Four States Small Business Blog

How to Interpret Your Website Data in Google Search Console: Troubleshooting

Posted by Jason Dittmer on September 5, 2023 at 7:30 AM
Last week, we covered the basics of utilizing Google Search Console to create and maintain your website's search engine optimization strategy. Now, we will offer some more detailed tips to help you address SEO problems as they arise, keeping your website competitive online.

Understanding the Coverage Report in GSC

Now that you have a solid understanding of improving your overall SEO performance, let's talk about GSC's coverage report, which provides valuable insights into page indexing issues. This report enables you to understand how well your site is being crawled and indexed by  Googlebot, which stops after it's  fetched 15MB of HTML or any supported text-based file.

The coverage report gives you an overview of the different categories of pages on your site, including:
  • Page Validation
  • Indexed Pages
  • Excluded Pages
  • Error Pages

By analyzing these categories, GSC will report any potential issues affecting your website's visibility in search results. But, one vital aspect of the coverage report is its ability to highlight crawl errors and warnings.

These errors could be due to various reasons, such as server errors, broken links, or inaccessible content. Careful analysis of crawl errors and warnings can help you take the necessary action to resolve indexing issues to ensure Google correctly indexes each page on your website. That helps improve your website's visibility in search results and enhances its overall performance.

Utilizing the URL Inspection Tool

Another powerful aspect of GSC is its ability to inspect specific URLs using the URL Inspection tool. That operation allows you to conduct a detailed analysis of a particular page on your website, giving you powerful insight into the indexing status and coverage details of your pages, helping you identify and resolve any issues affecting that specific web page's performance.

Properly utilizing and analyzing this tool ensures that web pages are adequately recognized and included in search engine results.

The URL Inspection Tool checks the indexing status for specific page URLs. It provides information about whether a page is successfully indexing across search engines. That's critically important to know as it determines whether your content is visible to users when they perform relevant searches.

Additionally, this tool helps identify any issues preventing certain pages from being indexed or affecting their visibility in search results. It provides coverage details that highlight errors or warnings that need attention. Addressing these issues can improve your website's performance and visibility.

Monitoring Mobile Usability and Enhancing User Experience Across Devices

Another vital aspect of GSC is its ability to monitor a user's experience across different devices, like desktop computers, mobile devices, and even personal tablets. The increased usage of these devices means websites must provide a seamless experience for these users, too.

One way to monitor mobile usability is through the Mobile Usability Analysis feature in the Search Console. The information provided here helps identify any issues affecting a user's experience on a mobile device. It provides insights into mobile screen problems, such as font sizes, touch elements, or content size.

To enhance a user's experience on mobile devices, optimizing your website with a mobile-friendly design caters to a growing number of mobile users in today's changing market.

Utilizing the Enhancements Report to Improve Structured Data

When optimizing your website for search engines, utilizing structured data markup is crucial. Because it helps those search engines understand the content on your site and display rich results in the SERPs. Analyzing the GSC Enhancements is essential to ensure structured data is error-free and optimized for maximum visibility.

The enhancements report provides valuable insights into  breadcrumbs  and sitelink search boxes. Within the enhancements report, you'll find a breakdown of different structured data types on your site, such as articles, events, products, recipes, and more. Each category will display information about any errors or warnings detected by Google's algorithms.

It's essential to pay close attention to these errors or warnings as they indicate areas of improvement. For example, suppose you notice errors related to incorrect formatting of some aspects of your structured data markup. In that case, this could impact your website's appearance in search results by as much as 25%.

So, regular monitoring and acting upon the information provided in the enhancements report will help improve your website's structured data markup so it's error-free and optimized for search results.

GSC for Better Performance and Improved Search Engine Optimization

In conclusion, leveraging the data from GSC greatly benefits your website's performance and SEO efforts. By analyzing and understanding the data, you can improve your website's visibility, user experience, and overall performance in search engine rankings.

It offers vital metrics into your website's clicks, impressions, click-through rates, and average position for specific keywords. By analyzing all this data, you can build better SEO strategies that improve your website's visibility in search results.

Get Support for Your Website's SEO

The digital marketing team at Zimmer Marketing utilizes GSC to monitor and enhance client website performance and advance SEO strategies. Through regularly monitoring and analyzing this data, the Zimmer web team can make informed decisions to  optimize your content strategy, improve your user experience, and increase the organic traffic to your website. Contact Zimmer Marketing today at 417-624-1025 to speak with a Marketing Consultant.
 
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How to Interpret Your Website Data in Google Search Console: Getting Started

Posted by Jason Dittmer on August 29, 2023 at 7:30 AM
In today's digital landscape, understanding the importance of Google Search Console (GSC) and website data is crucial for any business or website owner. With the ever-increasing competition online, it has become essential to leverage data-driven insights to optimize your website's performance and improve its visibility in search engine results.

Website analytic tools comprehensively view your site's performance by tracking user behavior, engagement metrics, conversion rates, and other vital indicators. These insights help you understand what content resonates with your audience and which pages need optimization.

But to make an informed decision about enhancing your  search engine optimization (SEO)  efforts, you should harness the power of GSC. By understanding SEO metrics such as  click-through rates (CTR), search query analysis, and page impressions, you can identify opportunities to optimize your website's organic content strategy and improve user experience.

In today's blog, we delve into the importance of utilizing GSC and website data for effective SEO strategies. In addition, we'll explore how to interpret GSC data and how to take actionable steps to drive organic growth and boost your online traffic.

So, let's dive in to uncover the wealth of knowledge within GSC website data--empowering you to make informed decisions that better your website's ability to appear in  search engine results pages (SERPs)  and enhance the success of your online endeavors.
 

Navigating Google Search Console

A verified website URL through GSC gives property owners unique access to review specific search engine data. From the GSC dashboard, property owners can review and develop a detailed SEO strategy and track SEO effectiveness over 28 days.

Owners can navigate the various sections from the Search Console dashboard using the left-hand side menu. Each section offers valuable insights into different aspects of your website:

  • Site Performance
  • Page Indexing
  • User Experience
  • Areas of Improvement or Enhancement
  • Security Issues or Manual Actions
  • Legacy Tools and Reporting
  • Link Reporting
 

Performance Data Analysis

Understanding how your website performs in search engine results is crucial. By analyzing performance data in GSC, you gain valuable insight into the efficacy of your SEO efforts for a specific timeframe or type based on the following:

  • Total Number of Clicks and Impressions
  • Average Website Position
  • CTR
  • Search Query Analysis

Clicks and Impressions

The total number of clicks and impressions on your website gives you a snapshot of how much your website appears in search results and how frequently users click on your links. That data helps you gauge the visibility and clickability of your web pages.


Average Website Position
The average position indicates where your website ranks on the SERPs for specific keywords. GSC monitors those changes in rankings over time to help you assess your SEO strategies' impact and identify areas of improvement.


Click-Through Rates
CTRs are the percentage of users who click on your website links when they appear in search results. A high CTR suggests that your meta titles and descriptions are compelling and relevant to users' queries, while a low CTR may indicate room for improved optimization.


Search Query Analysis

Here, you can look closely at what keywords or phrases drive traffic to your site. The information identified in the query also generates the number of clicks and impressions to help improve your content strategy to better align with user intent.

Next Week: GSC Troubleshooting

Now that we've covered the basics of utilizing the tools in Google Search Console to make informed SEO decisions for your business website, we're ready to tackle some more advanced troubleshooting that GSC enables. Next week, we will explain how to fix problems as they arise so your website stays visible and competitive.
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Topics: Website Design

Zimmer Marketing Wins at KAB Awards

Posted by Mark Zimmer on August 22, 2023 at 7:30 AM
In 2023, Zimmer Marketing radio stations were honored to receive multiple awards from the   Kansas Association of Broadcasters. Our stations received three first-place awards, a second-place, and two honorable mentions. Read below for details about the awards:

KAB Awards Categories

Zimmer Marketing is pleased to have 2023 KAB awards in the following categories:
  • Commercial Campaign - Series
  • Commercial: 60 Seconds or Less 
  • Public Service Announcement
  • Morning Show

Commercial Campaign - Series

The team at Zimmer Marketing swept the commercial campaign series category in 2023, bringing home first place, second place, and an honorable mention!

1st Place
KIX 102.5  won first with their ad series for   Phillip Camerer Roofing. Congratulations to Bobby Wilkerson, Brett James, Jen Fox, and Joel Jarrett on their excellent work for this series!

2nd Place
Newstalk KZRG  placed second for their amazing work on the campaign for   All Dogs Dream. Congratulations to Bobby Wilkerson, Jen Fox, Chris Hayes, and Joel Jarrett!

Honorable Mention
Finally, Newstalk KZRG brought home the honorable mention making this category a clean sweep for Zimmer Marketing! Jen Fox, Bobby Wilkerson, Michael Johnson, Kylie Davis, and Thom Watts' ad series was a huge hit for   Bug-A-Way Pest Control!

Commercial: 60 Seconds or Less

The   Big Dog 97.9  crew brought home a first-place win for Zimmer Marketing with their ad for Kyle of All Trades. Congratulations to Bobby Wilkerson, Danielle McCollum, and Eli Bingman! 

Public Service Announcement

Bobby Wilkerson earned Newstalk KZRG an honorable mention with his PSA "Restoration Life Center - Karen Testimony." 

Morning Show

And finally, to round at Zimmer Marketing's wins at the 2023 KAB Awards, the   Chris Purple Hayes and Bobby Show  on Big Dog 97.9 won first place! Congratulations on another year of excellence in broadcasting!

Advertise with Zimmer Marketing

Year after year, Zimmer Marketing helps local businesses with successful branding and marketing both on-air and online. Contact a marketing consultant today to learn how we can transform your local business into an established and growing local brand!

Contact A Marketing Consultant
 
 
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Topics: Radio Advertising, Team Zimmer

The Ins and Outs of Search Engine Marketing

Posted by Kylie Davis on August 15, 2023 at 7:00 AM
In the ever-expanding digital landscape, businesses constantly seek innovative ways to connect with their target audience. One effective strategy that has gained popularity over the years is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This marketing technique empowers businesses to reach potential customers precisely when searching for products or services online. In this blog, we'll explore the benefits and limitations of Search Engine Marketing and how it can best be used to help your business grow.
 

What Is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing, often called SEM, is a digital marketing strategy to enhance a website's visibility in search engine results pages through paid advertising. This approach involves leveraging pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, where you can bid on specific keywords relevant to your products or services. When a user searches for those keywords, the ads appear prominently in the search results, driving targeted traffic to your business website.
 

Components of SEM

  1. Keyword Research: The foundation of a successful SEM campaign lies in thorough keyword research. Identifying the right keywords ensures that your ads are displayed to users actively seeking what you offer.
  2. Ad Creation: Crafting compelling and relevant ads is crucial. Well-structured ads with attention-grabbing headlines and concise descriptions encourage users to click through to your website. Ad extensions, such as site links and callouts, can further enhance your ad's visibility and engagement. When placing your ad, PPC platforms consider your ad quality and ability to meet users' needs.
  3. Bidding Strategy: Platforms like Google Ads utilize an automated auction system where advertisers set bidding parameters that will be used to compete for ad placement. A well-thought-out bidding strategy takes into account factors like budget, keyword competitiveness, and desired outcomes. 
  4. Landing Pages: Driving traffic to your website is just the beginning. The landing page where users land after clicking on your ad is pivotal in conversion. An optimized, user-friendly landing page that aligns with the ad's message can significantly improve conversion rates.
 

Benefits of SEM

  1. Immediate Visibility: Unlike organic search efforts, SEM delivers rapid results. Once your campaign is live, your ads are instantly displayed to users searching for your keywords.
  2. Targeted Reach: SEM allows you to precisely target your audience based on factors such as location, device, demographics, and even specific times of the day.
  3. Measurable Results: SEM provides a wealth of data, enabling you to track key metrics such as clicks, impressions, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI). This data-driven approach facilitates continuous optimization for better performance.
  4. Cost Control: With PPC campaigns, you have control over your budget. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, making it a cost-effective way to reach potential customers.
 

Challenges and Considerations

While SEM offers numerous benefits, there are challenges to keep in mind:
  1. Competition: Popular keywords can have fierce competition, potentially leading to higher bid prices.
  2. Constant Monitoring: Regular monitoring and optimization are essential to ensure your campaigns remain effective and budget-friendly.
  3. Volatile Traffic: Once you significantly reduce your budget or stop an SEM campaign altogether, your web traffic will decline or vanish.
 

Organic SEO and SEM Work Together

Because SEM campaigns are typically more costly and have no staying power once a campaign ends, it is advisable to always pursue organic search engine optimization before or in addition to SEM. Organic web traffic is generally less expensive, and once you have a piece of optimized content on your website, it will continue to bring in traffic for years to come. Search engine marketing can increase your traffic at the margins, but coupling SEO and SEM will protect your website from the extreme volatility of an SEM-only plan. 
 

Revitalize Your Web Traffic

The web team at Zimmer Marketing has helped numerous businesses break out of internet invisibility with custom-built high-performance websites. We start projects with search engine-friendly content for your site and follow it up with monthly data-driven content updates. On top of that, we can bring even more traffic to your website with the skilled implementation of SEM campaigns!

Contact a Marketing Consultant
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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Marketing ROI, Digital Marketing

Case Study: Building Customer Confidence with Your Website

Posted by Jason Dittmer on August 8, 2023 at 7:49 AM
The website for your business is the primary marketing material you can leverage to build customer confidence in your company. Think about it like this: your website's landing page is like the resume for your business. It should be clear, concise and highlight the unique attributes of your business to build credibility with your audience. This week, we'll demonstrate how you can do this with samples from a recent web development project for   Superior Roofing & Construction LLC.

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Topics: Website Design

What's the Difference Between Marketing Strategy and Tactics?

Posted by Jeannette Royle on July 25, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Marketing is pivotal to driving success and growth in the constantly changing business environment. When done well, it is a powerful engine that can propel your brand forward, enabling you to reach your target audiences and achieve your goals. However, within marketing, two essential components often need clarification: strategy and tactics. While these terms are used interchangeably, they represent distinct elements of the marketing process. In this blog, we will explore marketing strategy and tactics and how they relate, shedding light on how they are different yet work together.  

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, Advertising, Branding

Time to Rebrand? | 4 Branding Pitfalls to Avoid

Posted by Jeannette Royle on July 18, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Branding is one of the most powerful components of a growing business. But merely having a brand does not automatically guarantee success. Sometimes, a business's brand identity can even hold them back. In this blog, we'll investigate common branding pitfalls that signal when it's time to rebrand your business.
 

Four Common Branding Pitfalls

Most branding problems fall into a few basic categories; some are easier to fix than others. The solutions can range from minor changes to a complete rebranding process. 

1. Branding Message Sends Mixed Signals

Often companies' branding messages try to do too much at a time. Instead of a concise message reinforcing the biggest advantage of the business, the company attempts to enumerate all the ways the company is great. This can overwhelm an audience, be confusing, and may appear disingenuous. After all, it's unlikely that a company can simultaneously have the most advanced services, lowest prices, best customer service, and fastest completion times. Even if a company so outmatches its direct competition that all these are true, it's still best to identify the biggest priority for your potential customers and hone your branding message around that advantage.

2. Brand Does Not Resonate with Intended Audience

Sometimes businesses misidentify their potential customers' major priorities, which leads to a branding message that doesn't resonate. For instance, a kitchen remodeling business finds that they excel in a couple of ways: building code compliance and partnership with a popular kitchen designer. While building code compliance is essential to good business and customer satisfaction, making their main branding message around it may not address the top priorities of your audience. Instead, the company should craft its main message around award-winning kitchen designs. There is plenty of time to address training, certifications, and code compliance in marketing materials, but it shouldn't be the main branding focus.

3. Brand Does Not Align with Business Goals

Good marketing practice is dividing your potential customer base into multiple audiences. There are times when each audience will have the same priorities, in which case a company's branding message can equally resonate with all audiences. In other cases, each set of potential customers' preferences differ. In these circumstances, crafting a primary branding message that speaks to the most important audience for the business's goals is essential. Typically, this will be the largest audience, the one the company is best equipped to serve, or the one that offers the highest marketing return on investment. A business that fails to speak to its most important audiences will waste marketing money and stunt its growth.
 

4. Branding Is Overly Complicated

The final common branding pitfall is crafting an overly complicated message. A business can identify its most important competitive advantage to its audience but fail to make a connection with its potential customers. In these cases, the disconnect often comes down to phrasing. For example, the business' branding message may use jargon or acronyms that are not generally understood by the audience. Companies in this situation do not necessarily need to start from the beginning. It may be enough to explore better ways of communicating the brand message.

Does Your Business Fall Into One of These Branding Pitfalls?

Each of the brand messaging problems is a common occurrence. If it's time for your business to chart a new course for branding, or you need some help honing your branding into a more concise and resonant message, we are ready to help your business achieve those goals. Your company's potential is waiting to be tapped into, and we look forward to helping you on your journey. If you're ready to talk with a Zimmer Marketing branding consultant, please get in touch with us today!

Contact Zimmer Marketing
 
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Topics: Branding

4 Steps for Creating a Compelling Value Proposition for Your Business

Posted by Brett James on July 11, 2023 at 7:30 AM
In today's competitive marketplace, your businesses must have a clear and compelling value proposition that sets you apart from competition. A value proposition defines the unique benefits that your company offers to potential customers, and it plays a significant role in attracting and retaining customers. This week, we will discuss five essential steps to help you create a compelling value proposition for your business.

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Branding

4 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Marketing Channels for Your Business

Posted by Pam Larimore on June 27, 2023 at 7:00 AM
As a small business, finding an effective mix of marketing channels is essential to increase your ROI and ensure steady growth for your business. But with an increasing number of available marketing channels every day, especially in the digital space, narrowing down your options and finding the best fit for your company can be difficult. With that in mind, let's look at some helpful tips for finding your ideal marketing channels.

1. Identify Your Marketing Audience

Your first step when planning for any upcoming marketing campaign should be identifying at least one target audience. Doing so will immediately help you eliminate any marketing channel with little reach to your audience or audiences. If you come up with more than one audience segment you would like to market to, you should rank the importance of each listed segment. That way, you can apply limited resources where they will be most effective.

2. Plan for the Buyer's Journey

Individuals that may purchase a product or service from you always occupy a point on a conceptual model called 'the buyer's journey.' Buyers move from the awareness stage through the consideration stage, and finally to the decision stage, where they will decide whether to give you their business. The most successful marketing campaigns reach a person while they are in each step of the journey. For instance, a broad-reach marketing channel such as radio is particularly useful for reaching people in the awareness phase. On the other hand, running ads in a search engine can be ideal for the consideration and decision phases. Choosing the right marketing channels will depend on selecting channels that blend well in an integrated marketing approach.

3. Set Clear Campaign Objectives

Not all marketing campaigns have to culminate in the immediate purchase of one of your products or services. It's important to clearly define your campaign objectives, such as increasing brand awareness, generating leads, driving sales, or enhancing customer engagement. For instance, your primary objective could be building your mailing list so you have an already interested audience segment you can target in future marketing campaigns. 

4. Consider Your Budget

Budget is one of the most essential considerations when deciding on a mix of marketing channels. Opting for marketing channels that you can't allocate enough financial resources to run effectively could be a complete waste. Likewise, your budget may be stretched too thin if you choose too many channels. It's best to opt for a couple of channels that support each other and provide each with ample funding. 
 

Putting It All Together

The ideal marketing mix for your business will reach your market audience at various points in the buyer's journey, satisfies your campaign objectives, and fits your budget. If any of your chosen marketing channels don't align with the above considerations, you should go back to the drawing board and review some other options. Of course, getting some professional support when planning integrated marketing campaigns can also be helpful. If you would like help with your campaign, we invite you to get in touch with one of our marketing consultants.

Contact Zimmer Marketing
 
 
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Topics: Integrated Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing ROI, Digital Marketing, Advertising, Branding

The Status of Print Media Advertising in 2023

Posted by Brett James on June 20, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Advertising in print media has long been an important marketing channel for American businesses of all sizes. But this has been especially true for smaller, local businesses. The access to local audiences plugged into their communities that local newspapers offer is an excellent opportunity for affordable advertising. But with the rise of digital publications, what is the status of print media, and what are some advertising alternatives? In today's blog, we will look at the condition of print media in America and offer some advertising alternatives to diversify your marketing budget and secure your business's growth into the future. 

Print Media in 2023

For companies that have depended on print advertising in local newspapers and magazines, there is good news and bad news. Let's start with the good: The downfall of print media in the United States has not been as precipitous as the worst predictors have warned. That brings us to the bad news. The trend of declining print media, and by extension, advertising opportunities, continues.   "Total estimated weekday circulation of U.S. daily newspapers was 55.8 million in 2000 and dropped to 24.2 million by 2020,"  according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

While the around 20 million people still receiving newspapers can still be reached with newspaper advertising, the last two decades have nonetheless seen the national audience shrink by half. Those with access to stable internet connections, and especially those with smartphones, prefer receiving news and entertainment via various forms of digital media. The remaining audience for traditional print media tends to be older, more rural, and more involved in their local community.

Diversify Your Marketing Media

Depending on the demographics of the audience you are trying to reach with your advertising, print media may still be an important part of your marketing plan. However, print advertising cannot reach anywhere near as many readers as it used to. Now is the time to add in other marketing media to grow the reach of your branding message.
 

Advertising Alternatives to Print Media

There are many alternatives to traditional print advertising that we could talk about. But for the sake of simplicity, we'll cover four options that can help you enhance your marketing mix in light of the decline in print media.

Radio Advertising

Radio stands out as a particularly good alternative for businesses that historically depend on local print advertising. Production and advertising costs are low compared to other media, and it reaches regional audiences with the added benefit of audience segmentation based on station formats. Radio continues to boast high numbers of listeners. 

Digital Display Ads

Digital Display Ads can be shown across hundreds of websites while only appearing in front of people matching the characteristics you've identified in your target audience. This is often a useful option if you're trying to reach people getting their news online, whom you may have once reached with newspaper advertising.

Organic Search Strategy

An organic search strategy focuses on ranking your business website high in search engines for keywords relevant to your products and services. Typically this is done with regular topical blogging designed to serve the needs of your audience members. Time is key with this marketing method, as building up your website's competitiveness can take a while. But it is well worth the wait for those businesses that stick with it. 

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is like the 'fast version' of an organic search strategy and is often abbreviated as "SEM." With this method, you pay search engines to run ads on your strategic keywords. It is more expensive than organic, but you can begin driving traffic to your website immediately. Businesses with many competitors often use SEM when an organic strategy would be more difficult and time-consuming. 

Revamp Your Marketing Strategy

If you're interested in exploring other marketing options to reduce reliance on print advertising, please reach out to a marketing consultant at Zimmer Marketing. We've helped dozens of local businesses create marketing and branding plans to accelerate growth and secure market share. We would love to help your business, too!

Contact Zimmer Marketing
 
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Topics: Integrated Marketing, Radio Advertising, Marketing Strategy, Marketing ROI, Digital Marketing, Advertising