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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

Eliminating Obstacles Between You and Your Prospects

Obstacle One: Confusion

Your prospects are often confused about what they should do about their problem. They may not be sure about what solutions are available, and which solution would be the best for them. They are also confused about which companies provide these solutions and which company would provide them with the best solution, best service, and best price.

To Eliminate Confusion . . .

You can help to eliminate your prospects' confusion by being one of the few company's that provides free, helpful information about their problem and possible solutions. Of course, you would also include information about your products and services too. Since few businesses go out of their way to help their prospects or customers eliminate their confusion, your business would stand out from the crowd.

Obstacle Two: Skepticism

With all the exaggeration and distortion of facts in the media today, it's natural for consumers to be skeptical of many marketing claims and promises. Will the product really do what it says? Will I get what I pay for? Will it be worth the price? Will the company stand behind its products and services? When prospects are skeptical . . . they don't buy. How can you be sure your prospects will not be skeptical of your promises? To Eliminate Skepticism. Make sure that you stand behind your products, services and promises 100%. Do everything you can to let your prospects and customers know that you are an honest and ethical company to do business with. A strong, money-back guarantee on your products and services will go a long way in gaining your prospects' trust.

Obstacle Three: Fear

What are your prospects afraid of? Same things you are when it comes to buying products and services. They're afraid of sales pressure.
They're afraid they may look dumb if they don't understand. They're afraid of making the wrong decision--a decision that may cost them a fortune in lost time and money.

To Eliminate Fear . . .
Let them know up front that there will be absolutely no sales pressure. Let them know that there will be no obligation. Let them know that you will help them to understand your product or service in easy to grasp terms. No jargon. Let them know that you are here to provide the information they need to help them solve their problem.

Replace the Three Obstacles . . .

Your prospects will buy from you if you can replace each of the three obstacles with the following . . .

Replace Confusion with . . . Certainty.
Replace Skepticism with . . . Trust.
Replace Fear with . . . Confidence.

 

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

Google My Business: 29 Tips to Supercharge SEO for Small Business Owners

Learn how to use Google My Business to easily manage your business listing, reviews, photos and location on Google search, Google Maps and local search

Google My Business is one of the most powerful tools available to help you rank higher in local search results and reach more customers. But to take full advantage of this opportunity, you must claim and complete your profile and make sure it’s optimized to be found by customers who are searching for businesses like yours. Manta’s 29-point guide provides all the answers you need to build a dynamite Google My Business profile, boost your SEO, add your location to Google Maps and rank higher in local search.

1. What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is Google’s listing platform for companies. Millions of small, medium and large businesses have Google My Business profiles that help them boost search rankings and get in front of local customers.

What is Google My Business?

2. Why Should Your Business Use Its Google My Business Profile?

Setting up a Google My Business profile for your company will help your company show up in Google search engine results, Google local search results, and Google Maps results. Use this automatic business listing tool to see how your company appears on Google My Business other online business listing sites.

Listing your company on Google My Business will:

  • Help you show up in search results
  • Help you show up on map results
  • Use your location and potential customers’ locations to help you rank in local searches
  • Provide a place where customers can review your business

“Google My Business is a really important tool that more local businesses should take advantage of. It’s critical for helping customers find you easily,” said Brandon Schroth, an SEO strategist for seoWorks. “The best part? When optimized correctly, the page shows up above normal organic search results.”

3. What Do Google My Business Listings Look Like?

What Do Google My Business Listings Look Like?This Google My Business listing for Gigi’s Cupcakes shows what a great small business listing looks like:

4. How Much Does Google My Business Cost?

Nothing!

There’s no charge to add your company information to Google My Business. “It’s free to use, and it gives local businesses a way to manage their online presence by verifying and updating important information,” Schroth said.

5. How Does Google My Business Work?

Listing your company on Google ensures that your small business name, address, phone number, hours and description are listed correctly and consistently across all Google internet platforms, including:

  • Google search results
  • Google’s Local Pack
  • Google Maps
  • Google reviews

Google My Business allows you to manage your entire Google business profile—including for multiple locations—from one dashboard.

6. What Does Google My Business Do?

Google My Business allows you to control the way your business shows up on Google. Using Google My Business you can correct or adjust your company’s:

  • Name, address and phone number (your NAP info)
  • Your current business hours
  • Geographic information for each of your locations

On top of these basic features, you can add photos to your Google My Business profile and encourage positive customer reviews.

7. Do You Still Need Google+ or Google Places for Business Pages?

No.

You can manage everything you need to right from your small business’ Google My Business dashboard.

The NAP info, photos and any other information you upload to Google My Business will automatically populate across all of Google’s platforms. You can even manage your small business AdWords account from your Google My Business dashboard.

These are Google’s basic guidelines for representing your company on Google My Business:

  • Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and another branding.
  • Make sure your address is accurate and precise.
  • Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.

8. Do You Need to Create a Separate Small Business Listing for Google Maps?

No.

Your location information is automatically integrated with Google Maps from your Google My Business dashboard.

9. How Much Can You Manage From the Google My Business Dashboard?

Everything you need to manage for your small business’ appearance on Google you can manage from the Google My Business dashboard.

Here’s what the Google My Business dashboard looks like:

How Much Can You Manage From the Google My Business Dashboard?

From this dashboard you can:

  • Update your business information and have it automatically update in Google search and Google Maps
  • Get alerts for and respond to new reviews from customer
  • Use Google “insights” feature to see who’s interacting with your business online and learn how they found you
  • See how many people click to your website from your Google My Business profile
  • See how often people click-to-call your business from your Google My Business profile
  • See how often people request driving directions from your Google My Business profile
  • See how often people see your business in their Google search results over time
  • Use AdWords Express to administer AdWords from your Google My Business profile

10. Is My Company Already Listed on Google My Business or Google Maps?

Begin by searching for your business in the Google My Business search bar.

If your company information is already in Google’s system, it will appear on your screen. Google will ask you to verify the contact email on file for the account.

11. How to Add Your Company to Google My Business

If Google has no information on your business, it will lead you through a series of steps. Follow these prompts to add your business information to the site. You’ll be required to verify your business with Google, which we’ll get to in the next section.

As you wait for the verification process to be completed, you can begin uploading photos, videos and logo into your Google My Business dashboard immediately. These won’t publish online until you’ve completed the verification process.

Watch Google’s step-by-step demo to claim or add your company to Google My Business:

12. How to Verify Your Google My Business Listing

There are two main ways to verify your Google My Business listing: by postcard or by telephone.

“Google wants to understand that you’re the verified representative from the company. That is why they send a postcard to the address that gives a code to input,” said Nathan Barber, digital analyst for the Digital Advertising Works agency. “With the code verified, you are able to have full control over the listing. The verification boosts your chances of ranking for local services that you offer in your business area.”

Follow Google’s prompts to determine the method of verification that’s right for you. Verification by postcard will take between seven and 10 business days.

Watch Google’s step-by-step video to learn how to verify your small business on Google My Business:

13. What if Someone Already Claimed My Business on Google?

An additional step in the process of listing your company will arise if someone has already claimed your listing.

To lock down ownership of your listing, you’ll need to request a transfer of listing ownership or request that person—maybe an employee in charge of managing your digital marketing—add you to the account as a listing manager.

Watch Google’s step-by-step video on what to do if someone already claimed or verified your business:

14. What Should You Include on Your Google My Business Page?

The information you include on your Google My Business profile seems self-explanatory. But there are best practices every business owner should follow in the way their information is presented on Google My Business, said Barber. 

He offered the following guidelines on what to include on your Google My Business profile, and how to get it right:

  1. Consistent Business Name, Address & Phone Number
    “You want to make sure that all your business details are consistent with other online listings. Google pulls your NAP from all different sources, but if you can tell them the correct information through a consistent business citation, you will increase your online visibility on search engines on local search,” said Barber.
  2. Unique Business Description
    “Google wants to see that your ‘about’ section is completely unique, and not pasted from your own website. By having a unique description, your targeted keywords and business focus will be more in-tune to become more visible on the search engines. Don’t forget to include a hyperlink right in the description for maximum GMB return,” he said.
  3. Correct Business Category
    “Choosing the correct business category is vital to get found for the correct user’s searcher intent. By pinpointing your correct category (less the better), you will show up for the right types of search traffic. If you are having difficult deciding which category, look at all your competitors and scout out the winning listings and copy their category,” he said.

What Should You Include on Your Google My Business Page?

15. Google My Business for Multiple Locations

You can manage up to 10 business locations from a single Google My Business profile. For more than 10 locations, you’ll need to use the Google My Business Locations dashboard. 

16. Are Duplicate Google My Business Listings a Problem?

Yes.

Duplicate listings for a single business location can undermine the value of your Google My Business listing, said Alicia Glaser, the local search lead for digital marketing agency Pure Visibility.

“It’s important to search for any duplicate pages that might have been created in the past
with old addresses or different versions of your business’ name. Merge or close these locations,” advised Glaser.

“Having multiple Google My Business pages for the same location can harm your chances for ranking locally,” she explained. “Providing old, inaccurate information can also be an issue for the user’s experience.”

17. How to Remove Duplicate Listings

Businesses can contact Google My Business support by phone, by email, by chat, or through Facebook or Twitter to get rid of duplicate listings.

Austin Lund, local SEO specialist for Big Leap digital marketing agency, recommended these steps:

  1. First, delete the Google+ page of the old listing (if there isone).
  2. Next, send a message to Google My Business support staff on Facebook or Twitter, or start a chatrequest a callor send an email.
  3. Lund recommends sending the following message:

“Hello, can you please move this old listing [insert Google Maps listing URL of old listing] to the current listing [insert Google Maps listing URL of current listing]? And can you also please transfer the reviews of the old listing to the current listing?”

How to Remove Duplicate Listings

18. How Do You Edit or Change the Information in Your Google My Business Profile?

You can edit or change information on your profile directly from your Google My Business dashboard.

If you have any difficulty making changes to hours, location or other information, send a message to Google My Business support staff on Facebook or Twitter, or start a chat, request a call, or send an email.

19. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Best Results

One of the most important things to keep in mind when optimizing your Google My Business listing is consistency, said David Mulqueen, project manager for digital marketing agency Odd Dog Media.

“You want to make sure that things like your name, imaging, messaging, general info like hours of operation, business category and how people can find you is consistent,” he advised. “If your Google My Business page isn’t consistent, how is Google supposed to trust your business as a credible source of information for its users?”

Nicholas Kinports, executive vice president of strategy for Notice digital advertising agency offered the following tips for optimizing your GMB profile:

  • Add Content, Content, Content!
    “Add high-resolution images of your business including the interior, along with 360-degree photos and videos if applicable. The more great content you add, the better Google will position your business relative to the competition,” Kinports said. When writing descriptions, “Write in a natural, helpful, and easy to read prose. Google loves a great user experience!”
  • Choose Keywords Wisely
    Choose the same keywords and phrases you know your customers are looking
    for and populating your profile where appropriate. Watch this two-minute video for basic keyword strategies:

20. Adding Photos to Google Maps and Google Search From Google My Business

Adding photos to your Google My Business profile will also add those photos to Google Maps and search results. Remember, customers are visually motivated, and photos of your location and products or services will go a long way towards attracting new business.

“You want to add relevant photos of your company,” recommended Barber of Digital Advertising Works. “This includes the interior, exterior of the building location, employees, past work, logos and other miscellaneous photos. The images supplied will send strong signals to Google that you are indeed a real business. The photos supplied will be more easily found on the ‘image’ section of the Google search engine portion.”

Watch this Google demo for step-by-step instructions on adding photos to your Google My Business profile:

21. What are Google Reviews?

Customers can review your business on Google. This two-minute video explains how Google reviews work for small businesses.

22. Do Customer Reviews Show Up on Your Google My Business Listing?

Yes, customer reviews show up on your Google My Business profile. The one- to five-star rating at the top of your Google My Business listing as it appears in search results and on Google Maps is determined by the number of positive ratings you receive from customer reviews.

Google reviews are important for potential customers who are still in the “research phase” of making a purchase, said Mulqueen of Odd Dog Media. People who see great reviews are more likely to try your company instead of your competitors. And those Google star ratings are “the most crucial ones,” he said.

Begin by requesting reviews from “existing happy customers who have been so thrilled with their services in the past that they’d be more than willing to leave a review,” recommended Mulqueen. “These are a guaranteed way to build some momentum in getting more and more reviews on Google.”

23. How Can You Get Good Reviews on Google?

“The way to get good reviews on Google is to simply ask for them,” said John Nesler, lead writer and researcher for Post Modern Marketing. Customers don’t think about leaving an online reviews, even when they have really good experiences.

“In fact, they’re usually most inspired to go to the bother of writing a review when they have a bad experience,” he said. That makes it doubly important to ask happy customers to leave a review.

“When you have an interaction with a customer that just feels really solid and good, and they strike you as someone who is well-spoken, simply ask them, ‘Hey, would you be willing to take a couple minutes to review us on Google?'” More often than not they’ll be happy to help you out, said Nesler.

You might also consider handing out a flyer with a link to your Google My Business page and a request for a review, recommended Jim Lastinger, CEO of digital marketing firm Deep Field.

“However, you only want to give the flyer to customers that are clearly satisfied and most likely to leave a positive review,” Lastinger cautioned.

How Can You Get Good Reviews on Google?

24. Should You Pay People to Leave Positive Google Reviews?

No. Never, not under any circumstances, should you pay someone to leave good reviews on Google.

“It’s a violation of Google’s terms of service with regard to reviews (as is the case with Yelp),” said Nesler.

If a happy customer is reluctant to leave a positive review out of the kindness of their own heart, you might “offer them a small discount on their next purchase,” he advised.

“Don’t publicize this offer or make it part of your marketing approach,” said Nesler. “But you’re asking a customer to spend their time on your behalf, so sometimes it’s appropriate to do
something nice for them.”

25. How to Respond to Good Google Reviews

Be sure to respond to all of your good reviews through your Google My Business profile, recommends Nesler. And don’t just write “Thank you!”

“Write a detailed, thoughtful response in which you address the person by their first name, thank them for being a customer and writing the review, and adding any salient points about your interaction with the customer that you think might put you in a good light,” said Nesler.

How to Respond to Good Google Reviews

26. How to Respond to Bad Reviews on Google My Business

The downside to positive Google reviews from your happy customers are the occasional bad review every business is likely to receive.

“Never leave a bad review unanswered,” said Nesler. “It’s easy to do more harm than good if you aren’t careful in your response.”

Here are the rules of thumb that Nesler follows—and that he gives to clients—when it comes to responding to a bad review:

  1. Be calm and courteous. Don’t write a response when you’re frustrated and angry. You need to be firmly in control of your emotions. Find your happy place.
  2. Don’t debate the person in public. A he-said she-said situation is Get the interaction away from prying eyes. Lead off with a courteous, “I’m very sorry that you had an unsatisfactory experience with our business.” Then provide contact details where they can get a hold of you directly.
  3. You need to be in full-blown A+ customer-service mode. That doesn’t mean that you should be self-deprecating orapologize a million times. Rather, make it clear how your customers’ experiences should play out. What they should experience. What will happen when they walk through your door.

27. How to Use Google My Business to Place Better in Local Search Results

How to Use Google My Business to Place Better in Local Search ResultsGoogle My Business’ really important function is that is uses your small business’ location (or locations) to determine your placement in local search rankings. Local search results show businesses in the vicinity of the customer doing the Google search based on your physical location and theirs.

The top three businesses returned in local search results show up in Google’s Local Three Pack. The local pack is a box that appears at the top of location-based Google search results.

Google’s location-based local search results are “critical for helping customers find you easily,” said Schroth of prWorks. Competition for Google’s Local Three Pack is heavy, he said, and it gets harder every day for small businesses to earn that special place at the top of local Google searches.

“Invest the time into creating and maintaining a Google My Business listing as well as the supporting local elements, and you’ll reap the benefits of higher placement and greater visibility” for your small business, said Schroth.

28. How Can You Compete for a Place in Google’s Local Three Pack?

You can see how your company measures up on Google My Business by conducting a “near me” search. Near me searches use an internet user’s location to suggest businesses nearby.

“To understand the local competitive landscape for your business, search for your business’ category with the phrase ‘near me’ in Google to see what type of accounts are showing up in Google Maps and the Knowledge Graph,” recommended Glaser of Pure Visibility.

“You will more than likely see that listings with reviews show up first organically,” added Glaser. She suggested clicking on those top businesses to see what they’re doing differently and what you might do to improve your own near-me ranking.

 

29. Can You Manage Your Google My Business Profile from a Smartphone?

Yes, you can!

Download the Google My Business app for Android here.

Download the Google My Business app for iPhone here.

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

Do You Have Too Much To Do?

When we have too much on our plate it’s usually because we have too much on our mind. You have to get off the treadmill and start focusing on what’s most important and most fruitful.

Find some quiet time alone, even if all you have available is a few minutes.Focus on your breathing, ask yourself what is most important to you.Continue paying attention to your in-breaths and out-breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth).

Don’t try to think of an answer. Just keep focusing on your breathing. Eventually, thoughts of what you value most will come to you. If they don’t, keep up with the breathing for as much time as you have available. If time runs out or you get tired just continue on with your day or go to sleep and try again later.

Eventually, answers will come to you. Once you have some answers you’ll be better equipped to make time for what’s most important to you and say no to what’s less important.

Don’t be afraid to say no to things that distract you, tempt you, make you feel guilty, make you feel like you aren’t good enough or not doing enough. Don’t be afraid to say no to yourself and the voices of people from your past or in your life now that cause you to run a race that’s not yours to run.

by Dan Pedersen

 

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

SEO Techniques to Take Your Rankings to the Next Level

After you've selected the keywords you want to optimize your website for, you need to focus on what is called on-page optimization. On page, optimization is what you do on your website pages to improve organic rankings. The good news is that through years of research and experimentation I have identified the most important on page factors for improving organic rankings.

There are a variety of optimization factors to consider when optimizing your web pages. I have found three factors, in particular, to have more of an impact than others when correlating them to search engine rankings. In particular, meta tags, URL structure, and page load speed all have a direct impact on search engine rankings for particular keywords or keyword phrases.

Meta tags are important to web site rankings because they provide some basic information to search engine spiders. Meta tags need to be formatted correctly to enhance search engine rankings. My research as shows that meta tags by themselves cannot radically improve rankings. It is my belief that meta tags may be used to verify other aspects of your website and are important for getting users to click through from search engine results.

The best-formatted meta tags should include a title tag that includes the keywords that you are trying to optimize for. It is recommended that the size of the title tag is sixty or fewer characters as this is the limit shown in Google search results. The second meta tag is the description tag which should be limited to fewer than one hundred and fifty characters and repeat your keyword phrase no more than two times.

The last meta tag worthy of description is the keyword tag. I see this tag misused all too often and it may actually be hurting your search engine rankings. When using a keyword tag, focus on only a dozen of your most important and highly trafficked keywords. Search engines should know that you are an authority site and worthy of top rankings. Do your research and only include the keywords that truly matter. You can also evaluate the sites in the top positions and model their keywords as long as they are included on your web site or blog.

Once you have your meta tags within your web page code it's time to focus on the next on page optimization factor. The load time of your web pages matters a great deal to Google and other search engines. Not only does your web page need to be formatted correctly but it needs to load quickly. Fast loading web sites mean a better user experience. Search engines like Google reward you for providing the right information quickly to web site browsers. Keep load times to a minimum and continually work to improve the speed at which your site loads.

The third and certainly one of the most important factors is URL structure. It is true that having your keyword in the URL helps but it is not the only or the most heavily weighed optimization factor by Google. There are plenty of examples of sites that include the keyword in the URL being outranked by other web sites. If you can purchase a URL that has your keyword in it though, consider it advantageous. If you are unable to do so, consider adding a folder or page to your site that includes the keyword you want to optimize your site for. A good example would be www.sample.com/keyword. By doing so you are placing your keyword close to the root and giving it more value. Also, consider a sub domain strategy.

Before you begin any search engine optimization effort, evaluate your web site, landing page, or blog from the perspective of meta tags, load speed, and URLs. There are additional on page factors we'll discuss in the next lesson, but the three mentioned herein are vitally important to your search engine optimization 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

Video: Getting Started with Twitter

Twitter is one of the most popular social media channels to market a business’s products or services. Yet many small business owners are unsure how to use Twitter’s 140-character micro-blog to reach potential customers online.

Learning to use the platform will help you reach Twitter users interested in your products and services.

 

In this Manta Academy class, you will learn:

  • Why Twitter is important for business
  • How to set up a Twitter account
  • What Twitter name you should use
  • How to write a Twitter bio
  • How Twitter hashtags work
  • How to get Twitter followers
  • What to tweet and when to tweet it

Ready to get your small business started on Twitter? Need to improve your use of the social media platform? This is the class for you! Start by watching the video above.

Getting Started with Twitter

Twitter is one of the most popular social media channels around—it’s currently ranked No. 2 based on monthly unique visitors. Yet many small business owners are wary of the 140-character micro-blog phenomenon.

There’s no denying that the never-ending stream of retweets and hashtags can be a bit intimidating. It takes some time to learn to navigate the Twitter waters. But increasing your understanding will help you feel at ease about taking the Twitter plunge and expanding your business’ digital marketing strategy one tweet at a time.

Let’s start with the basics.

What’s in a name? A lot, as it turns out. We hope we’re stating the obvious, but use the name of your business as your username (or “handle”) on Twitter. In the event that it’s already taken, get as close to it as you can, but avoid using underscores and hyphens. It just doesn’t look good.

If your business is called Blinky’s Bakery, but that handle is already taken, add your state’s abbreviation at the end to signify your location. You just don’t want to be too far from the real name of the business.

Example: @blinkysbakeryoh or @blinkysbakeryohio

Don’t be shy. If you haven’t written your Twitter bio, please do. You get 160 characters to showcase your business—use it! This little nutshell of information will help you gain followers, and here’s why: If you follow someone and you don’t have a bio, they don’t know who you are or what you’re all about. You may look like a spam account and are therefore less likely to get a follow back. Take a few minutes to complete your bio to give everyone the lowdown on your business.

Example: Blinky’s #Bakery, specializing in #dogbiscuits, #dogtreats and #dogicecream. Bringing canines joy across the #Buckeye State since 2014. www.blinkysbakery.com

Make sure to use pertinent hashtags within your bio—this helps other Twitter users find your account—and don’t forget to add a link to your website or blog. Bios with links get more attention than those without.

#hashtags: What past generations called the pound sign or number sign is now more commonly called a hashtag, and it wields a lot of power. These are keywords that can be used anywhere in your tweet. They help people find you if they’re searching for that particular topic, and they help categorize your tweets. Hashtags can be one word or a series, just make sure not to use spaces.

Example: #BlinkysPies or #pies

Say cheese! Use a photo of yourself, your logo or your business for your profile. Leaving image fields blank is like stepping over found money, and it’s a turn-off to potential followers. Utilize all of the free advertising Twitter gives you.

It’s a banner day! The same holds true for the giant (1,500 x 1,500 pixels) banner image on top of your profile page. Don’t think of it as static content—mix it up as often as you need or want. Celebrate the seasons, a sale, an event—whatever speaks to who you are and what you tweet about.

Lead and they will follow. Now that you have your profile looking good, it’s time to find people to follow. Look for people you know, customers, vendors, peers in your industry and those with similar interests and goals. Many times, taking the lead and following someone will entice them to return the follow.

What do you say? It’s often a challenge for people new to Twitter to come up with things to tweet about. Don’t let your social media marketing be stifled by a brain cramp—plan ahead. Spend a few hours a month setting up a calendar of topics. Having a plan makes it easier to write content. Once you have your calendar in order, spend 10 to 15 minutes each day looking for opportunities to share and converse, then check in later for responses and messages.

Timing is everything. According to Karen Swim, CEO at Words For Hire, find out when your audience is most active on Twitter. “While you can tweet at various times of the day you want to prioritize key messages for the optimal time of day. Share consistently and at various times to discover what works for you.”

Short and sweet. In order to make the best use of your 140-character limit, tighten up those long URLs. With every post, include a link to your article, website or blog (this is how you can gain traffic to your site), but use a URL shortener like Bitly or Google to maximize your available space.

A picture’s worth 1,000 tweets. OK, it may not be worth quite that many, but using imagery in your tweets will attract more attention.

Spending a little extra time to set your account and content plan should make it easier to dive into the Twitter stream and bring a few more followers your way. #goodluck!

Academy Checklist: Follow these steps to make sure you’re ready to tweet.

  • Make your business name your handle.
  • Create a complete bio that includes hashtags.
  • Add a profile image and banner image.
  • Follow a few new people every day.
  • Take a moment to set up a strategy calendar.
  • Watch and listen to learn when the best tweeting times are for your audience.
  • Try out different URL shorteners to see what you like best.

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

Understand How Search Engine Optimization

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.
  • 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 is 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

LinkedIn: Your Social Marketing Missing Link

Many business owners use LinkedIn to their increase professional networks. The social network can also help your business grow!

According to BIA/Kelsey, the reach small businesses receive through LinkedIn surpasses other social sites by more than thirty percent.

Some starting points:

  • If you haven’t already, create a company page. Highlight your brand, your products and services, and post updates and add content regularly. (Be mindful of staying on brand and apply SEO strategies when applicable.)
  • Encourage employees to create personal pages—links to your company page help increase visibility.
  • Take part in LinkedIn groups or create your own. It’s where customers, potential customers, and influencers go to share thoughts and opinions, and gain advice from experts (that’s you).
  • Ask customers—past and present—to write a recommendation. Consumers actively look for this kind of word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Use endorsements to get in front of other networks. These simple, but meaningful, gestures of support also strengthen connections.
  • Bulk up email lists. Invite connections (via private messages) to sign up for company emails or take part in special promotions.

When it comes to positioning your brand and expanding reach, LinkedIn provides an optimal platform. Figure out how it can work for you!

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

10 Simple Marketing Tips to Guarantee More Response

Include a headline: Headlines are not just for ads. Your reader's eye will be drawn to your headline. Make it Magnetic!

Use effective words: Some effective words to include are FREE, Easy, New, Now, Save, Revolutionary, Today, You, Yes and Breakthrough.

Make your paragraphs short: Limit them to seven lines or less.

Use simple words: Make your copy familiar to your readers. Don't use jargon or difficult words. Most people won't know or care what you're talking about.

Focus on benefits: "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." Focus on the benefits of your Offer, not your service or company, but what they'll get.

Be honest: Be honest, straightforward, upfront and true. Don't ever mislead your readers.

Use easy-to-read type: Use sufficient size type, easy-to-read type. Don't use fancy font types.

Include a P.S.: Call attention to a major benefit in your P.S.

Use specifics: Make your Offer specific. Use "10 tips to eliminate . . . ," rather than "some ways to eliminate . . ."

Don't waste money: Don't spend lots of money on expensive stationery. Expensive paper won't get your prospects to respond. Your Offer is the key!

 

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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Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all... good design must primarily serve people. Let's start serving you.

Keep in touch with us

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