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Is SEO Still Relevant in Marketing?

Is SEO Still Relevant in Marketing?

Posted on Jul 13, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

The general concept is that higher value content achieves a higher ranking in search results, which ultimately increases visibility and drives website traffic. Search engine optimization (SEO) gives your site a fighting chance, by aligning its structure and content to the complex algorithms used by search engines. However, these algorithms and strategies are constantly changing, and have thus made it a struggle to keep up. In a quality-focused world of consumer choice, the question arises: is SEO is still relevant?

SEO

Search engine optimization is a strategy used by over 50 percent of B2B marketers for lead generation. Though the rules may drastically change, like when Google cut the keyword stuffing and backlinking methods, each change opens the door for new tactics to catapult search engine rankings.

Previously focused on desktop search, SEO is currently navigating the trend toward a more mobile-dominated market. This growing need for more engaging experiences on mobile is where responsive web design comes into play (if you haven’t heard of this, it’s time for an update), and new SEO algorithms are adapting to this. Another advancement in the realm of SEO is Google’s introduction of the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP). AMP allows for pages to load more quickly and easily, giving them more opportunity to be seen. AMP also introduces the possibility for publishers and advertisers to retain creative freedom for how their content appears.

Keywords

It is less likely, when searching, that a consumer will enter an exact website URL, opposed to a set of keywords. Keywords allow users to generally or specifically describe their search criteria, in a way that feels more natural than a longer URL. The right mix of keywords can also greatly benefit your search rankings, if users see your site as relevant, based on your keywords.

The outdated method of keyword stuffing is no longer relevant due to the trend toward a more narrow focus of traffic. While this update may seem counterintuitive, the new algorithm seeks to strengthen the quality of keywords to refine search-generated traffic into a more potent mix of relevant consumers. These changes ultimately reduce levels of extraneous consumers who really have no interest in your product or service. The remaining traffic is therefore made up of tangible, potential consumers—what the business folk call leads.

To answer our previous question: Yes, SEO is still relevant and vital to your marketing strategy. However, what works in January may change in March, so the ability to adapt is crucial as well. Various components, such as AMP or an up-to-date keyword strategy, work well to complement your overarching SEO efforts. However, one component on its own is no substitute for a solid strategy of thoughtfully implemented tools and resources. What do you think is the most important feature of SEO? Let us know in the comments!

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Four Reasons Why Print Isn’t Dead

Four Reasons Why Print Isn’t Dead

Posted on Jun 27, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Although we live in a predominantly digital world, print marketing is still potent in making a statement for your brand. It can establish trust and increase engagement with consumers. Most companies incorporate both digital and print marketing to keep their brand premium and credible. As the world continues to advance digitally, consumers are also rediscovering their appreciation for print advertising. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t overlook print marketing as you devise your next media plan:

It Communicates the Value of the Brand

Magazines radiate a certain type of aesthetic beauty in their communication, which is what continues to attract their readership. There’s true art behind weaving multiple stories into the fabric of your brand through the voices of different magazines. Print ads are a quick way to establish credibility, as over 55 percent of consumers trust print over any other medium. Print also offers a wider range of creativity and design quality in the design process and establishes a brand identity with it’s audience.

It’s Tangible

What makes print intriguing is that it entices people to read it. A tangible piece of mail, or a magazine at a barbershop, often teases our curiosity until we take a closer look. The visceral quality of print also feels much more personal than a digital message that is easily lost in a sea of other messages. There is also something to be said for the longer shelf life—one magazine might sit on someone’s coffee table for months and reach a much broader audience than expected.

It Attracts the Most Engaged

People who consume print expect a much different experience than with the digital content they consume. Consumers are in a more active mental state when engaging with print. In making the decision to open a magazine and engage with the content, a reader trades their attention and focus for the chance to learn something new or find entertainment. Content should be inviting, with arresting visuals and intriguing headlines. Because magazines usually tailor their content to serve specific segments, you not only have access to their subscribers but also a fairly clear blueprint for how to tweak your messaging to craft more precise communication.

Higher ROI and Response Rates

Measuring ROI for print can be a lengthy and expensive process, with a high margin of error. However, when someone chooses to share a magazine or news article with a friend, it does not get buried in a chat log or email thread. Instead, they have its physical presence, inviting them to re-engage or continue sharing it. Today, more than three out of four small businesses that use print marketing and online advertising combined see higher response rates from print marketing efforts. This ability to hold relevance is beneficial to not bombarding the consumer with countless digital marketing messages.

Digital marketing has undeniable benefits, but the name of the game is diversity. A company with a solid digital presence who’s also mixing it up with traditional media is letting you know that they’re not some fly-by-night operation and that you should give them your business. If you’d like our thoughts on how some traditional marketing might benefit your digital gameplan, let us know!

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How We Work With Clients

How We Work With Clients

Posted on May 16, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Finding the right agency can be a difficult and stressful process, usually due to several factors simultaneously in motion. You may need help developing a branding strategy before it’s time to begin the web project, or you may need to coordinate ongoing marketing efforts, such as PPC or retargeting, within the scope of a much larger project that is already underway. It can also be tough to choose an agency that fully understands and harmonize your story, brand and culture consistently through every single project. However, the right fit is usually self-evident, meaning that you’ll know when you’ve found the right one.

Here at HMG, we pride ourselves on the authenticity of both our creative process and work itself. Staying true to our core values, our team of experts collaborate daily to maximize creativity and apply diverse perspectives to each client and their story. First and foremost, our top priority is to cultivate long-lasting partnerships with every one of our clients. Maintaining transparent communication is key to developing rapport and managing expectations throughout the course of each project. We also consider ourselves to be part of each client’s team, committing ourselves to the development of unique, high-quality deliverables that position them for success.

As a full-service marketing agency, our professional bandwidth allows us to cater to marketing needs across the board, from brand assessment and strategy, to web development and implementation of interactive marketing initiatives. Whether you need one of our services or five of our services plus ongoing maintenance, we tailor each project to align with your specific needs, brand and culture. During the kickoff meeting, we will dive into your values, your target audience and your customer journeys. Then we will incorporate our findings into your web project, digital marketing strategy, or whatever else you may need.

And now for the fun part—budgeting! Establishing a clear understanding of your budget upfront allows us to remain transparent when communicating realistic expectations for how a project will align with its existing budget. We generally make two budgeting methods available: fixed-rate bids and ongoing retainers.

Large-scale projects which clearly define a set of deliverables, such as a web development project, typically work best with a flat, fixed rate, which can be easily made into a monthly investment. Fixed-rate billing also works well when bundling services together, into a custom package. However, quite often, a client will also require ongoing marketing services in addition to a larger fixed-rate project, which would necessitate a retainer.

A retainer is a pre-purchased block of hours. Retainers are usually implemented when our services are required on an as-needed basis. With a retainer, you have more flexibility for how the hours are spent and on which projects or services they are allocated—whether that be PPC, retargeting, web maintenance, or ongoing creative services such as print collateral.

In this digital age, technology is rapidly changing and the need to keep up with its dynamic evolution is greater than ever. So let’s connect and chat about how we can support your marketing efforts!

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Client Disrupts Entire Spa Industry

Client Disrupts Entire Spa Industry

Posted on May 04, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Technology has disrupted many industries in its rapid evolution over the past 50 years. Keeping up to speed with tech trends, much less staying ahead of the game, can be a real challenge. As a result of the demanding digital age we now live in, the vast majority of industries have integrated technology into their systems. With this in mind, the team at The Spa Mart knew to approach their new spa distribution venture with a strong emphasis on technology.  

That’s where HMG Creative came in. We were contacted by the development team, and immediately understood their vision for a top-notch eCommerce and online education website that would better serve spa professionals. We took their idea and molded it into a fresh, bold brand to encompass the values and traditions of the spa industry.

After completing The Spa Mart’s branding, we shifted gears into a six-month web development project that takes advantage of Magento 2.0, the successor to the widely popular eCommerce platform of the same name. We’ve also incorporated a system called Odoo, which is an inventory control manager that will allow The Spa Mart to better manage orders and control their back office system. Our client’s main goals were to build and nourish relationships with their customers, help their customers grow their own businesses and provide premium customer service. With the website functioning as the nucleus of their company, we integrated different customer journeys to provide optimal user experience for each customer depending on individual needs—whether they seek to purchase products or search for an online course.

The web-development project consisted of site hierarchy, user experience design, visual design and content strategy. Currently in the optimization and customization phase, the ability to continuously manage and optimize the site is a primary focus as we perfect the site’s flow. As they say—a high-quality, growth driven website is nothing without proper marketing. Taking this to heart, we are also currently in the process of developing a tailored digital marketing strategy to include powerful digital media management, such as pay-per-click advertising and retargeting.

The Spa Mart has been an incredible client, and our team here at HMG is grateful to be able to work with such amazing folks. We share the passion for building relationships and helping others grow their own businesses, so here’s to flourishing in doing what we love!

The Spa Mart’s site is currently active, fully responsive and hosted at HMG Creative.

If you would like more information on our services, leave us a comment or click here.

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How an Old Business Can Attract New Clients

How an Old Business Can Attract New Clients

Posted on Apr 11, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

Can an old dog learn new tricks? The answer is yes, and with all due respect, your business may be an old dog. Just because your business has stood the test of time and remained strong doesn’t mean there is not room for improvement. The business world does not stand still, and in order to keep up with its constant need to move and change, your business needs to adapt to it. Among other elements of business, methods for attracting clients seem to shift rapidly in line with cultural and market forces.

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Are Business Cards Becoming Obsolete?

Are Business Cards Becoming Obsolete?

Posted on Apr 07, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

With options like LinkedIn, Facebook, and the ability share contact info between mobile devices, we asked ourselves: Are business cards still relevant in presenting yourself professionally? To find answers, we chose to explore the two main positions one might take.

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