Have any questions? Email Bethany@SEOColumbiaSC.com

July 17, 2013

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How To Promote Your Website


July 8, 2013

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When To Post To Social Media Channels

WHEN you post to your social media channels can be just as important as what you post…

View the best and worst times to post on social networks below. Click to enlarge.


June 13, 2013

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Facebook Marketing – Why aren’t you using it?

Facebook is a highly effective, FREE form of online marketing. Still not using it? Consider these facts:

– 93% of Facebook users share shopping suggestions
– Brands are only responding to 50% of brand page posts
– 80% of users who received a response to their post made a purchase as a result of the interaction
– 47% of companies have generated leads from Facebook
– 41% of companies have closed deals from Facebook
– Almost two-thirds of businesses surveyed use Facebook as their main marketing tool
– 87% of Facebook fans said they are satisfied with a particular brand. Only 49% of non-fans said they did

No time to do it yourself?

Columbia SEO offers daily, Monday – Friday, Facebook marketing starting at a low $125 per month. Contact us for more information.

May 10, 2013

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SEO concept

How Does SEO Work?

To some, search engine optimization (SEO) may seem like some sort of voodoo that internet marketers use to increase your search engine rankings.  In actuality, SEO is based on very simple principles.

  • Search engines such as Google use algorithms to determine where sites rank in the search engine for certain search terms.
  • These algorithms use factors such as the text and content on your site as well as text, content and, most importantly, *links* from outside your website to determine these rankings.
  • Internet marketers use two forms of optimization, onsite (on your website) and offsite (creating links back to your site from other sources), to tell the search engine what your site is about and therefore increase your sites ranking for that topic and related keywords.

The infographic below does a very good job of broadly explaining the onsite and offsite optimization process.   Need more detail?  Feel free to contact us with your in depth SEO questions.

the seo process


May 7, 2013

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SEO Vs. Pay Per Click (PPC) – The Pros and Cons

SEO Pros

  • Over time, SEO is usually less costly than PPC. Once changes are made they remain effective for a long time.
  • Organic search engine rankings have greater credibility, since you aren’t paying for the position. Some users will never click a paid result.
  • SEO work done benefits your rankings in every search engine, from Google and Bing to small ones you’ve never heard of, and even in search engines that have not yet been created.
  • SEO efforts all build upon each other – the more SEO work you do on a site, the more it benefits the entire site – including every keyword phrase that you’re targeting across the site.

SEO Cons

  • Most SEO work requires making changes to your website. If you’ve invested heavily in a search engine unfriendly site (Flash, for example), the effort to implement workarounds can be significant
  • SEO takes longer to see results – benefits of SEO work is measured in months, and it can take several months before you begin to see measurable results.
  • There is no guarantee of rankings through SEO. Search engines make hundreds of adjustments to their ranking algorithms every year, and any one of them can impact your position.
  • There are some factors to SEO that remain entirely unknown. To some extent, your ability to rank number one is out of your hands.

PPC Pros

  • Pay per click is fast to implement. New campaigns can be ready to go in weeks and changes take effect in minutes. PPC is the fastest route to attracting traffic.
  • PPC can guarantee you a position in the search engines.
  • PPC allows you to target keyword phrases that pages of your site aren’t directly built around.
  • No changes have to be made to your website to gain the increased traffic.
  • It’s very easy to test the effectiveness of different keywords and promotional offers with PPC.

PPC Cons

  • PPC can be expensive, and typically the most desirable keywords that drive the most traffic are the ones with the highest cost per click.
  • You must continue to pay for your clicks every month – if your PPC budget drops, then your traffic and sales will drop as well.
  • Some searchers will never click on a paid ad – a certain percentage of search engine traffic is beyond the reach of PPC campaigns.
  • The day-to-day work of properly maintaining a PPC campaign is significant, requiring almost daily oversight.

SEO might be best for your site if:

  • You are interested in building long term results, not just for today, but for years in the future
  • You are willing to wait a few months for consistent results
  • You want to work on improving your site’s usability and regularly add content to expand your site
  • You want to maximize the amount of traffic your site can attract for the lowest cost

PPC might be best for your site if:

  • Your site is new or generating little organic traffic and you want to start getting traffic immediately
  • Your site is targeting highly competitive keywords that could take years to rank well for (shoes, jewelry, books, etc)
  • Your website was built in a search engine unfriendly platform and you don’t want to invest in rebuilding it
  • You have a large advertising budget and want to maximize all traffic channels
  • You want to be able to quickly test keyword and landing page effectiveness
  • You have a promotion that you want to be able to turn on and off at specific times

Click To Enlarge The InfoGraphic Below – SEO vs PPC Statistics

seo vs ppc

Source: http://www.ecreativeim.com/seo-vs-ppc

May 6, 2013

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Which Social Media Channel Would Benefit Your Business The Most?

View the infographic below and consider these facts:

  • 1 Million websites have integrated with Facebook
  • 23% of users check Facebook 5 times or more daily
  • 56% of customer tweets are being ignored
  • 34% of marketers have generated leads on Twitter
  • Google’s +1 button is used 5 million times a day
  • Over 5 million images are uploaded to Instagram every hour
  • 80% of Pinterest users are female

Where does your marketing strategy fit in?  Are you even using social media to build your brand and clientele? If you aren’t, you are missing out on an extremely economical and highly lucrative means of marketing.

Begin by determining your target audience and find out which social media platform they congregate to.  Then, begin marketing focusing on that one platform.  For B2B businesses, this is LinkedIN and for B2C businesses this platform would be Facebook.

Once you are successful with one platform, you can expand to include more complex platforms such as Twitter or Pinterest.  However, many businesses find that perfecting their marketing to one social media channel can produce some outstanding results.



April 29, 2013

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Is Marketing On Social Media Effective, Really?

22% of the time, active Internet users are in social networking sites and that number is rising. Facebook is the third most popular website on the internet, only outranked by Google and Bing.  Does your social marketing strategy reach them?

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is not only an effective means of acquiring clients and building your brand, it’s also economical.  Hiring a team to market DAILY on the top social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) generally costs less than an ad in yellow pages.  Which is a dying form of advertisement by the way, but that’s another post…


March 27, 2013

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Turn The Millions Of Web Searches Done Every Day Into Paying Customers

40% of American adults use search engines every day.  Many of them are looking for you and your services.  Is your business taking advantage of this traffic?  With search engine optimization (SEO) these web surfers can become your customers.

What is SEO?  Find out here.


March 26, 2013

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If You Had $1 Million To Spend On Advertising…

If $1 million gets you two 30-second American Idol spots or 125 million Facebook impressions, which would you choose?


February 13, 2013

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Yes, You Can Use Email Marketing WITHOUT Spamming

Spam emails first started in 1978!

From then to today, spam is still a no-no. Check out the evolution of spam:

(Click To Enlarge)



So how do you practice proper email marketing? This article from Aweber Email Marketing explains it better than we can.

The Biggest Lie in Email Marketing (Why Most Email is Junk Mail)

Email is the third rail[3] of online marketing.

Sure, Twitter, Facebook and RSS can be nice, but there’s just no comparing them to the raw power that comes with invited access to your prospect’s inbox.

Of course, with power comes risk, and the same is true with email marketing; do it wrong, and you’re toast – the moment you’re seen as junk mail, your open rates will plummet and your spam complaints will soar, your deliverability will drop and your account may even be suspended.

In other words, your emails won’t get through, and when they do, nobody will listen or care.

So how can you make sure that doesn’t happen to you? Probably not the way you think…

Your Awesome Messages are Still Junk Mail

Since people have been able to write, they’ve sent each other letters. And at one time, a letter – the ability to write, read, send or receive it – was an honor and a privilege.

That’s really not the case anymore. Soon after the invention of mail came the invention of junk mail. And it’s annoying.

And as marketers, we know this, so we do our best to NOT be labeled as junk mail. We get double opt-ins, offer one-click unsubscribe, and deliver the best content-to-pitch ratios that the sales people will let us.

These are all good things, but they don’t really matter.

Our messages are still, largely, being seen by the people on our mailing lists as junk mail.

Email only stops being junk mail when the recipient doesn’t just read it – but treats it as coming from someone they know and like. Someone they want to hear from, because previous interactions have been positive and rewarding.

If that’s not happening, then all of the double-opt-ins and amazing content in the world won’t stop it from being digital trash can fodder. Conversations over the Internet, as in real life, are only valid when they go two ways.

The Solution: Make it a Conversation!

This all changes the instant your communication becomes two-way. When people start reading, considering, taking action and responding.

It’s one thing to walk out of a movie you’re not enjoying, but it?s entirely another thing to ignore a person you’re having a face to face conversation with.

That’s the important word here: conversation.

Whether it’s face to face or via email, a conversation is when two people – you and the recipient of your email – exchange sentiments, observations, opinions or ideas.

So how do you do it?

Well, it isn’t rocket science, but it’s the kind of “common sense” that is really only common sense after you’ve heard it and tried it.

The first thing you have to do is make sure that the emails you send to your list are from someone; no-reply@YourCompany.com isn’t going to cut it! Get rid of the no-reply, and put a real person’s name there.

A name alone isn’t enough, though; merely giving the appearance of a real person reaching out is a cop-out. You’ll need to make a real person the recipient of all those email responses, so that when your list members receive an email from John@YourCompany.com there really is a John talking to them, listening to them and responding to them.

Depending on how much email you receive, you might even need to hire a person for the job.

Will this cost you something? Absolutely. But the expense will be small in comparison to the benefits you will accrue in terms of goodwill, and increased sales will more than cover the difference.

Now That You’re a Person, Give Them a Reason to Reply

Now that you have someone in charge of email, ask yourself – what makes you want to talk to someone? What are the qualities, the cues, or the lead-ins you look for that make having a conversation with someone face to face a pleasure?

Pretty high on the list is being asked about oneself. Also a sense that the listener is really interested in what you’re saying. Then there is the likelihood that you’re going to be treated with respect and opened up to new ideas… and that’s just the beginning – I imagine you could think of a lot more pretty easily.

Well, if you like these things, then it’s a safe bet that your audience will too!

You can:

  • Ask them to tell you about themselves and their work.
  • Ask them their opinion on the ideas you presented.
  • Ask for feedback on ideas you have.
  • Ask them to tell you what they’re interested in hearing more about.
  • Share the answers they give you through social media, your email campaign and your website.
  • Respond to everyone who takes the time to answer one of your questions.

People like to feel valued just as much through a computer screen as they do sitting in a bar with their friends.

What it really comes down to, at the end of the day, is remembering that your list isn’t just a list. It’s a list of people who all have busy lives and other things they could be doing with their time. That means you need to do everything in your power to keep them aware of the fact that you are also a real person, and are taking time out of your day to connect with them.

The connection between you isn’t going to be built in a day, relationships take time, dedication and a great deal of hard work. However, the bridges that you build now with your customers will stand for the rest of your lives, and benefit you both going forward.

Never forget that people generally want to do business with people they know and like. So be a person that the members of your email list can really know and like!

Original article: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/the-biggest-lie-in-email-marketing-why-most-email-is-junk-mail.htm