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  • How Do I Get More Website Traffic?

    How Do I Get More Website Traffic? (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    How did businesses attract customers before the internet? Paper flyers? Television ads? Word of mouth? All of those methods of advertising are still in play, and still do wonders for brands of all shapes and sizes.

    But the reality of today’s marketplace is that every business needs to be online. We’ve said this again and again. For one thing, your prospective customers are already socializing, searching, and shopping on the internet; it only makes sense to direct your efforts toward reaching your next clients where they’re already spending their time – on Google results pages, on review aggregators like Yelp, and across social media platforms.

    What’s more, there is plenty of evidence that investing in digital marketing actually generates significantly higher ROI than other methods. It can be relatively inexpensive to get started with many of the essential elements that make up a digital marketing campaign; once you have a foot in the door, the tools available on search engines and social networks are some of the most sophisticated ever created, allowing you to specifically target and convert the users most likely to work with your brand.

  • How Long Should My Content Marketing Elements Be?

    Maybe you’ve head the famous Shakespeare quote that “brevity is the soul of wit.”

    Maybe you’ve heard that, and then responded with “cram it, English major, just tell me how many characters I can put in this blog headline!”

    We get it. When it comes to creating content for your digital marketing channels, including blogs and social media, finding the perfect length seems hugely important – and yet it’s also one of the trickiest things to get right.

    That’s where the Geek team would love to help! Below, we’ve got your go-to guide for making sure that your content marketing elements measure up. Curious about character limits on social media? Looking for the ideal length for an SEO-focused blog post? Read on…

  • How Our Clients are Benefiting from Digital Marketing

    How Our Clients are Benefiting from Digital Marketing

    Why digital marketing? What can it really do for me?

    These are the sorts of questions we hear all the time from business owners nervous to take the plunge. Why so hesitant? We’ve heard any number of reasons:

    It’s hard to monitor your success!

    It’s not right for businesses like mine!

    I don’t have any more time to spare!

    While we understand the hesitation, it’s also important to realize that having a digital marketing strategy in place is one of the keys to remaining competitive and accessible in our modern digital landscape. SEO, social media marketing, and sleek design – these aren’t buzzwords, but essential building blocks for reaching and retaining your future customers.

    So, why digital marketing? It builds and bolsters your brand, makes your workflow more convenient and efficient, provides measurable data, and increases brand recognition and loyalty by putting the customer in control. And we can prove it.

    Why do our clients love our one-of-a-kind approach to digital marketing? Let us count the ways:

    The Benefits of a Comprehensive Approach to Digital Marketing

  • How Recognizable Is Your Brand?

    How recognizable is your brand - especially online? The answer to that question may mattera lotmore than you might think!

    In fact, get this: According to a recent consumer survey, brought to our attention byCustomer Think, a remarkable 41% respondents viewed brand consistency as the most important factor in brand loyalty. This study indicates that consistency actually matters more to consumers than “authenticity, relevance, or transparency.”

    That’s remarkable - but it makes sense the more you think about it.

    After all, who hasn’t been scrolling through Netflix for something new to watch, only to settle for aParks & Recreationepisode you’ve already seen three or eighty times?

    Or how about this? Have you ever been in a new city, looking for something to eat? Your traveling companion is scrolling through listings on their phone, when finally, you stop them, saying something along the lines of; “Oh, that sounds familiar. I think they were on Bourdain. Let’s go there.”

    The operative words there? “Sounds familiar.”

  • How Skimmable Is Your Content? Here's Why It Matters!

    How Skimmable Is Your Content? Here's Why It Matters!

    It all seems like we’re busier than ever these days, doesn’t it? Who has time for anything, let alone reading an entire article online?

    Indeed, research suggests that about 55% of pageviews are less than 15 seconds long. Just 15 seconds!

    Now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure that your content is unique, compelling, and skimmable; that is to say, simple to read and grasp quickly, without a lot of effort.

    But what does skimmable content look like now? How can you make sure your readers are getting the most out of your amazing content? Try these five tricks to make sure your content is effortlessly readable, in 15 seconds or less!

    1.) Keep Your Most Important Info “Above the Fold”

  • How to Adapt Your Writing Style For Online Content

    How to Adapt Your Writing Style For Online Content

    We've written about high quality content and site design in the past, but there are other steps that content producers need to take when transitioning from the offline world to digital spaces. Here's how to prepare effective written content for your site!

    1. Grab Readers with Snappy Headlines

    Headers and headlines can do two things for your online content. First, they invite the reader to the article. Because of this, you should make sure that your titles efficiently explain the content that follows.

    Second, you can use headers and headlines to break up content strategically. Online readers typically scan content, so it's helpful to break information into labeled pieces.

  • How to Beat the Summer Slump With Content Marketing

    Do you ever feel like your personal productivity goes down during the summer? What about your company’s overall productivity?

    If you answered yes to either of the above (and we’ll bet a cool Mai Tai that you did), then you’re definitely not alone. In fact, tons of research indicates that the productivity of American businesses goes way down during the summer months.

    In fact,one 2012 study indicated that:

    • Workplace productivity drops 20% during the summer months
    • Workplace attendance decreases by 19%
    • Projects take 13% longer to complete
    • Workers are 45% more distracted

    Think about it! How much time do you spend over the summer months traveling? Or what about day-dreaming about traveling? Or how about spending time trying to play catch-up with yourclientswho are off on vacation, even as you keep working?

    And vacations are just the tip of the iceberg!Science says it’s harder to work in the heat and the humidity - and, conversely, in an office that’s too cold from AC!

    Basically? Trying to get things done in the summer is a lose-lose proposition - except when it comes to digital marketing.

  • How to Blow Up Your Digital Marketing by Going "Rogue"

    How to Blow Up Your Digital Marketing by Going "Rogue"

    Digital marketing isn’t something from a long time ago, or that’s taking place in a galaxy far, far away. It’s here right now, and it’s consistently evolving and changing to better suit the needs of businesses like yours.

    Whether referring to SEO, social media marketing, digital newsletter creation, or any combination of the above, digital marketing is a vital cornerstone of getting – and keeping – customers in today’s small business landscape.

    Think of optimizing your digital marketing like this… Remember those two photon blasters that Luke Skywalker shoots into the Death Star? That’s digital marketing, and what it can do, in a nutshell: One small action that leads to a massive chain reaction that forever changes the galaxy (or, at least, that forever broadens your customer pool).

  • How to Build Your Forever Website

    How to Build Your Forever Website

    In real estate, a lot of buyers dream of their “Forever Home.” It’s a place where they can live… well… forever! It’s a consistent, lifelong investment and source of equity. It’s something that owners can pass on to their children or grandchildren years down the line.

    In short, a Forever Home is about stability and security. And it doesn’t just apply to real estate and families. In fact, your brand can have a Forever Website. And it’s easier to build and maintain than you might think – as long as you think and work strategically.

    Want to create the unique site that’s comfortable, accessible, and, above all, valuable for your brand? Here are four important things to keep in mind as you craft your Forever Site:

    Include a CMS for Your Content

  • How to Create a Call to Action That Really Stands Out

    How to Create a Call to Action That Really Stands Out

    You’ve got an incredible product. You’re producing high-quality, SEO-focused content on a regular basis. You’ve got a solid social media marketing strategy in place. That’s all well and good.

    But how do you ultimately turn curious visitors into paying customers?

    The answer is a strong call to action. Let’s explore what a call to action does – and how you can maximize your own to start turning visitors into leads:

    What is a Call to Action?

  • How To Create a Great Digital Newsletter

    Why an Email Newsletter?

    Producing original content for your site without offering a digital newsletter is a lot like putting a toy’s motor into your Ferrari - you’ve got great material, but it’s going nowhere fast. 

    For millions of us around the world, email is already a primary mode of communication, whether on a laptop, a smartphone, or a tablet; indeed, according to one study, people send more than 200 billion emails a day, which translates to more than 2 million emails every second. 

    With that being said, putting together a digital newsletter through online services (we tend to like MailChimp here at Geek) is a highly effective way to secure a consistent audience while:

    • building brand awareness
    • communicating company information
    • making announcements about new products or services.

    Distributing a regular digital newsletters gives your dedicated followers something to expect and allows you to stay in contact with them, on top of providing an outlet to freshen up old content and get it in front of new audiences. You could call that a win-win.

  • How to Create a More Consistent Content Strategy


    “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison

    Widely regarded as the father of modern electricity, Thomas Edison was a relentlessly prolific inventor, and is considered to be one of the most important engineers in American history. So it’s a little bit reassuring to read that such a significant figure sometimes struggled with his productivity and creative output.

    We know how it feels to be burnt out, tired, or otherwise unproductive – and we’re willing to bet that you sometimes feel the same way. Like there aren’t enough hours in the day? That no matter how much you accomplish, you’ll never actually manage to polish off your “to-do” list?

    Whenever feelings like these creep up, it can be easy to retreat from what needs to be done, and instead fall back on that old, reliable stand-by – procrastination.

    “Why force it, if the creative juices just aren’t flowing?” you ask.

    “Isn’t it better to wait,” you may well reason, “until I feel that big, creative second wind?”

    These feelings are completely natural. But when it comes to your content marketing efforts, they could be dangerous.

    The Importance of a Consistent Content Marketing Strategy

  • How to Create the Content That Your Audience Wants to See

    How to Create the Content That Your Audience Wants to See

    As recently as a few years ago, we had a better grasp on what “content” meant online. It referred to individual posts – blogs, vlogs, infographics – typically stored on your site and discovered or shared through different channels, including search engine rankings, social media, and email.

    But today’s internet works differently. There are more social channels, more types of media to pick from, more content creators than ever before. And as a result, users’ preferences have changed over the years. The ways in which we consume content have changed fundamentally, for example; we multi-task more than ever, and are more likely to “skim” articles than read them in their entirety.

    More broadly speaking, even the ways we think about content have changed fundamentally in recent years. It’s no longer discrete, but omnipresent, built into the very fabric of the way that we use the internet now. Readers and searchers have grown more savvy and media literate, and your approach to content creation needs to be as sophisticated as they are – crafted in a way that consumers find appealing and made accessible on the channels that your audience is already using.

  • How to Elevate Your Digital Marketing for the Holidays

    How to Elevate Your Digital Marketing for the Holidays (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Who doesn’t love a good holiday? Whether it’s Christmas, Chanukah, Halloween, Independence Day, or even National Popsicle Day, there’s a celebration for every taste.

    And for brands like yours, the holidays aren’t just a time to get together with friends and family, but a chance to drive in traffic and make some serious sales.

    The best way to put holidays to work for your brand? Refresh and refocus your digital marketing! Here are four ways to elevate your digital marketing efforts around the holidays:

    1.) Start Your Campaign Early

  • How to Keyword Optimize Your Website for SEO

    The idea of writing your individual website articles or blogposts with "keywords" in mind makes sense, as each blog topic typically has an optimized group of phrases and words already at hand, but how does this concept work for your overall website?

    Keywords, as we've previously written about, have a changeable yet important relationship to SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  Google alone has seen numerous changes over the years when it comes to how they pull in their data for searches.  

    One thing stands tried and true, however: websites with an optimized keyword base improve their SEO.

    Here are some ways you can improve the keyword standing on your own website, courtesy of Hubspot.

    Identify the Best Keywords for Your Website

    Creating your list of keywords can be the most time consuming part of the process, but it is a one-time process that will pay you huge dividends down the line not only for your website, but for your content creation process as well.

    Our extended guide to developing your keyword list can be found here.

    Audit Your Site

    Once you have an established base of keywords to begin optimizing your site with, you can begin to audit your site.  This will target which pages on your sites should use which keywords, as well as identifying duplicate content.  Here is the quick way to go through this process:

    • Export your site pages into an Excel spreadsheet
    • Sort the pages from most frequently visited pages to least visited pages
    • Add a column for "Keyword Category" and identify each page by its most important, overarching keyword
    • Add an additional column for other relevant keywords and keyword phrases (Note: RELEVANT)

    You now have a roadmap for how to improve your website.

    Add Selected Keywords to Specific Site Information

    Now that you have a list of keywords and keyword phrases, you're ready to start plugging them in on each individual page.  This includes:

  • How to Make Your Content Marketing Strategy Last

    How to Make Your Content Marketing Strategy LastMarketing strategies in the digital marketing world come and go. Right now we are in the thick of trends like hyperbolic headlines which capitalize on the "curiosity cap" à la Upworthy (Takei Says 1 Word Before Colbert Disintegrates Him. It's A Big One.), and "newsjacking" by quickly jumping on the latest trend to gain some quick hits on your website.

    Content marketing that lasts, however, requires a long-term game in combination with the trending tactics. Without sustainable engagement, your website will quickly resemble what we know as "one hit wonders" in the music world. Don't be the 4 Non Blondes. Be Cher.

    How do you establish yourself as a lasting source of useful content while still using some trends as tactics? Here are some great suggestions from Hubspot.

    Identify popular content on social media

    There are ways to monitor trends already set up through Twitter's trending topics area or Google Alerts on specific keywords. Better yet is social trend tool Topsy. Search keyword phrases with this tool, and relevant links, tweets, photos, and videos will surface.

    This will both identify if there is current interest in a particular topic and whether or not there is interest in a new content piece in this genre.

    If you're unsure what kind of keywords to search for, spend some time on social media sites and subscribe to apps like Feedly. Do some reading. See what is being talked about, and then see what stage the keyword is in via Topsy.

    Create a headline which invites clicks

  • How to Market Yourself Like the 'Fake News' Outlets

    How to Market Like the 'Fake News' Outlets (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)Love them or not, our country’s news media outlets are remarkable for a lot of reasons. Most impressive to us is the way in which our news and information sources are constantly adapting and changing with the times.

    You see, not only do the world’s news outlets (sometimes referred to as “fake news” – but the less said about that, the better) bring millions of people top-notch stories, criticism, and analysis every single day, but they’re also an amazing reflection of the current state of technology. Hundreds of years ago, our newspapers and magazines came in the form of printed leaflets, single sheets of text, and shouted proclamations. As time went on, we saw news spread to other available media, including to the telegraph, radio, and TV. Today, we receive our news through a complex, interconnected network of sources, ranging from websites to cable TV channels to social media platforms.

  • How to Optimize Your Email Newsletter for Mobile

    How to Optimize Your Email Newsletter for Mobile (Source: Pexels.com - used as royalty free image)

    Mobile isn’t actually the next fantastical frontier for digital marketing anymore; It’s the everyday reality. Optimizing your brand’s marketing efforts for mobile is key, whether your campaign’s focus is on social, SEO, or even email marketing.

    But wait, you may be asking yourself, do that many people really check their inbox on a mobile device? Millions do, and with the rise of new technologies, mobile open rates are still growing constantly. In fact, the percentage of emails opened on mobile devices jumped up more than 500% between 2011 and 2014, from a mere 8% to 53%, according to Forbes. 

    Need another staggering statistic to convince you that mobile optimization is a colossal deal? In a study by BlueHornet, more than 80% of email marketing subscribers report that they will delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their mobile device.

    Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing techniques at your disposal, and now is the time to expand your audience by reaching their tablets and smartphones.

    Here are five easy ways to optimize your email newsletter for mobile:

    1.) Use Larger Fonts

  • How to Personalize Your Content Marketing

    How to Personalize Your Content Marketing

    By some metrics, about 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears to have “nothing to do with their interests.” Similarly, personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, but 70% of brands fail to use them.

    What does this tell us? Personalization is the next major wave in content marketing – and, so far, businesses are having trouble keeping up. Folding personalization into your digital marketing campaign will help you stand out from your competitors, all while also increasing engagement and loyalty among your customer base.

    Ready to get started with personalization? There are lots of approaches your brand can take to adapting your content for individuals, based on your budget, scope, and labor constraints. Here are three ideas to kick around:

    Start Simple

  • How to Reach Different Age Groups With Your Online Marketing

    How to Reach Different Age Groups With Your Online Marketing

    Maybe you’ve seen the meme: It’s a screenshot from the TV show 30 Rock, and it features legendary actor Steve Buscemi in a badly-fitting hoodie and backwards hat, grinning psychotically while he asks a gaggle of high schoolers, “how do you do, fellow kids?”

    It’s an iconic piece of internet junk for a reason: In a lot of ways, this picture sums up a lot of what passes for good online content and marketing. Countless brands try to be radical and cool to appeal to younger audiences. But why? Isn’t it a little bit pandering and condescending – not to mention counter-effective – to assume a pose or posture to speak down to millennials? Or, conversely, to assume that all baby boomers and Gen X-ers are buttoned-up squares who don’t know an iPhone from a rotary?

    While Facebook Ads and other online marketing platforms allow for sophisticated targeting options based on age, the fact remains that many brands simply don’t know what their audience actually wants to see and consume. It’s time to fix that! Fortunately, a recent study by Olapic, brought to our attention by Hubspot and Adweek, is just what the doctor ordered.

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).