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Twitter profiles now rank #1 in mobile search for active Twitter users and influencers.

Google & Twitter: Reunited & Affecting Your SEO

By Taylor Bartley

Twitter profiles now rank #1 in mobile search for active Twitter users and influencers.Twitter and Google are working together again! Google has started indexing tweets in real time, meaning that your latest tweet will show live in any searches – currently on mobile, ultimately everywhere – as soon as it’s tweeted.

You may have heard the news a few months back that Twitter and Google decided to work together once again after their “breakup” in 2011. To give you the short story, back in 2009, Twitter gave Google full access to their to their tweets (which many call the “firehose”). In 2011, this agreement ended after Twitter’s COO stated that he wanted the company to have more control over their content. Now, after four years, Twitter has put the offer back on the table for many reasons, a main factor being that they realize how much the search engine can enhance the Twitter experience for users who are logged out.

What this means for businesses

When two colossal companies begin to work with one another, it takes time to iron out the details. This deal was made a few months back, and everyone knew that it would take time for everything to fall into place. Now, more than ever, you should be preparing your business’ Twitter account because it can affect your SEO in great ways. Once Google gets its algorithm in place for real time tweet searching, the amount of your tweets Google indexes will undoubtedly increase… as long as you know what Google is looking for.

Tips to increase your SEO via Twitter

Experts speculate that the more tweets indexed by Google, the more traffic will result – especially for active Twitter users and influencers. Those who spend time building their Twitter presence will be rewarded with higher search visibility. The larger a Twitterer’s audience and influence, the more likely you are to have a higher index rate for your tweets.

A few areas to focus on in order to build your Twitter influence are:

  • Twitter ads: Consider promoting posts and profile to build followers and interest for your brand.
  • Influencers: Twitter is an amazing place to connect with influencers and industry professionals, who can help push your content and profile.
  • Hashtags: Harness the power of hashtags to get your content seen by more interested people.
  • Quality Content: Create content intended on engagement with your audience – relevant, interesting, timely – the kind of content that invites shares, comments and retweets.

We suggest taking a look at your own clout or “klout” by going to klout.com. This site allows your to connect all of your social media channels to see how influential you are in your field. This is also a great tool to search and identify influencers. Your klout score is certainly something you do not have to live by, but it is good to check in from time to time in order to see how you are doing. Did we mention you also get perks from other businesses that see you as an influencer in their industry?

Now you need to know what other specific things Google is looking for when indexing a tweet. Not all of your tweets need to follow these rules, but make sure that important tweets have these attributes.

  • Strong images – be sure that your image fits the preview box Twitter gives, so people are more likely to click on it and engage. Images are known to be engaging, so take advantage of this. Using sites such as canva allow you to create a powerful image with the dimensions already laid out for you!
  • Hashtags – including popular industry hashtags will not only increase engagement, but will help in getting noticed by Google as well.
  • Strong links – if you are linking to something in your tweet, make sure the link is a source that has a large following and viewership. The weaker the links you refer to in your tweets, the less likely Google will index.
  • Length: Some studies claim that 100 characters is your ideal length for a tweet, while others say that longer tweets result in more engagement. Experiment with your content format to see what works for YOUR audience, and then implement your own best practices.

For more specifics on this deal, check out this helpful FAQ. If you need to ramp up your Twitter presence and need assistance, give us a call at 314-300-6675 for a free consultation.

small business marketing st louis blank page consulting

Realities of small business marketing in 2015

By Danni Eickenhorst

At Blank Page, we are constantly working to stay ahead of the curve on marketing changes – to help our clients know what’s to come, and to help them plan accordingly. Because we work primarily with small-to-medium sized businesses and non-profits, we work to stay ahead of these changes so that our clients can be prepared in ways they wouldn’t be without our help. We’re always looking for trends and shifts in marketing tactics to help our clients be more prepared to be competitive.

Two clear trends we’ve seen across every platform are that digital marketing efforts are increasingly taking time and money to be successful. From investing in a marketing consultant to budgeting clearly for digital advertising, every small business should understand early on to allow for both of these precious resources when they work through their business plan. These are the two most critical pieces of small business marketing in 2015.

Marketing takes time…

One trend we’re seeing is that Projects we signed on to work last year now take more man-hours than they did a year ago because of the ever-increasing chatter on social media channels. SEO projects now see stiffer competition. Relying on social media for your end goals solely is becoming a riskier strategy, if you’re not serious about devoting the time to creating compelling content and then using it for its highest potential. For some companies, this means taking a hard look at their success rates for each channel they are marketing on and pulling back on the number of platforms they’re using in order to be EXCELLENT at just one or two.

When budgeting your marketing time and that of your staff or consultants, consider these trends we are seeing:

  • Many companies now post on Facebook multiple times per day – some as often as once per hour – in order to be seen.
  • Blog content may take several hours to write and even longer to appropriately distribute.
  • Companies that choose to use Twitter may post 7 or more times per day, and should allot additional time for content curation, creation and social listening.
  • Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring. A well-managed SEO strategy will include periodic reviews of progress and adjustments to strategy.

…and money

Last year, companies adjusted to the changed Facebook “Pay to Play” landscape. In 2015, the companies that will succeed are those that accepted this change and budgeted accordingly. The Salesforce 2015 Facebook Ads Benchmark report showed that CPC (Cost Per Click) on ads ranges from $0.08 to $0.25 on average, depending on your industry and ad targeting. We tell our clients to make sure they think through these two things when embarking on Facebook advertising:

  1. Multiply the average CPC for your industry (see the report) by the number of people who need to view your site in order to convert – and make sure that you have sufficient budget.
  2. Add a contingency budget for future Facebook ads changes.
  3. Take a look at your site and consider whether it’s built to convert your visitors from interested passerby to warm lead – or better yet, to active client. Do you have email subscription options visible? Do you have simple “Contact Us” forms in place? Have you answered the questions a lead might have effectively?
  4. Is your site mobile-friendly? Google’s recent changes mandated mobile-friendly changes – but if that wasn’t enough to get you to make the changes you need on your site, consider that over half of Facebook’s traffic comes from mobile.

We share this with you so that you can plan accordingly and set reasonable expectations for your team, your leadership and your marketing and business goals going forward in 2015. Consider where you can reasonably spend time and money, and then consider if your team needs help. At Blank Page Consulting, we work with our clients in a number of ways – from total marketing management to co-management with their team. We even offering marketing coaching and consulting to help empower small business owners and their teams to do for themselves. We’d be honored to work with you to achieve your business goals in 2015. Consider scheduling a free 30-minute consultation below to learn more about what we can do for you.

beginners blogging checklist blog how to blog blog checklist 2015

Beginner’s Blogging Checklist

By Danni Eickenhorst

We’ve developed a simple blogging checklist for our clients who are looking to be highly effective with their marketing content. You can certain add or take away from this list for your own purposes, but we’ve found this to be a great starting list for clients who are embarking on blogging and content marketing for the first time.

We recommend that you take a quick look over the list once, then revisit it after you’ve got a few blogs under your belt to check your blogs against. Never write with overwhelming checklists in mind, but it is always helpful to quality check your work from time to time. The advice below will help you ensure that the time you spend writing articles and advice for clients and customers is time well spent.

QUALITY

  • AUDIENCE: Does this appeal to one of your audiences? Is it relevant?
  • TONE: Is this on-point with your message map/talking points?
  • UTILITY: Is it useful? Does it answer a question or need that might be searched?
  • LENGTH: Don’t worry about length of your blog article. We shoot for 400 words (longer if possible) to be useful, but the quality is the most important factor. Keep 80% of your content helpful and educational. 20% can be greater related to product and company promotion.
  • APPEAL: Do you have 1-2 compelling photos?
  • QUALITY: Write first and foremost to write. Consider keywords secondarily. Only include them if they make sense – never force them. Google is hyper-aware of keyword stuffing.

TECHNICAL/SEO

KEYWORDS:

  • If you do not have an internal linking SEO tool, be certain to consider the following:
    • AFTER you’ve written the article, see where there are opportunities to use the keywords on your map.
    • Ensure they sound natural in their use.
    • Link those keywords to their core pages per your keyword mapping strategy. Don’t have one? We can help!
  • If you do have an internal linking SEO tool, simply publish your article, then review to ensure links were created from the terms you used. Edit as needed.

GENERAL SEO:

If you use WordPress, we highly recommend you use the YOAST SEO tool. If you have this, you simply need to optimize and follow YOAST instructions until you have a green light for your post.

If you do not utilize YOAST, ensure you check these best practices:

  • Ensure that your primary keyword appears near the top of you article, in your title and in any subheadings.
  • Check to ensure that your article is no shorter than 300 words in length – however, the longer, the better, provided the content is useful right to the end.
  • Break up your text with headers for easy reading and include images as appropriate.
  • Is your meta-description less than 160 characters and enticing enough to invite click-through?
  • Is your title 40-69 characters in length? This is optimal for click rate.

IMAGE OPTIMIZATION:

 

Name your images descriptively, and in a way that follows your audience’s search habits. Remember:

Name the file in this format with dashes: 2012-Ford-Mustang-LX-Red.jpg

Enter your alt tag without the dashes: 2012 Ford Mustang LX Red

PROMOTION

  • Share your post on your key social networking sites:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Google +
    • Tumblr
    • Instagram – Note: Post image on Instagram with teaser for article. Use hashtags generously.
  • Share with relevant communities and groups.
  • If the post is of particular importance, consider emailing influencers/friends and family and asking them to promote.
  • Consider purchased promotion through Facebook, LinkedIn or Google ads.
  • If content is evergreen, preschedule posts out into the future – days, weeks or months out in the future for Twitter.

NEED MORE HELP?

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Grow your email list at the office or in the field

By: Danni Eickenhorst

Email marketing continues to be one of the strongest marketing channels available to most businesses, and with an estimated return-on-investment (ROI) of 4,300%, if you haven’t yet started to grow your email list, now is the time. Last week, we talked about the benefits to the permission-based approach to email marketing. Here are a few things you can do to build that opt-in list – no matter where you are:

Subscribing customers in your office or store

  • Ask every customer or client if they want to receive your email newsletter.
  • Request customer email addresses with every sale.
  • Use our online email sign-up tool to instantly record customer email addresses at checkout or registration.
  • Put a fish-bowl in your lobby to collect business cards. Offer a monthly prize for those who throw in a card. Don’t want to manually type in all of those addresses? Try Evernote – one of our favorite apps – which lets you snap a picture of those cards and quickly add them into your email list and as a new connection on LinkedIn.
  • Offer discounts, inside scoops and promotions to those who sign up. One St. Louis-based store gave every customer $5 off of their purchase if they followed them on Facebook or signed up for their email list on a tablet at the checkout.

Building your list online

  • We can add a “Join my mailing list” app to your website and Facebook page so people can sign up automatically.
  • As your Facebook fans & Twitter followers to sign up for your list by providing a link on page.
  • Share your latest newsletter on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest to showcase the great content they can subscribe for.
  • Build buzz by teasing upcoming content to get your fans, followers & connections to subscribe.

Subscribing followers in the field

Our email marketing services include tools you can access from anywhere to grow your online list. One tip we recommend to clients and customers that will help you grow your email list is to provide value to prospective clients at sign-up. One example of this would be your company hosting a table at a community event. If your company is doing typical public outreach handing out flyers and giving away schwag (free t-shirts, water bottles, brochures), we recommend that you hold back on your premium items and offer them as a free gift for those who sign up for your email list. This will save you money on your promotional items and it will also create a more urgent need for them to sign up.

We recommend always having a low-tech option for email signups as well, such as a fishbowl on the counter for business cards or a manual sign-up sheet.

Reach out to Blank Page Marketing for help launching your email marketing campaign, from training and design to full managed email services.

Oh, and… if you haven’t signed up for our email list, we’d be honored to be invited to your inbox!

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Blank Page Consulting adds Taylor Bartley to staff

Blank Page Consulting announces the addition of Taylor Bartley to its full time staff. Taylor, an UMSL graduate, will serve as a full time social media strategist, content marketer project manager and more for Blank Page and our clients.

“In May, we announced our expansion into business and financial consulting, which is something we have always wanted to do. This expansion called for someone who could help not only with a number of new clients, but someone who had marketing, finance, and overall business experience,” said Danni Eickenhorst, CEO, “In addition to her natural abilities in marketing, Taylor has a background in business finance – making her well suited for our broad range of services in supporting businesses and nonprofits at all stages of growth. We are thrilled to have her on our team.”

Prior to joining the Blank Page Consulting team, Taylor has worked with non-profits such as OCA St. Louis, Art St. Louis, UMSL Business and March of Dimes with a variety of marketing needs. While working for March of Dimes, she supported the St. Louis chapter with their fundraising events. She successfully planned and coordinated logistics for their largest fundraiser, March for Babies, in 2014. Taylor also worked with the award-winning winery, Chaumette Vineyards and Winery, as their social media marketer to not only highlight their wines, but also their culinary program, spa and villas. Taylor also continues to work with Keystone IT as their lead digital marketing strategist, helping to increase business and their online presence immensely.

She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri St. Louis, with a degree in Marketing and Finance, an advertising certification and a passion to use her talents to make a positive impact in the St. Louis region.

“I have always had a special interest toward working with smaller businesses and non-profits,” said Bartley. “There is a spirit in those types of organizations that you cannot find in larger companies. Blank Page Consulting strives to help businesses and nonprofits grow through the power of digital marketing. Their goals to advance St. Louis businesses perfectly align with mine. I am so happy to be a part of this agency that is doing great things in St. Louis.”

 

small business consulting accounting marketing business planning

6 Tips to Save your Business Money, Time & Frustration

By Marcus “Ike” Eickenhorst

Deciding to start your own business takes guts. It takes passion, talent and commitment – but for most entrepreneurs, that’s not enough for long-term success. It’s the administrative side of their business – the accounting, bookkeeping, IT and other functions – that are often the hardest to manage in the beginning. I’ve pulled together a few of my most common tips for entrepreneurs – things they should consider as their business grows, to save money and build a sound structure for long-term success.

Tip 1: Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Ask people who have gone before you in your industry – or in parallel industries. Ask them for recommendations for accountants, attorneys, marketing firms and other professional services. I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to make a mistake to learn from it, and odds are, they’ve encountered a few stinkers along the way and can save you some headaches. That being said, it may not be wise to ask someone that is managing a $10,000,000 company for their recommendations if you’re a one-room startup. You don’t need a brain surgeon to fixed a sprained ankle – and odds are, they have much more expensive, higher level experts than you need at this stage of your business.

Tip 2: Bid early and often – except with insurance

While it may be time consuming, we always recommend that entrepreneurs take time to seek out three bids for any major expenses. They often benefit from seeking three perspectives on business strategies, and from learning more about the options available to them. In our marketing services, we often see that much of what we’re asked to help with stems from hasty decisions made early in the life of a business – undoing that which has already been done, and paid for. By taking a little more time at the outset, a company can save tremendous amounts of time and money by developing a policy that requires 3 bids on all professional services over a certain threshold – perhaps $500 to start.

That being said, we don’t recommend quoting too often on items like casualty insurance, workers compensation insurance or car insurance. The insurance companies underwriting the risk of your company look at their relationship with you as a long-term investment. When you shop for insurance too often, brokers or other bid platforms may ping your current underwriter, triggering a red flag. Some businesses find that their insurance companies will raise rates or drop them altogether if they feel they are a risk looking to bail at the next best thing. As with all purchases, be smart on this purchase, but try not shop rates more than once a year.

Tip 3: Save your business money by giving away your car

If the cost of your car exceeds the mileage cost, it may make more financial sense for you to put your car in the company’s name to find greater tax advantages. Consider this at the outset, and at any time you make a change in your car or insurance. This simple equation will help you determine if you should ask your accountant if it’s time to make this change:

If Car Payment + Insurance + Maintenance + Gas + Taxes for Vehicle > Mileage cost at IRS Rate ($0.575 per mile), then you may want to put the car in your company name to find savings.

Tip 4: Consider your business structure

Many small businesses begin as a sole proprietorship or a limited liability corporation (LLC). As the business matures and the owner is looking to grow their staff, it may makes sense to consider an S Corp or C Corp structure. As your business grows, we recommend that you consult with your accountant to see when you are approaching a tipping point and may need to consider changing your business structure to find tax savings and other advantages.

For some entrepreneurs, the next logical step from LLC or sole proprietorship is an S corporation. Sole proprietors and LLC owners pay themselves at their own discretion under a draw system, but must write monthly or quarterly checks to the IRS to pay their estimated taxes. Under an S Corporation, business owners and their employees receive a paycheck, subject to withholdings. Shareholders also receive distributions under this structure. There are a number of tax benefits that may be found by a change in filing status.

Tip 5: Top Secret.

Let’s talk.

Tip 6: Plan for longevity

Developing a company built for the long-haul includes planning for long-term employee retention. You can save time, money and frustration by building a corporate culture that retains talent. In terms of your financial interest, you will save money on unemployment tax. Unemployment is paid on the first $13,000.00 of taxable income per employee in Missouri. Each state will vary. The starting rate for unemployment in the state of Missouri is 3.15%. The starting rate for unemployment to the federal government is 0.008%. The higher your turnover, the higher your rate. Simply put, investing in employee happiness will save you in so many ways – and unemployment taxes is just one area you may benefit.

If you’re looking for help with your business plan, accounting or marketing, we’d love to help you grow your business. Reach out to us by email or by phone at (314) 300-6675.

twitter-for-business-simplified-social-media-strategy

Twitter for Business, Simplified

By Danni Eickenhorst, President & Marketing Consultant

Several times a month, I run into business owners who have heard that Twitter is a powerful tool for them to harness, but who have chosen not to try it out for a variety of reasons. The most common? They’re intimidated. It’s confusing.

While I remember feeling that way the first time I tried to use Twitter, it truly couldn’t be farther from the truth – if you look at it just a little bit differently.

Below, we’ve provided some hints and steps that you can take to begin to find a comfort level with this powerful platform. This is a very cursory level introduction, and at the end, we provide our Easy Twitter Start Checklist. For more detailed, higher-level strategy, schedule a one-on-one consultation with our team, follow this blog or attend an upcoming social school class.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is simplicity. It is a continuous conversation in a global room full of people in short bursts. Done correctly, it may be the most powerful tool in your arsenal.

It is a social network where people share “microblogs” or status updates of 140 characters or less. People who follow you or who search for a particular keyword you may have tweeted about, will see your status updates. Anyone who views your profile may see your status updates. Twitter differs from Facebook both in the length of your updates and in that the community available to you through Twitter is very motivated, outspoken and powerful. They are willing to share value when it’s provided, so consider that as you begin crafting your updates. This group is more likely to show up, share, advocate, purchase and engage with your brand than most others, and therefore, provides a unique opportunity for many businesses and individuals.

At first glance, it may seem that Twitter is moving at a breakneck pace, full of spam and self-promotion. All of these are accurate assessments, but while content seems to have a 2 second shelf-life, and it seems that with the large amounts of content coming at you, this platform may need to be continuously monitored, there are some things you can do to make Twitter more manageable:

Keep Twitter in Perspective

Twitter is simply a community. Just like any community, there are ups and downs, and just like every community out there, you will find lurkers, haters and supporters, all there for one reason or another. Just as you work to build community in your neighborhood or place of worship, you cannot get to know your community if you’re isolated and uninvolved. Twitter will only help you find success if you are social, and choose to engage.

Use & Search Hashtags

What is a Hashtag?Just as the graphic at right says, hashtags are merely a form of organization for the content that you share. They allow others who may not be familiar with you or your brand to search for content on a topic and to become connected with what you’re sharing. A few tips for using hashtags:

  1. Don’t overuse hashtags. Try to limit your tweets to 1-3 hashtagged words or phrases.
  2. Don’t string too many words together with a single hashtag, if you want it searchable. Many folks do this for comic effect, which of course, is fine – but, they don’t expect much return in search if they do. The best hashtags are short, to the point and reflect the way others typically search for something.
  3. DO use hashtags for events. A simple hashtag that is shared with event attendees may expand the reach of your local event to a global audience. A few years back, we added the hashtag #TweetTheMostGood to a Salvation Army event, and while there were only 150 attendees at the party we held (max capacity), more than 230,000 people were exposed to the brand and the conversation that night by asking attendees to use the hashtag on all of their tweets, check-ins and photos.

Make Twitter work with your schedule.

Social media can be extremely time-consuming – research, conversations, crafting content. For that reasons, we recommend setting aside time each day to update your channels, and to create a blend of updates that are both live AND prescheduled. One tool we absolutely love is Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a free tool that allows you to monitor the vast amount of information coming through Twitter, and to preschedule content so your account never goes “quiet.” It allows you to monitor any mentions of you or your brand, to search for sentiments or new business and, perhaps most importantly, it allows you to schedule content to post while you’re busy doing other things. Check it out at Hootsuite.com.

Find your tribe + Engage.

TWITTER 101As you’re first building your audience on Twitter, it helps to consider what you wish to achieve or what your brand (personal or professional) is looking to connect with. Find others in your space who are utilizing Twitter, and are doing is well and take note of:

  • LISTS: Visit their profile and look at their lists. (Next to Followers, Following, you should see “Lists.” Click on this.) These are curated lists of other people you should probably also be connected. Follow those folks and engage with their content. Reply to their tweets, retweet their best stuff and become a part of their community.
  • CONTENT STYLING: If you’ve found someone worth watching as a mentor in your industry or interest area, watch what works best with their content – from style and language to best time of day, and begin by applying some of their styling to your own content.

What do I tweet?

“No one cares what I had for breakfast,” is the #1 complaint I hear from folks looking to harness Twitter for the first time. I tell them to “fake it until you make it.” Think out loud. Share until it becomes more natural.

Here are some possible ways for your to engage on Twitter:

  • Live Updates: Attending a conference or knee-deep into a new project? Share that. Many events have hashtags that you can watch, use and share with.
  • Questions: My tribe of followers on Twitter have incredible amounts of experience and collective knowledge in areas that I will never have. I frequently throw out questions to take their temperature on issues, or when I’m stumped and need help. You’ll find that folks on Twitter are quick to help, and motivated to connect and make things happen.
  • @Replies & Retweets: The best way to connect with people is to take that first step. Reply to an interesting tweet, or better yet – make a friend & retweet their content.
  • Blog Posts & Articles: Whether you’re sourcing them from your site or someone else’s (known as “Content Curation”), one way to provide quick updates while showcasing that you’re engaged in an industry or interest is to share an interesting, up-to-date blog post or article on the subject.

and finally…. if you’re looking to use Twitter to bolster your business, then share what you do. Twitter should never be used for OVER-promotion, but if you shoot for 80% non-promotional, 20% promotional to start, you aren’t likely to alienate your hard-won audience.

More Resources to Continue your Twitter Mastery

  • Twitter Growth Domination 2.0: Kim Garst, one of our favorite Twitter marketers, has launched an online course that boils down Twitter to its simplest parts. She has developed an online learning course, which is available online for a short period of time, but which is definitely worth your time. In her mini-course ($9), she shares a smart growth plan that helps you to target your audience on Twitter, and to engage them in just 15 minutes a day.
  • Easy Twitter Start Checklist: We developed a super-simple checklist to assist small businesses in getting comfortable with Twitter. Enter your information below and we’ll email it to you in just a few minutes. Try it out for two weeks and let us know what you think!

Request our Easy Twitter Start Checklist

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Blank Page Consulting announces expanded services

 

Because every marketing plan should have a strong business plan behind it

We are excited to announce that Blank Page Marketing Consulting’s name just got a little shorter!

Now Blank Page Consulting, we are expanding our service offerings to include business and financial consulting and services.

Since the very first day we opened our doors, we’ve taken a different approach to our client work than other companies in our industry. We’ve worked to make sure they have a sound business plan, whenever possible, before we marketed their services. As a growing business and a trusted advisor to our clients, we are truly invested in their success. If a business isn’t ready to convert the leads our marketing generates into sales or new client business, then they aren’t yet ready to market.

Our founder and head marketing strategist, Danni Eickenhorst, graduated college with her degree in Business Administration and Organizational Development and her partner, husband and the company’s co-founder, Marcus “Ike” Eickenhorst has worked as a general business accountant, controller and business director for more than 13 years. Because of their background, we’ve always approached marketing from a business point of view – tying marketing plans to business goals and working to achieve ROI with every contract.

In order to better support the businesses we serve, Blank Page Consulting will now offer full business consulting services – empowering businesses to succeed through consulting, training and fully managed services. Owning and growing a business is an act of passion and bravery. We are thrilled to take this next step to ensure that the businesses we serve achieve their business goals.

This is something we have always believed in doing, and now it has become a reality. We have loved watching our clients’ businesses grow due to our marketing expertise, and we now want to provide businesses with access to expert consulting  in business and finance as well.

Contact us for help growing your business! 314-300-6675 or info (at) blankpagestl.com.

 

Mobile-Friendly-websites-website-design-st-louis-seo

What Google says you should know about mobile-friendly websites

Google recently announced its next round of sweeping changes to their famously vague search algorithm, disclosing that the degree to which your site is mobile friendly will play strongly into your rank. As of this writing, you have about 3 weeks left to get your site in order – as Google’s gradual rollout will start April 21st.

As the percentage of web traffic on mobile devices has surpassed that of static devices or desktop/laptop access, the need for sites that offer content that is flexibly formatted to a variety of screens continues to grow.

What make a site mobile-friendly?

To help you determine if your site will make the cut, Google recommends that you try their Mobile-Friendly test, which allows you to plug in your website’s URL and get specific feedback about what changes need to be made to make the cut. Among the recommendations you may see, are the following:

  • Spacing out links so that users don’t accidentally take an unintended action on a crowded screen
  • Suppressing the load of large images, so as not to use a disproportionate amount of a cellular data plan
  • Phone numbers are set up for click to call functionality
  • Addresses are optimized to use a device’s navigation or mapping functionality
  • Forms are simplified for mobile device usage

How will this impact my website’s traffic?

You may have noticed that Google has already given more favorable search results to sites that are mobile-friendly, even adding a tag that denotes mobile-optimized sites in search results. The change has already been a game-changer for many, and with additional, more stringent changes to come later this month, we anticipate that this may be an opportunity for businesses to overtake their competitors who are less vigilant or tuned-in to Google’s changes.

Afraid that your site won’t be ready in time for the rollout? Reach out to Blank Page Marketing Consulting for a website check, recommendations and a quote on a short-term fix or a long-term SEO strategy.

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personal brand kesha brown personal branding consultant st louis

4 Lessons on Personal Branding from Kesha Brown

By Danni Eickenhorst

lakesha brown personal branding consultantThis month, we had the good fortune of having Kesha Brown on tap for a small-session workshop on personal branding. As consulting, freelancing and entrepreneurship are on the rise – especially in St. Louis – we are frequently asked by our clients how they should approach positioning themselves as a brand.

In this intimate workshop, Kesha worked with attendees to help them find their own way to stand out from the crowd – to find their unique promise of value – and to take the first steps toward sharing their brand.

Personal Brand vs. Corporate Brand

If you’re an entrepreneur, your personal brand and your corporate brand should align. Your mission and vision should reflect your personal values. Whereas a corporate “brand” may be constituted by a font, logo, colors and the like, your personal brand should reflect your interests, values, personal experiences and goals.

Find your focus to attract your tribe

You can’t appeal to everybody. So many people are afraid to offend or insecure of what people will think if they share who they really are. If you are driven toward a specific goal, especially if you are stretched on time and resources, it is critical for you to determine who your audience is, who you want your audience to be, and to start speaking to them. This will keep you on course, and it will attract like-minded people who may open up doors to you and your brand, much more quickly than if you meander to the point. While you can offer content that is appealing to a wider audience, it’s important that your specific niche or area of expertise is on display – and that you’re forthcoming about your passion and your goals.

2Where to start

The first step is self-reflection. We need to know who we are, and what our boundaries are. Take some time to consider the following:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you doing?
  • Why are you doing it?
  • What are you willing to share? What aren’t you willing to share?
  • Will you share your value through personal stories or through commentary on others’ stories?
  • Will you reveal your identity or will you write under a pseudonym?

Launching your brand

When it comes to sharing your first post or shooting your first video, Lakesha says you should “Just do it.”

“Action creates confidence. If I waited until I was confident and comfortable with everything, I’d never do anything, but everytime I try something for the first time, I feel like I’ve accomplished something and I become more confident.”


 

About Kesha

Kesha, is the Creative Director at Uncommon Chick Media a multi-passionate Rebelpreneur who loves to work with over-achieving solopreneurs to break old and tired business rules to create profitable brands. A digital strategist and web maven, she powerfully supports business owners struggling with website design, personal branding, and owning their unique style.