Google Updates Its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

ByKevinD

Google Updates Its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

Google searchThe algorithms that Google uses to rank search engine results are closely guarded secrets. It is said that those procedures are changed almost daily to insure the best possible response to the “search intent,” producing exactly the information the user wants. You have to admit that they are usually pretty good at this. A user located in Birmingham, England, searches for “football scores” and gets a list of British Premier League teams. They play a game we call “soccer.” The same search term issued in Birmingham, Alabama, will surely return a list of real football teams like the Crimson Tide or the Auburn Tigers.

Google’s ranking algorithms take into account user location, search history, local meanings and numerous other factors. As searches narrow down by location or subject matter, it becomes harder and harder to discriminate between (and rank) web pages. How does a website get to be at or near the top of a Search Engine Results Page, the famous SERP?

There was a time when Google was very mysterious about this, but it has adopted a more enlightened and open policy. In fact, anybody can now view these guidelines at this link – 2018 Page Quality Rating Guidelines. The big news for 2018 is that there is no change, at least for the types of websites which most business and professional people need. Content is still the king. Good content has been, it still is and it will continue to be the key to high ranking.

Google’s page quality guidelines define a special set of websites known as “YMYL,” Your Money or Your Life pages. YMYL pages give advice or information about life changing decisions or important economic topics. They ask you to spend money, invest time, make a financial decision, choose a surgeon or take some other action of consequence. Evaluators are asked to look for useful and accurate content, as well as high levels of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness).

There are many websites that are not in the YMYL category.  Here is an example – Cute Cat Names for Girl Cats. While this page may be entertaining to some people, it does not ask the viewer to make a YMYL decision. The quality of the content is not critical to the entertainment value of the site.

Websites that give tax advice, medical information, ask for donations or help to choose a senior assisted living facility are all examples of YMYL pages.  For those pages, a very high standard of content is required. Choosing the wrong name for a cat has little consequence, but opting for an unproven diabetes treatment could be disastrous. Most of Axiom’s clients are professional practices, non-profit organizations or small businesses. These are certainly YMYL pages, and they must have high-quality content to rank well. Here is what the Google manual says –

“The quality of the MC (main content) is one of the most important criteria in Page Quality rating, and informs the E-A-T of the page. For all types of webpages, creating high quality MC takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill.”

One of Axiom’s clients, OurSeniors.net, is an organization that provides services and information to the senior community in the central Florida area. Many of the topics covered by this site certainly fall into the YMYL category; they give advice or help people make life-changing decisions about matters, such as care giving, estate planning and senior housing. Axiom provides this organization’s web pages with the types of expert, authoritative and trustworthy material that viewers need.

This content includes links to trusted and knowledgeable professionals through the site’s Senior Transition Pro Team. The website is kept current with frequent blog articles on topics of interest to seniors such as “Preparing to Be a Caregiver.” Its material is original, not cut and pasted from other sources, and it is relevant to the viewer or reader. Those are the marks of a quality, rank-worthy web page.

There is a problem with this straight forward advice from Google: time. If you provide a service, operate a professional practice, business or non-profit, there is very little time to produce this material. This is true even for those who have some web programing knowledge. If you are struggling to find the digital marketing solutions and branding strategies that will make your web presence stand out, turn to Axiom. Cheap web design, will not get your web pages the ranking they deserve. More than just an internet marketing agency, Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to provide the content and create the SEO strategy you need to succeed.

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

Have a great Labor Day!

Labor DayToday is Labor Day in both the United States and Canada. The hard working, enterprising people who make our economy go, Go, GO deserve a pat on the back. If you are operating a small business, a service organization, professional practice or even a non-profit, at Axiom Administrative Services, we know how hard you work! That’s because we are in the same boat.

We work hard every day to keep our clients satisfied, and we don’t mind telling you that our Labor Day is important to us too. We will be closed on Monday, September 3rd for some R&R but back “up and at them” the next day. Please think of us when you need help with branding strategies, SEO techniques, local SEO services, logo design services or search engine optimization services.

Don’t struggle alone with your internet marketing and online advertising problems. Turn to a professional online marketing consultant. Axiom Administrative Services  has the professional digital marketing skills needed to guide your web presence to the rankings it should have.  Our digital marketing and business marketing teams are able to combine traditional marketing techniques like printing and direct mail with creative web services. 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 because we are one! Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Google My Business

This articled refers to “Google My Business,” not as a request or as a wish, but as an ‘app’ for managing how your website will look and perform in the Google search engine. The website for this app is https://www.google.com/business/.  After a small business, service provider or professional practice has set up a ‘Google My Business’ account, it can be used to optimize the way your website displays Google Maps locations, Google+ pages and organic search engine results.  It is a powerful tool for achieving the best possible SEO strategy.

How do you get started with Google My Business? We think the best way is to hire an internet marketing agency like Axiom Administrative Services, The professionals at Axiom can guide you through this process, merging the Google My Business optimization with your overall branding strategy and search engine optimization services. Briefly, this is an outline of what’s involved.

You or your internet marketing agency has to open an account and claim your business listing. You will be asked for the standard NAP information (name, address, phone number) that should be on any good business or professional website. After filling in details, you will get an old-fashioned ‘snail mail’ postcard from Google, sent to the address you’ve specified. This card is the physical proof that the owner of the organization listed is really at this address.

Once you are verified, you can fill in the details of your business, service or profession including terms selected to fit your SEO strategy. Everything you add must agree with the information you provide on your business website. When filling out this information, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Claim a listing using your exact business name.
  • Choose a category as accurate as possible that matches a search term. For example, “sports bars”, “family practice” or “publisher”
  • Your profile has to be 100% correct including full phone numbers, operating times and exact address.
  • Review your website graphics and photos – can you improve them?
  • Create links and citations on other sites, business listings, review sites and directories.
  • Keep your data up to date

The example below shows one of the top results from a Google search for the term, “sports bars Daytona.”

Google searchYou can see how effective this is for people searching the term, “sports bars Daytona.” By clicking one of the search engine results, they have access to name, address, phone, hours of operation reviews and other useful information. If you have not claimed a Google listing for your business, you should do so as soon as possible.

The ‘Google My Business’ app is not the full digital marketing solution you need. Your website should be well constructed, not a cheap web design, it should be updated frequently with useful content and it should reflect a well thought out branding strategy and SEO strategy. This is what the professionals at an internet marketing agency like Axiom do best. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, 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 get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

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

Integrating Social Media into Your Website

smartphone useAxiom has often written about the growing power of social media as a critical part of an organization’s branding strategy and overall digital marketing solution. Across all age groups, Americans now turn to social media as a source of entertainment, product information, shopping advice and countless other applications (see “Updated Statistics for Social Media”) . Social media channels should be a seamless part of good digital marketing solutions and a successful branding strategy.

But how do you leverage the power of social media on your site? Most businesses, professional practices and nonprofits are probably missing out on potential contacts, referrals and sales that can come from social media sources. Here are some simple suggestions for integrating your website and social media platforms to fashion a digital marketing solution that works.

Place Social Media Buttons on the Home Page. This seems obvious but some cheap web designs ignore this basic rule. Social media buttons should be displayed in their own distinct section of the webpage, probably on the top, bottom or along the side of your home page. Ideally, they should remain in that same location as the user moves from page to page in the website. It’s a good idea to ensure that users don’t leave your website altogether by clicking a social media button, so create links that open in new tabs without leaving your page.

Choose Social Media Links Carefully. If you are the owner or operator of a business or professional practice, it is not likely that you have time for every single social media platform. You must choose the ones that will be most effective for your purpose. Do not link out to social media channels in which you are not active. By “active,” we mean that you post or update at least weekly. If you do not have the time for doing this across multiple platforms, then drop the least productive and delete the links or buttons.

Use “Share” Buttons. Share buttons make it easy for website viewers to seamlessly recommend or share knowledge about a product, service or idea. If you have resources like a blog or articles on your website, make it as easy as possible for readers to share it with others. Social media share buttons should be displayed in an easily seen location and they should be used across all of your digital marketing solutions. This means placing them on your Facebook and Google+ pages, as well as your website. If you do not know how to use share buttons, get the advice of a professional internet marketing agency.

Know the Platform’s Terms and Conditions.  A personal Facebook page should not be used for promoting a brand name, and there are rules to follow when running a promotional page. Likewise, Google+ and other platforms have a set of “terms and conditions” for use. Not adhering to these rules can get your page removed.

Do Not Overuse or Abuse Social Media Platforms or Share Buttons. The content you place on social media platforms should be compelling, useful information that is easily shareable. Littering your website with excess social media share buttons will detract from your overall branding strategy. When you post on a platform or include a share button, be sure that the material adds value to the viewer’s experience. Is it useful? If not, delete it.

Learn to Use Analytics. Tools like Google Analytics can tell you a lot about the ways in which individuals use your social media and share buttons. Google Analytics tracks vital statistics on a number of website elements, including social media and share buttons. If you do not have the time to track this for yourself, it might be wise to turn the job over to a professional internet marketing agency or an expert in SEO techniques.

Social media platforms are an ever more important part of branding strategies. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, 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 get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

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

Under the Website Hood, Page Titles and meta descriptions (Important parts of a website you do not see)

Behind every webpage, there is a complex of code that controls both the page appearance and critical details of the site’s SEO strategy. Cheap web design often ignores these ‘under the hood’ details; as a result, a well thought out digital marketing solution may be wasted. A successful SEO strategy will make your site as easy as possible for Bing, Google and other search engines to find you.

A good SEO strategy is an important part of a branding strategy and essential to creating digital marketing solutions that work. The truth is that a clever amateur can outline an SEO strategy that will work, but cheap web design will not implement it correctly. For that, you need the services of an internet marketing agency or professional SEO services provided by a firm like Axiom.

Let’s look at two website elements that are very important to SEO strategy but not obvious to a casual observer: page title tags and meta descriptions.

Every time you use a search engine, you see page title tags but probably do not realize it. The search engine results page (SERP) will contain a list of results that match the term you have entered. Each of those results will have a headline bold tag and a ‘snippet’ of text below it. Clicking it will take you to the page whose title tag matches the search term you entered.

Here is an example for the search term, “bathroom faucets.” Entering that term will return a SERP with numerous suggestions, one of them for Home Depot. That result will look like this –

Bathroom Faucets for Your Sink, Shower Head and Bathtub – The …
https://www.homedepot.com/b/Bath-Bathroom-Faucets/N-5yc1vZbreo

Browse our vast selection of in-style and durable shower faucets and bathtub faucets. Shower fixtures can make a difference. Indulge in a waterfall showerhead …
Bathroom Sink Faucets · ‎Nickel – Bathroom Faucets · ‎Bathroom Faucets – Bath

Notice that the headline of this result contains the exact search term entered. The people who designed this page included the words “bathroom faucets” in the page title because they realized that this would be a common term entered in search engine queries. Professional SEO services would make certain that this common search term is included in the page title. Frequently, this is the first (and maybe the only) thing most people will see. That is one reason that page title tags are so important; the page title tag is a message to the world!

Clicking on the headline of that SERP result will take you to the Home Depot shopping site, but not its home page. Instead, you will be directed to a sub page of the site. In the HTML code for that page you would find this code-

<title>Bathroom Faucets for Your Sink, Shower Head and Bathtub - The Home Depot</title>

If the page title has been properly named using SEO techniques, the browser tab will look like this –

Home Depot - tabThe browser tab contains exactly what the user is looking for! The marketing team has not only devised a SEO strategy, it has applied an element of that strategy (the search term, “bathroom faucets”) to this subpage title. Keep in mind that there might be dozens, even hundreds of other subpages on this site with page titles like “kitchen faucets,” “luxury faucets,” or “shower faucets”; all of these are designed to attract the attention of a search engine looking for a particular product, service or idea.

A common mistake made in cheap web design is to give pages a vague or generic title, like “services” or “products.” If you are drawing a graphic map of your website, these titles make sense, but few people issue search terms for “services.” Better page titles would be “plumbing services,” “faucet installation” or  “shower installation.”

Title tags work with the meta description (the text below the title tag). In the case of the Home Depot search result above, this is the meta description — a sentence or phrase that adds more information about the page.

<meta property="og:description" content="Browse our vast selection of in-style and durable shower faucets and bathtub faucets. Shower fixtures can make a difference. Indulge in a waterfall showerhead or conserve with a water saving showerhead."/>

Again, you see that the website’s branding strategy and SEO strategy have instructed the designers to include likely keywords (search terms), such as “shower faucets” and “bathtub faucets.” This meta description works with the page title to help users find the product or service they want.

Most people can come up with a list of likely keywords. Taking advantage of those search terms requires careful thought and detailed planning. Each page and subpage in a website should have a well-thought-out page title and meta description; there may be dozens, hundreds, even thousands of such pages. That is one reason cheap web design is not going to produce digital marketing solutions that work.

If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that do work, 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 get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

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

What Do Members and Donors Want From a Nonprofit Website?

Social Media marketingLike any successful business, service provider or professional practice, nonprofit organizations must have a branding strategy, a search engine optimization strategy and even direct mail marketing solutions.  A professional website (not a cheap web design) is a key element in developing any branding strategy, including those of nonprofits.

But what do the viewers, the members and the donors who support NPO’s want from a web experience? To say the least, this is an important question; those members and donors are the ones who make an NPO’s existence possible. If the nonprofit or its internet marketing agency is wise, they will be aware of the wants and needs of members and donors. Nonprofit organizations need a web presence that will create interest, inform the members and donors and make the viewer confident in their integrity and ability to fulfill a mission.

The basics that apply to all web development also apply to nonprofits. A solid SEO strategy and professional SEO services are basics. All good digital marketing solutions will produce a website that is easy to navigate, user-friendly, and as visually appealing as possible. A cookie-cutter template will not do this and neither will a cheap web design. All nonprofits have a mission and their digital marketing solutions must fit and support that mission.

Here are some “musts” for a successful NPO website and a nonprofit digital marketing solution that is fruitful:

  • You Need Quality Content! Google’s ranking system recognizes a class of websites they call “Your Money or Your Life” websites. These are websites that ask the viewer to spend money (as in donate) or make a life changing decision, a commitment, an important choice. These websites are called to a higher standard of website content. They are not there to amuse or to distract, but to inform, inspire commitment and to recruit volunteers and members.

    Writing quality for a nonprofit is more important than it is for other websites. The viewers of these sites are seeking real information about an important subject. It might be a church mission, an animal rights cause, a political action committee or any other public interest topic, but it must inspire the viewer to take action, to donate or to join and volunteer. The website should be free of distractions with clear and concise writing. The graphic content (pictures, graphs, illustrations, etc.) should tell a story. The pictures should be real scenes from the NPO’s activities, not copied from other sources. The most important content should be “above the fold” when viewed on a computer or mobile device screen. Do not force the viewer to scroll down far to see the main point.

  • You Need A Social Media Focus. Social media is a perfect platform for nonprofits. The social media bring together people with common interests, even if they are widely separated on the map. “Save the Children” activists or “Free Tibet” campaigners can connect with one another and act in union. Social media has received a lot of negative attention lately (much of it deserved), but it remains a powerful tool for all nonprofits. Your website can be the center of social media activities that extend to Instagram, Facebook, Google Plus and others. The social media “Apps” you choose should be placed prominently in your homepage and throughout the subpages.
  • You Should Have An Email Sign-up. Do not make viewers search for a way to join up or volunteer. Even if they don’t have the financial resources to donate, their membership helps your circulation numbers and when they click on a link it helps your page ranking. Place a link to your newsletter in this section and encourage subscription, but do not start sending them unsolicited newsletters.
  • A Media Coverage Section. If your nonprofit is covered in any newspaper, broadcast or podcast segment, make this known to page viewers
  • A Donate Button. How could we forget this? A few nonprofits are lucky enough to have some funding source from charitable foundations or public interest groups, but many exist month to month on donations. The worthiest of causes cannot function without money, so make giving easy.

Axiom Administrative Services understands the needs of nonprofits. If your ministry, nonprofit or public advocacy group is struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and a branding strategy that makes you stand out, turn to Axiom. Your nonprofit deserves more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and local SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves. Our team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your nonprofit branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Web Presence for Nonprofit Organizations and Ministries

internet marketingNonprofit organizations like church ministries, charitable enterprises and advocacy groups are a big part of the online world. Successful nonprofits understand the power of the digital world, as well as profit making companies and individuals. Nonprofit digital marketing solutions are no different from their commercial counterparts. Like all organizations, nonprofits need a branding strategy, a search engine optimization strategy and local SEO services to get their messages out to target audiences.

Today, these organizations have discovered the value of professional digital marketing solutions and many of them make expert use of tools like search engine optimization services, local SEO techniques and even coordinated direct mail marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at an example – in any search engine, enter the simple query, “Catholic Churches in Daytona.” If your search engine is Google, you will get a search engine results page with a complete list of Catholic churches in the general area. Bing searches yield very similar results.

If you click on any of the Google Map icons, you open a view box that gives basic details like name, address and phone numbers. These are the basic N-A-P requirements that apply to nonprofits, as well as to Home Depot or Walmart. Obviously, this is the product of professionals, probably at an internet marketing agency such as Axiom Administrative Services. The day when a congregation member or a volunteer nonprofit worker put up their website is gone.

At Axiom, we believe that good nonprofit websites should always include several key elements:

  • A landing page that is easy-to-read and absorb. A visitor who sees pleasing, simple design is more likely to stay and to absorb and retain the information. The landing page should convey a message of, “Welcome!” or “Thank you for visiting us.” No matter how informative or convincing the rest of a nonprofit site might be, the landing page is the most important part. If it does not get the attention of the visitor, the rest of your site is for naught.
  • High-quality images that tell the visitor what the nonprofit is about. These should be important parts of the landing page and graphically convey a brief synopsis of the mission of a nonprofit. Blurred pictures or poorly pixilated logos will give a negative image. Your organization should have an easily recognized symbol, probably the product of a logo design service, such asThe YMCAThat logo symbol displayed prominently on the landing page tells the visitor they have reached the YMCA. Not many logos are going to be that famous, but it is just as important that yours is well done, so get a logo design service.
  • A “Call to Action” with a “Visit Us” or “Donate Button.” If viewers find your website and start reading the content, that is good, but there is a chance that they will neglect the purpose of your landing page: to stimulate interest, action, donations or joining up. Don’t let that happen. Put the call to action in a prominent place, where it cannot be missed.
  • Content that is well written, informative and frequently updated. Again, digital marketing solutions for nonprofits are no different from their commercial counterparts. Like all organizations, nonprofits need useful content, as well as a branding strategy, a search engine optimization strategy and SEO services. If your nonprofit is lucky enough to have a staff member who is able to write good content, all the better. No one knows your organization and your needs better than you or your associates. If this ability is not found in your staff, retain an internet marketing agency with the professional skill to do it.
  • Create outside links, have a SEO link building strategy. This is vitally important to page ranking. One of Axiom’s clients, the net organization, maintains a directory of community organizations, including nonprofits (see the OurSeniors.net Directory). Find opportunities like this directory and get listed in these important resources. Take a look at these examples:
  • Halifax Humane Society
  • Volusia Flagler Family YMCA

If your ministry, nonprofit or public advocacy group is struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and a branding strategy that makes you stand out, turn to Axiom. Your nonprofit deserves more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and local SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves. Our team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your nonprofit branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

ByKevinD

Small Business SEO Techniques

SEOYou have probably seen ads for website building services that promise to have a website up and running for you in an hour or less. These ads are common on television and, especially, on YouTube. The fact is that this is correct. Services like Squarespace, Weebly or Wix can in deed put up a webpage or two in an hour or less.

It may be tempting for small businesses or professional practices to turn to one of these providers instead of a professional internet marketing agency or local SEO company. Think about these ads for a moment; most of them feature attractive young people who have put up a website for their one-person creative enterprise. Lots of them are artists, musicians or other creative-arts performers or innovators. They have a presentable website, and that is fine.

However, a good website is not the key to a digital marketing solution. In fact, there is no one key to digital marketing solutions that actually work. Instead, there is a process that resembles turning a combination lock. The first number in the combination may be a website, but there is much more. How about:

  • A branding strategy
  • An outstanding logo, professionally produced by a logo design service
  • SEO techniques and a SEO strategy, produced by a professional SEO services provider
  • For most small businesses, local SEO services aimed at local customers.
  • Strong content that is updated frequently

A cheap web design can get you the first combination number needed to unlock a really good digital marketing solution, but a lot will be missing. Developing a branding strategy and a local SEO strategy are the next steps (numbers in the combination) that will unlock your digital marketing solution. That branding strategy starts with a logo design service that produces a distinctive, memorable meme for your business or service and a tagline to go with it.

SEO techniques and a SEO strategy aimed at local recognition and access are the critical next numbers in unlocking that digital marketing solution that works for you. Local SEO services optimize your website to rank better for a local audience.

Actually, a website gives you the opportunity to target the entire (online) world, but for most professional practices or small businesses, the targets are in your local area or “nearby” (nearby is an important word in branding strategy, and SEO techniques). Those attractive young people mentioned above may be artists or musicians in Portland who are trying to sell music in Key West, but this is not the case for most small businesses. They need to optimize for zip codes, city names, address details and phone numbers. This is often called the NAP principle; you must make your name, address and phone easily visible to search engines.

But how do you do this? Where do you place code in the best way to call attention to critical elements of NAP and your branding strategy? Actually, this is a job for professionals.  If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, 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 get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

Beyond local SEO strategy, there are combination elements such as social media presence and strong, useful frequently updated content. One of Axiom’s clients is the well-known OurSeniors.net organization. Click on their link to see their home page and then on the OurSeniors.net Blog that features timely, useful, senior-oriented content.

Our business marketing team and SEO strategy teams 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

Achieving the Best Results In Social Media

More and more, branding strategies, SEO strategies and SEO techniques have come to rely on social media. For a small business or service provider, success in the social media has become essential to finding a digital marketing solution that works. The truth is that this is not easy.

There are literally billions of websites today, each trying to convey some message. Every internet marketing agency dreams of a shortcut to social media success, but sadly, there is no “Press This Easy Button” for social media. The only certain way is to keep at it, be certain that your website or blog is current (or hire an internet marketing agency to do it for you) and follow some common sense rules.

Remember that the social media world is full of entertainment, much of it professionally produced. Unless you are a professional writer, video producer or musician, there is not much chance that you can compete on an entertainment stage. The good news is that millions of viewers are looking for content that is useful, as well as entertaining. “Useful” can mean many different things. If the viewer is looking for tax help, a Facebook article or YouTube presentation from a tax accountant may fit the bill perfectly.

One of Axiom’s clients, OurSeniors.net, is devoted to serving the needs of senior age adults (a very large and important market). OurSeniors.net publishes articles that focus on content that is especially useful to seniors. These articles are kept current and fill a need.  For example, almost all seniors are interested in the Social Security System; OurSeniors.net makes itself useful to that target audience by publishing material like, “Changes in Social Security Benefits, 2018.” Timely information of this type is designed to get the target audience to “click-in,” “turn-on” and to return time after time.

Social media that is visual is more likely to be noticed and remembered. One internet marketing agency conducted a study that confirmed this finding – Facebook image posts got 179% more interactions than the average Facebook post. A graphic element may be as important to a social media post as the text itself. The professionals at Axiom have access to vast libraries of images. Using one of these graphics or an embedded video produced by Axiom can add immensely to the attraction and success of your website and social media effort.

Put some variety in your social media. You need to update your social media content frequently in a way that is always consistent with your branding strategy, but avoid harping on the same subject over and over. If you lack the imagination or the time to consistently produce varied content, stick to short-form social media like Twitter or hire someone to do it for you.

Always remember the rule of brevity, or at least appropriate length for the media. Some social media content cannot be held to just a few words or paragraphs, but do not allow yourself to run on and on, past a reasonable length. Website readers or viewers can get bored just as book readers or film goers sometimes do.

There is a lot to think about, isn’t there? Many people could learn these skills if they had the time and inclination, but few professional or business people do. That is what an internet marketing agency with good SEO techniques can do for you. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, 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 get your web presence the ranking it deserves. 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

What’s in A Name? (A Domain Name, That Is)

Branding Word ConceptThe short answer is “There is a lot in a name! In fact, domain name is critical.” That’s right; your website domain name is a critical launching pad for your branding strategy, your digital marketing solutions, your SEO strategy and your overall digital marketing plan. A well-chosen domain name will make people think of your small business, professional practice or non-profit organization. Unfortunately, many domain names are chosen without thinking through the consequences on SEO techniques, the effects on local SEO services or even the business goals.

Before choosing a domain name, it is a good idea to ask yourself some basic questions:

  • What are my business goals?
  • What are the goals for this website
  • What do you want viewers to do during or after viewing the website?

If you are not familiar with domain name system terminology, there are some basic definitions that you need to know:

  • A Top-Level Domain (TLD) is at the highest level of the system. It is the abbreviation that follows the “dot.” In the Unites States, the best known TLDs are “.com,” “.net” and “.org.”
  • A Main Domain (sometimes called the “root domain”) is the name that precedes the TLD. For example, in the name “Google.com,” Google is the main domain and dot com is the TLD. Sorry if you were thinking of using that one, it is taken. Axiom’s domain name is com.

In general, if your website is for a business or professional practice, you should try to get a dot com or dot net TLD. If you are a non-profit or service organization, the dot org extension may be preferred. Those name extensions are well recognized by the public and lend themselves to a branding strategy, to local SEO services and to sound digital marketing solutions.

Let’s take one of Axiom’s clients as an example. When a name like “our seniors dot net” is spoken and heard, the listener understands that the term means a web address and will almost certainly be able to find it on the web. Just entering the term ourseniors.net will get the user to a page that refers to the OurSeniors.net organization. Which location depends on which search engine you are using (probably Google or Bing).

The name, “OurSeniors.net” illustrates an important point – more and more business and service organizations are intimately tied to the internet. The dot com or dot net extension is an important part of their branding strategy, indicating that their services are at least in part web-based. If you are using the Google search engine, typing “ourseniors.net” will get you to a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that is filled with references to our client. You will find the OurSeniors.net Home Page, links to their Better Business Bureau Profile, to their publication, OurSeniors.net Magazine and information in the Your-Business-on-Google side box (address, phone, business hours and  webpage).

You can see how the domain name is part of the branding strategy and how local SEO services and SEO techniques can be applied to this domain name. It all fits together nicely.  Now, what about choosing the Main Domain name?

For many small business operators, the purpose of the website is quite simple: to make potential customers aware of your business or practice, its location, services and products offered, etc. As closely as possible, you should try for a main domain name that reflects this purpose. Here are some key pointers-

  • Keep it easy to spell and type correctly. Search engines are getting better and better at guessing what misspelled words are meant to be, but it is still best to get them right.
  • Do keyword research. Try to imagine that you are looking for the product or service that your business sells or provides. What words would be in your search? Putting the most important keyword or phrase into the domain name is the ideal. The services of an internet marketing agency like Axiom Administrative Services can be a great help in finding the right keyword(s).
  • Keep it short is a good rule of thumb, but do not make this a dogma. Balance the descriptiveness of the name against its length. A name like “volusiapainting.com” may be a better SEO strategy than one like “vp.com.” Both domain names could be for a house painter in Volusia County, but the longer name is far more descriptive, lending itself to the SEO techniques of location and identity.
  • If your website is for a local service or business, try to include location in your domain name. “volusiapainting.com” tells the searcher that your business serves the Volusia County area.
  • Be cautious of names with numbers. Hearing the name, “one two three dot com” may lead the listener to type, “123.com” or “onetwothree.com.” If you are thinking of a famous number like 1600Pennsylvania (the White House), this may pass muster, but be careful.
  • Protect your domain name. If you are able to find a domain name that really fits your purposes, protect it by purchasing the same main domain with other TLDs. If you are going to use “volusiapainting.com,” consider buying the dot net extension as well, even if you do not use it. This protects you from competitors who may imitate your site.

Choosing and registering a good domain name is just the start of building a great branding strategy and a successful small business SEO plan. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that make your business stand out, 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 get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

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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