Monthly Archives

April 2018

Featured Google Ranking SEO

Seven Reasons Why Your Google Ranking Stinks

It is an age-old question that has been pondered by many a digital marketer since Al Gore “created” the Internet:

Why isn’t my website popping up on the 1st page of Google’s results?

I know it can be pretty frustrating when you think you’ve got your SEO game down pat, or when you’ve directed traffic to your website from social media, but sometimes it may just take a little finesse.

When you’re a digital marketing consultant, you begin to see all of the little intricacies that can either make or break your site’s visibility, and you pass on that knowledge on to others that need to get their product or service noticed.

So grab a notepad, take a seat, and let’s get started.

1. Your site is brand new.

You can’t really expect quick results when you are establishing a website. It takes time for Google to index a website; it’s generally a two to three-week process before your website makes it into Google’s search results. On top of that, you won’t be ranked very high right off the back.

Let’s not forget that your SEO has to be sound.

2. Your on-page SEO needs work.

Sometimes it is difficult to keep up with the changes that SEO undergoes because of changes to Google’s algorithm. But the truth is that in order to survive in the digital marketing world, you need to be able to thrive in SEO.

When it comes to on-page SEO, crafting content will generally always stay the same. While keywords and phrases may change in ranking, you’ll still use them in roughly the same way as well.

That means that you will want to:

  1. Have static, keyword-rich URLs – Google ranks static URLs in a fairer manner within the search results page because they are indexed quicker than dynamic URLs. Also, you can’t plant your URL full of keywords when using dynamic URLs, thus making static URLs more SEO friendly.
  2. Optimize title tags, alt image tags, and headings – Alt tags and title tags amplify your content and its keywords to search engine spiders, which in turn grants you better visibility in the results page.
  3. Plant them throughout your content – The old tried and true method of placing strong keywords in a way that sounds natural within your content, along with related long tail keywords and phrases, is another surefire way of properly using your on-page SEO to its fullest potential.

Don’t focus solely on one or two keywords, though, and don’t think of writing content around what your keywords are. Instead, craft content under a general theme or topic.

This encourages your content to sound informative in a casual manner, implementing strong keywords and their related keywords in a much more natural fashion. Doing this will not only increase your ranking on each word, it will read better, improve user experience and attract more inbound links since your polished content will provide more comprehensive, expert-like information on a subject.

3. Your content isn’t up to par.

Crafting content can be a difficult process. Too little information provided within a post and your viewers will disregard it quickly. Too much can overwhelm and confuse them.

That’s why Google answered to the mountains of bad content by implementing its Panda algorithm. The algorithm enforced higher quality search results by punishing websites that produced too much “thin” content.

What is thin content? Well, it is considered in two different types:

  1. Insubstantial, low-value content – This type of content usually garners a manual action—Google’s way of demoting or removing your website as a whole—against your site if it is deemed to offer little information of value or spam.
  2. Zero-value content – This simply means your website offers no value to viewers and website visitors. Usually, there won’t be any manual action taken in this type of thin content, but it will be likely that your website will not be receiving much traffic, shares, mentions, or inbound links from other authors.

One thing to reflect upon, however, is that if your content is bad, it will ultimately set a poor impression on website visitors, meaning you can kiss those conversion rates goodbye.

4. You were hit with a manual action or an algorithmic penalty.

If you were hit with a manual action or algorithmic penalty, believe me, you’ll know it. There would be a severe, sudden drop in your rankings, which in turn would affect your organic search traffic.

That, and you’d receive a manual action notification from Google. As discussed above, this mostly happens when you produce and present thin content.

But an algorithmic penalty is different. It is usually more difficult to identify, and Google is known for updating their algorithm frequently, even up to twice a day. One thing you could do to verify this is to check the date when you suffered a drop in rank and match it to known updates. The easiest way to find that information is here.

After finding out which update caused the penalty, all you would have to do next is fix the specific problem.

5. Your website is lacking inbound links and mentions.

When you want to get your site ranked high in search engine results, you want to have a strong inbound link profile.

A strong inbound link profile consists of:

  • Links from authoritative, high-quality sites that are relevant to your topic.
  • A good number of non-linked brand mentions.
  • A decent number of quality deep links, not just to your homepage, but to internal links as well.
  • Strong relationships between sites via co-citations.

You just can’t have a high-ranking website without them.

6. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly.

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you are missing out on a huge piece of that delicious traffic and high-rank pie.

Fifty-seven percent of all Internet traffic comes from mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. That’s why on April 21, 2015, mobile-usability became a priority in terms of ranking factors in Google’s “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update.

And it may soon switch over to a “mobile-first index,” meaning that Google will prioritize sending search engine spiders, or crawling, mobile sites over desktop sites.

7. You accidentally blocked Google from being able to access your website.

There are plenty of ways that Google can be unintentionally blocked from being able to crawl or index your site. Usually, the error can be found in your robots.txt file.

This happens to the best of us. Some of the main occasions where this can happen are when you are launching a new site or when you are migrating your site from one domain to another.

In order to make sure that Google has full access to your site, you’re going to want to open your robots.txt file and look inside until you see something like this:

  • User-agent: *
  • Disallow: /

If you see that, that means you’ve blocked Google from your whole website. You could, however, remove this code from the file to fix it, but I would recommend recruiting an expert to do that just in case.

Speaking of which, if you need any help on getting your website optimized properly, setting up a winning website that will earn you some real money, or digital marketing consultation, contact me today at (956) 566-4998.

Social Media

Don’t Get Left in the Dust: Five Reasons Why You Need Social Media Marketing For Your Business Now!

Social media isn’t just for keeping up with friends and family anymore.

It has become one the best tool for marketers to use since, well, ever. Using social media with the right data mining tools can provide your business with so much valuable information regarding your audience, which can then be used to enhance your marketing strategies and generate more revenue.

As a Digital Marketing Consultant, I’ve seen first hand the amazing benefits of using social media to promote a business, build a brand, stay in contact with customers, improve sales, and remain competitive in today’s ever growing digital world.

If you haven’t already started using social media to grow your business, then consider the following five reasons why it is absolutely essential that you start using it. Are you ready to be a marketing genius on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?

1. Social Media Increases Your Brand Loyalty and Awareness

Posting an image of a product you are selling or sharing useful information regarding services you offer helps make your business become more visible.

Your followers will also have the ability to view the content you post and share it with people that they know, in turn bringing your business more attention, helping to build your brand, encouraging brand loyalty, and bringing more potential customers to your website.

2. Social Media Helps You Quickly Connect and Bond With Your Target Audience

Social media bridges together the communication connection between businesses and customers, allowing the possibility for a two-way conversation to occur organically. With social media, your customers have a direct pipeline to share any feedback that they may have with your company – good or bad. This provides your company an opportunity to address their concerns by dishing out some Grade A customer service.

That in itself helps your business, as a happy customer is more likely to share positive views about your company. And as we all know, word of mouth is still one of the best forms of advertisement. Plus, some of the feedback you get may actually help you to improve your product, service, and/or marketing strategy, and that’s always a good thing.

Lastly, social media gives you the opportunity to humanize your business, and people really dig that. You become an entity that your followers and customers can relate to, which can facilitate brand loyalty.

Did your company just hit a huge milepost? Celebrate it with your followers. Hated the morning commute because of the back-to-back traffic? Share that with your customers (but of course when you aren’t behind the wheel). It also helps to use language that the general populace uses, minus the curse words or any inappropriate vernacular.

3. Social Media Helps You Retain Customers

Customers want their voices to be heard. That’s just good business.

We touched on this a little bit earlier, but it bears repeating. If your customers don’t have a proper avenue to take to voice their concerns or vent their frustrations, they won’t feel valued. If they don’t feel valued, they will leave.

That’s bad for business.

Social media helps your customers voice their feedback in a convenient way, giving you the opportunity to correct any mistakes you may have made or improve in other aspects to make your business better. Not only does it help your business in this fashion, it also helps forge a deeper connection with your company, strengthening customer loyalty.

And a loyal customer is a long-term customer.

4. Social Media Increases Traffic and Conversions on Your Website

If you are sharing a blog post from your website to Facebook or Twitter, usually a link is included in the post. This link within the post directs traffic from Facebook or Twitter to your website where leads can turn into customers.

It’s really that simple, but there are a bevy of other benefits that this brings.

One of the ways Google ranks websites is from traffic. The more traffic you get to your blog, the higher ranking it achieves with Google, becoming more visible in front page results. Social media can help in improving those results by doing what was mentioned above.

Being on the 1st results page on Google is a highly sought after position because when people search for the industry you’re in, the product you sell, or the type of service you provide, your website will be high on that list, bringing in more traffic as a result.

5. Social Media Helps You Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

Don’t worry, I’m not encouraging you to become a Facebook stalker, but following your competition is important to keep up with them in the realm of business and social media. Keeping up with them can also reveal new advances in your industry.

Following your competitors will also give you insight into their business actions, allowing you to compare it to your own and adjusting as needed. You can pick out what works best and implement it into your business actions and strategies.

Social media marketing is the lifeblood of a successful business. Reach out to me today at (956) 566-4998 for more helpful hints, tips, and information about everything digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Entrepreneur Tips Featured

Seven Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website

If I told you that you can, at least, double your business and increase customer satisfaction, would you do it? Well, setting up a website for your business can do just that.

If you haven’t jumped into the digital world just yet, then check out these seven reasons why you absolutely need to. Remember. Your competition is on there, so you need to be too.

1. It Gives Your Business Credibility

Want to check out some reviews of that new pizza place down on 5th Street? How about ordering online? What about price checking between pizza franchises?

All of these things can be done with a simple click of a mouse. It’s no surprise that online shopping is becoming the preferred method to shop. Failing to have a website for your business means you are likely missing out on a piece of that big, green, financial pie.

Having a website for your business establishes that you are a legitimate company while also allowing you to provide potential customers with delightfully-crafted content about your products or services.

Add the ease of online transactions and you’ve got more business than just walk-ins alone. Be careful, though. Setting up a website on one of those “free” sites can make you look like an amateur — and people don’t want to buy products from amateurs. An expertly crafted website will rake in more profit for your business.

2. It Saves Money in the Long Run

Owning and running a business takes a financial toll, so the more you can save, the better your bottom line.

If hiring professional web designers gives you a little bit of anxiety because of the expense, rest easy because it’s actually the most cost-effective way to advertise compared to the other types of advertisement media out there like newspapers, radio ads, flyers, and networking events.

“Yeah, but what about updating and uploading content? I don’t know how to do that, and I’d have to hire someone to do it for me, which would be expensive in the long run.”

Not necessarily.

In the long run, the investment you make on hosting and website design fees will be returned by the customers it attracts and then some.

3. It Keeps Customers Engaged

When you really think about it, a website is like a brochure that is packed full of useful information your customers can discover about your business or services.

Are you currently running a sale on a certain product? Do you have a limited time offer that is available? Let the people know by uploading the details on to your website. It’s cheaper than running an advertisement in a newspaper or on T.V., it can occur much more quickly than advertising on any of the other media – and best of all – you own the website.

But it doesn’t just stop at personalized advertisements on your website. You can post YouTube tutorials or classes about your product or service and then embed them into your website. Podcasts are also another great way to keep customers engaged with helpful information about what you are selling.

Best of all, social media websites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to embed them on to your website, allowing customers to follow and like you with just the click of a button. This helps establish connections between you and your customer base at the speed of life.

4. Websites are Always Accessible

A website is a crucial tool to demonstrate your skill set, no matter what particular industry you are in. It can host a portfolio, an image or video gallery, testimonials about your work, or show why your business is the business clients need. Compared to a brick-and-mortar establishment, a website is like having a shop that is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It gives your customers the opportunity to check out your products on their own time without having to wait for the next day to go to your physical location to shop. Having to wait to see a product can easily lead to a lost sale as customers can forget or find a competitor that has already has a website established.

5. Websites Enable You to Target a Larger Audience

Websites are accessible anywhere in the world, so long as your customer has an Internet connection. This truth even extends to the rural areas where potential customers that don’t have access to your brick-and-mortar now have access to your business through a website.

6. It Saves Time

As a business owner, time is a valuable currency. And when you are running a business, your time is divided into several different aspects like talking to customers, attending networking events or trade shows, emails, and marketing to name a few.

A website trims the fat, so to speak, by being a quick and efficient source of information on the services and products you provide. For example, an FAQ on your website can do wonders when it comes to answering your customers’ questions and improving customer satisfaction.

Save time and meet customer needs; I’d say that’s killing two birds with one stone.

7. Websites Can Improve Customer Service

A happy customer is a returning customer, and establishing a website is an easy way to pump those numbers up. Like the FAQ example above, providing simple answers to questions customers frequently have is customer service 101.But it doesn’t have to stop there.

Get creative!

If you are selling a particular product like mesquite bean jelly, having an accompanying article on a few tasty snack recommendations hosted on your website can improve your customer service game.

A dentistry office can build a website that showcases all of the services while also providing articles that detail proper dental hygiene.

There’s so much that a website and digital marketing can offer. All it takes is a little creativity.

The truth about marketing nowadays is that everything is porting over to the digital side. Having and operating a website is more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods, and it can generate a lot of business during your off hours, supplementing your revenue that can then be funneled back into your business and help it grow.

If you need help figuring out what the next step is to enter the digital world, then contact me today at (956) 566-4998 for the digital marketing consultation you deserve.

Entrepreneur Tips

The Art of Staying Focused: Tips for the Digital Freelancer Trying to Survive

Sure. Working from home sounds like the perfect lifestyle. Who doesn’t want to stay in their pajamas all day and never have to worry about putting on a tie again? And when you’re a freelancer there are what seem to be an infinite number of temptations that can keep you away from taking care of business. But you’re going to have to learn some self-discipline if you are going to survive in the world of digital marketing.

So what’s the secret to pushing through until the end? As a freelancing Digital Marketing Consultant and business owner, I know firsthand the challenges that come with trying to stay focused and getting a project completed. Luckily, through the years I’ve been able to gather enough experience and tips that I’ll be happily sharing with you on this blog.

Hopefully, they will do you well as you carry along on your adventure into digital marketing.

  1. Remember routine? She still loves you.
  2. Remember that office job you left to become a successful freelancer? And the horror of having to wake up every day at 6:30 in the morning to make it to the office by 7:45?

    Yes, it’s true that one of the “benefits” of freelancing is creating your own work schedule. But without some routine in your life, projects and assignments can start to pile up quickly, which can mean disaster for your reputation and your business. Don’t be a routine-less mess. Give yourself a “proper” work system so that you can stay engaged and focused.

    Also, don’t forget you need to look the role if you’re going to play it. Put on a nice outfit for the day and see if that helps to set you off on the right foot.

  3. Put the iPhone down.
  4. What if I told you I just spent the last 15 minutes scrolling through Twitter? And about 15 minutes before on Snapchat. Oh…and about 10 minutes on Facebook. Doesn’t sound very productive, does it?

    Digital marketing freelancers tend to be up-to-par with all the current tech trends and social media apps, but the only problem with that is these things can quickly become a distraction. Add to that the TV, the Internet, and home chores, and work tasks can quickly take a backseat to “Likes” and filters. It’s essential that when you’re about to work then you legitimately plan for some quiet work time. I’m talking closed doors, phones off (ok they probably won’t but try not to use them unnecessarily), and all distractions removed.

    Of course, this is ideal and sometimes a home setting doesn’t provide you these privileges. Consider a change of setting. Some time at your local coffeehouse can do wonders.

  5. “Action expresses priority.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  6. In order to be a successful digital marketing freelancer, you have to be able to prioritize assignments and tasks. You can do this either the old fashion way with a calendar or planner, or with a computer, smartphone, or tablet, which all work perfectly fine. There’s even online software that you can use to help you prioritize.

    By quickly and efficiently organizing work tasks, you’ll be able to manage your time – and hopefully – complete assignments in a prompt manner. Remember, even as a freelancer, you can still be constrained by the timelines of your clients. Do yourself and your business the favor and stick to them.

  7. “Relax, go to it…”
  8. To the outsider, freelancing seems like the perfect job. I mean…you are your own boss. Who wouldn’t love that?

    But the truth for many freelancers is that the line between work and play often begins to merge into one fuzzy reality in which getting away for a breather just never happens. We’re all humans (right?) and not autonomous robots meant to function 24 hours a day. Sometimes you need to recharge your battery and give yourself a mental reboot.

    Try to plan vacations, and include them in your calendar at the start of the year, so that you can inform clients of when you’ll be taking a break and for how long.

  9. A little face to face time is vital.
  10. it’s important for digital marketing freelancers to recognize that bad routines can develop very easily if you’re not being careful. Strictly speaking to clients through email is a bad habit that you’ll want to break. When the opportunity arises to touch base with them, then try and set up a little bit of face time to get out of that solitary rut.

    Of course, a physical meeting might not be doable, but there’s always Facetime, Google Hangouts, Skype, and a variety of visual and audio applications that perform effectively in these scenarios. It’s beneficial for both you and the client to schedule a call or meeting so that you can talk about the project, how far you’ve progressed, and to also get some feedback.

    Showing the client that you actually care about their input can help you to re-establish that connection and reinforce their interest in utilizing your business and skills.

  11. Be real, real.
  12. If you need any serious motivation to stay focused and get your work done, then just think about losing some of your recurring monthly projects. A long-term freelance project can mean a consistent income for you (and your family), but being a bit too disengaged or setting these assignments on the back burner can ultimately harm your business and your finances.

    Sure this can be a scary thought, but sometimes you need a little fire under your feet to push you on and upwards. Whether web design, content creation, website maintenance, social media marketing, or graphic designing, consistency from month to month is a wonderful thing.  Do you really want to lose that?

  13. 7. [Enter inspirational quote here.]
  14. Yes, you read that right. There’s nothing worse than a cliché to express a truth so let’s just be honest.  Freelancing can be everything you ever wanted and more than you ever expected. It’s an everyday battle that can mean meeting deadlines by working through the night – for the whole week.

    But this is your career. Your life. There’s a reason why you chose this route, and though sometimes it may get hidden in all the muck and dirt that life brings, that creative spark is alive somewhere in all the craziness of work. Don’t forget why you got into the amazing world of digital marketing.

And don’t forget to continue visiting me here at my website for all things digital marketing and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur Tips

7 Startup Secrets for the Entrepreneur

Every single entrepreneur that has sought, developed, and found any level of fortune has done so through diligence, creativity – and sometimes – a little bit of luck.

But fortunately for us, many of these great entrepreneurs have left a breadcrumb trail and plenty of information to help us along our own path to business success. If you’re eager to start your journey, then let me, business owner and Digital Marketing Consultant, Mauricio Pina, offer you seven startup secrets every potential entrepreneur needs to know.

  1. Be Passionate About Your Business
  2. Sure, it’s a cliche, but you have to love what you do. The fact of the matter is that loving your business idea and what your startup is trying to accomplish will provide you with that extra motivation you need to push through the toughest of days (or months).

    That same passion should be evident to your customers as well. That energy and desire to provide the best product/service will certainly help to draw in clients.

    Make sure that any future employees also share that same level of passion and commitment in their work as you do.

  3. Study, Plan, Simplify & Repeat
  4. So…being passionate is great. But you also have to be realistic and well informed. How much do you know about the business world? And specifically, how much do you know about the niche you’re trying to get into?

    This is where doing your homework is absolutely essential. You don’t want to make any assumptions or take a bad step early on in the process that can quickly doom your startup.

    Make sure to talk to experts in the industry you’re interested in becoming a part of. Create a business plan (albeit a flexible one). Understand your financial needs so that you can plan for the initial period of being in business, which can be one of the toughest times. Go back through your mission statement and make sure that it meets client needs.

    Study, plan, simplify and repeat until you have a solid strategy to get to where you want to go. And don’t be afraid to say no sometimes. Promising to overdeliver can mean failure if you don’t tread carefully.

  5. Teamwork Wins Games
  6. Having the right team of like-minded individuals all sharing one common goal and all pushing towards one outcome is a force that just cannot be beat. If you want your startup to succeed, you’ll need a dedicated team of intelligent, thrifty, hardworking individuals who are willing to fight an uphill battle.

    As a startup, your team members will need to have the ability to learn quickly, adjust efficiently, grow from constructive criticism, and hopefully have a specialized skill that serves your business well.

  7. So About This Criticism Thing…
  8. Mistakes happen in any good business and sometimes you’ll need to correct employees after an especially problematic snafu. But being an outright overbearing and rude leader can quickly lead to bigger issues.

    In today’s world, it’s not too hard for a scorned employee (or client for that matter) to quickly hop on social media and relieve some frustration. A harsh employee review can easily make its way across the Internet. And that’s not the type of publicity a startup needs.

    On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to get some feedback of your own. As the great Elon Musk has said, “ “Take as much feedback from as many people as you can about whatever idea you have…seek critical feedback.  Ask them what’s wrong.”

  9. Living in a World of Data
  10. Data and analytics are essential for any startup. When coupled with creative, intuitive business acumen, data can open up a whole new world of opportunity.

    Following data to recognize when to make an investment into a certain portion of your business (i.e. marketing, product, new personnel, etc.), is the best way to go about making the right decisions for your company.

    And just as a side note: data is going to be pivotal to your digital marketing scheme.

  11. Go Big (Sometimes)
  12. So “going big” is definitely a balancing act.

    Some projects are just too important to your startup and you’ll need to tackle them in order to get yourself ahead. While we did mention that sometimes it’s ok to say no, sometimes you need to say yes.

    Even though a challenge of this nature can be an ego-crushing, time-consuming, all-out-war, it’s still necessary to accept certain projects to really develop your skills – and to reap those big-time benefits including an improved reputation. This is especially true if it allows you to get into a lucrative market.

    While these “go big or go home” opportunities may test your limit, they can also push you to the next level.

  13. Have Some Faith & Jump (After Planning of Course)
  14. Starting your own company is a tremendous task. There’s plenty of planning and hard work that comes into just getting things going. But if you’re waiting for the perfect moment to jump, it might not ever come.

    It’s going to be scary and there is definitely no certainty in life, but by attacking aggressively, consistently, and energetically, you should be able to get your startup to come to life.

    But it all starts with taking the first step.

    But don’t worry. You aren’t facing this challenge alone. There is a whole spectrum of individuals and professionals who can help to reap the benefits of a global market.

Including a Digital Marketing Consultants such as myself. If you’re eager to learn more about the digital marketing game or want to learn about the importance of having an online presence, contact me – Mauricio Pina – today at (956) 566-4998.

Together we can open a world of infinite possibilities.