Google’s 4/21 Deadline and 4 Other Quick Marketing Tips

1. Less than two years ago, Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm shook the SEO world. As usual, there was no advance notice. The next big event will be 4/21. This time, Google has given notice. If your company website is not mobile friendly by this date, it will have an adverse effect on your search rankings.

Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Google provides this simple tool to let you know if it meets their mobile-friendly standards. Don’t wait. Try it now here. 2. Adobe Slate. It’s free and can be a powerful sales tool. Especially for those trying to sell more complex solutions rather than jobs. Here’s the review from CNET.

3. Google likes fresh, authentic, high-value content. Is your content closely aligned with the benefits you offer your customers? Newsfeeds and sharing stories found online will not help your rankings. They also won’t help your brand stand out as a thought leader.

4. It is perfectly within best practices to share the same content on multiple channels. (I’m asked about this often!) Blog content on your website can also be pushed out as an email newsletter, utilized as a published post on LinkedIn, and shared out to your other social media sites.

5. Don’t discount print. Yes, it takes time and money to create and distribute print communications. Most companies lack the willingness to commit. This makes print communications all that more effective. It’s easier to stand out. My newsletter clients often note that their print newsletters are a very effective “leave behind” for sales calls. How many other printers show that level of commitment to their customers? Very few. Print is tangible. Sales speak is not.

8 Thoughts on SEO for Printers to Consider

When it comes to SEO, it’s my practical belief that most print providers should focus on producing (sharing, posting, mailing, etc.) well-written, engaging content and let the SEO take care of itself. That being said, here are some things to consider:

  1. If you’re focused on beating the system and hoping to get over on Google, you’re wasting time that could be used to promote thought leadership by writing about things you know about. You will never outsmart Google. Good SEO has always been about good content.
  2. If your content resembles a Wikipedia page (jumplinks, keywords repeated verbatim throughout), think about how impersonal that makes you look. Being perceived as fake or phony is a brand killer.
  3. Create content for people, not search engines. If it’s relevant to your customers, then it will contain keywords that are beneficial for your SEO as well.
  4. Google plays favorites. Having a Google+ account and Google Authorship are good for SEO.
  5. Yesterday, Google announced changes to its Ad Rank (pay per click) formula. These are generally considered to not be good for small businesses.
  6. Using free articles commonly found on the web (Mashable, Forbes, Regan, etc.) may be fine for social media purposes but it is not an effective website content strategy.
  7. Google likes sites that add fresh content, but quality trumps quantity.
  8. I’m a huge fan of infographics. However, infographics provide no SEO value.

Great Reach Communications is a content producer specializing in providing printers and mailers with direct mail and online marketing solutions. You can reach us at greatreachinc.com or 978-332-5555.

Patrick Whelan
pat@greatreachinc.com

5 Quick Things Printers Should Know About Content Marketing

1. Create content with your customers’ needs in mind rather than the needs of SEO, your company newsletter or social media. Too many companies are misdirecting their focus. If it doesn’t present strong value to your customers, then it’s not going to help you with the other areas either.

2. The tyranny of the content calendar/editorial deadline is most often the reason for non-engaging content. Only produce content when you have something really meaningful to share. Your clients should look forward to your communications and value them. If not, you’re just creating marketing noise that your audience will tune out.

3. SEO is overrated. Okay, that’s a little subjective but unless you’re an online printer, it’s true. Consider that most people will enter qualifying information into their search in order to get the most relevant results. This includes the printer’s name and a geographic qualifier. Bottom line, focus on creating mind share. The average person will recall 3-5 brands per category. Get your brand in there and stay there. If you focus on these efforts, your SEO will come naturally.

4. Your content should be mobile “friendly” which sounds a lot simpler than “optimized,” and it’s pretty simple to implement. There are free WordPress plug-ins that can help you achieve this, as well as email services (such as ours) that optimize your e-newsletters automatically, and tools like iflymobi.com.

5. The most important thing you can achieve with your content is to promote your brand as a thought leader and trusted resource for the services you provide. Your brand is what people perceive it to be, and the quality and value of your content will have a strong influence on that perception.

9 Tips to Improve Your Website’s Effectiveness

Your company website is the FIRST place prospects go to evaluate you. How does your site compare to those of your competitors? Are you putting your company at a competitive disadvantage right from the start? Here are some things to consider:

Don’t assume people WANT to be on your website. In fact, they are only there because they are seeking information—and they want it fast.

Predictive behavior. Navigation links should be on the top and/or left side. That’s where people expect them.

9-second rule. If a web page can’t deliver the intended message within 9 seconds, it won’t be effective.

People read images before they read text. Make sure your pages are graphically pleasing and aren’t overloaded with content.

View your website as a 1:1 conversation with your best customer. Too many sites read like an owner’s manual.

Make it personal. People do business with people. Name names and avoid using generic email addresses as your company contact (sales@, info@, etc.)

Build trust and credibility. Add testimonials, company history, and community involvement. These things matter.

Consider a “Customer Bill of Rights” that is attributed to your company’s president and includes their contact info. People are always impressed when they have the ability to contact the president of a company. It’s extremely reassuring.

Make customer resources, newsletters, and other content available. Relevant content not only makes your site engaging, but it’s critical for SEO.

I’m happy to offer a free phone consultation to any printer regarding their website and marketing challenges for 2013. Contact me!

Patrick Whelan
Patrick Whelan
pat@greatreachinc.com
978.332.5555