Announcing Release of our Newest Free eBook Four Key SEO Points

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our newest free eBook, entitled Four Key SEO Points – What Every Business Owner Needs to Know!

While the book actually contains many more than 4 points, we have broken SEO down into four key areas. Makes the reading and absorption of the material easier.

All too often business owners think that SEO is some kind of a mysterious, cryptic science. They get taken advantage of by unscrupulous companies or individuals that charge a great deal of money and do nothing, or, reversely, offer free SEO services that do nothing but spam the business owners website out onto low quality directories or sites, thus costing you precious search engine visibility with Google.

Four Key SEO Points Free eBook

It is for these reasons that we wrote this particular eBook on SEO. Having been in the business for over 18 years, seeing trends come and go, seeing algorithms constantly changing, we have a good feel for what works and what doesn’t. Extensive experience with SEO and our passion for our clients to be found is what drives us.

We explain exactly what “SEO” really is in understandable terms, we explain organic SEO as well as SEM, PPC (pay per click), plus HTTPS vs HTTP and it’s effect on successful SEO. And then there is the takeaway page prepared just for you.

It is up to the business owner whether they want to try to tackle SEO themselves, and hopefully not set their website back with impractical mistakes, or whether they want to source out a professional to lead them down the road to success. The takeaway page as well as the rest of the eBook explains all in an easy to understand manner.

Click here to get your free copy of this helpful FREE eBook on SEO today!

Tips for Selling Vintage on Etsy

One of my very longtime clients has been selling on Etsy now for a few years and has had success. This is in addition to her own website and blog. I asked her if she would be kind enough to share some of her tips for success with selling vintage on Etsy.

Perhaps these tips will help you find your sweet spot of success selling on Etsy!

Mary Ann Kennedy owns The Gatherings Antique Vintage. She specializes in antique and vintage clothing, table linens, bed linens, fabric, home decor, sewing tools, quilts, and toys from yesteryear. She has been our client for more than 10 years and I feel quite confident in saying that Mary Ann knows more than a thing or two about selling antique and vintage treasures!

The Gatherings Antique Vintage

She notes that since vintage is essentially one of a kind unique items, there are very few repeat buyers. However, when an item sells, if she has a similar item, she lists that. Generally it sells quickly. So, listing similar items does generate sales.

Keeping it fresh is huge. As with any search engine, keeping your content fresh encourages the spiders and bots to revisit your shop or website. She advises that you list something in your shop every day or as often as possible. By doing this, you keep your store “fresh” and this does increase views. Visibility is huge, and results in sales.

Do your due diligence and list your products in the categories that are more popular. Do research to identify these Etsy categories that generate more sales, because these categories are where the buyers are going and looking.

When you get a review, thank the customer for taking the time to write their review. That’s just good customer service and makes the buyer feel appreciated for taking time out of their day to write you a nice review.

Utilize the Etsy Thank You Coupon. This encourages 2nd and 3rd time buyers and sales.

Connect to your buyers with a well written detailed description of each item, including the era of the item. This is especially important with vintage and antique items. Not only does it give you credibility with the buyer that you know what you are talking about, but if well written, it can make the buyer feel that they just have to purchase that particular item no matter what!

Another thing we do outside of Etsy is blog her products. Every month Mary Ann will send me a list of 15 items that she puts in her New Arrivals section of her Etsy shop. We do staggered blog posts for the month in her blog. Each blog post contains a link back to the item in her website store, another link back to the item in her Etsy shop, and yet another link back to her newsletter sign up form.

All of Mary Ann’s tips are in keeping with good SEO (search engine optimization) best practices for search engine visibility. Which has been a topic over the years that we have discussed many times in order to get her the best possible results.

Visit The Gatherings Antique Vintage website, blog and Etsy shop to see some of the beautiful items Mary Ann has to offer!

We are Etsy SEO consultants and can help you take your Etsy shop to the next level of success along with your website and blog. Call or text us at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Getting Your Business to Show Up on Google Local Near Me Searches

It makes perfect sense for any business to be able to show up on Google when potential clients search for a local business near them. However, many businesses do NOT show up when potential customers or clients search. The typical search would be “jewelry store near me” or “dwi lawyer near me” or “general contractor near me”.

The landscape has changed in regards to the demise of Google+, sometimes referred to as Google Plus, which I personally considered pretty lame. However, the upside of this is the new and improved Google My Business. Which I am actually impressed with. And I’ll tell you why. It really enables the business owner to control their presence and to connect with their audience and potential clients.

The quick and dirty procedure to get your business to show up on the local near me listings is the following:

Google Maps Ranking Factors – fill out your entire business listing completely and comprehensively and you will see the rewards with better exposure.

1) It always pays to verify your Google My Business Information – so make sure you do this.

2) Encourage your current clients / customers to leave you reviews on Google.

3) Take the time to properly categorize your business – the more careful you are to target your niche, the easier it will be for people to find your business.

4) Optimize your listing description – this is all done under the INFO tab on the left. Categories, service areas, your hours, phone, website, appointment url (even if that is just your contact us page), description, and any photos you might want to add.

5) Using a local telephone number is preferable to using an 800 number. Many 800 or 888 numbers are robo call numbers or spam numbers. If you want to come up in local searches, use a local phone number. This also shows Google you really are a local business.

6) Embedding a Google Map on your website is further proof of credibility and legitimacy.

How to embed a Google Map on your website? Google My Business makes this super easy for you. From the dashboard of your listing, click on INFO in the left hand menu. Then, all the way to your right click on View on Maps. Next, on your maps view, look in the left hand column for the three bar menu icon at the top left of the page. Click on that and scroll down to where it says Share or Embed a Map. Click on that.

A small screen pops up that says Share. You have two choices – Send a Link or Embed a Map. Choose Embed a Map. You can choose the map size. Then click on Copy HTML and add that to your contact us page or your website footer widget or send to your website manager to do this for you.

The next step is to create posts with pictures. This is a mission critical step. Going back to your dashboard page, see Posts in the left menu. Click on that. Create a post complete with relevant hashtags, and a relevant image. Your post doesn’t have to be the Great American Novel. Keep it short and sweet.

Since we are always posting about a service we offer or a web design product that we offer, we choose What’s New. At the very bottom you can Add a Button. We always choose Learn More and put the link to the service or product in there. When done, hit Publish.

Be advised that all Google posts expire after 7 days with the exception of Event posts. So be sure to post on a consistent basis of every 3 or 4 days to serve up fresh content. Monitor your insights and watch the traffic to your listing go up. And watch your search engine visibility grow. And listen to the phone ring. It takes some time, as do all good things, but you will have done your business a great service by following these steps and maximizing your Google My Business listing.

***HINT: To make your posting easier and a more streamlined process, we create our original post in our business Instagram Account with all of the appropriate hashtags. We then share it from Instagram directly to our business Facebook page. From there, we copy the content to our Google My Business post. Upload the picture, and we are done. 5 minutes. Literally. And painless.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

3 Reasons Why A Large Marketing Agency May Be Dead Wrong For Your Business

Many small businesses are correct in knowing that they need to hire a marketing agency to beef up brand recognition, search engine visibility, handle email campaigns, setup and monitor pay per click PPC campaigns as well as organic campaigns, and much more.

In the same breath, many of these same small businesses, regardless of industry – be it attorneys or manufacturing or food and hospitality – make a critical mistake when choosing what type of marketing agency they will work with.

Many are under the misconception that the MORE they spend means they will get more at the end of the day.  Many feel it’s worth it to spend $3000 a month as opposed to $300 a month just because the $3000 simply MUST be better quality. They could not be more wrong. 

Let’s examine this for what it’s worth.

A) Let’s get the basic cost bit out of the way. Large marketing agencies have overhead, employees, consultants and more high maintenance costs. So by the nature of the beast they MUST charge more. And they do.

Small hometown marketing agencies do not have these costs. Many work out of their home office, and do not have employees and consultants but instead have teams that work remotely from their home offices. Sure they still have to pay themselves and their remote team members, but the cost to expense ratio is far diminished. 

B) Large marketing agencies are hung up on numbers, flowcharts, pie charts, funnel charts besides which THEY tell YOU what keywords they are going to list you for or spend your ad dollars on. They do not take the time to explain Google Analytics to their clients who actually have an interest in understanding it. They are SO caught up in the numbers game with their clients, caught up with feeding the client all possible industry buzzwords, they actually brainwash the client to an extent. 

Small marketing agencies operate the exact opposite way. They realize the client really doesn’t care about all the intricacies of Google Analytics, or industry buzzwords, or charts. They realize the client wants one thing to happen.

The client, at the end of the day, wants the damn phone to ring. That’s it.

That’s the point of first contact. The phone ringing, even if it is a tire kicker on the other end, is a good thing. The tire kicker may be converted to a customer or client. Maybe not. But the phone is ringing. 

Case in point: A colleague and I were discussing this and she pointed out the case of Proctor & Gamble and also Unilever. Proctor & Gamble cut $200 million of it’s marketing spend and they reduced spending with what they called several “big players” by 20% to 50%.  The cuts enabled Proctor & Gamble to eliminate 20% of it’s ineffective marketing and actually INCREASED the company reach by 10%. 
Read original article here.

C) The Personal Care Aspect. Large marketing agencies do not preach nor do they practice the personal care aspect. They do not take the time to get to know you, the client. They do not take the time to get to know your business, your goals, needs, aspirations for success, or wish lists. They take your money, assign you to an account manager who may or may not be the same account manager the next time you call, and they do not focus on you. Often the marketing efforts are not closely tailored or even closely focused on what your business needs but instead are focused on what they feel is best for you at this time.

Small marketing agencies embrace the personal care aspect and the hometown feel of “we’ve got your back and if what we are doing is not working we’ve got a Plan B in the lineup”. With many if not most smaller marketing agencies, you are taken care of personally by the owner or a dedicated account manager who knows it’s your 5 year old’s birthday this coming Wednesday. If you are local to them they are willing to meet with you on a monthly basis or whenever schedules permit to discuss what’s working and what’s not. 

If you are not local, they are willing to Skype a meeting with you to accomplish the same goals. Small marketing agencies don’t tell YOU what’s good for you. They instead LISTEN to you, and create a personalized plan accordingly. They exhaust all organic methods before spending your money on pay per click ad campaigns. Small marketing agencies work WITH you and FOR you, taking a sincere interest in your business and your success. NO ineffective marketing tactics allowed.  

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Don’t Under Estimate the Power of Expert SEO

Why is SEO so important? Visibility, search engine visibility. This is key. Let us explain what expert SEO can do for you.

A website can be built and can be beautiful. But without carefully crafted content, and equally carefully crafted organic SEO, that beautiful website is going to just sit and become another piece of fluff on the Internet.

The whole point is for that beautiful website to bring you phone calls, leads and sales. And, if you have a brick and mortar store, to bring you the foot traffic and sales as well. Expert, best practice SEO and a strong digital marketing plan will do just that.

Maureen McCullough LLC is YOUR Bergen County NJ SEO Company. As your SEO Expert, using only the best organic SEO techniques, we produce results that generate leads and sales.

Our agency takes a personal interest in each client we work with, meeting with you personally, listening to what you have to say, and crafting and implementing a personalized plan of success for your company.

SEO is the first step in a multi point organic digital marketing strategy designed for business success.

SEO is always the first step, and the most important step that your business will ever take to gain search engine visibility, and generate phone calls and sales. If you cannot be found in the search engines, your business will not gain the success it needs to be sustainable.

You can spend thousands of dollars on online advertising, and still come up way short, with little or no gain or sales. Why waste your hard earned money? That makes no sense whatsoever.

Expert, quality SEO is your best tool to use to get your website the search engine visibility it needs. And in the big picture, quality SEO is much more affordable than expensive advertising campaigns.

We work with many small businesses across the United States, even though our home base is here in New Jersey serving Bergen, Morris and Sussex County. And with each small business we work with, the core values and results remain the same.

Maureen McCullough LLC implements the following strong SEO Digital Marketing concepts:

  • A thorough website analysis and complimentary competitor analysis
  • An evaluation of your brand or service by which we begin creating your strategy for success
  • An analysis of your current online marketing efforts, if any
  • A thorough evaluation of your current keyword usage within your website content
  • Recommended improvements are then suggested for every page of your website
  • Substantial recommendation and tweaks are usually suggested for your home page
  • A comprehensive digital marketing campaign is discussed, covering blogging, social media and more
  • Email marketing may also be an option depending on your type of business
  • Brand recognition is implemented, with transparency across all of your online venues
  • Reputation management is analyzed based upon your online reviews
  • Geo targeting and audience segment targeting is implemented

Why are there no search engine ranking guarantees?

There are no search engine ranking guarantees, and any reputable SEO company you work with will tell you the same thing. Anyone who tells you anything else is not reputable and should never be used.

Simply put: no reputable SEO company can guarantee search engine rankings because none of us control the search engines. It’s that simple. You cannot ethically guarantee something over which you have no control, bottom line.

We work with your company and your budget to design a digital marketing SEO strategy that will best serve you. We keep you as involved as you want to be with analytics, and the rest of the program.

How long does it take to begin seeing results?

Again, no magic pills are involved! No waving of the magic wand takes place! You *may* see some results as early on as 2 weeks. A much more honest and realistic expectation is 6-8 weeks.

Over the long term, your comprehensive SEO and digital marketing program may completely replace any need to spend big bucks on expensive advertising! That money saved is can be put to much better use.

Search engine usage has replaced the phone book. Over 90% of all internet querying is done by potential customers and clients. Each one could be a lead for you. Why not let excellent SEO help you take advantage of the unlimited potential waiting for you?

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.