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Why Pay Per Click is Important to your Business?

Figuring out different ways to advertise your business can be frustrating. There are so many different options out there and advertising can get expensive. At iPoint, we have Pay per Click campaigns that are made for your business so you aren’t paying for what you don’t need. Still not convinced? Read on to learn more about PPC.

What is it?

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising allows you to drive targeting traffic to your website and only pay for actual clicks to your site. It allows for maximum exposure while you control the amount you want to spend on your marketing campaign.

But my business doesn’t need to be advertised globally…

PPC campaigns can be set to only advertise regionally or globally depending on your business needs. You can even review the effectiveness of your ad campaign through ad reports.

What does an iPoint PPC Campaign look like?

Your campaign may be sued as a supplement or replacement for organic search engine optimization. PPC campaigns will quickly bring visitors to your website. You may want to run a PPC campaign during the initial months of organic search engine optimization. iPoint’s PPC experts obsess about results and send custom monthly reports, giving you analysis on exactly how your campaign is performing.

What does iPoint’s PPC services include?

We create accounts with your preferred pay per click engines such as Google AdWords, Yahoo! Sponsored Search, and Bing Microsoft adCenter. We also use proven methods to select optimal keywords based on pay per click analytics and natural search engine optimization reports. You are provided with full access to reporting and campaigns, so you know exactly what is happening with your PPC campaign. To top it off, we monitor and research your campaigns to determine when to vary your keyword and ad copy strategy and/or increase or decrease your budget to fully optimize your campaigns.

Pay per Click doesn’t need to be scary. We have the experts to answer your questions and make sure you are on the right path! Give us a call or visit our web page today to learn more about how PPC can help your business grow.

Millennials and Local Listings Management: 3 Fast Facts

Millennials: the largest, loudest and most tech-savvy generation to date. Every industry is investing considerable marketing dollars in learning as much about America’s 22 – 36 year olds as possible, and it’s no wonder why. Here are three fast facts about the Millennial generation.

Fact 1: Millennials are powerful.

With over $1.3 trillion in buying power, Millennials have more spending influence than any other generation. They’re an even larger population than the Baby Boomers. Their influence on the economy will be huge once they reach prime spending years.

Fact 2: Millennials are connected.

They’re the most social generation to date. The average Millennial consumer spends 25 hours online weekly. Most spend at least 7 hours a day on social devices like smartphone, laptops, and tablets.

Fact 3: Millennials are reading online reviews.

This drive towards digital has affected the way Millennials shop. According to a study by BOXT, 80% of Millennials never purchase a product without reading online reviews first.

Millennials consider online reviews more credible than digital ads. They would rather buy a product recommended to them by a friend, family member, or stranger than one recommended by an ad. Most read at least six reviews before buying.

So, where are Millennials reading your company’s reviews before spending?

Social networks force businesses to communicate more authentically than on traditional review sites, which appeals to Millennial’s desire for relationship and connectivity.

This has caused a shift away from online review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List and toward apps like FourSquare, Facebook, and Instagram. These social networks provide Millennials the opportunity to vent their frustrations, share their excitement, and receive immediate feedback from friends on purchasing decisions.

Millennials have more money, provide more feedback, and establish more connections with companies than any generation to date. Are you doing everything possible to secure the best reviews for your products?

We can help.

Our Local Listings Management services provide proactive listing updates that monitor, analyze and re-optimize your business information.

By logging in to your personalized dashboard, you can make a custom review to email customers. This  can then be published directly online. Our Social Chatter tool gives you a summary of what people are mentioning about your business on social media outlets. Another useful feature shows you what images are being publicized by apps, maps, search engines, directories and social networks in connection with your business.

If your business is going to continue to thrive, you need to reach Millennial audiences. We can help you use business reviews to make this possible.

5th Annual Flowers for Towers

Is an old computer sitting in your garage collecting dust? Is your broken laptop moonlighting as a table coaster? We’ve got you covered this Earth Day weekend. iPoint is announcing our 5th annual Flowers for Towers.

What is Flowers for Towers?

We designed Flowers for Towers to empower our communities to properly dispose of toxic materials and better the environment.

Not only does Flowers for Towers prevent dangerous toxins from ending up in landfills, but it saves you money. Most local recyclers charge a minimum of $15 per laptop; we’re helping you protect the planet for free. We’ll even throw in a $5 gift card to the Fort Collins Nursery. Then you can better the local environment with flowers, trees, and vegetables.

Why should I recycle my e-waste?

It takes around 539 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to create just one computer. E-waste contains toxins like mercury that can seriously harm the environment, yet only 20% of the world’s laptops, cell phones, and towers are recycled.

Worldwide, we throw over 50 million metric tons of e-waste into landfills each year. That waste contributes to 70% of all toxic waste. By recycling your old computers, we can minimize our carbon footprint, preserving our planet for the next generation.

What was our impact last year?

Our goal is to recycle 100,000 pounds by 2020, and we are well on our way. Since 2014, we’ve collected over 54,000 pounds of e-waste.

What do you accept?

We accept PC’s, laptops and servers. We’ll even securely wipe your hard-drive. No one will be able to access your personal information. We do not accept monitors or printers.

Bring your old electronic equipment to iPoint Technologies April 20th – 21st from 10 am to 4 pm. We’ll help you unload your equipment, get you a free gift card, and even enter you into some fun raffles to win prizes. See you there!

You’re Losing 95% of Web Traffic: Here’s Why

You’ve updated your website with an incredible WordPress theme, written killer copy to highlight your brand’s story, and spent hours curating original content—all with the help of a professional web designer.

There’s only one problem: you’re not getting any traffic. No one is visiting your website, there are very few clicks on your services, and you’re not seeing the ROI you hoped for when you signed up for web hosting services.

Wondering why?

Only 5% of web users check the second page of results when searching for a product or service. If you don’t have first-page rankings, your website is invisible to 95% of potential customers. Even worse, the first search result earns 33% of all views: if you’re not in the top three search results, you’re losing 60% of web traffic. This means less visits to your site and less profit for your company.

So how can your site—whether representing major brand or a small business—gain first-page rankings?

Search engine optimization.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of connecting clients’ search terms with your website. When people type these keywords and phrases into major search engines like Google or Bing, your business’ website shows up at the top of search results.

SEO is affordable, effective, and vital in an increasingly competitive and web-driven marketplace. If you’re not maximizing your online presence, potential clients will find your competitors as your website disappears into millions of search results.

Not sure where to start? We can help.

At iPoint, we offer specialized SEO services so business owners don’t need to stress and wonder if their webpage is on the first page of results. Our specialists know what keywords and phrases are relevant to consumers. Combine that with our white hat optimization techniques, and your business with experience increased web traffic and significant ROI.

We understand that your SEO campaign should be just as unique as your business. After developing a thorough understanding of your brand’s specific needs, we’ll create the SEO package that’s right for you. Call today at (970) 266- 0703 to or visit us online for a free consultation. We can’t wait to earn first-page rankings for your website.

Importance of Branding in SEO

Search Engine Optimization

Many small businesses make the mistake of not putting enough value into their brand. If you ask most large, successful, businesses about their brand, they would say that their brand is one of the most important aspects of their image. It is most likely interwoven into every aspect of their company. Why should small businesses and startups be any different different? When things like price and product are comparable between competitors, a successful brand image could make a huge difference in setting you apart.

This is all basic marketing stuff. Anyone that has taken a marketing class in school, or even done any research on marketing understands the importance of branding. But what about your online branding? Most small businesses do not do enough to establish their brand online. A company logo and email footer is not enough, especially if you want to increase your SEO.

Ever notice when you perform a Google search that the websites that reach the top are usually bigger more trusted brands, like Amazon and Wikipedia? This is because Google ranks trusted brands higher in results. Strong brands are great for growing a loyal customer base, and now they are also great for ranking well on search engines.

As a small business there is no better time to move ahead of the competition by establishing yourself as an authority. What distinguishes yourself from your competition? Instead of thinking ‘we sell X’, position your message to ‘we provide solutions to Y’.

Once you have your brand image sorted, it’s time to reflect this through your website. Earlier I mentioned that a logo on a webpage is not enough to promote your brand. When visiting your website, customers should be able to instantly recognize your brand.

Remember that design isn’t everything online. Functionality is important too. Focus on fast load times and responsive design. People like websites that are fast and work well. When a website loads slowly or doesn’t work well, people are less likely to return, and on the internet where there is a lot of competition, this can be devastating. Earlier this month I wrote a whole blog post talking about this exact concept.

Once your website is built, it’s time to promote it. Unfortunately, a website is not like Field of Dreams, just because you build it does not mean that people will come. This is where SEO comes into play. The SEO strategy you choose should be focused on your brand. The venues that you promote your site on should reflect your brand. Create blogs demonstrating your knowledge of your area of business. Promote them on sites related to that topic. Create social media accounts and link them to your website. These links will drive traffic to your website as well as help build your brand.

 

Black Hat vs White Hat SEO

White hat SEO techniques versus black hat SEOIf you have ever visited an SEO blog or read an article, you have likely seen the terms white hat or black hat used. This week we will look at the two concepts, examine what they are, and explain what it means for you.

 

Black hat

Black Hat SEO refers to the practice of aggressive SEO tactics in order to get a high position on search engines. This means that the person or company in charge of SEO uses certain techniques that are meant to target search engines instead of actual people. In short, they favor a quick financial return instead of long term investment and content.

Here are a few techniques that black hat SEO people use:

Keyword Stuffing – Filling a web page full of keywords in order to trick search engines into thinking that a certain page is relevant to a web search.

Invisible Keywords – Another form or keyword stuffing except this involves inserting repeating keywords into the webpage that are hidden from actual visitors, but can still be scanned by search engines. The keywords are either hidden in hidden fields, or by making the text the same color as the background.

Doorway pages – Also called gateway pages, doorway pages are pages that act as an entry point to a website. These pages are usually stuffed with keywords in order to gain a high SEO ranking. Usually, the page will either quickly redirect to the actual website homepage, or require the user to click to continue.

Page Swapping – Once a page has been ranked by search engines, the user will completely change the web page to something different.

 

Many SEO firms still use these techniques to boost sites to higher search rankings. This is why you should be extra careful when choosing a SEO company. There are countless SEO companies that promise quick SEO results, and often end up using black hat techniques. Search engines constantly are on the lookout for practices like these and punish the offending sites when found.

 

White hat

White hat SEO is a technique that focuses on the human audience rather than search engines. It focuses on organic searches rather than manipulating search engines. White hat is designed to be a long term approach as opposed to achieving quick results like black hat. It follows all search engine rules and policies.

White hat SEO follows practices that are often talked about on this blog: keywords, keyword analysis, backlinks, link building, quality content, etc.

White hat is considered Ethical SEO because it focuses much more on the site’s actual content as opposed to manipulating the search engine algorithms. If you intend for your website to be a long-term investment, white hat techniques are advised. If you are looking into companies to work on your SEO, always ask what techniques they use and how they plan to boost your rankings. Nothing is secret in SEO. If they won’t tell you how they plan to boost your ratings, they are often using black hat techniques.

Looking to get some SEO done? Contact us today for a free consultation. You can be assured that we will always follow good white hat techniques to help build your organic search results.

Are QR Codes Still Effective?

qrcode.22925811It’s been a little over one year since our last blog about QR codes, so it seems like a perfect time to do a follow up. If you don’t know what QR codes are, here is the post giving you an overview on what QR codes are. Go ahead and take a minute to reread it, its short.

Originally, QR codes were used for manufacturing purposes as a way to track parts in ways that classic bar codes couldn’t. Eventually, businesses discovered that they could use them for marketing purposes. QR codes offer a lot of benefit for businesses by encouraging audience interaction. They act as an easy way to provide people with more information about a certain topic or to drive more traffic to a website. The codes are also extremely simple to make. Tons of sites will generate QR codes for free. Coupled with the fact that they were new, cool, and took advantage of new technology, these are the reasons that QR codes became so popular for businesses.

As mentioned in last year’s article, there are some limitations for QR codes. More people have become aware of what they are, or can recognize them when they see them. The problem now is that many people don’t know how to use them. They know that you can scan them on your phone, but some people are not aware of what app to use to do so.

There is also the problem that people are not using QR codes as much as they used to. The widespread use of the codes has taken away that initial “coolness” factor that drove much of their earlier success. Many businesses themselves are to blame for QR codes falling usage. There has been very poor implementation across many businesses. There are countless examples of poor usage of QR codes. Here are some of my favorite examples: on the back of a Pepsi truck, on a subway, behind an airplane, billboards. Even the TSA is guilty of poor QR code usage when their own posters direct to the wrong site.

None of these examples are isolated examples of bad design. This is a common practice among many businesses both large and small. The poor use of QR codes leads to a low click-through rate, which means that developers won’t devote as much time to developing quality content if no one is going to view it. This again leads customers to have low expectations with QR codes, further lowering click-through rates.

So the ultimate question becomes: are QR codes still worth using? For the most part, I’d say no. They are easy to make, but these days, people will often only scan the code if there is a good incentive for them to do so. This means that you have to produce good quality content, which takes time. If you can produce something that is worth peoples’ time, and can place the QR code in an easily accessible place, then by all means use them. But for the majority of businesses, it simply isn’t worth the effort that it used to be.

Do you have any good or bad QR code stories? Let us know in the comments!

Five Reasons to Regularly Update Your Website

updateImprove your SEO

Most major search engines will “crawl” the internet, meaning they regularly monitor websites, checking for updates. The more regularly that websites are updated, the higher they get posted on search results. Regularly updating your website is a great, free, method to boost your SEO.

New content encourages other websites to link to your site

Other bloggers and websites are constantly looking out for good content to link to. This not only improves their SEO results but theirs as well. Building backlinks really helps drive new people to your website.

New content for readers

SEO rankings are not the only reason to update your website. New content provides a reason for readers to regularly visit your site. There are many different ways to create content for your website. One tried and true option is creating a blog that you update weekly. You can monitor which posts get the most attention and then create more similar posts. You can also cross link related articles to make them easier to find. All of this content will help ensure that your readers do not get bored.

New content helps expand marketing efforts.

In addition to providing content, tools like blogs and RSS feeds are a great way to further spread your marking messages. You can immediately spread news and content to a wide range of people. Keeping up-to-date content can significantly open up a wide range of promotional possibilities.

Offer information more frequently than your competitors

The web is a big place with a lot of sites all vying for attention.  Consistently updating your website is a great way to stay ahead of your competition in this regard. Maintaining an up-to-date website is very welcoming to visitors. If your website looks like is hasn’t been updated in a long time, people are more likely to click away. Stay ahead of your competition and provide something that they do not, content.

 

SEO Myths

SEO-Myths1Happy April Everyone!

April 1 was just this last Tuesday, hopefully you had some fun. While it can be fun to play small pranks on friends and coworkers, or even have them played on you, you definitely don’t want to fall for these SEO myths. Read on to learn what common misconceptions people have about SEO.

 

Small businesses don’t need SEO

This one could almost not be farther from the truth. One of the troubles that small businesses run into is how to be found. It’s not a big issue if you open a small shop in a small town because everyone can see you. But if you want to put your business on the internet, it’s a different story. Your small store is now swimming with the giants and you need a way to be seen. This is why SEO is so important for small businesses.

 

If you have neglected doing SEO you are too far behind.

It is never too late to start doing SEO, especially for smaller businesses. It’s true that it takes time to build a successful SEO campaign. However, the sooner you start taking action, the sooner you will start to see your business at the top of searches.

 

SEO takes too much time or is too hard to understand.

There are many great tools on the internet to help you get the hang of SEO. WordPress , for example, lets you install plugins such as Yoast that give you basic tools to get started. If you still feel intimidated, or just don’t feel like diving headfirst into SEO, iPoint offers great SEO services and can explain everything to you in terms that you can understand.

 

Paid Search helps increase SEO rankings

This is one of the oldest myths that people still hold onto. It’s easy to think that if you pay Google for ads, they will increase your rank on their searches. However, there has never been any evidence that this actually is the case. The thousands of companies that have paid Google or Yahoo or Bing for paid searches have never claimed that it has helped increase their SEO rankings. Don’t be fooled to think you have to pay to increase your ranks. This myth is just pure superstition.

 

SEO is too expensive.

The cheapest way to accomplish SEO is to do it yourself. It’s cheap, you can get it done in just a few hours a month. It’s true that some businesses can charge you an arm and a leg for SEO services. iPoint doesn’t do that though. We offer comprehensive and affordable SEO services targeted toward small to medium sized businesses. Check out our SEO page, or give us a call, to learn more.

Project Spotlight: To Your Health!

VegetablesTo Your Health llc is a site that promotes good, healthy nutrition in order to help treat chronic disease and maintain optimal health. Recently, they have undergone a website update.

The whole feel of the website has been updated to reflect a more modern and satisfying look. The green-white gradient has been replaced with a warmer background image that not only is more pleasing to look at, but better reflects their overall brand. In balance with this, the fonts and images have been updated as well. The top banner buttons have been lowered and redesigned to match the rest of the page.

The style and feel of the website was not the only aspect involved with this update. The overall function has been improved as well. The front page still delivers the same information, but in a less cluttered method. The page takes more advantage of blank space. By making the content extend more to the left and right, the front page is not as long, meaning that more information can be shown on a first glance. The social media feeds are also displayed on the right side now, meaning people can more easily follow their page and events.

Here are some screenshots so you can see the changes for yourself:

Old:

to-your-health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New:

to-your-health-ipoint