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          Search engine optimization (SEO) helps businesses drive visits to their website through organic search traffic. Given that the top organic search results receive a third of the clicks, a decline in ranking could be detrimental for your business. Implementing SEO best practices on your website will help to ensure that your web content is seen by as many potential customers as possible. The more visitors you have, the better your chances are of converting those visits into sales!

          Local search engine optimization (SEO) helps local businesses gain visibility by optimizing their local business listings for local search. A business that leverages local SEO will include its address, phone number, local opening times, and exact location in the form of a local citation. The goal is to rank for local searches which are usually performed by people in a specific geographical region looking for a business near them.

          We typically see results within the first 30 to 60 days, but when it comes to SEO, there are many factors at play. It's important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy and results may not come as fast at you wish.

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          Digital advertising uses the internet to send advertisements to customers who are online through different websites and social media platforms like Google, Bing, LinkedIn and Facebook.

          The price for Google Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.

          The price for Social Media Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.

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          This depends on the complexity and size of a redesign and if eCommerce is needed. On average, it takes around 14-18 weeks from the web design intensive stage to launch.

          If your website experiences the following issues: it’s not responsive on all devices, has a slow loading speed, the design appears old and tired, users don’t spend long on the site, sales are stagnant, or your business is going through a rebranding - your website needs a redesign to boost your brand awareness and sales.

          Sometimes there’s no need to rebuild a website. Minor edits, refreshing page content and images, or restructuring page layout for SEO best practices can boost traffic and sales.

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          Semantic search launched in 2013 with the release of Google's Hummingbird update. Since then, Google's search engine has become more complex. The integration of machine learning, with RankBrain, and NLP, with BERT, has enabled the search engine to better understand the context of a query and deliver more personalized and targeted results. Semantic SEO is the process of creating machine-readable content using structured data and linked open data to help search engines better understand your content.

          On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page SEO refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals. From meta tags to page content, website structure, and HTML, on-page optimization services are focused on making your website more visible to search engines.

          Structured data refers to any organized data that conforms to a certain format, such as information in a relational database. When information is highly structured and predictable, search engines can more easily organize and display it in creative ways. Structured data involves using a piece of code that is laid out in a specific format easily understood by search engines. The search engines read the code and use it to display search results in a more dynamic way.

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          An SEO agency has experts in different areas of search engine optimization that may be out of the realm of your marketing team's abilities. SEO can be very complex and time-consuming. Furthermore, as search engine algorithms change it can be difficult to stay current on the latest ranking factors and strategies for improving online visibility. You will likely see a greater return on investment and better results from using a professional SEO agency than you would from tackling this on your own.

          As a digital marketing agency, SMA Marketing provides products and services in four areas: SEO, Local SEO, Digital Advertising, and Web Design

          We focus on building authentic, long-lasting relationships with our clients. We’re goal oriented and results driven and believe in doing good and making a difference in the world.

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Should I Have a Blog for my Direct Sales Business?

Just like other business owners, direct sales consultants are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves from other consultants within their brand. When thousands of other consultants sell the same thing, how do you set yourself apart? How do you provide the most value for your time, while reaching the most potential customers or team members? There are many ways to do this, beginning with the basics of excellent customer service and networking, then adding in promotion on social media. However, very few take it to the next level, hosting their own website and blog. There is a huge opportunity to use content marketing to set yourself apart as a brand ambassador, leader, and direct sales pro.

Why Blog for Your Direct Sales Business?

So, you represent a jewelry, wellness, skincare, or candle company. You’re looking for sales leads online to add to your local networking efforts. Your company most likely offers you a replicated website that your customers can visit to order online. But what if they aren’t ready to order yet? Often potential customers will do a Google search for your brand. They may be asking specific questions about your product. Or they might be curious about the business opportunity you offer. It’s not uncommon for people to do a little detective work about a brand before they are ready to take the plunge. They’re looking for answers from someone with experience and a friendly face beyond the corporate logo.

What if you provided a site that was helpful, answering their questions, making them feel like they are “in the know” about your brand and the strategy behind a successful direct sales business. That would certainly set you apart from a “replicated website.” It would allow you to start building a trusted relationship with potential customers. They will likely return to you when they are ready to purchase or join.

Direct selling, also known as social selling, and blogging are a natural fit.  Direct sales is all about building a relationship with the customer, offering them added value with their purchase. They not only get a high-quality item, they get personalized service from the representative. It’s not uncommon for a direct sales consultant and customer to become friends. And, isn’t this the goal of having a blog? Inviting potential customers in to answer their questions, building relationships based on trust, and welcoming them as members of our tribe?  Through a blog, a potential customer or team member can get to know a representative’s personality and see if they click.

Here are 5 Reasons Direct Sales Consultants Should Have a Blog

#1 Help People Find You

Do a Google search for a direct sales brand. The corporate site ranks highest. Now do a search for a specific question such as How do I get started with XYZ company? It’s likely a blog article will come up. Use Pinterest for the search, and you’ll definitely see blog articles by direct sales consultants. Consider that Pinterest images reach 83% of US women ages 25-54 either directly on the platform or through Google image search. People searching for direct sales products and business opportunities are typically women. You do the math. And, the more content you add to your blog, the more blog images you pin on Pinterest, and your other social media channels, the more opportunities to be found in online searches.

#2 Set Yourself Apart

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of consultants in your brand. A small percentage of those will have a blog. Brenda Ster, Social Media Consultant and owner of The Elite Suite, compares a direct seller’s social media presence to a pyramid (and no, not a “pyramid scheme”). According to Ster, “The higher you climb on the social media pyramid, the fewer people from your brand that are on that channel, so the easier it is for you to stand out when you post and engage consistently.  Not to mention, the more places you are online with consistent profile naming, the more chances that Google will find you and return you in search results when someone is searching for your brand.” She knows what she’s talking about. She grew her own direct sales business, earning top sponsor recognition with her brand two years in a row, with a good social media strategy, including a blog and a strong presence on Pinterest and Facebook.

Setting yourself apart from other consultants in your company also includes branding yourself. One of the most effective ways to do this is through a blog and original content. Write from your own unique perspective, be helpful, authentic and show your personality. Mix in some video content so your followers can get to know you and you’ll be on your way to climbing the social media pyramid.

#3 Answer Questions

When a potential customer or team member does an online search they are looking for answers to specific questions about your product or your business opportunity. Put yourself in their shoes. What questions did you have before you started your business? Did you want to know how to get started, how to grow your business, how to set up a product display, or how to do a vendor event? Answer those questions on your blog. You’ll become known as a leader and trusted source of information. People buy from people they know, like and trust. A blog has the potential to position you as a leader in your brand. For an example of a direct sales representative that’s doing this right, check out the blog of Betsy Dirks of DOTERRA, here.

#4 Provide Support

This goes hand in hand with answering questions. A blog offers the opportunity to provide support to potential customers and team members as well as current team members. It’s a way to communicate information and ideas to help your team grow. The more your potential team members see you supporting your current team, the more likely they will be to join with you. After all, you’re a great leader and they know they will be able to rely on you for support.

#5 It’s Cost Effective

Compare what you spent last year on printed promotional materials with what it would cost to host a blog. For around $8 a month you can own a self-hosted WordPress site. You’ll have the potential to reach far more people than you would with traditional local marketing. And content that you create on your blog will be shared on all your social channels and will be shared by your readers, increasing your reach even further.

Once your post goes live, you’ll want to do these 5 things.

Before You Get Started

Before you decide to create a blog, do a little homework. Consult your company’s policies and procedures and make sure it’s allowed. If it is, sit down and plan out the purpose of your blog. Do some investigative work and check out the blogs of others in your brand and in other direct sales companies.

Then dig deeper and create your blog design and content strategy. How do you want your blog to look? (WordPress themes are available for purchase online so you don’t have to worry about being a web designer to have a blog.) What type of content will you provide ~ what questions will you answer for your readers? You’ll want to have a few articles written before your blog goes live.

There are tons of free resources online to help you get started with creating a website and blog. Pinterest is a great place to search, so spend some time educating yourself. If you would like additional training before you get started, consider an online course that will walk you through the process in a personalized manner and allow you to ask specific questions.

Need help brainstorming topics for your blog? Check out this article on blog topics: How to Find Blog Topics That Improve SEO.

Before you start your blog, decide how it will fit your content marketing strategy. You’ll be sharing your blog articles to your direct sales social media channels. It’s part of an overall online marketing strategy for your direct sales business that will help you attract customers and team members, build trust and authority in your brand, and lead customers into your sales funnel so you can nurture a relationship with them.

If you’re ready to learn more about attracting customers through content marketing, check out our course, Simplified Digital Marketing!


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May, 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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