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We Took A Cincinnati Chiropractor From 0 To 1,000s Of Views In 3 Months

By | SEO | No Comments

You know why getting traffic to your business website is important? It’s not about the traffic at all.

Website visitors matter because along with them come highly interested leads who are ready—on the spot—to buy from your business.

Every business owner with an ounce of ambition is looking to grow their company, right?

One way you grow an organization by 200%, 500%, or 1,000% or more every year, is by increasing your traffic—specifically your local SEO traffic. This singular objective will send more leads, customers, and sales to your business.

Because when you break it down, marketing is always the same: Higher visibility equals higher profits.

And that’s the formula whether you sell ecommerce products, services, or you’re a flower shop where customers can only call in or visit your store to purchase.

When you get thousands of more visitors to your site, then you’ll add thousands of dollars to your business bank account.

That’s exactly what we accomplished for this local Cincinnati chiropractor.

See how the process came together from start to finish to learn valuable takeaways that you can implement for your company.

How We Sent Traffic To This Cincinnati Chiropractor

1. Designed A Sales-Focused Website

ecommerce-website

First things first, it makes no sense to send thousands of visitors to a website if the design is not making a positive first impression and convincing visitors to take actions, such as: call now, submit a form, or sign up for your email list.

You need a website that’s built with sales in mind to convert your traffic into paying customers.

Otherwise, you’ll be spinning your wheels to attract traffic, only to get little to no business gains from the work. That’s not rewarding.

What is sweet is when your website is a money-making machine that works 24 hours, 7 days a week, to grow your business.

So what did we do for this chiropractor and how can you get there? It takes a fundamental understanding of what factors increase conversions.

In my experience growing a six-figure digital marketing company in just 5 months, I know the best converting websites have these factors:

  • Their overall appearance is clean and simple
  • Their headlines clearly state who they are and what they do
  • Their call-to-action text and button placement is compelling
  • Their support information screams credibility and trust
  • Their contact forms are short to limit friction

Take a look at how our Illumen web design team built this website.

There’s a clear call-to-action in the top right header.  Another button is in the featured slider image. And at the bottom of the page is another contact form, giving visitors at least three chances to take a step to schedule an appointment.

If a customer has a bad back or neck and is remotely interested, they’re more likely to take the step to call this chiropractor based on our button placements.

2. Identified Profitable Keywords

local-seo-keywords

Know why some local business websites rank high on Google and their doors are flooded with new customers?

It’s because they’ve optimized their website with keywords that their target audience searches. Then Google recognizes these keywords on their site, and ranks their pages for said keyword.

Essentially Google’s job is to show the websites that best match the keyword phrase to the consumer’s search.

The smart business owners identify the keywords that their average customer searches for to find a business like theirs, then edits the heading and paragraph text on the site to match the keyword.

But ranking for competitive keywords is a tightly competitive and never ending challenge. Plus, good luck targeting a one word keyword or national keywords if you’re starting from scratch. That can take 3 to 5 years to get any traffic.

Instead, it’s all about local SEO, in other words ranking on the first page of Google for strategic keywords with the name of your city or town in the keyword phrase.

For example, the odds your website ranks for the word “BBQ restaurant” is close to zero. However, if your building is located in the town of Mason, Ohio, you have much better odds of ranking for the keyword “Mason BBQ restaurant”.

And unless you have an ecommerce store, it doesn’t help your business if someone across the country finds your local business. They’re not going to drive from Texas to Mason, Ohio to eat your BBQ—that’s absurd.

We did this exact approach to rank our case study client by targeting keywords like “Cincinnati chiropractor” to put his business in front of people whose bodies were aching.

As we all know, it doesn’t help a local business (who doesn’t sell ecommerce) if they get a website lead from an individual across the country. That’s why local SEO remained our focus to rank this particular business.

3. Wrote High-Quality Content

local-seo-content-writer

Nothing moves the traffic needle like solid content for your audience. It’s the oxygen of any marketing strategy, including this local SEO case study.

As long as the content is there on your business website in some fashion, the material can come in any form: written blog post, recorded audio podcast, or a video.

It’s not good enough to get up any material, what you put on your site needs to be meaningful.

Your business website’s content should either educate, entertain, or excite your audience to get them coming back for more. And you shouldn’t make these business blogging mistakes.

For example, if you sell a complicated service or product, do an explainer piece of content that walks people through exactly how to setup and use your offering.

With our chiropractor, we had one of our in-house writers publish two 1,000 word posts a week. The blog post titles covered topics like Is Chiropractic Care Safe? to What’s The #1 Solution For Neck Pain Relief? and so on.

Since the only clients who would come in were around 10 miles or less from his office, it didn’t matter about national or global exposure. We utilized Cincinnati local SEO strategies in the blog posts to rank our chiropractor’s site on Google and get it in front of people in a 15 mile radius to his office.

Not only did these posts educate the local community, but in the conclusion of every article, we wrote a call-to-action for the readers to schedule an appointment with this chiropractor.

That’s a great example of giving 99% value and then asking for a sale at the end.

We also did a post that promoted other non-cpompeting local businesses in the area to build up some goodwill for their brand. These businesses shared the post and linked to it, which expanded the post’s reach.

Quality content will always send traffic to your website, always.

4. Utilized Internal Linking

internal-linking-search-optimization

A link from one page of the Internet to another page is a boost in SEO juice for the page receiving the link. That’s precisely why external links are so valuable since they tip off Google to rank your site higher.

However, getting a few external links is often hard to come by in itself. It takes serious effort and patience to see receive just one or two links this way.

Good thing there’s another solution: internal linking. These are pages that link from one page or post of your website to another page on your same site.

As you may have guessed, they also make a significant difference for your SEO and website traffic goals.

We decided that the focus pages for this chiropractor were the homepage and the Chiropractic Services page. For many of the articles we wrote on his site, we’d link back to one of these pages—all the while helping their individual SEO score.

Pro tip: Don’t link random words back to your main landing pages. Instead it’s far more effective to use the keywords you discovered in the previous step, to link back to the main page you want to rank higher on Google.

For example, in our efforts to rank our local SEO services, I’d link those words since they accurately tell Google what that page is about. That action will get our Local SEO page indexed higher compared to linking the words “click here” or “services”.

Also, don’t try to game the system by linking every single post on your site to a main page. Google will easily sniff this out. And you may even get moved down in the rankings for that spammy move.

Internally link to your main pages, naturally, and your search engine traffic will consistently grow.

5. Collected Online Reviews

google-listing-reviews

Online reviews on listings like Google, Yelp, and Facebook are like the new word of mouth.

People back in the day would go out on their porch or to their local diner to discuss with neighbors the local businesses and their service quality. That’s how you’d find out if Bob’s Dry Cleaners were worth the money or a ripoff.

Nowadays, consumers check business listings like Google My Business to get the inside scoop before they choose where to hand over their money.

On these listings, they immediately check out your reviews and customer feedback, without having to leave their bedroom.

Then, a lot of times, they decide, right then and there, what company to buy from. If your online reviews are numersome and positive, you put yourself in position to win the customer over.

With a low total or a negative star rating, you’re company is not even a consideration anymore. You’ve lost out on them and their money.

Don’t believe me? Consider this: Over 80% of consumers value online reviews with the same weight as personal recommendations from their friends and family. That’s 8 out of 10 people—insane!

In our work with this chiropractor, we made review cards, an email list push, and word-of-mouth efforts to gain this business reviews on Google and Facebook.

Basically, we tried every reasonable strategy to rake in as many reviews as possible, because we sensed the importance for a local business like theirs.

Guess what happened. Over time, we started to see more people get referred from these listings and Google Maps.

That’s what happens when local business marketing is done right!

The takeaway is to never get lazy in your efforts to bring in more Google reviews from customers.

Because over time, it’ll be a fivefold increase in profits. And, if you’re fortunate, these reviews can become the backbone of your marketing for years.

Use Local SEO To Bring In More Customers

Just as we ranked this Cincinnati chiropractor in a matter of months through local search marketing, you can rank your local business. I guarantee results if you execute and stay focused.

Maybe the best advantage of search engine optimization is that the results are exponential. Meaning you can put as much time into it now as you do six months from now, but the results will be a high multiplier better than month one.

That could look like this: month one you only bring in 61 views to your website, but month three you have 1170 views, in month six your business site jumps to 2,000 views, only to rake in 7,000 views a month in month 12.

That’s only a year out. This equation multiplies higher with the more effort you put into your SEO channel over the years.

Just imagine the damage you can do in three to five years.

Some day, you may get to the point where you never need to pay for advertising again because the combination of Google searches and your website traffic gives you all the business you could ever need.

Don’t be surprised when that happens.

But first, take action like your business’ survival depends on it—because it kind of does—and then you will start to rank for the profitable keywords that will bring you more business.

If you don’t know much about search engine optimization (SEO) or don’t have the time, consider working with us to get top notch results.

reasons-to-hire-seo-company

5 Smart Reasons To Hire A Cincinnati SEO Company

By | SEO | No Comments

Why should your company consider hiring a SEO company? It’s the same reason you’re in business: to make more money!

When your website ranks higher on Google through effective search engine optimization, interested traffic floods your website, and that produces more direct sales.

Then your company starts prospering, you can hire more sales reps or a bigger team, and now you have a growing machine—all thanks to the initial SEO push.

As you can imagine now, it’s all types of good to be at the top of a Google search for the service or product your company sells.

And not only is it profitable, it’s efficient.

When qualified leads are coming to your company, they’re more likely to enter your sales funnel and buy faster and at higher dollar amounts. This is compared to cold calls that take years to develop into anything somewhat worthwhile.

Those are a few quick reasons why your business is missing out if you haven’t hired a SEO company to get your website more traffic and online business.

I personally know the power of search engine optimization from experience.

I first spent years learning SEO and from that time studying I’ve sent close to a million views to my personal development business TakeYourSuccess.com, and raked in tens of thousands of dollars in profits from book sales, affiliate sales, advertisement deals, and coaching.

Since I inherently understand SEO, I’ve done this before for multiple websites, and for the 5 reasons below, you should seriously consider paying a Cincinnati SEO company to grow the traffic of your business website.

Reasons To Hire A SEO Company

1. You’ll save your company time

Imagine you’re a business owner who has your staff spend hundreds of hours blogging with the goal of sending more traffic to your site, except it doesn’t work.

All of that energy spent writing becomes wasted dollars, that the owner has to pay for, and missed opportunities to complete other tasks at hand.

For a small business, this can be a crushing defeat.

And the failed blogging scenario is actually likely in today’s hyper-competitive content space.

The truth is it takes strategic keyword research to know the exact terms your ideal customer will search for, a thorough website analysis to fix the errors in your site, and tactical execution to jump to page one on Google searches.

The average business owner isn’t going to know where to begin with any of these SEO-critical tasks, just as a SEO genius won’t know how to cook bruschetta chicken pasta like an experienced chef.

Or maybe the small business is doing everything right and targeting the correct keywords, but Google isn’t indexing their website pages. If your site has a critical error in its coding, it doesn’t matter how much you blog because it’ll all be for nothing.

Again, this can cripple a business since they invested a bunch of time into a failed project with no return.

A qualified SEO company will be able to sniff that out from the start, saving you months or years of frustrating results.

So if you value your company’s time and your own as the business owner, then it makes all the sense in the world to pay for SEO.

Time is always money.

2. You won’t waste money

You’ve probably heard the phrase:

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.

This is not one of those sayings said out of thin air with no backing behind it. It’s 100% true in any industry, but especially SEO.

There’s nothing more frustrating than wasting money. It gets worse when you’re not a Fortune 500 company who can afford to throw around money in every which way.

So ranking your website high on searches is not a task you can delegate to an intern or your niece. They’ll mess around and accomplish nothing.

Then you’re back to where you started at the best, and penalized by Google at worst.

You’re also losing money every day to your competitors who do show up on Google’s first page when your website isn’t optimized for search engines.

For example, a Cincinnati florist company who doesn’t appear on the first page of Google when people search for “Cincinnati flowers” is losing thousands of dollars per year to their competitors.

local-seo-cincinnati-ohio

Results from a Google search for “Cincinnati flowers.”

And think about this. Anyone who invests a few grand into a beautiful website that has all the bells and whistles imaginable, but gets zero traffic, basically wasted their money. Right?

Having a simplistic and well-designed website is only as important as sending people there to see it. What’s the value if no one visits it?

Hiring a Cincinnati local SEO company like us to expert to send thousands of views to your pages ensures the money you invested into a web design project is worth it after all.

Don’t waste your money. Get thousands of views from organic traffic to grow your business.

3. You’ll quickly rank higher in Google searches and receive more traffic

All business is moving toward the Internet if it hasn’t already yet.

So when your customers have a pain point or an immediate need, they’re going straight to Google search to type in what they’re looking for online.

I’m not making this up.

Check out the Google search results in Cincinnati, OH alone for these popular keywords:

  • cincinnati florists = 1,000 to 10,000 searches per month
  • car rental cincinnati = 1,000 to 10,000 searches per month
  • cincinnati apartments = 1,000 to 10,000 searches per month
  • hvac cincinnati = 100 to 1,000 searches per month
  • cincinnati pools = 100 to 1,000 searches per month

I could provide hundreds of different examples for any business, in any industry, with any target audience.

No matter if your customers are young or old, rich or poor, educated or ignorant, they’re finding their way to a computer or phone and Google searching their need. Even poor people who can’t afford a computer or smartphone can visit a local library for free Internet usage.

The point is the businesses on the first page of Google get all the website traffic. And that traffic turns into phone call orders, online purchases, and form submissions.

When you work with an SEO company—who knows what they’re doing—your business website will start to climb the rankings of Google searches and do it quickly.

Then, say you’re a florist, a husband looking for flowers to give his wife on their anniversary types in “cincinnati florist” and your business shows up. He gives you a call and you made $100 thanks to a high Google search ranking.

As your search rank improves, you go from getting 7 organic views a month to 107, and then 507 views every month. That’s when business starts booming.

Getting more traffic and positive business results is precisely why you should invest in search engine optimization.

4. You’ll set your sales team up with a stream of quality leads

Ask any sales person about this and you’ll find there’s a huge gap in success rate when a lead is inbound—introducing themselves to the company—compared to outbound—where your team is trying everything in their power to get someone’s attention.

The difficulty level is night and day.

Leverage is everything in sales, so inbound leads from search engine optimization will make your sales team’s job incredibly easy.

Why? Well when an inbound lead from a Google search submits a contact form asking for a quote, they have all but done the sales team’s job for them.

This customer has made it clear they have a need. They’ve said they want to hear pricing. And they’re all teed up to almost close themselves. A below-average sales rep can close a deal like this one.

To get a better understanding of inbound marketing, Hubspot did an excellent job of visualizing the inbound process from start to finish.

visual-representation-marketing-funnelThe orange category titled Blog is where SEO primarily comes into play. This graphic highlights how close it is to the buying cycle of customers and why I always point my clients attention to inbound traffic.

Inbound traffic is powerful when you remember that more traffic to your website means more of all the categories in the graphic above: awareness (consumers go from Google to your website), consideration (viewers read your case studies and testimonials), purchase (ecommerce and in-store sales increase), retention (customers learn more about your brand), and advocacy (social shares, signing up for your newsletter).

Your sales team’s jobs will be 10,000% easier when they’re jumping on calls with people who’ve found them through Google and asked to learn more, compared to cold calls.

5. You’ll grow your company revenue

I’d honestly tell you to not have a website and forget about search engine optimization if it didn’t work to reach quality prospects and set your business up to close more sales.

But I know from first hand experience that search marketing does work. That’s why I’ll always be an advocate for it!

Yes SEO takes an investment of time or money, or both. But what doesn’t to grow your business?

There’s not a single marketing channel that you can set up, never touch it again, and rake in big money to grow your company. This channel doesn’t exist or I’d be all over it.

The best reason to focus your business on SEO is not benefits one through four, but this one: effective SEO will grow your company’s revenue to record highs.

The fact that a better SEO strategy saves your company time, saves you money, sends quality traffic to your site, and makes it easier for your sales team to close deals, all means more money is going to your company’s bottom line.

So whether you’re in business for the money or a cause you believe in, at the end of the day more money means you can fundamentally stay in business as well as grow to serve more customers.

That’s real value.

Illumen Media Has A Proven SEO Track Record

SEO is not something we act like we know about at Illumen Media.

It’s not a “fake it until we make it” experiment on your company’s site where you get barely noticeable results (unfortunately a bunch of other Cincinnati SEO companies can’t say the same).

We have a proven track record of results for ourselves and clients.

In other words, doing search engine optimization and creating a keyword-focused content plan for your business website is a lay-up for us.

We’ve done it before, we’re getting results in the present for our clients and ourselves as we speak, and we’ll execute for you—regardless of your industry.

To prove it, see the work we did on the only three-years-old TakeYourSuccess.com’s traffic:

SEO-pageviews-results

And check out the traffic on this Illumen site, which isn’t even a year old:

new-wesite-google-analytics

That’s why if you decide to work with Illumen to get more Google traffic, then I guarantee we’ll produce more sales and results out of your website that will make you satisfied.

Not only will you be satisfied, but you’ll receive the benefits already outlined above:

  1. You’ll save your company and employees time
  2. You won’t waste money with amateur work
  3. You’ll start ranking higher in Google searches and receiving more traffic quickly
  4. Your sales team will have too many leads to process—an awesome problem to have
  5. Your revenue will grow to all-time highs thanks to your website

And if you’re a local Cincinnati business, we can meet with you in person to discuss your specific needs, timelines, and how we’ll track results so you can know you’re business is growing.

We’ll also work with you step by step the entire way to ensure you’re satisfied. Basically what I’m saying is, you can’t go wrong by hiring Illumen Media to do your business website’s SEO.

So why attempt a Hail Mary pass doing SEO yourself or with an inexperienced company, when you can work with Illumen and take the easy lay-up with us?

Put us to work and we’ll show you results.

Related:

Got Your SEO Keyword? Here’s Exactly Where To Place It On Your Site

illumen-media-google-listing

How Setting Up Google My Business Will Grow Your Company’s Revenue

By | Reputation Management, SEO | No Comments

Setting up your company’s Google My Business listing is such an easy and effective way to grow your business’ revenue.

So it blows my mind when businesses don’t have one because this is truly a no brainer for any business owner with their head on straight.

Literally in a matter of seconds, ok maybe minutes, you can set up your business listing on Google and start receiving more online and in-store traffic immediately.  

After reading this, you’re going to know learn more about local SEO, why this is powerful, and how to set a verified, Google listing for your business that will bring you more customers.

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a listing service that allows businesses to create a profile and add their important information so they will appear more often in Google Search and Google Maps.

Sometimes a business already appears on Google, but through Google My Business the company can go into their listing and manage the information. This is especially helpful for verifying the business, updating their address if their store location has changed , or they need to edit incorrect information that damages the company.

If you’ve ever been on your laptop and searched for a business, then on the right of the links you saw a business listing with a logo and map, the business name, address, phone number, hours, and reviews? That’s a company’s Google listing.

How Does A Google Listing Help Your Business?

When your company has established a quality Google My Business listing you’ll receive three specific benefits. Each of these will directly or indirectly work to increase your revenue:

1. Expand your online presence

Do you know how many local customers in your city who are Google searching for the services and products your business sells? Depending on your industry, at least hundreds a month, most likely thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands or even millions.

Google traffic results for keyword sushi.

Around 1,000 to 10,000 Cincinnati people search specifically for “sushi near me” every month.

How often does your business show up in these searches? I know for a fact that it appears less without a Google listing than it would with one.

With a Google listing and a large quantity of positive reviews, a sushi restaurant will appear first on the map listing when locals search “sushi near me”.

A Google My Business listing will definitely expand your online presence so more relevant customers find you.

That’s exactly what you’re looking for on a daily basis, right?

2. Sell to new customers

Expanding your online presence so new people see your business name is one thing, but what you really want is to land sales from it.

I have good news for you: 18% of local searches on mobile phones lead to a sale within 24 hours! That proves when people search locally, they’re not just looking for information. They often want to spend their money and spend it quickly.

It makes sense because consumers in the buying process often have an immediate problem (like they need to visit a nail salon to look better before a wedding this weekend) or an immediate desire (they want their nails done because they feel like it) that they want to solve quickly.

You better believe there’s not only marketing in setting up this listing, but cold hard cash to be made.

3. Improve your customer service

A healthy business isn’t all about getting new customers to buy from your store. That’s part of the equation, but the other half is keeping your current customers happy with quality customer service.

One way setting up a Google listing helps is it makes it convenient for consumers looking you up on Google.com or Google Maps to find the information they desire.

For example, maybe they want to swing by your shop at night but don’t know if you’re open. If you have no Google listing showcasing your hours, then they may drive out of their way only to discover you’re closed. They very easily can take out the frustration on your business and vow to never come back.

Now if you have a Google listing then your hours would appear front and center when they search, so they could know ahead of time to not waste the trip and to visit your shop the next morning.

It’s also a nice touch for consumers looking for your company phone number. When they type your business name in Google, it will pop up right away for them.

How To Add Or Claim Your Business On Google

Depending on if you need to add your business listing or your business is already on Google and you need to verify it, there are two different lists of directions.

How To Add Your Business

Step 1: Visit Google My Business.

Adding your business to Google My Business is free. All you need to do is have a Google account and follow the instructions below to get your company more local awareness.

If you don’t have a Google account, sign up for one first. Once you have one, then run through the rest of this step-by-step guide.

Step 2: Enter your business name in the first field and then address. Suggestions may appear, and if one is your business then click it.

Typing in business name on Google My Business.

Typing in address on Google listing.Double check to make sure you spelled your business name and address 100% correct. Sometimes Google can be thrown off if there’s a quotation mark or the business name doesn’t match their database.

Step 3: If you see a message saying someone else has already verified your business, then follow the steps below under How To Regain Access To Your Listing.

By one way or another, you’ll get to the bottom of this so you have control of your listing and it’s verified.

Step 4: If your business name doesn’t appear, click ‘No, these are not my businesses’ or ‘I’ve correctly entered the business.’ Then enter correct details for your business like a complete street address and a business phone number that you can easily answer, and click ‘Submit.’

Again, accuracy is key here. Take your time to ensure every letter and number is correct before moving on.

Step 5: Fill out your business information: hours, address, contact information, and pictures.

Illumen Media's Google listing.

This is important for two reasons.

First, adding this information goes a long way for customer service. When a consumer types in your company name on Google, all of the important contact information and hours are right in front of them.

Second, this also adds more weight to your Google listing and increases the odds that your business appears in Google search results and Google Maps results.

Step 6: Verify your business by requesting a code that will be mailed to you, then when it arrives just enter the numbers in your Google My Business page.

Illumen Media is verified on Google.

Illumen Media is verified on Google. (Let’s go!) This verification also helps us show up more frequently in local search results for businesses in our space.

How To Regain Access To Your Listing

Sometimes you’ll try to sign into your Google My Business listing but it’ll say that someone else has already verified your business.

If you’re the business owner, this can be incredibly frustrating because clearly you should be the one, if anyone, who owns and manages this listing. It’s your business after all.

Though don’t get too annoyed. There are also steps to get control of your listing back.

The first step is to try using a different email address to sign into Google My Business.

What often happens is a business owner already created their listing with a business email address, and then later tried to sign in with a personal email address so Google doesn’t give them access.

The trick here is to sign out of the email account that didn’t work and try another email of yours to see if this signs you in. If that works, then you’re good. If it doesn’t, move onto the steps below.

Step 1: Visit Google My Business.

Step 2: Sign in with the account you use to manage this listing.

Step 3: Type in your business name and select it from the results. Or if you see a message that shows part of the email address who owns the listing and it looks like yours, sign into that email.

Step 4: Fill out the form because the current listing owner may need to contact you for more info, and to submit your request you need to share your contact details with them.

If you continue to have problems, give Google customer support a call at 1 855-836-3987 and they’ll assist you in resolving the matter.

1 Major Way To Grow Your Business With This Listing

Once you own and have a verified Google listing, it’s time for the best part: getting the most out of this listing to grow your business.

How can you do this? Claiming your business, adding its important information, and verifying it were all helpful steps.

However, the single best way to turn your listing into a sales machine for your business is to get your previous customers to review your business on Google.

I’m going to quote a local business Illumen article to tell you the reason why:

  • 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family
  • 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 58% of customers say the star rating of a business is important to them

Once you send enough positive reviews to your business, then Google takes over and will start to rank you near the top of local searches related to what your company offers.

These local searches then lead to significant traffic to your website, phone calls, in-store visits, and ultimately sales. Walla! your business is generating more profits than it ever has before.

Though this deserves its own article, here are a few ways to encourage your loyal customers to review:

  • After every purchase, have someone on your team personally ask them to review (studies show 70% of customers will review if asked politely)
  • Clearly instruct customers on how to review by handing them a step-by-step print out card with directions
  • Incentivize reviews by giving away a low-cost gift like a coffee mug
  • Run a giveaway contest on Facebook where the only way to enter is by leaving a review
  • Have multiple touch points online and in-store encouraging customers to leave an honest Google review
  • Write an emotionally compelling email every 6 months that explains why reviews are important to spreading the word about your business in the local community

Also, it’s helpful to respond to the online reviews you already have received and all future reviews. We previously wrote a guide on how to respond to Google reviews.

With this Google listing set up and a strong effort to receive customer reviews, you’re going to bring in a flood of sales for your business.

You’re welcome.

speed-up-website

Make Your Website Load Insanely Fast For Better SEO

By | SEO, Website | No Comments

Knowing how to make your website faster is an extremely valuable skill for your customers experience, your SEO, and your online business revenue.

It’s not just because slow websites are painfully frustrating. The main reason you can’t, and shouldn’t, live with slow loading pages is because it’s going to hurt your bottom line.

Slow websites cost business owners money! And lots of it.

Factually speaking here, the more seconds it takes your page to load means the more people who are clicking away from your site. The effect is you’ll have less people go on to browse your site, subscribe to your email list, and buy from you.

Literally one or two extra seconds of load time can be the difference between getting them to buy from you or your competition. That’s a big deal!

When you combine the fact people are the opposite side of patient these days and you’re not the only company who offers what you do, any business with a slow website shouldn’t wait another day without fixing it.

The stats below prove this statement too true.

Why Website Load Time Matters

Disagreeing with what you think is my personal opinion is one thing. But ignoring the facts surrounding the importance of load time is a costly mistake. Take a look.

Did you know that 47% of customers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less (Wired)?

Displeasing a consumer right before they consider buying from your business is the exact opposite approach you want to maximize sales. This stat shows that slow websites hurt visitor’s expectations and make a bad first impression right off the bat.

Instead, the goal is to make it as seamless of a buying experience as possible to encourage consumers to buy lots of your products and services. A fast website makes it convenient for your online shoppers to pull the trigger.

A fast website can totally make the difference on whether your business or the competitor gets the sale.

For local businesses, this can make or break their survival.

Kissmetrics found that 18% of mobile users will click off your site if it doesn’t load in under 5 seconds, and 30% click away if a page takes 10 seconds to load.

I’m honestly surprised these percentages aren’t higher given the first statistic. I find it hard to believe that 70% of people have more than 10 seconds of patience to stay on a slow-loading website.

The problem compounds when you realize that not just the first page is slow, but every page on a slow site will most likely take longer than 5 seconds to load. They click on 6 pages and they’ve wasted more than a minute of their time.

How are you going to get an online sale if they’re more focused on their frustrating experience than what you’re selling? This is a poor strategy.

A smarter business owner will speed up their mobile site, and desktop site, to deliver an exceptional online experience.

A page that loads just one second slower causes an 11% drop in page views and 7% drop in conversions according to Aberdeen.

Your customers are busy as hell. They want to view your page fast so they can learn what they’re after and make a decision.

But a slow site will quickly lose the people who visit it as seconds pass by and the page is still loading. The 11% is one thing, imagine the millions of dollars lost across the industry resulting from 7% less conversions.

And I’m not sure it’s technically correct to assume this from the study, but I’d imagine every second longer is another 11% of people who click away or even worse.

Google admitted page speed is part of their ranking system.

Google is usually extremely reserved about disclosing what goes into their website ranking algorithm. But they did admit that page speed influences how they rank sites in search results.

The fact that they made it a point to communicate this means any website that’s serious about ranking for first page search results needs a fast website.

I mean, why invest in local SEO strategies like setting up a Google My Business and other listings, asking customers for online reviews, or even paying a digital marketing company if your results are only going to be undercut by a snail-paced site.

Slow websites get heavy bounce rates which damage a website’s SEO ranking, cause fewer people to visit the website, and therefor online sales decline.

Whereas a fast site will help humans and bots visit more pages of your website and improve the other important SEO factors like time on site and page views per visitor.

By now I hope you realize that a slow website is like dead weight to the growth of your company. It’s up to you whether you make your website faster or go on doing business at your own risk.

For those of you wanting to cut off seconds from your site’s load time, you’re in luck.

How To Speed Up Your Website

Fast moving traffic.

Why waste time, energy, and money sending people to your business website if it’s slow, they click away, and you lose sales? It’s time you speed up your website to capitalize on every single visitor.

Take the action steps below and you won’t have to deal with a slow website ever again.

1. Make your website simpler to reduce HTTP requests

A busier website with more stuff going puts a heavier burden on the page to load quickly. Or just think about it in layman terms: A 300-pound-person weighed down by soaking wet clothes is not going to be as fast as as a lean 175-pound-sprinter with a six pack and their shirt off.

The same concept applies to your website.

How do you make your website simpler? There are many different solutions and you should take all of them:

  • Delete all elements on your website that don’t serve a specific purpose
  • Reduce the amount of 301, 303, and mobile redirects since these add HTTP requests and hurt website load time
  • Use less scripts when possible, “minify” your scripts, and combine them into as few files as possible (see #5)
  • Combine multiple CSS stylesheets into one style sheet

The biggest factor is the first bullet point. You don’t need your entire product line showing on your homepage, for example. Use a button for that.

By using a minimalist inspired design where every element of the site has a functional or aesthetic purpose, you’ll reduce the number of tasks your website goes through to load a new page and speed up your website.

2. Use compression to reduce file size

What do you do with your pages full of long content and images?

You don’t want to give less value to your audience, so the content length can’t change. But how it’s organized can, and should, to speed up your website loading time.

Here’s what to do: Zip the files through compression. This term compression means your website reduces the size of files into a smaller file. Doing this takes away a burden from your host and site, enabling quicker load times.

It can be somewhat technical to implement this on your website. If you have WordPress, there are plugins that make it simpler (scroll down to the end where we talk about Cloudflare—and there are other options too like W3 Total Cache and WP Fastest Cache).

If you want to learn and get your hands dirty, or see under the hood as to what a company would be doing for you, here’s a great post about HTTP GZIP compression. Essentially, this makes the process of delivering the website code to your web browser (like Google Chrome or Safari) as efficient and speedy as possible.

3. Improve server response time

This is the only task outside of your website, but how well your website host is performing is critically important to the task at hand.

Since I doubt you have your own server in the basement of your business, odds are your website is on a server with countless other websites all competing to receive server response time—thus slowing each other down.

A bad hosting performance can significantly slow down the page load time and get your visitors off to a bad start before they see anything on your website.

A quick way you can see how fast or slow your server response time is by typing in your URL here. If your host has anything lower than a C+ grade in the results, then it’s only smart to switch hosts so your users get a better experience and your business brings in more cash.

If you’re looking for a solid web host, we use A2 Hosting. After assessing dozens of web hosting companies, we determined they are among the top server response time and offer great value for the price point.

4. Smush image sizes

The smaller images the better. That makes sense right? Smushing file sizes of image reduces the page load time.

The way you accomplish this is by using a plugin like Compress JPEG and PNG Images.This will automatically smush your images after you upload, while keeping resolution. And you can use it to optimize your previous images already in your WordPress Media folder.

You can also be smart by uploading the correct image size to fit your website first, instead of uploading a massive 5500px by 3500px image and making your website reduce it to fit your page settings. I recommend you go through a site like Canva to crop your image, then upload it.

Also the file type of the image plays a factor for website load time. JPEG is the best for site speed, followed by PNG. The other image types are only going to load slowly and bring down the rest of your page speed with them. That’s not cool.

5. Minify HTML, CSS, Javascript

Initially, code takes up a lot of space, because it’s written by humans who need to be able to read it. The code is spread out over hundreds or thousands of lines so it’s easy to write and modify.

Your web browser doesn’t care though, and it delivers performance improvements (by reducing file size) if all the code is on one line.

If you run a Google Pagespeed Insights test, they’ll automatically generate “minified” CSS and Javascript files for you and tell you how much file size you’re saving by using these files.

WordPress plugins, like W3 Total Cache mentioned earlier, can take care of this for you automatically as well—even as you install new plugins, write new blog posts, and add other new content to your site.

Part of the minifying process is combining multiple files into one—be careful when you do this though. The order in which JavaScript files are loaded actually matters (as one JavaScript file may depend on another being loaded first).

If you have a complicated website, you almost certainly should engage a professional developer or company to handle this for you, so they can ensure it speeds up your site rather than breaking it. But it’s worth it for the performance improvements you’ll get. We shaved a few seconds off the load time for several websites recently, just from this step alone!

6. Enable caching

There are images and files used across multiple pages on your website—for example, your logo probably appears on every page. There’s no reason your browser needs to download a new version of the logo every time it needs to load.

So “browser caching,” explained simply, is the process of storing these files on your computer so they don’t have to be downloaded again from the server. Images, CSS/JavaScript files, and HTML content can all be cached.

Essentially when your website has enabled browser caching, there’s less to load because the files have already been preloaded on your customer’s computer for the next time they visit. That makes for a much quicker load time and user experience.

Caching can improve site speed by a few seconds, which makes a difference, for your regular visitors. And trust me, they’ll appreciate it.

7. Delete unused and inefficient plugins

Plugins are a lifesaver when they’re useful and they work. However, after getting access to many clients’ websites, I routinely see unused plugins that take from the site and contribute nothing.

Since they only make your website slower and increase the likelihood something breaks, you must delete unnecessary plugins. Toss them to the curb and kiss them goodbye.

Not only should you delete plugins that aren’t in use, you should also look to replace poor-performing plugins with better ones.

In this plugin article, we recommend replacing popular plugins like Jetpack and Sumo. And delete that default Hello Dolly plugin for the sake of my sanity.

Website Speed Wrap Up

Making your page load times faster may look too technical. It may look like a major time suck. But realistically this is a one time investment that’s going to pay dividends for years to come.

If you don’t have the technical ability to make these changes on your own, then hire someone (like us) who does so you can complete this project. And if you do know your way around this technical work, block off a few hours on a Saturday to grind away until the job is done.

For a reminder and motivational purposes, these are the benefits waiting for you after you speed up your business website:

  • Customers will have a better experience scrolling through your website and think more highly of your brand
  • Google will rank your pages higher which will increase overall traffic to your website
  • It’ll be more efficient to edit a faster website
  • Most importantly: Your business revenue will grow!

Shaving seconds off your site load time could be the best business move your company makes all year.

Related: 9 Ways To Update Your Business Website Out Of The Stone Age

digital-marketing-profits

Here’s How We’d Double Your Sales With Digital Marketing

By | Email Marketing, Reputation Management, SEO, Social Media, Website | No Comments

You’re already skeptical, I realize. I have a lot of work to do to convince you I’m not promoting a ridiculous get-rich-quick scheme here.

What I can definitely assure you is I’m not this guy.

Indeed, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme, because it involves smart strategy and hard work.

Let’s talk about how you should be using digital marketing to “get richer” as a small business owner or entrepreneur.

Small business owners make various social media mistakes that hurt their business.

We see a ton of opportunities for improvement when we check out a business’ online presence—fix the outdated website, clean up the Facebook page, start using email marketing, reply to negative reviews correctly, and so on.

However, as a small business owner, it’s perfectly understandable your digital marketing is not perfect. Why would it be? With how quickly the Internet changes, it’s more than a full-time job to stay on top of the latest tricks and strategies to grow your business online.

You’re great at making food, giving financial advice, planning events, or whatever your business is. It’s impossible to be an expert at everything.

You could read blogs like ours all day everyday to brush up on your digital marketing knowledge, but you shouldn’t—you should be focused on doing what you do best, running your business.

That’s why digital marketing consulting agencies like us exist—to do the heavy lifting for you, like a mechanic would fix your car or an electrician would wire your house. It’s just not efficient for you to learn how to do those things.

Every business owner isn’t ready to go all in and hire a digital marketing agency to handle everything. That’s understandable, it can be a big decision, especially if you haven’t experienced the power and importance of digital marketing firsthand.

Sometimes we talk to clients who just aren’t ready yet, sometimes it’s a budget or time issue, sometimes the business owner is a more “DIY” type who wants to get their hands dirty.

Whatever the case, we like to arm business owners with the tools they need to be successful, so we developed an offering to get you in the game at a lower price point you’d normally find given the ROI of the strategy.

We’re introducing our Digital Marketing Deep Dive packages. Here’s how they could be a game-changer for your business.

Double Your Sales With Our Digital Marketing Deep Dive Packages

We’re offering three tiers of packages so you can decide what’s right for your business and what investment you’re prepared to make.

We spent tons of time crafting the packages so they contain zero-fluff, actionable strategies and tools to grow your business.

Our Digital Marketing Deep Dive packages will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to give your online presence a booster shot. Here’s what we’re including.

Online Listing Assessment And Recommendations

Outdated or incomplete online listings are a huge problem for your business. If customers can’t easily find your phone number, hours, or address, they’re not going to spend much energy tracking you down. They’ll just go to one of your competitors.

We’ll take a look at all your online listings on Google, Facebook, and other platforms relevant for your industry, and make an actionable list of changes you need to make to get the most out of this free advertising. We’ll tell you how to make the changes yourself, how to verify ownership of your business, and everything else you need to know to get your listings in order.

Social Media Reputation Audit

You’ve probably heard of Google and Facebook “algorithms” that determine how many users they show your business to.

Google, Facebook, and other platforms want to give users the best recommendations and most relevant content so they regard the platforms as reliable sources.

These companies have gotten smarter and figured out how to use a more complex algorithm to give great recommendations in search engine results and news feeds.

Your online reputation is becoming more important every day. Businesses who have zero, few, or negative reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other popular platforms are punished in search engine results and news feeds. These platforms don’t want to recommend businesses other customers didn’t like.

We’ll review your online reputation, make recommendations about how to reply to reviews (and answer any specific questions about particularly challenging customer comments), and give you strategies to get even more reviews. By doubling or tripling your number of 4-star and 5-star reviews, you will see an increase in customers discovering your business online.

Website SEO And Conversion Audits

Unless you’ve read digital marketing blogs before, you may not know what “SEO” and “Conversion” actually mean in the context of online presence. That’s exactly why we’re offering these packages!

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a set of strategies you can use to make your website appear higher in search engine results. By convincing the search engines your website is relevant to what users are searching for, your traffic will skyrocket.

Conversion optimization is a blossoming area of digital marketing. Like in typical sales, a “conversion” is when one of your website visitors takes a desired action, like buying a product, scheduling a demo, or joining your mailing list.

In our experience, most business websites are not optimized for conversions. Why invest the time and/or money on your website if you’re not going to get a solid ROI? And why literally give away customers to your competition when a few changes could drastically increase your conversions?

We’ll audit your website for SEO and conversions and tell you exactly what you need to do to get more out of your website. If you follow our recommendations, the money you spend on one of our packages will be the best, highest ROI money you’ve spent in a while.

SEO and conversion optimizations are included in our Maximize and Dominate packages. In the Dominate package, we’ll get access to your website and make the SEO improvements for you.

Paid Advertising

Since social media platforms are giving you less organic, free traffic than ever, it’s critical to run strategic paid advertisements even if you have a complete profile and post regularly.

In our Maximize package, we’ll give you everything you need to run a paid advertisement on the best platform for your business (it may be Google, Facebook, Instagram, or others depending on your industry and audience). And in the Dominate package, we’ll give you three.

These paid advertisements could be a blueprint for your most effective marketing spend this year. You’ll find yourself wondering why on earth you still spend money on dying, near obsolete industries like print advertising.

Clicking the Facebook “Boost” button is not nearly enough. That’s Facebook’s brilliant way to get more money from you, but it’s sort of like wandering into a casino and playing a game without knowing anything about the rules. You might win, but it’s just dumb luck.

There are specific things you need to do with ad targeting, placement, copy, graphics, and overall strategy. We’ve run tons of ads to learn what works best so you don’t have to. And we’ll give you what you need to get started with paid advertising or improve your current efforts. (Lots of businesses we talk to are frustrated by the poor performance of the online ads they run.)

Bringing It All Together

A consultation is included with all our packages—30 minutes for “Compete” and 1 hour for “Maximize” and “Dominate”. We’ll walk you through our recommendations and audits during the consultation so you have everything you need to bring your digital marketing to life.

We’ll send you some preparation materials to guide you to brainstorm questions, because we really want you to make the most of the consultation. We’ve done all the digital marketing research so you don’t have to. We can help you make decisions that’ll make a huge difference.

The packages include a few other goodies too, all of which are engineered to add immediate value to your business.

Are You Ready Or What?

Thirty years ago (or now), if someone called to offer you a free billboard ad placement for your business, I’m assuming you’d take it.

While paid advertising is important—and included in our packages—there are so many steps you can take to grow your business that are absolutely free. You just have to know what to do.

That’s exactly what our packages are designed to help you do.

If you have any questions before you’re ready to get started, please reach out and we’re happy to explain!

SEO-keywords-placement

Got Your SEO Keyword? Here’s Exactly Where To Place It On Your Site

By | SEO | 2 Comments

If you know anything about search engine optimization, you’re aware that finding the right keywords is crucial to increasing online traffic to your business website.

That’s ok if you didn’t know that, many of our clients at Illumen Media have no idea until we tell them that at the core of successful SEO is using keywords on their site. And once they get the hang of it, they dominate in their online space. The goal is that your business will do the same!

Here’s a real quick summary of the power of keywords: They tell the Google crawler bots (yes, they’re like digital spiders that crawl the HTML of your site) what your article is about. The better you optimize your keyword on your site, the better chances you rank closer to the first result in a Google search.

Though it’s not all about finding a solid keyword for SEO. Businesses need to know where to place these keywords on their website to rank higher, bring in more traffic, and boost their monthly sales—this is called on-site SEO for nerdy people in this industry.

After reading this, you’ll learn the exact places where your specific keyword phrase should appear on your business website. (To be clear, this order of operations assumes you’ve already found your keyword. In a future Illumen post, you will learn how to do this.)

Understand the list below, execute it, and then you will build a steady flow of online traffic to grow your business for years to come. P.S. These are roughly listed in order of importance.

Related: 20 Tips To Increase Search Engine Traffic Like A Pro

Effective On-Site Keyword Placement

To get the most out of your site’s SEO, place your keywords in the following places:

1. In the page title

Your page title has to include the keyword for two main reasons: 1) this signals to the SEO bots exactly what your page is about, helping you rank higher in search and 2) it persuades people who type in the term on Google to click on your article.

You also get bonus SEO juice if your keyword is in the front of the title. For example with the keyword “eat on a budget”, a title would be more search optimized if it was “Eat On A Budget: 7 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Money” compared to “7 Different Tips That Will Help You Eat On A Budget”.

To get technical for a second, your page title should be in a Title (<title>) tag and a Heading 1 (<H1>) tag to clearly signal the topic of the material—a WordPress site will automatically do this.

2. In the URL of the page

The keyword you searched long and hard for should appear in the permalink of your URL. It’ll look like this: yourwebsitename.com/insert-your-keyword-here — note the name of the full post title shouldn’t be in the URL just the keyword.

Hopefully your website makes it easy to edit your URL with the specific keyword.

For WordPress, here’s how you switch your URL structure in the admin menu:

  1. Scroll over ‘Settings’
  2. Click ‘Permalinks’
  3. Select ‘Post name’ under Common Settings
  4. Click ‘Save Changes’

A screenshot below shows what to look for.

wordpress-permalinks

With this set up, you can customize the URL of your posts to include the keyword in it and knock this off the checklist.

Then it’s time to move on to another very important detail: meta descriptions.

3. In the meta description

The meta description is the little snippet that shows up under the article title on searches—you’ll want your keyword there. Optimizing this will help you land extra search engine traffic.

Take a look at the screenshot below to get a clear picture of how it shows up for potential visitors.

whats-a-meta-description

Notice how one of the two keywords here (Illumen) shows up in bold in the description? This is a bad example, but you’d want your entire keyword phrase to show up there.

Something to also keep in mind, some visitors go by how many bold words they see in the description to decide what article they’re going to click on.

4. In the first 200 words

This is not the place to save the main topic for later. Right from the beginning—I’m talking first sentence maybe, at least the first paragraph—you want to write your keyword in the introduction of the blog post.

Again, this will tip off both your readers and the search indexes that the article is focused on the keyword topic at hand.

When your online visitors see the phrase they’re looking for, they’re more likely to stay on the page. That is key because it will increase the time visitors spend on your site while lowering your bounce rate (how many people leave your site rather than clicking something else)—two important SEO metrics to boost you higher in the rankings.

5. In the last 200 words

While less important than having it in the introduction, I personally believe it’s in your company’s best interest to add that keyword phrase one more time in the page’s conclusion.

For no other reason than it sums up your content by giving the reader a summary on their way out, plus it may help your SEO a tiny bit.

There’s one warning that applies to this tip and in general: never ever “keyword stuff” a website page or you’ll get penalized and won’t rank at all. Keyword stuffing is using your keyword far more times than is natural, like if your keyword appears in every sentence or two. Google wants to rank sites that are useful to readers.

Getting delisted from search engines defeats the purpose of this exercise.

6. In internal backlinks to the page

An internal backlink is when you link from one page of your site to another page. Putting the keyword in the anchor text is a SEO boost that will help the page linked to receive more traffic.

Say I wanted to help the SEO of a page focused on the keyword “corporate catering”. I’d use one of my other pages to link to that site and make the text “corporate catering”.

However, please don’t overdo it and put every single internal backlink to a page with the keyword in it. You’ll want to mix it up and internally link with words like “this article”, “here”, and “guide”.

(Getting external links with the keyword as the link text is incredibly helpful, but this post is about on-site SEO so I won’t go on any further about this.)

Final Words

Here’s the thing about SEO. I guarantee it will lead new visitors to your business website because I’ve seen it happen firsthand. I’ve helped Illumen Media clients do it for their business. And I’ve done it successfully for my own site TakeYourSuccess.com.

This guarantee that SEO will produce results has two stipulations: you must put in the work and you must be patient for months.

Without those two ingredients, you’re not going to get any results from it. And then the snowball effect means you’re not going to capture online traffic, you’re not going to win online sales, and your business is going to suffer.

Let’s avoid that outcome. Let’s get your search engine optimization rolling.

You’ll take a solid step in that direction by placing your keyword in these places:

  1. Page title
  2. Page URL
  3. Meta description
  4. Page introduction
  5. Page conclusion
  6. Internal backlinks

With this knowledge you can already consider yourself a better online marketer.

What questions do you have about on site SEO keyword placement? What do you want to learn about SEO in general? Are you getting the most out of your local SEO and Google Maps listing?

Related: 5 Effective Tactics To Market Your Business Online

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