Category Archives: Blogging

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Data Collection: Keeping Tabs on Your Progress

Posted on January 24, 2015 in Blogging by cmblogger

One of the reasons small businesses frequently shy away from doing much Internet marketing is data collection. “I don’t know how.” or “It’s too complicated” are frequent refrains when it comes to managing a Pay per Click or SEO program.

And yet, gathering data about your users experience online is one of the most important and powerful tools any business with a web presence can use in creating an effective online marketing strategy. What does your bounce rate look like?

Where do your potential customers go after they leave your homepage? These are only two of the critical, make or break questions that any credible marketing department should be able to answer for you, and yet, too often, when the marketing department, and the sales department, and the customer service department is say, one person in a small business…these issues fall by the wayside.

Get smart about how you manage your online presence. In the long run, you’ll spend less money and get more for the investment you do make when you can track changes and their effects on your conversion rate. Get Captain Marketing, a marketing company that specializes in handling online strategy for small to midsize businesses.

Aside from the obvious SEO, SMO, PPC, SME, web design, copywriting and online reputation management services we provide, the main benefit to hiring a company like ours is simply data management.

We track your progress and our results. What your customers are doing when they come to your site-and what they’re not. Information like this can change the way you do business, helping you to shape your products and services to adjust to a constantly changing marketplace. It can also refine our strategies to help you achieve your online marketing goals.

Having an expert help you to gather and interpret the data-and plan future campaigns based on their conclusions-can be what determines whether you simply survive online, or find ultimate success and profitability as a real Internet contender. Which path do you choose?

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Essential SEO: Know the Basics

Posted on January 19, 2015 in Blogging by cmblogger

Especially for a new company, SEO can present complicated challenges when it comes to creating the right program to get ranked with the search engines. With just a few tips, however, even a fledgling small business can lay the groundwork for an effective organic search campaign.

Have you installed Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools? If not, you should. Then connect them so you’ll be able to get more information on how consumers find your website on the web. Next, take a look at the possible keywords your project manager has researched for your linking program.

Which among these phrases best capture what you sell? And even more importantly, which terms are ones that you use in the existing content on your website? Don’t pick keywords that aren’t words or phrases you want to emphasize. Remember, every page of your website needs to have at least 200-300 words of copy per page utilizing these terms. If you talk about handsewn leather loafers on your website, don’t pick the keyword “clogs” unless you’re willing to create content that describes them in detail.
Once you’ve selected the right keywords, your Captain Marketing project manager will help with a sitemap, title tags, link building and more. Consider adding a blog, a social media presence and even a paid ad campaign to facilitate your progress with the search engines. It may seem daunting, but with the right tools, even a tiny company can attract the consumers they need for success.

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Visual PR and Brand Journalism: What They Are, How They Can Help

Posted on January 10, 2015 in Blogging by cmblogger

In a world gone mobile, your online marketing program should now be focused in two areas to reach your customers. For today’s sophisticated online consumers, it’s not enough anymore just to feature a few bland photos and some pat descriptions of what you sell on your website.

First, you need a compelling visual story. People need to be able to distinguish who you are, not just what you are online. Strong images and powerful graphics accompanying everything your company says and does online will increase site traffic, strengthen your page views, and translate directly into more conversions. Boring images and design-in-a-can layouts are no longer possible in today’s competitive digital marketplace.

Second, with Google’s new emphasis on content and social media’s reliance on fresh, engaging copy, brand journalism is the new buzzword every business needs to know. Strong writing that communicates your values, products and overall message in an interesting way is essential  to not just strong SEO but the connections you need to make with your customers in this “age of relationship” between companies and their customers.

When you think about the term, it’s actually pretty intuitive. Journalism is about telling stories. A brand is a company’s identity. Brand journalism is the act of telling your company’s story in such a way that it not just informs, but touches people in an emotional way.

Skeptical? Your pipe wrench supply company isn’t about feelings, after all, but plumbing tools. Well, consider this. Your average site visitor will spend 4-6 seconds on your homepage before deciding whether to stay and shop-or click away to a competitor. And how do these potential customers make that critical decision? It’s emotion based-not information based. Do they trust you? Do they like you? Do they think your business stands for the values they care about?

Those are the questions you need to answer, for a successful website and an online marketing program that works in 2015.

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Marketing Strategy for Mobile Customers

Posted on January 5, 2015 in Blogging by cmblogger

With smartphone and tablet use on the rise, reaching your mobile customer is the new priority for any Internet marketing program. An effective mobile strategy is now critical to success, and your follow through in three key areas will determine how effective your campaign ultimately is in capturing these consumers on the go.

First, make sure your mobile content is both actionable and immediate. Remember, cell phones

and tablet are popular because you can take them anywhere and access anything, quickly. Can your customers take advantage of special deals in the moment on your mobile site? If you have a brick and mortar location, are there mobile-only opportunities for these consumers? Ensure your mobile content is both up to date and helpful for the customers who may be most pressed for time and also in your area-those on the phone or with their tablet.

Second, your web design must be easy to read and see from any device. Long paragraphs of copy, complicated terms or product descriptions don’t belong on a mobile friendly website. Make your unique selling proposition quick to read and simple to understand from a small screen.

Finally, make sure you have mobile ads and localized search terms for SEO that are relevant to the mobile user. Customize your mobile ads by using all the relevant data gathered from mobile devices, including check-ins, location, and past search behavior. Connect with these users with a mobile banner ad that tells them you’re nearby!

As the world moves towards mobile devices and away from constant desktop use, your business must include these customers to stay relevant. Quite simply, it’s a big part of online marketing’s future, and that of any business wanting to stay ahead of its competitors.

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Chicken With Problems: Brand Management Matters

Posted on December 24, 2014 in Blogging by cmblogger

We talk a lot about online reputation management at Captain Marketing-it’s one of the many services we offer our clients. And yet, nothing illustrates the need for effective management of your brand online or off better than…a wrinkled, deep fat fried piece of chicken offal. Uhm…what? Well, Kentucky Fried Chicken patron Ibrahim Langoo recently found a piece of what looks to be some deep fat fried grey matter…and photographed it, right there in the bucket of chicken he’d ordered and in which he’d discovered the unsavory looking bit. He approached the staff at the counter, who were unimpressed. Unhappy with their response, he did what arguably most of those under 35 would do next in 2014…he posted the picture on the Internet.

Naturally, it went viral, and now the millions KFC carefully allotted to online advertising and a social media presence up may add up to exactly…nothing. To add insult to injury, Kentucky Fried Chicken has countered this photo’s popularity across the web with a rather misguided announcement that the organ in the photo was actually a piece of kidney, not a brain, and that they’re very sorry it happened, but that Mr. Langoo can pick up some free vouchers for more chicken whenever it’s convenient.

Somehow, looking at the photo, we don’t think Mr. Langoo, or many who have seen it  will be back to their local KFC anytime soon. Moral of the story: stop reputation management problems when they happen, whether on your Twitter feed, Facebook page..or even at the counter, face to face. Don’t wait for them to go viral…no matter what’s in your chicken.

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The Spirit of the Holidays

Posted on December 22, 2014 in Blogging by cmblogger

In this era of political brinksmanship and a media machine salivating for the next big story, it’s easy to overlook the spirit of altruism and community that really define the holiday season, whatever your faith. In the end, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or your own holiday tradition, nothing can replace the lasting joy and sense of peace that comes from helping another living being in their journey forward.

Opportunities for giving abound online. The National Breast Cancer Coalition has been rated “A” by the nonprofit charity monitoring group CharityWatch.com. Endorsed by medical researcher Dr. Susan Love, media personality Linda Ellerbee, and former President Bill Clinton, the organization has set 2020 as the year breast cancer is defined as a curable illness in our world. Will they achieve their deadline? We hope so. Check out their website to learn more. http://www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org/about-the-deadline/.

Charity Watch has awarded http://www.childfindofamerica.org an A+ for spending more than 75% of their donations for programs instead of compensation, as well as for providing an “open book” on their spending and financial records to the public. Providing free investigative services, referrals, and support for families of children who have been abducted, the organization has brought thousands of children together with their loved ones since it was founded in 1980.

Whatever your holiday, we hope you enjoy the season with those you love. From Captain Marketing, we wish you all the best.

BLog

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Captain Marketing Named Among Top SEO Companies in the U.S by Independent Vendor Authority TopSEOS

Posted on December 15, 2014 in Blogging by cmblogger

Internet marketing company Captain Marketing was recently announced as the #6 SEO company in the United States by independent marketing company evaluators TopSEOs most recent report. This analysis is based on a rigorous evaluation process that considered both the products offered and the actual results Captain Marketing delivers to its more than 2,000 clients nationwide. TopSEOs creates this list to recognize high quality Internet marketing firms apart from their many online competitors in a frequently confusing and crowded marketplace.

With intentionally strict criteria for inclusion on this list of companies, the #6 ranking is indeed a coveted one, according to a TopSEOs representative. Captain Marketing staff report they are quite pleased with the accolade. “We’re thrilled to be included in this sought after list of top online marketing firms,” says Captain Marketing SEO analyst and manager Joseph Cabello. “But it doesn’t come as a surprise. We’re devoted to providing consistently outstanding results for our clients on the search engines. Clearly, it’s a strategy that’s working.”

TopSEOs reviews multiple factors before determining their rankings. A team of evaluators first look at the marketing products offered by the company in question. They weigh these services against what each marketing firm actually delivers to its clients in terms of rankings, traffic and leads. Finally, they consider the customer base and popularity of the company nationwide. Inclusion within the top five reflects significant, positive achievements for marketing clients across multiple search engines platforms, as well as consistent, superior customer service and fair business practices.

“We’re very proud to add this to our growing list of awards,” says Cabello. “It’s a reflection of the hard work, constant innovation, and commitment to high quality products and excellent service.”

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What The Heck Is A Sitemap.?

Posted on December 13, 2014 in Blogging by cmblogger

For some, knowing what the acronym “SEO” stands for is an achievement in and of itself (Search Engine Optimization, for the uninitiated). And don’t worry, you’re not alone. For many in this world, particularly over a certain age, tweeting is still just for the birds. But as long as we’re on the topic, you should probably learn what a sitemap is. As a critical element of any successful SEO campaign, a sitemap is also referred to as a navigation bar. It lets Google, Yahoo and Bing know how many pages your website has, and what’s on each page. While you may only have 4-5 pages to your site, nevertheless, this index will provide the search engines with useful information and allow them to rank you higher on the results pages. It will also help your visitors know what you have-and where to find it on your site.

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Social Media and Customer Interaction for 2015

Posted on December 10, 2014 in Blogging by cmblogger

Some good news for those businesses who use social media marketing: Forrester Research, an independent global research and advisory firm, has released a recent study that shows 79% of Americans online are accessing the Internet daily, for more longer periods, and most importantly, are interacting with their favorite brands more than ever before.

The report also states that 45% of people on social networks say they have interacted with a brand through social media over the past three months. Pointing to the increasing mobility of the marketplace, the study also showed tablet ownership has more than doubled since 2011.

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Changing The Unique Value Proposition Through Competent Web Design

Posted on December 3, 2014 in Blogging by cmblogger

Realtors in New York City are catching on to the need for more sophisticated, all purpose web design to attract consumers and hold on to current customers, the New York Times reports.

While in the past potential homebuyers or sellers had to contact a real estate agent to get any information on local property listings, now the information is available on the web for anyone. Realtors must reinvent themselves as “neighborhood specialists,” as the Times describes to prevent their industry from going the way of the brick and mortar travel agency, an industry that has all but disappeared from our popular culture in 2014.

Creating a unique value proposition can be created with a thoughtful, responsive website design, however. Sites are now easier to navigate, with less clicking back and forth between search parameters, and present listing results all on one page for easy comparison. In addition, Google map photos of a neighborhood also show up immediately, along with ready information about nearby restaurants, shopping, schools, crime rates and other “points of interest” important to a potential homebuyer.

As the New York Times reports, “instead of us putting forth hundreds of search results,”said Christina Lowris Panos, the chief marketing officer of the Corcoran Group, “we’re the curator of the information. We’re not just giving you volume.’” Links to social media are also displayed prominently, along with relevant news about the community at large.