The Importance of Call Tracking

What is call tracking, and why should you care?

You’ve probably heard that call tracking is important for your business, but why is this the case?

Online marketing campaigns typically drive traffic through multiple channels, such as paid search, email marketing, and social media. These channels work together to drive people to your website, where they can take any number of actions.

As a business owner, you want these people to eventually become your customers. However, when they reach your website, this probably won’t happen right away. Instead, they might show their interest or try to do more research before determining if your business best addresses their needs. Only then will they hand over their hard earned cash.

To understand and improve your marketing efforts, you need to be able to clearly visualize what is working for you and what isn’t. You need to know what activities are causing people to show more interest in what you have to offer, as well as understand their behaviours and how your internet presence can influence these behaviours.

One way of capturing marketing data is by tracking content form submissions. Almost all websites with contact forms will automatically track them. So why don’t we do the same for calls?

Despite the fact that we are living in an increasingly digital area, people are still calling businesses, especially when they’re interested. In fact, the number of calls to businesses is only increasing as smartphone capabilities improve. Phones now, making it easier to call a business than ever before. As well, according to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, calls convert 10 to 15 times more often than web leads.

If you don’t track calls, you are losing valuable data. Calls are far more important than you think.

How Does It Work?

Call tracking provides you with data that shows which marketing efforts are driving calls to your business. In fact, if you don’t track calls, you might not be tracking up to 80% of your conversions. Without accurate conversion data, you can’t appropriately allocate resources towards your most effective marketing efforts. You’re basically throwing money at all sorts of channels, with no idea of which ones are giving you the best ROI. You won’t have any idea which pages, tactics, and campaigns are effective and ineffective, as you will only be seeing part of the picture.

Check out this handy infographic we made to visualize how this works:

 

To track calls from different sources, digital marketers use something called dynamic number insertion. What this means is that your leads will see a different phone number to call, based on the channel and geographic location they are on. All of these numbers will lead back to your actual number, so the visitors will contact you directly. However, the usefulness of this is that you will receive data about the referring URL, search keywords, landing pages, and ads the caller came through. As well, the tracking code will remember the original channel for each visitor, so they will see the same tracking number each time they visit your site.

When Is It Useful?

Unlike traditional marketing, online marketing has the ability to clearly demonstrate which activities are yielding specific results. When you have this information, you can then make adjustments as needed and optimize your activities.

Imagine you’re working on an email campaign for your business which redirects visitors to a unique landing page. There might be a form on there for visitors to fill out, but there might also be a phone number at the top. If you only track the form submissions, you’re completely missing data about the email campaign. You won’t know how many people called your business because of that specific email. Call tracking will give you that data so you can see how successful the campaign is, and learn and make improvements for the next email campaign you do.

Call tracking can track calls from a wide variety of platforms. If someone calls your business from directly accessing your website, an ad campaign, Google My Business, or even from Yelp, you will know and be able to see exact data. This data will then allow you to better understand your consumers, drive conversions, and help your business flourish.

Guest Post: How To Get More Students For Your Online Course

Guest Post EIQ

In the 21st century, education has become more advanced. You can actually take a course on the other side of the world. Learning is no longer restricted to textbooks and e-learning has taken over. Both students and instructors find online courses appealing. Online studies improve accessibility for those who may not be able to sit in a classroom.

Why Choose Online Learning?

Distant learning gives instructors a greater reach. They make education accessible to those who may not live near a school. Online courses are exceptionally popular, and they are only improving.

Managing an e-learning business is just like running any other type of company. The success of your online course depends on how well the content of it appeals to your target audience.

You need to gain credibility and trust with your clients. You can do this by building a reputable website with good reviews and ratings. Advertising plays a key role in catching their attention. In this post, we will discuss how you can get started in promoting your own e-learning program. We will focus on how you can promote your services online, and attract an audience that is ready to learn.

Start An Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing is a great way to keep those interested and updated about your online courses. Gather emails from your subscribers. List building is critical to an effective email marketing campaign.

Be sure that your website has a call-to-action. Let users know that if they want to receive more timely updates on your programs and enrollment, they should subscribe to your email list. You cannot send emails to them without their permission. It’s against the law to use purchased email lists.

When your course is ready to go live, you should send an email to your subscribers. It’s because, as per Cognique, 91% individuals check their inbox routinely. And 74% say that they prefer correspondence through emails.

In your emails, highlight what students will learn from your course along with testimonials of successful students that have taken it in the past. People love user reviews.

Likewise, include a call to action (CTA), where you give them the option to register for your course.

Reach More People Over Social Networks With Paid Advertising

Social media has consistently been a stand-out option for promoting any kind of business. You should definitely use social media networks to promote your online course.

You can easily connect with individuals over Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so forth. Setup accounts for your company/institution if you haven’t already and post valuable content that appeals to your target audience. Include a link to your website in your bio so users can learn more if they are interested.

Share content that would incentivize someone to like or follow your page. The very content you create needs to relate to the audience you are trying to attract – students. Create different content buckets that will frame the kinds of content you share on social networks. This means critical updates about your course offerings, eligibility, enrollment, deadlines, and benefits should all be within the content buckets you create.

Furthermore, given that platforms like Facebook prioritize advertising platforms. It’s obviously a main source of revenue for them and they want you to invest money with the benefit of being able to reach people in a targeted manner. You should target a particular group of individuals who you believe will want to register for your course.

Post Frequent Blog Posts

You may be writing articles habitually for your site, but in order to maximize your business, it is best to post on a regular basis. Create a monthly blog post calendar, with topics and titles that are ready to go.

Write content based on keyword research. Get to know what your leads are searching for when they find your course. Try to answer any questions they might have in your blog posts.

You can also write helpful tips for those who are currently enrolled in your e-learning program, or address questions they have in a Q&A blog post. Include a CTA at the end of your blog post, so that users who are interested in your writing and your program can learn more on your website.

Promote Yourself In Conferences

There are many ways to meet other people in your industry. Mingle with others who are interested in online learning. Try to attend summits, conventions and online events whenever possible. You can make valuable connections at these meetings and promote your company as well.

It is a good idea to bring your business card, pamphlets, and infographics about your business. Distribute this information to the individuals who have expressed an interest in your course. Introduce yourself at conventions, you can exchange knowledge with others hosting online courses.

If you meet people who want to register for your program, use a sign-up app to properly gather and archive those who are interested in learning more.

You can use an amazing tool like LeadDigits which can be downloaded easily and synced with a number of Email Marketing Providers (ESPs).

Get Started

Now that you know the basics about marketing your e-learning program, you can go ahead and get started. Simply follow the above steps and you should have a better idea about how to gather leads and properly market to them.
This is the best way to eventually retain more students in your online courses!

Author:

Clara Decker is the marketing manager at CouponsMonk, a deals, and discounts provider company. She is passionate about money saving, investment, and the finance industry. Clara supports non-profit agencies that provide healthcare solutions to handicapped and disabled individuals.

The Best Kept Secret In Content Marketing

Keyboard and coffee

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Neil Patel Advanced Online Content Marketing Summit, 2017. The summit lasted for three days and featured leaders in the tech industry, including speakers from Hubspot, Marketing Profs, Hello Bar, Axe Wellness, Wishpond, Buzzsumo, KISSmetrics, and many more.

The summit was packed with loads of useful information and tips that you can utilize for the best content marketing strategies.

The one session that stood out to me the most was the livestream with Neil himself. This session kicked off the marketing summit and left viewers excited for what they would learn.

During this livestream, he shared his screen with those in the online summit and demonstrated exactly how he optimizes his content for maximal SEO benefits for search engines. In this post, I will go through his tips step-by-step, so everyone can benefit from his simple yet groundbreaking advice.

Get To Know Neil Patel

Neil Patel began by introducing himself. For those who don’t know, Neil Patel is a highly successful online marketer. He is ranked by Forbes as one of the top 10 online marketing influencers in the world. He has helped many companies grow and improve their online presence.

Neil was attracted to entrepreneurship and consulting at a young age and got his first glimpse into digital marketing when he founded Crazy Egg, a software company. He made Crazy Egg profitable largely through internet marketing techniques. Neil grew his digital empire and has become one of the most important people in the field.

He holds regular summits and seminars, where he shares his own knowledge while giving other speakers the chance to share tips and tricks as well.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a powerful means of connecting and communicating with your target audience. In short, it is a type of marketing that requires the creation and sharing of content and new information.

Content marketing uses the right words to attract leads, inform interested buyers and convert them. Content marketing can take many different forms and can range from copywriting, email marketing, social media marketing and creating web page content. Content marketing is used at all stages of the inbound marketing funnel.

Neil Patel is a respected and renowned inbound marketing master. He uses content marketing to successfully drive interest in his brands and eventually convert leads. He offers some of the best content marketing advice.

Content Marketing: A Genius At Work

Neil demonstrated a very brief glimpse into his thought process when he creates content for the web. The segment I will talk about in this post was called “A Look Into Neil Patel’s Brain: How He Does Content Marketing”

Neil was allocated an hour for this session, so everything he did was done very quickly. He went straight into his personal site via the Google Analytics platform. While sharing his screen, he toggled to reports on the Analytics home page.

Neil checked his stats on his blog posts. He reminded the audience that you should never check a blog posts’ stats until after it’s gained some form of traction. Usually, it requires 3-6 months before it really gathers traffic. After this time span, you can start to notice patterns in individual keyword searches that lead and direct viewers to your post.

Neil clicked through to the icons labeled Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. As a beginner using Google Analytics, it was baffling to see how quickly he navigated the platform. You could tell he was intimately familiar with the tool.

After clicking All Pages, he was directed to a list of all of his site’s pages. He sorted them from highest to least views. From here, he stated that you can click on a post that you want to look into further and see its individual stats.

Once noting down his top ranking content pages, Neil proceeded to navigate over to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools.) This is the platform he uses to see individual terms and phrases people type when they are searching for a post. From the webmaster homepage he went to Search Traffic > Search Analytics > Pages.

You will again see your top pages. Select the top ranking page you want to analyze and select Queries, sort by Impressions. Once these are selected Webmaster Tools generates all of the keywords that the page is getting traffic for.

Keywords Are Key

It is here that Neil suggested an oddly simple, yet profoundly overlooked tactic. He selected all of the keywords that were driving traffic to an individual blog post and integrated them into his original posts’ content. He chose only the keywords that had the highest impressions and click through rate, to maximize chances of future searches leading to his post.

In copywriting and writing for anything online, it is well known that pages rank on Google for certain keywords. Google can effectively understand what your post is about when its crawlers see that your keyword is in particular on-page areas, like your title tag, headings, and alt text.

Some websites go overboard and include so many keywords in their content, that it becomes difficult to read and understand. This is called “keyword stuffing” and it will heavily impede your ability to rank well. Neil said that he was not suggesting keyword stuffing. He noted that you should only incorporate these new keywords if they make sense in the context of the existing content. You want your readers to experience the best content, not content filled with buzzwords.

Write Long Content

He also said that the best way to add new keywords to your existing content is by adding more content to the page or blog post itself. Most blog posts on the web range anywhere from between 300-1000 words. Neil said that a lesser known secret is that longer content ranks higher. It makes sense, that long, well researched, quality posts are ranked higher by Google.

Google wants to show readers the best possible answer to their question. So if you write long and applicable content, there is a good chance that you’ll rank higher. Neil said that the minimum word count for any blog post should be no less than 2000 words. He said in order to incorporate keywords and continually update your post, simply add additional paragraphs to your existing content, using the new keywords. This both extends your content and adds in keywords while avoiding keyword stuffing!

Neil stated that you have to continually update and rewrite parts of your content. What better way to do it than by using key terms that you know people are already using to search!

This method seems deceptively straight forward. Those of us who write for the web know that keywords are “key” but we seldom go back to our old posts to update them and revisit keywords.

Step By Step Content Marketing Recap

  1. Gain insight on your popular content pieces via Google Analytics
  2. See which pages drive the most traffic (older content, 6months+)
  3. Navigate to Google Webmaster Tools
  4. Revisit the pages you noted down in Analytics
  5. Look at their individual stats, most importantly, “queries”
  6. Sort keywords by impressions and click through rates
  7. Select them and input them into your original piece of content
  8. Expand your content pieces to over 2000 words with updated information and keywords.

Final Thoughts On The Summit

I think that Neil shared valuable and straightforward information that can dramatically improve traffic if done correctly. I am only focusing on this specific section of his summit because the amount of information covered during the summit was extensive.

If people gained anything from watching the live event, that this was one of the most important key takeaways. Neil gave a few additional tips in a live Q&A session to close the summit on the final day. In this session, he covered hundreds of guest questions.

A few additional, closing facts that really stood out to me were:

  • Neil translates a lot of his websites and blog posts into multiple different languages, so they not only rank in English, they rank globally.
  • Neil suggests posting a quality blog post every day to your website. If this seems excessive, you can start with once a week. He indicated that influential sites like HubSpot rank high because of the sheer amount of content their sites contain. They naturally drive traffic and interest because of how much content they have online.
  • He noted that it can be difficult to predict what content will get traffic and what will be neglected online. This is partially why he emphasizes the need to write on everything and come back to posts after 6 months, to see what has traffic and what doesn’t.

Neil Patel clearly knows the in’s and out’s of the best content writing and web optimization for content. I would highly recommend attending his future summits if you are looking to improve your marketing tactics, or simply gain new insight on the topic. If you want to learn more about content marketing, there are plenty of resources online. Don’t be afraid to get started!

How To Write Copy For The Web

How to write copy for the web

The internet is filled with every different type of writing you can think of. So how do you make your words stand out? Good copy attracts people, it motivates them and inspires action! It is useful in sales, marketing, educating and even simply entertaining.

Without copy, there would be no content on the web. Copy is essential, to the internet. Be sure that your writing stands out, gets your point across and sticks with the reader.

There are certain guidelines and techniques that you can use in order to write effective copy for the internet. Whether it is for your personal blog or a web page for a Fortune 500 company, there are unifying factors to all good writing. So let’s get started!

1) Make Your Writing Easy To Digest

Unless you are writing in a technical setting, for other professionals, it is best to avoid language that is too complex. Take a conversational approach.

Visitors are scanning your copy for valuable content that stands out to them. They’re not reading for quality. They aren’t your English professor marking your Hamlet essay.

It can be difficult, but you will need to unlearn the tactics of written English that were taught in school. When you write for the web, you can break certain rules of written English in order to better relate to your audience.

Tips To Break The Rules Of Written English:

  • Use conjunctions: don’t, can’t, won’t.
  • Don’t be afraid to start sentences with “but” or “and”
  • Ask questions in your copy
  • Use one-word sentences
  • Write in the style of the target audience
  • Appeal to emotion, use “you” and “we”

It is a good idea to have a target audience in mind when you are planning your copy. However, your writing should be so easy to comprehend, that someone without former knowledge of the topic can have a basic understanding of what is being said.

Write in short paragraphs. No longer than three sentences. The best way to create fast and visually pleasing content is by using lists. Numbered lists are both beneficial for Google and for your readers. You can scan information quickly in bulleted format.

When in doubt, pretend you are writing to a close friend or family member. Begin all of your copy with “Dear Mom” and proceed to write in a way you’d speak. Definitely, delete your greetings before your publish your post!

2) Pick The Right Tone

Writing for the web is a very human experience. You want to connect with the people who are passionate about reading your writing. Let your personality shine through!

Whether you are writing for a corporate audience, a nonprofit, potential sponsors, a small business or a personal blog, keep in mind that you are writing for humans. Web optimization is important, but it doesn’t matter if you rank #1 online if no one can read your site pages.

Write for a positive user experience. The most disappointing thing in copy is arriving at a site, only to find repetitive keyword stuffing with thin, uninformative content.

Appeal to readers’ emotions and use the language that they use! Be quick and direct, don’t waste time with long words. Your goal in whichever tone you pick is to relay the essentials. Your reader should easily understand and connect with the copy on a more personal level.

3) Add Photos And Visual Aids To Your Work

It is difficult to read large chunks of texts, without any whitespace or photos. People are visual creatures. (Look at popular apps: Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.)

They favor web content that is supplemented with plenty of images.

Readers will often scan pictures to determine whether or not they want to read the related content. So photos are vital in attracting readers.

Your pictures should be condensed and optimized with the appropriate alt text so that Google knows that you have images on the page as well.

Search engines don’t “see” photos like people do, they read them instead.

Always keep in mind that your viewers are your priority. Visuals are important to them. They should be there to help visually guide your readers. Use related images as much as possible, not awkward or unrelated stock photos.

Use screenshots when appropriate. You can even add videos to your copy if they are related and available. Always remember to cite your photos. Give credit to photographers and get permission before you use images that aren’t your own.

Stock photos are a great option, as long as you don’t go overboard. The images should pair well with the content at hand.

4) Format Your Writing For The Web

It is always a good idea to keep in mind that if your writing isn’t optimized for the web, it is less likely to be seen, and attract the readers you want.

When Google crawls your web pages, it follows a certain set of algorithms. It needs to organize and compile every piece of content on the web. It wants to deliver the most relevant search results for a given search.

In order to get your content to the top of search results, optimization is key. Write Phone with a search history of google analyticscopy first with your audience in mind. Compose content that you know your viewers will engage with and love.

But at the same time, keep in mind that search engines don’t read like humans do. Optimize your content after it is written.

Write content within their guidelines so that Google can also “read” what you’ve written, and sort it as helpful, reliable information. There is a great article on how to rank first on Google here.

Google looks for keywords, formatting, and tags. It checks to be sure that the title of your work is related to the content.

It also monitors what sites you hyperlink to, in order to ensure that the information is related to what you’re writing about.

Be sure to organize your writing so that both readers and search engines can benefit. Have headings, numbered lists and titles, metadata and alt text on images. Brainstorm your copy beforehand and set up an outline so that you write in a coherent structure.

5) Add Hyperlinks To Your Copy

One of the best things about writing for the web is that there’s information everywhere. Make it easy for your readers to access related content by providing them with links to similar information in your copy. You can also link to your older posts that are relevant or helpful for your readers.

Hyperlinks make your writing interesting and interactive. They are a good way to keep your readers engaged while they are reading. Hyperlinks are a great way for you to write focused content with additional, informative links.

You can use hyperlinks to inform your readers on things that may take too much time to explain in your copy. For example, you can link readers to a “how-to” article. It saves you time and space in your copy, and it keeps your readers informed.  

6) Close With A Call To Action

What was the reason for writing this post, page or whitepaper? There is always a reason for why you’re writing online, even if it’s simply to gain awareness on your personal blog. End all of your writing with a type of conclusion that motivates your reader.

Your reader found your copy because they were looking for specific information. Whatever you’ve written has been beneficial for them in some way and has ideally given them the answer to what they were looking for.

If you have written about a new recipe, it is likely that your reader is going to go start cooking after reading. Motivate them and get them to share your recipe with others.

Likewise, if you are writing about a product, let the reader know that you not only know about this product. You also know where to buy it and provide them with a link to a sale.

7) Edit, Rework And Revise Your Writing

Editing is essential to all copy, online or otherwise. Read your writing out loud to check for flow and consistency. Have someone edit what you have written, and provide comments and suggestions. There are several excellent apps to help with editing and content writing.

Hemingway, for example, is an app helps you determine the readability of your writing. It indicates when sentences are simple or complex. It also checks for common grammatical mistakes.

Grammarly is an automated proofreading tool that can be used as a chrome extension. It actively corrects your grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It also sends you fun weekly updates, highlighting your most common grammatical mistakes.

Proofreadbot is an application that has both paid and free options. It is useful for editing shorter snippets of writing. Simply copy and paste your work into the “check your writing” box and it will scan your work for errors.

Read your copy in the mindset of your readers and ask yourself: Is this writing helpful? Does it answer my readers’ questions? If your copy seems like it needs more work, add to it and change things until you are satisfied with it.

A great part about writing for the web is that there is always new information emerging and evolving. It is vital to continually update your old copy with new information when it is available.

Key Takeaways

  • Write like you speak
  • Keep it simple
  • Do keyword research
  • Optimize for the web as well as the reader
  • Metadata and a clean title
  • Add photos and visual aids
  • Short sentences

Great web content takes time, and the best way to learn how to write effectively is through experience! Copy is always changing and it can always be improved.

You should now have a better understanding of how to write copy online. There are plenty of other tips on web content writing if you are interested. Test out what you have learned and leave comments on your own personal tips as well!

Best Practices For Recording Videos With Or Without Professional Equipment

film set and green screen

Recording videos for your brand or company is a great way to expand your reach, and influence a larger audience. It is currently easier than ever to film and post your own high-quality videos, without the help of professionals.

Before you pick up the camera, or even your phone to film, there are a few best practices that you should keep in mind. There are 8 best practices that you can follow to optimize your ability to film and produce videos. You will be well on your way to filming great content in no time!

We did not want to make a post that was boring, so we have attached example images to keep the post light!

To Take Record High-Quality Videos, Follow These Steps:

Step 1: Avoid Clutter

Step 2: Frame With Distance

Step 3: Use Angles to Your Advantage

Step 4: A Good Set Starts With Stability

Step 5: Watch Your Back…… -ground!

Step 6: Set Up Proper Lighting

Step 7: Think About Timing

Step 8: Be Sure We Can Hear You With Proper Sound!

Before You Film: Find A Space That Is:

  • Noise Free!
    • Do not be afraid to let people in your surroundings know that you are about to record a video so they will know not to be too loud!
  • a place that you can consistently use to record videos, this way you will be able to have videos looking consistent throughout
  • Make sure that there’s nobody else in the shot unless they are part of the video

Step 1: Avoid Clutter

There is nothing worse than appearing cluttered or disorganized in your videos. You want to convey a positive and clean image to your audience, you don’t want to be stumbling around in a pile of junk

    • When you are filming, be sure to have a clean and uncluttered workspace.
    • If you have props in the video, keep them neatly laid out and organized.
    • This keeps the focus on you!

* clutter may be exaggerated for learning purposes

Step 2: Distance

Your audience needs to see you, but they don’t need to be squinting in order to locate you on the screen. Try not to stand too far away from the camera, or even worse, too close to the camera. A safe distance away makes the viewer feel comfortable like they are interacting with another person, rather than an up-close view of your nose-hairs.

  • Be aware of the distance between you and the camera. If you are too far away, you will appear smaller and viewers could get distracted by the background.
  • With that said, avoid filming with the camera too close to your face.
  • Just right! You want to be a medium distance away from the camera, as you see below.

Step 3: Angles

Unless you are filming at an odd angle for effect, try to maintain a frame that rests at eye level with your audience. A flat and level angle will keep your viewer focused on you, and it will not distort the proportions of your body. Your viewer wants to see you, not the ceiling.

  • Do not film from extreme angles. You want the camera to be level or slightly above and in front of you.
  • When you film from high above, it will make your head look larger.
  • When you film from below, your body will appear larger.

Try and stay level to appear in proportion by having the camera around EYE LEVEL.

  • Not too high! Not too low!

Step 4: Stability

Filming with a shaky, “home video” style worked well in horror films such as The Blair Witch Project. However, for the everyday vlogger, it is best to keep the camera still at all times. You don’t want to distract your viewer with an unsteady hand. Have your camera sit on a still surface, or prop it up on. a tripod.

  • You may want to invest in smartphone tripods. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for, so most of the time quality does come at a cost.
  • You want the camera to stay still and in place for the entire film. Eyes are trained to follow even the slightest movement, so any tilting or shaking will distract a viewer. It will also distort the shot.

Step 5: Background

It is a best practice to keep your background fresh and clean in appearance. Film against a wall, ideally white or lighter in colour. Even if your background is clean, your viewers can easily become distracted by household objects in their field of vision, or scenery when filming outdoors.

  • When filming, make sure your background is not too distracting.
  • Pick a spot you can consistently use to establish a consistent brand image. When people think of your videos, you don’t want them to think of a cluttered background.
  • A light, clean, clear background is best.

Step 6: Lighting

First thing’s first: Lighting > Camera

Lighting is the most important step in filming videos at home. Shadows and dim lighting can easily ruin a frame. Your viewer should be able to see you clearly, they should not see a poorly lit silhouette of you.

  • You do not need professional camera to get a professional video quality, you just need to know how light works
  • I know it’s hard to find perfect lighting when you do not own any lighting equipment, so treat this recommendation as a series of flexible principles rather than strict rules
  • To really upgrade the look of the video, buy 2 of these lights
    • LimoStudio Lights Price: $30 USD each
    • Watch the tutorial video here!
      • Video Credits to Think Media TV
      • Skip to the 30second mark to see the effect of the lights!
    • Place them like so
  • Avoid lighting that falls directly on top of you or lighting that is positioned slightly to the side of your face. This causes long and exaggerated shadows to fall on your face.
  • If you want to get affordable lighting equipment, that might be the fastest and easiest way to be sure you always have professional lighting.
  • You do not need a professional camera to get professional video quality

Step 7: Timing With Talking

If you are filming an informative video where you will be listing things or conveying a large amount of information to your viewers, speak slowly. Leave a few seconds in between your content, so that your viewer can process what you have said, or in some cases, so they can write it down.

  • Leave five seconds as a pause at the beginning and end of the video, so it’s easier to cut while editing
  • Pause briefly after if you are listing anything, so you can add any on-screen list in post-production while you speak.
  • Pause briefly after if you are listing anything, so the reader can read an on-screen list as you speak.
  • Pause after long sequences of spoken information, try to make the pauses seem natural as you transition in what you are saying.

Step 8: SOUND CHECK!

You will want to test how your voice sounds on camera before you post your video. If you are speaking into a microphone, keep it a reasonable distance away from the camera, to avoid a shrill, squeaking noise.

You want your audience to hear what you have to stay, and you do not want to fade in and out. Stay still and speak as you normally would in a conversation, to avoid sounding too close or too far away from the mic.

Make sure the mic is on please and thank you!

Lights, Camera, Action!

Now that you have read over the best practices for filming and posting videos, you should be confident in your new abilities and implement what you have learned. Remember, great videos aren’t made overnight, and it will take a lot of trial and error before you learn what works well for you and your audience.

If you still need help with videos or are looking for a more comprehensive plan for your business to expand your online reach through video updates or other forms of content creation, give ElementIQ a call at (604) 909-3750! We are a full-service digital marketing agency, and we would be happy to assist you with all of your online marketing goals.

4 Quick Awesome Steps To Writing An Awesome Blog Post

Writing the perfect blog post takes time and effort. You feel proud of your work after and want to share the information you’ve written with your followers. Before you hit “publish” you need to know how to optimize your writing, so so that it will be read well by both humans AND search engine crawlers.

You want to reach as many people as possible with your content in order to spread the word about what you’ve written. Get your blog in good shape, to share the awesome things you’ve written with everyone!

There are many benefits to having an optimized blog post. It is a best practice for first-time bloggers and experts alike. Everyone wants what they share to be easy to find, presentable on all platforms, and convenient to share.

Do you want to maximize the SEO awesomeness of your blog post? So let’s get started! It’s easier than you think. Here are 4 quick steps that will boost your blog to the blog-niverse.

 

Step 1: Do The Awesome Work Before The Awesome Work.

Improve your search traffic! Before you even get starting with the writing portion of blogging, do some planning first. Keyword research is one of the most important things that you can do to optimize your blog post, it gives you an idea of terms people are searching for.

 

Keyword Research

A great tool to use is Google Keyword Planner. In this tool, it will show you what people are interested in seeing even before you start writing your blog. To get an idea of what people are searching on the internet, input your keyword into the tool, just like I did below.

Google Keyword planner makes gathering data about the words you want to use, really easy. You simply type in a word you are interested in using for your blog post. Google will do the math for you and can show you how frequently that word is being searched online.

You want to use popular key terms in your blog post. When you know what words people are searching, and what phrases they use to search for these terms, you can echo their language in your blog post. This will make your blog more desirable for them to read!

In the example above, you can see that not many people search for “marketing service Vancouver” because the average monthly searches are recorded as “-”, which means that there are not even enough people who have made this search to make an average!

When I found out this information, I scrolled down to look at the suggestions for other keywords that I should be focusing on instead. You can always shift what you are saying, or change your word choice, in order to better connect with your audience are using as their search terms.

As you can see, on a monthly basis “SEO Vancouver” gets searched on average 1,900 times. Since more people search for this keyword, we are going to target this keyword instead to maximize our reach.

 

Step 2: Utilize That Awesome Keyword In Your Awesome Post

To best exercise the keyword you have chosen, you should have them included in the following locations in your blog post:

 

1. Title Of Your Post

When people search for content about “SEO Vancouver”, what is the first thing they will be looking at? The title of your article should always include the keyword that you want to rank for. It gives the first indication of what your awesome blog post is about.

When your readers see the term that they were looking for right in your title, they are much more likely to read your work, because it tells them right away that you have information about their interests.

 

2. Headings And Subheadings

It is easy to write your blog in paragraphs and go right into posting it. To you, it is clear, informative and well thought out.

To your reader, it is a mess of unstructured words! Give your audience a clear idea of what they are reading, and where your writing will lead them right away, with headings. When a viewer scans your page, they want to know what exactly your post is about.

Just like your reader, Google is also scanning your page, and taking note of headings and subheadings. If you use your keyword in these headings, both Google, and your reader will have a clear idea of what you’re talking about

 

3. First Paragraph Of Your Post

Guide your reader into your writing, use your keyword in the first paragraph. When Google crawls your web page it takes note of how organized your content is. It wants to know if what you are writing about is similar to what you have in your title and headings.

 

4. Last Paragraph Of Your Post

End your writing with the same keyword that you’ve been using. This helps to reinforce what your readers have just read. It helps you ground your writing and be sure that it stays related and on topic all the way throughout. Using the keyword in your conclusion will also tell Google that you’ve written on this topic throughout the entirety of your post. It shows that you are consistent and that you clearly have a lot of good content on this topic, to sustain a blog post.

 

5. Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are often forgotten. They make a dramatic difference for both your reader and Google. They should not be overlooked. The meta description is the short few sentences that a reader can see when they are viewing your post on a search engine results page (SERP).

It is situated directly under your title. Remind your reader that they want to read on, by using the meta description as a short, enticing sample of what reading your blog post can do for them. Peak their interests in the meta description, and give them an idea of why your post stands out.

Use the meta description to make them want to read more. Use your keyword in the meta description to let readers know that your content is the question they have or keywords they’ve searched.

 

6. In The ‘Alt’ Text For Images

Chances are that your readers can see the awesome pictures that you’ve added to supplement the text in your blog post. Google’s search engines can’t “see” image like people can. The only way that they know you have helpful, related images on your blog post is by reading the alt text that you’ve added to the image.

 

Step 3: Organizing The Post For SEO Awesomeness

To write a great post, start with a compelling intro. Some ideas that I start with include:

  1. A Question
  2. A Story
  3. A Shocking Statistic
  4. An Inspirational Quote
  5. (or even) A Funny Joke

In this case, I started this blog with “Want to maximize the SEO awesomeness of your awesome blog post?”. I chose this question because it is concise and clearly shows the topic for this blog post.

The introduction and conclusion are the most important places in a blog post. The introduction sets up what you are about to discuss. It should give your reader a clear understanding of what you are going to say before you even say it!

 

Add Your Content!

After your intro, you should organize your content into paragraphs or a list, so the reader of the blog can easily understand your post. This is the heart of your blog post. Fill it with all of the information you want your reader to know about. Keep your paragraphs clear and easy to read with headings and subheadings.

Format your content in a way that is easy for your readers to digest. Add lists and bullet points when necessary. For example, in this post, I broke down this “how-to” into steps, so it’s easy to follow.

Another really good SEO tactic is to start linking your writing to relevant external posts, like this, and previous internal blog posts like this! Hyperlinking is the fastest way to direct your reader to related material or your page or other web pages that may find helpful.

It is a best practice in writing for search engines and it also is a way to have your reader explore more of your blog. Linking them internally can let them know that you have written more content on your own site about what they are looking for. This improves your reputation in their mind and cement in their minds that you know what you are talking about. That’s what you have to say is of value.

Google will also notice external and internal links. If you are linking to higher ranking, reputable blogs, they may share your article or link to one of your posts. This helps you develop important connections in your area of writing, as well as gives you helpful backlinks to your site.

 

Step 4: Fill In Your Meta Description To Go Along With Your Awesome Post

Now that you have written your blog post, the last thing you should do to make your post SEO awesome is to optimize the meta description for your post. This is the blurb/explanation that goes under the title in Google. The description should be 135-160 characters in length. It should include the keyword you are targeting and a relative call to action just like the example below!

As you can see, the meta description is not long, but it does have to describe a little bit about the link the viewers are about to click on. Use the meta description to reinforce your keywords. It is a helpful hint to what your readers are about to look over!

 

You’re All Set!

It’s time to get started with your next blog post. I hope that this blog post was helpful and that it effectively demonstrated how to properly optimize your posts. It takes the time to be ranked high for keywords to be profitable, but with these tips, and consistent content, you can be sure that your blog will gain the reception you’re looking for.

With all these steps complete, your blog post is all set for SEO awesomeness. If you have further questions about blogging or are looking for more SEO inspiration and facts, visit our blog, or better yet, drop us a line at search@elementiq.com. And for bonus-bonus points, leave a comment below and let us know what you have learned or if this has helped you in any way!

Why Dentists Should Blog

How to make money blogging

Blogging is an important element in an effective strategy to grow a business online. It’s the practise of communicating stories and information to your audience about or related to your business.

Blogging might sound really informal and not something a dentist would want to do – but put simply, this is all about creating content to answer questions your clients and potential clients would be interested in.

The field of dentistry is unique. At the click of a button, one can find information about solutions for any kind of mouth-related ailment or symptom.

Consider this search for “How to treat sensitive teeth”. how to treat sensitive teeth google search

Notice that Google Answers has a pull-out of quick information from the Mayo Clinic? Google has determined the Mayo Clinic to be a reputable source that can provide a near-perfect answer to the query. This is thanks to them fulfilling many of Google’s 200 ranking factors, which we’ll talk about later in this post.

The first organic listing is from Colgate. Both Mayo Clinic and Colgate are reputable in Google’s eyes and they have another big thing in common: They both blog regularly! You’ll soon find out that publishing content regularly is critical to doing well in search engines.

I’ve done a lot of blogging and content marketing work for dentists. Heck, our entire ElementIQ team has! We know that dental blogging works and we know HOW it should work.

In this blog post, I’ll talk about why dentists should blog and what kind of benefits you’ll see if you invest enough time.

Patients Research Before Making Decisions

Patients rely on their family dentist for sound dental advice. Think about the process: If there’s a problem, the dentist diagnoses it. They suggest options to fix the problem and communicate these options with the patient.

Now, that hasn’t changed over time. BUT, who people get information from and how they do it has varied. These days, when you need a dental implant, patients do their research. They type their question into Google and dig deep for some answers.

Dental practices should educate with their blog-writing. That’s the goal. Your dentists and associates already do this in-person. The next step is to use that advice and education as a marketing tool. One of the best ways to do this is with fleshed out, optimized-for-web, blog posts.

Pro-Tip: How To Know When A Patient Wants To Get Work Done On Their Teeth…

When someone wants information, they’ll type a keyword into Google. However, when someone wants a place to get a service done, they’ll type that same keyword and a location (city) beside it. (Example: dental implants Vancouver).cosmetic dentistry vancouver Google Search

Typing a location implies you want to find a place where a service is done or offered at.

Do People Still Read Blogs?

I’ve heard business owners question whether people read blogs anymore. The terms “blog” and “blog posts” are synonyms. Blogs are places for content and blog posts are the articles themselves.

That article you read on Huffington Post about the “Top Yogurt-Related Tweets” – that is a blog post. If you read a post on the “10 Things You Can Do With Bacon”, that too is a blog post.

So people may not go to a blog to get information but they do get information from blog posts.

Patients Like Hearing ‘Inside’ Knowledge (From Dentists)

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last Burnaby Veneers
A blog post example from a dental practice.

Dentists should be personable, in-person and in writing. There’s value to this in your writing. People like receiving ‘inside’ knowledge. It’s as if the dentist is talking to you

Of course, no blog post is a substitute for a dentist appointment or for direct advice from a dentist. Blog posts should answer patient questions. Dentists can reveal uncommon information such as process and costs in their blog posts.

It’s clear that blogging has plenty of benefits for patients. So what’s in it for dentists and dental offices? For starters, it builds trust. Patients will see you as an authority when you answer their questions. People like receiving candid information.

Furthermore, blogging builds up your website authority in Google’s eyes.

Google Likes Blogging

As digital marketers, we know that Google loves publishers. It rewards fresh content and recognizes those who are authorities in any industry.

Google wants to serve people with the most relevant search results possible. They’ve determined what factors impact relevancy. How you rank in search results depends on over 200 factors!

For you publishing dentists out there, content freshness is high on the list. If you blog and blog well, you’ll get lots of organic visits to your website. This means people type in a query, a result from your website shows up and they click-through.

If you’re a dentist and you’re not blogging or blogging, you’re missing out. You’re missing out on improving keyword rankings for your business. You’re missing out on increasing organic visits to your website. Most of all, you’re missing out on opportunities to get new patients.

Starting (Your Dental Blog) Is The Hardest Part

If you’re a business owner or marketer and you’ve decided to start blogging, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? I’ve found that it’s “what do I write about?”

Here’s my first piece advice: Don’t think about the topics before you think about your customers and what they care about.

Good blogging starts with knowing what your patients and customers are curious about. In your dental office, it’ll be important to have whoever handles content strategy and writing to communicate with the dentists, associates, and dental assistants. These 3 groups of people will be your library for topics.

Above all? Patients ask you questions every day! So note down what you’re constantly asked, and start from there.

Got any questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below!

How We Increased One Dental Practice’s Leads By 205% And Traffic By 1500%

traffic increase stats in google analytics

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“Today, if you look at most of our patients, we didn’t have to go out and look for them. They contacted us, because they found us in the top positions of search results for all of our primary keywords and landed our website,” – Peter Balogh, Dentist and Owner of the Vancouver Centre for Cosmetic Implant Dentistry.

By investing in online marketing and focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing, VCCID transformed its formerly bare-bones site into a tool to leverage business and drive qualified leads.

Learn how this dental company was able to dramatically increase dental inbound leads by 205% and organic traffic by 1500% over two years.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]traffic increase stats in google analytics[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

The Customer

Three years ago, we were introduced to the owner of VCCID based out of Metrotown in Burnaby. The practice has been around since 1991 and specializes in cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Dr. Balogh was looking to grow the online presence of his dental practice. He understood that more and more people were going online and conducting their dental research online before they stepped into his office.

They wanted to invest in extending the reach of their knowledge, service and brand.

This was done 100% through SEO and content development.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]organic traffic stats for dental client[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Before we dive in, allow me to clarify a few things:

  • The website’s organic traffic grew over 1,500% in two years.
  • Dental leads increased by 205%.
  • This was a new domain, registered just a couple months before launch. (previous domain was redirected to vccid.com)
  • We did not focus on link building at all, but rather focused on-site optimization and developing effective site content

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VCCID’s Challenge

What VCCID wanted, was to have the independence to alter their website easily and implement a marketing plan that would give them clear results.

Before starting their engagement with us, VCCID relied mostly on print advertising and Pay-Per-Click ads. Their website was outdated and hosted by an external provider. So it was quite difficult to make changes to their site to keep it up-to-date. They wanted to implement an SEO plan, but making changes to the website was challenging since we had no control of the backend.

And Worst Of All…

Dr. Balogh’s industry was getting crowded (with more than 15 clinics and practitioners located within a 100 meter radius of his own clinic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]google local dental office locations[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Step 1. Update And Optimize The Site

screenshot of old vccid website[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]VCCID had an outdated website. Several measures were put in place to optimize VCCID’s site. The updated site was built on a custom built framework, which allowed the site to be responsive, visually attractive and easy for a consumer to navigate.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Building A Keyword Database

Dr. Balogh’s primary goals were to increase appointment requests and to target more
lucrative cosmetic dentistry services specifically dental implants. Based on these goals, we developed a search engine strategy to optimize Dr. Balogh’s site for higher visibility for related keywords.

The main idea here was leave no stone un-turned. We first went through all of our target search verticals, as dictated by the market categories. From here, we began what started out as an in-depth process of evaluating the opportunities for each keyword and grew to compiling opportunities to distinguish which categories we needed to focus on to grow traffic.

The next step was to identify the highest valuable search volume terms and track results.

To accomplish our goals, changes were also made to the site’s copy to improve the quality of information. More images and better images were added to the site, giving interested visitors an immediate visual point into what VCCID can do and the quality of work they provide for their patients.

Special efforts were taken to fully explain in detail all of the services VCCID provided so that the site had a better chance of showing up in search results.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Improved Rankings

improved rankings of dental keywords

Over the span of three years we have been able to attain the top position in Google for the most valuable and profitable keywords for VCCID. The payoff to our approach was well worth the time and effort.

dental implant keyword improvement over time
*Dental Implants ranking improvement (#1 spot since September 2015)

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Step 2. Citations, Citations, Citations

The obstacle that we had to overcome in this case, was to find each instance of the previous Business Name, Address, and Phone Number and focus on cleaning them up because having consistent and correct citations is mandatory for any successful local SEO Campaign.

Overall, there are 3 types of citations we’re trying to fix during this process. These include:

  • Duplicates – Duplicate listings on the same directory
  • Mismatches – Listings for your business that have the wrong Business Name, Physical Address, or Phone Number (or just the 1-800 number and no local number). This can get especially complicated for doctors and lawyers.
  • Incomplete Citations – It’s important that you fill out the profiles to completion once you’ve claimed them. This includes adding photo and filling out every field there is an option for.

There are hundreds of places where VCCID’s previous business name was mentioned and by cleaning and updating everyone, we were able to accomplish our goal and improve local rankings in Vancouver and Burnaby.

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Step 3. Designing A Content Strategy

The key to success in this project boiled down to becoming obsessed with Dr. Balogh’s customers because effective content marketing is based around great understanding of his audience.

Like any great content marketing campaign, our optimization strategy was dictated by our campaign goals. Our goals were pretty straight-forward, such as increase rankings to gain traffic, and increase conversions so we can grow VCCID’s revenue.

We not only embarked on an aggressive content schedule, but we constantly monitored the effectiveness of our campaign and made the adjustments necessary to reach our goals.

Creating Meaningful Content

Each piece of content we created had specific goals.

The content needed to:

  • Reflect VCCID’s goals and user’s needs.
  • Communicate to people in a way that they understand
  • Be useful
  • Stay up-to-date and remain factual
  • Be consistent
  • Be able to be found

In short, we wanted to answer as many questions people had with in-depth, relevant and useful
content that would set us apart from every competitor.

Did digital marketing give VCCID the trackable results they were looking for?

Absolutely! As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there were clear metrics that we defined and tracked. We were able to demonstrate clear growth in traffic and leads figures, as a result of our efforts.

It’s clear that every campaign starts with goals and objectives. Then, you create a strategy to achieve those and within that strategy, there are set tactics that you must employ. At every step of our engagement, we did just that and the results are clear. Not only does he rank #1 or near #1 for every high-revenue keyword in his core services but he’s gaining traction quickly in related keywords.

Got questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll respond![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How The Removal Of Google Authorship Images Will Affect Businesses

Newsflash: Google is changing things once again. In an unexpected twist last week, Google’s John Mueller announced that Google will no longer show author profile images and Google+ circle numbers in desktop and mobile search results, shocking marketers everywhere.

It’s also bad news for marketers and business owners. Let me tell you why.

Logo_Google_2013_Official.svg

A Quick Google Authorship 101

First of, just for those who might not know what Google Authorship or Author Rank are, let me give you a quick primer on it.

Google started Author Rank in 2011 which gave authors an opportunity to connect their Google+ profiles with what they publish. The end result is that author photos would show in  search engine results pages (SERP)  along with a link to the author’s Google+ profile and the number of circles the author is in.

It usually took a couple posts for Google Authorship to start showing in SERPs but once you got blogging consistently, it showed. Your author photo had to be a clear portrait of the author. If the author photo was poor quality or had multiple people in it, it was very likely that Google Authorship would not work.

Nevertheless, Google Authorship was good for marketers and businesses and the announcement of this news is unfortunate.

The Evolution Of The Searcher?

Back in 2012, Google published a paper that concluded that social annotations in search (like images) didn’t have much of an effect on searchers. The study said that they were “useless” to searchers. But what’s interesting about that study was that it also said that searchers notice social annotations.

So you’d think this would lead to the eventual demise of social annotations and related markup appearing in search results, right? WRONG!

The behavioural patterns of searchers were changing, said Google in a 2013 paper they published. They said that there was a 60% chance that a searcher would fixate on an annotation if placed at the top of a snippet block.

So we can deduce that the results would be pretty favorable to businesses – and they were. Studies have shown that the click behaviour of searchers in SERPs generally gravitates toward results with visuals – including videos and images. We can see this in heat map results with actual evidence of this.

Moreover, some studies have indicated that rich snippets as a whole (not limited to Google Authorship) can improve click-through rates by up to 150%. Cyrus Shepard from Moz even concluded that the presence of having Google Authorship connected and working led to an increase of 35% in traffic.

How Will This Impact Marketers And Business Owners?

So how exactly might the loss of Google Authorship impact businesses? Authors who are credible and publish a lot will not get the preferential treatment of having their photo shown in SERPs.

Important note: This isn’t too big of a loss as most business owners are too busy to even think about what Google Authorship is and what it can do. Most in-house marketers are in the same boat, managing multiple channels everyday. In fact, a lot businesses aren’t publishing when they should be – and it should amount to some sort of prominence in a digital marketing plan. Again, it comes down to education and simply knowing that content marketing is important. Of course, all of our clients got Google Authorship set up (and benefitted greatly from it)!

Furthermore, there’s that opportunity lost. The opportunity lost in not having Google Authorship set up and its benefits. That is, the benefit of not being clicked on more in search results. That’s quality traffic gone straight to the toilet.

Is The Removal Of Google Authorship That Big Of A Surprise?

How much of this is actually a surprise? Remember that in January, Google actually cut

authorship in search results by 20-40%. However, the rationale for this was to put a larger emphasis on higher quality content. Moreover, back then, the algorithm that was rolled out was designed to show author photos of those with content most relevant to the query and interesting. Beats me how they figure out the latter!

How Businesses Can Move Forward With Their Content Marketing

I’ve got some easy tips – and believe me, they’re easy – for success in business blogging and content marketing.

Lastly…

The real loss attributed to the removal of Google Authorship images from search results is all in the loss of opportunity – what you could’ve had. And maybe it’s what you’ve always been getting. But remember that anything you publish will be lumped in with all other results. It’ll look like any other search result on the page.

So make your content great and optimize! Optimize your title tags and meta descriptions so that they’re inviting for searchers! Educate them and they’ll come back. That’s what you want, right? It’s what we strive for with content marketing for all of our clients. We know content drives sales and we employ strategies that produce those positive results.

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