Every business wants to rank higher on Google, but how is it actually done? We explain just a few of the ways you can make changes to your site and your strategy to help push your brand to the top of Google’s search results.
Why Does Ranking Matter?
The purpose of having a business website isn’t just so people can find you online when they look for your brand, but also so they can find you when they’re looking for products or services you offer. 49% of Google users say they utilize Google to find new products, and when they do, 37% will click on the first result.
This means that to get more customers online, you need to rank in the top search results that Google provides its users for your products and services. To do this, you need to do SEO and improve your “organic” or natural ranking over time, as Google uses certain factors to determine which websites rank higher.
Here are a few ways to improve your organic ranking on Google.
Optimize your meta data.
Meta data for a website is the information that shows up on search engine results, i.e. the title, description, and url that Google shows to users. Meta data can not only influence a user to click or not, but also affect Google’s ranking of that page.
Some web builders don’t allow you to edit metadata, which will set back your SEO, but if your website is built on WordPress, you can easily edit your meta data for each page with an SEO plugin. You can find one here.
- For meta titles, include the keyword and the name of your business, and make sure it doesn’t go over 60 characters, including spaces.
For example, the meta title of this blog post is: How To Rank Better On Google | Hyvemark
- For meta descriptions, stick to 154-157 characters. Your description should say what the page is about, and should always include a call to action at the end, such as “Learn more,” “Call us,” or “Make an appointment.”
Example: Ranking at the top of Google results is key to your business’ success. Learn a few practical ways you can boost your search engine rankings from Hyvemark.
- For urls, make them fairly short and clean, using hyphens to separate words, and always include the keyword you’re targeting.
Write content for people first.
Even though you’re creating and improving a website so that Google “likes” it more, you should first and foremost write your website copy and your blogs so that the average person understands it and gains something from it. If your copy is Google-approved but it doesn’t engage your customer, you’re doing it wrong.
The truth is that Google actually wants content that’s very human and very unique. The best way to get that is to write for humans, and for your customers, instead of writing content by asking “what does Google want?” This way, you avoid pitfalls like keyword stuffing.
Improve your page loading speeds.
The slower a page loads, the lower Google will rank it — plus, a user will click out of a page if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. To avoid both of these, you can speed up your website’s loading times through several methods, here are some:
One great way is by improving your videos and images. Larger photos and videos make pages load much more slowly. To solve this, you can:
- Compress your images with a tool like Imagify.
- Host your videos on Vimeo.
- Use JPG for your images.
- Resize your images so they’re the right balance of quality and size.
Another way to improve your page’s loading time is to optimize your code. There are often extra characters, unused code, and more that are slowing your site down significantly. There are a few tools that can help you clean up your code.
You can evaluate and keep an eye on your website’s loading time with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
Add internal links.
Are the pages in your site linked to each other? Linking pages within your site can help Google understand the content and structure of your site better, and pinpoint which pages are more valuable. This in turn helps your SEO.
Adding internal links is easy to do yourself. Your homepage is a great place to include links to your service pages, your About Us page, and your Contact page. Your service pages could also link to other pages related to that service, or to a blog post, and vice versa.
Every time you create a new page, also make sure to link other pages from your site inside of the page. For example, on this blog post, we can link to Hyvemark’s services page.
This process of linking as you go will ensure that your internal linking strategy is happening consistently.
Create new content.
Google loves fresh content, so new content is often ranked higher. A great way to stay on top of rankings for your keywords is to constantly put out new content about it, or to update old content with new and more relevant information.
Starting a blog is an easy way to do this. Set yourself the goal to write a weekly or bi-weekly blog post about topics related to your product or service, and publish them regularly. (And of course, make sure to add optimized meta data to your post.)
Not only does this give your website a boost in ranking, but it answers your new and potential customers’ questions about your products. In fact, this is a great way to build your brand’s reputation and trustworthiness in your customers’ eyes.
Use Search Console to submit new content and disavow bad content.
Google Search Console is maybe your most essential tool for SEO. There are many actions you can use it for, and one is to submit new content to Google — and also let Google know to ignore other pages.
On Search Console, you can review which pages Google has been ranking, and either allow Google to continue this process on its own, or give it some help.
Submitting new content
You can submit new content that you want Google to rank by creating a list of urls called a sitemap, and submitting it through Search Console. Make sure to include new content and pages that Google will probably not be ranking on its own yet.
Excluding bad content
You can also exclude pages that you don’t want Google to rank. On WordPress, you can use the Yoast plugin to make pages private.
You might want to exclude pages that have repetitive URLs or page errors, fake links, and pages that are just images. These types of pages can hurt your SEO, so excluding them will keep your SEO strategy running smoothly.
Doing an annual content audit will also help you stay on top of bad content and decide whether to delete, consolidate, or update any content.
These are only a few of the actions you can take to improve your website’s SEO. Ultimately, a strategic and long-term approach to your site is the best way to improve rankings on Google and keep them.
Businesses love to think that anyone can and would use their product, and they famously say “my target audience is everyone.” However, this simply isn’t true, and honing in on the group that’s most likely to buy your product helps you sell more and sell better.
What is a Target Audience?
A target audience is a group of people at which you aim your product or service. Your business’ target audience will be determined by a variety of factors — essentially, by data — which you’ll use to create an ideal buyer.
The Factors of a Target Audience
A target audience is defined by factors such as age, gender, race, income, location, interests, lifestyle, education level, and more. But these factors alone are meaningless by themselves. Marketers need to understand the consumer behavior that’s born from these factors.
Consumer Behavior is Everything
Consumer behavior refers to how people of different groups use and buy certain products to fulfill their needs and desires. Defining a target audience means understanding those needs and desires, which vary according to demographics, which is where these factors of age, gender, and so on come in.
Before, people were more similar in their preferences, something experts call a Mass Culture. Now, our world is more diverse than ever — not only is it more obvious how different everyone is, but we have more choices and preferences than before. Understanding consumer behavior is key to finding your audience among a sea of unique buyers.
To make the most of your strategy, you should segment your audiences. This means that once you understand which consumers you’ll target based on their characteristics, you should divide them into groups with commonalities and then create an approach for each group.
Alongside data, you can segment audiences based on things like the stage of the buyer’s journey, the benefits your consumer’s looking for, how and why they use your product, the occasion, and more.
How Do You Choose A Target Audience?
Choosing a target audience requires data and research. In the US, data is being gathered constantly, about everything, giving marketers and businesses plenty to work with. However, knowing how to interpret the data and turn it into a marketing plan requires knowledge and training.
A target audience will depend largely on:
- What you’re selling
- Where you’re selling it
- How you are selling it
Your data will tell you how different people in different places respond to and choose to purchase your product, allowing for more successful marketing efforts.
Why Do Target Audiences Matter?
Target audiences are essential for understanding consumers and their behavior, specifically, how they purchase. While businesses used to believe that consumers would make rational decisions about their purchases, it’s been proven that consumers make irrational decisions based on emotions, and sensory stimuli, like colors.
This is important because each person, depending on their age, gender, race, etc, will make those irrational decisions differently. If we understand consumers, we can better understand how they come to purchase. This process allows businesses to maximize their return on investment by knowing the trajectory of a consumer’s journey to buy, and create better marketing strategies that fit that audience.
Defining an audience doesn’t limit it, but actually increases your sales and your return on investment. Instead of spreading your marketing budget too thin by trying to appeal to everyone, you’ll quickly gain the trust, attention, and dollars of those most likely to buy.
Marketing to Your Audience
The internet has created consumers that are much more informed than before. We will read reviews, watch videos, and do research before buying. We’re also influenced by packaging, colors, brand reputation, and more. Therefore, a marketing strategy requires an understanding of the factors that may influence your audience to target the right demographic and have a bigger ROI.
Once you’ve defined an audience, your marketing plan should take them into account every step of the way: what colors do they respond to positively? How will they relate to the product and your brand? Where will you target your ads? What approach will you implement in one city versus another?
Time and again in your marketing journey, you’ll find yourself going back to that audience to help define your strategy.
Facebook can be an excellent tool to market your business and gain a wider audience. If your business has ever posted on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the option to “boost” your post for a small charge. But Facebook also offers Facebook Ads through a separate Ads Manager. So, what’s the difference, and which one should you use for your business?
Let’s take a look at both options, understand what they are, and which one can bring real results and real customers to your business.
What Are Boosted Posts?
A boosted post is any post that you can pay to show up as an Ad on Facebook for your choice of audience. Your post will appear on the selected audience’s News Feed. They’re pretty simple because you can boost any existing post, and there is no need to design a brand new one.
What You Can Customize on Boosted Posts:
- Your Target Audience: In your target audience, you can choose age, gender, location, and interests. Facebook doesn’t propose ideas for interests, however, so you have to know these beforehand.
- You can choose your budget.
- Define the length of your boosted post.
There is not much you can optimize on boosted posts. Some benefits you can experience from these are page likes, shares, comments, and brand awareness. Once you have boosted a post, you’ll have the advantage of audience research, which will let you know what performs best.
What’s a Facebook Ad?
Facebook Ads, created through Facebook Ads manager, offer advanced customization— they’re especially known for their robust targeting capabilities. These can be optimized for website conversions (e.g. appointment requests or purchases), video views, app installations, shop orders, and more. They also offer analytic options, define campaign goals, and track ad engagement. oo
Facebook’s targeting options are one of their biggest draws, and are renowned in the digital marketing world. You can choose three types of audience:
- Core Audience: You have all the targeting options of a boosted post and more, including job, education, behavior, and connections.
- Custom Audience: Target your own database of people who’ve engaged with your business — even if they didn’t do it on Facebook.
- Lookalike Audiences: Target people who have similar interests and profiles to your best customers.
Benefits of Facebook Ads
Specified Ad objectives:
Facebook Ads allow you to choose more specific objectives that boosting simply can’t offer. Some of those objectives include conversions, store traffic, sales, appointments, and more, which directly impact your ROI.
When you establish these specific objectives, you can align your campaign with your business goals, so that your campaign is working with your greater marketing strategy and not just alongside it.
When you create Ads through Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll have creative control over your ads so they can fit your branding. You can add descriptions, have sliding images, include call-to-action buttons, and more. More creative freedom allows you to build a brand and remain consistent in branding while getting more sales.
Another benefit that only Facebook Ads provide you with is ad scheduling. This feature lets your ads appear in a specific timeframe and on a schedule that works best for your business and target audience. This makes sure you spend your budget more wisely, and show your ads when they’re more likely to gain you a new customer.
Facebook Ads give you the opportunity to choose where you want your Ad to appear. You can select placements in Messenger Ads, Audience Network, Facebook News Feed, Instagram stories, and more. Having these options helps you create a stronger and more strategic marketing plan that will yield better results.
Use Facebook Ads for Better ROI
If your goal is to maximize your campaign objectives, obtain better audiences, generate leads, and build a significant following, Facebook Ads will benefit you more in the short and long run. Boosted posts are only helpful building with awareness and engagement. Meanwhile, Facebook Ads allow you to do that and also capture real leads and convert them on your site, for measurable ROI.
Build Your Facebook Ads with Hyvemark
At Hyvemark, it’s our priority to help your business grow. One of our most popular services is building Facebook Ads campaigns. We create ads on social media that will make the most out of your budget through detailed targeting, conversion targeting, and campaign monitoring, to get you appointments and sales.
Contact us directly to start. We provide you with ROI-driven marketing solutions that will help you with long-term growth.
ompanies want marketing that works. But what does “work” mean? Some marketing agencies will define a marketing campaign that “works” based on an increase in your following on social media, the number of customers, likes, or pageviews. But these numbers are meaningless without revenue — more specifically, revenue that surpasses what you put in.
As a business owner, you are probably keeping track of your investment and what you’re gaining, so you can determine what is working, what isn’t, and how to invest more efficiently to make the most out of your marketing spend.
However, sometimes you may be focusing on the wrong factors. In the end, return on investment is what will tell you if your marketing is giving you what your business needs.
Here is why return on investment is much more significant than vanity metrics:
Why ROI Is More Important Than Vanity Metrics
As previously mentioned, it’s important to measure results to identify areas of improvement. Marketers often use vanity metrics such as follows, likes, favorites, views, impressions, and more — in fact, according to Hubspot, only 35% of marketers think understanding ROI is important. However, these metrics do not measure success or how your business’s performance is impacted.
How to Identify a Vanity Metric:
Vanity metrics can make you feel good about your marketing, but they’re ultimately empty data because you can’t use it to measure the impact on your revenue. Here are some ways you can tell if you’re looking at a vanity metric:
- It doesn’t help you make a business decision.
- These numbers are random.
- They’re seasonal/variable.
- You can’t tie it back to a customer’s action, i.e. a call, appointment, purchase
It’s dangerous to focus on vanity metrics that aren’t attached to a stream of revenue. A way to find out how your marketing efforts impact your business objectives is by measuring conversions.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to engagement, but they shouldn’t determine your success. Consider using your marketing budget for conversions, and your internal efforts for engagement.
A Focus On Conversions
Vanity metrics, or organic engagement, are easy to obtain, and reporting them can be of some use. However, it cannot be the only focus. Marketing spend and efforts impact profits and sales, and these should be the number one priority. One of the best ways to focus on ROI is to look at conversions.
When it comes to conversions, you can see how much you’re making from your marketing efforts. Understanding when and how a potential customer becomes a real buyer is more valuable than whether they like your page or not. You can improve or optimize that moment of conversion, allowing you to replicate the results and get more sales.
Traffic is necessary for conversions, but it doesn’t equal more conversions. The key goal is client conversions and retention, which impact the business’ bottom line and revenue. It’s better to focus on conversions and metrics that enhance conversions, such as customer lifetime value.
Create A Marketing Strategy That Will Give You ROI
At Hyvemark, we help you connect the dots between revenue and activity. We focus on getting you a return on investment and seeing actual revenue come in with our strategies.
Our integrative approach to marketing, which includes data analysis, ensures we create strategies that will benefit your business bottom line in the long-term, so your return on investment is always positive.
If you have a project in mind, let’s start talking about your goals and how we can partner with your business. For any additional questions about what we do and how we can help you obtain a positive ROI, get in touch with us now.
If you’re looking to market your business through digital marketing, there are a few factors to consider to ensure that you are taking advantage of the best tactics available. Two main ways to increase your traffic, leads, awareness and sales are through paid ads and organic content. However, how do you determine which will be more effective for your business?
Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of each to understand how they can help you reach your marketing goals and make the right decisions for your business.
Benefits & Drawbacks of SEO and Content Marketing
Organic content marketing is distributed to potential customers when they are browsing Google for answers to their questions or searching for a company. Some of the common types of forms of organic content include blog building, website creation and optimization, and search engine marketing.
Benefits: Content marketing can provide your business with results while keeping your marketing budget in check.
Here are some of the advantages organic content can offer you:
With content marketing, you can differentiate from competitors and let your potential customers know how you can provide them with value. Aligning your content with your branding through consistency of tone and voice can help your brand as well.
When you continue to optimize content and create new relevant content, you can bring customers back to your website. The more content they consume, the more likely they are to stay long-term.
Trust for Your Brand
Building trust and authority for your brand by creating quality content that helps your customers will make them perceive you as their ultimate solution over any competitor.
No Ad Spend
The most attractive benefit of content marketing is that you don’t pay ad spend — you’ll only pay for your campaign management fees.
Drawbacks: Just as organic content has many benefits, it has its drawbacks.
Here are a few disadvantages to consider:
You will see organic content is effective over the long-term, but it is slow-paced. Since you are trying to reach customers and create value for them, you are not generating immediate sales.
Challenging to Prove Value
Because we don’t see immediate sales with content marketing, it’ll be more challenging to show that it’s working. However, if you set goals for engagement and track those with the proper tools, this issue can be solved.
SEO Tactics Need to Be Flexible
With SEO, you need to be flexible with your strategy, since tactics change continuously. This requires an expert’s knowledge and monthly optimizations and strategy adjustments.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Paid Advertising
Paid advertising helps you see immediate results with sales and traffic, as your agency tracks the results according to your metrics. When you use pay-per-click advertising, you can reach your target audience on social media platforms and search engines, as it puts you at the top of a consumer’s searches on Google (as long as you continue to pay).
Benefits: Although paid advertisement has a higher price than organic content, there are many benefits you can take advantage of to make every penny count.
Generates Instant Traffic
With paid advertising, you can start seeing leads and conversions soon after you start running your campaign — sometimes in a matter of days.
Fast Sales = Easier Tracking
Because your sales are directly related to a series of actions coming from a paid ad, it’s easier to track conversions and whether a campaign is working
You Can Effectively Target Your Potential Customers Paid advertising allows you to specifically target certain people and the things they’re looking for, like a product.
There’s a Variety of Ad Options
Paid advertising can be a series of photos on Facebook, an ad that shows up like a banner on a website, or an ad with purchasing options on a Google search.
It Leads To A Purchase
Another advantage of using paid advertising is that you can direct customers through your website, or information request boxes, and provide them with what they need to make the final purchase.
Drawbacks: Paid advertising has incredible benefits, but there are drawbacks, and it might not be the best option for some businesses.
It Can Get Pricey
While you can decide how much to spend on campaigns, many businesses have limited budgets to spend on paid advertising. Even if you choose to assign a small portion of your budget for paid campaigns, you may see more effective results when you invest more.
If You Stop Paying, You Stop Getting Results
If you pull your ad spend and stop your paid advertising, you’ll stop getting leads and conversions that you were getting before; no long-term results remain.
It Takes Time & Constant Updates
With paid advertising, you have many customization options. You have to perform constant analysis and updates to improve effectiveness. Paid advertisements must be updated to stay relevant as things are quick to change.
Here’s How To Obtain Better Results
When you combine organic content with paid advertisements, you can truly experience the best of both worlds and obtain the most effective results. You will not only improve the quality of your leads, but you will have more traffic and visibility overall. It is an excellent way to balance your marketing budget and ensure effective immediate and long-term results.
How to Use Them Together:
- Maintain consistency in messaging across paid ads and organic content, and with your branding.
- Combine them by using PPC to drive traffic towards your organic content and for engagement across other channels.
- Capitalize on user intent when creating both organic and PPC campaigns.
Grow Your Presence Online With Our Services
If you are ready to implement organic content and paid advertising to market and grow your business effectively, our experts at Hyvemark have the solutions you need. Our campaigns include weekly optimizations, flexible strategies, and monthly reports to optimize results for you and your advertising.
Hyvemark’s priority is to help your business grow by integrative strategies that combine the best of organic, paid, and other marketing. Our services will maximize your lead generation and return on investment.
Choosing to do digital marketing for your business is a no-brainer — choosing the right agency to handle your digital marketing requires a little more time. Aside from being a reputable agency with proven strategies that focus on real results, there are other less obvious boxes that your choice of agency needs to tick off.
To have the best outcome with a digital marketing agency, you need:
An integrative approach.
The right agency will not just try to sell you a Facebook Ads service or convince you to spend your entire budget on pay-per-click ads, with no consideration for your marketing and business needs as a whole. An integrative approach will consider: What is the goal? Can market research help improve your digital campaigns? Can your website give the customer what they’re looking for?
This approach ensures:
- That you’re getting your money’s worth by targeting actual customers, and not just “anyone”
- That your agency is considering a comprehensive marketing strategy, beyond just digital marketing
- That you’ll see real return on investment (ROI)
- That your marketing efforts have a long-term impact on consumers