Thursday, May 16, 2019

Online reviews have real SEO value

Customer reviews and the Google 3 Pack (maps pack) Joplin MO

There are numerous factors a local business needs to nurture their online reviews. A company's online reputation is extremely important when it is out there for each internet searcher to review. Several customer studies verify that the majority of consumers do check out online reviews and a large number are affected by the reviews that they see. This alone is reason enough for a business to thoroughly monitor their online reviews throughout various review sites.

Still another reason for a company to be concerned with online reviews is that they have an impact on the SEO score of their Google My Business (GMB) or even site. Google is extremely interested in engagement between a company and the customer. Businesses that get more reviews and put in the time to respond to the reviews that they receive are ranked higher in Google's algorithm. Wait you may say, I have seen a number of circumstances where a business is featured in the Local 3 Pack and has no reviews at all. Yes, that is sometimes true. Reviews are only one of many elements that Google is taking a look at. You can be sure that in a competitive niche in a larger service area reviews can make a real difference.

It is critical, apart from Google, for a local company to constantly cultivate more and better reviews from their customers, and to respond out of professional courtesy to every review that they receive. Specifically respond to negative reviews. The reply needs to always be professional and as positive as possible. Be factual in the action if there are scenarios not brought out in the negative review. Don't be argumentative. Remember other possible clients will be reading the review and your response. Seek to restore a relationship if possible.

As always call Gideon Marketing for the very best help in gathering more and better online reviews to build your online reputation.

 Gideon Marketing
4200 McClelland Blvd
Joplin, MO 64804


Friday, May 10, 2019

The Basic Principles of Effective Website Style 

One of the more crucial considerations for a brand is their online presence. A critical element of this is great website design. Great website design can raise you above or crater you below your competition. Style matters, due to the fact that it is a reflection of your brand and how you operate. Eventually it factors into how your clients or possible clients view you verses all your rivals. 
This is particularly important when it pertains to website design. Websites are typically the first point of contact for a business online. With over 97% of customers searching online for area local goods and services, a companies online impression is vital. Make a bad impression, and you could lose a prospective customer. Make a good one, you can acquire a new customer. Make a terrific impression, and you can will catch and keep a consumer for life. 
It starts with site style, how compelling your content and visual material, and the experience you supply your users. So, let's cover what you need to understand about great site style! 

IF you need help with your local website design in Joplin Mo, call us!

Gideon Marketing 
4200 McClelland Blvd 
Joplin, MO 64804 


Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Basic Principles of Effective Website Design

website design restaurant joplin mo

One of the more important considerations for a brand is their online presence. A critical element of this is good web design. Good web design can elevate you above or drop you below your competition. Design matters, because it is a reflection of your brand and how you do business. Ultimately it helps determine how your clients and potential customers perceive you verses all your competitors.
This is especially important when it comes to web design. Websites are effectively the new storefront and often the first point of contact for a business online. With over 97% of consumers searching online for local goods and services a businesses online impression is critical. Make a poor impression, and you could lose a potential customer. Make a good one, you can gain a new customer. Make a great impression, and you can will capture and keep a customer for life.
It begins with website design, how you present your written text and visual content, and the experience you provide your users. So, let’s cover what you should know about good website design!

Have a defined purpose

Does your website have a clear purpose? Is that purpose immediately apparent to the visitor when they land on your sites home page? Or are they confused about what the point of the page is, or what type business the site is about?
Does your website quickly make it clear to the visitor the value that they can get from your products or services? Most online searchers have an extremely short attention span, especially if they are searching on a mobile devise. Are the benefits of what you have to offer immediately clear? Or is your page merely a list of products or services, and a jumble of features and specifications. If your website visitors don’t quickly see that your site is what they are looking for and the benefit you can offer them they will quickly bounce away.
Digital Marketing-Website design Joplin MO

Make it easy to scan your pages

When visitors come to your site they are most likely going to scan the page rather than read everything on it. For example, when visitors are looking for specific content or to complete a certain task, they will quickly scan a website’s pages until they discover what they are looking for. As the website owner it is your responsibility to help them with that by insuring good visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy is the arrangement or presentation of elements in order of importance ━ where their eyes should focus first, second, etc.
Practical tips:
  • Avoid large blocks of text. Organize your content into groups to make it easier to digest visually. Breaking up blocks of text by headers or bullet points.
  • Put more weight on important elements. Make important elements such as call-to-action buttons or contact forms focal points so guests see them immediately. You can emphasize elements by using different font sizes or colors.
  • Consider our natural scanning patterns. People in the Western world read left to right, top to bottom. A website should go with this pattern to avoid confusion for your visitors. Well-designed websites lay out their content in a “F” reading shape or “Z” visual pattern.

Take content seriously

Textual content is just as important as the design of your website. More than 80% of the content on the internet is still written language. Even if your site were award winning design, it’s merely an empty shell without great content; a good website has both good design and great content. The design of the site should aid and complement the content.
Insure that the content is relevant. Visitors come to your site to find information or solve problems that they have. You need to speak to their needs, wants, and issues. Do not focus on you or your business. Focus on them. Speak to their needs and questions.
Avoid jargon. The information on your website should be as plain and simple as possible for comprehension. Best practice is to write for all levels of readers by choosing words that are simple, clear and that avoid industry or insider jargon that may not be understood by everyone.
Digital Marketing - Content Marketing Joplin MO 

  A Good Call-to-Action

Identify the ONE THING you want someone to do on each page of your site. If you have properly identified the prospects needs, desires, pain point, and you have offered the best solution for them, you need to give the user a way to get the benefits you’re offering. This is called a call-to-action.
For example, if you want visitors to get in touch with you, you could provide a link that says:
Contact us now, click here!
If you want them to download a free eBook or file, you could say:
Don’t miss out, download our special eBook on the best sites to visit in Rome, It’s free!
If you want them to subscribe to a newsletter by filling out a short form, you could say:
Yes! I want to get proven ways to make money from home by subscribing to your free newsletter!
These are just a few examples. The point is to compel them to take action now. If they put it off, it will not happen!

Minimize the number of choices

The number of choices consumersare presented with willaffect their decisions; the more choices they have, the less action they are likely to take. When you present your prospectwith too many options, you make them think too much. To increase chances for action, it is importantto minimize the number of choices.

Engage users to scroll

Scrolling drawsusers deeper into yourpagesand makes them invest more time in the experience. This increases the chance that the user will convert ━ take action. buy something, sign up for a newsletter, or contact you. Content at the top of the page is very important. It creates the important first impression and expectation of quality and positive results forvisitors. People willscroll, but only if what’s above the fold is promising enough.
Practical tip: Content and images at the top of the page will set initial expectations. If a page provides users with high-quality visuals and content, they are willing to browse for more content.

Simple and Obvious Website Navigation

The best way to ensure your visitors get around your website easily is to place a navigation menu with links to the main sections of your site at the top of each page. If you site is for a local business you will want to also have a contact phone number prominent at the top of each page. You’ll want to make it obvious to your prospect that all links are clickable. Be sure that these clickable links are visually different from the regular text content on the rest of the site.

  • Keep top-level navigation for main navigation options. Limit your top-level navigation links to a maximum of seven choices, most users cannot interact effectively with more choices than that. If you need more, create sub-navigation with clear categorization. Notice that even Amazon can get you to almost any product you need within about three clicks.
  • Use clear labels for navigation options. Use familiar words for menu options to help users understand them better.
  • Reduce the clicks required for users to get to a destination. Design your navigation in a way that gets visitors where they want to go with the least number of clicks possible. When designing a website, remember the three click rule we outlined above, which says that your viewers should never be more than three clicks away from what they are looking for.
  • Include navigation options in the footer of your site. A footer is a place where visitors expect to find navigation options and contact information.

An About Us Page

The “About Us” Page is often overlooked. It is however an opportunity to really set yourself apart from the competition. This is a good place to get creative and tell your story in a very compelling way. A good About Us page is personal and informative. It will contain striking visuals and great inside information. Check out this link for some creative examples of About Us pages:


Undoubtedly,the best ways to market your business, products, and services is to let your satisfied customers do it for you. Make it a practice to ask your clients – customers for testimonials or feedback, and prominently feature positive experiences and quotes each page of your website. A best practice is to collect “keyword” rich testimonials specific to particular products or services that you offer and then feature these testimonials on the appropriate page of your website. Make sure to include a compelling call to action on the page. Don’t leave your visitor wondering what to do next. Along with testimonials for your website, don't forget to collect online reviews.  Reviews from Google, Yelp, and Facebook can not only build your online trust but they are extremely important in building trust when searchers find you online.

A Contact Page

This should be redundant to be sure. Every page of your site should have a contact section. Never the less, be sure to give your users a way to get in touch with you! Ideally, you’ll have a contact form that a prospect can quickly fill-in and send for feedback purposes. You can also provide links to social media accounts as well. However, do not make these links prominent on the page. You do not want potential customers clicking away from the page without filling out the contact form or clicking on your call to action.

A Blog

A blog is a great way to market your business and keep your clients up-to-date on special offers, events, personnel changes, community events, etc. You can use it to create content relevant to your industry that’s useful to your clients. This is productive for them and builds authority for your site in the search engines. Use your blog to start discussions, and you can use it to get valuable feedback as well. This will provide ideas for future content and builds a sense of community between you and your clients. Done correctly, posting regular, well-written, and useful blog content can do wonders for engaging the people who matter most to you (and therefore, your business).

Final Critical Elements

  • Fast Loading-- No one wants to wait for your site to load. In the age where most users are on mobile devises this is ever more important. Insure your site has prompt loading times for all users on all devices. You can use Pingdom or Pagespeed Insights by Google to check your website speed and get insights on how you can improve.
  • Mobile Ready-- Virtually everyone uses smart devices today. Create an engaging, mobile-friendly website that your audience can access quickly and displays correctly.
  • Tracking Enabled-- Analytics matter - it’s critical to determine that your website is actually effective and bringing in traffic. Your website should include functionality to gauge key indicators such as traffic, goals, and conversions.
  • SEO Savvy-- Don’t underestimate the power of optimizing your website for both browsers and humans. Provide compelling, readable content for your site visitors. For the search engines, make sure your content is keyword rich. Be sure to include all necessary on-page SEO tags and elements, including schema and XML sitemaps.
  • Conversion Optimized-- Synergy between visual and content elements. Address the wants, needs, questions and skepticism of your prospects then offer compelling reasons to act now to enjoy the benefits of your solution. Implement these design elements and move prospects through your site and direct them to schedule an appointment, request a product demonstration, or even make a purchase.
  • Email Marketing-- Absolutely. Email marketing can be an effective and cost effective way to sell products or services, remind customers that they are due for a visit or highlight special offers. A website’s email capture forms should sync with the your business’ email marketing system for seamless access and function.
  • Social Media-- Don’t miss an opportunity to leverage the power of social media. Be sure to integrate relevant social media platforms within your site. Allowing customers to access social media pages from your website instantly broadens a brand’s reach and will help increase visibility and traffic.
  • Strong Security-- Both site security from hackers and spamming and security for information collected from site visitors. Website security cannot be an after-thought.



Monday, April 29, 2019

Web Design Joplin Mo Some Basic Elements for your Site

Good Web Design begins with a plan.

Before a web designer is called in it is a good idea to do some pre-planning. This planning should include the following elements

1. Identify your goals for your site

Make a list of the goals that you want to accomplish with your website. It is important to be clear on what you seek to accomplish with each page of the website. What your messaging should be for each page. Think about what search terms a potential customer would use to find the goods or services that each page highlights. You will want to make sure those "keywords" or keyword phrases are prominent in the text of each page.

Consider your prospect. What do they need or want? What are their "hot buttons" and how can you uniquely take care of them. Why should they choose you? Do they need to be informed or educated on your product or services and how can you establish yourself as the expert that they can trust? People price check goods or services that they consider a commodity. They don’t price check an “expert or a specialists”.

2. Proof - An Offer You Can’t Refuse

If you have done a good job covering the wants, needs, fears, desires of your prospect and how you can satisfy their needs you then offer proof. An iron clad guarantee or quality testimonials or before/after photo’s. Something or a number of things that make it clear that you are the best choice and they will be absolutely satisfied if they do business with you.

3. Clear call to action on each page

Most websites convert very poorly. One of the major reasons for this is owners/designers do not have a clear goal in mind for every page of the website and they don’t have a single, clear, call to action to compel visitors to take an action, whether that action is to fill out a form, make a call, click on a buy now button, regardless of the action the page is constructed around the goal of compelling the prospect to take that one small action.

4. Simple site navigation

Even a website as complex as Amazon can get you to anything you are looking for in 3-4 clicks. You need to have clear and concise navigation that makes it simple for your visitors to quickly find what they are looking for. Of course a good menu structure helps this, but major products or services should be linked to directly from the Home page.

Good site structure is not only important to your site visitors but it helps search engines in identifying what your site is about and properly indexing your site and your internal pages.

5. Mobile friendly

Every year mobile searches increase and searches from desktop computers are decreasing. You are certainly aware that most people are searching from their mobile phones these days. Insure that your site loads fast and loads correctly on all devises.

6. Finally Image

Unfortunately this is the element that the majority of web designers strive for most and the thing that the majority of owners think they want or need the most. Yes, design and image do matter. But not as much as conversions and traffic to your business. Think about design but only AFTER all of the other elements for a good high converting website are in place.

For more help on website design call us and let us show you what we can do.

Gideon Marketing

4200 McClelland Blvd

Joplin, MO 64804



Thursday, April 4, 2019

Simple and Inexpensive Digital Marketing Options

Probably the starting place for most businesses is to have a website for internet exposure. When planning for a website it is important to consider the specific products or services that a business wants to be known for. Each specific (product type) or service should be featured on a separate page of the website. Keyword research should be done for each product/service to identify the primary words and phrases that consumers use to find that service/product online. The content and images on that service page should be optimized around those words and phrases.
A website is not an online sales brochure. A business wants to inform visitors and build confidence and rapport through the messaging on the site. A website service/product page should answer questions, anticipate objections and address them, and build confidence in the prospect. This confidence building can be through client testimonials, product warranties, free trials, etc. An informed consumer is much more likely to reach out to a business and seek more information or to do business.
A business website should have a clear call to action on every page. Ask your visitor to make a commitment. This may be to fill out a form, make a call, or leave their contact information so the business can reach out to them. However it is done, an astute business does not want visitors to their site leaving the site and disappearing never to be found again.

Google My Business (GMB)

Google seeks to have a free online listing for every local business. It is in the best interest of a local business to optimize their Google My Businesslisting. Optimizing the listing is fairly simple – give Google everything they are asking for. Fill out all the information as completely as possible. That would include plenty of photo’s, business hours, accurate business name, address, and phone number. The hardest part is figuring out the many and various business categories. It is very time consuming but well worth the effort to insure that Google properly identifies your business and all the things that you do.

Online Reviews

One very important aspect of digital marketing that is commonly overlooked by local businesses is their online reviews. Numerous consumer studies prove that people absolutely read and respond to the reviews that they read online. It is critical for a local business to gather positive reviews on several different platforms and to carefully monitor their online reputation. It makes no sense to spend money advertising only to have consumers check you out online and be dissuaded by poor reviews.

Social Media

It is a fact that today every business needs a solid social media presence. Most consumers and even B2B consumers use social media to research and gather information on a particular business. Regular posting on key social media platforms can build an audience and improve engagement with customers and clients. An added benefit is building a core audience can help enormously should a business decide to advertise on one or more social platforms. Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin can be very profitable platforms for advertising if a company identifies the proper audience that they wish to reach. Many of these social media outlets have a “look-alike” audience feature. If a business can identify their core audience the media platform can build out a broader matching audience to advertise to.

Email Marketing

Another cost effective digital marketing method that is largely overlooked by most local businesses is email marketing. Staying in touch with existing clients that know, like and trust you is the most cost effective advertising that a business can do. Sending out regular emails to inform and stay connected to existing customers is just good business sense. When done properly it is a great way to build a “tribe”, a core group of loyal customers that will engage with your business, is interested in special offers, and will actively promote your business in the community. Producing a creative newsletter that offers real value in the content that it provides will tend to keep customers opening your emails. Offering special deals that are truly a good deal will keep them interested and bring them back time and again.

SMS Marketing

To introduce SMS marketing it helps to be familiar with the information presented above about email marketing. SMS or text marketing is the same general idea but much more abbreviated. People tend to check their text messages regularly. Texting must be right to the point. To keep their attention the offer must be laser targeted to their interest. In certain niches SMS marketing can be extremely profitable. Many local businesses write it off because they don’t take the time to consider what makes a killer offer to their clientele and when/how it can best benefit their business. For example, a premium ice cream shop that is always slow on Thursdays between 3:00-5:00. Run a special on the top three product offerings you have. Text the offer out to your best list and encourage them to bring a friend for an additional special. Think out of the box and you can fill in the gaps in your business, move slow product, close out dead stock, etc. All much cheaper than radio or print advertising.

Video Marketing

Let’s begin by understanding that YouTube is the number two search engine in the world by volume. Most local businesses do not think to have an active YouTube channel. However, video is a great way to introduce a product, answer customer questions, introduce a business, feature a business’ facility, staff, services, customer testimonials, etc. People engage and respond much more to video than to printed text. An added benefit is that a video can be reused across several online channels. It can be embedded on a website, posted to Facebook and other social media, and a solid YouTube channel can gain a following all its’ own. We live in the “selfie” era. Video does not have to be an expensive full on media production. A good phone will have a camera that is sufficient for most day to day video. Sound quality is very important and admittedly may take planning and special equipment but the overall investment in incredibly low and a great value in building customer awareness, trust, and response.

Final Thoughts

The interesting thing about each of the options featured above is that they are free or very low cost to a local business. Most of your competitors are not using these methods effectively or at all. The potential return on investment if properly implemented is huge. All it takes is a plan, execution, and persistence. Things may not go smoothly at first but none of the options listed above are anything like rocket science. A little thought, a little practice and large returns are available to the business that implements one or more of the ideas listed above.

For help in your Digital Marketing call us.

 Gideon Marketing
4200 McClelland Blvd
Joplin, MO 64804