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Updated: 1 year 17 weeks ago

4 Simple Steps to Optimize your Document for SEO

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 16:00

 

We have been getting a lot of questions lately about Google’s Panda update and how it will affect businesses’ website and their document Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. Here at UZoom, we have come up with 4 simple steps to make sure your PDFs are set up for the best SEO ranking, allowing them to reach a higher position in the search results.

What is the Panda?

The purpose of Google Panda was aimed to lower the rank of low-quality sites that do not have good quality content, and in return give quality sites a higher SEO ranking within the search results.

Quality content is more important now than ever.  With the Panda, Google now looks for creative content that adds value to the conversations online. The best way to add quality is to listen to your audience and find out what kind of content they’re interested in and what they find entertaining or valuable. Figure out what you can provide that will grab their attention and get them to link to your content, which will also improve your SEO. Articles and pages on your website, like PDFs, can really also help your SEO score if done correctly. Google loves quality content and proving it to Google's spiders is going to boost you in the rankings quickly.

Why Use PDFs?

PDFs are a great way to create great quality content and are very useful when a topic requires multiple pages of text. For example, PDFs are a great way to share a specific set of instructions on a task, company’s brochure, an eBook, or your company’s catalog. People do like having a PDF as an option so they can easily print out the pages and keep it for further reference down the line.

How to optimize your document for SEO

Search engines have come a long way in the past couple years allowing your PDF content to also work for your search engine optimization ranking. Here are a few simple tips to ensure your documents are helping your SEO.

1.    Use text-based PDFs

Search engines understand text but not images, so make sure the words in the PDF are basic text that is copy-and-paste-able, not pictures of words. For instance, you can’t just scan in a document and have it ready to go. You will actually need to convert the document to text for search engines to be able to rate it for SEO. Also, don’t use programs like Photoshop to create your PDFs. You can save a document in programs like Photoshop as a PDF but it is actually saving it as an image that search engines can’t read.  Most PDF creators, like Adobe Creative Suite, work great to help build quality PDFs. Using a text based PDF editor ensures that search engines can find, read and index your PDF for SEO like any other website.


2.    Set your document properties for SEO

Setting up your documents properties is very important to make sure you document is set up for the best SEO rating. Optimizing your document for SEO is a lot like the process you would go through to optimize your site. Search engines use things like Metadata to find and organize information. Metadata, is a labeling system, that provides information about a certain items content. There are types of settings that are important to pay attention to when creating your document for SEO.


o   Title: This may seem like the quickest and easiest step when creating a document but it really is an important step with SEO ranking and is important to really take some time to create your document title. Search engines use the title of documents to decide the subject of the file. Make sure that your title is optimized with the specific keywords you want to rank well for, or entice potential visitors to click. Also, remember the file name will become a part of the URL, so give the document a good keyword rich name.


o   Document Properties: Typically in the same place you added your title there is a set of document properties. Some standard properties are the description, author information, Copyright information and keywords to describe the content. By making sure you complete each of these fields with relevant information you are helping your document maintain a high SEO ranking.


3.    Create Tags

If you are working with Adobe Acrobat, there is a tagging feature that makes it easy for you to create tags in your document. Some tags we recommend for starters are creating tags for your headings and images (create alternate text).  Images are one of the most overlooked assets for organic search results and SEO. Why do you need to tag your images? Adding a tag to your images will help search engines recognize and understand what the image is and will then know how to rank it for SEO.


4.    Make Easily Visible

Search engines, like Google, index content by using robots who bounce from link to link in your website, determining what to index. To make sure your document grabs their attention link the file to a page that is regularly crawled by these search robots. The best position for your document may be on your sites Home page. Also, for SEO purposes, make sure your content is creative and interesting along with being relevant.



PDFs are a great way to promote your business if done correctly. Here are UZoom we can work with you to create a quality PDF for your company and make sure it is setup correctly for the best SEO rating.


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For more information on social media news SEO and strategies, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. UZoom Media is a Web Marketing and Strategy company based in Lansing, Michigan
Categories: Blog

Identifying the Profitable Value of the Internet

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 17:00

Plenty of business owners are still struggling to find the value of adding the internet as a part of their marketing mix. Some of the most popular questions we receive at UZoom include, “How can the internet help my profits?”, “Why do I need a website when people can’t buy my service online?”, and “Why go to the internet when I need local customers?” Well, to put in the simplest of terms, using the internet offers you an opportunity to connect with customers outside of your physical establishment. We all know the internet is great for traditional marketing, where you benefit from getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time, but did you know that the internet is also an important platform to be used in building long lasting relationships with your customers?

In order to efficiently utilize the power of the internet, you first have to maintain an appealing and accessible website, you must be able to draw people into your website, and then keep them interested and engaged with quality content. Proper use of the internet in your marketing and relationship building processes will show a significant boost in profits.

To develop an appealing and accessible website, think about your target customer. Consider how, when, where, and why they might use your site, and develop your concept with that in mind. Recent advances in technology mean that consumers are accessing the web from almost anywhere, and on a near myriad of devices, be sure that your website is compatible with today’s devices. The mobile, tablet, and full versions of your site should be format catered experiences that still hold together as a cohesive brand expression.

Effective use of the internet as a marketing tool gives a brand the opportunity to reach new customers. When based on targeted conditions, internet advertising can be calibrated to reach people of certain demographics, with specified interests, in designated areas, making each communication that much more effective at speaking directly to your targeted customers. Offline communications (fliers, in-store placards, billboards, etc.) should feature a call to action displaying your website URL to entice your customers to visit you online.

Once you have an accessible website and well placed advertisements that drive customers there, you must keep the customer interested and engaged. This is done by creating and curating interesting content, give your visitors a reason to come back. The management of your content becomes an integral part of your success. You should plan to blog or post articles that compel visitors to comment, share, or otherwise participate in interacting with your content. Start helpful and meaningful discussions related to topics that may have resonance with consumers of your brand. Establishing this relationship is crucial in developing affinity for your product and brand.

When it comes to delivering quality content, it’s best to plan ahead and have your content queued and ready to go. Content management systems, like Hubspot management, provide a streamlined platform for you and your agency to work together. They include many useful features, and provide the ability to set timelines for content creation and uploading. They also provide a dashboard view of your statistics and provide analytics that you can use to measure the efficiency of your campaign.

As users digest your site and content, a deeper relationship develops that manifests its benefits in their buying preferences. Establishing personal connections between the buyer and the brand are the basis of coveted behaviors such as brand loyalty and affinity. These relationships establish life-long buying habits; habits that often times transcend generations. These same committed customers will share and speak positively of your brand, influencing their friends, family, and other members of their networks to try your brand.  It’s within this frame that profits can be expected to flourish and grow because of the power and influence afforded to the internet. It’s word of mouth in the digital age. Stay tuned to our blog for information on how to add social media to the internet portion of your marketing mix for even more expansive results.

Still wondering how the internet fits into your marketing mix? Or have any comments on how it has helped your business? Feel free to post any questions or concerns in the comments section. Here At UZoom, we understand the power of the internet and know how to harness it for profitable returns, contact us for a personal consultation on how we can take your internet marketing to the next level.

For more information on social media news SEO and strategies, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. UZoom Media is a Web Marketing and Strategy company based in Lansing, Michigan
Categories: Blog

7 Things You Need to Know About Web Design vs. Web Development

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 17:34

 

What can a website do for me and my business? What’s the difference between web design and web development? These are some common questions our Web Development Professional, Shasha Zhang, frequently gets asked. We sat down with Shasha to answer some common questions about web design and web development. Shasha has created many of UZoom’s clients amazing websites. We hope the answers below will help you clear up any confusion you may have about web design and web development.

1.      How does a Website Help My Business?

Have you asked yourself: “Why do I need a website?”  

It is widely known that a great website can benefit businesses in multiple ways, for example:


  • Display your company’s information
  • To increase awareness
  • Allow another way to effectively engage with targets
  • To gain advertising revenue
  • To get valuable feedback for customer services and market research
  • To conduct e-commerce
  • To reduce costs in printing, mailing, and customer services
  • Plus a lot more…

 

The next question you want to ask is, “What specific goals am I using the website for?” Don’t just follow others since everyone differs in various aspects like industries, products, targets, budget, etc. Therefore, to prepare for a customized website that is perfect for your business, you need a clear marketing goal along with with careful consideration of your business goals, market, targets, competitors for your own business situation. Some things to think about are:


  • What is my business goal?
  • Who falls into my target market? What do they want from a website? What style do they like?
  • What are my competitors doing?
  • What goals do I want a website to achieve?

 

Another important consideration is to make the goals measurable with an appropriate KPI (key performance indicator). Many would say, “I want more traffic to my website!” But have these consumers contributed to your goals? Did they do surveys on the website? Did they buy your products? If they don’t, having an increase of traffic does not really mean a profit. Think of more complex and specific ways of measuring whether goals have been met. Some key performances indicators include new sales leads, number of newsletter subscriptions, or information required, or contacts.



2.      Basic Steps of Building Website

There are few steps that I usually go through in a website project. The first, and most important thing is to plan the website. I meet with the owner of the website and discuss the goals, structure and desired functionality. Then, upon approval, using a recommended CMS (content management system), The actual website building process starts. It involves designing the graphics, developing the layout and functionalities, and publishing the content. The last step is SEO (search engine optimization), and with integrating the suggestions from online marketing tools such as Hubspot. I work on the optimization of the meta tags, titles, and content of the website.

 

3.     Basic Sections a Website Needs

Websites for business usually share common sections including:


  • About Us
  • Services or Products
  • Blog or News
  • and Contact Us

Other unique sections can be added if they are relevant to the company and important to the users of the website.


4.     What’s the difference between web design and web development?

Web design is for the front-end, while web development is all about the back-end. Web design controls the LOOK of the website to make it user-friendly. The design work includes the layout of the pages, navigation, buttons and any other graphics. Web development implements the functionalities to make the website work. The scope of work in web development involves building connection with database and developing applications with scripting languages such as PHP.

 

5.     Can I build my own website?

Yes. Even without technical skills, it’s possible to build a simple website using a website building tool. But if you want advanced customizations of a website, it is necessary to have design basics and technical knowledge such as HTML and CSS.


6.     How much effort should be spent on creating website?

The effort varies among different website projects. It depends on the goals and the amount of work to achieve them. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult professional web designers and web developers for the specific information for your individual situations. It won’t cost a penny to ask, but will be really helpful in gaining a general idea of how much input of building your own website, and to compare the services provided by different companies and choose the best suitable solutions to you.


7.      What information and feedback do web designers and web developers need from clients to better serve them with high efficiency?

The specific requirements of a website project and the structure of content needs to be collected from clients. That kinds of information should be ready and clear before the designers and developers actually start building the website. Plus, the earlier the clients provide information for the content including texts, images and videos, the easier it is for designers and developers to work in an efficient manner.

 



If you would like more information on how you can have professionals like Shasha, Christie, and Amanda to help you to achieve the next new level, download our eBook below or contact us today!
Categories: Blog

The 4 Steps Behind SEO Services

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:00

The significant role of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can never be underestimated in our current digital world where inbound marketing has become the trend. Are you asking yourself, “How can I make my sure my potential customers find my business in the shortest and easiest way possible?” Highly efficient SEO and SEM will be the first goals that you will want to meet.

In our previous posts, “What are SEO and SEM?” we talked about the difference between the two. Now with a general idea of what they are, you may ask:

“What does someone providing SEO services actually provide for my business?”


Due to the differences in SEO companies, clients goals, budget, etc, the services provided may be special tailored to your needs. However, there are some core services that UZoom Media provides to ensure qualified SEO services to our clients.

  1.       Clients’ Situation Analysis

Before any real actions are taken on improving your company's SEO, it is important to analyze the clients current situation. First, you should decide your goals and how Internet Marketing, and more specific SEO and SEM, will help you reach them. The general goal of SEO is to maximize your visibility online, and make your content available. For some small businesses, with more specific goals, the services can be more efficient and purpose oriented. For example, to increase the companies ranking on Google, or to attract leads to a specific landing page, etc. But for the business with a larger budget and a more aggressive plan, the goals can vary from company to company.


Second, lay out who is the target market and decide how to maximize SEO accordingly. The customer behavior and the SEO locations are critical in deciding how the following steps should be taken. For example, deciding on keyword focus and laying out a content strategy to be as efficient as possible.


  1.       Customized Strategy

With the information collected above, a SEO strategy can be tailored to the clients’ needs and goals. For example, as mentioned in our previous blog, the detailed contents could be blogging or creating content for website pages. You will need to be aware of what keywords to target, how to target them, and when or where you can organically incorporate them.


  1.       Timeline and Cost

The last step before the client is ready to move forward, is how much will it cost and when the goals should be achieved. Based on the clients’ situation and strategy, the SEO services provider should also give an estimated timeline and budget of the SEO services. Many factors will influence the timeline and cost. Instead of guessing or referencing very general information online, it is highly recommended that business owners contact a SEO professional for a tailored evaluation based on your business needs.



  1.       Implementation and Management

From creation to implementation, and further to management, the qualified SEO service provider will be systematic and comprehensive. SEO is not a one-step to success process. It requires long-term planning, careful implementation, constant management and above all else flexibility to our ever changing technology to achieve your goals. All these steps need the experience and knowledge of a professional. In addition, regular communication between the client and the provider is required to keep up with progress. Feedback is important for staying on top of the efficiency of the SEO services.



Completing all of these steps will help you achieve your business’s goals and to obtain a worthwhile ROI. If you are still finding this to be confusing, don’t worry. We are here to help! Our SEO and online marketing professionals have helped many businesses reach their goals in our modern digital world. Not only do we provide qualified SEO services but also other related and important online marketing strategies. Contact us today for help in discovering your company's SEO potential!
Categories: Blog

Backlinks and Your SEO: Watch Out for the Bad Apple

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 17:00

A goal for many companies, if not all, is to have their website maintain a high search engine optimization (SEO) rating and to be ranked above their competitors on search engines. In addition to having great content, there are many ways to improve your SEO rating and one of them is to have quality backlinks.

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks, or incoming links, are a way for other companies to promote your website to their readers through the use of hyperlinks. They are an easy way to keep track of other pages that link to or comment on your content. For example, a backlink occurs when your company writes a compelling blog post, which is then mentioned in another company’s blog linking it back to he original content. Backlinks can be created on Social Media outlets as well. Pinterest is nothing more than a collection of backlinks and Tumblr is often nothing more than the same story or picture being reblogged hundreds of times.

Why are Backlinks Important?

Backlinks are important for two main reasons. First, backlinks measure how much respect or votes you have earned on the Internet. The more trustworthy and prominent your backlinks referrers are the more your site will be viewed as a worthy destination. Keep in mind that the backlinks need to be reliable; if they aren’t then your own credibility will suffer. For example, you wouldn’t take advice from your friend that recommended you go to your local Mexican restaurant and try their parmesan chicken. It just doesn’t make sense.

Backlinks are also very important for your sites search engine optimization (SEO). To Google backlinks are like votes to a popularity contest you and all your competitors are trying to win. The more backlinks you have the higher your SEO will be, meaning the more popular you are and will therefore be ranked higher by Google. Even though backlinking is not the only factor involved with increasing your sites SEO, strong backlinking does indicate that your site is becoming worthy in the opinions of others.

Why Buying Backlinks is Bad

Companies are fighting for the attention of Google or other search engines to rank their sites higher than their competitors and one way to do this is to buy backlinks. Yes, this may seem an easy way to cheat the system but we do not recommend this process especially since it could end up harming your SEO in the end.

Since Google, launched the Penguin update, many sites have seen a decline in the SEO rating. According to the official Google webmaster blog, the update was directed at “shady” off site promotion tactics and was created primarily to target web spam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that they believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. In other words, Google will deduct from your SEO score if your site contains links form other sites it doesn’t trust or if they feel the link was bought to try to “rig the election”.

If you’re thinking “I’m just a little site, Google will never find out.” Think again. You know those handy emails you get selling you links? Sounds nice and easy right. Well Google gets sent those same emails. Not to mention they have a whole team whose job is to detect web spam and the purchasing of links. Google has also targeted some of the biggest blog networks, including Build My Rank and Authority Link Network.

What are Good Backlinks?

The quality of backlinks is determined by how relevant the other site is to your site and where the link is placed on their page. The best location for a backlink is within good quality content that other sites will find interesting and link to. A good backlink that will help increase your SEO will contain most or all of the following:

  • It will come from a reputable source
  • It will be included on a page that contain relevant information
  • The link text will be a relevant keyword
  • Your own website will be of good quality

Here at UZoom we can work with you to ensure smart and ethical practices are being made to generate good quality backlinks. Contact us today to get started on increasing your site’s SEO!



For more information on social media news SEO and strategies, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. UZoom Media is a Web Marketing and Strategy company based in Lansing, Michigan.

Categories: Blog

But I Thought Facebook Was Free!

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 16:00

 

I am on Facebook every day. It’s my job and I love it! If I didn’t think Facebook was great then I would not have made Social Media my career. People are on Facebook all day, every day, and where there are people there will be businesses. With people 79% more likely to purchase from a brand they follow on Facebook it’s silly NOT to have your business there. Thankfully having your business on Facebook is free. Right?

The answer to that question is yes and no. Yes, Facebook is free. However, like all good things in life, it’s not going to work for you for free. If you want Facebook to do something for you, you’re going to have to pay it. This is where Promoted Posts and Ad campaigns (Pay Per Click and Pay Per Impression) come in. The good news is, when you start to pay Facebook to work for you, you get a little bit more control.


One of the first things most business page owners notice is that Facebook will let you pay them to make sure your post shows up in the newsfeed of your followers. Facebook calls this type of ad a Promoted Post. This does not, in any way, mean that if you don’t pay your posts won’t show. Promoted Posts simply give you the leverage to make sure your post shows up to all of your fans and their friends. Facebook allows business pages to pay a set rate to make sure a certain amount of people view a piece of content posted on the business page. Business pages are not the only one that get this perk. Personal Facebook page owners have a Promoted Post option as well.

Another way to advertise on Facebook is via the sidebar with a Pay Per Click or a Pay Per Impression campaign. Every Facebook user that is accessing from a computer will see ads on the sidebar of their Facebook page. These ads are based on paying for a set amount of clicks or impressions. You can use these ads to send a user to your Facebook Page, a custom Facebook tab, or even an external URL. It’s up to you. You get to choose what the ad copy will say, what the picture will be, along with who you are going to target with your ad. When you create these ads you also have the option to drive more people to Like and engage with your page.

How you pay for these ads is based on a bid system. Every time someone loads up a Facebook page there is a quick “auction” among every ad trying to show on Facebook. If your ad meets the target with the best bid then you win that spot and you are charged based on how you choose to run the ad, Pay Per Click or Pay Per Impression.

So what do you do? Do you Pay Per Click, Pay Per Impression, or just Promote a Post and hope for the best? With all of these diverse ways to utilize advertising on Facebook it’s no wonder why we manage so many Facebook Ad Campaigns at UZoom Media.

For more information on social media news and strategies, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. UZoom Media is a Web Marketing and Strategy company based in Lansing, Michigan.

Categories: Blog

PPC: Catering to Your Company

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 17:00

In a world that flocks to the internet first for answers, you need to ensure consumers feel as catered to on the internet as they would in your actual location. Pay-per click or PPC is a type of sponsored online advertising that is used on a wide range ­or websites, including search engines, that can be used to help marketers easily engage with their target markets.

How Does PPC Work?

Pay-per click marketing is pretty simple: search engines allow businesses and individuals to buy listings in their search results. Pay-per click campaigns are beneficial for advertisers because your business pays only when someone who is actively searching clicks on your ad. With old-media advertising, you pay for the advertising whether or not a person even saw the ad in the media. With the right marketing platforms and analytics, you will be able to find the ads that do the best, compare the performers to the non-performers and grow your business based on data and not just a hunch. Advertisers love PPC ads because they will get noticed by their target audience and are charged only when the ad is clicked on.

Web users are fond of PPC campaigns because they get to select from sites that may be relevant to the page they are viewing without having to deal with obnoxious banner or pop-up ads that flash, distract and are just plain annoying.

 

Examples of PPC

Facebook

Facebook pay-per click advertising is one of the most effective ways to get your business message in front of your target audience. Facebook allows you to set a list of parameters you want your PPC campaign based on including:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Relationship Status
  • Personal interests
  • Education Level
  • Liked Pages and Activities
  • … and more

Having the option of selection your target market in all these categories ensures the consumers who are genuinely interested in your business will see your ad. Just like a vegetarian doesn’t want to see an ad for a ham sandwich, you don’t want to waste money advertising your ham sandwich to one. Once you have a target and have established your bid for the cost per click, your ads will pop up on the targeted market’s page. You are only charged whenever anyone clicks on your ad, hence pay-per click.

Google

The pay-per click ads on Google work a little differently than the pay-per click ads on Facebook. Goggle Ads target based on keywords. Yes, the same keywords you use for your SEO work. You select the keywords you want your ads to be displayed for, an then you create the small ads to show up on Google. That’s the easy part. Google gives you multiple ways and places to show your small text based PPC ad. You can show up in the Gmail box, on the top or sidebar of a Google Search Result page, and even on YouTube. The last step is to decide how much you want to pay each time a person clicks on your ad. The more you are willing to pay, the higher your ad will be placed on the Google results page. The biggest issues that arise are whether you select the right keywords and phrases and how much you are paying for them. You can get good results, but all too often, you can pay almost double what is necessary. For example, half your monthly AdWords Campaigns budget may bring in 90% of your leads, which means you are paying half for just 10% of your leads. You should balance your AdWords Campaigns and maximize your leads for the least cost.

Why Would You Want to Use PPC?

The main reason why PPC is ideal for all types of businesses is because it caters to each company, big or small, and creates a unique and diverse ad campaign that focuses specifically on that particular company. You also pay for the people that actually click the link and view your page. Site views are more likely to convert to purchase decisions versus simple ad impressions. So why waste time and money investing into as spending regulated by a metric that potentially is of no use to you?

PPC is the way to go if you want better control of ad spending as it is more efficient and cost effective in turning you investments into some feasible returns.

Bottom line… It helps you bottom line.

PPC campaigns can be difficult to plan and even the best may have a low click through rate. Here at UZoom Media we will work with you to craft the perfect message to your target audience and fine tune the delivery to make sure your pay-per click campaigns are highly efficient. If you would like help running a PPC campaign or with management, download our eBook or contact us today.

 

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For more information on social media news and strategies, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. UZoom Media is a Web Marketing and Strategy company based in Lansing, Michigan.


Categories: Blog

Web Marketing with an Inbound Focus

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 17:00
 

If one were to break down the term “web marketing” it could be understood as the use of multiple components of online platforms to accomplish goals. Conventionally, a brand would establish their website, load it with products, and then push people to the site, where they then see some form of visitor interaction. The new system, inbound marketing, focuses on letting visitors find you on a platform where you’ve given them informative and engaging content, the interaction is based on the quality of the content. By designing and maintaining your web presence with relevant, engaging, and optimized content you can organically attract the customers most likely to complete purchases with you.

Inbound marketing changes the scope of how sales are made, shifting the focus of your web components from enticing sales to encouraging participation and fostering engagement. This makes you marketing plan more efficient and affordable, since you change the practice of how you target customers. Instead of spending money on efforts they reach out to unqualified leads, you build a system that capitalizes on the customers who are already have some sort of interest in your product or service. The most important component of this is to develop an understanding of how consumers will come looking for you. Using this insight, you identify keywords or search terms that the consumer will most likely use. Working from that point, by the time customers reach you they’ve already pitched themselves.  

 

Cycles for Maintaining an Inbound Focus:

  • Feature consistent branding across your digital platforms
  • Identify key words and phrases that customers are most likely to use when looking for your brand
  • Build Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Search Engine Optimization strategies based upon your insight into the consumer thought process
  • Create and curate relevant and interesting content on your platform
  • Coordinate social media posting activity, use your Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube to maintain control of a share of the conversations related to your brand
  • Monitor and listen to the conversations that are taking place; correspond with thought leaders
  • Learn, react, reply, and recalibrate your marketing as the cycle continues

 

Perfecting and inbound campaign takes continual moderation; it is essentially a system of deduction, trial, and tweaking that leads to gaining a solid idea of the processes that consumers go to as they progress from their initial interest leading to their purchase decision, and later through the post-purchase processes that build brand loyalty and lasting relationships.

 

Enlisting the digital marketing gurus at UZoom Media would ensure that your web marketing is done with an inbound focus. We specialize in providing coordinated plans that calibrate each of your online components so they work together smoothly like the gears of a finely tuned machine. What components of inbound marketing do your find most challenging? Post your response and we will answer your questions here!

Categories: Blog

SEO and SEM Demystified: A little knowledge goes a long way.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:00

Inbound marketing has changed the way that people talk and think about marketing. Marketing has shifted from businesses pushing marketing products into potential customer’s hands and now focuses on creating materials that customers discover on their own. SEO and SEM are two of the most common methods for doing this within website pages.

What Does SEM Mean?

SEM or Search Engine Marketing is a blanket term for all methods for improving a company’s visibility within a search engine. This includes things like meta-tagging, backend website coding, pay-per click campaigns and on page search engine optimization. SEM is crucial in the modern business world. If you do not have an SEM strategy you are less likely to appear in potential customers’ searches, lowering the visibility of your website and decreasing the likelihood of a potential lead being generated.

For Google, a study from Slingshot SEO shows 18% of organic clicks go to the #1 position, 10% of organic clicks go to the #2 position, and 7% of organic clicks go to the #3 position.

So What Is SEO Then?

Search engine optimization is the process by which you can take on-page copy and optimize it for a web search. This means including relevant keywords and phrases, linking to other sites and generating quality inbound links to your site. SEO requires an ongoing commitment to the upkeep and management of content. When you are blogging or creating content for general pages you need to be aware of what keywords you need to target, how you need to target them and when or where you can organically incorporate them. Forcing them into your copy reduces its readability and makes it less likely that readers will want to share it.

Having a professional search engine optimization marketing strategy is critical to generating business in the online world. Without the experience of marketers, like the ones here at UZoom, who know how to manage a SEO marketing campaign, from creation to implementation, there could be important factors that end up being missed. If you would like more information on how a web design and marketing company can help, download our eBook below or contact us today.

 

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For more information on social media news and strategies, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. UZoom Media is a Web Marketing and Strategy company based in Lansing, Michigan.

Categories: Blog

A 7 Step Guide to Creating a Killer Online Marketing Plan

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 17:00

When executing online marketing it is important to create an online marketing plan. As the old saying goes, Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Online marketing plans come in all forms, from formal and regimented to more casual and loose. Finding what works for your business is very important to the success of your online marketing. But where do you start? Our marketing gurus at UZoom Media have created an easy step-by-step guide to help point you in the right direction.

Step 1: Create a Clear Cut Vision

Before you begin creating an online marketing plan you need to sit down and decide what you want to accomplish through your marketing. Defining a vision for your business is essential and creates a starting point and a direction for your company to go along with creating cohesiveness to an online marketing plan. When making decisions for your company it is important to check that each activity follows your vision.  If it does not in some way further or support your vision, you should not include it in your plan.

Step 2: Determine Your Target Market

The next step when creating an online marketing plan is to identify your target markets. It is important to define and analyze who your current client base is. Not only who is buying the most products but also who is buying your most profitable products. It is not about marketing to who you want to buy your products, but who does and who will. Some things to look into are:

  • Are you targeting by gender?
  • Which age bracket is your ideal client found in?
  • What level of education does the ideal client have?
  • What type of profession(s) would you typically expect them to occupy?
  • How much disposable income do they have?
  • Where do they shop? Buy clothes? Household appliances?
  • How often do they purchase your product?
  • Does this client use Google to search for products, services and local companies?
  • Which websites does this client visit most regularly?

Researching your market and figuring out what their likes and dislikes are along with what motivates them will help you reach them on a personal level.

Step 3: Choose Media Outlets

After you research your target, the next step is to decide where you are going to spend your time marketing. This is where you start adding the meat to your online marketing plan.  You need to research all online marketing opportunities to see which best support your goals and cater to your target market. Some important decisions you will need to make are: How will you incorporate social media into your plan? Are Pay-Per-Click campaigns right for you?  Should you join affiliate programs?  Are your landing pages effective and up to date?  How will you incorporate your SEO? Will a blog help drive traffic to your site? Once you have thoroughly researched and reviewed your marketing options, you will need to decide which ones to include in your online marketing plan.

Step 4: Start Planning

After finding which online avenues will work best for your company, start creating a task list of your short-term goals and prioritize them. The most important thing in this step is to make sure to be as detailed as possible. The more detailed you are the more successful your plan will be. Make sure to know where you will go next once you complete a task.

Step 5: Create the Budget

Once you have a detail list of what you would like accomplish for your online marketing plan, start allocating a budget for each objective. Just keep in mind it is crazy to expect to get a #1 ranking on Google for $99. By figuring out the time and money you can spend on these efforts you can decide if you have enough time to do it yourself or if you need outside help.

Step 6: Launch Campaign

It is finally time to put your online marketing plan to the test!  For some tips and tools to easily and effectively manage your campaign feel free to contact us at UZoom anytime. We can sit down and figure out which tools will work the best with your awesome campaign.

Step 7: Analytics and ROI

Close monitoring of analytics is important and will help you to monitor the effectiveness of your campaign. Evaluate your ROI and repeat the strategies that are working for you, and not the ones you have to work for.

How UZoom Can Help

An online marketing agency like UZoom Media can help you take a lot of the guesswork out of creating a killer online marketing plan. Working with someone who has the experience and knowledge to implement social media marketing correctly will ensure you are receiving the most value from planning to implementation. Once a tailored strategy is created the team at UZoom Media can effectively implement it and can generate the highest ROI for your marketing efforts.

Online marketing plans are a great step for marketing your company to the general public. They afford you the opportunity to prepare and analyze your message before it is launched. Instead of taking a shotgun approach to online marketing and just seeing what works, plans allow the precision of a scalpel to get the most out of your time. If you want to learn more about how UZoom Media can help you formulate an online marketing plan click on the link below or contact us today.

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For more information on social media news and strategies, subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook. UZoom Media is a Web Marketing and Strategy company based in Lansing, Michigan.


Categories: Blog

Digital Shopping Carts: Don’t Get the One With The Wonky Wheel

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 16:00

Do you have a lot of potential customers visiting your company’s website but you notice your sales are not increasing in return? It has been found that 67% of shopping carts are abandoned right before the transaction is completed. It is important to make sure you are capitalizing on every potential customer opportunity and your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is top-notch. Here at UZoom Media, we have found some simple ways to help ensure your SEO is generating visitors to your site and they end up making a purchase.

The most important things to have on your website is a well written product description and a SEO friendly shopping cart. Since the consumer is shopping online, they can’t physically hold the product in their hands making it harder for them to make the purchase decision. By giving them more detail than they might need about a product, shoppers can feel comfortable they are making the right decision especially when purchasing large ticket items. Having a great detailed product description will also help your SEO for the site, which will in return increase the number of visitors to your site.

Once you have a well-written product description people will be compelled to buy the product right away, but if you do not have an easy to use shopping cart you could see your cart abandonment rate go up. So many people get fed up with all of the hoops you have to jump through to finally checkout and purchase the item that many decide the product is not worth it. It has been proven that with each additional page a customer has to click on during checkout the more sales you will lose.

How can you fix this? It’s simple really; all you have to do is condense the process to fewer steps removing any unnecessary steps in order to streamline the checkout process. The key to achieving higher conversion rates is providing a simple, streamlined checkout process. Show the customer exactly what to do in easy, logical steps and offer support along the way.

One way to streamline the checkout process is to make an option to keep the same information for both billing and shipping so the customer only has to enter it once instead of having to enter them separately. Also, provide the option to enter a coupon code right away so they your visitor can immediately see their savings. 

If you would like to maximize your online shopping conversion rate, contact UZoom Media today. We can sit down and talk to you about the best strategy to increase your SEO and ways to ramp up your business’s shopping cart.

Categories: Blog

Facebook Fudge Ups: Are you a Business or an Amateur? A Frugal Faux-pas Professionals Should Avoid.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 03:41

I am on Facebook a lot. It’s part of my business. I am also a small business owner. So I know that it’s important to watch spending and ensure that every dollar spent is spent wisely. So here is my case study for the day:

A business owner wants to increase the engagement on his Facebook page. So he decides that he wants to run a contest to incent people to engage. That is all well and good; a worthy goal to be sure. But the way in which he runs that contest is a telltale sign that he is either a) not aware of Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines b) doesn’t know how to install a third party application to run his contest or c) is a natural born rule breaker. Here is the gist of the promotion:

                                                  

And here are the potential issues:

If you are not aware of Facebook’s promotional guidelines, you need to be. Facebook clearly states in section E iii of its Promotional Guidelines “You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.”

The problem with ignoring this rule is that you put your Facebook page at risk of being deleted without warning and without recourse from Facebook. Now, these types of illegal promotions run rampant on Facebook as Facebook certainly can’t police every post out there. But I actually know of a local company (a rather large local company that does business all over the world) that had their business page shut down by Facebook for running illegal contests. So all of the time and effort they put into building their fan base was wasted. It took a long time for them to rebuild that base. But they learned their lesson.

If you don’t know how to install a third party application on your Facebook page, you can either pay a professional to do it for you, or you can learn how HERE

The problem with not using a third party app is that you are cutting off your nose to spite your face, not seeing the forest for the trees, and any other cliché that indicates that you’re not looking at the big picture. Think outside the bun. Third party applications require you to collect contact information from the entrants. Is an alarm bell going off yet? If you don’t use the application, the only chance you get to market to your fan base is the chance that they will see other things that you post. If you have their contact information, you are legally allowed to use it to add them to your newsletter, email marketing campaigns, etc. as long as that is disclosed in the contest rules. That’s what you really want! You want the chance to continue to market to your dedicated fan base. Did you know that it takes up to 5 impressions for a consumer to take action, even if they already want the proposed product or service? Do you want to leave the 5 impression rule to chance? I hope you answer no.

If you are a natural rule breaker, well, I empathize but there’s nothing I can do for you. :) 

I will admit that the tone of this post is a bit snarky. I am feeling a little snarky today. When I politely informed the aforementioned business person running this promotion that he was violating Facebook’s rules, I was thanked for the buzz kill. My intentions were good. I wanted to inform another professional to tread carefully. Which brings me to my last point. If you are establishing yourself as a professional in your field, the way in which you present your business on social media platforms is a reflection of your professionalism. If you are running an illegal contest on Facebook, I will question your expertise, especially if you are a business consultant.

But truthfully, I wish him well. I want businesses to succeed. My goal with my clients is to help them succeed every day. UZoom Media’s area of expertise is internet marketing design, strategy, and engagement, including social media. My staff goes through extensive and ongoing training to ensure that we are compliant with all rules and regulations to safeguard our clients and their businesses while promoting their products and services. And we’re nice…mostly. :)

Categories: Blog

Pinterest: The New Holiday Wish List

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 17:00

We all know the Internet has changed a lot of things we do in this tech world, and that’s why companies are looking for more ways to advertise with social media. The big trend we are seeing this year is how people will be writing their wish list for this holiday season. Rather than sitting down and writing their holiday wish list, people are turning to Pinterest to post pictures of the gifts they would like, making Pinterest a key place for marketers this year.

 

As of November 8th, Pinterest made an update to allow users to create up to three private pin boards. Now people can use one of these to pin images of products that they would like to receive during the holiday season, and then could share that page with their relatives. Since posts on Pinterest link back to the website where they found the image they're sharing, it makes it easy for gift givers to find the exact item for which they are searching.  

 

Pinterest also allows a way for people to be creative with their gift giving. For example, if someone has pinned a photo of a place they would like to visit, their friends and family can give them money towards making that dream trip a reality.

 

You could also use one of the private Pinterest boards to make visual lists of the gifts you'd like to buy for friends or family members, or to keep track of what you have already purchased. A bit of organization goes a long way during the crazy and busy holiday season.

 

Pinterest has been making a lot of changes lately, making it very important for businesses to be on Pinterest as another way to advertise on social media and to have their own business page. We have even gotten wind of a rumor that Pinterest will be adding a “Buy Now” button; just another way Pinterest will change how people shop for the holiday season all over again. But you need to have your own business page in order to have both the button and the business analytics for your company.

 

At UZoom Media we have become experts on helping businesses peak with advertising on social media outlets including Pinterest. Contact us today for help setting up your business page on Pinterest and other social media networks to make sure you are taking advantage of all the great opportunities inbound marketing has to offer!   

Categories: Blog

Facebook is Killing Me Softly

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:25

But I’m not going quietly. So AdAge reports that Facebook is likely to introduce video-ads in 2013. That autoplay. That’s right. You heard it. Autoplay. “I’m sorry, didn’t autoplay overstay its welcome?” “Don’t people HATE autoplay?” “Won’t people stop checking Facebook at work if it automatically blurts out an advertisement, immediately alerting everyone around them that they are checking their Facebook page?”

 

These questions are rattling around in my brain too. And in my estimation, the answer to all of them is a resounding yes! My prediction is that if Facebook actually launches autoplay video ads on its platform, they will see a huge decline in use. This right on the heels of the Instagram Terms of Service changes, in which Instagram is now allowed to use your photos without your permission or compensation to promote themselves.

We all know that Facebook’s entrance on the public offering scene was less than stellar. They have struggled to prove to investors that they can compete on a public market. To do so they have to raise revenue. Is this why we are seeing all of these experiments in user experience? Again, yes.

And this leads me to another question. Is Facebook setting itself up on a Freemium model? Make the annoying ads go away, and I will be a paid user? Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities states “We do not guarantee that Platform will always be free.” The Freemium model offers a product for free, usually either with limited functionality or with so many ads that it’s difficult to use. In order to make this model work, you either need to make the paid version really stellar, or really addictive.

I will admit my addiction to Words With Friends. (Yeah, I’ve been told that I’m old fashioned, but once a logophile, always a logophile) And I am a paid user because I can’t handle an ad every time I make a play. Would I pay for Facebook? Probably. How much would I pay? I’m not sure about that one.

As a marketer, I want more ways to market effectively. As a user, I want to use the platform without being annoyed. Facebook has to balance these two desires, AND make money, AND remain popular. Not easy to be sure, but of this I am sure: If you annoy the _____ out of your user base, they will leave. If users leave, there are fewer eyeballs to market to, which devalues the advertising. And this begs the question “Is it worth it?”

What do you think? Are auto-play video ads okay with you? Would YOU pay for Facebook? 

Categories: Blog

Inbound Marketing Changing Gift Giving

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 15:09

We all know Christmas is the time for giving and spending time with loved ones. It is also the busiest time of year and sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we can’t get all of our holiday shopping we would like to done. No wonder why 29% of US shoppers, according to an Elastic Path survey, say virtual gifts are better because they can be bought at the last minute and delivered instantly making them faster and easier to purchase. 

Over the past couple years we have seen the increase in purchases of iTunes gift cards and eBook downloads being bought for loved ones as Holiday gifts. Netflix has even ramped up its online marketing with the “Give a Gift” option on their website making it simple for shoppers to give the gift of entertainment this year.

Even though the online trend of buying virtual gifts has continued to increase, 32% of prospective buyers agree that virtual gifts seem less personal than physical gifts. However, some companies are changing that and are coming up with their own fun and creative ways to personalize your online gifts.

A great and thoughtful trend we have been seeing recently through online marketing are virtual gift cards like the ones restaurant chains have begun to offer. Virtual gift cards can be purchased and customized online at the restaurant’s Web site. These are not your standard plastic gift cards, which will then be sent in the mail to arrive sometime next week. No, virtual gift cards can be customized with a photo and a personal message, which are then e-mailed instantly to the recipient or scheduled to be sent on a future date. Virtual gift cards allow you to be creative and personal along with saving money on shipping costs.

Not only are companies beginning to understand the importance of being able to personalize your gifts, but they are also very aware of the power online marketing and social media has today on consumers’ purchasing decisions. Tell me again why your business doesn't need to be on Facebook?

Swarovski, the premier crystal jewelry and lifestyle-product company, has taken online marketing and virtual gift giving to the next level. In a stroke of online marketing genius, they have created a special online initiative for consumers to customize a sparkling Swarovski Christmas surprise, and send it to their friends virtually. 

The online game called “Moments to Give” encourages users to log in and select funky or stylish products to create a gift set for a friend and post it on their Facebook wall. To win a prize your friend will have to open the virtual gift and post it back on your wall. The user who sends out the maximum number of virtual gifts will win an exquisite jewelry set from the brand. 

These are just some examples of how companies are standing out from the pack this year and being creative with their online and inbound marketing. Here at UZoom we can help you set up great online marketing ideas like these where you are sure to get noticed. Contact us today to get started!


Categories: Blog

The Search Market: Google vs Bing

Thu, 12/13/2012 - 15:12

The Techworld has been loosely throwing around the term “search wars” for years now. But, in all reality, it’s been more of a search chase, with competitors trying desperately to edge on the sheer domination of the market by search leader, Google. For the past 10 years, Google has grown in leaps and bounds and maintained a substantial lead over competitors in the search market. In 2012, Google maintained a 65.3% market share, trumping competitors Yahoo (15.5% share), and Bing by Microsoft (14.7%). (ComScore Inc. 2012)

As a result, Yahoo’s executives have recently made it clear that they intend to refocus their energy on the presentation of search results with browser plugin, Axis.  Likewise, Bing has also geared to put up a fight, almost literally. The “Bing IT On Challenge” is the latest campaign of Bing’s where they let visitors conduct a series of 5 searches side by side, and allowing them to blindly choose the results pages that they prefer. I participated in the challenge and my results were 4:1 in Google’s favor. In contrast, Microsoft claims that users are favoring Bing nearly 2:1 over Google. While those numbers may be prone to some marketing ploy, it’s become clear that the competition is heating up, with Bing taking direct shots at Google.

What does this mean for your business? Well, primarily that there are three major platforms that your search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns will need to perform on. They each have their own quirks, with pros and cons. Optimizing entirely for one will have some ill effect on the others, and marketing on each platforms will require different tactics and keywords. In the past, campaigns concentrating primarily on SEO and SEM for Google, covered enough of the market to be considered satisfactory. With increased competition and innovative ideas, Google’s tight grip may be challenged.

As the search experience changes, it’s time for brands to look at how people are searching for different types of information and determine how to target those consumers most efficiently. Based on the behaviors of users on each of the platforms, your SEO & SEM campaigns should target the type of users most likely to use that search platform. As the search engines continue to differentiate their platforms, more defined user characteristics will likely appear. Insight into how/when/why users are using each search engine will be needed to configure SEO & SEM campaigns that are effective in capturing your targeted impressions.   

Since the algorithms that the engines use are closely guarded, the only way to keep up with the rapid changes in the search market is to closely monitor your SEO & SEM campaigns and tweak them accordingly. The specialists at UZoom Media skillfully track, monitor, and tweak your campaigns to stay current with changes in consumer trends and behaviors. An active team of digital media experts is critical in making sure that your brand is not left behind. Contact us today to stay ahead of the search wave and ensure that your SEO & SEM campaigns are finely tuned, calibrated, and executed.  Take the Bing challenge and let us know your results, we would love to hear it!    

Categories: Blog