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The Eye/Comm Blog

Common SEO Problems and How to Fix Them

Posted by Phil Frost on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 08:08 AM

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Do you ever feel like the rules of SEO are somewhat arbitrary? It's natural for small business owners to build their websites with customers' needs in mind. If customers can understand your website, then why shouldn't Google's highly sophisticated algorithms be able to do the same? Why worry about SEO if your site is clear and functional?

The answer is that Google, Bing, and other search engines need your help! If we don’t provide search engines with the information they need, then it’s impossible for them to rank our websites high when prospective customers are searching for our products and services. Unfortunately, if you want to ensure your prospects.

Here we'll review several common problems that can hinder your SEO efforts. We've split our list into sections about indexing and relevance issues. As you'll soon learn, both types of problems are equally important when auditing your SEO strategy.

Problems with Getting Indexed

Having a great website that's not properly indexed is like having an awesome store without any signage or advertising. Why bother having all that relevant content if Google's bots just ignore it?

If your website isn't being properly indexed, then one of these problems is probably the culprit:

#1 - Content Locked Behind Forms

Does your website have content that can only be viewed after completing an online form? Placing content behind log-in pages, e-mail signups and other types of forms essentially locks out search engine bots that can't input passwords to proceed. Structure your site to have plenty of accessible content that anyone can view without needing to fill out a form.

#2 - Duplicate Pages

Search engines place a high value on original content, and indexing problems can arise if the content on your website isn't unique. Sometimes, duplicate content can be caused by blogging tools or content management systems. Webmasters might also attempt to cut corners by reusing the same content on different parts of their sites.

You might also find that your original content is being used without your permission on someone else's website. Unscrupulous webmasters often use scraping tools to copy people's websites all the way down to the coding. Also be wary of purchasing content from freelancers or content mills where plagiarism is a threat.

#3 - Uncrawlable Link Structures

Does your website have a logical site map with each page accessible by a link? If not, then don't expect the search engines to index your entire site. Scores of novice webmasters fail to confirm that all the pages on their sites are properly linked, which essentially renders webpages invisible to the search bots.

Making your site map overly complicated is just as bad. When put on paper, your site map should resemble a flow chart that starts with your home page and neatly branches out to menu items and their respective subcategories. Think of it like a family tree, with your great grandparents on the top and subsequent generations branching out below. Your website is much more likely to be properly indexed with a simple and purposeful site map.

#4 - Not Enough Text

Videos and images work wonders for retention and driving user engagement. But while humans see cool videos and catchy images with clear messages, all the search engines see is a video or image file. Make sure each page on your site has plenty of relevant text context to deliver the right cues to search engines. You can also complement your images and videos with relevant captions and alt tags.

#5 - Code is Blocking Google's Bots

Your website's coding could be to blame for your SEO woes. Certain bits of coding instruct search engines on how to crawl your site or whether to crawl it at all - and you definitely won't be indexed properly if parts of your site aren't being crawled. Talk to a Web developer if you suspect this is a problem.

Problems with Getting Seen

Making sure your site shows up in relevant search queries is the other half of the battle. Search engines won't understand when and where to rank your website if your content is confusing or if you're not using language that's common among your customers.

Check your website for the following problems if its search rankings aren't up to snuff.

#1 - Unclear Content Signals

The content on each page of your website should have a clear purpose. For example, your home page should give an overview of your business. Click on an item in your main navigation menu, and that page should be focused on that menu item.

Page content that's too broad can water down the potency of your webpages and ultimately hurt your search engine rankings. Make sure your site map is organized and that each page has a clearly defined purpose that's reflected in your content.

#2 - Not Using Common Keywords

It's not enough for your content to reflect what your customers want - you must also speak in common terms. For example, you wouldn't say "wood cutting tools" when you could say "saws," "chainsaws" or "saws and chainsaws." If you don't use keyword terms that people actually search for, then your site won't rank as high when people search for those terms.

#3 - Inconsistent Language Usage

Subtle inconsistencies of language can also impact your search engine rankings, especially when these inconsistencies appear in your primary keyword terms. A great example is the mixing and matching of British and American rules when spelling out various words (i.e. "flavor" vs. "flavour"). Make sure each page sticks with one language.

#4 - Mixed Location Targeting

Where do most of your website's visitors live? Writing your site for an American audience is fine in most cases, but what if a large portion of your viewers live in other countries? While this isn't a problem for most small business owners, this problem is becoming more common as entrepreneurs leverage the Internet to connect with customers around the world.

Conclusion

Fixing these common problems can work wonders for your SEO. Remember that getting indexed and clarifying your content won't guarantee loads of organic traffic; your SEO strategy must also include marketing efforts to get your website seen by the masses. As more people see your site, they'll share it on social media or link to it from their blogs, which builds your site's credibility and results in better search rankings. But none of that matters if the automated bots can't index or decipher your website!

Want more SEO Tips?  Click here to register for our upcoming webinar on Thursday, August 3: “The Death of ‘Old School’ SEO And The 5 New Rules To Follow”.

Phil Frost is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI.  Phil leads the company’s operations and is the primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets. For more SEO help, get your free copy of Phil’s Ultimate SEO Checklist.

Topics: Marketing

How to Automate Menial Social Media Tasks and Boost Productivity

Posted by Jennifer Bridgeman on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 08:08 AM

There’s plenty of tasks for you to do each day to make sure your clients’ needs are met in a timely manner. That includes any social media they (and you) posts or interactions. Luckily, there’s an easier way to save time and boost efficiency: automation. Automation involves a number of different strategic actions, including notification and tracking customer information. But as you automate, you also need to think about what social media content is appropriate to post. That may be what’s beautiful as well as what’s informative; it need not be just short, either.  Finally, assembling the right information on your customers can help you better target those automated tasks. You’ll learn who they are and what they want from you and from your posts. Want to learn more about social media automation and your customers? Use this graphic.
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Topics: Social Media Marketing

Why Use Direct Mail?

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 @ 12:20 PM

San Diego Direct Mail

Did you know that in a study done by MarketingSherpa, they found that 54% of respondents preferred direct mail for updates and promotions vs. 47% by email? In another study using a cross media marketing strategy which included direct mail, email, PURL’s and mobile messaging, the response rates were as high as 8.7% with a conversion rate of 19%. As you can see direct mail is still very effective in a marketing campaign.

By no means are we saying you should only use direct mail, what we are saying is that when direct mail is combined with other channels you increase your response rate. As a marketer, your main objective is to get your marketing messages delivered and get responses to them. Direct mail is effective. Let’s look at another study, this one conducted by InfoTrends.

According to InfoTrends’ survey results:

  • 66% of direct mail is opened.
  • 82% of direct mail is read for a minute or more.
  • 56% of consumers who responded to direct mail went online or visited the physical store.
  • 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase.

These are very powerful numbers. You cannot ignore the direct mail channel. Don’t forget with all the latest technology, direct mail can drive mobile engagement as well as sales. This is not your grandma’s mail piece. Use both personalization and technology to increase your response. Get creative and encourage recipients to engage with you across multiple channels starting with your direct mail piece.

How to Get Your Direct  Mail to Stand Out!

We would be remiss if we did not mention that you need to track your direct mail results. Direct mail makes this easy to do with coupon codes, dedicated phone numbers, personalized landing pages and even just bringing the piece to your sale/event. Don’t let the power of direct mail pass you by. Reach out to your prospects and customers with direct mail, you will reap the benefits.

Questions? Need help? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Email Marketing How To Avoid Being Spam

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Jul 05, 2016 @ 08:51 AM

San Diego Email Marketing

By now, we all know that the subject line in an email is extremely important. A well written subject line can keep you out of the spam box and get your email read. But we also need to keep in mind that our messaging within the email can count against us for spam scoring as well. In order to best avoid the spam filters avoid using the following words:

  • Act now
  • As seen on
  • Attention
  • Bargain
  • Best price
  • Increase
  • Dear friend
  • Join millions
  • Money
  • No purchase necessary
  • Hot
  • Free
  • Performance
  • rates
  • discount

There are of course many more but this gives you a good idea of what to stay away from. Now let’s look at how to make your subject line great:

  • Your subject line and preheader text should be aligned.
  • Do not leave the preheader blank!
  • Highlight the benefit
  • Give them a true representation of what to expect in your email
  • Keep your subject line under 50 characters
  • Use numerals instead of the words
  • Capitalize important words
  • Consider pairing unlikely subject lines with sender names
  • Tell them not to open it (people cannot resist)

In email marketing, the most important thing is to make sure to only send email offers to the right people. Not everyone is interested in what you are selling; if you send to the wrong people you will end up being marked as spam. Keep in mind that all the ideas we are giving you may vary. You should test with your own list to see what works best for you. Every list is different as well as the product or service you are selling. What works for you may not work for others. Get creative and have fun with it!

Get Better Email  Marketing Results

Have questions? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Email Marketing

Why Use Augmented Reality On Your Direct Mail?

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 08:04 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Before we get into how cool and powerful direct mailcan be with augmented reality, we first need to consider it from the recipient’s perspective. When you create augmented reality that is done really well you create a one of a kind experience for recipients. That engagement experience will be shared with others very quickly. Empower your direct mail to go beyond anything you have ever dreamed of. The rewards can be amazing!

What can augmented reality do?

  • Tracking – AR provides an easy way to track when a link is used, who is using it and what type of device they are using. This knowledge can all be added to your database for future use.
  • Mobile – AR creates a way to link direct mail to mobile content. In order for the AR to work a mobile phone or tablet must be used.
  • Engagement – With AR each recipient is spending more time with your direct mail and enjoying themselves. This gives you more time to get your message across and develop a deeper relationship with each person.

Usually the first thing we hear is that sounds great how hard is it? What do I need to do? So let’s take a look at what needs to be done in order to create great augmented reality.

How to get started:

  1. Trigger – First you need to create a trigger on your direct mail pieces that will launch your augmented reality content. You can create your trigger in an image using software such as Aurasma or Layar.
  2. Content – Next you will need to create your content. This is usually the most complex part of augmented reality. This is where the creative comes in. What do you want to do? The more interactive you make it the better your response is going to be. Design with the recipient in mind. Enhance their experience.
  3. Reader – Lastly you need to offer a reader that will launch your content. The reader is a mobile app that recipients can download for free. The information on how to do this and how to read the image needs to be included on your direct mail piece.

Now before you jump in you need to plan out how augmented reality will help boost your direct mail response while providing an excellent experience for your recipients. These two things need to come together cohesively in order to work properly. You are marketing your product or service, just in a new interactive way. Try sitting down with some of your customers and bounce ideas off of them. Ask lots of questions about what they would like to see, interact with and share. You can then incorporate that information into your design and implementation. Steve Jobs said “ You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”

How to Get Your Direct  Mail to Stand Out!

Get creative, this can be really fun and exciting for you as well as your customers and prospects! We can help, call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail

Mobile Marketing Examples to Energize Your 2016 Campaigns

Posted by Danny Wong on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 @ 09:31 AM

Mobile Marketing Examples to Energize Your 2016 Campaigns

Topics: Mobile Marketing

Direct Mail Requires Focus

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 @ 09:27 AM

San Diego Direct Mail

Direct mailis a great way to generate sales for both B2B and B2C companies when it is done correctly. 20 years ago direct mail was pretty simple, now the planning execution and postal regulations are all more complicated. That is why we are here to help you. When you can truly create focused direct mail your return on your investment will be much greater.

What is focused direct mail?

  • Targeted to the right people – Your product or service is not right for everyone. Find the right people and send your direct mail to only them. You will save money by not sending to people who would not buy from you anyway.
  • Personalized with the right offers – Identify key pain points with your customers and prospects. Then address them with your offers in order to increase responses. When you can solve a problem with your product or service your offer has more value to the recipients.
  • Clear concise message – Start by writing out everything you want to say. Then pick only the most important things. Use bullet points to highlight only key information. You bold to draw attention to important words. This can take time and you should enlist the help of someone outside your organization to make sure they understand the messaging the way you intended.
  • Graphics and images that support the message – Your graphics and images should be able to enhance your message or even state your message without using any words. Selecting the best ones will take time. Make sure to have others look at them to spot any unintended references.

The last consideration is postal regulations. These can be a real problem if your direct mail has already been printed before we have looked at it. We can help you spot any problems that may cost you more in postage before you print. Remember, postage is your biggest expense and design elements that run afoul of postal regulations can cost two or more times as much money. A quick review of your pdf by our trained staff can save you.

How to Get Your Direct  Mail to Stand Out!

If you have any questions or want a PDF reviewed call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

How Social Media Marketing Shapes The Brain

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 @ 09:20 AM

San Diego Social Media Marketing

Do you remember the 1980’s commercials with the egg in the frying pan to represent our brains on drugs? It was a direct visual approach to stop kids from taking drugs. Since social mediahas a similar negative reputation, we thought it would be a good idea to explore the way social media shapes our brains in order to create better social media marketing.

Let’s first look at a study published in 2012 by researchers Tracy Packiam Alloway and Ross Geoffrey. The study was titled “The impact of engagement with social networking sites (SNSs) on cognitive skills”. This study examined the effects of social media channels on our working memory and attention skills. They found that participants had better working memory (short term memory) and better attention to details when they frequently used social media sites.

A really enlightening study came out of Tokyo on emotional connections in social media. They found that emojis triggered emotional responses in participants. So the doubters of emojis have been proven wrong!

We now know that social media:

  • Improves short term memory
  • Improves attention to detail
  • Triggers emotion with the use of emojis

How can we structure our social media marketing posts to take advantage of these benefits? We can really reach people through social media in a memorable way and they are paying attention to it. Post things that are interesting, informative and have graphics. Then use emojis to help you trigger emotion in your social media marketing. Remember to post funny things as well. People like to laugh and share the laughs with others.

  How To Do Social  Media Marketing

The real take-away here is to use social media. It does not matter if you are in a B2C or a B2B environment, since people make up both groups you can create appeal for your product or service. Your messaging and imagery will be different between the groups of course. In order for your social media to have impact you need to be posting regularly. The most important thing is to listen to what others are saying to you and about you. You cannot control what they say, but you can control your response to it.

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Social Media Marketing

Why Mobilize Direct Mail?

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Jun 06, 2016 @ 09:07 AM

Mobile Marketing San Digeo

The integration of mobile technology into direct mail is great! Mobile makes direct mail even more powerful. Consider the great experience you can create for your recipients with your direct mail piece interacting with their mobile devices. To be frank, recipients expect to be able to use their phones to do more than just call you. What are you offering them right now on your direct mail pieces?

Think of adding mobile to your direct mail as a way to engage recipients for longer periods of time and give them an experience that they will want to share with others. Consider what you are capable of doing, what you want to do, and how you can accomplish it. There are many options out there to help guide you. Remember that although you are trying to sell something, your approach to creating a good experience is by designing it from the recipient’s perspective.

What are some easy ways to add mobile to your direct mail?

  • QR Codes
  • PURLS
  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality
  • Near Field Communication

The first part of your direct mail plan to add mobile is to decide what it is you want out of it. Do you want more website hits? Do you want more whitepaper downloads? Do you want people to make purchases? Or some of all the above? Based on that decision, you can create your campaign. Make sure to have a clear call to action and not to give them multiple ones. Highlight the benefits of responding and give them an incentive to do so. Finally create a sense of urgency by giving the offer an expiration date.

Don’t allow your direct mail to be considered Junk! Integrate mobile into it as well as target your audience correctly in order to provide value to them. When your direct mail has value it is not considered junk! By adding mobile technology to your direct mail you can add value as long as the recipients understand and use it. You need to know your audience and what will appeal to them.

How to Avoid  Flat Design Issues!

Questions? Need help adding mobile to your direct mail? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!

Topics: Mobile, Direct Mail

Why Use Print In Marketing?

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 08:10 AM

San Diego Printing

Yes digital marketing is very important, however when you combine digital and print in your marketing you are able to make a greater impact. Print drives online engagement. Many companies that had stopped sending print catalogs noticed a significant drop in online sales, so they started mailing catalogs again and not only brought sales back to where they had been but increased them even more. Not a cataloger? No problem! Print is still a great addition to your marketing.

5 Print Options:

  1. Direct Mail – This is a great way to get in front of a very targeted audience. It is tangible, memorable and easily kept for future use on the fridge or other special location. Incorporating online marketing into your direct mail with PURL’s, QR Codes and more can increase not only traffic to your website but also purchases. Take advantage of the immediate impulse buy with a buy now button on your landing page.
  2. Posters – Posters are a great way to draw attention. Since you are using more graphics than text it is important to include a pathway to more content. In order to draw people online, posters work best with quick options on the go such as QR Codes, Augmented Reality or NFC.
  3. Brochures/Flyers – Brochures and Flyers are a colorful handouts with information people can take with them. You can add digital to them by offering a coupon for the product or service the flyer is about. People can get the coupon by going to a web page, scanning a QR Code or even using NFC. Make sure they can make a purchase right away too.
  4. Business cards – Get creative with your cards! When you differentiate yourself with your business cards by adding integration with online content you are remembered better and provide them with information they need. As with the other items above you can use QR Codes, NFC, web pages and Augmented Reality.
  5. Booklets/White papers – These printed items are full of information and generally text heavy. You can drive people to online infographics to give them a text break. You can have links to videos that help to explain details or how to do something. Provide them with web pages, QR Codes, or even NFC and Augmented reality. Make the experience interactive.

There are of course many more print options. Feel free to reach out to us for more ideas. Keep in mind that your landing pages for these print items need to have responsive design so that they look good from a PC, smart phone or tablet. Providing your customers/prospects with a powerful experience through your marketing will generate more sales as well as be shared with others to give you more exposure for future sales.

How Print Fits In  a Digital World

Are you ready to add digital to your print? Call us in San Diego at (619) 448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are ready to help!

Topics: print, Marketing, Direct Mail

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