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3 Major League SEO Strategies to Ensure Your Blog Hits It Outta the Park Everytime!

homerun_opt.jpgby Katie Fleming, Search Engine Specialist

I find myself watching an abundance of baseball lately. Little league has become my life. I'm also doing a great deal of search engine optimization - sometimes at little league. (DON'T tell my kids!) What I've come to realize is that these seemingly very different aspects of my life are actually more similar than I had ever imagined. Baseball - and search engine optimization - are games we play and they have become, in their own respect, "America's Favorite Pastime."

Analyzing the similarities between these pastimes is easy: There are basic rules to be followed in order to succeed in the game and each game has an umpire to determine fair play.

In Search Engine Optimization, the umpire's name is usually "Google." If you're a new player, you're typically stuck on the bench or in the "Google Sandbox" until you've proven you're capable of holding your own on the field. Once you've figured it out, they bring in a new pitcher who throws you a curve ball. In SEO, this would be Google changing its algorithm again.

The most heartbreaking reality is when you're playing well, winning, and your competitor hits a grand slam causing your team to lose despite your best efforts. That indicates it's time to revisit your strategy. In baseball, and in Search Engine Optimization, a good coach is the difference between winning consistently and a losing streak that might ruin your season, or cost you your audience. Here are some major league coaching tips that will have you swinging for the fences every time your blog is at bat...and help keep you and your team in the "W" column!

1. Fresh and original content is key! Sometimes you need a fresh arm or a DH to ensure a win. The same is true of SEO and blogging. Don't copy/plagiarize other's content. Make it your own and make it fresh and new. This might seem obvious, but session IDs, URL parameters, and printer friendly pages can all create duplicate content. Make sure your meta tags are different too.

2. Use long-tail keywords. Long-tailed keywords are great for blogs. They can bring valuable traffic to your site with little competition. Do your research and pick one niche topic. You want to be specific and ensure your audience fills the stands. Do not keyword stuff your blog.

3. Finally, monitor your blog. Every good team manager keeps stats on their team. You need to do this as well. Check Google Analytics to get to know your fan base. Where and how are they finding you? Track their interests and behavior and set up conversion tracking. Beware of "spam traffic." They will always have a 00:00:00 average session duration. You can filter those spoilers out of your Google analytics traffic and block them with your .htaccess code. Nobody wants a hater in the stands next to them!

Finally, remember it takes a team effort to create a winning season. We're always here for you and ready to help you get to the Big League, so let us know if you need a new head coach, base coach or even a relief pitcher for your SEO and we'll suit up for YOUR team! Play Ball!

image licensed by adobe stock

About Katie Fleming

katie01.jpgKatie Fleming is one of Team Trivera's SEO/SEM/DIgital Advertising Specialists.  In her role, Katie  has a proven record of success in managing our clients’ successful SEO and PPC campaigns by achieving measurable results  and driving ROI.

Trivera has an Opening For Digital Project Manager

Are you a rockstar digital project manager in search of your next opportunity? We have an immediate opening.  

Project-Manager-Job-Description1.jpgTrivera is seeking a highly organized and experienced Digital Project Manager. This person must have a proven track record of managing a development team, as well as possessing excellent communications skills, a high level of organization and attention to detail.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Managing our internal website development team
• Determining priorities for both scheduled and unscheduled tasks
• Managing website development projects from conception through completion
• Keeping projects on time, within scope and on budget
• Manage project related internal communications as well as some client communications
• Work with business development team to review quotes, statements of work and annual contracts
• Prepare documents for client kickoff
• Set up projects in Teamwork (similar to Basecamp but better)
• Manage internal pipeline for scheduling current and future projects
• Manage calendar for multiple team members as it relates to scheduling and reminders for events
• Setting up Google Analytics accounts
• CMS editing as needed for simple client requests

To meet the minimum requirements of this role, you must:

• Be experienced in people and process management
• Have proficiencies in Teamwork (or Basecamp) and Gantt Charting
• Possess exceptional written and verbal communications skills
• Be able to schedule and run effective project/client meetings 
• Be highly organized and extremely detail oriented
• Be capable of multi-tasking efficiency and managing multiple projects simultaneously
• Be cognizant of the fact that the client's satisfaction, expectations and success are the most important elements that are being managed
• Have a sense of humor

To be a rockstar in this role, you will also have:

• A complimentary technical skill set to what Trivera does. Options includes experience with UX, SEO/PPC, analytics, Front End Development and/or Back End PHP programming.
• Experience working with open source Content Management Systems (CMS) ie: Concrete5, Magento, Joomla, Drupal, etc.

Trivera’s focus is on custom website design and development but also includes:

• ecommerce application development
• Content management systems
• Intranet and extranet
• Responsive web development
• Search engine optimization (SEO)
• Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
• Digital media and marketing

This is a full-time position in our office located in one of the coolest Historic buildings in Waukesha County, in Menomonee Falls, WI.

Benefits: Trivera offers a competitive salary, flexible start and end times, paid time off, paid holidays, a welcoming and casual culture, complimentary beverages, a collaborative working environment, weekly Friday happy hours and an option for summer hour work weeks. We encourage a healthy work / life balance in our team members.

To be considered for this position, send your resume, in confidence to empinq@trivera.com 

Trivera Offering Internship Opportunity

IMG_0221.jpgTrivera is offering a paid internship for the 2016 - 2017 school year.

You'll gain real-world experience by participating in every facet of client work, from onboarding meetings and strategic planning to content creation and entry for websites, social media plans and executions, digital advertising, SEO, and more. If you're looking to be involved, gain hands-on experience, and the opportunity to participate in real projects for real clients instead of hiding out in a cubicle, this is the place for you. You'll receive close mentorship and supervision while also having the opportunity to work independently and contribute ideas. This position reports directly to the VP of Client Strategy and integrates with the sales, web development, and project management team members.

Description:

This is a paid 10 - 15 hour/week position with a flexible schedule.

What you'll do:

  • Write web content, case studies, email campaigns and blog posts
  • Assist with social media community management
  • Develop content calendars
  • Participate in the development and presentation of client plans
  • Participate in creative brainstorm meetings
  • Enter content in websites during build-outs
  • Conduct market and consumer research 
  • Prepare reports
  • Attend meetings and take notes as needed

What you'll learn:

  • The onboarding, research, and strategic planning process
  • How to develop brands and communications plans
  • How to uncover marketing opportunities and present your ideas to the client
  • SEO/PPC basics
  • How to create budget estimates and present them to clients
  • Effective client communication
  • Daily project management

Qualifications

  • Enrollment in a college degree program (Juniors or Seniors preferred) in Marketing, Advertising, PR, Communications, or a related field 
  • Strong written and oral communications skills
  • Critical eye for detail
  • Self-motivated and organized with the ability to juggle multiple projects
  • A positive attitude with the ability to meet new challenges and solve problems
  • Professional appearance
  • Knowledge of social media for business or website development preferred 

Compensation & Benefits

  • Work in a fun environment with flexible hours 
  • 10 - 15 hours/week
  • $10.00/hr
  • We are happy to work with you to help obtain academic credit

Company profile

Trivera is one of Milwaukee's oldest and most respected digital marketing firms. We started as a website design shop back when most people didn't even understand how the internet worked. Now we work with some of Milwaukee's largest and most well-known brands in the travel and tourism, hospitality and entertainment, and healthcare industries. Our team provides strategic digital marketing roadmaps for clients that integrate best practices in branding, content generation, social media, SEO, PPC, and digital display advertising. We're a group of experienced and enthusiastic marketers who work had to generate meaningful results for clients - and we have a lot of fun doing it!

Interested? Contact Christina.Steder@trivera.com.

6 Steps to Building Your Content Marketing Machine

AdobeStock_78484725.jpgBy Jeff Ganger, Trivera Interactive

You have a problem. The phone isn’t ringing. You need to fill your pipeline and hit your sales goals. You aren’t happy with the the marketing tactics you are using, and you know your website can be utilized as a more effective sales and marketing tool. The solution? Develop and implement content marketing.

What is content marketing? Here is a great definition from Corey Wainright at Hubspot:

Content marketing is a marketing program that centers on creating, publishing, and distributing content for your target audience -- usually online -- the goal of which is to attract new customers.

The most common components of a content marketing program are social media networks, blogs, visual content, and premium content assets -- like tools, ebooks, or webinars.

I’m inclined to just use the term “digital marketing” because content marketing is a component of an overall online marketing strategy. Since most of our time is spent online, either through our phones or our computers, it’s where the bulk of our attention is held and where companies have been experiencing the greatest marketing ROI over the past several years. That trend is only going to grow in the near future.

So, what are the components to a successful marketing plan that is designed to bring in more sales? We have identified the following 6-step process that covers the basics of the content marketing methodology.

1. Create a strategy and identify the tactics to use
Begin by identifying your goals and objectives, your ideal customers, where they spend their time online, and defining key performance indicators as well as how you will measure ROI.

2. Create and maintain a strong website
This sounds obvious, but a great site is one that makes it easy for your ideal users to navigate and interact with you, AND allows you to build new pages or add content frequently. Develop your website using a solid, open source content management system (CMS) such as Concrete5 (our favorite) or WordPress, then apply solid user experience (UX) principles. Once your site is built, constantly monitor your goals in Google Analytics to understand your site’s performance and where your visitors are dropping off.

3. Generate more traffic (Blogging, Social Media, SEO)
This is where the rubber hits the road. Create content that is useful and informative to your ideal clients, and then publicize that content on social media. Blog articles can generate up to 55% more traffic for your site, and two-thirds of internet users are on social media1. Bottom line: if you aren’t publishing content, you are missing out on potential sales. Be sure to use an SEO expert to ensure that your content is optimized. This is important, since 46% of internet searches are specifically for products and services. You can also use PPC, Facebook ads, and other paid methods of generating traffic to your site.

4. Convert traffic to leads (Create an offer, capture email, nurture leads)
This is the heart of content marketing. By offering white papers, buyer’s guides, eBooks, webinars, podcasts, and demos in exchange for email and other contact information, you convert your visitors to leads. This allows you opportunity to connect with these leads to build a relationship.

5. Convert leads to sales (Nurture leads via email and phone)
Add email information to your CRM or your email campaign software, then use your software to connect with your leads and engage with them. By providing targeted, specific information that is of interest to them, you nurture the relationship and lead them further down the sales funnel. By following up and providing helpful information and answering questions, the sales staff can convert these leads to sales.

6. Measure your website data. Adjust monthly.
Google Analytics can help you set goals for your website and measure its performance. Some metrics to include:

• Traffic to leads
• Leads to customers
• Cost per lead
• Cost per customer

Telling your story and offering valuable information is the basis for a solid digital marketing strategy. By understanding the basic concepts of the content marketing process, you can build a powerful sales tool that will position you as a trusted expert and help you target and land clients you really want.

Was this article helpful? What else would you like to know about? Let us know!

If you’d like to know more about the process and how we can help, drop me a line or connect with me:

Twitter: @jeffraaay 
Instagram: papa.gang 

1 Source: Hubspot 
2 Source: Hubspot 
image licensed by adobe stock

About Jeff Ganger 

jeffcrop.jpgJeff Ganger is one of Team Trivera's Digital Marketing Strategists.  In his role, Jeff assists our clients by creating digital marketing strategies that include websites, social media, and inbound marketing tactics to reinforce their brands and drive ROI.

 

How Much Time Do Most People Spend Online?


How much time do most people spend online?

Did you know July is National Anti-Boredom Month. And what do most people do when they’re bored? They go online! According to a recent Pew Research survey, one-fifth of Americans report going online, "almost constantly."

Trivera-online-infographic-01.png

Christina Steder Becomes Newest Member of Team Trivera

christinabiopic.jpgTrivera Interactive has added Christina Steder as V.P. of Client Strategy. In her new role, Christina will provide strategic direction for our clients - linking their ongoing online and content marketing needs to business goals and ROI. 

Christina possesses 15+ years of experience in consumer product, professional service, and nonprofit marketing as well as brand strategy and client service, beginning her relationship with Trivera as our contact person for one of our clients in 1999. As the former President of Clear Verve Marketing, Christina continued her relationship with us, building a leading content marketing firm that specialized in providing marketing services to professional service providers, nonprofits, and community organizations. At Clear Verve, Christina partnered with Trivera to provide the web development and technology elements for her agency's client engagements. Most recently, Christina served as V.P. of Integrated Marketing at Zizzo Group. We're delighted to finally have her here as a key member of our leadership team.

When she's not helping our clients, she's busy driving the "Mom Limo" for her three daughters who keep her busy with their activities. She's also enjoying the sunshine and fresh air that comes with her new daily commute to work, which is now just a short walk away from our office in the Falls.

Jeff Ganger Joins Team Trivera

jeffcrop.jpg

Meet Jeff Ganger, Team Trivera's new Digital Marketing Strategist.  In his new role, Ganger will assist our clients by creating digital marketing strategies that include websites, social media, and inbound marketing tactics to reinforce their brands and drive ROI.

Jeff possesses 15+ years of experience in print and website design, creative direction, inbound marketing and sales. A former entrepreneur, Jeff has launched several digital marketing and communications businesses. His experience also includes time spent as a designer for agencies in Milwaukee and St. Paul, Minn. 

When not busy with Trivera clients, Jeff dabbles in photography, cycling, image making, and beer brewing. He writes, sells t-shirts and books out of his garage, and hot rods anything with a motor. He plans on eating his way through the world, one adventure at a time.  He also practices martial arts with his son, making him both an MMA ninja as well as a Digital Strategy ninja!  

Serene Mireles Becomes Newest Member of Team Trivera

Serene MirelesSerene Mireles has joined Team Trivera as Interactive Designer and Front End Developer.

Serene comes to us after 8 years at Kalmbach Publishing where she was a Senior Interactive Designer. In her time there, she worked with Team Trivera design specialist Craig Schneider. So her addition here "gets the band back together," so to speak. Prior to Kalmbach, she spent 9 years at Southern Lakes Newspapers where she was an Assistant Creative Director.

In all of her previous roles, Serene has collaborated with sales, marketing, editorial, creative, and web development teams to create visually pleasing designs and digital media for multiple platforms. In the past year alone, she worked on the redesign of eight brands’ websites, making them responsive and creating a better user experience. She also helped build three e-commerce sites, and worked with colleagues to create branding standards across an array of digital platforms.

Serene's Graphic Design educational foundation comes from Gateway Technical Institute, and has been augmented by ongoing training from C2 Milwaukee.

When she's not busy designing and developing successful websites for Trivera clients, she loves to spend time with her husband and two daughters. Serene also enjoys spending time outdoors, painting, music, interior design (especially midcentury modern design), and filling her 1970s ranch with vintage treasures.

Nina McKinster Joins Team Trivera

Nina McKinsterNina McKinster has joined Team Trivera as Project Manager.

Nina's most recent experience includes Project Management at the Garvey Group. Before that, she was a Digital Content Production Co-ordinator and an E-commerce Merchandise Specialist at Kohl's. In addition to project management, her previous duties also included creation and implementation of social media, marketing and advertising strategies.

Nina's educational background includes the foundation of an Associate Degree in Graphic Design and Communications from Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, along with an active continuing education program which has included courses in advanced Adobe techniques, team building, process improvement and conflict resolution. That experience, plus her great personality and excellent communication skills will make her a great primary point of contact for our clients, and an excellent leader for our production team.

When she's not busy helping Trivera design, develop, launch and improve the ROI of client website projects, she and her husband are cheering on the Green Bay Packers, spending time in Door County and visiting local wineries. Nina also enjoys plying her design talents in her spare time as a talented painter, and lover of anything art, fashion and design. 

Trivera President Tom Snyder featured in Opentopic’s Content Marketing Spotlight Series.

Spotlight-Photo[1]Trivera President Tom Snyder was recently featured in Opentopic’s Content Marketing Spotlight Series. Here is that article:

OpenTopic: Content marketing is currently a hot topic among brands, though the use of content to engage and acquire customers certainly isn’t a new practice. What is it about today’s environment that has transformed content into such a central component of customer engagement and acquisition?

Tom: Corporate decision makers are under intense pressure to produce demonstrable results from their efforts. As they search for the resources either to educate themselves and their internal teams or to select an outside vendor, it’s critical for them to find a source they can trust to give them relevant, accurate and substantiated information. Creating RSS feeds and monitoring Social Media for great content, provides them with the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge, and identify potential vendors. Reviewing content those vendors are posting on their site, their blog and Social Media has become such a valuable part of the vetting process, it’s almost expected these days for every “expert” to be providing content of some sort, somewhere.

OpenTopic: Content marketing can be approached in many ways. How can a company that’s tackling content marketing for the first time best gauge what approach will best serve their business goals?

Tom: They need to really know their audience. And by “know,” I don’t mean generally, but specifically. Generally, my agency’s target audience is “people who need to choose a digital marketing firm.” But that is really so broad that it’s not a target at all.  If I used that as my guide, I’d be blogging or curating just about anything anywhere that would have to do with digital marketing. However, if I’ve learned that my “bull’s-eye” is a slightly more left-brained 42 year-old primary marketing decision maker for a $50 million dollar a year Midwest manufacturing company who is currently looking to hire a digital agency that will make them look like a rock star to their CEO, CFO, CIO, peers and potential employers then I know exactly what kind of content I need to provide. It will be content that will help them create a web presence and digital marketing strategy that will make their CEO proud, produce demonstrable ROI to their CFO, be an ally not an adversary to their IT department, and be the perfect candidate for their next gig. As I talk to my existing clients who fit that description and find out what kind of content they are finding helpful, and where they found it, I can base what I write, what I share and where I post, on their answers. As I demonstrate the experience, service and passionate commitment that they can trust to make him/her look like a rock star, I position my agency as the one they need to choose to make that happen.

Follow that approach for your industry and the decision maker you are trying to influence, and you’ll know exactly what to do.

OpenTopic:  Can you explain the role of third-party curation in content marketing strategies? How do you practice curation and what are its benefits?

Tom: When I began blogging in 1997, I was one of the few “experts” in the digital media field. Finding topics to write about and share was easy. However, as time marched on, I started to find that anything that I was thinking about writing had been written about hundreds of times already. I set up RSS feeds to provide myself with a daily summary of blogs and articles that I could use to educate myself, and see what holes might be available to fill with my own blog. When Social Media began to emerge, I realized that, in addition to posting links to my own blog on Twitter, LinkedIn and my company’s Google Plus page, I could also post links to the things I was reading.

The curated links that I post in Social Media to the blogs, articles and whitepapers of others, are those that I pick specifically to resonate with my target. Oftentimes, I’ll even change the titles of the article in the post to make my target audience more likely to click on the links. While the only measurable results I can track are the click-throughs, I know that the steady stream of 7 or 8 posts every day over time builds my credibility (and that of my company) as someone who always seems to know what they need to succeed, corporately, professionally and personally as a Digital Marketing decision maker.

OpenTopic: What are some of your techniques for demonstrating the value of content marketing? Does your approach differ for original content versus curated content?

Tom: When I speak to audiences about my efforts I show them my click-through reports. I am always blown away by the fact that, since I’ve been tracking my metrics, I’ve had over 850,000 click-throughs on my links posted on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Google+ and articles published in digital publications. Amongst those links of curated information are thousands of click-throughs to my own blog. When I link to my blog, I make sure to point that out in the post. I’d like to think that those who watch my posts for useful content pay special attention to the things I write myself, thinking that if I had to write it, it’s because I couldn’t find an existing source for that information that could bring as much value as I could by writing it  myself.

OpenTopic: What are 2 or 3 things that forward-thinking content marketers should have on their to-do list today?

Tom: Number 1: Narrowly define your audience so you know who you are writing for and what they expect to learn from and about you.

Number 2: Measure your results. Ideally you want have statistically-valid metrics to determine what works and what doesn’t. But even anecdotal evidence can be helpful. Make sure you’re producing results. Content without results is just a journal.

Number 3: Don’t think you always need to be groundbreaking or cutting edge with everything you write or post. Years after I began, some of my most clicked-through links are to some of the most basic topics. Over time, even if your target doesn’t change, your individual audience members will, as people move into and out of your target. Make sure you regularly demonstrate your core expertise. That will reinforce it to longtime readers, and make a great first impression to people just discovering you.

OpenTopic: Do you have any words of warning for content marketers?

Tom: If you’re using Social Media to post content make sure you’re using the appropriate channels at the appropriate times for the desired results. Professional content is all I ever post on LinkedIn and Google+.  I’ll post links to my own blog on my personal Facebook page to let friends and family know what I do, but those posts are set to post publicly in case anyone in my target audience who isn’t a friend ever decides to check out my personal page.

I use Twitter personally and professionally, and so I also Tweet a lot of the typical stuff people post there. However, I do take a break from the “business” posts on evenings and weekends. There’s nothing worse than being on Twitter during a Packer game on a Sunday to watch the interaction and armchair quarterbacking, when suddenly the marketing guru that can never “turn it off” posts a link in the middle of it all on to how to craft the perfect SEO strategy, or increase your e-commerce site conversions. I never want to be “that guy.” The person that I’m known as, by my clients, my peers and the community at large is that really smart and helpful digital marketing expert who is also a friendly person you’d want to work with.