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Top 5 SEO Tools Small Businesses Need

Search Engine Optimisation

When it comes to SEO tools, as a small business owner you could get lost in it all. Below, are simple tools that you may not have in your tool box – they’re all perfect for SEO’s and businesses with smaller budgets. 1. iSpionage You can’t begin any search marketing campaign without a list of great keywords to target. When you enter a keyword into their search, you will first see the top 10 PPC competitors along with a graph showing the advertising trend for the keyword. What’s nice about this is you can see how other websites are using the keyword. When you click on the Ads tab, you can review even more ad copy and landing page combinations sorted conveniently by the number of days seen. It can be a great way to spark some ideas on content and calls to action. You can see the top SEO competitors in Google based on organic search traffic. Some results will list the number of backlinks, pages, and total number of keywords each competitor has in the search index. 2. cognitiveSEO cognitiveSEO offers a visual approach to learning about your competitor’s backlink profile that includes charts for deep link ratios, dofollow to nofollow, website types, website categories, link trustworthiness, and much more. You can also use the new Visual Link Explorer tool to see the link profile as a whole and drill down into the specifics. You can also drill down into the traditional list of backlinks to filter out results. 3. Broken Link Finder The Broken Link Finder tool allows paid members to search for a keyword or keyword phrase and get potential broken link opportunities. You can then export the backlinks for these broken links into a CSV to start contacting webmasters in hopes that your helpful tip about a broken link will result in your link getting placed on their page. 4. Whitespark If you are working with a local website, then Whitespark is a must have resource. This citation finder will go out and find local search opportunities based on your website’s keywords and location. You will get to see the domain, direct submit link, type of website, Majestic SEO AC Rank, Domain Authority, and date discovered. The results are based off of backlinks / citations that other local competitors have gained. It’s a great way to get new link building opportunities for local and non-local websites alike. 5. Link Detox Unfortunately, if your website has acquired any form of bad links in the past, it is susceptible to a link penalty from Google. If you think your website has been hit with a Google penalty based on you links, then the Link Detox report from Link Research Tools is a must have. You simply enter your domain or upload your links from Google Webmaster Tools. It will then mark your links as healthy, suspicious, and toxic. This will give you a better idea of which links to remove first. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to...

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Knowing What Your Customers Want & Delivering

Brand Identity

Your customers are the heart of your business. Without them, your business will not exist. Without them, you can not expect to grow your business. Everything that you make in your business will be in some way connected to your customers. You will need to know them. You will need to talk with them. You will need to satisfy them. But do you really know what your customers really want. Do they want better product or service? Do they want quick delivery time of your products and services? Do they want the quality of your products? These questions and answers can be the best starting point for your business. You need to do your homework, do the research and talk with your customers if you want to find the best answer for your business. It’s your responsibility as a small business owner. Remember that your goal is to improve your products, services, and your overall business not because of you, but because of them and their need to solve the problem that your business solves. You can quickly see whether they are satisfied with your new solution based on their proposals. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Focusing On Your Content Assets

Content Marketing

Many small business owners believe that concentrating too much on our content strategy, we risk dragging ourselves one step toward becoming a content generating machine. The fact is every small business owner simply cannot make their brand flourish in the digital world without getting involved in the content marketing process. Content is the driving force behind all marketing initiatives such as web marketing, outbound marketing, social media marketing, and search marketing. But not all content marketing initiatives or content assets are great for your online presence. Below are a list of content marketing assets that small business owners consider when putting together their content strategy: Blog Post: Small business owners have long been using blog posts to promote their online presence. Blog posting is still by far the most effective form of online marketing. Ignore it at your peril. Guest Posting: Guest posting is the most powerful and ethical form of link building and it has managed to survive unscathed after the Penguin and Panda massacre. Get more exposure for your brand with a valuable link back strategy to your content. Image Marketing: Images are powerful. The rise of Pinterest demonstrates this well. There is no better way to draw attention to your content than a visually attractive image. Video: Video is the most powerful and the most exciting platform. Conduct an interview, demonstrate something really cool. Infographic: Infographics are all the rage. They look smart and enable us to present complex ideas via a visually appealing platform. Make one about your brand or about a topic related to your brand. Infographic are often reblogged by other bloggers. They’ll often show their gratitude with a link back to you. Illustrations: Illustration can present ideas in a visually attractive way. They at elegance and insight to your content. Ebook: Writing an eBook is extremely time-consuming and it is resource hungry. You have to do extensive research. And, of course, the writing should be high quality. Memes: Memes are a fun way to connect to your targeted audience. The only hitch is that the memes have to be both inspired and funny. Testimonial: Endorsements in the form of testimonials are always welcome. Endorse other service providers who have done a great job and, in return, you will get a nice link back from their websites. You can also ask your customers to say something about your services and you can then publish those testimonials on your website. Case Studies: Make people aware of how you have done a remarkable job helping your clients. News jacking: Write on recently popular topics that are related to your niche. You will drive significant traffic to your website. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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6 Common Mistakes Small Businesses Make In Content Marketing

Content Marketing

In our previous article, we covered 5 Top Tips Small Business Owners Need To Follow For Content Generation. But it’s easy to make a mistake when curating your content. Below we have outlined 6 common mistakes small businesses make in content marketing. Common Mistake #1: Write content to sell your brand. Your content marketing strategy shouldn’t ever include you writing about your brand. Instead, you should provide valuable resources in the genre your brand falls in to. This creates a trust surrounding your image. Common Mistake #2: Tweet about yourself. Of course you want to share your content on Twitter and you should. But it shouldn’t be the only content that you share. Think about what interests the majority of your audience and share any post from any author that would be useful to them. Also, don’t ever send out a tweet talking about how cool you are; please refrain. Common Mistake #3: Take on an overly formal writing voice. Every audience member is different. But I don’t know any audience that would rather communicate with a robot than a human. Hone in on the voice of your content and don’t be shy to let inner human come out. Determine the right tone of voice for each audience segment. Common Mistake #4: Write for your audience. You should be writing with them. Letting your audience feel like they are part of your company and/or content process makes them feel so important and much more likely to advocate for your brand. Ask for their input and topic ideas and then give them a shout out on your social media channels when you put their ideas into effect. This will go a long way. Also, watch your posts with a hawk eye so that you can engage in the comments section as this is a great place to get their input. Collaborate with your audience members whenever possible. Common Mistake #5: Let your content get found. You know when you have written something good, so let the world see it! Common Mistake #6: Keep pumping out content. You should never write a piece of content because you feel like you need another post. You should only write content when you think you have some worthwhile tips, piece of information or a unique view to share. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Which Social Channel Do I Need To Focus On?

Social Media

I have many small business owners approach me and ask, “So, which social media channel do I need to focus on?” The short answer is all of them. All social channels are fertile ground for generating leads. The key is not to put all of your eggs into one basket. Do you think LinkedIn is only for professional job seekers? Think again. Your business needs and wants as much exposure as possible on all of the social channels you can  effectively manage. Sound time consuming? That depends. Leads must be nurtured in one way or another. And up to 95% of qualified prospects on your website are there to research and are not yet ready to engage with sales, never mind buy. But, we know that as many as 70% will eventually buy from you or one of your competitors. Who would you rather it be? Time spent on social media, when spent efficiently and effectively, can yield results beyond what you may have imagined possible. Milkshake-factory takes social media marketing lead generation serious and we have realised amazing success from our efforts. Social Media does provide opportunities for going global. Here are some of our learnings we would like to share: 1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. It should be obvious but social media is about being social, and that means you need a good personality to make your brand likable. 2. Inbound is not enough. Each of the tactics described in this ebook can work on their own. But, for a business to benefit fully from them, they should be combined with outbound marketing. Never underestimate what a bit of paid promotion can do for your business. 3. You must have good content and solid offers. Without well-produced, engaging content, any and all tactics you employ will most likely fail. 4. You will need a strong call to action. The tried-and-true, strong call to action is just as important in social media as it is anywhere else. Be clear about what you want your audience to do after consuming your content or engaging with your brand. 5. Always add value. At the end of the day, if you are not providing some sort of value to your prospects and customers, you are not doing your job and social media will never work for you. 6. Never forget that social is a two-way street. No one likes being talked at. Yes, broadcast your message, but remember to keep the lines of communication open in both directions. When contacted, always respond quickly and sincerely. Be sure to mix up your messaging and use a combination of content and offers. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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Maximise The Chances Of Being Found Online

Brand Identity

List your business on Google Maps/Places, business directories like hotfrog, Yellow Pages or TrueLocal and industry websites. Your listing should contain all the key words and phrases potential customers are likely to type into search engines. For instance, if you are a florist, you need to include “floral bouquets”, “flowers”, “wedding flowers” and “floral displays” in your listing; if you are a virtual assistant, consider words like “VA”, “virtual assistant” and “administration”. Your full business contact details are the next important inclusion. Potential customers need to be able to contact you in the way that suits them. Think beyond the business phone to your mobile, email, website and social media. When writing your business description, mention your company name and keywords several times within the text to help optimise the listing for search engines, increasing the chance of potential customers finding your business. Try to write between 50 and 200 words, including options for payment and opening hours to give customers a good idea about your business and why they should choose you. Online directories market your business 24 hours a day, which means your business can be found at any time. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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A Boring Industry Can Be Turned Into Something BIG

Brand Identity

1. Old Spice Old Spice has brought life to this traditionally boring industry. Most recently, they’ve changed their Twitter account to be run by their new Director of Marketing — Mr. Wolfdog. This wild, furry friend updates the Twitter account with humorous tweets that don’t actually have anything to do with the hygiene brand — and that makes sense! What could you possibly say about body cleansers that makes them stand out from the other brands? That yours smells nicer? It cleans better? There is no unique value proposition. Instead, Old Spice uses humor and creativity to keep their audience engaged. 2. Intercom If you visit the Intercom blog, you’ll find insightful articles that are — gasp! — really easy and entertaining to get through. A good example is their most recent article on growth hacking called, “If It’s Important, Don’t Hack It.” Even if you’re really into the topic of growth hacking, a bunch of graphs packed into a blog post has the propensity to be really dull. That’s why it’s genius that Intercom has decided to use colloquial language, like “gonna,” and “pisses off” in their copy. It’s relatable because that’s how most people actually talk — like humans. So if you think you need to sound like all other businesses and professional when talking about industry concepts, consider whether your audience would appreciate more laid back and playful language. If most of your competitors use a serious, professional tone in their content, perhaps lightening the mood a bit could help your company stand out. 3. Dropbox Dropbox recognises that if they want their emails to get read, they have to minimise the snooze factor of the content inside them, especially when your attention is drawn to email notifications from Facebook or new pictures from Grandma. That’s why they keep the message short, use a simple and compelling illustration, and use language that has personality. They do this particularly well in their email content, which combines lovable design and personable, easily consumable copy. Why does cloud storage have to be lame and boring, full of jargon no average consumer would understand? 4. GoTo Meeting Citrix’s GoToMeeting does a great job taking a professional yet friendly approach to their content. Their Twitter stream is one of the best instances of this balance. Take a look at some of their most recent tweets to the right. You’ll notice they mix up their Twitter content using popular internet memes, such as the Harlem Shake videos, retweets, and other articles about the modern workplace. It’s refreshing to see a B2B brand that isn’t afraid to play a little. GoToMeeting is also very focused on telling their customers’ success stories, which makes their customers feel appreciated while helping prospective customers understand the value of their software. 5. Deloitte Deloitte is a Boston-based consultancy with services that include auditing, financial advisory, risk management, and tax consulting. The company works with a massive crosssection of industries, from government to life sciences. At Deloitte, their knowledge is their selling point, so creating informed, useful content is core to their marketing strategy. What is interesting about Deloitte’s content is that it comes in a number of different forms. From guides to podcasts, and newsletters to debates, there’s never a shortage of new content. One of the...

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5 Tips Small Business Follow For Content Generation

Content Marketing

We have covered some key points to help small businesses develop a great content strategy. Use behavioral and demographic information about your prospects to develop buyer personas based on their interests and needs, then target your content accordingly. Before you start creating new content, conduct an audit of your existing content to identify the topics and personas you should focus on and set up guidelines for new content. Map your content to the buying cycle of your customers to ensure that you’re creating content that works best for your readers based on which stage they are in. Create an editorial calendar to build a detailed schedule for creating and publishing content. Find new ways to come up with creative content topics that are relevant, helpful, and fun for your readers, and keep a backlog of these ideas so you always have some on hand when you’re ready to create new content. Content alone can’t generate inbound marketing success. The pieces you create have to fit into an overall strategy of SEO, social media  engagement, lead nurturing, measurement, and optimisation. But with a well-defined content strategy, a detailed editorial calendar, and a good topic backlog, you’ll be publishing content like a pro and be on well on your way to becoming a more effective marketer. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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5 Tips To Create Great Content For Small Business

Content Marketing

TIp #1 Stay On Top Of Industry News You must be plugged in with news and trends related to your industry if you’re going to create relevant, timely content. It’s easy to follow even dozens of news and commentary sources: Subscribe to RSS feeds from bloggers that cover your industry or speak to your target audience. Subscribe to email newsletters from niche publications that cover your industry, as well as your vendors and even your competitors. Set up Google Alerts for non-branded keywords related to your industry, your products, and your persona’s pain points. By checking these feeds every day, you’ll find tons of content ideas. You might write a blog post that comments on a major news headline, or explains why a certain event matters to your audience. You might notice a trend burning up the blogs and media outlets in your niche and decide to create a webinar on the topic. TIp #2 Monitor Social Conversations Social media gives you a real-time feed of what your prospects are talking about. If you listen carefully, you’ll find plenty of good hooks for new content. Not only that, but content that’s generated from social conversations points to the type of information that gets easily distributed via social media. Many people go on Twitter or Facebook to ask for recommendations about choosing new vendors or service providers. Why not create an ebook to provide suggestions, which you can then share the next time you see someone asking for a recommendation? TIp #3 Recruit A Team of Content Creators Get your coworkers to contribute by: Asking them to write occasional blog posts relevant to their job functions. Interviewing them and posting short videos that share their expertise. Inviting them to give short presentations or answer questions in webinars. TIp #4 Keep A Content Backlog & Style Bank Regular blogging is a cornerstone of inbound marketing, so make sure you’ve got plenty of ideas on hand for updating your blog at least daily. Keep a backlog of the topics you want to cover. Style banks present another great tool to facilitate your writing strategy. Style banks generally encompass writing templates and design ideas that result in fresh and compelling content. Ideas for your blog style bank include: Bulleted lists Book, movie, and product reviews Photos and captions Videos How-to guides Interviews TIp #5 Repurpose Content Almost every piece of content you create can be adapted, reused, modified and republished in another format. Make a habit of finding multiple ways to package and distribute the same information in different formats. Here are a few ideas: Combine text from an old whitepaper with new videos to create a video (multimedia) ebook. Turn videos into blog posts and ebooks. Use webinar questions and comments to create a new ebook. Once the webinar is over, you can compile the most interesting or commonly asked questions from the audience with answers from your team for a nice piece of content that directly addresses your prospects’ pain points. Share all company presentations in multiple formats. Post the slides on SlideShare, upload a video of the speech on YouTube, and create a series of blog posts that dive into specific points discussed during the presentation. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business...

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What Does Inbound Marketing Mean For Small Business?

Content Marketing

Pick any day of the week and there’s one thing on every small business owner’s mind – creating new content for their website. Small business owners created content only when it suited their company’s internal needs – say, when they had a new product to promote. Well, inbound marketing forces you to give up that approach. Now small business owners need to produce a constant flow of new content, from blog posts and social media updates to videos, ebooks, and webinars. This content serves them in many ways: it improves their search engine rankings, drives traffic to their websites, and helps to nurture existing leads. But it can’t be just any content. It has to be relevant, remarkable content. Constantly coming up with new content can be overwhelming. When inspiration dries up, you risk falling into two equally dangerous traps. If you stop creating new blog posts, videos, ebooks or other content pieces, you turn off a major source of new traffic and leads. Or, if you panic and start pushing out content that’s a bad fit for your audience, you risk attracting the wrong kind of visitor while driving away good prospects. So how do you keep up? Small business owners must have a detailed picture of their target audience in order to create optimal content for them. Who are your ideal customers and prospects? What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interests? Where can you reach them – on search engines, social media, or blogs – and what kinds of content do they prefer? These questions will help develop buyer personas and typical online behaviour. W hat do they do online? Do they read blogs? Are they active on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks? What kind of search terms do they use? Are they email newsletter subscribers? What kind of information do they tend to consume online? Educational pieces? Trend articles? Interactive tools like calculators or worksheets? Do they watch videos or listen to podcasts? Which of your products do they spend the most time researching? How do they use those products? Now that you’ve constructed buyer personas and developed a better understanding of your audience, don’t rush to create new content for them. Content audits are a great way to see how well you’re covering the topics that are important to your audience, and whether you’re maintaining a good mix of content types. Auditing your existing content also helps you find holes that you can fill with new content pieces, or identify great pieces of content that can be repurposed into other formats to reach even more prospects. What Next At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE...

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