Twitter for small businesses Dallas

Is Twitter Dying?

Is Twitter Dying? No.

Twitter's not dying, but it might be choking.

This isn't a new question by any means, but in the past 12-18 months it's been less will it? and more when will it? So let's get back to the real discussion.

Twitter's not dying, and your company needs to be actively engaged on the platform.

However, being actively engaged on Twitter looks VERY different than Facebook or any other platform. Everywhere else, it's about pushing content, and customer interaction is secondary (whether you want to admit it or not). You'll post a new article or promotion, always sort of a "look at us!" even if it's not directly about your brand.

Utilizing Twitter as a Business

Twitter has an attention problem. A nonstop stream from the fire-hose of its 310 million active users. Don't add to it.

Your tweet about a blog post isn't going to be seen. A tweet with a call-to-action isn't going to get any traction.

Twitter is your conversation platform. Your tweets should be one-to-one interactions with a few types of people:

  1. Users talking about your brand/product/service
  2. Users to whom you can add value with information
  3. [If applicable] Users in your city talking about goings on in the area

Number one is of course most important. You should be responding to @ mentions, searching for your brand name to thwart complaints, and thanking people who are saying positive things.

Number two mustn't be confused with self-promotion. You can offer up information or assistance in ways that don't involve pushing them toward your site. Hell, it doesn't even have to be related to your industry! Exposure is exposure. ESPECIALLY if you're selling a product -- you never know what a random click to your profile could lead a person to buy.

Lastly, local businesses can take this a step further. By using twitter.com/search, you can see tweets being posted in your city. Couple the search with a keyword (maybe an event is going on, or perhaps you want to see who's talking about you nearby), and you have a direct list of people to interact with in a contextual manner.

Twitter is your chat tool

In any capacity, just remember: you're there to add value in a conversational sense. No pushing to buy, no unwelcome self-promotion. The return will come with sincere interactions over time.

If you must, think of Twitter as your free customer service chat tool. It's an unmatched source of live-streamed thoughts and interactions, and it's the closest thing to a real conversation you can possibly have with non-customers. Take advantage of it!

Day dream about Twitter dying?

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Dallas Agency AdWords for small business

Search Marketing Anatomy: The Three Basic Audiences

If you are new to search engine marketing (SEM) in tools like Google AdWords or Bing Ads, you might be wondering where to begin when testing keyword audiences. We use three essential audiences for all of our client's search campaigns. There are pros and cons to every audience and it's important to understand the value of each of the different types of search intent.

Branded Keywords

Branded keywords are keywords that literally include your brand name. These keywords are important because they help you protect your branded search terms. In a competitive landscape, other brands can purchase your branded keywords and show their ad at the top of search results if you are not also bidding on these keywords.

Pros

  • Protects searches for your brand.
  • Is a relatively cheap cost per click (CPC) because your brand is highly relevant to the search intent.
  • Allows you to offer unique experiences to users whom are already familiar with your business.

Cons

  • You are paying for users who are already looking for you.
  • If you handle subscriptions or a model where a user wouldn't pay you anything additional on their next visit, you are paying for customers who will not provide incremental revenue.

Competitor Keywords

Competitor keywords involve search intent related to your competitor's business name. They are your competitors' branded searches. These can often times be very expensive but if your competitor is not protecting their search intent, this audience can be cheap and lucrative.

Pros

  • It is your chance to redirect search intent for your strongest competitors to your brand instead.
  • If your competitor is not also bidding on their branded terms, you can typically buy these search terms for a very low cost per click (CPC).

Cons

  • The competition's loyal customers are going to be hard to convert. You are paying for clicks that could potentially never switch to your brand. Be sure to really push your competitive advantage in the copy of these ads to sway customers.

Non-Branded Keywords

Non-branded keywords involve search intent around the problem that your business solves. For one of our clients, CrushCraft Thai, this involves a strategy that targets people who are hungry for thai food or even more generally a quick bite to eat for lunch or dinner. These are phrases like, "best restaurant in uptown dallas" or "thai food lunch."

Pros

  • Non-branded keywords (depending on your market) can be very non-competitive. This is your chance to rise to the top of Google's search ranks.
  • Long-tail keyword phrases allow narrower pinpointing towards your target market(s)
  • You are more likely to familiarize a potential new customer in their discovery phase when they are searching for a company to satisfy their need.

Cons

  • Due to the prospecting nature of this audience, conversion rates are typically lower.
  • If you are in a competitive market like lawyers, moving companies, or plumbing companies, these searches will often have lower conversion rates and high cost per clicks (CPCs).

 

Just like any suggestion we provide, our emphasis on testing can't be overstated. Don't just set it and forget it. Try out a bunch of keywords. Pull the weeds (high cost, low conversion) as you see them. Water the flowers (low cost, high conversion) daily. I think I'm going to go outside now...

Need help dissecting the search marketing anatomy?

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How Redirects Work 301 302 Dallas Advertising

Shopify URL Redirects: Are They 301s or 302s?

We were recently working on a client site and converting them over to Shopify's eCommerce platform. They were one of the first dance shops to sell online, so they've built up impressively strong domain authority and get a fair amount of organic search traffic. Shopify URL redirects were necessary to ensure throughout this migration that the client was able to retain the majority of their "link juice" despite the welcomed information architecture structure changes.

If you know what this means, we'll just give you the answer below and you can move along. If you're interested in learning more about the difference between 301 and 302 and why it's important to your online presence, keep reading.

The short answer is: Shopify's redirects are HTTP 301 redirects.

For the life of us, we couldn't definitively find out if Shopify's URL redirects were 301 or 302. We found article after article that discussed their URL redirects but no one specifically answered the question. This includes Shopify's own redirect help page!

It's an important detail in technical SEO setup that many people overlook when moving pages or migrating a site to a new platform that uses different URL structures. You can't afford to ignore the distinction, as your URLs will almost certainly change with a new website.

What are 301 Redirects?

Simply put, 301 redirects tell search engines that you have moved a page permanently. According to many tests, they pass between 85% and 99% of a page's "link juice" to the new page. Search engines are able to identify that you have moved a page that they have previously indexed.

What are 302 Redirects?

302 redirects tell search engines that you have moved a page temporarily. This is useful if you want to return users to the old URL because you've made a temporary change to the URL. The issue with a 302 redirect is that it passes 0% of the "link juice" we discussed before. 302 redirects effectively cause you to lose any of the authority that page has created for your site. It will negatively affect your organic search traffic if your intent was to replace the page entirely. An example scenario is getting rid of a page on your website, but setting up a redirect to, say, your home page, so that old links to that page don't break (404s are bad news).

Why do I want my URL redirects to be 301s?

Status 301 redirects are the only way to tell Google (or any of the other search engines) where a page has gone permanently. They will still categorize that page as the same content. You must build your site to accommodate that expectation. In other words, make sure the new page has the same type of content, or else your efforts (and page rank) will wash down the drain once Google realizes it's less relevant. Whatever you do, make sure all of your old URLs redirect to SOMETHING, even if the content isn't a one-to-one carryover. Dead links will kill you.

How do I test if a redirect is a 301 redirect?

Luckily, there are a fair amount of tools out there to help you confirm if the redirect that you have setup is status 301 or status 302. We like to use Redirect Checker or Screaming Frog SEO Spider to test client sites. On these sites, you place a URL into the field and out pops the HTTP status code for that URL. It's that easy.

I do want to mention that this confusion was specific to the Shopify platform. For most websites, a simple htaccess file can be edited to list out all your desired redirects. Upload to your host and you're all set. This type of upload is not an option for Shopify and some other platforms.

After this experience, we feel like we could write a book just on redirects! So let us know if you have more questions about the technical pieces or best practices.

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