Simple Machines Marketing

Marketing, Simplified

Marketing in the 21st century can be really confusing. With so many channels and trends, it's easy to lose sight of your strategy. This is a blog about solving marketing problems by going back to the basics.

 

Guest Blogging Simplified: Avoiding Google Penalization

This week, Google started taking action against guest blogging websites found to be in violation of their SEO guidelines, following through on the warnings issued starting in January. This situation has left SEOs questioning whether or not this spells the end of guest blogging. Search Rankings Gone Bad: The MyBlogGuest.com Effect Google’s Matt Cutts announced on Monday morning the search engine’s penalization of a “large guest blog network” via Twitter. It was later confirmed that MyBlogGuest.com, the penalized site, took a big hit in search rankings. Even when searched by name, the domain is no longer visible in search – with the exception of paid advertising.  Not only has MyBlogGuest taken a hit, so have the publishers of their content. Search Engine Land alone received 215 comments regarding publishers wh... Read more »

 

How to Create a Quality Twitter Following

With 78% of small businesses gaining new customers via social media, there’s no surprise that Twitter is at the top of just about every small business owner’s mind. One of the most common things we hear from our clients is that they know they should be on Twitter but don’t think they have the time or resources to make it worth the effort. In fact, as a small business owner, you should already have one of the most important resources you need for Twitter: your mission statement. Twitter is a vehicle to help share and advance the mission of your organization, to grow awareness surrounding it and to engage others who may find it relevant. By sticking to your mission and leveraging resources available to you, you can develop a quality following that won’t monopolize your time or break your budget.  Quality Foll... Read more »

 

How to Assess Social Media Campaigns

If you’re not measuring your social media marketing returns, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by Tata Consultancy Services, 44% of companies surveyed reported that they do not have mechanisms in place to measure the impact of their social media efforts. By comparison, about 18% reported negative returns on their social media investments, while 38% saw positive returns. Unlike some more traditional marketing channels that lend themselves to relatively concrete cost-benefit analyses, social media comes with a host of unknowns and gray areas, making a direct assessment of this sort virtually impossible. While you may not be able to calculate an exact ROI, this doesn’t mean you can’t quantify the results and measure the impact of your social media campaigns. Yes, you’ll have to accept a certain level of... Read more »

 

How Small Businesses Can Harness the Potential of Tumblr

(Today's guest post comes from Bernadette Coleman, who shares some of the benefits of using Tumblr along with tactics for getting the most from this platform.) With so many social media and blogging platforms available, it can be overwhelming for businesses to decide which should be used to showcase their brands. While Facebook and Twitter are often the first places brands turn to, Tumblr is also an effective channel for many small businesses. This 77 million-strong blogging platform attracts an average of nearly 4.5 billion impressions on a weekly basis. Tumblr is a free micro-blogging platform that can serve as a powerful tool in promoting brand awareness. Tumblr’s primary users are young people around the age of 25. If your brand focus is on this market segment, you can’t afford to miss out on this channel.... Read more »

 

Create a Plan to get the Most from Your Analytics

If you’re in any way involved in the management of your business’ website, it’s a given that you’re familiar with website analytics. Odds are that you’re using Google Analytics (or a plugin for it), and depending on your role in the business, you’re either being given reports from analytics or you’re pulling the data yourself. It’s always good to know how much traffic your site is getting and how that changes month to month, but this is really just the tip of the data iceberg, and learning how to create a plan to better harness the power of website analytics is a crucial way to make the most of your digital marketing efforts. Start with Objectives You have a website and you want to increase traffic – that much we’ll assume is true. But beyond that, what interactions and relationships do you want to foster with you... Read more »

 

The End of Search Traffic Data from Google

Recently, we made a significant change to how we report on SEO work. Before the change, we included a metric in SEO reports called “HVK traffic” – traffic from visitors searching for high value keywords – as a way to gauge how many visits a website was attracting due to SEO efforts. HVK is another way to think about non-branded organic traffic; someone who searches for your services/products but doesn’t search for your business by name is an HVK visitor. These are the keywords the site is optimized for, and the primary goal of SEO is to increase these visits. Unfortunately for marketers and businesses who rely on this data to help optimize their websites for search, Google has been steadily encrypting more and more organic searches – meaning instead of seeing what keywords search visitors used to find your websi... Read more »

 

How Marketing Surveys Could Inform Your Strategy

  It goes without saying that businesses need to have a finger on the pulse of their target market in order to succeed. If you don’t know your customers’ psychographics and how they make buying decisions, you’ll have a tough time getting off the ground – not to mention adapting to changes. Big businesses pay big money to generate market research and hire specialists to analyze and synthesize the data. Ideally, this research gives the business not only a more concrete look at threats and opportunities at any given time, but also a good idea of what those threats and opportunities might look like tomorrow. If you’re at a smaller and medium-sized business, market research is no less crucial to your success – though you’re probably not sitting on big budgets set aside for formal market research. Fortunately, as ... Read more »

 

5 Ways a Small Business Can Compete with Large Companies at a Trade Show

(As a follow up to our post about seven types of trade show displays, business and tech writer Elizabeth Alton outlines a few important ways small businesses can compete in this space.) Trade shows are a highly effective venue for reconnecting with existing clients and meeting new customers. But sometimes, when you’re a small business owner, industry events can be intimidating – especially when several large businesses are scheduled to be in attendance. Large businesses tend to have large budgets to create fancy displays that are designed to draw in potential customers. So how can you compete as a small business owner? Luckily, there are a number of ways you can create an attractive trade show booth on a smaller budget. Here are five ways a small business can compete with a large company at industry events. ... Read more »

 

Simple Machines Posts from Around the Web

Along with the posts we write for the Simple Machines blog, we contribute to a number of different websites that cover similar territory. Below are a few of our recent favorites. 1. Content Marketing Strategy: Lessons from Good (and Bad) Comedy  The worlds of content marketing and comedy don’t exactly overlap, but we’re here to tell you that there are lessons to be learned from comedy writing that can apply to content. Seriously, find out how you can use these lessons from good (and bad) comedy writing to improve your content marketing strategy. No joke. Read the full post at Content Marketing Institute 2. Providing Metrics in a (Not  Provided) World Instead of valuable search keywords showing up in our analytics, we have “not provided” accounting for upwards of 50% of search t... Read more »

 

3 Ways to Get More From Your Existing Content

Several of the posts on the Simple Machines blog have dealt with the task of generating effective, optimized content – whether it’s website copy, blogs and articles, social media content or press releases.  If content generation is a significant piece of your marketing strategy, there’s a good chance you have some old content floating around out there that could benefit from a touch up as well. Rather than letting it collect dust, why not optimize where you can and make the most of the work that’s already been done? 1.      Optimize Highly Visible Content for Conversion Use analytics to take a snapshot of your proprietary content (web pages, old blog posts, white papers, slideshows etc.): which of these pieces of content are getting the most views? How do the conversion rates for ... Read more »

 
Google Analytics Alternative