Author: Joseph Schaefer, PhD

Search engine optimization (SEO) remains a critical component of a business’ digital marketing strategy. However, the landscape of SEO has shifted dramatically over the past few years. More specifically, the rise of social media demands that businesses integrate their social media campaigns with their overall business marketing strategies to ensure that customers are engaged with product and services. The emergence of social media provides the opportunity for businesses to become actively involved with a customer. Traditional SEO techniques enable more potential clients to discover a business’ website. However, these days a business’ digital marketing strategy must move beyond this passive approach to embrace mutual interaction with current customers and prospects. Link building has traditionally been an active way that businesses improve SEO. However, as the landscape of online interactions evolves, social sharing of content will emerge as an increasingly important alternative to...

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If you run your own business, are at the early stage of your career, or even are an experienced executive, chances are you are used to hearing your clients and customers say no to you. Research studies demonstrate that most customers say no an average of five times before they say yes to a product or service. When you hear a no, it is not necessarily a sign of rejection, but rather an opportunity to learn more about how you communicate and what your client needs from you. If your reaction to someone saying no is to feel rejected, then it is time to readjust your communication strategy. If you are working to secure commitment from new clients, be prepared to hear no, but use the no as a starting point to further the conversation. For example, determine if you delivered...

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  The web is still abuzz about the recent comments made by Matt Cutts, Google’s WebSpam leader, who has officially declared war it appears on guest blogging for SEO. It’s over! Or so Matt says, even though he doesn’t go so far as to say that you shouldn’t guest blog anymore at all. A few bad apples have spoiled the bunch and the practice was abused, so don’t count on it for ranking any longer though. This isn’t your grandpa’s internet folks and venerable old-age in web years is about 6 months or less it appears these days. So when the behemoth Google proclaims something as important as this, we need to take a breath and realize that in a few more months, the next ‘age’ of the internet might just as well come swooping in. But what to do now? Two options...

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Inbound Marketing is a popular, effective marketing technique. Let's face it, cold calls and billboards are not sufficient in the digital age. Inbound Marketing allows companies to draw in an audience, to reach out and bring a consistent influx of customers via email, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, web content, etc. While we've seen that Inbound Marketing is effective, what should we be wary of? Does Inbound Marketing have its drawbacks and if so, what are they? At first glance it may seem easy to throw up a blog and call it a day. Inbound marketing is more than just a simple blog. It takes vigilance and careful metric analysis. Here are a few cautionary points about Inbound Marketing. 1) Inbound Marketing Isn't The Only Way. Inbound is certainly effective, but don't go throwing away your other effective tools. Consider it as an...

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With the internet evolving and changing our everyday lives, it's opened an interesting window for consumers to observe companies. A view that essentially allows people to judge or size up what a company really is.  No longer are businesses things existing abstractly on billboards and mailers. Consumers can surf the internet and explore a vast sea of options and potentials, while actually visiting the company's homepage, getting a glimpse or understanding of who the company is. A number of variables work together to form a positive website. What we'll talk about here is company transparency. Consumers have access to more information this present day in age than ever before. This means companies need be more willing to create or express parts of their identity that otherwise go unchecked. Consider the follow methods of making your company's homepage more transparent, thus...

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  All businesses need better exposure. Creating and maintaining a social media profile is essential in today’s market. Your social media profile is simply an extension of your brand and a necessary component of your overall marketing, and customer service strategies. Additionally, a comprehensive and timely social media profile improves your search engine optimization (SEO), thereby allowing more people to discover your services and products. Each social media profile is a landing page for your brand. Be consistent across your profiles to ensure brand recognition. Social media links and interaction are an important part of a website’s search rankings. With this in mind, you want to use a variety of social media signals to generate traffic and raise awareness of your site. As always, quality of content, expertise of authorship, and a pleasing user experience combine to improve your visibility. However, your...

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Quality is the number one driving force behind good sales. While it is possible to sell an inferior product over a short period of time, real sales growth requires a solid product with a foundation built around quality. Quality covers both the end-product and the way that product is created and delivered. Here are five tips to keep quality at the forefront of your efforts. 1. Focus On Metrics Keep track on quality issues in your company. Make a distinction between those quality issues or mistakes that were identified before they reached the customer and those issues that escaped your operational procedures. The escaped quality issues expose your business’ weaknesses to the client. Make the elimination of these issues a top priority. 2. Process Is Key We know that our employees are key, but if the process is broken, then no one succeeds. Focus...

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  As a company in the ever-growing modern age, how do you gather and produce useful content for your homepage? Brand Journalism is considered to be the way, though there are a multitude of ways to deploy Brand Journalism. Portraying your company in a humanistic, cohesive fashion connects users with your mission and your product. In the day where social media reigns cultural supreme, Brand Journalism is here to speak with everyone. You need to create digital highways that reach the public. How do you get a group of customers to interact and engage with your company? Here are a few quick tips on how to implement Brand Journalism into your homepage. Blogs Invite guest bloggers to write about your company or industry. Content that is relative to your product is vital to transmitting viable knowledge to your customer base. What would be...

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As social media explodes, and marketers look to capitalize on its popularity, it is easy to forget about good old email’s ability to reach customers. Email remains the primary form of digital communication. With the rise of smart phones and tablets, email is more portable than ever. As marketers look to develop new strategies for 2014, it is essential that email be part of the plan.    Optimize For Mobile Build your email format and delivery with mobile devices in mind. Ensure that your early emails to customers work well on all mobile devices; this care builds trust with your users. Make certain that any forms that link off your emails are easily completed from mobile devices. If you fail to optimize, then you lose potential clients.   Data-Driven Communication Strive to collect more than email addresses so that your communications can be targeted to gender...

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SEO and SEM (Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing) are complicated. Compartmentalizing each varying factor and attacking is a good way to start. When we consider social media's role in SEO and SEM, it's important to understand complications arise within the setup. What do you need to consider when setting up a Facebook account for your company? You cannot simply start a Facebook for John's Toilets and watch your web site's SEO rise. Here are a few tips for the varying social networks: Facebook: Google's algorithms will pick up on activity on your Facebook page. A good bio will help, as that information is cataloged. Posting on your website is not enough. Technically, that does very little. It's how people respond (the frequency of likes, comments, etc.) An active Facebook page leads to positive SEO results. How can you make...

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