Generating Website Traffic for Syracuse SMB

Blogging: The Overlooked Tool in Digital Marketing

When it comes to digital marketing, what sets you apart from your competition is finding a specific voice in your product and service niche to demonstrate value and authority and to keep attracting customers and creating new leads and business opportunities. Understanding the importance of regular blogging on your website and it’s relationship to SEO, social media engagement and marketing, email marketing and a host of other factors can make all the difference in your online success and long-term growth.

There are enormous benefits to regular and consistent blogging on your website which can help to drive search clicks and visitor engagement and thereby increase website traffic and leads. The more eyeballs you can get in front of with your website and the more people realize how your products and services can benefit them, the more business growth you can experience.

Blogging: Relevance, Education, Authority

When you are writing a blog post, keep in mind that it needs to be informative, relevant, knowledgeable, and authoritative. And above all, your posts must engender trust. Because trust, or at least the willingness to take a chance, is what sales lead development is all about. Your posts need to be strategically relevant, and provide useful information to your potential client, without being in any way a sales pitch.

An effective company blog on your website (aka “content marketing”) demonstrates to your potential customers that you are not only well informed and know what you are talking about (trustworthy), but it also creates a bit of a personal touch so people can get a feel for your company and how you think about solving your customers problems and meeting their needs. Too often the difference between successful marketing and just skating by is the presence or lack of presence of a personal touch that potential clients can be comfortable with and relate to.

At the end of the day, business is built on relationships. And that personal touch is particularly available to anyone who reads and interacts with your blog, and by extension with your company.

Related:  Three Steps to Making Your Website Your Best Employee

Syracuse Web Design & Online Marketing Partners

When it comes to website design and online marketing, it’s hard to know just where to start. One way to make sure you’re maximizing your website’s potential to help you grow your business is to partner with an experienced Syracuse web design agency like ATS Design Group. Why not contact us today and schedule a free website evaluation and design consultation and put our experience to work for you?

Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing for Syracuse area small businesses including website design and development, blogging and content marketing, search engine optimization, and eCommerce web design and development.

Website redesign mobile Syracuse

Does Your Website Need a Good Spring Cleaning?

Spring is finally here, or so it appears for the moment, so while everybody is thinking about getting out and enjoying the warm weather, it’s also a great time to take a dispassionate look at your website and see if a new Spring makeover is long overdue.

With everyone from millennials to baby boomers getting online to do their shopping as well as personal and professional research, it is clearly not a time to be “ho-hum” about the tired, outdated look of your website that was built five or 10 years ago and now looks hopeless out of date when compared to your competitors.

People look at your website in the context of all the other websites they visit, including your competition. Studies have shown that people judge a company by their first impressions of that company. And largely, that first impression is the company’s website. So why give that competition a leg up in digital marketing by looking less attractive than them.

Website Redesign: It’s Easier Than You Might Think

For a regular small business website, where your company is telling the story of who they are and what their products and services are, it’s easy and remarkably affordable to get a great new site with a modern, attractive look and feel.  One of the hottest trends in website design is a clean, uncluttered, minimalist look that is easy to look at, easy to find what you’re looking for, and easy to contact the company.  Lots of pictures, personable “About Us” page, project or product portfolio or gallery.

For companies looking to sell products and services online, it’s just as easy with modern, easy to use and maintain eCommerce solutions and secure payment options. Today’s eCommerce website solutions make it easy for customers to browse and shop, get detailed product information and checkout through a smooth, simple checkout process.  today’s modern small business and eCommerce websites are designed to look good on all platforms, from desktop computer screens, to tablets and on your iPhone too.

So the question is how to move forward and do your research and due diligence to make your website update and makeover a reality. You might want to take a look at our portfolio and see what kind of work other companies have commissioned and then give us a call and set up an appointment to discuss your website design and update needs and requirements.

We’ve been doing website design and online marketing for just over 20 years, so we can help you ideas and inspiration to get you a step or three out in front of the completion fast.

Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing including Web Design Syracuse, SEO search engine optimization, social media marketing as well as print and advertising design.

Nine Rules of Social Media Marketing

Nine Rules of Social Media Marketing

Nine Rules of Social Media Marketing

If increasing your audience and customer base is important to you and your business the understanding the power of content and social media marketing is important. It’s imperative to understand the social media marketing fundamentals. Taking from these nine rules of social media marketing will help you build a foundation that will serve your customers and your business.

1. Listening is Rule Number One

To be successful with social media marketing it requires that you do a lot of listening to your customer base. Read your target audience’s online content and join the discussions to learn what is important to them. By doing this you can create content that will spark conversation and add real value.

2. Focus is Key

When it comes to integrating social media and content marketing into your overall digital marketing strategy, working to build a strong brand through a well-focused strategy will give you a much more chance for success than spreading your attempts to broad.

3. Quality vs. Quantity

The old adage is still true in the social media age. Quality is better than quantity. It is more beneficial to have 1,000 connections who read, share and talk about your content than to have 10,000 connections who vanish after connecting with you once.

4. Patience

While it is possible to have success quickly, it is more likely that you will need to be diligent to achieve success with your social media marketing.

5. The Rule of Compounding

If you put up real quality content and work to build your online audience, you will have them share that content with the own audiences on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even on their own blogs. One of the most effective ways to grow your audience quickly is to make sure your website design includes an integrated blog that can be shared widely. Using WordPress as the foundation of your website is ideal for this purpose since it has a robust blogging platform built in. It is also one of most widely used website development platforms in the world, and Google loves WordPress website.  So the sharing of your blog posts and online content directly from your website opens a world of new possibilities for search engines like Google to find that content and you through keyword searches. Those entry points could grow into thousands of potential ways other people find you online.

6. Influence Across Platforms

Social Media Marketing Syracuse New YorkWhen it comes to the social media marketing, rule number six is probably one of the most important.  It’s also surprisingly easy, and one of the most enjoyable.

Spend time finding the online influencers in your market who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business. Don’t limit yourself to thinking only about Facebook.  Look elsewhere.  Google Plus is an excellent starting point.  Make sure you have a verified Google Business Page and connect with influencers in your topic areas in Google Plus circles. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them.

7. The Rule Called Value

If you spend all your time on the social web strictly and narrowly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversation and create content that educates and develops relationships with your target audience as well as other online influences. If people feel they get something out of your content then they will be more willing to share that information and continue to spread that knowledge (and your name).

8. Be Consistent

It is impossible to overstate the importance of posting regularly and being available and active in comments and discussions. Engagement and participation is key. Be available, be connected, be engaged, and above all be interesting and thoughtful.  At the end of the day, building relationships online is a lot like building relationships face to face.

9. Turnabout is Fair Play

It’s really all about networking and relationship building.  Share other people’s content and comment on it, and they will do the same for you and your meaningful, original content. Remember, social media is first and foremost “social.” It’s all about sharing.


Paul Albee is the digital marketing director of ATS Design Group in Syracuse, New York. Paul and his team specialize in all aspects of online digital marketing including website design, SEO search engine optimization, social media marketing as well as print and advertising design.

Online reviews. Reputation Management Syracuse.

Online Reviews and Reputation Management

Online Reviews and Reputation Management

For most small businesses marketing has changed. Today most searches for a local business will start on mobile devices and not the big yellow book in the past. Consumers now consider reviews, testimonials, case studies and social media to determine if a company is worth doing business with. Because of this, the competition is greater than ever for business and a positive reputation can be a key factor in standing out.

Line Of Credibility

We all have a line of credibility in our mind. When we hear an idea we immediately place either above or below this line. Below the line we discredit them and above the line we are willing to accept it. We also have a line of  “super credibility” that we reach when we hear an of something that we are blown away and accept it immediately.

In the world of online and social media marketing, credibility can be lost or gained over time. Some may seem credible to start and lose that over time while other may have less credibility at first then gain credibility over time and even become super credible.

In the example below see if you can decide what order they would go in listing from “dismiss,” “credible,” and “super credible.”

  • You get an email promising you “Top Google Ranking for Only $99 a month. The email has grammatical errors and miss-spellings and comes from a generic email service.
  • You search for a plumber and you get a local pack of plumbers in a search engine results with one at the top of the list.
  • A search for a marketing agency shows a company first in the PPC results with seller ratings (5 gold stars), third in the local pack with 5 gold stars, and in the organic results with review stars showing for the organic listing.

It is easy to see which of these three business listings you would consider credible, super credible or dismiss out of hand. This example illustrates just how credibility is layered over a typical local search.

Credibility: An Ongoing Process

It is important to be aware of how potential customers become aware of your business and how credible your business looks as visitors travel down their path to purchase.

  • How professional and credible your website looks.
  • How you stack up on local review sites.
  • How you project an image of professionalism and credibility on a variety of social media channels.

Online credibility is an iterative process that is never truly finished and not something to simply check off your list. A single new review each month may be plenty for some businesses, while others may need daily reviews. The point is to tailor the maintenance of your credibility to the unique needs of your business.

Email Marketing works for Syracuse businesses.

Email Marketing Continues to Lead in Effectiveness

Almost every business we talk to has had really good results with email marketing.  And this is no surprise since almost every survey on the subject has found that business of every size and in almost every niche have found email marketing to be one of the most effective digital marketing strategies in their arsenal, delivering consistent ROI time and again.

In a recent Gigaom survey, 86% of marketers surveyed said that email marketing is the most reliable “workhorse” digital marketing tool for lead acquisition and re-engagement and conversion, and that email marketing continues to lead in effectiveness.  In second place was social media marketing and effective search engine optimization for organic search results.

Email Marketing leads in popularity

Email marketing has been consistently rated as the least difficult to do and one of the most effective. According to another study conducted by Forrester Research, 42% of adults don’t open email advertising and just delete it.  This is actually down from 44% in 2012 and 59% in 2010. There was also a strong sentiment that most email ads didn’t offer the recipient anything of interest (38%).

The takeaway here, of course, is that you need to be thoughtful and use email marketing wisely.  Email marketing is most effective when you specifically target your audience with a message that customized specifically to them.  This can be especially easy when you have a list of cold sales leads that you want to re-engage.  There is nothing like email (and direct mail) for lead re-engagement and conversion.


Generating sales leads online.

Generating and Converting Sales Leads

Which Channels Work Best for Generating and Converting Sales Leads?

According to a 2014 marketing research study conducted by DialogTech (download link), a survey of marketers by a sizable plurality said that offline methods still converted best and were the source of highly qualified and high value sales leads.

In terms of actually generating those leads, several digital marketing methodologies rose to the top of the list in terms of marketer’s preferences based on actual ROI.  In terms of generating high-value sales leads, email led all channels, with a 57% overall preference over other methods. Closely behind email marketing at 55% was Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and PPC or pay per click advertising.

Business owners said that while SEO was a long term investment that takes cultivation and patience, it seems to have the higher long term ROI in that people tend to look at organic search results as more trustworthy than PPC ads.

All channels showed an overall increase in preferential share among respondents from the prior year.

Social Media garnered a 44% preference rating among respondents, with a wide variety of preference for specific platforms, with YouTube leading the way.  In the B2B category, LinkedIn was “highly influential,” while Facebook skewed to an older demographic, and Twitter was the preferred platform for younger, tech-savvy audiences.

Millenial brand attributes that matter most

Millennials: Brand Attributes That Matter Most

Over 40% of millennials (ages 25 to34) in the USA and England have a cynical outlook when it comes to the ways brands across all spectrums try to market and sell to them, according to a new study by Initiative. According to the study, with such a level of general skepticism, brands need to demonstrate a commitment to authenticity, trustworthiness and social causes.

The survey as reported at MarketingCharts, is based on a survey of nearly 10,000 men and women aged 25-34 years old across nineteen countries.

According to the survey, the top brand attributes that matter most to Millennials are:

  • Trustworthiness (31%);
  • Creativeness (29%);
  • Intelligence (23%);
  • Authenticity (22%); and
  • Confidence (21%).

Digital Marketing and Social Media. The survey reinforces the fact that Millennials appreciate and reward brands they perceive as personally useful, and with which they can connect emotionally and authentically.

Read the full story at MarketingCharts