Internet searches are now more likely to take place on a mobile device than on a desktop and this trend shows no signs of slowing. While experts have long predicted mobile would eclipse desktop usage, many small businesses are understandably unsure about their mobile SEO strategy.

The popularity of mobile is no reason for businesses to panic but they do need to face the fact that more than half of all internet searches are now taking place on mobile devices. They also need to make sure that their SEO efforts are optimized for mobile or they are going to lose out on a lot of traffic.

The fact is, most businesses understand the importance of SEO. Now they need to understand how to use that knowledge and apply it to mobile. What follows are a list of tips to get started on the path to successful SEO for mobile:

  1. Compose Compelling, Concise Headlines. Since mobile screens are smaller, it is important that headlines are short and to the point. Creativity is the key here. Headlines cannot be too wordy and they must quickly grab the attention of the reader.
  2. Clip Content. Posting an important article or blog in its entirety is fine but include some snippets of information at the top of the story so readers know if they want to commit to reading the whole article.
  3. Test on Different Devices. Many businesses only test their website on one type of device, but this is a mistake. Test to see that your website fits devices of all sizes so that your website is accessible to all. Likewise, website designs and features that work well on desktop screens don’t always translate to mobile. Test to find out if yours does. If it doesn’t, go for a simpler, cleaner look for mobile.
  4. Mind Your Load Times. Loading speeds are important to users who are in a hurry and also to search engines. If it takes too long for your website to load, both will bail out on you.
  5. Don’t Forget Social Media. Optimizing your website for mobile is critical but don’t forget to do the same for social media.

Finally, while mobile optimization is getting a lot of attention these days, remember that just less than half of visitors to your website will be doing so from their desktop. This means that while you should make sure your website is optimized for mobile, it should not be at the expensive of visitors using desktops.

Your website has the power to be your best salesperson – but not if you are using the wrong keywords. Keywords are the crucial element in making sure that your website ranks high on search engine result pages, after all.

While everyone knows about SEO, not everyone is exactly sure how to choose the right keywords. If you are just now getting into the SEO game it can be especially daunting.

It helps to keep in mind that when it comes to choosing keywords, you goal is to figure out what keywords your potential customers are using to search for your products and services and then connect your website to those keywords. You also should keep in mind the following:

  1. It’s important to size up the competition. What are they blogging about? What do their landing pages look like? Are there particular keywords that appear repeatedly in their copy? If their website shows up on the first page of search results you will know the keywords they are using get noticed.
  2. Generic keywords don’t work. Keywords do not have to be just one word. In fact, it’s probably better if they aren’t. A little specificity goes a long way. For example, if you sell floor coverings, “tile” or “carpet” are going to be pretty competitive words and probably won’t do you a lot of good. Instead, focus on more descriptive phrases such as “porcelain floor tile” or “laminate wood flooring.”
  3. Testing is essential. You need to test how particular keywords work. You may be surprised to learn how a slight change in words or word order can make a significant difference. If you don’t test, however, you will never know which combinations work better than others.
  4. Region-specific keywords can make a big impact. When you add your city and state as keyword phrases, as well as the address of your business, this lets the search engines know you serve that market. This will help to drive local traffic to your site.

Coming up with an initial set of keywords can be a lot of work. And the fact is, you probably won’t get it right the first time. However, it does get easier over time since you will have a baseline for knowing what works and what doesn’t work. The key to success is to always pay close attention to how your website is ranking on search engine result pages. That way you can make the changes necessary to excel at SEO.

If you are a business owner wondering whether you should concentrate more on digital marketing or more traditional marketing methods, you are not alone. Many businesses today are asking the same question.

You may be surprised to learn, however, that choosing one of these methods over another is almost never a good idea. Instead, the name of the game is marketing integration.

While digital marketing seems to be all the rage, most marketers agree that if they are looking for the highest quality leads they will find those leads using decidedly traditional marketing techniques. In other words, at tradeshows, networking events and industry conferences.

That doesn’t mean you won’t need digital forms of marketing. While you may find some outstanding leads working a tradeshow, the best way to nurture many leads is through social media or other digital marketing methods. If you are interested in marrying digital and traditional marketing but are unsure how to do it, here are five simple ideas that will get you started.

  1. Parlay a TV ad into online exposure. A consumer will only see a television ad for 30 seconds but adding a digital call-to-action will keep viewers engaged in the long-term. This can be accomplished by encouraging viewers to go to your website, for example, to learn more about your product or to access special offers.
  2. While online shopping continues to skyrocket in popularity, more and more people are comparison shopping online and then making their final purchase in a physical store. Providing coupons online that allow shoppers to save in-store combines the virtual and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences. If you are trying to drive traffic to your website, make sure to have printed collaterals in your store that encourages shoppers to check you out online.
  3. Turn information collected online over to your sales team so that they can use this information to follow up leads with a phone call or personal note.
  4. If you are hosting an event at your place of business consider live video streams for those who can’t attend. You also can promote the event on your social media sites before they happen and post photos afterward.
  5. Make sure your print materials use keyword phrases that compliment your SEO strategy.

Whatever your marketing goals, it is important that you never view digital and traditional marketing as an either-or proposition. Instead use them together to engage customers in a more holistic manner.

Blogging can do wonders for a business. Driving traffic to its website and converting that traffic into leads are just two important benefits of blogging. Blogging also helps a business become seen as a thought leader in its industry which helps establish trust with current and prospective customers.

While it is easy to see why blogging is so important to a business, blogging itself can be much more difficult. Many times it isn’t the blogging itself that causes issues, rather the ability to come up with blog topics over and over. In order for blogging to successfully promote your business, it must be done on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, coming up with new and fresh ideas can be extremely challenging.

If you feel as if you have hit a wall in terms of blog post topics, rest easy. What follows is a list of ways to spark your creative juices and have you back at the keyboard in no time.

1. Ask questions. These questions don’t have to be profound. Next time you are talking with a client just ask that client what his or her biggest challenge is right now. And customers aren’t the only ones you can get ideas from, either.

2. Interview experts. People love to read interviews with leaders in their industry who have been successful. Interviews are great blogs because you don’t have to come up with the content, the interviewee does that for you.

3. Brainstorm. It seems simple but how many times have you asked your co-workers and sales team to sit with you for a few minutes and just throw out ideas. You might be surprised at how many topics you gain from such meetings. Bring donuts and the room will be packed!

4. Use personal experience. Think of a time when you learned an important lesson from a failure. Or when you stuck with an idea no one else believed in and it paid off. These types of blog posts make for great reading because they personalize the author.

5. Spy on your competitors. What are your biggest competitors writing about? If they are getting a lot of likes on their blog posts see if there is anything you could learn from their methods or topics.

6. Keep up on current events. This is a great way to write timely and creative blog posts. Sporting events are a good example. How about a post on how hiring employees is like preparing for the NBA draft.

7. Take a look back. What were your most popular blog posts? Consider updating those posts or expanding on them. Chances are they will be popular once again.

Blogging can be difficult but is essential to the success of your business. Hopefully the ideas listed above will make the task of blogging a little easier.

The most successful marketers have one thing in common—a laser-like focus on what they want to accomplish. This has never been truer than it is today.

While in the past marketers had only a few ways to market their products or services or promote their brand that is no longer the case.

Modern day marketers find themselves in a much different situation. The options available to market their products and services are virtually endless–social media, podcasts, blogs, content creation, radio and TV ads, print ads, white papers, cold calling, SEO. So what’s a marketer to do?

It all comes down to focus. Today’s marketers must focus on what they want to achieve with their marketing efforts. They either want to draw people to their business through inbound marketing or they want to get their message out to as many people as possible through outbound marketing.

Inbound marketing uses things like social media marketing, content creation and SEO. This type of marketing allows a business to be seen as a thought leader in their industry. And when a prospect is ready to make a purchase, he or she naturally is drawn to that business.

Outbound marketing is a more traditional form of marketing. Businesses who use outbound marketing want to get their name in front of the largest amount of people possible. They want to build brand awareness and so employ tactics such as cold calling, direct mail, and print and broadcast ads to do just that.

There are pros and cons to both of these methods. Inbound marketing requires patience as it takes time before results are achieved. Outbound marketers usually see faster results but those results are often short-lived.

As a marketer, it is important that you decide which technique fits best with your business model remember that if you choose to concentrate on inbound marketing that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a print ad every once in a while. In general, however, it is important to concentrate on either inbound or outbound since the best results are achieved this way.

Finally, in order to decide between inbound or outbound marketing you need to look at your target audience. Decide which method aligns with that audience. Inbound marketing is usually best for businesses who really know their target audience. While more budget friendly, inbound marketing does require more time to see results. Consumers usually find this type of marketing less intrusive.

Outbound marketing is more costly but reaches a much larger audience. It is often preferred by businesses that are trying to get on the map. Outbound is often preferred by older consumers, B2B customers and when larger purchases such as cars are involved.