The Best Ways to Optimize Your Blogs

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Anyone that has some knowledge about SEO will tell you, writing blogs for your webpage is very important. But, not optimizing your blogs can determine whether they are beneficial or not regarding web presence. In this article we will give you the best ways to optimize your blogs, so you can see the results that you’ve been looking for.

1.    Ask Google. Doing research is very essential when writing a blog. It is always best to lookup the right keywords when you are putting together content. You can use software tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Tool to help you with this task. This software will provide you with the right keywords to boost your web presence as well give you insight on your competitors and the types of words/phrases that they are using for their site.

2.    Use Your Keywords Wisely. After you’ve found the right keywords, it is now time to implement them throughout your blog. But it is very important that you utilize them in the right places. Having an effective use of your keywords will make it much easier for search engines such as Google and Bing to pull your blog as the top result when people are researching.

Here some good place to utilize your keywords:

·         Header/Sub header

·         Introductory Sentence

·         Anchor Text

·         Title tags/meta descriptions

3.    Optimize Your Photos as Well. Putting images on your blog can be helpful as well IF they are used correctly. Each photo that you use should have the keyword in the file name as well as in the description. 

4.    Promote Your Content on Social Media. Although social media is a great platform to connect with your current and potential customers, you can also use it to promote your blogs. This is an awesome way to remind your followers that you have a blog page and more importantly IT’S FREE. When promoting your blog, make sure you provide an eye-catching post along with the link and then encourage your followers to share the post on their page as well.

Still Have Questions? Well give us a call or email us and we’ll be sure to reach out to you. We’ll be more than happy to help.

How to Have Success with Outdoor Advertising

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Fact: The average American spend more time in their car, than they do reading the newspaper or watching television.

Due to social media and digital advertising, many people look at billboard advertising as obsolete or old school marketing. But the truth is, billboard advertising is still very important when promoting your business. Here are a few tips on how you can make it successful for your company.

Know Your Story

Fact: Billboard are noticed because of their message, colors (preferably bright) and graphics.

Your story is very important when developing an ad for your billboard. To create a story, you must know your company’s purpose. For instance, if you are a restaurant that caters to family dining then you should want to portray a family enjoying your restaurant’s cuisine. There should always be a message for people to grasp when driving by your billboard.

Also, keep in mind of the colors that you are using for this determines the type of emotions that will be evoked.  For instance, most restaurants use colors like red, blue, and yellow for research states that it stimulates hunger.

Keep Your Story Short, Sweet, and Memorable

Fact: 56% of Americans, this week, will talk about a funny billboard that they saw.

After finding your story, the key thing, when creating your billboard, is to keep it short, sweet, and most importantly memorable. Whether it is a catchphrase, jingle, or a pun/joke it should be something that drivers will constantly have in their head even when they are miles away from your billboard. For instance, when you hear the catchphrase I’m Lovin’ It or Have It Your Way, you instantly think about McDonald’s and Burger King. The phrase is so embedded in your subconscious that if you saw the phrase, without the company’s name, on a billboard, you would still know what restaurant it is. That should be the goal you’re reaching for when creating your billboard.

Location, Location, Location

Fact: If the billboard is in the right location, it can have more viewers than the Super Bowl.

Now that you have your story and the way you want to portray it, it is now time to pick the location of where you want the billboard to be. Picking the right location for your billboard can determine whether it will be successful or not. You do not want to waste a great ad in a bad location. When choosing, make sure you do your research. Ask about the level of traffic that the road, your billboard will be on, gets and at what specific time does it get the most. Also, if possible, ask about the other companies that had their billboard there and if it was successful.

Another important thing is to make sure your billboard is relatable to the drivers that are seeing it. If your billboard is on interstate 95, heading south, create a message for the typical driver that they can relate to. For instance, if you have a ski lodge and you want to advertise to those that are on the coast, a catchy message could be “Miss the Waves and Hit the Slopes”.

Fact: 219 Group can help.

Creating and designing a billboard can be tough but 219 Group can help. We have years of experience of working with different companies and can show you examples of billboards ads that we have designed over the years. Give us a call or fill out a quote form to see how we can help.

All you need to know about Google Mail and Your Business

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In a world ruled by technology, emails have become the foundation of all business and personal communication. Years ago, as Google became the leading search engine being used and AOL mail was the go-to emailing service, Yahoo was born.  As emailing grew in popularity, Google and Yahoo created emailing services known as “Yahoo Mail” and “Gmail.” Google emerged as the front-runner, just as everyone expected.

Acting as the world’s default search engine, it was only right that Gmail became the default email service for the business professional world. Services like folder organization, snoozing abilities, up to 15gb of free storage, and the ability to customize your address using your own domain name make Gmail the perfect choice for your business.

Do you have multiple devices that you use daily? Maybe a phone, tablet, and a laptop? Google Apps like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Keep cater to people like you by being able to experience these apps on any one of your devices. No matter what device you are using at the moment, you will be able to access the same emails, messages, attachments, notes, meeting times and documents on every one of your devices.

One of Gmail’s best services is the integration of Instant Messaging (IM) and Email. Gmail allows you to send messages to your contacts that are online quicker and easier. All of this can be done within your email browser using Google Hangouts. Gmail took a stab at the email platform and specialized in the in-email services such as flexibility with attachments, folder organization, and altering the size of attachments.  One of the biggest impacts in Gmail is that it is thought to be the more “professional” of the email services. People seem to believe that Gmails competitors are less credible.

Quick Facts about Google Apps:

  • The spam filtering algorithms Google uses create less false positives so checking your spam folder for good messages is a thing of the past.
  • Document sharing is a small part of the power that google apps offers, but an integral one. You will also get the use of Google drive which allows you to upload and share files internally or with those outside of your business.
  • Google apps has virtually no downtime. In fact, the system as a whole almost never goes down.
  • Google Apps has near unlimited scalability with instant-on ability to tack on as many – or as few – users as you may wish. It’s all controlled on the Apps Control Panel and administration is seamless.
  • Google updates it software for security, usability and features without any interruption to your email access and at no extra charge.
  • You can access your email easily from your smartphone, tablet or any computer.
  • Googles email interface is easy to use and has a full help center in case you do encounter an issue.

Why Google My Business is Important to your Business

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Today’s average customer doesn’t just want to know where your business is located, they want to know turn-by-turn directions at their fingertips, what to expect when they arrive, and if others customers had a positive experience with your business. With the simple click of a button, your customers can readily see all of this information in one place, Google My Business.

When someone needs information they Google it. “I Googled it” is even used as a common phrase in today’s language. Not all people believe in Facebook or Instagram, but everyone believes in Google. A potential customer can just about Google any service at any time with the convenience of their smart phone.

So why should your business be on Google My Business?

Locality

When your potential customer is looking for your services in the area, they are able to find you with ease. Your address and services will pop up immediately for the customer to see. It is important that all of your information is updated frequently so that customers can easy find your location. If your first impression with a customer is sending them to your old location, you’re not likely to get a second chance and you risk getting a bad customer review. Always take them time to ensure you’re not losing customers to a bad address!

Customer Reviews

Love them or hate them, 80% of users look to customer reviews before visiting your business or using your services. When you have an appreciative client, don’t be shy to ask that they take the time to share their good experience through a review. What are reviews but word of mouth on steroids! Instead of receiving insight from advertisement, customers can read first-hand experience from their virtual neighbors. Through reviews you are also able to open up a conversation with your customers. If someone had a bad experience at your place of business, respond to them! Nothing is better than seeing a business owner try and do right by their customers.

Reporting

You’re reading about how much Google My Business can help you, but how will you know? Through extensive reporting with Google insights. Google provides you with numbers on where your customers are coming from, where they are finding you, and what attracted them to choose you over your competitors.

It’s Free!

There are so many benefits to Google My Business, and it’s absolutely free.

If you are not utilizing this tool that Google has gifted to you, you are missing out on a large portion of potential customers. What’s the use in hiding all of your great services from your customers? Let 219 Group manage your online presence and experience the benefits of Google My Business!

Facebook Debuts Additional Call-To-Action Button

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Call-to-Action button is now available on business pages.

Facebook is shaping up for the New Year, this time adding changes to benefit Facebook business users. The social media giant is inserting a call-to-action button at the top of businesses’ pages, located to the left of the “Like” and “Message” buttons. The call-to-action for a business page varies based on the business’ goals. Facebook will offer seven options which page admins may choose: fb_button

  • Book Now
  • Shop Now
  • Contact Us
  • Sign Up
  • Play Game
  • Use App
  • Watch Video

These buttons will link users to any destination on or off Facebook, whichever the business may choose. This provides a quick, convenient way for users to contact a business or shop online without having to browse the page for information. Businesses can benefit from this this ease and continue the conversation with a consumer through their website. The button is currently rolling out in the United States and will be available worldwide this year.

Are you taking advantage of the call-to-action button for boosted ads?

The call-to-action button is no foreign feature to Facebook. The new call-to-action button on business pages is building on the call-to-action button for boosted ads that launched last year, which offer users a quick and easy way to act on advertisements from a business page. These call-to-actions help build engagement with current and potential customers and bring in more business than a standard ad alone. Businesses should leverage this feature, which clearly tells the consumer what action you would like him or her to take.  There are five options for the button on the ad:

  • Shop Now
  • Download
  • Book Now
  • Sign Up
  • Learn More

Taking advantage of the call-to-action button ad feature can increase the traffic to your website and an increase in leads and conversions.

New Year, New Facebook Changes

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Facebook changes are coming: Is your small business ready?

The New Year means new changes coming to Facebook, and they may disrupt your social media campaign. These changes specifically affect brands, in order to enhance the users’ experience. Facebook will begin rolling out changes in January in an attempt to do away with overly promoted posts. These promoted post changes stemmed from a recent survey of hundreds of thousands of Facebook users, who said, according to Facebook, that “they wanted to see more stories [on their News Feeds] from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

According to Facebook’s data, many users see the content from pages they have liked as “too promotional,” rather than ads. Facebook attributes this to the fact that ads are controlled, so users only see a limited amount and users can hide ads they do not want to see. The same monitoring has not been applied to promoted posts. The social media giant said in its blog post that it’s “bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages.” This includes a “mute” button, where users can choose to unfollow a brand or simply see fewer posts.

These are the traits of organic posts that Facebook feels are too promotional:

• Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
• Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
• Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Organic reach has been dropping for years. EdgeRank Checker’s research shows that organic reach in 2012 was at 16%, but that number has plummeted in 2014, with organic content reaching only 6.51% of followers.

So how do you get your posts seen?

With organic reach dipping and overly promoted content being weeded out, we believe now is the time to spend some of your advertising budget on promoting your organic posts. But, if you want to reach the most people with your organic post, avoid overtly advertising your products. In addition, avoid promoting contests or apps.

And there’s really no way to avoid it now: If you want to have significant reach, you need to pay to promote your posts. And when you pay more, you reach more. By promoting, or “boosting” your posts, you will increase your reach through important posts like announcements or new products; purchases will grow by taking people to your site with link posts; and you’ll be able to find new customers by targeting new audiences.

Are you ready for the new Facebook changes? Contact us for help designing a social media plan today!

Google Giving Mobile-Friendly Websites a Boost

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Do you have a mobile-friendly website?

If so, you may see a spike in your search result rankings from mobile-only users thanks to Google’s new “mobile-friendly” label.

According to Google, the search engine classifies a site as mobile-friendly if it “avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash, uses text that is readable without zooming, sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom,” and “places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.”

Google’s blog post explaining the update said they were adding the “mobile-friendly” label to “make it easier for people to find the information that they’re looking for.”

This continues Google’s push for more mobile-friendly websites, adding to the ranking algorithm introduced in summer 2013 that ranks sites with errors on mobile devices lower in mobile-only search results.

We highly recommend a mobile-friendly website to increase traffic and ultimately attract new business.

Penguin 3.0 release

Is your website compliant with Google’s new Penguin 3.0 update?

Last month, Google rolled out its latest algorithm update, Penguin 3.0, with the main objective of cutting the amount of spam on the Internet to make the search experience better for users.

Penguin 3.0 marks the fifth update to the Penguin algorithm, originally released in April 2012. Search Engine Land deemed this update the latest Penguin release as “one of the most anticipated algorithm updates in Google’s history.”

The Penguin algorithm is in place to decrease search engine rankings of sites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using “black-hat SEO” tricks that manipulate links, solely to  increase the ranking of its website. Google launched Penguin to catch and punish sites that are spamming the search engine and reward sites that have valuable, relevant links. Sites that are in violation of these spammy, manipulative tactics and unnatural links to increase rankingsGoogle identifies these sites as “webspam” — will be penalized. Sites with webspam will see a drastic reduction in their visibility in search results, clicks and web traffic.

Google notifies a website of its bad links through Google Webmaster Account, and if sites don’t heed these warnings, they will likely suffer the consequences when new Penguin updates roll out. These websites will be flagged, and will indefinitely suffer a lack in traffic to their website until it is cleaned up and a new Penguin is released. Violators caught with the previous Penguin update, released in October 2013, will now be able to see if the changes to their spammy links paid off in increased traffic to their site.

Although Penguin 3.0 will only affect 1% of search queries, you may be curious to see if it has affected your website traffic. Follow these steps to see if you may be hurting or benefitting from its release. Check your analytics

  • Did you notice a significant drop in traffic after Penguin launched on October 17? You may have a Penguin problem. Read on…
  • Is traffic about the same? You should be safe!
  • Have you seen a spike in traffic? Congratulations! Penguin is working for you — perhaps rerouting some of the traffic that could have been going to your competitors’ page and directing it to you.

If your site falls under the latter two categories, you’re following Google’s guidelines and are avoiding spammy SEO. But if you are seeing a decrease in traffic, it may be time to clean up your site and nix the spammy links.

If its time for a cleanup, start by verifying your Google Webmaster Account. Chances are, Google has sent you warnings about spammy links on your page, but if your account is not set up, you may have been missing the warnings.

Have you been hit by Penguin 3.0 and need help recovering? We can help you rebuild your site to bring in leads and new customers that also complies with Google’s Webmaster guidelines.

DIY Advertising vs Hiring an Ad Agency

Thinking about hiring an advertising agency?

Advertising is a critical component of any company. But if you’re running a small business, hiring an outside advertising agency may seem like a luxury you cannot afford. It’s time to change that logic. You might be surprised to learn that many small businesses use advertising agencies to create targeted advertising to local media at an overall price that is lower than you may think.

There are significant benefits to both advertising in-house and hiring an outside ad agency – there is no one-size-fits-all plan. Some advantages of having an in-house marketing team is that you are able to manage your staff directly and hold them accountable for deadlines and work. Also, your employees are familiar with your products and services, thus making them the best spokespeople for your company. On the other hand, an agency has its perks as well including lower overall cost with the added benefits of software expertise and licensing. Specializing in advertising, an agency is stocked with a talented staff of creative writers and designers.

timemoneyTime: Let’s face it, you’re busy. If you’re running your small business, it’s hard to devote any extra time to advertising efforts. Great advertising campaigns require time and energy, and maybe you or your employees simply do not have the time to dedicate to advertising. If this is the case, outsourcing may be an asset to your company. By taking out the legwork of advertising, you can focus on other areas of your business.

Money: If you want to bring a marketing and advertising expert on board, you’ll have to consider the monetary commitment you will be making to this decision. Although it can be highly advantageous to your company to have someone in-house to handle all marketing and advertising needs, said employee would require pay and the software needed to create advertising materials. Advertising fees may seem expensive and hefty at first, but may less out-the-door than hiring an internal marketing manager or even a marketing team for your business.

If you bring on a marketing professional, you can expect to pay the following amounts, assuming 35% benefits and a 20% bonus yearly:

EXPERIENCE SALARY BENEFITS (35%) BONUS (20%) SOFTWARE ANNUAL COST
Entry $40,000 $14,000 $8,000 $1,200 $63,200
Middle $75,000 $26,250 $15,000 $6,000 $122,250
Senior $120,000 $42,000 $24,000 $20,400 $206,400

Marketing/advertising agencies work on a retainer, hourly, or project basis, with costs that can range from $2,000 to 8,000/month for a professional firm, bringing annual costs to $24,000 – $96,000 per year depending on the amount and type of work that needs to be completed.

targetedadsExpertise: Sometimes, you just don’t know where to begin, and that’s okay. If you don’t have a starting point – or perhaps your previous ad campaigns have flopped – outsourcing your advertising efforts can be highly beneficial. Not to mention advertising agencies are up-to-date on new media and will know what will work best for your business. Advertising companies know how and where to get your message across to target your exact audience. Although your employees are great representatives for your company, it is important to have your voice broadcast in the right channels, which an agency will be able to execute.

What option you choose for your business boils down to is what is best for you and your company.

If you’re considering hiring an advertising agency to handle your advertising needs, feel free to give us a call so we can discuss your options with you further. We’re always here to help!

219 Group makes Agency Acquisition

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. ­ 219 Group, a Fayetteville-­based advertising and marketing agency, announced today that it has acquired Access Consulting in Dunn, North Carolina. Access Consulting is a full service marketing group that provides services in print & design, digital, and mass media.

“This acquisition is part of our overall growth plan, but more importantly it is about adding the right kind of people to our team,” said Kirk deViere, President and Owner of 219 Group. “We are fortunate to have Becky Hamilton come aboard our creative team. She was previously an owner of Access Consulting and is a great addition to our award­winning team.”

219 Group has been gaining new clients over the last few months including Kidsville News, Capitol Encore Academy, Manna Church, and Mash House, and the Access Consulting acquisition will provide additional talent and resources for further growth.

“Access Consulting saw a valuable opportunity to be part of something bigger with 219 Group,” said Becky Hamilton . “I am excited about being part of the 219 Group team while being able to provide additional resources to my established clients.”

219 Group is also in acquisition discussions with other companies as part of its growth strategy, and expects other announcements soon.

About 219 Group: 219 Group is an award winning marketing and advertising agency offering a full suite of marketing services to help clients of all sizes and types achieve their desired results, in ways that make sense for varied budgets, and brands. Our services include creative design, branding, responsive website design and development, search marketing, public relations, content and social media marketing, and media buying and planning.

CONTACT US
102 Person St, Suite D
Fayetteville NC 28301
1.910.483.4749
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