5-ways-to-recession-proof-your-business

5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Business

Businesses are now entering a period of unprecedented transformation—it is a time that presents some incredible opportunities for those that plan ahead.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How Marketing Works During a Recession
  • How to Reassess Your Brand Position
  • How to Focus on Your Unique Value
  • New Audience Exploration
  • How to Capitalize on Opportunities

Is your business ready? In times of economic prosperity, we forget that economies are cyclical and that the next recession is always on the horizon, just waiting to catch business owners on their heels.

Do not let your business fall victim to a quickly changing landscape—strengthen it using a proven process. If you’re ready to begin strategizing, get a proposal.

Here are 5 ways to prepare for any recession, and ensure you not only survive the downturn but that you come out the other end better than your competition.

1. Avoid Cutting Back on Marketing

Businesses without a marketplace presence are those left most exposed during a recession. Cutting your marketing budget means eliminating valuable connections with the very audiences that can help you weather an economic downturn.

In reality, it’s the businesses that double down on marketing to gain a larger share over their competitors that are best positioned to experience long-term profitability throughout the recession and beyond. In Binet and Field’s seminal 2008 study on marketing effectiveness, the industry experts found that reducing your marketing spend in the face of an economic downturn weakens your brand.

The fact is that marketing gets more efficient and more powerful every day. Digital campaigns now enable you to micro-target your brand’s most valuable audiences—even on a tight budget. The ability to influence purchasing behavior by delivering hyper-relevant messaging directly to individual consumers can help your business grow in every season. Learn more about the latest in digital marketing on our blog.

2. Reassess Your Brand Positioning

A coming recession is a perfect time to take a step back and reassess your business to make sure you are positioned for the challenges ahead. After all, recessions realign customer behavior forcing consumers to reconsider their priorities when it comes to spending money.

Step One — In any reassessment, a brand audit should be done. It’s essential to know where your business stands with regards to your competitive landscape before you plan for the future. Moreover, understanding how your competition is positioned will help you identify opportunities to differentiate your business’ brand and direct the value you bring to customers, particularly with regards to a customer’s changing needs in the face of a recession.

Step Two — Identify the things your customers are most likely to cut back on during a recession and present valuable alternatives. The key is to address the unique needs of consumers during these challenging times to offer a distinct value that’ll help your customer through the hard times.

3. Focus on Your Unique Value


For consumers and businesses alike, making the most of a recession is all about understanding value. What value do you provide your customers? It’s vital that you not only understand your unique value propositions but that you articulate them in a way that your customers understand.  

A recession is an ideal time to do customer research to better understand the value you provide. Do your customers see your brand as affordable? Do your services enable your customers to reduce costs in other areas? Answers to these questions will provide the tools needed to tell a compelling story about your unique offerings within a recessionary environment.

Any consumer lifetime value analysis will tell you: your best customers are costly to replace. Rather than risk losing them during an economic downturn, offer them the value that will increase their loyalty. For instance, price-cutting is never the best solution and can even lead to a competitive domino effect. Alternative approaches to bolstering customer relationships include premium education or experiential offerings, enhanced loyalty programs, and increased access to your offerings.

Lastly, the best way to emphasize your unique value is often to get hyper-focused on your core competencies. The more specialized your unique offerings are, the harder you are to replace. Brands that target niche markets with niche products and services are always better equipped to withstand a downturn because their customers don’t have the luxury of looking elsewhere to fulfill their needs.

4. Explore New Audiences

One of the best ways to minimize loss during a recession is to find new opportunities in previously unconsidered segments and reposition your offerings accordingly. This is especially true if your traditional target audience is set to be struck hard by the economic downturn.

A downturn can also be the best time to launch a new venture or brand altogether. The competition is less intense, and consumers are more likely to respond to the value offered by an alternative to the businesses they usually buy from. Offset risk by targeting niche audiences during the downturn and then use this foundation to grow your business post-recession.

5. Capitalize on Opportunities

Opportunities abound during a recession. Provided you have the cash on hand to do so; slow years are optimal times to innovate. Experiment with new service options, delivery mechanisms, or packaging alternatives. Deploy quick-fail initiatives in your test markets to gauge what audiences will respond to. Put time into projects you’ve wanted to do but have been too busy to tackle. 

Recessions are also opportune times to look for acquisition targets who may not have planned as well as you did. Strong brands laden with poor debt structure, insufficient cash, inflexible pricing, or general mismanagement are prime targets for stronger brands looking to expand. New patents and technologies that would be unaffordable during expansion years are also often available during a recession.

If acquisition opportunities aren’t available in your industry, consider simply expanding your market share with other shrewd business maneuvers. Brands like Hyundai, Lego, and Netflix and that grew during the Great Recession then consolidated those gains in the years that followed.

Conclusion

Recessions cause shifts to the marketplace that no business can predict. During the last downturn, digital sales actually increased significantly, and new competitors to legacy brands came out of the woodwork. These changes have continued to shape their markets as e-commerce drives exponential growth, and direct-to-consumer brands offer alternatives to established businesses in many different industries. The brands that emerge ready to compete in changing market landscapes are those that can act on unique opportunities during a recession.

The Ad Firm Named Among Top Digital Agencies in Irvine and Austin by UpCity

We are starting the summer season with thrilling news. As a top provider in our industry, The Ad Firm has been named a certified partner with UpCity in Irvine and Austin. And, even more exciting, The Ad Firm just made the Top PPC Agency list in Irvine.

The Ad Firm strives to build partnerships with our clients to help them grow through clear strategy, measured initiatives, and outstanding digital services. UpCity, a local B2B digital marketing platform, assessed over 500 and determined The Ad Firm to be one of the most reputable and influential agencies for small and medium sized businesses.

UpCity is an online marketplace that provides credible reviews and information for business and marketing service providers. Check out The Ad Firm’s profile here.

The UpCity City Excellence Awards are a new honor that celebrates partner companies with strong UpCity ratings. The Ad Firm was selected out of 590 marketing service providers as a top provider based on company reviews, search score, domain authority, and more.

UpCity deemed The Ad Firm was list-appropriate based on its Top Agency ranking algorithm, which considers more than 20 dimensions across five different criteria groups. The Ad Firm made the grade for all five: Client Reviews, Basic Requirements, Agency Authority & Market Presence, Top Local Agency Profile, and Agency Certification. UpCity compiles Top Local Agency lists for major cities across the nation to connect small and medium sized businesses with reputable local web design and digital marketing agencies.

The City Excellence Awards recognizes the top companies in Austin, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, and Irvine. Explore the top 15 PPC agencies in Irvine, and you’ll find The Ad Firm.

“We’re thrilled to be considered among the top digital agencies in Irvine and Austin. We’ve been working hard to refine our process and create meaningful digital growth for our clients across all of our service offerings. We truly appreciate the recognition and will continue working hard to earn that Top PPC Agency accolade!”

Meghan Kaplan
Marketing Director

Google’s May 2020 Core Update

On May 4, 2020, Google announced it released a core ranking update, and rest assured, we’re keeping an eye on your analytics.

Algorithm changes are rarely completed in a day, with Google estimating the May 2020 Core Update will take up to two weeks to be complete. So, expect some yo-yoing of results while the algorithm learns what to prioritize. But most notably, there has already been a lot of movements among local SEO search results.

We help you focus on content.

As with all algorithmic changes, the best defense is a good offense. And, as Google says, “We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.”

Google has continually offered advice on how to self-assess if you believe you’re providing quality content. Luckily, that’s what The Ad Firm is best at.

Who was affected most.

When looking across the different industries, we can see there has been increased fluctuation affecting most industries significantly—with locksmiths, tradespeople, and cleaning services seeing the largest overall change in their usual levels of fluctuation. While they are working from a smaller base, the latest ranking reports signify unusual flux in these areas, though still far lower than some industries would expect to see on a “normal” day.

Additionally, to look solely at the highest industry scores, the most volatile industries between May 5-8 were hotels, bars, and restaurants—all of which see high flux regularly. Looking beyond these, real estate, car dealerships, medical practices, storage, and legal all saw a lot of local ranking change.

Customers with truly local intent.

For years now, Google has been using algorithms to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers. Now is an excellent time to boost your local SEO efforts: building accurate and relevant citations and filling out your Google My Business (GMB) listing in as much detail as possible (mainly using relevant business categories). For further insight on how to rank for local searches, read our guide to local SEO ranking factors for GMB listings.

The Ad Firm continues to monitor local rankings on a broad basis. This update and its reliance on neural matching should mean you’re more likely to benefit from site and store visitors with truly local intent, rather than mismatched users. In short, the May 2020 Core Update will help local businesses that are more relevant to the searcher’s intent rank higher.

7 Benefits Of Digital Marketing

As a business, you might use word-of-mouth to connect with customers. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, this approach has become limiting. Here’s a little secret, the sooner you connect with customers online, the easier it will be to reap the rewards of digital marketing.

Check out these 7 benefits of digital marketing for small business owners.

  1. Increase the Top of Your Sales FunnelOkay, this one applies to all digital marketing benefits.Think of digital marketing as a funnel: your goal is to create a wide circle at the top to capture as many customers as possible, even if they’ll not all funnel down into a sale. Digital marketing boosts your visibility, which makes that funnel wider and wider. It is up to your marketing team to make sure—that once they’re captured at the top—you are persuading them with your great offering(s).
  2. Keep Track of Your EffectivenessSpeaking of…With traditional marketing, you never know whether your methods are effective. It is hard to measure which input was successful. You leave business cards at a coffee shop, and days later, they’re gone. Does that mean your marketing was worked? Or that someone took your item down to make room for theirs? You will never know. 

    A huge advantage of digital marketing is that most platforms come with analytics. Take the following examples:

    1. You can use web analytics to see which search terms most often lead users to your website.
    2. Your newsletter analytics shows how many users are opening your emails and how many are clicking. Not getting the results you want? It is easy to shift your approach and experiment until you find email marketing strategies that work for you.
    3. Google Analytics can let you know how many people your PPC ad is reaching, and you can tailor the approach.

    In short, digital marketing provides opportunities to try out new methods and to course-correct when something goes wrong. Moreover, you will not waste money because it is easy to pause and edit PPC ads on the fly. Ready to start? Get a proposal here.

  3. Show Up in Search EnginesDo you think you know more than the WikiHow article that shows up at the top of Google? We agree! Digital marketing can help make sure that your business shows up in local search results.After all, search engine results are the new Yellow Pages.

    However, to start showing up in search page results, you need to have an online presence. To lay the groundwork, we recommend these 3 easy steps:

    1. Claim your Google Business Page.
    2. Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your web pages.
    3. When you show up in search page results, it’ll be easy for customers to find your business in their quest for answers. From there, customers can browse your offerings, call you for more information, or choose to follow you on social media.
  4. Boost Local Visibility on Relevant Listing SitesThese days, search engines are not the only place people use to connect with local businesses. Depending on your target market, your customers may get their recommendations from business listing platforms.For instance:
    • Angie’s List (most commonly used by plumbers and contractors)
    • Healthgrades (for doctors)
    • Foursquare
    • MapQuest
    • Apple Maps
  5. Share Your ExpertiseIf you’re an expert in your industry and have something unique to share, digital marketing gives you a platform to showcase your knowledge.Have you considered the following marketing tactics?
    • A newsletter
    • A blog
    • A vlog

    Depending on whether you are more comfortable with words or video, any one of these channels is a great way to start promoting.

    Consider the following kinds of high-quality content:

    • Interviews with other industry experts
    • Personal journals about your industry
    • A summary of news highlights related to your industry
    • FAQs about one of your services or products

    Whatever the case, you are stepping into your role as a local business leader and establishing yourself with a voice that matters. This could even lead to speaking engagements and panel invitations down the line.

  6. Connect with Your Neighbors After you create your Google My Business Page:
    1. Customize it to include your list of services, contact information, products, photos of your business, website link, and more.
    2. Start showing up in local search results once you have one recommendation—you probably have a customer who uses Google My Business already.
    3. Once you get started, it is easy to run sales and promotions that draw new customers.
  7. Create Personal ConnectionsAdditionally, digital marketing makes it easy to create personal connections by building customer relationships.Consider the following kinds of tools:
    • Repost customers’ stories and posts that feature your products (or your business). These serve as testimonials and can also strengthen your connection with the poster.
    • When users interact with any of your business listing accounts, be sure to reply! Even if the feedback is negative, you can sometimes troubleshoot a customer issue before they write a negative review.

Start Making Connections With The Ad Firm

As a business owner, you must find ways to make your business resilient through seasonal changes (as well as global change). The more strategies you use to connect, the more swiftly you can adapt to the circumstances. Ready to begin, get a proposal here.

And of course, it is not just about you. It is also about your customer. When you stay active online, you can keep track of what is going on.

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Google Says Brand New Website Owners Need To Be Proactive

A new website is like a new storefront location.

Webmasters need to be proactive and begin building SEO efforts from the start.

So, let’s take an example of a person who is just starting to build a new website for their company. This means they have a brand-new asset in their hands, a potential SEO marketing sales-generating machine, and it is nothing right now, but they hope it will become big one day.

Many people wrongly advise website owners that they should let their pages “sit” on the Internet for a few months before making SEO marketing backlinks or even do anything related to Internet marketing. This lousy advice presumes that the site will get organic traffic in the first few months without any effort.

A new website is a new asset.

The SEO community’s willingness to share advice and best practices to new users is one of the latest best things in Internet marketing. Now, we have people like Google’s Senior Webmaster John Mueller and Gary Illyes, who are always in touch with solving the common problems and myths.

Besides that, it has been seen that the various things John Mueller has shared over the years have greatly helped people who are making websites and using SEO services. Now, new advice has just recently been given by John, and it offers excellent insight that a lot of new website and business owners can relate to, and SEO marketing experts already know. Websites need SEO marketing.

The Ball Is In Your Court

Webmasters need to be proactive, and never wait for customers to find the website on their own because it might not happen for many of the sites out there. John has also recommended that companies should get rid of the mindset that with time web pages will magically ‘grow’ on their own. SEO marketing is how you can make a website powerful and generate sales for you and your business.

Even better, you should imagine that this is exactly like you’re opening a business in a brand-new location where you need to do something to get the ball rolling, and that something is SEO marketing.

Play Ball

John also shared the question that if your website is just a “collection of images,” what’s the additional value your webpages bring to Google’s users? Now, this is a very true and real advice that a lot of SEO companies know. However, this coming from Google makes it much more credible.

In addition to the point above, recently, a webmaster asked John how to recover a website penalized by Google for thin or low-quality content. Now, this penalty or blacklisting is done by Google when they see that your website is not adding value to any search results. SEO marketing experts help you avoid these headaches.

How To Begin Thinking About SEO Marketing

Start by prioritizing top and mid-funnel content.

A good business owner should always be prepared in advance for Q1 and Q2 numbers to fluctuate, especially during times of recession, since they might be lower than you initially forecasted. While SEO marketing content might not convert in the short term, if you get customers into your funnel straightaway, you can capture long-term sales goals.

Start planning your SEO marketing efforts now and make up for any potential lost time. When sales pick up, you’ll be ready. Your SEO marketing content will be out there, turning into the valuable resource people need; thus, improving your SEO and bringing more traffic and conversions to your web pages.

In times where there is high demand or demand has completely shifted, you can often see changes in search interest and user intent on individual search queries for products or services. If you aren’t monitoring your SEO marketing closely enough, you will miss the opportunity to change your Internet marketing approach. The key takeaway being, don’t let your web pages go to waste.

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Conversational Marketing And Post-COVID-19 Planning

Everyone is online right now, checking on the latest news or looking for “toilet paper near me.”

With the COVID-19 situation changing by the hour, it can leave you feeling a bit lost and wondering what is going to come next. The web has become a friend to all during these times of uncertainty.

Search behavior is skyrocketing since many people are self-quarantined and seeking information by searching online. People love communicating, and the Internet has thankfully been providing fantastic opportunities for many to engage, share, and even laugh a little. The memes, in particular, have been on point.

Conversational marketing, the newest proven strategy within targeted messaging and content writing, is having an especially timely debut. Now, more than ever, communication online needs to be easily digestible.

What is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing is a strategy of engaging with website visitors and converting strangers into customers via dialogue-driven activities. This style of marketing puts focus on conversations with the consumer, rather than a one-way broadcast about the brand. Conversational marketing aims to create trust with the consumer by building relationships through personalized conversations and making the buying experience as smooth and simple as possible.

People love communicating with messaging because it’s easy, fast, and actually feels like a conversation. According to research, 82% of consumers look for an immediate response from brands. Yet, most businesses are still forcing people to jump through endless hoops before a conversation can ever take place.

This approach doesn’t mean stopping your PPC campaign and converting everything — this is just a new tool available to marketers and an improved way of thinking about sales objectives. Basically, it is all about connecting your marketing activities directly with the sales team, so the consumer has a smooth journey down the funnel.

Conversational marketing is a feedback-oriented approach that uses targeted messaging to foster genuine conversations and deliver value across channels.

Today, consumers have many choices when it comes to the ways they communicate with businesses. In essence, conversational marketing is a new way to get the support and answers they need, on their time. Rather than having to send an email, pick up a phone, or submit a form, consumers can engage with businesses through messaging that feel most natural to them.

Conversational marketing is allowing companies to bridge the gap from the physical to the digital world and create personal relationships with customers at scale. As more brick and mortar retailers move their business online, targeted messaging that creates an endless funnel is empowering marketers to deliver a curated experience that people thought could only exist via face to face engagement.

The First Step Is To Map Out The Buyer’s Journey

Before you can start with a meaningful content piece or conversation, you have to know where it is intended to show up in your buyer’s journey. 

Ask yourself questions on how the content is going to be consumed and recognize how the buyer’s story ties in. Where is that consumer in the buyer’s journey when they interact with your messaging, and what action does the conversation prompt them to do.

Conversational systems based on implementing conversational marketing to meet the consumer at strategic points in their buyer’s journey can be streamlined throughout your webpages and beyond.

Start thinking about strategic planning post-COVID-19 and discover the newest opportunities for improved SEO and PPC efforts. Learn more about The Ad Firm and our marketing strategies here.

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An OB/GYN’s Guide to Online Reputation Management

People love asking Google about health concerns. Over the past 10 years, search engine technology has become measurable and transparent. Now, physicians can take action and engage with patients online — a powerful tool.

Every month, there are between 30,000 and 70,000 searches for the phrase “OB/GYN near me.” Moreover, people are constantly looking up specific health issues that your practice can address online.

So, What Are Patient Reviews? The Simple Answer Is Trust

Some call them online reviews, some call them opinions. And even others refer to them as feedback. No matter the perspective — online reviews make first-time patients feel more confident in your medical practice. Trust goes a long way!

In fact, according to statistics from BrightLocal:

  • About 80% of new customers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.
  • Nearly 60% of customers read 4 or more online reviews to form an opinion.
  • About half of all patients say a medical practitioner’s online reputation matters a lot.

Patient reviews provide social proof for your medical practice. Building a trustworthy medical practice through reputation management brings long-term ROI (return on investment). Be magnified online alongside SEO and reputation management strategies.

140 Words Means A Lot

The Internet gives patients many avenues to form an opinion about medical practices — every new medical practice should be proactive about its online reputation. Competition can be ruthless. It can take 140 words to affect a new practice’s growth.

Harnessing the power of reviews benefits your medical practice and brings winning advantages against the competition. From Yelp to Amazon, reviews help us all make buying decisions. Patient reviews are equally essential and helpful. Online reputations build trust for your medical practice, and your long-term success.

Google Is Here To Stay

Google has achieved incredible market value by innovating the Internet search experience. To stay on top, Google continually optimizes its algorithm to provide the best experience. Google provides the best possible results for any search query to sustain its reputation and business.

More Patients Please

Take the reins if you are going to cultivate a positive online presence. The more positive reviews you receive in the beginning, the harder it will be for negative reviews to drive down the star-rating of your medical practice.

It is an ever-increasing uphill battle the more you wait. Your medical practice benefits significantly from being engaged early on. Learn more about how local OB/GYN SEO, alongside reputation management, opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

The Ad Firm ❤ OB/GYNs

Online reviews management can be done quickly. If you start early, your online presence can withstand any scathing, emotionally-driven reviews. It’s the unprepared healthcare brands that get hurt.

At the Ad Firm, we connect you with your prospective patients. We help you build strong relationships with your patients and provide measurable results for your OB/GYN practice.

Our reputation management brings your objectives to reality — whether your practice needs more patients, to appeal to patients depending on their coverage, or strengthen references, to name a few. Build a foundation of success on proven methods — contact The Ad Firm today.

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For An OB/GYN Practice, Local SEO Works Best

The best thing about local OB/GYN SEO is that it offers a dynamic and transparent strategy. Local SEO brings lasting results that increase over-time — even when costs are fixed.

Nowadays, SEO is highly measurable and can be evaluated, assessed, and revised to reflect shifts in the healthcare market. SEO is rapidly growing in importance as Google — among other tech giants — continue to bring innovative algorithms, and beyond.

Patients Are Avid Researchers — The Ad Firm Delivers Your Answers

SEO lives of off patients being avid researchers. If you’re inactive online, it gives off the impression your medical practice lacks expertise in addressing the average patient’s medical needs.

Patients expect a high level of service from their local medical providers — like they any other industry. Local search engine optimization (SEO) revolves around the tracking and research of search behavior found on Google, among other popular search engines.

The first moment you are online is the moment your healthcare local SEO strategy needs to be put into action. Healthcare brands should participate in the online marketplace.

Improve Your Patient’s Experience From Every Angle

Local SEO is a big part of any effective healthcare marketing strategy. Optimizing your OB/GYN website requires professional help. Local SEO also means your patient experience will continually be improved on your site.

Your online patient experience can have a significant effect on conversions — which can have a considerable impact on your long-term bottom line. A local SEO strategy targets your audience with power and efficiency.

Google Wins, Your Patients Win, You Win

Local SEO is truly a win-win-win situation. Your patients win when finding a trusted medical provider. Google wins when search users are happy with content that delivers answers. And your OB/GYN practice wins because Google will continue to drive more traffic to your healthcare website. Win-win-win!

On average, only 25% of medical practices are open after 15 years. Local SEO is a proactive solution for business growth. If you’re a new medical practice that wants to grow — every dollar spent should be tracked. Local SEO is a cost-effective solution that can save you headaches and grow your business long-term.

During crucial stages, when your medical practice is just getting off the ground, time and money spent well can make a world of difference. Within any business practice, it’s essential to provide yourself with the right resources and support. Grow a strong foundation of success with local SEO. Learn more about local SEO here.

Ready For More Patients?

Would you like your website to bring you more patients? Local SEO is the best way to accomplish this goal. Alongside a local SEO strategy, potential patients can be tracked — the conversion rate of each webpage can be known. An SEO strategy identifies and successfully engages with your target audience.

Hiring The Ad Firm’s SEO experts improves your website’s rankings in search engine results — attracting quality patients to your pages. Contact us today!

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SEO-Friendly Web Design — When Your Website Works For You

Your online presence needs to have ‘skin in the game.’ This means getting search engines, like Google, to recognize the answers and solutions you have for patients.

OB/GYN SEO brings lasting results that increase over-time, even when costs are fixed. A website can’t succeed just in content or design — it needs an appealing layout that feeds into your patient’s search behavior. A website communicates to your target audience what you specialize in, why you do it, and who benefits from your services.

The Power of OB/GYN SEO

OB/GYN SEO starts with your website. Your patients are avid researchers. Our SEO-friendly web design is based on getting you ranked locally, providing content that engages customers, and landing pages that bring sales — learn more about OB/GYN SEO here.

7 Principles That Lead To A High-Converting Website

Here are 7 principles of high-converting websites. These help ensure your site not only offers the content-rich element but also drives conversions.

  1. Have An SEO Plan

It is about answering the right questions in the right order. Design your healthcare website for the next step — not the final step.

What pages are patients viewing? What content are patients reading? What offers convert them? Understanding these aspects creates an SEO-friendly OB/GYN website that converts search engine users — bringing more patients.

Ensure your OB/GYN website is effectively meeting your visitors’ needs — map out their journey from first visiting your site to the moment they become a patient.

  1. Use Strong Calls-to-Actions (CTA)

Your website needs to provide direction. Once visitors get to your website, do they know the next step? Will they know what pages to view, or what actions?

CTAs are one of the main ways to provide the next step. Don’t spam your website with one-step CTAs that lead nowhere. Do most pages only one CTA for a trial or an appointment? If yes, it’s time to update.

  1. Focus on Navigation

Navigation is the site map — it displays the core pages. A website with confusing navigation can immediately frustrate any online visitor. When improving your website’s navigation, make sure your visitors quickly find what they need.

Some characteristics of a good navigation bar include streamlined content, mobile-friendly design, and navigation hierarchy, so your user experience doesn’t drastically change on a smartphone or other mobile devices.

  1. Include White Space

White space, also called “negative space,” is a design element that helps you increase readability and break up the web page. White space should be around items on a web page that are empty and lack graphics or content.

  1. Optimize for Mobile Devices

On a mobile device, how will your website look? Will your visitor need to zoom in and out to browse your site? If yes, then your website needs mobile optimization. It’s a necessity to make your website responsive and mobile-friendly to fit the needs and wants of your target audience.

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your web pages is vital to demonstrate you have the medical expertise being searched for. As previously mentioned, your website has no ‘skin in the game’ unless search engines recognize your answers for your patients. Learn more about local SEO here.

  1. Fix 404 Errors

Depending on your OB/GYN website, you may have a few pages or links that are not working. Evaluate whether your site has broken pages or links. You should fix all 404 errors and broken links, as they hamper user experience and increase bounce rates.

About The Ad Firm

Is your website missing any of these 7 design principles? Take action today!

An ineffective website design can cause you to lose valuable patients. The Ad Firm builds strong relationships with your patients — ultimately providing measurable results for your OB/GYN practice. We recommend investing in creating a sales machine, not just a picturesque place holder for your web pages.

SEO is speedily growing in importance as Google — among other tech giants — continues to bring sophistication to search engines. The Ad Firm builds proper web sites that put you on the 1st search engine page. Contact us today, and we’ll make your website SEO-friendly!

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Top 5 Shady SEO Sales Tactics

Don’t get duped! Here are the 5 most common shady sales tactics — and simply put lousy marketing.

We believe in “white hat” marketing. The term “white hat” refers to SEO tactics that follow the terms and conditions of major search engines, such as Google. “Black hat” SEO refers to techniques and strategies used to get higher search rankings, and breaking search engine rules.

Auto Dialing (Cold Calling)

Auto dialing, also known as cold calling, is not targeted marketing. Cold calling is wasteful — indiscriminately dialing through a list of numbers to give a generic sales pitch. Old-line salespeople who cold call are not looking at statistics. It is bad marketing, bothersome, and spam.

Unverifiable Google My Business Listing

Have you answered a call, then had an automated voice telling you, “You have an unverified Google My Business listing. Press ‘4’ to talk to Google”? An unverified listing is an issue — but these sales calls don’t connect you with Google.

What Does Unverified Mean? Unverified Means Your Invisible, And Defenceless.

Any user or third party can claim an unverified Google My Business (GMB) listing at any time. This means any user can change your location data with a simple click on “Suggest an edit” in a Google listing.

How To Get Your Listing Verified

Getting your listing verified is pretty easy. To start, you need to claim your business on GMB. At the top of your screen, or your business name, a “Get your page verified” should pop-up. After verifying it, you should see the representative shield icon near your listing name.

GMB is an essential asset for any local business owner. This establishes your presence, for free, on the search engine, and it means your business will also show up on Google Maps. It’s a great way to get your business listed multiple times on Google.

Google Is Penalizing You

So, What Is A Google Penalty?

A Google penalty is a punishment against a website whose content conflicts with the marketing practices enforced by Google. There are 2 types of penalties. An automatic, algorithmic penalty results from updates to Google’s ranking algorithm and a manual penalty suggests one of your web pages used “black hat” SEO tactics.

Google Search Console and Google Analytics are the tools used to monitor and penalize websites. Only the owner of the website has access to these tools. No general access means a cold caller can’t possibly know if you’re being penalized.

Poor Rankings Report

This is a big one, and so understandable why cold callers commonly use this tactic. The No. 1 spot is extremely valuable. Research has shown that the first link on a search results page can get around 30% of the traffic for a given search, and that’s massive.

However, it’s very hard to measure exactly how many people reach your website. By far, the most accurate source for this information is Google Search Console — which, again, only the website owner has access to.

Bad Links

What Is A Bad Link?

Backlinks are links on other sites that point to a page on your website. Good links positively impact your search performance, while bad links can potentially harm your site. What’s more, the longer you use bad backlink techniques, the harder and more expensive they are to remove.

A bad link isn’t merely a link from a low-quality or banned web page — there’s more to it. But generally, it’s a link to a site with random and incoherent articles. Anyone with links gained unethically through “black hat” SEO tactics, such as overuse of affiliate links, paid link building, and duplicate content to get to the top of Google, now find themselves faced with a penalty.

What Is A Good Link?

It’s not possible to give an all-encompassing, single definition of a good link, because there are various factors involved. Similarly, a bad link isn’t merely a link from a low-quality or banned web page — there’s more to it. However, a general principle to keep in mind is that the harder it is to get a backlink, the more value it likely has. Good links aren’t easy to get.

Backlinks serve as a ” vote of confidence” from one website to another. For example, imagine the cost of an authority backlink from Business Insider, CNN, or the White House. There are many ways to get backlinks. Most come from writing in-depth, authoritative articles that are published on other sites that reference and link to your business’ webpages.

What Is A Backlink Analysis?

At The Ad Firm, we monitor links monthly. All of our monthly reports include a full backlink analysis. When analyzing backlinks, it’s essential to use the right tools. There are many tools out there. The purpose of any backlink analysis is to show you the links, keywords, and authority of sites you link from.

The Ad Firm ❤ Google 

Think of Google — and its search engine users — like a child that needs to be fed. Your targeted audience has to benefit from your content, keywords, and links if you ever want Google to reward you. At The Ad Firm, we know this. Partner with our SEO tactics and watch your rankings grow, along with your business.