Tag Archive for: content marketing

15 Reasons Why Websites Matter in 2022

Over the past ten years, there’s been an enormous focus on social media and businesses of all sizes have had to make decisions on how and where to spend marketing dollars. With all the focus on Facebook, Yelp, Google Business, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and whatever this year’s newest social media phenomenon is, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that maybe a business doesn’t need a website anymore. However, there are many reasons why websites still matter in 2022. If you don’t have a website, it’s time to hire someone to design one for you. And if you have a website, it might be time for a website redesign.

1. A Website Gives You Instant Authority

A well-designed, user-friendly, responsive website with informative, quality content establishes trust between author and audience. A website demonstrates expertise, authority, and permanence. While social media sites come and go, your business website should be the central focal point of your online presence. Think of the website as a businesses marketing hub and the social media sites and backlinks as the spokes.

2.You Don’t Own Your Social Media Pages

If you rely exclusively on social media sites, what happens when your entire audience hinges on a social media network and that network starts making decisions that negatively affect you, your customers’ experience, your brand image or identity, or all of the above? We have seen this recently with Facebook. Social media sites change algorithms without warning, create new rules that may restrict your ability to communicate with your customers, or even disappear altogether. Former President Trump knows this all too well. Anyone remember MySpace or Friendster? If you drive traffic from the social media spokes to your own website, you are and will always be in control.

3. You Get A Huge Return On Your Marketing Investment

Consider the cost of online advertising (which is constant – if you want to keep advertising you have to keep paying) or the cost of creating print materials which are out of date as soon as you print them. Then compare those costs to the $4,000 required to create your own business website. It almost always makes sense to invest in a website.

4. Your Local SEO Relies On Your Website

Good search results require a solid internet presence. A website is a fundamental part of that internet presence. You need your own domain and your own content. It’s far more difficult to rank in Google’s local pack listings without your own website.

5. Consumers Expect It

Most consumers expect a business to have a website. As a business owner – if you want customers – make it easy for people to find you online.

6. A Website Showcases Your Expertise

Nothing shows off your expertise better than your own website. You can create any kind of content you want, publish portfolio pages, blog posts, informative articles, and select which customer testimonials to highlight. The content on your website gives you a chance to show potential clients that you understand their problems and their needs.

7. Your Website Can Hold And Keep A Visitor’s Attention

When a visitor lands on your website, your are not positioning yourself next to a bunch of other social media sites all vying for attention. When people get to your website, it’s up to you to hold and keep a visitor’s attention. You can do that by anticipating their needs and writing content that answers their questions.

8. Without A Website, Customers Will Consider You Less Professional

On average Americans spend 23.6 hours online per week. People tend to spend 5 hours a day scrolling on their phones. If you don’t have a website, potential customers won’t take you or your business seriously.

9. Your Customers Need Answers

Both your current customers and potential customers are looking for information. Don’t you want to be the one to give them answers rather than having a search engine point them to someone else’s answers? During your website design you will want to answer three questions:

  • What is your business?
  • What services or products do you offer?
  • How can customers reach you?

Make sure that function and communication are as important as aesthetic design.

10. Be The Leader Online

The answer to the “Do I need a website?” question revolves around being the leader of your field. A high-quality, user-friendly website that answers your customers questions will make you the leader of your field online. If your competitors already have websites, make sure yours is better. Show customers why your company is better and why they should buy your products or services.

11. Websites Are Essential For Building Your Brand

It’s impossible to create a professional image for your brand without a website. Anything short of a website looks cheap and unprofessional.

12. Websites Are Great Customer Service Tools

Modern customers look to social media for customer service when a website doesn’t meet their customer service needs. The problem is that by that point most customers are angry and they aren’t turning to social media to be productive. If you have your own website, you can control your customer service process and direct customers to up-to-date FAQ pages or customer service contact info simply by sharing a link.

13. Websites Are Important For Link Building

Links are essential for SEO but they are even more important for referrals. A business website has greater authority and is of greater use when promoting your brand.

14. Increase Your Working Hours

Website visitors can access your online marketing material at any time of any day at their leisure if you have a website. Being available at all times helps with marketing and sales and is also a step towards optimal customer service. If you have chatbots on your site that can help clients with simple issues when they need it most, you can take this idea one step further.

15. Provide Social Proof

Customer behavior is influenced by what others have said about your company. People expect to check your website to learn more about your company regardless of whether it has a 5-star rating on review websites. Customer recommendations on your websites are a terrific method to impress potential customers and give social proof.

Final Thoughts

It’s absolutely vital to have a professional, high-quality, user-friendly, responsive, brand-differentiating website in 2022 if you want to increase sales, increase your bottom line, and expand your company. Business websites in particular help customers make purchase decisions. A simple website costs pennies but can yield huge rewards in the long term.



How to Promote Your Content in Less Than an Hour a Day

Why Promoting Content is Important

In his post “The 80/20 Rule for Building a Blog Audience” marketer and entrepreneur Derek Halpern notes:

If you spend time writing a piece of content, and that content only gets 1,000 readers, chances are there are one million other people in the world who can benefit from what you wrote.

Why then, would you spend more time creating content when you already have something that your ideal customers can benefit from?

Halpern has an 80/20 content strategy, that is, he spends 20 percent of his time creating it and 80 percent of his time marketing it.

While this is a fantastic strategy if you’re new and need to grow your audience quickly, content marketing experts warn that sticking to this strategy can mean that you’re under-serving your existing audience.

So how can you grow your audience while still focusing on creating massive value for your existing readers and followers?

Here’s a plan: Give yourself quick wins with an automated strategy and a checklist.

Promoting Your Content: 5 Quick Tips

1. Send it to Your Email List (Time taken: 3-5 minutes)

One of the best ways to get immediate traction with your content is to send it to your email list. Your email subscription list is typically comprised of people who have signed up to receive updates from you because they like and trust you or your brand and want to hear from you.

These are the people who are most likely to add high numbers to your social shares, to read your content the moment it’s published, or to forward it to others who may benefit from it.

Your email subscribers are most likely the most engaged of your audience, so it’s always a fantastic idea to share content with them on a regular basis.

2. Schedule it on Social Media over a Period of Weeks (Time taken: 5-10 minutes)

A social media editorial calendar can be a fantastic thing and one most business owners swear by, especially if they run small operations with little help.

When you publish a post or a piece of content, one of the best things that you can do is to spread out the promotion over a period of time using tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.

3. Email Everyone who is mentioned in your post or article (Time taken: 5-10 minutes)

A fantastic way to not only connect with your audience, but to connect with other people in the industry and their audience, is to mention them in your articles and blog posts and then let them know when you’ve done so, in order that they can share with their readers if they so choose.

To find someone’s email address quickly:

  1. Look through their website for a “Contact Me” or “About” page to see if you can find it there.
  2. Try LinkedIn. Often, people who want to be contacted will put their email address up in order to be found.
  3. Google combinations of their name with “@websitedomain.com” (in quotes) to see what comes up. For instance, if you were looking for my email address, you’d be able to find it very quickly by using the search term [Gabe “@connect4consulting.com”]

4. Syndicate Your Content (Time taken: 10-15 minutes)

Building partnerships with larger media organizations is the ideal way to syndicate and share your content. This however, will take lots of time and effort.

While you’re working on building those, don’t forget to utilize the free networks like Medium and LinkedIn that offer you similar syndication opportunities to reach new audiences.

Medium has a great guide to publishing on its platform and the things to keep in mind. Read it here.

And in this fantastic post about publishing to LinkedIn, Noah Kagan lays out the following tips:

  1. Make your titles between 40 and 49 characters long
  2. Make your posts on LinkedIn visual! Add 8 images
  3. Don’t add video or other multimedia assets to your posts
  4. Use “how-to” and list-style headlines
  5. Divide your post into 5 headings in order to attract the greatest number of post views
  6. People like to read long-form content on LinkedIn – 1,900 to 2,000 words long
  7. Don’t get your audience all fired up
  8. Make your content readable for an 11-year-old
  9. Promote your LinkedIn publisher post on other social networks!
  10. LinkedIn likes get you views, shares, and comments
  11. Publish your LinkedIn posts on Thursday

You shouldn’t syndicate every single post. Choose posts that may resonate with unique audiences. It’s a great way to bring interested readers over to your website. I also don’t recommend syndicating new content immediately.

5. Create Quick and Easy Graphics to Share on Social Media (Time taken: 10-15 minutes)

If you’re using images in your posts anyway, a quick and easy win is to share the headline or quote from your post along with an image. If not, you can quickly and easily do so in Canva or many of the other image-creating resources mentioned in this post. We’ve found that it’s incredibly helpful to share images in your social media posts, since according to a 2013 Pew Research Study, nearly half of all Internet users have reposted a photo or video they found online.

This can help you gain traction on image-oriented social sharing networks even if you don’t have much of a presence on them.

Content Marketing: Don’t forget the marketing side of content marketing

Everyone is doing content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 94% of all small businesses, 93% of B2Bs, and 77% of B2Cs use content marketing. That’s basically everyone.

However, not everyone is doing content marketing the right way. One of the quickest ways to kill your content is to do nothing after you take the time to write it.

Some people think that content marketing is all about merely creating content and waiting, a la field of dreams, for people to come and find it. This is the wrong way to approach content marketing and a good way to waste your time.

Creating content is only one half of the process of content marketing. The other half is the marketing part – getting out the word, spreading your message, and sharing your content.

Let’s break apart content marketing into its two main components parts:

  1. Create content.
  2. Promote content.

Which of those two are you doing or not doing? If you do a lot of promoting, but just a little of creating, then you are probably more successful than a company who does a lot of creating, but very little promoting.

Content promotion is just as important as content creation.

How do you promote your content? Here are a few easy ways to promote a single blog post:

  1. Email newsletter
  2. Marketing email to a landing page
  3. Tweets. Be sure to tweet it several times and ask for retweets
  4. Google+ posting
  5. Facebook posting
  6. Sharing in LinkedIn
  7. Find influencers in your industry who can also share your content
  8. Pitch site owners and other bloggers to see if they will share your content
  9. Mention your content while commenting on other sites

If you aren’t doing any promotion, I recommend adjusting the amount of time you spend on content creation and allocating half that time to promoting your content.


Content Marketing: How To Promote Your Blog Post

Blogging can bring you thousands of social shares, new email subscribers, and tons of comments, but only if your blog posts are masterpieces and you know how to promote your blog post.

But content marketing has so many elements to it that it’s really easy to forget them, right?

To help you succeed, I have created a checklist. If you can do the majority of the items on the list below, your content marketing efforts will pay off.

How To Promote Your Blog Post

1. Should I publish my blog on my own site or someone else’s?

The best place to publish your content is typically on someone else’s site. However, it does depend on who that someone is. If someone else’s site is an industry leader and germane to your niche, then you will gain a lot of new eyeballs by leveraging this connection. Hopefully that new traffic will trickle back to your own site.

2. Am I collecting emails?

You shouldn’t publish content unless you are collecting emails. Emails are the best way to get people to come back to your site. One way of doing this is to set up a pop-up on your blog posts that pops after twenty seconds or so and gives the reader the chance to enter an email to download a white paper (essentially an old blog post converted to a PDF file) or view archived content. We can help you set this up on your site. Just send an email to gabe@connect4consulting.com or call us at 202-236-2968.

3. Do I have social sharing buttons throughout my post?

Encourage social sharing any way you can.

4. Am I publishing my blog post during the ideal time and day?

Believe it or not, but there is a science to content marketing. KISSmetrics has a post that will help tell you when to publish your content. Essentially there are pros and cons to publishing your blog posts during the daytime. The pros are that you get more visitors, comments, and engagement. The cons are that people are busy and your message is competing with other posts, not to mention people trying to focus on work. The highest percentage of readers, read blogs in the morning. The average blog gets the most traffic on Mondays. The average blog gets the most traffic at 11 a.m.

5. Have I re-purposed my content?

By turning your blog post into a PDF or a slide deck and sharing it on the web, you can get more traffic. Just submit these different versions of your content to sites like Slideshare, and you’ll see more traffic. Make sure you adjust the content, however, as you don’t want to be hit by a duplicate content penalty.

6. Am I using social media meta tags?

If you aren’t using social media meta tags, then your content won’t do as well as it could when shared on the major social networks.

7. Did I create a list of social profiles?

Every time you publish a post, you should do outreach, asking people to share your content.

8. Have I shared my content more than once?

You should be sharing your post at least 2, if not 3 times, on social channels like Twitter. Not all of your users will see your content the first time you tweet.

9. Did I mention my expert sources when sharing?

If you include your expert sources in your tweets, this will increase the likelihood of them re-tweeting your content.

10. Have I direct-messaged influencers on LinkedIn?

This is a simple tactic that can help generate more shares. This KISSmetrics blog post explains how to do this.

11. Do I have something to attract leads?

You need something that entices people to give you their email addresses. You can offer a free ebook or a PDF in exchange for an email.


Don’t worry if you aren’t doing everything on this list. The more you do, the better you will be able to promote your blog.

Content Marketing: Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before Publishing Your Next Blog Post

Blogs are one important component of content marketing. The beautiful part about content marketing is that it can bring you hundreds, if not thousands, of social shares, new email subscribers, and tons of comments. But you have to do your content marketing right.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a strategy of producing and publishing information that builds trust and authority among your ideal customers. It’s a way to build community and relationships so that people feel loyal to you and your brand. It’s also a strategy for becoming recognized as a thought leader in your industry. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s a way to “sell your goods” without cold calls or traditional sales tactics.

Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before Publishing Your Next Blog Post

Headline – Ask yourself these questions when composing your headline.

1. Would someone type my headline into Google? – If they would, then you are more likely to get search traffic.

2. Does my headline contain any popular keywords or phrases? – If it doesn’t, don’t expect to rank for any terms on Google.

Introduction – Every blog post should have an introduction. Here are some questions your should ask yourself when working on your introduction.

3. Am I hooking my readers with a question?  – This is easy. Just remember to ask a question.

4. Did I include a picture? – You should always start your blog post with some type of media. Whether it’s a picture or a video, make sure it entices people to click through or continue reading and make sure it relates to your blog post.


5. Did I use subheadings? – Subheadings make it easier for readers to skim your content.

6. Did I link out to anyone? – When appropriate, link out to other websites. Then once you publish your post, you can email those sites and ask them to share it on their social profiles.

7. Are my paragraphs fewer than 5 or 6 lines? – Anything longer than this will seem overwhelming to readers.


8. Did I end my post with a question? – This is a great way to generate more comments. Remember to italicize this question.

9. Does my conclusion encourage people to read the content? – Sometimes people will scroll down and read the conclusion first. Make sure your conclusion entices people to read the entire post.

Promotion – I’m going to create a follow-up post solely on promotion and blog posts, because there is clearly more than 1 thing you should do in terms of promotion.

10. Have I repurposed my content? By turning your blog post into a PDF or a slide deck and sharing it on the Internet, you can get more traffic. Just submit different versions to sites like Slideshare, and your traffic will increase. Make sure you adjust and edit your content however. You don’t want to be hit by a duplicate content penalty from Google.


If you ask yourself the ten questions I posed above, you’ll quickly see that there’s a lot of work to be done to get successful results with your content marketing.

Don’t worry if you don’t have time to do everything. Just know that the more you do, the better off you’ll be.

So, did I miss anything? What other questions should you ask yourself before publishing another blog post?


How to build website traffic through forum marketing

Forum marketing may be the most underutilized website traffic generation strategy. Industry forums are brimming with potential leads and customers. However, to build build traffic to your website and have success, you have to do more than simply creating a signature and leaving generic posts.

Strategies & Techniques for Forum Marketing

1. Find Active Forums in Your Niche

The first step is to find active forums in your niche. This is the best search string you can probably use. You want to go to Google and use your keyword in quotes plus forum. As an example, “website design” + “forum”.

Depending on your specific niche, this search string may or may not work really well. If it doesn’t work and you don’t get a ton of forum results, you can use another search string on Google – your keyword plus Powered by vBulletin. vBulletin is forum software that is used for creating and managing forums.

If that doesn’t get you the forum results you’re looking for, you can also try this search string on Google – your keyword plus “hot thread with new post”.

These are three really reliable search strings and you can usually find plenty of forums in your niche, but if these aren’t yielding enough results or you just want more, there’s yet another trick to find more forums. What you want to do is use a niche specific keyword.

Once you’ve found a forum, you want to see if it’s even worth your time. The first thing you want to do is look at the latest post info and look at when the last post was posted. Basically, what you’re doing is seeing how often people are posting on this site and how active it is, because there is no way to see how many active users there are, so this is a proxy way to do that. Under posted you want to look at the date and in that case that is yesterday, so that’s pretty recent. This is also from yesterday, which is pretty recent. As long as you see that, it’s probably worth making an account.

2. Register For A Particular Forum

Your next step is to register. Find wherever it says register, click that button. Then, you want to fill out the user name or screen name. You want to make it your brand name or your personal name. You want to use something very memorable and branded. Ideally, you would put your brand name or your site name as your username. That’s important because people are going to be seeing that and associating your content on the forum with your brand. If this is something that’s not your brand, it’s going to be harder for them to associate the content with the name of your business or the name of your website.

Once you have an account and it’s all set up, your next step is to create a signature. A forum signature is important because that’s actually how you’re going to drive traffic to your site. In your signature, you just want to create some call to action, a benefit driven call to action.

You don’t want to make the mistake that a lot of people make with forum marketing, which is to try to get some SEO value from this link and they put exact match anchor text. That is not smart because really Google doesn’t consider these links particularly valuable and that over-optimized anchor text can hurt you down the road. Just make sure to use some sort of call to action in your anchor text that isn’t just your keyword because this is actually how you’re going to drive traffic to your site from the forum.

3. Participating In The Forum

Once you have your account set up and your signature ready to go, your next step is to actually participate in the forum. To do that, you want to visit the main area of the forum and see where most people hang out.

The next thing you’ll want to do is click on one of the areas that either has a lot of people viewing or is an area of expertise or both and click on it. You want to click at the thread titles and see where you can add value.  That’s really important because a lot of people, when they do forum marketing, they make the mistake of just responding to as many as possible. In my experience, it’s definitely quality over quantity. If you can maybe add one to two quality posts to a thread per day, you can get quite a bit of traffic from that.

You definitely want to be early on and that’s why when you look at the forum section, you want to stick to the top as much as possible and not scroll down too much because then when you participate you’re going to be towards the bottom of the thread and not as many people are going to see you. You should include the keyword in the forum post and also in the title.

4. Creating Your Own Thread

If you want to get the most traffic possible from forum marketing, you have to create your own thread. Participating in threads is great, but you also want to create your own threads. You can actually just copy and paste content from your site. It doesn’t have to be original for a forum. Make sure it’s indexed on your site and once Google indexes it, you can head over to your forum of choice and then give them, maybe, a different version that’s a little shorter or more brief or maybe add something to it that’s exclusive for the forum, so it’s not really just copying and pasting.

That’s really all there is to building website traffic through forum marketing. You want to create an account that has your brand name as the user name. You want to participate as often as possible, but make sure you’re providing value every single time you participate in a thread. Then, when you publish something great on your site, wait for it to get indexed and then head to the form and then paste it there and maybe make some modifications and that’s going to get you some really, really great traffic.