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Marketing or Systems?

Your business is doing pretty well, but you can tell it could be a whole lot more productive. You notice that your staff spend a lot of time putting out fires to keep clients happy. On the other hand, you know that the marketing is unfocused and sales, while at a reasonable level, are unpredictable. Great one month, and not so much the next.

Your staff is fighting fires because your systems are gaffer taped together. They were fine in the earlier days when you weren’t so busy, and everything was a custom job, but now mistakes happen because of the pressure from the volume of customers and you and your staff are forever in fix it mode.

On the marketing side, you know about half your marketing works, but you just don’t know which half! You can also see that while some of the customers are worth their weight in gold, others are wasting your time, and you don’t have a way of filtering them.

So which comes first: your marketing or your business systems?

The reason for most people hesitate before answering, is they don’t have the time to do both, so the first step is to create more time.

This means:

  1. Deciding what is important, the mission critical items that only you can do.
  2. Delegating, outsourcing or dropping the not-important, non-urgent tasks which are taking your time.
  3. Booking uninterrupted time with yourself to focus on the mission critical items on your list.

Once you have created the time, and you examine the choice between your marketing and your systems, it will become clear that the problems are actually quite similar. The reason why you don’t know which marketing campaigns produce the best results is that you don’t have a system to measure them. The reason you aren’t able to filter your customers is that there is no system in place to do so.

With everything coming back to systems, the next priority is to create a system infrastructure for your business suitable both for operations and sales, otherwise known as a Business Management System.

Your Business Management System will have reporting tied to your bottom line so that you can see where the opportunities for improvement are. It will show you what marketing is working, and which customers are golden. The reporting will also identify the priority areas where fire prevention systems should be installed first in your operations.

Your Business Management System will enable you to better utilize your staff to address both the marketing and the operational issues so you are not trying to do it all yourself, and you can leave it to the philosophers to continue the never ending debate on which came first, the chicken or the egg.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

 

Pitching Suicide

It seems many people actually want to publicly murder their own pitch. I love great pitches, and I hate to see them die slow, humiliating public deaths. If you're going to destroy something beautiful, do it right. These are the 6 most effective ways eviscerate a pitch while numbing the minds of your audience. Want a great pitch?

Avoid these 6 Pitch killers.

TALKING TOO MUCH AND GOING TOO SLOW

The human brain is being carpet bombed by billions of bits of data from all 5 senses every second. To avoid making you feel like you're in the middle of a horrendous trip, the human brain has evolved to radically filter inbound information.

You think that there is so much about your opportunity that is amazing, and you think that by telling people more, they're going to be even more impressed. Instead what happens is our brains register that we're under information attack and it begins rapidly purging not just the deluge of useless information you're forcing upon it, but everything. (Command + A) Delete. Gone. Next. Good journalists ask "What words can I remove without losing the meaning of the sentence?". Do that and see the difference.

NOT SPECIALISING / NICHING / DIFFERENTIATING

Because of the afore mentioned data bombing, if our brains come across something familiar or easily recognizable, our brain will pay no attention to it (assuming it's not dangerous). Trying to pitch something that is not unique, different or specialized in any way is an attention killer.

The more specialized you are and the more succinctly you articulate the unique problems you solve, the more novel your pitch will be, and the more attention your audiences will give you.

I do NOT mean you should spend hours flipping through your thesaurus to find different words to say the same thing or using superlatives to 'wow' your audience. Instead, this will just put a more cognitive load on your audience's brains forcing them to make one of two choices. a) Allocate significant recourses to decode what you're talking about. OR b) Ignore you. For your brain, which is a cognitive miser, it's a simple choice.

Our brains love simple so leave your fancy pants at home and dumb it down. Replace superlatives fancy words with the simplest word that explains what you mean. If you have to say your product or service is revolutionary, world class, amazing, innovative etc…it's probably not. If it is any good, let it speak for itself. If it's not, move on or iterate until it is.

OVERCOMPLICATING IT.

You're busy. You're juggling balls, you're spinning plates and you're trying to put out fires at home, work and in your social life. Now some noob comes up and asks you to allocate more brain power to solving another problem by giving you a complex pitch that they have to decode. Ignore.

Respect your audience by keeping it simple. Complex information and abstract ideas take a lot of brain power to process, and our brains have enough problems already without being loaded up with more. If you introduce complex ideas that require heavy thinking and problem solving, your audience's brains will shut down and start flicking through twitter looking for a cat video on youtube. KISS.

BEING NEEDY

This is social dynamics at it's best. As people, we want what we can't have, we tend to chase what moves away and we only value what others do too. If you come across as though you need something, that something will tend to move in the opposite direction. There's a big difference between intention and attachment. Having an intention to win the deal is essential. It will be good for you and the world and it's ok to want it, but if you appear to be attached to the outcome, you will come across as needy and desperate and that doesn't end well. Guys, for a case in point, approach the cute girl at the bar and say "I can't seem to get a date with anyone, will you please go out with me?" It works fast.

WAITING UNTIL YOUR PITCH IS PERFECT.

It's never perfect. Get over it. Half the data you need to improve your pitch is locked away inside the hearts and minds of the market so you need to get out and deliver your imperfect pitch so the market can tell you what's wrong with it.

Don't be afraid of rejection or criticism. Both of those things are opportunities to mine the market for gold nuggets that you can reverse engineer into your pitch to make it truly great. You sharpen your pitch on the stone of the market. Prolific beats perfect. Pitch.

TRYING TO PROTECT IT.

NDA's are junk. They're only as good as your ability to fight them in court, which you can't afford to do, so their attempted use flags a novice and devalues you in the eyes of any half sophisticated audience. If your idea is so fragile that it breaks the moment it leaves your mouth, it's not a good idea. If someone can replicate your idea without you, it's an indefensible commodity and not a good idea. If it can easily happen without you and requires heavy legal protection to keep you in the deal, it's not your deal to make.

Let it go. Move on. Find something no one can do without you and pitch the hell out of it.

There is a fundamental disconnect between 'value' and 'reward'. As a result, people with low skills and bad ideas can be highly paid, and people with high skills and great ideas can be chronically underpaid. The market is unable to place a high value on anything until that value is clearly articulated. A Killer Pitch must articulate that value clearly, simply and compellingly.

Hopefully, these 6 killer mistakes will help you hone your pitch so you get what you want. Remember, you get what you pitch for, and you're always pitching.

 

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

 

Website Visitors Gone in 60 seconds

So someone has just visited your website. Well done. All that money you paid for Search Engine Optimisation has paid off. Along with all those posts on social media. How many Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections do you have now? Then there are the AdWords you have paid for, not to mention the offline advertising to get people to your website.

What happens next?

Half website visitors never get past your first page. The average time on websites is less than a minute, perhaps time to read less than half a page of text. Then most are gone, never to return.

That is they won’t unless you give them a reason to do so.

In most cases, when a visitor reaches your website, unless you have spent a lot of time developing your brand in other channels, it will be the first time they have heard about you. So they have stumbled upon you by accident. Your first job is to make them feel that they are in the right place to find what they are looking for, and they should linger rather than clicking on the back button.

However, because they have just found you, they may not be ready to call or email you. Perhaps they will bookmark your site because they found it so interesting, and then forget about the bookmark. (How many sites have you bookmarked, and how many have you returned to?) Alternatively, they may ‘Like’ your page through your Facebook link. Both of these strategies leave things too much to chance.

One common strategy that puts you more in control is to offer some kind of download such as e-book to provide more information to the visitor in exchange for their email details, but if that’s all you do, you may still be quickly forgotten. (How many e-books have you on your hard drive that you haven’t read?)

As you build your database, you are able to stay in touch with your visitors giving further reasons to return to your site. Other strategies don’t even require email addresses to stay in touch.

While the initial visit may have been a brief one, and the person may not have been ready to buy at such an early stage in your relationship with them, by staying top of mind, when they are ready, they will remember you and the value you provided, and ready to trust you to meet their needs.

All you need to do now is to Empower yourself and take action …

 

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Sales Techniques

 

 

How do you meet objections raised against your offers and advice? What do you say? How do you say it? Remember, objections have a positive upside because they give you the chance to help the prospect by removing their doubts, reshaping their attitudes or putting new thoughts into their minds.

The following tactical and strategic methods of answering and countering objections are varied and of different intensity.

Here are five methods of answering objections:

Head on

Some objections are best answered with a direct denial. This would be particularly true if the prospect makes a false statement about your proposal, products or personality.

The head-on method is used with prospects you know fairly well and where you understand their objection and the reason they made it. You can then dismiss the whole question with a direct statement.

When handled properly, a direct denial may favorably impress the prospect with your sincerity and belief in what you are suggesting. For example, when a prospect says: “I can’t afford it,” you might smile and answer, “Bill, I know you can afford it if you want to, otherwise, I’d never have called on you; you have a good job, a fine home, a well thought out asset accumulation plan – of course, you can afford it!”

“Yes, but”

This is the most widely used method because it fits most situations and can be used inoffensively and courteously with any type of prospect.

You can disarm your prospect by agreeing with his attitude or his prejudice. Then you move back on the offensive. For example, when he says: “I can do better with my money,” you say: “You may be right, Mr. Prospect. You might do better with your money if you laid it aside regularly and were lucky and had no losses – but what we’re talking about now is your total retirement and contingency planning, aren’t we?” “Yes, but” is both an agreement and a way forward to help the prospect. You agree with them, but present new evidence or represent existing evidence to support your case to the benefit of the prospect. A softer version of Yes But is Yes, However. This slight variation allows you to put up other alternatives

Boomerang

Here the prospect’s objection is turned into a positive reason for buying. This is an effective method; however, it should be used with considerable tact, since some prospects may resent having their objections thrown back at them.

For example, if he says: “Living expenses are too high. I don’t have any surplus income left,” you say: “That’s exactly why I am recommending this plan. It is low cost and provides a maximum protection just when your family needs it most when you have little disposal income left.”

Ignoring the objection

Both you and the prospect will be worn out if you try to give documented answers to every question they raise. Many times objections are a just conversation. So often the prospect doesn’t really mean them. They are just seeing if you know your stuff!

Here is an example of an objection that frequently can be bypassed. When the prospect says: “I’m not sure that I can handle that premium right now,” you say, “Mr. Prospect, do you know of anything in your physical condition which would prevent you from getting this protection?”

Even ask the question: "Is that of paramount importance to your decision?" Be prepared of course with an answer if they say yes!

Effective use of the motivational story

A strong closer is a person of conviction and belief in their advice and proposition. They believe implicitly in their product or service, and by their enthusiasm, they can really convert others. The reason some people find it difficult to use motivation is that they themselves lack a deep-seated belief in the plan they are offering.

The motivating story, like any other type of close, has its roots in the interview itself. The story is wasted, actually harmful, if not told at the proper place and without conviction.

A motivational story is exactly that. It is your verbal case study. It tells of a problem that is similar to the prospects. This means they can align themselves to the story. Then you propose a solution using your products, services or experience and expertise. The prospect can then see how by utilizing your capabilities they can divest their self of the problem by implementing your solution. True motivation is not a last-minute Appendix, hopefully, tacked on at the conclusion of a presentation. True motivation is built into the entire sales procedure.

 

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Hiring a Good Marketing Agency

Not understanding and focusing on branding strategies is a common mistake that small businesses make, often leading them to their downfall. However, marketing your brand takes a large portion of your time, and time is a precious commodity when you’re running a small business.

People are always debating about whether enterprises should outsource marketing or create their own marketing departments. In many cases, it all comes down to finances, but other factors may play an important role as well. If you’re thinking of hiring a marketing agency, this is how you can benefit from their help.

1. Access to the latest technology

Today’s marketing is mostly driven by technology. This is why most companies don’t have enough resources to supply their own marketing teams with the latest software and apps. When hiring a marketing partner, you’re hiring specialized people who’ll do the work using the latest technology – from the latest big data analysis software to the content-producing equipment. This can give you a great advantage over your competition.

2. Not having to create, train, and manage a marketing department

Hiring new employees requires bringing them into your organization and helping them understand their role, which is the most time-consuming aspect of the whole process. Even after a few months, when the training process is done, company owners will need to create another layer of management to make sure that these new employees stay on their tasks. It’s different with a marketing agency because there’s no need for hiring, training, and managing employees. Everything is handled internally by the management team of the marketing agency, which allows you to focus on running your business.

3. Access to a team of experts

Today, companies are willing to pay large sums of money to retain their top talent. This is great news for those looking for a job, but not so much for companies who are hiring. The competition is fierce, and you’ll need a bigger budget if you’re looking to hire an expert. On the other hand, by hiring an agency, you will gain access to their team of experts that has probably worked on similar marketing campaigns in the past. They know what they are doing and how these things work.

4. On-going and crucial tweaks

When it comes to marketing, things always need to be tweaked along the way. It is a fluid concept, so no marketing strategy is set in stone. Due to the limited resources, in-house marketing departments often underestimate or neglect this aspect of work. By having a marketing agency on your side, you can rest assured that your campaigns will be regularly adjusted for achieving the best possible results.

5. Guaranteed ROI

When a company hires a digital marketing agency, the money is more likely to be invested properly. As the agency focuses on leads, they’ll spend time making sure you get the desired results. This helps you grow your business as well as save time and money.

6. Gaining insight into your business

By working with your company on a daily basis, the experience and knowledge you gather along the way should help you understand your business better. However, the data brought to you by a marketing agency can help you understand which aspects of your business you should optimize in order for it to grow and attract more visitors. In short, you’ll get a new perspective of your business.

Once you transfer your marketing endeavors to an agency, you will get a chance to focus more on the core of your business. If you want to keep marketing processes independent from the core of your company, then you should consider hiring a digital marketing agency. With the right access, information, and better strategies, the agency can plan, develop, and execute fruitful strategies for your company.

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and a regular contributor to Technivorz.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Mastering the Art of Writing a Good Tweet

This guide will help you get the most exposure out of the tweets you write.

1.  Use your release headline as a starting point.
A good place to start is the headline of your news release, but don’t be limited by this alone. When writing your tweet, think about the words related to your news that people would most likely search for within a query.

2.  Leave room for others to retweet (repeat) your message.
Twitter limits each tweet to 140 characters, including spaces.  When you broadcast your message through the SocialPost™ news release distribution service, we require that the message you write be limited to 100 characters. This allows us to link back to your full release with a 20-character URL, while also leaving 20 characters available to make retweeting your message easier for other Twitter users.
If you don’t leave room for retweeting, people may cut words from your message and unintentionally change its meaning.

3.  Keep it simple. Lose the fluff.
It's important to keep the integrity of the message/headline while stripping away fluffy language that acts as "filler.” Stick with the basics: subject, verb, object. The best tweets use the fewest and most relevant words.

Example:

  • Original Headline:

    ABC Widgets Stores Nationwide to Open When the Clock Strikes Midnight on Black Friday and Will Remain Open 24/7 Through Midnight on Christmas Eve Giving Shoppers More Hours to Shop than Any Other widget store

  • Proposed Twitter Headline:

    ABC Widgets Opens at Midnight on Black Friday

4.  Use familiar acronyms and abbreviations.

Example:

  • Original Headline:

    ABC Widgets Delivery Delayed Due To the Federal Aviation Administration System Outage, Customers May Request Home Delivery without Extra Charges

  • Proposed Twitter Headline:

    No Penalty for ABC Widgets Customers Affected by FAA System Outage

5.  Make it more search-friendly with #hashtags.
Hashtags – Twitter tags or keywords – can help your story be part of a "conversation" on Twitter. They are generally used for nouns and industries, not company names unless it is a very well known company. Some very popular examples include #socialmedia, #marketing, #auto, and #tech.

Examples:

  • No Penalty for ABC #Widgets Customers Affected by FAA System Outage #aviation
  • ABC #Widgets Opens at Midnight on #BlackFriday #retail

Note: Company names should stay intact. If the headline is too long, don't force a #hashtag.

6.  Don’t spam. 
Never use #hashtags that have nothing to do with your message, as it amounts to Twitter spam. Remember, keywords and #hashtags must be relevant.

7.  Spread the word.
Always strive to maximize the search opportunities for your message. Remember to post your tweet on your brand’s own Twitter page, and also encourage others to retweet it.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

The Key to Facebook Success

Running a Facebook campaign is not as easy as it looks. This article will teach you the keys to unlocking the marketing potential within Facebook. Professional grade strategy creation and implementation is of paramount importance for the success of a Facebook campaign. If your strategy doesn’t measure up, then you’re essentially trying to cross the Atlantic in a kayak. Facebook is a sea of people. You need to give yourself the right vessel to reach them all. Your strategy is that vessel. The key is what guides you to a winning strategy which can drive awareness and sales.

The key to Facebook engagement is (drum roll please):

  1. To give people a reason to gather around you
  2. To provide people who have already gathered a reason to listen to you.

The first key applies best to venues, business to consumer and retail companies. Reasons these companies can give include: offering coupons, deals, insider information, early releases, backstage passes or other events passes. The reason people would want to gather around you is to get what others can’t. By making your Facebook page a source for exclusive information/deals you incentivize people to gather around you. Don’t be afraid to be creative in offering something of value. By knowing who and where your consumers are and what they value, you generate reasons for users to join your page. City Lights Cruises, for example, a party cruise service, created a Facebook page to give away coupons and promote deals in the different cities in which they operate. By starting with a professional strategy, they knew where their customers were on Facebook  and what they wanted. As a result, their Facebook fan page grew to over 400 fans in just a few months.

The second key, providing Facebook fans a reason to listen to you, relies on great content. This is not just throwing up awesome video, a great piece of writing or funny cartoon. The first step is to know your target. It is only by knowing who you are trying to reach and listening to them, that you can create content that actually reaches and engages them.

What is even better is that you do not need the absolute best video, writing, cartoon etc, in the world to have content that can help drive awareness and sales. Having professionals create your content will help to ensure that your message can break through the clutter in this saturated space. Poor quality work will undoubtedly get ignored or worse, dilute your brand.

An example would be a law partner who specializes in personal injury and who is also a biker. By being involved in a group that may be more prone to injuries (knowing your target market), say bikers, you are able to gauge a need by the group for what their rights are if they get injured. By providing some basic information for free, such as legal rights of bikers, you become an active, trusted member. Another example might be if you own a company that services pets, giving advice, presenting articles, giving tips ranging from caring for a sick dog to where to meet other singles who like pets, would be great for a pet group. For best results, make sure this information is free. Sales will follow once trust and credibility are developed.

While those keys will help point you in the right direction, success in Facebook marketing takes time and persistence. Facebook changes often - from layouts to advertising rules. Therefore strategies may need updating. The rules of the game are always subject to change. So unless you or your employees are prepared to put in the hours needed to run a campaign properly, you may achieve desired results. Hiring an agency that stays on top of best practices for Facebook and has run successful campaigns before is always a good option. More importantly, they may be the best option for you. They are the ones who are truly best and creating a strategy, finding your target audience developing content, implementing your strategy and measuring success.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

KEY APPS FOR MANAGING YOUR COMPANY’S DIGITAL MARKETING

These mobile apps are your key to managing your company’s digital marketing on the go, from any location.

The number of mobile apps available to help small-business owners with social-media marketing is mind-blowing. To get you started, here’s a quick look at the most popular platforms.

Facebook: A small business favorite for years, the Facebook app makes it easy to stay connected to followers and customers as you tackle busy days. Add photos of what you’re working on as you go about your work week, post updates between clients and handle customer service issues on the fly. (Available for iOS and Android.)

Instagram: This app isn’t just for the Kardashians—it’s one of the fastest-growing social media channels to market small businesses. With Instagram you can snap a photo or use an existing image from your photo album; add filters and dramatic color effects to get that vintage, artsy look; and share it with your followers along with your comments and hashtags. (Available on for iOS and Android.)

LinkedIn: Once the place for job seekers, now LinkedIn is another platform where your business can shine. Build a company page, promote your brand and share content to become a thought-leader in your field. Start a LinkedIn group to meet customers, influencers, and contenders for your business’ next job opening. (Available on for iOS and Android.)

Pinterest: This is one of the best platforms to reach new customers using images of your products or services. From cleaning services to artisans of fine crafts, any type of business can add photos, which users can “pin” (or save for later) and add to their own boards for inspiration. (Available for iOS and Android.)

Snapchat: Not necessarily the first app that comes to mind when you consider marketing your small business. But if your demographic falls somewhere between loving One Direction and not yet having an AARP card, this could be a viable option. Send quick messages, photos or short video clips—all of which disappear after they’re viewed. And even though the messages’ lifespan is fleeting, they’ll look their best with the built-in editing tools and filters. (Available on for iOS and Android.)

Twitter: As one of the largest social networks, Twitter is an ideal place to market your brand, manage customer service issues and network with clients—all in 140 characters or fewer. And if you think your customers aren’t on it, think again. With around 970 million users, it’s likely that many of them are your customers. (Available for iOS and Android.)

Google My Business: Manage your company’s entire Google presence from this one app. You can do everything on the GMB app that you can do from your desktop GMB dashboard. Edit your profile, check on your engagement analytics and respond to customer reviews—all from your smartphone or tablet. (Available for iOS and Android.)

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Writing Press Releases Effectively for Search Engines

Understand how search engine optimization works & take advantage of Press Release Optimization by structuring your press release correctly 

Search engine optimization practices have evolved alongside the improvements and refinements search engines have made to their algorithms.  In order to take full advantage of the Press, Release Optimization PR Newswire builds into the distribution of each press release, it’s important that you understand SEO practices and factors - and stay up to speed with shifting trends and tactics.

General best practices:

Release Length 
The length of the press release is a make or break factor in the overall strength of its optimization.  You can craft the perfect headline and use the best keywords, but if your message is too long it can become diluted, which means that search engines can’t index it as specifically.  The result?  The release drops out of the top search results and is less likely to be found by internet searchers.

The optimum length is generally 400 to 600 words – between about a page and a half and two pages.  This length is easy for readers to digest and comprehend, but it’s long enough to include the rich detail readers appreciate – which is also informative to search engines.  And it’s not so long that key contextual points are drowned in a sea of less relevant detail.

Anchor Text 

The links you see on web sites connecting a word or phrase to a related page are called “anchor text,” and these are a boon to press release writers.  In addition to providing a great way to channel readers to additional information (eliminating the need to write an excessively long press release), anchor text – when used properly – can also deliver significant SEO benefit back to the web site you’re promoting.   Best practices for using anchor text in your press release include:

  • Link operative keywords or short phrases (two words is ideal) to relevant web pages.  Do not use anchor text to link phrases like “for more information” or “click here.”  Likewise, don’t link from descriptive language (e.g. colors, flavors.)  Link from keywords only.
  • The headline, Lead & Link.  Use your most important keyword in your headline and your lead sentence.  Link from the occurrence of the keyword in the lead.
  • Less is more.  Two links per 500-600 words are recommended, in order to focus search engines on your most important keywords.

Context & Focus 
A clear, concise message resonates with readers and is appreciated by journalists.  It’s also a key component of a well-optimized press release.  Too many keywords and concepts can dilute your message, causing it to drop in the rankings for the keywords you consider most important.  A tightly focused message that is truly relevant for your target keywords is more likely to be ranked, read and written about than a press release that tries to be all things to all people.

Language 
Journalists have long complained about jargon and hyperbolic language in press releases.  In addition to doing yourself no favors in the newsroom, jargon-laden headlines and press releases don’t resonate with searchers, either.  Use the plain, accurate and descriptive language people use when discussing the product/service/initiative you’re promoting.  You’ll be more likely to connect with your audiences – via search engines, and on-page.

How Press Release Optimization Works: 
How your press release is structured directly affects its optimization.  With today’s emphasis on the actual on-page content, the decisions you make about what language to use, placement of keywords and use of anchor text will affect the overall quality of the optimization of the press release and its overall effectiveness.   In this section, you’ll learn how the different parts of your press release are utilized in the overall optimization process.

The Headline & Subhead
The headline of a press release has always been important but is doubly so for press releases that are optimized for search.  PR Newswire’s Press Release Optimization system utilizes your headline to populate several extremely important HTML fields that are part of the underlying optimization of your press release, including:

  • The Title Tag – At the very top of each web page is the title tag. One of the most important SEO factors, the Title Tag carries real weight in search engines.  The title tag (and, specifically, the language contained therein) strongly influences how search engines interpret and index a web page.
  • The Search Engine Results Page description (“SERP”) – The SERP description is what people see initially when your press release shows up in their search results.   PR Newswire uses your headline and subhead (up to 300 characters total) to populate your SERP description.  Because headlines and subheads are crafted to grab a reader’s attention, they are perfectly suited for this important role.
  • H1 tag – Part of the underlying HTML of the release, the H1 tag reinforces other optimization factors and can help focus the search engine’s attention on a key aspect of the overall message.  By using the headline, we repeat a powerful, clear, richly descriptive phrase and amplify your release’s key message.

Tips:

  • Start your headline with the most important keyword in your press release.
  • Keep your headline fairly short – 60 to 80 characters are optimal. Your subhead can be a little longer – but try to keep it to two lines or less.
  • Use descriptive language that you’ll repeat in the body of the press release when writing both the headline and subhead.

The Subhead 
The subhead has traditionally added extra descriptive information to the top of a page, fleshing out the headline and telling a reader a bit more about a story.  In terms of press release optimization, the subhead plays a similar role.   The subhead is utilized in the optimization of a press release in a variety of ways:

  • The Search Engine Results Page description (“SERP”) – The SERP description, as described above, is key real estate – for both search engines and your readers.  Your subhead will be used to populate the SERP if your headline is short – a total of 300 characters can go into that field.
  • H2 tag – part of the underlying HTML of the release, and just behind the H1 tag in authority, the H2 tag is populated with your subhead, where it amplifies your message and helps focus the search engine’s attention on your overall message.

Meta keywords tag
Five years ago, Google didn’t read your press release; it read the underlying HTML code.  Today, Google – and other engines - can effectively read your press release. The Meta keywords tag is largely ignored. As a result, SEO best practices today are focused more on the on-page content, and less on the keywords placed in the Meta keywords field in the release HTML.   For that reason, PR Newswire’s system makes minimal use of this field, populating it with informative but limited information drawn automatically from the press release.  The information that does go into this field includes the name of the issuing organization, geographic information, and industry and subject details.

We still field questions from PR pros wondering whether it’s possible to optimize a press release for a list of keywords they supply (i.e. keyword stuffing).   Because this practice offers little benefit at the most and, at the worst, can be detrimental, it’s not supported by our system.  Keywords are important, and they belong the text of the press release.  Use them there!

Paying attention to how you write your press releases, what language you use, and how you structure the release itself can pay big dividends.   By staying current on SEO tactics and adhering to the best practices enumerated above, you’ll soon see new and gratifying results for your press release campaigns.

 

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Social Media Explained: What Is Snapchat?

All the kids are using Snapchat—but is there room for your small business marketing on the social messaging platform?

Here’s what else you can do with the social app:

  1. Send short marketing messages via videos and photos
  2. Create quick “stories,” which are viewable for up to 24 hours
  3. Use in conjunction with Vine
  4. Enhance your message by adding text, filters, digital crayons and more
  5. Deliver a call-to-action that promotes a sense of urgency

So, is there a there a place for Snapchat in small business? Yes, if your demographic is young and tech-savvy, it may be the place to be—even if just for a second.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Fivenson Studios: Michigan's #1 Graphic Design, Web Design, & Digital Advertising Agency 

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

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Lets get social. We would love to meet you! We Are Currently Open Monday-Sunday 8am-11pm Christopher@FivensonStudios.Com

Name: Christopher
Phone: (734) 224-9696
Address: 1214 S. University Ave Unit 4075 Ann Arbor, MI 48104

734-224-9696