Kim Cooper

Your Best Marketing Investment in 2016? SEO

In Interactive on February 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm

You built a really great website. It’s taken you months to get it live. It’s sitting out there on the Internet and you KNOW it has to be working. Or is it?

In 2016, it’s not just enough to launch a great website. Your website has to work for you through Search Engine Optimization. I have found over the past few months that small businesses don’t have a history with SEO techniques and aren’t getting the pay-off for their hard website work.While a new website with a great user experience (UX) and great content is one GIANT leap forward — it’s not where the work ends. Getting your site known and seen are really where the rubber meets the road.

So as a small business owner – what does this mean? How do you get started? Here are some quick tips to making your smartest marketing investment for 2016:

Google yourself.Google Search Engine Results - WV Inn
You might have googled your new boyfriend or a recipe for the best Super Bowl chili – but you may not have google’d yourself. This is the best place to find out if you need an SEO strategy. Of course you can start with your name but really that’s too easy. Google what you want to be known for. Search for what you think  your customers are looking for. Here are some examples: West Virginia inn, attorney in city-state, homes for sale in city-state, you get the picture. If your business isn’t showing up on page 1 of the results — you’re missing out on great leads through search.

Check Your Analytics.
Chances are if you have taken the time to build a professioSmall Business Google Analyticsnal site, you’ve linked it to Google Analytics. GA is great and can be a great way to get your feet wet with seeing who surfs your website and why. It also can tell you quickly how much of your traffic is coming from the search engines through what GA calls “Acquisition Channels.” To see if you need some SEO help, check your numbers. Small business sites should get upwards of 50-70% of their traffic from organic search. If your numbers are smaller than that — it’s likely something is wrong with your site’s content or setup.

Check out the Competition.SEO Techniques for Small Business Owner
Google may be the giant of the search engine world (making up 66% of searches made) – but they aren’t the only game in town. Be sure and check out Bing and Yahoo to see how you appear in their search results as well.

Bing and Yahoo use completely different algorithms and rules than Google so it’s a matter of checking all the competitor search engines to make sure your customers can find your website easily. Wondering if those other search engines are worth the effort? They definitely are. Bing now makes up 21% of searches (mostly fueled by the introduction of Windows 10 and the Surface) and Yahoo makes up 10%. To us, reaching 97% of the people is always better than reaching just 66%.

 

 

So now that you’ve checked out your search engine presence, did you realize your site needs some search engine attention? Are there searches where you were surprised you weren’t showing up? Here’s a secret to getting you there. Hire someone who speaks the language.

Let’s face it. Marketing is hard. There are no tactics worSEO Process for Small Businessthy of consideration that are a flash in the pan, overnight successes. And SEO is no exception. It takes research to find out what terms consumers are searching for; technological know-how to optimize websites in html and through content management systems; and research and trouble-shooting moxie to study the effects month after month. If all this seems daunting — hire an expert. I wouldn’t try to rewire my dishwasher because it sounds like a tank coming through the kitchen and I don’t recommend you do either. There are just certain things that are easier to buy than learn. SEO may well be one of them.

Remember the Internet is on 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. As a small business owner, don’t you want your website to be found just as frequently? While SEO may not be as shiny as a new ad campaign, it is something that works for you every single day. And that makes SEO your best marketing investment for 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

How Alice in Wonderland Taught Me About Business

In Uncategorized on September 4, 2015 at 9:45 pm

I recently had a friend tell me her office was like Alice in Wonderland. Having only listened to the story on a 45 recordAlice_wonderland_WDL4015, and only having seen the movie maybe once, that got me curious about how Alice could have crept herself down the rabbit hole and into our offices. It turns out Alice has a lot to say about work — no matter what industry you’re in…

“We’re All Bonkers. But the Best People Are.”

Being mad and being bonkers tend to be positive monikers in Wonderland. When Alice meets the Cheshire Cat Alice remarks that she doesn’t want to go among mad people. “But most all are mad here.”the cat says. Alice responds “If people here are like that, I must try not to upset them!”

When Alice awakes her father helps to comfort her from the dream. Her father describes her as mad, bonkers, and off her rocker. But her father admits all the best people are.

Could Alice be on to something? In business is it best to be a bit off your rocker to get along with others and make customers happy? Does it take a little finesse – a gene sa’ quo ? A madness?

“You Can Always Take More Than Nothing.”

At the tea party Alice is asked if she’d like more tea. And a trippy exchange continues. Alice mentions that she can’t possibly have more tea when she didn’t have any to begin with. So can you always have more than nothing? Of course! Starting with nothing is a good place to start even in business.

“I’m not going back to Yesterday. I was a different person then.”

Looking backward can be a negative for some in business, but it’s good to view the past so as not to repeat it. Alice may be on to something with this one. Stepping back isn’t needed. Remembering we were different is.

“How long is forever? Sometimes just one second.”

Over the past few years I’ve learned one person’s emergency is often my emergency. One small, insignificant interaction can cause a client to lose faith forever. Insignificant to you may be huge to them. Alice knew this long ago. Darn me for not remembering.

Thanks to my friend (and Alice) for the gentle reminders..

 

 

 

How I Learned About Service

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm

For my whole life I’ve been surrounded by people who gave to others. Not by writing a check but in the way of bringing a pot of beans when someone dies, mowing the yard of a family that’s sick, or selling a car to someone on credit The Waltonsjust because they needed it. This week I was reminded of those days of service by one of my favorite shows — The Waltons. When I think about how I treat my customers I didn’t realize that trait was learned long ago (re-energized with each Waltons episode.)

Over the past few years I’ve enjoyed surprising my clients with extra effort the same way my Daddy surprised the preacher with that truck or my momma surprised the neighbors with a bag of groceries. My wanting to make the client a hero comes from seeing a host of women stand in the back of a room allowing 4-H kids to take center stage. And my continued want for more is reinforced each night when I see John Boy go up against the town kids at Boatwright University or Mary Ellen’s plight to be a nurse in the backwoods of Virginia.

When I think back to the service ethic I’ve been given it’s no wonder I long to stay in the West Virginia I love. It’s there that someone gave their all in front of a shy little girl with a book in her hand. And it was there that service was explained to me in the best of ways…through action.