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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Why Long-Tail Keywords are More Effective

Web Design | Why Long-Tail Keywords are More EffectiveLong-tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which specific to your product or service. While many web design companies strive to rank for specific keywords that pertain to their goods or services, using long-tail keyword variations in your online marketing can be a much more effective strategy.

When you first look at a list of long-tail keywords, they may seem to be counterintuitive, but in reality, they can be very powerful. The science behind long-tail keywords is actually pretty basic—when a customer uses a specific search phrase, chances are they know exactly that they are looking for and are more apt to actually purchase your product or service. In fact, many studies show that specific searches are much more likely to convert than more generic searches.

For example, when potential customer search a more general keyword, like “shoes” or “televisions,” it’s more likely that they are in the early research phase or just browsing and aren’t actually ready to make a purchase. However, if they’re searching “black snakeskin stiletto shoes” or “42-inch LED television,” they may be a lot closer to buying. While you may draw less numbers in terms of traffic than with a more general keyword, you’re attracting more focused, relevant traffic that is actively looking for the type of product or service you offer.

Another benefit of using long-tail keywords is that there will be less competition. The competition for short keywords tends to be fierce, such as with “shoes” or “televisions” as opposed to the examples of long-tail keyword variations above. While you may attract more traffic overall by targeting those keywords, you’ll probably get a lot more bounces and less purchases, making the ROI much lower than it would be if your targeted long-tail keyword variations.

As you can see, long-tail keywords can be much better route for your online marketing efforts as they will help you get more qualified search traffic, boost your search engine rankings and convert more customers. When you’ve already spent so much on creating your brand, website design and marketing collateral, why not maximize your potential for sales?

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Optimizing Your Social Media Profile

Online Marketing Strategy Optimizing Social Media Profiles Extima Web

Social media

We bet you thought keywords were only for website SEO efforts and just an online marketing strategy —but they’re not. If you want to boost exposure of your social media profiles and pages among potential customers and clients, keywords can play a very handy role. In fact, if you’re not optimizing your profiles and fan pages correctly, you’re most likely losing the opportunity for customers to find you on the social networks.

There are several ways to optimize your social pages and profiles with your target keyword phrase. For starters, on Facebook pages, you can insert your keywords into both your page’s short and long descriptions, as well as in the category your business falls into. You can access these sections with the “About” tab. For both Instagram and Twitter, you can insert your target keyword phrase into the “Bio” section. On Pinterest, you can add it in the “About You” section of your profile.

In Google+, add your target keyword phrase to your tagline, as well as the “introduction,” “skills,” “category” and “occupation” sections. On LinkedIn, you can add your phrase to the “description,” “specialties” and “industry” areas of your company page. For individual profiles, it can be inserted in a variety of places, including your summary, skills, professional headline and job title.

Keep in mind that, just like with your web content, you want to add these phrases in a natural way that makes sense while avoiding overstuffing your profiles. The last thing you want a potential customer or client to do is assume you’re a spammer and leave you in the dust.

Another way to optimize your social media pages and profiles is to optimize your updates. Again, you want to do this in an organic way that doesn’t appear like you’re just throwing in a keyword. For best results, do this as close to the start of your update as possible. With this tactic, you will gain exposure within the network you are posting in, and may even get your updates seen by Google search.

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5 Tips for Boosting Blog Appeal

Online Marketing Services 5 Tips for Boosting Blog Appeal Extima Web development

Whether you’re blogging for business or pleasure, you want readers to stay and actually read what you have to say. Unfortunately, readers tend to have a short attention span and get bored very quickly, so it’s essential to capture their attention and keep it. As past of our online marketing services, here are five tips for attracting readers and getting them to stay and read your content.

1. Keep your posts short and sweet. Readers do not want to commit to reading a super long post to get to the heart of your content—it’s important to keep your posts manageable but rich in information. The general rule of thumb is to aim for a minimum of 300 words with a maximum of 800 words.

2. Write concise headlines. When it comes to headlines, less is more. Strive to create titles that are less than 120 characters so that they are easily tweetable and interesting to potential readers.

3. Create readable posts. Reading from tablets and computer screens can be difficult for some, so do your best to make it as easy as possible. Use a clean, decent sized font—at least 14 px—against an aesthetically pleasing amount of white space. Choose simple yet contrasting colors for your text and background; black and white is better than two bright colors that can be hard on the eye. In addition, make sure your sentences aren’t too long and break up your paragraphs in a way that flows but keeps them short.

4. Be consistent. One of the most important aspects of a successful blog is a regular, consistent posting schedule. Whether you blog daily, twice a week, weekly or bi-monthly, it’s important to maintain a regular schedule so that your readers know what to expect.

5. Speak your audience’s language. Avoid sounding like a press release or news article—blog posts should read more like a conversation. Don’t try to impress your readers with a pretentious vernacular; you don’t want them leaving your blog to look up the meaning of words—chances are they won’t come back.

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3 Digital Marketing Tips for Curating Content

Digital Marketing 3 Tips for Curating Content Extima Web development

One of the best ways to drive traffic and stock your website with fresh topics is to curate quality content. It’s fundamental digital marketing practice for attracting more links to your site and boosting your SEO efforts, while generating fresh content on a regular basis.

Content curation consists of sorting through and selecting content from the web that you think will engage your audience, and then presenting it in a thoughtful, cohesive manner, typically based around a theme. While it’s important to regularly create original and compelling content, it can get very time-consuming—curating content from other sources is the perfect way to diversify your content footprint and increase the volume of your posts with less effort.

Here are 3 tips for optimizing your curated content.

1. Don’t mass dump. While it’s essential to increase the volume of content you post, you want to choose carefully. This is about quality, not quantity. Select a grouping of the most relevant and highest quality posts possible about the topic you choose and present it in a way that’s easy to navigate and engaging—and strive to make it fun for your audience as well.

2. Be relevant and timely. Fresh, original content is what Google places the highest value on when ranking your website. So when your site is rich in original content, it will experience stronger organic rankings. Even though you’re curating content from other sources, culling them and presenting them in a unique and cohesive manner on a single page will help deepen your content footprint. As a “middleman,” strive to find the most timely and relevant content possible so that readers get the most from your page as opposed to poring over tons of links produced by a Google search.

3. Be creative with your presentation. Curating is an art form—don’t just collect content and throw together a list. Once you’ve vetted and handpicked an array of awesome content, present it in an aesthetically pleasing way that will appeal to your audience. Try using infographics, create “Top 10” and “Best of” lists and polls, news roundups, blog series and even content surrounding daily themes, such as the ever popular Motivation Mondays, Wisdom Wednesdays, WayBack Wednesdays and others that make for good hashtags for sharing on social media and social bookmarking.

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Online marketing keyword reuse

In Online marketing, How many times should you use a keyword?

Online marketing keyword reuse

In Online marketing, How many times should you use a keyword?

When it comes to SEO, this is a question we hear all the time… we found ourselves asking this question more than once this month. Keywords are pretty much single words or phrases that search engines use to pinpoint the specific content relevant to your search query. So if you’re looking for El Segundo online marketing in Google’s search engine, Google will find the most relevant websites for the search. While keywords are very important for your website, when you overuse them, Google will penalize your site. Here are a few common practices that you definitely want to stay away from.

Keyword Stuffing is repeating a keyword over and over throughout your content in order to raise your keyword density so that your website seems more important to the subject of the Google search result. While this may sound like a good idea, it’s definitely not. Nowadays, Google doesn’t reward you if your keyword is in every sentence—or every paragraph, for that matter. In fact, Google sees this as over-the-top optimization, which can get you penalized. The last thing Google wants is to have someone type in “web services near me” and get your car repair website in front of the type of site the user is actually looking for, thus causing a bad user experience.

Another practice similar to this is placing keywords for search engines eyes only. We know what you’re thinking, “What if I just make the keywords repeat, and the readers can’t see it, but search engines will?” This was a practice done a few years back. SEO’s would just change the color of keywords to match the color of the background. Some SEO’s even went as far as repeating the keywords into the footer of the page in very small font sizes. Obviously, don’t do this. You can’t trick search engines anymore, all you’re going to do is penalize yourself into a bad position in Google rankings.

In conclusion, there’s no point in trying to trick search engines. They are much smarter and more sophisticated than ever before. One piece of advice that we can give you is to use synonyms. Google is good at picking up synonyms for the user. For example, instead of just using the keyword “small,” you could use “small,” “tiny,” “little,” and “short” throughout your content.

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