Forgot Password?

0

Filtered Fiber Facts – The Nice to Know for Google Fiber

Posted on May 28, 2013 by John Wagner

Where is It?

As of May 2013, two cities offer Google Fiber and two other cities are being networked:
1. Kansas City, Missouri (Already Active, See Map)
2. Kansas City, Kansas (Already Active, See Map)
3. Provo, Utah (Quarter 4 of 2013)
4. Austin, Texas (Quarter 2 of 2014)

What is It?

Free Internet? What will Google think of next? If you’re even slightly tied to the Austin area, you’ve seen the billboards and heard the news. By spring 2014 our automobile traffic will be even slower; however, Austin’s Internet connections will be among the fastest in the country!
Continue Reading →

0

One, Two, Three More Steps to Improve Your Branding Score

Posted on Apr 25, 2013 by John Wagner

As consumers we know “brands” simply as a particular product or service we like or dislike. However, as a business owner we know there are several factors to be considered before consumers can truly identify and trust a specific brand. In a perfect world, everyone would be a great target for all marking and brand identities but that’s not the case. Let’s cover the three main steps to creating an interactive branding message that your consumers can begin to connect with!

1.  Logo – (Noun) “A symbol adopted by an organization to identify its products or services” We all know it’s never about what you have, it’s about how you use it that makes the difference! Since you’ve spent the time and/or money on this masterpiece called your “logo,” make sure it shows up everywhere including business cards, social media sites, and any other promotional materials. Your logo is your company’s identity in a picture and the more you show it off, the quicker your brand recognition will grow.

Does this really matter, you ask? Consider this… how likely are you to remember a random fast-food restaurant you visited when they use generic bags and soda cups versus the restaurant that brands every cup and bag with their logo? That garbage in your car becomes advertising and will make an impression every time you see it.

2.  Interact – Who knew this was a part of branding? Speak directly with your target and, even more importantly, with your clients. Share and respond to social media comments, answer your phone using your company name and/or slogan, and use interactive communication tools such as surveys and email marketing. Remember, everything you send and share should always include your logo and slogan.

3. Solve – Your mission should be simple. Every business offers a product or service that offers results and/or a solution; and just because you know that, it does not mean your target market does. Leverage your interactive tools to share a clear, concise, and consistent solution that is unique to your brand identity. Remember, the process you use to help your clients may be complicated but your message should be simple enough to earn the trust and comfort of your clients.

Branding is more of an art than a science; it takes creativity, time, patience, and just like a painting, it will even go through an ugly stage. An initial brand launch should focus on creating awareness for your unique product or services. Luckily you have a friend in the industry- whether your current brand is sour or your business is brand new, HMG can help you too!

0

SEO – The Myths, the Facts, and the Secrets

Posted on Mar 25, 2013 by John Wagner

If you have a website or use a search engine on a regular basis, it’s likely that you’ve heard of SEO Sydney or PPC. These two common acronyms are mentioned and preached every day. However, does everyone really know what they mean, or how they work? If you don’t, you’re not alone.

Let’s answer any lingering questions, settle myths, and clear the air of this Edmonton SEO madness! I’ve compiled the most common myths, most important facts, and the most exciting secrets in this post! I know what you’re thinking, “Whew! it’s about time!”

So let’s start from the top…

Define:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – An algorithm designed to impact visibility of web content (pages) through organic search results. Commonly used as a free alternative to PPC (pay per click) advertising.

Purpose:
Direct targeted traffic to your website without buying ads and clicks.

Myths:

…Your site will or can be optimized overnight
…Repetitive words and content will increase ranking
…Always use the most competitive words and phrases
…High page rankings are set in stone
…Organic “tastes” different

Facts:

  • Organic search results is a natural method for locating a webpage. This process will match search terms with relevant content on competing webpages. The stepbrother of organic search results is “non-organic”, or paying per click. “Paying per click” are ads that allow a company to blindly bid on highly competitive key search terms.
  • Relevant content is the fuel for your page ranking.  The more industry specific content your website holds, the more your website will be found, organically.
  • New content is the maintenance that will keep your page ranked. The most effective way is blogging and tagging with search terms. Google, and other leading search engines will reward your website for publishing relevant information. Since you know your business, show off and show off often!
  • Unique content is the muscle that carries web searchers directly to your website. Unique content can distinguish your brand and website from companies with the same industry focus and target.

Secrets:

  • Content is king. Keep relevant and new content flowing like a river! Adding content is important for your ongoing ranking; the most effective way is with a blog attached to your website. All blog content should follow the relevancy rules while it gives you space to display content that your website does not have room for.
  • Play to win. Similar to Monopoly night with your Grandmother, the SEO game is never ending. Compete, and compete often to maintain and most importantly to increase your ranking.
  • Leverage Google AdWords/Analytics.  Stay updated on monthly searches for keywords and phrases by using Google Analytics to view what keywords visitors used to find your site. Competition will change just as fast as your ranking does, so stay on top of your words!
  • Duplicate and be dumped. Search engines (especially Google) are smart enough to detect fluff and manipulation; so think of these algorithms as more of an art than a science.
  • By the numbers. If you’re more of a numbers person; you can make SEO a science project by using the KEI (keyword effectiveness index) equation. This will give specific words a rating based on the number of times a word is searched over the number of webpages displaying the word or phrase. Using this approach will show you what words and phrases can give you the best chance of winning the keyword game.

The internet can be the most rewarding source of marketing if used properly. Website optimization best practices are ever evolving and will only become more competitive as time passes. Adopting this process now can completely change the way your business operates in a positive way for years to come.

 

0

Twelve Impressive Twitter Numbers

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 by John Wagner

Trends, Shares, Hashtags and Retweets!  Twitter is social media’s most interactive resource to keep in touch with virtually anything and anyone you so desire, and, in real time. Since Twitter became one of the leading social media sites, I have become curious to know the numbers that make Twitter unique; so I did some research and I came up with a list of my favorite ever-changing Twitter statistics.

124,000,000,000 (Yes, that’s 9 Zero’s!) Tweets worldwide in 2012

500 million Twitter users worldwide

300 thousand NEW Twitter visitors every day

73 percent of Twitter users are between 15 and 25 years old

50 percent of 2013 Super Bowl ads mentioned Twitter

24 million Tweets accounted for during the 2013 Super Bowl (XLVII); up nearly 50 percent from 12 million in 2011 and 15 million in 2012

22 percent of Twitter user accounts are located in the United States (that’s 110 million Americans!)

16 million: the amount of the official Twitter account followers

11 new accounts are created every second

7 years since Twitter’s 2006 launch at SXSW

2nd ranked country for Twitter users is the England, just behind the US

1st Ranked for Twitter followers is Justin Bieber, 34 million and counting

Regardless of what number or metric we measure, it’s clear that social media has taken the world by storm.  Nearly 1.5 billion people engage in one or more social media platform as of December 2012; that’s 30% of adults worldwide.  The numbers for the United States are even more impressive with 69% of Americans ages 15 and up using social media, for a tally of 168 million users.  It’s always been said that “numbers don’t lie”; so my educated guess is that this social media craze will only grow and become more embedded in our culture and economy just as the internet and television did some 20 and 60 years ago. Until next time, happy Tweeting, Liking, Pinning and connecting!

0

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, HMG gave to Me: Ten Blogs a-Buzzing

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 by John Wagner

The voice of a consumer has proved to be the most powerful tool for the success of any business. The evolution of the internet has made several marketing solutions as simple as clicking a mouse; so let’s deck the halls with ten ways to integrate age old word of mouth marketing with modern social outlets!
1. On average, one of five customers will say something about your business just by asking them to. “Would you tell your friends and family about our service?” The trick? Just ask, every time!
2. Optimizing the search engine effect; a product cannot be shared virtually if it cannot be found online. Optimize your website and online content with multi-word tag lines to avoid vast competitions with companies shelling out the dollars for one key word.
3. If you choose to advertise on multiple social media sites, allocate time to update and engage with readers and followers daily. Consistency with posting ads and follower engagement is crucial for brand recognition.
4. Everyone wants to be heard; whether positive or constructive feedback is flowing in, always respond. Take time to address concerns and thank all customers for all feedback. Reviewers will talk about the brand just by feeling heard by the company.
5. Give back to followers, use social media to offer small gifts for kids and prizes. These gifts and prizes can be awarded for various online contests that will increase engagement with existing and even more importantly new interest.
6. Encourage bloggers and review sites to rate the product and brand. Share the positive blogs and feedback on the company website and social media outlets. There is a vast market out there that will buy in once a third-party endorses a brand.
7. Write regularly. Post PR and blog content on the company website. Publish it through social media links, and distribute it directly to relevant media outlets. The likelihood of new and additional conversations about a brand and its products will increase with the amount of online content that is published.
8. Use the free tools available to keep up with specific markets and interests in the business. Take Google, for example, they offer an application called Google Analytics. This free service has statistics on website visits and can be linked to any website despite the volume. Google Trends also provides details on popularity with specific search terms over time. Stay competitive by being alert and up to date on the trends in your companies’ vertical.
9. As soon as a consumer decides to purchase from a company a second time, odds are good that they have spoken highly about the business or even indirectly referred potential clients. Encourage feedback, and make it easy to respond with simple short questions. For example ask new clients; “How was your experience?” and “What can we do to expect your business in the future?” An example for returning clients could be “Thank you for coming back to our business! What made you interested in our product/service again?”
10. Never expect the end user to manage the relationship. Regularly interact with contacts and subscribers via newsletters, promotional offerings, and by keeping up to date on all active social media outlets.
Marketing is a team effort and we cannot do it without the influence of our customers. Leverage all resources with blogging, integration of helpful tools, and social media to spread the news and keep folks talking!
0

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, HMG Gave to Me: Eight Fans a-Liking

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 by John Wagner

The Holidays bring a lot of people to the shopping cart both virtually and through retail stores. There is no time like December to ramp up social media marketing and attract new subscribers and well… “Likes!”  So let’s unwrap Eight tips on attracting more Facebook Likes to your company’s page for Christmas!

1.  Leverage the store-front advantage! Incentivize your customers to check-in for discounts; if they’re willing to drive to your store, they’re willing to check-in!

2.  Post exclusive information or offers that will spark excitement and encourage subscribers to share the offerings.

3.  Words are great; however fans and prospective fans are twice as likely to engage with pictures, links and video content over text.

4.  Everyone likes cheap and free however, people like one thing a little bit more, competition! If the radio station can do it, so can your business. Create unique and engaging competitions every once in a while to attract new customers and more importantly, generate repeat visits to your page and website.

5.  Respond to posts and feedback though sentences that sound like they actually came from a real person, not a robot. Remember, there should always be time to communicate with your followers and clients, they are the first priority.

6.  Use links and keywords to help optimize your content so it’s seen by more friends of existing subscribers.

7.  Don’t just post, sponsor and promote the message.  Organic Facebook page visits are only a measurement of the contact with existing followers, so go viral and make money with videos!  About 80 percent of consumers say they are more likely to try a new product or service based on a suggestion from a friend through social media.

8.  Witty, funny and fresh content wins!  Don’t be shy when posting; get those creative juices flowing to maintain existing subscribers and draw new fan interest.

So just remember to engage, promote and respond to your fans quickly and your business will see the the “Likes” a-flowing this Holiday season!