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What Is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. This once novel concept has taken the digital marketing industry by storm, becoming one of the most important strategies in your online arsenal. But if you’re not familiar with the term, you’re probably wondering what is SEO?

What Is SEO?

SEO is the concept of optimizing your business content so that it’s found more easily by organic search results. That sounds a little complicated, so let’s break it down.

Let’s say you need a new pair of running shoes. What’s your first step? If you’re like most consumers, you’re going to head over to your favorite search engine (probably Google) and type in “best running shoes to buy”, or something similar. In the click of a button, your screen is filled with hundreds of pages of links to stores and sites that sell shoes. Easy, right?

Well, it’s easy for the consumer, but if you’re one of the stores selling the shoes, getting your business to appear on the first page of that list is much harder. After all, not many consumers go to page 37 for running shoes unless they’re looking for something specific. So, the higher you are in the search results, the better your odds for making a sale. A good SEO strategy helps you get there. But how?

How Does SEO Work?

When you type that query into the search box, a search engine acts much like a digital library, quickly scanning through its billions of stored and categorized websites to find ones that fit your need. To create that database of sites, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo have complex algorithms that send crawlers out to every website to find and index content for their results.

As their creepy name suggests, these spiders skulk about every page of your website content looking for clues about who you are, what you’re selling, and who you’ll benefit. The better they can index your content, the higher you’ll rank on their search engine results.

SEO is the process of optimizing your content to have as many clues as possible for the crawlers to use. It’s both an art and science, as you’ll need to understand what the crawlers are looking for and how to give that to them. Unless you’re a developer for their software team, most people don’t know exactly how these algorithms work. But we do have clues that can help us tailor our content to make the crawlers happy and give us a better place on their sticky web.

How Do I Use SEO?

Some of those helpful clues you can use to tailor your content for SEO comes from the search engines themselves. For example, Google explains that their search algorithms include factors such as the relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and location settings of the searcher.

To fall in line with their algorithm, you need to make your page relevant to certain searches, easy to use, include expert sources, and give your business location (among other things). Doing this comes in many forms, some of them included in the words of your content (called keywords) and others more technical in nature, such as optimizing your meta-tags and using proper backlinking. Check out this article for more information on how to dominate Google’s rankings.

The art form of SEO comes as search engines continually update their algorithms to weed out low-quality pages. In the past, websites honed in on certain factors of the algorithms and stuffed their websites with them to rank highly in search results. Things like duplicate content, keyword stuffing and improper linking caused a mass amount of poor and irrelevant content to dominate search results, to the frustration of users and developers everywhere.

These days, algorithms are constantly updated and fueled with artificial intelligence (AI) that keeps manipulating the system to a minimum. Websites that try to scam the system with low-quality SEO are penalized and often removed from search results entirely. Now, you’ve got to do the honest work to make the front page.

Each search engine has its own algorithm, so the best SEO strategy takes into account which one you want to rank for. Organic traffic - website traffic that doesn’t have to be paid for - is best found on Google. But if you’re looking to rank for video content, you’d need to research YouTube’s search algorithm for SEO guidance.

The Takeaway

SEO is the process of optimizing your digital content so it’s correctly indexed and highly ranked by search engines. The concept is based on tailoring your webpages and content to match up with specific factors search engine crawlers are looking for. When used correctly, a strong SEO strategy can benefit your business by gaining you higher amounts of organic website traffic that you don’t have to pay for. Try to dupe the system and you’re risking being put in a search results time out.

Do you need help developing or implementing a strong SEO strategy for your business? We can help! We offer a full range of SEO services to optimize your website so you show high on search results and get more leads, more traffic and more business. Contact us today!


How to Dominate Your Industry on Google

The concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technically applies to all online search engines, but let’s face it - with over 70% of online searches in its corner, Google is king. If you’re budgeting for SEO in your marketing strategy (and you should be), you should be doing it with Google in mind.

Google is a large ocean, and your website is one of the millions vying for its attention. So how do you get noticed? Google’s algorithms exist to fairly crawl and index all websites, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to get ahead of the game and rise through the ranks.

If you’re looking for a first-page Google ranking, use these tips to dominate your industry on Google.


Narrow Your Niche

When you’re asking “How do I dominate my industry on google?”, what you’re asking is “How do I out-rank the competition?”

If you’re going to out-Google your competitors, you need to know who those competitors are. That’s why the first step of dominating your industry is to define it as a specific niche. The more specifically you define your business, the better. You’re not just a law firm - you’re a personal injury lawyer. You aren’t a financial company - you’re an accounting firm that specializes in corporate tax. 

Ask yourself what product or service you want to be known for and keep your focus on dominating that niche. Think about it this way - the more narrow your industry, the less competition you have.


Optimize Your Site with The Right Keywords

Once you’ve defined your niche, it’s time to find the keywords that will help you rise to the top of those search results. The point of using targeted keywords is that it will make your content relevant and easily searchable on Google, which is exactly what your SEO goal should be. 

In previous days, keywords were all it took to dominate Google rankings. Companies turned to stuffing their content and websites with as many keywords as possible, and it worked. As expected, Google has gotten smarter, and now websites that keyword stuff are penalized, so choosing the right keywords takes a bit more work.

Many keyword tools on the market can help you research keywords for your niche and narrow down your options. Your keywords should be as specific to your business as possible. Don’t automatically choose the most-searched keyword in the list (remember what we said about competition!) Long-tail keyword phrases and those with lower search volumes can help convert users more easily than trying to compete in the most popular searches. 


Write Well - And Often

Content is extremely important for Google rankings - as long as it’s relevant, high-quality and authoritative. Your content should be optimized with on-page SEO and keywords, but it’s even more important that it makes sense, is engaging and keeps your audience’s attention. Many businesses fall into the trap of writing for search engines instead of for humans, and while that may get you an initial boost in your rankings, it’s ultimately bad for your business. Be sure to write with your audience in mind; avoid keyword stuffing, irrelevant links or badly re-spun content.


Use On-Page SEO

On-page SEO means optimizing the content and HTML codes of an individual webpage so it gets noticed by Google. On the technical side, on-page SEO includes optimizing your headlines, images and HTML tags (header, meta, and title tags). On-page SEO is a great way to rise in the ranks from behind the scenes instead of strictly through content, and it’s a must for any website wanting a first-page ranking. For more information on how to dominate with on-page SEO, check out these great tips.

Getting your website optimized to dominate Google has many moving parts. To take your business to the top of Google, utilize these tips. If you’re feeling lost in the SEO jargon, don’t worry! BIS Designs offers SEO services that are guaranteed to move you through the ranks and top your industry on Google. Contact us today to learn more!


The Top Website Design Trends For 2019-2020

Website design trends are as fluid and changing as the sea (or the internet). What is popular today may be a website faux pas tomorrow, and what was deemed uncool two years ago can make an unexpected comeback. Staying on top of the day’s trends can feel like a full-time job. Luckily, we’ve done it for you!

We’ve scoured the industry’s top leaders for the day’s most popular website design trends. The ones that can make or break your website. The ones that will set you apart from your competitors. The ones you can be sure will stick around for 2020. Check them out below!

 

Mobile-First Designs

 

The days of desktop dominance are gone, and mobile devices are the undisputed king of screen time. Users spend an average of 69% of their media time on smartphones, so if you want to reach your audience then you’ve got to optimize your site for mobile use. Also, Google now ranks mobile sites ahead of desktop sites in search rankings, so focusing on a mobile design will help make sure your site is seen. And studies show that users are 67% more likely to buy a product from your site if it is optimized for mobile use. See the pattern?

 

Mobile devices aren’t exactly new, and they’ve taken up a big spot in web design for a few years. But the new focus on mobile-first designs means that website designers are focusing on mobile templates first rather than creating websites for desktops and then making them responsive to other devices. Because users expect a website to load in under 3 seconds, optimizing a website for mobile loading also means you’ll decrease your bounce rate and increase your user engagement.

 

What does that mean for you? Well, it means a focus on layouts that can be compressed to fit a smaller screen without losing content. It’s also important to keep in mind that mobile screens are touched rather than clicked, so you’ll need to adjust your designs to be accessible by various fingers. In short, simple and direct navigation, adaptive designs, and responsive frameworks will reign supreme.

 

Speedy and Trendy Designs

 

We’ve already discussed optimizing your website for load speed (recap: you should), but doing so involves more than just technical work. The design of your website also plays a big role in how quickly it loads. Keep your design simple but trendy to stay on top of your speed and your relevance. Be generous with your white space - it helps guide users down the page and keeps your site uniform, while also loading quickly. You should also reduce clutter by ridding your site of unnecessary graphics and complex designs to make your site quick and scannable.

 

For the trendiest site on the web, use a good mix of contrasting colors, large and playful fonts, and high-quality images and videos. Grid patterns are becoming especially popular - a good example of this is the block layout of Pinterest pins. Grouping your content and related pages into easily scannable squares keeps your users attention while looking sleek and modern.

 

Video is King

 

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you’ll know that video content is the name of the internet game. Today’s users are more concerned than ever with immediate gratification, and information is often easiest to access and digest in video form. In fact, static pages (those without any animated or video content) are likely to be obsolete by 2020. That’s why the top websites have shifted their content focus away from text graphics and articles and instead use full-screen or embedded videos to boost their site traffic.

 

One of the top ways to do this is to place videos in the header of your website to immediately gain the attention of visitors. Or, you can place multiple related videos along your page to entice users to scroll down. Some websites even choose to display looping videos as the background of their homepage. Whatever method you choose, video content should be your prime focus as we move into 2020.

 

Don’t have video content? Jump on the motion bandwagon with GIFS or animation to keep your page from looking static. 

 

Chat Bots

 

Chat Bots are a new feature in AI that have taken the internet by storm in 2019 and show no signs of slowing down. A chat bot interacts with users on your website through chat ‘conversations’ to provide automated customer service, saving you time and money. They also allow users to access information and engage with your site much more quickly than traditional methods. Chat bots use assigned ‘rules’ and information along with really cool artificial intelligence to allow users to do a multitude of tasks. They can do things such as ask questions, file complaints, make online orders, book flights, buy tickets, and more.

 

There are two types of chatbots: simple and advanced. Simple chatbots use pre-filled keywords to process and respond to customer queries. This type of bot is much simpler (and cheaper) to implement on your website, but it isn’t as good at engaging with your users; it often responds to difficult or unanticipated questions with an ‘I don’t understand’ message. On the opposite side of the coin, advanced chatbots use artificial intelligence to learn customer preferences and enhance conversation. They are able to make jokes, understand sarcasm, and answer complex questions.

 

Artificial intelligence is not yet an art, so there are still bugs in the system. Plus, chat bots can be extremely expensive and they require technical knowledge that many companies may not have on the payroll. However, we anticipate that as technology advances, chat bots will become much more streamlined and accessible for all.

 

Sticky Elements

Sticky elements is a very descriptive name, as they “stick” to your webpage. In other words, as users scroll down your page the sticky elements scroll with them. It’s a great way to keep navigation simple and keep your users engaged.

 

Sticky elements can be a variety of things. Newsletter sign-ups, contact information, and promotions are all good sticky element materials. Many websites create sticky “floating” menus to make navigation easier for a better user experience. Perhaps the most important one is social media links, which allow users to quickly link to your accounts or share your material on their pages. Which is important, because social media attracts billions (with a b) of internet users every day. That’s a huge audience!

 

But, be careful not to over-saturate your site with too many sticky elements. Doing so can make them seem spammy and intrusive, plus they’ll cover your other content. Stick to the sweet spot - no more than two or three at a time. 

 

Well, there you have it. The top website design trends for 2019-2020 focus on increasing speed, keeping your designs simple but engaging, and using technology to stay ahead of the game. Trends evolve, but we’re confident that keeping these in mind will help keep your website relevant and modern through the New Year and beyond.

 

Need more help? We do website design! From consultations to complete overhauls, BIS Designs can transform your website into a stunning reflection of your business. Contact us today!


4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Blog

Once the gem of personal or lifestyle websites, blogging has taken the business industry by storm and is now a highly effective marketing tool, especially for small businesses. Blogging has so many benefits for your company - it can increase your website traffic, widen your target audience, and help create and promote your business brand, among others. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at the top benefits of a business blog - and how to make them work for you.

 

A Blog Benefits Your SEO

 

Let’s start with the obvious - as a business, you want people to find you. The vast majority of consumers find products and services through search engines, but 75% of them never move away from the first page of results. That’s why paying close attention to your SEO strategy is crucial to achieving your marketing goals. Blogging is one of the easiest ways to boost your Google rankings, and if you want to be found via search engine then Google is king. Each blog post that your site publishes is another page for Google to crawl and “index” in its search algorithm, which increases your website authority (and thus your rankings). Adding new and regular content is also an indicator to search engines that your site is active and current, which increases your visibility factor. In short, blogging is an essential tool if you want to rank highly on Google or any SERP.

 

Be sure to do thorough research and include relevant keywords and topics in your blog content to maximize your SEO success. For more advice on successful SEO, check out our article on the best SEO tips for 2019.

 

A Blog Increases Your Website Traffic

 

You’ve got your website up and running, your business is front and center, and you’re ready to start helping customers! But all you’re hearing is crickets. How do you get people to visit your website?

 

A blog is a great way to help increase your website traffic. Blog content is more shareable than traditional website copy, making it a more effective way to reach your audience. If your content is engaging, solves problems, and focuses on relevant topics, related websites may link to it in their own posts or readers may share it across their social media accounts. You can also cross-post your articles on your own social media accounts, which will increase your business exposure, drive traffic, and help take some of the strain off your marketing department by reducing the need for new content.

 

It’s important to make sharing and linking your content easy. Include social media widgets or hyperlinks in your content, and format your blog images to translate easily across platforms. For even more exposure, try collaborating with related websites or pitching your articles to them for publishing on their site.

 

A Blog Widens Your Audience

 

A carefully crafted business blog will widen your available target audience. Users who are searching for your services will find them easily if your website is SEO-friendly, but what about those who can benefit from your business but may not know it? Through careful blogging, your website can appeal to this untapped section of your audience. This may sound confusing, so let’s look at an example:

 

Say your business sells automobile transmissions. Obviously, you’ll get a great deal of traffic from local users who search “where can I buy an automobile transmission”. But this is a small audience, and those are all people who have already diagnosed their problem and are seeking a solution. What about people who know their car has a problem, but they aren’t sure what it is? This is a much larger audience, and it is one that your business can’t ignore if you want to maximize your profits. By writing a blog post about how to diagnose transmission problems, you’ll reach consumers who need your services but aren’t actively searching for them, and you can help guide them towards purchasing your product. This is called “top of funnel” content, and it’s essential to maximizing your website conversions.

 

Don’t be afraid to vary your content across all of your industry’s challenges, trending news, and current topics. Remember - the goal is to drive a new audience to your site and promote awareness of your business. Once you’ve got their attention, your services will speak for themselves.

 

A Blog Establishes Your Business Brand

 

Online consumers are increasingly concerned with where (and with who) they are spending their money, and businesses who have an identifying brand consistently outperform those who do not. Blogging is a great way to establish and promote your business brand because it gives your business a voice. Whether you want to promote your brand as knowledgeable, caring, quirky, or even humorous, your blog should showcase your company’s values and help engage with your audience on a personal level. As a business you’re likely to be competing in a large market. Establishing a brand through blogging will set your company apart and distinguish you from the competition.

 

If you’re new to business blogging or need help with other areas of your marketing strategy, let BIS Designs help! We can provide consulting services, help design your content strategy, or even manage your business blog for you. If you’re unsure about outsourcing your business blog (can an outsider really capture my brand?), we’ve got you covered - here’s why outsourcing your blogging is a great decision.


Stay On Top: SEO in 2019

Hello, 2019! It’s a New Year, which means it’s time to get ahead of the competition and on top of your search engine optimization (SEO). In the next few minutes, we’ll cover these five topics to get you thinking about improving your SEO strategy: Mobile-first indexing, page speed, thought-provoking content, featured snippets, and RankBrain.

1. Mobile-first indexing

As of March 2018, Google started rolling out what they call “mobile-first indexing”. In 2019, this concept will become even more relevant as mobile users rise and Google adapts mobile-first indexing to more and more websites.

Searches on desktops are declining, driving the pressing need for appropriate indexing based on the mobile versions of websites. Due to this, mobile-first indexing was created with the intention of helping mobile users easily find what they’re looking for. So, what does this mean for you? Should you completely disregard the desktop version of your website and solely focus on the mobile? The simple answer is no. Both your desktop and mobile versions will come into play in the New Year. This is why Google’s new strategy is called mobile-first indexing, not mobile-only indexing.

In order to avoid negatively impacting your rankings, ensure your mobile and desktop versions are developed with quick loading times and optimized images and content. It’s important not to sacrifice your desktop version for your mobile version, or vise versa.  

2. Page speed

In the new mobile-first index, page speed has become a huge ranking factor, primarily impacting pages that deliver the slowest experience to users on mobile versions. Slow loading speeds cause users to bounce from 32-90% as page load times increase from 1-5 seconds. Research has shown, consumers don’t like to wait for content, especially while on their mobile devices.

How can you increase your page speed? There are three easy steps you can take to increase your speed. First, you can conduct a page speed test using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Next, take into account the size of your pages; many sites are loaded down with too much information, making it difficult to process. Cutting down on the bulk will help your speed improve. Third, contact your web/SEO expert, like us! We can help determine what steps you should take to improve your page speed (and overall SEO). 

3. Thought-provoking content

It’s time to stop creating content for the sake of creating content. Focus on creating content that solves a problem by offering advice, motivation, and engagement for your customer. Creating exceptional content shouldn’t be forgotten and will likely always be an important key to improving your SEO. Exceptional content keeps people wanting more, bringing them back to your site.

4. Featured Snippets

A featured snippet is a short summary to a user’s search displayed on top of Google search results. The image below is a snippet, and trust us, it’s where you want your website to appear when consumers search for a service or product.

By using snippets effectively, you can maximize your authority, prove that Google chooses your page over competitors, and increase your traffic. You can earn a featured snippet by analyzing keyword opportunities and implementing them into your site, creating strategic content, having a Q&A section on your website, clearly outlining your subheadings, lists, tables, etc., and polishing up any existing snippets.

5. RankBrain

RankBrain is a machine-learning algorithm that works alongside Google’s current algorithm, Hummingbird, to improve Google’s search engine by learning and identifying patterns and interpreting unknown search strings. Machine learning is what happens when a computer learns by experience, and that’s exactly what RankBrain does. It intelligently gathers users habits and needs to direct them to the most useful content for their search. It works by taking segments of the entire search and relating them to the most popular searches with those related terms, and as people click on their desired result, RankBrain grows in its search knowledge. RankBrain affects how Google ranks search results. It learns which results are relevant and pushes them to the top.

According to Google, RankBrain is the third most important factor in SEO, after content and links. The key to overcoming RankBrain is to provide users with a positive experience through easy-to-navigate, detailed, and quality content to optimize your site.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the slough of information and ever-changing world of SEO, don’t stress! We’re here to keep you abreast of the changes, and help you implement them into your website structure.

 

RELATED: 

Mobile-Responsive Web Design and Why Your Business Needs it

 


Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


4 Basic Tips of Blogging Search Engine Optimization

Here’s a quick illustration of how SEO works…

Google has developed automatic algorithms that rank your website.  They send out what are called “spiders” to “crawl” your site and check it for over 100 indicators that determine whether the website is valuable or useless.  These indicators include things like backlinks, domain age, traffic, fresh content, etc.

SEO can be considered the art of making sure those crawling spiders are happy with what they find.  It is a very complex field that is always changing but in all that chaos there are a few constants that have remained the same since the beginning. 

1. You need your own domain and hosting.

One thing that beginners need to know is that you need your own domain and hosting.  Free blog set ups don’t do any favors for your SEO efforts.  Why?

People tend to speculate that if you were serious about your website you would get your own name and host it yourself.  Google only wants to point to websites that are considered serious and trustworthy and so this is a basic signal.

Starting your own website, hosting and a business blog can seem intimidating but that’s why we’re here.  We offer multiple packages to meet your needs, which saves you a lot of time.

2. Problem solving with original content.

Keep in mind that Google’s entire purpose is to provide their customers with relevant and useful search results.  Everything they do is built around this goal.

To be realistic, the most important thing you can do for your SEO is create the most useful content that solves people’s problems. If you are solving problems that people are searching for then it is likely that you are going to get shared on social media and ranked higher in Google.

And “original content” means so much more than just blog posts these days.  You can expand into:

  • Videos 
  • Make tutorials or video posts.  This builds links and traffic from YouTube and does well on mobile devices.
  • Photography
  • Original images and photos can boost your rankings as well as add value to your blog posts. Adding your own logos and sharing to social media is an extra layer of marketing, too.
  • Podcasts
  • iTunes has grown fast as people get better smart phones and spend more time plugged in.  Adding a podcast to your blog will ensure a unique and original addition for SEO. You want to build a relationship with your customers and readers by helping them out.  This will mean more sharing and faster results in your search engine rankings.

3.  Make sure your theme is SEO optimized.

Think of SEO as having two components: the off-site stuff like social media and backlinks and the on-site stuff like optimizing your theme.

Optimizing your theme is important because it helps give Google indicators that you are a trustworthy site.  It also helps Google find your content.  Some of the things to keep in mind when optimizing are:

  • Mobile Response
  • Cleanly coded
  • Fast loading
  • Secure domain
  • Original theme (rather than a pre-made template)

4. Build your social media profiles constantly.

You want to have a big focus on social media for SEO purposes as well as traffic building purposes.

Why?

Because Google is now looking to social media as a signal of an article’s authority and relevance.  If people are sharing on Facebook or tweeting about it, you must have written something pretty good.  The best way for this to happen is to build a strong following, keep them engaged and they’ll see your blog posts as they are shared. 

Commenting and sharing other business blogs is always a great way to build a community and possible cross-promoting opportunities for the future as well.

Are you now ready to get a blog started and make sure your SEO is on the right track? Schedule a meeting and we’ll handle every detail from writing, optimizing your website and sharing to your social media!

 

Author: Stephanie May 

RELATED:

5 Benefits of Business Blogging

12 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Content Marketing Strategy

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,   Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com

 

 


5 Benefits of Business Blogging

These days, having a company website is no longer enough to stand out among the thousands of competitors you compete with in the digital space.  Blogging isn’t just a place to host your company press releases, it’s about providing valuable content to your future customers.

What is business blogging? Blogging is a marketing tactic that uses articles to get your business more online visibility.  A business blog is a marketing channel (just like social media, email campaigns, etc.) that helps support business growth.

No matter what kind of business you have, whether you’re a local mom and pop shop, or giant corporation, there are some serious benefits are seemingly endless.

Here are 5 benefits of business blogging:

1. Creates Brand Authority

Consistently updating an active blog for your business allows you to personify your business by giving it a voice.  Your blog is a space to discuss industry related topics, market trends and upcoming products.  Focusing on these topics actively builds brand-trust.  Trust generates leads.  Leads grow sales.  Can you see where this is all going?

When you utilize your blog effectively, you are creating a two-way conversion between you and your customers, prospects and other industry professionals which can be very helpful for gathering insights for future business development.

Having an active blog helps you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to industry news and competitors.  By staying ahead of the curve, you are positioning your company as a leader as opposed to a follower.  Your blog also serves the purpose of having a place to share your brand story, although it should be noted that it’s not advised that you blog only about yourself as a company. 

2. Business Blogging Fuels Your SEO

There are some pretty obvious SEO benefits blogs can offer, such as viewers spending longer amounts of time on your website, increasing page views and lowering bounce rates.  However, it’s also important to mention that search engines love valuable content and reward it with higher search result placements. 

As more people are putting out content to capture the attention of search engines, the algorithms are getting smarter.  Your business blogging content should focus on having frequent high-quality content as opposed to having constant poor-quality content.  Opt for longer blog posts because Google actually favors in-depth blog articles but a regularly updated blog, no matter the length of the articles, ranks higher in search engines than websites with no blog at all. 

3. Supports Your Social Media Advertising Efforts

Using blog articles as part of your content strategy on both Facebook and LinkedIn platforms has been proven to be very effective.  Depending on the nature of the industry, boosted blog posts typically generate more engagements as opposed to generic click campaigns.  This increased engagement impacts your overall organic reach for the post, which essentially means you are getting more viewers and spending less money as you’re running your ad campaigns.

Aside from using blog content for your ads, leveraging your blog posts throughout your social media content also increases the chances of gaining extra exposure.  When you can write a blog article that is so interesting that others will want to share it, you are ultimately gaining free exposure. 

4. Generates a Great ROI

Business blogs are cost-effective marketing investments.  Many business owners choose to outsource their blogging efforts entirely because it can be a time-consuming task when you are already wearing multiple hats for your business.  According to Hubspot research, B2B marketers who use blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those who don’t.

5. Blogs Serve as a Lead Generation Tool

Blogging is an integral part of your digital sales funnel.  In addition to driving traffic to your website, business blogging offers a great opportunity for capturing leads.  By using non-intrusive lead capturing tools such as lead capture forms and call-to-action buttons, you can gather valuable data on the quality of the leads your blog posts are generating. 

How many times have you read a blog post and downloaded a free e-book because you were interested in gaining more insightful information about the topic you were reading? If you recall a moment where you have personally done this, congratulations! You were successfully moved from the inbound marketing stage of attraction to the stage of conversion. 

Each blog post you create is an additional page that can be indexed by Google, which can be used with a combination of lead generating call-to-action buttons such as free webinars, fact sheets and e-books.  Asking for emails isn’t an easy task but when you offer valuable data in exchange for emails, you can leverage it for better prospecting. 

The Takeaway

Although it can be difficult to find the time to keep up a business blog, you don’t want to neglect the benefits blogging has to offer.  By utilizing a local outsourced marketing company, like BIS Designs, your blogs can serve as a central piece for all your other marketing efforts which can include social media, SEO, email marketing and much more.

When business blogging is done properly, it creates an opportunity that will have lifelong benefits to boosting your business marketing efforts.  

RELATED: 

12 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Content Marketing Strategy

 

Author: Stephanie May 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,   Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


How Is Voice Search Affecting SEO?

Have you talked to Siri, Alexa or Cortana lately? You probably have, and you wouldn’t be alone.  According to Google, more than half of teens and 41% of adults are using voice search daily.  For users, voice search is basically the best thing since sliced bread and now marketers are racing to optimize their content for it.

Why is voice search hailed as the next big opportunity? Let’s break down what voice search is, how it’s impacting search, and some quick tips on how to optimize for these new types of queries.

What is Voice Search?

People tend to use voice search when they are multi-tasking, like asking for directions, dictating texts, and getting quick information.  And because voice search is a drastic new medium to perform searches, the types of queries and ways in which people are searching are changing immensely.

What’s Its Impact?

Voice search is making long tail, colloquial keywords more relevant.  People are now having conversations with their devices, whether it’s a smartphone or voice assistant, so preparing for longer, more descriptive terms is imperative.  Also, searchers are using more interrogative words within their searches.  Imagine you’re driving around town, jamming to your favorite song and realize that your gas light just turned on – chances are you might quickly ask Siri, “Where’s the closest gas station?”, and voila! In a couple of minutes your tank is full, you’re back on the road downing a Dr. Pepper and pretending to be Britney Spears.

How Do I Optimize For It?

An easy way to begin optimizing your site’s pages is making sure you’re tracking voice terms, which include long tail keywords and searches with question terms attached – like who, what, where, when and so on. Once you have a benchmark, you’ll be able to track your improvements.

Next, create or update an existing FAZ page predicting relevant voice searches.  This page can include questions like, “How much is shipping?” or “How does it work?” so when people are searching questions that might relate to your business, you have a page ready for them to land on.

And lastly, make sure your site passes the mobile-friendliness test.  People using voice search want quick answers to their pressing questions, so if your landing page doesn’t load fast enough, your user might bounce right off your site and get answers from elsewhere. 

 

Author: Stephanie May 

 

RELATED: 

Marketing Trends for 2018 

 

Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of    what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,   Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit bistechnologygroup.com.

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527
Email: plong@askbis.com


Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing

The year is flying by quickly and before we know it, 2018 will be here.  Top companies have a habit of starting to plan for the next year by Q2 of the year, so many businesses are already looking at trends coming up in the new year.  If you have initiated planning your marketing strategy and budget for 2018, be prepared to face questions regarding tactics you are opting to use that would go best with most of your customers.  And most importantly, which tactics can result in the most efficient conversion. 

To plan a top-notch marketing strategy for your business in 2018, go through the seven trends explained here and incorporate them in your planning process.  From personalized elements and mastering micro-moments to moving visual and analyzing the authentic data, we will go through all the best strategies for acquiring leads, conversions and engagement.

Master Micro-Moments

Mobile gadgets have proved to be a major influence in customer interaction and engagement with brands across the globe. But the surprising thing for most people is the concept of “micro-moments”, which has powered the shift to mobile phones. From long-term goals such as planning to purchase a home, or something as small as acquiring a quick grocery from the nearest store or even locating the ingredients of a dish from your phone, etc., countless of these micro-moments stimulate the impulse to reach out for our mobile phone.

As per Think with Google, micro-moments are highly critical and evaluative touchpoints where customers expect brands to cater their needs with reliable information, regardless of the time and location.

Whenever a customer feels the need to inquire about something, an astounding 96% of users reach for their smartphones to conduct the required research at that very instant. Only successful brands have the tendency to correctly anticipate and address the exact micro-moment needs by providing the right information at the right time to customer in need.

A useful, quick and one-touch access to the needed information becomes the basis of acquiring customer trust and building long-lasting relationships.

Visualization Is More Important than Ever

For all the exciting and informative things found online, whether it is a couple of kittens playing, a baby laughing or a top commercial featuring a popular model, there is always an element of video.  With a video, people tend to accept and attach on a much deeper level due to the usage of visually-rich and interactive elements depicting a proper message or story. And as a consequence, audience is tempted to take considerable action in terms of likes, sharing, etc.

With time, brands have been able to capitalize on the introduction of highly-engaging video features on different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

For this trend, we are going to focus on video aspect only since businesses are seizing the opportunity to differentiate their brand in the competitive industry.

Mobile users are tending to spend more time than ever with their smartphones, with the excitement to watch videos online being proportionate as well. It is clear from the following stats that online video is growing rapidly in popularity.

YouTube registers more 18 and above years-old audience during peak TV hours than any cable TV network.
Advertisers on prime time broadcasting TV could gain 56% more audience of 18 to 49 years-old through advertising on YouTube.
Plainly from statistics, it does not come as a surprise that Facebook recently revealed the count of 1.65 billion active users (data from April 2016) watching about 8 billion videos each day.

Consumers are more tempted from videos because of the deeper attachment they experience from the visual on-screen elements. Realizing the need, the trend of promoting high-quality video content is very much likely to soar high in future.

The Best Visibility with Native Ads

To grab a plain sight exposure in front of the right audience, native advertising has become one of the most sought-after marketing methods. Most users find interruptive ads frustrating and irrelevant. For instance, browsing a website and instantly an out-of-context ad pops out of nowhere is a big no-no for the user.

This is a common concern, which is best catered by native ads. It facilitates brands to market their offerings in a quite non-disruptive way that blends in easily with the environment a user is most comfortable with.

Native ads blend in such a seamless manner, that customers may not even spot them when viewing let it be advertorial, instant content, search advertising, recommended content or sponsored listings form of native advertising. Rather than approving it as a deceiving aspect, the point is to put the right information in front of the viewer when they actually need it.

As per the data provided by Polar and BI intelligence, CTR rates for premium native ads on mobile gadgets were four times higher, than the count of non-native display ads. The data also stressed that native ads calls for better engagement rates on tablets and smartphones as compared to desktop systems.


Emerging Digital Marketing Trends (2 part series)

Emerging Digital Marketing Trends

The year is flying by quickly and before we know it, 2018 will be here.  Top companies have a habit of starting to plan for the next year by Q2 of the year, so many businesses are already looking at trends coming up in the new year.  If you have initiated planning your marketing strategy and budget for 2018, be prepared to face questions regarding tactics you are opting to use that would go best with most of your customers.  And most importantly, which tactics can result in the most efficient conversion. 

To plan a top-notch marketing strategy for your business in 2018, go through the seven trends explained here and incorporate them in your planning process.  From personalized elements and mastering micro-moments to moving visual and analyzing the authentic data, we will go through all the best strategies for acquiring leads, conversions and engagement.

Master Micro-Moments

Mobile gadgets have proved to be a major influence in customer interaction and engagement with brands across the globe. But the surprising thing for most people is the concept of “micro-moments”, which has powered the shift to mobile phones. From long-term goals such as planning to purchase a home, or something as small as acquiring a quick grocery from the nearest store or even locating the ingredients of a dish from your phone, etc., countless of these micro-moments stimulate the impulse to reach out for our mobile phone.

As per Think with Google, micro-moments are highly critical and evaluative touchpoints where customers expect brands to cater their needs with reliable information, regardless of the time and location.

Whenever a customer feels the need to inquire about something, an astounding 96% of users reach for their smartphones to conduct the required research at that very instant. Only successful brands have the tendency to correctly anticipate and address the exact micro-moment needs by providing the right information at the right time to customer in need.

A useful, quick and one-touch access to the needed information becomes the basis of acquiring customer trust and building long-lasting relationships.

 

Visualization Is More Important than Ever

For all the exciting and informative things found online, whether it is a couple of kittens playing, a baby laughing or a top commercial featuring a popular model, there is always an element of video.  With a video, people tend to accept and attach on a much deeper level due to the usage of visually-rich and interactive elements depicting a proper message or story. And as a consequence, audience is tempted to take considerable action in terms of likes, sharing, etc.

With time, brands have been able to capitalize on the introduction of highly-engaging video features on different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

For this trend, we are going to focus on video aspect only since businesses are seizing the opportunity to differentiate their brand in the competitive industry.

Mobile users are tending to spend more time than ever with their smartphones, with the excitement to watch videos online being proportionate as well. It is clear from the following stats that online video is growing rapidly in popularity.

YouTube registers more 18 and above years-old audience during peak TV hours than any cable TV network.
Advertisers on prime time broadcasting TV could gain 56% more audience of 18 to 49 years-old through advertising on YouTube.
Plainly from statistics, it does not come as a surprise that Facebook recently revealed the count of 1.65 billion active users (data from April 2016) watching about 8 billion videos each day.

Consumers are more tempted from videos because of the deeper attachment they experience from the visual on-screen elements. Realizing the need, the trend of promoting high-quality video content is very much likely to soar high in future.

The Best Visibility with Native Ads

To grab a plain sight exposure in front of the right audience, native advertising has become one of the most sought-after marketing methods. Most users find interruptive ads frustrating and irrelevant. For instance, browsing a website and instantly an out-of-context ad pops out of nowhere is a big no-no for the user.

This is a common concern, which is best catered by native ads. It facilitates brands to market their offerings in a quite non-disruptive way that blends in easily with the environment a user is most comfortable with.

Native ads blend in such a seamless manner, that customers may not even spot them when viewing let it be advertorial, instant content, search advertising, recommended content or sponsored listings form of native advertising. Rather than approving it as a deceiving aspect, the point is to put the right information in front of the viewer when they actually need it.

As per the data provided by Polar and BI intelligence, CTR rates for premium native ads on mobile gadgets were four times higher, than the count of non-native display ads. The data also stressed that native ads calls for better engagement rates on tablets and smartphones as compared to desktop systems.


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