Sunday, August 13, 2017

What It Takes to Be an Effective Online Marketing Company!

web design Ann Arbor

Thinking about taking the plunge into the internet age, or trying to finally crush it online?

What should you look for in an online marketing company?

Finding an effective online marketing company may be a bit more complicated than most people realize!


The Basics, of Course


Look for an established business with a real office. Sure, there are a lot of folks out there ‘doing’ website and SEO, but the truth is most of them can provide only a minimal level of excellence without a support staff and a network of related service providers.

Should I look for somebody local? Yes. It really helps to be able to sit in an office with somebody and see their facial expressions, listen to the tone of their voice, and get a sense of how they conduct themselves in person. This is doubly helpful when you run into challenges (not getting to page one fast enough, ads not running in the right places, service outages). And you’ll always run into challenges at some point if you take this on as a serious endeavor.

Get a few testimonials. Talk to their customers if possible. You can’t expect every client they’ve ever had to be ecstatic, but if there aren’t a few true believers, they may not be capable of hitting home runs.

And, most important, try to figure out their “why?” Why do they do what they do? How will they help you communicate your core mission to the world? Plain old SEO “experts” are a dime a dozen. The ones that are truly worth working with can bring something more to the table. They’re A-players who relate to the world on a deeper level, and that depth will help raise your game, too. Look for people with a clear purpose.

So, then what?


So, now you’re looking for a company that is truly a full-service provider. You want a company with an integrated system for domain registration, web hosting, website design, programming, a dedicated content management system, and expertise in content writing, SEO and pay-per-click. Otherwise, they’re basically doing the same job you’d do for yourself – grabbing third party solutions and trying to get them all to fit together. Do they really have people who are proficient in all of those different areas? 

We think you get it...


We just hear too many horror stories. Companies signing up with some anonymous “expert” who contacts them by email. Businesses paying their receptionist’s sister-in-law to design their website. Entrepreneurs getting on board with the “free website” nonsense that ends up becoming the bane of their existence. Don’t let it happen to you!

Real success online takes experience, expertise, and hard work. It’s not necessarily inexpensive, but remember: price is what you pay, value is what you get. A little time invested in knowing what to look for and asking the right questions can make the value equation work in your favor. Invest in the right partner to position your company properly online.
We’re always happy to chat with serious people who want to get their business to the next level. Feel free to call if you’d like to dig deeper into what makes an internet marketing company worth hiring.

To learn more about other helpful tips and news about SEO and web design in Ann Arborsign up for our Black Belt SEO Tips & News!


Monday, August 7, 2017

How to Make Your Website Design Look More Exciting Through Text 

Do you feel like your web page is too wordy?
                                                            
Is your text stale?

Do you want your website to look new and modern?

Is your website boring? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may need some help! Many people make their own websites from scratch but lack the skills to make them look exciting. Anyone can make their own website, but not everyone can make a kickass one! 

Where do you start? You may think adding pictures on your site will attract more readers, but that’s not always the case. Pictures help pull people in, but if the content looks like one giant essay, no one will read it. However, the text on your website is very important. Use friendly, everyday terms when writing and ensure that your text is easy to read.                                                                                                     
After sitting down with one of our clients, we came up with a new website design for their business that is visually friendly while also showcasing original, compelling text content. After making these changes to their site, they began receiving more calls. Keep in mind, it’s not always enough to get people to your website, you have to keep them there! 
                                                                                                                                                
You’ve probably heard about the benefits of SEO, but SEO is only half the battle when gaining more clients from your website. You must have a visually appealing website design to attract potential clients. Wouldn’t it be great if a client told you they decided to contact you because of their experience with your website? Having a visually appealing website helps boost your company’s credibility, and this will allow you to create lasting relationships with your clients. Your website is often the first impression for your company and it has to be stellar!                                  

As for the website text, it must be clear and concise. The use of large and bold text helps draw attention to your content. It makes the reader assume the content is important and therefore more likely to continue reading. You want your text to take up valuable real estate space. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so make your text encompass the space like a photo. Below is an example of how one of our clients is putting their best foot forward: 
                                                            
What’s great about having us manage your website is you can have the peace of mind knowing it’s getting done by professionals. We specialize in website design by sitting down with you one on one to figure out your wants and needs. We build lasting relationships with our clients so you can do the same with yours. Here are a few more tips to make your website kick ass! 
                                                            
Chopping up Text 
A paragraph should be no more than 5 - 7 sentences. You want to keep the text quick and to the point. Clients make decisions very quickly and if your content looks like too much to read and sort through, they will move on to another site. 
                                                            
Making your page look inviting
There are many tools to make your text look exciting. Companies are using bold text as the new anchor for their homepages instead of the traditional stock photo. Making your text bold creates importance and emphasis, but what about turning it into art? Make a grid layout to allow click through and be more interactive. Even give your text some flare with Merz- type style to give a nod to the history of graphic design. Artist Kurt Schwitters invented this style to describe his work made of scavenged fragments and objects. Also described as any material that can be used for artistic purposes. 

Easy to navigate
Creating a clear hierarchy is important to help your client navigate your page. When visiting your site for the first time, clients take a full scan of the page and decide where they should click first. Through your choice of typography, you can guide the customer where to go. A good website shows the client where to start and what to read. 


We’ve helped many businesses like yours here in Ann Arbor. They gained the traction they needed to boost their sales and keep their business growing. Our client Steve Mussio said it best, “The owner, Nick, is willing to meet you face-to-face, listen to your concerns, and meet your needs. Let Nick and his team at SEO Ann Arbor help you increase your business opportunities. They are experts in marketing and will take you to the top! SEO Ann Arbor is important part of my business!”
                                                            
If you would like local help with your website design for Ann Arbor, call Michigan SEO Group at (734) 619- 0736 to arrange a time to meet or get your questions answered. If email works best for you, contact us at: info@michiganseogroup.com
                                                                        
Let’s sit down, have some coffee, and let Michigan SEO Group get to know you!                            
                                    
                        

Monday, July 31, 2017

Online Presence Could Be Your Missed Opportunity!

web design Ann Arbor

In our professional presentations lately, we’ve been running into this kind of thinking:

“Hey, I know you talked about all the ways people are succeeding online, but we get all our new business from referrals/networking/trade shows.”

“Why should I invest in a powerful online presence when nobody else in my industry is doing it?”

“There’s no way I’ll get new business from Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn. None of my business connections are on there.”
That sounds convincing enough, but the truth is, these are really just business people playing defense. They don’t know what they don’t know, and they’re worried about spending money on something they don’t understand. Which is fair enough, but there’s huge opportunity being missed.

Let’s explain.

You get all your new business from referrals/networking/trade shows 


What you actually mean to say is that you’ve put all your efforts into those methods, and little or none into online methods. Most business to business connections probably do happen in those old-school ways, but the truth is, you don’t know how much more business you might get if you develop a strategic online presence. 

Insider’s tip: The process of developing powerful online content often helps you discover new ways to talk about what you do even in your existing marketing channels! 

Nobody else in your industry is doing well online 


We actually hear that. Is it really your reason for not building out your web presence? If so, that suggests you think doing what everybody else is doing is the path to success. But, are they really that successful? 

If you conquer the online space in your field, it will be harder for the next guy, and you may discover that there’s a huge, unexplored world of potential business out there that’s being missed with the usual methods.

Insider’s tip: Even if you’re “not online,” you’re online. A determined searcher can almost always find information about your business. Why not take control of what’s out there and start getting more of the right kind of prospects to contact you?

None of your business connections are on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn


We have two responses here. One is that the point of outside marketing is to reach NEW customers. If your current business connections aren’t on a platform, that absolutely doesn’t mean that other potentially interested business people might not be on there. The other is that – through real experiences – we’ve become agnostic about which platforms will capture new interest for a particular kind of business. We’ve been stunned to see how much new hard core industrial business we got for a client on Twitter when everybody thought it was just for posting about politics and celebrities. That kind of thing has happened on Facebook and LinkedIn as well. Don’t write off a platform until you’ve actually put a reasonable amount of effort into it.

Insider’s tip: Don’t just jump into posting about your idea, product or service. First, check on what the most successful online players are doing on that platform. Listen, business is hard enough without having to reinvent the wheel again and again. Copy what works. When you’re rich, then you can start getting creative fulfillment at work.

Contact Experts For Web Design in Ann Arbor!



Want to learn more about internet marketing and how to optimize your website using SEO? Call the experts for web design in Ann Arbor at (734) 619-0736 to arrange a time to visit or get your questions answered by our experts! If you’re more comfortable with email, you can reach us at info@seoannarbor.com or just contact us.

You can even sign up for our Black Belt SEO Tips & News! We report on the latest in SEO news and research findings.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Online Marketing Trends Dominating 2017

Are you doing everything you can online to help grow your business?

Are you too busy handling everyday administrative tasks to focus on online marketing?

Are you worried that spending extra time and money on online marketing isn’t going to produce leads, sales, or new clients?

According to Forbes, you shouldn’t feel pressured to use all of the marketing tools available to you, but you should stay on top of the latest marketing trends to stay competitive in your industry!


Here are some trends that really took off in 2016 and are expected to keep rising in 2017:
  1. Augmented Reality – Many companies are busy developing new, interactive apps to promote their brand.
  2. Live Video Streaming – You can live-stream on virtually every social media platform, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube!
  3. Data Visualization – Infographics make it easier for online consumers to process information. There are dozens of tools to make these infographics available, and businesses can gain a lot from using them!
  4. “Dense Content” is key! – If you’re doing online marketing already, then you know that the attention span of the average online consumer is low. More people are scrolling through social media feeds without really reading what they’re seeing, and sharing articles after only reading a headline. In response, “more marketers are learning that dense content is key, making every line and every word count”, according to Forbes.
If you haven’t heard of two or more of these trends, don’t worry! That’s what Michigan SEO Group is for! We work hard to stay on top of all the latest trends in online marketing in Michigan so you don’t have to.

Our team of experts in SEO, web design, and social media management are always looking for new and exciting ways to promote our clients and help them grow their businesses. We want to help you, too!

When you work with us, we do all the hard work for you, so you can spend more time on the continuing success of your business. If you want to ramp up your online marketing game, it’s time to give us a call!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Engaging Social Media!

Are you having a hard time getting engagement on your social media platforms?

Want to boost your social media presence?

Do you want more likes, comments and shares?
social media ann arbor

We’re big fans of doing what works rather than chasing the latest fad or esoteric theory, and we’re going to share some of the useful highlights with you. If you’re in business or you work for somebody who needs help getting the word out, these simple ideas may help inspire you!

Did you know…

Hubspot says the best times to post on Facebook are:

12-1 pm on Saturday & Sunday
3-4 pm on Wednesdays
1-4 pm on Thursdays and Fridays

Did you know…

Facebook says you should:
Start conversations by asking questions and responding
Reward your audience with exclusive content
Vary your post type - users don't engage the same way with every post

Did You know … 

That some of the most engaging social post types are:

One Little Known way to [solve a problem]: solution
Caption This! [Photo/Video]
Fill in the blank. My [activity] must-have is _______.
"Like" for [Option 1]. "Share" for [Option 2].
If [enticing scenario], I would __________.
"When [problem or situation is occuring], I _________.

And, don’t forget to…

Repurpose your posts for:
Different platforms – website, blog, social media platforms and video
Different learning styles – skimmer, in-depth reader, video watcher, infographic

Experts for Social Media in Ann Arbor!


Want to learn more about how to make your social media posts more engaging? Sign up for our newsletter today! We’ll share breaking S.E.O. news, Kung Fu marketing tips, and kick-ass success stories with you.

Still have questions? Call our experts at (734) 619-0736 to arrange a time to visit or get your social media questions answered. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Why Google Hates Your Website, and How You Can Fix It!


If you’ve done any kind of online marketing for your business, you’re probably familiar with the basic concept of SEO.

However, do you realize there’s more to it than simply adding keywords to your website and posting on social media?

If you’re not satisfied with the growth of your business, you’re not alone! Many business owners find that they need to make a serious changes to their online marketing to be successful.

If you’re not showing up on Google or other search engines, there are several things you can do to fix this problem and start getting more calls and emails, and hopefully start making more money.
  1. Update your website design – If your website design looks stale, or isn’t aesthetically pleasing, consumers won’t want to spend time on it. Additionally, Google is penalizing websites that aren’t responsive, or able to be viewed on phones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
  2. Make sure your internal links are strong – At Michigan SEO Group, we work on this every day! You should use links between relevant pages on your own website on every new piece of content you post. Google also likes to see you linking to authoritative websites (think “.org”, “.edu”, etc.) to show that you’re including quality information on your website.
  3. Offer a lot of value on your site – All the content on your site should offer valuable advice, answer questions, and encourage interaction. If your content is worth reading and sharing, Google will see that and raise your search position.

Trust Michigan SEO Group with Your Online Marketing in Michigan!

If you think you need to step up your online marketing game, we can help! We have a team of friendly and enthusiastic experts in SEO, website design, and social media who want to help you achieve success!

We’ll work with your goals in mind to help you grow your business. To get started, or to have a conversation with us about your business goals, contact us today!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Web Design Guidelines Everyone Should Follow!

What are web design guidelines?

Should I follow them?

Are these guidelines necessary?

Web design guidelines will help you create a clear and concise outline of what you should focus on first in the design process. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to know and how you can prepare yourself for a website redesign. It can be a lot of work, but if you want your website to be an effective part of your marketing, it’s worth every effort. 
web design Ann Arbor

To give you an accurate estimate for your new website, we basically need to know three things:

  1. How many pages will your new website have?
  2. What will each of them do?
  3. What do you want it to look like?

How many pages will your new website have?


Barring any special functionality, it typically requires more work to create a website with 100 pages than one that has 5 pages (thank you, Captain Obvious!). Therefore, it’s important for us to have a fairly accurate idea of the number of pages you’d like to have on your new site.

What will each of them do?


A simple website for a small business typically consists of 5-10 pages that each display a few paragraphs of text along with 1-2 images. Some websites and web pages contain special functionality, such as a product estimator, e-commerce capability, members only sections, etc.  If you want your website to do anything like that, you’ll need special programming services, so we need to know what that is and how you’d like it to work.

What do you want it to look like?


Do you have anything specific in mind for the way you want your new website to look?  A good place to start would be to find some other websites that you like. Sometimes it’s helpful for us to know what you don’t want your site to look like (i.e. “here’s a website I hate – don’t make mine look anything like that!”)

Color and mood preferences are also helpful, as well as anything else you might have in mind for your new site. 
Some people are very specific about what they’re looking for, while others only have a general idea and give us little more than a few clues our designers can use to fill in the blanks and come up with a kick-ass design.

Our Web Design Recommendations


Here are our recommendations, based on best practice and years of experience:

Remember the 80/20 rule. Focus 80% of your time on the content, and 20% on the look. Most people obsess on the look and neglect the content. Yes, you want your website to look nice, but it’s the content that’s going to drive results. Don’t make SEO an afterthought. Too many people obsess on the look of their site, and only when it’s complete do they ask, “Will my website show up in the search engines?”  If SEO is important to you (and it should be), then make SEO a priority right from the start.  If it’s important, SEO should be driving the content and design, not the other way around.

Do you have questions about your current website? Are you considering updating your web design for your Ann Arbor business? Do you want more visibility for your business?


Please email or call us if you’d like to go deeper on any of these topics.