How to Attract More Website Visitors with SEO

SEO - Relevance, Usability and Authority

Have you ever wondered why some websites appear first in search engine results, why others are 12 pages back? Why some websites get thousands of visitors a day, while others, that contain similar info get almost no visitors?  The answer is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Figuring out SEO can feel a bit like solving a mystery and there are many factors that come into play when it comes to gaining a coveted spot on the first page of Google’s search results. While some companies hire an expert, there’s no need to get out the checkbook right away. For many small businesses, taking a few simple steps will help improve your placement in search engine results. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be giving you some practical ways your website can get found on the world wide web.

What is SEO Anyway?

SEO is short for search engine optimization. Basically, someone types (or speaks) a question and the search engine (for instance, Google) runs this question through an algorithm to find the best answer possible for the query. Some search results are paid, some are not (this is called organic).

What’s the Deal with SEO?

SEO can be quite complex. While many people have spent many hours and many dollars to try to figure out this algorithm, the good news is that there are some simple steps that the average website owner can do to increase his or hers website ranking.

However, these steps will not warrant immediate results. Getting your website into the first page of a search engine ranking is more like a marathon and less like a sprint. Time is an important factor when it comes to SEO, so don’t be surprised if your website doesn’t rank #1 immediately.

Relevance, Usability, and Authority

Let’s start with a few basics. What is a search engine? A search engine is basically like an answer machine. Some examples of search engines are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When you ask it a question, it will find an answer based on Relevance, Usability and Authority.

In the next few weeks, we will break down these three areas a bit more, including easy to understand practical steps on how you can increase your website’s rankings. Although SEO can be a bit intimidating. The good news is that WordPress does a great job with SEO right out of the box. With a few additional steps, your website will be attracting more visitors in no time!

Article At-A-Glance:

  • SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization
  • There are two types of SEO: paid and organic (not paid)
  • A search engine is ” computer software used to search data (such as text or a database) for specified information” (Merriam Webster)
  • Relevance, Usability and Authority contribute to organic SEO.

Want more info or a little help when it comes to SEO? We can help! Contact us today to set up an SEO audit of your website!

Tip Tuesday: Using Blogging for Your Organization

Tip Tuesday: Using Blogging for Your Organization

Our first installment of Tip Tuesday covered how and why you should blog. Today, we want to highlight how one of our clients is using blogging to make life easier.

First Congregational Church in Parkersburg, Iowa is in the process of undergoing renovations in their sanctuary. This means two things. First, the sanctuary may be in a different set up than normal on certain Sundays, causing some confusion. Second, members are excited and want to be brought into the renovations. By giving weekly blog post updates, parishoners can see a bit of the work in process, helping them to buy into this change. Second, they will be prepared for any inconvenience the renovations may cause when Sunday morning rolls around.

First Congregational Renovations

First Congregational Parkersburg Renovations

In order to make sure that the blog posts are seen, First Congregational (affectionately known as Congo locally), posts on Facebook and Twitter when a new post is up, as well as utilizing email to automatically notify those who have signed up when a new blog post is up.

Congo has used both MailChimp (for automatic emails of new posts) and Hootsuite (to post to both Facebook and Twitter at the same time) to streamline this process.

In the coming weeks, we will be discussing MailChip and Hootsuite and how to utilize them for your business. In the meantime, check out Congo’s blog and as always, feel free to contact us with any questions.

Way to go Congo! We can’t wait to see the finished sanctuary!

Tip Tuesday #3: Get More Likes and More Shares

Tip Tuesday #3: Get More Likes and More Shares

It’s an age old problem (well, it’s actually a 13 year old problem). Your company or organization wants to leverage social media for advertising. It is the new town square, which means instead of your product selling via word of mouth, it sells via shares and retweets. So, you post… but your post gets lost in the long screen of tweets, posts and Instagram photos. There is a simple solution to help your posts stand out. It’s free (or practically free) and easy. The solution? Use images in your social media marketing campaigns. According to Buzzsumo, Facebook posts with images are 2.3 times more likely to have engagement than posts that do not use images. Engagement is defined as likes, shares and comments. 2.3 times more engagement just by adding an image to your post!

Facebook posts with images are 2.3 times more likely to be liked, shared, and commented on.

On Nash Street, we typically use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to add text to images. However, although we love Adobe, it can be pricey and have a bit of a learning curve for the average small business owner. Canva, on the other hand, is free, easy to use and has a plethora of backgrounds, texts, and images already loaded. Templates are already created based on your desired outcome. For instance, if you are looking for a social media post versus a Facebook background, you simply select social media post. No entering dimensions or resizing. One click and you are set go.

With Canva, you can go the completely free route, pay for some images or upload your own from some of the free stock photo sites we introduced to you a few weeks ago.

Check out Canva at www.canva.com. As always, if you are stuck, need ideas or just don’t have the time or patience to create your own social media posts, contact us to find out how we can help!

Next week, we will show you how to schedule and post your social media images to multiple networks at once.

 

 

A few of our fav’s created with Canva


 

How and Why You Should Blog

How and Why You Should Blog

Blogs are a great way to drive traffic to your website, inform your customers, gain credibility and allows you to share your voice. Whether you are writing a personal blog or one on behalf of your organization, adding a post to your WordPress website is simple.

Before we tell you HOW to blog, let us give you a few specifics on WHY you should blog.

 

Almost half (47% to be exact) of buyers read 3-5 pieces of content before interacting with a sales rep. (Next Gen Report, 2016)

This makes sense. No one likes to talk to sales reps (sorry sales reps) if they don’t have to. Blog posts allow potential customers to dip their toes in the water before taking any leaps.

 

 

Most people ignore paid ads. Between 70-80% of people ignore ads and focus on organic results (Search Engine Journal, 2016).

In plain English. When you type a query into Google, how often do you look at the ads on the side and how often do you look at the ads verses the search results? Chances are you take a look at the search results first and ignore the ads. Blogging helps you gain a better place in search results by providing rich content.

 

81% of consumers conduct research online before making big purchases (Retailing Today, 2015). 

Your blog can provide valuable information to shoppers. It is an opportunity to further show them what makes your product or service stand apart. For instance, if you sell furniture, a blog post about the durability and stain resistance of your latest fabrics will have mothers everywhere saying, “Sold!”.

 

How to Add a Blog Post to Your WordPress Website

Take a look at either option below to get started adding posts to your website. No website or a website without a blog? No problem! Contact Nash Creative Co. today to get a blog set up!

Tip Tuesday

Tip Tuesday

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

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.

Pexels

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

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/Creative Commons Licenses

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!