Blog SEO: 6 Tips to drive website traffic

Blog SEO: 6 Tips to drive website traffic

Animated if of michael scott asking Why don't you explain this to me like I'm five?

Are you trying to increase traffic on your website by improving your blog SEO? There are many important factors when it comes to capitalizing on your brand’s blog. SEO, or search engine optimization, helps websites increase the chances of one or more of the pages of their website appearing in the search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO is one of the most common and necessary tools to pair with your blogging to see success in both driving traffic to your site and generating sales or leads. Not sure where to start? Check out these tips!

Watching our blog seo rankings go up like…

Watching our rankings go up like…

1. Lots of factors affect your SEO rankings.

Google can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When it comes to preparing your blog for SEO, there are some things to be aware of in Google’s scoring rubric.

Google does a very thorough job deciphering quality content versus low quality. The new mantra for blogging and SEO in 2020 is “reputation.” If you have boring or irrelevant content or technical issues such as your website’s mobile responsiveness, you will drop. 

If you are consistently putting out high-quality and unique blogs and posting accurate information, it will do the opposite. To see a great example of Google’s scoring theory, check out this video of Moz and what he knows about Google’s ranking system → Google organic quality score theory

When your keywords are specific to your audience

When your keywords are specific to your audience

2. Focus on your keywords.

We’re looking at one to two long-tail keywords for your blog. Any more than that will end up hurting your SEO. Google can pick up on plenty of stretched efforts to gain traffic. “Keyword stuffing” is a red flag to Google, signaling you are “stuffing” keywords in to gain more organic traffic and rank highly among Google searches.

Why long-tail keywords?

One word: impact. When using long-tail keywords based on the content of your blog, results find a more specific and impactful audience will venture to your site and stay longer because of its relevance. I.e. If writing a how-to guide on SEO and blogging, you can use a long-tail keyword such as “how to use SEO for blogging” instead of “SEO blogging,” driving a more relevant audience to your page. This audience is more likely to engage with your posts and subscribe to future posts.

Gif og Michael scoot threatening

When Google catches your blog with keyword stuffing

3. Include these keywords in specific parts of your posts.

Now that you have your keywords, let’s see how we can integrate them into your blog to optimize its search engine ranking. 

The title of your blog should include the long-tail keyword in the first 50 characters of your blog. This is so the keywords do not get cut off by SERPs at the end, taking a hit against your post’s ranking. The keywords need to be in your posts and headers, as well but BE CAREFUL. You need to sound natural and you cannot oversaturate your post with these keywords. 

Google sees everything; Google is Big Brother. Okay, not really. But they will consider this to be keyword stuffing and impact your scoring. It’s also highly recommended to use the keywords in your URL and meta-description. It’s all a contribution to helping the right audience find your post when they search for answers. 

GIF of group photo going wrong

Trying to blog without a plan

4. Just like SEO, you have to make a long-term plan with blogging

Blogging is still just as much a part of your brand as any other form of marketing. When you begin blogging or if you are trying to revamp your site’s blog, it’s important to clarify how you want to convey your brand to your audience. If you try and jump into blogging without a plan, you will likely end up lacking consistency in reputation and will fizzle out on the search engine results. 

Some things to consider when starting/revamping your blog:

  • Brainstorm and list relevant content ideas. Make sure there are plenty.
  • Consider the schedule of posts and how often you are wanting to deploy. (i.e. when can your audience expect to see a new post?) Be realistic. Start out with attainable goals before deciding to increase the amount of content. Think consistency.
  • Pin down your audience. Who are you targeting? Is this audience consistent across the majority of blog posts? It’s important to know the audience ahead of time for the purpose of releasing quality and relevant content in the eyes of Google.
  • Set up a budget for ads on social media to cross-promote your blog. 

It’s great to have big goals for a blog, just remember to start small and be realistic. Your blog’s consistency is vital to its rankings and reception by your audience.

Gif of michel scott giving a hug

When someone links your blog in their post

5. Internal linking is crucial.

Everyone is terrified to link externally. (You mean, you want me to direct my audience to another company’s website?!) It’s one of the biggest misconceptions in blogging to date. Blogging etiquette aside, linking to a blogger’s post when mentioning their ideas or thoughts is a beneficial practice for your blog.

If you’re not willing to give links you will never get linked back. Companies and bloggers respond well to giving them credit or visitors. They possibly will link you back in the future. When you don’t link blogs, you end up reaping the results of narrow-minded marketing. Less relevancy, less traction, less validity. It hurts your brand in the end. 

The purpose of your blog, to put it simply, is to meet the needs of your audience. When there is a point or tip made by another blogger that could benefit your audience, there is no harm in directing them to that site. It’s wholesome, beneficial content and your audience is left happy and satisfied.

Gif of Dweight wearing disguise

6. Be genuine! 

Google observes the analytics, recognizing when people are attracted to your posts. And what do people love? Authenticity. No one wants to read a dissertation or lecture. They want to feel connected to the brand, writing, or blogger. Be real and honest when it’s necessary. Be funny on occasion. Be relevant and comprehensive to your demographic. 

It’s possible to sound like a colleague or friend of the audience without taking away from your brand or your content. This is usually what separates quality content and blogs from the rest, the icing on the cake. Remember, marketing is a branch of sales, too. You want to spark interest, so remember to consider this while curating your blogs.

Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how Verse can help.

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The Ins and Outs of Successful Trade Shows

The Ins and Outs of Successful Trade Shows

Trade show season is here and exhibitors and attendees alike are planning for their trips! It can be an important time for selling or buying products and services that will help set your company up for success. According to Excalibur Exhibits, 49% of trade show attendees plan to buy one or more of the products or services exhibited. This means both exhibitors and attendees need to be sure their time and efforts are worthwhile. Here are some trade show tips we thought would prepare you and your team for a great event:

Come prepared

If you’re an attendee, it’s important to know there will be anywhere from dozens to hundreds of booths and companies pitching their products and services at trade shows. It can be overwhelming and confusing trying to decide where to spend the most time. Before heading to the trade show, sit down with your team and brainstorm where the company wants to do better. What are some areas your company can improve in that might be relevant to the trade show? Establishing the problems, the budget to solve them, and questions to ask will give everyone a clear vision and goal from start to finish.

Once you have listed these, check out the exhibitor list so the team can research what companies might fulfill those needs. Having these pain points established and listing the booths that interest you will make the event smooth and overall more productive.

Book meetings pre-show

If you’ve found a company whose services pique your interest, reach out! More and more companies are sending people to events and only doing meetings, and hosting their own events at night. They won’t be exhibiting or walking the floor. So if you don’t get in front of them and book an appointment pre-show, there’s a good chance they won’t have time to see you.

Exhibitors and attendees know trying to have a “business meeting” during the hustle and bustle of trade shows can be distracting and unproductive. Your team is better off getting face to face time with each other. This ensures all your questions are being answered and equips you with enough information to later discuss with your team – without the noise. Exhibitors can also be afforded the opportunity to show demos or information they’d usually reserve for quieter settings.

Follow social media and hashtags surrounding the trade show

Whether you’re an exhibitor or attendee, following the trade show’s social platforms and hashtags is a great start for preparation. This gives another opportunity to discover and engage with the Who’s Who of the convention: attendees, companies, hosts. These trade shows, often, have their own apps with a built-in social platform. This makes for a great treasure trove of event-specific content.

Connect with others and get your name out there! You can also make it known you are attending by posting on your own business and professional pages while tagging the appropriate accounts.

Both exhibitors and attendees may even allude to some relevant pain points you’re looking forward to talking about. I.e. “I can’t wait to talk about lead conversion and engagement at #_____2020! Who’s going?” This attracts the right market and business and should even result in a productive one-on-one meeting booked ahead of time!

Need help converting more of your leads into appointments?

Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how we can help.

Effort is everything

Booths are a great opportunity for companies to showcase their work. A visually appealing booth with lots of resources and preparation will be noticeable right away. Even if it’s not a company you’re interested in, it’s always worth networking and checking out. Companies who put lots of planning and efforts into their booths often translate the same planning and efforts in their own services. Most of the time, what you see is what you get!

The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits at an exhibition, according to SpinGo. Make the most of it! Exhibitors should know effort goes a long way and should aim to hear the “oohs” and “ahhs” when others walk by their booth. Think of clever and creative ways to showcase your product. Provide snacks and trinkets for those who stop by your booth. Use interactive methods to get potential clients involved in the product you’re selling.

Make it fun! Attendees are getting a chance to step away from the office and should be able to enjoy themselves, even if it’s while they’re talking business.

Landing a speaking slot at a trade show is a great strategy for exhibitors to try. If you can get someone in your company on stage, it increases the chances of attendees stopping by your booth. Giving attendees something to remember is an effective way to gain traffic at your booth!

Network and Follow Up

Trade shows aren’t cheap and money was definitely invested in the trip to get there. Not to mention, SpinGo reported 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. Make the most of it by taking the opportunity to network with other businesses and attendees.

Start by attending the social events put on by other companies or by the trade show itself. Invite new colleagues to join for dinner or drinks after. Keep the conversation going and make sure to connect with them on LinkedIn. Networking is never a bad idea and can be a great way to form solid relationships with other businesses.

Exhibitors, don’t forget to follow up with those you connected with during the event. You’re going to get 50% or more deals after the show ends, so having a strategy post-show is important. Following up with leads in a timely fashion will make or break your ROI from attending a trade show!

Lastly, don’t forget the mints!

Nobody likes bad breath. Since the nature of trade shows is already fast-paced and time-consuming, there isn’t much time to do a quick mouthwash session in the bathroom. There will be lots of conversations and no one wants to smell the tuna sandwich and onion rings you had for lunch. Exhibitors, you should do yourself a favor and offer mints on your tables to provide this need for attendees and your own team. It’s a small, but practical idea to start a conversation and your colleagues and potential business partners will be grateful, in the end.

Trade shows can be amazing opportunities, but require advance planning, a thoughtful approach, clean execution and follow-up. These tips will help your team take full advantage of trade shows and events, creating a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone. Make it worth the investment!

Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how Verse can help.

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Versatile: Lead Qualification for Solar Companies

Versatile: Lead Qualification for Solar Companies

Solar installation is on the rise and so is the need for better lead qualification in the solar industry. Since the hype of technology and environmentalists came and went, interest in the solar market has shifted significantly.

Now, people are seeing the financial and economical benefit of installing solar systems into their homes and businesses. This mainstream market is growing each year as 5-10 million American households seek interest in solar installation. Meanwhile, over 3,000 solar companies are running circles trying to compete for their business.

The problem for most solar companies is the large gap between finding and maintaining qualified leads. This is partially due to the mass-market’s behavior patterns throughout the process of purchasing a solar installation for their residence. Solar sales teams need to put down the phone and spend more time understanding their consumers in order to generate and find more leads.

Ditch the Pitch

According to EnergySage, the typical solar installation customer does not want to call and speak with a business as a first step in the process. Solar buyers are usually more financially-minded customers who do NOT want a sales pitch. Instead, solar buyers want to do research, shop around and see why and how solar panels will improve their household, both financially and environmentally (though the latter is typically less important to this consumer).

It’s important for solar companies to recognize the customer’s wants and needs in the buying process, and it does not include an aggressive sales pitch where they don’t get the information they need. Otherwise, it could result in a consumer taking their business elsewhere.

Leads and Where To Find Them

Though the largest volume of leads come from customer referrals, solar companies only see about 30-50% of potential buyers from this effort. The lowest volume of leads typically comes from the company website and events, sitting at 10-15% each, however, this is where more qualified leads are usually found.

EnergySage’s research indicates solar leads will typically come from the following categories:

Solar companies leads by source pie chart

Quantify the Qualified

The solar industry is still fairly new, but due to its tremendous growth, there is a dire need for innovation in sales tactics and lead conversion strategies as companies generate larger volumes of leads. Many solar companies notice it’s difficult to turn these cold leads into qualified prospects. Any inability to connect with qualified leads, whether from a lack of diverse communication methods or slow response times, deeply impairs the relationship between a solar company and a potential buyer.

How Verse Solves the Solar Leads Gap

Since the buyers are hesitant to speak on the phone with a business directly, Verse meets this need by offering 24/7 text or email communication to aid the funneling of qualifying leads and send them directly to your sales rep. As 89% of consumers prefer communication via text, this allows the consumer to communicate on their own terms and time.

Verse bridges the gap between the lead’s general interest and research to the on-site visit. In order to capitalize on qualifying leads more effectively, Verse combines the need for personable interaction with artificial intelligence — thereby creating a more efficient communication process with potential buyers.

For further efficiency, the concierge team at Verse acts as an assistant to the company directly. This ensures the company’s solar leads are getting quality treatment while maintaining the customer service reputation of the company. Using the knowledge gained from millions of conversations and information gathered from website traffic, the support team at Verse helps curate the right questions and answers to determine if your solar business is the right fit for the buyer.

And because Verse always has real people monitoring and guiding the communication with a company’s leads, this creates a more authentic and personal relationship with the buyers, leaving them feeling validated and heard. Based on the conversation, Verse can then directly send the qualified leads straight to the company’s door.

Solar sales teams can also expect Verse to consistently follow up with interested buyers, set up appointments for on-site visits, and nurture the overall buyer-seller relationship. With the lead engagement program at Verse, solar companies typically can see up to 50% more on-site appointments booked.

As educator Stephen Covey said, “The key is not in spending time, but in investing it.” Sales teams can capitalize better on their time with potential customers since Verse can fulfill the basic communication needed outside of business hours where the sales team may have a hard time being available. Because at least 40% of consumers communicate outside of business hours, Verse is set up as a 24/7/365 contact center, leaving the qualifying leads in a comfortable position to communicate. This gives the company a better opportunity of connecting and establishing a relationship with the buyer.

Ultimately, with the solar industry booming, there’s a critical need for sales teams to do a much better job engaging more efficiently with qualified leads. Verse is filling the holes of the stereotypical outsourced call center industry by adding personal, 24/7, US-based interaction. With all of the time and effort invested in generating these leads, sales teams can rest easy knowing Verse is optimizing and funneling the qualified ones for them — and, frankly, they can take a break from constantly reaching voicemails and wasting all of that time reaching out to buyers who don’t want sales pitches. Say goodbye to cold-calling and hello to closing!

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