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WordPress Plugins: How to Improve Your Site

When designing a website on WordPress, one of the essential pieces is going to be its structure.  In many cases, if you have a fully customized website, you will include various plugins to supplement parts of your site when utilizing the WordPress platform.  This platform allows for much easier creation and management than a custom coded and managed website. Plugins are used within the WordPress platform because they are programs designed to do specific things to augment and bolster your site, without needing custom code.

programmer coding a website

What is the most significant difference between using a platform like WordPress and coding your website?

1. Costs

the cost of good Webdesign can be incredible. WordPress websites can typically run in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you wanted a web development team to create a website, you would be looking at at least a $10,000 bill, which can be overwhelming to many smaller companies.

Deciding the primary purpose of your website will be vital in determining the path you need to go down.  If you are looking for fully customizable and unique functionality, you may need a web development team for a more extensive scope project.  However, most businesses will find that the WordPress route will allow them all the customization that they will need. WordPress provides for merchant processing and e-commerce plugins to be integrated.  This integration will enable businesses to run their shops entirely digitally in many cases without spending a large amount of money.

laptop with WordPress open

The bread and butter to any WordPress website are going to be plugins or unique code used.  There needs to be a balance of plugins with your other content. Having too many plugins can slow down your website.  Alternatively, there may be a point where plugins are messing with each other’s settings meaning that you are not getting full usability in some cases.  Kallen media is here to breakdown three common uses for plugins on the WordPress platform.

2. Search Engine Optimization

Often the purpose of working on WordPress is to avoid digging too deep into the coding elements of your website.  Search engines look at all aspects of your website unless you specifically tell them not to. When these search engines crawl your websites, they are looking for a variety of different factors to rank your site.  There are some elements that you can control, like how many keywords you embed and if you have all your proper tags in place.

search engine bar over map

There may be other elements like proper image sizing, 404 redirects, and a variety of more complex problems that you may have a harder time-solving. These issues are where specific search engine optimization plugins come in. By utilizing a variety of plugins, you can have images automatically resized to fit your website better.  You can have SEO plugins give you recommendations for pages as to how you can get the most search traffic.

3. Visual Builders

We are now at a point with website builders that we can design websites completely through a visible view.  This front end builder eliminates the need to code and allows for complete front end development capabilities. Some of the most common that Kallen Media would recommend would be Elementor and Divi.  Elementor offers a free version with limited features, while the Divi package offers yearly and lifetime licenses.

Utilizing visual builders allows you to bring design aspects directly into your websites.  Adding icons, pictures, and visual effects have never been easier. There are several beginner tutorials online that can guide you through building a website within a few hours from Kallen Media.  Of course, there are more functions once you dive in. But this is a perfect starting point for someone interested in creating a website. Alternatively, you could utilize Kallen Media to design, build, and teach you about your website.  This way, you are both informed and fully capable of making changes to your website without the need for a third party.

4. E-Commerce

The digital market is continuously expanding, and with it, so is e-commerce. So to be successful as an online business, you need to be able to process payments online.  Payment processing requires that you both have a merchant processor, and frequently, an e-commerce website. WordPress allows you to link merchant processors easily with their plugins like WooCommerce.  One other essential piece that you need to keep in mind is that you need to have an HTTPS security key to process payments through your website. This security can be purchased through most hosting sites, or contact Kallen Media for additional assistance.

store front sending out messages

Once you are working within an e-commerce website builder, you can display your products.  Whether it is physical products you ship out or services, you can show your business within an online store.  Setting up product pages is smooth and has full customization to make your business stand out from the competition. Integrating e-commerce software can seem overwhelming, but Kallen Media can make it simple with a free consultation!

After reviewing what WordPress has to offer, we would recommend trying your first website on WordPress. For now, we hope you enjoyed the article and would love to hear your feedback in the comments!

6 Forms Of Marketing

Marketing is often used to describe a wide variety of processes and systems within a company.  Anything from sales to social media campaigns can be considered marketing. So what is the most effective form of marketing that your business should spend the most money?  That is the golden question that every business is trying to answer. Today we are going to go over some of the most widely used marketing tactics, as well as some great times to use them.

The six main marketing streams we are going to investigate are Social Media, Mailers, Search Ads, Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and creating an Active Blog.

6. Active Blog

Search engines and people both enjoy fresh content.  The most effective way to display new information to your client base is through an active blog.  Here you can post anything from customer spotlights to further exciting details about your company!

Optimizing your blog is another key to great digital marketing.  Finding the search terms that you want to rank for can be key. The more words and key phrases you have in your content, the higher it is going to rank on Google.  Adding pictures and subheadings is a great way to optimize your post further, while also making your content more professional. Blogs should typically be longer than 500 words because that is the low end of where Google picks up information from web pages.

5. Search Engine Optimization

Having a website is no longer enough to keep you relevant online.  You want to make sure that your site is fully optimized and is getting tracked by all the most significant search engines.  If you are not showing up in search engine results on relevant pages, odds are people are not seeing your website. This realization can be a significant blow to many companies that invest heavily in their website and online presence.

Optimizing your website for search engines can be done in a variety of ways.  The first would be to utilize tools like Google to crawl your site. This crawl will expose areas of weakness while giving you great recommendations for how to fix specific problems.  With WordPress websites, you can often use plugins to adjust certain aspects if you are not a coding expert. However, this can also lead to slower overall websites since more data needs to load.

4. Email Marketing

Email can be one of your most prominent friends when it comes to creating digital marketing campaigns.  You will want to build your list for email blasts and updates that can be done through systems like customer relationship management software.  By keeping an email list, you can keep track of clients, as well as individuals who may have decided not to buy. You can now send these people marketing material to try and close sales by promoting similar products.

Keeping in touch with your client base is critical for maintaining top of mind in your client base.  Sending out updates and new features is an excellent way to keep yourself relevant. If you have seasonal deals or specials, send them out to your list!  Don’t hold your information a secret, the best way to spread the news is through individuals who have already expressed some interest in your company.

3. Search Ads

When most people go onto the internet, they use a search engine to find what they are looking for if they do not have an exact destination in mind.  This mindset would be if someone was looking for a restaurant and didn’t know what they wanted; they may type in the type of food. The same way someone searches for food, they search for companies within your industry.  Similarly, people look up specific words or phrases about what they are looking for that can be bid on within platforms like Google and Microsoft ads.

Advertising on these large search engine platforms gives opportunities to have your product seen by millions of people depending on how large your budget is.  This is the best way to get discovered when you are first starting your business. In many cases, there will be no chance you organically appear on the first page of search results.  However, utilizing paid search ads, you can be seen by people looking for your specific niche.

2. Mailers

One of the oldest and most frequent tactics can still prove highly useful.  Depending on your type of business, mailers can be helpful when targeting your specific clients.  There are two critical situations where mailers will prove to be cost-effective, which is when you are targeting customers in your area, or if you are trying to use mailers to expand other marketing efforts.  Some digital marketing services like Facebook ads require mailers to be sent first, so sending direct mailers around the country can be critical to opening up other forms of advertising.

1. Social Media Advertising

The final type of marketing is social media advertising.  This advertising would be using services from websites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  Each different media outlet has a slightly different audience that may cater to specific businesses.  Instagram is strictly visual and media-heavy, so that attracts a much different audience than its parent company Facebook.

You will need to determine who your target audience is, and figure out where they spend their time.  If you do not do your research, you could end up dumping hundreds or even thousands of dollars into campaigns where you do not see any real results.

Kallen Media is available to help with all of your different marketing strategies.  For any other comments or questions, be sure to contact us at [email protected].

The Hiring Process

When you are a small business looking to grow, having a talented core team of individuals is essential.  Having masters of their craft in each respective role takes stress off the owner’s shoulders while allowing the company to grow.  Today we are going to take a look at some hiring practices and what you can do to ensure you are hiring the best candidates possible in your hiring process.

The first step in any hiring process is appropriately defining the position you are looking to fill.  The more details you can layout for candidates and job websites, the higher the chance of reaching a quality individual. Design as much of the position as you can within the description. This planning gives candidates a chance to see as much of the job before applying.  Many job websites charge you by the application, so you want to limit the amount of under-qualified applicants.

Detail out the specific qualifications that you are in search of.  For entry-level positions, these may be lower so you can expect more applications.  On more specialized or senior-level jobs, odds are the candidates will have much more robust resumes for you to choose from.

Is there a specific education level you are looking for?  Is there a certification needed to do your required job? Maybe this is an extremely industry-specific job?

All these are vital questions you want to be answering.  The more you vet before you start seeing applicants, the less time you’ll have to spend weeding through unqualified candidates.  At Kallen Media, we recommend using the website called Indeed or Zip Recruiter. Both of these companies make it simple to set up company profiles and start hiring your candidates the same day.  With these websites, you can set up daily budgets that will never go over your regular allotted budget.

So you have your ad complete with all your requirements.  What’s next?

Applicants

 

Applicants around a table

Start calling up your applicants and sifting through to find your company’s next star.  Depending on the job you are hiring for, you may go anywhere from a few to a few hundred applicants.  It is best to stay on top of your hiring process and respond to applicants promptly. This tactic will help move your hiring process along quickly while finding out what candidates are serious about the position.

With the ease of job posting, comes the ease of applying to jobs.  This is both nice because you have many applicants, but it can also be stressful sifting through so many applications during the hiring process.  Additionally, finding time to schedule interviews and meetings may end up harder than you thought. With the ease of applying to hundreds of jobs, it also leads to frequently missed interviews.  Now more than ever, you may schedule in-person meetings and arrive in a no call no show.

Buckle down and start going through your applicants today.  If you need help with your hiring process, Kallen Media has a staff of professionals who can help your operation run smoothly.  To get in contact with you can send in a message here.

Path to Director of Sales and Marketing

The Start

When I first started out looking for a job straight out of college, I was naive about how the “real” world operated.  I was about to start my first full-time job at Yelp. The exciting thought of quickly climbing through the ranks at a globally recognized company fueled my drive.  I could not have been more wrong in my expectations.

 

Yelp logo

With an entry class of over 80 individuals, I quickly came to start understanding much more about how Fortune 500 companies operate.  I had incredible benefits and wonderful coworkers, but the work felt unfulfilling. I was calling small businesses assisting in signing up with the Yelp ad campaign. The call center work quickly became repetitive, and I felt like I had stopped learning any of the essentials of how local marketing campaigns work.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning from Yelp, but calling businesses who did not want to be contacted ended up not being very fulfilling in my professional life.  Hitting my numbers was easy, but I wanted to do more of the marketing rather than selling. I wanted to build the systems and processes, rather than sell a product already developed.  After my time at Yelp, I decided I wanted to pursue a pure digital marketing path. I wanted to utilize the local search knowledge I had gained from working as an account representative.

The Bridge

While in high school and college, I had worked with several smaller companies doing blogging, social media management, and minor website updates.  This slight experience gave me hubris by thinking I was much more experienced than I was. Although I wanted to be the Director of Sales and Marketing, I did not have the skills or experience for the job

 

It was not until I joined a company called The Appreneur System that I would genuinely dive into all the responsibilities that would go with being the Director of Sales and Marketing. I started on the company as a WordPress trainer and customer retention specialist.  I was thrilled to have my own office and thought that I had arrived professionally. This position was an opportunity to try a different environment other than a busy sales floor.

In the past, I had dabbled in minor coding and WordPress development, but at The Appreneur System, I would fully expand my skill set.  My job was to teach our clients how to utilize the WordPress platform and create a successful blog that they could make money on through affiliate programs.

 

WordPress development Process

The clients I worked with were less tech-savvy than previous clients I encountered.  This taught me patience and how to simplify training so anyone could grasp the basic WordPress concepts.  Every day I would train at least 5-10 clients on different parts of the website creation process. I also learned the value and importance of a straightforward business concept…ALWAYS ANSWER THE PHONE AND RETURN CALLS.

The Goal

I would start by introducing myself and logging the client into our online school portal.  This is where I would create the clients’ account essentials and guide them through the introduction.  Next, the client would log into their WordPress website, and I would guide them through the backend. This is where I would show how to blog and assist clients in creating content.  Once the blogs and websites were active, we would apply to affiliate websites to get backlinks that would be monetized once visitors used these links. The most popular affiliate website we used was the iTunes Affiliate Program.

From deciding on what they wanted the subject of their website to be right down to the domain name, I helped customers do it all.  Categories ranged from cooking to Karate to children’s learning games. We supported our clients, and this allowed me to explore countless niches.  My understanding of how to build a successful website with great content was becoming more apparent.

coding text

I was not happy with how much spare time I had, so I began gobbling up as many resources as I could.  My studying included WordPress optimization plugins, different coding languages, SEO, and countless other subjects related to digital marketing.  I started asking myself questions like how could I make my clients, company, and myself more successful? This ambition pushed me to begin automating the Infusionsoft and Xencall software we used.  Our sales and support teams could more clearly communicate and schedule clients.  No more having leads slip through the cracks because we were “too busy.”

What’s next?  Even though we were a web and app development company, we had work we needed to do on our websites.  Our websites were old and outdated, with limited content. I began going through rewriting content and optimizing web pages — everything from optimizing image sizes to creating custom ad campaigns, to writing content for our blogs.

Director of Sales and Marketing

I was reviewing best practice guides and search engine tutorials, so I would know every detail that went into being easily found on the internet.  Any chance to learn and grow my knowledge, I took it. My ambition was recognized, and because we were a small and growing company, I had proven myself capable of being promoted to the Director of Sales and Marketing.

I had made it to my goal position that I had wanted to set out to do.  Director of Sales and Marketing, and I was only 22. I thought, “This is amazing.” I took a minute. Then I realized that at the end of the day, there was almost an infinite number of factors going into this position.  I had to step it up to make the title mean so much more and prove I was an expert in marketing that would take companies forward. From this position, I would go on to work for GlassBiller as their Director of Sales and Marketing, while also creating Kallen Media, LLC.

man in suit

Here are some of the essential skills and takeaways that I have been able to draw that are essential for running not only a successful marketing campaign but a successful team.  You need to make sure all elements of your workforce are working efficiently and towards a uniform goal. These experiences are what I have learned from starting Kallen Media LLC and working for both GlassBiller and The Appreneur System as Director of Sales and Marketing.

Pay Per Click Campaigns (PPC)

The heart of digital marketing campaigns is pay-per-click campaigns.  Whether it is on Google or Microsoft Ads, you will want this to be the core of your digital ad spend.  Regardless of which search engine you choose to spend your money, these are some of your best options.  Both dashboards offer similar looks and feel. Microsoft allows you to integrate Google Ad campaigns, which make translating your campaigns from one system to another easy.

To be a successful Director of Sales and Marketing, you should know how to navigate and interpret data.  How many leads are you getting? What is the average cost per click versus cost per conversion? These will be critical metrics your bosses will be checking to see the progress you have made on the digital marketing campaigns.

turn clicks into cash

Keys to ensuring these campaigns are successful are assisting in creating your teams’ campaigns, then assign someone on your side to watch and report.  Have weekly checks to see how your different ads are performing. Adjust your spending and ads accordingly until you have the most optimized campaign. If you are struggling with either of these platforms, both Google and Microsoft Ads offer interactive guides and programs to certify you in these ad programs.

Local Search Optimization

Depending on your business, local search may be essential.  For instance, stores that are brick and mortar and have customers visit their physical locations regional search optimization is vital.  Most of your searches are going to be coming from people in your area, searching for your product or service.  People will not be able to find your business if you have no online presence. Critical factors like websites, directories, and reviews are vital in creating a significant digital footprint.  Remember, nobody uses the Yellow Pages anymore.  Today it’s all about the internet.

 

different locations around the world

Having outdated or incorrect information can also hinder your business.  When people are not able to contact you, both the lead and revenue are lost.  There are a variety of companies that specialize in local search optimization like Yext and BrightLocal.  These are services that both tell you where your business is listed, as well as where you aren’t.  For membership fees, these websites will submit your information for a stronger online profile.

As the Director of Sales and Marketing, it is essential to realize the importance of backlinks.  The more popular and reliable the source, the stronger search engines like Google will rank your website. Having trusted sites like .gov domains are a great way to grow your reputation because search engines know these are trusted websites.  This can be both an easy paid to fix, or you and your team can go and enter in manually your information into these different business directories — the more specific to your industry, the better.  A great way to find websites to start looking for would be to see where your competition has its links.

Backlinks

Domain authority is how your website is ranked compared to others.  It is based on algorithms that rank the website based on content and reliability.  Backlinks are one of the core aspects regarding a site and can be a deal-breaker for getting found.

You know what backlinks are.  Now is the tricky part of getting them.  Some companies will pay hundreds to thousands of dollars per backlink and post, which should show their importance.  My advice would be to start by looking at your competition’s backlinks by using software like ahrefs.  They will give you keyword trackers and information that will rank your site compared to the competition.  By seeing what your competitor’s strategies are, it gives you a better chance to even the playing field.

gold chains

Strategies for creating backlinks are vast.  Most commonly, you can message potential websites where your company’s content would be a great fit.  Look for guest blog spots where you will have a chance to add your content. Creating backlinks is an ongoing practice that you will want to be doing consistently to help your white hat search engine optimization as best you can.

Website Optimization

No matter if you use WordPress, Drupal, or a different website builder, you want to make sure your website is optimized.  In many cases, smaller companies do not have a web team behind them and want something functional.  Functional will not allow you to grow your business at the rate you should and could.

computers coding

Search engines crawl your website and determine where to rank you based on a variety of reasons.  Google and much third-party software have speed tests that will rank your website on its speed, performance, and overall optimization.  Speed tests can be an excellent place to start identifying where you will need to make changes to be ranked higher.

Experts in marketing realize that in many situations to fully optimize a website, you will need to know necessary coding and how to navigate the backend dashboards.  WordPress allows an easy user view that makes the backend of websites more manageable. There are options to both go in and manually code in using PHP or HTML, as well as using plugins.

Plugins make much of the optimization process easy.  There are core sets of plugins that Kallen Media would recommend, which we would be happy to show you when you sign up for a demo.  The key for plugins is to keep them updated and make sure your website does not break.  Some plugins may not be compatible if your website is older or has conflicting plugins.

WordPress blog section

By integrating these webmaster skills, it allows you to have full oversight and knowledge of your company’s website.  The Director of Sales and Marketing should understand why their website is or is not working. Whether they delegate the task to someone else or outsource, it ultimately is a significant decision.  Without fully understanding the backbone of your digital presence, it will be hard for you to build a successful company.

Keyword Tracking

Every specific market has terms and search phrases that are common when people are searching.  For you to be found by your ideal clients, you must tailor your content to them. Referring standard search terms in your website and posts is a surefire way to get your content noticed for that relevant material.

search engine optimization over keyboard

Search engines will then display your rank for those search terms between other companies in your industry.  Often you will want to research competitors to see what is working for them.  Other standard practices would be utilizing plugins like Yoast.  Yoast will give your search engine optimization rankings for your content.  This plugin is a great tool to assure that you are ranking for the appropriate keywords your audience is searching for.

Presenting Results

So you understand the marketing side.  You can create successful campaigns and increase business for your company.  Fantastic, but there is still much more that goes along with being the Director of Sales and Marketing.  Presenting your results can be the difference in displaying confidence and looking like someone who is off their game.

Often companies will want monthly or quarterly reports about the results of their marketing efforts.  These reports include creating charts and graphs to demonstrate spending versus conversions. How much has it cost you per lead?  If these questions were not enough to stress you out, you would need to be willing to work with extreme budgets.

Team meeting

Occasionally other parts of the company may be faltering, so it impacts your marketing budget.  What can you afford to stop doing that will make the lowest impact?  As with most other decisions in business, it can be a tricky balancing act but one that must be mastered.

Displaying confidence and a clean report is the best way to give yourself an attentive audience.  When you make an interesting report that is easy to follow, you will have the room.  The results will be clear and concise, with strategies that are easy to follow.  Highlight the essential parts while explaining the details. Use language that can be easily understood.  When you start using jargon that is foreign to your audience, you lose attention and can hinder your performance.

Department Management

The Director of Sales and Marketing typically oversee large departments with many individuals under them.  You will often deal with manager-level staff who then have teams below them. It is important to communicate clear business plans.  Everyone on your team should be working towards a unified goal. Make it clear to your staff your expectations and intentions and be rigid.  The most effective teams spark creativity and motivate each other to do better.

Diverse team

There will be tough decisions when it comes to hiring and firing.  You need to think with your head and not your heart. Have an idea of the individual that would be perfect and make a persona.  What characteristics do they have or not have? Are you looking for a seasoned professional or someone freshly out of college? These types of decisions are essential when putting teams and budgets together.  This process may take some time, but management is key to having a successful department.

Following this guide to being a Director of Marketing and Sales, you are sure to start on the right foot.  Whether you are starting a new career in marketing, or are a professional, by following this guide, you should have the skills you need to begin creating successful digital marketing campaigns.  For further questions or to see how Kallen Media LLC can help you, you can contact us here.

Beginner’s Guide To Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Social media is an essential part of digital marketing.  Each different network has a broad reach to a slightly different audience.  Trying to handle the challenges of each social media on its own can be overwhelming when thrown on top of your other business responsibilities. That’s where social media management services come into place.

Hootsuite is a software program designed to link social media platforms together in an easy to use scheduling dashboard.  Within the dashboard, you can access Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more all on one page. If that wasn’t enough, they allow you to schedule posts so you can plan your media strategy out for the week and do not need to scramble each day for content.

I am going to show you some of the great tools that Hootsuite offers, along with how Kallen Media can utilize this software to help you grow your business if you are still unsure after the end of the article, no worries! Try out Hootsuite for yourself with a free trial, which will allow you free use for up to a month before charging you.

Packages

Hootsuite wants to work with small businesses just like you.  Pricing is affordable, and there are free trial options so that you can make sure Hootsuite is the right fit for your business.  Otherwise, I would recommend going with the Professional level if you are a small business.  This package allows scheduling and access to up to 10 social media profiles ( you probably won’t even use 5).

Hootsuite package pricing

I would recommend the top tier packages if you are managing multiple locations or websites.  This allows you to easily add numerous social media profiles. You would only need more users if you wanted various people to be working on campaigns at the same time.

Don’t let pricing scare you off because the free options within Hootsuite are more than enough to get you started! Feel free to take a look at our Testimonial page, where you can see how we have utilized Hootsuite with our clients’ successful campaigns.

How to add networks

Once you have created your account and logged on, you are ready to start filling out your profile!  The profile is where you will begin to see all of your social media accounts merge into one more extensive system.  To add a network, you will click on “Add Social Network.”

You will then be on a tab that has a list of the social media networks that Hootsuite supports.  Once you decide which account you want to link, you will click on the connect button. Hootsuite will prompt you to log in to your personal or business account.

You will log in to the associated account and then select the page you wish to manage on Hootsuite. You will need to be logged into the account or be an admin to the page you are posting for this to work as well.  Remember how we stressed how important it is to regularly post in “The Value Of Regular Blog Posting“? The same principles apply to social media! The only way to expand your reach and engage broader audiences is by having constant content.

How to schedule social media posts

Now you are all connected and ready to get the content out there.  Once you have linked all the social media accounts, you will want to go to the publisher tab.  The publisher tab will open a calendar view, which will be blank until you schedule posts.

Select the green post button on the top right-hand side, which will open up the post creator.  Here you can select the social media you want to post to along with any text or image you wish to attach.  On the right side will be a preview of how your post will look on different social media platforms. This allows you to fix any possible loading or view issues that may arise, depending on the media you are posting.

Now you have everything set up and ready to start creating digital marketing campaigns of your own using Hootsuite! By following these simple steps, you can start planning content and scheduling it all in one place. If you are interested in learning why social media is so important to check out our blog, “Utilizing Social Media Effectively“.

Get Started Today

The basics are done, and now you are ready to start creating a campaign of your own!  We would love to help you personalize your campaign, and show you how to expand your reach.  Get in contact with us today for a free consultation.

Utilizing Social Media Effectively

People all over the world have bought into the social media explosion over the past decade.  For many, social media is a way to pass some time while keeping up with friends and family. Socializing within your groups is the tip of the iceberg for what social media can do for businesses. The core tools businesses use fall into digital marketing, and the possibilities that platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer to businesses of all sizes.  Social media outlets are the place where you can directly interact with your clients and open a dialogue about your business in many cases.

How do you utilize social media outlets to the best of your ability?  We are here to give you a few great tips and tricks to get you started on creating interactive campaigns that your clients will love.  By following these tips, you’ll be able to make the most out of social media propel your business forward.

Weekly Natural Posts

The easiest way for you to start growing your presence is to start making weekly posts.  Start utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to start your business. There is always the possibility that you have a specific niche that may do well on more specialized social media platforms like Pinterest or Yelp.  Let your audience know what they should expect when they go to your physical or online store. Make it easy for people to find out about your business, so these people are more likely to become clients.

Interact With Your Audience

All social media platforms offer some communication.  Your company is responsible for producing content about your brand.  However, you are also responsible for responding and interacting with your clients.  Whether this is through a client direct messaging you or commenting on your post, you want to respond professionally and promptly.  Quick response time shows your clients that you care and want to be involved, rather than a non-responsive business people can’t get answers.

Link To Other Reliable Articles

Be smart about the content you are posting.  Try not to post material that may be offensive to any group as this can also result in temporary bans from specific social media platforms.  Look for articles from reliable sources that you can share that are relevant to your business. These articles build your business trust and show search engines like Google or Bing that you have active social media platforms.

Link To Your Blog

Your social media is an extension of your brand.  You will want to make sure that you are linking back to a website or digital shop.  The link is how you will be able to capitalize on your online audience and start making money from your audience.  One of the best places to send your audience is to the blog section of your website. Discussing topics that are important to your brand provides fresh content that helps search engine ranking.  These posts also work as great material to be posted on your different channels as backlinks online.

Explore Paid Ad Campaigns

Social media platforms make the most significant portion of their money through ad revenue.  This means these companies invest heavily to make these advertising platforms effective and easy to use.  Paid media campaigns are a great way to target specific niches within different sectors. You can choose from interest to age to the type of media someone searches.  By reading the user guidelines you can begin to create campaigns that will truly take your business to the next level.

Importance of Business Directories

Importance of Business Directories

Having your business be found online can be the difference between great success and utter failure.  Many of us may think of creating social media profiles so that we can interact with our audiences on a more personal level.  Social media is the tip of the iceberg for spreading both words about your business and getting your business found online. Some of the best places you can put your business information online are directories.

coding and a hole in the middle

Directories are necessarily the modern-day phone book if you will.  People can search for topics and find companies, or see what is near them so they can find assistance with the service they need.  Instead of flipping through a phone book, people are now searching through pages on a website.

Business directories are what funnels both links back to your website and build your brand.  The more places that your website and information appear online, the most often your business will look online.  These directories are why large companies will sometimes hire reputation management companies like Moz or Yext. Both these services will go online and replace any misinformation. Additionally, these companies can add your information to directories you may not be.

Reputation Management

Reputation management companies can become expensive and may come with caveats.  Examples might be having your information and listings return to how they were before you began working with these companies.  The data can tether you to companies even if you may no longer want their services. Frequently it is not worth the search ranking penalty you would take by stopping their services.

Different local business listing websites

At Kallen Media, we want your business to thrive online. That’s why we are here to give you some tips on how to start adding yourself to business directories on your own.  Many of the most popular online directories will allow you to add your business if it is not already listed directly. This may seem tedious and tiresome, but your information needs to be both correct and as available as possible.  Some of the most popular directories people think of are Yelp, Google, and Facebook. All of these websites have a massive online presence and will typically appear on the first page in search results.

Adding a Business

To add your business to directories, you will need to locate them online. All you have to do for the majority of free listings is register an account with the business directory.  Once you have made an account, you can search for your business. If your business is not listed, then you will go through the process of giving the directory your information.  The account will typically consist of business name, location, staff, and what kind of business you are operating.

 In some cases, your business may already be listed; this means all you will have to do is verify you are with the company, and you will become an administrator.  This allows you to edit any information and assure you have everything you want on your listing.

To make sure your listings are up to date and looking good, get in contact with Kallen Media, LLC today.  We would be happy to give you a free demo and show you some tips on how to make sure your business is found online.

Blogging and Your Niche

 

The blog can be the most vital part of any website, even though it may not have the style any essential information other sections of your website has.  Why is this? It comes down to a mixture of attracting people to your site with quality content, while also “showing off” for the search engines.

People stay on websites when there is information they are interested in.  Writing blog posts designated for your website’s niche is a great way to keep these potential clients on your site.  Blogs that are boring with lots of text and no pictures can leave to people quickly leaving your site. It is best to have lots of separations in paragraphs and to implement images or videos when possible.  The photos create more time on your website, which leads to better potential leads when blogging in your niche.

Target Audience

Your website viewers are smart and know what they like.  If you are putting out fluff content to fill your site with no real goal, both visitors and Google will notice. Fluff can occur if you are using any auto writer consistently. Due to the negative impact on your Google search ranking, this is not encouraged as it can end up hurting your website as opposed to helping it.

Google is the most widely used search engine, so its ranking is significant.  When you first create your website, you will be low in the ranks for a variety of reasons.  The first being Google recognizes a website’s age and gives older sites more credibility, thus ranking them higher.  This can immediately put you at a disadvantage to any competitors who have older websites, and who are already blogging in your niche.

This can make getting a newly created websites to be recognized by the significant search engines difficult.  The blog is one primary free gateway to this. You can post as much content as you would like about your niche while helping your site get found without having to spend any money!

Promote Yourself

Paid promotions are the fastest way for any website to be recognized.  Before they have site authority or have started working their way up the natural search results.  You can pay for ads through either social media networks like Facebook and Twitter or through Google itself.  Doing research will ensure you show up for the keywords that you bid on. This can all be done through Google’s AdWord program, which allows you to promote your website based on a customizable budget.

Whether you are an individual with no budget or a large corporation, you should be blogging in your niche.  It helps with search engine optimization and gives your clients additional useful information about your industry. Kallen Media can rocket your company forward, so get in contact with us today for your free demo.

Different Management Styles

Finding Your Managerial Style

Being a member of management is challenging; there’s no doubt about it. Finding your management style can be even harder. How should you lead your team? What’s the best way to increase efficiency while keeping the members of your team satisfied and motivated to work?

The short answer is, there is no short answer. There are many different things to take into account when figuring out what management style is going to be most successful for you and your company. For example, how much work needs immediate attention, and what kind of personalities do you and the members of your team have? It’s also essential to think about the type of business you are managing in.

Let’s go over 3 of the most effective management styles: authoritarian, affiliative,  and democratic, and how each can be beneficial to your business.

Team holding hands

Authoritarian Management Style

As the name suggests, this is a more aggressive management style. This style can be helpful in certain situations. As of about 100 years ago, you aren’t going to have much of a following if you always boss everyone around. Often referred to as Autocratic, the leader of the group is in control of all aspects. Rules are enforced with little or no feedback from the team members. All of the decisions are created by the leader to get the job done.

There are some situational benefits to this style and can be useful to have in your leadership toolbox if a task or set of functions has a fast-approaching deadline, set evident expectations. These expectations will allow you to meet that timeline may be the best course. There might not be enough time to discuss the tasks at hand further. Often in small businesses, the available staff is small, and time-critical jobs will approach quickly. In these situations, management may need to put their foot down.

Additionally, this style can apply to novice team members. Newer employees may still be unfamiliar with the broader goals of the company. Many may need some guidance on properly prioritizing tasks. In these situations, it’s wise for management to list a clear plan for these employees. Subsequently, new employees can familiarize themselves with exactly how the company operates. This can help the employee learn while still providing their available skill set to the company.

Affiliative Management Style

Affiliative leaders love to keep their employees happy and aim to build relationships throughout the company. They take pride in leading by joining in and working directly with the team on various tasks, lending a hand wherever necessary, all while building stronger connections throughout the organization.

At times an affiliative mindset can be a great help. Sometimes, people disagree with each other, and this will no doubt happen at some point with any team of employees. In situations like this, having a leader to come in and remedy the condition can prevent the feelings worsening between the group. Through motivation and an overwhelmingly positive attitude, the affiliative manager will join in and try to help mediate the situation.

An affiliative manager will always reward employees. Positive feedback comes with a job well done, encouraging a healthy mindset and motivation to continue working hard. The feedback provides employees with a sense of belonging and will result in them seeing the manager as an ally to them. In turn, team members will often return to the manager whenever problems arise, or questions need answering, which means the manager is more connected to exactly what goes on in the workspace.

It’s worth noting that an affiliative style should be part of a higher management style, and not used by itself. A completely affiliative management style may result in members of the team slacking off more, knowing that their manager will come in and fix problems for them without any repercussions. Employees may also be used to continue receiving positive feedback even if they aren’t providing their best work, and start to think that mediocre performance is sufficient. This can result in overall poor performance and negatively affect the quality of life rapidly if left unchecked.

Democratic Management Style

A democratic manager is one that is open and dynamic. They allow all members of the team to have a voice and often collaborate on tasks with everyone working on them. Discussions flow freely through the organization, and decisions are made as a whole, with everyone’s opinion in mind.

Fast-moving companies can benefit significantly from a democratic management style. When things are always changing, any chance to improve or streamline operations needs to be voiced and discussed. Allowing employees to be part of the conversation can help, as they are most involved in job completion. A democratic leader will be able to hear all ideas and translate them into the best decision for the company, and then be able to give that decision back to the employees.

A democratic leader is most effective in a sophisticated and professional work environment. The structure allows all members of the team to bring their expertise to the table and collectively put the right plan in action. Many times, an experienced employee will prefer to be in a democratic situation. This is where we are heard rather than expected to follow explicit direction.

The Choice is Yours

There is a slight downside to this management approach, however. When everyone has a voice in every task at hand, it can slow things down. Often, different team members will have different approaches to the same job. Taking the time to hear them all and then decide on the best route to take can bring things to a halt. Within certain situations, there may not be enough time. That is why, again, this should be one of the many tools in your theoretical box of management skills.

Get in contact with us today to have us give you a free demo on how to make your business run more effectively here.

 

The Value of Regular Blog Posts

When a company or an individual decides to create a website to market their wares, one of the single most notable additions is a regularly updated Blog.  Over the lifetime of your website, this weblog will typically help increase natural traffic to your site. Blog posts capture both the attention of search engines as well as potential clients, making them a marketing necessity.

1.      Skimming –

When a new user stumbles upon your site, a blog is often the right place for content and keywords. These thoughts and ideas attract users and encourage them to dive deeper into your site. Similarly, search engines like Google browse your articles for keywords to rank your website.  Often a blog post is one of the first places a user will land on your site.  Give them something interesting to catch their attention, so they’re likely to stick around as we discussed in “How Do I Get My Business Noticed.”

2.      Content is king –

When a casual user is skimming through your site, it is the exciting content, linked to other pages in your website, that will keep them browsing for more extended periods. This creates potential leads and takes these users to areas that will result in engagement. The purpose is to give your business the best chance to win their business.  Your blog is the perfect place on your website to have more abundant information about various subjects of interest relating to your field.

3.      New content –

While generalized content can be useful for guiding a reader to the next page you want them to discover, it is original content that will likely keep a user coming back to find out what’s new.  In the world of blog posts, regularly scheduled fresh content is always preferable. The occasional post for both potential clients and search engines will no longer cut it in the competitive online world.

At Kallen Media, we recommend a minimum of one new post per week. With that said, content optimized for SEO should be no less than 500 words. This is because Google “crawlers” often do not pick up on pages or posts that have less content on them. Top ranking posts often will have over 1,000 words. Posts that last the reader an average of 7 minutes to read through the material are ideal.

4.      Lifetime value –

One of the best features of a blog post is that once it is live on your site and gets indexed by the search engines, then it’s there for users to find forever.  In other words, this one post will be on the internet for people to see. The link refers back to for as long as your site is active. These links make posting quality content that much more critical. You want your company linked to trustworthy articles and sources, not poor content. Often it can be better to edit and change old material rather than trying to delete it for search engine indexing reasons.

5.      Blog posts are the #1 marketing tool for SEO –

Down to the most fundamental point for internet marketing… adding a blog and keeping it regularly updated can seem like a chore and can be a challenge.  However, the reward is that your addition of regular content to your website (quickly done through scheduled blog posts) tells the search engines that your site is active and provides valuable information for the potential client.  If you want users to find you, start blogging!

Kallen Media can help you create and maintain a blog on your website.  Call us today at (773)-524-1483 or click here to find out just how easy and economical it is to get started.

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