Tag Archives: Social Media

Simple SEO to Get More Business

If one of your goals is to get more clients one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do so is to optimize your website. I can’t tell you what a difference this can make for your business – it’s that important! Below are some basic SEO tips that aren’t overly technical.

First, a couple of definitions:
“SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization, and “optimizing” is just a short form of SEO.
“Meta tags” are information contained in the code of your website that give information to web browsers and search engines.

1. Use Relevant Keywords
In my opinion this is the #1 most important thing you need to know in order to attract more clients. Find out what words or phrases your potential clients are using to find you or your competitors. 

The Google Adwords keyword generator tool is an invaluable free resource to figure this out. You can even use the keyword tool to find out what keywords and phrases people are using for your competitors websites!

Now, where to use those keywords…..

2. Include a Title Meta Tag

SEO Title Tag

Title Tag

The title tag is like the title of a book – it tells people what your website (or specific page) is all about.

And just like people judge a book by it’s cover, they’ll also judge your website by it’s title. Use keywords people are actually searching for. ie. if I’m searching for “small business marketing” I likely won’t click on something that doesn’t have a similar term in the title (or description)

Also, title tags should ideally be 65 characters or less. Any more and you risk the title being cut off.

3. Include a Description Meta Tag

A description meta tag explains the content of the page. It’s often (though not always) used in search engine results pages, so it’s important to include keywords that are relevant to what people might be looking for. 

Description tags should ideally be between 150 – 156 characters long.

If you use WordPress, I’d recommend the “Add Meta Tags” plugin; you can enter both title and description meta tags for each page very easily with this plugin.

meta tag description

Description Meta Tag

4. Add “alt” Tags for Images

Image Meta Tag

Where to insert Image Meta Tag

Did you know people can find your website through photos and images? That’s why it’s a good idea to include “Alternative text” for your images. This is what people will see if images don’t load, and also Google uses it to figure out what your website is all about.

Alt tags images

Get found by using Alt image tags

In WordPress you can set the “Alternative Text” and “Description” right when you upload the image.

And, take a look below at all the images that come up when I searched for my website — these are all from my website, blog and Facebook pages.

There is *always* more you can do to improve optimize your website. The above is a bit time consuming – you have to have different title and description tags for each page of your website, but you’ll find it’s worth it.

If you have any questions about SEO or want me to help with yours, just email me.

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25 Social Media Content Ideas

Social media post idea

25. Caption This!

Do you find you get stuck with when trying to come up with content for Social Media? I have a confession – I sometimes do too. So I’ve come up with this list, both for myself, and for you, so we can both refer back to it if we get stuck. If I’ve missed a good one please add it in the comments!

  1. Answer questions asked by customers
  2. Share unique uses for your service – ie. a different way someone’s used it
  3. Solve a problem that’s common to your clients (ie. mine often wonder where to start their Marketing)
  4. Curate content – add your own analysis to it
  5. Share a review of your service (with a link to the person who wrote it if possible)
  6. Upcoming community events (ie. Green Living Expo for Wellness Company)
  7. Share company updates
  8. Use Survey Monkey to survey your customers
  9. Infographics – for those of us who are visual people!
  10. Try Twitter’s Vine application and share a 6 second video of one of your daily activities
  11. Share bio’s of your staff — and fun little-known facts
  12. Interesting industry facts
  13. Put together a how-to tutorial
  14. Twitter conversations – ie. Abbotsford Police tweets of bad driving excuses (use screenshots)
  15. Have a contest – promote it on Social Media, share photo of winner on Social Media
  16. Skill testing questions (ie. name that poop, what animal is this? for Safari company)
  17. Photos of clients (tag them, of course)
  18. Ask for feedback on a new service or feature you’re considering
  19. Questions – ie. what are you reading this weekend?
  20. Book reviews (relevant books) ie. My recent book review of “Ctrl, Alt, Delete”
  21. Quotes (check out Brainy Quote for ideas)
  22. Jokes (appropriate ones!)
  23. Check out LinkedIn, Twitter or Reddit for news in your category – may spark an idea!
  24. Pick out key points of longer posts and share, with link to longer article
  25. Caption this! (photo)
  26. Got another?? Please add it below and we can all benefit!

Please note: what you say in your posts really depends on your objectives, what interests your ideal clients, and where you are posting it (ie. Your Twitter posts will be very condensed compared to LinkedIn).

And one tip — Check out HootSuite – it’s a free content management system (allows you to post to many different social media and schedule posts)

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Are You Ready for the Digital Future?

Ctrl Alt Delete book reviewI recently finished reading “Ctrl Alt Delete” by Mitch Joel, as well as listening to a podcast interview of him by Social Media Examiner.

In his book Mitch Joel provides *excellent* advice for businesses looking to move forward and survive and I thought it’d be valuable for me to share some of the parts that I found most relevant and useful for wellness and service businesses.

From Me to You – Instead of thinking that you love your customer, think about what they are doing and how you can help them. ie. think from your customer’s point of view not your own. 
I’d suggest thinking about what they want or what their problems are and how you can help them. Maybe it’s hosting a very low cost session packed with advice on one of their problems. Or offering free 10 minute sessions once in a while. (trials only….don’t give away everything!!) I think this also makes good business sense – someone can try your service before they buy. But you have to be okay with not getting paid.

The “new consumers” are not linear – they are scattered, connected and social.
If you think about the process you go through when purchasing something this makes sense. You’ll look for online reviews, ask friends what they think via social media, look at a few stores…..etc. etc. This is why I think just having a website is not enough marketing for most businesses. Maybe add on online reviews, plus a strong referral/loyalty program and that’d be enough….but not just a website.

iPhoneThe one-screen world- We no longer use one screen for watching tv, one screen as a computer and one screen for a phone…..everything is converging, and quickly. And if you think your customers are not online now, well, they will be very soon. Be ready! Joel suggests that to survive entrepreneurs need to adopt a digital-first posture. I’d say at a minimum have a mobile-friendly website.

Joel also talks about the importance of data – tracking results. In my opinion you can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you are, so I wholeheartedly agree!

And a useful reminder….

“When you’re on a media, look around and ask yourself — Why are people here? What are they doing here? What is their experiential intent when they come here and how would I – as a brand or a company – be able to better connect without disrupting their experience? Can I provide a truly additive dose of value?”

One final note: I found the book so jam packed with good ideas that I’d suggest reading the book in chunks rather than all at once.

Are there any business books you’d recommend? Please share below!

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6 Ways to Boost Your Marketing this Summer

Summer in Toronto

Summer in Toronto

Summer is officially upon us, and for many Wellness Professionals this means business slows down.

I think this makes summer a great time for you to think about your Marketing and gear up for Fall.

Here are 6 ways small businesses can improve their Marketing this summer…..


Update all your Social Media profiles

Things get old and stagnant and even if everything is still correct you may see a way to improve it. (ie. by making sure you’ve included your keywords)

Basics are to make sure your profile picture is current, check that you’ve added any new skills, endorsements and credentials and take a look at your profile and bio description.

Revisit your business and marketing goals
While these should not change drastically, by reviewing where you said you want to go you should be reminded where exactly that is. And it’s only when you know where you want to go that you can take steps to get there!

Try a new Social Media!

Have you been curious about Twitter? Wondering how to most effectively use LinkedIn or blog? Summer is a great time to experiment with a new Social Media. You may also want to learn about how to improve your Google ranking, or learn how to use Google Analytics to track your website’s performance.
(Hint: you can Google almost anything to learn more….or check out YouTube if you’re a visual learner)

Review Your Website

You might be surprised at what you see that you’d like to change! Perhaps your hours are different, or your service offerings have changed. It’s pretty important to have an up-to-date website. (and please, add Google Analytics if you don’t already have it!)

Get caught up

Maybe you have something like tracking how your Marketing performed or getting up-to-date on your bookkeeping. We all have things we should do more regularly….and summer is a good time to get caught up on them so we can start September with a clean slate.

Take Time for Yourself

When your job involves helping others it’s really important that you take time to take care of yourself. Whether you relax at the beach, go for a bike ride, do more rock climbing, or go on an overseas adventure, recharging your batteries is important.

I know you know this, but sometimes we all get a bit too caught up and forget to take care of ourselves. So think of this as a gentle reminder!
Okay, that’s it for now. What do you think? Did I miss something you think is important? Please share!

If you want advice specific to your business please email me. Or, sign up for my email newsletter to keep receiving monthly practical Marketing tips and advice.

Do You Give Back to Your Clients?

Maybe you think that sounds like a crazy question. Yes, of course you do, right? At least a little bit, or you wouldn’t be very good at what you do!

I want to share with you a (relatively) easy way you can give back to your clients.

It began this way —

Our cat Mango

Our late cat Mango

Last week I met someone who obviously cared about his clients and patients. Our Veterinarian. The two visits to his office were a blurr and heart-wrenching for me and my family. We found out our 11 year old cat had cancer and had to take him in to be euthanized two days later. But we also met this professional that was kind and caring, even in how he delivered the worst news.

Since we wanted to say “thank you” to him I tried to find his email address online. And there he was, with a blog and twitter account. I felt like it was a bit of a gift – that I got to see this very human side of him which obviously was part of him, but not something that could be shared at work.

Social Media made this possible. It allowed this Vet to share both information on a wide variety of animal health topics (and I found some of this really useful) and also allowed me to get to know him.

From a purely small business perspective, and if I put on my official “Marketing Hat” I’d say that using Social Media is a good way to grow his business – it allows potential clients to find him online, get to know, like and trust him and therefore choose to take their pet to him.

But it’s so much more than that. I think that you as a wellness provider have so much to offer. There is so much good you can do, but only one of you. (and possibly a slightly burnt out one of you) Social Media allows you to give back and in a way that may be less emotionally draining.

Whether you choose to share information about common ailments such as our Vet chooses to in his blog, or quick and easy tips as he does on Twitter, you can help many more people through social media than you can by seeing patients one-on-one.

It also allows people to get to know you, and feel more comfortable with you.

This may seem like I’m preaching, but I’m not :). If you’re already using Social Media, I’d challenge you to look at how you’re using it and whether you’re both helping others and enjoying the opportunity it gives you to connect.

If you want some tips on getting more organized with your Social Media so it doesn’t take over your life check out this article: Simplify Your Social Media.

If you’re thinking about starting, but don’t know where, think about your ideal clients and what social media they are using. You could best help them by being there.

If you want help figuring this all out or taking it to the next level, just email me. I’m happy to help!

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How to Schedule Your Posts in Facebook

Did you know you can schedule your posts in Facebook? It’s really handy if you want to plan in advance and schedule a bunch of posts at the same time. Here’s how to do it:

1. Type our your post as usual.
2. Right underneath your post is a clock symbol. Click on it and set the year, month and date.
3. Click “post”
4. You’re done!

FacebookSchedulePosts

 

 

Social Media: It’ll Cure What Ails You!

Do you remember what you heard a few months after Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook or FourSquare or YouTube or blogs or pretty much any new Social Media came into existence?

Each of these Social Media was going to change the way we communicate, change the world……..and be the answer to businesses prayers. Businesses could stop any other marketing ideas they had and simply use social media. People would come in droves!

Social Media has definitely changed the way we communicate, and shaped our world. For example, in a crisis we get most up-to-the-minute information via Twitter, and if we’re shopping many of us will purchase through Ebay or look at Craigslist.

Now the disappointing part……I think we all know that Social Media has not been the miracle cure we small business owners would have loved.

Many small business owners are not sure how effectively use Social Media, so sign up for lots of them, spread themselves too thin and use all poorly. They sign up for ones because they think they *should*; ones they really don’t like using. This ends up being a waste of time, and frustrating.

Some wellness professionals also haven’t figured out which Social Media are best for their business.

When all is said and done, the biggest benefit to Social Media, one that is sometimes forgotten, is that Social Media allows businesses to connect with potential clients and develop relationships. In our modern world everything is done online, which has resulted in people coming together and connecting online. People still feel a need to connect to people and want to know, like and trust those they do business with. This is especially true for wellness professionals, who are often offering help and advice rather than a tangible product.

Although Social Media is useful, businesses still need a solid online media strategy (ie. to know who they want to talk to, what kind of Social Media these people use, and what their problems are). If this is an area in which you struggle, a Marketing professional like me can help sort things out and get you on the path to using the right media in the right way. Then it might seem like Social Media really IS the answer to your business prayers!

ps. If you’re so inclined, check out my Facbook page. On it I post various short marketing tips as well as other thoughts, tidbits and inspiration. Plus, if you “like” me I’ll “like” you back, and we’ll both feel loved.

Facebook: to “Like” or “Unlike”?

As a wellness practitioner you’re probably asked if you’re on Facebook. Many people think they *have* to be on Facebook in order for their business to be successful.

It’s true that Facebook has more than 800 million users every day. And each of those users has an average of 130 Facebook “friends”.

Based on this fact alone you can be pretty sure your potential patients are on Facebook. They’re commenting on their daily lives, people that inspire them, things that make them angry and the silly things their kids have done.

Facebook is about relationships, and as wellness practitioners your business is based on relationships, so Facebook is a natural fit. It allows you to more quickly build trust with your existing and potential clients, and people will buy from those they trust.

Facebook also enables you to more deeply connect with people; you can hear their feedback and talk to them in a more informal way. Plus, it allows your followers friends to see what you’re saying, which helps build your network.

Also, there are some things that don’t belong on your website but may be relevant to your potential clients; Facebook is an ideal place for these items. ie. I post many inpspirational work quotes. They speak to me, and my FB fans like them to!

Another way Facebook helps your business is with your Google ranking – having a Facebook page gives your potential client more ways to find you, and search engines reward this since it makes you more relevant.

Facebook logoFacebook is a great addition after you have a website. Your website should come first because it will have all the information that doesn’t change as frequently, or require as much interaction from customers.

You might be wondering what the downside to Facebook is…the “unlike” part of this article. The biggest downside to Facebook is that it takes time. It takes time to set up your page, to think of what to post, to increase your number of fans. As a small business owner I know your time is limited! Before you start on Facebook stop and think about whether there is something else that will give you a bigger bang for your buck. Then plan out your postings if possible and keep a file of thoughts or ideas for posts.

If you’re so inclined, check out my Facbook page. On it I post various short marketing tips as well as other thoughts, tidbits and inspiration. Plus, if you “like” me I’ll “like” you back, and we’ll both feel loved.

Back to Marketing Basics: Part I – Be Clear on your Niche

Not sure where to start your marketing? Or, have you started but are feeling a bit lost? Since it’s summer and you may have a bit more time on your hands I have some homework for you. Doing it will give you greater clarity on your business and who you want to work with. Stay tuned for Part II, but let’s get started now!

Get out your note-taking technology of choice and answer the following questions:

1. Who are you?
Every professional is different, even within the same field. Write down what makes you different – why someone should come to see you (or come to your clinic) instead of someone else. ie. “I’m a Massage Therapist who specializes in pregnancy massage” OR “At our clinic you’ll not just receive high quality treatment – you’ll also have fun!” Competition with others in your field is not usually an issue because no two practitioners are the same!

2. Who do you want to serve (or work with)?
Yes, you do need to narrow down who you want to work with, because if you try to talk to everyone no-one will listen. If you’re struggling with this, think about who you’ve worked with in the past (even in practicums) and who you most enjoyed working with. Think about who you can help the most. Also think about who can afford your services (sorry healers out there — but you do need to make money to survive! 🙂 Choose potential clients you love to help – your enthusiasm will come through and people will respond to it.

So that should be enough to get you started. If you want to talk this through, or have any questions specifically about your business, just email me. I’m happy to help.

Social Media is Like My Asparagus!

Social Media + Asparagus.....I was in my garden today and was *thrilled* to see my first asparagus EVER poking their heads out of the ground. Asparagus only produces edible shoots upon its third year in the ground, so these asparagus have been a long time coming!

This will probably seem strange to non-marketers, but the sight of these asparagus finally coming out after so long reminded me of social media.

When I planted these seeds three years ago I knew logically that they would take some time before I enjoyed the fruits of my labour. However, I didn’t imagine the time inbetween, the waiting and wondering if these things were really going to grow, or if the effort (and cost) would all be in vain.

Last spring was especially hard. It’d been long enough that I illogically felt like I should be getting some return on my asparagus-growing investment, and the scraggly-looking shoots poking up from the ground were not exactly what I’d imagined. I thought about pulling them up, about giving them away (to a good home of course), of not watering them…..

BUT look at those tiny, tender asparagus today! I’m glad I stuck with them long enough for them to actually produce edible shoots.

Social media, like my asparagus, require patience. They don’t grow overnight. If you hop on one medium (ie. Facebook) then don’t put in the effort, or wait long enough, you won’t see results. Then you might try another (ie. Twitter) and go through the same process with similar lackluster results.

I’m not saying your social media will take as long as my asparagus to grow, only that it may take longer than you expect, and longer than you’d like. How long? The consensus seems to be that in general around 6 months is when you should be seeing results. (though of course this depends on the specific campaign)

So, stick with it and I hope your social media results are as sweet as I imagine my asparagus will be this year!