The 1 Thing That Guarantees Success in Digital Marketing | Redkite Philippines

The 1 Thing That Guarantees Success in Digital Marketing

What’s the one thing that can guarantee your success in Facebook or Google?

Links? Content? Boosted ads? Or some kind of new update or strategy?

Facebook and Google Apps | Redkite Philippines

Sincerely, I wanted to sit back and find what to blog about and after visiting a few blogs like 3 Tips for SEO 2018 and SEO: Rank Brain and How it Works 2018, I just got very tired.

And then I realized none of my clients in digital marketing in the Philippines and abroad would be interested in me making a blog like that.

Why?

‘Cause it sounds like too much work with little or no direction.

Like a bad investment.

Like too much pixels and not much people.

And pixels don’t buy stuff—people do.

The biggest cause of failure for start-ups and small businesses is losing focus—doing too many things at once and spreading yourself thin. Being thin in this age when everyone’s trying to get noticed is like begging for failure.

A busy businesswoman | Redkite Philippines

So…

What is this wondrous one thing that’s guaranteed to succeed in Facebook or Google?

Simple: A business plan.

But not just any business plan.

It should be formulated and calculated with “If this, then that; if not, then something else.”

Business planning | Redkite Philippines

A business plan built with a long-term vision but focused on the short-term goals—the way the eyes of an eagle can zoom in a prey and zoom out to see the whole forest below.

Let’s think of it this way: If you are a realtor in Las Vegas, why target all of Las Vegas in your Facebook Boost instead of targeting a specific zip code? Why target difficult keywords when you can research for longer tailed keywords?

Google Analytics | Redkite Philippines

So, my advice is this: Think BIG but start with a calculated plan. Focus on one product or service and be absolutely the best in that niche. Focus on being a wedding photographer instead of just a professional photographer. After all, you can always grow from that point. And always be perseverant.

Sylvester Stallone nailed this right in an interview. He said, “Just get one thing right.”

I believe that it must be a simple goal—it won’t be easy but it’s nice to keep things simple and work up from there. Having a focused business plan will help you:

  • Write the focused content
  • Be an authority on the subject
  • Write the right copy for your ad
  • Write the right meta data
  • Decide on the right schema to work on
  • Tweet and hangout with the right peers
  • Find the right groups
  • Earn the links
  • Get the right shares and mentions
  • Have the right page speed loads for your page
  • Produce an absolutely well-designed landing page

Life will truly be a blessing and things will fall into place.

My conclusion here is that Facebook and Google’s algorithm will always go the same place they’ve always gone in the last decade or so—and that’s user satisfaction.

So, if you’re on board with their user-satisfaction-first mantra, you will always do well.

But this satisfaction will not come if you keep being distracted with too many things.

Remember Sly’s advice: all you have to do is to get that one thing right.

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Real Estate Homepage

Is your Real Estate Site Homepage Really Serving your Customers?

The most important page in a website is none other than its homepage.

It is more than a page that introduces your business to the viewers as it actually works as a guide. If one gets lost, one can always go back “home” and start again.

It is also the most valuable page that glues the entire site together. It basically works as a tool for the users to get to the page or content they want to see.

In Real Estate, the homepage needs to be designed to address the interests of the visitor. Why are they even there? What do they want? Read our Complete Online Marketing for Real Estate to understand what they really want.

Buyers come to a real estate website to buy homes. Sure, they maybe on different levels on the decision making process spectrum but all the same, they are there to make a purchase – maybe in a few weeks or even a few months’ time.

They make their purchase decision after considering all possible options available for them. Possible options meaning price ranges, home specifications, location, commute time to and from work or school, security and ten to twenty to a hundred more decision making parameters.

So how can we help them in their quest? With the use of our site, of course!

Let’s start with the homepage. Here are some popular content and site functions you will observe in most real estate websites:

The Navigation Bar or the Menu

the-navigation-bar-or-the-menu

The menu or navigation bar is usually seen at the top of a real estate website. It typically has these items on them which are either hidden or perfectly shown:

  • Home and/or Logo to redirect directly to the homepage
  • Search (drop down for price range, communities)
  • Sales (recently sold homes)
  • Blog (blog area of the site)
  • About

Some other common items are tools such as Home Mortgage Calculators, Market Reports and a Sign-up | Login area which gives full access to the MLS and other restricted areas of the site.

Additional Navigational Experience

additional navigation

Most of the time items or content of the entire site can be cut to portions and displayed on the homepage as “teasers” of what the entire site actually contains.

Think of it like playlists. In iTunes, one can set up different playlists, right? The exact same thing goes for real estate websites. We can display homes in a variety of ways.

Some of these playlists are pre-made popular search criteria like Search by Price, Search by Area, Most Viewed Homes or Recently Listed Homes. You can cut up your library into as many playlists as possible.

In some recent sites we’ve made, we have even sliced them up into categories such as Search by Design and Search by Features.

This is an ideal way to set up the homepage as it allows the real estate agent to summarize the site and let the visitors proceed as they wish to other pages.

Some of these pre-made searches are more efficient over others. People would generally hit Search by Price much more than Search Homes by Design. So it’s better to place the more powerful search categories on top of the others for faster access to those pages.

An Overall Feel – The Intuition

an-overall-feel-the-intuition

In a sense, Google, Yahoo and Bing all do the same thing – they reply to our search queries. Zillow.com, Homes.com and Trulia.com also kind of do the same thing. They display results of homes for sale with the specifications given by their users.

But how did it feel like while working on Google or Zillow? Why did they stand apart from the others by almost by a mile?

A good reply to this would be that the overall feel of using their search services are very satisfactory. We get answers quickly and accurately and their interface, though very simple, is effective.

Your site content may be amazing but if it does not feel right or if it seems out of place, then this may cause people to leave the site and not come back. Or yes, they may come back, but very reluctantly.

We want the homepage to have the right feel. First of all it should feel smooth i.e. no rough edges such as slow load speeds, errors, glitches and vague content.

Another element of amazing homepages is that they should allow for a deeper navigation within a few clicks.

It’s like a child jumping back and forth – almost predictable on the outcome and without breaking any sweat. It literally should be a “walk in the park.”

Here are a few considerations you should be aware of that can affect the smoothness and easiness of the homepage:

Fast Page Loads

page loads

Slow loading sites are a disservice to your customers. It’s like asking them to fall in line when they want your service right now. Remember, they will not wait for your site to load. Use Google Page Insights to check your homepage and have your developer score above 95% to ensure fast page loads.

Accurate Page Loads for Devices and Browsers

accurate page loads

Mobile and Browser site compatibility audit.

I do not use Safari much, but most of your customers do. You may not use an Android device but thousands of your customers do. Not having all devices and major browsers ready to display your content shows that you do not care enough.

Although this is a tiring and time-consuming process, we recommend using manual inspections. There are some programs that can help you detect non-compatibility but they have not been 100% accurate. In fact, they are still far from it.

Fast and Up-to-Date Search Results

search results

Overall Site Search Functions and updated MLS results.

Information is the agent’s biggest asset. Outdated information is not helping you be on top of your game.

Here’s a list of other contents and functions within the homepage that need attention:

  • Site layout
  • Font consistency
  • Proportionally sized fonts and divisions of the page
  • Organized Navigational Sections (Search by Price, communities etc…)
  • Brand Content (About, Testimonials, Reviews, Sales, other achievements)
  • Contact Tools (Newsletters, Contact Us forms, Phone Number, Google Maps with Address, social accounts, blog updates)
  • City/Town Content – Not just for SEO, this content should prove that your site is the #1 resource for home updates, community knowledge, and market knowledge.

Art is important but design is when art and functionalities meet to satisfy a specific need.

The visitors are not in the site to be wowed. They are there because the homepage offers a service to them. Ultimately, the homepage and the entire site is the tool that helps them make their buying process easier and more effective.

So keep on at that homepage to see better results.

What does an SEO actually do?

We had an interesting conversation during our meeting today.

While thinking of making “cool” topics, Redkite Account Executive, Haziel from SEO said that it was getting hard for her to really explain what she does at work to her friends and to people who don’t know much about internet marketing.

Nobody really understood her occupation!

No one understood what Haziel does

 

This was backed up by our Content Generation Specialist for SEO, Phoebe.

 

PB

So, this is a piece we would like to dedicate to those who work for the SEO industry.

 

raj

 

Let’s take a peek into what SEOs do so that Haziel and Phoebe can forward this link to anyone who wants to understand what they do a little better.

Things needed by the SEO:

 

Fact #1

SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It means optimizing webpages and websites to rank well in Google, Yahoo, and Bing (the major search engines).

As you can see, for a particular search query “Top paying jobs in the Philippines,” there are millions of results. It can be quite an achievement to be on the top 10 (first page) and that is why businesses need to rank in search engines – otherwise,  their sites will largely go unnoticed by Search Engine Users.

Google competitive result

So SEOs simply get sites from from the bottom of the pile to the top of the pile.

getting-something-

 

Fact #2

Search engine experts need to be skilled at understanding ranking factors very well. They need to be very technical and creative at the same time and spend most of their time doing On-page SEO and Off-Page SEO.

A. On-Page Factors (these are the items that can be tweaked, enhanced within the site to rank)

Site Performance MeterSite Performance

It is one of the fundamental jobs of the SEO to make sure that the site in question is crawled accurately by Search Engine bots. They want their focused and other content pages for the public to be crawled, indexed, and displayed in Google results. They do that by using tools in Google Search Console such as Sitemaps and Fetch.

The other side to this is that they should also make sure that none of the secured pages are getting indexed. We do not want search engines displaying our admin pages, pages that content information from private database information, etc. This is largely done by tweaking the Robots.Txt of the site and setting certain parameters to such pages such as “no-index, no-follow.”

Site structureSite Structure 

Some websites are just structured very poorly and it is the SEOs job to make recommendations on better navigation and site structure. Google loves to index pages that are grouped beautifully into relevant folders.

Example:

Good Bad site structure

The two have plenty of significance in categorization that can have SEO impact and influence User-navigation experience. Who searches for shoes based on color first and then the style? People will get more accurate results by searching “Boots for Sale” rather than “black shoes for sale”

That way, pages can be correctly categorized. However, this is often done if the site is being made from scratch. If the site has already existed for a while, then SEOs cannot do much here and will have to work with the site in the way that it is – unless the clients are willing to right the wrong information architecture of the site.

Web page optimizationWeb Page Optimization

Now that the pages are being indexed and displayed in Google, it is the work of the SEO to look for better ranking using their webpages. This is done by optimizing the content of the site including meta data.  So they research, research, and research and then write, write and write!

Semantics and ContentSemantics and Content

When writing content for the site, SEOs practice to keep a balance at all times between being creative and technical.

(Creative) They write for the enjoyment of the audience 90% of the time, but they also need to remember that their content needs to be optimized for ranks so they allocate 10% of their writing to make sure that their pages are semantically in order with their SEO goals (Technical).

AuditingAuditing

All SEOs perform monthly or weekly audits per SEO campaign. You can think of audits to be similar to diagnosing a website – kind of like looking at symptoms, testing, and coming up with “treatments” to make a site/page perform its level best.

 

B. Off-Page Factors (these are activities performed outside of the website)

link building chainsLink Building 

When the On-page (section A above) is dealt with and the SEO is satisfied with their sites performance and the sites’ interaction with the Search Engines, it then becomes the task of the SEO to start creating links coming from other websites to the website in question. Links have to be carefully researched and validated to be of quality. They must also contain the correct information. When an SEO tries to “short-cut” this process, they end up making too many lousy links that is more of a hindrance to SEO than anything else.

Once again, they research, research and research and then they build links.

Without these links, Google would never know how to gauge the popularity of the sites. Google would not be able to favor to the sites that the SEO is trying to rank. Instead, Google would rank sites seem to be most relevant to their users. So this one is a huge deal.

Blogging Brain for SEOBlogging 

Although a part of a link building process, blogging serves many purposes. Blogs dynamically make sites more “beefed” up with relevant information for the user and the search engines. Blogs allow for the site to have continuous content updates and finally they are wonderful for sharing in social media.

Content DistributionContent Distribution 

What good is a blog if no one knows about it? This is the part where SEOs and copywriters “re-invent” their blogs into smaller pieces of mini-content (Tumblr, WordPress, and other shorter-formatted blogs) and into micro-content (native social images with micro twitter sized posts). The same content will then be responsible for  generating traffic via other content sharing sites and social sites.

So this is what SEOs do on a daily basis, and since technology and how people consume content keep changing, SEOs have to keep honing their skills forever. They have to get better at mobile, image concepts and a whole lot more.

It is a line of work that has a very bright future, but it is not without its challenges.

At Redkite, we have developed an SEO program that works for local and international clients. We love what we do and we are glad that now, you understand our process and what our staff actually do.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please share. Thanks!

 

The Art of Avoiding Random Acts of Internet Marketing

Almost every start-up or a business wants to do this:

  1. Get a domain
  2. Set up email
  3. Get logo done
  4. Start a website
  5. Do SEO to the website
  6. Do social media marketing
  7. Do email blasts
  8. Rinse and Repeat #5,#6, #7 and #8

 

We all know this particular formula. It’s pretty simple and can be delivered by anyone – which is also exactly the reason why many fail in internet marketing. The simplicity itself intended starts to actually seem to be more daunting.

For example, in the music industry, things can be this simple theoretically: 

  1. Make band name
  2. Get guys in the group
  3. Write songs
  4. Record and Perform Songs
  5. Promote Band
  6. Rinse and Repeat #3, #4, #5 and #6

By now, you understand how simple lists (like the ones above) can take years or even a lifetime to build.

Try Googling, “why does internet marketing fail” – the sites that appear in the results can be summarized into a recurring word – “lacking.”  Internet marketing fails because the people behind the business lack:

  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • Uniqueness

When you “lack” these qualities, the alternative would be to do things randomly. Marketers are always in the NEED to do something – either their bosses are breathing behind their necks to get things done or they are their own boss and they feel they should write 20 blogs this month, make 20 links, have a Facebook following of 10,000, and do Snapchat or Periscope just because it’s the latest trend!

The best way to get around this faux-pas is to plug-out, breathe, and think why it is what we do?

Why are we even doing this in the first place?

If there is no real and genuine purpose for the content or the link, why are we even there?

Some really good information out there can help you level up your game.

Here is RCS (Real Company S#!@) coined by Wil Reynolds from Seer Interactive at MozCon 2012 and 2013. These are a must watch! I highly recommend you watch this as it will be a wise investment on your part to build your own insights into internet marketing.

RCS (Real Company Stuff), is the opposite of doing Random Acts. From now on, every activity that you do and perform, base it on doing Real Company Stuff. The best way for me to explain this to internet marketers is by telling them to not consider themselves as “out-sourcers” but as “in-sourcers.”

I ask them to think like what the client company would do if they had their own dedicated Search or Social experts in their own company and if their lives depended on it, what decisions would they make? What would they prioritize? How would they track their work and results?

This is how we perform at RedKite. We like to think of ourselves as doing RCS for our clients as if we were “In-sourcing” and removing any Random Acts of Internet Marketing.

Read how our Redkite SEO outsourcing services are based on actual “in-sourcing” ideas which support RCS thought process from concept to execution.

How to Utilize Instagram for Online Businesses

How Can Instagram Help Your Business

Instagram is a free online mobile app that enables users to share photos and videos. These photos and videos can also be shared in other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

Here are some facts about Instagram:

1

So how can Instagram help you and your business?

A lot of people use Instagram for personal purposes such as “selfie” pictures and food photography. But most users underestimate the power of using Instagram when it comes to business sales. There are roughly 130 million people who are using Instagram and there is a big chance that some of them could be your clients one day. So utilize Instagram properly if you intend to help your business boom in social media. Here are a few tips on how to do it:

  1. Complete and optimize your Instagram profile.
  • Make your profile public so that everyone can view your images.
  • Use a clear profile picture, whether it is your logo, your product(s), or your personal photo.
  • Always include a website link in your profile.
  • Put on an impressive description. The description must clearly describe your business including your products and/or services.
  1. Enrich your following and followers. You can do this by connecting your Facebook and Twitter to your Instagram account so that all of your feeds would appear in your other social media accounts. This is to let your current audience know that you have an Instagram account.
  2. Urge engagement. You can do this by having photo contests once or twice a month (or as frequently as you prefer). This is to keep the interests of your audience alive. You can also do this by connecting it to your Facebook Fan page.
  3. Utilize Instagram’s video function. You can take a quick video of your products, your office, or your services to let your audience know you better. This would let you gain more trust from your audience.
  4. Never stop educating yourself. Always be alert to the latest trends about Instagram. Also, read some advice on how you can properly optimize your business on Instagram by checking out Instagram business advices and tips here: http://blog.business.instagram.com/

Instagram is a simple social media platform. All you have to do is take a picture or video, add some filters (if you prefer), and upload it. You just have to know the right products to sell and the proper images to upload.

Since we are talking about several tips on how to use Instagram for your business, it is better to provide you with some tricks on how to properly treat your audience. The following data are based on the research by http://www.agorapulse.com/blog/instagram-pictures-filters-hashtags.

  1. Add more Hashtags (#hashtags). The more you use hashtags on your photos, the higher visibility they get.
    2
  2. If possible, don’t use filters on your photos. Photo filters don’t work well on business and brand campaigns on Instagram.
    3
  3. Disregard color saturation.
    4
  4. Include faces in your photos. It seems like users like photos that include faces in their subjects.
    5
  5. Understand how users react to color schemes. Instagram users tend to like those images with cool colors.

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We hope that these tips can help you and your business run a good campaign on Instagram. Just play with the images and understand how users react to them. From there, create tweaks and better plans for your future posts.

How to Utilize Pinterest for Online Businesses

How Pinterest Works

Did you know that Pinterest brings more traffic to your website than LinkedIn, Google+, and Youtube combined? Yes, this is true! Which is why we want you to know how important Pinterest is to online businesses.

1

Before we start, let’s pump you up with some cool trivia about Pinterest:

2

I bet you didn’t know about that! We didn’t, too – we just found out about this last month!

Okay, let’s get down to business and start off by understanding how Pinterest works. The following are the common features of Pinterest:

  1. Buttons
    3
    On Pinterest, you can Pin, Send, and Like a pin.
  2. Board

    Every time you want to pin something, you can either add it in your current pin board or create a new one. The board is the collection of pins that you “pinned.”

  3. Pin Board
    4
    This is the collection of boards that you have pinned.

How Pinterest Can Help Your Business

Now that you know how Pinterest features work, let’s dig into how Pinterest can help you and your business. Pinterest shows endless potentials for your business,but first you need to build up your account and engage with other people. Here are steps on how you can do it:

1. Build your Identity (Personal Branding): You need to know what industry category or categories you should dive in to. Like this page – Pinterest used this as their sample account.

6

Their account is all about gardening, DIY products, health, and foods.

As you can see, they have established their account to be known for specific industries that are affiliated with each other. The idea here is to provide useful information to your audience in a fun way. After that, comes the introduction of your own products. You can mix your products along with your other pins on your boards.

The most important thing about your pins and boards is that you need to provide users useful and educational information that can help them anytime. By creating boards that contain ideas, people, places, and events, you are able to help and inspire your users instead of sheer advertising.

NOTE: You don’t have to create your original content for your pins and boards, you can just research and get those from other pins of users and carefully combine them in your board(s). You can incorporate any link here like Youtube Videos, Slideshare slideshows, Instagram images, etc.

2. Incorporate Pinterest to your own personal blog or website. Pinterest used this http://www.westelm.com/shop/new/top-pinterest-pins/ as an example.

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On this web page, they compiled the products that gathered the highest pins on their Pinterest account. This is an ideal way in keeping your audience’s interests and promoting your social media account at the same time. This is a two-way traffic getter – website to Pinterest; and Pinterest to Website.

3. Broaden your scope: Expanding your reach is a fun way to market yourself and your products. You can do this by creating communities and groups via Pinterest’s Group Boards. In Group Boards, you can collaborate with popular pinners in Pinterest. These popular pinners surely have a lot of followers, and if you share a group board with them, your Pinterest account will be able to get more exposure especially if they share your pin boards. This can also increase your followers.

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Having a high number of followers is always a good thing. They are your audience. They are your potential customers. So engaging yourself in to Group Boards could be beneficial. This also makes you one step closer to having your business be known.
4. The Incorporation of your products: Once you have established your account on Pinterest (by letting yourself to be known on your chosen industry or category), it is now time to start uploading your products and services together with your pins.
The benefit of this is that the traffic in your website will increase as your pins get re-pinned and shared by users, given the fact that you have established a good number of followers, and your images and posts are compelling enough.

And from there, it is up to your website to convince your visitors in purchasing your products or services.

5. Analytics: This may not be part of the Pinterest website but it is always important to have your monthly website/blog visits be monitored. This is for you to know if Pinterest is really driving traffic to your website. Analytics will also help you understand if people like the content of your website and how effective your Pinterest strategy is.

Now that we all know how to utilize Pinterest, it is now time to get that Pinterest account sorted and have fun pinning as your business gets recognized.

Google’s Update for April 2015: The Rise of Mobile Friendly Websites

G update 2015

Google announced last February 2015 that they will include mobile-friendliness as a factor in determining rankings. Here is Google’s official statement: “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on our search results.” If you haven’t read the entire update yet, we will break it down for you.

  • Google will begin to use the data gathered from indexed apps.
  • What are indexed apps?

These are mobile applications that are “indexed” by Google. There are series of steps that must be done for App Indexing. Google would show the apps alongside the search result. See below.

G update 2015 2

(Image from Google Developers)

If you want to learn how to index your app, Google has written a guide about it here.

  • It will have a significant impact in our mobile search results.

The point of this phrase is that Google will be penalizing sites that are not “mobile-friendly”. We do not know yet the real scope of the penalty, but we know that it would be big. During SMX Munich, Zineb from Google told the community that the penalty would be heavier than the former updates.

Will the update hurt my desktop search results?

  • No, the algorithm focuses on mobile search results.

My mobile traffic is insignificant. Why should I make my site mobile-friendly?

  • It is safer and wiser to make your site mobile friendly because smartphone mobile access is continually on the rise. Take a look at Rand Fishkin’s Moz.com. His mobile traffic only accounts for 1% of the visits. Yet, he is working to make his site mobile-friendly – a perfect example of “thinking ahead.

We are only a few days away from Google’s update. Create a game plan, update your website, and do whatever you can to remain ahead of the competition.

Need help on making a mobile-friendly website? This guide published by Google can help you.