Small Business SEO Marketing Strategies Made Easy

This DIY SEO Tip Still Works

Every small business is chasing the golden ticket to SEO. In such a competitive environment, with Search Engine Optimization playing an imperative role in reaching audiences, figuring out how to get on the first page of Google and other search engines is no easy feat. Even large companies with dedicated marketing teams work constantly to maintain or elevate their Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking.

As SEO and the understanding of relative algorithms have evolved, so too have the tactics for getting that proverbial golden ticket, landing that proverbial big one – the coveted first page. 

 

Early SEO Strategies: How We Finally Got It Right.

Believe it or not, in the early days, webmasters and self-proclaimed SEO gurus were actually more on-target than those following relatively recent trends. Website and search engines originally had the same, singular objective, which was to reach users and convert them (be it to purchase, signup, watch a video or read an article). Then came the cannibalistic idea of appeasing algorithms. While this is certainly necessary, the approach of trying to appeal to search engines led good web content to be devoured by bad web content. Search engines hated it, and Internet users were confused and frustrated by all the redundant, hyperbolized, boilerplate messaging. According to Google’s Maile Ohye, a Developer Programs Tech Lead, this all went down around 2005. 

Luckily, like fashion trends, SEO trends are cyclical. We’re no longer in the regrettable “80s Hair-Dos and Neon Spandex” days of SEO, when websites were littered with keywords in vain attempts to nail arbitrary keyword density ratios. Websites are finally coming back around to what’s most important for SEO: The User Experience. When a website shows it’s putting the user first, meaning pages are easy to navigate and are populated with informative, compelling and cohesive content, search engines reward it with a better ranking. 

If your content is like candy (sweet) and your website is up to date, you’re on the right track. If not, refine it, test it, refine it some more.

 

Remember: When It Comes To SEO, Your Website’s First Impression Isn’t Your Website.

When Internet users search a keyword or a phrase on Google (or on the off chance they use Bing), they’re greeted with upwards of 100,000 results. Your website – you hope – is tucked in among the throng of relevant and irrelevant pages. To make it to the top of the Google rankings

1 Easy Tip To Save Money On Your Business Website

Are you penny wise and pound foolish? A lot of companies are when it comes to their website. If you want a cheap business website, designing your own is definitely the way to go. Even if you don’t know any code, you can pick from an abundance of free and cheap WYSIWYG website creators and have your own personalized website within a few hours. Unfortunately, these platforms are not consistent from browser to browser, nor across platforms like desktop and mobile. As of this past April, Google changed its algorithms to lay heavy emphasis on mobile websites; if your website isn’t mobile friendly, you won’t rank well on Google, and most of WYSIWYG website creators lack the backend architecture to make them truly mobile friendly. And, let’s face it, they look as cheap as the cost.

Another idea is designing your business’s website to fit within the parameters of a template, one from Wordpress, for instance. But these are not without limitations either. Going this route will mean conforming to the parameters of the template you chose, often leading to a sterile-looking, unorigional website for your brand. 

What does this have to do with budgeting? Everything. Practically every industry is fraught with competition, and your company’s website is often your audiences’ first impression as they hunt for quality products and services. Even if you don’t think your brand is that unique, it needs to stand out if it’s going to survive. 

(Incidentally, at MAD Group, we’re pretty darn good at making your company stand out. We’ve successfully positioned hundreds of brands in totally unique ways. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

Cutting back costs is important for small businesses and large businesses alike. But if you want to save money on your website, do it after it’s properly designed, developed and launched. With every pixel already in place, we recommend gaining a familiarity with the basic behind-the-scenes opperations. This includes Blog Posts, Article Editing and Publication, and Module Management. Even a general understanding of your new brand’s website functionality will help you ensure that content stays relevant and accurate. You can take it a step further by learning how to create and launch compelling e-mail blasts. 

We offer every client the opportunity to learn these important tips for business marketing when we launch their website. MAD Group provides a two-hour post-launch training session to help you take the reins. This is a $199 value that could save you thousands in the long run. Hiring employees to manage your website is costly both in time and finances, and you’re almost certain to receive a steep invoice for the hourly cost of routine website maintenance by even the most affordable marketing agency. 

Apart from a company website that both looks and functions great in today’s mobile world, you could walk away with fledgling website management skills that will help your business take flight. And as for all the money you might save? We recommend making a sound investment in bean-bag chairs and a Kool-Aid fountain for all of your awesome employees.

Now go out there and get MAD!

Making Teachers M.A.D.

Reflecting on our formative years – those incipient, gradual steps from conceptual development to class-clownishness, creative growth to rhyming remedies for the mysterious afflictions of cooties – it became clear that many of our schoolhouse dogmas have proved, with age and experience, to be so, so backwards. 

Take this find, for instance. Remember being forced to draw desiderata like this in elementary school? And worse, being forced to abide by them, knowing full well they were inhibitive? How shortsighted. How restrictive. How one-tracked… Looking back, we realized we forgot how conformist reading was in grade school. Ironically, what practices had been deemed “real reading” are, with the potential exception of Concentrating, unrealistic or frowned upon, especially in creative industries. 

Real Reading Fake Reading

As a society, we’ve evolved our process of reading to adapt to the mountain of content and information we have to digest during any given day. Flipping pages quickly isn’t fake reading; it’s speed-reading. Talking… you mean brainstorming? Exchanging books before finishing them… Isn’t that collaborative R&D? Moving around… is something any medical professional recommends to palliate the pains of extended sedentary office hours. Only looking at the pictures? Photographs are what solidify an immediate connection between reader and content – and vice versa. 

I guess we at M.A.D. Group are fake readers, at least according to our third grade teachers. But then again, we’ve never been much for following the rules anyway. Maybe that’s why we’re so good at helping our clients make disruptive waves in their respective industries. 

So, when it comes to ye olde rule… let’s be real… and fake it.

How Our Copywriter’s Old Motorcycle Changed His Perspective Of Connection, Communication And “Home For The Holidays”

Every morning, I wake up to a pot of Hulk Hogan-strong coffee and quaff it while brewing equally strong plans for the workday ahead. Then I sit on my old motorcycle and hope it starts so I can turn those plans into actions for my clients. I open fuel lines and the choke, turn levers, twist keys and flick switches. I don’t know how much you know about old motorcycles, but they can be... temperamental. What I’m coming to find, morning after morning, is that no matter what – a lightbulb, the spark, the cold or hot air, me or the machine – whether it’s perfect or problematic, the roar of my engine comes down to one thing. The Connection.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about connections and the importance thereof. Favorite clients, recent contacts, pets, parents, new flings, old friends... the crux of each of these relationships is connection. The building of it, the maintaining of it. Polishing it, not just so it looks and feels good but works really, really well. All communication is based on connection.

For instance, we’re currently rebranding a company that works to provide seamless connections in the more-mysterious-than-you’d-expect realm of hotel high-speed internet. They’re responsible for each guest’s web connection, their communication with the world away. Maybe something will come of it, a campaign or a commercial, but I can’t help thinking about all the people in all the hotels, or the military men and women abroad, to whom “home for the Holidays” will depend on a strong internet connection. Suddenly, this niche, new brand means so much to me. After all, I’ll also be watching my family open gifts and send Christmas wishes and I Miss You’s through 13 lonely inches of LED.

So tonight, after work has wrapped up and all the lights have been shut off, their connections disconnected till the morning, I’m going to sit on my motorbike, my old friend... I’m going to open the fuel lines and the choke, I’m going to turn the key and try to transcendentally communicate my good intentions, my drive to drive us both home safely. I’ll flick the START switch and hope the connection is good. See, I don’t give up on things that don’t give up on me – clients, family, friends... 1985 Honda Nighthawks – because when the connection’s good, I know I’m in for an unforgettable ride.


By Spencer Higgs: Copywriter, Branding Strategist

How Do Advertising Agencies In San Diego Measure Up?

Advertising Agencies In San Diego are at the top of the list when compared to other national agencies. The agencies here can measure up to any ad agency in New York, San Francisco or L.A.. I’ve been around some of the most respected advertising agencies in these cities and can truly say that the creative and functional approach to helping businesses is every bit as good in San Diego.

If you are considering an ad agency for your business, compare and measure each agency by more than just design and recognition. Measure them by how effective they have been for others and whether they give a good bang for the buck.

Here’s how I measure ad agencies against each other:

  1. How effective are they at achieving their client’s goals?
  2. How effective are they at connecting with consumers and prompting them to take an action?
  3. Do they produce a return on investment?
  4. How hands-on are they with their clients?
  5. Do they pass down important responsibilities to lower level professionals or even interns?
  6. Is their design determined by prior research and practical thinking, or just artistry?
  7. Do they brand companies with a solid messaging foundation?
  8. Do they use comprehensive marketing approaches?
  9. Do they have the capacity to offer full services from TV to Internet and beyond?

Some of these questions are hard to answer, but having worked with and competed against some of the best agencies in all of these cities, I’m still impressed with San Diego advertising agencies. I think we attract the best of the best here in San Diego, and because we know we’re up against larger ad agencies, we always have something to prove. We’re concerned with our client’s clients, and we’re driven by building a reputation of excellence. Don’t go out of town when you can get great ad agencies in San Diego.

Please Contact Us To See How Passionate We Are About Your Success.

 

Avoid Shortcuts...Create A Brand That Has Impact.

Does your company brand represent you for who you are? Are you better than your company brand leads you to believe? If you are like most companies, you represent yourself poorly compared to the quality of service you provide. You don’t have articulate brand messaging that reveals to consumers your unique qualities; you don’t have a website or marketing materials that reflect your company's personality and character; your marketing and advertising approach doesn’t align with who you want to be; and your overall brand has been pieced together reactively as opposed to a proactive, methodical formation.

Many marketing directors or business owners will think of individual marketing campaigns and marketing materials based on priority and budget, without giving consideration to the big picture and their long term goals.

For most companies it’s not too late to develop a brand or revise your old brand. Rebranding from time to time is almost a necessary thing. Markets change, consumer habits change, companies remove or add services and products, and many other influences may affect the need for a revised company brand. Overall the important thing to remember is that you will be paying for any branding shortcuts you make, so do it right the first time, because missed opportunities can be very expensive.

Request A Call Back To Learn About Our Branding.

 

Marketing For Small Business — How To Get Started.

Small Business is making a comeback in America these days. With the help of affordable technology, a small business can offer some of the same services and products as larger businesses, while still offering it at a high level. With proper small business marketing, a small business can get the attention it deserves and win over clients that would traditionally buy from larger businesses.

The key is to start out by being a big fish in a small pond. Look for the areas you can compete in that are underserved; then serve them well. Simultaneously, start focusing on a small business marketing approach that lets consumers know you can give personal attention and one-on-one service, both online and off.

The centerpiece to your marketing is your website. Start by making it personal and inviting. Then once you've got it thoroughly refined from a visual and marketing standpoint, change your focus to optimizing so that it gets noticed by search engines. Once you've done this you will be ready for following a small business marketing plan.

The small business marketing plan should include clearly defined goals for a two year stretch, plus a quarter-by-quarter action plan of what needs to be accomplished. To get a good grasp on how to create a small business marketing action plan, you may need some professional help. But to start, you can calculate the average lifetime worth of your clients, and then estimate how many leads you would need to land each new one.

Next, whether it is B2B or B2C, you will need to be creative in your approach. Marketing for small business requires good timing and creative marketing materials. The materials you use should be created with clever headlines, clear call-to-actions, and highly refined designs that resonate with their audience.

We realize there is so much more to this than we can possibly include here, so call us to see how we can make an impact on your business.

Please Contact Us To Get A List Of Small Business Marketing Tips.

 

Website Design San Diego — A Local Synopsis

Although you can find a high level of creative website design in San Diego, consumers, business executives and business owners need to be careful when considering how effective a website will be when it is launched.

Effective website design in San Diego and across the globe is built on two primary objectives: First, to connect with the viewer emotionally, and second, to be coherent in thought and functionality so that the viewer is prompted to take an action. Believe it or not, most website designers, programmers and business leaders become so immersed in the making of the website that these two basic objectives are forgotten.

It is imperative that your website design works for you, that you lead the viewer through a journey that you want them to take and ask of them what you want of them.

San Diego's website design is among the best in the country, so when choosing a web design company to build your site, make sure the focus is on your end goals, the personality and character of your audience and your company and the path you want your viewers to take when they land on your website.

Please Contact Us To Get Tips On What To Avoid When Building A Website.

 

Should I Print Professionally Or Print It Myself?

Consider who your audience is and what they would think if they received a printed piece that is more casual versus more professional. If your business is an art gallery or has an upscale clientele, it may be better to use a professional printer. On the other hand, a taco shop that has a temporary, over-the-counter promotion using flyers may not require a professional printer. Also, if you are printing small quantities of a hundred or less or if you need your prints quickly, a professional printer might not be the way to go. Set up time and costs are expensive for professional printers. Lastly, consider what your competitors are doing and try to do it better. As a consumer yourself, what would your expectations be?

Print quality has improved tremendously on the low-end and high-end of printing over the past five years. Expectations are now much higher than they were before. When you have the budget to do it professionally, you should definitely NOT do it yourself.

Why? Because professional printing offers so many options for paper quality, coating finishes, high resolution printing, colors and is more flexibility in cutting, folding, embossing, binding, and so on.

Find out what the strengths and limitations are on the equipment you're printing on and then design your marketing materials accordingly. Sometimes gradations in certain colors don't show up well on laser copy machines and you usually can't print to the edge of the paper. In addition, keep your designs simple and use strong messaging and headlines. Usually when you use powerful headlines and subheads on marketing pieces, readers don't notice the limitations of printing because they are captivated by the message. If you depend heavily on the visual aspect, more is riding on the print quality. Conclusion: Do-it-yourself print works better with a strong message.

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