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Cyber Liability Risk and Insurance

Posted By Jamie Low CPCU CIC, Low & Johnson, Inc., Wednesday, October 26, 2016
I'm sitting on a panel regarding Cyber Liability this Friday.  It's free at the Burton Barr Library from 10 to 2 pm.  Drinks and snacks provided.  Register at the link below and come on down. 
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-of-phoenix-protecting-your-business-cyber-security-forum-tickets-28443701878

Tags:  business  business owner  Cyber  data breach  entrepreneur  Internet Marketing  Principal Financial Group  small business  social media 

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Your Grand List of Marketing Tools

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Wednesday, December 30, 2015

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As an online advertising agency, we rely pretty heavily on a ton of tools to help us provide awesome services. Whether this is for design, enhancing user experience, or staying on track, tools are a great way to take a business to the next level and work efficiently. These are the marketing tools we love to use at Loud Rumor:


Web Design


Landing Pages


Social Media Design


Free Images/Icons


Content Marketing


WordPress Plugins


Organization/ Task Management


What other marketing tools would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below. And if you have any questions on how these resources can help take your business to the next level, ask our team!

Tags:  content marketing  design  internet marketing  online marketing  Social media marketing  wordpress 

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Stay On Top of Competition With These Marketing Tools

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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A small business’ goal is to be the top dog in their industry. That means you constantly need to do better than your competitors. And since that’s the case, you may want to use these awesome marketing tools to stay on top of your competition and really keep an eye out. Here are a few we use at
Loud Rumor!

Google Alerts

If you want to be the first one to know what your competitors are doing, then Google Alerts is your best friend. This tool sends you updates whenever a competitor is mentioned online. What’s really cool is that you can set how often you receive these updates (as it happens, weekly, etc.), which really allows you to stay current.

Social Mention

Social mention is kind of similar to Google Alerts in the sense that you can keep track of your competition online whenever they’re mentioned. But this is all through social media. So you get to see who talks about them, what they post, what hashtags they use, and more. It’s awesome.

Open Site Explorer

This is a great tool that keeps you updated on your competition’s backlinks, PA/DA (page authority/ domain authority), and so on. So if you’re looking to increase your rankings, you’ll want to be on the high authoritative sites that your competition is on. Open Site Explorer shows you where you might need to get listed.

What Runs Where

You definitely want to keep track of your competitor’s advertising efforts. What Runs Where does that. You get to see where they’re advertising, what ads they’re investing in, and how successful these efforts are.


Related: 7-Step Guide on How to Do AdWords Optimization Like A Boss


These are just a few of many marketing tools that allow you to stay on top of your competition. For more tips, contact our team! And if a few of your favorites haven’t been mentioned here, leave a comment and share your top tools with the rest of us! We’d love to check them out.

Tags:  competition  internet marketing  marketing  marketing tools  online marketing  small business 

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Content Marketing Hacks That’ll Take Your Blog to Victory Status

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Wednesday, September 23, 2015

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You’ve probably heard that “content is king.” And it’s true. When it comes to your business and online marketing, your content is a huge part of lead generation, organic ranking, and SEO. That’s why your blog is so important.

That being said, we’re here with a few tips on how to take your content to the next level. Because unless your content gets seen by customers and really engages others, it’s not optimized to its fullest potential.

1 - Content Calendar

Especially for SEO purposes, it’s so important to build a content calendar that you stick with. Plan how many blogs you’ll publish a week, and what time they’ll go live. Google loves this. And when Google’s happy with your site, you essentially get ranked higher in search results. Outline a content calendar with topics that you’ll write, days that you’ll publish, and when/ where you’ll share that content.

2 - WordPress Plugins

WordPress is awesome because it really wants your blog to succeed. That being said, they’ve created a ton of plugins that really help skyrocket your blog. This includes social sharing buttons, SEO optimization features, and more. For an awesome list of these plugins, we’ve got them right hereSee which fit best for your business, and slowly transform your blog into a content wizard…

 

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3 - Images

While stock images are convenient, relatively affordable, and easy to access, they don’t always get the best results. And the images you use for your content are very important. This can be the difference between 3,000 visitors to your blog a month and 1,000. You want to choose pictures that engage and are relatable. Stock images can feel forced and turn people away. Other sites like Pixabay are free to use and are taken by actual photographers. They’re unique. You can then edit these pictures for your brand with programs like PicMonkey, Canva, and so on.

4 - Content Distribution

Again, you not only want your content to be amazing, but you want it to be seen by the right people. That’s why content distribution is so important. You should share your blog articles in the following places:


  • Twitter

  • Facebook

  • Facebook groups (targeted to the blog topic)

  • Google+

  • Google+ communities (targeted to the blog topic)

  • LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn communities (targeted to the blog topic)

  • Reddit

  • Tumblr


As you may have noticed, it’s also critical to share your content in groups and communities. These are awesome because they’re targeted, and you’ll know the people in those groups are actually interested in whatever it is that your blog is about. And that’s where the engagement happens.


If you have any questions about content creation, optimization, or distribution, let us know! Leave a comment below or contact our copywriting gurus.

Tags:  blogging  content  content marketing  Internet Marketing  online marketing  wordpress 

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The Competitor Research Tools You’ve Been Waiting For: It’s Time to Kick Some Butt

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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All small businesses want to dominate in their industry. But in order to do that, you need to be
better than your competitors. That’s where these awesome tools come in. We love using these bad guys at Loud Rumor! They help you keep track of your competitor, see what they’re doing that you’re not, and go one step further to do it better.


These are the competitor research tools you’ve been waiting for!


SEMRush

Semrush is an awesome tool for so many reasons, but our favorite is for keyword research. Type in your competitor’s business site and you’ll see which keywords they use. Check out their organic keywords, paid search, cost-per-click on each keyword, and more!


Related: How to Do Stellar Keyword Research for Local SEO


SpyFu

If you want to be the top dog in your industry, you need to dominate all areas online. That includes your ads. SpyFu shows you which keywords your competition uses and bought on AdWords, and which ad variations they’re using. This way, you can analyze what does or doesn’t work about the PPC and make yours even better… and know ‘em off their feet!

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MozBar

MozBar is one of the quickest, easiest ways to get a ton of info on your competitor just by visiting their site. It’s an extension from Open Site Explorer that acts as a bar at the top of your screen. With each site you visit, it automatically pulls information from that webpage covering their:


  • Page load time

  • Spamminess of the site

  • PA/DA (page authority and domain authority)

  • Activity on their social media

  • Meta description and keywords

  • How many external followed links they have

  • And more


SimilarWeb

This is an awesome tool that allows you to check the analytics and insights. So if you wanted to check out how many monthly visits your competitor gets, SimilarWeb is a great way to go. You’ll also see how long these visitors stay on your competitor’s pages, what the bounce rate is, and where their traffic comes from.


If you have any other competitor research tools you’d like to add to this list, comment below! We’d love more input. Also feel free to contact us for any questions you may have on conquering your industry online.

Tags:  competitor research  internet marketing  keyword research  online marketing  research tools  SEO  small business 

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Why Your Small Business Needs Retargeting

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Wednesday, September 9, 2015

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Retargeting is one of the most powerful internet marketing tools a small business can utilize. And we’re talking crazy powerful. There’s 2 main reasons for this:


1: It’s very cost effective

2: You get an awesome amount of targeted visibility


And who doesn’t love that! But before we get any further, it’s important to understand what retargeting is. MOZ defines it as “a form of marketing in which you target users who have previously visited your website with banner ads on display networks across the web.”


So what’s all the hype over retargeting? Let’s take a look.

Recruit previous visitors

When you invest in retargeting, you allow yourself to get in front of potential customers who have already shown interest in your company and visited your site. So this marketing strategy avoids all the spam and only targets those who have landed on your brand at least once before.


And that’s great because it means your advertising efforts only go after audience who you know are somewhat interested. Retargeting just helps get people back to your site once they’ve leff.

You only pay for clicks

Unlike other marketing strategies, you only have to pay for clicks with retargeting. So if your ad is seen by 100 people - which is amazing for brand awareness - but you only get a few clicks, the price you pay to not only gain those clicks but get your business out there is very small.


To add some clarification, the average click-through rate for retargeted ads is about .7%. So let’s say you get 10,000 impressions. If the CTR is .7%, that means you get 70 clicks. And our average client pays $1 per click, which means a $70 investment. That’s super cost effective! So cost effective, you might even feel like this…

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Get seen on authoritative sites

Your retargeting ads might just show up on big sites like AZCentral, CNN, and so on. How? AdSense. Basically, these big sites have blank space on their web pages that allow for other business’ ads to be displayed.


So that means someone might see your retargeting ad on one of these pages, and guess what - they’ll be pretty impressed! It adds a sense of credibility to your company.

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You stay in front of the right people

Retargeting is one of the best ways to stay top of might. It’s also one of the best ways to constantly stay in front of your target audience.


When your ads are seen by people who have already visited your site, they begin to trust you more. This way, when they end up needing or wanting whatever it is that you offer, they’ll instantly think of you.


Related: 5 Ways SEO and PPC Will Work Together in 2015


If you have any questions on retargeting, let us know. This is one of our favorite strategies and we could talk about it all day!

Tags:  display ads  Internet Marketing  Online Advertising  Online Marketing  retargeting  small biz  small business 

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Is Google's Switch to a Local 3-pack Going to Change Everything?

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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Google loves to change things up… on an almost constant basis. Those of us familiar with Google know better than to be super taken aback when drastic change is implemented. That’s why when Google downsized the local 7-pack to a 3-pack, people weren’t necessarily “up in arms.” But it was still noticed and is a big change for local listings.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT?


As you have probably noticed, when you search for a local service only three listings show up now instead of the old seven. If you look to the left there’s an example of the new 3-pack. I simply searched Phoenix auto care and these are the three listings that show up. So where did the other four go? Who knows! And I doubt Google is going to tell us either. What we do know is there are now four less businesses listed and a lot less address information. Phone numbers and Google+ links are missing now as well. However when you do click the listing, it does take you to the map and all this information.

HOW THIS AFFECTS YOUR BUSINESS!


no.gifThe first thing you’ll probably notice is that if your business used to be in the 7-pack...it isn’t necessarily in the 3-pack. If it still is then good for you, that’s awesome! But if it isn’t, there’s a chance that you may start to receive less online traffic. And that’s never fun.


You’ll also probably notice that the 3-pack is placed directly after the Adwords ads and before the organic listings, which make the organic listings appear to be pushed further down than before.

This means that businesses that have worked super hard to make it to the top of the organic listings, might require a bit more scrolling to reach their listing now. If your business isn’t listed in the 3-pack or Adwords listings, it’s time to change that.

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT PPC?

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If you want to make it into that top section of search results, it’s time to try Google Adwords because PPC may have just become your best friend.


We think the whole point of the 3-pack change is to push businesses towards Adwords. Why? Because less than 10% of people advance past page 1 in Google search results. If page 1 is full of Adwords and 3-pack listing, there’s no room for your business on page one unless you adopt Adwords.


Even if you are listed number one in organic search, you’re still behind Adwords and the 3-pack listings. This means that you’re not first, you’re technically third behind the Adwords and 3-pack businesses. Is it worth it to invest in Adwords to make it to first? Probably not a bad idea. With the new three pack change, it could very well mean if you’re not first, you’re last!


Has your business been affected by this new 3-pack change? Let us know in the comments below if you’re still in the top three, or if you are no longer listed. And if you are already curious about PPC or how you can get your business’ ads seen online, Check some of our events out. We’re always doing something with Adwords!

Tags:  AdWords  google  google update  Internet Marketing  PPC  search engine  search results  small business 

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All You Need to Know About Facebook’s Update: See First

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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Facebook recently added an update to their platform called “See First” - and it’s really cool. This allows people to add their friends, favorite businesses, or public figures to a priority list.


What does this mean? That all those people and businesses on the “See First” list are who they will see first in their News Feed.


This is great for those who want to prioritize their News Feed and filter out the spam. It’s one of many ways that Facebook shows they care about their customer’s experience.


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So if you are someone who loves health and fitness, you can essentially turn your News Feed into a place that primarily shows nearby gyms, nutrition tips, exercise hacks, and so on. You can customize what you see from who.


Or maybe you use Facebook mainly to stay connected with your family. Add them to your See First list and it simplifies the search. You no longer have to scroll through your News Feed for hours or do individual searches for your relatives to see what’s going on in their lives. They’ll all be in one place - at the top of your News Feed.


But how does this affect businesses?


Well, if you make it onto someone’s See First list… you’ve made it. They’ll constantly be up to date on your business’ most recent blogs, event updates, pictures, and so on. It’s awesome exposure for companies and a great way to maintain close ties with customers.


And so many people turn to social media to find out more about a business these days. For example, 40% of people use Facebook to see information about a company or organization.


So if a potential customer checks out your profile and really likes what they see, there’s a chance they’ll add you to their See First list. And that’s as good as a handshake…


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This gives you an awesome foot in the door to connect with them, engage, and really help them with whatever services or product you offer.


If you have any questions on how to use social media to your advantage for business, let us know! We specialize in social media marketing and thrive when helping businesses achieve success online.

Tags:  facebook  internet marketing  small business  social media  Social media marketing 

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Protect Your SEO: Avoid These Content Marketing Mistakes

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Wednesday, July 29, 2015

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SEO revolves around keywords, where you get listed, link building… and content creation. Content is a huge part of your SEO. This is why it’s so important for companies to understand the influence their content has online.


And if you’re a little new to content marketing, you might be guilty of a few of these mistakes - and they’re hurting your SEO. So here’s what you should avoid in your blogs, press releases, and more!

Keyword Stuffing

While it’s super important to choose the right keywords for your business, you don’t want to go overkill. By this we mean that you don’t want to keyword stuff. People don’t like reading articles that feel forced.


For instance, if something reads, “Scottsdale dentist who offers the best dental services in Scottsdale for Scottsdale residents…” people just won’t read on. It’s clear that this dentistry wants to rank for all Scottsdale dental searches, but they’re going about it wrong. And this actually hurts search rankings. It’s also awkward to read.

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Being Vague

You always need to explain yourself in your content marketing. For example, you can’t assume that your audience knows your industry’s lingo right off the bat. You need to familiarize them.


So if you’re a dentist and you reference “intravenous sedation,” you should either hyperlink that term so people can read a definition when they click on it, or you should link it to another blog article you previously wrote on intravenous sedation. The bottom line here is that your audience needs to be able to understand you. Don’t be vague.  

Targeting the wrong people

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With anything that you market, you need to have a clear understanding of who your target audience. Pinpoint the ideal clients that you want to see your content.


For instance, if you’re a dentist and one of your posts is about dental tips for children, you’ll want to reach out to parents. But someone who doesn’t have children won’t be interested in reading this. So you wouldn’t want to target them.


Market the article to parents who are interested in oral hygiene. When people come to your blog, they want direct answers. People don’t want to waste their time reading something that doesn't apply to them. So don’t disappoint the reader who wants to know more about dental health care but can’t apply it to themselves personally - in this case, someone without children.

Not scannable

On average, people have an attention span of about 8 seconds - that’s shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. So if you really want people to absorb your content, you need to make it scannable.


Here’s how:


  • Use bullet points

  • Add pictures or GIFs

  • Add a “click to tweet

  • Bold quotes or statistics

  • Headings (H2)


All these factors help break up blog articles so that they’re easier to read in a small amount of time.


Related: Bulk Up Your Blog WIth Killer WordPress Plugins & Features


As you can tell, there’s a ton that goes into content marketing! So if you have any questions on how to start your blog or improve your content strategy, let us know - we’re here to help you become a content king.

Tags:  blog  content marketing  Internet Marketing  search engine optimization  SEO  small biz  Small Business 

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Yelp: Pros and Cons to Getting Listed

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Wednesday, July 15, 2015

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A lot of businesses see Yelp as a necessary evil. It’s a huge review site that so many people rely on to evaluate a company’s services. Tons of awesome stars and comments - you’re credible. Very few starts and negative comments - you may as well throw customers to your competitor. But if you aren’t listed, it’s a red flag. Hence the necessary evil.


So we’re here to help outline the pros and cons of getting your business listed on Yelp. Because really, this is somewhere you need to be if you want to be a powerful small business.

Pros

  1. Tons of traffic - Yelp receives an enormous amount of traffic each month. We’re talking about 142 million. So if you’re a small business, you definitely want that exposure.

  2. Credibility - If a business doesn’t have a Yelp listing, it makes customers super hesitant. But if you do, people take the reviews seriously. So if you have awesome feedback from previous customers, other people will see these comments honestly and be more inclined to work with you. Related: How to Handle A Negative Online Review the Right Way

  3. Yelp Now - This feature makes it very easy to make a reservation with a restaurant directly online. So if you find an Italian eatery nearby through Yelp and you like their reviews, you can reserve your table through Yelp Now. It adds convenience and leads to higher conversions.
  4. People expect it - Yelp is the first place customers go when they want to know more about a business and see feedback from others. So when you get listed here, you’re giving them what they want: more information, details from past customers, and honest reviews.  

  5. Simple, free, and clear - Yelp doesn’t require users to have an account in order to see a business’ listing. People love this. It simplifies the entire process and means customers are more likely to look you up here.


Cons

  1. Filtered reviews - Nobody likes these. Reviews are hard enough to get in the first place. So when Yelp uses its own algorithm to hide certain ones, it can be frustrating. But don’t let this stop you. It happens to everyone; keep plugging along and encourage customers to leave feedback online even though these filtered review make you feel like this… 

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  2. Advertising issues -Let’s say your competitor invests in Yelp ads. If they have about the same reviews and ratings as you, it’ll be much harder for your listing to be seen with these same keywords. Nonetheless, that’s why you should really work to get your reviews up and awesome.

 

As you can tell, the pros really do outweigh the cons. Even though you might not want to deal with Yelp and its couple of issues, you need to get listed here.


If you have any questions on how to do this, let us know! We specialize in directories, so we’d love to help.

 

Tags:  internet marketing  Online Marketing  online reviews  small biz  small business  yelp 

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