Category Archives: Small Business

#Mobilegeddon Update: Mobile Traffic Down 10-12%

#Mobilegeddon Update: Mobile Traffic Down 10-12%

The first #mobilegeddon statistics are in and they’re compelling:

Since Google’s mobile-friendly update, mobile traffic is down 10-12% for businesses that have not made their website mobile-friendly.

Alchemy PR shared the upcoming Google changes to its search algorithm that provides businesses with mobile-friendly websites higher rankings in mobile search. Google also did something unusual: they announced the update well in advance to encourage business owners to make their website mobile-friendly and easier to upload and use on smaller, mobile devices. Google also provides a free tool to check if your site is mobile-friendly: see if your website is mobile-friendly here. Mobile-friendly design is called responsive design, meaning the website is easy to read and navigate on different platforms including mobile phones and tablets.

Recently Microsoft announced that Bing has also made changes to their search algorithm to favor mobile-friendly sites.

Year-to-year analysis of search results is staggering:

According to USAToday, “proof that those warnings were legitimate came in the form of a new report from Adobe that said firms that didn’t update saw 10% of their mobile traffic disappear year-over-year.” Adobe’s report reached this conclusion by monitoring over 489 billion ad impressions on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other websites.

decrease in website views #mobilegeddon

Bloomberg reports businesses saw up to a 12% decrease in traffic in the 2 months after the Google update; and that according to US Small Business Administration over 90% of small business websites are not mobile-friendly.

Can Your Business Afford to Lose over 10% of Mobile Traffic?

You built a website and a blog to help people find your business online. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you are losing traffic and money because search engines are not showing your business in results.

For More Information on Making Your Website Mobile-Friendy
Alchemy Communications: Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly? Why It Matters to Small Business and Non-Profits
PRNewswire: 5 Ways Small Business Can Shift to Responsive Design

author: KKathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communicationsathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.

 

 

 

 

is your website mobile friendly? Google update

Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly? Why It Matters to Small Business and NonProfits

Get on board with the update asap ’cause Google’s mobile-friendly update is rolling out like a freight train.

~ Marvin Russell, CEO, MySiteAuditor.com

Starting April 21, Google has announced that their search algorithm will consider whether a website is mobile-friendly, and mobile-friendliness will significantly impact search results. Small businesses and nonprofit organizations should be paying attention for two reasons:

  • Google’s update will heavily favor mobile-friendly sites in search results. If your website is not mobile-friendly, Google will rank your site lower in search results, and your site traffic could decrease. According to Google, 48% of mobile internet users start in search. That means on average 48% of your website’s traffic comes from mobile search – your business’ mobile traffic could be higher, or lower.
  • Google has announced this algorithm update in advance to give small business a chance to prepare. It is very unusual for Google to announce changes to their search algorithms in advance – typically SEO experts spend days if not weeks after each Google algorithm update trying to determine the impact of an update, and how to change their websites and content.

It is believed Google’s update will impact smartphones, not tablets or desktops – this means Google’s says mobile-friendly means smartphone-friendly, and impacts searches conducted on smartphones, not on desktops. Google’s stated goal is to make information accessible and useful, and since so many searches are conducted on mobile – and the percentage grows every year – Google believes mobile-friendly websites are significantly more useful than mobile unfriendly sites.

How can you prepare for Google’s new mobile-friendly update?

As a small business owner or a nonprofit organization, there are steps you can take to prepare for the Google Mobile-Friendly Update:

1.  Find out if your website is mobile-friendly. Google’s Mobile Friendly Test will tell you if your website is mobile friendly – or not. Just enter your website URL, press ANALYZE, and you’ll find out in about 30 seconds if your site is mobile-friendly.

Google mobile friendly test

2. How much traffic does your website get from mobile search? Google Analytics: Audience > Mobile > Overview gives a breakdown of desktop v mobile v tablet traffic, so you can know if 75%, or 5% of your traffic comes from mobile search.

Once you know if your website is mobile-friendly, and what amount of your website traffic comes from mobile search, you then have enough information to make a decision:

my website is mobile-friendly and prepared for the April 21 Google update

or

my website is not mobile-friendly and I need to make changes to my website.

If your website is not mobile-friendly, the two tests you performed above, combined with your business goals for 2015, will help you decide if you need to make changes to your website now, before April 21, or if you can add updating your website to your ongoing list of business priorities. Only you can understand and decide if mobile friendliness is important to the success of your business or non-profit.

For More Information on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update
Search Engine Journal: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Google’s April 21 Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update
Fundraising Pulse: Google’s Algorithm is changing: 3 Prep Steps Nonprofit Websites Can Take

Why Develop a Communications Plan?

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The communications environment is becoming increasingly complex, which is why generating a strategic plan is more important than ever before. Don’t believe us? Here are three reasons why a strong communications plan can help you to work smarter, save resources and build up stakeholders trust in your organization’s decisions and direction.

Resource Allocation

No matter how successful your organization has been in the past, you should always be looking for ways to be more efficient in terms of time, money and manpower. A communications plan requires careful evaluation of in house capabilities, outsourcing needs, costs and timelines. Being aware of these details will help you create effective goals in a realistic and achievable manner. Rather than wasting valuable resources, take the time to create a plan and get the most bang for your buck.

Strategic Messaging

A successful communications plan will ensure that all messaging is consistent with the organizations goals, key messages and branding. When you are creating projects on the fly, you’re more likely to develop inconsistent, and sometimes conflicting, communications. These discrepancies will be a hindrance on your reputation, which will inevitably damage your relationships with stakeholders. Avoid this issue by implementing a strategic plan that will build your brand equity and reinforce your credibility.

Minimize Risk

Strategically implementing well thought out projects and initiatives throughout the year is significantly less stressful and less expensive than having to correct your mistakes causes by hurried, unforeseen communications activities.

For more information on strategic communications
http://alchemycommunications.ca/blog.htm
http://mavenagency.com/blog/2014/11/strategic-communications-planning/

 

 

3 Tips on Building Relationships with Journalists

Social media key with two speech bubble

Relationship building is an invaluable skill. If you have strong relationships with the right people in your industry, you’ll have no problem boosting your business. When it comes to the world of media, developing relationships with journalists is key.

Here are three tips to help you connect authentically:

  1. Read a journalist’s work

If you think that sending a generic pitch to every media outlet in the city is going to get you tons of traction every time, you are sadly mistaken. The first step in showing a journalist that you are interested in more than just getting your story out there, is reading their work. Once you have an understanding of what kind of stories the journalist covers, send a personalized email and demonstrate why you are sending your story to them. If you can make a connection between their past work and your pitch, you are more likely to get the coverage you desire.

  1. Start a conversation on Twitter

Most journalists enjoy interacting with their fans online. Again, you want to show journalists that you have an invested interest in the work they do. A simple retweet, favorite, or reply can help you get on the journalist’s radar. If you find that your relationship begins to develop through Twitter, don’t be afraid to try an innovative approach by direct messaging your pitch.

  1. Know that journalists are human

Journalists are walking, talking, breathing, thinking individuals and we have to treat them like we would any other person in our life. If you’re looking to build a relationship, go sip some cocktails after work, or squeeze in a coffee date. Talk about anything, other than business. It’s okay to crack a joke and show some personality from time to time. Knowing when to take off your professional hat will allow genuine relationships to develop effortlessly.

For more Relationship Building Tips

http://www.ipra.org/secciones.php?sec=8&nid=69

Primer - PR and Marketing Lessons for Beginners

Tool Review: Google Primer App – PR and Marketing Basics

Entrepreneurs, small business owners, startups and nonprofits who are launching a business have a new free tool from Google: Primer. Primer offers simple to understand, jargon-free lessons in online marketing and PR. For the launch, Primer for iPhone covers 3 three topics:

  1. content marketing
  2. PR and media
  3. search advertising

Google promises more topics will come in the future, and the website has an option to request topics.

Marketing and PR lessons in 5 minutes – or Less

1. Mini Marketing Lessons

Designed as public relations and marketing information for beginners, Primer offers short, easy to comprehend and basic marketing lessons and tips to promote your business, get more customers and avoid common mistakes. Primer uses short, easy to understand lessons that are covered in less than 5 minutes:

  • case studies
  • insider tips
  • interactive quizzes and practice sessions
  • optional email sign-up for additional activities

2.  Industry Expert Advice

Google partnered with marketing professionals in each content area to develop the lessons.

3. On the Go Info

Once you’ve downloaded the Primer app, you can use it offline where you can’t get a signal, such as subway, on planes, or in elevators.

Google Primer Screenshots: Google Primer screenshots

 Google Primer is free on iTunes and will be released for Androids soon.

For More Information on Google’s Primer App
TechCrunch: Google Launches Mini-Marketing Lessons for StartUps With New Mobile App, Primer
SHIFT Communications: Google’s Primer App – Quick Lessons on PR and Marketing

measuring social selling

How Do You Measure Your Social Selling ROI?

Sellers who’ve embraced social media are creating new opportunities that totally bypass traditional sales channels… its about good selling – using all the tools that are available to you today.

~ Jill Konrath, author and speaker

Social selling is when sales people use social media to communicate directly with their prospects by offering valuable content and answering questions to increase sales (HubSpot).

72.6% of salespeople who use social media outperform their colleagues who aren’t using it

~ TopDog Social Media

Whether you choose free or paid social media channels for your business’s social selling, there are real costs for social selling success:

  • designing a social selling strategy
  • creating content for your strategy
  • social listening
  • engaging with fans, followers and leads
  • measuring and evaluating social selling metrics

Each social media platform has different opportunities and benefits for interacting with current and potential clients. These social selling opportunities include:

  • free and freemium social network options
  • paid advertising
  • sponsored or promoted content

Determining which social network is the best choice to reach your current and potential customers is critical for B2B and B2C business. Your social selling strategy must be re-evaluated at least annually because social networks are continuously evolving.

  • LinkedIn – the best social network to connect directly with decision makers (TopDog Social Media)
  • Pinterest – the fastest growing social media network in history (InsideView)
  • Facebook – with 2 billion active users, Facebook is the 2nd most trafficked website in the world. All that content on your Facebook page is good for Google SEO (Mari Smith)
  • Google + – Google owns search, and G+ is presently used primarily for B2B

Marketers are creating opportunities to engage and sell on other social platforms:

This infographic by Sales for Life shares expert opinions on social selling:

social selling in 2014

 For More Information on Measuring Social Selling
Business2Community: Measuring Social Selling Success
LinkedIn SlideShare: Measure Your Social Selling and Drive More Pipeline

5 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Only 50 percent of LinkedIn profiles are complete and less than half of all users
update their profiles regularly.

~ SocialTimes.com

LinkedIn is the most useful and popular professional network for professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners to build your brand, network and make B2B and B2C connections. The first information visible on and LinkedIn page is the user’s profile: and first impressions are lasting impressions. Most users who get a negative first impression won’t bother going any further into your profile!

tip from JoAnne Funch at LinkedIn for Business: Before beginning to edit your profile, turn off the activities broadcast box located under your Privacy & Settings section, to so this you need to uncheck the box.

 How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

1.  Personalize your profile URL

Look at your LinkedIn name: is your profile name http://www.linkedin.com/in/0123456789 or http://www.linkedin.com/in/YourName?

To customize your profile URL, go to: https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/87/kw/personalize+URL

optimize your LinkedIn profile URL

2.  Choose a professional image

Use a professional photo of yourself that projects the image you want to convey to colleagues, customers and clients.

LinkedIn has said that profiles with photos are x7 more likely to be viewed by others.

3.  Use keywords

In your Headline and Summary descriptions use key words and terms that are commonly used in your industry, to find someone with your skills or services. Remember: users will be entering keyword search terms in the LinkedIn search field to find people who meet the qualifications they need: they don’t know you by name.

4.  Update your status

Your profile will show your latests update: If you have not posted an update in months – years? you give the appearance that you are no longer active on LinkedIn. Provide relevant information in your status update to keep your profile appearance active and current.

5. Verify your contact information

The whole point of maintaining a profile on LinkedIn is so you can be contacted. Regularly review your contact information to make sure it is still accurate and current:

  • email address
  • phone number
  • location

Regularly review and optimize your LinkedIn profile so that it is accurate and current. Even better, ask a friend or colleague to review your LinkedIn profile so you have a fresh perspective on how someone else will see your profile.

This infographic from Visual Loop has 17 LinkedIn Profile Must-Haves

LinkedIn Profile Optimization infographic

For More Information to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn for Business: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
Maximize Social Busines: Professional LinkedIn Profile Tips: A Checklist of 17 Must-Have Items