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SEO or Paid Advertising?

SEO is a component of your business that you can choose to work on. While SEO is a natural part of your presence online, it is a conscious choice to improve your rankings and successes with search engine optimization with focus from your marketing department and social media skills. However, focusing on SEO may not be the best decision for your business.

Businesses benefit greatly when they focus on SEO. Long term effects are seen and will slowly but surely improve ranking on search engines to boost your company to the top. Sometimes, though, a business needs a quick fix to help improve web traffic. This is an excellent opportunity to shy away from SEO strategies and try other options to bring customers to you.

Paid advertising is a way to find immediate success for your business. By putting money into advertising, you are spending the time reaching out to create initial relationships with soon-to-be faithful customers. You can explore what words, images, and strategies work to bring in consumers to try out your brand. Once you have seen an initial interest in your business, you can then branch out and work to create a long term SEO plan.

There is no way to avoid SEO completely. The effort put into maintaining and growing a relationship with search engines and customers will change your business strategies for the better. But don’t be afraid to take a break and blast the social media sites with paid advertising to make a fast and easy name for yourself while gaining solid footing.

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SEO Success in 2015

As SEO changes, so must the businesses online. SEO is in a constant state of evolution to stray away from marketing ploys and abuse of links and keywords. With Google at the forefront of SEO and analytics, it is up to the businesses to pander to Google’s requirements in order to win a high ranking. Search engine optimization’s keywords are starting to shift as well.

Link building in the past involved creating clickable words that could transport the user to the site mentioned. This was highly misused with businesses using every change they could to create spam links and ad space. Now, Google is looking at brand mentions within social media sites and blogs. Each time a brand is sited somehow, a link automatically is created. Reblogs and mentions will help a brand gain higher ranking. This means businesses need to encourage their followers to mention the brand name more for rewards.

Content marketing requires businesses to focus more on social media mentions from Facebook and Twitter. Google is now openly suggesting that analytics will be scouring the social platforms for business mentions. As more and more ecommerce and link sharing moves to social media, the analytics trends must follow. This also means that websites need to be more mobile friendly. The less usable a site is on a smartphone or tablet, the less likely that link will be clicked at all.

Think smart and focus your marketing toward the places that really need it. Your customers need you to make yourselves available and easy to access.

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Buying on Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a management tool that helps businesses schedule their posts to reach their desired viewers. With different customer groups residing on different social platforms, it is important to reach the right slice of followers at the right time. Hootsuite has revolutionized the ability to maximize a business’s reach. Now, with ecommerce always on the rise, Hootsuite is working to shcedule Buy Buttons.

Both Twitter and Facebook are working on the Buy Now buttons, which will allow impulse buys to reign the social media platforms. A buy button will  be placed alongside any ad or product mention online. Buyer information will be autofilled into the shipping and credit card areas for an easy purchase. With projected success, Hootsuite will allow their users to schedule the Buy Button for different platforms at different times of day.

This will revolutionize the ability for businesses to sell online. Keep up with the trends and look out for the upcoming buttons that will change your business forever!

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How to Keep a Blog Audience Tuned In

Your business blog should be able to keep your audience coming back for more. It is important to give your customers incentive to tune in for another post online. There are many ways to make your topics interesting, but the best way to reach your customers is to answer their questions.

Everybody likes to have their voice heard. There’s something undoubtedly cathartic about finding an answer to something you’ve been wondering about. So why don’t you give your blog audience that satisfaction. The important thing to do is to allow a forum for these questions and comments to be voiced.

Begin by working on your online presence. You have to let your followers know that you are consistent and caring. Open up a topic that you invite your followers to address and let them ask questions. Perhaps post something on a social platform and see what topics and questions arise from your followers. Once you have received responses, base a blog topic around that question. Reference directly back to the source of the question. This will give your business an air of trust and accountability. Your readers will appreciate it.

Create your content based on your followers and they will return. By making yourself a self-proclaimed listener, more customers will come to you to talk and converse. This is a best way to learn and create. Happy writing!

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Strategizing Analytics with Coupons and Specials

If you have stepped in to the analytics game a little late, it may be difficult to understand the information. While it’s easy to monitor the status quo and see what trends keep on trending in your business, it might seem difficult to figure out how to inspire change in your businesses social media efforts. One of the ways to see where your business is experiencing success is to offer unique coupons and specials.

For every new campaign, you can create a link that drives traffic onto a unique landing page. By releasing information about a coupon or special on your social media sites, you can monitor the bump in traffic by watching the numbers grow in your analytics pages. By correlating the numbers you can start to see where people are paying attention and what types of deals appeal the most to your customers.

Analytics is a tricky game, but with a few clever runs with new marketing, specialty offers, and renewed focus on certain social platforms, you can best see how to create changes in your business plan.

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Client Focus: Summerfield Waldorf School

Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm is a unique learning experience for children and parents alike. Nestled in Sonoma County, this is an environment that focuses on the individuality of each student to help them grow into their own strong personality. The school involves the children in the Kindergarten through twelfth grade with creative projects such as carpentry, theater, and music. These accomplishments are shared with the community.

Ajalon Print & Web has created many different products for the Summerfield Waldorf School’s various events. Open houses are wonderful events that the school often holds and winter festivities get their own well-deserved press.

The most recent product Ajalon has created for Summerfield is the 2015 wall calendar. Each page of the month features student-made artwork from each of the many years the school teaches. A variety of mediums have been used and the final products come across nicely in the profession print job for the families and friends of Summerfield Waldorf School. A description of the processes of learning through art are also included in the calendar to show what the children are experiencing through their time at the school.

We are very proud of our work with Summerfield Waldorf. The school is a special place in the community and we are happy to support it. If your business is enjoying these wonderful products and would like to try your own wall calendar or postcards, contact us at Ajalon Print& Web.

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Optimizing the Photography on Your Website

Image is everything and it is especially important to have a good look for your business’s website. There are many factors that should influence your choice of photographs and pictures on your site. By keeping your eyes open for the perfect look for your business’s brand, you can learn a few things along the way.

Follow the trends you are seeing. Whatever is working, make it work for you. Many trending images are interactive graphics, so make sure your photos are easily animated. High contrast images make the pictures pop and help customers figure out what looks you are using to represent your brand.

Remember that these days, more and more people are viewing websites on smartphones and tablets. Images have to make more sense in a smaller format. The photos on your site should accurately reflect the mission of your business and the energy you put out with ads and social media. Is your business peaceful or full of energy? Are you working with human services, animal rights, or car mechanics? Use straightforward, appropriate, and easy to understand photographs on your business website.

If you need inspiration for a logo, a website design, or printable pieces for your business, Ajalon Print & Web is available to help. Contact us today and we look forward to hearing from you!

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A Happy Holiday Season for Businesses

Happy holidays to all of those enjoying the winter months full of festivities and family. This is a strange and wonderful time of year to run a business. Inventory is changing drastically, sales and discounts are bountiful, and new marketing tactics are in the works. There are many reasons to use the new year as an event to release new products and specialty items to keep the interests up. But there is something more important that that during this time of year.

Say thank you to your customers and followers. Say it often and and say it with a genuine voice. There are many businesses that your customers could go to, and the simple act of buying with you is meaningful. Remember what it is that keeps your business on two feet and show gratitude. This will help solidify your relationship with the ones that mean the most to your company through out the year.

Have a happy holiday and a wonderful New Year!

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Speak to Be Spoken To: Commenting on Blogs

It’s not enough to show up to the party. Being a business online in this day and age is a very common thing, so you have to make some noise. While it is important to work hard creating quality content, engaging ads, and fantastic product, there’s another way to get your name out there. Commenting on other business’s blogs is a wonderful way to start networking with potential customers.

Let yourself be known as a presence that is supportive and informative. Look around the internet for topics your business caters to. write short reviews, chime in on articles you like, and answer questions in the comments feed that will bring attention to you. Keep your message positive and stay active. Commit to creating relationships with users on specific sites that will gain trust and also potential partnership with other businesses.

Take the time to put in a good word and stay positive and helpful. By putting your name (and your neck) out there, with time your efforts will show.

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How to Avoid Spamming with Newsletters

While newsletters are crucial to a business’s success, it is often a tricky area to make or break a customer relationship. The content, frequency, and persistence are elements that bend and shape the perception of your company’s image. It is important to draw up a plan for your online campaigns that is user friendly and reaches your customers in a positive way.

The strongest start to your newsletter is to get permission before emailing your customers. Create that strong sense of trust with your community so they know you will honor their limits. Offer the option to sign up for newsletters at a variety of different locations on the website. Offer newsletter sign up on the home page, on social media sites, and at the shopping cart checkout. Offer incentives for sign up, like special deals, sneak peeks, and coupons.

The second best way to win your customers’ interests is offering an easy way to opt out of newsletters. If someone unsubscribes to your newsletters, honor that and make sure they do not receive any more mail from you of that kind. This is a wonderful way of retaining buyers.

Every email address has a specific IP address. This is monitored by email companies and reviews the “score” of the email. If an email address doesn’t send enough email, then the address receives a bad rating and often ends up automatically in spam. However, if the address is sending an email to a mass amount of addresses that either enters into the spam folder or doesn’t get opened at all, the address also gets a bad review and is often not delivered to the recipients.

Be smart about sending newsletters. Let your customers dictate their level of communication with you. It’s just your job to make it worthwhile!

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