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4 Ways Duplicate Content Hurts Your Site

The words ‘duplicate content’ strike fear into the hearts of marketers everywhere, something akin to cavity search or TV Reruns. Actually, it’s pretty similar - who wants to watch the same show over and over again? It’s the same with content - users don’t want to read articles that just repeat information and don’t bring anything new to the table. More than that, duplicating content hurts your reputation as a website and as a business. But what exactly is duplicate content? And why is it so bad?

What Is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content can be a variety of things, and not all of them are bad. Google defines duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” Google actually distinguishes duplicate content by two types: non-malicious and malicious duplicate content.

Non-malicious duplicate content includes instances such as syndication - when a website publishes your content on their own website - or when your website has multiple URLs, such as when you have pages optimized for different browsers, among others. These types of content duplication are not penalized by Google and are actually common, if not unavoidable.

Duplicate content that is malicious is done to manipulate search results. The short of it is that duplicating content occurs when a website recycles old content in an effort to rank higher for keywords or tags (more keywords = higher results). This is not always their intent. There are many other reasons that a website might reuse its own content - one example would be an e-commerce store that struggles to write hundreds of product descriptions, so they reuse what they’ve already created. The distinction here is the intention behind the content, but Google is not all-knowing and can often misconstrue it, so it’s better to avoid duplicating your content as much as you can.

Note: It’s important to distinguish duplicate content with outright plagiarism, which is not only seriously bad form but can carry legal penalties. We know you would never plagiarize, so we’ll keep our definition of duplicate content to the reusing of your own work. Additionally, if someone else has plagiarized your work for their own site, you should report the site to Google.

Of course, you own the rights to your work and are free to reuse it in any way you see fit. But if you’re looking to bring your website high SEO rankings and an engaged audience, it’s a bad choice for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at them.

It Hurts Your Keyword Rankings

Duplicate content hurts your keyword strategy. Keyword placement is a staple of good SEO practices, and getting your content keywords just right can take a lot of time and effort. That’s why some websites recycle old content that has successful keyword rankings - you know they work, so why not use them again? It’s faster and cheaper than writing new, original content!

While this may seem smart, it’s actually counter-intuitive. Because when you recycle your content and keywords, you’re actually giving yourself competition. As Google algorithms crawl the internet, they collect keywords and index them for searches. So, if you post content that uses the same keywords multiple times, Google is going to crawl both articles and pit them against one another. See the problem? Your original content will now suffer because of increased competition, essentially making all of that time you spent doing keyword research a waste. It’s a lot like hobbling yourself before the big race - just not smart.

It Hurts Your SEO

As we’ve noted, search engines crawl websites and index the results for users. Because they want to give users the best possible experience, they rarely post multiple websites with the same content on their result pages. For you, this means that if multiple websites online have your content, Google may not mark your original page as the best page to show. If your duplicate content is on a different URL that has a higher domain score than yours, this can lead to them getting higher search results for your content. Plus, you don’t want your printing pages showing up as the landing page for users, or your mobile site ranking higher for desktop users.

Syndication is an important part of marketing, so you shouldn’t avoid it. But, be sure that any websites that publish your content link your site as the original page so Google knows which one to index first. Also, there are plug-ins and other technical ways to note your own website pages as the original pages and remove other pages from indexing altogether. If you aren’t sure how to do this, contact us for a consultation. We’re here to help!

Google May Penalize You

Google’s algorithm is constantly learning and evolving, and it can now separate duplicate content that is malicious or non-malicious - to an extent. If Google decides that you are copying or “scraping” old content to increase your search results, it will do a manual audit of your site. If you’re found guilty, they can penalize you stiffly - even so far as removing your site from their results altogether. And getting back into Google’s good graces is no easy feat - it requires that you address and fix all of your duplicate content and then request a new investigation, which can take some time. You don’t want to get called into the proverbial principal’s office, so avoid posting duplicate content when you can.

Your Audience Will Get Bored

Setting the technicals aside, duplicate content will negatively affect your audience’s interest in your site. As we said earlier, nobody likes reruns. Publishing old content that doesn’t add any value to your readership will ultimately lead to a decrease in your website traffic by itself. If you’re posting duplicate content across landing pages, this will negatively affect your click-through and bounce rates as users leave your site for something more interesting. If your published content is stale or repetitive, you may lose user loyalty and sabotage your chances of return visitors.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your content marketing - or just need some fresh ideas - let us help! We can create a content marketing strategy that’s perfect for your business and then help you implement it!

What do I do?

Publishing content that is new and original is the best way to avoid the negative effects of duplicate content. Be sure that anything you’re posting on your website is authentic, adds value to your readership, and introduces new keywords and ideas. If you have an article syndicated by another site (go, you!), be sure that they are appropriately linking back to your website as the original version so that they don’t beat you in the search results. And be sure to use the correct URLs and tags when creating duplicate pages to make sure that Google indexes the correct one.

Need more help? Contact us today! BIS Designs can handle all of your content marketing and website design needs.


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


Should You Outsource Your Business Blogging?

You may have noticed the blog trend that is ruling the cyber world from Google to social media.  Whether it is fashion influencers or tech gurus and travel enthusiasts, blogging is a trend that continues to grow each year.

 

How does this relate to your business? Blogging is a way to share your expertise and knowledge with your target audience.  In doing so, you are 1) helping to provide information needed by your potential customer and 2) demonstrating your expertise on the subject which in turn keeps the customer coming back to you for further assistance.  You are building trust with your potential customers/clients and this results in more leads for your business. Having well-written and updated blog content on your website also strengthens your relationship with Google which boosts your rankings in search results. 

 

Now that you know why you need a business blog, let’s talk about how you’ll find the time to add this task to your agenda.

 

It is common for small and medium sized businesses to outsource business functions like payroll, human resources, accounting and more to keep the organization lean and flexible.  Outsourcing blog writing? This might seem more challenging – after all, your blog is the voice of your business and a critical part of your content marketing strategy.

 

It is definitely possible to outsource blog posts, and do it well.  Below are two of the most common questions we get here at BIS Designs about blogging:

 

Question 1: Can an outsourced blog writer really capture my tone/style/business personality?

 

Writing is personal and every business feels like they have a unique tone or style they’re looking to capture in their blog.  The very concept of outsourcing might feel like it will cause you to lose some of your business’s personality.

 

Solution:  Take time to educate your writer.  We’ve all heard it, “you get what you put in”, and in this case, it is definitely true. A good writer will research and educate themselves as much as possible but to keep your business personality/style/tone the same, you’ll need to give some details on what makes your business stand out from your competitor.

 

Question 2: Where will the blog content come from?

 

If you give your writer nothing to work with, you get nothing in return worth reading. It’s that simple. You are the subject matter expert for your business. A good outsourced writer will bring your expertise to light in a readable way.  If you’ll provide more information and direction, you’ll get more of what you expect from your writer and overall blog content strategy.

 

Solution: Make a list of topics.  Whether you do this once a month or once a quarter – take the time to send a few topics to your writer. Once your blog writer has a list of topics, he/she can now get started on the time-consuming part of the project - creating engaging content.  The few minutes that you spend concentrating on topics will help to keep your business personality/tone/style alive on your website.

A big perk of outsourcing your business blog writing is that your new writer will bring fresh ideas to the table.  This simply adds new insights that can make your blog better.

 

Fun Fact: The average blog post takes 3 hours 20 minutes to write and the most engaged blog content on the web now has 41% more words than it did 3 years ago. 

 

If you have a blog on your website that you simply don’t have time to keep up or you would like to add a blog to your website but aren’t sure where to start, give us a call! Outsourcing to a local company who can meet with you face-to-face to discuss your marketing goals is a great way to start the new season.

 

RELATED:

5 Benefits of Business Blogging

 

 

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

 

 


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


Three Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Business

Three Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Business

There are many marketing strategies for anyone running a business or promoting a product. New and improved strategies may become global trends, however most will become a thing of the past before you even read about it. These three marketing strategies will help keep your business fresh and credible. 

 

1. Content marketing

Why content marketing? Content is king. Search engines love content. Content helps to spread the word about your business and your products. Customers are searching for what you offer online. Their search engine searches bring them to videos, blogs, and social media posts. 

Videos, blogs, and social media gives you a platform to show your prospective customers how you can help solve their problem or issue. Hang up the idea of having to constantly pitch and start showing the world how you or your product are relevant to their needs. 

 

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Gain a better reach to your prospective customers with search engine optimization, known as SEO. Once you have produced your content, your next step is to make sure that it is optimized for search engines. Having a SEO specialist optimize your content – website, blogs, and videos – will help you get an advantage over your competitors. This can be accomplished on a local and national geographical level. 

SEO is a very important process in a customer’s research and purchasing cycle. While it may not be easy to find out exactly how a customer decided to walk into your store, SEO tools can help you gather that data for online shoppers. SEO is a very effective tool for learning how to continually target and retarget the customers that actually buy.

 

3. Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)

A CRM is a Customer Relationship Manager. This database keep a list of your customers and prospective customers (also known as leads) contact information that you ask for such as: name, phone, address, birthdate, and/or email address. People willingly provide this information in order to find out more about your business via a contact form on a landing or capture page. Their information is kept in a CRM for you to maintain and follow up with them. 

CRM’s are the lifeline for your business. The size of your business has no relation to whether or not your need a CRM. You can use a CRM to send out newsletters, informational emails, email marketing of sales/promotions, follow up after a sale, or even generate a winner for a contest. 
These three effective strategies will help you to drive more traffic to your business and website, increase sales, and keep customers coming back. Content, SEO, and a proper CRM are things that must be continually updated and monitored. 

This can be a lot of work for someone who is trying to run a business. Fortunately, there are companies like BIS Designs who can help you manage these things effectively. BIS Designs is a small, but powerful firm with some of the top specialists on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, Mississippi, and the Pensacola panhandle. 

Contact us for a consultation to find out the best marketing strategies that will be the most effective for your business and niche. 
BIS Designs is an internet marketing company serving the Mobile, Alabama area. Our content, development, social media marketing and search engine optimization specialists have years of experience in targeting custom audiences for the B2B community and would welcome the opportunity to help your business grow.

 

SEO Interview with Phillip Long and Sean Williams
If you're a business owner, you'll want to watch this interview between Phillip Long, CEO, and Sean Williams, SEO specialist, to learn more about search engine optimization. 


Top 6 Tactics to Convert Visitors into Customers on a Landing Page

A landing page can be your business’ biggest advocate. By creating high-converting and SEO-optimized landing pages, these pages can effectively run your business while you’re away by having the convincing power to appeal to your customers in your absence.

In marketing terms, a landing page is any web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on that is focused on a main objective, or website conversion goal.


Typically, it is a standalone page not available to access from the navigation menu. It’s created to fulfill a single purpose to get visitors to take a particular action on the page.

 
Example goals for landing pages include:
Capture email addresses for future leads
Get attendants to an event or seminar
Promote a special offer
Make an announcement
Build your brand 
Make a profit

We believe that every marketing promotion needs its own landing page.

 

Since landing pages are separate from your website’s visible pages, they are the perfect platform to send all campaign traffic. This separation makes testing and measuring through web analytics incredibly easier to track.

Here are the top 6 tactics for landing pages that experts across the globe value as instrumental in turning ordinary website visitors into actual customers:

1. Find the perfect headline.

Headlines serve the most important purpose on a landing page: to convince a visitor to stay.  There’s a famous quote by advertising legend David Ogilvy that says, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.” Since your headline is the first thing people see when they land on your site, it’s imperative to make a good impression. That’s why we always suggest A/B or split testing to figure out which one will get higher engagement.

Some elements you can test for are: (This is something we love to do!)
A short versus long headline
A headline that states benefits versus features
The color scheme of the headline
Headline transposed over a background image versus negative space
 

Landing Page Vivino
Source: Vivino

This wine news and review site uses an appealing solution-oriented strategy in their captivating headline.

 

2. Create a compelling, clearly stated value proposition.

A unique value proposition (UVP) should be the first thing your visitors see when they land on your landing page. It is not a slogan. It’s a promise you’re telling customers about what your product/service will do for them while also conveying how it is better than the competition. It can be a single statement or 2-3 lines that hit home with your target audience. 
 

Landing Page Karma

Source: Karma Mobility, Inc.

 The unique value this brand offers is clearly stated in the byline letting viewers know they can get online anywhere with their product with affordable data plans.

 

3. Reinforce your value with an effective Call to Action (CTA)

Even though you now have a compelling UVP and an impactful headline, visitors often still need that extra push, and a CTA form or button can be exactly what gets them on board. An effective CTA should be prominently placed, not too small, and placed above the fold so visitors won’t need to go searching for it. 

Our client Magnolia Dental was looking for web design services in Mobile, Alabama and their home page illustrates how sometimes depending on your service, it’s beneficial to use multiple calls to action on one page. 

 Magnolia Dental Call to Action

 

4. Include benefits and/or features in digestible chunks. 

Because web visitors are scanners by nature, your text should be simple and minimal, using images as much as possible while ensuring the relevant features or benefits are succinctly highlighted. 
 

Landing Page H. Bloom
Source: H. Bloom

This flower company does a lovely job in illustrating the simple process for their subscription service.

5. Provide social proof 

Potential customers want to know they’re making a good choice in choosing your business. Social proof can help seal the deal by reinforcing trust and establishing credibility. This can often create an emotional response, ultimately turning visitors into customers. Examples of social proof can include:
Testimonials from clients (with images and names)
Social media share buttons (showing the number of shares)
Logos from well-respected businesses that use you
Business or product reviews
Trust seals, i.e. BBB, VeriSign, TRUSTe (see image below)
 

One client of ours in Daphne, Alabama does a great job of providing social proof on their landing page for a new program they’ve launched. The Mar-Kee Group uses testimonials, video demos, and social media icons that play well with their call to action sign-up forms and buttons.

6. Make sure the message matches the promotion

This is especially important when using PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads as the link associated with your Google ad will need to direct users to a page built specifically for that service or promotion being offered. 
 

Landing Page Promotion
Source: Frank & Oak

If someone who clicked on an ad in Google that advertised a “30% off your next purchase promotion” but ended up on the home page, they likely would get inundated with way more information than they wanted, get a bit overwhelmed that they didn’t see that coupon, and leave the site out of frustration.

Conclusion

By no means do landing pages need to include all of these elements, and in some cases, the more minimal a landing page is the more results a site can see. Figuring out what kind of landing page your marketing campaign needs will depend on many factors. Above all else, research into what types of personas make up your target audience should be the first step. This article is meant as a general overview, as there are many more components to a successful landing page that are not mentioned here, such as the need for an integrative design (see BEOPLAY’s experiential design) or adding video, which can lead to 86% more conversions.

 

At BIS Designs, our goal is to create a website and subsequent landing pages that will support your goals and accurately reflect your brand for businesses not just in Baldwin County and Mobile County, but also extending to Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pensacola, Florida. From our pre-project meeting to content development and design, we keep your website goals at the forefront of everything we do. Through combining search engine optimization, social media marketing and cutting edge web design, our integrative approach for your business provides successful results. Contact us today to hear more about our new comprehensive packages!


 


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