Everything seems to be up in the air right now with the spread of COVID-19, but one thing that we know to be true during this time, is that digital marketing for businesses is more important than it has ever been.
Now more than ever, people are relying on the internet and social media for news updates, product recommendations, and human connection in a time that makes it nearly impossible to get these things in any other form. The internet has become a lifeline for those that want to maintain somewhat of a normal lifestyle. And it’s because of the internet that almost everything we need is available at our fingertips.
While it’s not a fun topic to cover, it’s a crucial one to address if you want your business to make it through this pandemic, and possibly others yet to come in the future. The fact of the matter is: this is the reality we are facing today. How is your business prepared to make it through these tough times, and even after? Do you have a digital marketing system in place? How are you still showing up to support your customers in this serious time of need?
Below are few ways you can prepare and develop your digital marketing systems for your business during the ever-changing COVID-19 protocols.
The internet is full of free, easy, and useful tools for marketing online. If your business doesn’t have a Facebook Page or an Instagram Account, now is the time to start one. The important thing to remember about social media is that consistency is key. Show up for your people consistently so that they know what to expect from you! Social media is a great way to connect with customers on a more personal level. People are more likely to purchase from you if they feel like they can trust you. You can use social media to build and nurture that precious relationship between you and your customers.
If you already have active social media channels, give your customers another way to connect with you on a more intimate level! You can invite them to sign up for your email list on social media, as well as on your website. By building an email list, you are creating your very own customer base that no one else has access to while they are reading your emails. In general, people are protective of their inbox, so if someone signs up for your email list, understand that they are actively saying, “Yes, I want to know more!” So do your audience a favor and give them the information they’re asking for. Instead of only showing up in their inbox when you need something, (aka: a sale) you can reach out to your customers and personally let them know the different ways you can help them or solve their problems. You can give exclusive access to certain discount codes, or content on your website to serve those customers better.
If you’re not comfortable with posting on social media, or don’t feel as though you are able to dedicate the amount of time it takes to develop a strong digital presence, allow the professionals to handle it! Team WTI will welcome you with open arms and work with you to create a plan that’s completely customized for you and your business. We offer everything from Web Design & Digital Development, to a wide variety of Digital Marketing Services that include social media management and content development. To learn more about who we are and how we can serve you, visit the Services tab on our website! We’re happy to answer any questions you might have, and we wish you all the very best in navigating these difficult times.
Social media is an important part of getting your brand and message out to prospective and current customers. You’re probably aware of the marketing aspect of it, but did you know it can help with the SEO of your website? Google, Bing, and other search engines are incorporating more social media posts into their search engine results. Can you use social media to affect SEO? Let Team WTI show you how to use social media (and we can even handle it for you).
The whole goal of SEO is to make sure your pages and site are at the top of search engine results. The more information you have on the internet, the better your chances of hitting those top spots. People do all kinds of searches, so you must cover as many areas as possible. They not only use search engines to look for you, but they will also search for your brand on their favorite social media platforms.
People judge the authority and professionalism of a company by their social media presence. Having an amateurish appearance, inconsistent branding, or worse, no profile are all ways to turn off potential customers. If you don’t look like a “real” business or have no profile at all, your customers may go to one of your competitors. Also, if you don’t claim your profile or username, competitors or squatters can claim them. You should claim all your social media profiles, even if you’re not going to use them right now. It’s better to have them in your possession, in case you decide to use them later and to prevent someone else from using your name. If you do decide to use the platform in the future, you’re ready to go. You won’t have to jump through all the hoops it takes to not only sign up but the headache of trying to claim it from someone who “stole” your username.
A word of advice from Yoast, a leader in the SEO world: If you don’t plan on using your social media right away, you can pin a post to the top of most platforms. The post should let visitors know that they have reached the correct brand and they can contact you through the platform. You can provide other ways that they can contact you, such as email, phone number, and physical address. Make it easy for them to get in touch with you.
Team WTI can set up your profiles for you. We’ll use your company or brand name, along with your logo. We’ll fill in all of the information that a current or prospective client will need. Our Social Media team will make sure that your profile looks professional, up-to-date, and is helpful to visitors. We’ll make sure your brand is consistent across all platforms and your website, ensuring that visitors know that they are visiting the company they are looking for.
More and more search engines are incorporating social media posts into their results. Your social media accounts can appear when people search for your brand name. In the image below, you can see the Google Knowledge Panel for one of our clients, The Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany. Their Facebook profile is included near the bottom of their panel.
By having your social media profile included with your knowledge panel, it tells visitors that these are the authentic websites and social media profiles for your business. By clicking on that social media icon, they will be taken to your profile.
In addition to the knowledge panel, Google has been adding tweets from Twitter to search results. They may show up in the results as a “Tweet Carousel”. This is just being rolled out by Google, so it’s not seen a lot, but we’ll probably see more of it in the future.
As you may have noticed, the space for organic search results is getting smaller due to more paid ads and other information on the result page. You can take up that valuable real estate by making sure your website pages get ranked well, in addition to social media pages and posts. The more room you take, the less room there is for your competitors and the bigger the chance of a customer clicking on your page or website.
The more visibility you have, the more people will be talking about you and sharing your information with others. By being discussed, Google will see that you are relevant to what people are looking for. This will increase your search engine rankings, which, in turn, will improve the traffic to your site.
You can share the content of your site through social media. The more people that read your blogs and pages and like what they see, the better your chances of converting visitors to paying customers. When people like your content, they will share it or click “like”. Either option makes the social media algorithms “happy” and they’ll make sure it shows up in front of more viewers. The new people that see your posts and pages may like your page or profile and start following you. You’ll be top of mind if they are looking for your product or service. If your profile is engaging, informative, and useful, they will have a positive feeling towards your brand.
Having a social media presence alone won’t necessarily help with your search engine rankings. However, combining it with a good SEO strategy will help beef up your results. Many factors go into SEO and social media marketing is just one of them. Social media isn’t going away anytime soon, so you should take advantage of every tool available to you.
Maintaining a good social media profile takes time and effort. Contact Team WTI to learn how we can handle your SEO and Social Media Marketing for you. Our team works together to give you the biggest bang for your buck. We look forward to helping you increase your search rankings and improve your conversion rate.
Eighth graders at Geneseo Middle School had the opportunity to learn about a number of different jobs – including digital marketing and web design – during a career fair in the school gym and cafeteria on Friday, Jan. 10.
Team WTI members Holland Block, a digital marketing specialist, and Hunter Draminski, a web specialist, joined other Geneseo business professionals to speak with the more than 200 eighth-grade students at GMS.
“I was impressed with how the students all dressed up. They’d walk up to you, say ‘Hi my name is,’ and then shake your hand,” said Draminski. “They did a good job asking us questions.”
As part of the State of Illinois’ new Career and College Readiness Standards, schools are required to have a career exploration day, said GMS counselor Amy Feely.
The career fair capped off a career exploration unit in which eighth graders participated in a career survey, learned how to present themselves professionally and created a series of questions to ask employees attending the fair.
Though Geneseo Middle School has hosted career fairs in the past, GMS Principal Nate O’Dell said the last one was more than a decade ago.
“They’ve been excited about this career fair,” said O’Dell. In addition to learning about career opportunities, the fair gives students a chance to work on what O’Dell called “soft skills.”
“They say ‘thank you’ and make eye contact and all those other interpersonal skills that are vitally important,” he said.
Geneseo Superintendent Dr. Adam Brumbaugh said he applauded the teachers at GMS for organizing the career fair and preparing students for the day. Each took a survey in advance to see how their skills matched jobs and industries.
“Students are able to see what jobs are available locally. Ideally, we’d love our students to stay in the community. This helps them learn about the local workforce and what skills are needed to meet the needs and be good employees for local businesses,” said Brumbaugh.
Eighth-grade students will register for high school classes later in the spring. Thinking about jobs and careers for the future helps students plan their high school education track.
“This offers a starting place for students to see if they’re on a college track or a vocational track. We realize that college isn’t for every student, so we also look at career readiness. We want them to know what their options are,” said Brumbaugh.
Team WTI’s Block and Draminski were good examples of each education path. Block attended a junior college before graduating from a four-year school, while Draminski entered the job market after high school.
“They were interested in how we got started and what our backgrounds were,” said Draminski. “They found it interesting that I started to learn to code when I was around their age. I enjoyed explaining how I got into the job.”
“A lot of the students were very curious about what we do,” said Block, explaining that digital marketing included Search Engine Optimization, blog writing, online reputation management, social media management, and online advertising.
“They were interested to see all the types of things they could do in this field,” said Block.
Though the students had a set of questions they could ask participants, they were also able to expand to other questions.
“Most were nervous and started off with the questions they had, but as we spoke and joked with them, they’d get less nervous and branch out to ask other questions,” she said. “They all took the career fair very seriously.”
Both Block and Draminski had laptops at the career fair in order to better demonstrate their jobs to students.
“Some of the kids really wanted to see more, and to look at some of the sites and pages we’d created,” said Draminski.
The 2020 Geneseo Middle School Career Fair was attended by approximately 20 companies, representing everything from the military and education to human services and technology.
“A photo by any other name will help your SEO,” said William Shakespeare. Or at least, he would have said it had he not been busy writing about roses (and living in the 1500s).
Photo file names is an oft-forgotten aspect of SEO (search engine optimization). Too often, leaving the default straight-from-the-camera file name is the easy route to take. After all, it’s the photo people are looking at, not the image name, right?
When you use a digital image you’ve taken, it often comes with a default name like “IMG_81103.” While that name might help your camera digitally order the images chronologically, it’s not a very memorable name.
You won’t see file name “IMG_81103” on your computer desktop and have it bring back fond memories. On the other hand “Swimming Pool with Seth and Rachel” could help you recall sunny summer days. At the very least, you’ll assume a swimming pool is in the photo.
The same principle applies when you’re naming files for your website. Changing the default name will help search engines better understand the image.
The more search engines understand your site, the better it helps your SEO.
Imagine you run a site selling stationery. You could label this photo “paper” or “notebook.”
But as a stationery shop, you might sell dozens of different notebooks. Labeling each photo “notebook-1,” “notebook-2,” etc. is OK, but doesn’t really maximize your photo’s SEO potential.
Instead, if the image was named “college-ruled-spiral-notebook” search engines would have a better understanding of the image.
The best way to customize your image name is to keep it short and include keywords in your description.
Taking the time to appropriately name your image files is a way for the photo to pay double dividends.
Images already are vitally important to how users interact with your site. Research has shown people are 80% more likely to read content that includes an image. They’re also 64% more likely to remember what they read afterward.
You want people to remember your company and you want search engines to understand your site. Spending time on your image file names is an easy way to maximize your site’s SEO potential.
It is obvious why your website needs to rank well. Websites that are listed in the first few search results are much more likely to be visited. If you can get someone to visit your site it builds brand recognition, trust, and may convert to a sale. Especially if you have decent content. So take advantage of all the resources available to you!
When you think of search engine optimization, you probably think of optimizing your website with page titles, meta descriptions, search phrases, and keywords. While this is–of course–a vital part of SEO, there are methods you can use outside of your website to improve your ranking in searches, as well. If you want your website to rank well, you must prioritize both on-site optimization and off-site SEO.
One of the easiest things to do is to always create content that is QUALITY over QUANTITY. It is better to do one great blog each month rather than 3 “okay” blogs. Because the better your content is, the more likely other sites will link back to your page. Backlinking is one of the best ways to improve your ranking. Google tends to prefer websites that are more trustworthy and provide good content. If you are getting a lot of backlinks, that means your website likely has high quality information and is trustworthy.
Take advantage of influencer marketing, as well. An influencer is someone who has established credibility in a specific industry. They tend to have a following on social media, as well. Influencers are becoming one of the best tools for businesses. They share and promote your brand with their audience, which widens your reach. This also boosts visibility and trustworthiness, as well as boosts organic traffic to your site. Influencers can be great partners to your business if it is done correctly.
When you utilize both on-site SEO and off-site SEO strategies, your website will be more visible to customers and potential customers. Use all the resources you have available to you and your business will see more success!
Are viewers giving your website an F? Most likely, but that’s OK. The “F” refers to the reading pattern followed when looking at a site.
First, users look in a horizontal movement across the upper part of the page (like the top “bar” of the letter “F.”)
A reader will next move down the page a bit, looking at content on the left-hand side.
That’s followed by another horizontal glance across the middle of the page. The second horizontal glance is often shorter than the first, and represents the lower “bar” of the letter “F.”
Finally, a reader continues scanning the left-hand side of a page in a vertical movement.
Known as the “F-Pattern,” it is the most common eye-scanning pattern.
A page with a lot of content is prone to users resorting to the F-pattern. Readers especially use the pattern on text-heavy pages.
When users glance at a page using the F-pattern, it means the first lines of text are seen more than subsequent lines of text.
It also means the first few words on the left side of your page also receive more views.
Web users tend to look at pages quickly. They want to find the information the need and then move on. As a result, the F-pattern comes in to play.
However, when users scan your page in an “F” shape, they may miss important information – especially if that information happens to be on the right side of the page.
Contact the experts at Team WTI to ensure your website impresses.
Are your photos subliminally leading people away from your blog posts? The orientation of photos matters and can be the difference between your blog being read or ignored.
Great design relies heavily upon psychology, which reflects on how we process and perceive our world.
Subliminally, our mind constantly evaluates and makes decisions about the visual elements we’re seeing.
For example, if a photo shows a person walking, our eyes will naturally follow the direction of the walk. If the walk leads away from your blog post, then readers’ eyes also will leave.
We’ve spent our entire lives looking at photos. We understand they’re a moment captured in time. As a result, our mind subconsciously fills in “what happens next.”
Take the image of a football quarterback preparing to throw the ball. The quarterback is looking downfield, his arm is pulled back and his body is in motion to throw.
We know what will happen next. The ball will be released and travel away from the quarterback.
Naturally, our “line of sight” fills in the likely trajectory and moves in the direction the ball will travel.
The photo itself is stationary, but our brains understand motion, so the mind fills in the blanks about what happens next.
If that line of sight looks away from your blog content, recapturing a reader’s attention will be difficult.
The average attention span is only 10 minutes. You have a limited amount of time to engage your reader in what you’re saying.
Brains are wired to focus on specific things. Using photos to subliminally point the eye back toward your content is key.
In his classic book, “The Design of Everyday Things” Donald A. Norman describes design as “an act of communication.”
Great designers understand how the human mind works. Design isn’t solely about “looking pretty” it’s about helping your readers connect with your content.
Most people today take search results for granted. They type or say their request and instantly get an answer. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make sure the user is getting the answer they are looking for. How can you make sure your website is appearing in the search results correctly?
You need to make sure your website is set up for search engines. This process is known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO. There are a lot of factors that search engines like Google and Bing use to determine the rankings of a website. It takes a mix of knowledge, talent, and information to make sure a site is being seen by the target audience. You can’t just make a site and expect people to find you on the internet. With close to 2 billion websites on the internet, it would take a miracle for someone to stumble across your site without some guidance.
SEO is an important part of having a website, but sometimes it gets pushed to the back by people that don’t understand its importance.
We’ll discuss some reasons why you need SEO for your website. To learn more about what SEO is and how WTI can do it for your site, click HERE.
The reason you have a website is to bring more customers to your company, purchasing your products or services. An optimized site will drive traffic to your site, and, hopefully, converting those users into leads or purchases. If a site isn’t optimized, people won’t find it and they can’t become customers.
You don’t want just anyone coming to your site, you want your target demographic. According to Hubspot, 62% of consumers use search engines when researching a new business or looking for a new product or service. In that same survey, almost half of the consumers reported that they like to visit a company’s website to gather more information.
If you’ve spent any time on search engine pages, you’ve seen the pages that appear in the results that are marked as ads. If your site is optimized correctly, your listing should appear right below those ads. Also, if you don’t pay for advertising, your site won’t appear in those ad spots. If your site is appearing organically through SEO, it will appear regardless of your ad budget.
In addition to bringing potential customers to your website, you want to make sure you stay ahead of your competitors’ sites. The higher up you are in search results, the more clicks you’ll get. The more clicks you get, the less your competition will.
In the past, the easiest way to get good search rankings was to just flood your site with keywords, regardless of context or if they even fit your content. Search engines today use sophisticated AI to read your website, determining if it is informative and helpful. If a reader can use your website, that will help improve your search engine rankings.
When you build your brand digitally, you will have to create content that meets your prospective customers’ needs and wants and form an image of your brand. Your online presence will be a global version of your brand, helping you find your target audience.
In the past couple of years, Google has made a lot of changes to their algorithms to make sure that their users have the best experience possible, with search results that hopefully answer the questions being asked. You need to make sure that your site is easy to use and navigate, with information being easily found by the reader. You also need to make sure your site has images, is mobile-friendly, and loads quickly.
One of the best things about SEO, concerning other ways to promote your business, is that it easy to measure the results. You don’t have to figure out if people saw your commercial or billboard, you will know exactly how people found your site, what keywords they are using, and many other important metrics. SEO changes take some time to get traction, but once they do, you can easily see what is working and what needs to be addressed.
To correctly do SEO takes time and knowledge that many business owners don’t have. The rules and guidelines that come from search engines like Google and Bing change without notice, so it is important that your analytics are watched monthly. The person doing your SEO also needs to keep themselves informed of changes and potential changes in SEO.
If your SEO is done correctly, you will begin to see increases in sales, calls, leads, and revenue. Let WTI take care of your SEO with our team of specialists who are armed with the tools and knowledge to improve your rankings.
Contact us to learn more about having SEO performed on your site.
The world of media is changing quickly, newspapers are slowing down, people are cutting the cord on cable and listening to streaming instead of the radio. It seems as if it is getting harder and harder to get your advertising and message out to people.
A website can reach many more potential customers than other forms of media. The ROI of a website is much greater than other methods of advertising. You don’t have to buy airtime, ads in a paper, or billboards and your internet advertising can target exactly the people you want.
It seems today that everyone is online, but what are they doing while they are on their phones, tablets, and computers? Social media is important, but many businesses make the mistake of putting all their efforts into one place or platform.
Many business owners think that Facebook is the only place they need to be present. This isn’t the case (and, honestly, never has been).
Pew Research states that a quarter of Facebook users in the United States have deleted their app and Edison Research claims that Facebook has lost 15 million users since 2017. As internet usage increases, Facebook’s numbers are beginning to drop. That’s not to say that Facebook isn’t a valuable place to advertise, they still have around 214 million users in the United States, so they shouldn’t be ignored at all.
There are so many places that people can get their information online, you have to put your message everywhere. Our Digital Marketing team uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms to spread your advertising. You must use as many social media platforms as you can that are relevant to your demographic and business.
However, if you don’t have a website as your “headquarters”, so to speak, you may be wasting your money. Not everyone uses every social media application, so you must have a main site that people can find. A business website is a foundation that all of your social media should be built on.
Your website is the core of your advertising campaigns. You can advertise your company through traditional methods of advertising, social media, pay-per-click, and other forms, but your website allows a central location that customers can visit to get more information, make an appointment, or buy a product.
When people use a search engine, like Google, to find information, it is more likely they will access your website. Each of the social media platforms has a specific thing they do well, but a website can do them all. Facebook is great at being able to share information with others, Twitter seems to be the more serious form of social media at times, Pinterest allows you to share ideas, and Instagram is all about images.
A good website that uses SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics gives you a place where you can provide quick pieces of information like business hours, telephone numbers, and what products or services are offered. Blogs allow you to provide long-form articles about your company and services. Your site should include images on every page, along with galleries that users can view. If you have social media accounts, links to those accounts should be in your site’s header, footer, or both. The social media accounts can be used to cross-promote your site, getting more for your advertising dollar.
A website that is designed by a company that is interested in your success, like WTI, can provide everything a potential customer will need. The user will be able to easily navigate the site to find the information they need. Whether they are accessing the site on a desktop computer, a tablet, or their phone, the site should provide them with a good experience.
A site not only needs to look good, but it needs to load quickly and provide the important information right away. If a user wants more details, they should be able to easily find the menu and get to the pages or posts that interest them without much effort on their part.
Besides, a website provides your company with another level of credibility. A website allows you to tell customers about yourself, provide testimonials, and show reasons why people should trust your company. More and more people are relying on research like reviews, testimonials, and product details before they make a purchase.
So many businesses have websites that NOT having one can be a liability. People may wonder if a company is serious about their business or if they are a fly-by-night organization. It will be tougher for this type of company to overcome having a reputation as being small-time or sketchy.
You can be located anywhere and still have a large reach, bound only by your service areas. Your business may be a small office located in a rural area, but you can advertise to every corner of the world. With good SEO, your small business could rank right up with multinational businesses, depending on what you’re offering. The internet can level the playing field more than any other method of advertising.
People use the internet at all times of the day. They may be night owls, third shift workers, located in different time zones, or a hundred other reasons. Just because your business isn’t physically open, doesn’t mean that people can’t access your website when it’s convenient for them.
No matter where they are, what day of the week it is, or what time of day it is, users can go to your website and get information, contact you, or make purchases. You’re able to bring your business to them, making it as easy as possible to be a customer.
There are many different marketing strategies out there and there are just as many variables that go into deciding which is best for your business. Our Digital Marketing team is experienced and trained in the different methods and customize a plan that fits your website, service, and/or product. If you’re interested in growing your business, contact us and let us help you form an effective marketing plan.
No matter what the product or service is, every business needs to have a professional website. A good website isn’t something that most people can do themselves through DIY programs. It takes time to build the site correctly and to optimize it for search engines. There are constant changes that come from Bing and Google that need to be addressed as soon as they happen. Many things that are important to search engines occur behind the scenes in the code. A site may look great, but if no one can find it, it is going to be pretty useless.
Everyone at WTI takes pride in every website they work on and will do all they can to make them as successful as possible. From the initial meeting when we figure out what you want your site to look like and other details to the ongoing SEO and Digital Marketing work that occurs, WTI makes sure that you are happy with the results.
Contact us today to learn more about how a website can help your business. If you already have a website, we can work with it to make it even better. We want you to love your website and we can show you how!
This past week there was an article on Searchengineland.com that said that Google was not indexing new content. This has since been confirmed by Google and it took them two and a half days to fix. The same thing has happened in the past the article goes on to say, and it will surely happen again.
In my mind this proves a very important point. If you are concerned about your website content and using SEO to get found online, it is very important to stay on top of what is going on with search engines. They make mistakes too, even Google, and if you aren’t aware of issues it may affect your standing in their index.
I find there are a lot of sources I really trust, even though I do see what I would call “search engine politics” out there quite frequently. As with anything, SEOs have strong opinions about how Google (especially) handles their index and algorithms. I find that search engine news is very much like any news, read from numerous sources to formulate an opinion. I usually start with the Google’s Webmasters Blog to see what comes straight from the source, as well as check in with some of my favorite search engine experts on Twitter, but then I go to a few trusted sources for intel including:
Something my Dad always said was the only thing you can count on in life is death and taxes. I would like to change that popular statement to death, taxes, and search engine changes. It’s one thing you can be sure of, things always change and we always have to change with it. Sometimes there are bugs to be aware of, sometimes algorithm updates, as well as technology changes. Being aware of these things is the job of your SEO team, but it can’t hurt to be aware of them yourself.
Digital Marketing Team Director