Remember The User’s Experience When Optimizing

Image: Search Engine Optimization, SEO, User Experience, Google, Bing, Yahoo

If you are a search engine optimization customer, be it with Akin IT Services or another company, then you are someone that understands the importance of raising your company’s profile. You understand how that directly relates to MONEY, or “return on investment (ROI)” as those that like to throw business terms around call it.

Every single SEO and marketing specialist out there will offer you various changes and adjustments you can make to how you do business. The intention is usually good and focused. They realize that when you see an uptick in business, that will directly relate to them staying in business with you. So we do our due diligence. We study. We follow trends. We read the updates Google provides. In short, we make sure every technical advantage is given to you, our customers that we want to see succeed.

But for all the technical expertise that Akin IT Services and our contemporaries can offer, there’s one piece that is overlooked often...a piece that you (the customer) can probably state far better than we ever could. That is the user experience. For all our knowledge of alt tags, SEF URLs and keyword density, we don’t know your customers. To make a search engine campaign successful, you have to provide us with that information.

When working on a search engine optimization campaign, either organic or pay per click, make sure that you are involved in the process. Bring your expertise with your audience to us, so we can incorporate it to our technical expertise. Think about it in the same way you would if you were buying a car. We could put on all the television commercials, newspaper ads, email campaigns and calling campaigns to get you to our car lot. The problem though is that if you got there and found a lot full of lemons from the 1970s, you simply wouldn’t be buying what we’re selling. The same is true with search engine optimization. We can get the traffic to your website, but if we do so while leaving your site unfriendly and unfamiliar to your customers, they will undoubtedly move on to someone else. Your expertise of what YOUR customers look for is every bit as important as any technical change we can make to your website.

Stay part of the process.

For more information on search engine optimization or any other assistance Akin IT Service can provide you, please contact us at (216) 584-6090 or www.akinitservices.com.

The Top 10 Reasons To Use Twitter For Business

Here at Akin IT Services, we talk to customers and potential customers all the time regarding social media. For many people, they have a lot of questions. One of the biggest questions we encounter is which social media outlet they should use. Should people use Facebook? What about Pinterest? Is Instagram helpful to your business? What about Twitter?

The questions are numerous, and there’s really not a stock answer to give other than to say that utilizing social media in 2014 is a MUST for a business looking to reach an audience the modern way. For many companies, they can get by utilizing Facebook and Twitter only; as long as you have focused personnel who understand the purpose of why and how they can be best utilized.

WHY is the other big question we get regarding social media, and specifically Twitter. In short, companies that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years on salesman, cold callers, mailings and other marketing avenues often have a hard time grasping how and why 140 character posts can make the difference between being a successfully marketed company or one that sits in obscurity while their customers pass them by. Even more than Facebook, Twitter has become the social media marketing method of choice.

With this in mind, here’s our top 10 reasons we think you should not only use Twitter in your marketing strategy, but should be proficient in it.

1. Branding / Name Recognition Of Your Company - Twitter is an “at a glance” media; one where people look quickly and remember those posting to it that grab their interest. You can quickly grab interest from the Twitter universe with a good tweet. That interest quickly builds your name recognition, and can establish your brand as a leader in your field...even if you are just starting and developing your business at the time.

2. Connect With Your Customers and Potentials - The fact is that most of your customers and potentials not only have smartphones, but have Twitter on it. As of the beginning of 2014, there were 645,000,000 Twitter uses, with over 135,000 new subscribers joining every day. That’s a lot of audience available to you. Knowing that your target market is on Twitter, it only makes sense that you use this tool to reach them.

3. Jump Past Your Competition Cheaply - We’re all aware of search engine optimization, and if you've been a company more than a few months, you are also aware of the expense to be at the top of any Google Search. That said, Twitter really allows you to jump ahead of the pack with nothing more than smart use of hashtags. A lot of people don’t understand that Twitter is the #3 search tool used by people today (behind only Google and YouTube). Your tweets can be seen by thousands immediately by simply using the appropriate hashtag in a popular Twitter thread.

4. Company News - How many times have you wanted to announce something about your company (a new phone number, a new location, the hiring of a new employee), and had to incur a major expense to get that done. With Twitter, it’s as easy as taking 30 seconds to post out to your entire follower/customer base.

5. Free Marketing - It’s 2014 folks, and cold calling is pretty much a thing of the past. With appropriate tweets and hashtags, Twitter accomplishes this same level of marketing without the high cost of personnel, equipment and time trying to get past the screeners at each company. In short, you can market whatever thought you have to make your business thrive. Twitter can be your new 1st contact that you have hired sales professionals to do in the past. Businesses need to utilize this.

6. Know What Your Competition Is Doing - We all know that our competition is fighting against us for each and every customer and customer dollar. We also know that our competitors are on Twitter. In a sense, being a public social media, Twitter allows you to not only “spy” on your rival businesses, but to gain and learn from their successes. You may not want to admit it, but you can become a better company from watching the movements of your competition. Twitter makes that possible.

7. Promotions / Coupons / Giveaways - Remember in the old days when car dealers would have a hot dog barbecue in order to get people in the door? How about free piggie banks from your favorite local bank to drive new customers? We’ve all experienced that in the past. We’ve also all sorted through handfuls of coupons from a ValuPak delivered courtesy of the US Postal system. It’s 2014 folks, and this can be done easily, cheaply (or free if you choose) with Twitter. A slow Friday can be quickly turned around with a tweet to a large Twitter following that says “save 20% on product X” for the next 4 hours. That message is delivered immediately, and if anyone is following you and actively in the market, they may just purchase AND be available for the upsell that makes it all worth while.

8. The Viral Nature Of A Good Tweet - While this is almost impossible to predict, a good and interesting tweet can go viral in the blink of an eye. While many may read that as reaching 10s of millions of people, the reality is that it could merely mean gaining great attention within the community that would be interested in purchasing your product or service. Once that happens, sales follow. While it’s never a guarantee, it happens a lot in the Twitterverse.

9. Feedback From Your Customers - If used correctly, Twitter can take the cold element between customer and company away. With that in mind, an active Twitter campaign can garner you a lot of feedback, both good and bad, from those that make decisions and more importantly spend money with you. It’s always important to encourage feedback and stay in touch with your customer base.

10. Sales, Sales, Sales - That’s why we do any of this, isn’t it? Last year, Dell Computers reported that they generated almost $7,000,000 in sales that were generated from Twitter. That’s a LOT of profit that this company simply would not have made before Twitter came into being. Twitter is a sales tool, and the sales can be great if you are active and work hard to understand it’s power.

So there you have it. Twitter is a powerful tool for businesses, but you have to understand not only it’s purpose but how to utilize it effectively. If you are interested in learning more about Twitter or having Akin IT Services create and incorporate a Twitter campaign for you, please don’t hesitate to call us during normal business hours at (216) 584-0690 ext.1. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/akinitservices.