Consulting

We offer a wide range of consulting services.  Our expertise and experience give us a unique insight into problems  and the ability to develop uncommon solutions.  We have helped clients fix problematic website design implementations from both a strategic and technical perspective. Allow us to peek into your business process and we can show you where there is room for optimization to streamline your processes, increase lead conversions, and of course SEO to increase search rankings and traffic.

Do you need a company to watch over the technical implementation or operations of a project? Let us overview the effectiveness of your applications and employees. We speak geek; we can tell if your employees are really punching away at that program, or just farming gold in World of Warcraft. We can also tell you if the applications and automation your company uses has become a burden on your company and it’s workers. There is plenty of time to kill monsters when your waiting for pages to load.

Our team consists of businessmen, marketers and programmers, which when combined can create efficient and detailed observations and process from the overall marketing strategy down to the validation of your code.

Training

We offer a variety of training programs for our clients including: Social Media Training Social Media Workshops Blogging Training WordPress CMS (Content Management System) Training WordPress Website Admin Training CRM Training We also offer consulting services to supplement our training and for our clients that need additional support during the the website or project launch and development phases.

Creativity

Creativity is key to bringing your vision and digital marketing strategy into sharp and clear reality.  It is also essential that the creative design and branding is in line with your vision so your dream isn’t high-jacked by over zealous designers with their own vision.  Likewise it is vital not to kill the creativity of the design team and lock out what could be amazing new ideas and concepts. Our talented design team, experienced leadership team, and a creative design process ensure that we deliver designs to bring your vision into a sharp reality! A Creative Design Process to Deliver Your Vision  It is imperative to have a talented design team, but even the best design team can go astray without a clear understanding of the vision and a creative process to keep the team in sync. Idea: Your vision. Digital Marketing Strategy: Your Digital Marketing Strategy is a critical part of the creative process as it defines what your marketing goals are, who your audience is, and also defines your product/service offerings. This information is vital to the creative team to ensure they clearly understand the product, customer, and goals of the campaign. MAPP:  Marketing Assessment and Persona Profile, similar to a creative brief used by traditional marketing firms, expanded for digital marketing, social media, and website design projects. The MAPP defines the tone and style of your campaign and further refines your customer demographics. Brainstorming:  Discussion of the overall vision and ideas of how to bring it to life. Concepts: several creative concepts are presented and narrowed down. Revisions:  Concepts are refined into the final design. Approval:  Your approval of the complete design package. Implementation:  The creative design is rolled out.

SEO Strategy Development

Before starting an SEO program or SEO campaign it is absolutely critical to have an SEO Strategy.  It is tempting and easy enough to “go get some SEO” for your website, but without a strategy and plan you could be wasting your money and getting very little results. The technical or implementation side of SEO technical and tactical.  If you call an SEO company and ask them to optimize X keywords or Y pages on your website they can do that for you.  The question is, will that work deliver what you want and do you have them doing the right thing.  Starting an SEO program without a strategy is like asking a carpenter to build you a house without any plans or blueprints.  The carpenter may indeed build you a house, but it is unlikely it will be what you wanted. The objective in developing an SEO strategy is to clearly define your goals, where you are now, your present competitive position, what and how you will measure success, and how you are going to get there.  Below are our 7 Steps to Creating an SEO Strategy, we also recommend considering developing an overall Digital Marketing Strategy. 7 Steps to Creating an SEO Strategy and Implementing an SEO Campaign Select an SEO Company: We recommend selecting an SEO company to work with from the outset for two reasons. First the SEO company will be involved in the process below and gain familiarity with your company strategy, goals, and competitors.  This will enable them to do a better job for you and deliver superior results.  Second, much of the information below is not easily available without special SEO tools and subscriptions which a good SEO firm will have.  Developing the information and data below is straightforward for a good SEO firm and difficult on your own. Initial Analysis and Review; SEO Analysis of existing website performance: SERP (Search Engine Ranking Position) Analysis Google Analytics (key Google Analytics data to review) Traffic Keywords Bounce Rate Time on Site Top Landing Pages Top Content Other metrics depending on what is learned from above Competitor Analysis Review competitors ranking in SERP Report What keywords are they ranking for and why? What keywords are driving their traffic? What is working on their website and what is not working? SEO of competitors website; how many links, pages indexed, blogs, content, etc. Website Design Review Does the current website reflect the look and feel you want?  Is it current with your branding today? Is the present website competitive? Does it need a complete redesign, refresh, or just new content and SEO? SEO competitive position: how does the present site compare to competitors for ranking and SEO? Establish Goals and Metrics Define your goals for the website and digital marketing campaign. We normally do this as part of our Digital Marketing Strategy. Metrics: How will you measure the results and how do you define success for this campaign? Establish your budget: SEO budgets are much like advertising budgets.  You will have to determine what your budget is based on your goals, competitive position, anticipated ROI and benefits, and your available budget.  There is no set price for an SEO program, it depends on many factors including the market you are in and the level of competition, your present competitive position, and ultimately your company’s goals (where do you want to be?).  There is a point of diminishing returns where additional SEO spending delivers only marginal results, few companies reach this level of spending though. Start Your SEO Campaign Define your SEO program: budget, goals, time frame, etc. Establish SEO reporting that will occur during the campaign.

Digital Marketing Strategy Development

A unique service we offer is development of a Digital Marketing Strategy (DMS).  Defining your marketing strategy is an important first step in developing an internet marketing campaign.   Our experience is that clients that develop a Digital Marketing Strategy achieve substantially better results.  We highly recommend developing a DMS; however, it is not required for all projects and is an optional service we offer to clients. How to Develop a Digital Marketing Strategy The infographics below outline our process for developing a Digital Marketing Strategy and implementing a website based on it and our Digital Marketing Planning Graphic. Steps to Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy and Implementing a New Website Initial SEO Analysis: This initial SEO analysis provides an overview of the competitive landscape. If you have an existing website it would include your present search rankings and website metrics.  The goal here is to establish a baseline of where we are starting from. Digital Marketing Strategy: The Digital Marketing Strategy is discussed in detail below. Marketing Strategy MAPP Analysis: Marketing Analysis and Persona Profile. This is a digital version of a creative brief and defines what your objectives are, what your marketing style will be, etc. Mission and Vision – while strictly speaking this is not essential for developing a new website we find it is useful to review this with clients and for clients to create one if they do not have one.  The mission and vision helps define and hone the strategy and articulates your goals and views to us and your staff. SEO Analysis (see below for details) SEO and SMO (Social Media Strategy) – this section defines what we will be targeted and how the campaign will be implemented. Implementation Plan SEO Analysis: This SEO analysis is a comprehensive analysis where we Competitor Analysis – thorough analysis of competitors websites, search rankings, where they get their website traffic from. Keyword Analysis – analysis of top keywords for your market or product, which keywords are most effective, competition for keywords. SERP Analysis – Search Engine Rank Position Analysis of your website vs top competitors. SEO Implementation Plan Website Information Architecture – this is the layout and flow of your website and it is critical for both SEO and usability. Website Design – This involves both the graphic design of the homepage and sub-pages as well as the programming, installation of a CRM if your site will include one, CMS (Content Management System), and content creation. SEO – this includes bot onsite SEO (work done directly on your website to optimize it) and off-site SE) such as link building, article writing, etc. Social Media Campaign – the social media campaign, Social Media Optimization or SMO, works in parallel with the SEO campaign and supplements it. The SMO campaign typically includes Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare in some cases, Blogging, and can include Facebook contests and other social media. Bi-Weekly Reporting – we provide weekly reports with stats on what is going on in the campaign. Monthly SEO Analysis and Review – our monthly report includes the same stats as the biweekly report plus a summary of our activities during the month. What is a Digital Marketing Strategy? The infographic above outlines the process and flow we use for developing a digital marketing strategy. The Digital Marketing Strategy is an interactive process where we work collaboratively with you to define your goals, the strategy to achieve these goals, and then the tactics to implement the plan.  The Digital Marketing Strategy defines the marketing strategy for your company, your brand, tone of conversation (approach to customers), and even the personality of your brand.  It also closely examines the performance of your competitor’s websites, where they derive their traffic from, and their social media presence to identify opportunities and strategies for your marketing campaign.  In developing the DMS you will examine your company and competitors using a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats) analysis and then develop strategies to capitalize on the strengths and opportunities, while minimizing the threats and taking action on the weaknesses.  The DMS includes the website architecture for your new website, SEO & SMO task list for implementation, and milestones/goals for your campaign. Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy (DMS) is an important first step to developing and launching a website and SEO/SMO campaign.  The DMS is an interactive process with you and us where we work collaboratively to define your goals, the strategy to achieve these goals, and then the tactics to implement the plan. The DMS also includes the social media architecture and SMO task list for implementation, and milestones/goals for your campaign.

Social Media Strategy Development

Before jumping into a social media campaign, before you randomly start Tweeting, posting blogs, or accidentally create a Facebook Profile or Group instead of a Page, sit down with your team and develop a social media strategy. Your Social Media Strategy may be part of your overall Digital Marketing Strategy, or it may be a standalone strategy just for this campaign.

Policy

When we think of policy what comes to mind first are company procedures or perhaps HR policy manuals.  Until recently few have considered the need for social media and website use policies regarding website content, blogs, social media content, and employee conduct on social networks. The size of your organization and scope of your social media program will determine whether you need a comprehensive social media policy or if a simple and informal set of social media guidelines will suffice. Developing a Social Media Policy Developing a social media policy requires careful consideration.  Social media policy is still emerging and there are no real standards to follow.  In addition, labor law and business law in this area has yet to be clearly defined.  It is important to clearly distinguish between company social media properties and business/company use versus employee personal use of social networks.  Your organization’s social properties should be branded and clearly associated with your company and likewise, employee social media accounts should be personal and completely separate.  In general it is a bad practice to use employee personal social media accounts for business purposes as you have little if any control over what is said there (see below).  Likewise, if the social media account is registered by the employee under their name and email address they own that account and you may not be able to gain control over the account should they leave your company – see our blog Who Owns a Twitter Account.   A very important ruling that must be considered in both establishing your social media policy as well as HR policy is from the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) regarding personal use and comments on personal social networks such as Facebook.  The NLRB has clearly stated that employers may not restrict free speech on social networks.  Thus in developing your social media policy both you must consider both company policy objectives and possible labor law implications, as well as the affect on employee morale. 10 Things to Consider in Developing Your Social Media Policy Tone and style of discussion on company owned social media, blogs, and websites. Crisis response: Who will respond and how will the response be handled in the event of a crisis? Customer Complaints: How will your company respond to customer complaints or rants on social media? Copyright: Explain copyright use on company websites, blogs, and social networks; e.g. ensure that pictures and images used are properly licensed and explain use of copyright text. Use of Company logos and trademarks: Explain appropriate use of company logos and trademarks, what approvals are required, etc. Use of personal social networks on company computers and company time: Define your policy toward use of company computers to access personal social networks. Define authority levels: What authority do employees have when interacting with customers via social media? What is expected: Define what your goals are expectations are for company social media use. Personal Social Media Use: Explain that employees use of personal social networks may not use company trademarks, must not imply that they represent the company, and must clearly state that the comments and opinions are there own. Confidential information and Privacy: Explain the need to protect private information (e.g. customers private information) as well as how confidential company information must be treated. There are many other things to consider depending upon your particular industry and work environment.  We can help you develop a reasonable and sound social media policy that well be effective and practical.

Netsuite Consulting and Integration

In addition to our Netsuite web design and Netsuite development services we offer consulting to our clients using Netsuite in their business processes.  Our Netsuite team can help you optimize your business processes and flow to take full advantage of the Netsuite system and features to streamline your business. Our Netsuite consulting services include: Netsuite web design Process design and integration Custom Netsuite programming and development Netsuite training Business Consulting

email Marketing, Mass email and Can-Spam

Email marketing remains a very popular and effective method to promote products and stay in touch with customers.  Because mass email marketing is easy to set up and send thousand of emails out it is also very easy to abuse and is often abused.  The most common abuse is known as Spam and Spammers selling everything from Viagra and Cialis to investment schemes and Phishing scams to rip off credit card and financial information.   Many legitimate organizations unknowingly get labeled as spammers and have their domains black listed through unintentional poor email marketing practices.  Good intentions and legitimate products are not sufficient to separate you from Spammers.  If your email practices break the rules and look suspicious your domain will be blacklisted and generally you do not get a courtesy notification, it just happens and suddenly your emails are not reaching people anymore. Doing email Marketing Right If you intend to use email marketing it is essential to do it right and follow the rules.  Esotech can help you develop a compliant and highly effective email marketing campaign that will ensure your domain is not Blacklisted and also deliver exceptional results for deliverability, open rates, and click throughs.  More information on our email marketing programs is available here – Setting Up an email Marketing-Mass email Campaign.  What is email Spam? Congress  passed the well known, but little understood, Can-Spam act in 2003 which is enforced by the FTC.  The Can-Spam act (see previous link) actually has a number of loopholes in it and has not been stringently enforced so email Spam continues to be a problem and Spammers still send millions of Spam emails daily.  Wikipedia has an excellent explanation of the Can-Spam act and the problems with enforcement and application.   The problem for legitimate companies is that while the Can-Spam act is somewhat loose in its interpretation and application, the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have been extremely vigilant in taking action against Spam.  All of the major ISPs now have Spam Filters on their servers designed to block Spam emails before they enter their network.  They do this to protect their own networks for security reasons (virus, malware, etc.) as well as to reduce the burden that Spam traffic takes up on their servers and networks.  A side benefit is that it also reduces Spam emails to their users and subscribers.  How Your Legitimate email got Labeled as Spam If you are sending large quantities of email with the same content and same or similar content this is mass email marketing.  Even if you send the emails in small batches or one at a time they look like Spam as this is exactly what Spammers do to fly below the radar.  Spam filters look for suspicious email sending behavior that could be Spam.  The filters follow a set algorithm (formula) and if an email meets the criteria it is flagged.  If enough emails coming from your domain are flagged your domain is blacklisted (marked as a Spammer) and once Blacklisted even your regular email will be blocked by the Spam filter.  Each ISP has slightly different Spam filter settings and thresholds so, for example, you could get Blacklisted by ATT or AOL and maybe not by Comcast or Verizon.   email Deliverabiltiy – why some people don’t get your email This is why some organizations have email deliverablity problems with some people receiving emails from the organization and others never receiving the same or similar emails including nothing in their Spam folder.  If this is happening your domain likely has been Blacklisted by one or more ISPs which means your email is being blocked at the ISP server and never enters their network.  How to tell if your Domain has been Blacklisted  One of the largest and most popular Spam filters used by ISPs is Barracuda Networks.  Barracuda provides a reputation look up where you can check the reputation of your domain to see if it has been Blacklisted.  Another, but less reliable, way is to send individual emails to people in different networks, e.g. ATT, Comcast, AOL, Verizon, etc. to see if they all get the email.  This test does not always work because even when you are Blacklisted some emails may get through and you may not be Blacklisted on all of the networks.    What to do if you have been Blacklisted If your domain has been Blacklisted you can get it removed and restored to the White List.  The process typically takes several weeks to as long as months as requests must be sent to each Spam filter provider that may have Black Listed your domain.  This is a time consuming and somewhat complicated process.  Esotech offers these services and can restore your domain reputation and set up a email marketing/mass email program for your organization that will be compliant with best practices and keep your domain reputation intact.