Halloween Marketing Ideas

Halloween is nearing! It’s the perfect time to add a little Halloween fun to your marketing. Whether you post some fun images to social media or add a cute Halloween reminder to receipts (like Target did), there are tons of ways to delight your customers and make them smile.

Sometimes it’s tough coming up with these creative ideas on your own, so we put together a little inspiration to help you generate some fun Halloween marketing tactics you can use.


Chipotle’s Boorito

Every year Chipotle offers their Boorito for a discount price on Halloween. You have to show up in a costume and sometimes Chipotle specifies what exactly you should be wearing. It’s a fun way to get customers in the door for the holiday (trust me, the lines are long!).

Tesco Spookermarket

The UK supermarket chain Tesco created a fun video around their Spookermarket, a spooky version of their typical store. You can view it here.

Pizza Hut How to Win at Halloween

Scaring is a huge part of Halloween. Pizza Hut put together a video called “How to Win at Halloween“. This video is full of great value for the customer and you don’t even know it’s from Pizza Hut until the video is over.

What can you do for your small business?

If you have a retail location, there are tons of ways to get people in the door.

  • Host a costume party/contest
  • Decorate the store
  • Have a pumpkin carving event
  • Every customer that comes in costume gets a discount
  • Create branded Halloween treat bags

For online businesses, you can have a little fun with your website. Add some spooky graphics like cobwebs or a fun creepy pop up like this one from Little Caesars.

little ceasers.png

REI put together a fun infographic on surviving a zombie invasion. You can create some fun graphics and content around anything Halloween-themed from witches to pumpkins to vampires.

REI zombie.png

You can host a digital costume contest. Invite your followers to share their costume pictures or their pets in costume and they could win a fun prize.


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Learn the basics of SEO series: On-Page SEO

If you haven’t read our other two posts in the Learn the basics of SEO series, you should go back and read them now (or don’t I won’t force you). The first one is about keyword research the second is on how to use those keywords.

Now we’re going to discuss the practice of on-page SEO. This is where you optimize certain web pages on your site to rank for a specific keyword. There are very basic things you can do like using proper heading tags, and there are more advanced things like boosting site speed.

There are a ton of resources on this topic, so I’m not about to re-teach them all here. Instead I’ll be referencing one of the biggest sites in the SEO space: Backlinko.

The basics of on-page SEO

This is probably the best representation of on-page SEO you will get online. It’s from Brian Dean at Backlinko. Take a good while to go through it and try to understand each piece.


Brian mentions 16 factors that both search engines and users love. He makes this distinction because you’ve probably seen sites that use awkward phrasing like “We have the best pizza New York City” because they want to rank for “best pizza New York City”. Sure, search engines may like this exact keyword phrasing but users will hate it.

I won’t attempt to explain everything in this infographic, Brian does a good job at explaining. But I will go through a few things that aren’t covered.

Leverage SEO-Friendly URLs

If you’re using WordPress, the way to change your URL structure is to go to Settings- Permalinks and change it to “Post Name”.

Adding H Tags

If you’re not super savvy with HTML, don’t fret it’s very easy. If you’re on WordPress, just go to your post and within the editor click the “HTML” option at the top right of the content box. From here you can add your <h1>, <h2>, <h3> tags.

Boost Site Speed

Boosting site speed can be tough, because there are many factors that influence it. Head to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and see how fast your site loads. They will give you tips on how to make your page load faster.

As an example I used our blog “Learn the Basics of SEO Series: How to use keywords”. We scored a 63/100 for mobile which isn’t too great. But we got an 80/100 for desktop.



LSI Keywords

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Keywords. There’s a site called LSI Graph which can help generate LSI keywords for you.

I typed in “on page SEO” and got keywords like:

  • seo on page optimization
  • on page optimization
  • latest on page seo techniques
  • on page seo guide
  • off page seo
  • on page seo tips
  • best on page seo techniques
  • on page seo definition

Image Optimization

When they mention changing your Alt Text that means when you’re adding an image there are properties you can change. On WordPress you can go the an image’s settings and add Alt Text.

Add social sharing buttons

If you’re on WordPress, there are tons of plugins that let you add social sharing buttons. Be sure to pick one that has good reviews, as you don’t want to add a plugin that doesn’t work, hasn’t been updated, or is malicious. One I recommend is SumoMe.

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Social media tools to make your job easier

Social media can be a lot of work. If you’re managing one huge client with millions of followers and likes, you can often feel overwhelmed by all the feedback and comments you have to respond to.

If you’re part of an agency managing multiple accounts at once, you won’t want to spend all day going through each account by hand, you’ll want to see them at a glance.

Social media doesn’t need to be overwhelming. We put together this article as a guide to some of the popular tools out there (many of which we use here) and talk about how they can help with everything from content curation to creating graphics to being aware of @ mentions.

Now, that’s not to say that using these tools will make social media a breeze. It still takes time and effort to create engaging posts, understand what your audience wants and likes, and respond to comments both negative and positive. These tools are available to help reduce some of the redundancy that can get in the way of producing great social media posts.

Content Curation

Creating content is one of the key tasks for a social media manager or business owner running an account. You need to get into the mind of your audience and really understand what they want, not what you want to post. Many business owners make the mistake of posting all about their company. Here are some sites to help you find great content to share.

A feed based on topics and sites you want to follow

Everyone knows this one. It’s useful for finding visually-appealing content.

This is a Q&A site which very well-thought-out answers

It’s a blog publishing platform that is really taking off

Use Instagram to find user generated content and be sure to credit the creator

This site helps you discover new top stories from your friends or those you follow on Twitter

Management Tools

This is one of the most popular social media management tools. You can see your accounts at a glance and view everything from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook to LinkedIN feeds.

This site allows you to schedule and post to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook very easily. They have a browser extension that makes the process very simple.

I haven’t used this yet, but it’s a Pinterest tool that lets to schedule pins and repins.

Graphics Tools

This one is my favorite. It’s a super easy to use online graphics creator with pre-built templates that even a non-designer can use.

This image creation tool from Buffer let’s you design and create social media images in as little as 30 seconds.

Find great-looking stock photos to use in your graphics

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Learn the basics of SEO series: How to use keywords

If you didn’t read our previous article on finding keywords, check it out here. Once you’ve gone through the process and determined some keywords you want to try and rank for, then come back to this article.

Now, we’re going to be discussing just how to use those keywords. Keyword stuffing is no longer a sufficient plan, it can even penalize your site! But there are still ways to get your keyword on your site the “white-hat” way.

On-Page SEO

Here are some quick ways to get your target keyword onto your website. This will require you to go into your website, so if you’re unsure how to do that, it may be a good idea to contact your Webmaster or grab a freelance SEO consultant to get this done for you.

  • Meta Description- It’s that little description underneath the title part on the search engine. Although it’s not necessarily required for SEO optimization, it gets bolded when someone searches the term (see the screenshot).


  • Title Tag- You want your keyword in the SEO title tag of your page, or the main title if you utilize a CMS
  • First paragraph on page
  • 3-5 times throughout the content on the page
  • In an image’s filename and ALT text. I inserted an example below which shows how to add the ALT text in WordPress if we were ranking for “cat toys”.
  • cat toys wp.png

These are some basics you will want to have in place, in another article in our series we will go over more on-page SEO tactics.

Where to use your keywords

You’ve got your basic on-page SEO down. Now onto other spaces.

You can add keywords to:

  • Blogs
  • Social media profile
  • Guest posts
  • Emails
  • Offline


Content creation is one of the best ways to get your keyword in front of your audience. Great content has the ability to be shared as well, helping you build links that can increase your authority in the eyes of Google.

If you’re not familiar, link building means that your site is being linked to by other sites. If someone links to this blog post, that’s a backlink for this site.

There can be good and bad backlinks though. Ones that hold the most sway are .edu and .gov domain links. If this blog was linked to on a site like USDA.gov that’s a much more powerful link than from something like billsblog.net.

Links hold different “link juice” based on the age of the site, how many backlinks they have, etc. Below are examples of what can affect the link juice you receive when someone links to your site.

What positively affects link juice:

  • Page appears high in search engine
  • Has quality content
  • Has high PageRank
  • Has relatively few outbound links
  • Has user-generated content
  • Mentioned often in social media

What negatively affects link juice:

  • “Nofollowed” the link to your site
  • Has irrelevant content
  • Page has lots of links
  • Page has paid links
  • Page isn’t indexed in search


The point of blogs is to be creating on-point articles that relate to whatever keyword you’re targeting and help your audience. In the case of the cat toys example, let’s say we want to target a long tail keyword like “how to buy a cat tower”. Someone searching for that may come upon our article that is a guide on just that keyword.

If your content is good enough, other people will link to it, helping provide you with beneficial backlinks. The backlinks tell Google that your site is useful to others, otherwise why would they link to it? It’s sort of like seeing tons of good Amazon reviews for a product.

Similar to this is guest posting. While the fad used to be that people would guest post short, low-quality articles to get backlinks, now the stakes are higher and you need to be writing unique, beneficial content.

While guest posting may not necessarily increase your ranking for a keyword, it will help you increase your exposure to a relevant audience.

Brian Dean of Backlinko recommends publishing long content. He coined the term “skyscraper technique” which refers to taking current content online and improving it by updating it or going more in depth.

Yes, long content (1500+ words) will take a while to write, but the impact of one great post compared to 10 ok posts is huge. The reason Brian’s site does so well is because his posts go more in depth than any others on the same subject. People go to him as the expert on SEO and backlinks.

Additional SEO blog tips

  • Use keyword in first 100 words of page
  • Create long content
  • Add images, charts, infographics, videos, etc.
  • Use Header tags (H1,H2,H3). Brian recommends at least one subheader for every 200 words
  • Don’t over-optimize anchor text (the wording used for your link)
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Learn the Basics of SEO Series: Keyword Research

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can seem like a tricky subject to master, especially if it’s not your full time gig. Not only do you have to learn about on-page tweaks, keyword research, and link building, but you also have to pay close attention to Google’s algorithm changes and how those impact your page’s rankings on the search engine.

Back when the internet was in its early days, SEO was all about keyword stuffing. Meaning Google was likely to rank your site higher if you had the keyword you were targeting (say “kids toys) a bunch of times on your site. Next came the PBNs, these are public backlink networks. It was where you could get tons of backlinks (more on that later) for your site to help increase your rankings. Google caught on and in their next algorithm update they penalized sites using PBNs.

The SEO world is constantly changing, but we’re going to give you some tips on the basics that can help you build a general understanding of the field.

Why is SEO so important?

How many times a day do you pull up a search engine to look something up or type in a question? According to a report by Fleishman Hillard, 89% of all consumers begin their shopping process on a search engine.

That’s a huge chunk of your potential audience that you may not be reaching! This is why SEO can be so important for your business.

Questions to ask yourself during keyword research phase

Moz has an excellent beginner’s guide to SEO on their site. In it, they have a few questions you should be asking yourself during the keyword research phase. Answering thse question will help ensure you’re targeting the right keywords.

  • Is the keyword relevant to your website’s content?
  • Will searchers find what they are looking for on your site when they search using these keywords?
  • Will they be happy with what they find?
  • Will this traffic result in financial rewards or other organizational goals?

Keyword Research Process

Keyword research is still a key part of the SEO process. Doing even just basic research means you are ahead of the game. If you are in a competitive space like sunglasses, you can’t just target sunglasses. If you do some homework, you’ll realize that “sunglasses” is dominated by big name brands and sites. It will be extremely difficult if not impossible to rank on the first page of Google for that term.


Graphic via Moz.com

Rather, you want to go after keywords that are easier to rank for. Often, these are terms that are longer and referred to as “long tail keywords”. A term like “white mens sunglasses” would fit the bill. These are easier to rank for because there is less competition and less searches. But if you can gain the majority of those few searches, and do that for multiple long tail keywords you will be seeing a good deal of traffic.


Moz Keyword Explorer

If you check out the screenshot above from Moz’s Keyword Explorer. You will notice that “white mens sunglasses” has a search volume of 101-200. That is the number of searches that term gets per month. It’s not very much, so you will want to play around with different terms because even just switching words around or taking an “s” off something (cat toy v. cat toys) can change the search volume and difficulty of ranking.

Use tools like :


You may not find a keyword during your first or second search. It may take a few tries to find the perfect keyword for your business that is realistic to rank for.

In our next part of the series, we’ll discuss how to use these keywords in your marketing and on your website to improve your SEO.

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Three marketing automation campaigns all websites need

If you’re a website that runs on email (and it’s very likely you are or could be benefiting from it) then you should be utilizing marketing automation to take away the time-suck that is manually sending emails.

Marketing automation can reduce your workload, help you build relationships with your audience, and create better process to make your business more efficient.

If you just started using MA software or are thinking about implementing it, here are some simple campaigns you should be creating on your site.

Contact Form

This one is a no-brainer. Create a simple “Thank you” email that sends out whenever someone fills out your contact form. You don’t know how many contact forms I’ve filled out that have no autoresponder. The worst ones are where nobody even responds to my question.

If you have a variety of reasons people fill out the contact form, create a drop down to segment these reasons. They could be items like: testimonials, questions/comments, shipping, returns, etc.

Set up your automation software to alert you or your customer service rep whenever someone fills out the contact form so you can respond quickly.

Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is an offer for your audience to entice them to give you their email. This could be a coupon, discount, ebook, white paper, case study, etc. It’s all dependent upon your audience, your product/service, and what you think they would want to receive.

If you’re a marketing agency, case studies of past clients are a good lead magnet for a potential lead.

After setting up your form and creating your lead magnet, you need to create the autoresponder that will send them the lead magnet or a link to it when they sign up.

After setting up this basic autoresponder, you can go further and create drip emails that go deeper into the topic of the lead magnet and eventually have an email that showcases your product/service. The point of the drip emails is to keep the reader engaged with your business and show them that you know what you’re talking about in this space.


This is an easy win for marketing automation. If you have a consistent newsletter or send Home.pngout eblasts every few months, create a form to let people sign up for it. Then create a “welcome” email that sends after that.

Once they’re in your newsletter sequence you can also send them information about your products/services, webinars, events, deals/discounts, and more.

The software we use allows us to see what a newsletter sign up is now interacting with and calculates a lead score (this is the same for anyone that enters the system by providing their email).

Newsletter sign ups are not automatic leads, but they can become one in the future.

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Copywriting for business owners


There’s writing and then there’s copywriting. Copywriting is the type of writing you do if you’re trying to sell or convince, usually through advertisements, a landing page, a sales page, your product copy, emails, etc.

As a business owner, you know your product or service better than anyone. You should be the one to craft copy but often you need to hire a pro to get the job done. It’s fascinating to find that not many business owners would call themselves a copywriter, and some aren’t even sure of the definition of the term.

So what does it take to create copy that can truly convince a reader to take action? We’re going to go over formulas, strategies, and tips you can use the next time you’re creating a landing page or sales email. You’ll be surprised to find that once you learn the art of copy your writing will change, trust me.

What are the fundamentals of copywriting?

Copywriting is about driving action. Sometimes that necessitates a story or a great call to action.

If you’re creating a sales page, landing page, even an email, these are some of the basic elements you’ll need to create.

  • Headline
  • Subheader
  • Body Copy

Besides those fundamental elements, there are some other pieces you need to craft convincing copy.

  • Show benefits, not features
    This is a biggy in the copywriting world. If you sell laundry detergent, a feature is that it has powerful stain-removing chemicals. A benefit is that you won’t have to throw away your favorite shirt just because it got ketchup on it. Talk about what your product/service will “do” for the customer.
  • Grab attention
    This usually occurs in your headline, which makes it one of the most important pieces of copy on the page. If you don’t grab their attention, something else will and they’ll leave your page. Make them feel the urge to continue reading.
  • Make them take action
    You need to provide some sort of action item. If you’re selling laundry detergent, you want them to buy the detergent! If you sell software, maybe the action is to sign up for a demo. Don’t just let them leave after you’ve convinced them of how much they need your business.

What are the different types of copywriting?

As with most everything out there, there’s no one way to write copy

Copyblogger has an excellent article on 10 Ways to Write Damn Good Copy, I’ll let them explain these copy types.

  • Plain Copy
    That copy isn’t going to win any literary awards, but it will get the job done. It will give a prospect the information she needs to make an informed decision about the product.
  • Storytelling Copy
    Provide a compelling story that introduces a conflict that your product/service can solve
  • Conversational
    Copy that is a conversation between yourself and the reader.
  • John Lennon Copy
    This is about creating copy that makes your reader imagine a world where their pain point doesn’t exist. That dream world can be achieved with your product.
  • Long Copy
  • Killer poet copy
    Combines style with selling
  • Direct from CEO Copy
    This type of copy will have the CEO’s name and signature at the bottom. It’s a conversation between the reader and CEO.
  • Frank Copy
    This copy is open, honest and transparent to build trust.
  • Superlative copy
    Only use this if you can make seemingly outlandish claims that are actually true.
  • Rejection copy
    Make your product exclusive, like the American Express Black Card. It instills a sense of wanting to belong.


10 Principles for Turning into a Killer (Copywriter)

What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?

The 1-2-3-4 Formula for Persuasive Copy

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