Your Guide to attract more customers online in 2018

If you have a business you most likely have a website. If you don’t, well you should definitely act now and put yourself online because you are missing big on opportunities.

If you have a website, then you have probably heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is about increasing your website’s visibility to your potential clients and customers when they search for products or services similar to what you offer.

To get that visibility

  • You have to know your customers, what they want, and how you can help them.
  • You have to know about search engines and how they go through your site to understand if it is related to what people are looking for or not.
  • And you need to know how to promote your business online so that people will trust and contact you.

There are many factors that impact your website SEO success, such as:

Technical: This is about your website and how well it is made to communicate with the search engines. It is about speed of your site, your website structure, URL structure, indexing, coding, and many more…

On-page: This is about your website content. Anything that you have on your site such as text and images, videos, and the code that holds your site.

Off-page: This is anything that bring your business attention but is not on your website. Off page SEO is used to bring your business and your website, trust, authority, and show search engines and visitors that you are related to what you claim you are. Off-page SEO includes link building, PPC (ads), reviews, and social media marketing.

Now this Search Engine Optimization have been in place for many years and many businesses and people are benefiting by getting it right and gaining trust and attention from their target market.

In 2018 you can bring things to another level by thinking about “New SEO” or “Search Experience Optimization”.

Search Experience Optimization is optimizing your website for your target market in all the places your brand could possibly appear.

93% of online experiences start from search engine. This means that search engine can be your biggest advertisement medium to show your brand and business.

Ads:

When searching for a product or service google uses different ways to show you results. It shows “Ad” above organic results. This means on desktop you might be able to see only one organic result above the fold and on mobile you will only see ads. This should give you a hint that if you want to be visible you might want to try ads to reach more people.

Google’s Knowledge Graph

It also shows results on Google’s Knowledge Graph which displays basic information about your business such as Location, phone number, Ratings, reviews, hours of operation, and link to your website. This is an amazing opportunity to give your users an instant and quick information about your business. Sometimes people don’t go beyond these info and once they see your ratings, reviews, and location they will just give you a call right away. So you have to make sure that you are using this important real estate on the search engine results page to maximize your business awareness, website traffic, and conversion.

Local businesses are benefiting from Google’s Knowledge Graph with minimum effort. Here is an example:

SEO in 2018As you can see in this photo, if you give information to Google it collects all it finds to put in front of people for you.

To get the most out of your Google Knowledge Graph just make sure your business is integrated with Google+.

Use Schema Markup to communicate better with search engines. Try to get listed at Wikipedia or Wikidata.

Optimize your Google My Business page and Google Maps and create Social Media profiles.

Make sure you are on youtube, or on third party websites like yelp and amazon. Try to be visible as much as possible.

Optimize it for People

When optimizing the content of your website, optimize it for people. Get to know what your target is looking for, how they search, what keywords they use, and with voice search what they may say and optimize the content according to these keywords. Google understands the context of your content so you don’t need to over use the keywords. Make sure the content is useful and as natural as possible. Keep in mind that you want to give a good experience to the viewers of your website. You want to give them what they are looking for and make their job easier when making the decision.

If you want to know what people are looking for, you can use Google Autocomplete, People also ask, Related searches to learn about what people are looking for. This gives you a great idea on your keywords as well as how you can help your consumers.

Website Speed & Mobile First

You want your content be accessible fast regardless of what device people are using. Slow loading pages impacts your SEO performance and user experience. Having a mobile responsive and mobile friendly website that shows your site in a readable and easy to navigate way is a must have. Google crawls and indexes mobile sites first. So if your website doesn’t have a mobile version you will miss on this one.

 

Here are things you can start taking care of right now and keep going with it to make sure you are using your opportunities in 2018 to become more visible and hopefully make more conversion by attracting right traffic to your website.

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The Truth About Your Calling

I was watching this video today “The Truth About Your Calling” with Seth Godin and Marie Forleo. It is an interesting talk that makes you think about your choices and things you want to do in life. It is a very easy to understand interview that takes off the pressure of “what I should be doing” from your shoulder and makes you relax to just go and try. To fail and be happy. To push the buzzer before you know the answer.

We are living in a world that everyone is under pressure of becoming the perfect version of themselves. And “Perfect” has a very narrow and specific meaning that is defined through media. When perfect is defined this way more and more people become followers than leaders and more and more people get tired and give up after some attempts.

We should appreciate people that do their best to show we are perfect in every sense we are with all our failures and all our imperfections. We are perfect not because we do everything right, but because we fail and we grow. This way of thinking would make us a leader and not just a follower. And this world right now needs more leaders.

Here are some quotes from the video that I really liked.

“Schools should teach people to lead and teach them to solve interesting problems.”
“Raising free range kids means teaching kids to fail at solving interesting problems because that’s the only way you ever get at solving interesting problems.”
“Don’t wait for the right answer because there are no right answer. There are challenges we can sign up for and emotions we can experience. Your life doesn’t get more sensational when you have more followers on twitter. That’s not what you out to be keeping score of.”
“Productivity is an economic measure of how much you output for the amount of time and resources you put in. Some people have figured out how to be naturally more productive than others per minute, and the way you do that is by having an instinct to ship. Most people hesitate to ship not because it is not ready but because they are afraid.”

“You gain trust and permission to talk to people by showing up in a way that you’d want someone to show up for you.”

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What is Branding and Why is it important for your business success?

What is Branding and Why is it important for your business success?

Brand is about meaning. It is what your customers and audiences carry about you in their heads and hearts. It is what they feel, think, hear, imagine, and expect from you. Your brand is about your business values. It is what makes you stand out among your competitors. It is the context and story of your business and what you do. Your brand is not about the design, colors, and logo of your business. Most people think of these when they think about their brand. When thinking of your brand you need to see what you want to be remembered for. How you want your audiences to think about you, your services, or products.

One of the great examples of an outstanding brand is Nike. People usually associate Nike with these meanings: achievements, sport, design/technology, fashion, quality, expensive, high-profile sponsorship figures,…

When designing your brand you need to go through the meanings you want to associate with your business. That usually comes from your values, story behind your business, the purpose of what you are doing. Once you have these meanings set, you and all your employees should commit to these values and do the job on a daily basis accordingly.

According to Denise Lee Yohn, brand building consultant and author of “What Great Brands Do” there are 7 principles that great brands follow. You can build a powerful brand following these same 7 principles:

1) Great brands start inside

Develop greatness among your employees. Make sure your employees know about the meanings and values of your brand. You need to train them on how they can best perform to deliver greatness to the customers.

For a quick fix, analyse your business and find the gaps between what the values are being said and what is actually being performed.

Culture is the first step when you are going to define your brand. All employees should focus on making the great, unique customer experiences based on the values of the business.

2) Great brands avoid selling products.

Make emotional connection with your consumers. Ads should be about customers. Nike’s Just Do It ad is a great example. This ad is not about Nike’s products superiority. It is all about their customers. It is about consumer achievements.

As Yohn says:” People make product decisions based on how that product make them feel. And product features are secondary that only serve the support to that emotional connection”.

3) Great brands sweat the small stuff

Every communication matters. Pay attention to every single detail. Every communication and interaction with your customers should follow your values and brands’ meanings. Customer experience has a great impact on your business success.

4) Great brands never have to give back

Yohan says “Great brands have no need to “give back” to society in the form of charitable contributions because they employ a more integrated approach, as they do in all aspects of their business”.

These brands create shared values for their employees, customers, investors and communities and they use the power of their brands to inspire change to have a beneficial impact on the society.

5) Great brands commit and stay committed

To build a strong brand commit to the core of your brand. There will be temptations and pressures to make changes to your  brand especially by competitors priorities, organizational politics, reaching your top-line revenue goals. But bringing your focus to the core of your brand and staying committed is a good way to stay away from those temptations.

One example is Shake Shack’s restaurant. The CEO is willing to sacrifice short-term profit to maintain brand integrity. “We get asked to cater all the time, but we fight it” says Garutti CEO of Shake Shack. “We want you to come to Shake Shack. We had even bought the vehicle but I wasn’t convinced the product would be as good and so we scrapped the idea and ate the investment’.

6) Great brands don’t chase customers

Great brands don’t chase customers. They attract their ideal customers by staying true to what they stand for.

Brands with confidence and integrity attract loyal and high quality customers.

Lululemon CEO says in response to the fact that their products are priced a good deal higher than their competitors that “ If you want the cheapest product out there, there are plenty of places where you can find what you’re looking for. But you’d be hard-pressed to find the level of quality and innovation in fabrics and finishes that we offer. And there’s a cost with doing that, so that’s why our prices are what they are. We don’t try to appeal to everybody.”

7) Great brands ignore trends

Trends are trends. They come and go. It might be tempting for a short-term attraction to go with trends. But they change quickly and by following trends you would put your brand identity at risk. “If you are out to build a brand, you have to know what is real and right for you” Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue.

 

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