Making money as an independent videographer can be tough. This is why we are putting together a full comprehensive course on how to do just that. It is 10x easier and faster with a roadmap and a mentor to do anything in life.

When the course is complete, we will add a link to it here: coming soon….

If you are interested and would like to get notified when it comes out, email us at: [email protected]

 

Video

While pictures and video have been used to commemorate moments, and as an advertising mechanism for years, it is undeniable that the last decade has brought a huge surge of the want and need for quality digital content. Take a look at Instagram, or Facebook for example – the most popular content is generally high-quality photos or videos. With huge advancements in technology and the mass number of skilled photographers, and videographers, quality content is no longer as hard to come by as it once was.

As an aspiring videographer you likely know that there are dozens, if not more, people in your area just like you and simply being good at what you do isn't always enough to get clients. With that being said, if you've got the skill and passion to pursue video production, you are in a market full of work to be done as clients for video work will never run out – there is almost always be a need for quality video content. Whether it is for marketing purposes, weddings, businesses, etc. you can guarantee there is someone out there looking for your services. But, how do you find your clients? Keep reading for our best tips on how to secure your next video production client, and continue to grow your video production business for years to come.

How To Get Video Clients

1. Identify Your Ideal Video Production Clients
While there is no shortage of people needing video production, it does not hurt to visualize your ideal client. What is your preferred style of shooting? What would you consider your area of expertise? What is your past experience, and how does that play a role in your future as a videographer? These are all good questions when trying to identify your ideal client to work with. If you would consider yourself good at what you are most interested in (for example, shooting aerial shots with a drone) consider niching down and pursuing clients specifically interested in that type of videography.

2. Make Yourself a Digital Portfolio
While it is a given that a photographer would have photos available to showcase their skill set, it's not as simple for videographers. Make yourself a digital portfolio, or consider creating a highlight reel of your past work to help attract new clients, or showcase your work to potential clients. With that being said, you don't need to have full versions of every job you've ever done available, but you should have something to represent yourself and the type of work that you do. Consider posting this (or clips of/from it) on your website, and social profiles so it is readily available to those just browsing – you never know who may need a job done.

3. How To Get Clients Using Organic Outreach Methods

An organic reach out method is when you are personally working towards reaching out to prospective clients. While these require you to seek out people without the chance to break the ice before trying to grab their attention, it is a good way to secure potential new clients and bring awareness to your business/brand. Some examples of organic outreach methods are
Email – Sending a personalized email to people you believe are potential clients
Cold Calling – Making an unsolicited call to a person or business
Direct Mail – Physically mailing a brochure or something else to draw attention to your business)
Reaching out to people via social networks –
Posting on social networks and willing people to engage with your content and mutually engaging with theirs.
4. Network, Network, Network
Networking would be considered an organic reach out method. But it is so important that it gets its own bullet point. Networking is an opportunity to meet new people and, especially in smaller communities or niches of videography, can be a game changer for building your business. Network with prominent people and businesses within your community and, once you make a connection, it's almost like a free way to market your video production within a new group of people. Network with other local videographers, or photographers and consider teaming up to make content together. Networking isn't about going out and approaching random people to tell them about your service. It is about making connections within your community that can help you find, or attract more leads. Also consider attending local networking events, speaking at local events, or even host your own event. A quick way to network and put yourself out there is to join online groups. Consider joining a local small business group on Facebook, or engage in posts relevant to videography. Check out Reddit, Quora, or other social networking sites to find people to connect with and gain instant access to people similar to you, or people looking for services like yours.
5. Video Production Content Marketing
This may be the most obvious of our tips on how to get video production clients. Market yourself on as many social media platforms as possible, and consider engaging with others on those platforms to help draw attention to your content. While the most obvious forms of content marketing are to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn also consider creating free content to distribute. A good example would be to create a cheat sheet titled something like “10 Things To Consider When Hiring Your Wedding Photographer” or writing a blog post relevant to videography/photography and posting it online, or on your website. Alternatively, create some kind of content and incorporate it into a lead magnet. Offer your Wedding Photographer Cheat Sheet for free in exchange for someone's email. This way, you not only caught someone's attention (and hopefully willed them to check out your stuff) but you have also collected some contacts for future endeavors. Content Marketing for a video business is essential as it is a great way to get your content in front of others without having to reach out first.

Video

Video Bonus Tip

Remember – when content marketing via social networks like Facebook and Instagram simply posting good content isn't enough to make your posts visible. In order to beat the algorithm and create organic reach, you will need to post with the intent to engage with your followers. Accompany your picture with a caption willing viewers to comment by leaving a reply, or tagging someone else. Also make sure you are engaging with those that engage on your posts, like their comments, reply back to them and give their page a look. Consider following and liking/commenting on other content that is similar to yours. Build a network of online “friends” and mutually use your engagements with each other to help boost your posts and help it show up on people's news feeds.

While there is a multitude of ways you can attract new video production clients, we would suggest starting out with these few easy tips. Being a successful videographer in today's market is harder than ever, but is by no means impossible. Put in the work, and produce quality content and you are already on your way to success and more clients. Good luck, and happy filming!

 

SEO vs SEM

The world has never been the same since the Internet was introduced. With the advent of the digital revolution, amazing things that we once thought were impossible were made available to us. It made the world a smaller but a better place especially for selling your products, services, brand, and business as a whole.

With the development in the business world comes the evolution of marketing terms, jargons, and acronyms. Almost all marketers are guilty of using different kinds of terms that at times confuse the clients. The truth is even marketers are sometimes confused about the terms and acronyms that they use.

One perfect example is the acronyms, SEO and SEM. In the online marketing world, these terms are most often used interchangeably. Some even pull the terms from thin air without clearly knowing the distinction between the two terms.

If you are nodding your head in agreement while reading this, then you are not alone. The terms search engine optimization and search engine marketing can be very confusing. While they are related, they are individually different.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) vs. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Let's take a look at both terms deeper and expand on each one as we go along. SEO is increasing the number of website visitors by enabling the site to show high on the results when you search a particular term or sentence using a search engine. SEM, on the other hand, is an internet marketing process that increases the visibility of the site through advertising and organic search engine results. SEO is just a part of one of the strategies of SEM.

So What is SEO?

SEO or search engine optimization is a strategy of turning a website into a user-friendly site for search engines to pick up. It involves several technical components like utilizing clean code, fast load times, and high-quality content. This could be in the form of visitor statistics, content, backlinks, multimedia, as well as social media sharing.

The search engine giant Google is believed to be using more than 200 criteria before finally deciding which site tops Google’s search results for any given keyword. SEO is just one of the numerous components that make up SEM. Its major function is to enhance the exposure of the site in the search engine results page. As a result, it aids in raking in free and organic traffic to the website.

The focus of search engine optimization is to make high-quality and valuable contents that relate to the business itself. Additionally, the content is deemed relevant to the searchers by the search engine. It is important to note that the search algorithm of the search engine giant is incessantly modifying and altering.

It is very important that you understand and track these changes. In addition, SEO strategies do not work overnight or give you results immediately. The normal SEO campaign typically takes anywhere from 6 month to 12 months for good results. When executed properly, it could pull in heavy traffic to your website that will set off a positive domino effect on the business as a whole.

Pillars Of SEO

Search engine optimization is composed of two unique pillars. These are the on-site and off-site pillars. The term on-site refers to everything within your own website. Some basic tasks in on-site or on-page SEO include the following:

  • Adding proper keywords into meta descriptions, title tags, alt text, and heading tags, to name a few
  • Written and optimized quality page content and blog posts
  • Formatting and cleaning up page URLS
  • Enhanced load speed of the page
  • Incorporating Google authorship
  • Integration of social sharing within your content

Off-Page or off-site SEO includes the following:

  • Making a natural but high-quality backlink profile. This is also known as link building from high-quality and authoritative websites through guest posts or outreach.
  • Signs of social sharing
  • Bookmarking in social sites
  • Content sharing with other sites in your niche.

What Is search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

Search Engine Marketing is a type of Internet marketing that promotes websites by making them very visible in various SERPs because of advertising and optimization. SEM uses advertisements and paid search listings. Unlike its components SEO, SEM delivers quick results by providing fast and substantial exposure to a particular site or the page.

Aside from search engine optimization, SEM involves using a paid search like pay per click listings as well as advertisements. Most often search engine marketing includes pay per click activities and campaigns. However, if you utilize paid search and SEO, then it should be recognized as an effort under SEM.

There is a list of prevalent practices for optimizing your money within a paid search campaign. This includes the following:

PPC or Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

PPC campaigns are highly focused. You should finish thorough keyword research before consider this option or buying. When you have finally selected the keywords that are most pertinent to your brand or business, you can buy the ads on the SERPs where those keywords will be found. In this type of campaign, advertisers pay every time an ad is clicked or its link is opened. Some of the examples of this kind of campaign include Google AdsWords, Yahoo Search Ads, and Bing Ads.

Geo-Targeting

This strategy includes providing exact ads or content to a site user depending on their geographical location. This process is designed to focus on local customers making it a perfect strategy for small businesses.

Keyword Research for SEO and SEM

This is the primary component of search engine marketing since these are what users key in on the search box of the search engines to learn about something. Before you invest your money in this method, it is important that you do some research about the keyword. This way, you will determine what the users would like to know about your brand, business, product, or service. If you are not sure where to begin, you can find various keyword tools online.

Which Marketing Strategy Is Better SEO or SEM?

Until now, there is a debate among advocates of either side regarding which strategy is better than the other. For an inbound marketer, the best approach would be the organic search engine optimization. However, if you look at the big picture, you will realize that genuine search engine marketing will not and could not succeed without the help of organic search engine optimization.

In addition, there are a number of instances where pay per click campaigns are more useful than search engine optimization. For instance, if you want to achieve immediate visibility when you launch your site, the best approach is to create a pay per click campaign since it works faster than SEO and gives instant results.

However, it is foolish and impractical to work solely on PPC without touching on SEO. While it is true that organic search engine optimization takes time to yield results, in the long run, organic SEO becomes less expensive and sticks around. In addition, your site will create a search reputation or credibility that you will not achieve using pay per click campaigns.

The debate about which strategy is better than the other is not going to end. However, it is more constructive if we put an end to the battle for supremacy between the two. Instead, change your perspective and treat high-quality search engine optimization as a requirement for a highly-effective and high-quality search engine marketing.

Search engine optimization is the crucial stepping stone for highly-optimized content that customers and prospects of the search engine marketing find useful. Without blog content, landing pages and web pages that are optimized for search, your efforts in search engine marketing will be in vain because of low quality. As a result, there is little to zero chance that your page will be visible to the SERPs.

In the long run, organic search engine optimization will establish your website’s credibility given that you maintain the quality of your content as well as your social media usage. Organic SEO then becomes less expensive. So, going back to the question, which is the best tactic, the answer is it depends on your specific needs and what you would like to achieve. The key here is fully knowing the difference between the two and maintaining the consistency of your efforts.

At Oregon Web Solutions, we also offer the following services:

  • Website Designing
  • Social Media Management
  • PPC Advertising
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Niche Market Research
  • And Facebook Paid Ad Campaigns

SEO and SEM Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our article on SEO vs SEM. If you are considering looking into SEM and SEO or any of our other services and would like a free consultation, simply fill out the form below and we will get back to you right away:

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SEO vs SEM

Marketing A Contracting Business

As a contractor, it is very important you to get a steady flow of new, or past clients on a regular basis. With the advancement of technology, many consumers are looking to get contracting services from the internet. As a result, contractors will need to adopt an effective marketing plan that consists of actively marketing their construction business online. Fortunately for contractors who are looking to market their business online, they have many options that they can take advantage of. Some of their options will consist of things such as a mobile-friendly website, up-to-date Google listings, pay per click ads and more. All of the things we discuss in this post can help ensure that contractors are effectively marketing contracting outfits online and, in turn, successfully growing their business.

WORDPRESS MOBILE FIRST WEBSITE

One of the ways a contracting business can market itself on the internet is to use a WordPress Mobile First website. This is a kind of website where a contractor can design their own template and put in key information and images related to their business. A WordPress site will enable a contracting business to market itself either for free or at a very low cost. Along with providing content relevant to the business, the contractor will also be able to make their site fully accessible on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Therefore, using a WordPress Mobile first website is a great starting point for marketing your contracting business online.

GOOGLE BUSINESS LISTING

Another way in which a contractor can market themselves effectively online is to create their business a Google Business listing. Every business will benefit by listing themselves on the top search engine on the internet. When a contractor creates a Google Business Listing they are able to increase their visibility greatly as more than half of U.S. adults Google a business before making any type of engagement (Forbes.) A listing on Google will allow a contracting business to provide easier access to their website, address, and contact information. The process of listing a business is quite simple as you will just need to go on the business listing page and submit your information for review.

GOOGLE PAY PER CLICK ADS

While listing your business on the search engines like Google is very beneficial, it may be difficult to get enough exposure within the first few weeks of listing your business. In order to maximize exposure on the internet, a contracting business will want to consider using pay per click ads. This is a type of advertising that consists of having a website listed with Google, then paying a small amount each time someone clicks on the ad leading them to your contracting business website. This is a great way to manage your marketing costs as you are only charged when someone visits your site. In most cases, your site will appear on top of the search engine page or on the side. As a result, you will get a decent amount of exposure and be in a better position to market your contracting business on the internet.

RUN LOCAL FACEBOOK ADS

When a contractor is looking to grow their business with online advertising, another good option to take advantage of is local Facebook ads. These are advertisements that allow you to post your business on Facebook while reaching a concentrated group of people. This method is a good option because you can choose the “Audience” you wish to reach while gaining exposure on one of the top used social media sites. Since your business is a contracting company, you will be able to attract a number of potential clients due to it being a site made up of mostly private individuals. A Facebook ad is also very cost effective as you can determine how much you pay each month in advertising. As a result, you will be able to save money and increase exposure of your business.

ANGIES LIST

A good site for any contracting business to list themselves on is Angie’s List. This is a well-known website that provides consumers with a directory of local, reputable businesses. When you list your contracting business on this site, you will be in the position to let consumers know that you are a reputable contractor. This will help assure them that you are a trusted contractor in your community, and will hopefully lead customers to contact you and inquire about your contracting services. Angie’s List is one of the best ways to market your contracting business online due to its reputation of providing reputable, and trustworthy business listings.

HOME ADVISOR ADS

When looking to market your contracting business on the internet, another good source to use is Home Advisor ads. This is a website, similar to Angie's List, where contractors can list their business information for consumers to find, and contact them. On this site and with these types of ads, a contractor will be able to list their website, business address, operating hours, and phone number. Since tons of consumers visit this type of website for service needs, they will likely contact your business whenever they are looking for contracting services. Similar to other options like Facebook and Angie’s List, the home advisor ads cost very little to list your business. Therefore you can grow your business with internet marketing at a relatively low cost using these Home Advisor ads.

THIRD PARTY REVIEW SITES

A huge part of marketing a contracting business online is to gain, and use reviews as a testimony to your business and the quality of work you do. It is very important to establish a good reputation among consumers when looking to promote your business online. Since consumers are looking to work with contractors who are trustworthy and provide great service, they will want to see what past customers have to say about your contracting business. Third party review sites are a great way to provide consumers with reviews, and information about your company. These sites allow you to post your business information and customers to post honest reviews of your work – good, or bad. This will provide consumers with relevant comments about your services, fees and projects completed. They will also provide insight into their overall experience with your contracting business. As a result, third-party review sites is one of the best ways to help you market and grow your contracting business on the internet.

Find Out More

If you are in need of someone to help grow your business through web design, search engine marketing, or for online marketing in general, feel free to reach out and contact us through the form below:

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construction company Digital marketing for businesses

Why You Need a Professional Agency for Your Construction Company 

If there is one thing that the 20th century is known for is its quick rise to the digital world. The last couple of years brought about several innovations pertaining to artificial intelligence, 3D printing, virtual reality, drones, and plenty more. All of these are relevant and crucial in the business operations within the different industries.

In fact, there are those who have completely integrated their strategies into the digital marketing world. Indeed, communication has become much more efficient and marketers have found new ways to reach a new audience and expand their customer base. With that in mind, this article will explain the importance of digital marketing and why it is important to find digital marketing companies to do the work for you.

How Can A Construction Company Benefit from Digital Marketing?

The difference in the construction industry is that its procedures and projects have become much more complex and larger. If you are in the construction business, you will know that sustainability is one of the many crucial factors. This is needed to operate and manufacture the projects. Also, the number of workers with the right skills in their field has become limited.

For each industry to survive this technological era, there is a need to adapt to the changes. Oregon Web Solutions (OWS) knows this as we use digital marketing as a means to grow and scale construction businesses.

Here are some of the reasons why a construction company should consider using digital marketing to growing their business:

Social Media Branding

With the increasing number of social media platforms on the internet, more and more companies are making use of these for expanding their customer base. There is no reason why a construction company should not use them as they are are one more area to get found online. With the help of a professional internet marketing company, a construction company can build a web presence that separates them from the rest of the competition. You get to engage with your target audience and develop the right kind of relationship that has the potential to increase sales. Social media is one of the best tools that provides opportunities for building trust between a brand and its customers.

Increased Traffic

Increasing Traffic

As communication becomes much more efficient, companies are using the internet to reach a wider audience. The internet is a vast place where people store and retrieve data every day. Companies are using this to develop an online presence that will boost brand awareness. With the help of Oregon Web Solutions’ products and services, you can harness the true power of search engine ranking. You’ll be able to create a consistent flow of traffic to your website which will result in new leads and customers for your business.

Building an Online Community

The beauty of the digital marketing world is that you can reach new audience right from your home location (no traveling needed). With the online presence you will establish, you will have the power to communicate with your customers from anywhere in the world. In addition, you can ask them for testimonials to be posted on your website. Remember, word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the most effective forms of marketing strategy. Those who have provided great testimonials can serve as references for potential consumers.

Acquiring Customer Insights

Another benefit you get from hiring an online marketing expert is that you get a chance to learn more about your customers. With this knowledge, you can focus on what they love and what they don’t love about your services. The comments and feedback from your customers are a great basis for re-establishing your operations to ensure that you provide high-quality service. Also, you get to learn more about your competitors as well. Depending on how you acquire these customer insights, you get a glimpse as to which of your competitors does your target audience love. By learning the gaps in your services, you are provided with an opportunity to become better.

Employing SEO Techniques

Those who are involved in the construction industry are and should be focused improvement and operations for their business. With this said, there is a high chance that they do not know some of the basics of marketing their products and services in the digital world. With OWS’s effective SEO strategies, you can ensure that your company will begin to reach the top search engine results pages or SERPs. This will guarantee a consistent flow of traffic and clients which is what we all want an d how you found this article!

Dominating Local Search

With proper consultation from our construction company digital marketing experts, we will formulate strategies that will ultimately increase your traffic and conversion rate. You will also learn a lot more about your current presence and how to improve it on your own. You’ll also learn the importance of local listings and having them properly optimized. Most are shocked as to how many people are searching for what you have in your own neighborhood and they will never find you if you don’t know how to place yourself in front of them properly. 

Constructing the Perfect Website Design

There are a great number of digital marketing companies and marketing strategies for construction and home improvement companies. Oregon Web Solutions can help you build a website that can match your company’s vision and appeal to your audience. A great website is the perfect place to display your work as well as testimonials from happy clients. A construction company’s website should be visually and aesthetically pleasing, but more than that, convert well. We are happy to assist you in this process. The website design chosen for your company will be sure to drive results.

Learning All About Paid Advertising

Another effective digital marketing strategy offered by OWS is Paid Advertising. With this, you can gain quick exposure to the online community as well as build a loyal customer base. Online advertising or paid channel marketing can also be referred to as pay-per-click or PPC campaigns. These can do wonders when properly used for your website.

Here is a quick list of services that OWS offers for Contractors:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Web Designs
  • Youtube Marketing
  • Detailed SEO Audit
  • Facebook Advertising
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Professional Press Releases
  • Construction Marketing
  • Reputation Management (Very Important For All Companies)

If you are interested in more information on construction company marketing or our services, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you ASAP:

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If you are in need of someone to help grow your business through web design, search engine marketing, or for online marketing in general, feel free to reach out and contact us through the form below:

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a picture of a contractor website design

Designing Contractor Websites: Ideas And Guide

Building an online presence as a contractor and having a professional website is essential in a highly competitive market. Whether you are interested in attracting local clients or if you are expanding your brand state, or nationwide, developing an official website is imperative. Knowing which steps to take while creating your presence online is a way to ensure you are maximizing your online reach while providing yourself with an optimized platform to showcase your ability, skills, and reputable work.

Website Domain Name

The domain name you choose is one of the most important elements of a successful online presence. Your domain name should reflect you personally as a professional, or the contracting company you have created. Avoid using lengthy domain names that are too difficult to spell or remember. Choose a domain name that is most relevant to the types of services you provide, your location, the name of your business, or a combination of the three. Domain names should be easy to remember and simplistic depending on the target audience or the demographics you intend to reach.

Research the domain names you have in mind to verify that you do not have competition utilizing the same, or a similar name before registering the domain itself. Ensuring another contractor does not use the same domain name or company name as you is essential to avoid potential copyright or trademark issues once you launch and your business is live.

WordPress Website Design

Implementing a WordPress website is one of the best ways to maintain control of your contractor website design while managing content even if you are unfamiliar with coding and programming. WordPress websites provide a robust administrative panel that allows you to easily add content, images, and other forms of media to your website within minutes. In addition to a user friendly admin panel, WordPress provides you with the ability to use thousands of plugins for added features including eCommerce solutions (WooCommerce) and SEO-boosting plugins. This is one of the most used and recommended platforms for designing contractor websites.

Pick the Best Web Design Theme For Contractors

Choosing the right WordPress theme is important as it allows you the opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition while building an online reputation. The theme you select should reflect the types of services you provide along with navigation that is easy to access, even for users browsing on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. Choosing a mobile-friendly WordPress theme ensures you do not alienate an entire audience from browsing your website and the services you offer.

Compare both free and premium WordPress themes before selecting the option that is right to represent you. Preview all WordPress themes while in the process of deciding on the look that is most suitable for your contracting services. Your theme should be relevant to you, while also appealing to the demographic you wish to reach.

There are many great themes out there for contractors web design and contractors marketing. These themes are already built with construction businesses in mind and cater to and can be molded around all kinds of construction trades. We have personally used a lot of these themes for the following construction businesses:

  • Plumbing Contractors
  • Commercial Roofing Contractors
  • Landscaping Contractors
  • General Construction Companies
  • Painting Contractors
  • Remodeling Contractors
  • Electrical Contractors
  • HVAC Contractors and more….

Having a quality contractor website is essential when you want to appear professional, knowledgeable, and informed of current business trends. With the right online presence, it can increase the number of referrals you receive while appealing to prospective clients who have a genuine interest in learning more about the contraction work you offer.

Photography

High-quality photography creates a professional design look and aesthetic to contractor websites that help you stand out and attract new clients. Invest in a professional camera or work with a photographer to highlight and capture your best work. Use a WordPress website plugin that provides you with the ability to upload photos into a gallery portfolio, allowing you to showcase your work with ease.

Avoid using photos that are low resolution, pixelated, or discolored to prevent losing out on a potential opportunity to gain a new client. The more professional your website design appears, the easier it becomes to attract new work while building a positive reputation in your local community and the areas you service.

Optimize The Title Tag

Optimize the title tags of each of your pages of content via the WordPress admin area. Titles should reflect the main focus of each of your blogs and pages that are visible on your website. Avoid using titles that are overly wordy or irrelevant. Proper title tags help to boost your website's SEO (search engine optimization), increasing you rank, and making it much easier for users to find your website when seeking out your services via search engines.

Website Meta Description

Meta descriptions are visible in search engine results and provide users with an overview of the content and pages you are providing. Essentially, their sole purpose is to get someone browsing the web to clickthrough to your website. You should usually limit your Meta description to about 160 characters – so make sure you are using an active voice, and are including a call to action to grab their attention. When using WordPress specifically, you can add a Meta descrition via the administrative area.

Clean URL’s

Clean URL's prevent your web page(s) from looking like a random strings of characters. With clean URL's you want to showcase your website, or page titles within the URL bar for optimization in search engines, helping users find your site in less time. A clean URL will be immediately, and intuitively meaningful to the average internet user. When using WordPress specifically, you can implement clean URL's for your website via the admin panel on the left.

Google Map Embed

Embed Google Maps into your website on your contact page to share your current office or work location to prospective clients. Google Maps helps present your services professionally while reassuring new users that your business and the services you offer are legit and authentic. If you dont have one already, make sure you have an accurate, and up to date Google Business Listing before implementing this on your website.

Contracting SCHEMA Markup

Use SCHEMA markup to better organize your web designs while providing more accurate results in search engines. SCHEME markup generators are available for free and do not require you to understand in-depth HTML or programming. SCHEMA markup is essential when you have pages that require categorization and when you want to distinguish blog content, location pages, and even review sections of your website within search engine results.

Clear Call to Action

Use a clear call to action that motivates prospective clients to learn more about your services and urges them to reach out for additional information. Implement your call of action in a clear location with an attractive or colorful button and messaging. The simplest call-ta-action is “Buy Now!” but lets be real – that can come off as scammy and aggressive. Get creative to hook, line, and sink potential customers.

Mobile Friendly Website

This should almost go without saying! If you have a constructor business and you have a website or website content that is not mobile friendly, then you are getting hit with a Google penalty right out of the gate! More than 60% of searches come through mobile searches and you want to get in front of these customers. So when selecting a website design for contractors, make sure your web developers have made it mobile friendly and a responsive website design.

Construction Client Testimonials

Client testimonials are essential when launching a contractor website to share details regarding your clients who are satisfied with the work you have provided. Ask past clients for written testimonials and create a page dedicated to showing off the overall satisfaction they have had when working with you. Testimonials help to incentivize users to learn more about companies while helping to build the trust and loyalty of those who are thinking of hiring you for their next project.

Find Out More

If you are in need of someone to help grow your business through web design, search engine marketing, or for online marketing in general, feel free to reach out and contact us through the form below:

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a pic of SEO worth it?

Is SEO Worth Getting?

Hundreds of millions of people surf the web each day. Of these millions, many are using the web for the purpose of shopping. When it comes to finding specific items, one of the best means you can use to narrow down your focus is a search engine. In fact, a recent study has revealed that over 80 percent of people surfing the web find the sites they are looking for through search engines. 

What this means for your business is that it is absolutely mandatory for you to have a presence on the web. It's no good having the best quality goods for sale at unbeatable prices if no one knows you exist. Without an official website and subsidiary social media pages, you're going to go unnoticed all the way to an early bankruptcy. 

What Can You Do to Maximize Your Presence on the Web? 

In order to avoid coming and going in the blink of an eye, you've got to get your business noticed by a sufficient number of people. There are several means that you can use to achieve this goal. One of the most efficient ways to do so is to make use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

SEO is the art of maximizing the content on your website for search engines. This means that when people search for a certain phrase – for example, winter coats – they should be able to zero in on the content that you have on your website regarding this item. The idea is for your winter coat content to be as close as possible to the first search result that comes up when they punch in this phrase on Google. 

How Do Search Engines Ensure Top Quality Content for Web Searches? 

But, of course, Google and other major search engines won't make it quite so simple and straightforward for you. Their reputation for state of the art customer service demands that they propel only top quality content to the top of their search results. If the content on your site isn't up to their standards – which change continually at a rate that they aren't making public to business owners – you're going to find your content at the bottom, rather than the top or even middle, of the results. 

Can PPC Be a Viable Shortcut for Gaining Maximum Exposure on the Web? 

There is a method that has been hailed as an effective shortcut to getting maximum exposure on the web without having to observe the normal rules of SEO. This method is called Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. PPC basically comes down to the act of buying a series of ads complete with sponsored links that are tailored to show up in search results. 

PPC ads can be loaded with high-value SEO keywords and phrases. The more you pay per keyword, the higher your chances of getting your PPC ad on the first page of a major search engine result. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay a certain amount -hence, “pay per click.” 

What is the Main Benefit of Mounting a PPC Campaign? 

The main advantage that comes from using a PPC strategy is the speed with which multiple ads – each specially laced with multiple high-value keywords – can appear on search engines. Results can sometimes be measured within minutes. It's important to note that the higher the value of the keyword you are using, the more you will pay. Some PPC ads cost a penny per click, while others can cost as much as a dollar or more. 

It's up to each individual business owner to decide if the PPC approach is the best one to adopt. If your current conventional SEO campaign isn't quite getting you the results you need, you may be tempted to mount a high dollar PPC campaign just to bring in some needed traffic. However, the cost of doing so needs to be calibrated against the ability of your budget to withstand such a potentially heavy blow. 

A Conventional SEO Campaign May Take Longer but Will Cost You, Less, 

Meanwhile, running a conventional SEO campaign may take longer to produce results but will definitely cost less in the long run. As a matter of fact, a recent industry study has shown that a conventional SEO campaign routine occupies 11 percent of the average business owner's advertising budget. Compare this with 87 percent that is devoted to PPC advertising. The difference is tangible and instructive. 

Perhaps the most important lesson to take away here is that an SEO campaign may be the “slow and steady” approach but will put less of a strain on your budget. A PPC campaign is flashy, noisy, and effective in the short term. However, the results it produces are necessarily temporary. For this reason, experienced business owners tend to use it sparingly in addition to, rather than in place of, a conventional long-term SEO campaign. 

An Organic SEO Campaign Will Give Your Business Long Term Credibility 

When it comes to deciding whether to mount an “organic” SEO campaign or go the PPC route, there is one important factor to keep in mind. Making use of the conventional SEO methods will give your business a much-needed dose of long-term credibility. This is because your content will continue to be seen on a regular basis by web shoppers who prefer to do their own searching rather than being dazzled with a flashy PPC ad. 

Many people simply don't want to click the PPC ads that appear on the right-hand corner of their screen. They find these ads distracting and annoying. In addition, most people don't like a PPC ad of the pop-up variety that suddenly appears and covers up the content on their page. The only kind of response you'll get from this kind of person is a click away from your content. 

An organic SEO campaign will give you credibility with the kind of web shopper that prefers to find content at their own pace. This will help you build a positive public reputation that will give you top marks with people who prefer to shop long term in the same few locations. These are the kinds of customers whose loyalty will prove to be a major asset. 

Organic SEO is Still the Best Way to Produce Long-Term Results 

It is true that PPC ads are certainly more noticeable than organic SEO. By definition, they can't help but be. And you will get a huge number of people that will gladly click through to your website. But, as noted above, the results are temporary. A PPC ad will only last for as long as you continue to fund it. If you are currently in the early stages of your career, the length of a PPC campaign will be limited by the size of your budget. 

Meanwhile, organic SEO lasts longer, costs less, and brings in the kind of people who prefer its slow and steady pace. You may not be able to get to the top of the search results page overnight. But if you keep at it long enough, you will eventually be in a position to reach the coveted pole position.

So what you think? Is SEO worth it?

If you would like to find out how much SEO for your website would be, fill out the form below and we will send you a free SEO video evaluation at no charge.

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CONTRACTOR MARKETING

CONTRACTING MARKETING

Effective Marketing Strategies for General Contractors – A Comprehensive Insight to contractor marketing

Construction is a labor-intensive occupation. It involves a ton of paperwork, numerous legal requirements, and complex management and coordination services. All this gets in the way of marketing. However, considering all the opportunities popping up in real estate, as well as the rising competition, contractor marketing is now simply indispensable.

Unsurprisingly, most contractors do not know how to handle their marketing. This comprehensive contractor marketing guide will get you up to date on the most effective strategies for general contractor marketing.

Construction businesses, by their very nature, are labor intensive and marketing is usually the last thing considered.

Between giving quotes, going on jobs, completing jobs, and acquiring new customers, there seems to be little to no time to plan out a solid marketing strategy that can increase your reach to potential customers while engaging your current customers.

While construction businesses operate differently from other businesses, a planned and well-researched marketing strategy is still imperative to your business’ success and should be at the core of every effort to connect with new customers and grow your business.

MARKETING IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Marketing in the construction and general contracting industry is slightly different from marketing for other business types.

One advantage of being a general contractor is that you can get before and after pictures from your clients in order to promote the quality and success of your work. This is part of what will help you properly Market in the construction industry. It doesn't just help you with gaining new clients, it can also help you with partnerships when it comes to referrals from other businesses or creating an affiliate program with other businesses who are in a complementary industry.

a picture of contracting marketing

BEST ADVERTISING FOR CONTRACTORS

There are many options that contractors have when it comes to advertising. One of the best ways is by getting a website and getting your business and information online. It's important to remember that a website alone will not just bring in new business for your contracting company.

Another good option for contractors to advertise their business is by going to trade shows. There are many options that you can choose from when it comes to attending a trade show and getting a booth at one. But, what you want to remember is that not all trade shows are created equal.

It's important to ask questions as far as the cost of the booth in relation to how much foot traffic will be coming through the trade show. If you find that the trade show seems to have more speakers on their stage than attendees who are walking through it, then it may not be the best option for your business at this moment.

CONSTRUCTION MARKETING STRATEGIES

picture of a contractorRemember that marketing strategies for contractors

isn’t just about having a good website or nice business cards. They are both important, but not where things end.

A good marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan that reminds people of who you are and what you do by using small impressions that create a large impact.

In the marketing world, there is a saying that it takes anywhere from seven to 15 times for a person to see an advertisement to have a response and sign up for the service that they viewed through your advertisements.

With that in mind, it's important to make sure that your marketing strategy is considering all aspects of your business in any way, shape, or form that people may come across it.

Things like your logo, a wrap design for your company vehicle, flyers and signage that you use when you're handing out information in the community. All of these are part of a smart contractor marketing strategy and should be well planned and executed before you move on to the next stage – using other outlets to Market your business.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES

One of the key strategies in marketing your contractor business will be utilizing digital ads through social media.

Online ads can increase your business significantly when done the correct way. It's important to remember that using ads online as a contracting company should be done with great care and planning. If you've never worked with social media ads before, then it's imperative to hire a professional who has worked with an online advertising campaign within the contractor industry.

NEW CONSTRUCTION MARKETING IDEAS

Other marketing ideas you can use in order to bring your contractor services to a wider audience include email marketing, video content, and personalize interviews with past customers.

These are some ways that contracting companies are using in order to promote their business in a new way. As we move along in this article, you will see more ideas to utilize in your new marketing plan.

Marketing a contracting company is not hard, but it should be planned and thought out thoroughly. Use some of these suggestions, do your research, and understand what direction will work best for your business.

MARKETING CONTRACTORS CONTINUED

a picture of general contractor marketingThere are thousands of contractors in the construction industry. However, only a handful of these contractors are popular. Their brands undoubtedly have something to do with this.

A brand is the face of your business. It is what your clients identify with. It represents your business’ virtues, beliefs, and so much more. Consequently, it is also a pivot point for any marketing strategy, including contractor marketing. As such, it is prudent to begin by building the ideal brand for your business. You will need to take several factors into consideration including an image that represents your business, a motto to go with it, values and virtues that you stand for, and more. You should also take a personal brand into consideration if you are an independent contractor.

Your audience will identify better with your brand than it will identify with you or just simply a business name. You can consequently expect more leads from your other contractor marketing strategies.

THE KEYS TO CONTRACTOR MARKETING

Marketing Ideas

Most businesses have found a way to operate online. The construction industry, however, is an exception – it is entirely physical. However, contractors can still use the internet to market their services online.

The internet offers a variety of effective contractor marketing channels – all you need is the ideal platform:

  • Build a Website

When you decide to get a website for your contracting business, you will want to choose a professional designer who can help you plan out your website according to online marketing strategy – also known as digital marketing. This will help you have a website that brings in clients by getting the information on your website in front of the people who need it the most.

Every professional business needs a website – it is like your very own entry in a vast virtual directory. Your website speaks for your business. You can use it to list the products and services you offer in a detailed manner. It can also function as a receptionist whereby your clients can hire your services directly through the website.

It is not enough to just get a website – you will need a website that outranks your competitors’ websites. As such, ensure that you get the best web design services for your website and utilize the best SEO strategies to ensure that you rank at the top of search results.

  • Embrace Social Media

We touched on this subject above and spoke about social media advertisements. But, that is not all social media sites/platforms are good for. Social media is taking over communication. Billions of people around the world communicate on social media sites such as Facebook, and Twitter every day. For marketers, this creates an opportunity to meet large audiences at scalable levels starting with small localities to a global basis.

Contractor marketing on social media is effective as your ads are seen by real people who may just be in need of them. What’s more, you can target your audience more precisely to reach people who may actually be interested in what you have to offer. Finally, it is an interactive way to market as your audience can offer honest feedback, thus helping you modify and improve your products and services.

You will need professional social media pages for your construction business on all major social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It is also advisable to hire professional social media marketing services for more successful leads.

  • Video Ads are a Hit

A majority of people would prefer watching a video based on a book to actually reading the book. The same is the case with adverts nowadays – video adverts are more popular than written pieces. They are much more engaging and illustrative. Additionally, they can be fun and enjoyable, thus helping generate more leads. What’s more, you do not have to pay astronomical fees to have your videos featured on TV – you always have video sharing sites such as YouTube.

YouTube gets billions of visitors every day, so your video ads will get great exposure. What’s more, YouTube offers a wide range of features such as geo-targeting, so you can get the most out of your contractor marketing efforts.

CONTRACTING AND PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE

As mentioned earlier, construction is entirely physical. In fact, it can be described as dirty. To this end, there is no better way to showcase your skills than by getting your hands dirty. There are two popular options to consider here:

  • Engage in Social Services

Construction makes up a significant part of the public infrastructure, and it is usually never enough. To this end, your services may be needed in upcoming charity events. As such, be on the lookout and volunteer for any charity events in your area that will require your services. Make sure that you make your presence known by doing an excellent job.

This way you can help nurture confidence and trust in your business from members of your community and get more leads. Besides, you have a moral obligation to contribute to the embitterment of your community as a (potential) business leader.

  • Go Into Partnerships

Everyone needs some help to get by especially in an industry as competitive as construction. Considering the nature of this industry, your partnerships should be strategic.

Experts recommend partnering with interested third-parties who are not in competition with you. For instance, you can partner with construction materials suppliers and have them spread the word about your services to their customers. Essentially, make strategic partnerships with other businesses also looking for partnerships and have something to bring to the table.

You can also go an extra mile to combine forces with other contractors if your pool of resources is not enough – major construction companies are merging and putting smaller contractors out of business in the process.

Conclusion

There are numerous opportunities to exploit in the construction industry. However, most of these opportunities are only accessible to the few contractors who successfully engage in contractor marketing. As such, take some time off your busy schedule to come up with the ideal contractor marketing strategy for your business. The tips in this guide have been tested and proven to work optimally and will put you ahead of the competition.

 


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Is Marketing A Good Major - Oregon Web Solutions
The world of marketing is fast-paced and ever-evolving. As such, one might wonder about the realities of majoring in this field. Here's a look at the top five things you need to know before making that crucial decision…

Is Marketing a Good Career for your Future?

The versatility of the marketing industry cannot be denied. When you have a marketing degree, the options are virtually endless. Every company, regardless of its industry, has a need for a marketing team or specialist and these positions are quickly becoming top-priority with many industry leaders. With a degree in marketing, you're not limited to working in a particular field. There are so many companies all around the world who are in need of educated marketing specialists and the variety of jobs is endless.

Marketing Major (in College)

The course curriculum for most college marketing programs revolves around the generic concepts involved in the industry. From public relations to consumer research, many of the fields covered when going for this major will pertain to any marketing job you might find after graduating. The essential information you'll learn in the fields of advertising, marketing communications and strategies, sales, and management will provide a strong foundation for your post-graduation job. Of course, the potential classes offered will depend on the college, but most will apply at least a generic version of these courses.

Is Marketing a Bad Major?

There are a lot of fears surrounding many occupations, rendering the thought of obtaining a degree in those fields an obsolete idea. Could this be the case with a marketing degree?

While not necessarily falling into the category of a ‘bad major', marketing is definitely for a certain type of individual. To find out if it's right for you, you'll need to become a little introspective. The following skills are some which are commonly found in those successful in the marketing industry:

  1. The ability to write well.
  2. Public speaking skills.
  3. Organization skills.
  4. Can differentiate between goals, strategies, and tactics.
  5. Collaboration skills.
  6. Strong research skills.
  7. Basic understanding of social media algorithms and SEO compliance.
  8. Keeps up with social trends.
  9. Generate original concepts.
  10. Understands data science and interprets consumer data accurately.

Things to Consider When Choosing a College Major

  • What makes you happy? Basically, what do you find exciting and consistently interesting? A passing hobby is all well and good, but when you're choosing your college major, how you decide will determine the path your life will take. If you choose based on how much money you think you will be able to make, rather than going with a field you find interesting, you run the risk of winding up with a lower-paying job than you expected, doing work you don't even enjoy. That's no life for anyone. So, please, be careful and considerate of your future when making this most important selection. Determine where your skills lie, what you're naturally drawn to, and find the right balance of enjoyment and occupational success for your life.
  • Set a desired net worth or annual income. While you'll want to choose a major based on your personal interests, it is important to keep in mind how much you might be able to make in that industry. For the best balance of potential income and general job contentment, make a list of at least three possible majors and understand the pros and cons of each before making your final decision.
  •  Which college best suits your future plans? If you're looking into a specific field, such as marketing, some schools may specialize in your chosen field. Choosing the right college is just as important as choosing the right major. Make a list of everything you'd like to get out of your courses and compare and contrasts colleges which offer those key concepts.

More College Major Choices

  • Computer Science: 

In today's technologically advanced world, the field of computer science is continuously blossoming. Choosing this as your major will land you jobs like software developer, computer programmer, or a systems analyst, among many others. Common skillsets for people occupied in this field are critical thinking and analytical skills, strategic thinking, time management, and web design skills.

  • Business:

Those who major in business will find themselves at an immediate advantage. This major has been one of the most popular, providing people with occupations such as accountants, financial analysts, management consultants and many more. A practical mind and strong organizational skills are key to success in this field.

  • Psychology:

Understanding the way the human mind works has been a draw to theorists and philosophists, dreamers, and thinkers for eons.  When you choose to major in psychology, you'll join the field of great theologians and philosophers such as Plato, Tversky, and René Descartes. Those who choose this field for their major typically have an inherent desire to obtain a deeper understanding of the human psyche and are not easily overwhelmed by convoluted texts and statistical data analysis.

  • Chemical Engineering:

Many who choose this as their major will look forward to learning about the molecular structures of bioorganisms and how to modify and/or incorporate them in various ways. A strong background in chemical science and biology is likely to lead one to pick chemical engineering as their major. You also need great math skills and an ease of understanding complicated formulas to be successful in this field.

Making a Decision On a Major:

All of these majors and more are viable options for any who deem themselves fit for their chosen industry.  Of course, taking the potential average salary for each possible major will play a large role in your overall decision. There is an over-abundance of information available on the web, and it can get a bit daunting at times. That's when you fall back to what you know. Understanding what your strengths and weakness are and what makes you truly happy in an occupational setting will be the key to your future success. It's easy to underestimate the importance of having an element of enjoyment in your career. After all, it's called a ‘job', right? Of course, we all have a job to do, and it's not always going to be the most fun thing in the world. Which is why choosing a career path that's in line with your hobbies and natural skill set is so crucial to the overall quality of your life.

Continued Thoughts

Is marketing a good major? In the end, it is up to you to decide. We use marketing all day every day. If you were to personally ask me “is marketing a good major?” I would say absolutely if you are going to use it in the digital market. Everything happens through the web and it is only growing. Old school marketing can still work, but online marketing is where it is at.

The Degree Required For Online Marketing

That is the trick, there is no required degree for online marketing. There are training course and suggesting reading and studying I would do, but you don't need a degree. Some of our best hires don't have any kind of college degree at all. I'm not saying having a marketing degree wouldn't help, but it is not required. It would look good however for an employer to see. It just shows that you are dedicated and can follow through.

Thank you for reading our article on “is marketing a good major”. If you are looking into online marking be sure to reach out to us and ask what kind of required training we might suggest to assist in your future career or marketing major. There are never enough good marketers out there, so we hope you will be the next!

Local Marketing Guide For Plumbers

You can always count on our passion for helping small-and-medium-size companies grow as we have been over the last decade. The great news is that we have worked with so many diverse companies, that we are confident that we have a firm understanding of what will work for your small business. You can trust us to help grow your business today, tomorrow and far into the future.

Understanding the Modern Sales Funnel

As consumers increasingly become tied to their smartphones and their computers, tablets and other web-connected devices, the sales funnel is no longer linear. Instead, it runs in a loop pattern with buyers possibly passing in and out of various stages numerous times. The stages are very similar, however, to those of the past. The funnel includes:
Awareness Customers become aware of a solution to a problem they are experiencing
Interest Consumer researches company
Evaluation Consumer evaluates possible solutions
Decision Consumer chooses the best company and contacts them
Purchase Consumer agrees to services
Reevaluation Consumer decides if they made a good choice
Review Consumer decides if they made a good choice.
Repurchase Consumer hires services again.

Let's take a look at a real-life example. John has been remodeling his bathroom, and he has decided that some pipes need to be moved.
Awareness John knows that he does not have the technical knowledge to move the pipes himself
Interest  John researches local plumbers
Evaluation  John looks at websites and narrows down his options
Decision  John decides that your company is the best one
Purchase  You go to John's and do the work. You get paid and leave.
Reevaluation  John is thrilled by your customer service and the work done
Review  John tells his friends on Facebook about your company
Repurchase  John has a clogged kitchen sink and calls your company again

Connecting with customers at each step of the buyers funnel ensures that you have less downtime, more repeat customers, and a better chance of customers referring you to friends.

In order for your marketing efforts to be successful, you must recognize what digital marketing facets your clients are using at each part of the loop.

Keep Your Workers Busy by Using These Digital Marketing Channels for Plumbers

Studies show that over 97 percent of customers go online to find a plumber.

Pay-per-lead sites and directories: While joining local directories like the local chamber of commerce can pay dividends, we are generally cautious of other pay-per-lead sites. Learn why we caution plumbers about using some of these sites like Angie's List, Yelp, HomeAdvisor and more.

Search marketing: Increase your visibility by using paid search marketing to increase the likelihood of people seeing your site when viewing search engine result pages

Pay-per-click marketing: These programs require you to pay a fee when someone clicks on your ad. They can be highly effective in the right market.

Website: Every company should have a website as over 30 percent of customers will not consider using a business that does not have one, and 63 percent of customers prefer this method to first engage with a company. If you operate in different cities, every city should have a dedicated page or website. Each of your services may also need its own page.

Social media marketing: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media channels can be highly effective through organic posts along with paid ads on some of these platforms. Over 70 percent of consumers expect a company that they are considering to be active on social media.

Email marketing: Plumbers can often use emails to raise awareness of their company, solicit reviews and for other reasons.

Video marketing: Showing customers how to do simple plumbing tasks like unclogging a toilet or turning off the main water until you arrive can be effective. Video marketing will soon be over 80 percent of content marketing.

Recruitment marketing: Let us show you how to attract the best employees through your online presence.

Customer service: Harness the power of great customer service to grow your company.

Reviews: With over 85 percent of customers trusting online reviews as much as they do if a personal friend made the recommendation, let us show you the power of reviews.

Get Listed on the First Page of Search Engine Result Pages (SERP)

Over 93 percent of customers turn to the internet when they are looking for a plumber. Most never go beyond the first page when using a search engine. Let us show you how to have your company found there even if it's not your website.

There are now over 17 different ways to be listed on Google's SERP page. While most plumbers will never be found in some of them, there are several where your local plumbing company may be found including:

Local Paks: While Google chooses who gets to appear in this listing of three companies, there is very little doubt that the company with the most positive reviews stands a better chance. Google may also include Google Ad listing in these lists.

Google Ad Listings: Your paid ad can appear above or below organic listings as long as Google finds it relevant to the user's search engine ranking.

Google My Business: If a potential customer enters your business name into the search engine, then this box will appear. It contains your address, your phone number and other details. It also offers users the chance to see your Google reviews.

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a picture of claim your free yahoo business listing

Fact: 46% of all Google searches are local.

If you' re not gaining visibility and customers from local search, then you and I are gonna solve that problem right now with a jam-packed local SEO tutorial. 

Hi, my name is Seth from Oregon Web Solutions. I've got quite a complete tutorial for you on how to do local SEO, so even if you're just starting out, this article should simplify the process for you quite nicely and help you gain visibility in local search. Let's dive right in…

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. For example, if I type in best Mexican restaurant Toronto, you'll see that the top of the search results are dominated by a box of local listings on Google Maps, which is called the “Snack Pack”. Below that are your typical organic search results. It's super important that you can gain position in the “Snack Pack” because they generate 33% of clicks on the search results page. But it's equally important to rank in the organic search results since they attract 40% of clicks. So bottom line, It pays to rank in both spots, which is where local SEO comes in. 

Now, Google has an estimated 87% market share, in the US, which means that most people are using Google to search for local businesses. So in this tutorial, we'll be focusing on local SEO in Google only. 

Now, let's get on the same page and draw out an example scenario. Let's say that I'm opening up a new coffee shop in downtown Toronto for cool, hard-working people like SEO's and entrepreneurs. We'll be open 24/7 because our target audience tends to work around the clock. And of course, there will be fiber internet because there's nothing more frustrating than slow public WiFi. To differentiate ourselves from other coffee shops and build some nice recurring revenue, we'll be offering virtual office services for a set monthly fee, which includes bottomless coffee, your own private cubicle, and incoming mail service. I've invested in this concept, I've dropped a lot of coin, but no one knows about my business because they're finding other coffee shops like this in Google search. 

Is Your Website Optimized Properly?

Alright, so we're going to start with step zero, and it's something all local businesses need to do. And that's to ensure your website is optimized for mobile. According to Bright Local's study, 61% of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile site. You can use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Just enter in your domain or URL and shortly after, Google will tell you whether your page is mobile friendly, or if it's not. 

Google My Business Listing

On to step one, and that's to claim and optimize your Google my business listing. This is arguably the most important part of local SEO. And it's actually quite easy to do. Just go to google. com/business, sign into your Google account, and the first thing you'll need to do is enter in your NAP, which stands for name, address, and phone number. If you have a business with multiple locations or you purchased a franchise, then you can start typing in the business name, and you'll see a list of businesses that are already registered in Google's database. 

My business is called Oregon Web Solutions, so that's all I'll write and click next. It's important to note that your business name is not meant for keyword stuffing. So I wouldn't write something like “Oregon Web Solutions Portland Oregon 24/7 – Oregon Web Solutions”. It's not going to help you rank, so don't bother. 

Next, we'll enter in our address. Now, since we are an SEO Company, we'll obviously have a physical location, but if you're an independent service provider like a photographer or a work-from-home consultant then your typical client meetings might happen in their office, or in a coffee shop. If that's the case, then you can enter in your home address, select the “I deliver goods and services to my customers,” then choose to hide your address since it's not a store. Now, when your business shows up in Google search, it'll just show the city and province/state where you work from. 

Since that doesn't apply to our business, let's move on to the next step, which is to pin the marker on the map. Google's pretty good with this, but you'll want to examine the map and make sure it's in the exact position where your store is located. Just drag and drop it and click next when you're done. As Google recommends, don't add multiple categories to list all of your products and services. Instead, you should focus on this statement: “My business is a blank. “Rather than “My business has blank” So in the case of Oregon Web Solutions, our business is an Internet Marketing Company, even though it has virtual office space. Just start typing in a description and select the most appropriate one from the drop-down. 

Let's go to the next step, which is to enter in your phone number and website, which is pretty straightforward. This step is optional, but I recommend including both. Now, we'll need to finish off the process and verify the website, which can be done by phone or mail. You just need to follow the instructions from Google and your my business listing should be active in no time. Before you continue, you should add a few more optimizations to your listing. You can click on the info menu in the sidebar. Then you can click on the pen icon to edit different parts of your listing. So you can add more relevant categories, for example. 

Other things you should do is to set your hours of operation, add specific URLs to important pages, add a description of your business, and photos of your actual location. 

Keyword Research

Now that we have the foundation set up for local SEO, let's move onto step 2, which is to do some keyword research. There are some obvious terms you'd want to rank for like “Portland SEO”, “Search Engine Optimization Portland“, “Portland Marketing Agency”, and “Portland SEO Company”. With these kinds of local search queries, Google pulls the information from the Google MyBusiness listing. For example, if I type in “what time does Starbucks close”, Google will pull up the Starbucks in my vicinity and show the hours of operations for all locations on the map. And if I specify a location or use a single location business, then you'll see a quick answer box like this, which is pulled directly from Google My Business. So rather than going deeper into the “Snack Pack,” or Google Maps listings we'll be talking about keyword research for the organic search results. First, we need to brainstorm your SIL’s, which stands for “service in locations”. As a Marketing Agency, I'd want to rank for queries like these:”SEO Companion In Portland” “Internet marketing company in Portland” and and so on. We'd also want to rank for synonymous variations like “company in Portland”. A photographer, on the other hand, might want to rank for “photographer in Toronto” or “photographer in a nearby city.” 

Here are a few ways you can generate solid keyword ideas. First is to use Google's autocomplete. Just type in the main query you want to rank for, and you'll see a few good suggestions here like “open late”, “financial district”, and “Portland Oregon”, which may likely come from tourists or travelers. If you're in the services industry, then you can look at local classified sites like Craigslist. So I can search in their services category and use a seed keyword like “photographer”,and you'll see some cool ideas here like “experienced”, “freelance”, “engagement shoot” and more. But in my opinion, the absolute best place is to find the keywords that your competitors are already ranking for. And the reason why this is so effective is because this is basically telling you which keywords that you can also rank for. You can use a tool like Ahrefs' Site Explorer, and enter in the domain of one of your search competitors. Next, go to the organic keywords report. And this report will show you all of the search queries that the domain is ranking for.

You'll see that they're ranking for a lot of branded queries, so you can use the exclude box, and type in the brand name, which will give you a nice list of relevant keywords to target. And just from a quick scan of this list, there are a couple of keywords that I would have never thought of like “Portland SEO Experts” and “search engine optimization Portland Oregon”. 

You should have a solid list of keyword ideas now, so it's time to move onto some on-page SEO. If you're familiar with SEO, then you'll find that a lot of the typical on-page SEO best practices apply here. For example, it can be advantageous to include your keyword in your H3 tag, add your target keyword in the title tag, set the URL slug to your keyword, and use short URLs. 

But there are a few other things you should specifically do for local SEO. Now, these optimizations will vary depending on if you have a single location versus multiple locations. So I'll cover both. 

Optimizing Your Home Page

The first thing you'll want to do is optimize your homepage. In general, most single location businesses should optimize their homepage around their primary location. So as a Portland-based marketing company, I would probably target keywords like “SEO Portland Oregon,” rather than SEO. 

Here's why: If you look at the organic keywords report for your competition, you'll see that nearly all of the keyword rankings tend to revolve around their homepage and you can see where they rank in the “Snack Pack” for that keyword phrase. 

So here are a few on-page optimization tips for your homepage. First, show NAP information, which again is name, address and phone number on the homepage. In fact, you can add this to the footer of your entire website if you operate from a single location as you can see in this example here. And it's absolutely critical that your name, address, and phone number match exactly or as close as possible to what you've submitted to Google My Business. You can also add testimonials or reviews of your business here and use Schema markup, which we're going to attack right now. 

Schema markup is code that you add to your website to improve the way search engines read and represent your page in the search engine results. You can use Google's structured data markup helper to eliminate a whole mess of complicated coding. Just select a data type, so in this case, we'd choose local businesses, then enter in the URL of the page you want to markup and click the “start tagging” button. 

Next, just click on the elements that you want to tag. So if I click on the logo, I can set it to the name. Then I'll scroll down to the footer of the page and add a few more markup elements. 

The last thing I'll add is the address. You would need to select all of the different parts of the address and choose the correct field. Also, you'll see that they include their address here, but left their postal code out, so in this case, if I were this business, I would include that in the footer too. Once you're done, you can click on this button, and a piece of code will come up which you can add to your website. 

Now, if you're a business that has multiple locations, then you're exempt from the rule of optimizing your homepage around your primary location. And by multiple locations, I'm not referring to a couple brick and mortar shops 10 miles from each other, but bigger companies like hotels or car rentals where they might have hundreds or even thousands of locations. Instead of the home page, you would want to optimize local landing pages by including key elements like the location's NAP, operating hours and sprinkle in related keywords targeted at that location. 

Building Local Citations

The next step is to build local citations. And citations are online mentions of your business. There are two main types of citations. They are structured and unstructured. Structured citations are mentions that include your NAP information and it's usually presented in a visually-structured manner. So this would include places like business directories and social profiles. Unstructured citations are mentions of your business that don't follow a structure. So this might be in blog posts, preferred vendors pages or on other websites. And building local citations is super important. According to a 2017 study done by Moz, citation signals were one of the top local ranking factors, which was true for both Google's “Snack Pack” results and regular organic search results. And this is likely due to having consistent NAP information from all over the web, which verifies that the data Google has in their My Business listing is accurate. On the other hand, inconsistent NAP information can confuse or mislead both Google and potential customers. 

So your job is two-fold: First, you need to make sure that your existing citations are correct and consistent. And second, you need to build more relevant citations. 

So to handle the first part, you need to perform a citation audit. More often than not, some of your citations will be incorrect and/or incomplete. And you can run a quick search using Moz's local search tool. Just enter in the name of your business, and choose one from the auto select options from the best results. From here, you can see a breakdown of the complete, incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicate citations, which you can then manually fix. You can also do a manual audit using Google search operators, which I won't get into now, but you can check out our local SEO blog post. The link's in the description. After you've completed your audit, you'll want to build more citations. 

Now, if you're a new business, I would start with a list of core structured citations. Whitespark.ca has a great resource on places to build these structured citations, whichI'll leave a link to in the description. Just choose a country, and you'll see a list of places to add your mark. You can then branch out to other relevant local directories like your local chamber of commerce, other local business associations and then expand to niche specific websites like TripAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, Findlaw and more. 

Another great place to find citation opportunities is to let your competitors do the work for you. So using Ahrefs' Site Explorer, look up the homepage URL of one of your competitors since most citations will lead to the homepage. Next, go to the anchors report. In here, you can use the search box to look for any of these keywords: These are common anchor texts that you'll find in directories, which make them easy citation opportunities. So if I search for “website,” then I'm gonna click on “details” and “referring domains,” then you'll see a bunch of places where we can build both structured and unstructured citations. 

Another hyper-effective tactic you can do is to use the Link Intersect tool. In the top section, enter in the name of a few of your organic search competitors. With these citation hunting methods, it should be enough to keep you busy for a while. But we can't stop here because we still need to build quality editorial links.

Building Quality Links

According to Moz's 2017 survey, link signals were the most important ranking factor for local organic results. For the local “Snack Pack,” links were the second most important factor. Rather than focusing on a full-out link building tutorial, I want to leave you with two tried and true tactics that work. 

The first is to create and promote a useful resource. In this case, a local resource related to your niche would be ideal. I know I say it all the time, but people are more willing to link to helpful articles over salesy content like product and services pages. So a couple ideas would be to create local “best of” guides or content that would appeal to your target audience. 

So for example, we could create content on how to rank your business in Portland, where we can plug our own products. We could also create content targeted at small business solo preneurs on the best and affordable local places for office space, since we offer virtual office services. 

The second tactic would be to guest blog. Even though guest posts normally come with a link back to your site, I want you to look at this as an opportunity to build yourself up as an industry expert. This is particularly important for people in the services industry. People want to hire professionals they can trust and know will do a good job. And often times, they're willing to pay a premium to have the peace of mind that the job's gonna get done right the first time. And you can look for local blogs that accept guest posts by googling any of these queries. 

So looking at the search results for “Portland” “write for us”, you'll see some very relevant local websites that are seeking writers. You can also do this in Content Explorer to expand your list of potential guest posting prospects. Just type in a topic related to your niche. So I'll type in “coffee beans” and I'll also set the search to a title search for more relevant results. Next, click on the “one article per domain,” filter, since we don't need to contact the same website multiple times. Scrolling down a bit, you'll see this post on The 12 Best Coffee Beans to Buy. From here, you could easily pitch yourself as a pro barista that runs a cafe in Toronto and share some actionable or interesting insights on something like roasting beans. 

The last and final step is to take care of ongoing activities. Even though you've set up your Google My Business and built a bunch of citations, these are all things that you want to have well-documented. In business, things change. That might be you moving to a new location, changing your phone number, or even changing your business name, in which case, you would need to update all of your citations. So the first thing you need to do is ensure that you keep your Google My Business account active. 

There are 3 important regular tasks that you need to take care of. 

  • First is to consistently respond to customers and client reviews. This includes both positive and negative comments. 
  • Next is to be on the lookout for inaccurate edits to your Google My Business listing. Anyone can click on “suggest an edit” on your My Business listing and sometimes Google will accept these suggestions without notice to you or the business owner. In fact, scammers have even swapped phone numbers with legit businesses for a quick payday. So it's your job to ensure that your listings are up to date and correct at all times. 
  • Finally, is to use Google Posts to keep your customers informed and engaged. Google Posts is a micro-blogging platform within Google My Business. 
  • And all of these updates are visible in the Knowledge Panel and accessible with the click of a mouse.This provides an opportunity to attract more attention to your listing, connect with your audience and ultimately boost conversions. You can create a Google Post from within Google My Business by going on the posts menu, click “Write your post” and then add an image and up to 300 words of text. This is a great way to share your promotional offers or teasers for your blog posts. You can also choose a call-to-action button from a list of preset options to bump click-throughs. 

I recommend all local businesses play around with this feature and stay active with Google Posts. It doesn't take any more time than a tweet and there's a ton of potential to garner attention from Google searchers. 

Conclusion

Now we've covered a lot here, so what I recommend doing right now is putting these techniques into action, and watching some of our other SEO articles, which will dig deeper into some of the topics we've talked about like link building, SEO for blogs, and on-page SEO techniques. 

a picture of the top 10 on page seo ranking factors

a picture of the top 10 on page seo ranking factors

Have you ever wondered if the on-page SEO tips that experts are recommending actually work? I mean, does using your target keyword in your URL really have an impact on SEO? Does site speed really play a factor in rankings?

In this article, I’m going to break down the top on-page SEO techniques that you can use to get higher rankings in Google, backed by hard cold data.

We have a lot of solid on-page SEO techniques to cover so let’s get this party started with our top 10 tips.

#10: Use short URLs for your pages.

Here’s a short URL: website.com/seo-tips/

And here's a long one: website.com/the-best-seo-tips-for-your-website-in-2018/

So true or false? Do short URLs rank better in Google? Our study on on-page SEO factors shows that on average, short URLs with a median of around 17 or so characters ranked visibly better than long ones.

9#: Use your primary keyword in your URL.

If I were writing an article about SEO tips, then my final URL with my keyword target would look like this: website.com/seo-tips/

So does this actually help you rank high in Google? The answer according to our study is. . . False. Interestingly, out of all keyword-related on-page SEO factors that we studied, this was the only one that showed a negative correlation. In fact, John Mueller from Google went on the record and said:”I believe that is a very small ranking factor. So it is not something I’d really try to force. And it is not something I’d say is even worth your effort to restructure your site just so you can get keywords in your URL. “But do I recommend using it? Absolutely.

Two reasons: When your link gets shared, people can easily identify what the page is about without even clicking through to the page. This should increase referral traffic compared to having links that look like this.

The second reason: the exact match keyword that you want to rank for will be included in the anchor text of every naked URL backlink that you get. And we did a study on anchor texts, which shows that top ranking pages tend to have a larger percentage of exact match anchor text links in their backlink profile. So take 10 seconds to customize your URLs and reap the benefits.

#8: Use your keyword in the headline, so the H1 tag.

In our study, we found that around 85% of pages that rank in the top 10 of Google, don't have their keyword in their H1 tags. But there was still a small correlation, so I still recommend using various keywords in your headings and even subheadings. And the main reason for this is more user experience based.

A study from Neilsen Norman Group found that on average, a user will read, at most, 28%of the words on a page. But then they said that 20% is more realistic. Here’s the thing: Scanning text is an extremely common behavior for users. You probably look at a page, scroll for a bit, and if something pops out to you, you read that section. And if you think that section was awesome, then you think: oh shoot, did I miss out on anything else? So you scroll back up and then you read the post. Using trigger-like keyword phrases in headings and sub-headings may be enough to pique a user's interest and have them stick around a little bit longer.

#7: add external links to authoritative websites.

Again, John Mueller said that adding external links to other sites is not a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. But Reboot Online’s study disagrees. They ran a fun little experiment on these two completely made up words, which I won't even attempt to pronounce. They set up 10 different websites, 5 that linked to authoritative sources like Oxford, Cambridge, and genome. gov. And then the other 5, they had no external links at all. And the results were clear: the sites that contained external links, ranked higher than the ones that didn’t for both keywords.

In our own study, we found a small positive correlation of pages that link to Domain Rating 70+ sites ranked in the top 10 of Google. So here’s an easy takeaway. Don’t be afraid to link out to other resources that will enhance the experience for your readers.

For example: If you’re writing a blog post on the best golf gear and you found a great comparison of golf balls, then link out to them. But don’t just do it for the sake of it.

#6: Add internal links to pages that you want to rank.

Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same website. And these have been proven time and time again to help with rankings. So a quick tip is to look at your pages that are currently ranking on page 2 of Google, add some internal links to relevant pages that you want to rank, and hopefully, it'll enough to give your pages a small boost in rankings.

You can find pages that rank on page 2 by going to Google Search Console, click on search traffic, and then search analytics. Then make sure you check these boxes up here, and then sort the positions in descending order. You can quickly scan through the impressions column and try to spot bigger numbers, which suggests that there’s a higher search volume. But these are average positions, which isn’t very accurate.

You can do this more effectively using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool. Just type in your domain or a subfolder. So I’ll use ahrefs and run the search. Next, go to the Organic Keywords report. Here, you can see all of the keywords that your blog ranks for. So I’ll narrow down our results by setting the positions filter to only show keywords that rank in positions “x” to “x”. And you will see that your post on SEO tools ranks in position “x” with “x” monthly searches. So here you would find a great target to point some internal links too.

Now we need to find pages where we can add these links. You can do this by going to Google and type in a search query like: site:yourwebsite.com/blog/, and you can add “your keyword” in quotes for a phrase match search. You can see that there are a good number of pages where we can add internal links from. Clicking through to this page, and then doing a find for  “your keyword” you can see that this would be a great place to add the link.

#5: Re-optimize titles on under performing page one rankings.

I’ll level with you: even if you have the perfect title and meta description combination, it won’t really matter much unless you’re on the first page of Google. Why? Because as the saying goes: “The best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google’s search results.”

First, you need to identify the pages that are ranking on page one. Again, you can do this in Google Search Console and look through the different positions versus click-through rates. And as a very general benchmark, the #1 ranking spot sees an average CTR of 33%, #2 gets 15%and #3 gets around 10%. If you see anything below that, make a note of it and start playing around with your titles and meta descriptions.

Here are a couple of ways to get some great ideas for new titles. Let’s say that I’m creating an epic post on hotels in San Francisco. Looking at the organic Google search results, you can see that they appear to mostly list posts of the top or best ones. And two of them actually include prices in the title. This can tell you a lot about the intent behind a searcher’s query. So you might want to create yours in a similar way.

Next, look at the ads. Since a lot of the big players are constantly experimenting with ad copy, you can bet that for high CPC terms like this, you’ll find some solid title and description ideas that can boost your CTR. There’s an awesome data-driven way you can do this too. I’ll click through to this ad.

Next, I’ll copy the URL without the parameters. Then I’ll go to Ahrefs' Site Explorer tool and paste the URL here and run the search. After the page loads, click on “ads” under the paid search category. And right away, you can see all of the different ad variations and see which ones have been attracting the most clicks for them. If you’re still stuck, borrow some ideas from viral sites like Upworthy or Buzzfeed. For example, if I do a google search for site: BuzzFeed. com “San Francisco” hotels, you’ll see a few cool ideas that you can work into your title tag.

#4: Create in-depth articles.

People have been raving about “long-form content” for quite some time. In fact, our study showed that content length had the second best correlation across all on-page SEO factors that we studied. But how long is “long-form?” 1,500? 2,000?5,000 words? We found the median value for a #1 ranking result to have 800 words, which I don't think quite fits into the category of “long-form.” So instead of focusing on word count, focus on coverage.

For example, if you're writing a piece on making the perfect cup of coffee, you can just say, say: “grab a Kcup, put it in the machine and wait.” If you truly want to deliver on making the perfect cup of coffee, you'd want to talk about beans, water temperature, brewing methods like a French press, drip, or using an Aeropress.

An easy way to find related subtopics is to Google the keyword phrase you want to rank for and skim through the sub-headings from the top ranking pages. Clicking through to this one, you’ll see that they covered a few different methods like pour overs, French Press and Aeropress. And on top of that, they included a helpful bullet point list for each method with preferred types of beans, brewing time, and flavor profiles you should look for.

To expand your coverage, you can copy the URL and paste it into Ahrefs' Site Explorer. Next, click on the Organic Keywords report in the sidebar. And on this page, you can see all of the keywords that this page ranks for in Google. So bottom line? Forget word count and focus on covering the topics and sub-topics that will serve the searcher's intent.

#3: Use modifiers in your titles.

Modifiers are add-on words to a base keyword. My favorites are best, top, buy, and the current year.

For example, someone might search for “golf clubs.” But they might also search for “best golf clubs” or even “best golf clubs 2018. ”

A super cool way to find modifier keywords that actually have search volume is to type in a seed keyword in Keywords Explorer. Next, go to the phrase match report in the sidebar. And you can see that there are well over 2 million keywords with the keyword golf in it. Next, click on the include search box and type in a modifier keyword like best.

You can see that there are some great keyword ideas where you can add modifiers to your title. Best of all, for the golf niche, the keyword difficulty scores are extremely low on these, which makes them potentially great keyword targets that you can go after.

#2: Don’t have slow loading pages.

In 2010, Google announced a new signal in their search ranking algorithms: page speed. And as of this month, July 2018, page speed will become a ranking factor for mobile searches. But according to the results of our research, the correlation of this on page factor with higher positions in Google is very small.

So should you even bother optimizing for page speed? Absolutely!

This deals more with user experience and it will affect your bottom line: revenue.

Google performed a study on 11 million mobile ads and found that as page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 32%. And as the load time increases, so does the probability of bounce.

Here are a few tips you can use to speed up your site:

  • First, go to Google Pagespeed Insights and enter in the URL that you want to analyze. You can toggle between your mobile and desktop page speeds here.
  • Then scroll down a bit to see the optimization suggestions. Often, you’ll see that slower page speeds are attributed to files like images, scripts, and style sheets. You can click here to download optimized versions of these and make the appropriate replacements your page.
  • Next tip, use a content delivery network (or a CDN). For example, if your hosting server is located in New York, but your visitor is in Australia, it can take quite a bit of time for the transfer of data to complete. CDNs minimize the distance between where the visitor is browsing from and where your website server is hosted.
  • The next tip is to use an image compressor. Images in their raw form, they can be quite large. So you can use a tool like Shortpixel to optimize your images for the web. I’ll just drag and drop a picture of this handsome fella here and soon after, you can see that it compresses the image by quite a lot.
  • Final page speed tip is to cache, cache, cache! If you’re a WordPress user, you can use plugins like W3 Total Cache and get a solid configuration without a technical bone in your body.

And finally #1: Improve your UX by enhancing your UI.

This last tip almost summarizes all of the on-page SEO factors into one. So Google’s job is to provide the best results to their users for any given search query. In order to help Google achieve that, you need to foster that user experience for their visitors. Aside from the content itself, the user interface, or the way the page looks, can have a significant impact on how people interact with your site.

First is to improve visual readability. If you look at these two pages side-by-side, which one is easier to read? Obviously the first one. Let me break this down for this article which is about how to write a resume. They use a readable font-size, they write in short sentences and short paragraphs, they have standout images like this one that instantly connects with the someone wanting to learn how to write a resume. They have nice little breaks for checklists and pro tips making it hyper-scannable. And they provide some solid visual examples of what a resume should look like.

Some other tips to improve user experience through your user interface is to include a table of contents for long posts like this. You can even make it scroll down with the user so it’s easy for them to jump to different sections.

And the final one that I think will gain popularity over time is to include an interactive feature within your blog posts. You can do this in simple ways by sharing a slide deck, videos, surveys, polls, and more complex ways like interactive tools.

Our Final Thoughts

You can obsess over low-hanging optimizations like keywords in titles, but you need to know that there is power in cumulative value. Now, while our data supports a lot of these on-page search engine optimization factors, there is very little correlation in most of our findings on an individual level. But as you implement all of the different optimizations together, you should start seeing more results. Most importantly, always focus on fulfilling the searcher’s intent the best you can and you be on your way to perfecting your on-page SEO. If you enjoyed this article

If you enjoyed this article or have questions, be sure to comment below.

 

a picture of the top seo trends in 2018

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or online asset. In theory, improving online visibility should increase visitors and potential customers to a website. In turn, increasing revenue for the company. There's a large variety of tactics used in this process including on-site and off-site methods depending on your desired end result. While SEO is constantly changing, the value of the service increases as more people transition into a digital life. In fact, of all traffic channels, organic search from Google continues to be the highest converting source making it critical to the success of any business. Introducing the 10 SEO Trends in 2018 infographic.

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While these 10 trends are in no particular order, it's important to note that some factors due carry a higher weight than others in the Google algorithms. At Oregon Web Solutions, our job is to constantly study and test to figure out what works and what doesn't. From our research in 2018 the #1 ranking factor is engagement on your website. This means real people visiting and interacting with your website is the #1 thing you can do to improve your overall rankings. This should include a combination or referral sources including direct URL type-ins, high-quality referral traffic, Google search, and social media referral traffic. The key is to receive a good balance of the four different traffic sources above. Keeping in mind that a local business or company should work to strike a balance between all 10 SEO trends. The 10 trends for 2018 are social media strategy, long-form content, video SEO, image SEO, featured snippets, voice search to access content, mobile SEO, Secure Site SSL upgrades, understanding searcher intent, and website speed. Taking a balanced approach to implementing these items on your site will improve your companies online visibility today and into the future. If you have any questions about the Top 10 SEO Trends please leave a comment below.

Oregon Web Solutions is now offering a 3-Month Business Website Boost™ marketing package designed to breath new life and revenue into your business. Over time, your online presence can become “stale” and even move into a state of decline. This results in fewer and fewer views on your website, and eventually fewer new customers and revenue coming into your business. Using a proprietary system, our 3-Month Business Website Boost™ is specifically designed to reverse this process and keep your website visible online.

Seth Morrisey the Co-Founder of Oregon Web Solutions says, “We’ve designed our 3-month Business Website Boost™ package to give our clients maximum results without a long-term marketing campaign commitment. In fact, our package includes all the critical elements you need to boost your websites online visibility at a fraction of the price. Over the years our marketing agency has worked with clients both big and small and successfully helped them improve their online presence. We’ve learned that at the end the day clients want maximum results for the lowest possible price and that’s what this package is intended to do.

Seth continues, “We’ve eliminated all the extra expenses and “fluff” included in traditional marketing campaigns, and instead just provide you the essential services you need to get results. Our 3-Month Business Website Boost™ package targets the first contact points a potential client is likely to have with your company.” These contact points include your Google Business Listing, Business Website, and Social Assets. “By making these first contact points more visible in Google and other search engines, we can dramatically increase the amount of new customers and leads to your business. Our goal with any client is to rank their website in the #1 position in Google and we’ve developed this campaign to give us the highest chance to do that,” says Seth Morrisey.

Oregon Web Solutions has built a reputation as one of the top marketing agencies in the State of Oregon. Regionally located in Portland, Oregon Web Solutions has locations throughout the State including Bend, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Medford, and Seaside. Our services include search engine optimization, WordPress website development, social media marketing, website retargeting, and influencer outreach. Our team of internet marketing experts has the skills and experience to help you grow your company online and reach new customers.

To claim your 3-Month Business Website Boost™ and to receive a no-obligation website video analysis simply fill out our Discovery Form. Next, our team of experts will go to work researching your online presence and then propose a marketing plan intended to grow your business. If this sounds like something that can help your business, visit our website today!

Contact Oregon Web Solutions:
Oregon Web Solutions | Portland SEO
1717 NE 42nd Ave #3800
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 563-3028

Email: [email protected]
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oregonwebsolutions
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Instagram: http://instagram.com/oregonwebsolutions

 

Like I mention in the video, some people may wonder why I would suggesting or mentioning another hosting platform when we offer hosting ourselves. Well, sometimes people like to do their own thing and if you are going to, why not help you save a little money while you are at it.

I really hope this video helps some of you out there save some money. If you have any questions, please ask by commenting below in the chat area.

Also, below are the links and coupons I promised in the video.

Hostgator Coupons:

20% Off Good Through 2019: https://hostgator.com/20-percent-off-hosting/

1 Penny Web Hosting: https://hostgator.com/one-penny-website-hosting/

 

Who Is InfluenceMine?

Being in the internet industry you would have to be living under a rock in the desert to have not heard about bitcoin or cryptocurrency. The boom is here and it is changing the way we will be dealing with money for the future to come.

Thus steps in Influence Mine. Green mining is a great way to go to save money and put less of a footprint on our environment for the future to come. Influence Mine has created a green mining process that will revolutionalize the way people mine for coins. Who wouldn't want this? Not only that, but they are going to release a mobile app that will offer users to mine for any coin straight from their phone with little to no knowledge in mining required. This will be great to help people that are not educated in cryptocurrency to get involved and take part in the future.

InfluenceMine's CEO, Rob Towles

Having known Rob for some time, it is exciting to see him take his idea to the public. There couldn't be a nicer guy with more genuine intentions to better the crypto community and help others get involved as in the past it has been a little confusing even just to buy any kind of coin. Rob has been a part of many successful releases and ventures in the past, but none that match where Influence looks to be heading.

This is a really exciting time in history and I'm excited to be able to share some of it with all of our readers.

For more information, be sure to visit: Influencemine.io

Update 5-22-18:

The new hopefull date of STO release is early July of 2018

a picture of social media

 

If you’re looking to get ahead of the game this 2018, it might be time to take your digital marketing strategy up a notch by focusing on your social media customer care or SMCC. With the online marketplace thriving more than it ever has before, it comes as no surprise that social media has essentially taken over the internet, changing the way we make connections and do business. An interesting set of research on websitebuilder.org reveals that 70% of the U.S. population is on social media. 80% of the world’s online population is on Facebook, and 90% of social media users have already attempted to communicate with a brand/company via a social platform. This tells us that the future of business for any brand is on social media, not just the internet. If you want to stay ahead of the online, social wave that is sweeping the globe, here are a few other good reasons to start plugging your SMCC with more intention in 2018.

Social Media Customer Care Can Make or Break Your Brand

We already understand the point of how important an online presence is for your brand’s credibility, but when it comes to SMCC, this can totally make or break your brand at the most organic level of consumerism: the level of trust. 63% of customers expect companies to offer customer service (CS) on social media, and 56% of global customers already expect a high level of social media based CS. When a company delivers on that expectation with good customer care via social media, 75% of people will share that good experience on social media, 71% will recommend the brand to others, and 65% of people will develop a sense of brand loyalty once they’ve interacted with a brand via social media. Even better, best-in-class SMCC can cause an 81% increase in revenue from customer referrals, an increase of annual ROI by 30.7% and can push customers to spend up to 20%-40% more than they would have.

On the other side of that coin, about 29% of all consumers have turned to social media to complain about a brand’s customer support, with women being twice as likely to share details of their bad CS experience online. For every 10 customers that don’t get a response from a brand when they attempt to reach out, 3 of them will choose a competitor brand instead. An unanswered complaint decreases customer advocacy by 50%. A late response can increase customer churn by up to 15%, and 31% of customers who have a bad CS experience will post about it online.

The Market is Currently Underserved…There’s Room for Growth

While good social media customer care can actually increase customer satisfaction rates by nearly 27%, most brands and businesses are missing out on the opportunity to build a loyal buyer-base. Since 2014-15, customer’s complaints have increased by 8 times and customer interactions have increased a whopping 250% from that time, making up 80% of social-media based customer service requests. However, brands and business are way too busy sending promotional messages to this customers-in-need, instead, sending an average of 23 promo messages for every 1 response they give to a customer for CS. This is rather disappointing for the modern day consumer, as 95% of customer complaints don’t even reach companies and 1/3 of the ones that do are ignored.

Yet, 80% of companies seem to be under the impression that their customer service on social media is exceptional, despite the fact that only 8% of their customers agree. 42% of customers who reach out on social media expect a response within an hour of their post or message; 32% expect to hear from a company within 30 minutes, and 11% see no reason why they shouldn’t receive a response immediately, in this internet era. But marketing companies are letting these customers down, with the average response time from businesses being a whole 5 hours or more. Furthermore, only 12.9% of total information demand is met, leaving customers desperately looking for more elsewhere.
For the ambitious entrepreneur, this means that there is a pool of unhappy customers looking for online brands who care to reach out to them, and that could be you and your brand. The business owners who capitalize on this need will come out as the kings of social media-based businesses in 2018.

SMCC Can Boost Your Revenue and Customer Retention Rates

Not only is SMCC an area of business with a high demand that is being sorely under-served, it is an area of focus that could give you amazing increases in your company’s revenue and customer retention rates. Best-in-class customer care can give your brand an 81% annual increase in revenue from referrals, and an increase in annual ROI by 30.7%. For customers who get to experience good SMCC, they are likely to spend 20%-40% more than they usually would; 75% of them will share their good experiences on social media and 71% of them will actually recommend your brand to their networks. By simply responding and attempting to resolve a negative tweet, your brand could experience a 3X increase in revenue, and 30% of those customers tell their friends about it.

Whether or not you open your eyes to it, the future of digital marketing and strategy demands special attention be paid to social media customer care. Consumers aren’t looking for promotional, impersonal messages anymore. They want interaction, connection and above all, to feel like the brands, they support care enough to serve them where they need it most – on social media.

If you need help with your social media marketing, visit our Portland SEO page and find out how we can help you grow.

Check out the social media infographic here: https://websitebuilder.org.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/socmed-2.jpg

5 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Agency in 2018

Let's face it, hiring the right agency to work with your company can be hard. Everyone has heard horror stories of hiring the wrong agency and having them do long term damage to your site. I will be the first to say you need to be very careful when choosing a company to work with. The reason it's hard to hire a search engine optimization company comes down to how technical the process is. In most cases the problems arise because the business owner isn't able to judge the quality of the work the company is performing. To keep your company safe, you must ask these 5 questions before you hire an SEO Agency.

1.What Techniques will you use to improve my search engine rankings?

Every search engine optimization agency will use different techniques to improve your SERP rankings. Agencies will be very accustomed to being asked this question. For the most part, the way an agency improves Google rankings will depend on obvious factors such as on-site optimization, social media marketing, and website engagement. Other factors will also be utilized including off-site techniques like back links and website outreach. Most agencies will have both public and private SEO tactics and this should be expected. In fact, the most effective techniques will be closely guarded and are considered “trade secrets” in the industry, so you shouldn’t expect full disclosure here.

2. Do you adhere to Google’s search engine webmaster guidelines?

It’s important when choosing an agency that you find one that will adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This is a set of rules that Google has developed to explain what they consider good and bad SEO tactics. Another word for these types of techniques are called “white hat” and “black hat.” It’s important to find a company that will there to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and only use safe and effective “white hat” search engine marketing tactics.

3.  How do you measure success of the SEO campaign?

Success can me measured a number of ways and can differ from client to client. One of the easiest ways to measure success is through improved Google search rankings. Using rank tracking software such as Pro Rank Tracker, you can monitor the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Remember, organic search rankings improve slowly over time, so it’s important to have a long term view when measuring your progress.

4. Do you have any #1 Google Rankings you can show me?

This is an important question to ask because any company that doesn’t have #1 Google Rankings for themselves will have a hard time effectively improving yours. In fact, this is so important i'd highly advise never hiring any company who can't show examples of where they have successful implemented their own techniques. The bottom line is anyone can sound knowledgeable when explaining the technical aspects of search engine marketing. The difficult part is knowing the techniques and tactics that are currently working, and successfully implementing those for your agency and your clients. That's why we recommend to ask for at least 3 examples of #1 Google rankings before you consider hiring the agency. 

5. What happens when we part ways and I’m no longer a client of yours?

Inevitably, you will end up parting ways with the agency. The nature of SEO is it's usually a 6-12 month process and will eventually be finished. It's true that you could technically do SEM indefinitely on your site, but in most cases a 6-12 month term will be long enough to get the results you desire. So what happens when you part ways? Good companies will assure you that the link building and outreach that has been performed on your site will be left in tact. Furthermore, they should offer you a spreadsheet with login and password information of all assets they have created for your business. It's absolutely crucial that you get a verbal or written agreement prior to signing with a company that all online marketing efforts will stay in place after the business relationship has ended.

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Best WordPress Website Themes for 2017 & 2018

WordPress user base is ever growing, with thousands of new sites being launched every single day. This has contributed to the steady growth of best WordPress extensions such as plugins and themes which add to the visual beauty of any site build mainly on WordPress platform.

This development has also presented money making opportunities to many web designers and developers who design these themes and plugins. With that in mind, developers and designers have been really working hard to serve us with the best and quality themes for 2017 & 2018.

If you are planning to launch a new site, or just simply considering an upgrade on your current website, I am going to show you the best themes son that you can choose one that suits your needs and use it to beautify your site and to represent your brand image. So let’s dive in.

1. Realty space theme

Realty space is an excellent choice for real estate firms and agents. It comes with features that enable you to showcase your services such as renting, selling and managing.

It allows you to also to put your best-performing properties on your homepage for maximum visibility. Support translation, custom currencies, and measurement units.

2. Kingdom theme

As the name suggest, it is best suited for affiliate marketers and e-commerce stores. It allows you to showcase your products while promoting affiliate products from sites such as Amazon.
Kingdom comes with a visual composer plugin that makes it easy to customize the theme. Kingdom is also highly optimized for speed and is very mobile friendly.

3. Peak theme

Peak theme features a nice grid layout which makes it the best choice for photographers, showcasing portfolios, and writing blogs.
It has a mega menu on top and slide-in sidebar widgets.

4. One page theme

One page WordPress theme is easy to use, comes with drag and drop feature making it newbie friendly. Has Twitter feed section, an option to animate counters and pricing table among other elegant features.

These makes it most suited for service companies such as email marketing companies and other online companies.

The one-page theme is extremely optimized for maximum loading speed.

5. Alpha theme

Alpha is a multipurpose WordPress theme that comes with a couple of color schemes. Therefore, giving you an opportunity to choose the one that matches your preference.

Has a breaking news ticker, a customization slider and an elegant video widget to present your videos on the homepage.

6. Enfold theme

Enfold is an easy to set up theme thanks to pre-made content that makes it possible for you to design an exact match site like the demo; if that’s your preference.

Makes it easy picking a layout and you can as well fill it with the pre-made content if you like.

It has a very powerful drag and drop page builder and easy to use sliders.

This theme, unlike others, comes with its sidebar manager that makes customizing the sidebars an easy task.

Enfold theme also support translations and woo commerce, mega menus and portfolio publisher among other features.

7. Magazine Theme

The magazine is a very responsive theme with lots of amazing features. It has 42 layouts and its builders, content sliders, sliding menus, mega menus among others.

Has six colors you can choose from, numerous sidebars, customization widgets and tons of shortcodes that make it possible to add the widgets to pages and posts.

8. Salient theme

Salient is a very popular WordPress theme maybe due to its ability to fit into different niches. This feature makes this theme the best for most site builders.

Comes with tons of customization features and pre-made templates which appeal to complete beginners and those seeking to upgrade their sites.

Salient has a visual composer tool that enables you to build your pages easily by drag and drop model and a portfolio publishing section to build your credibility.

It also offers a landing page template for easy leads capture for follow up or email marketing. I have used the Salient theme for many years and really like it, but recently I have noticed that it has fallen behind other developers. Looking forward in 2018, I'm not sure the Salient theme can keep pace with the look and functionality of some of the other themes on the market today.

9. Kalium theme

Kalium is a theme that encourages creativity; it enables you to showcase your work through portfolio section and in case you want to tailor it to suit your needs you can do so with its easy customization options.

If you are worried about your coding skills, then worry no more, Kalium theme comes with a visual composer that makes page building an easy task, requiring little or no coding skills.

It also features pre-made color schemes making it easy to represent your brand with the colors.

10. Uncode

Uncode is a developer friendly theme that’s easy to use and customize. It is highly responsive to various devices and exhibits professionally designed graphics.

Uncode is a multipurpose theme that answers the needs of each level in site building process. This theme comes with powerful premium WordPress plugins such as revolution slider, drag and drops visual editor among other amazing features that help your site to represent your brands sufficiently.

Uncode also incorporates the beautiful feature iLightbox that helps you highlight your media files in a unique and outstanding way. It is a responsive theme and loads faster across all devices and browsers.

As you have seen above, these themes come with different features, enabling you as a site owner to pick the best theme that represents your brand’s image. On the other hand, there are lots of customization options, making it possible for you to pour your whole creativity.

While most of these themes are free others can be obtained at a small fee. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, so make decisions based on your desired outcome. I hope you enjoyed our list of the best WordPress website themes for 2018. The new year is just around the corner and it's never too early to start thinking about upgrading your website.

If you are looking to create a new website for your business and would like some help, visit our website design page and see how we can help. Don't ever hesitate to call and ask as well (503) 563-3028.

Online Marketing Trends for 2018 and Beyond

Staying ahead of the competition often means knowing what products or services are more in demand when figuring out what to offer potential customers. In addition to keeping track of trends on what to sell, however, successful business owners also have to stay up to date on how to sell. The following are a few of the online marketing trends that are currently underway and should only expand throughout this year and into 2018.

Content Marketing Will Reign Supreme Through 2018

Online marketing is overcrowded with websites and content, so this will force businesses that wish to compete successfully to tailor their content more toward niche markets. Marketers have already learned the importance of focusing on niche keywords when it comes to promotional methods such as pay-per-click advertising. If there are a million people selling shoes online then it's completely pointless to bid on the keyword “shoes.” The competition on such a general term will result in an absurdly high bid being required to rank anywhere near the top under it. This is why experienced marketers learned that you need to bid for far more specific keywords to what you are selling such as “black leather boat shoes.”

This same type of niche marketing is happening more in content marketing now as well because the internet is flooded with content under every imaginable product category today. Content that targets a specific, narrow group of potential consumers will have much less competition than more general offerings of similar information.

Increased Use of Images

When it comes to grabbing the attention of someone quickly scanning an ad or website, a powerful or evocative image is generally more effective than text. Whether one is talking about Facebook ads or Google Adwords ads, it has been known for a while now that ads with an image perform better.

Infographics can be particularly effective because they combine the attention-grabbing power of a visual with content throughout it that helps to relay your message. They also look far more impressive than simple text and random pictures on a webpage and convey the impression to website visitors that you are a serious professional in your field.

Increased Use of Video

As compelling as standalone images and infographics can be, when it comes to grabbing a viewers attention, nothing beats video. This medium more fully engages a website visitor's senses by adding sound and motion to the drab text and imagery that adorn all websites.

Putting a video on a website to increase visitor engagement is the best way to make your website stick out from the competition, and this trend is only going to continue through this year. The internet is swarming with an impressive array of video production companies that are booming thanks to businesses realizing that they need to stick out from their competition. Whether it is a corporate video, training video, educational video or a sales presentation, the message will be relayed with far more certainty through this medium.

The use of short explainer videos seems to be growing across the internet. These couple minute long animated presentations get a company's message across to their target audience in a way that gets people to take action.

Video streaming is another one of those online marketing trends 2017 will see an increase in. Live streams on sites such as YouTube are an effective method for growing YouTube channels to offer current information in a more interactive manner.

More Native Advertising

Some people may find it annoying, but native advertising will undoubtedly be one of these online marketing trends that continues through 2018. These are those ads that disguise themselves to look like other content on the website they are on. One example of this is when you go to a site like cnet.com to download some free PC software, and on the download page, you see a square graphic that says “download.” When you click on it, however, you find it takes you to some advertiser's page.

It is easy to see how this method may aggravate some people as they frequently think they are getting something else when they engage with the advertiser. This may make it especially important for those who use this method to have landing pages that grab the visitor's attention even more quickly than usual.

Capabilities That Give Consumers an Immersive Experience

The next step in online marketing seems to be to give web browsers the feeling that they are more a part of the shopping experience. This is being accomplished through the use of augmented reality(AR), virtual reality(VR) and 360 degree videos.

The one thing that's missing when we shop online, as opposed to going out to the store, is the knowledge that we are really just sitting at home staring at a screen. We are not really experiencing shopping as we do when we go out to the mall.

To set themselves apart from the crowd, increasing numbers of companies will utilize technologies that immerse the consumer in the company's business through their internet device. You may have already seen these types of technologies on some real estate websites where they give you the feeling that you are actually in the home that you are looking at.

Online Marketing Trends 2017 and 2018

The above marketing trends for 2018 reflect the fact that there is a lot more competition online today. The trend in general is moving more toward more focused content and advertising efforts that are more interactive and immersive. This type of evolution of online marketing should improve the bottom line of businesses that stay on top of trends while also providing consumers with ads and information more tailored to their needs.

Social Media Marketing Trends 2018

Social media platforms are changing every day, which means that Social Media Marketing is changing too. You may or may not be aware, for example, that Facebook recently added a “Stories” option, which is similar to the feature previously offered by Instagram (among others). Social media and advertising and marketing trends are changing rapidly, too.

Here are five of the biggest Social Media Marketing trends you should watch for in 2017 & going into 2018 (as well as a few tips on how to personalize them for your business, website, band, or whatever you're trying to promote).

1. Moving Away from Twitter

In recent years, Twitter has been in a slow decline. Many analysts have even predicted a slow demise for the one-time social media giant. While Twitter will likely survive, it's pretty unlikely that you're going to find any positive references to Twitter if you search the web for Social Media Marketing Trends 2017.

What happened? Twitter was originally built on real-time, quick-to-read updates. Unfortunately, Twitter's original appeal isn't as exciting anymore now that users crave longer, more in-depth posts and content. In addition to controversies regarding censorship and security, Twitter clearly needs to overhaul their game plan if they want to remain viable in the years to come.

2. New Approaches to Creating Inspirational, Emotional Content

There's a reason Facebook adopted “reactions” to replace simple “likes” (you can even react to comments now); allowing users to react let's them share their specific feelings about a post or a piece of content, and not just the fact that they noticed it.

What does this mean for your business's Social Media Marketing? Well, one of the biggest recent Social Media Marketing Trends is a shift toward more emotionally engaging content. Increasingly, marketers need to be sharing not just a message, but a story. Something inspirational, something adorable, maybe even just something that's downright funny. Why is this so important? Well, content that provokes strong emotions increases content's “spreadability”, and consequently improves your brand awareness as well.

3. Oh, Snap!

What a difference a few years can make. The one-time scrappy upstart Snapchat has gone from a relatively-popular platform to a position where they now stand a chance at becoming more relevant than Twitter. What's behind the spark in popularity? Their adaptability, for one.

Recently Snapchat completely changed their format and even their name–they're now known simply as: Snap. What are their goals for the future? Focusing on what they do best: in-the-moment and live content, including the introduction of vertical videos.

Snap is reportedly also working on some exciting product development, including glasses that will allow Snap's users to share high-resolution visual information in real-time. Naturally, these changes and new opportunities have marketing professionals champing at the bit. Their new style promises to be one of the most-watched this year in Social Media Marketing.

4. Increased Choosiness from Businesses

Although new platforms show up seemingly every day, most of them don't succeed on a global level. As more marketers realize this, expect to see a trend towards greater choosiness when it comes to social media platforms.

For many businesses, it's redundant and even wasteful to market on more than one platform. Consequently, many are predicting that in years to come, business should focus all of their online marketing efforts only on the platforms that have a proven success rate.

5. More Experience-Based Marketing

There's an increasing demand for social media to be more immersive, providing a sort of vicarious experience for users. In the simplest terms, it's no longer enough for you to post about an event–you need to take users into the experience by live-posting, or even by using a 360-degree video. We predict that this will be one of the most noticeable shifts when it comes to Social Media Marketing Trends 2017.

How Will You Make These Trends Your Own?

Now that you're aware of some of the Social Media Marketing Trends 2018, the question remains: how can you take advantage of these trends to tell your brand's story? Here are a few tips.

What's your brands “story”? Are you socially engaged? Are you outdoorsy? Let your customers know what you're about!

Do you have events that you can live-post?

Which social media platform has had the highest marketing success rate for your business?

We wish you the best of luck creating your own Social Media Marketing Trends!

If you need help with any of your social media, you can contact us here, or call us at (503) 563-3028 to find out how we can help you grow.

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Instagram Stories vs Snapchat for Business?

Instagram just launched a new platform very similar to Snapchat called Instagram Stories. Like Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows you to post short videos and photos to your Instagram followers that will self delete in 24 hours.  The format is almost identical to Snapchat but with less filter options.  For business owners, this new feature breaths new life into your Instagram account by allowing you connect with your followers in a more casual format than posting to your profile.  In this video I discuss the pros and cons of the two platforms.

From our testing we have noticed our Instagram Stories posts are being viewed by 10% of our followers, which is a much better conversion rate than Facebook.  Another great feature is it keeps business owners from having to build up yet another social media account by combining Snapchat features onto Instagram.

how-to-use-instagram-stories

How to Use Instagram Stories for Business

Research had suggested that over the last few years the amount of Instagram posts had dropped by almost 50%.  The reason was that your Instagram profile is usually your best content, and many users were afraid to post unless they had a really good photo or video.  Instagram stories gives business owners to share behind the scenes and low-quality content to their followers that otherwise would be unseen.  Now, your Instagram profile can be reserved for your best images and videos, while staying connected with your followers daily through Instagram Stories.  Many have criticized Instagram for copying Snapchat, and I agree that's what has happened here, but nevertheless this is a great tool for business owners.  Snapchat developed the best system for capturing quick and spontaneous content and Instagram capitalized on it.  For example, if you own a restaurant you could post short videos of your kitchen, bar, or dining room throughout the day giving your followers a behind the scenes perspective.  Video production companies can use Instagram Stories to showcase behind the scenes of their video shoots and adventures.  Small business owners can stay connected with customers by revealing hot discounts and specials on Instagram Stories and nowhere else.  This tactic would help you build a larger Instagram following and increase brand loyalty at the same time.  The possibilities for business owners is endless and it's up to you to decide the best approach for your niche and company.

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 New Instagram Features and View Count

Another great feature is the ability to see how many people have viewed your story.  Plus, Instagram now gives you the ability to see who has viewed your story.  One interesting thing we found was that the people who viewed our story were not the same people who like our photos.  Data suggests a large amount of people scroll through photos and videos on Instagram but don't actually engage with the post.  Unlike the Instagram feed where you can like or comment on photos, Instagram Stories can only be viewed.  The user does have the option to send you a private message, but nobody else viewing your feed would see the comment.

Instagram Stories vs Snapchat for Business Marketing

Recent data has suggested that Snapchat is the fastest growing social media platform in the world.  Unfortunately for business owners, Snapchat makes it hard to grow your following and connect with customers.  I believe this new Instagram update will bring a lot of people back to the platform who had become discouraged.  For me personally, I'm done with Snapchat for business and will be focusing the bulk of my social media efforts on the new stories feature.

Portland SEO Services

a picture of seo

According to new statistics, more than 8 Billion dollars will be spent this coming year on SEO services.

What does this mean? Well, if you are a business owner and you do not have a professional SEO helping your business grow then this likely means that your competition does and will eventually pass you in rankings if they hire a good company.

This might feel like you are getting pigeonholed but that is if you look at it negatively. You might feel like you now have to get search engine optimization, but this is good, not bad. Your return on investment for the long term will far outweigh any short-term costs of a professional company. If you are paying a company $2,000-3,000 a month for six months to help grow your business then you are investing $12,000-18,000 into your business. A lot of people will see that as big number and frown, but let us continue with an example of a client we have.

My friend (we will call him Tom) hire us purely because he trusts me as a long time friend. We ran numbers on his business and Google actually showed no traffic that searched for his construction company in this small town that he lived. We decided he needed to at least be above his competition  in case Google was wrong. Only 3 months into our 6-month term, he landed a job due to our work for a $800,000.00 project. Now he makes about 10% on something like that, so he will make $80,000.00 for spending roughly $16,000 with us. Do you think he is complaining? I'll mention that he landed another new client soon after that one as well. Google is always correct in traffic estimates.

Now you may not have a construction company that moves a high dollar client or product, but the same applies for a restaurant just in smaller terms. We have dealt with a few restaurant owners and generally know that the lifetime value of a client is around $100.00. Typically we can help generate (even in a small town) 20-50 new leads a month. If you only landed 10, that is an added $1,000 a month of lifetime value. If we are charging $16,000, then it will take you 16 months to pay it off.

Tell me, what investment can you tell me about right now that will give you 100% ROI in 16 months? Let's just be even more conservative and we will say 20 months. You can't give me one! If there was one, then everyone and their mom would be in it. The people who can grasp this simply by the numbers don't ever question the price. Most people get excited about a 10% a year return!

The key is, that what we do doesn't stop working when we are done. Most clients don't want to stop once they see the results and keep us on to keep targeting other keywords.

Search engine optimization and online marketing is a huge wave and you are either going to ride it to the bank or get crushed by it and still have to do it down the road at a higher cost.

Follow these simple tips to improve your websites organic search engine optimization.

Follow these simple tips to improve your websites organic search engine optimization.

Website SEO Tips For Startups

Search engine optimization can either make or break your company. Studies show that your potential customers search Google first when deciding where to eat, what to buy, and the services to use. The websites who position themselves on the first page of Google will naturally see an influx of new customers into their business. The public trusts Google rankings and will generally base major purchasing decisions on them. In order to rank well in Google, it’s critical that you set up your website and domain name correctly in the beginning. Follow these 7 simple steps to increase your chance of success dramatically.

1. Choosing a Company Name:

Picking your business name is the most crucial part of the entire process. There are a few different ways to go about naming your company, and one should first consider your end goal when picking a name. If you are looking to target only one specific city or geographical region then it’s best to pick an (EMD) Exact Match Domain. Examples of Exact Match Domains include Bend Video Production or Portland Dry Cleaning. These types of names are good for getting off to a quick start, but can limit growth possibilities down the line. The second option is to choose a branded domain name. These names don’t include a geographical region or city in their title. Branded names tend to be more difficult to start originally, but over time gives you more possibilities. Examples of branded names are things like Winzy Group or Blue Box Company. These names work great for companies that have a long-term growth strategy because they will be appropriate in any city or area. The downside is that your name doesn’t tell the customer exactly where service is. For each type of name, there are pros and cons and one should spend a great deal of time in the beginning deciding the future direction of their company.

2. Picking a Domain Name:

The next step is to choose the correct domain name. This will depend heavily on what you decided for your business name. If you chose to take the EMD route with a name like Bend Video Production then your ideal domain name would be BendVideoProduction.com. From a search engine optimization standpoint this is superior because Google can decipher what the website is about simply from the URL. If instead you choose a branded name like Winzy Group then the ideal domain name would be Winzy.com or WinzySEO.com. I would avoid using .Net or .ORG domains and stick with a .COM. If you are looking to spread awareness for your business through word of mouth, a .COM domain name will be easier to communicate to your customers.

3. Strategic Keyword Planning:

Once you have chosen your company name and purchased your domain name it’s time to plan your attack. Keyword research is an essential part of the search engine optimization process. Ranking #1 for a term that has no search volume will not yield results for your company. Instead, you should identify specific keywords that will convert into paying customers. These keywords could include your trade name and a city or geographical identifier. If you are looking to rank for national level keywords then this could simply be a trade or specific thing you're selling. For example, if you are looking to rank for video production in Bend Oregon the highest volume search term would be “Bend video production.” Remember, people search like they would speak, so don’t make assumptions on search volume. There are many different keyword planning tools available, but I would start with the Google Keyword Tool. Spend a few hours researching keywords before you move forward. I would suggest choosing 2-5 long tail keywords to target in beginning. As you have success with these keywords then you can expand your target group.

4. URL Structure and Planning:

Internet browser and urlBend Video Production.” Next, Google will analyze the sub-URL to determine what a specific website page is about. For example, if your URL is Winzy.com/Portland-SEO-Company then the keywords “Winzy Portland SEO Company” will be given the highest power. If you are looking to rank for a specific keyword your best option is to put those keywords in the URL structure. The URL structure is not the only ranking factor, but it does play a huge roll. When designing your website you should carefully consider your URL structure in your design. After you have identified the most profitable keyword combinations for your business, the next step is to incorporate those into your sub-URL pages.

5. Social Media Strategy:

Social media is quickly becoming one of the bigger ranking factors for websites. Social Media shows Google that your website is relevant and prevalent around the internet. Large portions of business owners avoid social media because they fear that their business will be criticized or they don’t know how to put out quality content. The real power in social media comes from the back links you can place in your profile to your website. Our strategy is to set up 30 or more social media accounts and link them to your website. These links from high domain authority properties will help establish trust in your brand. Social media is also great for driving traffic and engagement to your website which is another major ranking factor. If your business can produce interesting content then posting on social media can help. Google is measuring this engagement and factoring it into their ranking algorithm.

6. Keyword Density and On Page Strategy:

Google carefully measures keyword density and content quality when determining your Google rankings. The latest studies show that your target keyword should not be mentioned more than a few times in your content throughout your page. Keyword stuffing and other old school SEO techniques no longer work and will result in poor rankings. Website owners should strive to have 500-1000 words of unique quality content on any page you would like ranked in Google. Furthermore, by adding original images and YouTube videos you can further increase your rankings. Remember, when adding images, Google is not just reading the text below the image, but is actually reading the image title when you uploaded it to your website. This is a great opportunity to get more relevant keywords into your website. Another often overlooked technique when targeting local search queries is to geo-tag your images with location data. This will give Google yet another signal that you relevant for your geographical region. Next, you can embed YouTube videos in your page to help index your page quicker and create more engagement from you views. Google owns YouTube, therefore, any website that has a YouTube video embedded is most likely going to receive better rankings.

7. Off-Page Strategy and Anchor Text:

The biggest ranking factors for Google are the ones website owners cannot control. When a website links to your site this is considered a backlink. You can think of a back link like a vote, and the more votes you have the higher your website will rank. One must also consider that not all backlinks are the same. Links from bigger and more trusted sites will have far more ranking power than those from new and untrusted sites. In fact, It can actually hurt your site to have other websites with low trust linking to you. As a good rule of thumb, you should only seek out links from sites far bigger and more trusted than your own. Google puts a large amount of weight on the quantity and quality of links coming to your web page and the anchor text used in the links. Anchor text is when a website links to another through the use of words and not a raw URL link. For example, a raw URL link would be www.Winzy.com and an anchor text link would be “Winzy SEO Company.” The anchor or keywords used to link to a website have a huge impact on search rankings. Website owners should seek to have a diverse website anchor text with a little redundancy on the exact keywords you're looking to rank for. For example, if your target keyword is “Bend video production” then the best strategy would be to have your top 2-3 highest power links contain that exact anchor text. The problem being it can be very difficult to get high-quality anchor text backlinks. This is why many website owners choose to higher a search engine optimization company to acquire such links.
The proceeding 7-steps are the foundation of website SEO. All 7 concepts are taken into consideration by the Google Algorithm and your website is ranked accordingly. There are potentially thousands of other ranking factors, but these are the primary ones. In most small to medium difficulty local markets, this could be enough to rank your website near the top of Google. As you move into more difficult keywords it will take these as well as many other tactics to get a #1 Google rankings.

a picture Oregon Web Solutions Logo horrid color seo portland

Oregon Web Solutions is a Portland OR based company that specializes in search engine optimization. You might have found us by searching “SEO Portland” in Google. Our philosophy is that ranking your company website and Google Business Listing organically is the best ROI on your marketing dollars. Spending money on traditional advertising mediums such as radio, TV, and print campaigns can have a positive effect and provide your company increased exposure. The problem with these traditional advertising videos is once your budget has run out the advertising stops. When running a Google Ad Words PPC campaign you run into the same problem, and as you budget dries up so do the clicks to your website. Rankings your website organically in Google on other big search engines provides results long after the payments end. In most cases, If you stay active on your website then your search engine rankings will stay consistent, and in some cases even improve. Another factor to consider is that most web searchers do not click on paid listings, and will instead opt for the natural listings. There are two main reasons for this:

Organic listings provide better results for searchers and better conversions for website owners.
Searchers are naturally distrusting of advertising in general and will avoid paid listings if possible.

This is why we believe the best use for your marketing budget is to focus on rankings your website naturally instead of paid campaigns. Achieving organic search engine rankings is not an easy task and that’s why it’s best to hire an experienced search engine optimization company. Computer literate small business owners that wish to attempt this undertaking should be forewarned that on occasion improper SEO work can cause more harm than good. If you choose to go it alone you should follow these rules to insure that you get the best results.

  • Only add high quality, relevant, and unique written content to your website.
  • Embed YouTube videos and maps into your pages to keep Google happy.
  • Build all social media platforms with content and backlinks to your homepage, even if you don’t plan on posting
  • regularly on the site.
  • Links to your homepage should only come from high Domain Authority Websites
  • Low-quality links should be avoided, or be filtered through social networks or tier two Web 2.0 sites.
  • Provide link bait for high domain authority sites by adding unique content consistently.
  • Use YouTube videos to add high DA backlinks, increase exposure, and drive traffic to your network.
  • Engage your social media followers to encourage loyalty.
  • Sign up for Google Web Master Tools to analyze your website.
  • Tag your posts, photos, and videos with descriptive language to let the Google bot know what your website is all about.

There is a basic rundown of some basic search engine optimization techniques that will help your website rank better. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but instead a simple rundown to get you started. It’s important to note that it’s better to link to your site with a few high-quality links then thousands of low-quality spam links. I hope this helped get you thinking about  the importance of organic rankings. If you would rather hire an experienced SEO company to rank your website in Google then contact us at Oregon Web Solutions.

youtube video ranking service

Oregon Web Solutions SEO is now offering Youtube SEO video ranking services. We have over 15 years experience building and ranking videos and websites. After ranking thousands of Youtube videos for our companies and our clients we have decided to offer this service to the public. Usually companies would have to pay for the full SEO package in order to receive our Youtube traffic and ranking package. For a limited time, we will rank your video for your desired keywords and send 1,000 real viewers. If you follow our instructions, this will boost your video rankings permanently and will help increase the domain authority of your Youtube channel, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and your primary website. The techniques we use to rank Youtube videos are 100% “white hat” and Google friendly. We have successfully ranked Youtube videos for thousands of happy customers. Plus, Youtube videos can drive thousands of new customers to your website and increase your online exposure. The other benefit of improving your organic search rankings through our Youtube Video Ranking Service is there’s no recurring fees but you will your benefits will continue year after year.

For a limited time get our Youtube Video Ranking Service at the introductory offer of:

$249.00

This is a limited time introductory offer and will expire soon. If your ready to improve your Youtube video rankings then contact us today!


This is a great, cost effective way to get your foot in the door for search engine marketing work. Sometimes the initial cost of SEO work is a lot for smaller businesses to take in, so giving you affordable options is what we wanted to give people to experience how much we can help your business grow and thrive online. I can talk numbers all day, but sometimes you just need to see for yourself and this is a great way to do just that. Contact us and let us know if you have a video you would like to get started with.