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How to Cultivate a Cohesive Customer Experience (AKA Winning Like Walgreens)

How to Cultivate a Cohesive Customer Experience (AKA Winning Like Walgreens)

By | Customer Service, Marketing, SEO | No Comments

Here’s the thing about most modern customers: If they don’t like the way you’re doing business, they’ll take their business elsewhere.

Quickly.

They’ve got high expectations and a whole lot of options – so it’s vital to offer the best possible experience both online and in-store. While reading this Think With Google interview with Deepika Pandey, the Chief Digital Marketing Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, we realized she’s got this down – and three key points really struck a chord with us.

  • A customer is a customer. According to Business Insider, U.S. consumers are expected to spend more than $630 billion online in 2020. All that money funneling into online purchases means you’re going to lose in-store business. It’s just a fact. The trick is not to treat that as a problem to avoid, but as an opportunity to be seized. Like Pandey says, “Customers who shop in-store and on mobile are 6X more valuable to us than those who shop only in a store.” One of the reasons we at Counterintuity focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keyword optimization when creating ads for clients is that 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine – and we want to ensure your customers see you first, even if they’re clicking a link rather than shaking your hand.
  • Anticipate needs (and wants, while you’re at it). Only 7 percent of online shoppers believe that brands do a good job of customizing their online experience – but you can be the exception. Walgreens makes it a goal to assist every single customer in the most efficient and effective way possible, and so can you. But rather than simply meeting the customer’s expectations, prompt them to consider needs they haven’t yet anticipated themselves. One great way to do that? Lead-capture forms. Not only do they gauge interest, but Formstack found that an impressive 62 percent of form users get more conversions when they embed a form on their website. And make sure your customer knows precisely what you’re selling with a clear Call To Action (CTA) – not only in terms of copy, but placement and design as well. For instance, a Copyblogger determined that a CTA in button form gains a 45 percent click boost and Kissmetrics saw a CTA within a video get 380 percent more clicks than one in a basic sidebar. Nailing details like these paves the way for a smooth journey from prospect to customer – just how we like it!
  • Don’t let gimmicks upstage goals. Remember that super useful lead form we just mentioned? Well, a good way to make it work against you is to make visitors feel like you’re blindly fishing for email addresses. Customers need a clear benefit in exchange for cooperation, or they’re outta there. To quote Pandey (just once more!): “Great consumer experiences should inspire technology, not the other way around.” It was only after Walgreens discovered that its customers weren’t feeling the manual prescription refill system that they introduced Refill by Scan, a technology that enables customers to refill in less than 20 seconds and turns the process from painful to pleasant. In that same vein, we never offer our clients services they don’t need – and we don’t recommend that they buy into fads, either. People appreciate authenticity, so don’t get too caught up in trivial tech trends. Determine what you really need to do to streamline your user experience and make it happen.

Remember, it’s not about online vs. in-store – it’s about making the two aspects of your business blend together to create an unbeatable overall customer experience. When in doubt, ask two questions: WWWD (What Would Walgreens Do), and 2) CCDIY (Can Counterintuity Do It for You). Pro tip: the answer is yes, we can.

Image by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 2.0

To Blog or Not To Blog?

To Blog or Not To Blog?

By | Content Marketing, SEO | No Comments

As a business owner, you need to stay relevant. You realize that the best way to accomplish this is by getting yourself a snazzy new website, so you call in some professionals and do it. It’s pretty, fancy, and does all sorts of stuff the cool kids will appreciate. Now, you just need people to see it. This is where content plays a crucial role, and the point at which most website owners ask themselves: Do I need a blog? Here are a few reasons why cranking out a weekly blog might be right for you:

  • One very effective means of driving traffic to your website is by updating it regularly – and a good way to accomplish this is by posting a weekly blog.
  • If you want Google to notice you (and who doesn’t?), blogging is a great way to up your domain rankings.
  • Through informative, well-written posts, you can position your company as an authority in its field.
  • A blog is a fun way to connect with your customers, and allows you to establish your brand and company voice.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – but hey, you already have an Instagram account. A thousand words here and there can’t hurt.

Image is licensed under Creative Commons Zero.

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What do you want to be known for?

By | Branding, SEO | No Comments

Regarding your business, what do you want to be known for?

This may seem like a simple question, but for small businesses in particular, this query can be deceptively difficult to answer.

Let’s say you sell shoes.

“I SELL SHOES!”

Well, lots of businesses sell shoes.

In fact, in the last 30 days, there were more than 33,000 Google searches for the word “shoes” in the Los Angeles area alone.

But of those 33,000 searches, how many of them were potential buyers for your shoes? It depends what you want to be known for. Some shoe sellers are giant like Shoes.com and try to cater to just about everyone, some are tiny like the store Cinderella of Boston who specializes in selling adult shoes to men and women with feet sized 5 or smaller.

So whether you’re a giant company selling shoes to the masses, or a tiny company only selling shoes to tiny people – you have to know who you are.

So let’s be more specific about what you want to be known for:

“I SELL REASONABLY PRICED SHOES FOR KIDS IN LOS ANGELES!”

Wow, that’s a lot more specific!

There were 1,900 Google searches for “kids shoes” in the Los Angeles area in the last 30 days, and while that’s a lot fewer than the total searches for just “shoes” – these 1,900 searches are much more likely to become a customer of yours because what they want (what they are searching for) is what you want to be known for.

In digital marketing terms, this is all part of a process known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We talk a lot about SEO here a Counterintuity but those conversations often get technical and complicated. Sorry about that – it’s a complicated thing. What you need to know is that at the end of the day, an SEO campaign will not only help you specify the way you describe your business but it will help your ideal customer find you on the web.

You may have heard horror stories about local marketing companies that outsource their SEO work to Bangalore or Islamabad where non-native English speakers dictate the language of your most important marketing tool: your website. We don’t do that. All of our SEO work is handled in-house by a team of trained digital marketing experts.

So… back to our initial question, what do you want to be known for?

FREE OFFER FOR THE FIRST 9 TO RESPOND:

Send us 2-3 words or phrases that you want your business to be known for, the ideal location of your customer (Only Burbank? The entire West Coast?) and we’ll send you some recommendations as to how you can help your ideal customer find you.

We’ll even do this for you for free. Because we want you to succeed!

Image by Jonathan Rolande is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A Blog About Blogging

By | Content Marketing, SEO | No Comments

The following blog is about blogging (because what better place to blog about blogs than in a blog?) and, more specifically, why your company should engage in the activity as regularly as possible.

  • It makes you relatable. Sometimes a company website can seem like a cold, clinical thing. Think of a blog as a way to add a little pleasure to your business! A well-written blog can give your brand a voice, give your services substance and give your customer a reason to keep visiting.
  • It’s good for SEO. In case you missed our previous blog post, “SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization – and a frequently updated blog can do wonders for your rankings.
  • It can be fun! Have a company event coming up? An interesting (and easy!) blog post can consist mainly of photos from a party (a fabulous example, if we may say so ourselves). Have a vocal, happy customer? Turn that week’s post into a thank-you note, applauding them for their patronage!

We hope that some of these tips can help you take the blah out of your company blog. And if not? We’ve got some talented writers on staff who would love to offer their services – just say the word!

Image by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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So…What’s SEO?

By | SEO | No Comments

You’ve heard people say it. You might even know what the letters stand for (Search Engine Optimization). It’s a tricky concept to grasp – but it’s an integral part of any digital marketing strategy.

SEO is all about striving for higher search rankings. Successful SEO means you’re doing a good job of driving traffic from search engines to your website. How might you accomplish this?

  • Quality content. As important as it is to appeal to search engines, don’t lose your customer along the way! When creating copy for your site, strike a healthy balance between rankings and readers.
  • Keyword research. Find out which words your target audience is searching for and be sure to intersperse them throughout your entire website – not just your home page.
  • Regular updates. Don’t let your site fade into the background. Keep it current – the more frequent your updates, the more traffic you’ll get!

Still confused? Shoot us an email. We can make your life SEO much easier.

Image by SEOPlanter is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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4 Weeks Until Google Penalizes Your Site

By | SEO, Websites | No Comments

Google is changing how it does things.
Again.
And if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, your search engine rankings will drop.
You didn’t do anything wrong, you just need to get with the times, or Google will stop referring your customers to your site.

GOOD NEWS: Google has a free tool to test the mobile-friendliness of your site! Go test your site. I’ll wait.

CLICK HERE

If it says:
4 Weeks Until Google Penalizes Your Site
…then congratulations! You can stop reading now and go have a cookie knowing that you are good shape. Hell, have two.

If it says:
4 Weeks Until Google Penalizes Your Site

…then you need to change things. Quickly.
We can help.

If your site is on WordPress, there’s a fast, inexpensive solution to fix this for you. We can set up and design a mobile plugin to make your site mobile-friendly. Other content management systems have this option too.

Ideally, your site should be responsive. That means your site layout automatically adjusts for the screen it’s being viewed on, be it mobile, tablet or desktop. This works best with a full site redesign. And if your site is at least 4 years old, it’s time for a new site. There are a number of other factors in Google’s ranking algorithm that are not benefiting your old site.

Mobile is here and growing. You need to take advantage of the mobile opportunity and not lose your valuable Google ranking.

We’ll analyze your site and let you know what’s your best, most cost-effective option.
FREE

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The end of guest blogging, keyword articles and link building

By | Change, Content Marketing, SEO | No Comments

Sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it?

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, has declared that if you’re using guest blogging for link building, you should “stick a fork in it.” Matt also slammed article directories as a link-building tactic.

Google and Matt’s reasoning is that something that started as an authentic way to increase a website and author’s reach and authority has become spammy. Too many have taken advantage of the guest blogging and article directory link benefits and ruined it for everyone.

Believe it or not, now there are guest post and keyword article generators, websites you can pay to play, and even folks who will pay you to put their post on your blog.

Matt shared, “There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future.”

But he also said, “So there you have it: the decay of a once-authentic way to reach people. Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

What does this mean? It means that Google will devalue these types of links and, in the future, these types of links might even hurt your search rankings.

What’s the solution? Fabulous content and earned links.

How do you do that? Create terrific, relevant, valuable content and put it on your blog or website regularly. Share that content everywhere – Facebook, LinkedIn, your email newsletter. If your content is good, people will read it, share it, link to it and talk about it. This is how you earn the links and engagement that can help your search engine rankings.

There’s also the benefit of having greater keyword density on your website. This means using keywords that people would use when searching for a business or service like yours.

Plus you’ll be regularly adding relevant content to your website that will make it website and your blog a destination, giving people a reason to visit regularly and stay longer – which is also a search engine ranking booster.

The truth is, it’s not easy to create good content. Search engine optimization and content creation require art, not just science. Blog posts and website content that get search engine rankings now need to be longer and juicier. You need substance, not just style.

To help with search, you need to write pieces that set you apart from your competitors and position you as a thought leader and authority. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Some posts need to be long – like 750-1000 words long
  • Write a mix of types of posts – opinion, how-tos, and news
  • Include the keywords people will use when searching for a company like yours
  • Look at your list of keywords for inspiration if you don’t know what to write about
  • Do it
  • Do it again next week

Not everyone is equipped with the ability to do all of this writing and sharing. Need a content strategy or help? Let me know.