Online Marketing

The most important purpose of your website is to generate more traffic. Search engines love fresh content. Regularly updating and adding fresh content to your website is hugely beneficial when it comes to search engine rankings. There are several reasons for this.

Increasing Number of Keywords

Your parents always told you couldn’t learn anything watching television, but it turns out they were only half right. Sitting in front of the tube might not be the very best way to learn about Internet marketing, you can pick up a few things if you’re willing to watch quality shows.

For example, here are four great Game of Thrones style online marketing tips you can put to use right away:

Good press can bring traffic to your website, people to your store and create customers before you’ve even met them.  

Nothing can replace a full time public relations company, however, when you have a limited budget while starting or running your business, here are some things you can do to generate free press.

 

What you can do to generate your free press:

  • Locate magazines or venues that cater to your product.  First thing you need to do is find out what magazines your customers read.  For example, if you were a winery you would look at a magazine like Wine Enthusiast or other wine related magazines. You can choose local, national or international magazines, depending on your business model.
  • If you have a product to be reviewed you should be able to locate reviewer requirements on the site. Just follow their instructions, each one has different requirements 
  • Take a look at their editorial calendar and see if you’ve got a product or story that you can submit directly.  You can also find bloggers in your niche, then reach out to them and inquire about having your product reviewed or submit an idea for an interview.  
  • Become a source. Reach out to your local papers and look up the journalists that your business would resonate with.  You can usually find their e-mails on-line or within their by-line.  Write a brief note outlining what you or your business has to offer as an expert or as an interesting product/service. 
  • Make sure you supply them with a good contact phone number and e-mail.  When they contact you – get back to them as soon as possible! A good time of day to send your e-mail pitch is in the early morning.  
  • Remember!  Keep your pitch as simple as possible, always include; company website, company bio (75 words or less) founders name with brief (75 words or less) bio, relevancy of your pitch (why IS your product/service different, better, etc., or what outside factors are your business affecting?).
  • Another great way to reach journalists is through HARO (Help a Reporter Out). HARO is an on-line resource free of charge that gathers thousands of journalist’s inquiries in one place and sends out to the listed source (you) 3 queries daily.
  • And when you do get chosen, make sure you send a thank you e-mail.  

 

Important things NOT to do:

  • Don’t overload them with paperwork (about your business) you can always use this as an opportunity to follow up with what you submitted, and then submit your documents.
  • Whatever you do, do NOT pitch or reply if what you have or do is not what the reporter is looking for. 

 

And finally, this one is actually a lot of fun (for both parties):

  • Grow your own brand Ambassadors.  This is a fantastic way to leverage other people’s enthusiasm about your product or service into free press.  Make sure your ambassadors have ample information about what you offer, your press kit, links to articles, new releases, any research you may have written or press you have received.  Then, let them post on their favorite sites.  
  • Depending on your business you can offer specials to your ambassadors or give them cards (with a special offer on it) so they in turn can pass it on to their circles. 

Generating press, even free press is really quite easy, just think about who is receiving your inquiry, they will be happy that you took the time to make their job easier!

 

For the most part, posts and discussions around Internet marketing tend to involve topics like technical search engine optimization, budget size, and managing social accounts. In other words, they usually focus on things that are hot or new, rather than dealing with the bigger questions of establishing a marketing philosophy or thinking about your real end goal.

That's too bad, because it means a lot of valuable advice gets lost in the shuffle. It's easy to miss the forest for the trees when you're paying attention to tags and bid prices. Those sorts of details certainly matter, but they aren't the only things that matter.

To give you a sense of what's often missing in these discussions, here are three things that aren't mentioned nearly enough in Internet marketing:

1. Creativity. It goes without saying that you can't stand out by doing the same things as everyone else, especially on the Internet when your competitors can be as close as the next open tab. And yet, lots of marketers fall into the trap of trying to follow the same plans as their competitors do… and then wonder why they're seeing lackluster results.

2. Consistency. Often, even great Internet marketing plans fail, simply because the businesses executing them run out of patience before they can see the results they're looking for. Committing to a course of action, and then applying consistent effort, is actually more important than having a can't-miss master plan or trying every single possible technique or channel. Take a course of action and then work it to perfection.

3. Authenticity. Which do you care about more: increasing your sales, or making sure your customers get great value for their money? If those two concerns aren't on at least equal footing, you're probably going to come across as inauthentic. The moment buyers label you as "just another Internet marketer," you're in trouble and your results are going to suffer.

Succeeding online is about more than following established blueprints or ticking items off of a checklist. It takes a mix of creative thinking, patience, and a willingness to connect with buyers and understand their needs. Without those elements in place, no Internet marketing plan can be successful – regardless of how many technical details you pay attention to.

Looking for great web design and Internet marketing help in Southern California? Get in touch with Knightling today to see what we can do for you.

Sunday, 18 May 2014 00:00

5 Ways SEO Has Changed in the Last Year

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Search engine optimization is in an always-changing state, just like the search engine rankings themselves, so it's no surprise that the best practices and prevailing theories tend to shift from one year to the next. However, following the Google Hummingbird update, things have changed so much that a lot of businesses might not understand what they should be doing now... or why the things they were doing before can actively damage their SEO campaigns in the new climate. 

To help you understand just what we mean, here are five ways search engine optimization has changed in the last year: 

 

1. Straight keyword matching matters less than ever. Because Google and the other search engines are getting better at deciphering the actual question behind the search string, specific keywords and search terms aren't as important as they once were. As long as Google can tell what your website is about, it will send related traffic your way.

 

2. Google and the other search engines are pushing local results. Now more than ever customers are looking for local companies online rather than in the Yellow Pages or other print directories. And so, Google and the other search engines are incorporating geography into search results to give them the resources, stores, and vendors they're looking for.

 

3. Responsive websites are getting more traffic and attention. Current industry estimates suggest that more than a third of all web traffic is currently coming from smartphones, tablets, and other web-ready mobile devices. That percentage will only increase going forward, which is why search engines are giving a clear preference to responsive and mobile-friendly websites.

 

4. Rich snippets are making it easier to get views for your content. Which would you rather click on: a "normal" search result with a brief preview, or one that has an author photo, star ratings, or other enhanced content? With rich snippets and social tie-ins, it's much easier to make your content stand out.

 

5. Google is paying attention to the way users interact with your website. It used to be that having someone visit your website and bounce away quickly was a waste of your time and theirs; now, it could hurt your search engine rankings as well. That's because Google is paying attention to the way users interact with your site, and rewarding or punishing you accordingly based on the amount of time they spend and pages they view.

 

As with any shift in search engine optimization strategy, there are going to be some companies that benefit and others that suddenly find themselves missing out on the new customers and sales opportunities they were expecting. Which category is your business going to fall into?

Kellie Sherrill Elected Vice President Executives Association of Long Beach

Long Beach Executives Association

Kellie Sherrill Elected Vice President Executives Association of Long Beach

Kellie Sherrill, president and founder of Southern California based web design company, Knightling Inc., was elected as the newest vice president of the Executives Association of Long Beach earlier this month.

EALB, a network of carefully selected businesses that helps build and promote member businesses through referrals, was founded in 1922 and the current roster includes over 50 area businesses that meet the association’s stringent business and professional standards.

Sherrill joined EALB in 2008 and spent more than four years working on the organization’s board of directors before being elected vice president this month.

“I’m honored actually. I’m one of the youngest members, so to me its really a big honor that they even invited me to be on the board and have my options valued,” Sherrill said. “It gives me the opportunity to try and implement some of the changes that I don’t think they see coming.”

Monday, 13 January 2014 00:00

Where Should You Turn For Crowdfunding?

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For artists, inventors, and entrepreneurs who have great ideas but not the funds to back and launch them, crowdfunding can be the perfect answer. By putting artists, dreamers, and others needing funding directly in touch with the public, crowdfunding sites create a bridge between new ideas and nontraditional sources of startup capital. 

But, if you’ve come to this page, you're probably wondering which crowdfunding site is right for you, and how you can make the most of the opportunity. Below, you'll find some easy-to-follow tips for turning your inspiration into a working project.

 

Matching Your Idea to the Right Crowd

As crowdfunding has moved from a small niche market to a $5 billion (and growing) industry, lots of new sites and ideas have popped up along the way. Some allow you to ask for simple donations, while others let you share a piece of your company or product with investors. 

Either way, a key step toward getting the funding you need – and getting your venture off the ground – is choosing the right venue. Here are seven of the top crowdfunding sites you should know about: 

Numerous studies show that, right about now, millions of us are looking at ourselves in the mirror and wondering why we don't have any willpower. That's because, on average, more than 90% of people will have abandoned their New Year's resolutions by the third week of January.

This doesn't usually happen because we are inherently weak or noncommittal, however, it's just that most of us aren't very good at tying our goals and dreams into actionable plans. In other words, we have a sense of something that we wish for, but that hope tends to get crushed pretty quickly in the harsh light of day-to-day living and working.

That might not be such a big deal if you're just trying to lose a few holiday pounds… but if your goal for 2014 was to earn a top search engine ranking, multiply your social followers and engage them regularly, and generally turn your business website into a source of leads and opportunities, then you shouldn't give up so easily. And so, here are a few good pieces of advice to help you get more from your Internet marketing than you might from your New Year's resolutions:

First, break the project down into shorter-term realistic goals that you can achieve month-by- month

Next, decide which projects and outcomes are most important to you; these are the ones you have to hang onto if you decide you don't have the time or resources

And finally, make sure you have the right team of advisers and creative professionals helping you to stay on track and make all of your marketing projects effective

Are you ready to turn 2014 in to your best Internet marketing year ever? 

Mobile App Development - Knightling

App development is a hot topic these days, and not just amongst web designers and IT professionals. Business owners and executives are seeing lots of opportunities in the growing use of smartphones and tablets and many want to develop custom or branded apps to take advantage.

However, launching an app is like releasing any other product or service – it can just as easily end with lost sales and missed opportunities as it can in a best-selling piece of software. With that in mind, you need to have the right plan in place and to brainstorm your idea enough to tilt the odds in your favor.

To help you do just that, here are four things we think you absolutely have to know about an app before you pay someone to develop it for you:

1. What will the app do? Another way to ask this question would be "what will your app do differently than others?" Far too many business people want to imitate already successful apps or to invest in projects that don't promise very much in the way of customer demand. Your app doesn't just need to be clever, it also has to be both useful enough and different enough that people will be willing to use it.

2.  How will people find out about your app? Because we've reached the point where there are literally tens of thousands of apps available through the App Store, Google Play, the Windows Store and other online stores, it isn't enough to simply list yours for sale and hope that people will start downloading copies immediately. Think of your app as any other product. No sound business would release a product onto store shelves without some combination of commercials, signage, print ads, social media posts, etc. Instead, successful apps have in-depth marketing and promotion plans, just as any other new product would. If you don't know how people will learn about your app, then you don't have the formula for a successful launch.

3. How will you profit from your app development project? Believe it or not, lots of companies make money off of their custom apps without ever selling a single copy. That's because your app can build brand awareness, generate revenue from in-app sales, lead to future orders from your website or even point people to other apps and products that your company offers. Before you launch your app, it's important not only to know whether you can sell it, but whether you could be more profitable distributing it in another way.

4. Are you sure you have the right team in place to program, test and market your app? Because apps are complex projects that require a mixture of analysis, design, programming, testing, marketing and maintenance, you should insist upon having the right technical and creative team working on your behalf. That might take a little extra time and money, but it's one of the most important things you can do to put the odds of a successful app development and launch firmly in your favor.

While app development is evolving with technological and procedural improvements and the marketplace is becoming more saturated, it’s still largely a new frontier. There are significant risks and having a team of experts behind you is important. If you need a partner that can help you maximize your odds of success in the app market, call us today and ask for a free consultation.

 

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