The importance of “Hashtag”

ByKevinD

The importance of “Hashtag”

smartphone useMost young people will understand the meaning of the term “hashtag,” but if you are busy running your professional practice or small business, you may not understand the importance of these devices. Get a grip on this important social media subject by reading “What Is a Hashtag?”

Please visit our home page to find out how Axiom Administrative Services can fill your digital marketing needs. Axiom understands the needs of small businesses, professional practices and nonprofits. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Webmaster Help from Google

Google searchDid you know that you can get webmaster help directly from ‘The Man’ (that is Google).  There was a time when Google was very obscure about its criteria for ranking a webpage; the Google employees and the contractors who were involved in this activity were required to sign nondisclosure agreements and the ‘secrets’ were supposed to be kept hidden.

This was a counterproductive policy because it left webmasters and content creators in the dark about how to meet the needs of consumers and to rank highly in Google’s search engine results. Over the years, this policy was eased and then changed totally. Today you can read all about it from “The Boss” himself or herself at Google Webmaster Guidelines.

In the spirit of complying, here is Axiom’s original, not scraped or copied, philosophy about getting to the top of search rankings, generating web traffic and producing results in the form of new customers or clients:

  • Google’s intention is to provide the best answer to the query a user enters. The highest ranked webpage should be the one that is most useful to the viewer, providing the best answer to a specific question.
  • To be useful, a website must provide content that is of some value to the user. Content that is ‘syndicated,’ that is scraped or copied from another site, does not meet this requirement. Even if the copied material is relevant to the question at hand, it does not add value because it was already available elsewhere.
  • There is nothing wrong with a site that is intended to influence buying decisions (that is to sell you stuff); HOWEVER to rank high in search results, the website must provide useful content to the viewer, not merely direct them to a local provider or an Amazon affiliate.

The bottom line is this – produce content that is original and useful to the viewer and adds some value to the experience. If you are a plumber, your website should provide information about the relative merits of fixtures, pipes or maintenance procedures, not just pretty pictures of showers or links to Amazon sites. An attorney’s site should contain information that helps potential clients make important decisions, not just photos of well-dressed people holding law books.

If you are capable of producing this material yourself, then by all means do so. If you have neither the time or the inclination to do this, turn the task over to an internet marketing agency like Axiom Administrative Services. Axiom has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves. Please visit Axiom’s small business services or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Our Year-End Checklist

It is the start of a new year and Axiom is looking forward to helping you with all of your online needs. In 2019, we will continue to develop the branding strategies, the SEO strategies and the digital marketing solutions of all kinds that you need to succeed. Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency providing technical advice or SEO techniques. We will continue to provide those services, but we will also offer help with non-technical areas like niche marketing, especially marketing to seniors.

Seniors and senior marketing is a natural for Axiom because of its location in the state of Florida. This is the center of the “boomer consumer” generation and we know it well! If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, turn to Axiom Administrative Services.  We can help you reach those senior markets today! Your business deserves more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

If you are still trying to maintain your own web presence, we urge you to contact us to review your situation and see what we can do to help. In the meantime, here are some housekeeping suggestions for all webmasters.

Yearly Checklist

  • Backup! This is so basic that we hope it does not need to be mentioned. If you have signed on to a provider like GoDaddy or iPage, they will have a service that automatically backs up your site. However, you will probably be charged for this and you can do it perfectly well yourself. Use one of the tools like “BackupBuddy” (a free WordPress plugin) or a similar offering.

    Make sure that at least one copy of the backup files is stored somewhere off your computer. For most people, their Google Drive will have plenty of space for this function. In any case, backup is an absolutely mandatory maintenance activity. If you are not doing it now, start immediately and store one copy in an offsite, safe place.

    If you are using a tool like WordPress (about one third of all websites do), update the WordPress core program, your plugins, and themes. This will ensure that everything works together as planned.

  • Speed Check. One side effect of the digital revolution and high-speed internet connections is that attention spans have shortened dramatically. Several studies suggest the typical viewer will wait no more than a few seconds for a site to load. If it is not there, they move on to the next suggestion in their search results. If you have not done so recently, load your own site and see how long it takes.
  • Mobile Speed and Compatibility Check. In a big way, the computer age in marketing has ended. Today, most search queries are performed on smartphones and mobile devices, and the results are viewed on those small screens. Have you checked to see how your site looks on a smartphone? How fast does it load on mobile devices? The speed check suggested above is even more important for smart phones.
  • More than a few seconds of loading time is too long! If this is an issue, look for the common causes, like graphic elements that are too large. A rule of thumb is to make all images no larger than 12 kilobytes and total page no more than 100 kilobytes. Images take up most of the download time for a web page. There are many ways to optimize a web page, but the one that will improve your speed the most is to make graphics as small as possible.

    Doing this may require you to learn to use a program like Photoshop Express, a free online image editor. This skill should not take long to master, and it will enable you to reduce an image’s pixel count to the minimum. Most people are surprised to see that when viewed on the internet, the low-density image looks as good as a much larger file.

  • Security Check. Perform security fixes as needed. Most people who are not full-time webmasters or at least dedicated amateurs, will not know how to do this. Their best alternative is a plugin like Wordfence Security or Sucuri Security.

This list is the minimum you should be doing. To find out more, please contact us at Axiom Administrative Services or call 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Happy New Year

New Year's 2019Tonight is the New Year’s Eve celebration. We will join all of our clients, readers and friends in the festivities as we look forward to a happy and prosperous 2019! Like most folks, we will be enjoying New Year’s Day with our families and friends, but we will be back up on January 2, 2019, with a reminder of the things you should be doing for your website.

Until then, have a happy and safe New Year!

ByKevinD

Factor voice search into your SEO strategy

voice searchThe worlds of SEO strategy and SEO techniques never stand still. That has always been true, but it was never more so than today. There are two trends that you should be especially aware of in 2019.

The ‘invasion’ of voice activated devices and voice initiated searches is now fully upon us. At first, you might think, “So what? How does that change SEO strategy?” Well, voice searches are different in subtle ways from the old typed query. Traditional keywords were derived from these written texts, but most people speak in styles that are different from their writing. Instead of typing sparse words like “pizza, Daytona Beach,” most people are likely to speak at least part of a whole sentence such as, “Where is the nearest Italian restaurant?”

Voice search is growing rapidly and it has great potential to affect how local businesses are found. It may not replace screen-based searches, but it will soon be enough of a factor to change SEO techniques. The advance of devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa and personal assistants like Siri and Cortana is  going to change SEO strategy, especially for local businesses whose keywords will now have to include phrases like “near me.” Stay tuned in 2019 as we will go deeply into voice search and how it will affect small business.

The second trend is not new, but it is accelerating. This is the dominance of “media” and social media in the internet marketing arena. Today, an internet marketing agency must do much more than maintain a static website for clients. It must also manage social media and produce the content that fills sites like Facebook and YouTube. For many consumers, a business Facebook page is more important than is their website.

We have referred to some of our own clients in the past as examples of this trend. Ourseniors.net not only has an extensive website and an online magazine (OurSeniors.net Magazine), it has extensive social media presence. Take a look by clicking OurSeniors.net Media.

All of this material, the videos, the audio programs, the YouTube presentations, the Google+ presence and the Facebook page are parts of the social media and graphic media efforts that we put forward at Axiom. Obviously, this requires a lot of talent and time. Probably more time and effort than you want to put out!

If you struggle with digital marketing solutions and branding strategies , social media presence and web design, turn to Axiom. Your business deserves more than mere web presence, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to get your web and social media presence the ranking it deserves. Please visit Axiom’s small business services or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Axiom!

Merry ChristmasYou do not have to be an internet genius or guru to understand those wishes! At Axiom, we love the holidays just as much as you do, so please accept our best wishes to you, your business or professional practice and your family as well. We will have our regular weekly blog article up the day after Christmas, so please come back Wednesday.

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a “Good Night!”

ByKevinD

What Are Seniors Doing Online?

marketging

An important part of marketing success is simply “knowing your market.” What do your targeted customers do when they shop, look for entertainment or recreation, make a buying decision or use the internet?

Because of our customer base and location (Axiom is based in Florida’s east coast), we have a special interest in marketing to seniors and “boomers.” The central part of Florida’s east coast is home to one of the highest concentrations of seniors in the United States. It is a vital concern to us to know what our seniors are doing, both on and off line.

Pew Research Center provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world. It also conducts public opinion polling, demographic research and media content analysis. Pew is a resource for accurate information about social trends of all kinds, and we have cited their findings several times. If you, or your marketing people,think that seniors are not on line, Pew Research says that you are wrong! In a recent survey, they found 87% of adults aged 50 to 64 are online.

The misimpression that seniors and boomers are not active in social media and the internet may stem from the attitude of the very oldest of the senior group. People aged 80 or more are, in fact, very small users of internet technology. However, if you want to reach the 80+ prospects, don’t forget to target their adult children; they are online and reachable.

Pew Research Center says that 82% of those aged 65 to 69 and three quarters of 70to 74-year-olds are online; about three-quarters of internet-using seniors say they go online daily. Seniors and boomers may be acting more like teenagers than you, your marketing and branding strategies give them credit for. In fact, Google research has indicated that search engines are the number one way in which boomers and seniors gather information. If they are looking for your business, it must be online and have a senior-friendly SEO strategy.

Your branding strategies need to include strong SEO techniques aimed at seniors and search engine optimization services that ensure you’re being seen by your prospects. Do not think that video content and social media are effective only when targeting adolescents or young adults. However, research has shown that mature viewers are more skeptical and analytical about what they see on social media. Your social media branding strategies should aim to inspire and educate seniors, not just to sell them.

Whenever possible, award them special offers and or invitations. Axiom helps one of its clients, Ourseniors.net, do this often. The OurSeniors.net organization is dedicated to serving the needs of seniors and “boomers” in all ways possible. One of the ways OurSeniors.net accomplishes this is through its frequent “Brunch and Learn” programs. These programs provide east coast seniors with an opportunity to meet and socialize with their contemporaries and to be educated at the same time.

These programs have addressed senior-interest subjects like estate and tax planning,choosing an adult community and picking the best Medicare supplement plan. The education and service function is an important part of the OurSeniors.net branding strategy. It is combined with video presentations on social media sites like YouTube (see the OurSeniors.net  YouTube Channel) and Facebook (OurSeniors.net on Facebook).

Axiom Administrative Services knows that seniors and boomers use search engines, the internet and social media in ever increasing numbers. Axiom has channeled that use into productive digital marketing solutions for OurSeniors.net. Let us do the same for you! Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves. We can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Social Media Marketing – What Is Going On?

Social Media marketingIt’s almost the end of 2018, time for all good internet marketing agencies, professional SEO services, and search engine optimization services to stop and think about the changing environment. This is a good idea in any business, but when you are involved in developing branding strategies, SEO techniques or digital marketing solutions, it is absolutely mandatory! These days, a 12-month-old branding strategy is more out-of-date than a 25-year-old airplane.

So, where does social media and social media marketing stand at the end of 2018? It is easy to get confused about this, because we sometimes confuse headline news with the real world. The general news and financial headlines tell us one story, while actual real world evidence says something different.

If you have been paying attention to news organizations like Fox News, CNN or the New York Times, it would be easy to get the idea that the Facebook ship has struck an iceberg and is sinking. Facebook executives have been called to testify before Congress, the market value of Facebook stock has declined by about 35% since hitting its July 2018, high and European governments are threatening to impose regulations on the giant social media platform. Discouraging, but the typical buyer of lipstick, plumbing supplies, dental care, legal advice, popular music or beer hardly seems to notice. If Facebook use has declined slightly in the past few months, those users have not turned away from social media; they are simply looking elsewhere.

Before you look elsewhere yourself, keep this in mind:

  • In 2004, Facebook had zero
  • In the third quarter of 2012, the number of active Facebook users had passed one billion.
  • As of the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 27 billion monthly active users.

Social networks are now well established; there is a core group of them that does not change much from year-to-year, but they do seem to trade user time around. According to Alexa Internet (the internet data collection arm of Amazon) recently, Facebook and YouTube swapped places in the chart of most visited sites; YouTube’s web address (URL) is now being visited more times than the Facebook site.

The problem with that statistic is that, while many people use YouTube as a social media site, a lot of others go to YouTube only to watch news or entertainment. They never interact with it in the way Facebook viewers click around to find out what’s happening locally. Please do not misinterpret this. At Axiom, we believe very strongly in YouTube and video in general. We only want to point out that there is a lot of disagreement about what, exactly, is a social media site and what is not.

We reviewed a number of sources (Pew Research, Alexa Internet, Neilson, Forbes, etc.) before writing this article and found a lot of inconsistencies. Every one of those experts agree that Google is the most visited site in the world, and many of the newer sources list YouTube as the runner up with Facebook third. The difficulty is that some of the experts place platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Pinterest in the social media category while others totally ignore them. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are basically messaging services, both owned by Facebook. The WhatsApp platform started as an alternative to SMS and now supports sending and receiving a variety of media (text, photos, videos, etc.). It gets a Facebook wedge firmly into the mobile device (smart phone) sector.

Without going on for too long, here is what we think is the bottom line for our clients’ digital marketing solutions as well as those others involved in branding strategy and SEO techniques. First, these were the most popular social media sites in May 2018. Remember that numbers one and two may have swapped places recently, and that important names like Google, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay are not on this list as they are not considered social media.

Social Media Platforms Ranking

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. WhatsApp Messenger
  4. Facebook Messenger
  5. Instagram
  6. Tumblr
  7. Google+
  8. Twitter
  9. Reddit
  10. Snapchat
  11. Skype
  12. LinkedIn
  13. Pinterest
  14. Flickr
  15. Kik

We left out the data about time spent on sites, visits per day per user, clicks per site, etc. There is so much data that it is just confusing to most people. However, all of this tells us that Facebook and YouTube are still (far and away) the dominate players in the social media game. Two of the other sites in the top five are Facebook appendages (WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook Messenger) and Facebook will find some way to get those users to circle back to ‘home.’

If your business, professional practice, service or non-profit wants to engage in social media marketing, then Facebook and YouTube are still the places to start! That is why Axiom is often involved in social media marketing efforts for its clients. Look at some of these examples:

Of course, Axiom has other interests and skills, but we know that branding strategy and SEO techniques are more and more directed at social media. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that can reach your target markets, turn to Axiom. Your business needs more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to help your web presence penetrate your market. Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Print Plus E-Marketing, A Winning Combination

Print MachineBecause Axiom is an internet marketing agency, it may seem surprising to you that we also design and produce printed material. In fact, Axiom does a good deal of print media; we produce direct mail marketing for clients as well as a widely distributed quarterly magazine, OurSeniors.net Magazine for the OurSeniors.net organization. OurSeniors.net is a successful and growing business organization that aims at meeting the needs of seniors, as well as giving professionals and service providers a way to reach the 55+ market.

OurSeniors.net Magazine is a perfect example of the winning combination that print, combined with a successful digital marketing solution can provide. You can read the latest online version by clicking OurSeniors.net Magazine Fall 2018 Edition Online. At the same time you can find a free physical edition of the magazine at numerous locations. Click here to see a list of those places throughout Central Florida (Volusia, Flagler, Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola & Polk Counties) – OurSeniors.net Magazine Pick Up Locations.

At Axiom, we realize the importance of both printed and online digital marketing solutions. Both have their advantages and limitations, but when they are combined the result is a winning combination. Let’s think about some of the qualities of print, versus digital, versus print plus digital marketing solutions.

  • Print is durable while digital marketing solutions are immediate. At Axiom, we have a heavy emphasis on digital marketing solutions aimed at the boomer generation and seniors. This audience grew up reading magazines, and print is still a core part of an integrated marketing strategy aimed at that demographic. At the same time, we know that seniors are active on all forms of digital media. Axiom makes the content of net Magazine available, both online and as a printed object. The print magazine is often kept as a reference source, handy for finding senior-friendly help (it is durable). The online magazine and the Ourseniors.net website are always immediate, up-to-date and available. The combination offers both advantages.
  • Printed material is fixed, digital marketing solutions are flexible. The material on a website can be changed in seconds, while it is not possible to alter print copy once it is distributed. Having both offers the opportunity to be available as a fixed reference while also responding to immediate opportunities.
  • Printed material is still the only way to reach some consumers, especially older seniors. However, more and more, the online habits of seniors and boomers are coming to match those of younger consumers. Social media and the internet are becoming their primary source of news, entertainment and consumer information. Having both a digital marketing solution and traditional print media means that net covers all fronts.

Axiom can do for your business, service, professional practice or non-profit what it is doing for the OurSeniors.net organization. Axiom’s business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with digital marketing solutions and local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, turn to Axiom

ByKevinD

Digital Marketing Solutions for Reaching Senior Markets

Digital marketingRecently, our blog articles have been concentrating on reaching a very special and critically important segment of internet users: the senior market. Many internet marketing agencies concentrate on branding strategies and SEO techniques that are aimed at Generation X (late 30’s to early 50’s) or the Millennial Generation (teenagers to middle 30’s). They devote little thought or effort to finding digital marketing solutions that target the market segment made up of “seniors” and adults in their mid to late 50’s, the Baby Boomers.

On the surface, this branding strategy seems to make sense. If you add the population totals, Gen Xer’s and Millennials are by far the largest age demographic, and Millennials are now coming of age and taking leadership positions in business and politics. Many of the young geniuses who power the internet are Millennials. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, age 29, just became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, replacing an establishment Democrat of the Baby Boomer generation. These are the people who buy most of the houses, cars and consumables from hair spray to pet food. It is natural for branding strategies and SEO strategies to take aim at them!

It is also true that most of the people who develop search engine optimization (SEO) services and techniques are members of these younger generations. They think like Gen Xers or Millennials, but could they be missing an important point? The fact is that most of the purchasing power in the American economy today is in the hands of Baby Boomers. Axiom Administrative Services is one internet marketing agency that bucks this trend. Axiom knows and understands the economic strength of seniors, “Boomers” and the 50 plus market!

This is partly an accident of geography, partly an intelligent choice by Axiom management. Our home turf is in the center of the most senior-centric state in the United States, Florida. Every day we see the economic power of seniors in every market sector. Please think along with Axiom and you will see the point:

  • The 50+ audience has much more tech know-how than marketers think! It’s true that the Boomers were not the first to adopt the internet, but they are rapidly catching up.
  • Boomers are actually the highest value consumers in the market.
  • Boomers spend the most money on each shopping trip.
  • Boomers are more likely to splurge on items that are not every day purchases. In fact, Boomers even spend the most dollars on technology. They are the biggest purchaser of high-end electronics, premium cable and premium streaming services.
  • When Boomers uproot and move (as many in Florida have done), they are in the market for new homes, new appliances, carpeting, home painting, roofing and new professional services like physicians, dentists or attorneys.

These facts hit Axiom in the face, and we have welcomed them! Axiom is especially proud of its association with Ourseniors.net, a Florida-based organization that caters to the needs and opportunities that the senior and Boomer markets hold. Axiom manages the content rich Ourseniors.net website, its social media presence, OurSeniors.net on Facebook and OurSeniors.net on Google +, as well as their direct mail and local distribution of the printed version of OurSeniors.net Magazine.

Of course, Axiom has other interests and skills, but more and more, we see that Boomers are where the bucks are, especially in Florida. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that can reach this important market, turn to Axiom. Your business deserves more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to help your web presence penetrate the senior and Boomer market. Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

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