How to Plan Great Content for 2021 for Your Small Business

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Strategies for Creating an Effective Content Marketing Plan for 2021

As we head into a new year, small businesses should be planning how they’re going to stand out in 2021. Your content marketing strategy can help you compete in today’s challenging marketplace, even if the competition is now fiercer than ever before.

Being proactive in planning your content marketing campaigns is the best way to ensure you get great results. Here are some tips to help you create an effective content marketing plan for 2021.

Audit Your Current Content

Before you know what you will do next year, you must understand what worked this year. Take a look at your current content to help you identify what performed well and what didn’t. Also, keep an eye out for top ranking keywords.

Define Your Content Marketing Goals for the New Year

What do you want to achieve through your content marketing strategy in 2021? Whether you want to increase brand awareness or boost sales, your goals will determine your approach.

4 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Campaign Might Struggle

Understand Your Audience

Creating content is not just about creating content. It’s about generating valuable information for your target audience while helping them engage with your business. What type of content is your target audience interested in? What style of communication is most comfortable with them? What channels can you find them in? Doing research will help you define a buyer persona you’ll have in mind when developing your content.

Define Your Go-To Content Types

When we talk about ‘content,’ we’re not just referring to written content. Sure, you can create a blog and social media posts that help you engage your customers, but you may benefit from other content types, from infographics to videos and podcasts.

Create a Content Calendar

Once you have enough information, you can start planning your content for next year. You may want to include details like the person responsible for content, format, topic, promotion channels, and publishing date. Creating a content calendar will help you and your content marketing team stay on the same page and on track to meet your goals.

What You Want in a Great SEO Landing Page

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5 Features of an Effective SEO Landing Page

Landing pages are essential elements of a successful website. If you intend to increase traffic to your site, you want to create landing pages that support your SEO strategy, provide a great user experience, and drive people into your sales funnel.

If you want an excellent SEO landing page, make sure it has these features:

Attractive and Powerful Web Copy

A good quality copy will attract users to your page and motivate them to stay there for longer. Your copywriting should be clear, direct, persuasive, and dynamic, and include relevant keywords while being in tune with your content strategy and site user experience.

Be sure to offer a narrative that feels natural and fluid, and don’t just force keywords onto a paragraph to optimize your page. Don’t be afraid to discuss your value proposition and choose headlines that can quickly catch people’s attention.

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Clear Call to Action

Be clear about the actions you want people to take while on your landing page. Your call to action should have purpose and clarity, bringing you one step closer to making a sale. Stay away from clickbait and instead, be strategic and create calls to action to help you drive conversions.

Localized Information

If you’re looking to attract local search traffic, you must create localized landing pages for each of your business locations. This is more than just changing the address on your landing pages. To have the opportunity to rank higher on search results, you want to create unique pages that capture your local audience’s attention.

Back Links

Through link-building campaigns, you can increase your site’s authority. Find opportunities to link back to your landing pages from other pages within your site, like blog posts or product pages. Add your links in places within the content where it feels natural and makes sense to those browsing around your website.

Great Design

Appealing landing pages help increase conversions. Ensure your design fits your branding strategy and your site’s overall look while still representing your business or brand. By studying and considering user behavior, you can design attractive and effective landing pages that help your business grow.

Get Your E-Commerce Site Ready for Christmas

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4 Tips to Get Your E-Commerce Site Holiday-Ready

This is the busiest time of the year for businesses. Although this holiday season will be different from others, companies should still offer their customers a great shopping experience.

If you have an e-commerce site, you want to make sure it is all set for the holiday rush. But how do you do that? Here are some ways to help you prepare.

Be Upfront About Shipping Times

Online shopping increases significantly during this time, so there are always delays in shipping times. By setting expectations ahead of time, you ensure your customers have a positive shopping experience. Put up a banner on the homepage to inform your customers of potential delays, provide realistic shipping and delivery dates when they check out, and provide updates via email so they know what to expect.

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Create a User-Friendly Shopping Experience

An intuitive and easy website is critical for users, especially during a sensitive time like the holidays. Ensure your hosting service can manage higher traffic during this time, optimize your site for different devices, confirm your SSL certificate is up to date to protect your customers’ information, and give them various payment options. These changes can help you provide a memorable shopping experience for your customers and boost online sales.

Implement a Chatbot

Implementing a chatbot on your website is a great way to quickly provide answers to your customers’ most frequent questions without hiring additional staff for the season. Make sure your chatbot is prepared to answer questions related to holiday business hours, delivery dates, special promotions, gift wrapping, etc.

Highlight Your Return Policy

Whether you decide to update your return policy during the holiday season or not, it is a good idea to make it visible to your customers. This will help set expectations and prevent negative customer experiences that can lead to bad online reviews. Put your return policy somewhere visible near the end of the transaction to allow your customers to read it before finalizing their purchase.

Maximize Your Reach Over the Holidays with These Local SEO Tips

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Local SEO Tips to Prepare for the Holidays

Every year, stores get crowded with holiday shoppers, and online sales grow drastically this time of year. With COVID-19, 2020 has been a lot different from usual, and we can anticipate it will also impact the holiday shopping experience.

If you’re looking to maximize your reach to holiday shoppers this year, these local SEO strategies can help you achieve that.

Freshen Up Your Listings

Your audience must be fully aware of your business hours and other holiday-specific information during the holidays, like special promotions or products. Take time to update your listings across all platforms, from GMB to Yelp and everything in between.

Update GMB’s Q&A Section with Holiday Related Questions

Google gives you an opportunity to answers your customers’ most frequently asked questions through the Q&A section in GMB. However, it allows for anyone to answer those questions for you. Get ahead and create common holiday Q&As to provide your customers with a better experience this holiday season.

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Optimize Local Pages on Your Website

Optimized websites have better online visibility. Your local pages should include localized holiday information if you want to increase your chances of showing up on SERPs when consumers are looking for the type of products or services you offer in your area. Also, ensure your website is optimized for mobile and load time is fast. This will help you rank higher in search results.

Stay on Top of Online Reviews and Create Templated Responses

Reviews are great for SEO. This year online shopping has become significantly more critical for consumers, which has led to an increase in online reviews. You’ll likely see many more online reviews come in this season compared to previous years. To get ahead of the game, you can create templated responses to address different situations, whether you need to thank a customer, wish them a good holiday season, explain COVID-19 policies, or offer an apology to handle a negative review.

Optimize Your Social Media Accounts

Take advantage of social media to share holiday-specific promotions, deals, or giveaways. Also, be sure to update your business hours during the holidays and keep your business information accurate throughout the season to make it easy for your audience to reach you.

Build a Website Your Customers Can’t Resist

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Tips to Build a Dynamic Website That Brings in Business

Websites are an essential part of any business marketing strategy. It’s great for branding, helps increase exposure and engagement, as well as sales. It’s the digital face of your business.

Creating a website is not about putting a bunch of information about your business on the web but about producing a marketing platform that can help your business grow. To do that, you need to build a website that people can’t resist and that they want to continue to visit.

Here are some tips for creating a fantastic website for your business.

Simplify the Process with a Content Management System

You could find someone that codes your website from scratch, but it will require more time and more money. For years now, there’s been a much more effective way to do it. Enter content management systems, like WordPress.

A CMS platform will make it much easier for you to build the website you envision and streamline the process of maintaining it. Its abundant variety of themes will allow you to customize your site to your liking and offers e-commerce capabilities.

Create Something Memorable

You want people to think of your business when they visit your website immediately, so using the same branding you use across other marketing channels is critical. Choose a domain name that relates to your business name and is hard to forget. Select color schemes that will make your design fresh while sticking to your business identity.

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Prioritize Ease of Use

Usability is incredibly essential when it comes to creating a good user experience. Your website should be easy to use and provide the type of information your potential or current customers expect to find. Make sure you provide easy website navigation options for your users to get around without any issues.

Use Responsive Design

These days, most people access websites from their phones. Your site must adapt to different screen sizes to ensure you provide a pleasant experience for all users, regardless of the device they use to access your website. Using responsive design will make it easier for you to update, develop, and maintain your website, helping you rank higher in search results since Google is mobile-friendly.

Engage and Retain Visitors

Once a current or potential customer visits your website, you want to engage them and, ideally, turn them into long-term customers. Social media buttons help you boost engagement from your website by allowing users to share your content, helping you gain more followers. Set up a “contact us” form or invite them to subscribe to your email list or newsletter so that you can stay in touch with them.

The Importance of Good Site Navigation

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Is Your Site Easy to Navigate? It Should Be

Remember when there were no apps to help you find directions to where you wanted to go? Sometimes, addresses could be so complicated that just the thought of having to “navigate blind” to that detailed destination was enough to persuade you from going. You could say that is the same feeling website users get when the site has poor navigation.

Did you know that 61% of users aren’t likely to return to a site if they’ve had trouble accessing it? Navigation plays a significant role in website accessibility, and if it’s not easy to understand, you can be sure to miss out on potential sales.

Here are some of the reasons why having good navigation on your website is essential.

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Keeps Things Organized

You can make sure your most popular or important options are easy to find and remember through your site navigation. Items at the top or bottom of a list are more likely to stand out. Defining a good structure —main navigation and sub-navigation— will make your site more understandable, allowing your users to get around easily.

Helps Visitors Find the Right Information

Good site navigation is easy to use, intuitive and makes sense. Its purpose is to enable visitors to find what they need without any hassle, confusion, or potential frustration. When designing it, do it from a visitor’s perspective, not your own.

Makes Your Site More Appealing

When your website is easy to navigate, it makes it more enjoyable for visitors and persuades them to stay on it longer. Using icons to go along with your text will make it more aesthetically appealing, intuitive, and clearer.

Helps Your SEO

Beyond contributing to a good visitor’s experience on your website, good site navigation can impact your site’s ranking, which can help you drive in more traffic and increase conversions.

5 Digital Marketing Trends That Have Boosted Businesses in 2020

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Leveraging These Digital Marketing Trends Will Benefit Your Business

The year 2020 has been unusual, to say the least. It’s been a rollercoaster of complex situations and emotions that have impacted everyone’s personal and professional lives. In terms of business, 2020 has been a year of change, a year of finding new ways to do things and embrace things that many companies had been putting on hold.

For many small businesses, digital marketing wasn’t a priority —even if that sounds hard to believe in an era where everything is digital. To optimize their operation and adapt to what the year has thrown our way, embracing these digital marketing trends has been vital.

Site Navigation Optimization

From a customer’s perspective, there is nothing worse than a website that is too complicated to navigate. If they’ve gotten that far, it’s because they are interested in your business and the products or services you offer, so giving them a good user experience is essential. Optimizing your site navigation will help you achieve this goal. Focus on making it easy for your customers to access critical information, like business hours, contact information, product listings, etc.

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Social Media Advertising and Paid Search

Using paid ad targeting tools on the different social media platforms is a great way to serve your ads to the right audience. Local businesses can use geo-targeting to reach customers within their area and market their business with more accuracy.

Content Marketing

Using content to promote your business and brand is a valuable digital marketing move. Relevant content for your audience is the right choice, like blogs or articles, infographics, or even videos. Writing industry-relevant articles and incorporating your keyword also helps your SEO, which gives you more exposure.

Email Marketing

If you’re looking for a highly efficient tool that can help you stay connected with your customers, it sounds like you need email marketing. There are different types of email marketing campaigns you can leverage to build and sustain your current customers’ relationships, generating leads.

Live Chat and Chatbots

Offering timely and effective customer support is critical for any business, and chatbots are very helpful in this regard. They can help provide answers to frequently asked questions, handle basic requests, and gather essential customer information before assigning to live rep, thus improving the overall customer experience.

Picking a Good Hosting Platform is Critical for Your Business

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How to Choose the Best Hosting Platform for Your Needs

So, you decided to hire a web hosting service. What’s next? How do you choose the right one?

A web hosting service is a fundamental element of a successful website. An unstable and unreliable hosting platform will not only affect your website; it will also impact your sales and your overall business. So, naturally, making the right choice is critical.

Here are some ways to help you choose the best hosting platform for your business.

Transparent Pricing

There is nothing more critical than transparent communication, and when it comes to choosing a hosting platform, there is no exception. Before you decide what option is best for you, you must understand all the costs related to your web hosting package of choice. A reliable web hosting service provider will give you all the cost details you need upfront —no hidden fees— so you can make an informed decision.

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Prime Storage and Bandwidth

Storage and bandwidth are crucial features you should keep an eye on as you look for the right web hosting platform. Make sure they offer more than enough storage space and bandwidth to accommodate your growth and allow you to downgrade or upgrade as needed.

Optimal Uptime and Reliability

Look for web hosting services that guarantee 99.9% uptime. This means they won’t allow your site to be down for more than 45 mins every month. To find a reliable web hosting service provider, don’t just rely on word of mouth. Check online and make sure they have good reviews that support what you might have already heard about them.

Scalability

Using the right digital marketing tactics, you will experience an increase in traffic to your website. To support that growth and keep your website running smoothly, you’ll want a web hosting service that can help you upgrade critical hosting features without complications.

Domain Management Tools

Domain management tools are necessary to help your website stay in good shape. Access to DNS records, domain name administration, and privacy management tools are all things you want to be part of your web hosting plan, making your life easier and allowing you to run your website as expected.

3 Ways to Reach Your Audience Using Geolocation

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Reach Your Audience with Geolocation!

Geolocation is an excellent marketing method that uses mobile technology to help you target specific audiences, get valuable customer information to fine-tune your marketing strategy, bring in more customers, and boost your sales.

There are three ways to target clients using geolocation:

Geotargeting

In short, geotargeting is about reaching people using their location. Web browsers have been tracking the IP address of their users since the early days of the internet. The IP address allows marketers to target an audience and serve them personalized content. However, an IP address is not nearly as precise as someone’s GPS location, so this method is best used for broad marketing regions.

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Geofencing

This method is a mobile alternative to geotargeting. Geofencing uses GPS location to target customers or audiences instead of their IP addresses. Since a customer’s GPS location is updated as they move, it’s an excellent tool for mobile messaging, allowing marketing to send the right message at the right time. Geofencing enables businesses to detect current or potential customers near their store, allowing them to provide limited-time offers or discounts to encourage customers to visit the store.

Targeting small regions like specific streets or neighborhoods is the most effective way to use geofencing. This approach helps direct customers to local businesses and impacts their sales.

Beacons

Beacons are small devices that receive location data from nearby devices like smartphones via Bluetooth. They are placed in specific areas, outdoors or indoors, and are considered the most specific form of geolocation marketing.

A beacon can provide precise data, like the customer’s location inside the store, allowing marketers to optimize their shopping experience. On the downside, since a beacon relies on Bluetooth technology, the device’s range is limited. They also must be appropriately placed, secured, and monitored, which can be complicated to do on public property.

How to Use Geolocation to Get Ahead of Your Competition

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Geolocation Marketing Helps You Stand Out

Everyone has a mobile phone in their hands these days. Consumers use it for everything, including gathering information to make informed purchase decisions. Thus, it makes sense for businesses to use marketing methods that leverage mobile technology to boost local sales.

Enter geolocation marketing. This marketing method uses a customer’s physical location to help businesses target potential customers and fine-tune their advertising strategy. Using a device’s geo-data, you can send useful information, entertainment, and promotions to qualified customers in your area.

There are many business advantages to using geolocation marketing.

Helps Target Specific Audiences

Thanks to geolocation, you’ll be able to connect with customers close to your business. This increases your chances of creating effective marketing campaigns.

Allows You to Gather Valuable Information About Your Customers

Mobile technology has made it possible for customers to check into their favorite businesses, start conversations about products, and write reviews. Through geolocation, you can track that data, which can help predict customer behavior and make them more aware of your brand.

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Permits You to Reward Loyal Customers

If you could keep track of how many times a customer visits your business, wouldn’t you want to reward those that show their loyalty? This technology makes that possible, allowing you to incentivize your customers through recognition, discounts, or even special treatment.

Brings in New Customers

Attracting more customers is always top of mind for business owners. Through geolocation marketing, you can increase conversions and bring in more new customers to your business. This marketing method can also help promote impulse purchasing, helping minimize inactivity periods throughout the day.

Enables You to Measure Results

When it comes to marketing if you can’t measure it, how do you know it works? Geolocation gives you great insights on customer traffic and sales, helping you fine-tune your strategy to increase effectiveness.