Is Bad Photography Hurting Your Business?
In terms of the web, content is still king and a large majority of that content is visual. So when it comes to images, I am surprised to hear more often than not - “just use what’s on our current website.” or “I’ll snap some photos with my phone.” In terms of redesigning your website and online presence, reusing what has already proven to be unsuccessful would leave us at a disadvantage. As for snapping some images with your phone, that can work with proper lighting, composition and professional editing, but those cases are very rare. There is a reason you see those tasty burgers in magazines or online and seem to get hungry instantly. Snapping a photo of that burger on a cell phone for your instagram page just doesn’t look as good though, does it?
It has been said that visual information is processed by the human brain 60,000 times faster than text ...
Posted in: Online Advertising, Web Development by Adam Zellmer on July 10, 2019
Your site is not ranking like it should on Google? Here's why...
Have you ever gone to Google and typed in a keyword that your business should be ranking for but your site is nowhere to be found? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many businesses spend a lot of time and money building an amazing looking website but don’t give much thought to getting traffic to that site. If you could use some help fixing your rankings, keep reading as we walk you through 10 things you can do to rank higher in search results:
Does Google know you exist? If your website is new, it can take time for Google to find and index it. To help speed up this process, it’s important to let Google know you exist. Register your site with Google Search Console and submit your sitemap so Google can easily find all the pages in your website.
Posted in: Online Advertising, SEO by Jon Ballard on June 24, 2019
What is a conversion worth?
When working with clients, I often ask - "what is a conversion worth to you?" The response I get is typically "We don't know." You are probably asking yourself why this is important.
First, let's start by defining a conversion. A conversion is an important action that a user takes on your website, such as downloading a pdf, filling out a contact form or clicking on a phone number or email address to get in touch with a business. These are very important metrics to track. Let's use a "Request for Quote" form as an example. To begin measuring how much a conversion is worth, you need to know the following variables:
How many Request for Quote forms are filled out over the course of a year?
How many of those Request for Quote forms end up as sales?
What was the average dollar amount for ...
Posted in: Conversion Rate Optimization, Inbound Marketing, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, SEO by John Anderson on June 4, 2019
Best Practices for Manufacturing Websites
Your company’s website acts as an online storefront. It’s your chance to make a great first impression with potential new customers. Having a great website can be the difference between a growing business and spinning your wheels. Our recent post, Five Pillars of an Effective Digital Marketing Campaign for Manufacturers, introduced you to the five most important elements of growing a manufacturing business online. The first, and probably most important, is a mobile-friendly, responsive website.
Today’s buying process is complex, even in the B2B marketplace. Buyers, product developers, engineers, and even marketing staff may have input in the buying process. Designing a manufacturing website that informs and appeals to a range of backgrounds is imperative in 2019 and beyond. Prospective customers are looking for a website that performs well, is easy to navigate, and is loaded with helpful information presented in an easy to digest manner.
Your Website Beyond Web Design
Website performance is vital to getting a ...
Posted in: General, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Jon Ballard on May 7, 2019
5 Pillars of an effective digital marketing campaign for manufacturers
It’s no secret that building a digital marketing campaign for manufacturers or B2B companies is different than marketing for consumer goods. We often hear from clients that say their product isn’t “sexy” or doesn’t translate well to common marketing practices. Many of the same tactics used in B2C marketing are effective for B2B businesses, they just need to be tweaked. A B2B company is still selling to a person or group of people. In the next few weeks we’ll go into more detail on each of these points, but this five pillar plan for finding those people and helping them make a decision to buy from your company is a good start to an effective digital marketing campaign.
MOBILE FRIENDLY, RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
People are becoming more and more dependent on their smartphones. We’re not just talking about checking Facebook. In a 2017 survey by Boston Consulting Group, 60% of B2B buyers said mobile played a significant role in their purchasing ...
Posted in: Conversion Rate Optimization, Marketing Automation, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, SEO by Jon Ballard on May 7, 2019
What is remarketing and how does it work?
Have you ever been to the Home Depot website to look at a lawn mower and then realized that every ad you see on the internet is about Home Depot and their fine selection of lawn mowers? That’s not a coincidence, it’s remarketing.
Remarketing allows companies to follow you around the web with ads based on your behavior, in hopes that you will come back to their site and complete a purchase or request a quote.
Milwaukee Journal Website with Remarketed Home Depot Advertisement
Google and Bing both have robust remarketing programs, as does Facebook and LinkedIn. Remarketing is also commonly called “retargeting” depending on the platform but is basically the same thing. Each platform requires you to add a tracking code to your website, called a tag or a pixel, to identify what visitors are looking at. It also writes a cookie in their browser that allows you to serve up the ads as your past ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Social Media by Jon Ballard on April 26, 2019
Using UTM Parameters to Capture Lead Source
UTM parameters are tags you add to a URL. Marketers use them to be able to track traffic from a wide range of sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, display ads, paid ads and more. These specific UTM tags are sent back to Google Analytics and can track stats such as users, sessions, time on site, number of pages, bounce rate, conversions/goals from those campaigns. These metrics help see the effectiveness of the campaigns and which campaigns are driving the most conversions and assisting in the most conversions.
The five UTM parameters that Google Analytics can register are:
Utm_source (google, facebook, linkedin, youtube, pinterest, etc)
Utm_medium (post, pin, cpc etc)
Utm_campaign (name of campaign or specific promotion)
Utm_term (used for text ads to tell you which keyword)
Utm_content (used to differentiate ads)
You might already be using UTM parameters to ...
Posted in: Conversion Rate Optimization, General, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Social Media by John Anderson on April 19, 2019
WHAT ARE UTM PARAMETERS? WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT? AND HOW DO YOU IMPLEMENT THEM?
Have you ever run a campaign and wondered how effective it was at driving traffic to your website? You did append UTM tags to the links in the campaign, didn’t you? If not, Google Analytics reports will not contain the data you need to measure campaign performance.
That’s why UTM codes (also known as UTM tags or UTM parameters) are so important.
UTM Parameters: What Are They?
UTM parameters are attributes you append to hyperlinks (destination URLs) for marketing campaigns sending traffic to your website. When the link is clicked and the visitor arrives on your site, tags are sent back to your Google Analytics Account and appear in your Analytics metrics.
Here is a sample link we could use when this blog is shared in an email blast; the UTM parameters are appended to the URL):
Why Use Them?
Failure to append UTM tags to hyperlinks will do more than simply hinder your ability to do effective campaign ...
Posted in: Conversion Rate Optimization, General, Inbound Marketing, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Social Media by John Anderson on December 3, 2018
15 Minutes Away From Better Local Search Visibility
I developed this series of blog posts because I want to help small businesses get more from their website in 15 minutes a month or less of work. If you're like most small business owners, including myself, it can be very difficult to work on your business vs. in your business, but I urge you to consider spending a few minutes each month implementing these tips as they can have a big impact on your business.
So here is this months tip:
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Google makes it pretty easy to claim and verify your listing. To get started visit: https://www.google.com/business. Make sure you complete the phone or postcard verification process as well.
You're on a roll... don't stop now.
Many local businesses just claim their GMB listing and forget about it. complete all the information Google asks for. Even the part about public parking etc. The more complete your listing the better ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Online Advertising, Reputation Management, Search Engine Optimization by Jon Ballard on October 19, 2018
Best practice tips for answering online reviews
Your business or company digital footprint includes your website, social media platforms and – online reviews. At Foremost Media we can make sure your website is awesome; you’re hitting all your social media benchmarks, but we can’t control what other people write about you online.
We can, however, give you the best advice and advise you on the best practices for handling online reviews that may or may not put your business in the best light.
No one is perfect and no matter how hard you try, how long you agonize over the details and your customer service – you’re going to get a bad review on Google, Yelp or Bing or one of the other sites.
It’s our philosophy that you shouldn’t ignore them even though its tempting. It like that person knocking on your door trying to sell you something and you just won’t answer and they’ll eventually go away. That doesn’t happen on the ...
Posted in: General, Local SEO, Online Advertising, Reputation Management by Jon Ballard on April 30, 2018
Facebook B2B Advertising Comes of Age
Don’t listen to your kids: Facebook advertising isn’t just for moms in the 35- to 40-year-old age range. Thanks to its retargeting and similar audiences features, Facebook has become a powerful tool for B2B advertisers seeking new customers who are similar to their existing customer base. Today, you can effectively “follow” individuals that visit your website on Facebook and utilize all the information Facebook knows about those people—age, job, location, pages visited, etc.—to identify similar people on Facebook and then reach out to these potential new customers with targeted advertising. It’s a game changer.
How it works
Customers who are a good fit for your company and are interested in what you do visit your web page. These visitors then return to Facebook at some point, in the normal course of their day. Facebook knows a great deal about these individuals—analytics that include everything from age, marital status, location and job to favorite TV shows, movies, ...
Posted in: General, Inbound Marketing, Online Advertising, SEO by Jon Ballard on March 22, 2018
The Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Marketing
The Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Marketing
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a type of paid online advertising that uses search engine ads to get your website more visitors. Also referred to as search marketing, PPC marketing works by allowing marketers to pay only when someone clicks on their ad. The ads appear alongside the results generated when people search for specific keywords online. If you're intrigued by the prospect of creating a PPC marketing campaign for your business, take a look at the biggest benefits of this online advertising technique.
Your Ads Will Be Up and Running Quickly
When you set up a PPC campaign, you can look forward to seeing your ads within just a few days or even hours. That's because the ads are simple to make, so you can start directing people to your website the same day you decide to put up PPC ads.
You Can Target Your Competitors' Audience
PPC marketing allows you a lot of ...
Posted in: Online Advertising by Jon Ballard on August 1, 2017
Show Your Story, Gain Customers: How using video can hook more customers
When you think videos on the internet, you think cats. I can’t blame you, it’s what the creators of the internet intended. But what if I told you that video could also be used for marketing on your website? What if you used video to tell a story instead of sell facts and products? Commercials are one thing, hooking the customer and keeping them is another. Video represents a huge chunk of the internet, right around 74%. YouTube itself is the second largest search engine on the internet behind Google. 76% of marketers have said that video has had a direct impact on their business. But, there is a strategy to video and I’m going to break it down by telling you about three different styles of videos. Also, I’ll give some basic “dos and don’ts” when it comes to video on a web page from a marketing standpoint.
The first thing to remember is ...
Posted in: General, Online Advertising by Online Marketing Team on July 20, 2017
Five Things You Must Include In Your 2017 Digital Marketing Mix
As 2016 comes to a close, many companies are already planning their digital marketing strategy for 2017. Here are five essential elements to include in your digital marketing mix for the coming year.
Earlier this month, Yahoo suffered a security breach that affected more than one billion of its user accounts. A security breach of this size should serve as a reminder of just how critical it is to ensure that your website is secure in 2017. We provide our clients with server-level monitoring for maximum security.
As scammers become more adept at stealing sensitive information, phishing scams are also on the rise. The Anthem medical data breach of 2015 was one of the largest data breaches in American history, and it caused by a phishing scam that targeted Anthem employees. Today’s scammers will go to great lengths to separate you from your money or to access your customer data. In our blog post, Lessons ...
Posted in: General, Inbound Marketing, Local SEO, Marketing Automation, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization by Jon Ballard on December 30, 2016
Drive The Right Traffic To Your Website: Poor Marketing Could Be Costing You
It’s pretty exciting once you’ve made the decision to invest in a new website or redesign your current one. But simply having a shiny new website isn’t enough to guarantee success. You still need to figure out how to get your existing customers and prospects to visit your new website.
So how do you make sure you’re getting the right traffic to your website?
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is more than simply creating a company Facebook page or Twitter account. It’s about communicating directly with your target demographic on their preferred social media platform in a way they are receptive to. Effective social media marketing helps you create better brand awareness and customer loyalty by providing clients and prospects with content that is relevant to them, establishing your company as an authority in your industry and an indispensable resource for your customers.
Email marketing is a great way to re-engage with your existing customers. Today’s ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on November 28, 2016
Common Mistakes Do-It-Yourself PPC Marketers Frequently Make
If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. Not necessarily. French military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte is credited with that saying and, as history will attest, he probably should’ve left the Battle of Waterloo to someone other than himself. Most do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) set out to learn a new skill or save themselves some money by doing it on their own instead of hiring a professional. It can seem like a good idea to set up and manage your own pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to save time and money, but doing so is akin to someone with no chemistry background walking into a lab and combining chemicals they think might mix well. As professional PPC marketers, here are some of the most common mistakes we see do-it-yourself PPC marketers make: Setting Budgets or Bids Too High or Too Low When determining which bids and budgets to set for their ad campaigns, ...
Posted in: Online Advertising by Online Marketing Team on October 28, 2016
Visual Content The Pros Can't Live Without
It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Few know the truth of that saying or understand that humans are visual creatures better than today's digital marketers. But what does this mean for today's Business-to-business (B2B) companies?
It means, in the words of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, "that the times they are a changin."
According to a recent content preferences survey conducted by Demand Gen Report, 95% of B2B buyers prefer shorter content formats and 86% of B2B buyers want to access and engage with visual content more than lengthy, detailed text content.
The data from the content preferences survey also indicates that visual content is becoming more popular with B2B buyers, specifically infographics, slideshows, and videos. Between 2013 and 2014, the use of infographics, slideshows, and videos increased from 9% to 52%, 21% to 28%, and 8% to 58% respectively.
Most digital marketers recognize the shifting trend in favor of visual content, but many ...
Posted in: General, Online Advertising by Online Marketing Team on February 26, 2016
Evaluating ROI For Your Website
The effectiveness of a website can vary greatly depending on the goals and purpose of that site. E-commerce sites for example are fairly easy to evaluate in terms of dollars and cents because at the end of the day you can track how much you have sold verses how much you spent on the site. With marketing or informational sites that calculation becomes a bit harder to track. Foremost Media recommends several key things for each website we build in order to track effectiveness or return on investment:
Clear calls to action on every page of your site are very important. Every page should have a purpose or response you want the user to complete. Register for an event, visiting another page for additional information, subscribing to a newsletter, in a properly designed website these goals should be identified and tracked throughout the site. Then, using web analytics and response forms, ...
Posted in: Online Advertising, Web Development by Jon Ballard on June 1, 2015
The Secret to Maximizing Clicks in AdWords: Single Keyword Ad Groups
Managing costs in AdWords can be a difficult task. Most online marketers start out by creating two or three general Ad Groups with several keywords in each group. This can be a great way to start ad campaigns quickly. However, too many keywords in an Ad Group makes it difficult to control costs, conversions, click-through-rates, and other variables. So here's the big secret....The most effective way to reduce cost-per-click and increase conversions is to create single keyword Ad Groups. Single keyword Ad Groups will increase ad relevance, quality score, and conversion rate and decrease your cost-per-click. Here is the quickest way to get started. Find Your Top 5 Keywords The first step to decreasing cost-per-click and controlling your ads is to separate your keywords into several different Ad Groups. It is best to start by separating your highest traffic keywords into their own individual Ad Groups. You can do this by clicking on ...
Posted in: Online Advertising by User on May 8, 2015