Generating Traffic to your Website with Twitter

twitter bus

You probably already know that twitter is a great way to keep up to date on everything that’s going on in the world around you. Whether it’s finding out about the latest product releases or just knowing what your friends are up to, twitter is a quick, easy and popular way to keep an eye on the pulse of the modern world. But it’s also a great way to get traffic to your website. More and more people are expanding their numbers using Twitter and so can you – you just have to know how to do it.

Why Twitter is a great tool for getting traffic:

• It’s easy. Anyone who has access to a computer can use it. And we all know that the less work people have to do to use something, the more likely they’re going to be to use it.

• It’s accessible. People can use Twitter from their computer, phone, or any mobile device. That means they’re always checking it and always getting updates. It becomes a part of their life. And if they follow you, that makes you a part of their life too.

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If you’ve never used Twitter, it’s pretty simple. It takes about a minute to create an account, then you can type in short messages (less than 140 characters) and they’re sent to everyone who has chosen to be one of your “followers”. You can also follow people you’re interested in and get updated whenever they make a post.
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• It’s Popular. Millions of people are already using Twitter, and thousands of new users join each day. So you can transfer networks over from other sites, or your email list, and watch your followers grow from there.

The first step to increasing your traffic is to simply gain followers on. If you’re tweeting and no one is listening, it’s not really going to do you or your website any good.

The easiest way is to bring along your network from other sources, like your business contacts, email list, message boards, or even other social networks. If you don’t have anyone to add, or you want to expand, simply start following others in your field. Many will follow you in return, and if you use your tweets properly, the word will get out.

Once you have followers, there are many strategic ways to use your tweets wisely. Don’t just talk about anything:

Keeping up relationships. Whether it be clients, potential clients, or business contacts, Twitter can help you update your followers, and following them can help keep you updated. This makes them feel more connected with you and gives you a better relationship. You can even take it a step further and follow-up on their tweets through other communication lines. And remember, happy customers means repeat customers and referrals.

Product release. If you have a decent number of followers, Twitter is a great way to get the word out about a new product, website, or service offer. You can also use it to build excitement before a new release.

• Website changes. If something changes about your site, even something small like a new article, spread the word. This gets them to come back to your site, even if they’ve already been there.

Become a resource. If there are things going on that interest you and that might interest your followers, spread the word. They’ll be thankful that you shared valuable info with them and be more likely to pass on your name and pay attention to future tweets.

Twitter is a great way to get traffic to your website and is an integral part of any marketing plan.

Local Search Engine Optimization: 5 Biggest SEO Mistakes on Small Business Websites

ooopsGuest Post by Phil Singleton

Most small businesses understand that an effective SEO strategy must be implemented in order for the company website to rank highly in Google for targeted search terms, however most fall short of what could be accomplished if a few mistakes were avoided.  If you are a small business owner, you can learn from these mistakes and make your website more attractive to both search engines (in particular Google) and people.

Here are the 5 biggest local SEO mistakes small businesses make on their websites:

  1. Not optimizing page titles and meta descriptions. While it’s true Google doesn’t pay much attention to meta keyword tags today, optimized page titles are critical.  In fact, the 70 characters in the browser title are some of the most important text on your entire website.  In addition, the first characters in the page titles have the most “weight,” so it’s important to use text that accurately describe what you do and where you do it (i.e., city) rather than non-descript text like “home” or “welcome.”The meta description does not directly affect search engine optimization, however it is often what is listed for your website on the SERPs, or search engine results pages.  How compelling the description is will directly impact how many people click on your website, or your “click through rate.”  This IS one of the most important organic ranking factors of the 200 or so Google uses in ranking websites.
  1. Not including optimized static introductory text on your website’s home page. While it doesn’t have to be lengthy (only about 200 words or so), a paragraph or two of optimized content on your home page is important.  It gives search engines (and readers) a brief overview of your products/services, the market you serve, experience, years in the industry, etc.  Keep it brief, but optimize lightly for key search terms.
  1. Not adding a blog feed that pumps fresh content onto your home page. Providing fresh content on a regular basis is critical in SEO for small businesses. While it may seem impossible to update the pages of your website frequently, keeping your home page fresh can be accomplished by feeding your latest blog articles to your home page.  If you add a new blog post every week or two (or even more often, if possible), an excerpt of the most recent posts on your home page will help keep the content fresh.  Keep in mind that content should be valuable and engaging to the reader.
  1. Improper social media integration. Today, social media is a vital component of every SEO campaign, whether for corporations or small businesses.  Embedding a Google+ badge, Facebook “like” box, Facebook and Google+ “like” and “plus” buttons, and other social media and article sharing buttons makes it possible for visitors of your blog to share the content they like with others and “vote” for your content in the form of a like or plus.  All of these social “signals” are picked up by Google, which helps in search engine ranking.  In Google’s eyes, if your content gets “liked,” “plussed,” and “shared” frequently, it must be of high quality and interest to others!
  1. Not using basic search engine friendly coding. Using a WordPress framework and installing an SEO plugin are great for starters, but just the tip of the iceberg.  Unfortunately, there is a substantial amount of “uncorked” SEO value on many small business websites, simply because these sites lack the structure/coding to achieve their full search engine potential and release the true SEO value into the Internet.  Most business owners are not educated in the “background” coding and structure of a website, so it’s a job best left to the professionals.  Moz provides a great checklist with their Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet.

Search engine optimization is no doubt complex, but there are some simple things you can do to make your small business website more search engine friendly, and things to avoid before spending money on a new website.  Are you making any of the SEO mistakes mentioned above?  A few small changes can make all of the difference in the success your business experiences online.

Phil SingeltonAbout the Author: Phil Singleton is the owner of KCSeoPro.com, a full-service online marketing services company that provides organic search engine optimization and other Internet marketing services, and KCWebdesigner.com, a WordPress web development firm specializing in custom SEO-friendly websites and custom web applications.  Phil is also a Duct Tape Marketing™ Certified Consultant and provides small businesses in Kansas City with marketing products and services at KCMarketingAgency.com.

 

Looking into the Crystal Ball – Marketing Trends 2015 [Infographic]

So, a new year is upon us and we have decided to look into the crystal ball and predict what some of the big marketing trends for 2015 will be. We will spend some time to explore each of these in more detail in future posts, but for now here is a quick overview of what we think is coming in 2015. We’d love your comments, so feel free to add them below.

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Five Website Design Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make

Website mistakes

Fix your website mistakes!. Photo courtesy of Iain Farrell(CC No Derivatives)

Do-it-yourself website design options are everywhere, and so are website design companies.  You can even design your own website for free, if you so desire, on many different site builders.  Considering the many options that exist, it’s completely understandable that small business owners often feel a sense of confusion when it comes to building a website.  While there are many extremely desirable elements to website design, there are also some things you should avoid.  Here are five website design mistakes you should be careful never to make.

Mistake #5:  Using PDF Files Instead of Pages

It might be tempting to scan existing documents into pdf format and upload them onto your website.  Give visitors a link to click, and up comes your pdf. Easy, right?  Wrong!  People hate finding pdf’s on websites.  They take a long time to load, and they can be hard to read.  Take the time to create a new page that contains the pertinent information.  You can build links and backlinks, add great photos, and make your page a pleasure to visit instead of an irritation.  Annoyed visitors leave a site and look for a better one – so skip the pdf’s.

Mistake #4:  Using “Bookish” Text

People want information fast.  They want to scan your site and see whether you have what they are looking for.  So:

  • Do not make your site look like the page of a book.  Keep it interesting.
  • Use photos and vary the text size to highlight different areas of your page.
  • Use bulleted lists and quick paragraphs with headers that tell the visitor what they’re going to find under that heading.
  • Make your site interactive.  The more fun people have when they visit your site, the more successful it will be.

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Mistake #3:  Building a Flashy Site That Is Too Complicated For Users To Navigate

You can have the most beautiful looking website in the world, but without elements that are properly built using proven website design techniques, your site will be just more pretty pictures – and the internet is full of those!  People want to go to a site, find what they are looking for, and leave.  The better and faster the internet gets, the faster people expect sites to work.

Mistake #2:  Preventing Smartphone Users from a Rich Site Experience

This is a relatively new mistake in website design, and if you’ve got a website now, it’s worth pulling it up on your phone right now.  Can people who surf the web on their iPhone, Android, or other smartphone really see your site?  Can they find what they’re looking for, and navigate well, without pinching and expanding?  If not, your site needs first aid. Fast. 

Mistake #1:  Not Hiring a Professional to Handle Website Design

You might want to help your buddy who is learning about website design build his portfolio by building you a website, and while that might be OK if he has some experienced guidance, it also might ruin your chances of ending up with a great site that is both user friendly and high ranking. 

These days, website design is about a lot more than looking good.  Hire a professional, and your site will do exactly what you need it to – gain you business, and increase your bottom line.

There you have it – 5 Website Design Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make. If you feel like you are not sure where to turn to next for help, give us a shout. We can analyze your site and make some recommendations for free. If you need help getting those recommendations accomplished we can help you as well.

Get Website Traffic Fast!

Online, one of the most significant keys to success is getting website traffic. The more visitors you have, the better your sales and profits. Presumably you have a niche and you know your keywords, and regularly conduct keyword research to stay on top of what’s popular. Based on those assumptions here are five quick and easy tips to get website traffic fast!

Tip #1 Make sure you’re actually tagging your keywords.

Do you spend a lot of time optimizing your content and then neglect to tag them on your webpage? Tags are where search engines look and if there are no tags they’ll pass right by your web pages. Here’s a quick brief on tags.

  • Title tags. Title tags are quite possibly the most important place to situate your keywords. Your title tag is where you place your primary keyword or keyword phrase. The sentence will describe your business in less than 90 characters.
  • Header Tags. Header tags are next and they are ranked in order of importance to search engines. 
  • Meta Tags. Meta tags provide the small descriptive text found underneath the title tag on the search engine results page. Like title tags these should be kept brief, informative and up to date.
  • Alt Tags. Alt tags are used to provide a text description of a graphic. Each graphic on your site should have a description and an alt tag.

Tip #2 Add content to your site daily

Content is essential for traffic and a top search engine ranking. Content is what search engine spiders look for and index – without it there’s nothing to index or rank. Give visitors and search engines a reason to visit and index your site. Make a commitment to provide daily, optimized content and your traffic will soar.

Increase Website Traffic

Photo courtesy of Orin Zebest(CC ShareALike)

Tip #3 Procure valuable and relevant incoming links

The more websites which link to your webpages the more valuable search engines perceive you to be, though not all links are created equal. Search engines give more leverage to links from sites which are popular and credible and from sites which are relevant to your website topic.

There are different types of links:

  • A direct link looks like a basic website address, for example, www.yourwebsite.com
  • A text link occurs when the webpage address is embedded in the text. Readers simply click on the link and are redirected to a new website page.
  •  If the link is to an internal web page, for example an article published on a website, rather than the home page, it is called a “deep link.”

You can encourage linking to your website by adding content to your site,  submitting to article directories, publishing press releases, blogging and participating in social networking forums, chat rooms and social networking sites.

Tip #4 Be Social!

Now more than ever before, internet marketing is about building a community. Whether you offer a forum on your website or you participate in social networking sites, social networking is a valuable traffic generating tactic. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be powerful tools for generating links and traffic to your site – create a profile and then post comments, links to your site and ideas which generate conversation.

Get involved – many chat rooms and forums are industry specific, find those which cater to your industry, and begin participating. Speak to and connect with a highly targeted audience.

Tip #5 Advertise for more exposure and traffic

Advertising, when handled strategically, can be used to promote your content and products or services. PPC advertising is often the tool of choice because you control the advertising budget on a daily basis and have the tools to test and track your advertising efforts. Once you’ve honed your PPC ads the return on investment can be phenomenal in terms of traffic and purchases.

For maximum results, create a website traffic and SEO strategy. Outline your plan and your goals and then take the necessary action. Take advantage of these five traffic and search engine tips to boost your business.