Tag : internet

Is Your Online Marketing Broken?

Quickly & effectively analyze your Social Media, Website, & SEO structures in order to maximize leads & sales!

Is a “Broken Website” really going to cost you money??

Yep….

A website SEO audit is a full analysis of everything related to your website’s level of search visibility. A complete and detailed audit will give you a deeper understanding as to why your site is not generating the traffic you think it should or why your sales and conversions are not improving.

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

Can’t I Just Use One Of Those Automated Reports?

There are many “automated” audit tools where you can do it yourself. You may visit other SEO or web developer websites and see a cool tool that says “What Is Your SEO Score” or “Get Your Free Website Analysis” – and then you put in your website URL and voila’ in a few minutes you have this really pretty report with some great information! While this can be a useful overview of your website these reports are meant to be “lead generation” tools and not meant to be a real audit. Often when you use these tools you will have to enter your email – or the report will come back showing issues and they encourage you to contact them for help.

These tools are in no way a true representation of the health of your website and do not offer you a real value in terms of what needs to be fixed to improve traffic and conversions.

Why Do I Need An Audit?

Over the last year we have seen incredible changes from the search engines in how they compute the search results when someone does a search. It used to be that you could just add keywords to your title tags and content and header tags – get a few back links and there you go you are ranking!

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

It is NOT AT ALL like that anymore and most business owners have not been able to keep up! There are hundreds of factors used by the search engines to determine how your site will be returned in the results. Some of the more recent additions to these factors include:

–Site speed

–Responsiveness

–Content

–Authority

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Does Social Media Marketing mean TROUBLE?

Ultimately, the results of a social media marketing audit should reconcile the difference between the current situation and where the brand social media efforts need to be. Just like the other online marketing audits companies will perform, a social media audit is not a “one and done” situation. They should be repeated periodically as part of being accountable for the social media investment.

Why do an audit? If you don’t know where you’re starting from, a lot of time and resources can be wasted improving things that don’t need it and neglecting things that really need your attention.

Who should do an audit? Companies that are new to social media marketing, companies that have been unorganized and uncoordinated in their social media marketing, companies that have used an outside agency and are pulling social media inside (or vice versa), or companies that have matured in their social media marketing and need to jump ahead a few steps.

Maintaining a social media presence can be a full-time job, which makes it kind of difficult if your full-time job requires your time and attention be spent elsewhere. Social media profiles can fall into disrepair quickly when left alone. An audit can help get things back on track.

On the flip side, there are those of you who actively maintain social media profiles and take great pain to keep everything updated and cohesive. Audits are helpful in these instances, too. They can serve as much-needed opportunities for reflection and growth.

Basically, audits are helpful for everyone, no matter where you’re at with your social media marketing.

(NOTE: Click the image to receive your FREE download!)

[IMPORTANT] SEO!

As Google gets more stringent with its penalties for everything from obvious link spam to having too high of a ratio of ads to content, getting a semi-annual or yearly site audit has become a business necessity. If you aren’t, you should be lest you get a surprise message from Google letting you know why your site visits have turned into an upside down hockey stick.

But just what is a site audit? What kind of audit do you need and what should you expect in the final report of the person auditing you? What follows is everything you need to know about website audits.

What is a Site Audit?

Site audits are, in the simplest terms, when you pay someone to forensically examine your site with tools and their eyes utilizing their knowledge and expertise to tell you what is good and what is not so good about your site (or as we say – where you have challenges and opportunities).

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

Types of Site Audits

There are many types of audits and they cannot all be covered here, but the most common types of site audits related to SEO needs are:

  • Site Health Audits: Assessing general site health or when there is a site health issue such as a downturn in traffic or positioning of unknown causation.
  • Red Flag Audits: Assessing a site for potential penalty issues. This should be part of a site health audit, but can be an audit unto itself.
  • Competitive Site Audits: Analyzing your site gaps, in its vertical and among your competitors to see what opportunities there are for site growth. Some will use this as a time to copy what their competitors do, but this can be a risky strategy.
  • Conversion Optimization Audits: Analyze conversion issues, which can be onsite or technical.
  • Negative SEO or Attacked Site Audits: Analyze downturns in site metrics when we know a site (or thought very likely) has been attacked by negative SEO methods.
  • Penalty and Recovery Audits: Analyze downturns in site metrics when a site is known (or thought very likely) to have been algorithmically or manually penalized.
  • Security Audits: Security audits for site vulnerability especially important in high-risk verticals and high value sites, but everyone should have one.

(Note: All of these can be part of the same audit, however these are how they are most commonly broken down when we receive client requests.)

Which audits are most needed? Site audits are all determined by a site’s needs. However all site audits should start with the Site Health Audit.

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eLearning; The Next Bubble

If there’s something that is quite certain about the future, it’s the rise of eLearning. Nowadays we see new online learning options popping out every month and traditional classroom environments are more eager than ever to incorporate new technologies into their curricula. The category of eLearning is itself susceptible to various trends and fashions, so it’s only a question of time before we see completely new methodologies and strategies emerge from this powerful field. What’s in store for the innovative eLearning methods in 2016? Here are key trends to watch for next year.

7 Key eLearning Trends For 2016

AutomationAutomation
Numerous education experts predict that 2016 will be the year when automation will finally become a crucial aspect of both content creation and processing. It’s most likely that content providers will use an increasing number of automated solutions to create new courses and learning materials, saving the time and money involved in conventional processes.

Augmented Learning
This is another area under intense development– it’s very likely that by 2016, augmented reality devices ranging from Apple Watch to Google Glass will become a common element of our everyday realities. Augmented learning offers a great value in adapting environments to the learner when it comes to learning. This is a solution for which the market is predicted to grow very fast, reaching a smashing number of 200 million users in just 3 years! 2015 will definitely pave the way to an increased use of augmented reality in eLearning, culminating in its widespread use in 2016. In eLearning, learners will be able to access augmented environments by means of QR codes or mobile technologies like Apple Watch or Google Glass. This kind of learning will primarily engage learners with action-based functionalities in real life conducted by means of GPS tracking, as well as with courses developed by Oculus Rift.

Big Data
Big data is big everywhere– including eLearning. It’s clear that every year we’ll have more and more data to process, and learning centers will use tools made especially for big data analytics to make sense of the user-generated information. Only those tools will be able to analyze a heap of data produced during one semester and deliver valuable and meaningful conclusions abut user performance or course content optimization. Big data analytics will help learning providers to better understand the learning process itself– by tracking learner and group patters and performing a thorough feedback analysis, they’ll be able to offer full course personalization and compile a comprehensive ROI report for learning. The promises held by big data analytics for eLearning are very impressive and will become more important than ever in 2016.

Going for cloud
The use of cloud is on the rise– in every sector, including eLearning. Enterprises are willing to embrace the functionality, comfort and security of the cloud– even though many people still think that it’s not a good idea to keep data on public servers, those attitudes are slowly weaning. The eLearning market trends and forecast report predicts the use of cloud-based authoring tools and learning platforms to grow by 9 % in the US– each year counting from 2013. This essentially means that by 2016, eLearning users will benefit from established cloud technologies assisting their learning process in many different ways.Cloud Based Image

Gamification
This is a key trend for 2016. Gamification is today a major trend that most of us are still waiting to explode– especially on the e-learning scene. Experts agree that applying game dynamics onto non-gaming contexts brings really great results– most importantly, in motivating people to achieve their goals. This feature can be easily applied to learning and eLearning environments. Gamification offers a potential strategy for improving user engagement with learning materials– some experts claim that the technique can boost learner’s motivation to a smashing 90 % recall rate. It’s quite simple. They will automatically improve their chances at remembering it once learners assume an active role in knowledge reception.

mLearning
This trend clearly follows the general rise of mobile technologies all over the world. Together with the increased use of mobile devices will emerge an interest in mLearning. Some industry experts expect mobile learning to dominate the e-learning market some day– even if this prediction sounds a little extreme, you should consider the fact that mobile is actually expected to dominate many other areas too. In short, maybe there’s a ring of truth to it after all. What exactly is mLearning and what will be its consequences? Using mLearning technologies, learners will have all the wealth of knowledge accessible at all times and places. They will benefit from contextual learning achieved through micro-location technologies (like QR codes, GPS and other) that will return learning into its context– also allowing for a much better use of augmented reality.

eLearning Needs ImagePersonalization
All those trends point to this key insight– the growth of personalization on all levels of eLearning. Once we’ll be able to analyze big chunks of data, we’ll see e-learning becoming more personalized than ever and addressing the needs, preferences and requirements of individuals rather than groups. All aspects of learning ranging from pedagogy and learning environments to learning tools and course curricula will be tailored to motivate, engage and inspire learners to achieve better results in a shorter time frame. It’s clear that 2016 will be a revolutionary year for eLearning. It will be more about developing a personalized approach to learning– by adjusting the pace of instruction, leveraging student interests, letting learners to choose their own leaning path and adjusting content presentation by choosing text, images or videos, instructors will be able to deliver their coursework in more efficient ways. eLearning will become a great source of revenue as well. Experts predict that revenues from eLearning solutions in the US are expected to reach a smashing $27.1 billion by 2016.
It’s very likely that in 2016, eLearning will completely change our approach to instruction, knowledge management and learning methodologies.

2015  paved the way to an increased use of augmented reality in eLearning, culminating in its widespread use in 2016. The promises held by big data analytics for eLearning are very impressive and will become more important than ever in 2016.

The eLearning market trends and forecast report predicts the use of cloud-based authoring tools and learning platforms to grow by 9 % in the US– each year counting from 2013. It’s clear that 2016 will be a revolutionary year for eLearning. Experts predict that revenues from eLearning solutions in the US are expected to reach a smashing $27.1 billion by 2016.

To Higher Profits in Your Business!

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 374-1558

 

Why Do I Need Online Reputation Management?

Why Do I Need Reputation Management-You’ve spent years building your business. You’ve invested time, sweat, and tears. You’ve missed dance recitals and soccer games as you’ve toiled to create it. You finally feel as though you can relax … until the day when the phone calls stop, the new customers vanish, and you can’t understand why.

You’re still providing excellent service and your existing customers love you, but your business is struggling. You learn from an existing customer that your company has some very negative reviews posted online. It dawns on you that your online reputation is presenting a twisted perception of reality that is really killing your business.

Sound like the plot of a B-movie drama? It’s true for hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses across the country.

Local Business Reviews = Reputation
What people say about your company online has become the single most important reflection of your company’s skill, quality, and reliability. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dentist, a plastic surgeon, a carpet cleaner, or a painter. In Nielsen’s most recent Global Trust in Advertising study, 70 % of global consumers indicated they trust online reviews from strangers when making purchasing decisions.

Improving Your Reputation is Your # 1 Marketing Priority
Your number one marketing priority should be developing a 5-star online reputation. Why? All your other marketing efforts, whether they be online such as SEO, social media, PPC, or offline such as direct mail, magazines, radio, or TV, will ultimately lead the consumer to learn more about you online. There, your less than sterling or non-existent reputation drives them away.

Most business owners fail to realize is that what consumers want is information that will help them feel confident they’re making the best, most well-reasoned purchase. Today, quite a bit of that confidence comes in the form of online reviews reflecting others’ experiences.

The 3Rs and 2Qs of Local Reviews and Reputation
When it comes to taking an active role in developing, building, and protecting your online reputation, you need to keep five points in mind:

Range— While it might seem as though getting a few positive reviews on Google+ or Yelp is all that’s needed, we advocate a wide-ranging approach to online review management. Just visit this Facebook page, We Hate Yelp, or read this thread on Google, and you’ll understand why. Your business is too important to you and your loved ones to let its success be dictated by one or two companies with no vested interest.
Real— Make sure real client reviews are getting posted. It’s tempting to game the system and pen some glowing reviews, however, it’s not only unethical, you’ll undoubtedly get caught, and that can have some unintended consequences.
Recent— It appears that more recent reviews weigh more heavily by the search engines in terms of ranking. For this reason alone, creating a steady stream of new, positive reviews makes sense. Additionally, the fact that more recent reviews pack more powerful social proof with potential customers than older reviews, and you simply must put systems in place to continually gather reviews.
Quantity— Ask yourself: If one dentist has 25 reviews with a 4-star average and the next best has one 5-star review, who are you going to call? Reliability is proven with consistency, particularly where reviews are concerned.
Quality— This one is pretty obvious: The higher your reviews, the better your status will be– within reason. A business with nothing but 5-star ratings can look suspicious but, in general, the more favorable your reviews, the better.
Make Reviews Part of a Comprehensive Reputation Marketing Strategy
While review and reputation building arguably may be the single most important online marketing tactic for local businesses in 2013 and beyond, the most successful businesses won’t stop there. Since reviews are most prominently displayed in conjunction with the hyper-local maps of search engines, they don’t generate many leads outsidePoor Online Reputation Reveiws Image this area.

For the vast majority of businesses serving multiple cities from a single location, reviews should be just one building block in a larger reputation marketing strategy. That strategy should employ SEO to ensure the company’s website ranks near the top in all the cities they serve for their most important buying phrases. The good news is there’s a positive, synergistic relationship between a strong review presence, well-optimized local pages, and an authoritative website.

With the dominance mobile devices display in local purchasing, companies should make sure their websites not only rank highly, but are also mobile-friendly with click-to-call, click-to-map, and other navigable engagement features. You want to remove as much friction as possible between your customer’s need and his ability to contact you.

  1. One Hidden– but Powerful– Benefit of Positive Reviews
    Clearly, your business needs to put a review-gathering, reputation marketing culture, and process in place. The investment you make will return outsized profits from the new customers you’ll attract. There is one other “hidden” benefit that an outstanding online reputation will bring: pricing power.
  2. For years, nearly every business has struggled to defend its price in a world of “me too” competitors. Imagine how easy it will be to respond to “Why should I pay more for your service?” when you can simply reply, “Have you taken a look online to see what our customers say?”.
  3. Companies need to leverage the power a 5-star reputation brings. You’ve worked hard to establish your business and sacrificed plenty along the way. Are you willing to let that hard work get flushed down the drain because of a single disgruntled customer or competitor?

Develop a system to ensure your biggest fans are louder than your biggest enemies; the payoff is worth it.

You learn from an existing customer that your company has some very negative reviews posted online. In Nielsen’s most recent Global Trust in Advertising study, 70 % of global consumers indicated they trust online reviews from strangers when making purchasing decisions.

Range— While it might seem as though getting a few positive reviews on Google+ or Yelp is all that’s needed, we advocate a wide-ranging approach to online review management. Additionally, the fact that more recent reviews pack more powerful social proof with potential customers than older reviews, and you simply must put systems in place to continually gather reviews.
For the vast majority of businesses serving multiple cities from a single location, reviews should be just one building block in a larger reputation marketing strategy.

IF you need help or you’re curious about your online reputation, contact us on our website OR call us, we LOVE to chat (412) 374-1558.

By the way, if you’re thinking that since they charge more than $2,500/month on the West Coast for this service that our price would be similar…NOPE! Our service is less than $9/day AND encompasses 4 additional lead generation services that theirs does not!! Cool, huh??

 

Here’s to Your Online Reputation!

Alex, MPeMG

www.MPeMG.com

(412)n 374-1558

(We actually answer our own phones!)

Seriously, How Much Does SEO Actually Cost?

Nearly every business today must decide how much to spend on search engine optimization (SEO). If question, this isn’t an. Robust online marketing is imperative for survival in a web-driven world.

The question every business professional must ask is, “How much will we spend on SEO?” Keep reading for all the information you’ll need to make that decision, plus some helpful tips on how SEO agencies work so you can be successful as you forge a crucial partnership with an online marketing firm.


Average SEO Payment Types

To understand the dollars and cents discussed below, you must understand payment models used by agencies. SEO agencies typically offer four main forms of services and payment:

Monthly retainer: In this model, clients pay a set fee each month in exchange for an agreed-upon array of services. The monthly retainer is the most common payment model, because it provides the greatest ROI. Monthly retainer arrangements usually include regular analytics reports, on-site content improvements, press releases, link building, keyword research, and optimization.
Contract services at fixed prices: Nearly all SEO agencies sell contract services. The services that an SEO agency offers are often advertised on their site, along with a price.
Project-based pricing: Project fees are similar to contract services with the exception that they are custom projects created specifically for a client. Pricing varies according to the project. A local cupcake shop may ask an SEO agency to help them with their local online marketing. The client decides that they want the agency to establish their social media accounts. The cupcake business and the SEO agency will decide on the scope and cost of the project.
Hourly consulting: This familiar consulting model is an hourly fee in exchange for services or information.
Most SEO agencies use all of these payment models. Clients may work with an agency using more than one model. A client may choose to enter into a monthly retainer, purchase a contract service, and engage in a special project with the agency, thus entering into three of the payment models.

Average SEO Costs

What should you expect to pay? Here’s a survey of the range of the costs according to the payment models described above.

On the lower end of this spectrum are small SEO agencies that offer a limited range of services. On the upper range are businesses with greater needs working with full-service SEO agencies.
Contract services at fixed prices: price variable. Businesses that are just testing the waters in SEO usually choose a contract service as an entry point. Typical contract services include things like SEO copywriting ($0.15-$0.50/ word), site content audit ($500-$7,500), link profile audit ($500-$7,500), and social media site setup ($500-$3,000).
Project-based pricing: price variable. Since there are a variety of projects, there is a wide range of prices. Most projects cost from $1,000 to $30,000.
Hourly consulting rate: $100-300/ hr. SEO consultants, whether agencies or individuals, usually charge between $100 and $300 per hour.
(Some of these figures are taken from a 2011 SEOmoz survey of 500 consultants and agencies.).

Things You Should Be Cautious Of

Any discussion of SEO agencies and pricing isn’t complete without a few warnings. To help you guard against indiscriminate SEO agencies with unethical business practices, read and heed. Be suspicious of the following promises:.

Guarantees. SEO firms generally can’t provide guarantees due to the constantly changing nature of the industry.
Instant results. True, some SEO tactics can get “instant results” by gaming the system. Be warned that these can hurt you in the long run. Instant results often involve SEO practices that are against webmaster guidelines put out by search engines. Invariably, Google seeks out these techniques and penalizes them, resulting in lost rankings that can take months to recover.
# 1 spot on Google. It sounds great if an agency promises you the number one spot on Google. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get it. However, it’s not something that a firm can promise to hand over to you.
Costs lower than $750/month. When it comes to SEO, you aren’t shopping for the lowest price; you’re seeking the best level of service. Be wary of rock bottom prices or “unbelievable deals.”.
Shady link building services. Link building is a crucial part of SEO. Before you enter into an arrangement with an SEO agency for link building services, ensure that their link building services are ethical, white label services.
Things to Keep in Mind.

As you begin shopping for SEO agencies and making your decision, be mindful of the following points:

SEO takes time. A monthly retainer is best. Think of SEO as a long-term investment. Aggressive campaigns and major pushes may have their place, but the most enduring SEO results come from a long-term relationship. In SEW’s Mark Jackson wrote, “The real value of SEO efforts are, generally, not realized in the first month(s) of the effort.” It’s true. SEOs don’t wave a magic wand and get instant results. Instead, they perform extensive operations that will produce results months down the road.
SEO changes, and your rankings will change, too. One-and-done SEO tricks simply don’t work.
Not all SEO services are created equal. Again, SEO isn’t about shopping around for the lowest prices. It’s about finding the finest agency you can. Look for an SEO agency that defines its scope of services, and takes the time to educate you.
SEO is important. Do it. The point of your website is to increase and/or improve your business. Unless people are finding your website, it’s not even worth having one. The smart thing is to pay what it takes to keep your site findable by the people who are looking.
Hiring an SEO agency is best. You may be thinking, “Can’t I just do this SEO thing on my own?” A tiny percentage of business owners or professionals have the skill and savvy to do their own SEO. Even so, comprehensive SEO takes way more time than most business owners can afford. Even an employee who “knows a lot about SEO,” will be hard-pressed to deliver the level of services and excellence found in a SEO agency. You’ll rarely come out on top if you try to go it alone, and you’ll never get the same level of ROI that you would with a competent SEO agency.
You’re Turn

No longer do businesses decide whether they need SEO services. As long as they choose a quality SEO agency, their decision will lead to incredible amounts of revenue.

You can decide how much that’s worth to you.

Contract services at fixed prices: Nearly all SEO agencies sell contract services. The services that an SEO agency offers are often advertised on their site, along with a price. Before you enter into an arrangement with an SEO agency for link building services, ensure that their link building services are ethical, white label services. Look for an SEO agency that defines its scope of services, and takes the time to educate you.
Even an employee who “knows a lot about SEO,” will be hard-pressed to deliver the level of services and excellence found in a SEO agency.

 

To Higher Profits,

Alex, MPeMG

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 374-1558

[We actually answer our own phones!]

 

Special Thanks To: WebsiteMagazine, WebpageFX & SearchEngineWatch