BigWing Interactive » Blog http://bigwing.com Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:53:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Improve Social Media Reach With These 3 Trends http://bigwing.com/blog/improve-social-media-reach-3-trends/ http://bigwing.com/blog/improve-social-media-reach-3-trends/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 17:02:35 +0000 http://bigwing.com?p=789&preview_id=789 It’s 2015. Facebook is now bigger than the largest country on the Earth – 1.4 billion users log in each month, narrowly edging the population of China. Most small businesses are coming on board by creating Facebook pages. Many are working to establish a social media presence for their brand, and the importance of a sound... View Article

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It’s 2015.

Facebook is now bigger than the largest country on the Earth – 1.4 billion users log in each month, narrowly edging the population of China.

Most small businesses are coming on board by creating Facebook pages. Many are working to establish a social media presence for their brand, and the importance of a sound social media strategy can’t be understated.

Facebook’s numbers alone are staggering, and other platforms are making their own moves to create spaces for brands to reach their audiences. It’s more important than ever to understand the shifting social landscape.

Let’s take a look at three important trends and what you can do right now to adjust your strategy. Using these approaches will help you tap into a refined, targeted audience of people who matter to your brand, instead of a diluted audience of the masses; an audience that will cost more and deliver less.

1. Twitter Strikes A Deal With Google

Twitter teams up with Google

On February 5th (2015), Twitter agreed to allow Google access to its data stream in return for tweets appearing in Google’s search engine in real time. The concept isn’t revolutionary; Bing and Yahoo already integrate tweets into their search results. It’s Google’s firm grasp on the search market – 75% of all search traffic is conducted through their service – that makes this deal noteworthy.  How do you take advantage of this? It’s simple:

  • Focus on tweeting rich content, pictures, videos, blog posts in order to make your brand more visible on Google. Here’s a great list of tools for creating stunning infographics.Using Canva to create infographics.
  • Carefully think through your message. Your tweets will have a dramatically larger reach, and your new audience deserves that second (or third) thought. Leveraging the appropriate hashtags will generate more engagement.

Test drive a Dodge Charger at David Stanley Dodge

  • Invest more time in building a solid Twitter presence. Tweets that will be placed more prominently in Google search will naturally drive more traffic to Twitter, and will ultimately grant more exposure beyond non-registered users as well.

2. Advertising Is Necessary

Facebook advertising

It’s no secret that as Facebook’s stock rises, organic reach declines. If you want to be more visible in news feeds, you’re going to have to invest in social media advertising. If you don’t like it, tough; opting out just isn’t an option anymore. But, there is good news: social media advertising is extremely affordable. It allows you to reach the most qualified audience, even if you don’t have deep pockets.

  • The goal of any business is to find prospects and convert them into customers. Social media allows you to do that through paid amplification. Facebook is a great platform for beginner advertisers. You have a minimum ad spend of just $1 per day and you can take advantage of Facebook’s advanced targeting platforms to reach a highly defined audience.
  • Facebook’s algorithm is reducing the number of overly promotional posts, so the stakes for news feed visibility are higher than ever. Clearly, Facebook wants you to invest in ads to expand your reach. Make sure your organic posts aren’t too ‘salesy.’ They need to be helpful and insightful, and answer the questions your customers are having in the buying cycle. In conjunction with daily posting, run ads to drive more traffic to your site or to gain more fans.
  • Measure your advertising results through analytics. Facebook and Twitter provide free analytics, such as the number of clicks to your website, and the cost of each click to help define and improve your ad strategy.

Here are three types of Facebook campaigns that are great for beginners:

Promote your page:  Use the ‘page likes’ objective to promote your Facebook page and grow your fan base.

Qdoba smothered burrito

 

Send people to your website:  Use the ‘clicks to website’ objective to drive more referral traffic to your website.

Giving Tuesday at Allied Arts OKC

 

Boost your posts:  Use the ‘page post engagement’ method to boost posts that will appear on your page and in the News Feed.

Norman Music Festival announces headliners

 

3. E-commerce Will Become Social

E-commerce becomes social with Facebook and Twitter

Twitter and Facebook have started testing “buy buttons” – opportunities for consumers to make purchases directly from a post or tweet, without leaving the platform. If you’re a merchant, leveraging the buy button is bound to increase your conversion rates. It’s also going to be game-changing in terms of e-commerce analytics. Why?

It’s Facebook’s destiny. Facebook was bound to become one of the largest marketplaces in the world, giving businesses a chance to transform their e-commerce strategy. With over 1.3 billion active users on Facebook, the “buy button” allows users to make purchases in just a couple of clicks.

  • Keep an eye out. The ability to track actual purchases and report on those metrics will be revolutionary.  The most common problem Facebook advertisers have is this: Users are clicking ads, but who is actually making a purchase?  The metrics from the “buy button” will help answer this question.
  • The “buy button” is also going to help gauge how effective your ads are. Measuring the results of your campaigns, and making adjustments to your creative and positioning, will increase conversions and build your bottom line.
  • Get a head start and think about how you’re going to take advantage of this unique functionality before it even exists.  Beat your competition to the punch.

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How To Write For The Digital Medium http://bigwing.com/blog/how-to-write-for-digital-medium/ http://bigwing.com/blog/how-to-write-for-digital-medium/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0000 http://bigwing.com?p=785&preview_id=785 How do you write for the digital medium? What methods should be used when writing specifically for the Internet? How many questions can I ask at the beginning of an article? Two of these three questions will be answered in this blog post. (Here’s a hint: I’ve used two tactics in this article already that... View Article

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Writing For Digital MediumHow do you write for the digital medium?

What methods should be used when writing specifically for the Internet?

How many questions can I ask at the beginning of an article?

Two of these three questions will be answered in this blog post. (Here’s a hint: I’ve used two tactics in this article already that I’ll explain below).

Tips For Writing For The Internet

  • Start your blog posts with short sentences.
    According to studies, including research by Nielsen Norman Group, people don’t “read” the first paragraph of an article, they quickly scan it. These same studies show people will rarely, if ever, read large blocks of text. Don’t ever start a blog post with a large block of text.
  • Use bullets and bold text on the left side of your content.
    Studies show people read in an “F-Shaped” pattern. They first scan the top of the article horizontally, then they move on to a vertical scan of the left side of the article before scanning side-to-side throughout the article. Bulleted lists stand out and bold text results in what’s called “fixation” — when the reader halts to investigate a section that stands out.
  • Ask questions.
    Most people are on the Internet to find answers. When they see a question mark they naturally take notice. These questions show your article is intended to provide answers. Folks like that.
  • User longer keywords when possible.
    According to research readers skip over short words and are more likely to fixate on longer words.
  • Write like Hemingway
    Be punchy and brief. Get to the point. Don’t dawdle.
  • Position the best content toward the top.
    Don’t make people search; the farther they have to scroll, the less of your copy they will actually see or read. Notice I placed this section above the section below, which is not as important.

How People “Read” On The Internet

People don’t read on the Internet. That doesn’t seem to make sense, right? I mean, you’re reading this aren’t you? Or are you?

People skim and scan web articles. They are searching to see if you can help them or be interesting.

When a person is holding a book in their hand they have only two options — read what’s on the page or put the book down. Because they are holding the book they feel a tactile connection and are more likely to actually read the book they have chosen.

But online, people have many more options: they can hit the back button to return to a list of search results, they can scroll down the article, they can click on a link on your page and leave your content, they can perform another search, they can close their browser window.

Web readers will “read” fewer than 20% of the words on the average webpage during their visit. This means 80% of what you present will be ignored.

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How To Promote an Event/Trade Show Online http://bigwing.com/blog/how-to-promote-an-eventtrade-show-online/ http://bigwing.com/blog/how-to-promote-an-eventtrade-show-online/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 17:16:21 +0000 http://bigwing.com?p=781&preview_id=781 What’s your trade show marketing strategy? Send out direct mail pieces, buy a bunch of giveaway items, and hope your sales team can drum up new leads? It’s time to stop throwing away money. Smart digital marketing can reduce pre-show expenses, and make potential customers more likely to convert — all before they set foot... View Article

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What’s your trade show marketing strategy? Send out direct mail pieces, buy a bunch of giveaway items, and hope your sales team can drum up new leads?

It’s time to stop throwing away money. Smart digital marketing can reduce pre-show expenses, and make potential customers more likely to convert — all before they set foot on the show floor.

Know Your Audience

Take the time to really understand who comes to the show. This helps you know how to tailor web content ahead of the show.

How do we identify the show audience? Most shows publish demographic information about show attendees. Search social media for the name of the show and any associated hashtags to help you spot trends and understand what was popular with attendees of shows in the past.

One of the handy tools we use is Followerwonk, which analyzes Twitter activity for the followers of any account you choose. For example, here is some of the data available about the followers of the Oklahoma City Home + Garden Show, an annual show held at the state fairgrounds.

Twitter Analysis - @OKCHomeShow

This chart shows us how active @OKCHomeShow’s followers are in every hour of the day. You can use this kind of information to help you determine when to post to reach the audience you want attract.

Followerwonk can also give you a word cloud that will help you visualize what people list in their bios. For @OKCHomeShow, the cloud looks like this:

Twitter Word Clouds - @OKCHomeShow

So, it’s easy to see that you could write relevant content around any of these topics, and be in the stated interests of the audience.

Followerwonk also gives us information about individual followers, including their “Social Authority,” a measurement of how influential they are. This information can help you determine who to reach out to when you’ve created content.

Followerwonk Social Authority

Optimize Your Listing

In 2014, Marketplace Events – creators of home and garden shows throughout North America, including the OKC show in our last example – reported that for their shows, the most-visited page of each website was the interactive exhibitor listing.

Optimize Your Event Listing

Categorized by product type, each vendor is listed with their booth number, website, and a short company description. Make sure this content is engaging. Too many exhibitors waste this opportunity to speak about their business and give attendees a teaser of what they’ll see at the booth. The listing above, for example, gives no incentive to the audience to check out the exhibit.

Trade Show Marketing - Event Directory Listing Complete

This listing is far more engaging, giving valuable information about the company and their products. This information helps visitors understand who you are, and what you’re about.

Attendees are using this tool to plan their route through a show. Will they visit your building, or will they skip it all together to maximize their time with booths that interest them? Find the thing that makes you unique, and use it to tell attendees why they can’t afford to miss your exhibit.

Highlight Previous Trade Shows

Show visitors what they missed last time you were exhibiting. Photos of your booth, video interview of your staff, and testimonials from customers who found you at the show are all enticements for visitors to put you on their list of must-see booths.

Promote the content you published after the last show. For B&H Photo, promoting their next appearance at Imaging USA could easily be a matter of promoting the content they created at this year’s show: a series of 24 videos around various products at the show which are featured in their store.  Re-share the roundup you created, reach out to show organizers, and promote your business’s friends.

Get active in Throwback Thursday on social media (use the hashtag #tbt), and show off fun times at your own booths and those of other (non-competitor) attendees. Showing off what your friends did helps generate goodwill, and makes others more likely to promote you.

Promote New Content

Write blog posts about what people can expect to find at your booth. Will you be doing demos? Produce a Vine trailer, and give people a taste of what you’re offering. Photos of booth designs, images of giveaway items, and other teasers all help build interest.

Trade Show Marketing - CanonUSAImaging Tweets

 

Canon USA does a great job using their social media to promote what you will find at their booth. They hosted a contest to see if visitors could spot fake Canon products, and promoted it with the hashtag #SpotTheFake– a hashtag they also use to promote their landing page about counterfeit gear.

In addition to these fun tactics, put time into developing a content series around common questions you hear at trade shows. As you answer these questions, encourage readers to find you at the show (be sure to include your booth location), and give them a name to ask for: “Have more questions about pool cleaning? Come by our booth and let Gary give you the answers you need.” Let your content help people invest in your team.

Danfoss, a manufacturer of components for a/c and refrigeration systems, developed a show-specific version of their newsletter to promote the show and explain, in some detail, what visitors would find in their booth. They dedicated a full two-page spread to booth layout and contents.

danfoss -- chillventa

Get Social

Find people talking about the show online, and speak directly to them via your social media channels. Much of the time spent at trade shows is spent making introductions and presenting a friendly and accessible face to the customer. Use your social media channels to ramp up this kind of communication ahead of the show. This way, attendees feel like they’re putting a face to someone they already know online, not meeting strangers for the first time.

This can all seem daunting, especially for a small business, where everyone is already wearing their share of hats. Come take a look at our social media management and content marketing teams, and find out how BigWing can help you make an impact.

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BigWing + Google Partners = Breakfast with Google http://bigwing.com/blog/bigwing-google-partners-breakfast-with-google/ http://bigwing.com/blog/bigwing-google-partners-breakfast-with-google/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 11:00:30 +0000 http://bigwing.com/?p=719 Breakfast is the most important meal of the day– especially when you mix in Google Evangelists sprinkled with BigWing experts and wash it down with yummy Starbucks coffee. BigWing Interactive hosted a “Breakfast with Google” event on Jan. 29 at the Chesapeake Boathouse in OKC for local businesses. It was carbo-loaded with timely information on how your... View Article

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Breakfast with Google Image

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day– especially when you mix in Google Evangelists sprinkled with BigWing experts and wash it down with yummy Starbucks coffee.

BigWing Interactive hosted a “Breakfast with Google” event on Jan. 29 at the Chesapeake Boathouse in OKC for local businesses. It was carbo-loaded with timely information on how your business can win in the digital space in 2015.

On the Menu: Google Over Easy

Google Evangelists from Google ChatWe beamed in a pair of Google Evangelists to share how Google paid search can impact your business. David Koves demonstrated the benefits of Google AdWords using real-business-examples and research data. Koves also explained the importance of an efficient business website, including relevant content and SEO, to support effective AdWords campaigns.

Jason Kokalis endorsed BigWing as a Google Partner and explained the importance of working with a Google Partner when investing in AdWords.  Businesses that use a Google Partner to manage their AdWords will have access to the best practices, custom campaign optimization, access to education and training, and access to all of the new tools Google releases.

The biggest takeaway for businesses: AdWords is an ideal marketing channel because they are targeted specifically to your customers, controlled by your business, and are measured in real-time.

If you’d like to see the videos again:

Skipped Breakfast? Read the Summary

After Google presented, the BigWing team dished out all kinds of helpful information specifically on the importance of PPC, social media, SEO and content marketing.

Paid Search- Bill Martin enlightened us with the 5 new features Google AdWords rolled out in 2014 and a peek at how Google will dominate call tracking in 2015.

Sarah speaking at Google Breakfast
Sarah speaking at Google Breakfast

Social Media- Sarah Hoffman wowed the audience with her social media stats (check out the slides below). The word for 2015 in social media: Engagement.

SEO- Ruth Burr Reedy showed how SEO works in real life purchasing decisions–and made the whole room crave chocolate cupcakes!

Content Marketing- David Christopher charmed everyone with his English accent (and his vast knowledge of digital marketing). He gave the audience a great overview on how to integrate all your online marketing elements in a smart digital marketing strategy that drives new, paying customers your way.

Website Development and Design- Marilyn Hoeffner reminded everyone that the basis for paid search, social media, SEO, and content marketing is your website. It should be:

  1. Mobile friendly
  2. Visually appealing and user friendly
  3. Properly coded and designed
  4. Aligned with your marketing and business goals

Slides from our Breakfast with Google

Tweets from the #GoogleBreakfast

During the breakfast we had a great time interacting with everyone and live tweeting using #GoogleBreakfast.

A few of our favorite Tweets of the morning:

A quote straight from a “Google evangelist.”:

 So What’s for Lunch? 

BigWing Interactive will host a series of informational seminars, lunch-and-learns, and hands-on workshops in our new downtown location throughout 2015.

Subscribe to our newsletter below to be the first to find out about limited seating events and digital news in 2015.

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Big Things Ahead For BigWing http://bigwing.com/blog/big-things-ahead-bigwing/ http://bigwing.com/blog/big-things-ahead-bigwing/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:55:31 +0000 http://bigwing.com/?p=605 It’s exciting times at BigWing – formerly known as OPUBCO Digital Marketing Services. We are ready to enter the next chapter in our journey with the launch of BigWing Interactive. It’s the same great online marketing service with the same great people, and we are still part of The Oklahoman family. Why the name change?... View Article

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It’s exciting times at BigWing – formerly known as OPUBCO Digital Marketing Services.

We are ready to enter the next chapter in our journey with the launch of BigWing Interactive. It’s the same great online marketing service with the same great people, and we are still part of The Oklahoman family.

Why the name change? The Oklahoman is focused on Oklahoma print products, while our digital services are offered throughout the US and Mexico.  The BigWing Interactive name is designed to communicate our staff’s tremendous skills as well as represent our commitment to help our customers soar to new sales heights while protecting them from the competition.

Cake BigWing
Cake time! The BigWing team celebrates the launch of BigWing Interactive.

In 2010, our small digital marketing operation was born out of necessity. A client of The Oklahoman/OPUBCO Communications Group needed help sprucing up his online presence. We had tremendous skill sets in SEO, so when one of our clients needed some help, we shared our expertise.

David Christopher on stage at CONFLUENCE CON
Some of our best and brightest: Hard at work speaking at a conference.

BigWing director Marilyn Hoeffner and our Senior Inbound Marketing Manager David Christopher branched out to provide these services to OPUBCO customers. We realized that there was a huge need in the market — a need to make websites effective (not just pretty).

Many companies were struggling to get a successful online presence. Some had poorly designed and poorly optimized websites that were not yielding any positive results. Others had no web presence at all, missing out on the 95% of Americans who search online for local products and services. So we got to work.

BigWing Crew at Confluence Photo booth
…and playing hard during Confluence 2014.

Soon we realized we needed more hands on deck to handle the demands of the market and so we have grown from our initial team of two to one that is over 35 people strong and consists of some of the most talented folks in the business.

Less than five years after hatching the idea for a digital marketing firm, we are serving clients in 13 states, plus Mexico.

BigWing's new location in downtown OKC
Our new digs in downtown OKC.

 

In February 2015, we are moving into brand-new offices in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City and have a full calendar of educational events planned in our new space. With the OKC Thunder and the folks at Devon Tower being our neighbors, we are undeniably part of the exciting things that are happening in Oklahoma City these days.

As BigWing, we are looking forward to connecting with new clients, other marketing minds who are as passionate about strong, ethical and creative online marketing as we are, as well as engaging with thought-leaders in this field to continue making our services stronger.

We also want to take a minute to thank the clients that have been with us from the beginning for being such wonderful partners, and we promise that the level and service that you have known from us will only get stronger.

Big things are coming.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn 

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Google Paid Search: Easy to Drive, Difficult to Win the Race http://bigwing.com/blog/google-paid-search-easy-drive-difficult-win-race/ http://bigwing.com/blog/google-paid-search-easy-drive-difficult-win-race/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:34:44 +0000 http://bigwing.com/?p=529 Many people think paid search is easy, and in one sense it is. Google will easily give you the keys to your brand new AdWords account and set you free to drive on the road like a 16-year old with a new high-powered sports car. If you were anything like me, you might have taken... View Article

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Formula one car:  Sebastian Vettel driving  Red Bull car
Sebastian Vettel driving the RedBull Formula One car (Photo Credit Redbull via Flickr)

Many people think paid search is easy, and in one sense it is. Google will easily give you the keys to your brand new AdWords account and set you free to drive on the road like a 16-year old with a new high-powered sports car.

If you were anything like me, you might have taken a few risks as a young driver. Perhaps you didn’t understand the power and responsibility. Maybe you even broke a few laws or were involved in a fender-bender.

One thing was certain–you were no Sebastian Vettel, though at times you pretended to drive like him.

Paid Search is Deceptively Easy

Just as it might look easy to sit in the drivers’ seat and handle a steering wheel, setting up a paid search account is deceptively easy.

You can set up an account, enter billing (credit card) information, give your first campaign a name, establish your audience, sprinkle it with some keywords and make an ad in just about 30 minutes.

It is easy to set up an account, but setting up an account correctly takes driving skills you might not possess.

Google Adwords has done a great job with its interface. The interface is clear in its layout, intuitive, and offers lots of help areas along the way. The systems that run them are complex statistically & content driven algorithms written by people who have Ph.D.s in mathematics.

space shuttle cockpit
The engine under the AdWords hood is more complex than the cockpit of the space shuttle.

5 Rookie Google Adwords Mistakes:

As a certified Google Adwords PPC partner, these are a few common mistakes I’ve noticed rookie drivers make:

1. Naming: It’s easy to enter a name for your campaign, but targeting can be tricky. Do you choose radius vs. city, vs. county vs. state? Are there advertising geo-targeting restrictions for your products and services? Should you geo-target or demographically target?  When is it good to use display vs. dynamic, vs. keyword targeting?

2. Keywords: I’ve noticed rookies enter in keywords without understanding the tools or keyword research process. Optimizing for relevance and profit is time consuming and takes in many factors like: keyword strategies, changing match types, optimizing bids for match types, using keywords for finding new terms.

3. Ad Writing: Writing ad copy is both an art and a science. One could write an ad in merely five minutes, but consistently crafting compelling copy over and over, conducting A/B tests, making small changes, and analyzing those changes correctly takes both expertise and experience. Also it takes time and patience. As the song goes, “You have to know when to hold’em and know when to walk away.”

4. Bidding: Rookies make sweeping bids to be ‘top position’ or worse set Google to manage the bids for them for a high positon. They don’t create bidding strategies for individual targets and look for the ‘sweet spot’ for their adgroups and ads like an expert would.

5. Internally Focused: You know your business, but you may not know how others see your business, or search for your products or services. One of the most common quotes from clients is, “I know my business but I don’t know how people search.”

Bill Martin
Bill Martin: Certified Google Adwords  Partner

Lots of very smart people try to run their own AdWords accounts. I’ve had clients with ‘MBA’ after their name, many with marketing degrees, and they still made all the ‘rookie’ mistakes above.

In each case I was able to improve the results of their campaigns, often doubling their click through rates (CTR) by a (sometimes not-so-simple) restructuring of their accounts. Just because you need help doesn’t mean you aren’t smart. Think of it this way: we all know how to drive a car, but very few of us know how to handle a Formula One race car.

If you’d like to talk sports cars, rockets, or Paid Search details– I’d love to chat.

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BREAKING: Consumers care about online reviews http://bigwing.com/blog/breaking-consumers-care-online-reviews/ http://bigwing.com/blog/breaking-consumers-care-online-reviews/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 21:32:03 +0000 http://bigwing.com/?p=500 Consumers are jumping on the online review bandwagon at a record pace. Is your business ready? Online Reviews are pretty darn important. There is no getting around it. I won’t even pick out a snow cone stand without knowing which one has the best rated virgin strawberry daiquiri around. When I crave girly flavored ice shavings, I want... View Article

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Consumers are jumping on the online review bandwagon at a record pace. Is your business ready?

87792023-266x400Online Reviews are pretty darn important. There is no getting around it. I won’t even pick out a snow cone stand without knowing which one has the best rated virgin strawberry daiquiri around. When I crave girly flavored ice shavings, want the best. This trend is picking up steam across all business verticals. People want to know what others think before they jump in and try a business out and online review sites like Yelp, Urban Spoon, Google+ and Angie’s List are making it easy for consumers to share experiences.

Businesses with profiles on relevant online review sites have the leg up on their competitors. Around 72% of consumers said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That is a large number of people that could be ignoring your business if you don’t have an online review management strategy.

So how do you become an actively reviewed business?

Here are a few simple steps to get in a position to be reviewed:

  • Make sure your business is listed on relevant review sites.  People cannot review your business if they can’t find it. Review management is essential to local SEO. Create accounts on the most important sites for your business and build your profile with all the information, photos and videos the listing will allow.
  • Give your customer a reason to get excited. Give your customers an experience above and beyond what they expected. Smile, ask questions, go the extra mile to make them remember their experience. Being courteous and friendly can go a long to create a memorable experience.
  • Ask your customers to share their experience online. Now that you have a place for and gave them a reason to leave you a great review, ask them to share their experience online. Tell them how much you would appreciate their feedback and let them know where they can review your business online.
  • Listen to what customers are saying. If you are receiving more bad reviews than good reviews, listen to what they are saying. There may be a problem with your business that you need to address. This is an issue that can be  esolved with online review management.
  • Respond to every review that you receive. Make sure you thank people for their good reviews and address the problems stated in the bad reviews. That is right, there will be bad reviews. No business is perfect and there are some people who are simply never happy. Never lose your temper. Calmly say you are sorry their experience was not good and ask them to contact you privately so you can discuss how to improve your business and keep them as a customer. As long as you can more good reviews than bad, you will be just fine.

Finally, the most important thing to remember: Be patient. This is an ongoing process. Make review building a permanent part of your business practices and work at it every day.

Does this sound like too much of a hassle? Not sure where to start? Give us a shout. We can help with online review management.

Follow Kyle on Twitter.

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What SEO is Not http://bigwing.com/blog/seo-not/ http://bigwing.com/blog/seo-not/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 21:26:52 +0000 http://bigwing.com/?p=497 If you’ve been on our site, you already know what SEO is, but a quick review is in order: “SEO is a measurable effort to increase the rankings of specific keywords on specific pages of your web site. It’s not a matter of opinion: SEO is reproducible and testable.” So we know what SEO is.... View Article

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If you’ve been on our site, you already know what SEO is, but a quick review is in order:

“SEO is a measurable effort to increase the rankings of specific keywords on specific pages of your web site. It’s not a matter of opinion: SEO is reproducible and testable.”

So we know what SEO is.

Here’s a list of what SEO is not:

  1. SEO is not social media
    Social Media is valuable in its own right, but it has very little to do with ranking on search engines. (Sure, there is some bleed-through from social to rankings, but it’s smaller than you might expect.) If you’re paying for SEO, don’t settle for social media. SEO is about improving your rankings, not your social media exposure.
  2. SEO is not standards compliance
    Following web standards is great, and there is definitely some SEO value to improving your text to code ratio and making sure search engine crawlers can see your site. There is definitely value in making sure your site is accessible and available on all browsers. All of those things are very valuable. None of them is SEO.
  3. SEO is not just “good content”
    SEO is all about content — content on your site that Google loves and content on other sites that links to you. But good content isn’t enough. Your content must be specifically focused on the keywords you want to rank for. That keyword-focused content must be good enough to entice people to link to you.
  4. SEO is not just on-site optimization.
    By the same token, if you’re not building links to your web site, you’re not doing SEO. On-site optimization and link-building complement each other and dramatically magnify the effects of the other.
  5. SEO is not magic
    If your SEO company is worth what you’re paying them, they have a few tricks up their sleeves. As SEOs build experience, they develop proprietary information that they generally don’t share with competitors (or sometimes, even their customers.) But this proprietary “magic” is not the bulk of SEO. For the most part, SEO is just a lot of hard work. We optimize your site pages for specific keywords; we build location specific pages; we build links and relationships. There are no magic shortcuts to get your web site to rank higher. (And if a SEO shows magic results without a lot of hard work, I guarantee it’s black magic. And black magic can turn out very ugly indeed.)

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Web Strategy 101: Why Isn’t Your Website Offering Anything? http://bigwing.com/blog/web-strategy-101-isnt-website-offering-anything/ http://bigwing.com/blog/web-strategy-101-isnt-website-offering-anything/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 21:25:23 +0000 http://bigwing.com/?p=490 For many small service-based business owners, the purposes of a website seem simple—tell people what we do, tell them who we are and show them where to find us. Obviously this alone will convince visitors to choose your widget service over the millions of other widget services, right? To quote my friend David Christopher—“Rubbish.” A... View Article

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For many small service-based business owners, the purposes of a website seem simple—tell people what we do, tell them who we are and show them where to find us. Obviously this alone will convince visitors to choose your widget service over the millions of other widget services, right?

phonebooks3To quote my friend David Christopher—“Rubbish.” A brochure website with no offer is little more than a fancy phone book listing.

If you want to make your website stand out from the sea of contenders, you’re going to have to catch a browser’s attention with something worth acting on. Otherwise you can expect thousands of missed opportunities.

What You Have to Offer

“Okay, Will, so what should my big offer be?” There are plenty of opportunities to establish a relationship with somebody who’s interested in your service. Odds are that you’re probably already offering it offline.

Discounts

You don’t have to be a national corporation to offer discounts for signing up or buying online. If you’re running a successful business you probably offer seasonal or promotional discounts to the customers who visit your store. Studies show that 80%-90% of consumers research online before buying anything in-store. Why aren’t your discounts on your website?!

Online-Discount1

Want to take it a step further? Offer special discounts targeted at online browsers. For example, Dr. Tim Love’s Hair Transplant office offers $300 off of a hair transplant for a coupon that a visitor can download after filling out a form.

Free Stuff

If there is one word in this world that will make everybody look just a bit harder, it’s “FREE.” People simply love getting something for nothing, and that gives you extreme leverage when it comes to enticing viewers to buy.

Personal-Injury-Lawyers-Serving-Evansville-Owensboro-Areas1

It may sum up this whole post to mention that it took me 4 pages on Google and 30 minutes to find one law office that even makes an attempt to promote the free consultation on their homepage. If you’re willing to give something to visitors for free, you may need to make it a bigger deal. Even if everybody in the business offers the same thing for free, visitors may not know that. That is, until they leave your website and see it on your competitor’s.

 

Oklahoma-City-Attorneys-Tulsa-Lawyers-in-OK-Lawter

Here’s a good example of what a front-and-center offer would look like from http://www.lawterlaw.com.

Information

Many of your visitors probably aren’t experts in your service’s field. Be the hero by offering them a download or video to show them that you are the expert. Even something as simple as downloading free information can trigger a connection between your visitor and your brand or company.

The Bottom Line

Most brochure websites answer the who, what and where of a company. What many brochure sites fail to do is answer the most important question which is, “Why? Why should a casual browser stop and make a commitment to you rather than doing more browsing. You can answer that question with a solid and well-placed offer on your website.

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A Cure for the (Not Provided) Blues http://bigwing.com/blog/cure-not-provided-blues/ http://bigwing.com/blog/cure-not-provided-blues/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:55:47 +0000 http://bigwing.com/?p=485 Every SEO seems to be up in arms about the rise of not provided keywords in Google’s reporting. I don’t think that your reporting has to suffer. And I’ll show you why. It’s all about perspective If you operate an SEO agency that reports traffic increases for a set of keywords as a measure of... View Article

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Every SEO seems to be up in arms about the rise of not provided keywords in Google’s reporting. I don’t think that your reporting has to suffer. And I’ll show you why.

It’s all about perspective

If you operate an SEO agency that reports traffic increases for a set of keywords as a measure of your clients’ success, I can see how you could be pretty upset that Google is making your job more difficult.

But if you’re willing to make a slight adjustment in the way that you measure internally and report to clients, you can still showcase the success of your SEO, even if you don’t know which specific keywords are driving traffic. Here’s how:

How to use landing page reports to work around (not provided)

While in many cases we can no longer get that precious organic keyword data, we still have landing page data. When you optimize a website for search, you use your keyword research to optimize specific pages with their relevant keywords, right? So logically those pages that you optimize are going to receive an increase in entrances from organic search.

Level 1: Organic Entrances to Optimized Landing Pages

I set up a custom report in Google Analytics that measures just that. Here’s what the top level of that report looks like, with a year-on-year comparison:

Not-Provided-Entrances

In this instance, I’ve sorted the landing page by most entrances. If you’ve been performing proper SEO for a while, the pages you’ve optimized should be near the top. And if you want to get really focused, you can always use filters to display only the pages that you’ve optimized.

Level 2: Breakdown of Organic Search Engine Traffic to an Optimized Landing Page

Now if you drill down further, you can see how your efforts have paid off in terms of driving organic traffic from individual search engines to your optimized pages. Here’s how that looks:

Not-Provided-Search-Engines

You can use this as a more detailed breakdown of how much your work has done for a client’s site. And if you drill down one level deeper, there may be a special surprise waiting for you.

Level 3: Keyword Data (and in the case of Google, a lack thereof)

If you click on Google, you’ll likely just get an ugly reminder that a lot of the organic keyword data you were used to has been replaced by those two ugly words – “not provided.” However, if you’re getting traffic from Yahoo and Bing, you’ll be happy to know that organic keyword data will be waiting for you.

Not-Provided-Keyword-Data

So even though the search giant has taken away your Google keyword data, they’ve given you a consolation prize. You can still get some valuable nuggets from the keyword data coming from other search engines.

Bonus: If you’re monitoring conversions as part of your service, you can use the second tab of this custom analytics report to show off the page value. Not only can you tell your client how much traffic your optimized page has brought to his website, you can also show him how those pages have helped make conversions happen.

Yes, it isn’t the best situation. But you can work with this!

We all wish that there was a magic bullet to bring back those keywords that are now not provided, but this is a case where you’ll have to play the hand that you’re dealt. When you look at the big scheme of things, this isn’t too bad of a hand.

Get the (not provided) workaround custom analytics report

Here are the links to this custom report I’ve been talking about:
https://www.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=H1cRoTOnT0a348lrZekunA

On one tab you’ll find the entrance data report and on the other you’ll find the page value report. Customize this as you please, and if you have any good ideas that can be used for it, share them in the comments!

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