Panoptic Online Marketing celebrates a very special anniversary this month: it’s been one year since we teamed up with Kathy Estadt of Fresh Focus Group, our sales and marketing partner agency based in Daphne, Alabama. With a background in strategic planning, new product development, brand management and advertising, Kathy rounded out Panoptic’s capabilities nicely, providing insights that give our technical SEO and PPC staff a richer, more informed foundation on which to build online marketing strategies and execute plans for Kathy’s local clients. [Read more…]
Website Redesign and SEO Starter Package for Shoreline Pixels
Panoptic Online Marketing has been working with business owners along the beautiful Connecticut coastal towns that make up the Shoreline area. It’s a joy for our client account managers to get away from the grit and hustle of NYC to spend a few days meeting with clients, prospects and colleagues in Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Madison, Clinton and Guilford. The scenery is gorgeous; farms and forests, the beaches of the Long Island Sound. And local business owners that actively help each other — and the larger community– grow and thrive through their local Chambers of Commerce.
We’ve joined two of these: the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce; it’s through the latter that I met Peter Sikes of Shoreline Pixels, a Google Street View Trusted Photographer. Peter has been providing 360-degree virtual tours for a variety of businesses from New Haven to New London, and we are now teaming up to round out each of our respective business’s capabilities, share leads and deliver great results for our clients!
In getting started, we decided to work with Shoreline on the redesign of its website and make sure the new site was properly optimized for both visitors (hopefully potential customers) and search engines.
The new site provides for better responsiveness to mobile devices and provides Peter with an easy way to add new Virtual Tours to his portfolio, new Testimonials from business clients who have taken advantage of his expert service, and blog/news items for stuff that doesn’t fall naturally into other categories, for example, beautiful shots of moonrise over the Madison Surf Club. We also provided him with an intake form to collect more information from potential customers who may be looking for specific types of digital imaging services.
If you run a business with a physical location — could be a shop, restaurant or bar, hotel or even your manufacturing plant — you should consider a Google Street View for your website. Let us know if you’d like us to introduce you to Peter at Shoreline Pixels.
Never Too Boring to Blog
Let’s face the facts: some businesses are cool and have plenty to blog about. Think bars/restaurants, specialty retail shops, music promoters and anyone designing anything. Other businesses are perceived as not so cool. Lawyers, manufacturing consultants and auto mechanics are an essential part of the American business landscape — and just like every other small business they need to get their services out in front of potential clients and set themselves apart from their competition, but all too often the business owners assume they have nothing to say. Let us assure you: you are never too boring to blog.
Five Things to Look at If You’ve Never Looked at Google Analytics
I’m never very surprised when I meet business owners that don’t monitor their website traffic and usage reports. As a business owner, I know there are many things I probably should be doing that end up falling by the wayside, mostly due to time constraints. But business owners should learn how to read and interpret some basic analytics data – even if they only check it once in a while. Setting up and configuring a free Google Analytics account is a must if you want to start realizing some return on the investment you made in your website.
Once up and running, you’ll see data start to accrue in your Google Analytics. Here are five of the most basic reports that will give you a sense of how visitors reach your website and what they do once they’re there. [Read more…]
SEO Musts When Redesigning Your Website
You might be undergoing a redesign of your business website to update its look and feel or upgrade any outdated functionality. It’s important to have an attractive and accessible website so people don’t balk just by looking at it, and equally important for visitors to be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily.
When considering your website redesign there are a number of factors to consider that go beyond the layout and color scheme. It goes without saying that your website should be mobile responsive and user-friendly; mobile usability is an important component of SEO that can influence your online rankings. The other consideration, often overlooked in a redesign, is how to preserving any SEO you’ve already built up so you don’t fall off the map once the new site is launched. Let’s take a closer look at the “SEO musts” for any web redesign project.
Tips for Google Shopping Campaigns
If you are selling products on the Internet you’ve probably heard about Google’s Shopping Ads – maybe you are already advertising on Google’s Shopping platform. Shopping Ads can be a powerful boost to online sale, but only if campaigns are properly setup and maintained. Here are some things you should know if you want to run a successful Shopping campaign: [Read more…]
Email Marketing Tools: A Quick Comparison
Any small business that isn’t doing some form of email marketing is missing an essential opportunity to deliver their message directly into the inbox of ready and willing customers. Email is still a great way to engage an audience and still provides the best return on investment (ROI) when compared to other online marketing channels. [Read more…]
Friendlier Facebook and Twitter – Your “Reaction?”
Over the last few months Facebook and Twitter have been rolling out changes and new features in an effort to improve the user experience (something everybody running a website should strive to do). But are these changes having the desired effect? It might still be too early to say, but here’s a look at what’s new and our thoughts on whether these changes actually improve our experience.
Facebook users have long been pleading for a “Dislike” button so when Facebook announced that there were going to be including new ways to “Like” posts many thought that the time for giving a thumbs-down had finally come. Nope, sorry! Instead of this simple extra option Facebook introduced “Reactions.” Now we have six different ways to express our feelings regarding a post: “Like,” “Love,” “Ha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” or “Angry.” Depending on how they’re applied and interpreted, these emoticons can convey a sort of dislike, but it seems that Facebook is trying to keep the level of negativity — already rampant on social media — to a minimum. Smart, maybe – but not what we wanted.
The problem for Facebook is that so far Reactions are barely being used. In Quintly‘s recent study analyzing Facebook interactions Likes still get the lion’s share with over 75%; Reactions comprise only 3%. The feature is still fairly new and may gain traction, but so far it hasn’t made much of an impact with Facebook users.
However, Reactions might prove more useful to marketers. Knowing a little more about how readers interact with your business content can help you refine your marketing message. Business website owners and marketers may want to think about creating content that is designed to induce a Reaction,” like videos, which have been shown to elicit more reactions than other types of posts, including images.
Beyond the Twitter Limits
Since its launch Twitter has been adamant about not expanding its 140 character limit, but that’s about to change… sort of. In the coming months links and images will no longer count towards Twitter’s 140 character limit. The change is a long time coming, and Twitter admins that including links and images in the total character count winds up being and headache and impediment to its users. It also isn’t really necessary anymore since Twitter is no longer an SMS (text message) platform.
Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, explained it best when he said that if you’re thinking about character limits and URLs “then you’re just thinking a lot about Twitter instead of what you’re saying. We shouldn’t make you think about Twitter.”
Another thing you won’t have to think about is usernames (aka Twitter handles). Handles included in replies will no longer count towards the character limit, and, better yet, you won’t have to put a period before them. The aim here is to simplify the way we view replies. Before the change, if a period wasn’t placed before the Twitter handle then it would not appear in a follower’s’ feed unless the reader also followed the user/handle cited in the tweet. Clearly this was an unnecessary complication that Twitter was wise to do away with.
All in all, these recent changes make both Facebook and Twitter a bit friendlier — and certainly a more expressive environment.
PPC Case Study 1: The Do-it-Yourself AdWords Client
Our client, a manufacturer of industrial parts, had been running his own PPC campaign for years and was having a hard time managing the account. He had become somewhat obsessed with trying to outbid competitors and spent a lot of time adjusting his bids and guessing which keywords he should invest in more heavily.
He also worried about what he calls “Unwanted Clickers” — people he perceived as clicking on his ads randomly without really understanding what he was selling, then leaving the website (“bouncing”) without making a purchase, submitting an inquiry form or making a phone call to inquire about his products. To make things even more interesting, he didn’t have a good understanding of how to set up Conversion Tracking so in effect almost every move on his website was being reported as a Conversion.
As a result, things got a little out of hand and he found himself losing time (and possibly additional revenue) for his business as all his time was spent managing the paid search advertising campaigns. It came to a point where he felt as if nothing was happening and too much time was spent on just handling PPC that he finally sought the help of Panoptic through one of our partner agencies. [Read more…]
The Social Side of SEO
Too often, SEO consultants fail to consider how sharing your original content across channels like Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn can influence your site’s rankings in search results; but social media marketing can improve SEO and plays an important role in any comprehensive online marketing plan.
It’s an established fact that if you want to draw traffic to your website you need to offer useful (and hopefully engaging) content that will attract your target audience and provide the search engines with more robust information by which to assess your website’s value to searchers. Content is still king, but social media marketing is an extremely useful tool for distributing your content to the right people – that is, those most likely to be interested in your products or services.
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