Monetize Your Website: 4 Tips to Make Your Website Work for You

So, you spent loads of money building the perfect website that is both efficient and reliable, all while clearly communicating your brand to the world – now what? It’s time monetize your website.

Let’s back up just a little bit… Is your website quick, easy to navigate, and accessible both on mobile devices and desktops? Does it clearly communicate your brand’s message to your ideal audience?

Your website is the most essential marketing tool you have – it can truly make or break the consumer experience with your brand. The most important tool you have needs to work well, for humans and search engines, in order to drive success and growth for your business. The first step in monetizing your website is ensuring it has been built for success – if it’s been awhile since you’ve checked in on your website, it might be time for a website audit. Our CMG team has the experts to do a deep dive on your site and check its functionality. Once you’re confident in your website, we can move forward on making it profitable.

Here are 4 ways to monetize your website:

Banner ads are a simple and effective way to monetize your website. Google Adsense is a popular place to start when implementing banner ads. Once you’re approved by Google, you’ll be able to arrange these ads on your web page, and you’ll also get to choose what type of ads are displayed on your site. You’ll get paid when someone clicks on the ad. How much you get per clicks depends on the many different factors. Adsense has a calculator tool on their website, so you can estimate just how much you’ll be able to make.

Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program. It’s the ideal option for bloggers, publishers, and, content creators. The best part is that it’s free for anyone to join! All you have to do is sign up, recommend Amazon products (by linking them on your website), and voilà – You’ll get beaucoup bucks. You’ll get a commission when someone uses your link to make a purchase. With a little bit of leg work, you’ll be monetizing your website in no time. If Amazon’s offer is enticing, you can sign up for the program here.


Open up shop! Selling items related to your industry is a great way to bring in the bucks. For 2022, it’s projected that online retail shops worldwide will rake in $5.4 trillion. Another great thing about online shops is that you can reach a larger audience with your inventory and sell worldwide if you wish. We created an e-commerce website for our friends at Camacho Coffee.

Online Courses or Ebooks

Beyond ads, our next suggestion to monetize your website is to create more profitable content. As your audience grows and gains trust in you, they are viewing more of your content. While the majority of your content may be free, we suggest building out a few long-form, quality content pieces for a price. This will look different for every business, but online courses, ebooks, or guides are common ways to monetize your website. This method comes with an added benefit: you’ll be able to narrow down which consumers are more serious and nurture those leads further down the marketing funnel.

Monetizing your website can look different depending on the company and industry – but our CMG team has the experience and creativity to get your website where you want it to be. 

Contact us today to get started on your new website.

SEO: The 5 Phases That Make it Successful

SEO is more than just a fun marketing buzzword – it is a crucial addition to your marketing strategy. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is unfortunately one of the most misunderstood marketing terms. According to a study conducted by, 45% of online entrepreneurs don’t understand what SEO means – yet 98% think that being able to be found on Google is important.

Like many other things in the marketing world, implementing and setting up SEO campaigns for success is a process. However, it is a process that is worth your time, energy and marketing dollars.

Utilizing SEO will help you increase your business ranking on Google search results, refine ads, be strategic with ad targeting, increase exposure and gain valuable impressions. However, SEO usually comes hand in hand with patience. None of these results happen immediately. At CMG, we typically set up SEO campaigns to run for six months to twelve months. But this isn’t something we simply implement and forget about – through the entire campaign we monitor progress, evaluate strategy, and make key decisions that set your business up for growth.

So, what exactly does all of that entail? Let’s break it down. Here are the 5 phases of SEO you can expect to see when you partner with CMG for SEO services.

Phase 1: Discovery

The goal of phase 1 is to understand and evaluate where we are starting. To start, we perform a website audit to make sure the website is up to snuff with your competition. (Psst, we offer free website’s audits for non clients to see how your business stacks against it’s competition). During this phase, we will work together to become more familiar with your business, target audience, and goals. We will then compare that to your current site’s content, mapping, code, and keyword density to see what is working and what could be improved. This step usually takes around 30 days.

Phase 2: Strategy

You’ve heard us say it many times, but we’ll say it again: marketing efforts are a waste without strategy. SEO is no exception! During this phase, our team will work to identify opportunities and prioritize. SEO strategy is not a one-size-fits-all. We craft a customized plan unique to your business, your audience, and your goals.

Phase 3: Implementation

This is where things get technical – it’s time to put the plan to action! Phase 3 mainly consists of executing on-site and on-page optimization strategies. This typically consists of cleaning up your site’s code, content, architecture, mapping, keyword usage and much more. Phase 2 and phase 3 combined can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days.

Phase 4: Optimization

The most important rule about strategy is knowing when to adjust it, and at CMG, we are all about pivoting when needed. We are constantly monitoring your campaign, tracking insights and making real-time optimizations that will help you reach your goals. This phase is between 60 and 90 days.

Phase 5: Amplify

We’ve reached the end… but have we? At this point, our team works to take the insights from the optimization phase and amplify them to ensure long-term success. This phase is beneficial as an ongoing effort to say ahead of your competition and to navigate the ever-changing search algorithms. Consumer search trends tend to change, and continual monitoring and optimizing is important to stay relevant. From our experience, this phase is the best place to be: consistent optimizing and amplifying to achieve your business’ goals.

Contact us to learn more about our SEO services.

How to Reinstate your Google My Business Account

Google My Business is a crucial component to any business’s SEO, but sometimes things go wrong and your account can get suspended. Don’t stress — we are here to help!

Why was my Google My Business account suspended?

Unfortunately, Google’s reasoning for suspending accounts is sometimes vague. In general, those reasons can include: someone logging in from a different location, too many users being added to your account in a short period of time, or not following community guidelines. 

Regardless of WHY your account has been suspended, it’s important that business owners quickly address this issue. Google My Business is crucial to a small business’s SEO — according to market research, the average business is found in 1,009 searches per month, with 84% of these coming from discovery searches via Google My Business. 

How Can I Reinstate my Google My Business Account?

First, get in contact with the account owner or administrator on the account. It’s at this step that you may realize it’s not actually you but does need to be. The business owner should always retain primary ownership and allow others to serve in a manager capacity. 

Here are the steps to take in order to reinstate your Google My Business account. 

  1. Ask for reinstatement
  2. Hear back about reinstatement 
    • The team at GMB will review, investigate, and resolve most requests within 3 business days.
    • If it’s been more than 3 business days, reply to the email you receive. It is very much okay to be the squeaky wheel. 
    • If you have a storefront, attach a photo to your reply.
  3. Reply to a denial 
    • If GMB mistakenly denied your request (which happens all the time), reply to the initial report email. 
    • In your reply, include an eligibility justification and summarize how your business operates.
    • If you have a storefront, attach a photo to your reply.
  4. Fix issues after reinstatement
    • For the security of Business Profiles, Google can’t share specific reasons why any profile is suspended.
    • If you have issues with your reinstated profile, reply to the email with information on your problem, and Google will  investigate.

Still Need Help?

Sometimes working through web forms is both daunting and complicated. We get it.

Our team at Columbia Marketing Group is Google Certified and happy to help the small business owners of Columbia, Missouri and the larger Mid-MO region. If you are a business owner with any Google My Business issues, please feel free to call us at (573) 499-1830 or email us at

What is SEO and why do you need it?

What is SEO? If you ever want to hide anything, keep it on the second page of a Google search result. Even though this is a joke, it isn’t far from the truth. When was the last time you clicked on the second page of a Google search result?

You may have a great product, a mind blowing Unique Selling Proposition(USP) and an earth shattering differentiator, but if your website doesn’t appear in the first page of a Google search result, it’s all for naught.

Do the websites which appear on the first page of a Google search merely get lucky? No. It likely means that they have a dedicated digital ad agency like CMG working the wonderful magic of SEO.

Let’s address the most talked about, and mysterious to some, term called SEO. SEO means search engine optimization. You cannot increase traffic to your website and improve your Google search result position without implementing an SEO strategy.  

You may hear a lot of chatter about digital marketing, but we at CMG would love to simplify it for you. Digital marketing analytics can be split into three pillars:


Covers all channels through which a customer decides to come to your websites, namely:

  • Organic
  • Paid
  • Referral
  • Direct


Covers all the activities and habits of the customers when he/she is on the website.Such as:

  • Average time spent on the website
  • Total pages visited
  • Exit rate


Covers metrics which determine if the customer ends up meeting any of the predetermined goals like purchasing a product or filling out an inquiry form or some other planned activity. For example:

  • Total leads
  • Total products purchased
  • Revenue generated

Search Engine optimization is essentially a process for increasing traffic to the website in the acquisition pillar. This is done using a number of different steps which are as follows:

  • For any website, content is king. It is important that not only do you have a great product, but the content on the website is relevant to the product you are trying to sell. 
  • The content on the website has to be in alignment with the keywords that your customers are using to search for your service or product. 
  • The website should be easy to use with high loading speed.

Why are the above steps important? The answer is in one word: Google!!

Google measures any website on the above factors and provides a quality score to the website, which in turn determines the position of your website in the search result.

If these terms seem complicated, fear not! Our digital analytics experts at CMG have a great deal of experience in optimizing websites using the steps mentioned above, in addition to other technical innovations. 

If you would like CMG to review your SEO strategy at no charge, request an appointment with our team.

Verify Your Business with Google Guaranteed

Trust is the foundation of any relationship, especially when it comes to businesses and their clients. Any client expecting a service trusts that their choice is qualified to do so, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. So, what’s an easy way to earn that trust? Become a Google Guaranteed local business. 

What is Google Guarantee?

Google launched a new service in July 2020 to help users connect with qualified local businesses. Google Guaranteed businesses go through a thorough screening process to verify that their employees and services are legitimate and trustworthy. Once the screening process is complete, your business will receive a green badge of honor next to its name and appears at the top of a Google search above all of your competitors that are not Google Guaranteed. Once you’re certified, Google will guarantee your company’s work for up to $2,000. This means that if a customer is unsatisfied, they can file a claim with Google to make it right.  

How can Google Guarantee help my business? 

Being Google Guaranteed launches your business to a higher level of trust with your clients.  This screening is ideal for businesses in the home service industry such as plumbers, electricians, HVAC, and pest control, but it is growing to include industries such as law and real estate. To enroll, you must undergo a company background check, owner background check, and field technician background checks. Once this is complete, leads will come to you with confidence that your service is the best in the area.  

How can I get Google Guaranteed? 

Obtaining the Google Guarantee badge is a great first step to getting your name in front of potential customers. You can receive this badge through an upgraded subscription of your Google My Business listing for $50 a month or run it through a Local Services Ad. Verification through Google’s Local Services is an easy way to obtain the badge and track incoming phone calls — especially if you’re already running Google Ads.  

The Google Guarantee program is new and ever changing, but CMG is on top of it. If you want to take your business to the next level, contact our team to help you get started! 

7 SEO Tips For Your Business to Appear on the First Page of Google

When you are searching the internet, how often do you go to page 2 or 3 on the results list? I almost never go past page one, and I don’t think I’m alone. So how do you get your business’s website on the first page or even at the very top of search results? The answer is the art and science of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. Here’s a few tips to improve your shot at being #1, give them a try and see a difference in your monthly organic (SEO) traffic!

  1. Keywords

If you ask any SEO expert or web designer they will tell you that keywords on your site are one of the best ways to improve your spot on any search engine result list. Keywords include any text that is able to be read by the mysterious “google bots”. These bots crawl on web pages and pick out content so you get the most relevant results when you search. Having accurate information on your web pages is critical to being found by the average Bing or Google user.

Pro Tip: Avoid keyword stuffing. These bots are no dummies, if you are advertising a car wash business and every other word on your site is either car, wash, or car wash, they know what you’re up to. Keep it conversational while still getting relevant keywords into your featured text.


2. Headings

Headings are the titles on your site, like keywords these hold a lot of power when it comes to optimizing your search engine position. Make sure you are making the most of your headings – this is what website visitors are going to see first, after all. Include your company name and major page descriptors in your page or section headers. Good headings increase your chances of being seen on search engines and help your site visitors find the information they need quickly to avoid frustration.


3. Responsive design

We’ve all been there, trying to visit a website on your mobile device and having to scroll back and forth in order to find the information you need. It’s 2017 people! The average person is going to be on their phone anyway, make sure that your site is mobile friendly. The site crawlers can tell if your site only has a desktop version, when they see this they automatically take you out of the top search results because they know it is annoying for consumers.


4. Links

Linking in and out of your site is a great way to improve your SEO. What does that mean? You can link from one page on your site to another, this is building connections within your site, something Google likes to see. You can also link to other sites, maybe link to your client’s pages, and encourage them to link to yours, this mutual linking is beneficial for everyone. Another way to incorporate links on your site is to link out to your social media pages, that’s what they are there for, right? This can draw your website viewers to your facebook page and vice versa, that way you can get more likes and a better position on the results page.

Pro Tip: In general, when it comes to backlinks, Google rewards quality over quantity. It’s better to have 5 quality backlinks from websites with high domain authority than to have 50 low quality backlinks from websites with low domain authorities. Websites like Facebook have a high domain authority whereas a website that was built last week is likely to have a lower domain authority.


5. Correct info across search engines

Have you heard of NAP? No, not the thing we are all begging for come 3:00pm – it stands for Name, Address, Phone number. This is the information listed on search engines when someone types in your business name. If the information is not correct or the same across all search engines it can hurt your chances of being seen by Googlers. Make sure that when you search your business the right info comes up, if not, fix it fast! These bots can see when the information is not correct and only the businesses with accurate NAP profiles will end up on Page 1.

CMG has a service called business power listings, we clear up any issues with your NAP listing across all search engines, this is a simple way to improve your search engine position and generate new customers monthly!

6. Site speed

Is there anything worse than a slow loading webpage? Well, yes, but it is really frustrating especially if you are trying to get information quickly. The site crawlers know what people like and dislike, and that includes slow site speed. One way to improve your site speed would be to compress any large images on your site. By compressing your pictures down to a more manageable size, you can still have that amazing image quality you want while increasing your download speed dramatically.

7. Changing content

2010 seems like yesterday, but in reality that was 7 years ago! So having content from then or from even before on your site is not a great way to get the attention of these bots. Google loves new content, so change up your site yearly at the least, update your information, switch out old pictures for new ones, anything to keep your site fresh. An updated site will not only appeal to customers, but it will likely get you closer to that #1 spot on the search results list.

Search engine optimization is a tricky game and there are countless ways to optimize your site to be more visible and show up in search results. These are just a few strategies to get on Google’s good side and increase your organic traffic.

Want to know how your website is performing? Need help doing some hardcore SEO? Let us audit your website and discover opportunities for you to capture your fair share of Google’s search space. Contact us today.

A Guide to SEO for YouTube Channels

Understanding the Opportunity

With an average of over 30 million daily visits and an estimated 92 billion views a month, YouTube presents a unique marketing opportunity for video based businesses to thrive. This brief guide to SEO strategy for YouTube provides solutions for improving Google and YouTube channel rankings.

YouTube Engagement APIs

Views  Core metric for total number of views a video received.
View Duration  Core retention metric for avg number of minutes’ users viewed video.
Shares  Core metric for number of times video was shared.
Subscribers  Core metric for channel subscribers gained after viewing a video.
Comments  Core metric for number of users that showed verbal engagement with a video.
CTR  Core metric for average rate of clicks on a video.
Likes/Dislikes  Number of times user indicated they liked or disliked a video.
View Percentage  Explains what portion of the total video was viewed.

Video Title and Description Keywords

A high portion of first page results in Google are reserved for video. Using free tools like Google Trends or Keyword Planner to find keywords with a minimum volume of 300 searches a month can drastically improve the SEO of a channel. How-to, review or sporting activity terms are a few of the popular keywords used in video titles. The first few lines of a description can also be vital to ranking high in search engines. Metadata descriptions are another area for placing keywords relevant to your video.

Engaging & High Quality Production

Posting high quality videos with appealing graphics, professional editing & good length are key to building loyal channel viewers. Tags present another chance for strategic keyword placement during the upload process. Unless it’s an ad, longer videos on YouTube tend to outperform shorter ones.

Leveraging Your Network

As a part of Google’s ad & search network, YT channels easily link to Google + profiles so videos can appear in results for both platforms. Viewers enjoy destination videos that direct them towards new content. Similar to the impact of a landing page, linking the channel to a website will increase viewer engagement.

Ranking in “Recommended”, “Suggested” and “Up Next” Columns

YouTube’s “watch time” algorithm for internal rankings also factors in viewer engagement, topic relevancy and CTA’s encouraging your users to engage with your video. Connecting videos to playlists can lengthen user sessions & total view times. Posting videos on popular topics is another way to boost internal & search rankings. Instructional and testimonials are topics that generate massive user engagement.

Why you can’t ignore Google Plus anymore

Google Plus is often times considered the red-headed step child of social media platforms. With only around 300 million of its 2.5 billion accounts still alive and kicking, it is a shock that the social media network made it to its fifth birthday.

The +1 on Google Plus is similar to Facebook and Twitter likes.
The +1 on Google Plus is similar to Facebook and Twitter likes.

But despite its lack of hype, the platform holds the key to one sector that all other networks lack: search engine optimization (SEO). With a parent like Google, the king of all search engines, local businesses ought to adopt Google Plus account if it means increasing organic ranking on search engine results. By increasing this ranking, your business will stand out among your competitors.

Here, we highlight five ways that Google Plus can help strengthen a local business’ online presence.

1. Google Plus has a strong influence on SEO.

Building a strong network, or “circle,” on Google Plus has a stronger impact on search engine results than your Facebook or Twitter presence. According to one metric, Google +1s (comparable to Facebook and Twitter likes) had the single highest correlation with Google search rankings compared to other social signals. In other words, it takes more Twitter and Facebook likes to have the same impact on SEO as Google Plus interactions.

Building support on Google Plus may be easier than it sounds. Although there is a limited amount of activity on the platform, there’s a pretty good chance that your loyal customers and employees already have a Google Plus account. Gmail, the most popular free email service in the world, can be easily linked to a Google Plus account without the need to fill out a separate account set-up form.

If you, a family member, friend or loyal customer already have a personal Gmail account, you can easily build a circle and start generating +1’s on your company’s content.

2. Google Plus can amplify your Google My Business account.

Want to increase the visibility of your Google My Business account? Utilize Google Plus, an already built-in tool that allows you to post updates in the same way as a Facebook status or tweet.

If you create an individual account for your business, Google will automatically create a default account. You want to make sure to post to the "brand" account, linked to Google My Business.
The “Brand Account” is linked to Google My Business.

As a local business trying to attract people searching for services in your area, it is important to stand out among your local competitors. One way you can amplify your Google presence is to begin building an active Google Plus presence. And there’s a good chance your competitors are not already tapping into this useful tool.

The tricky part with this is you want to make sure that you’re posting to your “brand” account rather than the default account provided by Google. The “brand” account is linked to your Google My Business account, rather than the default account provided when signing up for any Google services account.

3. Google Plus pairs well with other Google services.

Along with platforms such as Gmail and Google My Business, the Google family also includes YouTube which reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the United States.

Your Google Plus account will strengthen your presence across all Google platforms. Already have an active Youtube presence? Strengthen your web presence by creating a Google Plus page for your channel or videos.

Another way you can utilize your Google Plus account is to provide a strong social presence. Want to respond to a positive or negative review about your business? Create accountability by interacting through your Google Plus account.

4. You can recycle content from Facebook for more visibility.

Google Plus operates a lot like a Facebook page. There are no limits on the number of characters to use and your website links will create a visual preview. To amplify your reach, posting to more than one social network will attract different users. Not to mention, Google Plus posts are more likely to show up in search engine results than Facebook posts.

If you want to maximize the number of keyword searches that drive traffic to your website, cross-posting content to Google Plus is a great way to increase the visibility of your content.

5. The more routes you create to your website, the better it is for your web performance and Google ranking.

Like mentioned before, social signals are likely to increase your Google ranking, along with organic website visits. Google Plus may not be the most popular social network out there, but it does serve as a useful tool for increasing your web presence. The service is also free if you already have a Google My Business account.

Interested in using this tool to increase your web traffic and improve your online image? Follow this quick guide for getting started. 

27 Must Know Digital Marketing Terms

I don’t know about you, but, when I can’t decide what to eat for lunch, I Google “food near me”. Once I find something that sounds good, I click “get directions” and Google takes me to wherever I need to go so I don’t have to navigate and get lost. Most of the time, if I have either horrible food or really good food, I want to give my two cents by writing a review online about whatever it is I had for lunch. Let’s not forget about the obligatory artsy Instagram photo of my neatly arranged sushi.

Let’s face it – the internet is becoming more and more prominent in our everyday lives. Guess what that means? Consumers are using the internet to help them make their purchasing decisions. In fact, in 2015, 64 cents of every dollar from in-store sales was influenced by the internet. WHOA!

If that’s not a game changer for your business strategy, I don’t know what is.

The world of digital marketing and advertising is one where trends change on a daily basis and growth never stops. With information at our fingertips 24/7, sometimes the internet and the world of digital marketing terms can be overwhelming. On top of that, its full of “industry speak” or specialized terms and phrases that most normal human beings don’t understand.

From SEO to PPC, we’ve developed straight-forward, jargon-free explanations of common digital marketing terms. Being familiar with these can help you navigate the digital world more efficiently, gain more insight, and get more value out of your online marketing. After reading this guide, you’ll have fewer things to Google – you’re welcome.

Industry “Jargon”



Banner Ads



Social Media

Facebook, Twitter


A post on Twitter

Target Audience

Your Customers


Being found in Google

Paid Search/PPC

The sponsored ads in Google results

Online Reputation Management

Online reviews and Google listings

Mobile Conquesting

Ads on apps (in a specific location)


Video ads




How many people saw it


How many people liked/commented


A view of an ad

IP Targeting

Showing ads to specific people, at their home


Showing ads to people who visited your website

Web presence

Your company’s brand online

Ad Placement

The space on a website where your ad will appear

Ad Inventory

The ad spaces for sale on websites

Ad exchange

The technology that puts your ads on websites

Ad Network

A group of websites relevant to your customer

Behavioral targeting

Showing banner ads to people based on their online activity

Keyword targeting

Showing banner ads to people searching specific terms


Someone took an action on your site (usually, filled out a form)

View-Through Visit

Someone saw your ad, didn’t click, then came to the website a different way

Content Management System/CMS

How your website is edited


Our favorite CMS