Understanding Social Media Optimization

Written by Amanda on . Posted in SEO

Social Media Optimization, or SMO, is the use of techniques and strategies to promote a brand on social media in ways that help drive customer engagement. Social media has become one of the best assets for improving a company’s organic (non-paid) search results and utilizing SMO greatly increases these results. If you are looking to drive business from your social media accounts, simply having the accounts is not enough. This is where SMO comes in. SMO can enhance your company’s online presence and reputation, strengthen the brand, boost visibility and generate leads. Social media includes more than just Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: it is also includes other outlets like Pinterest, Google+ and blogs.

How will SMO help my brand’s social content achieve more?

  1. Post at optimal times: Knowing when to post content is they key to getting more likes, favorites, shares and more engagement on any social network. When you post at optimal times, that means you are posting when the most users can be expected to engage with your content. Research shows there are optimal times to post for each different social network. The best times to post will vary by industry and change with relevant news regarding industry trends. Read more about that here.
  2. Include links: Your website should always include links to your social media pages, and those social media pages should always link back to the website. Social media content can include links to your homepage, blog or other specific pages that you want visitors to go to. Including a link to your homepage in the bio of your social profile helps visitors easily access your website. A link should also be included (especially on blogs) to give readers the ability to share your content, allowing you to reach a wider audience.
  3. Engagement drives engagement: Practice what you preach! You want people to follow you? Follow others. You want people to like your posts? Like other posts. It’s simple. When you are engaging with your audience, they are more likely to notice your profile and reciprocate. The more engaged you are with your audience and other social media users, the more your profile will stand out.
  4. Post compelling content: The content you post should not only be relevant to your business, but also to your customers. Know your audience and post content that they will have the desire to read and engage with. Posting “call to action” content is one way to drive engagement. Call to action means you are asking your audience to do something. It can be as simple as writing a question in your caption and asking them to comment with their answer or more complex like asking them to click a link to go to your website and fill out a form. Viewers are more likely to do what you ask if you have the instructions written out, rather than if you have no call to action.
  5. Keywords and hashtags: It is important to use keywords and hashtags to your improve your exposure. Hashtags categorize social content. They allow you to connect with and engage other users based on a common interest. When you use hashtags, you want to be specific. The more specific you are, the more you are targeting a certain audience. Using relevant keywords in your blog or social media posts is also important because search engines pick up on those.
  Using SMO helps customers build familiarity and trust with your brand. It also helps drive more traffic to your website, which can ultimately increase brand awareness and sales. You can point your customers where you want them to go by sharing different links with calls to action. In order to improve your SMO, follow the points above. Focus on engaging with your social audience by contributing to conversations, liking posts and having a presence. All of this can be done organically, without having to reach for your wallet. Consistency is key when dealing with SMO. Keep up with it and you will see results. If you want to see results faster, you should consider paid options like paid campaigns or Pay Per Click. SMO is also connected with Search Engine Optimization. As stated earlier, SMO contributes to improving your search results. To learn more about SEO, click here. Together, the results from these organic efforts will help grow your business.

SEO vs PPC

Written by Amanda on . Posted in PPC Management, SEO

Did you know that 85% of internet users will use a search engine first when looking for products or services? And 95% of those users don’t look past the first three search results pages. This is why you want your business to be on the first page — and even better — on top! It’s possible to be on the front page of a search engine like Google. There’s two ways to get there: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC). SEO is done organically, takes longer to see results but is longer lasting; PPC is a paid advertisement and results are seen immediately, but can disappear when the promotion ends.  
                              SEO

PPC

Organic, natural Contrived
Long lasting Lasts as long as budget
Appears slowly over time Appears immediately
Requires a length of time for effect                Can be as short as one day and still effect
  Let’s talk about some other key differences. These include position, results and price.

Position:

SEO and PPC cause your website to land in different position on search engine result pages. Search results effected by SEO will show up in the main body of the results page. The better the webpage is optimized for SEO, the higher it will be in the rankings. SEO results can include all webpages that the search engine thinks is relatable. On the other hand, PPC listings are displayed on the top of the results page as “sponsored links.” PPC targets a certain audience based on different categories specified when building the ad.

Results:

With an SEO campaign, it may take several months for a website to show higher up in search results. However, this means that there can be continuous traffic over a longer period of time. PPC campaigns show immediately, which can result in an immediate boost in traffic. However, once the campaign is stopped and the budget is removed, the search result is removed.

Price:

For SEO campaigns, there are no associated costs. These are done organically. The only costs you’d incur are if you hired an agency or an employee to do it for you. For PPC, there is an ongoing price per click. You can set this price when building the ad. The greater your budget, the more traffic you will receive. You don’t pay anything to show the ad, you only pay whenever someone clicks your link. Both campaigns can be a great way to build your business.  

Optimal Times to Post on Social Media

Written by Amanda on . Posted in Search Science, SEO

The best times to post on social media are during the times in which the most users are on the network and will see your content. That sounds logical, right? So how do we know when that is?

According to research, there are certain times during the day that are better to post than others. This is called Social Media Optimization, or SMO. We are going to look over the three most popular social media networks: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Facebook

Studies show that the best time to post on Facebook is between 1-4pm, later in the week and on the weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays, you will see the highest engagement rate between 12-1pm.  

Twitter

Twitter is a hard network to master because people can choose which users and content they want to follow. In general, data shows that the optimal time to tweet is between 12-3pm during the workweek. Another good time is 5-6pm.

Instagram

Since Instagram is an app made solely for your phone, users are using it all the time and are engaged all week. Mondays and Thursdays seem to be the best days to post at any time other than between 3-4pm. Videos get the most engagement after 9pm.

Following tricks like these will help optimize your posts. Don’t forget to use hashtags, too!

Branding Your Business

Written by Amanda on . Posted in Design

What is a brand?

Your brand is your company image, or the identity of your business. It is how you appeal to customers and make them trust you. It is your promise to them and what differentiates you from the competitors. Your brand should have a clear message, a logo, a voice and standards (fonts, colors). Image result for apple logoImage result for target logoImage result for nike logoImage result for starbucks logo whiteImage result for mcdonalds logo

Branding is the art of using images to suggest value or meaning. A brand includes your logo, or your company image, used consistently across all aspects of your business. This means using the brand on your website, social media, email communications, printed material and through visual and verbal interactions like customer service or sales.

Why is branding important?

Developing a brand makes your business stand out among the rest. A strong brand that is consistent across all your company assets builds trust between your corporate image and your customers. The keys to successful branding are consistency and truth. Believe in what you’re doing! If you are consistent, your message will be perceived. Branding creates awareness. The more you push your brand, the more people will see it, know it and use it. It creates customer loyalty and builds that trust so your customers know they can keep coming to you for the same quality service.

Every business should have a brand – it’s just a matter of developing it. When doing so, here are a few questions to think about.
    • What is your company’s mission?
    • What value do your services/products offer?
    • What is the personality of your company?
    • What do your customers already think of your company?
    • What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
After thinking about these questions, write down your company’s brand message. Next, you’ll want to develop a logo. Think of a unique tag line that represents your message — this is not always needed but it can help market your business. You should also consider brand standards. What colors do you want to use? What fonts do you like? Do you want to capitalize words?

Another important part of your brand is your brand’s voice. Your voice should be integrated throughout everything you do — from marketing to customer service. You want your employees to represent your brand the way you want it to be presented. Once you decide on these factors, you are on your way to developing your brand!

What do we design?

Boston Web Group is comprised of a talented blend of creative people, including graphic designers, videographers, web designers and coders. This unique blend of talent makes it possible for us to help you build your brand the way you want it and develop your identity to portray your business in the best light possible.

Boston Web Group is here for you. Even if you submit your design concept as a sketch on a scrap piece of paper, we will still translate it into a colorful rendition of rich media. If you need help with a logo and brand design, our graphic design team can walk you through the process. Our team will come up with a brand design that includes logo, logo type and fonts, domain name and other brand identity elements. You can make comments and suggestions and we’ll go back and forth until you love it. And it doesn’t stop there — we can help you come up with a creative digital strategy and integrate your brand into the many facets of your unique strategy.

Contact us to get started.

 

Why Does My Business Need a Website?

Written by Amanda on . Posted in General

Every company, big or small, should have a website. But with so many social networks to use, sometimes this gets overlooked. Whether you are a small business or one with hundreds of employees, having a website can be the key to success.

Here are five reasons why every company should have a website:

Need-website
  1. The focus is on your business’ specific needs:
Many companies believe that their social media presence is enough — but it is not. Social media is crowded; there are thousands of people, different companies, new brands and personal blogs all using the same platform. This means that your presence decreases. Social networks use algorithms to feed the best possible content to their users, rather than list things in chronological order, so even if you’re posting content every day, some of your followers may not even see it. You want to get customers for your business, not compete for attention. This is what happens on social media because of all the distracting items included on a single page. People are likely to click around and leave your page. Having your own separate website will let people focus on your company and what you can do for them. A custom website will help you let them know exactly what you can do and turn viewers of the site into paying customers.  
  1. Get complete freedom with your brand’s online presence:
On social networks, you only have a small space to show your brand. You have to stick within the boundaries of short bios, character limits or certain categories. On a website, you can express your brand with as many words as you please. You can create separate pages to describe your business, list your services, rates and more. You are also able to pick fonts, colors and designs to match your brand.  
  1. Manage day to day operations from one convenient place:
Timeliness is a major key for landing a sale or signing on a new client. Customers want to know that if they reach out to you, you will answer. Having a website allows you to have one place to manage all your connections with existing and potential clients. Instead of checking multiple social media platforms for messages, your website will have a contact form that gets emailed directly to you, ensuring your customers that they’ve contacted you in the best way possible. You will also have the ability to reach your customers by sending emails to them through the address they provided. Websites can also be built to provide calendars or event schedules. If you want to list events to promote or to have customers sign up for, you can do it all on your website. Another perk of having a website is for ecommerce. You can sell things online! On your own website, you’ll be able to manage what is posted, what is written, what it’s selling for, when it’s sold and anything else you may need for that item.  
  1. Attract new customers with Search Engine Optimization:
SEO is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by growing your rankings in search engine results. This ultimately helps grow a business. The higher up your website is in Google search results, the more likely you are to get traffic to your website, which leads to new customers. SEO can be done in two ways: paid and organically. To learn more about SEO, click here. When you use SEO to make your website more visible in search results, you are giving your business the opportunity to reach more people who are potential customers.  
  1. Measure success with in-depth analytics:
Social networks allow you to see analytics and insights into your posts. This means you can see which posts got the most engagement, which ones did the best overall, which ones didn’t do so well and etc. Data like this is only really beneficial for growing your social profile, not your business. On your own custom site, you’ll be able to track how many people are on your site, how long they’re spending on each page, where they found the original link and more. You can focus on what is being successful and use that to your advantage. Knowing information like this will help you build, edit and grow each page to be as valuable as possible to the people that visit your website.

A successful business is centered around one thing: a website. A simple platform like this will not only help your business operate more smoothly, but it can help exponentially increase sales, profit and clientele.

Please contact us if you’d like to get started on creating your new website — or updating your current one! We are happy to answer any questions you may have and look forward to building your website.