6 Rules You Must Know for Using SEO and SEM to Grow Your Business

If you’re managing a business, you know how important a web and mobile presence is. Whether you’re selling tacos, tiaras, or terabytes, customers need to be able to find you.

You’ve probably dipped your toe into the complex world of organic or “free” search, also known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid search, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). But what do you really need to know about SEO and SEM?

I spoke with SEO/SEM expert Andrew Shelton, founder of the digital marketing agency Martec360, who gave me six rules that you need to pay attention to right now if you want to increase your sales through search:

1. Mobile is king

Need evidence of the importance of mobile? Some 96% of smartphone owners use their device to get things done. About 70% of smartphone owners use their phone to research a product before purchasing it in a store. Half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

Furthermore, Google has begun to make its search index “mobile-first.” That means that Google will primarily index mobile content and use that to decide how to rank its results.

2. Paid search pays off on mobile

On mobile, paid search (SEM) is increasingly paying off. Shelton says he used to tell his clients to focus on free search (SEO) but with users putting mobile first, the continuum has changed.

“The greatest return on investment is email,” Shelton says, “because you have those customers in house. But paid search is next.” He estimates that paid search spending went up by factors of 25% to 50% in 2016.

3. Have a solid content strategy

The old adage is the new adage: “Content is king.” You need high-quality content for your website if it’s going to compete in the free search business. You can’t go about that blindly.

Consider what customer problem you’re solving. What customer questions can you be answering?

Do you have a mechanism for customers to ask questions? There could be a wealth of ideas for blog posts, FAQs, and buyers’ guides right there.

4. Social media is worth your return on investment

Social media can be vexing for many businesses. You definitely have to perform a cost-benefit analysis on it. Spending six hours a day sending out tweets that don’t lead to conversions is going to be a losing proposition.

Treat social media as “an engagement with an ongoing conversation with your customers,” Shelton recommends. “It’s not just for selling.”

In fact, if your social media channels are too hard-sell, they’ll be counter productive. You have to create value. Tools like Hootsuite, Falcon.IO, and Curalate can help.

5. Manage your online reputation

According to Shopper Approved, an app that helps its clients collect online ratings and reviews, 88% of all consumers read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business.

All of those reviews are part of the SEO equation. They can help you, or they can hurt you. But an app like Shopper Approved can help push more positive reviews where you need them.

6. Measure and monitor your progress

The only way you’re going see your business grow exponentially through SEO, SEM, and social media is to measure what you’re doing. You have to know where you’re starting, set some benchmarks, and monitor your progress.

Install Google Analytics. There is a plethora of other e-commerce tools you can use for analysis. Data is your friend. Get used to swimming in it.

And if you need help, find a consulting firm that understands your customer and your goals.

Just remember, effective search is process. You won’t get it right the first time. But you’ll get better at it with everything you learn.

About the author:

Kim Folsom is the Founder of LIFT Development Enterprises–a not-for-profit, community development organization with a mission to help underserved, underrepresented small-business owners – and Co-Founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, LLC, a small business growth accelerator and revenue based venture fund. Learn more about Kim and her company’s mission to help grow and fund 1000 underserved and underrepresented small businesses by 2026 via their Founders Business Growth Bootcamp program at www.foundersfirstcapitalpartners.com.

 

Tech

Moo proving business etiquette still matters in digital age

LONDON (Reuters) – London-based Moo is doubling its sales every three years and proving that there is a place for a premium-priced business card printer in a digital age.

On Tuesday, the decade-old member of the city’s Silicon Roundabout tech scene posted 38 percent revenue growth for 2016 and a strengthened executive roster that includes a former chief financial officer for car-sharing pioneer ZipCar.

“In a society where our lives are becoming ever more connected online, the physical moments when we meet are becoming all the more precious,” Richard Moross, Moo’s founder and chief executive, said in an interview.

“Paper remains a very powerful marketing medium. It allows you to tell a story to people you meet.”

Fuelling its growth were sales to more than 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses employing at least 10 people. That category grew 55 percent for it during 2016.

Moo business cards allow customers to design highly personalized cards using their own photos on heavy paper stock printed with saturated inks. They are priced between $ 20 to $ 35 for a box of 50.

Moo Print Ltd reported revenue for 2016 of 75.1 million pounds ($ 99.5 million), according to a regulatory filing with UK Companies House.

Adjusted core profit last year rose to 4 million pounds from a loss of 1.0 million pounds in 2015. At a pre-tax level, losses were cut by more than half to 1.7 million pounds from 4.0 million pounds previously, the filing said.

Eighty-five percent of revenue for the company came from outside Britain, with two-thirds of sales in North America, Moross said. France, Germany and Australia are other sizeable markets. Moo has 500 employees at two UK locations and four in the United States.

During 2017, the company has bolstered its executive team by naming veteran City of London director Darren Shapland as chairman and Nick Ruotolo, the former European head of digital consumer printing leader VistaPrint, now a unit of Dutch company Cimpress, as chief operating officer.

This week, Moo named Ed Goldfinger, an experienced Boston tech executive as its new chief financial officer. He was previously CFO at security firm Veracode, Zipcar until it was acquired by Avis, and dot-com era web development firm Sapient.

Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Keith Weir

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

FAQ: What is blockchain and how can it help business?

Blockchain sounds like a way to keep boats anchored, which isn’t a bad analogy, considering what the technology purports to do.

While some IT experts herald it as a groundbreaking way of creating a distributed, unchangeable record of transactions, others question the nascent technology’s usefulness in the enterprise, which has traditionally relied on centrally-administered databases to secure digital records.

Even so, companies are moving fast to try and figure out how they can use it to save time and money. And IT vendors are responding to customers calls for info, with some already looking to include it as part of their services.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here


All articles

Siftery Ranks Business Software With Release of Trending Products

Siftery launched Trending Products, a live ranking of the most recommended business-to-business and enterprise software solutions from a growing database of more than 12,000 software products.

(PRWeb January 30, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/01/prweb14024688.htm


All articles

BBBT to Host Webinar from Sisense on Simplifying Business Analytics…

This Friday, the Boulder Business Intelligence Brain Trust (BBBT), the largest industry analyst consortium of its kind, will host a private webinar from Sisense on its innovative Single Stack™ and…

(PRWeb June 22, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13507009.htm


All articles

3 major business lessons grown-ups can learn from these kid moguls

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f105807%2flemonade-stand

Feed-twFeed-fb

Kids live in a world filled with possibility, where no dream is too big and no idea is too small. Because of this can-do attitude, kids starting their own businesses are having the kind of success some adults can only dream about

We could all learn a thing or two from these mini moguls. Here are the three biggest business lessons for grown-ups from the kidtrepreneurs who are beating them at their own game.

#1 – Start where you are

For many kids, their first foray into business is the simple lemonade stand, selling the sweet treat to neighbors passing by from the comfort of their own front yard Read more…

More about Brandspeak, Advice, Startup, Kids, and Business


All articles

Related:

RSS-3

All articles


All articles

Weekend Business Update: $200M round for Slack, PayPal condemns discrimination, and more.


In the wake of the petering out of the back-and-forth between Apple and the FBI over encryption, Whatsapp decided to throw the switch on end-to-end encryption for its entire userbase this week. Messaging apps appear to be responding to consumers’ need for privacy. Signal – the messaging tool favored by Edward Snowden – opened up its desktop app to the public this week. At Index we gather tech coverage into one platform for tech enthusiasts to keep up with the news and access that data. In this series, we fill you in every week on what’s been happening in Tech.…

This story continues at The Next Web


All articles