5 Strategies for Writing Better Headlines

5 Strategies for Writing Better HeadlinesWhen you spend time and effort to craft stellar blog posts, you want them to be read and shared as much as possible. Yet what many bloggers don’t realize is that you have to grab your readers’ attention with the headline or it’s not happening. It may be hard to believe that those 8 to 11 words are going to make such an impact, but according to “The Father of Advertising,” David Ogilvy, “On Average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.” In fact, Ogilvy himself spent nearly half of his time writing better headlines as he would spend on the rest of the advertisement content.

With that in mind, the following five strategies should help you create the most compelling headlines possible and maximize your online marketing efforts.

1. Shorter headlines pop. Back in the day, it was recommended that headlines be 5 to 10 words. In present day, the standard is between 8 and 12 words. Keep your headlines short and succinct if you want to grab readers’ attention.

2. Use numbers. Research shows that the most successful headlines include a number. Readers assume that the number lets them know how long the post will be and lets them make the decision if they want commit or just skim the content.

3. Make lists. With the number rule in mind, lists make for ideal posts. List headlines make a specific promise and they’re more readable, easier to skim and scan, and most importantly, the reader knows what to expect.

4. Inspire curiosity. One of the best ways to capture readers’ attention is to ask a question that evokes an emotion and makes them feel like they have to get an answer. This technique utilizes the curiosity gap, making readers feel like there’s a void between what they know and what they want to know.

5. Use what’s trending in your industry. Look at what’s trending, what your clients are discussing and what the competition is doing and take note. Doing this will help inspire ideas to blog about and craft the most attention-grabbing headlines.

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3 Tips for Engaging Your Subscribers

Opt In And Out Signpost Showing Decision To Subscribe Or AgreeWhen you work so hard to get subscribers to sign up for your email blasts and newsletters, it’s disappointing when they ignore or don’t open your emails, or worse yet, unsubscribe from your mailing list. By following some simple but well thought out strategies, you can keep your new subscribers happy, re-engage inactive customers and improve the results of your online marketing efforts.

1. Be specific with how you lure subscribers. How often are you sending out your campaigns? Do you send out a monthly newsletter or weekly email blasts? For starters, make sure that your signup information is specific, so that your subscribers know what to expect. They don’t want to sign up for a monthly newsletter and then get bombarded with emails every week or few days. Be clear so that your subscribers know what they’re signing up for.

2. Don’t bombard subscribers. There’s a fine line between sending them a few promos a month with some thoughtful information and blasting them every few days. Consider creating a content-rich newsletter that goes out every month or biweekly, in addition to some well-timed blasts. Use the click and open rate reports that your provider offers to gauge which type of campaigns engage your subscribers the most and emulate those for future emails.

3. Make your website and campaigns mobile-responsive. The widespread expansion of the mobile market has made it imperative to make your site and campaigns mobile-responsive. Being mobile-responsive is not only necessary to accommodate your visitors and buyers, but to stay in Google’s good graces as well. Lack of mobile-responsiveness definitely takes you out of the mix for mobile searches and affects your overall rankings as well. The mobile market is only going to continue to grow, so now is the time to bite the bullet and update your site if you haven’t already.

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The Benefits of using pinterest for business marketing

Benefits of Using Pinterest for Business marketing | ExtimaPinterest is a bit like a digital vision board—you pin photos you like and categorize them according to topics of your choice in an online profile. Some use it for personal purposes and others use it to gain exposure for their products and services, while many use it for both. Many clients wonder whether there are any benefits to using Pinterest for business marketing or as part of their social media and online marketing campaigns. The consensus is that it can definitely be a great tool for garnering online exposure and attracting new customers. Read on to learn about how it can benefit your business.

One of the many benefits of Pinterest is that it enables you to define and garner exposure for a brand and the people behind it. When the people behind a brand showcase their passions and interests, it helps them become relatable and connect with potential customers. Pinterest also allows users to demonstrate their expertise in their area of business. If your company is a service-oriented firm, you can pin photos of happy customers or client projects. This is an excellent way to promote everything from fitness training, hairstyling and makeup artistry to interior décor, auto restoration or original art, for example. Followers will be inspired and visit your board for ideas, which will increase your credibility and appeal among both new and potential customers.

While an obvious use is to upload photos of your products or services offered, Pinterest also offers a great way to promote text-based content, such as blog articles. When you pin the photo that accompanies the blog post on a board, you can link it to the content to attract traffic. This is a popular method for workouts, recipes, how-to guides, house décor, real estate listings and more.

On the SEO front, Pinterest is beneficial because it adds backlinks to your website and increases overall visibility.

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6 Ways to Prep Your eCommerce Site for the Holidays

The holiday rush is on its way, so if your company has an eCommerce site, it’s best to get all your ducks in a row as far as advance as possible so that you don’t lose sales during one of the most important times of the year. It’s time to ramp up your online marketing, make sure your site is working perfectly and create holiday promos to drive sales and garner new customers.

Here are a few specific things to get in check before the holidays are in full effect.

1. Assess your site speed. Your website should only take around three seconds to load—studies show that if it takes too long to load buyers will lose patience and click out. Streamline whatever files you can and check the speed of your website to make sure it’s working optimally.

2. Be ready for traffic. Make sure that your website can handle as much traffic as possible. You never know what can happen during the holidays.

3. Be mobile-responsive. If you haven’t already made your website mobile-responsive, now is the time. It affects your search engine rankings negatively if your site isn’t mobile-responsive AND you will lose potential sales.

4. Plan your content. Create all of your blog posts and social media content in advance and schedule them. You don’t want to be too swamped during the holidays to get exposure for your content and special promotions.

5. Plan your promotions and sales. Plan your sales and promo codes now and create a schedule for loading them. This will give you time to double check everything and make sure all your discounts and pricing is correct.

6. Schedule your email blasts in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute; create and schedule your special email blasts and holiday newsletters now.

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3 Tips for Harnessing the Power of Video Optimization

3 Tips for the Power of Video Optimization | Extima WebVideo optimization and YouTube are an important part of online marketing, yet many companies overlook this avenue for boosting their search engine rankings and gaining exposure for their products and services. Every day, billions of videos are watched on YouTube alone—it’s considered by many as the second largest search engine in the world. Building a strong YouTube presence can have an incredible impact on your brand reach and will give you the chance to engage with the millions of visitors of using the platform.

It makes sense to leverage these audiences and use video to boost your online marketing efforts. Here are three tips for optimizing your videos and making them easier to find and share.

1. Provide relevant, interesting content. You want to make sure that your video is compelling, related to your products or services, and interesting to watch. Make sure you’re not shoving your brand in viewers’ faces; they are there to learn about whatever they searched for. If content feels too promotional, they will quickly move on to the next item that their search query brought up. Don’t make your videos too lengthy either; studies show that viewers’ attention spans rarely last more than three minutes.

2. Make your video optimization search-friendly. Just like Google, YouTube uses algorithms to determine which videos appear in the search results and where. YouTube will evaluate the bounce rate of your videos—as in how long viewers watch your content before clicking out. Other important factors include the number of subscribers your channel has and the number of likes, dislikes and comments each video garners. They will also look at keyword relevance and the length of your videos.

3. Provide a clear call to action. Since you have viewers’ attention, you want to capitalize on it. Here is your chance to create a call to action that is compelling and attractive so that viewers have the opportunity to take advantage of what you have to offer.

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5 Ways to Generate Blog Ideas

Online Marketing strategy | 5 Ways to Generate Blog IdeasDo you have writer’s block? Are you running out of ideas or feeling at a loss for words? It’s easy to get drained creatively when you’re blogging on a weekly or even daily basis. If you need a little inspiration to keep your content fresh and your online marketing strategy in place, read on for these four tips.

1. Listen to your customers. An easy way to get ideas is to listen to the questions your customers are asking regularly and evaluate client feedback. Find the most common questions and turn them into a blog post. This will help position you as a reliable source of valuable information and help you bond with your audience. To capture your readers’ attention, use the question as the title for the post.

2. Size up the competition. In order to stay relevant and keep your finger on your industry’s pulse, it’s important to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing. While you definitely don’t want to copy their topics, what they’re blogging about will help you brainstorm and generate some fresh ideas.

3. Stay on top of industry trends and news. It’s essential to stay abreast of what is going on in the industry as a whole, current news and what events are taking place. Read the industry trades, leading blogs and news sites on a regular basis. Attend relevant events—for example, if your company produces smartphone cases and covers, you’ll want to read all about Apple’s media events or even cover them for your blog. To set yourself apart from other bloggers, look for key details that others may not include in their coverage so that your audience will learn something new and won’t be bored.

4. Broaden your horizons. In general, it’s important to spend time observing what’s going on in the world—you never know where your next hit of inspiration will come from. See relevant movies, read books about your industry and attend events you wouldn’t normally go to. Research what companies similar to yours but based in other countries are doing.

Always look for new ways to keep your inspiration flowing. This will help you continue to produce rich content that helps you bond with your audience and keeps them coming back for more.

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3 Things That Hurt Your Rankings

Online Marketing  | 3 Things That Hurt Your Rankings You don’t have to be an online marketing guru to understand the importance of search engine rankings. By now, your company is most likely engaged in SEO activities, such as linkbuilding, blogging and on-page optimization. While it’s essential to perform those activities at a bare minimum, it’s equally important to understand how you may be hurting your search engine rankings, whether it’s due to inactivity or too much activity.

As Google regularly updates its algorithms, you run the risk of being penalized in the form of lower rankings, which translates to less traffic. If you feel like your current strategy is on point, but your results are subpar, check some of the items below to make sure you’re doing things right.

1. Your site isn’t mobile-friendly. More than half of Google’s traffic is from mobile devices, which means if your site isn’t mobile-responsive, it will be penalized. This isn’t about favoritism or anything like that—it’s just that search engines strive to reflect user experiences in their search results.

2. Your website isn’t keyword-optimized. It’s still essential to make sure that your target keywords and keyphrases show up on your site in an organic, relevant way. Your keywords should appear in the page title, your H1 and H2 header tags, in the meta description and throughout your content. What’s critical here is keyword density—unlike in the past, you don’t want to overdo it, which is called “stuffing.” Google will definitely penalize you for overstuffing your website with your keywords and hyperlinks—instead, make sure they appear naturally and in moderation.

3. Your site doesn’t have fresh, original, quality content. Search engines seek sites that regularly feature new, fresh content that is relevant to searches. It also has to be quality content—the Google Panda algorithm seeks to penalize any content that is duplicated from another site, poorly written, too short and lacking information. This doesn’t just affect the pages containing this low-end content; it affect the entire website’s rankings.

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5 Ways to Engage Customers on Your Ecommerce Website

5 Ways to Engage Customers on Your eCommerce website | Extima WebWhen you spend the time and money on creating a stellar website design and shopping cart, it’s essential to find ways to keep your customers engaged. That way, they will come back to your site time and time again, and hopefully, buy more products or retain more services. With a little creativity and some interactive features, you can make visiting your eCommerce website a more enjoyable experience for both your current and potential customers.

1. Personalization. When you personalize features on your site, this allows you to target customers specifically and use their personal information to convert. A user creates a profile on your site that includes their age, gender and other information, and your website combines that info with data such as their referring pages, search keywords and browsing behavior to help you find what they are looking for and target their needs specifically.

2. Polls. Another excellent way to find out exactly what your customers are looking for is through conducting polls and surveys on your site. Studies show that customers enjoy being asked for feedback, so take advantage of that and find out how your site is doing or how you can expand your product base.

3. Blogging. A blog is a great way to position your company as an expert, offer tips and share information about other products. Use videos and compelling imagery to make your posts stand out, include links to other posts or products they may be interested in and ask for feedback.

4. Create newsletters and eBlasts. eMail newsletters and eBlasts provide excellent ways to share tips and info, highlight new products and services, offer promotional discounts and increase overall interest in your website.

5. Provide Live Chat. Offering customer service via live chat is the perfect way to instantly provides users with answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Customers love immediate responses, and often times, it can help prevent issues from escalating.

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Top 3 Reasons Your Business Needs a Blog

Reasons Your Business Needs a Blog | Content DevelopmentMaintaining a blog on your website is essential for the survival of your online business and plays a critical role in engaging new customers and clients. It’s ones of the most valuable tools you have at your fingertips to communicate with your clients and build stronger relationships. While social media is an essential facet of your online marketing and communications strategy, blogs help humanize the company and share information in a way that tweeting or making a Facebook update can’t compete with.

Here are three reasons that you should be blogging and developing a solid content development strategy.

1. Blogs generate traffic. Blogs attract traffic to your site like magnets and fuel your SEO efforts. Google and the other search engines loves fresh, valuable content and will reward you for it, as they index blog posts much quicker than they do other pages on your site. You can ensure that traffic is relevant by including your target keywords and keyphrases in your posts so that your direct the traffic you get to drive sales of your products or services.

2. Blogs position you as an industry expert. When you post valuable content, it helps you become a respected authority in your industry and sets you apart from your competitors. Your posts helps you connect directly with clients and potential customers and give you a chance to provide new solutions and easily solve issues. Offering relevant posts also helps you gain your customers’ trust and build rapport with your blog’s followers. The more you post, the more confidence it builds among your customer base and your blog will be viewed as a reliable source of industry information.

3. Blogs complement all of your marketing and PR activities. Your blog posts provide fodder for all of your social media posts, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube, and can be social bookmarked to maximize exposure. Your blog posts can also generate free publicity, as they can be reposted on other sites, and if your blog becomes popular, chances are you may be interviewed from time to time by journalists seeking industry experts.

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10 Basic SEO Terms

Online Marketing Services 10 Basic SEO Terms ExtimaSEO is a constantly evolving industry—and just when you think you’re savvy about all the terminology, more terms get added into the mix. If you’re having difficulty understanding your SEO reports or want to be able to have an intelligent conversation about the effectiveness of your online marketing campaign, here are a few terms that are essential to know. Some of these are staples that you may have hear about for years, while others are newer to the mix. We will blog about terms on a regular basis, so you can stay in the loop when it comes to your SEO services.

1. Above-the-Fold. This term describes all the contents of a webpage that you can see before scrolling down. It can also refer to search engine results—all the results that appear on the first page, without you having to scroll to view them.

2. Algorithms. An algorithm is what the search engines use to determine how websites and pages should be organized and ranked on the web. It is essentially a set of rules used to rank websites.

3. Analytics. This refers to the analysis of all of the data regarding your website, specifically the behaviors of its visitors. Evaluating your site’s analytics lets you know where your traffic is coming from, how many pages each visitor looks at, how long they stay on each page, bounce rates, etc. Google Analytics is what we use to garner this information for our clients.

4. Anchor Text. This is the clickable, visible text that is connected to a hyperlink that opens to a target web page.

5. External link. Also known as an “outbound link,” this is a hyperlink on your website that points to a page on a different website.

6. Google Panda and Penguin. These terms refer to the major algorithm updates that Google makes from time to time to ensure the best, most relevant search results possible. These updates definitely affect where websites rank, which may prompt modifications to your SEO strategy. Panda is when Google makes a change that affects content, while Penguin refers to changes made to fight spam.

7. Internal Link. This is a hyperlink on your website that points to another page also located on your site.

8. Keyword Density. This refers to the number of times your target keyword or keyphrase appears on a web page. It is typically measured by percentage and is used by search engines to determining how relevant your web page is to your keyword or keyphrase.

9. Link Juice. This has to do with the power that a link may have on your site. For example, having a link to your site from The Wall Street Journal or Forbes is going to yield a positive effect on your results because these are such credible, popular sites. You can think of link juice as a recommendation for your site.

10. Traffic. This refers to the amount of visits your website receives and the number of pages that are visited.

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