Over the last few weeks, we’ve been blogging about Facebook Ads. Each day, the average Facebook user spends 35 minutes on the platform. So how can the average mom and pop shop leverage this? While posting regularly is crucial, utilizing Facebook ads can also get more customers through your doors. Since we’ve already cover the why (why you should use FB ads) and the how (how to actually create the ad). Today, we will touch on what your ad should contain. While there is so, so much that can be written on this topic, we know that busy entrepreneurs are looking for the Cliff’s Notes version, so here it is.
Here are four key components to what your Facebook Ad should include:
- Relevancy: Relevancy means that you have targeted the right people with your ad. You want to target your ad to your “ideal customer”. If you don’t know who your ideal customer is, this article is a great place to start. For instance, you probably aren’t going to advertise an upcoming ballet performance to men interested in monster trucks. It’s not to say someone can’t like both, but you will probably be wasting your advertising dollars. Take some time to think about who your target audience is and then utilize this audience on Facebook. You want your ad for your product to be relevant to the people who will see it (hence the name relevancy). In fact, Facebook gives you a relevancy score. So, think about your ideal customer and target your ad to that person. The great thing about FB is that you can see how your ad performed and then adjust your audience accordingly the next time around.
- Appearance: Visually appealing Facebook Ads get more clicks (because who wants a closer look at something that is ugly?). There are several free options to create great looking ads. Canva is one of our favorites. If you are in need of photos, Unsplash is another great (and free) resource. There are several resources available to create great looking ads with little time or money. Since, appealing ads are more likely to be shared and remembered, it’s important to make sure you don’t skip this step. Looking for some tips to create great looking ads? You can find some here.
- Value Proposition: What exactly are you offering and why should someone buy it/learn more/set foot in your store? Basically, if someone is your ideal customer why should he or she buy from you and not your competitor? For instance, you may not own the biggest home improvement store in town, but you may own the most helpful. Your value proposition could be something like this, “Home improvement products without the headaches,” “Personalized service for your Saturday project,” or in the words of Ace Hardware “The Helpful Place”. If I’ve got a complicated project, I don’t want to be scouring a big box store for the right size bolt. I want to be able to ask someone (or even call ahead) and have the part I need within minutes. If that’s your competitive edge, then let your potential customers know it.
- Call to Action: What action should an interested person take? Should they contact you, visit your website, message you for more information? Your call to action will vary based on your business. Taking the hardware example from above, you could either use “learn more” to drive traffic to your website, or even “contact us” to get your project started. Whatever you do, don’t forget the CTA. A call to action motivates a person to take action and gives specific steps on what action to take.
There you have it. Four items every Facebook ad should have. While it may seem a bit daunting for a busy entrepreneur, taking time to implement these four items will ensure that your advertising, both online and offline, gives you the best return on investment.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working with some clients to spice up their resumes. That got us thinking. When an employer looks at resumes, what causes one go into the yes pile, while others go into the no? In order to answer this question, we did a little research and reached out to employers from South Dakota, to Minnesota, to Ohio. These employers gave some general advice, and some advice specifically for ministry related jobs. Here’s what they said below:
- Highlight what you’ve done. Don’t just regurgitate your job description. How have you excelled at it? Maybe you’ve found a way for your organization to save money by switching suppliers. Say that. Don’t just put, “Ordered supplies,” but rather, “Saved the organization 20% on paper by switching to Dunder Mifflin.” If you were a employer, who would you want to hire?
- While education is important, people care a lot more about what you’ve done than what you’ve learned. Unless you have little to no work experience, keep your degrees for the end of your resume. Employers across the board wanted to know what you would do in the position, how you will advance the organization, not just what you’ve learned. Show them what you’ve done in your past or current positions so they know that you will do great things for them in the future.
- Follow the application instructions and if possible, go above and beyond. One employer specifically mentioned a major job posting site. Candidates have the opportunity to fill out a profile and upload their resume as a PDF. However, some seekers simply used a cut and paste feature and put their resume info into a box instead of uploading it. This meant that the employer had to format resumes, which didn’t always happen. Follow the directions thoroughly.
- When in doubt (or if not otherwise noted), use a PDF format! Not every computer has Microsoft Word and not everyone uses Google Docs. PDF is a universal format that all computers can read. Neglecting to do this may mean that your resume doesn’t get seen.
- Longevity and stats do matter (even in the ministry). Jumping jobs year after year, or simply completing your job’s minimum requirements doesn’t make you stand out as a candidate. If you want your dream job, you’ve got to put in the time and the work.
- Use action verbs. Did you write a policy or did you spearhead the creation and implementation of it? One sounds a lot stronger than the other. Of course, be honest. However, through our research we found that people went one of two ways. Either they embellished their accomplishments with action verbs, or they didn’t give themselves enough credit. Take an honest look at what you did and use words that match that. By the way, here’s a great list of verbs to get you started.
- And finally… it’s probably a good idea to make changes to your resume for each job you are applying for. Canvassing employers with a generic resume will probably land yours in the trash.
- Use PDF if no other format is specified. (Do you see a theme here?)
- Consider sticking to black and white. While color can give it a nice pop (and is expected in some fields), some employers print resumes. Churches are especially known to do this since they are often distributing resumes to several committee members. Chances are, they aren’t going to print it in color. Black and white (or grayscale) is always a safe bet.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread. You may have an employer who doesn’t care if you have a typo, but do you really want to chance it?
- Keep it clean, use easy to read fonts and do not make your font so small that someone can’t read it. (We’ve all been tempted to do this so that we can fit as much as possible in thanks to our last piece of advice).
- Last, stick to two pages. Your resume shouldn’t be more than two pages long. That means you may have to condense or cut things, but if you were looking at 20-30 resumes at a time, you probably aren’t going to flip through ten pages.
Hopefully, our research will give you a leg up on your job hunt and help you get an interview. Here’s to landing your dream job!
Do you have any job hunting tips? We’d love to hear them! Comment below to share.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing some simple steps we can take to increase your website’s rankings when it comes to search engines. This is called SEO. Another simple way to get your site to the top of the list is to properly utilize headings.
What are headings?
Headings are those areas of text that stand out in a blog post. They go from H1 (heading 1) to H6 (heading 6), with H1 being the most important. Take a look below at what each looks like:
What should you put in these fancy headings? The answer is simple. You want to put your keywords in these. Will this make you rise to the top of Google? Nope. It will, however, help. As this article from a company specializing in SEO states, “If you want to rank for it, you will have to write about it.”
However, there are a few things to remember when adding keywords to headings. The main one is this. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, stuff your headings with keywords. In previous posts, we used a shoe store as an example. The shoe store’s headings should not look like this:
SHOES, FOOTWEAR, BLUE SUEDE SHOES, BUY
You always want to write for the reader. A better example would be the following:
What are Blue Suede Shoes?
The Top Five Benefits of Blue Suede Shoes
Notice that the keyword(s) are in the heading, but not randomly put there in a cheap effort to generate more traffic.
How Exactly do I apply headings?
Changing your text to heading form in WordPress is as simple as highlighting the text and using the drop down menu to assign it a heading value.
What Heading should I use?
H1 is the title of the page or blog post and should only be used once. When you create a post, WordPress automatically places the title at the beginning of your post, so H1 is already done for you.
H2 tags should include your keyword(s). Using multiple H2 tags is pefectly fine. For instance, I have used them at the top of each paragraph of this post. You will notice, they are smaller in size than the title of the post at the top.
The rest of the tags (h3, h4, h5, h6) should highlight text in order of importance. Most posts and/or pages don’t use anything beyond an h3 tag unless there is a lot of content.
Finally, do not skip numbers. It is important to use h1 tags, then h2. You don’t want to skip over any headings.
Headings on the internet are like headings in a newspaper. They allow the reader (and search engines) to know what the post or the page is about when it is quickly scanned.
Other Benefits of Headings
Headings also help readers stay on a page longer. This is called a bounce rate. You want to keep readers on your page, and actually reading the content. One way to do this is to employ the use of headings so that your readers can easily scan the post.
Most people don’t read in depth anymore (let’s be honest, we have a shorter attention span than a goldfish). Employing headings not only increases your chances of ranking higher on Google, it keeps readers engaged.
In conclusion, headings are a great way to not only increase traffic to your site, but make your pages and posts more readable. At the end of the day, who doesn’t love a post that is quick to read and easy to understand?!
A few weeks ago, we discussed what SEO, or search engine optimization is. Today, we are going to discuss how you can improve your SEO and attract more visitors to your website using one of the main components of SEO, relevance. Because, as we all know, a pretty website does no good if no one can find it!
If you remember, there are three main components that search engines use when someone types a query in the search bar. They are relevance, usability and authority. The first aspect of SEO that we will cover is relevance.
What is relevance? The answer is simple. It is finding a web page with the right words. Relevance is why you don’t get information about penquins when you ask Google what the best restaurant is in your neighborhood. Penguins are irrelevant to your question. In order to ensure that your potential visitors are finding your site, you want to make sure that you are using the correct keywords. Your keywords need to be relevant to what your website is all about.
There are some amazing tools available to help you find keywords that fit your organization. For instance, say we wanted to open an online shoe store. One keyword would be shoes. But, if someone typed in shoes as a query, he or she would not get your particular website. Instead, we can use a tool, like Keyword Explorer, from Moz, to help us determine additional and more specific keywords.
Using Moz’s tool, here is a list of addional keywords:
- shoe stores near me
- online shoe store
- shoe stores in the mall
- men’s shoe stores
- women’s shoe stores
- shoe stores near my location
- shoe shop
These are just a few examples of different keywords that can be incorporated into our fictional website to better guide potential customers to our site. The more specific you are with keywords, the better. Taking the example above, selling shoes online is a pretty broad category, which is fine. But, let’s say you sell not just any shoes, but men’s blue suede shoes. Your keywords should be “men’s blue suede shoes”.
Please note, you do NOT, want to stuff your website with keywords. Placing keywords throughout your website, does not help SEO, it actually hurts it by penalizing your website when it comes to search queries. Keyword stuffed websites become irrelevant, not relevant. Placing the word “shoes” too many times on your site will make Google (or other search engines) read your site as spammy. Quality content (or authority) is so important that it is another component of SEO that we will cover in the future. For the time being, know that your content needs to be authentic, not stuffed with spammy keywords in an attempt to gain more traffic.
There are a few places which you will want to place your keywords for best results:
- Site Title (aka Title Tag). Your site title can be found under settings and then general. In this area, you can enter not only the name of your website, but a keyword or two to describe your website. Take a look at the blue field in the New York Times site title. Instead of just stating New York Times, there is a dash with a site description behind it. This is your title tag.
- Page Description (aka Meta Description): Below the New York Times title is a brief description of the site. This one is a bit tricky. Although having keywords in the description doesn’t affect rankings, it can influence clicks.
- Post Names. By default, WordPress gives your posts weird names like www.nashcreative.co/1294949. Instead, you want to change this (once again, this can be found in settings and then permalink). Instead of the default setting, chose Post Name. Google is better able to tell what your post is about.
- Headings. Your keyword(s) should be used in headings of your website. Headings aren’t just for formatting and making your website pretty. They actually have a purpose when it comes to SEO. We will discuss headings more later this week, but for now, just know that search engines use headings to understand what your site or post is about.
- Images. Yep, that’s right, images also lend to SEO. Giving your image the right file name is crucial. Instead of 124345.jpg, you should give your image a name the describes it. For instance, bluesuedeshoes.jpg lets search engines know that the picture is one of blue suede shoes. WordPress users can also easily at alt text and title text when using images. This is dual purpose as not only does this help with SEO, but it allows users with visual disabilities to employ the use of screen readers and know what the image is all about.
These are just a few basic SEO principals that will help your website’s rankings. When it comes to relevance, making sure that you have used the right keywords in the right places will not only help you better organize your thoughts and information, but also ensure that your website’s content is relevant to potential search queries.
The hole of SEO is deep, but do not worry. Taking just a few simple steps, like those listed above, can help even the most novice blogger gain a bigger following.
As always, if you have any questions or if you would like further help with SEO, we’d love to help! Contact us to schedule an appointment!
Welcome to our first post in a series we are calling “Tip Tuesday”. Since starting Nash Creative Co. almost 5 years ago, I’ve learned that they key to making a small business work is to make money, save money and save time. As we all know, this is easier said than done. Thankfully, there are several resources that can help. Today, I will share a few resources that we use to save thousands of dollars each year.
One of the most important aspects of any form of advertising are images. Experts will tell you to invest the time and money into professional photos. I agree. That being said, not every small business has this, especially if you are looking for something eye catching for a blog post or a social media promotion. Let’s be honest, you are an accountant, you probably don’t want to hire a photographer to take pictures of your adding machine for a Facebook post reminding your clients to make their tax appointments.
That’s where stock photos come in. These are photos that are generic in nature, but can still help your message make a splash. Some stock photos cost money and the prices can be a bit hefty. Others are completely free, but are only available for personal use. Be sure to check with the license on the stock photo you use in order to avoid any legal problems. Below is a list of our favorite stock photo sites. All or free or very low cost.
Unsplash offers completely free photos. You can use these high resolution photos for personal and commercial purposes. The Unsplash library is always growing, so check back if you don’t originally see what you are looking for.
Like Unsplash, Pexels offers completely free photos. The difference is that they collect photos from all over the web and put them in once place. This includes photos from Unsplash. The downside is that some of the photos leave a bit to be desired, which is why Unsplash tends to be our go to resource first.
Creative Market offers photos of varying costs, but most are reasonably priced. The license may change depending on the photo, so be sure to read the fine print.
Flickr offers several photos that can be used on blogs, ads, etc. for free. Each photo carries its own criteria on where and how it can be used, but Flickr has made it easy to figure out how a particular photo can be used. Photos have icons that let you know if you need to credit the photographer, whether or not a photo can be used for commercial purposes, and whether you can alter the photo in any way.
There you have it! A few sites to help you grow you business without breaking the bank!