5 Warning Signs of a Bad SEO Firm

SEO_Agencies

Let’s face it: Virtually all industries have bad and good companies and the Search Engine Optimization field is not an exception. Signing up with incompetent SEO agencies in California can considerably harm your business.

But then, how do you figure out a bad SEO agency in California? To help you do that, this article focuses on how to recognize a poor quality SEO firm that can not only fail to drive traffic to your website but also pull it down altogether.

Below are the 5 Warning Signs of Bad SEO services California.

1. They Promise a Specific Number of Links Every Month
Companies that guarantee a set number of links per month are probably using black hat techniques or automated link building strategies. Useful links are as valuable as gold dust. They’re not easy to come by. The best links come from sites that are relevant to your industry. For instance, a link from a news article or publication that is relevant to your business tends to drive traffic to your site.

Obtaining these links can take a lot of time and work. So, there’s no way an SEO agency can guarantee a specified number of links each month unless they’re using black hat techniques.

2. They Promise to Bring In a Set Number of New Users
Whereas good SEO techniques increase website visits, it’s impossible to forecast the exact number of new users. Agencies that promise you a specified amount of traffic are simply lying to you.

And, if that promise is somehow true, you can rest assured that much of that traffic will either be irrelevant or inauthentic. Get an SEO agency that focuses on increasing traffic by looking at the overall trend instead of a quick jump up in users.

3. They Lack Transparency
Lack of transparency is one of the crystal-clear warning signs of a bad SEO agency. SEO companies that are hesitant to share their previous results most likely have nothing substantial to show you.

A reputable SEO agency should be willing to showcase their successful efforts with pride. Of course, you don’t expect perfection from an SEO firm and having a few failures in the past is unlikely to compromise your business.

You are right to choose an agency only if their success stories outweigh their previous failures. Stay away from companies that are reluctant to show you any results they’ve had with their current or past clients.

4. They Send You Cold Emails
Agencies that send you cold emails out of the blue are probably sending the same to thousands of other people. It’s a clear sign that such an agency hasn’t even taken time to research on the right clients to contact. Instead, they’re trying what is called “a quick numbers game.”

A good agency will first research your business to find out whether they can be of help to you. On the other hand, a bad SEO firm will not research your business and will employ a generic approach when doing your marketing.

seo techniques

5. They Promise Top Ranking in a Short Time Frame
Never engage in business with an agency that promises you top page ranking within a short span of time. Google does ranking periodically and not on a regular basis. There’s nothing you can do to speed up the process.

Your ranking depends on other site rankings, and it can take weeks or months. Google compares your site to other sites in the same niche to determine relevancy and popularity.

So, if someone tells you they can hasten your ranking process within a short time, it’s a hoax, and you may lose your hard-earned money if you fall into this trap. Search Engine Optimization can’t be done hastily unless it’s done poorly.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

You Can Still Get to the Top of Search Results

You Can Still Get to the Top of Search Results

Some of the theories behind SEO can make it seem impossible to succeed in getting a higher rank. The idea that sites with more backlinks rank higher and sites with a higher rank tend to get more backlinks seems like a difficult world to break into. Top ranking sites tend to earn backlinks at a much faster rate than lower ranking sites which in turn continues to establish their rank.

How can lower ranking sites move up in search results if they are not getting backlinks as quickly as top sites? Even though it may seem like a vicious cycle, studies have shown that there actually is no proof that getting links at a faster rate leads to a better ranking. This proves that backlinks are not the only answer to getting results from SEO.

There are many cases where sites are able to improve their rank simply by having high quality content rather than focusing on building backlinks. The most important aspects of a site or article is that they are informational, authoritative and offer comprehensive knowledge. High quality content has the same potential to increase search rank than an article with a lots of backlinks.

Google still ranks content based on its quality above all else and if users spend time reading your content because it proves useful in answering your questions than this will serve to increase your rank. Content with original research and new information will perform better than more cursory content. Improving your “dwell time” or the amount of time that users spend on your site can be one of the key factors in increasing your rank.

Backlinks still matter but if you are having trouble with getting enough of them to affect your rank it may be time to focus on creating high quality content that people will keep coming back to.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Balance Between Creative and Analytical Marketing

Balance Between Creative and Analytical Marketing

With any marketing campaign you will need to have both a creative idea and an approach that will work based on data you’ve gathered. Businesses need to make sure that don’t rely too heavily on analytics in their marketing but also don’t avoid the necessity of analyzing data to focus solely on creativity. A balance of both strategies can make marketing more effective at reaching new customers.

For some companies, incorporating both a creative and analytical approach will require them to change their mindset and practical aspects of how they create marketing campaigns. At the outset of creating a marketing campaign they will need to encourage creative ideas and innovation for new marketing content. They will then need to learn how to refine and perfect those ideas through lots of testing and data-driven analysis.

A creative idea is only one part of producing a marketing campaign that will function the way that you want it to. When you put a creative idea into practice you need to get feedback on how it is performing and use to data to determine how it can be adjusted to work more effectively. Testing, analysis and revision are aspects of marketing that many businesses don’t focus on enough to get the results they want.

To create more balanced marketing, businesses will need to hire both creative minded people and those with a talent for analytics. Each team needs to have clear roles so that they can make decisions that incorporate both sides into the campaign. Creative and analytics staff members can create more balanced marketing by collaborating with each other on multiple projects.

Analytics can greatly improve marketing performance but it needs to be paired with unique and creative ideas that represent your brand. Balancing both creativity and analytics can be a rewarding challenge for any business.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

10 Reasons You Should Be Using Online Marketing To Grow Your Business

For entrepreneurs and business owners, the landscape is rapidly changing in exciting ways. Many traditional ways of adver10 Reasons You Should Be Using Online Marketing To Grow Your Businesstising are quickly being supplanted by internet and social media based forms of marketing. Here are some of the ways creating a strong online presence can be some of the strongest ways to market your business in today’s world.

1. A Level Playing Field
Traditional marketing often related on mediums such as billboards and television ads, that were controlled by outside forces. They are very expensive, requiring a huge investment that smaller and starter companies often could rarely afford. By contrast, a website, that you can set up and control yourself, is much more inexpensive, and something you can do to spread the word about your business from the very beginning. This enables smaller and medium companies to be able to become just as recognizable among some people as huge corporations.

2. Cost-Effective
A report from HubSpot shows that online marketing can generate 3 times as many leads as traditional advertising, and yet cost 62 percent less. With a website, you can spend less money on content that will be seen by far more people. If you are a small business struggling to find the capital to do the necessary work of advertising, online tools are the most cost effective opportunities to let people know about the services you can provide for them.

3. Targeted Audiences
Traditional advertising is seen by everybody, with no way to control who gets the message or focus only on the people likely to be responsive. In contrast, paid online marketing allows you to choose the people who receive your marketing content, or tailor your message to a specific audience. Knowing and controlling the people with whom you communicate can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your message.

4. Building Credibility
Online communication is instantaneous and interactive. When you deliver on your promises, it can make a huge difference with your customers. The internet gives these satisfied customers a platform to share their positive experiences with others. In this way, your online presence can be significantly amplified as loyal customers become your brand ambassadors, tellings other about the services you provide.

5. Possibilities of Search Ratings
According to Internet Live States, 88.5 percent of people in the U.S. have access to the internet through a cell phone or computer. This means almost everyone has gotten used to using a search engine as one of their primary ways to find information. With the help of experts at Emarketed, we can show you how to increase your search ratings so they are likely to be found on the first page of someone’s search results. This will enable your company to come to the awareness of anyone who might be seeking your services.

6. Trackable Data
With traditional advertising, it is sometimes difficult to evaluate the difference your marketing was doing. It was often hard to tell how many people see a television or print advertisement, or how it affected their purchasing decisions. Online marketing comes equipped with different tracking and analytics tools, so you can see who visited your website or saw your content, in real time. These resources allow you to see just how effective a marketing campaign is, or whether you should make changes.

7. Give Convenient Ways To Respond
Marketing’s primary goal is to get potential customers to respond to a call to action, by buying the product or service being offered. Online marketing content can easily also be an online store, allowing someone to respond to your message instantaneously upon hearing it. This allows for a degree of impulsivity when your messsage is likely to reach maximum impact, and a convenience that creates few barriers to allow a customer to respond.

8. Test-Drive New Ideas
Whether it’s through a website, social media, or e-mails, there are a wide variety of options and different ways to create online content that communicates a desired message. There is room for creativity, trying out new things. Lower costs mean lower risks for experimenting, and seeing how effective a particular message can be. The possibilities are potentially limitless.

9. Generating Higher Revenues
For all these reasons, online marketing can greatly help your business’ revenues. According to Google, effectively used digital marketing strategies can make a business grow 2.8 times better than expected otherwise. This is especially true for smaller businesses, that can increase their revenues by as much as 3.3 times as much. Online marketing can be like rocket fuel that causes your business to take off, and find opportunities for customers that are otherwise not possible.

10. Go Where Customers Are
The internet is already being used by most people on earth, giving people access to receive information that before would not have been possible. In the future, even more people will come more and more to rely on the internet as one of their main sources of information. If your business doesn’t have an online presence, you are missing out on one of the biggest ways to attract attention to your business. Just a few simple steps can open your way to limitless possibilities for your business’ growth.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Fall Trends: Digital Marketing

Fall Trends: Digital Marketing

The realm of digital marketing is constantly changing and every business needs to stay up to date with the latest trends. The way that customers view and experience digital marketing can quickly change depending on emerging technology and new discoveries. There are few new trends that could be important to explore as you work on keeping your marketing approach current.

Virtual reality is becoming a more commonplace technology for consumers in their daily lives. Social media platforms like Facebook have even incorporated things like 360 degree photos and video publishing. Snapchat also allows users to project their virtual self into the real world with an animated bitmoji.

Businesses can take advantage of virtual reality by creating apps that incorporate a virtual element for users. Big brands like McDonald’s and IKEA are using virtual reality apps to give users a different experience with their products. There are plenty of creative ways to include virtual reality with an effective marketing campaign.

Another important trend is voice search which is quickly taking over typed searches as the most popular way for people to find what they are looking for. Incorporating voice search into an SEO campaign is now a necessity in order to take advantage of this trend. Voice search can change the way that people frame their questions and inquiries so SEO marketers will need to be in tune with the key terms that will work best.

One of the most effective marketing trends is using video content to get people’s attention. Video has taken over photos on social media and users expect to see lots of video content in their newsfeed. With video you can provide more engaging content that provides users with a more complete image of your brand.

Following these new trends in digital marketing can keep you relevant and up to date with potential customers this fall.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Creating an Effective Call to Action

Creating an Effective Call to Action

As compelling as your content may be, without a call to action you risk losing potentially interested customers. A call to action is essentially a line of copy telling your readers what you want them to do whether it is to visit the store, call your company or make a purchase online. If you are able to create the right kind of copy as part of your call to action or CTA you are more likely to see an increase in conversions.

Intriguing copy does not have to push too hard to make a sale but it should be direct enough that readers feel interested in following through. A balanced and effective call to action can lead to new subscribers and customers that help build your business.

Appealing and Direct Copycall to action button marketing online design page

A call to action should be both personable and persuasive, giving the reader a concrete reason why they should move forward. If you have written some interesting and informative content, at the end of the article you can include a link that will tell them where to learn more. Instead of writing something like “If you are interested in learning more click here” you can be more direct and say “Click here to buy this book and become an expert”.

The second type of call to action speaks personally to the reader and gives them an expectation and a reason to complete the transaction. It is also important to provide obvious and sometimes detailed instructions on how to take advantage of your offer because most people on the internet are busy surfing through multiple websites simultaneously. You need a call to action that tells readers where to click so you can quickly convert them to a customer.

Visually Enhancing a Call to Action

Sometimes creating an obvious call to action for busy readers can mean making something that stands out from your other content. An effective CTA will probably be the first thing a person notices when they skim the page and will lead them to read the rest of the content. While the actual copy of your CTA is important, consider visually how to attract readers with unique font or text size so that it appears differently than everything else on the page.

bCTAs should be simple statements that avoid too much of a sales tone so that readers know what to expect but are not put off by the language. When you think of how to execute a call to action, imagine yourself as the buyer and identify what might be interesting to you or would cause you to respond. An effective call to action considers what the reader is looking for and how to capture their attention.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Trending Topics are a Marketer’s Treasure

Trending Topics are a Marketer’s Treasure

When coming up with a marketing strategy, businesses can benefit from finding and taking advantage of recent trending topics. Content marketing that incorporates trending topics can be more effective at reaching people online who are interested in what’s new and relevant. You can get your content read and make sure that your brand is involved in recent events and discussions.

The first step in using trending topics is to be able to find them and search for one that you can easily incorporate in your own content. Trending topics are easiest to find on sites like Twitter, Google, and Facebook. Twitter was the platform that gave birth to the trending topics feature through the use of hashtags to track trends but other websites also incorporate trending topics based on what people search for the most.

You can look through the list of trending topics on any of these sites and try to identify some that would be most relevant to your brand and will interest your followers. You will need to make sure to produce and share the content quickly before the trend loses momentum. You can also plan content with trending topics in advance if you know something will be relevant such as upcoming holidays or events like festivals and award shows.

It is important to use trending topics correctly by employing the exact hashtag that people are using. You also need to make sure you understand the context of the hashtag or the topics so that you don’t use it incorrectly and appear out of touch. Make sure to do enough research beforehand so that your content is useful, relevant and appropriate for the trend.

With enough planning and the right content you can use trending topics to increase brand awareness and reach a new audience.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What Can a Digital Marketing Agency Do for You?

What Can a Digital Marketing Agency Do for You?

Businesses that are looking to expand their reach online might be interested in getting some help from marketing experts. The world of marketing often changes very quickly and it can be difficult to focus on both running a business and advertising it online. A digital marketing agency can provide some support in launching bigger or more effective campaigns in order to grow your business.

Traditional marketing methods are rapidly becoming a thing of the past as most people focus on search ads and social media marketing campaigns. The tactics behind these methods can be complex because they work best when they are specifically targeted to an audience. A digital marketing agency has the experience and understanding of how to create ads that cater toward certain individuals online and can make sure that they see them.

A digital marketing agency has more skills in analyzing data so that they can target brand promotion more effectively. They can organize digital marketing campaigns and take the guesswork out of reaching audiences online so that you can immediately see positive results. Businesses that want to get the most out of their digital advertising efforts benefit from an agency that can make it easy for them.

Organized and Focused Marketing

What makes a digital marketing agency more effective than a business attempting their own marketing strategies? A digital marketing agency focuses on results-based marketing using a team of strategists, consultants and developers that work to create a campaign. They are not simply creating ads and hoping that they get results, they know how to use tactics that will develop your brand and generate leads.

A digital marketing agency has the ability to take over a businesses marketing efforts from top to bottom so that they see some real improvement. The agency can start by evaluating your unique needs as a company so that they can develop a strategy that will work to maximize your profits. They focus on the bigger picture of seeing your business improve rather than just producing individual ad campaigns.

The agency can help you set goals and define your objectives based on areas that could improve your business. Many companies find it difficult to clearly understand what their marketing objective should be or even what their best targeted buyer should be. The digital marketing agency can help determine the best target audience so that you can develop a message for them in your advertising.

Developing Your Online Presence

Once a digital marketing agency has created a definition of your ideal buyer they can then start to develop your images and find ways to showcase your brand. This could mean having a more effective website that appeals to your target audience and figuring out which platforms and channels will work best for you. Your ideal buyer can help determine which social media sites suit your brand and where most of your audience hangs out online.

A marketing agency can use these channels to position your company as a market leader and establish your brand authority. Target buyers can start to see you as an expert in your field and they will look to you for the best products. The agency creates content that showcases your expertise while also helping to build organic search results.

Your online presence will continue to grow with the help of a digital marketing agency in a way that establishes your brand and allows you to maintain your position as a competitor in your industry. The agency will identify your competition and help you stay in the game so that you aren’t left behind when it comes to what’s new in marketing. A refocused and more effective online presence can begin to have a big impact on your profits and increase your return on investment.

Save Time and Energy

One of the biggest advantages of using a digital marketing agency is that you can allow them to revamp your marketing from the ground up while you focus on running your business. You won’t have to use your valuable resources on advertising yourself and you can instead put more energy into making your business the best that it can be. Hiring a marketing agency frees up time and resources so that you can grow your business from the inside while they improve and develop your brand’s image.

Overall, a digital marketing agency gives businesses the chance to work with marketing experts that know how to get results and won’t waste time or money trying strategies that aren’t useful to you. They have all the experience and qualifications that make it easy for them to get the results that you might struggle with. Their efforts can help you boost profits, improve your business and  establish your brand authority and presence online.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

5 Reasons a Podcast Will Help Your Business Marketing Strategy

5 Reasons a Podcast Will Help Your Business Marketing Strategy

Staying relevant in modern advertising means finding a way to reach people that doesn’t always follow traditional marketing. New options such as podcasts can give businesses the opportunity to communicate with their target audience and let them know why their product matters. Staying ahead of competition means telling a story about how your product stands apart from the others and podcasts offer a way for businesses to do that.

Podcasts usually don’t include regular commercial breaks as there are on the radio so their advertising messages often become part of the program. This can make the message about the product seem more natural and authentic in a way that listeners are more likely to respond to. In addition to your regular written and visual content, podcasts can be a great kind of audio content to include in your marketing strategy.

These are some of the reasons podcasts can help your business.

1. They are Easy for People to Consume

Audio content is one of the most accessible types of advertising content for potential customers. Instead of having to read lengthy text or keep their attention on a video, podcasts deliver the information quickly and easily. Users don’t have to shift their focus away from what they were doing to pay attention exclusively to your content.

People can easily listen to podcasts while they are driving, exercising, or working without it taking their attention away from those activities. Even though they are easy to access and consume, podcasts can also be highly engaging. Audio content can often be a welcome break from the monotony of other types of content that people are constantly bombarded with online.

2. They are Inexpensive and Simple to Create

There are not a lot of steps involved in making a podcast and the equipment required for making one is reasonably priced. All you need for a podcast is a good quality microphone and headphones and editing software that will allow you to record and produce the content. The editing software is often free online and simple to use even for people with no experience.

Making a podcast can also be much less time-consuming than other types of written or visual content. All you need to do is record yourself speaking naturally. You might prepare some talking points before hand but podcasts are typically not scripted. After recording you can do some minimal editing and your podcast is ready to be put online.

3. They Help You Stand Out from Competition

Because podcasts are a relatively new form of advertising, you can benefit from having less competition. You can create your own podcast for a niche audience and depending on the topic, you may not have to worry too much about competing for listeners. It can help you stand out from your competitors because you offer something that none of them do.

4. They Increase Traffic

One of the main reasons businesses should get involved in podcasts is that they offer a way to reach out to new audiences and build up a bigger fanbase. With a podcast there will be a wider range of audience that becomes familiar with your brand and your products. You are exposing your brand to potentially thousands of listeners for free essentially.

You can quickly start to acquire more customers through podcasts and bring more traffic to your site because at the end of each episode you can include call to action or CTA. You can tell listeners the link to your landing page, email subscriber or any other tool that you think will be the most helpful in bringing in new customers. Each time you include a CTA you will see more traffic on your site and more email subscribers from interested listeners.

5. They Help Build a Relationship with Your Audience

Not only will podcasts bring in more customers, they can help create loyal followers that care about your brand. Audio content tends to be more personal and when people hear you speak they will get to know your personality and your genuine passion about what you do. As you discuss relevant topics people will feel more of a connection than they might with other types of written or video content.

Listening to your voice makes it easier for followers to like and trust you because they feel like they know you better. That trust that you develop can improve your brand image and help people become more in tune with your company. People will naturally feel more drawn to your business and will be interested in what you are doing.

Podcasts can act as a great supplement to your existing marketing strategy to start building up an audience of listeners that learn to care about you and your brand. With simple audio equipment you can start talking to potential customers and seeing the positive results.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

How Important are Brand Values in Your Marketing Strategy

How Important are Brand Values in Your Marketing Strategy

The way that you market your brand can involve much more than increasing numbers of sales and customers. Your marketing strategy is also a way to present an image of your brand in the mind of your target audience. How do you want your audience to interpret the core values of your brand and what your company is really about?

Brand values are a permanent part of your business even while advertising strategies, logos and products are constantly changing. Your values define your company in ways that potential customers can identify and connect with. A business that focuses on their brand values will be able to communicate more effectively with a coherent message through their marketing plans.

If you haven’t taken some time to think about what your brand values are then it might be a good idea to consider what your company represents and what you want your audience to know about you. Brand values matter because customers are constantly interacting with brands online and through social media. They need to understand your brand image and see more than just a picture of a product in order to become loyal followers.

What are Brand Values?

At the core of every company should be a set of brand values that influence everything from their brand’s look, voice, message and relationships to customers. Your brand is more than just your logo and visual identity, it involves your company’s personality, purpose and overall mission. Without brand values guiding your message your company will just seem like any other business vying for people’s attention.

A good way to start developing a set of brand values is to think about what is important to you and your business and make a list. You can think about what you care about, the negative things about other brands you want to avoid and the experience you want your own customers to have. Brand values can also mean standing for something that you feel your company can offer people.

Brand values can be any number of things that people associate with a company and their products. Does your brand focus on making natural and humane products? Do you donate a portion of your profits to charity? Do you care about innovation and change or social issues?

Your brand values don’t necessarily have to mimic another established brand in order to be successful. They need to be true to your company and what makes your products or services unique. Once you have made a list of what your brand cares about and what you stand for you can condense it down to one or two phrases that truly define your brand values.

Including Brand Values in Advertising

Once you have determined your company’s values and the image that you want to present to your audience, you can start working on communicating this message. It is important to remain consistent with your values and represent them in every way that you possibly can so that people recognize and remember what your business is all about. Being consistent about your values at all times can keep your brand more trustworthy and reliable in the minds of customers.

Being consistent about your message does not necessarily mean that all your ads and social media channels need to look exactly the same. You can have variety in your marketing strategies but make sure that your core values are reflected in the voice and message of your ads and social media posts. The look and imagery of your brand may continue to evolve but the values they communicate should always remain the same.

Whenever you are designing an ad or working on your marketing plan, you can use new and interesting ideas but also think about how they are related to your values. When you write taglines, text for your website, social media posts and other messages make sure your values are somehow reflected in what you say. Your values are what will help people remember you and they will begin to associate positive qualities with your business.

A company’s brand is much more than just external aspects that present an image or a voice. People will be willing to pay more for a brand that represents values that they agree with or care about themselves. A business that stands for something is more likely to win loyal customers and their message will spread to a bigger audience.

Looking at other successful company’s ads can give you an idea of how their values are represented in everything they do. When you understand how brand values are at the center of every advertising strategy it will help you develop your own technique and skills in marketing. If you always consider your brand values you will create more relatable and effective ads that speak to the people you want to reach.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.