That Robocall From Google Is Not Google
Have you received an automated robocall that sounds something like:
“Hi, this is Julie, your local Google Specialist. Your business listing is about to expire … “
I’m not sure what “Julie” says next because I hang up and so should you. These calls are scams to claim or protect your free business listing (and rip you off in the meantime). The operators will claim they are Google representatives. Simply put, Google does not cold call about business listings. In fact, Google doesn’t call you at all unless you request them to.
Anyone can claim their free Google My Business listing. It’s not rocket science.
Robocalls Are Illegal (Mostly)
According to the FTC:
A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless a company has your written permission to call you that way. To get your permission, the company has to be clear it’s asking to call you with robocalls and it can’t make you agree to the calls ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Reputation Management, Search Engine Optimization by Noah Lamson on August 6, 2019
Getting The Attention Of The Industrial Buyer
What you need on your website to help them make a buying decision
Industrial buyers are interested in establishing a relationship with a vendor- with your company – and the information you have on your website is the key to helping them make that decision. Their time is valuable and whatever you can do on your website to help them make that decision efficiently is, well, good business practices. Foremost Media can help make sure your website brings the important information to the prospective buyer, efficiently and in a manner that will also make sure your website stays in the top search engine rankings.
Valuable Website Information
Take a look at your website and consider the following recommendations to make it more attractive to a potential buyer. These are listed in no particular order of importance because they all are important!
Associations – Highlight your membership in trade associations. They show you keep up ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Foremost Marketing on July 8, 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
The Importance of Technical SEO
Technical SEO is vital to the success of your website, and we can’t emphasis that enough. Think of it as the spine of your website; without it, your website is just a bunch of fluff and mush that won’t stand up to a good or even a mediocre search engine. You can build your own website, but if no one visits it, or if they don’t spend enough time on it to buy something or get acquainted with your business, it’s like a crack in the concrete that people quickly step over to go somewhere else. At Foremost Media, we recognize the importance of technical SEO. So, whether you are setting up a website on your own, or if you want one set up for you, go to a professional to either review it or build it.
It all adds up
Think of it this way, if you are selling Girl Scout cookies, you are ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization by Noah Lamson on January 25, 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
Tips For Improving Your Website’s Crawl Budget
Optimizing websites for ranking in search engines is an ever-precarious set of tasks. The algorithm Google uses to determine search results is a secret that evolves with each new release. Each time the algorithm is updated, Google gives out clues on what to look for. In a 2017 blog post, Google explained how crawl budget is not a factor in ranking. It shouldn’t be.
In simple terms, the crawl budget is the number of links Google will follow on your site. Your website’s crawl budget may be large or small depending on the size of your site, its popularity and its ease of use to crawl. Given that every site has a different amount of pages, it would be unfair to rank higher a site that gets crawled more simply because of its size.
Is Optimizing for Crawl Budget Worth It?
If the number of crawls on the site does not help rank, is crawl budget worth ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Web Development by Noah Lamson on November 13, 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
SEO Success: What Should You Be Tracking?
When you enter an SEO agreement, what exactly are you paying for? How can you tell that the work is having an impact on your business? It’s crucial to set up and understand what goals matter to you and your business when you start working with an SEO expert. Here are some of the most important KPIs to consider before you jump into the world of SEO for your business.
Whether it is sales, sign ups, or simple leads conversions drive your business. Getting visitors to a website is nice, but engagement is what you really want. If you have an ecommerce site, you can look at sales (more on those metrics in a bit). Most any site should be tracking some version of a sign up or lead. This could be newsletters sign ups, ebook downloads, or request a quote forms. Clearly define these conversions in the beginning with your marketer, and for optimization ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, SEO by John Tillotson on September 18, 2018
Get the most out of your YouTube videos.
Big reasons why you should do Video SEO. Did you know that Google Search results are showing more and more videos on the first page? People are spending more and more time watching video.
There are many components to YouTube SEO. Some of these main components are the title, description and tags and a few more we talk about below.
Titles are very important as this is what the user sees. Titles need to be descriptive to catch the user’s attention and get them to click on your video. The title also needs to have the keywords that you are trying to get the video to be found for. So if someone is searching for “YouTube SEO” having those two keywords in your title will help you to get your video to be found for this.
The description character limit is 5000 characters. Now while only the first 100-150 characters will be shown initially the rest ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization by John Anderson on June 1, 2018
Business Description returns to Google
Two years ago, Google decided to drop the ability for businesses to edit the business description field in its Google My Business listings. Well, you actually could edit it, but it was such a complicated series of steps that many business owners just didn’t bother.
Now it’s “Description From the Business”
This is a great addition to the SEO ranking portfolio that businesses can take advantage of – and if you aren’t taking advantage of your opportunities, the ranking-savvy staff at Foremost Media is standing by to help you out.
But back to the description – the new description block will show up on business listings when your business appears in a Google search. This is different than the Google block of editorial copy that shows up as a summary at the top of the knowledge panels and the map listing, so it’s a new opportunity.
And it’s important to note that by conservative estimates, Google has more than ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization, SEO by Stephen Cardwell on May 23, 2018
Why your business needs Schema markup now
How often have you searched for something online—say a phone number, local business hours or the weather—and immediately found the answer within the search results, without ever having to click through to another web page? Probably pretty often. Today, it’s rare to have to go beyond a search to get the quick hits of information you need, as illustrated below:
Event Mark Up Example
In fact, the majority of users searching for information find all they need with a simple Google search. The major underlying reason for this: Schema markup. It may be the biggest thing of 2018, yet there are few websites are optimized to leverage it and even fewer understand it fully. Regardless, the detailed “rich” search results Schema markup supports are defining which brands get maximum exposure.
Schema Mark Up 101
Before we get into why Schema markup is likely to be the most critical SEO strategy of 2018, let’s briefly explore what Schema markup ...
Posted in: General, Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization by Jon Ballard on February 26, 2018
What Featured Snippets Mean for Your Ranking: Good for the user, bad for traffic?
What is a featured snippet?
Ironically enough, “What is a featured snippet?” is answered in a featured snippet. A featured snippet is an answer, or summary of an answer, to a user’s query that appears at the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP). It is an outlined box with the answer and a link to the source site. With the answer to your query right there, why click through to the site? This is where it is helpful to the user, but might hurt the click through rate (CTR) of the site.
Studies have shown that 38% of desktop users do not click on results in their SERPs because they found the answer to their query in a featured snippet. On mobile, this number is 57%. That is a significant amount of traffic that could be on your site.
One of the hardest hit categories by the featured snippet is weather related sites. When you ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on July 18, 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
Best Ways to Optimize Your Company's YouTube Channel
Many people assume that Google is the world’s largest search engine, (and they’d be right), and many people would also assume that the second largest search engine in the world is either Bing or Yahoo, except for this time, they’d be wrong.
With over a billion users, the world’s second largest search engine is actually, YouTube.
According to the 2015 Online Video Marketing Survey published by the Web Video Marketing Council , “96% of B2B organizations are engaged in video content marketing.”
As the folks at Search Engine Watch so aptly put it, “It’s no secret that YouTube is a traffic source with almost limitless potential. There’s only one problem: it’s a very crowded place.”
So how do today’s B2B manufacturers get viewers to find and watch their YouTube videos over the competition?
By making sure your company’s YouTube channel utilizes the following best practices, you can increase both the amount of traffic to your YouTube channel and the ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on September 7, 2016
How To Successfully Redesign Your B2B Manufacturing Website
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” No one quite understands the truth of this saying more than today’s B2B manufacturers do. After all, they know all the work that goes into taking a product from concept to market.
In many ways, redesigning your website is similar to manufacturing a product. Just like Manufacturing Process Management (MPM), you also need to research, set goals, design, launch, and measure results to make sure your company’s website redesign is successful.
Do Your Research
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” You wouldn’t start manufacturing a product without doing your research first, so don’t start redesigning your company’s website before doing your research. As Jon Ballard, CEO of Foremost Media points out, “Studying your current website analytics provides you with valuable insight into how your existing customers are using your website and how ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on July 6, 2016
Video Killed The Radio Marketer Video Marketing Strategies That Convert
There are many stats that support the rising popularity of online video streaming. A recent Cisco Visual Networking study predicts that global “consumer internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2019." But that does not mean digital marketers should only focus on video content. After all, a large portion of the consumer internet traffic increase will come from viral cat videos, and video streaming services such as Apple TV, Hulu, and Netflix.
So how should today’s digital marketers respond to the increase of consumer internet video traffic? By making sure the video content they create is:
Personalized: Users who watch your videos want to know more about your company, so be yourself, have fun, and let your company culture shine through its video content. Studies show that users want to watch a video before they buy. Your video should tell ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization by User on June 30, 2016
Old School SEO Practices That Penalize Your Manufacturing Company
In recent years, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices have changed a lot. Between Google algorithm updates such as Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin, new technologies, and shifting trends in the way prospective customers search for and find information online, it can be difficult for even those highly experienced with SEO to keep up with all the changes, let alone B2B marketers working for today’s manufacturing companies. To help today’s manufacturers understand which SEO tactics they should stop using as part of their overall SEO strategy, here are some of the most common old school SEO practices that are no longer effective.
Low Quality Content
You may’ve already heard that “content is king” in relation to SEO. The more content you have on your website, the more information search engine bots have to determine what your website is about and match it to what prospects are searching for online.
Because of this, a common old school SEO tactic ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on June 1, 2016
Responsive Design: The Time Is Now
For many years, tech analysts have predicted mobile usage to overtake PC usage. According to the 2015 GlobalWebIndex® Device Report, 80% of internet users own a smartphone. At only 11% less than the percentage of internet users who own a PC, there's little doubt that the Mobile-First Era is upon us. Whether your company is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), more and more internet users are browsing your website using their smartphones or tablet. They're not just using their mobile devices to supplement their desktop browsing, they're browsing on mobile devices almost exclusively instead. "[As a result, many businesses are beginning to] understand that not being present in results for people searching on their mobile device translates into missing out on a huge slice of the business opportunity." - Smashing Magazine Which is why digital marketing experts like Dan Bosomworth, Co-Founder and Creative & Strategy Director of First 10 are saying that ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on March 29, 2016
5 Things To Consider Before Publishing New Content
We've all heard that "content is king", but with so much content vying for the throne, it can be a royal pain to know how often you should publish new content in the realm of content marketing.
According to a recent study by Wyzowl, 75% of content marketers release new content at least once a month, with over half publishing new content each week. But is this really how often you should be publishing new content? After all, what really matters most, quality or frequency?
These are the kinds of questions that keep content marketers awake at night. Rather than continue counting sheep, we'd like to finally put these questions to rest. Here are five things you need to consider when deciding how often you should publish new content.
Consider your purpose
What is your purpose for writing and publishing new content? If your primary purpose for publishing new content is to drive traffic to your website, generate ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on February 5, 2016
SEO Hackers Targeting Wordpress And Blog Engine
Black hat SEO's are notorious for trying to take the easy route to ranking in Google's search engine, even if it means immoral or illegal behavior. There are many ways they do this. Some of which you've probably seen, but never knew why someone would do something like that. For instance, have you ever noticed really strange comments on a blog that seemed like garbled English? You might've rolled your eyes and said, "Wow, that guy really needs to take an English course.", but the reality is that the person who left that comment wasn't a person at all. It was a robot.
Some "black hatters" will create a piece of content using a simple language called "spintax". Spintax allows them to write a piece of content once, and then "spin" it to make variations in the language occur. Usually, this is done by putting in variant synonyms for particular terms in the content. The ...
Posted in: General, Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on February 1, 2016