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SEO: Why it’s important to add products each month

Francesca
February 26, 2014

One of the perks of having an NMR website is the ability to add products each month.  Of course we regularly talk about the benefits of regular website updates, but adding products goes beyond that! We built our system in a way that adding new products will really help to improve your search engine results each time we add new products.

We look at a lot of websites in a day (emphasis on A LOT), which means we see websites of every shape, size and color. A lot of times we will see a website that has one page dedicated to products, this page will either have bullets on the page that outline the manufacturers that they carry or just product names. But then we look at an NMR site, each product has its own specific page with a product name and description. Creating a specific page for each product with a description allows your website to continuously grow with unique content for Google to index. This will allow your website an opportunity to perform better on search engines, which will help your website be found when customers are searching for products in your area!

If you are having trouble coming up with which new products to add to your website each month, we do have a few recommendations to get you started:

1. Just look up

Sometimes it’s just as easy as adding the first products you can see with your eyes when you are on the phone or replying to an email with your Specialist. Because each product is added individually, it’s easy to just say the product number or SKU and before you know it you’ve added an entire line! It’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes.

2. Create a chart

Some of our dealers are more project oriented, so for them it’s easy to make a chart for the year and identify the types of projects that customers will be planning to or already be working on for each month. Creating a chart like this will also help you to identify when you’d like to have in-store sales, which products customers will be looking for each month, etc. This will help you to be efficient when adding products because you know what customers will be looking for ahead of time.

3. Random Aisle Check

In order to make sure that all areas of your products are being covered, try to pull a few products from random aisles in your store. This will help to keep a good mix of products to benefit multiple types of customers who may be looking for different products.

If these tips don’t work for you, please feel free to ask your Specialist for ideas! They are always happy to help!

Challenge Yourself! Use Video to Educate Your Customers

Francesca
January 31, 2014

Social media has evolved so much over the past few years. In 2013 we saw a huge increase on the importance of posting photos to increase engagement on your page. Photos are very important because it’s easier to catch a consumers’ attention and to keep them engaged vs. a text post. 2013 was definitely the year of images. But in 2014 you will start to see a lot more videos being posted on social media by brands. I’ve seen some big brands already jumping on this band wagon, taking an opportunity to use video to add relevant and educational content in a fun way to their social media pages.

Big brands shouldn’t be the only companies on Facebook doing this! Challenge yourself this month to post at least one educational video to your Facebook page! It can be 15, 30, 90 seconds – the sky is the limit! However long it takes you to convey your message is fine!

Spring is on the horizon, so use the new season as an opportunity to post a video. Do you sell gardening products? Post a video showing customers how to plant a new type of seed to really help their garden bloom! If you sell pet products, try posting a video of using a new training product and how it helps make the process easier! You can come up with a video for any topic, but it’s important to take this opportunity to help your customers’ lives easier! Also, if your video promotes products sold in your store, that’s a win-win right?

New Year, New Results

Francesca
January 31, 2014

2014 is officially underway. The holiday buzz has officially died down and we are now returning to business as usual. Hopefully you have a chance to reflect and evaluate different areas of your business with the start of the new year. Reflection and evaluation allows you to strengthen what’s already working for you and improve your weaknesses. Developing a solid marketing plan for your business will help you with both of these areas.

A major focus of 2014 at New Media Retailer is (and always has been) ways that we can improve the search engine results success of our customers. We want your website to be found for a variety of searches in your area. We have set some motions in place to prepare for new Google updates, SEO updates, etc. But you play a major part in this as well.

When developing a marketing plan for 2014, make sure to dedicate time to your online presence. This includes regular website updates, working with your Marketing Specialist to improve title tags, perform tests to see how your website performs in Google etc. Regular website updates are crucial to the success of your website. We built your website in a strategic way, so that you may only update the special offers, but Google will think you updated a variety of pages. You shouldn’t let a month go by where you don’t take advantage of website updates because if you do, you aren’t helping your website to perform as well as it should on Google.

A marketing plan can help you map out website updates for a few months in advance, some dealers even plan for a whole year. You know your business better than anyone, you know what month customers will be looks for specific products, what projects they will be working on, etc. Develop an outline of your top areas of business each month for an entire year and use this as a guide to help you plan your website updates. Once you can easily identify what customers will be shopping for, it will make it easier to decide which featured products to send to us, special offers, and it will help to plan events for your store. This will also help you to be proactive with your search engine results. If your website has the content on it that consumers are looking for, you will have a better chance of showing up in Google!

FAQ: I want my website to be found certain search terms – what can I do?

Francesca
November 27, 2013

This is a topic that we could go on and on about, it definitely deserves more than one post, so we will break this up into a series of posts (check back next month for more). For today, let’s start with what it is that you’d to be found for? If you can answer this question, then you are already doing a good job. It’s important to make sure you are regularly doing searches to see what areas your website is doing well at and what areas you’d like to improve in search engines. Once you have identified a few searches that you’d like to improve, you should take a look at your website to see if anything about this is currently on it.

Content is king.

Google has said this so many times and it couldn’t be truer. Content is king, but what does that mean? It means you can’t expect Google to know what you want to be found for, you have to make sure it’s on your website. Adding content to your website can be done in a series of ways, it can be as simple as adding coupons or specials each month or you may want to add custom pages so that you have room to really describe your business services around the search term.

It’s important to make sure that the content that you are creating is specific and relevant to what you want to be found for. If you are going to create a custom page, you want to make sure that the content on the page all applies to the same topic. It’s also important to place keywords (the search terms you’d like to be found for) in critical locations, such as the title of the page and headlines of the page. When writing content, do your best to make the keywords sound natural. If search engines like Google think you are overusing keywords, it will work against you. Try to think of it like you’re talking to a real person, this will help to make the content flow better.

There is a bit of a science behind this, but don’t worry, we are here to help. If you’d like to learn more about this, talk to your Marketing Specialist, they can help answer any questions you may have. Just keep in mind there may be some custom fees for doing things like creating custom pages. As I mentioned above, this is a HUGE topic, so definitely check back next month for more tips on this!

On-Page Facebook Promotion vs. Third Party Promotion – Which should I use for my Business Page?

Francesca
November 18, 2013

Facebook made big news when they announced that admins no longer had to use a third party app to host a promotion. Of course this is very exciting news, but it can be difficult to decide which type you should use for your business page.

If you are debating between a timeline promotion or a third party app, consider these factors:

1. How will you measure success?

This is a very important question to answer before determining which promotion type is right for you. Every business is different, which means every business page on Facebook is different. Some businesses want to increase their engagement on the wall. If this sounds like you, then a timeline promotion may be a better fit. A timeline promotion allows you to increase engagement through likes and comments on your page. However, if you want to create a promotion that you can collect data from, then a third party app may be better for you. A third party app allows you to collect data including email addresses, demographics, etc.

2. Are you looking for short or long term results?

If you are looking to increase your page’s engagement in a short time frame, then you should consider a timeline promotion. A timeline promotion will make it easy for you to encourage likes and comments on your wall in a short time frame, thus helping to increase the activity that takes place on your page for a certain amount of time. Timeline promotions make increasing engagement easier for users because there are no barriers to entry and they are open to everyone, whether or not they have liked your page. However, if measuring your results by collecting data throughout the promotion is something that you would be interested in doing, then you should consider a third party app. Third party apps allow you to collect data from fans in a private manner. Gathering information like this will help to secure them as a customer, instead of just a fan by having the ability to contact them via email once the promotion is over.

3. Do you want to increase your likes?

If you are interested in increasing the overall number of likes on your page then you should consider using a third party app. Third party apps allow you to hide exclusive content from the general public until they have liked your page. This is a great incentive to get people to like your page. This is something that timeline promotions cannot do. Because they are open to the general public, there is no way to require users to like your page as a means of entry.

4. What type of contest are you interested in running?

If you are interested in doing a giveaway or coupon offer based on likes and comments then a timeline promotion will fit your needs really well. You can monitor the activity that takes place on your wall and choose a winner (side note: it can sometimes be difficult to contact the winner via Facebook timeline promotions, so just make sure you have a backup option ready to go). If you are interested in users uploading videos or photos, or gaining exclusive access to an offer by liking your page, then you should consider a third party app.

 

FAQ: What Can Title Tags do for my Website?

Francesca
October 31, 2013

One of the perks of our job is the ability to work with so many dealers on a regular basis. It’s so nice getting to build relationships and your questions make us better! Over the past few months we have noticed that we sometimes get asked similar questions from a variety of dealers. We decided to create a “Frequently Asked Questions” column in our Monthly Advisor so that if other dealers have the same question, we can help to answer it here!

FAQ: What can Title Tags do for my website?

What is a Title Tag?
A title tag is a title element that is important for SEO. A title tag is used to describe the content and/or outline an online document. Content (for as far as we can tell) will always be the most important factor for on-page SEO, but title tags are probably the second most important. Title tags appear in three places:

1. Browsers

 

2. Search Engine Results Pages

 

3. External Websites

 

Best Practices for Title Tag use
Title tags should not contain more than 70 characters. This is the limit that Google will display in search results; if there are more characters listed Google will simply disregard them and they will serve little to no purpose.

Title tags are meant to describe the content of the page in a concise, descriptive way. Title tags provide an opportunity for websites to build keywords to help achieve search engine results. When creating title tags, place the most important keywords first. Google will read the keywords in order of significance, so if there are specific keywords that help to describe the page, be sure to place those first.

Creating relevant title tags will also help to encourage user clicks because it will help to describe the content that they will find when they click on the link. It’s really important to think about how the user will search in engines such as Google. Title tags are the first opportunity that a user has to interact with your brand, they should convey a positive message.  As you can see from the search engine picture above, Google bolds title tags which gives your keywords greater visibility, which generally means you will have a higher click rate.

A very common request that we receive is customers wanting to place additional locations into title tags. This may be because a dealer has multiple locations or because a dealer wants to identify surrounding towns and cities where customers may live in (outside of where the location is). Best practice for creating title tags, when mentioning a location, would be one location per page. If you start to get competing locations on a page Google will not make the connection between the search term and several locations listed. For example if your title tags say “pool installation” New Berlin, Norwich, Ithaca, Hamilton, New Hartford, Oxford”, Google will have a very tough time making a connection between “pool installation” with any city past Norwich in the list.

What does all of this mean for me?
Take a look at your website and identify the keywords that are important for each page. Keep in mind, Google ranks specific pages on your website, not your website as a whole. Think of this as each page being its own website, completely independent of one another (for search results only, this obviously is not the case once a user visits your website). Let’s use an example, let’s say that pool installation is a very important part of your business. You have a specific page on your website built to talk about your pool installation services. To create title tags for this you may want to use ‘Pool Installation, Pool Maintenance, Above Ground & Inground Pool’.  The most important keyword should be placed first, in this case, this would be ‘pool installation’.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to target too any terms on one page. Each page should be specific about its own topic, this will help in search engine results and help to encourage clicks. If you have too many varying title tags it will confuse both the search engine and the user.

New Facebook Changes: What do they mean for my business page?

Francesca
October 31, 2013

As you may have heard, Facebook has been rolling out some changes to business pages. These changes do not affect the work that we’ll do for your page, but as an admin of your business page, it’s good for you to be in the loop!

We pulled a top 5 list for you, but these are in no particular order. Be sure to check out each one to make sure you don’t miss out on any information!

1. Facebook Insights

Facebook has rolled out a new version of Facebook Insights that make it much easier for Facebook admins to understand and interpret the data that Facebook provides us. For starters, Facebook split the “People talking about this” (I’m not sure that anyone knew what that actually meant) information available into separate, specific pages including Page Likes, People Engaged, Page tags and mentions, Page checkins and other interactions on a Page.

The type of information Facebook provides has also changed. Instead of just saying how many people saw a post, they now provide more relevant information. For example, Facebook now includes post clicks and likes, comments, and shares as a part of measurement for each post. Furthermore, Facebook isn’t shying away from negative feedback that a Page may receive. Hidden posts, hide all posts, report as spam, and unlike page are now available metrics for marketers to use.

To learn more about Facebook Insights updates, click here.

2. Editing Posts

Let’s face it… we’re human, we make mistakes! I say this in part because well, it’s true and because I’ve been caught making Facebook post typos. It’s probably more towards the latter, so this is going to be a major improvement if this is something that we have in common!

Facebook is testing the ability for page admins to be able to edit posts on their pages. As an admin, we have been able to edit photo captions, but not plain-text posts. Facebook is currently testing this on a variety of Facebook pages. So for now, if there is a typo we are still limited with options, i.e. cringe and bear it, delete the post and lose any engagement received so far, or correct the spelling in a comment below the post. This new update is much anticipated and should be rolling out soon (so we hear… and hope)!

3. Promotion Guidelines

Facebook changed its promotion guidelines a few months ago. Although this isn’t as new of an announcement as others on this list, it is a major change for Facebook Pages so it made the list. Facebook removed the requirement of the use of a third party app in order to hold any kind of promotion on your Facebook Page. As an admin, you now have the ability to choose whether you’d like to hold a promotion on your Page timeline or through a third party app. If you’re wondering what this means exactly…

Businesses can now:

  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism

There are certainly times when using a third party app is in your best interest, but we will talk more on that next month! It certainly is nice to have the ability to do both, if you so choose!

4. Custom Audiences for Facebook Ads

I was recently contemplating making a purchase on a dress. After careful thought and consideration, I decided against it. I closed out of the website and headed over to Facebook, but what I found there was a total shock. There, at the top of my newsfeed was an ad with the caption “You know you’ve been checking me out.” with three pictures of the dress and a message encouraging me to continue checking out. What!? How did Facebook know? I quickly looked over my shoulder thinking maybe someone was standing over me telling Facebook my every move, but of course no one was.

Facebook has already rolled out custom audiences, and is currently in the works to offer improvements to this new Facebook ads feature. Custom audiences allows Facebook Pages to reach offline audiences among people who are Facebook users. You can target these customers, whether or not they’ve liked your page, through updated ad features. For example, you can create an ad specifically to target Facebook users who are current customers, but have not yet liked your page. Facebook can do this using email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, etc.

5. Facebook Edgerank Algorithm

Once upon a time Facebook determined the updates that would show up on a users newsfeed on three elements; affinity, weight and time decay. These three factors still play a role in determine the types of content that show up on a newsfeed, but they are joined by about 100,000 other factors.

Here are a few highlights of new factors that Facebook is using:

Post Types
Facebook is taking into account the types of content that a user typically engages with on their newsfeed. This means that if users typically click on photos, either like them or comment on them, Facebook will show more photos in their newsfeed. If a user engages with link-posts, then they will see more link-posts in their newsfeed. As a Page admin, it’s important to make sure you post a variety of content to make sure you are reaching a wider audience.

Device Types
There are a variety of devices that users can have to access Facebook. Facebook takes this into consideration including factors such as load times, device type, etc. If a user has a slow internet connection Facebook will typically show them more text-posts than image or video posts. This shouldn’t be seen as a limitation by Facebook admins, it’s meant to still encourage engagement based on the content that users can see. Meaning, if a video or photo doesn’t load there is almost no chance that a user will engage with it.

Story Bumping
Story bumping allows posts that may be starting to disappear to get a second chance at visibility on the news feed if they are still getting interactions from users’ friends.

Local Business Directories That Get You Found

Francesca
September 27, 2013

Consumers use online search engines to find everything they can possibly think of. It’s important to make sure that your website comes up in search engines to make sure that consumers find your business. No matter what your industry, it’s important to take advantage of online business directories that help consumers find what they need.

Here we have compiled a list of 10 free business directories to sign up for. There are a few things to remember when entering your information across multiple directories, so try to follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your business name and contact information is exactly the same on each directory. Search engines categorize businesses on multiple sites with a higher ranking, but the information must match.
  2. If there is a place for a business description, it is absolutely essential to list your website. Multiple paths between your website and these directories also increase your rank.
  3. Upload as much information as you’d like!

Happy directing!

  1. Yahoo Listings
  2. Online Yellow Pages
  3. Google Places
  4. Bing Local
  5. Merchant Circle
  6. White Pages
  7. City Search
  8. Local.Com
  9. InsiderPages
  10. Yelp

There are many more directories out there, so do some searching for some specifically related to your industry or area. Also, why not look into your local Chamber of Commerce? A lot of times your local Commerce will have a business directory that is full of other local businesses and would provide a great opportunity for you to promote your business and website!

5 Ways to Get Creative on Instagram

Francesca
September 27, 2013

5 Ways to Get Creative on Instagram:

Instagram is a photo sharing app that allows businesses to connect with consumers on a more personal level! Businesses both big and small have been taking advantage of Instagram to reach new and current customers. Here’s 5 ways to get started (creatively) on Instagram for your business:

1. Guess who?

Highlight your products and keep customers engaged by only showing a portion of the product in the photo and then encourage customers to guess what the product is! This is a great way to keep customers excited about new and existing products in your store!

If you’re in more of a service-oriented business, it may work better for you to just highlight some of the products that you would use to carry out your service. For example, if you rent equipment for wedding, maybe try posting pictures of a table all set up with linens, silverware, plates, etc.! If you’re using this method, try including an open ended question with the picture, something like “The table is set, what are you serving for dinner at your wedding?”

2. The Inside Scoop

Give customers the opportunity to really get to know you by giving them an inside look at your business! Whether it’s behind the scenes pictures or action shots of your product being made, share it! Your customers will love feeling like they know you a little bit better. Instagram provides a unique opportunity for customers to get to see some parts of your business that they may have not gotten to see otherwise.

This can also be a good opportunity to showcase new things that will be coming to only your Instagram fans. Introducing a new product or opening a new location? Take a picture of it and post it on your Instagram!

3. See it to Believe it

Show fans how easy it is to use your product with Instagram video! Whether you are displaying your product, setting it up for an event, or feeding an animal with a new type of feed you just got in the store… Instagram video allows you to showcase different uses of your product!

4. Meet the Team

Allow customers to get to know the members of your team by posting pictures of employees! This can range from birthday pictures, to employees on the job! It allows customers to get to know more about employees by seeing them in action on your Instagram account! If you work at a fun establishment, then showcase it! This would be a great opportunity to show others how fun of a place it is to work too!

5. 5 Seconds of Fame

Encourage customers to use a hashtag that is relevant to your business and follow that hashtag so you know what customers are up to when talking about you. Once a week you can pick one of your customer’s photos and re-post it. Be sure to tag your customer in the photo so they can get some recognition!

Use Website Analytics as a Tool When Updating Your Site

Francesca
August 27, 2013

In my monthly conversations with dealers I sometimes hear “I know I need to update my site, but I don’t know what to put.” If you have thought this and maybe not said it, it’s okay, you’re not alone. Your analytics may serve as a tool to help you create monthly updates for your website.

Analytics are sent to you on a monthly basis and they are full of great content. Of course there are the highlights, geo-location, pages most viewed, keywords, etc. But you may be missing something if you aren’t using your analytics as a guide to enhance your website. Your monthly analytic report is a snapshot of the activity that took place on your site by consumers. You can track that activity and use it to your advantage. For example, if you are planning ahead, you may be starting to think about what to put on your website for October. Well, if you’ve been in the NMR program for more than a year, you should still have the analytic report from October 2012. If most of the keywords in your analytic report are searches for your business name (don’t worry that’s a good thing) check with your NMR Marketing Specialist on how you can log in to your Google Analytics account and look for more keywords. This can help you build featured products, coupons/specials, blog content, and more through the keywords your customers were searching for to find your website!

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