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.

SEO SEM Company Syracuse NY

Search Engine Marketing and Social Media

Search engine marketing (SEM) and social media are at the heart of digital marketing. Both are great tools in which to generate valuable leads for your business online. However, search marketing and social media take different approaches and therefore, require different expertise to deliver them effectively and the fundamental way in how they engage with a target audience.

Search Engine Marketing

What is ‘search marketing’? We are really talking about search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Adwords (PPC). These are the two ways in which a company can get themselves in front of potential customers based on what they search for on Google, but they work in different ways.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of doing what is necessary, both on your web pages and elsewhere, to get your website visible on the first page of search results when somebody types in a search phrase, and ideally at the top of those page one results. It does not follow, however, that the more you spend on SEO, the better results you will have. Like most other areas of products and services, you need to do your research to be sure you will actually get what is being offered.

With rare exception, SEO has a much higher ROI than PPC. It has been shown time and again, for example, that the amount of time a visitor spends on your site as a result of an organic search result click is substantially longer than the time they spend on your site from clicking on a PPC ad. The reasons are various, and we will devote some time to that in subsequent posts, so stay tuned.

You are probably asking yourself, if SEO happens ‘organically’ and it’s free, then what am I paying for? Well, this leads us back to the very fundamentals of SEO. Google ranks search results based on relevance to the enquiry or search made. But the term ‘relevance’ is a completely subjective term. If someone searches for “social media agency”, are they looking for help managing social media presence for their or are they really looking for a job in the digital marketing field? Due to the dynamic and complexity nature of Google, hiring an expert to manage your search engine optimization is where a bulk of your monetary cost will be.

SEO and PPC marketing are different in practice. With Google Adwords you only have to pay out if someone actually clicks on your advert and goes through to our website. With Google Adwords (PPC) you are bidding on space that is around the organic results for that particular search term. Anyone, with any business and any website, can do this no matter the quality of their content is or how established their site is.

The point is, if do have a website that is fast loading and incorporates mobile-friendly, responsive website design, with text that is written well and with an eye to the search terms that people are actually using, ranking well in search engine results will basically yield consistent website traffic and ROI. As a general rule, if you are using both SEO and PPC strategies, when you look at your website traffic stats in Google Adwords, you should ideally see more organic traffic than paid traffic. (As with any statement like this, there are exceptions to the rule based on industry type and other factors).

Search Engine Marketing and Social Media

The real difference is that search marketing is just that, people searching for a business that provides certain services or products. Social media marketing, on the other hand, consists of using social media to identify your target audience and drive them to your website. There are major areas of cross over of course. Especially between SEO and social media. Social media has an impact on SEO search engine optimization generally and Local SEO specifically in numerous ways, from YouTube hosted videos to Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp. The list goes on. Ultimately, at the end of the day, a well-rounded, diverse social media profile leading back to your company website will yield continuing benefits.

As with many forms of marketing, you won’t know exactly which avenue will work best for you until you actually give them a try. One of the major wins is that with digital marketing, you can accurately track multiple metrics and ultimately your return on investment.

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.

Local SEO Syracuse

Local SEO. Getting the Basics Right.

Local SEO: The Basics.

Local SEO isn’t like regular SEO search engine optimization. Local search results change more often that you may imagine and careful planning can make all the difference in the world.

Now, more than ever Local SEO needs to be consciously integrated into a company’s digital marketing plan. As search has moved from the desktop to tablets and smartphones, the importance of being visible in mobile search has skyrocketed.  It’s no longer an option. It’s a necessity of business.

“Google” almost any product or service you can imagine and you can see immediately that the focus is virtually entirely local.  Not only that, but a majority of the first page search results are dedicated to review and other local “directory” style listings such as Yelp, Google My Places, YellowPages, Foursquare, and the list goes on.  While traditional SEO campaigns are as important as ever, careful attention to “Local SEO” in a mobile context is just as important.

Mobile Search and Customer Expectations

Google My Business and Beyond

Step One:  Claim your Google My Business page and get it up to date.  Not only does it immediately create your business presence in Google search results, but it also helps Google to better understand your website and business. And the more Google knows about you, the better.  It also gives users ability to write a review about your business and we all know how important reviews are in the digital economy.

Wondering how to get reviews?  Just ask your existing customers.  Many of them will be happy to let people know how great you are. Post a sign on your front sales counter. Put a QR code on the table or menu allowing them to scan and review. Have your service personnel ask for reviews at checkout. Place a kiosk in the lobby for them to leave a review. Sometimes, all people need is a little encouragement.

Step Two. Claim your Yelp listing and fill it out completely. Information, business hours, products and services, and above all pictures, pictures, pictures.  The internet is a visual medium, after all.

Step Three. If you are heavily involved in B2B commerce, and even if you’re not, don’t forget LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be an amazing place to garner new business and give Google and Bing clues with which to deliver meaningful search results

Someone once said that effective search engine optimization isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.  You have to keep watching, creating, engaging with visitors and potential customers (Wash, Rinse, Repeat).  But the first step to effective Local SEO is claiming and maintaining your local listings.  A famous politician once said, “All politics is local.”  So is search engine optimization and visibility.

Related: The Decline of Desktop Search


Local SEO Google

Google and Local SEO 2015

When it comes to online digital marketing, most of us focus our attention on our websites. But let’s not loose sight of the fact that other external information about our company is just as important and sometimes moreso.

According to Rachel Lindteigen in her recent article for Search Engine Land, when it comes to search engine optimization and digital marketing for your business (whether you’re in Syracuse, New York or Nottingham, England), it is crucial that you think beyond the confines of your company’s website.  This is especially true if you are a business that relies heavily on geographically local customers and clients.  For these types of local businesses, a strong online marketing presence means investing your marketing efforts in review sites, online directories, Google+, and maps.

Maps.  Yes, maps.  You would be amazed how out of date your company’s location information can be when it comes to Google, Yahoo, and a host of other map and directory listings.  Wrong store hours… even wrong store name!

Almost a year ago, Google’s “Pigeon” algorithm update gave more prominence to local map and directory sites such as Yelp. Today, Yelp listings now rank above the business’ website.

If your entire website design and digital marketing strategy are spent entirely on your company website, you are almost certainly missing out of tons of opportunities to beef up your online presence and get noticed by potential customers.


Google local search behaviour consumers

Understanding Customer Search Behavior

There’s currently a great article over at Think with Google that delves into customer search behavior on a local level.

Google partnered with Ipsos on a recent research study of 5,000 or more smartphone users is the United States.  The result is some vivid insights into how advertisers can extend their relevance in the local search market.

Participants completed an online survey or logged their smartphone search and in-store activities via a mobile diary. Our findings show that four in five consumers want search ads to be customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings. By engaging consumers with location-based ads, advertisers can provide them with the information they need to take action.

Check out the study for some very interesting insights at Think with Google.