The Importance of Having a Consistent Social Media Schedule

You already know how important social media marketing is in your overall campaign strategy. When done well, a great social media game can make a huge, positive impact on brand awareness, loyalty, and identity- three factors that are major driving forces for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

But as you also undoubtedly have seen, not all social media strategies are created equal. Not having a solid social media management plan, complete with a consistent posting schedule, can be more detrimental than beneficial to your campaign. Here are some things you should know about the importance of social media and why consistency matters.

Establish a Voice

Every brand has a “voice”- that is, a definitive style that drives its identity in the eyes of the consumer. If you haven’t nailed down your brand voice yet, it is essential that you do prior to unleashing your social media marketing campaign on the world.
Try thinking about what your company stands for, what it values, and most importantly, what it is able to offer to consumers, and use that information to develop a voice that keeps your messaging consistent across all social media platforms.

Post Consistently

Sometimes when it comes to social media, posting sporadically is worse than never posting at all! You are using social media as a marketing tool, and as such, you need to drive the message you want your target audience to hear concisely and consistently. That is really the only way to get people to pay attention, which will not only gain you likes and follows but can also ultimately increase your conversion rate.
One simple way to get in the habit of posting consistently is to create a social media content calendar each month. By nailing down what you plan to post, including corresponding links, images, and hashtags, you can automate the process completely with a social media management tool like HootSuite, ensuring consistency in your social media posting game.

Image Is Everything…

…at least in social media! Think about it: people are scrolling through their news feed, waiting for something to catch their eye. We are constantly bombarded with marketing efforts from all sides, all day long. In order to stand out from the pack, you need to hit on some visuals that make a consumer stop dead in their tracks and take notice of what you are offering. Try using animated GIFs and possibly even memes, if that is on-brand for you- but take care not to overdo it. People can spot a phony from a mile away- the idea is to make your social media posts look as much NOT like an ad as possible.

Contact Echero Today

When you are able to establish and maintain a consistent social media management strategy, you can help gain traction with members of your target demographic and generate some serious organic buzz surrounding your brand and products. Use these social media tips to get started, and if you think you could use a little extra assistance, Contact Echero. Our social media marketing experts love helping brands develop a strategy and know exactly what it takes to make an impact through consistent, engaging posts.

Website Design For Beginners

As a business owner, you already know that in this day and age, great website design can make or break your company’s potential future success. So, no pressure there! Even if you’re brand new to website design, it’s far from impossible to create an awesome site that draws people in, keeps them clicking, and eventually leads to increased conversions. We’re here with some tips on website design for beginners to get you started and help you create something special. Enjoy!

It’s OK to Be Basic

For your first website, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to a clean, basic design. Try starting with a blog to get you comfortable with the mechanics of your content management system (CMS) and ease you into the more complex aspects of website design.

Need extra help? No worries- try using a blog template! These plug-and-play designs have already been created- now all they need is for you to add the elements and information that make them your own. Choose the design that best fits your branding and mission, and you’re on your way!

Get Some Inspo

There’s nothing like other people’s website designs to help you gain inspiration for your own. As someone who’s been surfing the Internet for a significant chunk of your life, you’ve undoubtedly come across website designs that have spoken to you for one reason or another. Try looking through some of your favorite sites to get a feel for what makes them stand out to you- is it the simplicity of the design? The user experience? The overall aesthetics? Whatever it is that you find appealing, try incorporating some of those elements into your own website design.

Think Outside the Web

Of course, not all inspiration is going to come from other websites. Since website design is an art form, it’s natural for designers to find their inspiration from a number of sources: nature, works of art such as paintings and sculptures, and even newspapers or magazines can serve as inspiration for a great website design. Take note of anything that appeals to you, from the shape of a vase to the font on your cereal box in the morning- if it jumps out at you, it just may hit other people the same way!

Know Your Content

Before you even design the first page of your website, it’s essential to know what you’re going to fill it with, in terms of content. What is the purpose of this website? What is it trying to accomplish? If you are selling a product or service, how are you going to present these offerings to entice and interest customers while informing them? Having the content nailed down first can help you make decisions with your website design, such as how much text needs to appear at certain intervals, which images should be juxtaposed with which text, and more.

Contact Echero Today

By following these website design tips, you will be on your way to creating your first website masterpiece! Still need help? The Echero team is happy to assist you. Contact us today to learn more about our website design services.

Is It Possible Your Website Has Too Much Content?

When it comes to website content, there’s no such thing as too much…right? While having a healthy amount of content on your website is certainly important, it’s a question of quality over quantity. There is a difference between website content and good website content, and it has less to do with word count than you may think. We’re here to dispel some rumors about website content, what makes good content good, and why you should worry less about how many words are on a page and concentrate more on what those words are saying.

What Makes For Good Website Content?

When a consumer visits a website, it’s because he or she is looking for more information about a product or service a company provides, as well as some background on the organization itself. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the customer has the time or the desire to kick back and read a 1,500-word description of every single offering on the website. Good website cuts right to the chase, delivering all the pertinent information in short, easy-to-digest bites that satisfy the user’s quest for knowledge without boring them to death.

Unfortunately, many content writers- and their employers- believe that word count is the most important aspect of writing website content that resonates with consumers, and that a 2,500-word blog post is somehow more impactful than one that only weighs in at 350 words. While long-form blog content is sometimes the most necessary and effective means of sharing information, it should not be what a content writer strives for every single time. When you are shooting to fill a certain number of pages with words, what ends up happening nearly every single time is that you are bloating a piece that could have been written much more concisely, making it repetitive and boring for those who are reading it.

How Much Content is the Right Amount?

So how do you know when to go with the long-form content and when your information would be better off in smaller doses? When in doubt, follow the Miniskirt Rule- keep it short enough to cover the point but long enough to keep it interesting. In other words, once you’ve stated the basics of your topic and conveyed the information you want your readers to learn from the piece, flesh it out a bit, give it some color and voice, and shape it into the sort of thing you would be interested in reading yourself as a consumer. Try not to let word count lengths dictate your decision-making process here; some blog posts are destined to go on for a thousand words by nature while others are best left at 400. When you feel there is absolutely nothing left to write about on the topic at hand, that is usually an indicator that you’ve reached a good stopping point.

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Echero knows a thing or two about good website content, and we’re here to help you! Contact us today to hear more about our professional website content writing services.

What’s the Difference Between Local and Global SEO?

Over the past decade, SEO, or search engine optimization, has become one of the fundamentals of digital marketing strategies. Companies across multiple industries utilize SEO best practices to give their websites an edge over local, national, and even global competition. If you’ve been looking into boosting your website’s SEO, chances are you’ve heard about local SEO and how it can help get core members of your local target audience interested in your products or services. But what’s the difference between local SEO and global SEO- and do you need both of them in order to boost your search engine rankings? We’ve got some SEO tips to help break down the difference and point you in the right direction.

What’s Local SEO?

As its name implies, local SEO campaigns optimize search results using keywords and phrases targeted to a specific region. Keyphrases such as “hair salons in Baltimore,” “Seattle pizza restaurant,” or “Bookstores in 90210” are all examples of terms that are likely to be entered during a search for a local business. A localized SEO strategy is key for a business that caters mainly or exclusively to people within a certain community, city, or state. By employing local SEO, small business owners are able to get the word out about their locally-owned companies and restaurants.

What’s Global SEO?

But what if your company services more than just one region? What if you have several locations serving multiple cities or even states? In this case, global SEO may be something worth looking into. Though the term “global SEO” sounds like you may need to be a multi-billion dollar corporation that provides services to people in all the countries on Earth, global SEO is also an appropriate strategy to adopt if your business only operates in a handful of states, or even in two or three different regions of the same state.

So What’s the Difference?

Simply put, while every business, large and small, needs a local SEO strategy, not every business needs to go global with their search engine optimization efforts. Additionally, having a global SEO game that’s on point is not enough, even for larger companies- it is still very important to target specific regions through local SEO campaigns in addition to your global SEO strategy.

By understanding local versus global SEO, you can develop strong campaigns that not only drive organic search engine traffic to your company’s website but also edge out your competition and increase your page rankings.

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Need more SEO tips? That’s what we live for! Contact Echero today to learn more about what we can do for your company’s SEO.

How Important is Social Media to Your Small Business?

You’re the proprietor of a small local business, with no plans to further expand your empire. How important could social media possibly be to your bottom line? The answer may surprise you! Even for a small business social media can increase brand awareness, build strong associations and loyalty for your brand among local customers, and put your business head and shoulders above the competition. And even if there literally is no competition, there are tons of social media advantages that can help increase your revenue and drive new business. Let’s take a look at why social media still benefits small businesses.

Building Connections

There’s a reason they call it “social media”- there’s a chance that almost everyone in your community is at least somewhat active on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Many small towns and municipalities across the country have their own Facebook pages where small local businesses can advertise their goods and services and, more importantly, build a connection with their core consumers. Using social media to foster relationships with new and existing clients can help establish trust and secure your reputation as a great local business.

Knowing Your Audience

One of the biggest social media advantages is that it gives small business owners the opportunity to really get to know their customers. A quick glance at the profile page of each person who likes or follows your company’s page can tell you all kinds of valuable things about the type of person your business attracts. Having this deep understanding of your target audience can help you come up with promotions, events, and even new products or services that are more likely to interest them, which can help increase your sales and allow your business to thrive.

Staying Ahead of the Competition

Even if your small business is the only one of its kind in your community, chances are there is some online retailer or company in a neighboring city that can be seen as a competitor. The simple act of having a social media page dedicated to your business can help increase its visibility on local search result pages, which can help to steer important customers to your company instead of one that is higher-priced or less conveniently located but is more visible in a local online search. There’s no need to create a page on every single social media platform, either- by knowing your audience and understanding which social network is the best fit for your demographics as well as the nature of your business, you can keep a leg up on the competition without overextending your social media presence.

The bottom line is that small business social media can mean big business for you! By taking advantage of these free social media platforms, you can leverage your exposure and visibility to increase profitability and build a solid reputation as an awesome local business!

Contact Echero Today!

Need more guidance with your small business social media marketing strategy? Echero is here for you. Contact us today to see how we can help!

7 Ways to Make Your Website Stand Out

Don’t let your business look like all the rest! From website content ideas to blogging pointers, we’ve got some website design tips to set your company’s site apart from the competition.

  1. Content is King – A website is nothing without excellent copy helping it to stand out. Good website content should be pithy and to the point, while delivering a message that is conversational and fun to read.
  2. An Excellent Design – It goes without saying that an eye-catching, cleverly designed website is going to stand out more than a boring, cookie-cutter one. That said, functionality is just as important as form, so make sure it’s as easy to read and navigate as it is visually stunning.
  3. Get Animated – Simple animation, like a subtle GIF or photos and text falling into place as you scroll down the page, can make your website memorable and add a layer of sophistication and a high-tech feel.
  4. Keep it Fresh – Would you trust an outdated website that looks like it’s straight out of 1998? If your site doesn’t match the awesomeness of your company’s products or services, it’s time for an upgrade. In addition to a modern-looking design, it’s important to keep the content fresh by adding new blog posts at least weekly and keeping your list of staff members current.
  5. Add Videos – People love watching videos and are more likely to retain the information they gathered from a video than from reading copy alone. Additionally, having videos embedded on your website can add an air of professionalism to your organization. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to produce videos about your company’s products or services- a video shot on your iPhone and edited with inexpensive or free video editing software can look just as highbrow as one put together by a professional videographer.
  6. Use High-Quality Images – Speaking of visual appeal, your website is going to be a lot more interesting if you use high-quality images rather than photos that are grainy, pixellated, or just plain tiny. Use photos that are unique and speak to your core brand values and identity to create a memorable user experience.
  7. Feature Your Fans – Having testimonials from real, satisfied customers is always a great way to generate interest in your organization as well as to build “street cred” for your brand. Hearing stories from real clients highlighting your company in a positive way can be a real draw for prospective customers. Positive Yelp reviews, social media shout-outs, and even videos featuring happy customers can all lend positive, authentic vibes to your website.

Contact Echero Today!

Still need some website design pointers? Echero is here to help! Contact us today to find out how we can take your website to the next level!

10 Website Design Tips

Looking for website design tips that put you ahead of your competition? You’ve come to the right place. Here are our 10 best recommendations for making your website content stand out to all the right people.

  1. Think About Hick’s Law – Hick’s Law states that the more choices a person has, the longer they will take to make a decision. Keep this in mind as you’re designing your website by limiting menu options and form fields and focusing on a singular CTA instead of multiple calls to action.
  2. Keep it Simple! – Simplicity is key in website design. People are there looking for information, and your job is to provide it in a clear-cut, concise way. By eliminating confusing visual complexity and sticking with standard, familiar layouts, you’re increasing user experience and decreasing frustration.
  3. Nobody Likes Carousels – It can look impressive to display photos in a format that encourages users to keep clicking, but the truth is, research has shown that the first slide on a carousel or slideshow receives 90 percent of the clicks while the rest are basically ignored. Try to keep all images on a page that can be easily scanned and scrolled through, rather than something that requires an extra click.
  4. Scrolling, Yes. Clicking, No. – Which leads us directly to our next website design tip- people seem to prefer a single-page “endlessly scrolling” site format than one that makes them click to navigate to separate landing pages. Try to make sure all the most pertinent information about your business is in a single, scrollable page so that people can easily find what they need, and see what it does for your conversion rate!
  5. Speed is Key – Your users feel the need for speed, and who can blame them? Nobody likes a slow-loading site when you’re just trying to quickly look something up, and we’re likely to leave a website and find another that can serve our needs when it’s just taking too long.
  6. The Fold Matters – A cardinal rule of design, whether for a web page or a newspaper page, has been to keep the most important information “above the fold,” meaning the top half of the page. While there has been some debate about whether the fold even matters anymore, recent research has indicated that it absolutely still does. So, err on the side of caution and be sure to include a hero image, a descriptive headline and a clear call to action right off the bat.
  7. Use Visual Cues – Is there a section of your website that you really want users to pay attention to? Using an image with an arrow or a person looking or pointing may seem pretty basic, but it actually works! Whether you choose a more subtle approach or a blatant, “look at me” type graphic, be sure to put visual cues around the most important parts of your page.
  8. Make a List – As you can see, we’re huge fans of lists. Why? People enjoy seeing quick, concise bullet points detailing features of a product, service, or concept and are more likely to recall this information in a list form than if it was written as a paragraph of text. Be sure to put the most important points first and last, as these are the ones that are more likely to be recalled.
  9. Skip Stock Photos – Using images of real people in your website design is a wonderful idea, as it conveys the idea of community and human connection. However, the use of stock photos can cause skepticism among your audience, as it seems that people are hard-wired to spot phony, generic photos, and tune them out. Avoid this by using images of staff members, customers, and other “real people” who have a stake in your business.
  10. Share Social Proof – Word of mouth is still key when it comes to marketing, and thanks to social media, we now have more ways than ever to showcase positive customer reviews! By sharing social proof of your company’s stellar reputation and customer satisfaction, such as positive mentions, testimonials, and likes/shares, you’re lending credibility to your claims.

Contact Echero Today!

These website design tips are your starting point for building a site that genuinely makes people want to do business with you. For more great tips on website design, Contact Echero today!

Factors That Hurt Your Business’s SEO

As a business owner in the 21st century, you’re already aware of the impact SEO can have on your organic search rankings, and ultimately your bottom line. That’s why it can be especially frustrating when, despite your best efforts to keep up with local SEO tips, you find that your organic website traffic is either at a standstill or actually on the decline! How can this be? We’re here with a few common practices that can have a negative impact on your SEO, and what you can do to fix them.

Slow Site Speed

Have you ever lingered on a web page that was loading so slowly, you thought there may be an issue with your Internet connection? Most people don’t have the time or the patience to wait around on a slow-loading page, which can lead to high bounce rates and a dissatisfying user experience that may leave a bad taste in your target audience’s mouth.

First and foremost, be sure to test your page’s load time with a free testing tool like WebPageTest.org. You should be aiming for a load time of .5 seconds or less- if it’s anything above that, check for underlying factors such as large images, inefficient code, or even a poor web hosting service and correct them.

Broken Links and Missing Images

It can be annoying to a prospective client to click a link on a website for more information…only to be directed to a broken page. Indeed, broken links or images can lessen your site’s user experience, leading to a negative impact on your SEO.

What to do: Conduct regular site audits to ensure that all links are in working order and that none are pointing to pages that are broken. This will not only increase your clients’ satisfaction with your site but also allow Google’s page crawlers to navigate more smoothly, leading to higher search rankings. Try the Chrome plug-in Check My Links to audit internal and external links on smaller sites or a service like Ahrefs for larger, more complex websites.

Negative Blog Comments

When it comes to marketing, word of mouth is still the most powerful tool in your advertising arsenal. But what about those inappropriate or weird comments that sometimes show up on your blog posts from dissatisfied customers, bots, or straight-up trolls looking to stir up trouble? Leaving negative comments about your brand or products on your website’s blog can also be detrimental to your SEO, as it causes the Google algorithm to flag your site as questionable, diminishing your authority and legitimacy as a company.

What to Do: Step One is to moderate the comments section on your website’s blog by turning on notifications that enable you to see each comment the moment it is posted. This allows you greater freedom to delete spam or other inappropriate comments before they have a chance to be seen. Installing a spam filter to weed out the comments left by spambots is also a big help. Additionally, consider instituting a formal commenting policy on your blog, or simply turning off the commenting functions altogether if you find it isn’t being used by anyone other than bots.

Contact Echero Today!

Take time to follow these SEO tips to correct these commonly-overlooked factors that can impact your rankings, and you may find that it’s a real game-changer! Contact us today!

How to Get Your Website Ranked on Google

If you’ve been hearing a lot lately about the importance of SEO and improving your Google search rankings, you may be left with a lot of questions, including, “…How on Earth do I do that?” We’re here to give you the lowdown on Google rankings, SEO, and the best practices you can start using right now to increase your ranking power and drive organic traffic to your website.

What is Google Website Ranking?

Let’s start with the basics. If you’re familiar with using Google as a search engine, you know that it begins with a user entering searchable keywords and phrases into the field describing what he or she is trying to find. For example, a person in Atlanta in need of a dog sitter may conduct a Google search using the phrase “dog sitting services in Atlanta.” The Google algorithm will then search the entire Internet looking for websites that are the best possible match for those search terms. This is done by matching the keywords up to the number of times those same words or phrases occur in a given website. Google awards top ranking spots to websites that seem to meet the criteria best, meaning that using the appropriate keywords to drive interested customers to your website gives you better chances of coming out at or near the top of a search. That, in a nutshell, is SEO.

But good SEO goes beyond the mere concept of keyword ranking; after all, if it was that easy, all you’d have to do is type your relevant SEO keywords in, over and over again, with nothing else on your website. (By the way, don’t do that. It’s called keyword stuffing and it is neither cool nor beneficial to you.)

If you want to ensure your SEO game is solid enough to rank on Google, follow these pro tips:

    1. Write Great Content – We cannot stress this enough- good, engaging, organic website content, with the appropriate amount of keywords and phrases sprinkled in, is key when it comes to improving your Google website ranking.
    2. More Backlinks – A backlink, or a link from another website to yours, is an especially powerful addition, as it shows that your site is a reputable authority from a trustworthy source.
    3. User Experience – Don’t you just hate a clunky website that’s slow to load, hard to read, and impossible to navigate? Yeah, so does everyone else on the planet. User experience can make or break your Google website ranking, so make sure yours is optimized for performance.

Contact Echero Today!

Want more tips? Your friendly Echero reps live for this stuff! Contact us today and let us help you learn more about ranking in Google searches and increasing your organic traffic.

How Google Maps Can Help Grow Your Business

Is your local business currently showing up on Google Maps? If not, you could be missing out on some big opportunities. People conducting a Google search to find a business that provides a specific product or service in their area are more likely to choose a company with clear-cut directions to their location, as well as other pertinent information like hours of operation, phone number, and peak busy times during the day. Using Google Maps and Google My Business in conjunction with one another can help improve your local SEO ranking.

Using Google Maps with Google My Business

By simply making sure your company shows up on Google Maps, you are increasing your digital presence and boosting your chances for ranking higher in local searches. This is the type of free marketing that can make or break a small local business, and all you have to do is ensure that your business is listed with Google Maps. This simple act will allow customers all over your area to see your business when they enter appropriate local search terms, as well as gauge your proximity to them, which can lead to new business from people who perhaps wouldn’t have known you existed otherwise!

If you really want to take things up a notch, however, it’s important to register with Google My Business. Listing your business with Google My Business allows consumers to know even more information about your company, which can lead them to choose you over the competition. The more information you list about your business, the better Google My Business will work to target people in your local audience and inform them of your services. Going beyond the standard NAP (name, address, phone) information and including other pertinent things like specific areas you serve, positive Google My Business reviews, and any related, supporting services your company offers that fall under the umbrella of your specialty area can all make a big difference in your local SEO results.

Contact Echero Today!

By utilizing Google Maps and Google My Business, you can improve your company’s local SEO strategy by leaps and bounds! Contact Echero if you have any questions about how we can help put your local business on the map.