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Category: Websites & SEO

Shannon Bohnen, Digital Communications Consultant at Ingenuity Marketing Group.

Inbound Marketing: Think Like a Buyer

 

We recommend performing keyword research, looking at projected search volumes and competitor metrics then digging into your verticals extensively to find the right keywords for your target audience.

Search engine optimization is a great place to start.

Watch this video to learn how to use the right keywords to drive the right people to your website using inbound marketing and SEO.

Do you want the right website visitors? I am offering an SEO analysis right now at a discounted rate to help your website attract better business leads. Just send me your email in the box below!

     

    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    When I think about search engine optimization, I think about two things first. I think about how visitors search for services, and I think about how search engines offer matching results.

    The art of search engine optimization is to make sure that your website is ranking for the right types of keywords.

    If you are an association, a keyword such as “membership” may not work. You might get visitors searching for gym memberships.

    If you are a professional services firm, you probably want to target your service areas and industries rather than generic keywords such as “professional services.”

    Basically, think like a buyer when building your keyword list. But then, you have to monitor who is coming to your site. Are they the right visitors who could become clients?

    Just as important for SEO is what you want visitors to do when they arrive at your site. You have just a few seconds to grab their interest and help them see that you have what they need. Make sure that each page focuses on the visitor and requests an action. They should sign up. Download something. Or contact you. 

    Robert Wasulik, Design Consultant at Ingenuity Marketing

    How to Deter Website Hacks

    Whether you’re stepping into a new marketing director role or you’re a seasoned business owner, your digital marketing strategy should include regular website security updates.

    Your website is your lead generation tool, your CRM portal and brand billboard. When you focus solely on content and appearance, you leave yourself open to spam and cyber-attacks, which could bring down your site in an instant.

    That’s why website security should be on your priority list. Update your plugins regularly and protect your website from hacks.

    Watch this video for Robert’s tips to keep your website healthy and keep your digital marketing strategy on track.

    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    I have built out a few websites in the past year, and one of the big things I stress with clients is to maintain their plug-in, theme and security updates on their websites.

    Some clients assume that their web host keeps their website up-to-date. That is not a guarantee. If your website host does not specifically state that this is part of the service, it’s up to you as the website owner to do it regularly.

    Without regular updates, your site is vulnerable to spam and content hacks. That means your website could be blocked as a security risk by search engines, and it may even crash.

    Don’t let that happen. In addition to maintaining your site plug-ins, security certificates and website theme, you want to monitor your search analytics and email capture forms for suspicious activity. Make sure that online marketing can occur 24/7 without the risk of turning away qualified leads.

    If you need help reviewing your site for security as well as search optimization, contact us for an SEO analysis. We have a special rate to offer you if you apply now, just fill out the contact box below!

      Should I include Keyword Analysis in my Marketing Plan?

      Whether you’re in construction, finance, engineering, architecture or law, keyword analysis should play a central role in your marketing plan.

      Do you know what your clients want? Are their search queries in alignment with your target keywords? When your marketing plan reinforces your keyword strategy, you can be sure you’re giving your clients the information they want, and expect to receive, when visiting your site.

      Watch this video for tips on keeping your keywords fresh and accurate so your brand stays at the top of Google search, from Ingenuity Marketing Digital Communications Consultant Shannon Bohnen.

      If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

      When I work on website keyword research for clients, I need to understand who they are trying to attract to their site. For example, a construction firm may only want commercial projects, so I would not include a keyword like “home building” that may attract visitors who want their dream home built.

      Choosing keywords is a science and an art. At the end of the day, you need the right keywords to boost your ranking on search engines like Google. Here is my advice with keywords to get the right visitors to your site:

      • Limit the keywords you want to rank for. Maybe 5-7 keywords in any major service category is a good place to start.
      • Use your keywords in your website content.
      • Review your keyword performance quarterly.
        • Which keywords are getting visitors to your website?
        • Are they the right visitors?
      • Research keywords annually to add to your list or to replace ineffective keywords.

      If you need help with your keyword search and analysis, give us a call here at Ingenuity. We build digital lead strategies specifically for professional services and associations.

      Or you can sign up for our digital audit analysis right on this page. Just say yes to success!

      Get My Digital Analysis

      When is it Time for a New Website?

      Close up of a rooster

      Online Content Marketing

      Your website is your 24/7 communications hub. What happens when your communications hub is not functioning the way you would like? It can result in higher bounce rates, that is, people coming to your site and leaving again. It can also affect your brand positioning when visitors have a frustrating experience. Most importantly, an older website has a greater chance of security breaches because it has a higher degree of security flaws.

      Chart indicating top reasons to leave a website

      The average website today lasts about three to five years as security enhancements come along to improve the security of websites, but also as website designs change. After that amount of time, you should start planning for a new website, but most companies wait far longer until there is a problem. Assuming that you have kept your website theme and plug-ins up to date, here are three hints that it’s time for a new website.

      1. Your design looks outdated compared to other sites.

      When you look at your website on your desktop or mobile device, does it function well? Does it look modern and inviting? If not, it’s an easy sign that you need a refresh or a whole new website theme or customization to stay current with your website users.

      People are looking for bite-sized pieces of content to engage with, which means less copy and more visual cues. Grid or gallery design, “card” layouts and introductory videos will improve your visitors’ experience and keep their attention.

      Example of card style web design layout.
      Card-style web design, similar to Pinterest or Instagram

      2. Your site has poor navigation.

      If you were to use a heat map tool on your website to identify how people navigate through it, you will probably be surprised at what you see. You may notice that visitors don’t scroll down far enough on a page to find your call to action. You might notice that they pay attention to numbered subheads and pretty pictures more than on your messages in the body copy.

      Example of Hotjar heat map on a website.
      Source: Hotjar heat map example

      3. You can’t easily update the site yourself.

      Today’s new website design should make it easy for someone within your company or organization to add copy or videos, to change headlines, to add new pages and anything else that helps you share new information.

      You should not have to request changes from a web programmer.

       Investment in a new website will be well worth the daily efficiency for your marketing strategy and communications in the long run.

      Plus, you will be able to increase visitors to your site and attract new business and recruits. That’s the whole point, right?

      If you are wondering if you need a website design refresh or a whole new website, ask yourself the following questions:

      When was our site launched?

      If it was a couple years ago, you could do a refresh. If it was three to five years ago, start planning and budgeting to launch a new site.

      How easy it is now to update information on the site?

      If you go to an outside source to update your site, is it because you have outsourced marketing? That’s great. If it’s because your current platform requires a degree in coding, then you should consider a new site.

      Is the site design still modern looking or is the structure feeling outdated?

      Sometimes you can refresh your home page to improve the visitor experience. If your site is copy-heavy, contains old stock images or lacks options for video or podcasts, you probably need a new site.

      How long are visitors engaging with our site overall?

      If your bounce rates are high on just a few pages, redesign those pages and monitor them. If bounce rates are creeping up to 70% on most pages, you probably need a new site.

      Are we getting requests for information or leads through our site?

      Sometimes you need to improve your content marketing calls to action by moving that information to a higher or more visual part of the page (e.g. subscribe buttons, demos, applications, etc.). However, if your website isn’t a lead generation funnel, then you are working too hard and you need a new website.

      SEE OUR PORTFOLIO FOR DESIGN IDEAS


       

      Three Ways to Optimize Your Careers Pages video header.

      Three Ways to Optimize Careers Pages

      Website careers pages aren’t just for listing your job openings. They provide an opportunity for marketing the unique aspects of your professional services firm.

      Communications Consultant Brooke Visser shares three ways to differentiate your firm on your website’s careers pages.

      Check out this video or the blog post below to optimize website careers pages for maximum engagement and recruiting power.


      If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

      When people are looking for a job, the first thing they might see is your job posting. If they are interested, the second thing they will do is look at your website.

      They want to know more about your firm, about your people and what it’s like to work there. Your culture. Your location.

      You’re probably not the only firm they are researching. So here are three ways to stand out with the content on your Careers pages.

      Number one. Don’t make them search for it. I recommend including a Careers tab in your website’s main navigation, not buried in the footer.

      You can have subpages under the main Careers tab, such as benefits, current job openings and even some information about what life is like in your office locations. Make clicking easy.

      Number 2. Write about your firm’s culture and why it’s different. Help visitors imagine working for you before they even send a resume.

      Include photos of employees. Create videos of people talking about your firm. Or link your careers pages to positive reviews and testimonials.

      Share workplace awards you have won. This helps candidates see that your workplace culture is validated by your employees.

      Number 3. Build a marketing strategy that ties into your Careers pages. For example, write blog posts that support career development.

      Showcase your top people on social media and use careers keywords that attract new candidates to your site. Analyze traffic to those pages to boost engagement.

      Another tip: Make sure that the job sites you use are fully developed with your unique messaging and links.

      Each job site is unique, but it should be updated with the right careers pages links, descriptions about your firm culture and any changes to your workplace policies or hiring approaches.

      Leverage those careers sites to your advantage because they provide authoritative backlinks to your website, which help to boost your ranking on search engines.

      If you have any questions about that and other digital optimizing, I’m ready to help at Ingenuity!

      See how we helped this firm differentiate its culture through college fair publication advertising.

      LEARN MORE ABOUT INGENUITY’S DIGITAL MARKETING SERVICES

      Illustration of sales funnel with elements going in the top of it.

      Generate Leads with Google Ads

      Illustration of sales funnel with elements going in the top of it.

      How do you find information about brands or services? When looking for information you probably think, “I’ll Google it!” If that’s you, you’re not alone. We all rely on search engines to help us find information we’re looking for. 

      The marketing world has changed dramatically in recent years, and Google Ads is one of the platforms driving this transformation. In fact, Google Ads has become one of the best tools for lead generation. If the ads are set up properly, they have the potential to send extremely targeted leads to your website to view your services or provide lead contact information by downloading a resource.  

      Let’s talk through how your firm can offer a resource through Google Ads to support your lead generation strategy. 

      Create a Valuable Resource

      Every effective Google Ad will lead interested visitors to an engaging landing page on your website. One way to make a landing page engaging is to offer a downloadable resource that your target audience would be interested in. Maybe a case study, white paper, industry insider tips or a checklist for a new process related to your niche focus area. 

      Offering a take-away shows your firm’s thought leadership and expertise in a certain area. It also makes a visitor feel like they found what they were looking for, or better yet, they found a firm that can help support them. 

      Collect Contact Information

      The best part about offering a free resource is that you can ask the lead to provide contact information to receive it. When you collect contact information, make sure you require the lead to provide:

        • First Name
        • Last Name
        • Email Address

      What other information would be important for you to know about the lead? Maybe the company they work for, their location or job title. When designing this landing page, you can make these requirements tailored to your firm’s lead generation strategy, but don’t ask for too much information right away. Each click or required field on a landing page increases the chances for someone to opt out and leave. Keep the information needed to receive the resource simple, clean and quick. 

      Monitor the Results

      Don’t rush online advertising. It takes time to find your mojo. Until you find your rhythm and see desired results, frequently monitor your ad and landing page. You can see how many people visit the landing page, if they are downloading your resource and if visitors from your Google Ad explore other areas of your website. All of this information can be tracked through Google Analytics.   

      If you notice that people are not downloading your resource, you may need to make the landing page more engaging to persuade and encourage. If you want more people to visit the landing page in general, try tweaking your Google Ad to better reach your target audience. 

      With a little patience and an open mind, your Google Ads will become an effective lead generation tool for your firm or association.

      Follow Up

      Your ad is running smoothly and you’re starting to collect lead contact information when visitors are downloading your free resource. Now what?! 

      Reach out to these new leads in a timely manner. Send a friendly email thanking them for visiting your site and learning more about the services you provide. Offer to answer any questions they have regarding the free resource they received. Are there any other questions they have that weren’t answered? Build the relationship and learn more about them. What types of services are they looking for? How can you support them?

      Set aside time to contact these new leads. Following up is a critical piece to build your business development strategy, so set firm calendar reminders to incorporate it into your routine.  

      Google Ads can be inexpensive and target people specifically searching for the services your organization provides. An effective ad will drive potential leads to your website. An engaging landing page and resource will position your firm as a thought leader in the industry. Follow-through builds great brand recognition and turns these potential leads into future clients. Incorporate Google Ads into your SEO and business development strategy, and be prepared to be wowed by the results.

      Listen to our most recent podcast for busy professionals! Learn tricks to easily incorporate business development into your busy schedule.


       

      Cover slide from video "Prime Your Website for Effective Digital Marketing".

      Prime Your Website for Effective Digital Marketing

      Your website can attract new leads. In this video, our Lead Design Consultant shares three ways to make sure your website is set up to support effective digital marketing tools. Use your website to support business development by having an up-to-date customer relationship management (CRM) system, integrate an email campaign series and create engaging landing pages. Check out this video to learn how to keep your website up-to-date to support these digital marketing strategies.


      Read the transcript: 

      Is your website ready to support digital marketing?

      The biggest issue I deal with lately is websites that have out-of-date structures. It’s difficult to add new landing pages or forms for marketing campaigns when the back-end tools are outdated.

      There are solutions. Sometimes you just need simple maintenance, but other times you might need to develop a new website.

      Let’s assume your website is in good shape. How else can you prime your website for effective digital marketing? Here are three tips. 

      1. Maintain your CRM.

      If you have a customer relationship management system tied into your website, make sure that client information is up-to-date.

      Also, conduct regular maintenance to keep the integrations functioning properly between your CRM and website.  

      1. Use the email automation tools.

      Map out each message in your email campaign series so you can address any pitfalls that may come up.

      Once you read through it, you could be missing some integral content. You want recipients to take action rather than drop off.

      Also, ALWAYS test the campaign with a colleague to make sure everything works as it should, and that each email feels personal.

      Don’t forget about subject lines and pre-header text. Subject lines should be less than 42 characters to show up in the email field and create interest.

      The subject line is very important to persuade the recipient to open your emails, click to your website or take some other requested action.

      1. Set up a landing page for campaigns.

      Less is more in this case. An effective landing page keeps the content simple so that your offer or downloadable resource is front and center.

      To get more visitors to engage with you, only ask for the minimum information you need in a request form. Name, email and maybe their company.

      Well written digital ads, emails and landing pages show that you understand the market you want to serve. Your resource should also relate.

      Make sure it’s something that a lead in that market will find valuable. Valuable enough to share their email with you. 

      One final tip. Don’t forget to schedule a follow-up email for anyone that downloads your resource or fills out a form. It’s so important to respond immediately to these leads.

      Your website can attract new leads. Be ready with a well-maintained website and your digital marketing strategy.

      I’m happy to help here at Ingenuity!


      Is your website looking a little neglected? Check out these tips to help communicate maintenance and design needs with an outsourced consultant. View this video directly on YouTube.

       

      Illustration of phone with circles of people surrounding it

      How to Leverage Virtual Events in 2021

      With fewer opportunities to connect face-to-face with clients, prospects, referral sources and coworkers, many firms and associations have found ways to connect virtually. Thanks to modern technology, we are able to continue reaching our target audiences online and just as effectively as in-person interactions.

      If you have already started to incorporate virtual events into your marketing strategy, you know how much time and effort is needed to make these successful and worthwhile. Let’s talk through how you can continue to promote past virtual events to further expand your reach into the new year without having to reinvent the wheel.   

      Share on Social Media

      Utilize your firm or association’s social media channels to spread the word about previously recorded virtual events, trainings, videos or podcasts. The content you have already recorded can still be an engaging way to connect with leads well into the future. Sharing these recordings showcases your teams’ expertise on social media. It will also encourage your followers to learn about the work that you’ve done in the past and keeps your firm or association top-of-mind moving forward.

      By posting these previously recorded events on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, you’re creating a library of resources for your target audience to reference in the future. What better way to stand out as a thought leader and provide accessible information?!

      Social media tip: Ask the individuals presenting at your virtual events to share the recordings on their personal social pages. Their followers will be interested in this content which can expand your reach even further.

      Utilize Other Creative Outlets

      Your target audience is consuming information in new ways because of this virtual environment. It’s important that you stay up-to-date with how people are learning about your services, upcoming events and where they go to find new information.

      Did you know that if you record a webinar, video or even a meeting, you can turn that content into a podcast? All you need is an audio converter software program, which transforms your video into a MP3 file. Once you have the audio file downloaded on your computer, you can edit this file to add an intro, outro and make any other audio edits.  Display the finished product as a podcast on your website, share on social media and make available on other podcast sharing platforms.

      It’s also possible to transform videos into blog content! Viewers who would rather skim through the content of your video or don’t have the ability to access audio can read a new blog with the same content instead. Take your video and create a transcript using a tool like Rev.com. After reviewing the transcript for any errors, you have already created a new blog post for your website with minimal extra effort. 

      Encourage Virtual Business Development

      All of the content you work so hard to create (trainings, videos, blogs, podcasts, social media posts, etc.) prove that you’re a thought leader within your industry or niche. Encourage new business by sharing these resources far and wide. Share these resources during a sales pitch, display on your website and use them to encourage future speaking engagements. Showing that you have experience communicating your industry knowledge through these virtual platforms will expand your reach and business development opportunities.

      Looking to boost your digital marketing efforts in 2021? CONNECT WITH OUR TEAM TO INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY.

      Stay in-the-know. Give Ingenuity Marketing Group a follow on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to stay on top of emerging marketing trends in 2021!

      Social Media for Engineering Firms illustration

      Find Quality Engineering Leads Using Social Media

      Have you ever wondered how people are searching for information about your firm online? One of the most powerful ways to share your firm’s story is through social media! When someone decides to search Google for your engineering firm, chances are your social media channels pop up right away. Because social media is becoming increasingly popular, these platforms are a powerful tool to allow firms to connect, generate leads and position themselves as thought leaders.

      Let’s talk through four reasons why your engineering firm should be using social media and how to incorporate it into your regular content marketing routine.  

      Social Platforms Boost Brand Awareness

      Social media is a powerful way for brands to maintain client relationships while having the opportunity to be found by new leads. Your firm’s social pages can become a way to engage with clients at every stage of their journey with you. Whether they are prospective leads or current clients, your social media visitors can engage through comments, ads, video and firm updates.

      As your firm gains followers on social media, routinely posting allows your brand to stay top-of-mind. Your followers are interested in your content, and more likely to engage with you as you post more frequently. Social media is also a great way to connect visually with your followers! Create videos and images that represent your brand and specific projects you’re working on.

      Incorporate Social into Your Routine

      Let’s not sugar coat it. Your firm creates a lot of valuable content to highlight your work. Use social media as a space to share blogs, videos and other content you’ve worked hard on, such as project updates and information about your firm’s culture.

      Sharing information regularly (we recommend 2-3 times a week on your selected social platforms) makes it easier for people to see it on their feed and find information they are looking for on your pages. Most importantly, active social media pages encourage your followers to share the content you post! By creating something “shareworthy,” your firm can extend its reach.

      Maybe your firm dabbles in social media, but you’re not posting regularly. Make a plan to consistently keep these platforms updated, keeping your followers in-the-know and to position your firm as thought leaders within your industry. You’ve already made the content; now how can you make posting to social part of your normal marketing routine?

      READ: LEARN HOW THIS ENGINEERING FIRM USED SOCIAL MEDIA TO GET MORE CLICKS TO ITS WEBSITE

      Utilize Social Media to Satisfy Business Objectives

      Your firm has big goals! Now more than ever, social media is a way to help you achieve them. Looking to generate more leads? Wanting to connect with employees in the new virtual age? Hoping to become known for your construction, engineering or architecture work? Want to stand out in niche areas? Be more social!

      You have the ability to focus on certain topic areas on social media, helping you stand out against competitors. Social media platforms are a great resource for your firm to connect with other thought leaders in the industry, reach new clients/project partners and engage with referral sources. Use these platforms to highlight your firm’s experience in creative and engaging ways.

      In addition to better supporting your firm’s social media pages, encourage leaders of your firm to engage with important prospects or clients through their personal pages. Use social as a way to remain connected and aware of what your potential clients care about and how your firm can support them in the future.

      Earn Quality Leads

      Social media is a way to engage with quality leads because your best followers will care about the topics you share and post regularly. Potential leads are people who follow your firm or who follow the leaders at your firm. They engage with your content and maybe they have already sent a direct message to your firm through social. Here are some ways to make sure quality leads can get in touch:

        • Provide contact information. Your contact information should be up-to-date and readily available on all of your social media profiles, highlighting how your firm prefers to receive inquiries—whether by phone, email or a link to a contact page on your website.
        • Add direct links. Wherever possible, make sure each post has a clear link and a tempting call-to-action. The majority of the links used on your firm’s social media channels should be encouraging followers to visit your website for more information, and they should align with the firm’s business objectives.
        • Take advantage of lead gen forms. Certain platforms offer a paid ad format that’s specific for lead generation. Anyone who clicks on your ad can submit their contact information with the click of a button. Your firm can reach out and connect with these quality leads in the future. 

       

      Other ways to find quality leads on social media include joining Facebook or LinkedIn groups, following hashtags and industry influencers, and monitoring who regularly engages with your content.

      Now you know more about the power of social media! It’s time to take advantage of this tool in constructive ways to increase brand awareness, meet business objectives and generate quality leads.

      Want more content marketing tips? Check out our Create a Content Marketing Strategy That Keeps on Giving blog for ideas to boost your strategy.

      Bowl of fruit from the top

      3 SEO Boosters for Accounting Marketing

      Let’s geek out for a moment, and we promise that it will be a great benefit to your accounting marketing success. There are three SEO boosters for accountants that we see firms miss all the time – but you don’t have to!

      Page Titles

      Let’s talk about page titles

      There seems to be a misunderstanding about the difference between “page titles” and web page headlines. Too often, the page title is just a duplication of the headline on a web page. This is a disservice to ‘bots and humans. Here’s why.

      The tabs at the top of a web page show your page titles. They should tell the viewer what the page is about and should be 60 characters or less, including spaces, so that it’s easy to read the tab

      Your page title also shows up in search results (the purple headlines below), and it helps the search engines determine if the content you promise matches what the visitor wants. It also helps humans quickly scan their search results and choose to click. The right page titles encourage clicking on your site.

      SEO Booster Tip #1: Write a page title that is different from your content headline when creating new blog copy or web content marketing. Make sure that it “sells” your content appropriately and uses the right number of characters to convey your topic. Build the page title into the back end of the web page, so it is unique to that page.

      Keywords in Web Content

      Keywords aren’t just for the back end of your website. Where appropriate, you should include your top keywords in the body copy of your web content such as introductory copy, blog posts, bios and careers pages.  

      Don’t assume that search engines will organically find your services without some keyword bread crumbs. But also, add the keywords so they make sense when reading the copy. To prove our point, we’ve highlighted keywords in the body copy below because you wouldn’t notice them otherwise. They just blend into the story we’re telling.

      Also, while you may rank for a keyword that is misspelled, don’t misspell it in your body copy. And don’t “stuff” your copy with keywords so it becomes a mess of terminology with no value to the reader.

      SEO Booster Tip #2: Be clear on the keywords you want to rank for based on your web analytics and business goals. Brainstorm topics that match those keywords. Write your content, then proof it for areas where a keyword makes sense to include in the body copy. This approach is easier than trying to write around your keywords in draft 1. Give yourself SEO bonus points if you can use a keyword in your headlines, too!

      SEE OUR COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTING SERVICES

      Calls to Action (CTAs)

      Too many accounting websites entice visitors with good information, then miss the business opportunity to invite visitors to explore further. Think about the things your buyers want. How should your web pages lead them to take action? 

      You can use your standard CTAs:

      • Contact us!
      • View our services.
      • Sign up for our newsletter.
      • See our work.

      Now let’s get creative. As more people use their mobile devices to “scroll” your pages, you could offer several calls to action throughout one page:

      • Related video to view
      • List of hyperlinked services
      • Related blog posts
      • Downloadable resources

      How do you make the exploration easy and interesting? Emphasize page design just as much as your SEO integration. Include a mix of copy and relevant visuals that make a positive impression.

      SEO Booster Tip #3: Ask your website users to get to know your firm better and get connected for a continued conversation offline. Your website can do that with the right calls to action integrated throughout your site, persuading your audience that you are the accounting firm for them!

      VIEW INGENUITY'S DIGITAL MARKETING SERVICES

      You may also enjoy our video about important technical updates to improve your website’s visibility and performance.