Menu

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

Read more

How Do We 'Grade' SEO Success?


Historically, one of the biggest selling points for search engine optimization (SEO) has been that brands with a successful strategy will end up on “the first page of Google.” And while there is, perhaps, some worth to this claim, it’s largely an obsolete idea – to say nothing of the fact that there never really was a “front page” of Google.

You see, today, both searchers and search engines are more sophisticated than ever before. Users are employing more targeted search terms, conducting more site-specific searches, and searching with tools like voice search, which weren’t mainstream even a few years ago. Meanwhile, search engines themselves evaluate sites based on more criteria than ever; Google has also changed the look, feel, and function of its search engine results pages (SERPs) with new features like Featured Snippets and Knowledge Graphs.

What this means, from a practical standpoint, is that different searchers are going to see different SERPs every time, based on a wide variety of criteria – specific search terminology, location, individual search history, and so on.

With this in mind, the “first page” of Google seems like even more of a fairy tale; everyone’s first page – or, more accurately, their initial search results – will be different, every time. So how can you gauge your brand’s SEO success today?

Read more

3 Digital Marketing Lessons from Santa (and 1 from Krampus)

Ho, ho, ho!

It’s that time of year again. The air has turned cold, sleigh bells are jingling, presents are being put into stockings with care… We could go on, but you probably get it!

It’s the holiday season, which means that the man in the big red coat will soon be flying around the world with his trusty reindeer, delivering presents (and a few lumps of coal) to kids everywhere.

And while some of our adult readers may have stopped believing in Santa Claus, there’s still something about his spirit that’s downright infectious – particularly for digital marketers! Don’t believe us? Well, it’s true!

Read more

How to Use Social Media to Listen for Potential Clients, and Generate Leads

You've heard it all before (probably from this very website): Having an active and engaged online presence is a surefire way to boost the image of your business - and generate new leads via inbound marketing.

But here's the thing. In today's digital landscape, what it means to be "active" is a little different than ever before. Social media platforms, for instance, have changed and adapted with the times, and users are more sophisticated than ever before.

But still, we're willing to bet you're at least keeping up with the basics. You know you're supposed to create original content, post on Facebook, tweet, and maintain a super awesome website that keeps bringing customers back for more.

But all of that - the creation and sharing of content - is just one piece of the puzzle. 

Your social media voice has been active - but how much have you really been listening?

Read more

What is Retention Marketing, and How Do I Use it?

What is Retention Marketing, and How Do I Use it? (Source: pexels.com - used as royalty free image)

So you’ve gotten visitors to your site, perhaps thanks to your SEO or pay-per-click SEM campaigns.

But are you keeping them coming back and buying what you have to offer again and again? Are you just churning through users, or building a loyal following of big spenders and glowing referrers?  

While it’s always great to be bringing in fresh leads and acquiring new customers, retaining your existing customers is also a key pillar to increasing the value of your brand. This is what is known as retention marketing - the art and science behind increasing the probability of a customer purchasing from you again.

The Benefits of Retention Marketing

And retention marketing doesn’t just create abstract value, like engagement or brand recognition! It also translates to your bottom line, and in a huge way, at that.

Indeed, by some metrics, it costs 500% more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, and yet a loyal customer is worth up to 10x as much as the value of their first purchase. 

Read more

6 Hidden Downsides of the Best Website Builders

Graphic featuring a variety of website layouts

Website builders like Squarespace or Wix make building a web presence for your business seem quick, painless, and cheap. They promise simplicity, clarity, and tools to help you design your site that are so intuitive, even the most inexperienced user can
feel like Mark Zuckerberg. And all of that for only a few dollars a month. 

The appeal is obvious, whether your business is well-established and you’re looking to overhaul your website without a major headache, or you’re a start-up operating on a shoestring budget. Website builders, also known as “WYSIWYG editors,” look like a way to deliver a slick website without making a major investment.

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get

WYSIWYG editors have been around for a long time, and they always make the same promise: that anybody can build a website. And while that’s true in essence, a good website is a lot more than a few pages with a URL.

Like any promise that sounds too good to be true, the promised “simplicity” of using a website builder comes with some major drawbacks. And if you aren’t careful, the low price of choosing a WYSIWYG editor could lead to costly headaches down the line. Here are 6 hidden drawbacks of website builders to consider before you decide to stake your company’s future on a website you built in the time it takes to make a sandwich.

Read more

Boost Organic Traffic With These 5 Smart SEO Tactics

Despite what you may have heard over the years, SEO is still here to stay.

In fact, in an era of inflated marketing budgets and boundless technical innovations, the art of maximizing your presence on search engines matters more than ever.

The long and short of it all is that SEO is still vital for spreading the word about your business, particularly if you’re trying to connect with local audiences. It’s one of the most consistent ways to drive traffic to your site, increasing your brand’s visibility and helping to generate warm leads over time.

But – and, we know, there’s always a “but” – just thinking about SEO won’t make it start producing results for your brand. Instead, you need to understand SEO – what it does, how it works, and what types of audiences it will bring to your site.

For one thing, it’s vital to understand the type of audience driven to your site via search engines – which digital marketers call organic traffic. In simplest terms, organic traffic refers to the volume of visits to your site that come through queries on search engines.

And now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize that your organic traffic consists of hyper-local audiences, mobile users on the go, and people looking for quick solutions to complex problems. These are all users prime for conversion – if you know how to help guide them into your funnel in the first place!

Read more

Using a Story to Create Conversions

Using a Story to Create Conversions

When it comes time to get serious about an inbound marketing strategy, many brands start to hesitate, or lose heart. On one level, we understand their worries – launching a comprehensive and multi-faceted digital marketing strategy can be a daunting undertaking!

In particular, we’ve heard – and assuaged – one concern from many different parties over the years (even among other professionals in our own industry). It goes a little like this:

“Can my content actually directly generate revenue? Is creating content only good for spreading my brand messaging, or can I actually expect it to create conversions and sales?”

The answer? Of course your content can create direct value in the form of conversions – if you’re creating the right kinds of content!

Read more

How Do 5-Star Reviews Affect Your SEO?

Businesses of all sizes, from across many different industries, can benefit from turning their attention to generating and curating positive reviews, as part of a process that we call online reputation management.

Time and again, studies have highlighted the remarkable power of positive reviews. For instance, did you know that 92% of customers read online reviews, and 68% trust a local business more if it has positive reviews? Or that brands typically see a 5-9% increase in revenue by improving their Yelp rating by just one star?

And one of the most important benefits of cultivating and sharing glowing reviews is (almost) as old as the internet itself. We’re talking about our geeky bread and butter: search engine optimization, or SEO.

What do positive reviews have to do with search engine success? Where do stars and SERPs overlap? How does getting more five-star reviews equate to greater rates of organic traffic – and more conversions – for your business?

Read more

Launching a New Website? Don’t Forget to Check These 10 Key Elements Off Your List

Website Launch Checklist

It’s hard to overstate the importance of having a website for your brand. Today, your next customers are connecting with businesses and doing their product research online, via search engines, review platforms, and social media networks - which can all help funnel users directly to your personalized landing page. 

Having a unique, handcrafted website that is functional, responsive, and optimized for search engines can go a long way in helping your business stand out from the crowd. Your brand website is also a powerful marketing tool. It’s your calling card, your elevator pitch, and your sales funnel, all rolled into one. Your website can help your brand reach new audiences on search engines like Google, and help convert curious visitors into lifelong customers. 

If you’re nearing the end of your website design and development process, you’ve probably been over all this - and then some! You’ve talked about design. You’ve discussed creating compelling calls to action and functional conversion tools. You’ve thought long and hard about the importance of UX. 

Now, it’s time to move into the last phase, and start fine-tuning your site so it’s ready to launch. It’s time to look over the little details, to make sure your website is going to appeal to audiences, and rank highly with search engines. Before your site goes live, it’s also important to start planning for the future, and develop a strategy for all of the maintenance, performance, and security tasks to come. 

Read more

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).