Plot Holes and Typos and Errors! Oh, my!

Plot Holes and Typos and Errors! Oh, my!.

Advertisements

Mobile Optimization and Traditional SEO on a Shoestring Budget – A Case Study

How a small business selling fresh pasta in Barrie, Ontario put their face on the digital map.

No matter what the many “tips and tricks” online articles may imply, when you’re a small business with virtually no marketing budget, trying to implement an effective SEO strategy while opening up to mobile optimization for a multichannel presence is not an easy feat. This struggle is only magnified when you’ve never had to try to reach customers online, yourself.

SEO website contentToday’s effective marketing strategy is no longer adequate as a basic landing page or even a simple website. Generating results is much more involved than that. It may not be obvious to the beginner, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible or that it will be prohibitively expensive.

Take the example of Jilly’s Pasta & Fine Foods in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. This is a small business that has a single location. It is owned by a chef named Del Faithfull, who also creates each of the handmade noodles and hand-filled pastas that they sell. Mr. Faithfull has exceptional experience as a chef and is a master of fresh pasta in Barrie. However, just because his business provides the city with the best of these gourmet and fine foods, it doesn’t mean that he has any specific knowledge in online marketing. Equally, it doesn’t mean that there is enough of a budget to hire a an online and mobile marketing firm that will be able to do the job on his behalf.

This is the case for all too many small businesses who don’t know what their next steps should be.  Often, this means that their online and mobile marketing will fall short and they will miss out on an exceptionally large opportunity to connect with their current and perspective customers.

The trick to learn from Jilly’s is that effective SEO and mobile optimization can be accomplished with a minimal amount of funds. The secret was to team up with a skilled and experienced freelance SEO content writer who also has knowledge in working for the mobile channel. The result may not have been a website with all of the bells and whistles, but it is appealing to see, informative, relevant, ranks very well on Google, and enhances the customer experience. It does the job and it does it well.

By partnering with me at JBC Online, Jilly’s took a three pronged approach and went from being nearly non-existent online to enjoying a serious multi-channel presence that started engaging customers and driving them through the door nearly immediately.

This strategy involved the following components:

A Search Engine Optimized (SEO) Website

SEO website creationA basic four-page website that provided the visitor with a homepage, an introduction to the business, a brief explanation of the fresh pasta products that are being made and sold, and the location and hours. Each of these pages was carefully and skillfully keyword optimized in terms of company name, products, and location.

From that point, the site was steadily maintained with an associated blog that helped to not only boost the site’s content and SEO, but also provided visitors with valuable and relevant information that they can use in order to get the most out of the fresh pasta that Jilly’s sells.  The blog has generated more social media shares that have drawn more attention to the website and has led other sites to add links to the various pages on the Jilly’s site, improving the search engine ranking.

The site was linked to Google Maps to ensure that users would be able to find the store once their mouths were watering from having read about the gourmet meals that are available. Social media buttons were added to every page so that visitors could share with the people they know.

Engagement Over Social Media

social media marketingBefore getting started with JBC Online, Jilly’s did already have a Facebook page. Unfortunately, a new post had not been made in nearly two years and the page was still providing a link to the URL of a previous attempt at a website that was no longer in existence. For all intents and purposes, it was suggesting to anyone who stumbled upon it that the business was no longer in existence.

Since then, social media has sprung to life for Jilly’s. The website has now been linked to the Facebook page (and vice versa) and fresh posting is now occurring there. In the first week, the number of page likes increased by 13.5 percent and visitors were engaged. They commented, “liked” posts, and left reviews for the products that they enjoyed.

Twitter and Google+ accounts were also created and were linked to the website so that posts could be made there on a regular basis. This not only helped current and potential customers to remain engaged by the Jilly’s brand, but it also helped to support the overall SEO efforts.

Mobile Optimization

Jilly's fresh pasta QR codeThe design of the site for the standard web resolves automatically on smaller screen devices to ensure that smartphone and tablet users will be able to comfortably view and navigate the entire site and everything that it has to offer. However, as I am a regular contributor to technology news publications such as QR Code Press and Mobile Commerce Press, among others, I have become very familiar with additional methods of mobile marketing that can be achieved on an exceptionally limited budget. Primary among them in terms of affordable and cost-effective use by small businesses is QR codes.

The first fresh pasta QR code for Jilly’s was created with the Visualead barcode generator. It will likely be the first of many, but it provided a jumping off point for the use of this technology. This allows customers to be able to scan the barcode with their smartphones or tablets in order to call up the webpage that contains detailed cooking instructions that allow them to prepare their meals perfectly, every time. Bringing the smaller screen into the kitchen is much more practical than doing the same with a laptop, making the page much more useful for Jilly’s customers.

The Complete Package

These efforts have represented only a foundation point that can now be maintained with minimal but regular effort. While they are not entirely complex, they do require the skill and knowledge of an experienced SEO writer in order to build a foundation. From that point, blogging and social media posts can be maintained either by the business or, as is the case with Jilly’s through my continuing participation.  In under a month, the Jilly’s Pasta site is now scoring in the top ranking at Google, with several search terms resulting within the top three spots, and others continue to climb the first page.

Small businesses may not be able to afford a full team of marketers, but sometimes all it takes is a professional online writer who has stayed on top of the latest in terms of SEO and mobile tools and techniques, and who has spent over a decade building the necessary skills to produce fast and effective results.

Giving Can Bring Unexpected Gifts in Marketing

The JBC Online writing services team has always been proud to be able to support a number of different charitable causes.  Over the years, the company as a whole, as well as its individual members, have taken part in several efforts to make the world a better place.

JBC Online mobile site QR codeRecently, this effort in caring brought the entire JBC Online team of writers to an event in support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), called Conservation Chic.  As the team is already taking part in the David Suzuki Foundation Nature Challenge, this fundraiser aligned very well with our concern for the state of the environment, and our hope that it is not too late to make a difference.

Sometimes, supporting an event such as this one isn’t exclusively a matter of showing up and making donations.  As an online writing services company, we also had the benefit of being able to offer free editing services and writing/online marketing advice in the name of a great cause.  To the team, this was its own reward.

However, the world has a fascinating habit of rewarding kindness with kindness.  This was, once again, the case for us.  In gratitude for the assistance that we provided, Heather Church, the highly talented organizer of Conservation Chic, provided JBC Online with the opportunity to add our brochure to the promo table at the event.

From there, the opportunity blossomed even further.  The QR codes that were included on the brochure – and the data analysis regarding the scans of the smartphone-friendly quick response barcodes – spawned an article that was published on a top Google News website.  That QR Code Press article provided online marketing for the fundraiser, JBC Online, as well as for itself (through fresh and interesting content), all because of a circumstance generated by a genuine act of caring.

The lesson to be learned is that mobile and online marketing does have a great deal to do with content generation, search engine optimization (SEO), and linking efforts, but it does not stop there.  A marketing strategy must reach out and be nurtured in positive places to build strong associations, good reputation, and relevance that can be achieved on a broad scale.  Social responsibility should be factored into any marketing mix for a strong ROI and should be considered to be as important as each of the other techniques – from SEO to social media – that are added to the mix.

To learn more about the causes supported by JBC Online and its team members, please visit the official writing services website.

The Writing Services Team at JBC Online Practices What it Preaches

There is something interesting about having a specific expertise that seems to generate a certain behavior regardless of the nature of that expertise. Whether you are a plumber, a painter, a chef, or – in the case of the team at JBC Online – a writer and editor, there seems to be an unwritten rule that says that the area in which we excel professionally must also be the area in which we fail to apply ourselves when the project is for our own benefit.

For example, they say that a leak is most likely to occur in a plumber’s house.  An IT specialist will invariably have computer troubles at home.  A chef will order take-out on a regular basis.  You get the point.

JBC online writing services logoWhen a project is being completed for a client, the JBC Online writing services team goes to great lengths to ensure that we always provides exactly what a client is seeking. This includes well written content, with accuracy of information and language skill.

However, until recently, the same could not be said about the writing services that the company was providing for itself. Take this blog, for example. Though it was generating solid search engine results when it was being maintained on a regular basis, it was left neglected for quite a number of months when the team became exceptionally busy with projects.

Similarly, although the JBC Online website was in dire need of rewriting and repairs, it was not overhauled until this summer, simply because it was our own.

If you have been following the activity of the company, you will likely have noticed a change in our strategy. We are now far more active online as we have returned to practicing what we have been preaching for over ten years.  After all, content can’t simply be created, abandoned, and expected to perform for many years.  It needs to be kept fresh and relevant.

Instead of simply providing high quality, search engine optimized (SEO) web content exclusively for our clients and customers, our new online and mobile strategy has now been resuscitated and has re-established our presence on Google, in the blogosphere, and in social media.  This is exactly what we have been providing for our clients over the years and now we have returned to our efforts to do the same for our own company.  After all, we know what we’re doing.  Why not take this opportunity to show you?

Our team of experts knows exactly how to create well-written, accurate, and engaging content, and are now proudly demonstrating that we believe in it strongly enough to practice what we preach. We have every faith in the quality of the services that we provide and we stand behind every one of them. Now, for several months, we have stopped neglecting our own online presence and marketing strategy, and are back to share with you, once more.

Please visit blog site often (following via email is the easiest way to make sure you don’t miss anything) and check us out at our homepage at www.jbconline.ca, at Facebook (don’t forget to click “like”), and on Twitter (we welcome new followers).

JBC Online Writing Services Summer to Beat Cancer Reaches Final Week

JBC Online writing services is pleased to announce that its Summer to Beat Cancer charitable event has seen a season of enormous successes.  As it enters its final week, it is thrilled to know that it will not only be benefiting cancer patients with wigs, but it will also be reaching – and hopefully beating – its $500 goal for the Canadian Cancer Society.

The event has been ongoing since the first day of summer this year, and Julie Campbell, the owner of JBC Online writing services, will be cutting off her hair on the last day of the event, the first day of Autumn, September 23, 2011.  The hair will be donated to the “Beautiful Lengths” program run by Pantene, which uses donated hair to make wigs which are then provided to women who are undergoing cancer treatments and have lost their own hair.

This cause is very near to Ms. Campbell’s heart.  Though it is the first time that she is chopping her locks for cancer, it is not the first time that she has run a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.  It is her hope – and that of the entire JBC Online team – that this fundraiser will surpassthe amazing success seen during the first event.

The Summer to Beat Cancer fundraiser has already reached 89 percent and still has four days left before its completion.  Loyal customers of the SEO online writing services company have been coming together to take advantage of packages that will increase the charitable donations even further.

The latest information about the hair cutting event and the fundraiser will be posted on the official SEO online writing company website, as well as on the official JBC Online Summer to Beat Cancer Facebook page, and at the event page at the Canadian Cancer Society.

The fundraiser continues to welcome donations, and will continue to strengthen its efforts to build them over the remainder of the last week of what these online writers hope will be the summer to beat cancer.

Should Your SEO Content be Country-Specific?

As you create your SEO content, you may be wondering whether you should be writing in a way that is specific to your country or even to an area more local than that, such as a province or state, or a even a city.  The answer is completely up to you.  It depends on your target market.

Remember that as you do your keyword research, you need to understand who you are trying to reach (other than the search engines, of course) and how much competition you have for any potential word or phrase. There are many online tools that can help you to perform this task effectively; some free, others paid.  You may also choose to hire an SEO service that can provide you with some useful suggestions.

If you do happen to decide to make your keyword optimization location-specific, don’t forget that it’s not just the targeted word or phrase that counts, but also the language you use.  If you are hoping to attract visitors and followers from Canada, for example, then writing with spelling and slang from the United States won’t be as effective as creating content that is written in the local tongue.

That being the case, you must be very careful when you hire SEO online writing services,  Though it is possible to hire outside your local area and still find a writer who speaks the right dialect of English – or whichever language you happen to be using for your content – you should make sure to receive samples of the writer’s work and pay close attention to your written communications with him or her to be certain that he or she can live up to those claims.

For example, while English in Canada, the United States, and England may seem exceptionally similar, there are some notable differences in common words, expressions, references, slang and spelling that may not stand out to the writer, but it will certainly stand out to the local reader. Though that reader won’t necessarily find this unpleasant at all, it will be noticeable enough to limit his or her ability to relate with your company.  This is especially harmful with blog posts and social media marketing.

Therefore, as you create your SEO content that if your marketing strategy is going to be location-specific, make sure that your writer will be able to speak that local language!

What Do Small Businesses Need to Know About SEO?

If you’re the owner of a small business that has a website, and you’ve looked into how to try to get a better rank with search engine query results, then you’ve definitely come across the term search engine optimization (SEO).  However, the problem face by all too many small business owners is that the suggestions seem to involve techniques that are much more complex than they are prepared to implement, or they are too expensive for the company’s advertising budget.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways that a small business can create winning SEO content and run a highly successful campaign, without spending a fortune.  The key is to understand your own specific target market, and create your keyword optimization and other efforts around it so that you will create results specific to the people who will become your customers.

If you are a florist in Barrie, Ontario, for example, and the majority of your business comes from people who would like to send flowers to local hospitals or other recipients in your city, then what keywords should you use?

The first options that came into your head may have been: florist, florists, flower, flowers, flower delivery, flower deliveries, flower arrangements, flower bouquets, and other terms that relate to your industry. Unfortunately, unless you have a tremendous budget and a full department of people working to obtain the top rank for those terms, the odds are that optimizing for them won’t get you far.  There are already thousands – if not millions – of sites who have made those same words their main focus.

Moreover, because those keywords aren’t location-specific, even if you could obtain top results for those words, the traffic generated would not be geared toward your target market.   You may only serve Barrie, but your traffic might come from people who are looking to send flowers anywhere on the entire continent or English-speaking world.  Therefore, even with tons of traffic, your bounce rate (the number of people who come and go within seconds without further examining your site) will be high and revenue will be low.

When you consider a keyword, try entering it into Google and see how many results come up.  If the number is exceptionally high, try creating greater focus.

For example, if you considered “florist in barrie ontario”, instead of just “florist”, then you’ll not only have a much better shot at not only obtaining a top rank, but also drawing the visitors who will actually find your site relevant to what they want.

Once you have the right keywords, you need to start incorporating them into your website and other SEO content such as a blog, articles, and social media posts.  This doesn’t mean that you should just create a lot of nonsense and stuff the keyword or key phrase in.  In fact, this will only frustrate your visitors and cause search engines to penalize you – causing great harm to your campaign.

Instead, hire a skilled and moderately priced SEO online writing services company that has writers who know how to use the most recent keyword optimization rules from Google to achieve top results.  This should mean that your writer will provide you with regular, well-written, fresh content that you can post on your site, blog, and other locations to bring value to both your prospective customers and the search engine crawlers.  Even with a small budget, the right writer should be able to produce fantastic results with your keyword.

%d bloggers like this: