Learn how to advertise your CBD products with our list of marketing suggestions.
When is the last time you saw a CBD product? The answer is probably yesterday. Hemp-extracted CBD products are quickly flooding the market and big-name brands like Coca-Cola and CVS are jumping on the bandwagon. In Charlotte, six new CBD stores have opened up in the last year. CBD is not a typical product and neither are the marketing implementations for CBD oils, bath bombs, tinctures, salves, or topicals. With the explosion of emerging CBD brands, now seemed like the right time to offer a list of what we believe are the most effective CBD marketing tactics.Read More›
We explain SEO, or search engine optimization, and how it impacts web traffic (including yours).
CPC, UV, RT…There are a lot of marketing buzzwords out there that can leave you feeling a little bit confused.
But one of those keywords, SEO, is actually pretty important. SEO stands for search engine optimization. To help explain what that means, we first need to brief you on how search engines like Google and Bing are changing the website traffic game.
Today, most people are turning to search engines to find whatever it is they’re looking for. They might want to know where the nearest grocery store is or what vacuum cleaner is best for picking up pet hair. Eighty-one percent of people use search engines for research before making a purchase.
A search engine’s job is to show content that best matches the user’s search query. To do this, search engines have bots that crawl websites looking at numerous factors to determine a website’s credibility and relevance. The more relevant the content, the higher it will rank, meaning the higher its position will be on the search engine results page (SERP). The first page has 10 slots. If you’ve ever Googled anything ever, you know how this works.
Marketers quickly discovered how valuable it is to have their content at the top of the results page. In 2014, Moz conducted an in-depth study of Google click-through rates. Even though the study was conducted five years ago, the data solidified what click-through-rate (CTR) marketers could expect from their SERP ranking. The study found that “on average, 71.33% of searches result in a page one organic click.” Smart Insights looked at data from 2018 and concluded that the very first SERP position had a 30% CTR. Marketers quickly realized the value of being at the top of a SERP.
So how are companies able to influence their SERP ranking? To answer this, we can take a look at the various search engine factors that determine the credibility and relevance of your website.
Your website content plays a big role in your SEO ranking. Imagine you’re a search engine bot. What are some clues you’d look for on a website or landing page to determine if it will help answer a user’s search query? Let’s say the user searched for “Bakery near me.” As a bot, you might look for websites that use words like “Charlotte bakery,” or related words like “muffins” or “cakes.” These words are called keywords and they tell bots “Hey! This page is about a local bakery!” If you find keywords used throughout the website, it’s logical this would be a good search result. Search engines will look at all kinds of content on your website, including your page titles, headers, blog posts, and landing page copy.
Keywords are important but don’t get keyword crazy. Early on, some marketers tried to trick bots by overloading their pages with them. (Imagine a page that just said “Welcome to our Charlotte bakery! Our Bakery, located in Charlotte, has a wide selection of baked goods. If you’re looking for the best Charlotte Bakery, that’s us!) These types of pages didn’t give users valuable information and ultimately had high bounce rates. Search engines picked up on this and they now penalize keyword stuffing, which is considered spammy.
Let’s keep pretending that you’re a search engine bot. By now, you’ve looked at a website’s content to figure out how relevant it is. What else might you look at? Images! Don’t forget that a lot of people use image results to find what they’re looking for too. By adding captions to your images, you can signal to bots what kind of content your site has to offer. You also want to include something called alt text. If images on a page don’t load correctly, alt text gives users some indication of what those images illustrate and how they relate to the rest of the page content.
In 2006, Google made its way into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It earned its dictionary cred by being an incredibly useful tool. Thirteen years later, it’s still listed as a transitive verb. So long as Google serves up the best content in response to a search query, its dictionary spot is safe.
How does Google find and populate the best content? One way to determine content credibility is to look at the number of times other websites link to it. Whenever one site includes a hyperlink to another, that hyperlink is like a vote. Websites with a lot of votes are considered valuable and reliable and therefore rank pretty high. For example, Moz built an incredible free resource called “The Beginners Guide to SEO.” Many, many bloggers link to this free tool (like we just did). By now, the SEO guide has so many “votes” that it ranks high for searches related to learning about SEO.
Internal linking, meaning linking to pages within your own website, is also helpful. It helps bots better understand your site architecture and how all of your page content relates to each other. Pages that have the most backlinks, like the Home page or Contact page, tell bots that these pages are the most valuable.
If you were a Charlotte bakery, you’d probably have a Facebook page, a Google My Business Listing, and maybe even a Yelp profile. Search engines will pick up on this directory information and use it to learn more about your website. It’s important for businesses to have consistent information—including their exact address listing—so that they will show up in related local searches.
As you’ve probably picked up by now, search engines are all about the wants and needs of users. Users are like the Marsha of the Brady Bunch.
So while search engines will be looking heavily at a website’s content, they will also be looking at other user experience factors. How easy is it to navigate the website? Is the content easy to understand? Do the pathways make sense? Do the pages load quickly? Search engines want to surface relevant content that’s also going to lead to a positive user experience.
A FINAL NOTE ABOUT SEO
SEO strategies definitely work. It’s possible for companies to go from zero to 100,000 website visitors in 12 months with a strong SEO plan. But SEO is only successful for those who aren’t afraid to commit. These strategies are long-term, often including consistent blogging and link building.
When you stop building up your SEO, you will slowly lose all of the traction you’ve made. Remember, your competitors are trying to outrank you. The more robust strategy they have, the higher they’ll be on the results page. But an SEO strategy shouldn’t feel like homework. It’s really an opportunity to connect with your target audience through great content and a positive user experience.
When we build SEO strategies for our clients, they typically address a mix of the factors listed above. We start with a website evaluation to see which areas need the most help and build a detailed plan that fits the client’s needs. If you think you might benefit from an SEO strategy, drop us a line!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last month, you’ve probably heard about Facebook’s latest scandal—a data security and privacy breach. For those of you who have managed to avoid the news coverage, let us to fill you in.Read More›
So picture a scenario that goes something like this: you and your team have identified some new weaknesses/opportunities (depending on if you are the glass half-full or empty kinda person) within your organization. You have a few meetings (that last way too long) and you come up with some ideas.
Generally there are two kinds of ideas that come out of meetings: the same ol’ stuff you’ve been talking about for years or some really great ideas that are never given the time or support to succeed. This cycle continues (a series of meetings) until there is a more pressing problem and everyone’s attention turns elsewhere, forgetting any progress that was just made.Read More›
To me beginning a new project is kind of like the first time we brought home our dog, Moose (except then her name was Chanel and we were told she liked to wear sweaters…that’s still up for debate). We had a grasp on the basics but as we looked at this bundle of potential energy we couldn’t help but feel simultaneously excited and terrified. Beginnings are like that, intimidating by the sheer fact of all the possibilities that could unfold. The creative process is no different. So how do you overcome the daunting task of starting? We’ve found the secrets to success maybe aren’t so secret.Read More›
It’s no secret that people are passionate about their opinions (whether others are listening or not). But we know the community benefits when we stop giving others a talking to and start talking with each other. As a primary source of grant-funding in Martinsville and Henry County Virginia, the Harvest Foundation came to us with a vision to bring a variety of voices to the community table.Read More›
You’ve just created a new business, decided it’s time to get serious about an old venture or just need a change – but now what? You know you need a logo, but where do you look and what are the steps to getting something you love? Here are some tips to guide you through this exciting adventure.Read More›