and online marketing is quickly replacing other forms of communication to get the initial interest and the chance to hook a customer’s attention. But the old adage still applies – you only get one chance to make a first impression, so your website has to zing and pop. It has to:

  • Spell out its basic premise quickly and succinctly
  • Have visual appeal and ease of use
  • Deliver on its initial promise
  • Give the customer the chance to leave contact information for more details (more…)
In a Crowded Market, You Either Lead or Get Swallowed: Increasing Traffic for the Senior Housing Market

As business leaders, we’re all working to increase sales. Given the confidence and a practical approach, we’ll invest the time and resources on those activites which will provide us with the best return-on-investment for our marketing dollars.

For most of us, the hardest part is getting started and trusting that you have the information and tools you need to make the right decision for your business.

For businesses looking to launch and manage a successful Online Marketing campaign, we’ve put together this overview:

Step One: Planning, Planning, Planning

Before you build a house, you have a plan. There will be the blueprint that describes in great detail the finished house by size, by shape and where it will be placed on the lot. There will be surveys done to make sure that the house will fit on the lot and that the ground on that lot will actually be able to handle a house of this kind. There will be planning that takes into account the laws and regulations of the area where you are building and a million other details to attend to before the first shovel of dirt is lifted.

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Six Steps to Transform Your Online Marketing Efforts in 90 Days

It can’t be overstated, keywords are extremely important as you build and execute your Internet marketing strategy.

The right keywords allow you to build content around a consistent theme through all of your online marketing channels, increasing the likelihood that the right people will find you. This is especially important when building an online strategy focused on a local marketplace.  E.g. I say ‘pop’, Easterners say ‘soda’, and Southerners may say ‘coke’.

But how do you select the right keywords?  How do you do know which ones will generate traffic? There are a number of tools out there but my recent favorite is Google Insights for Search.
Keyword Research Using Google Insights for Search

We’ve been doing a lot of work lately around Ohio with new website clients that want us to help them rank better in the search engines. These are not huge, aggressive campaigns but simply clients that want to test the waters of what a little quality SEO can get them. They simply want to be on the radar instead of lost in the Antarctica of the web.

When we take on these projects we usually work with an existing website design, we don’t create new content, we don’t go above and beyond, but we do perform some fundamentally important improvements to the website that create a very solid foundation. It involves research, using that research properly, improving the code on the website and generally “optimizing” the existing site so it’s, well, optimized for the search engines who have to digest what the site is about and then turn around and determine how relevant the site’s content is to thousands of search queries. The results we can get by having our clients make a small investment in their website can be extraordinary.

whitmers-akron-seoThe search engine optimization client that I’d like to feature here is Whitmer’s Lighting in Akron, Ohio. As you can probably ascertain, they deal with lighting (residential, commercial, outdoor, etc.), basically any type of lighting that you might need – and much more than you’ve probably never thought of. They are a huge Ohio lighting store that has few peers.

So what they hired us to do was take their existing website and get some results. The budget was limited and the expectations we’re low but we came through with results that went through the roof. Remember, with a basic website optimization our goal is to get the client on the radar for their key terms and locations. In this case our goal was to have the client show up for searches that showed someone searching for a lighting store in Akron, Ohio. (more…)

What a basic Search Engine Optimization can get you

Here’s a quick lesson for you.

If you’re in charge of your search engine optimization campaign, be careful when you’re doing your job. SEO tactics and mistakes (either malicious or innocent)  can affect your current rankings across the board – not just with the page you’re working on. I always tell my clients that contribute to, or handle all of their online marketing, that what you don’t know can definitely hurt you.

Here’s an example where you can learn from my mistakes.

I once had the bright idea to write up an informative article about keyword research for SEO. I tried to give examples and educate people on the basics – it was in my opinion, a well written and informative piece. Well, the Googlebot didn’t think so. (more…)

The perils of Search Engine Optimization