Frequently  Asked QuestionsWhat is branding?
The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a business in the consumer’s mind, mainly through marketing avenues such as company graphics/logo, website, and other advertising medias, keeping with a consistent theme. In marketing terms, branding is the sum total of a company’s value, including products, services, people, advertising, positioning and culture.

Why is branding important?
Brands aren’t just for big companies; they can make smaller businesses stand out from the crowd, particularly if you operate in a competitive market. Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace.

What is a website?
Websites are an individual online presence, meant to convert internet traffic into leads and leads into new business, while communicating your company’s brand to the consumer.

Why is a website important?
It’s the 21st Century! Having a company website is not an option… it’s a MUST! Having a web presence is one the most important parts of any company’s marketing efforts. Your website should be considered the hub for all of your other digital activity and your internet marketing efforts: your social presence, your local business listings, your email campaigns – none of these is as critical to your long-term success online as your website.

Why is a website content and design important?
Website content is the foundation of digital marketing success, no matter the channel on which that content appears – i.e. your website itself, your blog, your business listings, social media presence, etc. Online content determines how visitors choose to engage with your website, the businesses social media fans and followers choose to associate with, and for which keywords search engines find your site relevant.

What is internet marketing?
Also, referred to as online marketing or digital marketing, internet marketing is a strategy that helps build up a company’s reputation and exposure online by using a variety of internet tools and solutions.

Why is internet marketing important?
Its broad scope includes online branding, website development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, business listings, online reviews and any promotional activities that are done via online or digital avenues.

What are the components of internet marketing?
Customers are searching for you today. Now. Online. Are they finding you? Or are they finding your competitors? Every small business needs internet marketing strategies to reach and engage new customers! If your business isn’t on Page #1 of Google, then your potential customers aren’t finding you. That FREE traffic is going to your competitors!

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), in simple terms, is what increases your chances of being found when customers search for a product or service like yours with Google, Bing, and other search engines. SEO is one of the most complex aspects of internet marketing as there are a multitude of factors that combine to maximize search engine rankings, and thus website traffic. 

Why is SEO important?
SEO is important because it is the most cost-effective way to bring in new customers that your business. SEO is the master when it comes to pulling in prospects, and can help boost conversions too. If a customer is using a search engine to find what they need and you don’t show up, you don’t exist.

What is the Google Algorithm?
Google’s search algorithm is the complex formula that Google uses to determine which sites appear highest on search engine results pages.

What is social media?
Social Media is the new “word of mouth” which translates into serious gains for companies who properly and effectively utilize social media avenues and marketing techniques. Social networks include: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to name a few…

Why is social media important?
Leveraging social media effectively can take your “word of mouth” business to a whole new level. Benefits of social media marketing include: increase brand recognition, higher conversion rates, increased credibility, competitive advantage, etc…

What is online reputation management?
Reputation management is the process of identifying what other people are saying or feeling about your business; and taking steps to ensure that the general public consensus is in line with your company brand and goals.

Why is online reputation management important?
No matter the size of your business, they (prospects, customers, clients… anyone and, potentially everyone) are talking about you. All of these posts about your company are bound to appear in a Google search of your business name. The last thing you want is a single negative experience to be the first- or worse yet- only thing a prospective customer sees about you!

What is a business listing or citation?
Often called citations, a business listing is an online profile that contains a business name, address, phone number, and other details. There are thousands of websites and directories on which local business owners are allowed to create free business listings. Some popular directories include: Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Places, Internet Yellow Pages, and Yahoo! Local.

What is NAP?
Citations are commonly referred to as NAP information in Local SEO lingo – Name, Address, and Phone number.

Why are business listings important?
Citations, or business listings, validate that a business is part of a community. Major search engines, such as Google rank them very highly because it’s hard for someone to fake membership in a Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau (BBB), an industry-specific business index, or a mention from a local online newspaper or popular blog. For these reasons, citations and links from these kinds of websites can dramatically improve local search engine rankings.

What is mobile responsive website?
When a website is mobile-friendly or mobile-responsive, the layout and/or content responds (or, adapts) based on the size of the screen it’s presented on. Typically, there have been four general screen sizes that mobile-responsive design has been aimed at: the widescreen desktop monitor, the smaller desktop (or laptop), the tablet, and the mobile phone.

Why is a mobile responsive website important?
Within the next couple of years, there will be more searches done on mobile devices (mobile phones, tablets) than on desk-bound PC’s and laptops. If your site isn’t set up for mobile viewing, it probably looks awful on those devices, and positively drives customers away.

What are online reviews?
In the digital age, online reviews have largely taken the place of the word-of-mouth referrals. The emergence of numerous review sites, such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Plus, etc. have created an unprecedented, ongoing online conversation about local businesses.

Why are online reviews important?
Online reviews are becoming one of the most important sources consumers turn to when they are making a decision about whether or not to do business with a company. Digital reviews are especially important for local businesses. Many will turn to sites like Yahoo! Local, Yelp and Google+ Local to find reviews for different companies. Review sites offer a huge advantage to local businesses because search engines place a lot of weight on customer reviews (as do prospective customers).

What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC)?
In the paid advertising section of the search engine results page, one is able to choose keywords that are relevant to the business or industry, and then pay to be listed amongst the search results. The reason it is referred to as PPC or Pay-Per-Click is because rather than paying a flat monthly or daily fee for the advertising placement, you simply pay each time someone clicks on your link.

Why is PPC important?
A PPC campaign gives you that additional placeholder on the search engines results page one. This gives you the opportunity to show up multiple places on the search results page and significantly improve the chances of having your ad clicked on, as opposed to your competition.

What is a blog?
A blog is made up of usually short, frequently updated entries, called posts, that are arranged chronologically-like a “what’s new” page or a journal. Blogs are an excellent method to share a company’s expertise, build additional web traffic, and connect with employees, current customers and potential customers. If your company is not blogging, it’s time to get started… or get left behind.

Why is a blog important?
Blogging is one of the most valuable (and inexpensive) tools that businesses have to engage with customers and ultimately make their company’s marketing more informational. Blogging is a great way to demonstrate your business’ expertise and build relationships with prospective customers, peers, and your existing customers. It also gives a big boost to your websites’ Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Are you ready to increase your business’ profits?

Sparkline Media is an SEO Company specializing in Local Internet Marketing Strategies that produce maximum visibility for your Home Services Business and are designed to take your business (and profits) to the next level! Contact Sparkline Media today for more information on growing your business online!