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Optimizing Your Site for Lead Generation: Here's What It Takes



Is your website primed for lead generation and conversions? Let’s dive in and talk about what this important question really means - and how you can take concrete steps towards generating more leads right now.

Conversions: A Major Part of the Digital Marketing Puzzle

When all parts of your digital marketing strategy are working in harmony, something amazing happens. Your website is well-designed and responsive. It hosts stunning, informative content, which you amplify over email and on social media to extend your brand reach. Your on-page and off-page SEO are on-point, generating consistent, quality traffic to your site. Everything operating like clockwork - that’s a beautiful thing. 

But even in cases like this, it’s still possible that you’re not seeing the conversion rate that you might be hoping for. And at this point, worry sets in. 

After all, you may be thinking, what use is all of this traffic and brand engagement if people aren’t actually signing up or buying anything? 

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Social Media is Free, Why Should I Pay for Marketing?

Social Media is Free, Why Should I Pay for Marketing?

For a long time, Facebook leaned heavily on the idea that it was free – and always would be. Similarly, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have absolutely no barrier to entry for individuals or organizations, as long as they’re old enough to sign up.

This low bar is what, in many ways, led to the social media marketing boom; potential customers signed up, and brands followed suit, leading to an online ecosystem full of constant conversations and access on both sides unlike anything that had ever been seen before.

So if social media is free, why do so many businesses hire marketers to handle their profiles? Well, the reality now is that…

Successful Social Media Actually Isn’t Free Anymore

While you may never have to pay just to access the features of Facebook or Twitter, the reality is that it now takes a certain level of investment to see success using those platforms. Without paying for promotion, your brand’s organic reach on Facebook is likely to remain stagnant; this means that the links, images, and updates you share will reach a fairly small number of people – perhaps as little as 2% of your total number of Facebook fans.

If people aren’t seeing your content, then they aren’t interacting with it, clicking it, sharing it. If you’re not maximizing your potential audience, then you aren’t getting the most out of your marketing efforts.

Working with a digital marketing professional will allow you to make sure that your social media budget – as much or as little as that may be – is being put to its best possible use, allowing you to create and share the ads targeted specifically towards the audience that is most likely to produce results for you.

Certainly, you can undertake paid social marketing on your own! But it’s important to realize that it can be complicated (even for experts), and is a process that will certainly require trial and error and a steep learning curve – which likely means a few lost dollars along the way as you learn what works and what doesn’t for your brand (and try to keep up with your competitors, who are investing more and bringing on outside help). You can save a lot of time and trouble by contracting with a professional in the beginning, one who is able to listen to your needs and work with your unique budget and strategy.

Marketing Pros Have Access to Sophisticated Tools…

Part of what makes paid social advertising so daunting is how complicated it can seem from the outside. It’s perfectly easy to click “promote this post” and let Facebook do the rest, but engage with the Ads platform any further and you’re certain to wind up in a world dominated by ad spend, micro-targeting, and analytics that may be difficult to parse.

Your social media marketing expert, however, is familiar with what it takes to get a social advertising campaign off the ground, as well as all the little things it takes to fine-tune and tweak a campaign at it goes on. Duties can include installing code on the back end of your website in order to track social traffic or conversions and start “retargeting” website visitors; tracking reach and engagement using a social analytics tool; and engaging in “social listening” by tracking references to your brand and other important keywords across social channels, allowing you to respond to feedback and keep up to date with the chatter going on about you and your industry.

In other words, successful social marketing isn’t about “setting and forgetting” a link or a photo; instead, it is an active and ongoing process that can require consistent attention and specialized tools.

… And Can Fully Dedicate Themselves to Creating Content for Your Brand

The other thing that a successful social campaign requires? Content, and lots of it.

Even if you’re attempting to give “free” social marketing a go, you’ll still need to be able to supply a consistent stream of content. That may be as simple as curating links, or it could be as intensive as producing streaming video content or shareable images specifically designed for maximum social media shareability.

But in any case, you will always need to be producing content of some sort. Your social media fans and followers are hungry, and feeding their insatiable appetite for content can quickly become a full-time job. Do you have the time to always be designing infographics, writing share-worthy blog posts or news articles, and Snapchatting relevant pictures or videos and keep up with the workload that is your actual career?

If you do, that’s great! But for the vast majority of us, keeping on top of our day-to-day can be tough enough without the added stress of creating a social media posting schedule and always having enough creative, high quality content to fill it up.

Bringing on a social media marketing team that specializes in content creation, however, will help ensure that you – and, more importantly, your audience of potential customers – never run out of readable, watchable, lovable, shareable social content, the sort that you’d be happy to put your brand’s name on.

Have any questions about what it takes to set up a successful social media campaign today? Looking to expand your efforts or fix a trouble spot? Just want to dig deeper into some of your lingering questions? Whatever your social media marketing needs, our team is here and happy to help! Drop us a line whenever you want to get the conversation started!

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How Do Users Engage With Your Site, and What Does It Mean for Your SEO?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a process your brand can use to position itself highly on search engine ranking pages (also called SERPS).

In a lot of ways, SEO is one of the most important tools you can use to get future customers to find your business’s information online. It’s also an effective way to keep users coming back for more, and increase the likelihood that your newfound website visitors will be primed and ready to become eager conversions, either right away or at some point down the line.

In short, SEO really does matter. It’s an essential strategy for businesses of all sizes to have in place.

But, then, this beggars another question: What goes into a successful SEO effort today?

From the jump, it’s important to realize that SEO is a multi-faceted process, and a lot of different elements go into generating search engine success. It’s part art, part science, and part game – and you need to master all three of those buckets if you want to claim your rightful place at the top of the SERP.

Today, we’re going to focus on one part of the SEO formula that often goes overlooked: The user.

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Client Success Story - Janet Torelli: Jewelry for the Table

A large monitor shows the main website for Janet Torelli, a prior Geek Chicago web development client

About Janet 

Based in Chicago, Janet Torelli designs sterling silver tableware, drawing her unique vision from architectural and organic forms. A “marriage of functionality and contemporary elegance for the table,” Janet’s work has been featured in the National Design Museum in New York.

In addition to designing her handcrafted “Jewelry for the Table,” Janet is a member of the American Craft Council, and is a party planner, chef, and certified sommelier. 

Our Mission 

Janet Torelli is a creative force, and needed a website to match - complete with eCommerce functionality to enable shoppers to view and shop from her extraordinary collection. 

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5 Ways to Improve Your Brand Awareness on Social Media

5 Ways to Improve Your Brand Awareness on Social Media

No matter what your line of business, social media marketing (SMM) is a low-cost, high-reward way to connect with your audience online, leading to increased traffic to your site and - with a little skill - a slew of brand-new leads.

But besides just reaching out to new users, spreading your message on social media can be a great way to connect with users and customers on an emotional level. Creatively telling your unique brand story and forging real relationships are the backbone of effective social marketing; they turn customers into friends and partners, creating brand awareness and loyalty that are invaluable for your company.

Here are five surefire to ways to boost your brand awareness with social media:

1.) Have a Strategic Focus

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Five Common SEO Pitfalls to Avoid

Five Common SEO Pitfalls to Avoid

Though it’s gone through its fair share of changes in recent years, SEO – the art of boosting organic traffic by improving search engine ranking – is here to stay.

Though blackhat tactics like keyword stuffing are (thankfully) a relic of the past, the art behind SEO is still vital and remains a key part of any business’ successful content marketing strategy. But are you doing enough to maximize your SEO for Google’s most recent updates? Are you making sure every facet of your marketing campaign is engaged and running at full speed?

Want to get the most out of your SEO? Then it’s time to rethink your strategy. Here are five common SEO mistakes to watch out for:

1.) Not Producing Content

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Client Success Story: Antique Resources

A photo of a large computer monitor displaying the Antique Resources website, built by Geek Chicago


The Antique Resources Story

With an 18,000 square foot showroom in the heart of Chicago, Antique Resources is one of our area’s best kept secrets. Originally established in 1964, this Chicagoland institution specializes in fine European antiques, with unique pieces dating as far back as the early 17th century. 

Antique Resources is led by Mr. Richard M Weisz, whose goal is to continue to make antiques available to everyone - and to encourage future generations to remember their past as they enjoy their present.

Our Mission 

Antique Resources needed a modern website with seamless eCommerce functionality, to help collectors and designers from around the world browse and shop through their extensive and one-of-a-kind collection. 

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Geek Chicago Selected as a Top SEO Agency in Chicago by Expertise.com



We are proud to share that Geek Chicago has been selected as one of the 21 best SEO agencies in Chicago by Expertise.com! They scored 319 companies based on more than 25 different variables to evaluate each company's reputation, credibility, experience, availability, and professionalism. The goal of Expertise.com is to "connect people with the best local experts," and we are honored to be featured. Read more about the selection and review process here

 

Best SEO Experts in Chicago

Want to Close More Sales? Great Content Is Your Secret Weapon

According to recent studies, 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles than an advertisement. 68% report feeling more positive about a brand after consuming content from it.

What’s more, research shows that B2B decision makers tend to engage with at least five pieces of content before they buy. And yet, in spite of all of this, there is still a common perception that content marketing is only about bringing in prospects, rather than generating real, substantive conversions.

While content is a vital tool for inbound marketing, it can also be put to work turning leads into customers – at every step along the buyer’s journey, and in a variety of creative ways.

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The 3 Elements of Web Development (Hint: Don't Start with the Template)

If you're as addicted to caffeine as we are here at Geek Chicago, you already know that a cappuccino is one-third espresso, one-third milk, and one-third foam. It’s that rule of threes that makes this iconic drink 100% delicious. 

Now, we’re not saying that building a website for your brand is just like making a cappuccino. But it is a process that takes skill, experience, and, of course, the rule of threes.

In this case, we know that there are three central elements that go into creating a great website, one that will help you attract and convert customers for years and years. Those three essential elements are:

  • Content
  • Design
  • Template

… and the order that you should prioritize them in may be different than you’d think!

For a Great Website, Don’t Start From a Template

In our experience, many people are quick to jump to that third bullet point, without taking the time to consider the other two.

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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).