Monthly Archives

November 2019

Learn everything you need to know about SEO, including the top tools, tips, and tricks, from this SEO Guide for Small Businesses.

SEO Guide for Small Businesses

By | SEO

You don’t need to be a developer to help your business rank well—it certainly doesn’t hurt to be one, but there’s a lot of things you can be doing right now, as a small business owner, to improve your website’s SEO.

SEO this, SEO that… what is SEO exactly? Let’s break it down.

SEO is short for search engine optimization. Websites with good SEO are easy for search engines to read, meaning that they rank higher on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.

There are a few ways to improve, or “optimize,” your website for the search engines, and those are usually broken up into three different categories: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.

This SEO Guide for Small Businesses features the top SEO tools, tricks, and tips for small business owners

Think of on- and off-page SEO as being on and off your website pages. Now let’s take a closer look at each category.

On-page SEO, AKA Content Optimization

On-page SEO covers anything you can do on the pages of your website, including:

  • Optimizing your content
  • Making sure your website architecture is easy to navigate
  • Updating your website’s metadata, meta descriptions, alt text, titles
  • Keyword research
  • Including internal and/or external links

This type of SEO ensures that the search engines can read your website; it essentially lets Google know what your page is about.

On-page SEO is about 50 percent of what you should be focusing your efforts on.

On-Page SEO is also the easiest area of SEO to get wins in, when done right. And it’s more than just keyword researching.

Anything on your website is fair game, but the main considerations to keep in mind when working on improving your site’s performance are making sure your website is visible to search engines, is not blocking search engines, and has keywords that the search engines can pick up.

Is Your Website Visible to Search Engines?

Increasing website visibility in search engines is one of the biggest goals in SEO, as visibility can increase your site traffic, brand awareness, your leads, and your sales. Here are three factors that play into website visibility.

Clean URLs

The first thing to take a look at is the URLs on your website. Cleaned up URLs are friendly to both your users and the search engines.

A complicated URL, like:

https://www.websitename.com/services/294j/jfkfn39l3k-0i3rjf

Versus a clean, or simplified URL, like:

https://www.websitename.com/services/your-service-name

Complicated URLs are much more confusing to people and robots who visit or try to index your website.

If you take a look at Google’s first page of search results, you’ll see that those top 10 results have clean and readable URLs, like the simplified version above. It’s much easier to understand, right?

Website Navigation

The second thing to look at is your website navigation. Where is your menu located? How easy is it to access your website once landing on your homepage?

Websites that require their users to watch a video before they can access anything on the website are cool in theory but can be confusing to users, as well as difficult for search engines to crawl and access.

The industry standard for site navigation provides users and search engines the easiest path: people are used to seeing a menu across the top of a website or running along the left-hand side.

Content

Consistently posting valuable pieces of content lets the search engines know that your site is active and providing value. This helps the search engine crawlers know that they should be revisiting your website. And the more the search engines visit your website, the better it is for your organic search results

Need help with content? Get some more tips on content development.

Are the Search Engines Blocked from Your Website?

Continuing with website visibility, there are a few different files on the backend of your website—usually built into your content management system CMS —that impact the way the website crawlers view your website. Your content management system, or CMS, is an application that’s used to manage content creation and modification. A few popular CMS systems include WordPress, Drupal, and Magento.

Sitemaps.xml

A sitemap is basically a big map that outlines all of the pages on your website. Usually built into CMS systems like WordPress, sitemaps make it easy for search engines to discover your website pages and index them. Search engines are automatically looking for your sitemap when they visit your website, meaning that you should double-check that you have a sitemap and that your sitemap is updated.

Robots.txt

The robots file sits in the same section of the backend of your website as your sitemap but has a different function. Robots were designed to tell Google the sections of your website that you don’t want to be indexed. Having a robots file is not as important as a sitemaps file—unless there are sections of your website you don’t want Google to visit, like if you have private data hosted on certain pages, or want to hide less valuable content.

If you’re noticing certain web pages that aren’t receiving traffic, or that you can’t find your site on Google, your robots file is a great place to start to check if your site has a noindex tag. If there is a noindex tag present, then that’s most likely the reason that your page isn’t receiving traffic as noindex tags are the tags that tell the search engines to exclude page(s) from search results.

This SEO Guide for Small Businesses features the top SEO tools, tricks, and tips for small business owners

Help the Search Engines Pick Up Your Keywords

Optimizing your content includes incorporating keywords into your website pages and blog. The easiest way to incorporate keywords into your content is to select a primary keyword to build your content around.

Good keyword researching is vital to a successful SEO project. Why? Because the wrong keywords can make your SEO efforts futile, and keywords that are too popular can make it difficult for small businesses to rank due to excess competition.

Our SEO Strategist’s Top Five Keyword Tools

Some of our favorite tools for discovering great keywords are:

Google AdWords Keyword Planner for discovering keywords and search volumes. To access Keyword Planner, your business must have an active AdWords campaigns running. We love the AdWords Keyword Planner, as it gets us keyword data directly from the source everyone cares about most—Google.

Four other alternatives to Google’s Keyword Planner, with free trials, include MOZ, SEMrush, KWfinder, and Ubersuggest.

For more tool suggestions from our SEO Strategist, check out the Tiny Desk Tour peek into our SEO Toolbox.

Off-Page SEO Matters

So, the first 50 percent of your non-technical efforts are On-Page SEO. The other 50 percent will be focused on Off-Page SEO. Off-page SEO includes techniques that affect the promotion of your website, rather than content that’s directly on your website. Most of off-page SEO revolves around promotion in posts on social media, the way that your website is linked on other sites, and guest posting.

This SEO Guide for Small Businesses features the top SEO tools, tricks, and tips for small business owners

The Basics of Backlinking and Link Building

Every time another website links to yours, your website gets points in the “value” column from Google. Think about it—if a page provides value, it will be linked to from other websites. There’s no best kind of link, however, links from websites that are considered authoritative, high-quality, and relevant to your subject matter and content are much stronger than links that were paid for on a random, unrelated website.

A good process for building links is to do so organically by creating content others in your field find valuable enough to share. For more assistance on where to start with linkbuilding, schedule a consultation with our SEO strategist.

The Value of Guest Posting

Guest posting is an effective way to garner quality, relevant links. Especially when your guest posts are well-written, researched, and cite sources. Quality is one of the most important components of guest posting.

A guest post is when you write and publish an article, or a blog post, on someone else’s website. To be useful for SEO, the website that’s hosting your article must include a link back to your site, somewhere in the post. Usually, the link is at the beginning or the end of the article.

Social Media and Its Impact on SEO

The way we link, share, and like content on the internet has transformed with the use of social media. Not only does social media help build social activity and increase overall SEO strength for small businesses, but it can also be used to create regular backlinks…that are easy and free to use.

Social media should be a part of every SEO project. A great way to incorporate social into your SEO strategy is to share links from your website onto your Facebook page, or your LinkedIn. There are other social media platforms that you can backlink to as well, depending on your industry, but Facebook and LinkedIn are our two most recommended social sites for clients that serve a B2B audience.

How does your social media strategy stack up? Check now.

Your Checklist for Easy Local SEO

Most people complete a search before visiting a business. For businesses targeting an audience in the local area, this means that your business must be visible so your audience can find you.

Working on local SEO helps businesses obtain a higher conversion rate, more brand visibility and awareness, and a higher return on investment. Basically, small businesses get a higher ROI from local searches.

Ranking high on local SEO creates more opportunities for small businesses because local search results for businesses show users business contact details directly on the Google search engine results page (SERP).

Here are five things you can do right now to make sure your business is optimized for local SEO:

  1. Create a business page on Google My Business
  2. Upload photos and videos to your Google My Business listing
  3. Build citations on local business directories by adding your name, address, and phone number to your Facebook business page, LinkedIn, Yelp, etc.
  4. Encourage your customers to leave reviews and share their experience at your business! Learn more about how Google Reviews can help you rank
  5. Make sure your business name and location are on your website…bonus points if you also add a google map of where you’re located

Working through this checklist will help you kickstart your local rankings and reach the 80 percent of consumers that use search engines to find local information.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO covers the action items website developers usually help with, like making sure your website is able to be crawled and indexed by the search engines. Technical SEO also helps small businesses create the ideal user experience for their audience by ensuring that their website functions properly, and that pages redirect and load within a reasonable amount of time. Remember earlier when we said you don’t have to be a developer to do SEO? Well, technical SEO is the exception—trust us.

Technical SEO includes the robots and sitemap issues noted above, and refers to changes made on your website and on your servers to improve the way that the search engine spiders crawl and index your website. As far as small business owners are concerned, implementing an SEO audit can aid in discovering if any technical adjustments need to be made by a developer. SEO audits are a great tool, as they generally look into competitor research, accessibility, link and keyword analysis, content evaluation, site structure, and more. If you’re curious about your current SEO standing, fill out our form below and we’ll send you a complimentary analysis.

Tools to Track Your Efforts

Are your SEO efforts paying off? Is there an area your target audience loves, compared to others?

Web analytics are a great way to track what’s been working for your business, and what hasn’t. They have completely changed the way companies do business in the digital age. Get insights into how your audience found your website, their interests, behaviors, and more.

This SEO Guide for Small Businesses features the top SEO tools, tricks, and tips for small business owners

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that helps you understand your site traffic—and, unlike AdWords Keyword Planner, it’s free! Get insightful awareness on trends in your data, your website’s most visited pages, and monitor your business’ performance.

Another useful tool, especially for businesses whose goal is to get potential customers to call you for more information, is CallRail. CallRail gives you analytics and tracking for phone calls, search, and marketing campaigns. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of factors that go into SEO, from how you use and interact on your social media, to the way your website is designed, how your website development is structured, and the quality and consistency of your content. And at this point, it may seem like every factor mentioned is important.

The way that consumers search and use the internet to find businesses has transformed the steps that small businesses must take to increase their visibility. 

We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!

stephen-wesbite-development

Welcome Stephen Sung, Wayward Kind’s New Web Developer

By | Team Wayward Kind

2019 has been a huge year for Wayward Kind. We’ve been building out our in-house team and have recently welcomed our newest team member, Stephen—woohoo!

At Wayward Kind, so much of what we do is centered around people. Which is part of the reason why we’re excited to welcome Stephen to the team as our newest Web Developer (the other part is because he’s an all-around great person!). Stephen’s background involves studying the way the human mind works, and how to replicate that digitally.

Let’s learn more about Stephen.

Bridging the Gap Between Humans and Computers

Stephen hasn’t always been San Diego-based (which seems to be a common theme with more recent team members!). After living in two other countries, he was first welcomed to the states in Orange County.

Stephen has always been interested in people and what attracts them to specific things. So when he started university at UCSD, he decided to study psychology. He loved learning about the human mind and how to inspire desire.

His background in human consciousness and unconsciousness, along with a fascination for the show Mad Men, naturally led him to marketing. Then, his curiosity and love of learning led him to web development courses—one online boot camp led to an in-person course, then to working as a Full-Stack Web Developer, and the rest was history.

For Stephen, web development bridges the gap between people and computers. And he loves creating user experiences and interfaces that give end-users a transformative experience. He finds writing code to be full of possibility and personality.

When not practicing code or learning, Stephen enjoys going to music concerts and events. He tends to lean more toward creative music, like electronic, but has fun regardless of genre. This openness to music translates into Stephen’s other hobbies, which all revolve around trying new things and appreciating different cultures—whether that’s food, people, or experiences in general!

Lightning Round

We already knew this part was coming…let’s get to know a little more about Stephen!

Wayward Kind: What’s your favorite way to start the day?

Stephen: With brunch (ideally eggs benedict), some coffee, a good playlist or audiobook, and anything mentally stimulating

Wayward Kind: What’s something on your bucket list that you plan to tackle this year (or next year, since it’s already November!)?

Stephen: I want to really nail down data structure and algorithms. And go to Hawaii!

Wayward Kind: If your life was made into a movie, who would play you? Why?

Stephen: Despite the differences in our appearances, I love Denzel Washington’s attitude. He’s also humorous at times and has a commanding presence.

Welcome to Wayward Kind, Stephen! We’re excited to have you!

We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!

Wayward Kind has moved to a new office!

We Moved Offices! Wayward Kind is Growing.

By | Team Wayward Kind

Over the last year, Wayward Kind has been through a lot of changes!

Earlier in 2019, we shared our sweet little office in this post (and did a cribs-style tour).

But now, we’ve moved again!

While we were happy with our old space, one of the biggest deciding factors for moving was our growing team! We’ve gone from one in-house employee to six this year, meaning we need more space for desks, team and client meetings, and breaks. Our new office is much bigger than the previous one—and we’ve got a brand new conference room!

Don’t worry, though, we haven’t moved that far away! Our new space is less than 100 steps away from the last, in the same business park. 

Meaning that the only change to our physical address is changing “Suite G” to “Suite A.”

And if you get lost, you can always find us by our rainbow welcome mat.

So what’s new? Let’s get into it.

The New Wayward Kind Space

New space, same rules.

  1. Humans? Welcome.
  2. Dogs, too!
  3. Music…always.

Moving is no small task, especially when moving offices. Cardboard boxes pushed aside, here are some pictures from our first few days in the bigger digs:

2019 has been a year of growth for the Wayward Kind team. Check out our new digs!

Check out our open floor plan, featuring Natasha and Stephen hard at work! Mural pending…

2019 has been a year of growth for the Wayward Kind team. Check out our new digs!

Our shiny new conference room! It’s safe to say that everyone on the team was the most excited about this space. We can’t wait to meet with and video conference our clients, as well as hold our weekly team meetings here.

Wayward Kind has moved to a new office!

Speaking of team meetings, here’s a quick snap of our first meeting in the new conference room (Stolen from our Instagram—thanks for being behind the camera, Jaz!)

2019 has been a year of growth for the Wayward Kind team. Check out our new digs!
Peep our sofa, welcome to employees and guests (it’s also one of Stephen’s favorite places to get his code-readin’ on).

Wayward Kind has moved to a new office!

Our coffee and cleaning station. Any snack recommendations?

But more important than our space, is our people. We’ve got a great team of creative thinkers and strategizers. Learn more about our team, while we continue unpacking.

It’s been an exciting year for Wayward Kind and we look forward to starting a new chapter in this space. We’re still settling in and putting stuff up on the walls (our barn door was recently installed!) but we’re so excited to be in our new space.

If you’re in the area, feel free to stop by and say hello!

And if you need help refreshing your digital locations (AKA your website or social media), you know where to find us.

Thank you for your support, both over the years and during our move.

We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!

Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

By | Content Development

It’s the noisiest time of the year…

The last two months of the year can be overwhelming for small businesses that are trying to stand out from all the white noise that happens in marketing.

Rather than adding to the noise, smart businesses create campaigns centered around a different kind of purpose: delighting clients and customers.

Clients and customers can be delighted in a variety of ways, but during the holidays it’s important to focus more on the emotions of connection and sharing, and the spirit of giving. The best way to develop a great strategy for your holiday marketing is to determine which strategies fit most naturally with your business.

Let’s take a look at three different ways to make a positive impact on your target audience this holiday season.

Three Holiday Marketing Tips to Delight Your Target Audience

Appreciate Your Existing Clients

One way small business owners can encourage clients to return is to make them feel appreciated. Thank your clients for their business this year!

A great opportunity to show them your appreciation is through an eCard, special email newsletter, or a holiday video. If you really want to go the extra mile, a holiday card sent via snail mail makes a great impression.

This marketing tip works well because it shows your existing clients that instead of trying to sell them something, you’re taking the time to thank them. Not only does it make them feel appreciated, but it also gives them a breather and in turn, they appreciate you!

Make An Exclusive Offer

Small bonuses, like exclusive downloads, work well for B2B businesses who want to solidify themselves as value-providers during the holiday season.

Offering downloadables, like guides, worksheets, or any other kind of download you normally charge for, as a bonus when signing up with your company during this short period of time.

Tell Great Stories

An easy way to make your brand more relatable during the Holidays is to share the inner workings of your business with your audience.

There are a couple of different ways you can infuse your holiday marketing with storytelling, all great for your social media accounts or blog:

  • Celebrate your employees
  • Share your behind-the-scenes

While every nut and bolt of your business may not seem so exciting to an outsider, prospective and existing clients often appreciate the transparency and getting to know their service providers better.

That’s a Wrap!

The holiday season is your chance to show your existing clients that you appreciate them, and your prospective clients that you’re full of holiday cheer! Our list of holiday marketing tips could go on, and on, and on…so we stopped at three.

What’s your favorite way to show your clients appreciation?

While it may be too late to start marketing for November, you’ve still got plenty of opportunities in December and beyond! And we’re here for guidance, year-round.

We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!

psychographics-versus-demographics

Psychographics Vs. Demographics

By | Marketing Strategy

Demographics have been a staple in consumer research but over the last few years, the popularity of psychographics has increased.

While demographics provide useful data, they don’t tell you what actually makes them buy or why they bought something from you. And this is why when segmenting audiences, enterprise-level companies often lean toward psychographics.

So, What Are Psychographics?

Psychographics, as the first part of the word implies, revolves around the psychology of your customers and clients.

It’s more than just what service consumers would buy, but why they would buy it.

Psychographics collect and analyze the intangible aspects of an audience to get a qualitative look at their data.

Psychographic segmentation includes:

  • Interests and Activities
  • Habits
  • Attitudes
  • Emotions
  • Preferences
  • Values
  • Motivations
  • Desires
  • Lifestyle
  • Personality Characteristics
  • Principles and Beliefs

This is important because these factors allow you to create a more robust customer profile than demographics do.

How Do Demographics Compare to Psychographics?

Think of demographics as an outline. They’re a quantitative approach to who your buyer is. 

Demographics look at:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income
  • Marital Status
  • Occupation
  • Ethnicity
  • Geolocation
  • Education Level
  • Religion

Essentially, demographics give you a closer look at your audience’s challenges but not where to find them, or what drives them to action.

When demographics and psychographics are used together, they form a full buyer persona. The more psychographic information you have, the more detailed your customer profiles become and the easier it is to get leverage in influencing your conversions.

For example, an eCommerce company can have a demographic that may be: single, 18-34, and with an annual income of less than $40,000. And their psychographics may be: cares about the environment, is willing to spend more on products that minimize environmental impact, and their favorite social network is Pinterest.

Individually, demographics and psychographics are useful. But together, they put together a comprehensive overview of your consumers.

How to Obtain Psychographic Information on Your Clients

There are a couple of ways to collect insightful data on your clients, and it depends on whether you’d like to collect data directly, or indirectly.

A great method for collecting your psychographic information directly is to interview your current clients. This direct method is effective because you can discover information straight from your client’s mouth—and you can compare insights from your best client (who you want more from) and other clients to see if there are any differences in their background.

If you don’t have that kind of relationship with your clients, or would rather collect your psychographic information indirectly, another option is to analyze your existing website analytics. What have people clicked on, called for, and bought in the past? Analytics on your existing site content, or even discount codes and special offers, can also be insightful at seeing what has successfully converted your clients and customers.

One of the issues with learning psychographics is making assumptions based on demographics, and the above methods, and below tools, are a great way to skip past assumptions.

What if you don’t already have clients or analytics to look into? For businesses that are still in the research phase, or for businesses that want to target other consumers, there are two psychographic tools:

  • Surveys or questionnaires (from sites like SurveyMonkey)
  • Focus groups

How to Apply Psychographics

What happens after you collect psychographic information on your ideal clients?

Psychographics can be applied to tailor your marketing material and content to your ideal client: targeted newsletters, emails, social media posts, keywords, and more. If you need more help applying your psychographics to your website’s content, design, and development, then let us know—oh, and we do social too.

We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!