How To Tell You Have A Bad SEO Strategy

SEO Audit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you do your business’ SEO work, you’ll probably know by now that it’s complicated because it constantly changes. With that, it can be hard to tell if what you’re doing is helping or harming you. Today we’re covering four tell-tale signs you’re making bad SEO efforts for your business.

You’re not using specific keywords. You may think you know the keywords that apply to your business, but if you are putting in too general of keywords into your content, you’re not going to be found by the people hoping to discover your business. Get specific as possible with who you service and what you offer. Opt for long-tail keywords, which are longer, more specific keyword phrases. Long tail keywords get lower traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion rate as they are more specific. Long tail keywords should be utilized by companies that offer specialized products or services.

You’re applying black hat techniques instead of white hat techniques. Blackhat SEO techniques are techniques that focus on search engines instead of human interest. They include keyword stuffing, spammed blog posts, link farming (the creation of websites just to increase the popularity of a link), hidden content, and duplicate content. Blackhat techniques go against search engine guidelines and should not be practised. Instead, businesses should utilize white hat techniques, which obey search engine guideline and center on human interest. White hat techniques includes back linking, link building, using relevant keywords, and writing content for humans. White hat techniques will also provide users with the best user experience possible.

You’re not utilizing social media. If you haven’t created social media profiles for your business yet, then you need to hop on that now. Everybody is on it today and it can help improve your SEO because when people share your content it backlinks to your site. Additionally, more and more people are using social media to help them find services. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the most popular social media accounts, but don’t forget to post content to your Google + account as there are numerous opportunities to reach your audience there too.

You expect instant results. To get good SEO results, you need to be patient and evaluate your efforts. Compare your efforts to organic trends every now and then, research what competitors are doing, and analyze your data in Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Above all else, realize SEO  takes time and if you put in the work you will see improvement soon.  

Product Photography Tips

Product photography

 

 

 

 

 


If you’re a B2C business, investing in product photography is an absolute must. We live in a digital and  visual world, so most people tend to see products through photographs first. With that said, the success of your B2C business can ultimately come down to your photos. To help you out, here are our five biggest tips for snapping great product photography.

Have a vision in mind. It’s always important to have a vision of the final product in mind. Doing so will help you figure out the steps you’re going to need to take to get you the photograph you desire.

Look at Instagram and magazine ads for inspiration. These two are two of the biggest outlets currently for consumer-based businesses to advertise their products. Through them you can find out the trendiest ways to promote your product, what color schemes work and are popular, and what your competitors are doing.

Take photos from various angles. Don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative during a photoshoot. Sometimes the winning photo isn’t the one you thought it would be.

Include seasonal props. Seasonal props are fun way to get your consumer in the mood to buy your product. For fall you may want to add autumnal leaves, or lights during the holiday season.

Use lights. This one goes without saying. You want people to be able to see every detail of your product. Even if you’re shooting your product outside, bring lights as the sun can cause shadows.  

Think about your aperture setting. An aperture is the opening that allows light to come in and is expressed through the f-stops. In photography, f-stop numbers are counter-intuitive. The lower the f-stop number, the larger the opening will be and the more light can pass through. The higher the f-stop number, the smaller the opening is and the less light is able to pass through your camera. A low number aperture means the photograph will focus on one thing and blur the rest of the image. A photograph taken through a high f-stop number is clear and crisp throughout.

WordPress Plugins To Boost Your SEO

WordPress SEO plugins

 

 

 

 

 

A common question businesses ask us is how they can improve their SEO. Besides posting relevant content to your website often, having a mobile-friendly site, and adding relevant keywords, another way you can boost your SEO is through SEO plugins. Since we primarily create custom websites through the content management system, WordPress, today we will be covering our favorite SEO WordPress plugins.

WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin is one of the most downloadable plugins of all time. Through this free plugin, you are able to add an SEO title, meta description, and meta keywords to each post and page of your site. You’re also able to include social sharing information. What’s great about SEO by Yoast is it does an analysis on your focus keywords, checks your word count, and evaluates your meta description, images, slug, links, and page title and you’re able to edit those bits easily.  

All in One SEO Pack. This plugin is the second most used SEO plugin on WordPress. Like Yoast, it is also user-friendly. All in One SEO Pack automatically optimizes the titles of your blog posts for search engines like Google.

Premium SEO Pack. This plugin is terrific with helping websites improve their internal link building as well as optimizing its images. It also has SERP tracker, a tool that tracks the search engine ranking for your keywords in a user-friendly dashboard.

SEO Professor. What makes SEO Professor stick out from the crowd is that it has a keyword research tool that helps you generate keywords for your content. When you are done with a post, it gives you a score. It also checks your images to ensure you have all the right tags and makes suggestions.

SEO Ultimate. SEO Ultimate is another popular SEO WordPress plugin. This plugin is great because it has editing tools like tag rewriter and meta description editor, which are helpful. It also has a nifty 404 monitor that redirects visitors on pages not found.

Have you ever wanted an SEO audit on your website? Call Sperling Interactive for a free audit.

The Dos and Don’ts of Blogging

The Dos and Don'ts of Blogging

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging for your business offers so many positives. It can improve your SEO, showcase your expertise, build trust with your target demographic, help clients solve problems and learn more about your industry, and so much more. To help you generate the best content for your blog, we’ve come up with a list of our dos and don’ts.

Do have somebody else edit your content. After you spend some time researching information for your blog and writing posts, it’s easy to become immune to the mistakes you’ve made such as typos, missing words, misspelled words, and grammatical errors. By having someone read your post before you hit publish, you get feedback and learn how to improve the quality of your content.

Do share your blog posts on social media. Social media is hands down your best way to update people on your latest blog posts. Take your time coming up with an eye-catching headlines and finding/taking an appropriate picture to go along with the post as people stop longer and check out posts longer if they have a photo.

Do read other blog posts for ideas.  We all get hit with writer’s block from time to time. To help overcome that, read blogs from other businesses in your industry. Take blog post you like as a jumping off point and spin them into your own creations.

Don’t be salesy. Blogging for your business has been proven to help businesses boost sales, but that doesn’t mean you should write your content with a salesy tone. That’s just off-putting. To avoid this from happening, limit the amount of times you drop your company’s name and keep your tone conversational.

Don’t ramble on. Don’t write long sentences. Today people read less, especially when they’re browsing online. To get important points across, consider bolding sections of your posts.  

Don’t wait till the last minute. There are a lot of abandoned blogs out there. One of the biggest reasons businesses and bloggers stop blogging all together is because they didn’t have any posts written in advance. It’s easy for life and other tasks at work to get in the way of blogging. By writing posts at least a month in advance, you can help there be one less abandoned blog in the world.

If you’re ever struggling with writing blog posts for your business, reach out to Sperling Interactive. We have web marketers on staff that can generate banging content for your business, including repurposing content.

How To Increase Email Click Through Rates

 

 

 

 

 


Before we dive into on how to increase email click through rates (CTRs), let’s dive into the groundbreaking statistics surrounding email marketing.

*Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences.
*For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38.
*72% of consumers prefer email as their source of business communication.
*3 billion people- half of the world’s population- are expected to utilize email by 2020.

As these statistics show, there are many benefits to utilizing email marketing. Now that we know how useful email is to business, here are four ways to increase email CTRs.

Put a special offer in the subject line. Nailing your subject line is important because if it doesn’t peak subscribers’ interest, they’ll delete your eblast without ever opening it up.  When you extend an offer, you increase people’s interest. Make sure your subject line is teasing and doesn’t give too much away. That’s what the content inside is for.

Include triggered emails. Triggered emails are automation emails in reference to a subscriber’s actions. Triggered emails include thank you emails, welcome emails, anniversary emails, confirmation emails, and the emails you receive when you abandon your shopping cart on an ecommerce site. Triggered emails are beneficial because they are proven to increase conversion rates and improve customers’ experiences.

Add social sharing. If you offer at least three social sharing options, your CTRs increase by 55%. Even if your reader doesn’t want your email’s offer, they may know someone who does whom they can share it with on social.

Get the timing right. Another way you can increase CTS is through researching the best times to send out your newsletters. According to MailChimp, the average optimal time to send out a newsletter is Thursday and the peak time is 10:00 am. Of course, still do your research on your target audience and when they are most likely to check their inboxes.

How To Make The Most Of LinkedIn For Your Business


 

 

 

 


In our last blog post of December,
2018 Marketing Trends, we mentioned 2017 was the year of the silent rise of LinkedIn. If you’re currently not utilizing LinkedIn much, you’ll want to after you finish reading this blog post.

Create Target Ads- Arguably the best way to make the most of your business on LinkedIn is through ads. What makes LinkedIn special is you can post your ads through several mediums- text only ads, image ads, and video ads. Thus, you can always find ways to re-purpose your content. Through LinkedIn, you can also set budgets on your pay-per-clicks (PCP). Plus, LinkedIn is user-friendly when it comes to tracking ad performances.

Join Groups Your Target Audience Is In Or Create Your Own. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for connecting with like-minded people. Check out groups where your target demographic is or create a group to spread your brand’s awareness. Engage with group members through discussions, sharing relevant articles, and posting topical events.

Create An Effective Company Page. Use your company page to spread your business’ message. Let people know what you offer and highlight accomplishments.  If you have a company blog, publish your posts to your LinkedIn page. If you have videos or presentations, share those too. To optimize your business’ ranking on LinkedIn, make sure you are using relevant keywords. Above all else, make sure your company page on LinkedIn is uniform with the rest of your online/offline presence.

Get Endorsements From Clients. Ask your top clients for a testimonial. Through LinkedIn, clients can confirm your skill set and expertise. According to research, 88% of people trust online reviews.

Choosing A Content Management System For Your Website

Choosing A Content Management System

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Sperling Interactive we use WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla when creating websites for our clients. All of these platforms are terrific, customizable, and free. Today on the blog we will be over viewing these platforms to help you decide which is the best fit for your company.

WordPress: WordPress works well with small- to medium-sized websites, blogs, and smaller e-commerce stores. It has over 4,000 free themes and over 45,000 free plugins. It’s update frequency is 42 days. Though it can be used by advanced developers, it’s the best platform of the three for a beginner. WordPress is also becoming more widespread for larger websites.

Joomla- The ideal Joomla user should be looking to make an ecommerce site or a social networking site. The user should also have some basic technical skills as Joomla can create more complex sites than WordPress. It’s really the middle ground of the three platforms. Joomla has over 1,000 free themes and over 7,000 free plugins. It’s update frequency is 36 days.

Drupal: Drupal’s targeted user should have an advanced understanding of web developing. Of the three platforms, Drupal creates the most advanced websites. Drupal has over 2,000 free themes and over 34,000 free plugins. It’s update frequency is 51 days.  Drupal would work best for users hoping to create sites that require complex data organization, online stores, and community platform sites with multiple users. What also separates Drupal from the others is that its pages typically load faster.

If your project needs do not cleanly fit into one of these content management systems, Sperling Interactive can custom design a system for your company.

The Must Have Apps For Better Smartphone Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The original iPhone came out ten years ago, and who would have known back then the big role it now plays in people’s lives? One of the iPhone’s most used features is its camera, and for many people, their smartphone is the only camera they have. Of course, to take great photographs with your cellular device, you need to give your snaps some tender love and care via post-production. Here are our seven favorite photo apps we’ve found that can help you achieve better smartphone photography.

TouchRetouch. For $1.99, this app will enable you to delete any photobombers, strangers, or unwanted things from your photos in just a few taps.

Facetune. Facetune is amazing because it will save you time from taking selfies and will eliminate anything you’re feeling insecure with. With Facetune, you can get rid of blemishes, whiten your teeth, get rid of bald spots or gray hair, reshape facial features, brighten dark under-eye circles, and more. It costs $3.99.

Slow Shutter Cam. This app’s title does it exactly what it promises for $1.99. When you’re in a low-lit place, you can slow down the smartphone’s shutter to capture stunning photos.

Adobe Photoshop Express. Unlike the regular Photoshop software, the cellular app is free and works just as well. Photoshop has tons of advanced editing tools to make your photos look like they were taken by DSLR.

Font Candy + Typography Editor. Font Candy is an awesome app to download if you’re designing a poster or marketing collateral as you can add fun text to photos. With this app you can also scale and crop photos. It costs $2.99.

Prisma. If you’ve never been much of an artist, you now can be with Prisma. This free app enables you transform photos you’ve taken so they resemble the styles of iconic artists like Van Gogh and Picasso.

Instagram. We talked about Instagram and our prediction for its growth in 2018 here. Instagram has many common editing features- adjust, brighten, contrast, structure, warmth, saturation, highlights, shadows, and sharpen- and is the most popular photo and video sharing app out there. If you’re a b2c business, having an Instagram account is a must. It is also free.

2018 Digital Marketing Trends

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 2018 right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking how you’re going to market your business or nonprofit in the new year. To give you a breather after the crazy Christmas season, we have four digital marketing trends we expect to explode next year.

Personalize sales approach. Everyone wants to be remembered and known. Consumers are over marketing strategies that aren’t making them feel reached out to. Marketers will be getting more personal with their target audience in 2018 by addressing them by their names in email blasts (personalized emails have been shown to deliver six times higher transaction rates) and custom landing pages.

A continued rise in LinkedIn. This year many are calling it the silent rise of LinkedIn. This platform is not longer the place where you just upload your resume and look for jobs. Pulse and LinkedIn Video are changing the way professionals and businesses interact. LinkedIn currently has 500 million members with two people joining every second. If yours is a B2B, LinkedIn is an excellent place to post ads.

An increased use in Instagram stories and live videos. 800 million people use Instagram each month. Instagram introduced Instagram Stories last year and it has gone on to surpass Snapchat. With that, it is predicted that Instagram Stories and live videos will increase in 2018. Not everyone sees your page every day, but if you post regularly on Instagram stories, people will get to see a few seconds of your company.

More video content. The current statistics for video content is all you need in order to know it’s about to shoot up. Right now, 87% of online marketers create video content. Video content is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.

If you still need help setting your 2018 marketing goals, Sperling Interactive will be hosting “Creating A Successful Marketing Strategy For The New Year” on January 17, 2018 from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. Register here!

4 Ways To Optimize Your Images


Your written content isn’t the only way you can improve your business’ SEO. Your images are another component to your online presence that you should be optimizing as well. Here are four things you should do to your images before you update or redesign your website.

Name your photos. When you upload your photos to Media Library, they will have the filename that they had when they were saved to your computer. To optimize the photos, change the name by using relevant keywords.

Include alt tags. An alt tag is the text that displays when an image doesn’t load. It’s also the text that may be read to a visitor who is blind or visually impaired. Alt tags are also the keywords Google reads to know more about the page since it can’t read photos. You can add alt tags to your photos through the Media Library once they are uploaded. Like the name of the photo, the alt tag should be descriptive.

Keep your photo size small. The size of your image does affect your site’s loading speed. You wouldn’t want to lose potential clients because of this.

Consider your image file type. The three most common image file types are JPEGs, GIFs, and PNGs.

JPEGs- They are the most common of the image file types and are supported nearly everywhere. With JPEGs, you can expect millions of colors and the ability to adjust the file size as well as image quality.

GIFS- You probably know GIFs as the file type that supports animated memes. It’s the oldest file type and can handle transparency. Because GIFs are limited to 256 colors, they are recommended for company logos instead of real photographs.

PNGs- PNGs are the newest of image file types and are considered the replacement for GIFs. Like GIFs, they support transparency, but what sets PNGs apart is they offer millions of colors. Important to note: this file format is supported everywhere.