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Top Spring Marketing Campaign Ideas

Spring is here, and with that comes the demand for creating marketing plans and strategies for the new season.

But this is no ordinary spring, especially for small businesses and web design companies. But Salt Rank is here to help.

We’re all in this together as the coronavirus ravages the global economy. Now more than ever is the time to start planning long term for your business. We have to begin working smarter to survive the challenges ahead.

 

 

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How Your Business Can Survive the Coronavirus Outbreak

Businesses are now examining their marketing budgets more carefully, trying to figure out if they’re getting the most out of every dollar that they spend, as well as looking at cost-effective strategies for delivering products and services.

Cutting the marketing budget may seem like an obvious choice at this point, but it’s just a short term solution that will have negative after-effects. After all, without having a visible presence in your target market, your long term profitability will sink.

And while everyone will be watching their money more closely, they have no choice but to spend it. While people do have the option to spend less, our job is to determine what they’re still purchasing. They don’t want to be wasteful in a time like this; people want to purchase what they need from businesses that they are able to trust.

 

1) Make Yourself Prominent and Visible During This Crisis

Remember that old saying “out of sight and out of mind?” Well, we need to remember that now more than ever before. If you can’t maintain the line of communication with your customers, then you risk losing them. Also, it’s always less expensive to keep your current customers than it is to find new ones.

And as other businesses make the wrong decision and begin to pull the plug on creating visibility, that creates a vacuum for your business to fill.

You should be putting more effort into marketing now because as the recession worsens, many people who get laid off will try and start a business. These new businesses will be competing with yours for visibility, and do you want to risk losing that battle? 

So, to build up your brand awareness, you must increase visibility. To enhance visibility, you must drive more people to your site where you can make more sales. And the easiest way to get discovered by potential customers or clients is during the buying process when they’re searching for what you sell.

There are a few essential principles to understand when it comes to visibility:

  • What others say about you has more of an impact than what you say about yourself. An inexpensive way of getting your name out is by leveraging the influence and authority of other experts in your niche.

 

  • Evergreen content needs to be updated. Just because it’s evergreen doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t water (update) it every now and again. Your main objective is for this eternally useful content to rank high in the search engines. So when you give it an update, that should be your goal.

 

  • You’ve no doubt heard of the mere exposure effect. This effect happens when a person is so frequently exposed to something (such as an advertisement) that they begin to form a preference for it merely because it’s familiar. So if you can find an inexpensive way to keep your brand in front of potential customers as much as possible, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Setting aside a dedicated budget for this principle alone is worth it.

 

 

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2) Optimize for Conversions ASAP

One high impact low-cost digital marketing method that you should get familiar with quickly is conversion rate optimization. This means making small adjustments to the buyer’s journey to convert as many website visitors into clients or customers as possible. Here are a few examples of conversion rate optimization strategies:

  • Understand the basics of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The latest developments in these two fields will give you the competitive edge you need to find the right customers at the right times. By utilizing this, you’ll be able to lower your cost per lead and get the right message out to the right prospect at the right time.

 

  • Providing a good experience for customers is crucial. Spend the money needed to make your website fast and personalized for visitors. And when it comes to keeping costs done, keep in mind that small adjustments to your site will have a disproportionately large impact on the end results.

 

  • Utilize social proofing techniques for your business. Use your case studies, reviews, and recommendations at every touchpoint of your marketing. Also, make sure that this content is included in different places on your website. And finally, remember to share it all on social media.

 

3) KPIs are Critical

If you don’t measure your results, then you won’t be able to manage your marketing effectively, and you may just be throwing your money away.

You want to hold yourself accountable for your marketing expenses. You can do this by measuring your results vs. the criteria you have for success. These criteria might be upselling, referrals, or the number of leads you generate. Now more than ever is when KPIs (key performance indicators) matter.

Here’s how you can configure your KPIs if you haven’t already:

  • Determine your ROI from social media. When budgets are tight, social media can appear to be a sensible option for cutting. After all, it can be a time-consuming activity. However, before you cut the cord, make sure that you understand how social media is producing results for your business. How much profitability, engagement, and visibility does it bring to your company?

 

  • Use Google Analytics to its full potential. Make sure that you’re using all of the available data to improve your marketing efficiency. Some questions you should ask are: Did we set up goals properly? Is the Search Console connected? Did we define what we’re measuring? And finally, are we utilizing all of the free data available from Google Analytics in our marketing strategy?

When marketing budgets are tight, you can fall back on your KPIs to help guide you through the storm. By knowing your KPIs, you’ll be able to answer the question, “what kind of spending really matters for my business?”

 

 

 

 

Top 6 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

The number of mistakes that can be made in marketing (especially online marketing) is endless. This blog post will focus on some of the biggest marketing mistakes that you’ll want to avoid at all costs. Some of these mistakes can be applied to any kind of online marketing; others relate to common and specific methods (like email marketing), and so they deserve mention on this list.

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Just knowing about all of these mistakes should put you in a great position as an online marketer. Here are the top 6 online marketing mistakes recommended by Salt Rank that you can’t afford to make.

1. Not Having a USP

A USP is a unique selling proposition. This is what sets you apart from your competition. Ideally, it should be just one statement, and in that statement, you explain the benefits of your product for your target audience.

The key is that these benefits should be unique to your product only, thus giving you the edge over your competition. Here are some questions to ask to help create your USP:

  • Can your product solve a problem that no other competitor has solved yet?

  • Does your product offer superior quality at an unbeatable price?

  • Does your product or service offer customers a specific lifestyle?

  • Does your product incorporate materials and resources in a better way? For example, is your product more eco-friendly than the competition?

The competition is fierce online. Your target audience is being bombarded with several different marketing messages, and without a USP, your message is likely to be lost.

USP is critical in every aspect of your marketing. Before implementing any kind of new online marketing strategy, you should think about how your USP can fit into it. That way, prospects will know why they need your product so that they will become customers.

2. Using Black Hat Tactics

This kind of clickbait is all too common: “Rank in the top 10 of Google, guaranteed!” Even though this is an obvious scam to anyone who has a clue about SEO, marketers, and business owners who desperately want to get traffic to their website might be willing to take them up on this offer. And after all, who doesn’t love a quick fix?

However, be wary. While our web design services company is reputable, many other companies aren’t, and will promise instant results.

The companies that aren’t outright lying about achieving instant results (and many of them do) might be able to do it for you using “black hat” techniques. Black hat strategies are implemented to “trick” a search engine into giving your website a rank that it doesn’t deserve for specific keywords.

By taking them up on this offer, you might experience a short burst of new traffic, but you’ll be playing a dangerous game. Google invests a ton of money for catching cheaters, and the penalties for cheating are not small either. If you get penalized by Google (or worse – outright banned), you’ll find that this is extremely hard to fix and will also permanently damage your website’s reputation and marketing efforts.

Have we convinced you yet? Avoid black hat SEO at all costs and stick to “white hat” SEO strategies to help your website rank higher. Doing it the right way will take more time and cost more money, but it’s a safe bet for long term success.

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3. Ignoring the 80/20 Rule

You’ve almost certainly heard of this rule before. 80% of your success comes from 20% of your efforts. But have you ever thought about how that principle can apply to your marketing efforts?

In the context of marketing, this rule means that 80% of your success will be the result of providing value to your target audience, and 20% of it will be the result of your promotional materials. This balance will ensure that your customers are engaged and ready to buy when the time comes.

If you flip that balance around, though, you’ll repel potential customers instead of attracting them. Remember, forming long term relationships with customers is critical in online marketing.

4. Trying to Market to Everyone

This is perhaps the biggest rookie marketing mistake, but this mistake goes even further.

Too many companies mistakenly focus too much on the total number of visitors instead of analyzing the types of visitors they’re attracting. Consequently, these companies double down on their efforts to attract more visitors and end up wasting money because not enough of these visitors convert into customers.

Instead, you should focus on marketing to a niche. That way, you can attract the right kind of visitors. You’ll know who the right kinds of visitors are once you create your company’s Buyer Personas. These personas should be based on your most high-value customers. 

5. Focusing Your Email Marketing on Promotional Efforts

Once upon a time, email marketing was only used for promotion and advertising. However, any professional email marketer these days realizes that engaging with and building trust with prospects is essential for getting customers, as well as retaining previous customers.

Not following this advice can severely harm your online business. Not only will you turn off your subscribers and potential customers (remember the 80/20 rule), but you can also get spam complaints.

6. Neglecting Repeat Customers

Neglecting existing customers in the pursuit of new ones is a common marketing error. However, it’s not one that you should make. Consider the fact that it’s 5 times more expensive to market to new customers than it is to existing ones, on average.

Why is it easier to market for existing customers? Because your marketing funnel for existing buyers will be smaller than for newer buyers since they’ve already bought from you before.

Try to split your marketing efforts 50/50 into retaining repeat customers as you do for acquiring new ones.

Conclusion

No matter how well you plan things out, marketing mistakes will still happen. If you experience sub-optimal results from your marketing, don’t dismiss them outright – instead, reflect on what could have gone wrong. Continuous improvement is the name of the game. If you’re struggling with marketing, try to understand the needs of your customers better. You might see things start to turn around! 

Best SEO Services and Advice For Online Stores

Ecommerce is a big deal all around the world. The desire to sell things online is a strong one, with the payoff being just as sweet. Of course, since the appeal of eCommerce is so big, so too will be your competition. Amazon will likely be a competitor, as well as smaller stores. Some of the best SEO services are the simplest.

Being good at business helps, and so does having a business consultant, but that won’t be enough on its own. You need to be able to get discovered on the first page of Google, and that’s where SEO comes into play. You need the best SEO advice at your fingertips if you’re going to succeed. Let’s get started!

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“Selling” Keywords

To come up with keyword ideas, think about the product you are selling and the categories it belongs to. There are two requirements that a keyword must fulfill:

  1. Act as a magnet to pull in potential customers
  2. Improve your chances to outrank your competitors

Not every keyword will be suitable, of course. Some of them will be too short and too vague to attract the right buyers to your website. Smart SEO means using keywords that are not too short, are specific enough, and are searched plenty of times in Google, to attract the largest number of possible visitors. A keyword that fulfills all of these criteria is called a long-tail keyword.

Once you have your list of keywords, its time to optimize your website. To make your pages rank high on Google, you should add the keywords to the following places:

  • Product descriptions
  • H1-H4 header tags
  • Title tags
  • URLs
  • Image titles and ALT tags
  • Meta description tags

Your product descriptions should all be unique; otherwise, Google will filter them out. They should include words and terms that someone would use to describe the products that you sell. And finally, write descriptions in a compelling way that will make someone want to purchase it after reading.

Linking And Navigation

Saying that eCommerce sites have a lot of pages is an understatement. Amazon’s product selection is counted in the hundreds of millions! This is why your site needs to be easy to navigate. Does your website at least compare to Amazon in terms of usability? In order to make your visitors’ browsing experience as easy as possible, you need an effective and efficient linking strategy between all of your site pages.

The structure for most eCommerce sites goes like this: homepage – product category – subcategory – product page. Removing subcategories will make your website even more comfortable to navigate. You can also follow the tips below:

  • Link to your main page on every other page. The most accessible place to include this link is in your company logo at the top of the page.
  • Add a navigation bar. The best type of navigation bar for an eCommerce site is one where the user searches for something. The bar will collapse into different menus providing users easy access to your product categories.
  • Add breadcrumbs to your site. They don’t take much space, and they help users avoid getting lost on your website.
  • Don’t use pagination. This often comes with many different online platforms used to create your store. However, they aren’t the most user-friendly option because they increase loading times for users. The solution is to create a “load more items” button instead that, when pressed, will allow users to view more products. That way, they don’t have to deal with paginations or infinite amounts of scrolling.
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Security And Safety

You might question how much you should invest in the security of your website. Well, remember what happened with the Facebook data leaks? Both Facebook and its users were hurt by these leaks. Facebook’s reputation was damaged, and its users’ personal information was at risk. If Facebook weren’t such a big company, its stock and reputation would have been damaged beyond recovery. That is why you should take online security seriously.

Customers should feel safe when browsing your website. You’ll want to make it as safe for them as possible.

Indexing Your Pages

You don’t want to make the embarrassing mistake of forgetting to make sure that your pages are indexed by Google! If your pages aren’t indexed, then they won’t get found by Google. Your customers won’t be able to find you online, and all that work you did on your website will be wasted. To ensure that this doesn’t happen just generate a sitemap of your online store and submit it to Google.

Google’s Mobile-First Index

As you probably know, mobile search gets more search queries than desktop now, and this has had a direct impact on why Google created its mobile-first index. This can affect your online store. If you don’t design your website with mobile users in mind, then you’ll lose out on all of those customers who search Google using mobile phones.

Blog Posts

The role of a good eCommerce site is to close sales quickly. If your page doesn’t convince visitors right away to make a purchase, then you won’t make much money. That is why you should save your long-winded product descriptions for blog posts, which is why you should have a blog for your website. A blog can help gain extra traffic for your site as well as help your site rank higher overall. Remember to enable sharing on your posts to increase these effects even further.

Check Your Site For Errors

Ecommerce is one niche where you can’t afford to have any errors on your website. You can’t let your users down because it might freeze your own business or hurt your customers’ wallets. That’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. You must fix technical errors on your website as soon as you notice them.

Finally, don’t forget to monitor your rankings and traffic! You’ll want to see how well you did to keep yourself motivated. However, even if your rankings do drop, this isn’t necessarily a sign of doom. Ups and downs are normal and should signal to you that you have to work extra hard on your SEO. A big drop in traffic could mean that you got a penalty from Google though. So you should scan your website at least once a week.

How Can SEO Improve Business?

You’ve likely heard countless times that SEO is an invaluable digital marketing method. However, even if you have a basic understanding of its importance, you might still not have a solid enough grasp to use it to its full potential. Salt Rank is a well-oiled and diverse SEO agency and digital marketing company that aims to educate clients.

SEO is made up of multiple elements, and understanding what they are and how they work is the key to understanding its overall importance. To sum it up, though, SEO is important because it increases the visibility of your website, and thus the traffic and sales.

SECONDARY BENEFITS

-create brand awareness

-position yourself as an expert and authority in your field

-build relationships with potential customers

So, let’s talk about SEO and everything you need to know about it to succeed in today’s digital world.

The Key Aspects Of An SEO Agency

Keywords

The days of keywords being the only thing that mattered in SEO are over. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still hugely important. The way that keywords differ today is that they must be chosen carefully to fit the content on the page. In other words, they must be relevant to the page’s content. But first of all, what is a keyword? It’s simply a phrase that your target audience would use to find your products or services. You can use them to help your potential customers connect with your website and your business.

Content

Good content is essential for SEO because it’s the vehicle that carries the rest of the techniques. Think of it this way: your customer needs a vehicle to reach you online (your content). It needs to be the right kind of vehicle, though, meaning that it has to be content that your target audience would be interested in. 

For example, if your website is about cooking, then you would need to write blog posts about different cooking recipes, cooking techniques, cooking stories, nutritional information posts, etc., you get the drift. 

If you write good content and follow the right SEO techniques, your blog posts would come up first in the search results, thus allowing you to start building a relationship with prospects by presenting them with valuable information. 

If that person wanted to try a new recipe, your blog might be the first one that comes to mind. If you’re going to have any hope of succeeding with content marketing, then your content has to be interesting, shareable, relevant and engaging. 

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Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is exactly as the name implies; it’s SEO practices that happen away from your website as opposed to on-page SEO. The primary way that this happens is through building up backlinks to your website. These are links from other websites (preferably high authority websites) that tell Google that your website is trustworthy and useful enough to garner backlinks from other relevant websites. 

There are several legitimate tactics for getting backlinks for your website. Some of the most popular methods include guest blogging, giving shoutouts to influencers in your content, and creating highly sharable infographics.

Local SEO

The importance of local SEO is increasing, along with the usage of mobile devices. Today at least 57% of searches are done by mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, and at least half of those are done with local intent. 

This means that, for example, a local restaurant can attract customers using local SEO techniques. For instance, if you’re a seafood restaurant, then ranking for “best seafood in [city], [state]” would be highly desirable. 

Other techniques for implementing local SEO for your business include: creating pages for your business on all of the different Google apps and websites (Google Maps, Google+, Google My Business), creating different website pages targeting different local keywords that you want to rank for, and finally, claiming directory listings.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing, or SEM, refers to paid advertising. It includes many different options such as display ads, pay-per-click (PPC), Google AdWords, Google shopping ads, social media ads, native ads, and the list goes on and on… 

While it’s not an essential component of SEO, it does still have its place in directing highly targeted customers to your website. 

The Importance Of SEO 

In case you need more convincing about the importance of SEO, the following points should help hammer it home:

Gain Visibility And Rank Higher

Visibility is a crucial function of SEO, and it’s directly correlated with your ranking in the search engines. It’s an especially critical factor when 1/4 of all web users never click past the first SERP.

Gain Traffic To Your Website

This is one of the main objectives of SEO. Ranking number one or in the top 5 results are the key to this. Nearly 33% of clicks go to the top search result, and the first 5 results receive 75% of the total clicks.

Grow Your Authority

This is a relatively new metric that search engines are now using. In the early days of the internet, authority didn’t matter, but it matters now more than ever before. The simple reason is that there are just too many websites these days, and the authority metric helps to narrow down the list of websites that have a chance of ranking. 

Give A Better User Experience

This is a side effect of creating good SEO, which is another reason why SEO is essential these days. Great content + good on-site SEO = a good UX (user experience). One example of good on-site SEO is having a website that’s responsive to all types of online users, including mobile users, desktop users, and laptop users. 

Grow Your Business

In the end, it all boils down to this. An SEO agency will help you to achieve all of your business goals. When an agency and a client join SEO forces, magic can happen in:

-building stronger relationships with your audience

-creating a better experience on your website for your customers

-increasing your online authority and helping to gain the trust of new visitors

-bringing more people to your website

-giving you an advantage over your competitors

-increasing sales and conversions

All of this results in creating a more loyal customer base as well as producing long term growth for your business.

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Let’s talk about your business

Please let us know how we can help your business. You can shoot us an email, call us, or connect with us via Social Media.