Combine Traditional Marketing With Search Marketing For Better Results

A More Complete Strategy

Search marketing strategies, such as SEO and paid search, and traditional marketing strategies, such as T.V., print, and radio are often perceived as mutually exclusive, when in fact, combining these marketing strategies often generates better results. Each of these strategies can be looked at as two puzzle pieces that make up a more complete marketing solution. By putting these two puzzle pieces together, they can complement each other and be more effective than one strategy alone at promoting your business and increasing sales.

Traditional marketing and search marketing can work together to push a prospective customer further along in the purchase process, from becoming aware of your company to becoming a customer.

Awareness Increases Conversion Probability

Let’s take the following example. It’s Monday night and Jim’s at home relaxing, watching his favorite T.V. show. During one of the breaks, he sees a commercial for a traffic attorney. In that moment, he doesn’t think anything about it. The following morning he’s running late to work and doesn’t realize he’s speeding until he hears the sirens of the police car about to pull him over. Jim can’t afford anymore points on his license. So, he decides to hire a traffic attorney. He remembers seeing a commercial for just such an attorney the night before, but doesn’t remember the name of the law firm. So, he does a quick Google search for “traffic attorney tampa,” and a list of law firms that specialize in traffic law show up in the search results. He recognizes one of the listings near the top of the page, because it’s the law firm whose commercial he saw the night before. He decides to give them a call.

So, what happened here? It’s simple. Jim saw a brand he recognized that provided a service he needed at that moment. Had he not seen the law firm’s commercial the night before, he wouldn’t have recognized it when performing a Google search. In addition, if the law firm did not have a search marketing strategy in place that ensured a first page ranking, Jim most likely would not have found the law firm’s Web site. In this scenario, the law firm had a traditional marketing strategy in place that made Jim aware of the law firm’s existence, and a search marketing strategy that allowed Jim to find them easily when he needed them.

When developing your marketing plan, consider a balanced combination of traditional marketing to create awareness and recognition, and search marketing to act as a catalyst for converting prospective customers into paying customers.

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Make Your Web Site Your Top Salesperson

If you would like your Web site to generate sales for your business, you should treat it like a salesperson. What are some of the more important characteristics you would want in a salesperson? Hopefully, you would want someone who is professional, communicates effectively, and can close the deal. The same characteristics should hold true for your Web site.


It all starts with design. Would you allow your salesperson to interact with your customers in jeans and a t-shirt? Probably not. Why then, would you allow your Web site to interact with customers with the same lack of professionalism? Since your Web site’s design is likely to be the first impression a new customer has of your business, you want your site to enhance your credibility and professionalism, not detract from it. This can only be accomplished with a professionally designed Web site.

Effective Communicator

The best salesperson is one who can effectively communicate with your customer. Your salesperson should be able to listen to your customer and match their needs with an appropriate solution. The only way to communicate with your customer through your Web site is with content. Just like a sales pitch, the content on your site should be easy to understand, concise, and persuasive. Most importantly, the content should answer your customers’ questions, and tell them how you are able to meet their needs. Using professionally written content by an experienced copywriter is the best way to accomplish this task.

Deal Closer

Since your site cannot physically run your customer to the cash register, it must have a way to convert your visitor into a sale. After your site’s professional design has enhanced your credibility, and well-written content has your visitor hooked, how will they know what to do next? This is where a clearly defined call to action becomes essential. Whether your call to action is “Call to schedule an appointment” or “Click here to buy,” a call to action will encourage your customer to take the appropriate steps that ultimately convert them into a sale. Again, a professional copywriter will know how to incorporate the appropriate calls to action into your content, and a Tampa Web design company will know how to design your site to encourage conversions.

Professionalism, effective communication, and the ability to close deals are all characteristics of a great salesperson and should also be the characteristics that define your Web site.

Want to learn how our Tampa web design services can help your website generate more sales? Give us a call at (866) 611-6267, or complete our contact request form for more information.

Is Your Web Site Safe from Hackers & Malware?

The truth is no Web site is completely safe from hackers and malicious software, but there are three things every business owner can do to prevent these occurrences from becoming a major catastrophe, and costing you potentially thousands of dollars.

3 Ways to Prevent a Catastrophe

1. Choose your hosting solution carefully. Most Web site owners opt for low cost, do-it-yourself hosting solutions without paying much consideration to the risk they are taking by doing so. These solutions typically have low security controls, and are little to no help when your site becomes compromised. That’s where the “do-it-yourself” part comes in. In the long run, using a low cost hosting solution could end up costing you thousands of dollars, particularly if you rely on your Web site for business. If you’re going to use a solution like this, be sure to actively monitor your Web site for security risks, and have a contingency plan for your site should it become compromised.

2. Keep daily backups of your Web site. This will ensure that if your site is compromised beyond repair, you have backups that can be used to restore the site to its original state prior to the hacking or malware intrusion. Many hosting providers maintain backups, but leave it up to the Web site owner to figure out how to restore the site to its original state. Depending on the size and complexity of the site, this can become a very daunting task. So, you’ll more than likely want to enlist a professional to restore your site for you.

3. Update your CMS software regularly. If you’re using WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or a similar content management system, be sure to perform security updates regularly. Because these CMS are so popular, they are common targets for hackers and malware. No hosting provider will do this for you, so be sure to keep an eye out for these updates. Also, be sure to make a backup of both your Web site’s files and database before attempting a security update. This way, if something goes wrong during the security update, you’ll have a backup of your site on hand.

In sum, your hosting solution should be one of the most important decisions you make when investing in a Web site, rather than an afterthought, and don’t underestimate the importance of regular backups, and routine security updates.

We have been providing local businesses with white-hat Tampa SEO and Tampa Web design solutions that deliver our clients results. Give us a call at (866) 611-6267, or complete our contact request form to see what we can do for your business today.

How Web Design Aesthetics Impact SEO Performance

When most people think of SEO and on-site optimization in particular, they think of optimizing content, meta tags, and code. A Web site’s design is usually not taken into account because it is not understood how Web design aesthetics impact SEO performance.

Search Engines and User Engagement

The way a Web site looks can have a significant impact on its SEO performance. Search engines want to provide users with the most relevant and useful information possible. Therefore, search engines take into strong consideration how visitors engage with a Web site when determining where to position it within the rankings. With all else equal, a Web site that has high user engagement will rank better than a Web site with low user engagement. Why? Because user engagement is a signal to the search engines regarding whether or not a Web site is providing what users are looking for. If users are not engaging with a Web site, then a search engine can deduce that its users are not finding that particular Web site very useful.

Search engines use many metrics to measure user engagement, but a site’s bounce rate (percentage of visitors who never make it past the landing page) and the average amount of time visitors stay on a site, are two key indicators of a site’s ability to engage users. The more pages users visit and the longer they stay on the site, the higher their engagement with the site. Search engines typically will not allow Web sites that have poor engagement metrics such as high bounce rates and a low average time on site to rank better than Web sites that are the same in all other respects, but have low bounce rates and a high average time on site.

Web Design and its Impact on User Engagement

User engagement starts with a Web site’s design. Users make the decision of whether to leave or remain on a site within seconds of landing on it. If a Web site is unattractive, outdated, or just poorly designed, many users will leave immediately upon entering based on a negative first impression. This results in a high bounce rate and low average time on site which can have a negative impact on rankings. This is one of the primary reasons why a Web site’s design is so essential to its SEO success.

Another major reason why design aesthetics are so important to a Web site’s SEO success is because a high quality professional design is more likely to convert search traffic into new sales. While there are many factors that go into a Web site’s ability to convert traffic into sales, particularly usability factors, a Web site’s design is an essential component of the conversion process. So, even if the Web site has managed to achieve first page rankings, a poorly designed Web site will have a tough time converting search traffic into customers because the quality of content on the site, the value of the services it offers, the competitive pricing, and all other benefits it provides do not matter if users are not willing to stay on the site long enough to learn about them.

In conclusion, a well-rounded SEO strategy takes into strong consideration the quality of a Web site’s design. If your Web site is not designed well, then it may be worth investing in a professional site re-design in order to get the best results from your SEO campaign.

In need of a custom WordPress web design company in Tampa? Want more information on Tampa SEO services? We can help. Give us call at (866) 611-6267, or complete our contact request form.

3 SEO Myths That Every Business Should Know The Truth About

While there are many SEO myths out there, below we identify and debunk three important myths that every business should know about.

Myth #1: Branded Search Doesn’t Matter

Many SEO professionals espouse that the traffic a site receives from branded search doesn’t matter because the brand’s name is included in the keyword term, and only traffic from non-branded search (search terms that do not include the brand’s name) matters. What this philosophy assumes, is that a Web site which lacks SEO will rank just as well for branded search terms as a Web site that is optimized. This simply isn’t true. When a Web site is optimized, it is optimized for specific keyword terms, and also inadvertently optimized for variations of those keyword terms, including variations that include the brand’s name. If an optimized Web site ranks well and receives traffic from keyword terms that include the brand’s name, whereas prior to optimization it did not, how can traffic from these keyword terms not matter? The simple answer is that traffic from branded search does matter.

Myth #2: SEO’s Primary Role is to Create Initial Contact

Many people believe that SEO’s primary role is to create the initial contact with a prospective customer. The truth is that SEO can play a very important role with prospective customers who have already come into contact with a brand. For example, Tom sees a commercial for On-Time A/C Repair that catches his attention. A week later, his A/C goes out. Tom doesn’t remember the name of the company he saw on that commercial, but he is confident he’ll recognize the name once he sees it. So, he Googles “Tampa A/C Repair” and fortunately, On-Time A/C Repair is the second Web site listed. Tom recognizes the name immediately, and books his appointment. Had On-Time A/C Repair not been optimized and at the top of Tom’s search, they would not have gotten Tom’s business that day. In this scenario, the commercial created the initial contact, and SEO helped facilitate the conversion from prospect to customer.

Myth #3: Paid Search is Unnecessary With Good Rankings

While having good rankings for high traffic keyword terms will send a consistent flow of traffic, what if that traffic could be doubled? A paid search campaign can often contribute a significant amount of traffic on top of what an SEO campaign is already sending. One reason for this is that a paid search campaign can target keyword terms that the SEO campaign has not yet achieved good rankings for. Another reason is that a paid search campaign increases a Web site’s visibility. Search engine results pages (SERPs) have become cluttered and filled with distractions. Good luck capturing a user’s attention with only one organic listing on the first page, even if it’s at the top. Now, add a paid search listing, and a Web site can have twice the visibility for a given keyword term. Because of the increased visibility, running an SEO and paid search campaign concurrently can be much more effective than running either campaign individually.

Looking for professional SEO companies in Tampa? Give us a call at (866) 611-6267 or complete our contact request form for more information on our SEO services.

Is Your Web Site Costing You Customers?

Did you know your Web site may actually be costing you customers? The common consensus among business owners is that having a poorly designed Web site is better than not having one at all. We explain why that theory may actually cause you to lose customers.

First Impressions Really Matter

Think having a cheap Web site is better than not having one at all? Studies indicate that businesses are better off without a Web site, than with one that is poorly designed. The reason for this is that your Web site is often the first impression a potential customer has of your business. It tells them everything they need to know about your business within seconds. In fact, a study conducted at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, concluded that users form a first impression of a Web site based on its design within 50 milliseconds, and that first impression impacts subsequent decisions such as making a purchase.

Your site’s ability to convert visitors into customers begins with trust, and trust cannot be established if visitors do not remain on your site long enough because they are quickly discouraged by its poor design and usability.

You may be saying to yourself, “but if I didn’t have a Web site for that user to find in the first place, I would have lost them as a customer as well.” While that is true, you would not have compounded the loss of that customer with a poor first impression, only making it more difficult to acquire that customer in the future.

Are You a Professional Service Provider?

This is especially true for professional service providers, such as attorneys, physicians, and accountants, where credibility is paramount. Because professional service providers offer important and expensive services, potential customers are willing to invest more time researching them before making a purchase decision. Much of this research will be performed online, starting with the professional service provider’s Web site.

Let’s say someone is in need of an attorney. So, they do a quick Google search, and find two attorneys in their area that meet their needs. Both attorneys have the exact same information on their Web sites, graduated from the same school, charge the same hourly rate, and have the same amount of experience. The first attorney, attorney A, has what appears to be a very well-designed Web site. While the other attorney, attorney B, has a Web site that looks a cheap and outdated. After viewing both attorneys’ sites, the prospective client asks herself, “Can I trust this information? Is this attorney credible?” Given this situation, which attorney would you call first? Most people would call attorney A first, because attorney A successfully differentiated herself from attorney B simply by appearing more credible and trustworthy. Attorney B may be a great attorney, but she never has a chance to speak with the prospective client because her Web site did not communicate effectively that she is a great attorney and worth the call. Furthermore, the prospective client may now have a negative impression of attorney B, impacting attorney B’s chances of acquiring that prospective client in the future.

For these reasons, your Web site may be doing your business more harm than good. A well-designed Web site that makes a great first impression on potential customers should be an essential component of any business owner’s marketing strategy, and professional service providers in particular.

Need a new professional website for your business? Looking to work with a local Tampa Web design company? Contact us at (866) 611-6267 or complete our contact request form for more information on our professional web design services.

Google+ Local: Why Local Businesses Can’t Afford to Ignore Google+ Anymore

Up to now, local businesses have for the most part ignored Google+, and focused most social media efforts on Facebook and other social media outlets. Last month, Google merged Google Places into Google+, which means any company that had a Google Places page now has a Google+ Local page. What does this mean? No more ignoring Google+! With 80 million Google Places pages being converted into 80 million Google+ Local pages, local businesses can no longer afford to ignore Google+.

New Reviews & Rating System

Although there are many differences between Google Places pages and the new Google+ Local pages, one of the differences that will potentially have major implications on local business is the use of the Zagat review rating system, which is based on a 30 point rating scale. Arguably, a 30 point rating scale can have more impact on perception than the 5 star rating scale Google Places utilized, because of the potential for greater spreads in ratings. For example, if someone’s looking for a local dentist and they come across two dentist pages, one with 3 out of 5 stars, and another with 4 out of 5 stars, a one star difference probably won’t have much impact on that person’s perception of each dentist. However, if the same person comes across two dentist pages, one with a rating of 24 out of 30, and one with a rating of 18 out of 30. The dentist with the 24/30 rating is more likely to be perceived as a better dentist.

New Way to Search For Local Businesses

Another difference that will potentially have a great impact on local businesses is the fact that searches for local businesses can now be conducted within Google+, rather than the traditional Google search. However, instead of showing links to Web sites in the search results as in Google’s traditional search, Google+ local search shows links to Google+ Local pages only (with the Zagat ratings listed directly below the business name). This forces users to visit a company’s Google+ Local page before having access to their Web site URL. So, one can see how poor ratings and an incomplete Google+ Local page could result in negative impressions of a business, which would prevent users from ever reaching their Web site.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is that local businesses will not only have to begin paying attention to Google+, but will need to make sure they’re Google+ Local page is complete and attractive. Local businesses will also want to more actively manage their reviews, and make sure positive ratings and reviews significantly outweigh negative ones.

While there are many changes with the new Google+ Local pages, these are the two changes that we think will have the greatest impact on local businesses initially. If you’d like to learn more, our friends at Search Engine Land have a nice writeup that outlines some additional changes with the new Google+ Local pages.

We are a professional SEO company in Tampa. Want to learn how Google+ Local can help your SEO efforts? Give us a call at (866) 611-6267 or complete our contact request form for more information.