Kevin Hicks

Kevin Hicks

Kevin is an Internet Marketing Specialist at ROI Web Marketing. He has a strong passion towards helping businesses succeed using a creative and focused approach to Internet marketing. ROI Web Marketing offers web design and monthly marketing services which include Google AdWords pay per click advertising and SEO.

Kevin Hicks on LinkedIn

Google has announced they will no longer be supporting reCAPTCHA version 1 after March 31, 2018.

What is Google reCAPTCHA?

This is a free service from Google that protects you from spam emails that might be sent via bots and spammers on your website. There are different versions of reCAPTCHA. You'll recognize it from the graphic below.

VERSION 1:

reCAPTCHA Sample White

You want to upgrade to this version below

VERSION 2:

hero recaptcha demo

What does this mean for your website?

If you are using this popular Google reCAPTCHA on your website to block spammers from sending you spam emails via your contact forms, you'll want to make sure you are using reCAPTCHA version 2. 

This may require updating your website plugins and registering your website for use with reCAPTCHA 2 before March 31, 2018.

While you are at it, you may as well use the new Invisible reCAPTCHA version (currently available for WordPress and Joomla), which loads in the background of the website and is meant to make it less frustrating for users by automatically detecting whether you're a human or a bot. A typical human user often no longer needs to fill out a code or select images, or may only need to do so once.

Resources

Conclusion

If you are an ROI Web Marketing monthly client, your website is either already upgraded to reCAPTCHA 2 or we have plans in place to replace your reCAPTCHA plugin already. :)

Any questions? Feel free to reach out via email or our Facebook page.

Saturday, 23 September 2017 13:16

Is Internet Marketing Working For You?

Is my website working for me?

Are my advertising campaigns being effective?

These are common questions business owners ask themselves when it comes to their Internet marketing campaigns. At ROI Web Marketing, we strive for results with each of our marketing campaigns to maximize lead generation and ROI.

We've just developed a new way to track all your website calls (from mobile devices) and emails when someone clicks to call or email from your website.

 

In the past, the way to track your phone number calls was to create a forwarding phone number that would record every time someone calls the forwarding number. There are flaws with this system.

1. The customer calling thinks this is your number and will continue to call it moving forward unless they are updated with your actual phone number. 

2. This creates inflated statistics or incorrect data.

We use your actual phone number and do not need to create a forwarding number in order to track the amount of calls from your website.

 

Internally, this helps us find out whether our Google AdWords or Bing Ads campaigns are being effective. With this tracking system setup correctly, we can track 1) a clicked to call your phone number from a mobile device, 2) a clicked email from desktop or mobile devices, or 3) someone filling out your contact form (or various forms depending on your website). 

Setting Up Tracking

The data is collected via Google Analytics and moving forward, we are implementing this for each of our Monthly Marketing Clients. The data will be added as conversions into our Monthly ROI Reports. Setting up this tracking does take time as we code each email and phone number within your website. If we have built your website, this setup can be done. If your website wasn't built by us or is on a platform that doesn't allow our code to work, this tracking may not be possible to set up for you. Feel free to ask us if this tracking would work on your website.

ROI Web Marketing – cutting-edge Internet marketing to improve your business, lead generation and ROI.

 

Feel free to contact me to discuss setting this up for your website. If you already are a Monthly Marketing Client, we most likely have either already implemented this or have plans to do so very soon.

 

Friday, 08 September 2017 15:16

2 Guys With Knives

Using a highly customized WooCommerce shopping cart, 2 Guys With Knives can process a large quantity of weekly orders for their meal delivery service.

Customers can set options for each dish, select from specific delivery locations and times, purchase and use gift cards, receive special pricing based on their assigned group, among many other special features of the website.

Visit the Website

Friday, 08 September 2017 15:02

West Side Family Place

A customized, interactive events calendar integrated with Google Calendar is one of the special features of West Side Family Place's website, key to staying in close touch with participating families.

Through their new website, community members can learn more about how to get involved, join a program, and become a member.

Visit Their Website  

Friday, 08 September 2017 14:56

Everything Financial

Everything Financial uses their website as a resource to display all of their products in an organized and user-friendly fashion.

Current and potential clients can also view newsletter archives, latest blog posts, and media pieces on their website.

Visit the Website

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 14:24

New Google My Business Posts

Google recently released a new feature for Google My Business.

You can now add content directly on your Google My Business listing.

The benefit of doing this is that it shows up for 7 days directly below your Google My Business listing and directly within Google Maps in a prime location to be seen.

Here's a screenshot of ROI Web Marketing's Google My Business post. At the time of writing this blog post, there is a live post on our Google My Business page that directs visitors back to this blog post to learn about how to post on their accounts. :)

roi post example gmb

 

Creating a post on Google My Business lets you publish your latest offers, blog posts, services or products to be displayed directly in Google's search results and Google Maps. Google suggests that these be timely updates as each post only lasts for 7 days before it's archived in the "All Posts" area.

What You Should Post

Quoted from Google:

"When customers find your business on Google, they can see offers, news, and events from your business posts that show on Google Search and Maps. You can use posts to tell customers about:

  • Events such as a jazz brunch or an in-store session
  • Offers/specials such as sales and discounts
  • Product updates such as new merchandise
  • Announcements such as “Open late this Saturday” or “Special guests this week!”

A post to your customers on Google should be brief, useful, and inspire action, and photos should be well-lit and in-focus."

 

Steps to Make a Post on Your Google My Business Page

#1: LOG IN:

Log in to Google My Business. If you have two or more locations, click Manage location for the location you'd like to manage (screenshot below).

roi gmb manage

If you only have one location, you should see the layout directly with the NEW icon next to the "Posts" link. If you are on a mobile device you can download the Google My Business App.

roi web posts

 

#2: CREATE POST

Click Create post. Or click Posts from the menu. The “Create post” screen will appear. Here, you’ll see options to add photos, text, events, and a button to your post. Just click each field, and enter the relevant information.

 roi gmb create post

roi create post2 

Once you’ve created your post, click "Preview" to see a preview. If it looks good, click "Publish" in the top right corner of the screen.

 

Ideal Specs for Your Posts

 We've collected from Google's recommendations the following ideal notes to remember when making a new Post on Google My Business.

  • Recommended photo size is minimum 720x540 pixels as JPG or PNG.
  • Post content limit is 300 words. Ideally, it's between 150-300 characters.
  • Include a call-to-action to tell people what they should do after reading the post.
  • If your post is an event, you can also input a title: 4-5 words (58 characters).
  • Button options are as follows: Learn more, Reserve, Sign up, Buy, Get offer. Then, you choose the page of your website to send the visitors to for this specific post.

 

How To Make A Great Google My Business Post

Ideally, your posts are timely as this is another effort by Google on social media to better their users' experience, showing them only the most relevant updates to its users. What's on special? What's the latest?

Google's examples can be found here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/7390603

 

What to do now?

Now that you know all about Google My Business Posts, it's time to get posting!

ROI Web Marketing offers cutting edge web marketing packages for business owners. If you are already subscribed to a Monthly Marketing Package with us, chances are we've already planned a post to get things started for you. Contact us today if you are intestested in learning more about how we can help you with your marketing.

Thursday, 31 August 2017 18:39

Patagonia Imports

With an extensive collection of wines and premium spirits to feature, Patagonia Imports' new website is the perfect medium for this liquor agent to facilitate their importation and distribution.

Awards and testimonials displayed throughout the website assist in bringing emphasis to the credibility of this company.

Visit the Website

Thursday, 31 August 2017 18:24

Lift Bar & Grill

Lift Bar and Grill's mobile website was designed by ROI Web Marketing to prominently display the restaurant's contact information and hours, catering to mobile users.

All webpages and content were converted to be mobile-friendly on all the latest mobile devices.

Visit the Website

Sunday, 23 April 2017 00:00

How to Structure & Write a Blog Post

I'm often asked questions about how and when I should blog. The answer is: it depends on your business.

I always mention that blogging and social media marketing need to work with your business and procedures that you have in place.

Blogging can't be a burden on you and/or your business.

If you feel stressed about blogging or don't have the time to do it, you need to evaluate whether it would be a good idea to either hire someone to help you with it or whether it's important to your business at all.

Here's what I suggest to my clients about blogging and how they can manageably keep their website up to date and maximize the impact of each blog post.

What's the purpose of a blog?

The purpose of your blog is to achieve the following:

  • Keep your current customers informed about what's happening with your company.
  • To reconnect with current customers by staying on top of mind (may even make a new sale from an existing customer).
  • Let people know that you are still in business and are actively updating your website with relevant information.
  • Prove that you are the expert in your field by showcasing your knowledge.
  • To attract new potential customers via Google Search (SEO).

What should I blog about?

Here are a few examples of what you can blog about. I'll be releasing another blog article with more examples in the near future.

  • Educational: Educate your ideal clients on the benefits of your product or service. Answer questions commonly asked by your customers.
  • Testimonials/Case studies: Let people know how others have experience with working with you.
  • Promotional: Mention a current special offer or feature a product or service.
  • Specific Detail: Feature, describe or romance a specific service or product in more detail.
  • Industry-Related: Explain what's happening in your industry that your customers should know about. What's news to them that they should be aware of?

How do I structure my blog post?

The layout of your blog post should include the following and be ideally 500-600 words. Keep in mind that it's not about writing a number of words, it's about quality and relevant content that people actually want to read. You have 9 seconds to grab their attention in the first paragraph.

  • Hook Them: Start with intriguing content. What are the benefits of committing to read this post?
  • Give Value: Tell people something interesting that they should care about.
  • Explain Benefits: Let people know why you are explaining this content to them.
  • Conclusion: Always end with some sort of call-to-action or sum up the reason for the post. 
  • Author Bio: It's good to include your bio or company bio within your blog. WordPress and Joomla come with this built in as long as your theme is compliant.

How often should I blog?

Consistency is more important than anything when you commit to starting a blog. Don't start one if you don't intend to keep it up to date. I suggest starting with 1–2 blog posts per month. Remember, this needs to work with your current business. If you can be making a sale or ensuring customers are happy, take care of those things first before updating your website with a new blog post. The reason to start with 1–2 posts is because once you've written your blog post, you need to ensure you give your post some exposure so that people can see the new content you've just posted.

How do I share and market my blog post?

Once you've posted your update to your website, you'll want to get people to see it. How people follow you is dependent on your industry and what form of following you're targeting.

Send your blog content to your email database of customers

For the most part, email is still the number one way to reach customers, so I suggest that email be the first priority for any business to ensure they send their blog post content out. I'd also suggest using a software to manage your database (MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber). Feel free to include a short paragraph teaser of your blog content and then link to your blog from there for people to read the full post. Alternatively, depending on your customers and the length of your blog post, you could include the full post in the email.

Link your blog post to your social media channels

One of the biggest factors that has been working with SEO lately is to share your blog post link from your website on social media. The more people who share and like that link, the better. Be sure to share your blog by taking your website link and posting that directly. The more shares, likes, etc. on this will have a direct impact on your SEO. Google is scanning the Internet to see how social your website is and how many links point back to it. This is a great way you can help increase your SEO rankings while getting exposure through social media activity.

It will never be perfect

Don't be afraid and don't overthink your post. Keep it simple.

This blog post took me less than an hour to write and proofread. No, I did not count the number of characters in the post and yes, I could have included more keywords to optimize it further. What works for my business is to commit to an hour to educate my current clients and send you this newsletter via email and social media. The marketing of the blog post may take another 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete. In conclusion, if you have 2 hours of time that you can fit in your month to write a blog post and share it with your customers, I'd suggest you do this.

If you feel people keep telling you that you need to update your website with content, make it happen one way or another. If you need some support, we are here to help.

Happy blogging!

 

 

If you own a business, you need to have Google My Business registered, verified and optimized.

Google My Business is Google's online directory of business listings. You may have seen these listings when doing a search using Google Maps. A bunch of business listings show up on the map, which display contact details and a link to their website. This is controlled by Google My Business listings. These listings used to be called Google Places and Google+ Local.

In an average Google search page, Google My Business listings show up just below Google AdWords paid advertising locations and above organic (non-paid) search results. Depending on what keyword you're looking for, you may or may not see a Google My Business listing.

These are the most important reasons to register and optimize your Google My Business listing:

#1. Free Google Website Visitors

google my business link

Google My Business listings show up very high in search results and give you free website traffic. Once verified, you can add the link to your website to redirect visitors to find more information about you or your company.

 

#2. Google Reviews

google reviews

Once you register and verify your listing, you'll have the ability to have your customers write reviews about your company to improve your online reputation. This is an important factor with Internet marketing. Some buyers do all their research online and have already scoped out which company, location, or products they want to purchase or work with before making any contact with you.

 

#3. Google AdWords Location Extension

adwords extensions

If you are running online advertising via Google AdWords Pay Per Click advertising, you'll be able to import your Google My Business listing directly into your advertising. This also imports the reviews on Google My Business directly into the advertising. This gives you a far better click-through rate and a competitive edge on your competitors.

 

#4. Control What People See

gmb hours

If you are a home office and you don't want to show your home address, it's totally okay. You can select a zone or list of cities that you service/work in. Feel free to check out what I've done with my Google My Business listing for example. Google My Business also displays on Google maps, so it shows when your business is open or if you're still open at the moment the user is searching. If your hours change, you can update it right within your Google My Business dashboard and let people know.

 

#5. Control Your Target Locations

google maps target

In Google My Business, you can tell Google which areas you service and your listings will show for those areas more prominently. This will help with lead generation, so you have the right people finding your website.

Google is doing a great job of making websites be found online. Get your Google My Business listing verified as you are missing out on website visitors if you don't have this setup.

 

Honest Advice on Internet Marketing

Contact us today to improve lead generation online. We can help you register your Google My Business listing, optimize it and integrate it into your Google AdWords campaign.

 

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