Posts tagged marketing consultant
Ian Manning: How to Stay Healthy & Productive at Work

With the cold weather upon us, we find ourselves spending much more time indoors… sitting. Because of that we’ve brought back one of our favorite blogs which has never been more important than now.

Many of us spend most of our day sitting at our desks. While that may be great for our businesses, it's not necessarily good for the body. While it may not be a marketing tip, today we've brought in Physical Therapist and pain reducing junkie, Ian Manning of Orthocore PT, to give all of us some advice on how to stay healthy, happy, and productive, throughout our work day. And sometimes, this kind of information is just as important!

We all want to be successful in life, and in our jobs. No matter what your measurement of success may be; money, title, Instagram followers, etc…there is one thing that can certainly get in the way of your work goals…PAIN! Pain can distract you when you are working, it can keep you from sleeping, and it can lead to hours of lost time. So how do you make sure you stay pain free, focused at work, and how can you make sure you are moving well and keeping your body healthy? 

Let's start with what you are using to fuel your body. How is your water consumption? Most people who I talk to say,  “yeah, I drink tons of water.” Most people (even those that drink a “ton”) don’t drink enough. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water in a day. Proper hydration keeps you focused throughout the day. Our brain is suspended in fluid. If you are dehydrated you can easily lose focus and make mental mistakes that will affect your job. 

What qualifies as “good movement?” If you can touch your toes (while keeping your knees straight), squat down, go up/down a couple flights of stairs, run a mile, or walk 3, you move fairly well. If any, or all, of those sound like something that would put you in the hospital…it's time to get serious about improving your fitness. Not only will focusing on your strength and flexibility prevent injuries, it will improve your productivity at work. 

So what do you do if you can’t do any, or all, of those things listed above? Let's start with flexibility. Can’t touch your toes? Here is my favorite way to improve your hamstring flexibility. Try doing 10 repetitions of this hamstring exercise, on each leg, once a day. I can guarantee that in a month you will be on your way to touching those little piggies once again!

How about squatting down? Think of how many times you sit and stand in a day. If you can’t do it properly you are just asking for a problem down the road. Let's start with proper form. When you sit down your shoulders should be over the middle of your feet with your trunk upright and your hands out in front of you. Start with performing 10 squats, twice a day, going as low as you can while keeping the proper form. As that gets easier, either add more repetitions or more sets. 

Lastly, let's talk about cardiovascular health. This is one of the easiest things to improve. You just need to commit to making it a part of your day. Simple solutions include going for a walk at lunch. Or, if you have a set of stairs in your house, every time you use them go up/down one more time than you need to. The best thing to do is get a buddy to help keep you accountable. Pick someone who will keep you honest and motivate you when you don’t want to do anything. Once you make it a part of your routine it will be easy. Your brain and your heart will thank you. 

Improving your health and fitness is guaranteed to increase your energy levels, make you more alert, and increase your focus. So put down that 4th cup of coffee, work on your body, and enjoy the new found success that follows!

Ian Manning graduated with his Masters degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in 2004. Ian has always worked with orthopedic based injuries, starting in school with his co-op/clinical rotations then leading into his professional career as a PT. He is constantly working to continue his education through course work and staying current with research. Ian is certified through the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) to treat golf related injuries and to improve golf performance. Please visit our Golf Performance and Rehabilitation section for more information.

ORTHOCORE PROVIDES RESEARCH BASED PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR ORTHOPEDIC AND SPORTS RELATED INJURIES

At OrthoCore Physical Therapy we will provide you with quality rehabilitation that focuses on your personal goals. We use a mixture of research supported techniques to decrease your pain, increase your strength/flexibility, and restore your functional movement. Our staff strives to educate our patients about their rehabilitation process and help them get back to their target goals and objectives.

Though we are based out of North Kingstown, although we treat patients from the greater Providence area including East Greenwich, South Kingstown, Warwick, Narragansett, Newport, Jamestown, Cranston, Westerly, and other surrounding towns.

Taking Advantage of the Audio Craze

Audio is EVERYTHING now-a-days. Yes, video is still massive (and will continue to grow in 2019), but with our increasingly busy lives, we’re constantly searching for a way to do more things all at the same time.

Audio content allows us to consume information or entertainment while on the go, while working, or while wrangling a family who is ready to eat dinner.

So, how can we, as business owners, take advantage of this new interest in the auditory arena? There’s of course podcasts, which are a super fun format, but also really time consuming and require a lot of effort on the part of the host. What I’ve got for you today is a tip all about how you can easily, and cost effectively, translate the written content you’re already creating, in a way for customers to consume audibly.

8 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019

Tis’ the season for all the marketing experts out there to start making predictions for 2019. They’ve waded through the craziness that was 2018 (and a crazy year it was… cough… Facebook… cough), analyzed what happened, and used that information to try to see what is going to be important in the year to come.

There’s A LOT of information out there - so, instead of making our own list this year, we’ve read through some of the more reputable sources, and pulled out what is, in our opinion, the most impactful predictions, specifically for small businesses. We’re comparing it to what we’ve seen happening in our world, and what we believe will be what shapes 2019 in the world of marketing.

Forbes

Chatbots - We’ve seen these grow in popularity among larger brands, and chances are you’ve probably interacted with one, whether that is to ask about when a package will be shipped, or request pricing information. Not only are they getting better and more natural at answering customer service questions, but Chatbots can be great at warming prospects and setting up sales appointments. With the rise of businesses like Drift, Chatbots are becoming more and more popular (and affordable) for small businesses who struggle to keep up the influx of customer requests.

Local Influencer Marketing - We’ve all heard of influencer marketing, and have probably been exposed to a post or 2 from some of our favorite celebrities (hey there Kim K…). But on the hyper local level, the same concept can be used to make a big impact for small businesses. Seek out local blogs or influencers who reach your target demographic and geographic location.

Digital Marketing Institute

Facebook May Be Peaking (For the Younger Ones) - With all the data and political drama that Facebook dealt with in 2018, younger populations are continuing to shift their attention away from the platform. This is a great reminder to really pay attention to your target market, and put your marketing efforts into where they are. It may mean moving away from outlets you’ve used for years, and investing in new ones.

Video, Video and More Video - Video is continuing to be even more important this year and users are gobbling it up. Combining a traditional video strategy with live video can not only help engage people more with your content, but drive more organic traffic (since Google is using it as one of it’s major ranking factors).

Good Content Still Matters - I love this one (as a content marketer myself!). Creating valuable content (both written and video) is continuing to matter in the new year. Your audience has many choices when it comes to spending their money, so taking time to make their experience with you unique and valuable is going to go a long way in 2019.

Neil Patel

Voice Search - The king of search knows his stuff when it comes to SEO trends, and he’s right on point touting the importance of voice search in 2019. Between Google Home, Siri and Alexa, we are talking to our devices more and more. This means that the terms being searched are changing (they are following a more common sentence structure) and the results being shown are changing as well. Utilizing long form key phrases to match these voice searches in your blogs and content can help you continue to rank high in search results.

Podcasts - He’s not the first, and he won’t be the last to mention the importance of podcasts and audio content in 2019. As our worlds get busy, we are looking to consume content in ways that fit into our crazy schedules. Audio content that can be consumed on the go, in our cars, doing chores around the house, or while working on something else, is going to continue to be consumed in large quantities in the new year. With a lower cost of entry, it is easier now, more than ever, for small businesses and solopreneurs to jump on the podcast train, and share their knowledge with the masses.

Big Commerce

Mobile is More Important Than Ever - Mobile isn’t new, and we’ve consistently focused our efforts on ways to make content easier to consume on mobile devices (scrolling content, vertical video). But consumers are purchasing more and more from mobile devices, so making that process easier and smoother is going to become equally as important. Utilizing mobile shopping apps and social media shopping carts can be great ways to drive more mobile purchases for product based businesses.

So there you have it - the top trends we (and the rest of the digital marketing world) see happening in the New Year. Let us know your thoughts! Have you already started implementing some of these things? Do you plan to in the new year?

Hub Digital wishes everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season! We look forward to sharing more great content and tips with you in the New Year!

How to Survive the Holiday Season as a Business Owner

If you can believe it, the holiday season is pretty much upon us. Before you know it, you'll be trying to balance your normal workload with holiday parties, present shopping, wrapping, and family in town.

And while it's so tempting to just take a break from all the social posting, and blogging and marketing work (I mean... let's be honest.. you're audience is busy too), where does that leave you in the New Year?

After working so hard all year, taking a break for the next few months leave you scrambling to bring you audience back up in 2019. So, how can we stay productive and focused, yet still manage to make time for all those fun holiday activities?

Check out the October inside The Hub for these answers and more. It's chock full of:

✔️content ideas centered around the season,
✔️inspiration to keep you focused,
✔️and a rock solid plan so you can stay connected and engaged with your audience throughout "the most wonderful time of the year".

All of this is inside The Digital Marketing Hub just waiting for you! If you're not a member of The Hub now's your chance to get 40% off your membership. Just click this link to get instant access to this, and all our previous trainings at an insane sale price! But hurry - this price expires on Tuesday!

How to Show Up When You Just Don't Want To

Hello there! While I know I promised a blog idea series (and don't worry - part 2 IS coming soon) I took a little detour today. Why? Because I just didn't feel like doing the other blog post. Plain and simple! 😂

I figured a lot of other business owners go through something similar from time-to-time. It can be hard just showing up sometimes. So, here's my thoughts on showing up for yourself and your business when you just don't feel like it. Drop me a comment below or on my FB page and tell me your story.

Video 1 of 8: Genius Content Marketing Hacks and Blog Ideas

The hardest part about creating new content and blogs is actually coming up with an idea of what to write about.

Picture it: You’ve set aside some time to write your blog. This week you’re going to actually do it! You open up your lap top, click on Microsoft Office, and that white screen pops up. Now that little curser is sitting there blinking at you, waiting for your brilliant words to come spilling out.

And… nothing is coming out. Now you’re staring at that blank screen with that blinking, mocking cursor. You’re feeling more and more anxious, but nothing is coming to mind. You scan through the inner recesses of your mind but you just can’t think of single, solitary idea. Finally, you slam your computer shut and decide you’ll try again next week.

Ok, maybe that is slightly dramatic, but it’s pretty close… #amiright?

Well, you don’t have to stress any more. For the next 8 weeks I’m brining you some genius (if I do say so myself) hacks to easily brainstorming content ideas. They’re easy, insightful and guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing.

How to Ensure Your Blogs Actually Get Written

Ok guys, I'm bringing you some tough love today!

Ok, maybe it's not that tough, but it is something that you may not want to hear. It's all about content marketing (aka blogging). Now, before you start going off on how "blog" is a 4 letter word, listen up.

I get it - blogging is tough.... especially when you don't enjoy writing. But we all know how important content marketing is (and if you don't... then just go back and look at some of my previous videos/posts)

So, today I'm bringing you one of my favorite, easiest tips to help make staying productive easier, and help alleviate that "blank page" anxiety.

Oh, and I've even got a super cool blog brainstorming template for you to download and fill out so you can streamline your ideas so you always have something to write about.

Download my Blog Idea Planner

Want even more tips, tricks and advice? Get curated Masterclasses and Expert Trainings delivered to you each month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

No Summer! Don't Go Yet!

Summer is rolling to a close (no! not yet!). But we've got some sizzling hot new content for you inside The Hub! (see what I did there?)

Think you've read everything there is about the importance of getting links?

And are still confused? It's all good - we're diving deep into this Off Page SEO technique (among others), and are showing you how to easily get links back to your site. Super clear, super straight forward, super important

Ready to start driving more sales, without having to work much harder?

I mean, who isn't!? We brought in sales funnel expert April Lewis to give us her insider secrets on putting together sales funnels that will help you bring in more email signups and sales for all that content, course work and consulting packages you have just waiting to be bought.

Looking for a new (FREE!) stock photo source?

I've got another guest on the podcast this month, Dara Simons (aka web design genius), who is sharing with us some of her best tips in case you need to DIY your own website. AND she even has some great resources and ideas for cool (aka not LAME) stock photos!

All of this content (PLUS one more Guest Expert training later this month on how to get out of your head and get visible on video) is brand new this month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

Oh, and because you can try it out FREE for the first seven days, you can check all of this stuff WITHOUT paying a dime!

I can just hear the chorus of "Thank You's" now! (You're welcome by the way!)

Check out The Hub here!

Your A to Z Guide to The Perfect SEO Strategy

Feel like we beat the SEO drum here at The Hub? You're right, we do!

Let's chat about SEO (aka search engine optimization) a little bit. Why are we so fanatical about it? Well, have you been a little frustrated lately by the reach (or lack there of) on Facebook? Have you been seeing some traffic on your website but they haven't been buying anything (because they're not really your ideal audience)? Do you know need to step up your marketing but aren't in a place to spend money doing it?

SEO is the answer to all of these issues. It's the best way, especially in this new digital marketplace, to get through the clutter, stand out in front of your ideal target audience, and reach them in the place that they are *literally* searching for your products or services.

But hey, I get it, SEO can be overwhelming, confusing and frustrating. There is SO much information out there, and a lot of it is so "techy". Are you feeling:

✔️ A little turned off by the entire search engine optimization thing? 
✔️ Avoided it because you're not sure where to start?
✔️ Think you're doing it right but aren't 100% sure?

Enter Sara Graybill of Graybill Creative. Her guest expert training, inside The Digital Marketing Hub, is walking you through an ENTIRE search strategy (that's right, A to Z, start to finish) and doing it in a way that you can actually understand and implement! Shocking, I know!

No more wondering what an SEO strategy entails. Now more trying to figure out if you're doing the right thing. It's all about finally feeling confident, finally get more qualified traffic, and finally making sales without paying out the nose for advertising.

So, if you're a member, head on into The Digital Marketing Hub and check it out! I

f you haven't signed up yet, visit thedigitalhub.club/get-access to learn more and get instant access to this and a whole bunch of other trainings inside!

We're celebrating the 4th of July...

.... with brand new content inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

What do we have for you this month?

Ever wondered how your website is REALLY doing?

I've got a step-by-step video all about one of my favorite tools (Google Search Console) that includes how to set it up, explores all the features and tools, and walks you through how to analyze your results. Check out the latest Masterclass this month to get my tips and advice.

Speaking of websites.. frustrated with trying to write that perfect, customer converting copy for it?

Your website should tell your story, showcase your brand, AND convince your potential client/customer to buy. I know, easier said than done right!? Don't worry, I've brought in copywriter Amy Lanci, to give some of her best tips and guidelines for writing THE BEST website copy.

Putting out content but still struggling to get more followers on Instagram?

This month I invited guest expert, Yael Bendahan, And together we're exploring how to keep your instagram growing consistently with REAL potential clients and customers who will REALLY engage with your content (among other things).

All of this content (PLUS one more Guest Expert training later this month on how to get more organic traffic to your website) is brand new this month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

Oh, and because you can try it out FREE for the first seven days, you can check all of this stuff WITHOUT paying a dime!

I can just hear the chorus of "Thank You's" now! (You're welcome by the way!)

Do You IGTV?

In case you haven't heard, last week Instagram announced it's brand new app, IGTV (short for Instagram Television). What is it? It's a stand alone app (yes you have to download it from the App Store.) that allows users to create long form videos that can range anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 hour. 

That's right! You're not limited to the 15 second snippets inside Instagram Stories, or the 60 seconds on your feed any more! It allows creators to make vertical form videos (think no more having to rotate your phone sideways to watch videos) that tell longer stories, showcase their talents or business, and save those memories to their channel for people to continue going back to (long after your Instagram Story has expired). 

So, how can a business, like yours, utilize IGTV? Let's talk about what you can use it for.

1. Welcome/About Videos - Need some more space to talk about you and your business? In IGTV you can create long form videos that showcase your products/services, walk a potential client or customer through what they can expect if they work with you, or give a full view of what a day in the life is like for your business.

2. Training Videos - Facebook (and particularly Facebook Live) has been notorious for capturing the "training" video market. Now, educators have another platform to give step-by-steps, offer tips and tricks, and give insider advice.

3. Dive deeper into products - Create showcases around physical products and really get a chance to showcase all the in's and out's. Walk potential customers through membership sites or courses, giving them an inside view of what they're about to purchase.

I know it can be daunting to take on ANOTHER social media platform, but look at this one as an extension of what you're already doing. Video, and digital TV, is the way people are continuing to consume more and more information, and jumping on this trend early can put you ahead of the crowd.

Are you ready for all this?

Oooohhh I'm SUPER excited about some of the AMAZING content I just launched for June!

What's got me so pumped? Let me break it down for you...

The June Masterclass is all about the #1 way to reach your target market.

With all this  noise around GDPR, it has people wondering. Is email marketing even worth it? Spoiler alert: YES! Check out the latest Masterclass to learn my best practices, favorite email platforms (some are FREE), and best ways to grow your email list with engaged followers

This Month's "Ask Hubble" Podcast is all about some social media hacks.

Hacks you say? That's right, I've got a guest on with me and we're diving into how you can still get around the new Facebook algorithm to get some real organic views (YUP! It's still possible!), AND talk about how you can use Google+ to get some real website traffic.

Oh, and our Guest Expert Training is giving you the exact steps she used to go from $0 to $10K months in less than half a year.

Oh yeah... We've got online growth expert Melodi Maxton spilling some MAJOR secrets on how she organically grew her business WITHOUT a following, social media presence or website. Interested to find out how she did it?  

All of this content (PLUS one more Guest Expert training on how you can make passive revenue WITHOUT creating your own online course or product)  is brand new this month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

So head on over and get instant access to all of this PLUS some amazing past trainings inside The Hub!

GDPR: What is it and how does it work?

If you haven't heard yet, BIG changes are coming this week to how marketers and businesses are allowed to collect, market to, and store data of those in the EU.

So, you may be thinking, "Well, I don't do business in Europe, so I clearly don't have to worry about this." And you're right, you most likely will never run into an issue with it. However, by some off chance that someone living in (or even just visiting) Europe happens to fill out your contact form, it's better to cover your butt and ensure everything is compliant to avoid the hefty fines that can come even from one email address.

The general concept behind GDPR is that you have to have clear and concise language that outlines how you are going to use and store their information. It also must clearly explain what kind of communication they will receive from you if they give you their information, and how they can opt out if they don't want to hear from you any more.

So, what do you need to do to be GDPR compliant? While it's an annoying process, for most people it's something that can be done in an afternoon.

1. Get a GDPR compliant Privacy Policy. Even if you already have one on your site, you must have an updated one to fit the new requirements. Talk to your lawyer, or utilize an online resource like TermsFeed, to get a new, customized one written for you. Include a link to it in the footer of your website (or in the footer on any of your lead pages).

2. Update your opt in forms and email forms. No longer can someone just be added to your email list without giving explicate (not implied) consent. This means that on your website, or on your lead page forms, you must clearly inform someone that they will be added to your mailing list if they fill out the form. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Add a checkbox to your form that someone must click on to be added. If they do not check off the box you CAN NOT market to them.
  • Add language, above the submit button, that clearly states that they will be added to your mailing list if they fill out the form. Language like: "Join my mailing list for this free download..." or "By filling out this form, you will be added to the [company name] mailing list. You can opt out at any time by hitting the "unsubscribe" button." qualifies as giving consent.

3. Link to the privacy policy on ANY form that collects data. Put something like: "We may collect, use and process your data according to our privacy policy." at the bottom.

4. Get consent from your current email list. Unfortunately, even if someone is already on your list, the new law requires you to get their consent to stay on the list (bummer, I know). How to go about this can depend on how many, if any, European's you currently have your list.

  • If you're pretty sure you do not have any European email addresses on your list, you should be pretty safe to send a simple email outlining your new privacy policy and how people can opt out if they wish. This is the option I chose, so feel free to copy the language from my email (no judgement here!) if this is the route you choose as well. 
  • If you know you have a ton of EU addresses on your list, you may want to take the extra step and ask for new consent. Send an email specifically requesting people to opt in or out of your list. Here is a great example.

5. Clean out your current list. According to GDPR, you can not store email addresses from those that have opted out or unsubscribed from your list. Take some time to clean out those unsubscribed or bounced emails that are just sitting there not being used. Another good practice is to clean out addresses that haven't interacted with any of your emails after a certain set amount of time (I usually do six months). These are people who may have signed up for your list at some point, but haven't opened or clicked on ANY of your emails in the past 6 months. While you may see your list get cut down, these are emails that are worthless to you anyways, and are actually just reducing your open rates (which can affect email delivery).

While we are not lawyers, and will always advise you contact one for advice or for any questions, staying GDPR compliant is something that you can get yourself and your business on board with, whether or not you explicitly do business in the EU. Better safe than sorry!

Want more information and trainings on all things growing your business online? Check out The Digital Marketing Hub where you can get access to full Masterclasses, Guest Expert Trainings and answers to your digital marketing questions!

How to Stick to the Commitment of Content Marketing

I recently saw a quote that spoke to my soul (ok, maybe that's a little dramatic but I really liked it). "Content marketing is a long term relationship. It's not a one night stand." - Unknown

This is something I preach to all of my clients. You can't have a successful content marketing strategy if you don't stay consistent. You can't move up in Google search if you refuse to blog. You can't authentically connect with your target through ads alone.

But I totally get it. Creating authentic, real content on a consistent basis is REALLY hard. It takes time, and it takes energy, that a lot of small business owners don't feel like they have. So, how can you stick to a successful content marketing strategy, when you don't feel like doing it?

1. Schedule time in advance. This one seems simple but it's the one thing that I've found makes the biggest difference for most of my clients. Before the start of each week, mark off an hour in your calendar that you are going to devote to creating content. Trying to squeeze it in between other activities, greatly reduces the chances of you actually doing it. Here's the deal though, you HAVE to treat this time like a meeting or other event you can't blow off. Do not schedule anything over it, or push it aside. When looking to put something else in your calendar, know that time is truly booked.

2. Work in a format that you enjoy(ish). Do you absolutely, positively HATE writing? No matter how much you try to force yourself to blog, the words just do NOT come out? Then stop it! Shift your focus to a format that feels more comfortable for you. Think about doing a weekly video blog, or Facebook Live that you can host on your site after you do it. Like to talk, but don't want to be in front of a camera? Look into starting a weekly podcast. While any of these may still be a chore to you, picking the one you like the most (or hate the least) makes it a little bit easier.

3. Find someone to do it for you. If you still just can't stick to a consistent blogging and social media schedule, look into finding someone to do it for you. Yes, it's that important that it's worth investing in. Find a freelancer or consultant (I happen to know a good one ;) ...) that can get you back on track. Don't have any budget for it? Scout out some local colleges for marketing or writing interns. At the end of the day, try to open up some space to finding outside sources to help you in this area of your business. Creating authentic content is one of the best ways to move up in Google search, cut through the noise, connect with your audience, and convert them into paying customers.

PSA! The "Scary" SEO Thing You've Probably Been Avoiding

Ahhh.... Metadata. (Wait! Don't go! Hear me out!) That 8 letter word that causes some of the most confusion, frustration and irritation among business owners when it comes to SEO. Often times, when working with clients, I will bring up working on their "back end data" and they immediately shut down. Either it's something that seems super overwhelming to them, or it's something they've been burned on in the past. Let me explain...

A lot of SEO "companies" know that some of the more technical aspects of SEO can be confusing to business owners. And why wouldn't it be? Your expertise is in running your business, NOT optimizing your website for search. Unfortunately, there are some people who take advantage of that lack of knowledge (or lack of interest in learning), and will either overcharge, or claim their doing "something" to your website that isn't really getting you any results.

So today, I'm breaking down Metadata. Now, don't shut down - it's really not that scary, I PROMISE! So before you invest a ton of money in an SEO company (or a ton of time researching how to do SEO yourself), let's dive into some of the terminology when it comes to "back end SEO" and whether or not you should be wasting your time, money and energy on it.

Meta Titles

Meta Titles, or Title Tags, are the titles you give each of your pages. These title tags are displayed in search as the clickable title in search results, as well as the title that appears up on the tab in a web browser.

Meta titles - digital marketing, rhode island.

Meta Titles are really important not just for Google to get an idea of what your page is about it, but are used for social sharing (they're what populates automatically when you paste a link in Facebook), and should encourage clicks to your site. Updating your Meta Titles on every one of your website's pages should be a top priority.

Meta Descriptions

Meta Descriptions, like Meta Titles, are full sentence descriptions placed on the backend of each page in your website, that utilize keywords to appeal to search engines, and draw in potential website traffic. Like their Title counterpart, these should also be updated to include important keywords on each and every page.

Meta Descriptions - Hub Digital Marketing, RI.

Meta Keywords

Ok, here's a good sign if the SEO company you're looking to hire is legit. Meta Keywords used to be Google's jam, and it was the main focus of almost every SEO company's strategy for a long time. However, Google realized that people were just stuffing random keywords into the section, and that it wasn't helping them serve relevant results to people. So a few years ago they completely eliminated any authority behind meta keywords. If you find an SEO company that is still touting them as part of their strategy, you may want to think twice.

Alt Tags

Alt Tags, or Alternative Text Tags, are descriptions put on the back of images, that describe what the image is, or the function of it. It's used mostly by screen readers (for those that are blind or visually impaired), but also hold weight with Google, who use them to tell what the image and it's surrounding text is about. Adding Alt Tags to your images are a great way to add even MORE keywords to your site, plus ensures your site is accessible to those who are visually impaired.

Alt Text Tags - Hub Digital Marketing

H1-H3 Tags

A lot of people believe that Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 (and so on), tags are strictly used for design purposes, as they often change the style of text. Not true! They are actually great ways to layout your page, and quickly and easily showcase your page content to Google. Make sure you have descriptive H1 titles, and try to include H2 tags throughout the page to break up walls of text, and give people (and Google) an idea of what each section is about.

Heading 1 Tags - Hub Digital Marketing

See!? It's not that scary. It's all about just knowing the terms and what your focus should be when it comes to optimizing the backend of your website. Whether you end up doing it yourself, or hiring a company to manage it for you, we always believe that knowledge is power!

Are All Those "Free" Trainings Really Worth It?

If you own a business and are on Facebook, or Instagram, or just online in general, you've probably seen them. The ads that claim you can: "Make $10K in 30 days from Facebook ads", "Get 10x more traffic in a Week from Pinterest", or "Use My Secret Technique to Get 10K Instagram Follows Now"! And they all boast that you can get these things simply by joining their FREE, 1 Hour, Webinar, Masterclass, Training, etc.

These ads sound almost too good to be true, and can be really tempting to business owners and entrepreneurs looking to grow their business online. So, the question becomes, are these "free" trainings really worth it?

Short answer: Yes! They can be! Let me explain...

Depending on the source, there can be some AMAZING little tidbits of information that can help you feel inspired to take the next step in your business, help you tweak something that wasn't quite right, or help you get that much closer to mastering a marketing technique you've been trying to learn. However, as with anything, there are good and bad, and in order to truly get the most out of your time (and in some cases $$) spent, there are a few rules you should follow.

1. Know your source. I can't stress this enough. While the training may be free, it doesn't guarantee that it's worth your time (or energy or effort to implement their strategies). Do a little research around the person offering the training and see if they put their money where their mouth is. If they're telling you they can help you be successful on Instagram, make sure they are themselves! There is nothing worse than spending time on strategies that don't work (or even worse, will be detrimental to your business). 

2. Curb your expectations. Those claims they make in those ads (Make $30K in 30 Days!) is more often than not, the exception, NOT the rule. Know that while a lot of the information they give away IS useful to your business, you most likely will NOT get that kind of result. But that's OK! As long as you go into the presentation with realistic expectations about how their strategy can help your business, you won't find yourself disappointed in the end.

3. Know you WILL be sold something at the end. In exchange for giving away tips, EVERY single one of those giving the training will pitch you something at the end of it. Don't get annoyed or frustrated, they have to make money too! In fact, I always suggest hanging around through their sales pitch. More often than not if you do, you'll get extra bonus content for sticking through it (even more free stuff!) and who knows - the class, course, or program their pitching may actually be what you were looking for. Many times you can get great pricing on self study courses or group programs that will help you finally master an area you were struggling with. (But again, make sure you do your research before purchasing anything!)

4. Make sure you follow through. Even though the training may be free, your time is not. If you're going to invest an hour of your time in a course, make sure you follow through! More likely than not, the tips they give you are TOTALLY doable, it just requires your commitment. And if you do decide to invest in the program their selling, you ABSOLUTELY must make sure you complete it. Self-study courses are filled with people who purchased and never completed them. Only buy if you are truly committed to taking the entire course so you don't leave feeling like you wasted your time and money.

Speaking of investing, do you have $9 to invest that you actually want a return on? Check out The Digital Marketing Hub where you can get access to full Masterclasses, Guest Expert Trainings and answers to your digital marketing questions for only $9 per month!

How To Sell Without Being "Salesy"

There's something crazy I've learned in all my years of working with Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. And that's that many of them, are afraid to "sell" their products or services. Here's the deal - you are the #1 sales person for your business. You are the prime champion and advocate for how amazing your products or services are. Don't be afraid to share them with the world!

In this video I dive into:

  1. How you can connect with your customers/clients in an authentic way so they won't mind when you do mention how they can take the next steps in your business.
  2. Why it's SO important to always have an "ask" with every piece of value you offer.
  3. When and how long you should run promotions for to your email lists so they don't get overwhelemed.

Oh! And here's a bonus 4th tip for you that I completely forgot to mention in this video, but one lovely Facebook commenter reminded me off (sometimes I get a little nervous with video, I'm working on it!).

4. Always bring products or services to the table in a way that helps you potential customer or client. Talk about the benefits and how it can solve a problem they have, or fill a need they may have. If you truly believe in what you have to offer and how it can help your customers, than this should be the easiest step for you!

Looking for even more digital marketing tips and tricks? Join our exclusive membership program, The Digital Marketing Hub! 

UPDATE - The 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing

Since it is #ThrowbackThursday, we're bringing back one of our VERY first blogs we every wrote here at Hub Digital. Back in April of 2014, we wrote about the "7 Deadly Sins of Marketing" and gave some very pointed advice on what you shouldn't be doing when it comes to marketing. Since that way basically a lifetime ago in the digital marketing world, we decided to bring it back today and see if these "7 Deadly Sins" still hold true in today's environment.

2014 advice - 1. Setting your expectations too high - Many businesses and products fail before they even get started. You can't win a marathon by taking one step; it takes leaps and bounds to cross the finish line. Don't expect one ad or post to complete the job. Digital marketing takes creativity, dedication, and patience to build a following.

2018 edit - This one still absolutely holds true today! One of the things we work with our clients on is a reasonable timeline and expectations on how their business can grow online. We've all heard those stories about businesses that went from 0 to 6 figures in 1 month. And while that's great for them, it's important to recognize that these are the exception, not the rule. Marketing yourself online DOES work, but it does take time to see significant results.

2014 advice - 2. Being uninformed about your audience - Know your target audience, tone and message. The best message can be wasted on the wrong audience.  Determine what they will and will not respond to. Throwing darts at a wall may make them stick, but you'll never get the bullseye you're looking for that way!

2018 edit - Were we genius or what!? But in all seriousness, I don't think anyone can argue that it makes sense to just market to everybody all at once. Not only is it cost prohibitive, but it can make it seem like your business doesn't have a good handle on things, and can be a turn off to potential customers.

2014  advice - 3. Trying to use every available outlet for recognition - Though you may have a million ideas running around, sometimes focusing on a few is the key. Out of the large number of possibilities, choose a few that coordinate the best with your product or business. Posts that need more context could be shared on Facebook, for example, rather than Twitter, which has a character limit of 140.

2018 edit - This one is still absolutely true, but I think for different reasons. While restrictions in each outlet have loosened, it's still important to let yourself off the hook when it comes to posting on every outlet, all the time. Think about which ones your customers use the most (hence how point #2 is so important!) and what you enjoy doing. Combine the 2 to create a social strategy that works for you.

2014 advice - 4. Inconsistent timeline of posting - In an age of instant gratification, the audience no longer wants to wait. Posting consistently with updates reminds the audience so they don't forget about you. DO NOT give them a chance to become impatient. This is where choosing a few valuable outlets (#3) comes in handy. Pick ones that you know you can easily update on a consistent basis. 

2018 edit - This is still partially true. You must stay consistent with your social postings, blogging and email blasts, but there really isn't a a set time or day that's better for posting. With mobile becoming the medium of choice to access online, we are able to view content throughout the day, whenever we wish. This means that you can loosen the reins and vary posting times, and still see good reach from them.

2014 advice - 5. Overwhelming your audience - On the flip side, don't suffocate the audience with updates. Posting too much or sending too many emails can feel like spam which leads most to block or ignore future information. Everybody has that one friend that talks your ear off over lunch, and no one likes them. Finding the happy median between lack of posts and constant information is paramount for successful digital marketing. People will also enjoy two thorough and entertaining posts rather than five poor attempts. Rely on quality over quantity.

2018 edit - Hmmmmm.... Maybe? For a while social media sites, like Facebook, were all about quantity. The more you posted, the more you were seen. But now, with the recent algorithm changes, we're headed back into the world of quality over quantity. Facebook is pushing for well thought out, engaging content from businesses, not just random musings. We'll see this continue to evolve as these changes play out over the next few months.

2014 advice - 6. Neglecting mobile users - Many users access social media and sites on their phones, iPad, or tablet. Everyone is on-the-go and wants their entertainment/information to follow suit. Don't starve certain sections of your audience. Make navigating your business convenient with a mobile site that caters to mobile users' needs. 

Quick Tip: Also eliminate unnecessary images and videos to minimize loading times.

2018 edit - This has never been more wrong or more right! First of all, mobile is EVERYTHING now. Almost all your websites, content and efforts online should be focused towards mobile. Mobile searches, social media views and website traffic has officially surpassed desktop. Not optimizing your stuff for mobile is probably the #1 mistake a business can make. So, what's so wrong about this piece of advice? The elimination of images/video! Video has never been more important than it is right now. By not utilizing images and video on your website or in your marketing strategy, you're not only going to take a HUGE hit on SEO, but you're going to alienate a giant portion of your audience that will only watch video content over ready blog content.

2014 advice - 7. Biting off more than you can chew - After all of the other advice, sometimes you just need help. Recognizing that you cannot handle everything is important and there are people ready to assist at a moment's notice. Don't be hesitant to ask for help.

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2018 edit - DUH! That's what we're here for! ;)

5 SEO Myths You May Be Wasting Your Time On

There is a TON of misinformation out there about digital marketing in general, and SEO in particular. Because Search Engine Optimization is something that a lot of people don't understand (or choose not), are overwhelmed by, or can't keep up with, it's often something that is easily misrepresented by "experts".

Don't worry, today Hub Digital has your back. We're breaking down the 5 biggest SEO myths that are still floating around in cyber space and are giving you permission to STOP waisting your time on them!

1. WWW vs non-WWW is important.
Every website owner has the decision to make their website URL “www” or to completely lose the “www”all together. While there are some technical differences in the 2, Google has officially stated that there are NO SEO benefits of one over the other. The important thing to remember is that once you choose which one you want, stay consistent with that version. You can choose your preference in Google Search Console. What IS important is having a secure site version (https) available and prevalent over your traditional non-secure version (http). Learn more about that here.

2. You have to fill out your Meta Keywords
If you’ve looked at the backend of your site to do your Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions you may have noticed a spot to put in Meta Keywords. These used to be extremely important for SEO and many SEO “experts” still think they hold weight. However, in recent updates Google has announced that because of keyword stuffing (which is when a website is filled with keywords that may or may not relate to the page) that meta keywords now have absolutely NO bearing on Google search rankings. Like I said before, you can fill them out if you want, but since they don’t make a difference, what’s the point? 

3. URL's should be keyword rich
There is still debate among many SEO experts about having a URL with a lot of keywords in it. Here’s my take - creating long, keyword rich URLs may actually hurt, instead of help your brand. Recent studies have shown that Google is consistently ranking long URLs lower in search. Recent analysis shows that the top 10 results on Google consistently have URLs with less than 37 characters. Also, after analyzing a random selection of 30,000 domains they found that those with a keyword in their URL ranked NO better than those that didn’t.* On top of that, really long URLs can be difficult for people to remember. Moral of the story is, if it makes sense to throw in a keyword go ahead, but keep it short, sweet and easy to remember. *Stats courtesy of Search Metrics

4. 301 redirects aren't SEO friendly
This one can get a little technical and confusing so bear with me a little. When someone types in a URL in the top bar, it takes them to a website. It is up to us to tell the internet what site we want it to take someone to when they type in our URL. There are a few ways to do that. The 2 most popular are Domain Mapping and 301 Redirects. Domain Mapping is when you purchase a URL from an outside outlet (like GoDaddy) and you want it to link fully to your site. Through this process you are changing the DNS and hosting settings so your URL is directly associated with your website. This is telling Google that this is your MAIN URL for your site and the one that should get all the juice. However, sometimes you may want to add an additional URL or change the one that is linking to your site. In order to achieve this you can 301 redirect the extra, or new, URL. A 301 redirect is telling Google that you want this URL to link to your website permanently. While it will still bring traffic to your website, you’ll see that the URL bar will change to your mapped URL once they get to the site. Because 301 redirected URL’s aren’t mapped, and don’t carry as much SEO juice as mapped URLs, many people think they aren’t SEO friendly. However, they actually can be a great thing for your site. If you map multiple URLs to your website they end up all competing with each other in SEO, essentially dropping you in search because not one URL will stand out. This is because your URLs carry SEO weight and can help in search (like if you’ve owned the URL a long time). By 301 redirecting the extra ones, you can still use them to point to your website, but won’t be taking away from your main URL’s SEO juice. Another good use of them is if you decide to change your main URL to a new one. By mapping your new URL and 301 redirecting your old one, you’ll actually transfer about 90 - 95% of the SEO juice of the old one to the new one.

5. You should use Google Authorship
This one’s pretty easy, Google Authorship doesn’t exist anymore, so don’t even bother trying. Google Authorship was an experiment by Google trying to link content you create with your Google+ profile. After multiple attempts it never caught on, and Google shut it down. You may still see listed in some outdated SEO classes or articles. If you do, just ignore it and move on.

The Tools I Love That Make Marketing Easier

Today is Valentine's Day and we're talking LOVE here at Hub Digital! And by LOVE I mean some of the marketing programs and tools that we heart and use everyday. Check out the video below to learn more about them and why I recommend them, and then follow the links below to check them out for yourself!

The tools mentions in this post:

Canva - Graphic design program filled with templates to design everything from documents, to social posts, to banner ads. Can even create animated graphics for more exposure and engagement on social media.

Buffer - If you need help scheduling and managing your social media posts, we recommend Buffer as the easier to use, less expensive option.

ActiveCampaign - The email marketing platform for those with large lists and who need more integrated automated sequences and to move contacts through different sales funnels.

Mailchimp - For many businesses, Mailchimp covers more than enough of the emailing needs of a small business. PLUS it FREE up to 2000 subscribers AND automatic sequences are included!

Zoom - If you have video conferencing or Webinar needs, Zoom can cover both and is less expensive and more reliable than it's competition.

Drift - Have LIVE conversations with website visitors or encourage them to schedule appointments with you during your off hours. Engage your customers when they are thinking about you and your business.