If you are a business owner, there’s probably a good chance that you have asked yourself this question before. It’s a question that many entrepreneurs ask, and for good reason.
According to a recent study, the first five organic search results on Google account for about 67% of all website clicks. With more than 2.3 trillion Google searches in 2019 alone, it has become clear that if customers can’t find your website online, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your business.
The good news is, with a trustworthy SEO company in North Charleston on your side and an effective SEO campaign,your website can show up on the first page of a Google search. The bad news is, many “SEO agencies” offering such services provide clients with outdated, a la carte options at ridiculous prices – and good luck getting them on the phone if you have a question that needs to answering.
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Most veteran SEO professionals agree that one of the most important signals that Google uses to rank websites is backlinks. Backlinking is essentially a link that is created when one website links to another. According to recent statistics, 91% of webpages that don’t get organic traffic are because they don’t have any backlinks. Mr. Marketing solves this problem for you through comprehensive backlinking techniques, which adds authority to your website over time so that Google recognizes your website as trustworthy in your industry.
Positive online reviews can be incredibly beneficial for your business. 93% of online shoppers say that online reviews play a part in their purchasing decisions. The problem is, many business owners don’t have the time to request online reviews from happy clients, manage those reviews, or display them on their company’s website.
That’s where Mr. Marketing’s Review Manager comes in. Review Manager is the world’s first comprehensive reputation management system, allowing you to get more from your reviews. With Review Manager, you have the ability to request reviews via SMS and Email, track pending review requests, and even publish your most favorable reviews right to your website, with a few taps on your phone.
As local SEO consultants in North Charleston, we see a lot of good-looking websites. While a website might be attractive on the surface, it needs to be optimized on the backend for it to have a better chance of showing up in a Google search. Our team of skilled web developers will optimize your website both on the surface and “under the hood”, so that your business gets noticed by customers who are already looking for the products or services you sell.
To make life a little easier, we are happy to host your website on our servers, so you don’t have to hunt down a separate hosting service. If you have updates that need to be applied to your website, we will handle the heavy lifting for you. We even implement security measures to prevent hackers from accessing your data.
Here’s a fact you might not know – Google controls more about 71% of the search engine market. If you want customers to find your business online, you need to show up in Google searches. As part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy in North Charleston available from Mr. Marketing, Google Ads can be an excellent wayfor new clients to discover your business both on mobile devices and on desktops. Much like online reviews, however, managing a Google Ads campaign can be burdensome and time consuming for busy entrepreneurs. Our team will work closely with you to figure out the best ways to use Google Ads to your businesses’ advantage so that you can focus on day-to-day tasks while we grow your presence online.
At Mr. Marketing, we really do care about your businesses’ success. Many local SEO consultants in North Charleston only care about their profits, but that’s not a mantra that we agree with at Mr. Marketing. For that reason, we also include monthly digital business coaching as part of our Local Magic package. That way, your knowledge of digital marketing grows alongside your businesses’ website rankings.
Believe it or not, you get even more customized SEO services in North Charleston than those we listed above. While you may certainly pick and choose which digital marketing services work best for your unique situation, with our Local Magic package, you also gain access to:
So, what’s the next step? We encourage you to reach out to our office or fill out the submission form on our website to get started. Once we understand your goals and business needs, we’ll get to work right away, forming a custom marketing strategy for you. Before you know it, your phone will begin ringing, your reviews will start to pour in, your online connections will grow, and your website traffic will explode with interested clients looking to buy your products or services.
News South Carolina has been awarded a grant to test air in the North Charleston area for a pollutant that’s known to cause cancer. Ethylene oxide may be coming from the Lanxess chemical plant, or another source. State Circuit Judge Roger Young issued an order on Monday saying Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-run utility, still has a right to sell electricity to Century’s Mount Holly plant. Young also ruled an agreement between Goose Creek and Century was illegal because it gav...
South Carolina has been awarded a grant to test air in the North Charleston area for a pollutant that’s known to cause cancer. Ethylene oxide may be coming from the Lanxess chemical plant, or another source.
State Circuit Judge Roger Young issued an order on Monday saying Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-run utility, still has a right to sell electricity to Century’s Mount Holly plant. Young also ruled an agreement between Goose Creek and Century was illegal because it gave the aluminum company far too much power over the city government.
The Post and Courier Food section is checking in weekly with four downtown Charleston restaurants coping with the coronavirus pandemic and recovering from restrictions designed to contain it.
A 41-year-old North Charleston woman was shot dead Monday night, authorities said. Officers were called to a reported shooting about 10:25 p.m. in the 1900 block of Spruce Boulevard, said Deputy Chief Scott Deckard, a North Charleston police spokesman. The location of the shooting is off Morningside Drive near where East Montague Avenue passes over Rivers Avenue. Officers were directed to a vehicle, where they found the shooting victim, Deckard said. She was identified as Shaniqua Dennis by the Charleston County Coroner&rsq...
A 41-year-old North Charleston woman was shot dead Monday night, authorities said.
Officers were called to a reported shooting about 10:25 p.m. in the 1900 block of Spruce Boulevard, said Deputy Chief Scott Deckard, a North Charleston police spokesman.
The location of the shooting is off Morningside Drive near where East Montague Avenue passes over Rivers Avenue.
Officers were directed to a vehicle, where they found the shooting victim, Deckard said.
She was identified as Shaniqua Dennis by the Charleston County Coroner’s Office.
The shooting is the 24th homicide in North Charleston police jurisdiction in 2020 and the 66th in the tri-county, according to a Post and Courier database.
Further information on the case was not immediately available.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the North Charleston Police Department at 843-740-2800.
North Charleston police officers are investigating a shooting early Wednesday that left a man dead. The Charleston County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 27-year-old Deandre Rivers, a resident of the Goose Creek area. Rivers died of a gunshot wound at the scene, the Coroner’s Office said. Officers responded at 4:42 a.m. to 3961 Gullah Ave. to a report of a shooting, according to an incident report. At the scene, officers saw a white car with a door open and two holes in a window, the report said. ...
North Charleston police officers are investigating a shooting early Wednesday that left a man dead.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 27-year-old Deandre Rivers, a resident of the Goose Creek area.
Rivers died of a gunshot wound at the scene, the Coroner’s Office said.
Officers responded at 4:42 a.m. to 3961 Gullah Ave. to a report of a shooting, according to an incident report.
At the scene, officers saw a white car with a door open and two holes in a window, the report said.
“When I checked inside the car, I noticed the victim sitting in the driver seat with two gunshot wounds to the chest and underneath his left arm,” the report said.
An officer checked the victim for a pulse but couldn’t detect one, the report said.
North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess expressed his frustration at violence in the community.
“It’s nonsense,” Burgess said. “This community doesn’t deserve this.”
The shooting is North Charleston’s fourth homicide in the past seven days.
One of the incidents, which happened April 30 at Dobson Street and Remount Road, involved a teenage girl who shot her stepfather. Investigators have not filed a charge against the teen related to the death and consider the incident to be one of self-defense, although the shooting remains under investigation.
On Friday, two people were killed on Reddin Road during an altercation in which the suspect, 39-year-old Jamal Hassan Doctor, was stabbed. Doctor was hospitalized and charged with two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
No suspects have been identified in Wednesday’s shooting, which is the ninth homicide this year in North Charleston and the 27th in the tri-county area, according to records compiled by The Post and Courier.
It’s been nearly four years since an interfaith activist group called for a racial bias audit of the North Charleston Police Department, spurred by concerns that arose in the wake of the 2015 Walter Scott shooting. So far, the proposal has gained little traction with city leaders. In May 2019, the city’s Citizens’ Advisory Commission on Police-Community Relations also recommended an audit. Buoyed by the success of Charleston’s recent police audit, activists say they plan to redouble their efforts in North Charleston in t...
It’s been nearly four years since an interfaith activist group called for a racial bias audit of the North Charleston Police Department, spurred by concerns that arose in the wake of the 2015 Walter Scott shooting. So far, the proposal has gained little traction with city leaders.
In May 2019, the city’s Citizens’ Advisory Commission on Police-Community Relations also recommended an audit. Buoyed by the success of Charleston’s recent police audit, activists say they plan to redouble their efforts in North Charleston in the coming year.
Meanwhile, the advisory group’s future is uncertain.
Commissioners were appointed to three-year terms, which expired at the end of 2019.
In a letter to commission chairman Daniel O’Neal dated Jan. 7, Mayor Keith Summey thanked members for their service and said the commission helped the city meet significant challenges faced by the city.
The letter did not say whether the group would continue with new members.
“If at some point in the future, the city decides to have another group, we will take into consideration all the insights you have provided,” Summey said.
When asked via email whether the city would renew the commission, the mayor did not answer directly. Both he and Police Chief Reggie Burgess have said they’re proud of the work their department has done to improve community relationships. Neither dismissed the possibility of an audit.
“We’re consulting with the Department of Justice through the Police Foundation on the matter and asking for their counsel on a holistic review of the department, as well as continued implementation of the DOJ Community Oriented Policing Services recommendations,” Summey said in an emailed response to The Post and Courier. “Our goal remains to keep the police department and the community moving forward.”
Officers’ relationship with the community “is at an all-time high,” the mayor said. North Charleston’s police ranks are fully staffed at a time when many departments across the country struggle finding sufficient personnel and the department has implemented several programs born from public input.
Summey pointed to the advisory commission — Cops Athletic Program and RECAP, or Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace — as successful initiatives that have helped restore trust in communities that have historically been wary of law enforcement.
The department also launched a variety of training programs aimed at addressing racial bias, gender equality and other subjects, the mayor said.
“Police work is ever-evolving, and the (department) will continue to rely on and move forward with the valuable lessons learned from the (advisory commission) and the Police Foundation,” Summey said. “Most importantly of all, we’ll continue listening to the community we serve.”
Burgess did not respond to questions for this story, but in previous statements, the chief said he is not opposed to an audit.
At a commission meeting in May, the chief said he wanted time to work with DOJ on technical assistance and collaborative reform initiatives.
“I have no problem with the audit, but let us get through what the Department of Justice has given us,” Burgess said.
He said North Charleston police went through an experience no other law enforcement agencies in the Charleston area has gone through after the April 2015 Walter Scott shooting — in which a white police officer shot a black man in the back several times after a traffic stop. He was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in a plea deal that led to state charges being dismissed.
A year after the shooting, the Charleston Area Justice Ministry called for North Charleston and Charleston police to hire outside firms to conduct racial bias audits.
Minority residents had long complained about being targeted for minor traffic stops by officers, and Scott’s shooting sparked calls for a sweeping civil rights investigation of the North Charleston Police Department.
Summey and then-Police Chief Eddie Driggers asked DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to review police policies and procedures and suggest changes.
But before the review could be completed and the report released, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions put an end to such initiatives in September 2017. The Justice Department refused to release a draft report from the North Charleston review.
With the probe dead in the water, Driggers got the federal agency to agree to a technical assistance program.
Meanwhile, in Charleston, city leaders agreed to fund a racial bias audit and hired Virginia-based firm CNA in late 2018 to conduct the review. CNA’s final report was released last November and highlighted a number of areas for improvement in the Holy City’s police force. It also found racial disparities in traffic stops and officer use of force.
For Dot Scott, president of the Charleston Branch NAACP and a North Charleston resident, the need for an audit of the North Charleston Police Department is just as great as ever.
Most complaints about officer conduct are made by black residents — a fact that the chief has also noted — and conducting an audit would give authorities the tools needed to improve those relationships.
Burgess has said he works hard to make sure the department addresses those complaints when they arise, and promptly investigates any complaint that’s made.
If an officer is found to be operating within protocol, the chief said he has directed internal investigators to make sure the resident who submitted the complaint understands why that is. Investigators walk through the department’s policy manual with the complainant and, if necessary, set up mediation between the officer and the resident to make sure that person’s concerns are addressed.
Scott, who was an original member of the advisory commission but left after less than a year, praised the group’s work under difficult circumstances.
“They really tried hard to do their work, but they didn’t have complete autonomy,” she said. “North Charleston really needs an audit.”
Despite the challenges, Scott said she’s hopeful, and she is continuing to meet with city and police leaders.
“As long as there are conversations going on, something can happen,” Scott said. “I won’t go away. As long as there’s breath in my body, I will keep believing that something’s going to happen.”
Ed Bergeron, co-president of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, said he sees North Charleston officials’ reticence to conduct an audit as a form of denial.
Officials, officers and the community know that there continue to be issues with how members of minority communities are treated during traffic stops and other interactions, Bergeron said. The failure to release the findings of the DOJ report conducted after the Walter Scott shooting added fuel to growing feelings of dissatisfaction.
The Justice Ministry plans to take up the issue of a North Charleston audit at its Nehemiah Action assembly on March 30, he said.
“Why would you resist something that offers the opportunity to improve and provide a better service? Pretty much every workplace I’ve been in, there are annual performance reviews,” Bergeron said. “It’s a way of making sure we’re living up to standards.”
Mavis Huger, an attorney and Justice Ministry member, pointed to Charleston’s audit and said that the group aims to show that North Charleston officials have nothing to fear from a probe.
“They’re afraid it’s going to turn into a lot of blaming and finger pointing,” Huger said. “That’s not what it is. It’s about best practices. The idea is that, looking at the model from the city of Charleston, they kind of have a road map of things that need to change at a systemic level. I think the city of North Charleston could use that as well.”
While she recognizes that the department has instituted a number of programs, like RECAP, that are starting to show results, having an audit will help the city measure the success of those programs, she said.
If the city does fund an audit, the Justice Ministry will commit itself to ensuring that the residents who need to be heard from the most, residents of minority communities most likely to have negative interactions with police, are integrated into the audit process, Huger said.
She credited Burgess for being open to discussing the audit and other opportunities for improving community relationships and hoped that the relationship can continue.
For now, however, the future of an audit in North Charleston remains uncertain.
It was a tense moment, particularly in a city with a population that is 46% Black and a police force that is nearly 75% white. Relations between the department and the Black community have long been fraught, and reached a low point when an unarmed Black man, Walter Scott, was shot in the back by a white officer five years ago, an incident caught on video that sparked a national uproar. The officer was fired, pleaded guilty to civil-rights violations, and was sentenced to 20 years in priso...
It was a tense moment, particularly in a city with a population that is 46% Black and a police force that is nearly 75% white. Relations between the department and the Black community have long been fraught, and reached a low point when an unarmed Black man, Walter Scott, was shot in the back by a white officer five years ago, an incident caught on video that sparked a national uproar. The officer was fired, pleaded guilty to civil-rights violations, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
How should police departments be reformed to address racial tensions? Join the conversation below.
Chief Burgess, the first African-American to lead the North Charleston police, stayed on his phone as he left church, asking one activist he had known for years to hold off issuing any statements criticizing the department until he got more information. At the scene, the chief examined security camera footage that showed the distraught man shooting himself in the head.
Having experienced racism himself while growing up in this southern city, he knew the burden was on him to show his officers had done nothing wrong. After praying with the deceased man’s father, he told the activist that he could watch the video after the family.
“I’ve been Black all my life…I understand why people sometimes assume the worst,” said Chief Burgess, who has a lean, athletic build and speaks in a booming baritone voice.
Like others in his position across the country, Chief Burgess has sought to diversify his department so it better reflects his city. Images of largely white police forces facing off with Black Lives Matter protesters in cities like Ferguson, Mo., six years ago drew nationwide calls for change, and the recent wave of protests spurred by the police killing of George Floyd has intensified that pressure.
Attracting young Black people to join the ranks isn’t easy, Chief Burgess said, when policing often isn’t a profession family and friends encourage them to pursue. He has searched for potential recruits at historically Black colleges, technical colleges and in the military, as well as in the North Charleston neighborhoods from which he hails. Of the 109 officers he has hired in the past two years, 38 are Black men and women.
“I can go to all the Black churches in this city, cookouts, family gatherings. But I’ll never be able to get 360 people that are African-American to work here,” Chief Burgess said, referring to his department’s total size. “So what I’m trying to get is the right person. The person who believes that when I go to that house, those folks are calling me for a reason.”
Among North Charleston’s latest class of recruits is Bre’Onna Searles, a 23-year-old Black cadet who said she wanted to bridge the mistrust her community has for police. The recent protests against police made her want to finish her training sooner, she said.
“I don’t want people to feel like they have to be afraid of us. I’m an African-American woman and I wear a badge, and I’m not a bad cop. I just want to be able to show that,” she said.
Criminal justice specialists say diversifying departments doesn’t necessarily bring change. According to a 2017 Indiana University study, adding small numbers of Black officers had no effect on the number of police shootings of Black citizens.
Rashawn Ray, a University of Maryland sociology professor, said that an officer’s connection to the community can be the most pivotal factor in shifting a department’s culture.
“It’s not simply about being Black. It’s also about being from a particular neighborhood, which might happen to be predominantly Black,” he said.
A forthcoming study by Stephen Wu, a professor of economics at Hamilton College, found that the per capita rate of fatal shootings by police was about 65% higher in cities with white chiefs than in cities with Black chiefs. The study used data from the 60 largest U.S. cities between 2015 and 2020.
Chief Burgess, 55 years old, a former college All-American wide receiver whose dreams of going pro fizzled, joined the force in 1989 and served as a school resource officer, detective and SWAT commander before being named to his current post in 2018. At the time, North Charleston, a city of 115,000, was in trouble.
Many were still angry over the shooting of Mr. Scott and years of aggressive policing in the Black community. In 2017, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund released a report that found Black residents filed a disproportionate share of complaints against North Charleston police compared with white residents, but were less likely to have theirs found credible. The Justice Department, under the Obama administration, launched an assessment of the department’s policies, but the review was abandoned by the Trump administration.
“You had people that wanted to explode,” said Chief Burgess.
He told his officers he wanted to replace sweeps of Black neighborhoods searching for criminals with more targeted operations. He had officers trained at the YWCA’s Racial Equality Institute and sent them to civic club meetings, urging them to build personal relationships with Black residents. He recalled that, as a patrol officer, he would stop to lift weights or converse with young men in front yards, wanting to show them they could coexist with police peacefully.
“It cannot be us against them,” he said. “The ‘them’ is the people we’re serving.”
Still, Chief Burgess has vowed his department wouldn’t pull back on enforcement, stating emphatically that the majority of the city’s homicide victims are Black and the perpetrators are too often “my people.”
Every time a community member is murdered, the chief, whose nephew was gunned down in North Charleston several years ago, walks the neighborhood holding a “Stop the Violence” sign.
Homicides dropped to 25 during his first year as chief compared with 36 in 2017. There were 26 murders last year, and so far there have been 13 in 2020.
“What has changed is having a Black chief who came up in the community,” said James Johnson, a longtime North Charleston activist. “The community is still skeptical of the police department, the wounds are still there. But they believe Reggie is truthful and honest.”
In May, community activists accused the department of racial profiling and excessive force in multiple encounters with a 21-year-old Black man who is the grandson of a former Charleston city councilman. Video footage showed him being slammed into a wall after being detained by several North Charleston police officers.
Chief Burgess said that his officers weren’t racial profiling and detailed each encounter publicly, noting that a shotgun was found in the man’s car. Several officers are being disciplined for their conduct in the incident, he said.
Community members have also criticized police and city officials for being slow to agree to a racial-bias audit of the department, which the NAACP and a citizen advisory committee requested several years ago. Chief Burgess said he had initially favored waiting until he evaluated his department’s policies. But he has since gotten behind the audit, and the city council recently voted to move forward with the review.
“I told him: You have a chance to serve as chief long enough to see the audit through,” said Rev. Nelson Rivers III, a prominent North Charleston pastor. “Otherwise, things will not have changed appreciably, and your legacy will be you were just a Black chief.”
On a recent day, the chief drove through the same North Charleston neighborhoods where he grew up, not far from where Mr. Scott was killed in a leafy park off one of the city’s main drags. Chief Burgess said he thinks often about the potential for a similar incident. He hopes the work he and others are doing will help get North Charleston through it should that day come.
“You can’t expect to overcome a crisis and…get relationships when that crisis is going on,” Chief Burgess said. “You have to develop those relationships before the crisis comes.”
Appeared in the July 6, 2020, print edition as '.'