Choosing a Hashtag for Marketing | Tips and Tricks

Social media marketing is a constantly evolving landscape, although hashtags have stayed mostly the same. Every day on Twitter and other hashtag-friendly platforms like Instagram, new hashtag campaigns emerge and dissipate with varying success. Honestly, if you’re not directly analyzing how well these campaigns performed it’s hard to tell what makes a good hashtag. There are many factors that go into designing a social media campaign and choosing a hashtag for marketing the whole thing is integral!

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Wonder how choosing a hashtag for marketing is done

Choosing a Hashtag For Marketing Campaigns and More:


Starting off as something relatively light-hearted, hashtags have grown into a powerful marketing tool that nearly all brands take advantage of. It’s a mind-blowingly simple concept even though the recipe for success is nuanced. When brands utilize hashtags in their marketing campaigns, they’re mainly looking to accomplish any number of things such as:

  • Creating brand awareness
  • Increasing their content’s visibility
  • Making it easier to track content
  • Boosting followers and retweets
  • Getting their audience involved
  • Promoting upcoming events
  • Running a contest
  • Launching a new product

Obviously, all of these things can be included in a single campaign! At the same time, you may want to find a hashtag that can accomplish only one of these goals more succinctly. Choosing a hashtag for marketing campaigns isn’t impossible, but it takes specific considerations.

How to Choose a Hashtag

While these following tips can be modified as needed, there are some best practices that we’ve seen succeed time and time again.

1. Keep it Original

You can’t differentiate any of your marketing efforts if your hashtag resembles another brand’s attempts. There will almost always be some overlap. Before settling on a hashtag for your whole campaign, search for variations or even similar campaigns to yours. On the flip side, avoid ripping off someone else’s hashtag in a similar industry — it’s much more likely to hurt your campaign than help it!

2. Keep it Concise

Generally, you’ll want to keep your hashtag between 2 and 4 words. Choosing a hashtag for marketing campaigns means instantly communicating something about your brand and efforts overall. If the average person can’t immediately read and recognize your unique tag, it’s best to think of something else. Also, consider using Title case to make it easier to read:

—> #travelnursejobfair vs. #TravelNurseJobFair

This is a particularly pertinent point when it comes to misreadings of a hashtag:

3. Keep it Broad… Enough

Even though you’re running the campaign, it’s more about getting reach than anything else. Your audience needs to relate and use your hashtag, so it shouldn’t be completely about your brand and nothing else. Choosing a hashtag for marketing campaigns comes down to who can apply the tag and what value it provides an audience. Is it easily applied to their life or product experience? If not, keep brainstorming!

4. Focus Your Intentions

Not to be confusing, but while you’re creating a hashtag for a broad reach you also want to narrow your message. It’s a delicate balance between finding a broadly relatable hashtag and something that still communicates your campaign goals. Think of all the ways a hashtag might be misconstrued by an ever satirical and “trolling” internet. Even the most well-meaning of hashtags can be hijacked by neigh sayers…

5. Incorporate National Celebrations

One of the best ways to find a great campaign hashtag by finding other trending topics or national celebrations. A great example is KFC’s social posts from July 2017. When the fast-food chain noticed that #NationalFriedChickenDay was trending on Twitter, they immediately jumped aboard:

While this is a great example, there are also plenty of “epic hashtag fails.” The number one rule? Don’t exploit the misfortune of others to sell your product. Not now, not ever. Here’s what I mean:

Gap thought it would be appropriate to market their products during Hurricane Sandy… A storm that caused some serious damage and human casualties!

Gap failed when choosing a hashtag for marketing

Same thing here with American Apparel…

American Apparel fails when choosing a hashtag for marketing

These brands suffered major criticism that ultimately led to public relations nightmares that would last for months!

Overall, keep your hashtags focused, relatable, goal-oriented, and immune to hijacking. Proof-reading and Title case are your best friends when choosing a hashtag for marketing, along with some creativity and luck!

Got any hashtag horror stories or triumphs? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

THIS IS URGENT | Writing a Good CTA

So much of our time spent in digital marketing is preparing the customer journey for that magical moment of conversion. We organize campaigns and initiatives, write pages of copy, and pull the data we need to make informed decisions. Then, when it’s finally time to open our funnel up to the public everything can hinge on that final call-to-action (CTA)! If you’re wondering whether to use “Apply Here” or “Consult our Team of Experts” is the right phrase for your next CTA, you’ve come to the right post. Here we’ll discuss writing a good CTA and what approaches compliment your customer’s journey the best!

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writing a good cta

Spending hours on tweaking the colors or size and shapes of buttons can only really get you so far. While your conversion funnel has many specific elements to inform and persuade your customers, the moment of their decision really comes down to your CTA’s invitation. For paid search advertisements in general, you are dependent on the copy itself rather than imagery or video. In all honesty, writing a good CTA means different things for each and every business.

The best way to break it down is by understanding the intent and goals of your customers, thus crafting your CTA to reflect this!


People Search with Goals in Mind

In the age of digital marketing, we’ve come to think of the customer journey as something much more complex than simply seeing a commercial and entering credit card information. Customers may interact with your brand or product several times and on different platforms before even considering a purchase! Viewing your CTA as a reflection of a search’s urgency is the way to really zero-in on what to say.

Low-Urgency Searches

For potential customers in the low-urgency bracket, they may be just flirting with the idea of your product or service. Generally speaking, using words like “free” or “no-risk” can be turnoffs for paid search marketers, however, it’s about the phrase as a whole.

If you’ve got a hot-new SEO tool, you might approach your CTA like:

“Start Gaining New Insights | Free Trials Available”

At this point, you’re just looking to get people familiarized with your product or service. Offering freebies is the way to go if you’re not quite tailoring your efforts to our next level of urgency…

Medium-Urgency Searches

If customers already have a general idea of what you sell or what they need in the end, it makes sense to start breaking out the bigger guns. These searchers are a little past the “free trials” and are more inclined to specifics. Still, they are mainly in research mode and may not be ready to buy just yet.

Using some keyword research, try to figure out how people are searching to meet their goals. Here you might want to try something along the lines of:

“3D Printers for Prototyping | Cost-Efficient Modeling”

Here you’re thinking like a customer is searching, all while adding a little extra selling point with the second half. With writing a good CTA it often comes down to getting as much information across as possible in as few words as you can.

High-Urgency Searches

At last, we’re writing with immediate solutions in mind. This is for all of the emergency car-rental services and locksmiths of the world! Still, just about any business can incorporate these CTAs into their marketing efforts, it’s just about finding the right moment in the customer journey.

writing a good cta

Writing a good CTA is about capturing the task at hand after a customer graduates from the research phase. Consider something like

“Immediate Consultations | Organize Your Taxes in Less Than 24 Hours!”

These are the types of searches that get people in touch with phone lines or online chat services for immediate service. What would seem way too pushy for a low-urgency search is generally what you’re trying for here.

At the end of the day, writing a good CTA is about getting a grip on your customers’ motivations. Addressing the various portions of your conversion funnel through different levels of urgency helps to inform your overall copy and the text used.

Got any particular examples of writing a good CTA? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Stream it Up! 5 Tips for Facebook Live

Often in the world of social media, people and brands avoid real connections. Rather than actually being social, profiles and company pages become façades to the public. With scheduled posts and branded images, it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s “real.” Even though Facebook has grown into an incredibly diverse platform for many viewpoints, organizations, and businesses the directness of social media remains to be desired. That’s part of the thinking with Facebook Live! Here we’ll discuss tips for Facebook Live and ways your brand can prepare to use this feature:

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tips for facebook live

5 Tips for Facebook Live

Now that so many people have smartphones with high-speed connections, streaming live video from just about anywhere is a huge opportunity for brands. Honestly, there’s nothing more banal than flat, non-personal ads or posts just wasting away on your timeline. Given the opportunity to reach fans or customers directly is something few would pass up! But with that said, it’s important to understand the best techniques for utilizing Facebook Live:

1. Tell People When You’ll Be Live

Although you can easily start a live video at any time, one of our key tips for Facebook Live is to let your audience know ahead of time. At the time of the broadcast, followers usually receive a notification indicating the stream as started, but that’s not always enough. For those who really want to join in, it’s best to create a Facebook event that will remind people of the live stream.

At the same time, starting impromptu live video streams can be just as effective — if not more so! The element of surprise can certainly work to entice viewers who weren’t expecting a live stream. It all just depends on your goals for the broadcast and how much audience participation is required.

2. Stream When You Have a Strong Connection

Getting all set up and prepped for your live stream only to have a shoddy connection is a marketing nightmare! Even the best cell phones are no match for cellular dead zones, so testing your wireless service ahead of time is key. Ideally, you’ll want to be connected to WiFi but 4G is the next best bet. If you have too weak of a signal, the “Go Live” button on Facebook won’t even be available. It’s one of the more obvious tips for Facebook Live, but it’s crucial to your live stream’s success!

Here’s Stephen Colbert’s recent stream of Puppy Madness:

The Late Show Puppy Madness

Not able to watch #MarchMadness at the moment? Don't worry, we have #PuppyMadness! These puppies from the North Shore Animal League America are in the big dance and will light up the scoreboard this afternoon! All puppies are up for adoption so reach out to North Shore Animal League America for more info.

Posted by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Thursday, March 16, 2017

3. Stay Focused and Maintain Context

The beauty of live streams on Facebook is that anyone can join in at any moment. However, this means that your full audience may not be present until after several minutes have passed. This makes it necessary to keep each viewer informed on the stream’s context. For instance, you’ll want to reintroduce yourself several times throughout the stream as new viewers join, and provide a brief description for “those just joining us.”

Even if you are relatively confident in the content of your live stream, having some notes doesn’t hurt! Once the camera lights up, it’s not uncommon for people to freeze up or go blank. If you are able to stay on track and remain focused, you’ll hold viewer’s attention much longer and generate better engagement overall!

4. Keep it Personal and Energetic

One of the best things about Facebook Live is that brands and influencers can connect with individuals. Each viewer’s name will be listed once they join, so greeting them personally is recommended! This creates that authentic connection and verifies that a stream is actually taking place in real time. Another great aspect of this is that comments can be read and addressed on the spot. This is something that your brand has to be ready for, especially if it’s regarding a product or facet or your service.

Here’s Michael Bublé during his first live chat:

My first live chat

Posted by Michael Bublé on Friday, August 7, 2015

Overall, keeping a stream energetic and captivating is the goal. Although it depends on the content and goal of your broadcast, having talking points will be one way to move seamlessly from one area to the next.

5. Remind Viewers of What You Want Them to Do

Unless you’re just live streaming for fun, one of the most important tips for Facebook Live we can give is keeping your goals in mind. If you want people to submit to a contest, like your page, or find a particular page on your site, build your stream around that. There are options for allowing people to follow your page provided during the stream, but giving people an imperative by your own speech or actions is the whole point!

Do you have any tips for Facebook Live yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

The SEO Toolkit: Best SEO Tools For 2018

We here at Track5Media, LLC like to think of our company as a well-oiled machine. Actually, we think of it as more of a sleek sports car. We try to be fast, dependable, and of course stylish with our brand. However, it’s not all about good looks. What really matters when it comes to a great company is what’s under the hood. Luckily, I’m going to give you a peek under the hood when it comes to the SEO tools that we use to ensure that our brands are coming across your radar. We’ll look at some of the SEO tools we’re currently using, as well as some that we’re looking to invest in. Below are some of the best SEO tools for 2018 so you can ensure that your SEO toolkit is ready to tackle any issue.

Best SEO Tools For 2018

Yoast Plugin

Let’s start with a tool that you might not be aware of. Your website and/or blog has to be hosted and created somewhere, right? Yes, you can always create a website from scratch and then host it yourself. However, most companies, especially smaller ones will opt to use a service like WordPress. WordPress is probably the most common website software. We use it for our blogs because of the user experience as well as the ability to add plugins. That’s where the Yoast plugin comes in. When it comes to the best SEO tools for 2018, this plugin should be a staple in your arsenal.

yoast plugin - best seo tools for 2018

The Yoast plugin is perfect for SEO. It will essentially look at your written content to ensure that it is SEO friendly. By combining basic SEO practices with more complicated standards of measurement Yoast enables both new and experienced writers and SEO gurus to quickly analyze their SEO performance and ensure a piece of writing will have the greatest impact before it’s even published. With Yoast, you can ensure that you’re ranking for the desired keyword as well as providing the best possible written content for your audience.

 

Google Analytics

SEO is almost all about making sure you’re on Google’s radar, so what better way to do that than to grab your information right from the source! We hope at this point you’ve at least heard of Google Analytics, but if you haven’t we’ll explain why it’s one of the best SEO tools for 2018. The most valuable SEO data is that which helps you better understand your visitors and how they interact with your site. Lucky for you, this FREE resource will crawl your site and provide feedback based on how users are interacting with your website.

You can use it to monitor your organic traffic performance and compare it to past performance. Once you notice any major differences in your traffic, you will most likely want to move on to another tool to find out what is causing the changes. This is where our next tool comes in.

Screaming Frog

No, this isn’t the name of your local punk-rock band. Actually, it’s one of the best SEO tools of 2018. Once your website and brand are established, performing a website audit is a great way to figure out any issues that you may have on your website. Remember, SEO isn’t just about content, a tool like Screaming Frog can check whether or not you have duplicate content, broken links, server issues, and more. This is a great way to look at the backend of your site and see exactly how Google is crawling your website. When it comes to the best SEO tools for 2018, Screaming Frog or another website crawling software is a must-have.

SEMrush

We were lucky enough to get this shiny new toy a few weeks ago. This Swiss-Army knife of SEO is a great tool to have in your toolkit. While it does cost a monthly fee, the program is great for keyword research, link building, and looking at your website’s overall performance. You can view the full report of keywords or you can export them into an excel spreadsheet. Long tail keyword phrases have many benefits. For instance, long tail keywords are much more targeted to a specific subtopic. The nice thing about discovering the long tail keyword phrases in your particular niche is they typically have a much lower level of competition, so it is easier to rank within the top ten results of a search engine.

SEMrush is also great for competitor research. You can look at the text they’re using for ad campaigns as well as what kind of backlinks they’re getting. You can also see which keywords they’re ranking for. You’ll be able to use a tool like this to start outranking your closest competitors.

If you want to know the best SEO tools for 2018, this is a good place to start! We’d love to hear what kind of SEO tools you use, so feel to let us know by listing them in the comments below!

Voice Search Ranking Factors | The Basics

I’ll be the first to tell you that voice search takes a little practice! Recent additions of an Amazon Show, Fire TV, and an Amazon Cloud Cam had my roommate and I giving these devices all sorts of wacky requests. For literal hours, we just searched whatever came to our minds — and let me just say that we’re quite colorful thinkers… voice search ranking factors

“Alexa, just how flat is the Earth?”

“Alexa, does this look infected to you?”

“Alexa, how many U.S. presidents were Reptilian aliens?”


Needless to say, she didn’t have the range of expertise needed to deal with us lunatics. But that’s more or less a result of the technical SEO behind voice search and how people are searching! Clearly, Alexa isn’t ready to dig deeply into psychobabble. Still, for more actionable and direct search terms she’s not half bad.

Voice Search Ranking Factors

Last year in 2017, 33 million voice search devices were used by 40 percent of adults each day. Compared to its launch in 2008, Google’s voice search received 35 times more search queries in 2016. Since voice assistants have been added to more phones, TVs, and dedicated devices than ever, SEO is following suit.

voice search ranking factors

The question then comes down to voice search ranking factors and what digital marketers should really be thinking about! Other reports predict that 50% of searches will be done via voice technologies, but what exactly are people searching for?

Featured Snippets are Golden

When it comes to Google Home or Google Assistant, it’s obvious that they want the top, most concise result for every voice search… Bring in the featured snippets! This “position zero” on SERPs is what most people want regardless, but now it’s recognized as one of the most significant voice search ranking factors. At the moment and like many things in Google’s kingdom, there aren’t definitive answers on how to achieve these snippets. That said, lots of research has been done with this in mind. Some methods include:

• Answering Specific Queries: Generally, voice searches consist of simple, everyday types of questions. If you know that a piece of content is generally geared toward questions easily searched for using a voice assistant, then your keywords and H2 tags should reflect this. Directly following those optimized tags and phrases should be your featured snipped text.

• Answering Queries Specifically: Not only should the questions you answer be specific, but that goes for your answers too. Google wants the cleanest, most acceptable answer possible because they’re kind of putting their name behind it with the whole featured thing. Answers provided as lists are also particularly savory to their algorithm.

• Write Content for the First Page: Yes, I realize that’s like telling a sports team to “win the damn game,” but seriously it’s kind of the point. If the rest of your content and page aren’t optimized overall, getting a featured snipped won’t really be within reach. Voice search ranking factors follow most of the same rules for general SEO, but really it needs to fit the form and function of the content you’re writing at that moment.


Local SEO is a Must

Another one of the voice search ranking factors to consider is local SEO. While it doesn’t apply to companies who work with remote, national clients, brick-and-mortar businesses will definitely need to pull out all the stops.

voice search ranking factors

One of the main ways companies achieve this is through focusing on their Google My Business Pages are as good as they can be. That obviously means having the correct address, contact details, and opening hours. In turn, this will translate into significant voice search ranking factors. When people ask “Alexa, where is the nearest liquor store,” or “what are some local movie theaters” you’ll be set!

Optimizing for local searches also includes garnering positive online reviews, all in addition to using structured data markup or Schema.

Focus a Bit on Semantics

The very basics of voice search ranking factors rely on an understanding of the minds of your searchers. Are they asking questions about your products? Are they requesting information? Do they need to know your business hours? For a while, we’ve thought about voice search as being very short-tail phrases.

However, as people become more comfortable with these devices, the tone is becoming more conversational. Voice search certainly needs to incorporate more long-tail keyword phrases while keeping queries conversational. Using sites like AnswerThePublic or Moz’s Keyword Explorer are great ways to start learning what people are actually searching for and how easily you can begin ranking.

Ultimately, it’s about pinpointing exactly what people are going to search for with their voice, and doing whatever possible to get those rich snippets!

Any success with voice search ranking factors? Let us know in the comments below!

SEO Trends For 2018

With 2018 well underway, we hope that you’ve been thinking about SEO. Whether you’re a small business looking to leverage local SEO into revenue or a major company wanting to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, it’s important to pay attention to the SEO landscape. SEO tactics change on a regular basis. As Google continues to tinker with their algorithm, SEO experts must continue to tinker with their tactics when it comes to SEO. With a new year underway, it’s time to look at some of the top SEO trends for 2018.

SEO Trends for 2018

The Mobile Monster

One of the biggest SEO trends for 2018 has to do with the importance of mobile when it comes to your website. With Google’s AMP project trying to push more and more company’s to think mobile-first, optimizing your site is a crucial step in creating a successful brand. Now when you search for a topic or keyword on Google using your mobile device, Google will rank sites using AMP in their Top stories section of each search result pages. Any story you choose will load blazing fast, which in turn, helps the SEO for your business as it will reduce bounce rates and lead to higher conversion rates. You can even use website auditor tools to test your new mobile pages to ensure that they’re up to snuff.SEO trends for 2018

In other words, you can expect Google to gradually put more and more weight behind mobile, and signals that used to only impact mobile searches could shortly impact all searches.

The Power of Voice

Voice search will go hand-in-hand with mobile search when it comes to SEO trends for 2018. One in five mobile search queries currently comes from voice search — a number that is likely to rise as Google Assistant-enabled devices such as Google Home continue to grow in popularity.

Google has announced that they’ll be taking voice search into consideration when ranking their SERPs. This means that you’ll need to write content that is voice-friendly. An example of this is writing content that will answer questions, such as, “What is local SEO?” or “How do I link build?” These type of queries will help your brand to come up more frequently during voice searches. Keyword research is vital to optimizing your content for voice search, so make sure you’re putting in the time and effort.

Machine Learning and AI

With RankBrain just celebrating its second birthday, Google’s machine-learning AI system has been helping to crawl and structure search results pages. As RankBrain grows older, you can expect more and more reliance on this system from Google. As Google continues to embrace AI and incorporate more of it into their search algorithms, we can expect search results to start behaving in less predictable ways. This will not always be a good thing, but it is something we should be prepared for. AI shouldn’t change how you approach SEO for your brand, but it’s certainly something to be aware of. Eventually, instead of announced updates on a monthly basis from Google, we can expect continuous changes from the machine-learning algorithm.

Linkless Mentions

When it comes to SEO trends for 2018, this one is less clear than the others. Bing has already stated that they’ve begun to track and factor linkless mentions into their search results. While Google hasn’t confirmed whether or not they will consider factoring linkless mentions, they have taken a patent on an algorithm that will do exactly that. If this ends up the case, you’ll also want to explore tactics that will generate brand mentions and not just backlinks.

Featured Snippets

In Google’s hope to make the SERP more appealing, one of the biggest SEO trends for 2018 will be increased exposure of the featured snippet. Featured snippets satisfy the user’s need for a simple answer to a question, and the displayed content is taken from web pages that Google interprets as being the most suitable for answering the user’s question. As these featured snippets become more and more prevalent, you’ll want to make sure your pages are optimized for Google.

What do you think will be an SEO trend for 2018? Looking for an awesome team to join? Check out our job openings today!

How Effective is SEO? | Digital Marketing 101

Digital marketing is a diverse field with many distinct components to explore. Generally speaking, digital marketing simply refers to all of your online marketing efforts. However, this can include social media, video content, blogging, email campaigns, and much, much more. While these different types of digital marketing may be unique, they all share one common element: the internet. Search engines allow digital marketers to disseminate information about their goods and services like never before. Yet, with so many good and services available and countless digital marketers promoting them, how does your product stand out? The answer is, of course, SEO. Given that you’re reading this blog, you probably have a decent understanding of what SEO is. Just to recap though, SEO is the process of generating traffic from free and organic search results. The video below explains this further. But, how effective is SEO? Well, that depends on who you ask. Here at Track5Media, LLC we have our view. However, before we get to that, let’s explore a few of the other opinions.

How Effective is SEO?

“SEO is Dead!”

If you work in digital marketing, you’re sure to have heard someone claim “SEO is dead”. While this view is certainly inaccurate, there may be some merit to it. SEO as it existed years ago, is dead. Before 2012, many marketers discovered high strategies that we now call “Black Hat SEO”. When search engines first began optimizing results, simple and quick tactics like dropping links to your site in comments or overloading your content with keywords helped boost website rankings rapidly. However, this was problematic. Since people were writing content for search engines rather than for the users themselves, there was a lot of content created that wasn’t helpful. In order to address this, Google began penalizing websites for many of these “Black Hat SEO” tactics. Today, the savvy blogger knows that this approach will only hurt them in the rankings. Since 2012, search engines have only become more sophisticated. Although the SEO of the past may not necessarily be relevant anymore, this does not mean that SEO is ineffective.

“Better to Just Focus on PPC”

A common frustration for digital marketers looking to gain leads quickly is the fact that SEO takes time. Unfortunately, there is no immediate route to the top of the search results. After all, if there were, we’d all be there right? In fact, developing strong SEO results can take months of work to accomplish.  But does this mean that SEO is not worth the effort? Some people suggest that it does. With the speed and availability of PPC (pay per click), many marketers suggest that it is better to focus on this option. However, while PPC certainly does generate quick leads, it should not be used at the exclusion of SEO. SEO and PPC both have certain pros and cons that cannot be ignored. For example, generating organic search through SEO can help develop the trust and credibility of your brand in the mind of consumers. PPC, on the other hand, can make your brand visible to highly relevant users. Given the obvious merits of SEO, it would be a mistake to entirely exclude it from your marketing plan. If you want to see results immediately through PPC, consider using an integrative approach that employs SEO as well.

“SEO is the Way to Go!” (The Track5Media View)

How Effective is SEO

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the view of Track5Media’s marketing team; SEO is the way to go! While we’ve mentioned a few of them already, there are countless more reasons to love SEO. Obviously, search engines change their algorithms frequently. This means that an effective SEO strategy must continuously stay up to date with any industry transitions. If this seems like a daunting task, don’t worry! The SEO community is huge and growing. There are countless resources available to help you learn how to optimize your web content. Here at Track5Media, we use SEO for all of our brands like AllTruckJobs.com and TravelNurseSource.com.

So, how effective is SEO? Obviously, there are competing opinions. Well, it has helped us become one of the fastest growing businesses in the country! That’s just one of the reasons that we’re convinced that SEO is very effective.

How effective is SEO in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below!