Social Media Frequency: How Often Should You Post?

Social Media Frequency: How Often Should You Post?

Every company needs to advertise to draw in more business. With the social media explosion, these days we have more ways than ever before to reach out to our customers. However, it can be hard to know how often to post content to social media. If you don’t post enough, your messages will be buried under other people’s posts. If you post too much, your customers may stop following you because they feel spammed. Here are a few simple guidelines to help you decide how often to post to social media for your business:

Facebook: 2 times a day. Likes and comments tend to drop off after the second post.

Twitter: 3 or more times a day. Response can fall off after the third tweet, but you might need to tweet more to make yourself heard by customers who follow hundreds of people.

LinkedIn: 1 time a day. You can reach the majority of your audience by posting once per weekday.

Google+: 3 times a day. Engagement increases when posts are consistent.

Pinterest: 5 or more times a day. Many companies have experienced steady growth after adopting a multiple-times-a-day Pinterest schedule.

Instagram: 2 or more times a day. There’s less drop-off in engagement for more frequent posts on Instagram, so feel free to post as much as you want.

Blogging: 2 times a week. Providing interesting and original content can bring in tons of new visitors to your site.

How often you post, and which social media sites you use, can vary depending on what kind of business you have (and how much time you have to spend on marketing!) The best thing you can do is keep track of your posting frequency and then use an analytics tool such as Google Analytics to keep track of how the traffic on your site fluctuates. If you start to post more frequently and don’t see an increase in traffic over time, you might as well fall back a bit. If you do see more traffic, post some more and see if it keeps growing.

It’s incredibly advantageous for your business to post frequently and consistently. Not only will this help you reach out to your current customers and bring in new business, it will also push your website to the top of the list when people search for your field online. Content is key, so get out there and start posting!

Avoid Shady SEO Tactics

Avoid Shady SEO Tactics

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a business that’s growing in demand every year. SEO companies offer services that can greatly improve the performance of your business’s website and ecommerce. However, since SEO is relatively new and in such high demand, some companies are taking advantage of the fact that their customers aren’t familiar with what exactly SEO entails and what they should expect from their SEO provider. At Virtual Market Advantage such tactics appall us, and we want to spread the knowledge that will help you identify and avoid shady SEO promises you might encounter from other companies. Here are some things to listen for that dishonest SEO companies are saying:

“We Guarantee First Page Rankings”

Guaranteed first page ranking is a compelling and impressive promise that draws in customers. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee first page rankings for Google or any other search engine, no matter how good they are at SEO. There are so many factors that determine where your website falls in a search, and these factors change constantly as people search for new keywords, Google tweaks their system, and competitors alter their tactics.

“Get As Many Links As Possible”

Having quality links to and from other sites are important for increasing your website’s rank, but getting more links isn’t as important as getting good links. Be selective when choosing which sites to link, and look for quality over quantity. A dozen high quality links will do more for rank building than having thousands of links from easily-obtained and spammy domains.

“We Can Connect Your Site to Lots of Web Directories”

The policy for web directories is similar to links: quality beats quantity. Although submitting your site to high quality and pertinent web directories can help your ranking, thoughtlessly making connections to as many web directories as possible won’t help (and can even be detrimental to) your ranking. Submitting your site to low quality directories can result in unnatural link penalties, malware, and lowered ranking.

“SEO is the Same for all Businesses”

If an SEO company uses the exact same strategy for every client, those clients won’t be getting the most out of the deal. Like any type of marketing, SEO should focus on the needs of your particular business and understanding the audience you are trying to attract. How your site is presented makes a big difference in the user experience and how well the searches guide new clients to you.

“Don’t Worry About Google Algorithm Updates”

Google is constantly updating how their search engine works in order to give the best possible experience for searchers. Some SEO companies suggest not worrying about updates, but it’s important to keep up-to-date on the latest changes. Tactics that work well on one version might become less effective or even useless on later versions. If you don’t want to spend the time to stay informed on Google updates, let VMA do it for you. We always keep track of the recent changes, and will let you know if and why we need to alter our strategies to keep your SEO current.

“We Will Fix Your SEO Within a Month for this Flat Rate”

You should be skeptical when you hear this kind of bold assertion from any kind of company, as it’s an empty statement meant to bring in new clients quickly, not keep them happy over time. Good SEO results appear after months of effort, not days or weeks. Good SEO companies will explain to you why you won’t see immediate results. It requires lots of hard work and constant research as the methods change over time. Watch out for empty promises.

“SEO is the Only Online Marketing Your Business Needs”

SEO is only part of the online marketing required to improve your business’s website results. Your online marketing strategy should incorporate all kinds of methods such as social media campaigns, paid advertising, and traditional marketing alongside SEO.

If you see any of these red flags from a company, you should think twice about using their services to avoid shady SEO tactics. If you’re concerned that this blog is just trying to manipulate you too, check out Google’s official advice about choosing your SEO company, which includes several of the points given here. Make sure that the company you choose to handle your website is up-front, realistic, and able to fully explain everything they will do to improve your ranking. Virtual Market Advantage is such a company. We will continue to stay up-to-date on the most recent developments, research the particular methods that different types of businesses need for their SEO, and give you the best SEO experience possible. And along the way, we will give you as much information as you want about what we are doing for you and explain the reasoning behind each method.

Speedy Website Performance

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Is Your Website Fast Enough?

Designing your own website these days is a blast. There are so many fun, useful, and even revolutionary tools coming out all the time that can help make your website look great and offer everything you can imagine for your viewers. However, you need to keep website performance in mind after adding more and more perks to your site and make sure that it still runs smoothly and quickly on all platforms.

Today’s customers are not known for their patience. The Internet and related technology focuses more and more on speedy results, and if your website runs even slightly slower than your competitor’s, you can lose a ton of potential customers.

Many online shoppers admit that a slow loading speed makes them anxious about the success of related transactions. Studies show that 57% of viewers will abandon a page after 3 seconds of delay, and 78% become angry and stressed by slow websites. How your website responds on mobile devices is increasingly important as well, as more and more people use their phones and tablets to perform everyday exchanges.

Here are some tips to speed up your website:

1. Choose a fast hosting provider. NetBrite is a great option and easy to use. Avoid GoDaddy and Dreamhost.

2. Minimize your plugin use. Delete any plugins that you aren’t using. Make sure none of them are duplicating functions covered by two or more plugins.

3. Use a caching plugin. Caching is the fastest way to improve performance. It removes performance bottlenecks by retaining frequently used information in high-speed memory that is easy to access.

4. Compress your images. Large image files take a long time to load, so image compression is a site-saver!

NetBrite’s Super Fast Hosting

NetBrite is a great place to host and develop your new website. It combines the best of WordPress and Bootstrap to make website design quick, easy, and successful. It provides fast hosting and responsive sites that will work just as well on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

You obviously want high-quality images for your site, but these often bog down load times. NetBrite has a built-in image compressor that can automatically reduce the size of your images without compromising their quality.

Always take your website performance into consideration when you make a new site or alter your old one. The responsiveness of your website makes a huge difference for modern businesses, and you don’t want to be left behind!

How to Display Your Business with Siri and Apple Maps

How to Display Your Business with Siri and Apple Maps

The amount of people who own smartphones grows every year. As more people gain access to smart phones and voice recognition improves, people are more frequently searching for information through Siri, Apple Maps, and other types of mobile software rather than web search engines like Google. It’s important that you know how to make your business easily viewable through mobile devices so you can bring in the customers who are searching for your niche through their phones.

There are several steps you can take to make you show up when people search for similar businesses using Siri:

Get on the Maps

Most voice searches are done by people who need directions, so make sure your business is listed on both Apple Maps Connect and Google Maps. This step requires that you have an actual address to put into the map finder, and unless you want people stopping by your front door, don’t use your home address.

Go to the Apple Maps Connect and log in with your Apple ID and password. If you don’t have an ID set up already, do so. The site will prompt you to search for your business, but if you haven’t already made a listing, click “Add New Business” instead. Then you need to select your relationship to the business (owner, employee, etc) and give other basic details about the business. This includes the address and a phone number that can be reached immediately to give you a verification code. When you receive the code, confirm the location on the map. The last steps include choosing a business category, displaying your hours of operation, and filling in various social media details. Once you submit, your business will be findable on Apple Maps!

You then need to add your business to Google Maps as well. Go to the Google Maps app, search for your business, and progress through the “Are you the business owner?” prompts, adding all necessary information similar to the steps above.

Use Local Listings

Make sure your business is listed on every local listing site. Many people who search through Siri ask a variation of, “find the closest _________”. This means that the customer’s physical proximity to your business will be a factor in whether or not yours shows up, but by listing in multiple locations, you will have better chances that nearby customers will find your business instead of your competition. Places to list your business include Yelp, Google Places, Foursquare, and Citysearch.

You also need to claim your listings on all of the sites to ensure that Siri knows you are a legitimate business. This is a similar process for every listing site. You search for your business and click some sort of “Claim Your Business” option or create a new listing. Sites you need to claim your business on include Bing, Citysearch, Foursquare, Google, Superpages, Yahoo, and Yelp.

Keywords and Consistency

While you make your listings, be sure to stay consistent in how you present your business. Avoid typos or other errors, and use the exact same business name for every site. If you vary the name or address slightly, Siri and other search engines might think that they are completely different places. Also keep the listings consistent with the information on your website.

Like other forms of SEO, make sure you utilize keywords! Use descriptive terms when describing your business on listings as well as your website. The more Siri and other search engines know about your business, the more they can recommend you to the right searchers. When choosing keywords and phrases, keep in mind that people using Siri might ask lengthy questions such as, “What is the best barbeque in Kansas City?” rather than “barbeque Kansas City”.

Accrue Reviews

Siri and other search engines partly use ratings and reviews to decide which businesses to suggest. Urge your customers to post detailed reviews and give you high ratings. However, keep in mind that the effect of such reviews might take some time to go into effect, because Siri’s database doesn’t refresh daily.

If you are still struggling with how to set up your business for Siri and mobile map searches, feel free to ask Virtual Market Advantage to give you a hand. We love helping our clients succeed in every aspect of SEO, and every question that you ask lets us know what information to provide in the future. Let’s get your business in those search results!

31 Days of VMA | Summit Storage

While we do most of our work in other states, VMA loves to work with local business here in ‪#‎Missouri‬. In addition to building this new mobile responsive site, we also created the new logo and took all of the photos. At Summit Self Storage, they provide solutions to all your storage problems. If you find that your things are slowly inching you out of house and home, come to Summit Self Storage. They maintain the property in excellent condition, both inside and out. Their facility is well-lit, and we have a computerized security gate and video surveillance. So if your storage problems are driving you nuts, come to Summit Self Storage. They can help!

31 Days of VMA | Patriot Homes

Patriot Homes, Inc. is a group of talented professionals in the field of home design, including residential interiors, exteriors, and landscape. They provide a one-stop resource for everything involved with the contracting to build your new home from the ground up. They have a policy of building lovely places to live, so VMA had to make a website that was equally beautiful to showcase their talents. The responsive bootstrap design utilizes photographs and colors elegantly, and allows for virtual tours, easy contact, and plenty of information. We also provided the photography for the Franklin floor plan virtual tour! Keep Patriot Homes, Inc. in mind if you or someone you know is thinking about building a home in the Kansas City area; you’ll love working with them!

31 Days of VMA | Subliminal Inc.

Subliminal Inc. is a very special website for VMA, since it’s creator is one of our very own employees! Alec Sartianno, AKA Smartalec, is an American record producer and songwriter when he’s not busy working for us. The website encompasses Subliminal Inc. (the conglomerate), Subliminal Beats LLC (the music production company), and Subliminal Music Group LLC (the record label/publishing company). Alec’s instrumental music has appeared on the networks E!, MTV, and Oxygen, and he has cooperated with well-known rappers such as E-40 and Tech N9ne. He also designed the website himself, and it includes ways to listen to and purchase the music and watch the music videos. Check out what Alec and the other musicians he produces can do!