How to Earn More Retweets with Images

When it comes to Twitter marketing, one of the most common questions that we hear is, “how to get more retweets?” Images are the key to getting more retweets.

One of the simplest ways to get more retweets and engagement is to incorporate more images into your Tweets.
“Social Media Scientist” Dan Zarrella recently analyzed more than 400,000 tweets and the number of times that each of these tweets received a retweet. In addition, he factored in the 4 most popular ways to send images to Twitter: Facebook image links, Instagram, TwitPic, and Twitter’s own uploading service. His findings indicated that images uploaded via Twitter’s own loading service were 60 percent more likely to be retweeted, which was significantly higher than any other method of sending images to Twitter.

While tweets are limited to 140 characters, opting to include an image has proven to be an even more effective tactic in inspiring people to read and share your content. Considering that 90 percent of the information that your brain processes is visual and that the brain processes this information 60,000 times faster than textual content, you can’t afford not to tweet images.

When someone else shares your posts on Twitter they most likely won’t take the time to add an image to their tweet. So the best solution is to use Twitter Cards.

Twitter cards is a great way to get your tweet to stand out. This requires a little work on your website but the end result is anytime someone shares your blog post the image shows up in the tweet. There are 7 different types of Twitter Cards you can use. The large format looks like this:

using images in twitter

Without Twitter Cards setup on you blog, your tweets will look like this:

tweets without images

You can use Twitter’s card validator to see what your posts will look like on Twitter.

Setting up Twitter Cards on your website may seem complex but if your blog is built with wordpress you can find several different plugins to help with the setup. If you use a plugin for this remember to always backup your site before installing and testing a new plugin. Learn more about our small business marketing services.

If you have suggestions on plugins that work well for you or have questions about a specific plugin, leave a comment below. Follow us on Twitter We would love to connect with you!

real estate website design

Web Design Trends for Real Estate

Each and every year, new website trends become popular. One of the main reasons that web design changes are because of web standards change and developers always want to move forward into the future and improve web designs. There are a couple of things that you may notice becoming vastly popular this year in websites. We have made a list below of the top new web trends that you will be seeing out there. Do you have any of these web trends on your site?

Mobile Menu: The 3 bar menu at the middle of the page or at the top right of the webpage is very popular.

mobile website designWhite Spaces: No more sidebars! We have entered the modern era of the web. The removal of sidebars and adding more what space gaps on a website will ultimately focus your site on the midsection.

Drop the Slideshow: Slideshows were always bad for SEO and they were too heavy for sites. Dropping the slide show will pick your websites speed and will always be positive in terms of new SEO Standards.

MLS on Home Page: More and more real estate agent are ditching the ‘sold’ gallery and they are having their developers implement the IDX/MLS right on their home page. The MLS is a great way to show a client what houses are currently available in the area. The MLS also allows an individual to search homes based on their preferences. This preference can be, for example, let’s say a couple needs a 4 bedroom house with 1-acre land. The MLS provides a custom option for this couple to search what homes are currently available based on their specific preferences.Most developers will integrate IDX free on an agents website. The MLS is a handy tool to have up and customized. All real estate agents are recommended to their MLS displayed on their site.

Faster Loading Speed: Websites that load fast are more preferred than those that load up slowly. Internet visitors have a low attention span when it comes to waiting for a website to load. When the site load time is above 1 second, it is more likely that that internet visitor will leave the page. Have a fast loading website by compressing your CSS files.

Wide Screen Design: It’s time to ditch the small boxed up screen web site design and get a nice widescreen design for yourself. It is much more professional and has a great quality to it.

Mobile Homepage: Mobile web design is very important. The primary reason why mobile web design is important is because there are millions of people browsing from their phones instead of their desktops. Developers have the option to create a custom mobile homepage for site and that is through using an if else statement to drag in certain coding based on device preferences.

Website trends are out there and happening for a reason. Sooner or later, every website will follow these trends so its best to start with them now rather than later.

smartphone marketing

Why Should You Start Marketing Your Business To Millions Of Smartphone Users?

Smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of daily life, particularly for the younger set. Those of us who remember when cell phones first came out, roughly the size of a brick and just as heavy might be a bit bemused by the latest advances in technology. Nowadays, it seems as though the latest smartphones can do everything but physically make you dinner. There are definitely enough apps out there, however, to have the phone tell you how to make dinner, at the very least.

On that note, apps are another way to harness the power of mobile marketing. This is an especially good one for startups to consider, as app development and implementation is actually one of the best ways to get the most out of mobile marketing for your money. For those who aren’t exactly in the know, an app is short for the word application. Since smartphones are like mini computers but dont work in the exact same way, there are certain programs that companies have developed to help smartphones function more like a traditional computer. These programs are the apps.

mobile marketingApps are extremely popular in todays day and age, particularly given the prevalence of smartphones. There are apps that specialize on everything from coupons to fashion to locating others in the area for potential dates. What does this mean for people who are interested in mobile marketing? Creating an app is a great way to get your message across to users and help enhance your overall marketing presence.

Companies can use apps to great advantage. Many larger companies either sell or give away apps to interested consumers, and then they pack those apps with either deals or great content to share with the consumers who have installed the apps on their phones. Having an app that centers around your business and products is a great way to keep your loyal customers up to date on what your company is doing and how they can serve the consumer better.

Not to mention, apps are definitely cutting-edge insofar as technology is concerned. If you are able to offer you consumers an app for their smartphones, youre signaling to the consumer that both you and your company are hip to the technological savvy of the populace. Youll be able to get your customers information on an as-needed basis. Apps can even help customers locate your stores or outlets if they should happen to be in an unfamiliar area and have a sudden Jones for your product.

So if you’re looking to break into the world of mobile marketing, you should most certainly give app development a second look. If you can get your idea into an app and onto the phones of your consumers, your consumers will most certainly be giving you a second look as well and a third, a fourth, a fifth, and as many more as fast as technology can travel.

The Pros and Cons of Mobile Marketing

website seo

Balancing SEO With Website Usability

Developing your site so that it enhances your visitors’ shopping experience and improves conversion rates does not automatically mean that you have a site that is friendly to the search engines. Similarly developing a site that is search engine friendly doesn’t automatically make it user-friendly. But these things are also not mutually exclusive. You can please both search engines and website visitors.

While search engines are important, keep in mind that your visitors are even more important. When making edits to your site always consider the implications on both your human visitors and the search engines as well. Every change you make will have either a positive, negative or neutral effect on your human visitors and the search engine spider. You need to know ahead of time the effect any particular change will have and use that as a basis for determining if its worthwhile or not.

For a look at some of the least desirable types of changes you can make to your website for improved conversions: Ultimately, if you have to decide between users and spiders err on the side of making your site better for people. Here are the final three paths that you may face with any site change you are looking to make. Of the nine paths, these are your best options overall.

Good for spiders, indifferent for people

Many, many valuable website changes have absolutely zero effect on your human visitors but they are necessary in order to enhance your site’s spiderability, search friendliness and overall ranking ability. Many say that you should only make website changes for visitors, not for search engines, but that’s just not good policy. While many website architectural issues can be justified as being beneficial for site visitors there are still some changes that are flat out necessary that really don’t have much to do with the visitor at all.

If a change is good for search engine spiders and you know it won’t have a negative effect on your visitors then it’s certainly a valuable change to consider. Ultimately, if you can enhance the experience for the spider you’ll be providing better opportunities for your site visitors. But again, just make sure any such change doesn’t have a negative site visitor impact.

Indifferent to spiders, Good for people

Almost universally, if you can make changes to your site that enhance your visitor’s experience while having no negative effect on the search engines you’re in good hands. Addressing things such as visitor usability and trust issues rarely effect the search engines directly but they can go a long way for improving how visitors interact with your site and the persuasion process that gets you the conversions you need.

One should always be looking for changes to make to their site that will improve visitor performance and conversions. The trick is to make sure you balance that with the net effect any change has with the spiders. If you can keep making changes that have little or no overall effect in spiderability and search engine friendliness then by all means, keep making them. Your site is only going to get better.

Good for spiders, good for people

website design and usabilityPleasing visitors should always be your first priority on your website. But when you can please both visitors and search engines simultaneously then you’re in a good spot. Making site changes that have a positive effect in both these areas is the ultimate path, goal and decision that you can make. If only every change that we make to our sites could bring improvement for both search spiders and human visitors. While that’s not always the case these are the types of changes that you should actively be seeking out.

Every change you make to your website has an effect. If possible, it’s best if that effect can be determined before the change is made. Knowing that information will give you an idea if you should move forward or not. But when it comes to predicting the effect of changes, especially those affecting the site visitor, we can’t always be right.

Don’t be afraid to make changes you may be unsure about. But it’s crucial to track what happens next. Even if you are fairly confident of a positive outcome tracking will either confirm what we already knew or point out where our logic was faulty. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact it’s better to try, err and correct than not make any improvements at all. The goal should be to develop a site that is as user friendly and search engine friendly as possible. That’s done through a long-term process of identifying issues, making edits and analyzing the results.

Not every path is a winner and steer clear of those that have a net negative effect. But everything must be weighed. Even within the these tips there are several shades of gray and the overall gain/loss must be considered carefully. Even the smallest gains are often beneficial if they outweigh the negatives. As much as possible, though, keep on the paths that provide the best results and you’ll be on the path to business success.

How Much Does Online Marketing Cost? Wrong Question!

A better questions is: What do you need? You can’t begin to address a budget for online marketing until the business requirements are established. Like offline marketing, the cost of advertising, promotion and public relations depend on the amount and type of work planned to achieve the results that your business is looking for. You must identify certain goals.

What are you hoping to achieve?

Think beyond just more leads and sales. Really break it down into traceable goals segmented by marketing channel, and you’ll end up with a list that includes goals like:

  • online marketing planNumber of unique visitors / duration of visit / pages visited
  • Form submissions / newsletter signups
  • Info requests / sales appointments
  • Trial signups / online sales

At some point, hopefully earlier in the campaign, you’ll want a plan that details your marketing channels, as well as specific goals for each channel. For instance, one line may read:

Facebook Ads Monthly Goals: 500 visits, 50 form submissions, 5 sales.

How do you come up with the numbers?

That’s easy – here we use expert research. We study the market, competitors, keywords, costs, opportunities, and expected results, and come up with sturdy tools leading to an action plan that leaves the guesswork behind.

The bottom line: If you want to build a platform of better results, you need to begin with better tools:

  • Market Assessment
  • Brand Audit
  • Competitive Research
  • Keyword Research
  • Organic Rankings Report

Can you determine a cost before developing a marketing plan? The most accurate answer here is: no. What we can do instead is help you build a plan to achieve important results using the tactics that best suit your current situation and budget.

There are always opportunities to grow your business online, at any budget. A good starting question is: What’s the best approach for MY business?

Learn more about strategic marketing for your business

local business marketing online

Why Local Businesses Fail With Online Marketing

Online marketing can be a mystery to many small business owners and it’s even more difficult when so called “experts” are giving them conflicting information. Who should they believe? How do they know which strategy is the right one for their business?

My heart goes out to so many small business owners who struggle to wrap their arms around the online marketing game. It is constantly changing and as the old saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”. So it isn’t surprising that they can talk to three different marketing agencies and come back with three different strategies.

It’s no wonder some small businesses struggle with their online marketing strategy. We’ve compiled a list of ways that local small businesses fail with their online marketing and how they can avoid these mistakes.

1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – Don’t focus exclusively on internet marketing. Given that this article is about internet marketing, this item may seem out of place. But it is important to note that although the internet is a powerful source for driving new business and building your brand, it shouldn’t be the only marketing strategy in your arsenal.

local online marketing2. Marketing budget is too low – If you consider the national average for businesses of all sizes, the average marketing budget is about 10% of the entire budget. Now if you compare that to the local small business owner, 56% spend less than 3% of their total budget on all of their marketing. Unless you or someone in your business has the skills needed to develop a strong online marketing program, you should be investing in your online strategy.

3. Outdated or poorly optimized website – When it comes to marketing online your website becomes your central point for sales. All your social platforms, online ads and videos should lead consumers back to your website. Having a website that make a strong first impression is important. Make sure contact information stands out and that the site is easy to navigate. Your visitors should be able to easily find the information they are looking for.

4. Don’t forget about the power of email marketing – We recently sat down with one of our landscaping clients who was getting ready for their busy season. Instead of spending marketing dollars on ads for sprinkler startup and aeration, we suggested they create an email campaign to reach out to previous customers who used these services in the past. It doesn’t cost anything but a few hours of their time and will get them off to a fast start this season.

5. Capture the low hanging fruitLeverage local search to be found by consumers who are ready to buy right now. Smart phones are everywhere and the number of mobile searches for local intent has surpassed desktop searches. Consumers searching via a mobile device will make a purchase within 3 days more than 50% of the time. Mobile users search for everything from shopping and restaurants to home services.

6. Don’t try to do it all by yourself – Marketing online is complex and ever changing so unless you have an in house specialist, it will too challenging to keep up with. It’s true that some online marketing can be expensive but you don’t have to do it all at once. Figure out what your budget is and start with something small. As sales increase your marketing budget should follow.

“Business success is all about finding the right outside service providers and using them wisely. You can’t do it all yourself.” ~ Anita Campbell, Founder of Small Business Trends.

7. Hire the “right” marketing agency – Small business owners are experts in their business but they don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to marketing online. This becomes a Catch 22 – how do you hire a good agency when you don’t know what to look for. Part of this will be following your gut but it should also include asking a lot of questions and asking for referrals. Also, if you’re unsure about an agency start off with a smaller project that doesn’t take too long. This way you can see how the agency works and if they follow through with your expectations.

Last but not least….

local marketing failureDo something! Procrastinating and waiting for the right moment is a sure fire way to fail. Put together your online marketing strategy with timeframes and budget. Having something in writing will give you a blueprint for success. Make changes to your blueprint as things change.

If you would like help with your marketing strategy, schedule a free no-obligation 30 minute consultation.

seo link building

Measuring the Affect of On-page Optimization (SEO) on Your Backlinking Strategy

All the efforts in a professional SEO foundation start with a strong on-page or on-site SEO and ends with off-page techniques including link building and social media networking buzz. In my experience, the stronger on-page optimization you have on a site, the less work you require on link building and other off-site SEO. On-page and Off-page SEO are inversely correlated with each other, so to speak.

I never came across with a formula that can determine how much the strength of one factor affects the other. However, based on plenty of websites I did SEO for or consulted in their SEO foundation, I could develop a basic formula that can give a broader outline of required off-page SEO work based on the present on-page strength of the URL you are targeting. Here is brief of my conclusions with some examples to make it simple.

optimizing your websiteBefore examining the effect of on-page factors on the Search Engine Optimization link building, lets first have a closer look of what it includes. On-page optimization factor is determined based on each keyword you are targeting for a specific URL. The order of priority of presence of this keyword in on-page SEO is as follows:

  • Domain/URL (factor a)
  • Content (factor b)
  • Meta Title (factor c)
  • Meta Description (factor d)
  • Anchor Text (factor e)

In the past there used to be importance of meta keyword as well, but since its misleading to a user as its not visible during a search, Google already excluded it from its indexing factors. Other search engines though still put some value to meta keywords.

So, if you are targeting a keyword for a specific URL and if this keyword is present in all the above five instances, then you already out-beaten a good amount of competition among the similar websites that may not have this keyword present in all five places as mentioned above. This is also a good way to measure SEO competition of a given keyword while preparing your SEO strategy. For example if you are targeting for keyword “weight loss program”, the will bring you around 92 million sites competing for this keyword. However using the command inURL, inText, inAnchor in the Google, the real competition lowers down to around 1 million sites. What does this exactly mean? This means that these 1 million sites have stronger SEO than 91 million sites having off-page optimization as a constant. This also means that if you do not have “weight loss program” in your domain/URL, meta or content, you will need many folds extra effort in backlinking and off-site optimization to compete with the sites that have this keyword present in the above mentioned five factors.

So generally speaking, if you have fulfilled all five factors during your on-page SEO foundation, it will reduce around 10% of your backlinking effort for each factor that is lacking in your competitor’s site. So if a site lacks all five of these factors, it means that you will need only 50% of the total number of backlinks that site has to appear before it in SERP.

Knowing how to manage your backlinking strategy with the quality of your on-page optimization can help you rank faster and manage your SEO budget. If you would like help with your on-page optimization or developing your backlink strategy schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

strategic inbound marketing

Growing Your Local Business In 2017 With Strategic Inbound Marketing

Well the first quarter of 2017 is already gone along with most of April! Have you had time to take a look at your sales goals for 2017? Are you on track for a great year? If you feel like you’ve fallen short or are more than a little worried about sales, read on. We have some information that can help get you back on track and finishing the year stronger than you imagined.

This article on discussing the Small Business Digital Trends Report is fascinating and also relevant to this topic.

Could your business be among the many that are missing out on new customers by not optimizing their online and social media presence? The Small Business Digital Trends Report created in collaboration with an Innovation Fellow in the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, Dr. David Ricketts, says that only 17 percent of small business owners are willing to invest in search engine optimization (SEO) in 2017.

“The number one reason why small business owners are online is to attract and engage with new customers, yet our report indicates small business owners may be having a hard time keeping up with the continually changing dynamic of the web,” the (NASDAQ:WEB) CEO David Brown said in a prepared release on the study.

Brown goes on to say….

In 2017, it is no longer enough for small business owners to be online with just a web site. They need business-specific social media channels that engage customers, they need a search-engine-optimization (SEO) strategy that will get them on the top of search lists, and they need online marketing advice from real people who understand how to stay one step ahead of their competition and customer expectations

invest in local seo

You can continue doing the same marketing that is either just making ends meet or is on a steady decline, or you can take the leap and learn more about online marketing for local business. Unfortunately many local businesses believe that SEO is too expensive and out of their reach. Most SEO program costs are based on the competitiveness of the industry and the targeted region. When a local business attempts to compete on a national level the cost will be much higher for SEO but when the choose to compete on a local level… it becomes much more affordable. And it is the smarter option since most of their customers are going to be local anyway.

The folks at Search Engine Land say it best in regards to local SEO:

Why local SEO?
Before we get into the tips, let me lay the groundwork for why you need to invest in local SEO. People use search engines to find local businesses they want to buy from. This is not just my own opinion; Google’s own research proves it. Here are a few stats the make the point.

– Four in five consumers use search engines to find local information.
– Fifty percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34 percent who searched on a computer or tablet did the same.
– Local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches. Eighteen percent of local searches on smartphones lead to a purchase within a day vs. 7 percent of non-local searches.

What does this mean for your business? Not only are people searching locally, they’re taking action when they do! Building a strategy that promotes your business locally will do more than drive website traffic — it will drive sales.

When Local SEO isn’t in the budget, lead generation services can be the next best option. But be careful when choosing a lead generation program for your business. Some companies sell leads for a small fee but they are sharing one lead with 4 to 5 companies. Many of our clients have tried these programs and don’t like them at all. They find that they need to negotiate their fee to compete with the other 4 companies and their close rate is too low.

The best option we believe is “exclusive leads”. Exclusive leads means no more sharing leads and bartering your prices. Yes, sometimes the leads will cost a little more but the close ratio is much higher.

Doing nothing will leave your business at risk. But taking steps to ensure your business will be secure for a long time to come, is a smart investment. Give us a call and schedule your free 30 minute consultation and learn how these strategic inbound marketing solutions for small business can change your gross sales in 2017. Call (877) 304-7990 Today!


cure for writers block

An Effective Cure For Writers Block – Don’t Stop Blogging!

Unless you’ve engaged the assistance of a blog writing service, you are pretty much on your own for content creation. Assuming that you already have a busy operation to run, you probably don’t have time for writer’s block. Fortunately, we have some effective cures for when you run into this common obstacle.

The first tip comes from the folks at

Chug some caffeine


Okay. Okay. I know caffeine isn’t good for you. But sometimes you need something to keep going. Don’t waste your fantastic ideas just because you can’t keep awake.

Try this schedule: Set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes – or use the focus booster. After 25 minutes of concentrated writing, take a break. Stop even if you feel like finishing a paragraph.

Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Start your next 25 minutes and drink your cup of coffee.

Green tea fuels my blog posts. What fuels yours?

Sometimes it helps just to look back at your older, most successful blog posts. What topics seemed to gain the most traction with your target audience and sparked engagement? Maybe it’s time to elaborate on those topics, or perhaps reviewing your old content may even spark a new idea. Referencing your older content provides you with a great opportunity to link back to the original post when writing your new one.

Yet another idea from

Switch Topics

If you are having problems with a particular piece, stop writing it. Go on to something completely different. Something radical. Something new. Something you never thought you would write about. If you’re writing about the shrinking middle class-stop and start writing about some childhood experience that left a mark on you. Your work doesn’t have to be publication quality. It just has to be something different.

Take advantage of social media. Ask your followers about which topics are most important or interesting to them. You could also utilize your multimedia tools to add another element to your blog, such as a video post or a series of photos. Or you can do what I’m doing right now and curate some content from other peoples articles. Just make sure you link back and give credit when you do.

Your ultimate goal should be to create content that is interactive and engages your audience. Developing new ways to continue to inspire your readers. If you need help developing a marketing strategy for your business that will make the most from all of your marketing efforts. Contact us and schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

Great Content Means More Traffic And Sales

What exactly Makes Good Content for Marketing?

You might have heard this millions of times, Content is King. When it is all said and done, however, that statement leaves many wondering just what makes all the distinction between good content or poor content. It’s a sketchy zone which can be different for various kinds of webpages. For marketing, there are certain requirements for great written content, and those are the things I’m going to concentrate on in this article.

It Isn’t What You May Say, It’s The Way You Say It

This is largely correct in advertising material. The words you write have to convince others that your goods are essential to them. The way you express it’ll make a real difference in whether or not they trust you, or not. Therefore you decide to ever place a thing upon your web site, make sure you understand your products, and perhaps most importantly, have faith in the item. That will shine through in the text.

Garbage In, Rubbish Out

Yet another ancient maxim which is as correct today as it ever was. Many times marketers just toss text on the web page believing so long as they’ve the proper keywords for search engine rankings, along with the hyperlinks in position, that is all content marketingthat matters, and all what’s left is merely filler. There is an elementary issue with this concept that appears to evade them. Search engine optimization is necessary to a internet marketing strategy, so many marketers target that exclusively, and start to think it’s the be all end all for their plans. However Search engine marketing is only intended to do one thing; Get Website traffic.

Website traffic is so important, of course, due to the fact without it no one will ever see your page or buy your products, but Search engine marketing will not encourage anyone to get an item. Once the traffic arrives at your internet site, if all you have is a heap of rubbish on the page, they will not take the time looking at it, and you probably won’t make the conversion. Consequently you’ll have a high-volume internet site with tons of web traffic and yet no income. You could be pleased with the numbers all you wish, your bank is going to be empty.

Write quality content that actually says something, and most of all is understandable. Be certain your spelling not to mention grammar are excellent. That’s right, it will turn away visitors.

According to a study on Search Engine Land, organic search drives 51% of traffic to website vs. 5% from social media.

The BrightEdge study found organic search drives 51 percent of all visitors to B2B and B2C websites, trumping all other non-organic search channels, including paid search (10%) and social (5%).

Based on these facts, a good content marketing strategy is important for businesses looking to drive more visitors and sales.

Does it Matter?

Excellent content makes a difference, but the thing that makes good content is if the idea is important. Write about what your potential customers want to know about with regards to the subject your blog site or web site is about. Let’s say you sell dog training aids, and discuss the next thunderstorm in Spain, is it going to mean much to your viewers? It may possibly be relatively intriguing, but it is not pertinent to their demands. It certainly won’t showcase your puppy training offerings.

Same Old Same Old

Ideally, you want to find an innovative way to articulate something in case the subject matter you’re writing about is a common subject matter. The Internet is a fantastic place, and filled with knowledge and ideas. You need to give your readers something just a little different, a greater knowledge of a topic that they have already found a great deal of data on. When you can help them to understand their own needs a little bit better, you will be on the way to selling these folks on your stuff as well.

Thinking about adding a blog to your website? Our previous post “How a Blog Can Kickstart Your Content Marketing Strategy” will give you some tips for getting started.

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