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Should I Advertise on Instagram?

a phone sitting on a table

In today’s technologically advanced climate, there are no limits to what you can do in marketing and advertising. You have so many options in front of you. Your success is determined by the social media platform you use and how you use it to further your business. Let’s talk about Instagram. 

Instagram first launched in late 2010. Little did the public know that this measly application would soon become a social media giant. People and businesses all over the world have joined the platform since then in hopes of connecting, sharing and reaching a new crowd of people. Around 1 billion people are using Instagram today, standing as one of the most popular social media platforms out there, right behind Facebook. 

The great thing about Instagram is that it has unlimited marketing potential. Your business has the potential to grow to new heights. As much as Instagram has become a popular social media channel, it has also become a successful marketing platform. Instagram has built its fame around the ability to post visually pleasing pictures, which can be very effective for businesses with eye-catching content. 

The answer to your question is…

If you are wondering whether or not you should advertise on Instagram, you should consider your brand and audience. There are so many positive aspects to advertising on Instagram that you should consider before you completely rule it out. 

If you ask me, “Abby, should I advertise on Instagram?” , I would say, “Well young Padawan, it depends on your business goals. It all comes down to how well you can market your product visually. Though, in my opinion, it would always be a yes.” 

Before I keep throwing random, yet surprisingly interesting, information at you, consider these reasons to advertise on Instagram. 

1. Facebook and Instagram are sister platforms

If you have a Facebook account (which you should), you will be happy to know that the two are connected. Therefore, what you post on Instagram, can be shared to Facebook, helping you reach broader audiences. If you have been using Facebook for a while, you should be able to access your Facebook analytics and data to then target your audience on Instagram. That data will help you determine what has been working and what hasn’t. The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to posting ads on Instagram. You will already have an idea of what to do because you have done it on Facebook.

2. Integrate Shopify and sell products quickly and easily 

One of the many upsides to marketing on Instagram is the many different ways that you can visually market your product. Shopify is one of those channels that have allowed businesses to sell their products quickly and easily. Shopify is a one-stop-shop for businesses who want to sell their products through the app. Instagram’s shopping feature allows tagging of products on pictures so that users can purchase items directly through the Instagram app. Shopify makes the sales process super easy. This has been known as a great tool because businesses are converting sales right on the app instead of driving users to their website and then point of purchase. 

3. Engagement rate on Instagram is higher 

Yeah, you heard me right! The engagement rate on Instagram is higher than the engagement rate on any other social media platform. According to a recent study, Instagram generates 70% higher engagement rates than Facebook. It also generates 669% more engagement than Twitter! Even though Facebook stands as the leading social media platform, Instagram leads in engagement. It is considered by far the most engaged social platform for brands, with at least 2% to 7% of users engaging with each post. 

4. Easy marketing 

While investing in paid advertising will certainly do you some good, having an Instagram account can bring your brand more awareness. Generating a new following can be difficult, but you can at least have a good time trying. Simply having an Instagram account will allow you the opportunity to engage with users, post subtle ads, create more brand awareness, and grow a loyal following. It could not be easier! Even if you didn’t want to spend any money on advertising, you would still have the ability to post on your business account and gain followers organically. Posting on Instagram allows you the opportunity to tell your brand story in a way that is not too over-promotional. You can even be creative with your posting too, such as creating giveaways, shouting out loyal followers, and going live on your story to answer customer questions. 

5. Different ways to advertise

In the last segment, I talked about how simply having an account will do wonders for your brand, as long as you engage and post consistently! This is true, but if you wanted to take your marketing a step further, there are several different things that you could do. With Instagram, you are able to utilize photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and stories ads. Each type of ad is displayed on a different area of Instagram in an attempt to capture the attention of different audiences. Before you throw all of your ad spend into each type of ad, think about what would most successfully bring your brand more awareness. 

When deciding whether or not marketing on Instagram is right for you, ask yourself if these five positive aspects of advertising fits in with your brand goals. As mentioned before, Instagram has unlimited marketing potential. It all depends on what you do with that potential that can take your brand to new heights. Along the way, you may even gain a better understanding of your customer base, reach untapped customers, and build a better brand-follower relationship. 

How Do I Generate Web Traffic With a $0 Marketing Budget?

woman opening an empty wallet

Just because your website is on the Internet does not mean that people will see it, find it, or go to it. You are tossing your dollars down an empty wishing well if you believe otherwise. The truth is that you have to create strategies and implement them into your website in order to see any kind of growth or web traffic. Thinking that your website will grow on its own can cause a domino effect of mistakes. It’s an all-too-common blunder.

There are too many marketers out there that offer their own solutions to such predicament. Most of these solutions require forking over tons of money, just to be noticed by people who may or may not be interested in your product. This transforms into a fatal cycle of doubt and discouragement when you don’t see the results that you expect.

Sometimes there are tactics that just do not work, even if you pay for them. That may leave you questioning whether or not you need to spend your money, and if so, how you should spend it. Luckily, there are several ways that you can generate web traffic without spending a penny.

Take a look at your marketing budget. Does it look as dry as a dessert cactus on a hot summer day? Yes? Well, that’s okay. Whether you are tired of spending money or you just don’t have money to spend at all, this article is for you. Whatever the reason, we have come up with three ways that you can generate web traffic without spending a dime. 

1. Comment on Other Blogs/Articles 

An easy and surefire way to get noticed is to comment on other people’s blogs. This might seem odd and strangely close to spammy, but you would be surprised how many visitors will view your comment. If you comment on popular blogs and articles, you may have a better chance at being seen. Make sure that your comments are valuable and nothing close to spammy. Once you start commenting on different articles, you will notice an increase in your website referral traffic. This is because people are clicking on your name after reading your comment.

Most people do not realize the small, yet significant impact this simple tactic can have on your website. Keep in mind, when you post a comment is just as important as what you say. Try to be one of the first people to comment on a blog post. That way, your comment will stick at the top, making your profile more visible. When it comes to what you should comment, you can either keep it simple and straightforward or take the time to write out a thoughtful response. 

For example, commenting something short and sweet might look like this:

  1. Nice article. Keep up the great work! 
  2. I really enjoyed reading this article. I can’t wait to read more! 
  3. Thanks for the information. This really helped! 

You may turn more heads if you choose to write a more thoughtful response. A thoughtful response may include something you liked about the article, what you wish the author would’ve included, and why that specific topic should’ve been included. But, in all reality, you can comment anything that you think may be valuable! Use that comment box to discuss what you took from the article, what it taught you, or maybe how you are applying it to everyday life. Be creative and remember that leaving a comment will put you on the grid, generating web traffic, for FREE

2. Utilize YouTube

Did you know that YouTube drives more traffic to websites than any other social media platform? That must be because YouTube is the second most visited site on the Internet. If you are not on YouTube, you need to be! There are so many different ways to utilize YouTube. In today’s world, it would not be crazy to assume that most people would rather watch something than read about it. One of the many things that you can do on YouTube is turn a few of your best written articles into videos. Creating videos allows you to be thrice as creative and more engaging with your audience. You can also add a website or article link, a video transcript, a description, or more advice in the video description box.

Once you create videos, you will be able to send your work to family and friends to increase your SEO. If you have never created videos before, then start small! Start by creating two videos a month. Over time, work to increase the number of videos you produce. Another thing that you could do to get yourself noticed is to comment on other people’s videos. Do not just comment on any random videos! Treat it like you are commenting on somebody’s article. Find videos and topics that relate to your expertise and comment something of value, whether it’s a compliment or a positive critique. By using YouTube, you will be on your way to generating web traffic like a pro!

3. Follow, Connect, Share, Like, Tweet

Not only should you use YouTube, but you should also utilize every other social media channel to generate more website leads. An August 2020 survey shows that over 3.81 billion people are using social media. It’s obvious that social media is a dominating force when it comes to driving more visitors to websites. The most beneficial part of social media is that it is completely free (besides what you spend on advertising). Many businesses use social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to engage with users and other businesses, share business tips and articles, and attempt to drive people back to their website. Joining social media has the potential to increase your following and brand awareness in a major way.

Every business on the planet should have a social media account, plainly because it’s free! The way that you use social media will either help you gain more followers or hurt your chances at growing. Before you go crazy, it is crucial that you create some type of social media strategy calendar. Creating a plan for your social media posting will relieve the stress of having to come up with ideas last minute. Once you create a plan, do some research and find out where your audience is. Keep in mind that some platforms may be more effective than others. But, it’s nothing to stress about; all it takes is a plan. When successful on social media, you will start generating leads in no time! 

As you can see, it’s not impossible to generate leads to your website without a marketing budget. All it takes is a little creativity. There are several different ways to initiate brand recognition and drive people to your website, but starting with these three things will guide you in the right direction.

Is WordPress Dying? The Answer is Simple

A Typewriter Printing out a ppaer that says WordPress

For quite some time, WordPress has been known as the most powerful content management system on the market. With an estimated 35% of the Internet powered by WordPress, it’s immeasurable popularity doesn’t seem to be fleeting anytime soon. It’s hard to imagine that such a powerful system could possibly be close to death. 

WordPress has made extensive strides since its release in 2003. The powerful platform has evolved from a simple blogging tool into a comprehensive content management system. Would you believe me if I told you that WordPress is still growing? Yes, that’s right! To all those negative nellies out there that believe WordPress is even remotely close to death, look at the facts! 

What do researchers say?

There are over 2 billion websites in existence. As stated before, WordPress powers 35% of those active websites. That’s a huge number! WordPress websites also make up 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world. Giant companies utilize WordPress to operate their website, such as NBC, TED, CNN, UPS, Best Buy, and many more. WordPress is also known to handle outrageous amounts of traffic on a daily basis. In fact, the powerful platform receives nearly 20 billion page views per month. 

As easy as it may be to point fingers and assume that WordPress is on the brink of death, think about how many people use it every single day. The platform continues to dominate the market; It shows no sign of slowing down. 

Given these statistics that clearly show the steady incline of WordPress success, it would be hard to imagine that such a system could possibly take a hit. What’s even more shocking is that people think the platform is actually dying! Everywhere you look, there are videos and articles pointing to seemingly prejudiced opinions as to why WordPress is headed for the junkyard. 

Why do people suggest WordPress is dying?

While the idea that WordPress is dying simply isn’t true, the reasons for such baloney should be addressed. When you take somebody who already dislikes WordPress and combine it with negative personal experiences, you get somebody who is fully convinced that the platform is on its way to the grave.

WordPress grew into its massive size because it has provided the simplest process for getting a website up and running. As the years have progressed, other web builders like Drupal, Joomla, and Wix have jumped into the competition in an effort to make a simpler web design process. In an effort to compete, those sites created their web design process to be as simple and easy as possible. Those sites were designed for the ultimate beginner, and as a result, making sites like Wix, Drupal and Joomla more restrictive. People started flocking to other platforms because they wanted a website that was easy to use and more limited.  

This placed WordPress in a very awkward position as it became people’s second-choice. People no longer considered WordPress a “go-to” solution. Although things have certainly changed, the platform is still dominating the market.

So? What else?

On top of the tempting competition, people consider WordPress on the brink of a brutal death because of its use of older technologies. 

WordPress uses a programming and scripting language called PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), which used to be extremely powerful and prevalent back when it was first created. It is still powerful, but not as powerful as it used to be due to the advancement of technology in other areas. PHP is a server side scripting language that is embedded in HTML. Its purpose is to manage content, session tracking, databases, and build e-commerce sites. Users do not need to know PHP in order to use or manage WordPress. Users just need to know that it operates with PHP. Although PHP has come a long way since its first release in 1994, people do not consider using it as often because of the creation of other, more efficient, scripts. 

The rise of JavaScript has taken over the minds of web creators all over the world, convincing them that WordPress is officially behind the times. JavaScript has most recently been ranked first among programming, scripting and markup languages. PHP was ranked 9th among that list. Although both programs can be used and enjoyed by developers, many people consider the popularity of the script language when deciding what to use, resulting in WordPress moving further down the list of content management systems that people most enjoy. 

No, it’s not dying…

While it’s true that WordPress has some hefty competition and uses older programming, the platform is still considered the most powerful content management system in the world. Keep in mind that technology is ever changing. It would be unfair to “pin” WordPress on the programming that has made them undeniably successful for years and years.

Despite what people may believe, WordPress is still growing and making changes. It is very alive and continues to dominate the market because of the number of people who are using it. Although WordPress might get a bad rap, there is no other content management system out there that can match its speed, efficiency, flexibility, adaptability, and support.

If I have enticed you to use WordPress for your website needs, then follow this link and my team and I will help you get started.

Websites vs. Web Funnels: Which is Better?

a computer monitor displaying images of pink things

Nowadays, there is a hype surrounding funnels that I just don’t understand. Don’t me get wrong, funnels are great. However, no matter how many different ways marketers try to convince you, funnels cannot replace your website. They just can’t. 

You may be convinced that using a web funnel will bring you more leads than you would receive on a website, but don’t be fooled. There are several indisputable differences between web funnels and websites that you should know before you make any final decisions. 

Marketers may try to convince you that funnels are all you need, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, funnels have their own specific purpose. There is a reason that they exist, and when utilized correctly, can be a very effective way to bring in leads. But, trust me when I say, they’re not all that and a bag of chips, despite what you may have been told! You absolutely need a website.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Have you ever heard of a web funnel? If not, let me explain. That’s what this article is about, right?

What is a web funnel? 

A web funnel is basically an automated sales process that controls every stage of the customer’s journey. Funnels essentially guide users to a web page that sell your products or services. The funnel process is simple. It usually starts with a user clicking a URL from an email, a social media post, or online ad. That click would take the user to a capture page that introduces them to the product or service you are trying to sell. The capture page usually includes a call-to-action (CTA) button that entices the user to purchase, download, or receive something from you. The catch? You get their information. 

The more capture pages there are in a funnel, the more chances a person gets at obtaining information and upselling their product.

This is what marketers are not telling you…

Marketers say websites are in the past, irrelevant, and dead. To be completely honest with you, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

What those marketers aren’t telling you is that web funnels limit you in what you are able to do. Funnels do not allow you to share your brand story. They don’t allow you to add extra information regarding who you are or why your customers need your product. You have control over how the page looks and it’s content, but you do not have control over how much you are able to add. It’s essentially a sales page.

Marketers say that web funnels allow you to sell a product online, faster and easier, than you ever have before. They say that click funnels take you through the steps of what they want you to do. That part is true, but that’s their entire purpose. That’s all they can do.

Think of it like a house…

Hostirian’s Success Manager, Brian Montgomery Jr., metaphorically related web funnels to a single room in an entire house.

“Think of it like a house,” he said, “A funnel is like the bedroom. You can only do one thing in there- sleep. Just like a funnel, there’s only one function. Think of the rest of the house like a website. With a website, you have so many opportunities to show your brand to the world. Just like a house has a variety of rooms that are made for specific things.” 

I thought Brian provided an incredible visual for those who are struggling to understand the difference between a funnel and a website. When you think about it, you wouldn’t be able to just live in your bedroom, right? You would need a bathroom, a kitchen, and some space to walk elsewhere. It’s similar to a website! Your website provides all of those extra “rooms” or in this case, pages, for you to tell your brand’s story, sell products, and list virtually any information you would like. It is nonsense to assume that you don’t need a website. I am also not saying that you don’t need a funnel. In fact, funnels can be incredibly helpful. But, you need a website first; It completes your house.

Which is better?

When considering which route you should go, we suggest investing in a website. There are so many things that you cannot do when only utilizing a web funnel. Trust me, I’ve heard all the excuses! 

“Websites are too expensive.” 

“I’m not tech savvy.” 

“I don’t have the time to manage one.” 

No matter what you may come up with, my team and I have heard it all! But, did you know that nearly 81% of people research a business or service on the internet prior to purchasing an item? There are so many positives to having a website that marketers do not mention. Websites also have incredible potential to generate leads if you build your website the right way.

Having a website adds instant credibility to your brand. Over 55% of people say they will not trust a brand that doesn’t have a website. A website helps build a great first impression. Websites are designed to attract new customers to your business and make you more money. A website will save you time, as the answers to questions and inquiries will already be listed on your website. Having a website also isn’t as hard or expensive as you might think. Most web hosting companies, like Hostirian, make the process quick and simple, so you don’t have to spend days or weeks worrying about making your site look just right. Although I could go on and on about the positives of websites, the most important part of having a website is having control of your brand. Your website acts as a platform that shapes the perception of your business that funnels or social media cannot provide. 

When it comes down to it, I cannot answer the question “which is better?”, simply because there is no competition. The fact is that you need a website. A web funnel should be an extra addition that you add to your social media, emails, or online ads. A web funnel will never be able to replace what your website can do for your brand.

How to Promote Your Small Business on Facebook

A woman is on her laptop, editing her Facebook page

Every business, whether big or small, should be on social media. This means that your business or brand should be using the platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and especially Facebook.

Facebook is one of the most well-known and successful marketing tools in our world today. With more than 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world. That means it is imperative that your business is actively using it to grow and expand. But, not knowing how to use it effectively can hurt your chances of growing your online presence. Facebook is especially useful for small businesses who want to engage their customers and attract new people.

Facebook offers an abundance of opportunity for small businesses, such as a variety of advertising options (Ad Manager), Facebook groups, Messenger, Page Insights, Business Manager, Hashtags, Custom Audiences, and much more.

Utilizing these tools will positively impact your business in more ways than one. If you want to start promoting your small business on Facebook, you need to consider doing these things. 

1. Start a Business Page 

In order to be taken seriously as a business and create a space where others can easily find you, you need to create a business page. Your business needs a space of its own, beyond your own personal Facebook page. A personal business page gives users the opportunity to like your page, view your content, and engage with you. When you create your page, make sure that you come up with a memorable username, add photos to your profile and cover picture, include tons of information about your business, invite friends and users to like your page, and make it your own! There is no right or wrong way to create a business page, but there are tons of strategies to draw in more people. Once you have ironed out all the details, you can start posting valuable content. The most important thing you can do is to accurately list all of your business information on your page, such as: your business name, phone number, address, email, and business hours. It’s important that your business information is easily visible so that users can notice it right away.

2. Post OFTEN 

It is not enough to have only a Facebook business page. If you want to promote your business on Facebook, you need to create content and post it regularly. We recommend that you post at least once per day. Remember, the more you post, the more people see your content and recognize your brand. Posting regularly is also great for engagement, relatability, transparency and brand credibility. Your content shows so much about your brand, mission and intention to grow. If you are unsure what your audience wants to see, you can always create a poll or look at your page analytics to help you decide what you need to change. You could also check out this article on our website that discusses social media and the content you should post.

3. Create Facebook Ads

If you are struggling to reach and engage users organically, then try using Facebook ads. Facebook ads are an effective, yet subtle tool that allow you to reach more people without bogging them down with an obvious ad. Facebook ads look almost identical to regular posts, except they are incredibly targeted and reach more people. With Facebook ads, you can target audiences by demographic or by those who like your page. Facebook collects data on users and creates audiences for businesses like yours. Facebook ads also includes a pretty cool analytics tool, which gives you a birds-eye view of everything on your site and tracks all details of views, interaction and engagement with your content. It might be worth it to create an ad and see what happens. 

4. Use all of the AWESOME Facebook features 

As amazing as it is to stay is the comfort zone, stepping outside of your normal routine will benefit you in many ways. Facebook has so many in-depth features that are perfect for your business to utilize! Have you ever tried using Facebook Live, video, or stories? All three features are a great way to get in front of your audience and promote your business. Remember, putting out content is the most important thing that you can do for your business. Putting yourself in front of your audience and engaging with them will prove to be so beneficial. Facebook Live allows its users to go live on air. It even sends your followers a notification that you are going live and allows users to watch later if they missed it. Facebook stories allow you to post content that will appear on a user’s feed for only 24 hours. Facebook videos are in high demand, as nearly 85% of businesses use videos as a marketing tool. Don’t forget to use these features! They could be just the tools you needed to increase your following.

5. Create a Plan 

Success doesn’t just happen overnight. Well… It might happen overnight for some people. But generally, success requires a plan and some kind of execution. You need to create a strategy to grow your brand. Whether you prefer to create your strategies on a piece of college ruled paper or on a content calendar, it needs to be something that you will remember to use. Your plan should include what you are going to post, when and how often you will post, what features you will use, and how you are going to grow your audience. Creating a plan might seem intimidating at first, but you will thank yourself later! Once you have created a plan, you will no longer have to worry about creating content last minute or remembering when you last posted. Having a nice, organized place where all of your information is stored will help you track content and move your business in the right direction. 

There are so many ways that you can promote your business on Facebook. But, when you create a plan, you are automatically putting your business in the perfect position to be noticed and grow. As long as you start a Facebook page, create content and post often, use Facebook ads and utilize all of Facebook’s awesome features, you will be on your way to promoting your business like a seasoned veteran. Make sure that when you are creating and posting content, that you are being true and staying consistent with your company’s brand. Do not try to fit the mold of another brand. Stay authentic and true to your company’s culture and the audience will follow. 

5 Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses

So many things have changed, technologically and digitally, over the years. Although much has changed, the idea of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, hasn’t changed a bit. In fact, it is still considered one of the most significant marketing strategies out there. 

Businesses and websites all over the world utilize SEO to grow their business, sales, customer base, and yearly revenue. SEO has numerous benefits that are all known to improve a website’s visibility, help drive targeted organic search traffic to websites, help turn those customers into clients, and much more. 

There is no doubt that these benefits are important for large businesses, but they are even more crucial for small businesses looking to grow. If you are a small business owner and have yet to utilize SEO, you need to start, NOW! SEO is your ticket to a bigger, more successful business. 

We have outlined five benefits of SEO for small businesses like yours. 

1. Heightened Brand Awareness 

People who are searching for words and terms that are relevant to your business are more likely to come across your small business website. Depending on the ways that you have optimized your website, people from all over the world could be seeing your site at the top of the search results page more than once. The more your website is seen on the first page of the search results, the more brand awareness that you are receiving. Brand awareness is so important because it means that more people are aware of your site. It also means that they are more likely to click, share with their friends, and consider your business in the future. 

2. Cost-Effective Marketing 

Utilizing SEO the right way can actually be a very cost-effective opportunity to digital market to a broader audience. As you may know, bigger businesses have larger budgets to spend on pay-per-click advertising, Facebook ads, and other types of highly priced advertising. While bigger businesses can outspend you on marketing techniques, you can win the competition by working smarter and not harder! With SEO, you aren’t paying for ad space. You are basically just optimizing your site and positioning yourself to be noticed by a greater number of people. Once you start getting more traffic to your site, you won’t have to spend money on marketing because you will already be getting that desired traffic! For small businesses, SEO is easy on the budget and great for your website! 

3. Increased Conversion Rates 

With more clicks comes more traffic, especially if those clicks are coming from people searching for products relevant to yours. The more traffic that you have on your site, the more likely you are to see those conversions. If your website is easily accessible and indexed near the top of the page, you should have no problems seeing more sales and customers. It’s all about how you optimize your site. If you’re lucky, those customers may return and bring their friends too! 

4. More Customers

The main goal for a small business should be to grow their company, draw in more customers, and make more sales. You can do all of this by simply investing in your website’s SEO. In fact, small businesses who have websites grow twice as fast as small businesses who don’t. So, if you have a website, you are already ahead of the curb. This statistic shows us that people are online and they are ready to spend money. You just have to put yourself in front of those people. SEO is incredibly important for small businesses like yours because it puts your website in front of people who may otherwise never see your brand. All it takes is a little optimization on your website and Google will take notice! Not only will you find more customers, but you will also find new markets. 

5. A Better, More Productive Website 

Before indexing, Google looks at every inch of your website and decides on its usability and functionality. A website is really all about the user experience. You want to make sure that your website is easy to navigate, use and purchase products from. Optimizing your website for SEO can help you do that. Pay attention to things on your site, such as your call-to-action button, your navigation bar, your URLs, your page layouts, and much more. When your website is easier to use, you’ll find that you have more visitors lurking your site and buying your products.

Although SEO practices are incredibly important for businesses of all kinds, it is important to stress that small businesses need to be paying the most attention. Investing just a little more time and money into your website optimization will pay off when you finally see your website on the first page of those search results. Wondering how you can optimize your website for SEO? Don’t worry, we have the answer to that too.

6 Reasons Why Your Podcast Needs a Website

If you have a podcast, then you need a website. Plain and simple. 

Your podcast is most likely being consumed on several different platforms and apps. But, without a website, you are hindering your podcast’s growth. You need some kind of home base for your content. You need a place where people can access your content quickly and easily. We have come up with six reasons why your podcast needs a website! Although it might seem silly now, you will thank us later.

1. Easy to Access

A podcast website makes accessing your content just a little easier. Although your podcast may be available on multiple different apps and platforms, some people may find it easier to just go directly to your website. Keep in mind that not everybody has a smartphone or access to apps where your podcast is being streamed. Make it easier for your audience by creating a “home base” for your content. Don’t give consumers any excuse as to why they can’t listen or follow your content. 

2. Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Rating 

Having a website for your podcast gives you the opportunity to improve your SEO rating and grow your following. A website gives you the chance to control how your content is viewed online. If you don’t have a website, you are putting yourself and your podcast in jeopardy! Think about it. If someone were to search for your podcast online, and you don’t have a website, the search results would show only a list of apps where visitors can listen to your podcast. This might be helpful for some, but not for others who do not have access to those apps or platforms. Those people would be out of options. Limiting your podcast to only apps and platforms is secluding an entire group of people who want to listen. If you want to grow your following, you cannot leave people out! In addition, you cannot control how apps display your podcast content on a search results page. With a website, you can control your titles, pages, meta description and literally everything that is displayed to your audience. 

3. Gain Followers by Taking Advantage of SEO 

A website allows you take advantage of those SEO opportunities that you wouldn’t have while only using streaming platforms. You can actually utilize your website to attract more followers and listeners! Cool, right? All you would have to do is make sure to upload show notes from each episode that are loaded with detail and keywords. Google will notice, connect people searching for those keywords to your website, and start sending traffic your way. Make sure that your website and podcast information is incredibly easy to find and use. 

4. Control of Content

A website allows you to provide so much more information for your audience than you could with only a podcast. You have control over every bit of information and how it’s displayed online. With a website, you can display information such as: bio of the host(s), reviews section, images of the host(s), top episodes, giveaways and contests, “where to listen”, a press page, and a community engagement section. These are all exciting and engaging things that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to add to your podcast if you did not have a website. Each extra section gives your followers a chance to get to know you outside of your podcast content. It also gives the media pictures to use and some basic information about you and your content. Having those web pages readily available for your visitors also makes you look more professional and prepared. 

5. Expand Your Marketing Techniques

A website opens the door to expanding your marketing techniques. We can only assume that you want your podcast to grow! If you want to attract more listeners and fans, then you need to update your marketing techniques. If you start a website for your podcast, you will automatically have a greater variety of strategies to “reel in” more listeners. You can use your website to ask visitors for their email. With their email, you can send them coupons, podcast updates, monthly newsletters, and much more. Having that email address unlocks the potential to form a relationship with your fans and give them an inside look into your podcast journey. If you’re selling merchandise that goes along with your podcast, that’s just another reason why you should have a website. A website gives you the opportunity to expand your marketing and grow your following. 

6. Google Analytics 

Another reason why having a podcast website is important is so that you can pinpoint exactly where your visitors are coming from. Having a website allows you to connect to Google Analytics and view all of the demographics related to your visitors. This kind of information is incredibly important because it helps you determine how to market to your audience based on their age, gender, and geographic region. You would not be able to access Google Analytics’ features if you didn’t have a website. Just for the sake of knowing more about your audience, it would be a real shame to be completely unaware of who is viewing your content. Avoid those complications and set up a website! It will help you in more ways than one. 

If you are still not convinced that you need a website, think again! If you want to see your podcast grow, then you need a main hub. You need a place where your visitors can easily find your content. Not only does it improve the user experience, but a website opens up a range of marketing opportunities, analytics, content control and SEO. Now, what are you waiting for? Go set up your website!

Hostirian Maintenance Notification #20201106-001

Scope

We will be testing failover within our network.

When

Start: Friday, 11/06/2020, 04:00 AM central
End: Friday, 11/06/2020 06:00 AM central

Impact

We do not expect any service interruption. You may experience up to two, 15 minute instances of degraded network performance during this window.

Reason

Hostirian performs routine maintenance to ensure your services are more resilient and reliable.

How to Optimize Your Website to Improve Your SEO Ranking

If you own a brand and you have yet to see your website pop up on local search results, don’t be discouraged. All it takes is a few tweaks to your website and a little more knowledge under your belt, and your SEO ranking will be out of this world! You will see your website at the top in no time.

Studies show that the top page of Google has a 33% better chance of getting clicked. This means that if your website is not sitting at the top of Google search results, that you just lost out on a third of your potential traffic! Research also shows that 75% of people don’t make it to the second page of the search results. This means that if your website is not on the first page, then it doesn’t matter where your site is because it will never be seen. 

There are hundreds of simple ways that you can improve your SEO ranking. A few changes here and there will land you a spot on the first page. From there, you will be on your way to more web visitors, increased sales and revenue. Although there are hundreds of ways that you can optimize your website for SEO, you only have to make a few changes to see a huge difference. You’ll be immensely boosting your chances of getting found on Google. Here are five ways that you can optimize your website to improve your SEO ranking.

1. Check your Page Titles 

Page titles are incredibly important for SEO ranking. This is because page titles are the first thing that users see when they search for something online. One effective way to optimize your website is to check all of your page titles. This means that you should check every title on every page, article, and piece of content to make sure that they are engaging, grammatically correct, and loaded with keywords. Your SEO titles should be accurate, meaning that they should accurately reflect what your page is about. Your titles should also be succinct, meaning that they should be briefly and clearly expressed. The most important thing is to make sure that your page titles include keywords.

2. Always Include Meta Descriptions

The meta description on a website is the little paragraph that is displayed underneath the page title in the search results. The meta description is there to provide the user with extra information related to the website, helping users decide whether or not your site information is what they need. One way that you can improve your SEO ranking is to make sure that all of the pages on your website have a meta description. That little blurb of information is more important than you think! Meta descriptions are meant to drive more relevant traffic to your site and keep users sticking around. Make sure that your meta description clearly states what your page is about, contains keywords targeting the right audience, and is written in the right context. 

3. Create Internal Links 

If you haven’t already, you need to be creating internal links between pages on your website. It may seem odd, but linking pages within your website will bring in more visitors and keep them sticking around. Google actually favors websites who have internal links because its web crawlers are able to index the site’s pages much more easily and it creates a better user experience. When you create internal links, you are allowing users to spend more time on your site and locate pages easier. Your users will be much happier, more likely to trust you and also more likely to return in the future. More visitors now will show Google that your page is valuable and will eventually boost your SEO rating. 

4. Insert Alt Text with Images 

Who doesn’t love a good picture with a page of content or informative article? Images enhance the user experience and make your website fun and interesting! But, unfortunately, Google cannot see those images unless you add “Alt Text” or an “Alt Tag” to the image. So, in order for Google to see those images, you have to provide a description, or something that Google can interpret and recognize as a picture. Google needs that text to be able to understand!

Alt Texts are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. To improve your website SEO, make sure that you tag every image that you upload onto your site. You need to make sure that every single photo has an Alt Text tag. This is so important because Google needs to understand the image and index it. Your ideal Alt Text should include keywords relevant to your page and its information. 

5. Make your URLS Clear and Concise

Have you ever paid attention to your page URLs? They actually play a big role in your website SEO! URLs are the addresses on the top of each page. Your URLs actually show up underneath the title in your search results. Because your URLs are actually being seen, you want to make sure that they look clean and easy to read. Messy or cluttered URLs can be confusing to your visitors. They can often appear as untrustworthy, spammy, and unclear. An easy-to-read URL might be your ticket to more traffic, more clicks, and increased sales. The difference between a clean URL and cluttered URL could mean a few extra dollars in your pocket at the end of the year. 

As previously mentioned, there are hundreds of ways that you can optimize your website to boost your SEO ranking. These five tips on improving your website optimization will get you one step closer to seeing your website ranked on Google. Keep in mind that most of this optimization deals with double checking your website for errors and fixing little things here and there. If you don’t see your website or your page of content on the top of the page, don’t give up! Keep optimizing your page and search engines, such as Google, will start to notice. Your website will be on that front page in no time!

What is SEO and Why is It Important?

Did you know that organic search is most often the primary source for web traffic? That places a big weight on the shoulders of search engines. Because organic search is most often used, SEO has become a main tactic for putting websites in the position to be seen by web visitors.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is all about brand exposure, website ranking, credibility, increasing the quantity and quality of web traffic, and creating a better experience for web visitors. 

Search Engine Optimization is a method of increasing a website’s ranking on search engine results such as Google, Yahoo, AOL, Bing, and many more. There are hundreds of factors that go into search engine rankings. These factors help websites get closer to ranking at the top of search results.

Why is it important?

A website that ranks at the top of the search results page will have more web traffic. That is just a fact! This is just one of the many reasons why businesses optimize their website. It is one more way that those businesses can gain traffic. Not only does great SEO increase website traffic, but it also increases yearly sales and revenue. Optimizing your website for SEO is an important step in getting your brand noticed. In its essence, SEO makes your website more visible, trustworthy, and credible.

How does SEO work?

SEO can only be truly understood when you understand the purpose of search engines. 

A search engine is meant to provide impartial search results that detail and present information as quickly and as accurately as possible. In order for a search engine to provide you those quick results, they need to be able to identify and analyze websites all over the Internet that match what you are looking for.

There are over 1 billion websites in existence today. Search engines are working overtime to pick through active, inactive, quality, and subpar websites to display high-quality and relevant results. Just think about that for a second! We do not give search engines enough credit. Nowadays, we just expect search engines to display results in two seconds. We don’t even think about the work that goes on behind the scenes to make those results pull up quickly and accurately. 

For example, let’s say that you typed “Restaurants near me” into Google. You wait a few seconds and local restaurants begin to pull up. You may not have realized this before, but Google is analyzing tons of data from different websites before displaying them to you. Want to know something crazy? Search engines are analyzing data ALL the time! They actually never stop analyzing data. That’s how you know that the websites perched at the top of the page are relevant and high-quality!

How do search engines analyze so much data?

But wait! How are search engines able to analyze so much data on millions of websites everyday?

Their secret? Web crawlers. 

A web crawler, sometimes known as a spiderbot, is an Internet bot that systematically and regularly browses the web for the purpose of indexing. Web crawlers look for specific things when browsing websites. Search engines use web crawler’s information to separate the high-quality sites from the subpar sites. The high-quality sites that use SEO-friendly techniques are ranked higher. Those will be the websites that you see at the top of the page when you search for anything specific. 

The websites at the top of the page are deemed “trustworthy” because they contain most of the necessary information needed to have the best SEO. The websites on the second, third and fourth pages aren’t necessarily “untrustworthy”, but they are missing a few things that would boost their ranking even higher! The ways that you optimize your website have a direct effect on your SEO ranking. There are hundreds of different ways that you can improve your SEO. One way that you can get started is by improving your keywords