Essential Elements for Your Local Marketing Efforts to Succeed

local marketing

How to Succeed at Local Marketing for Your Small Business

Thanks to the Internet, our lives today are different. It has simplified everything and proposed a new way to do business that we all love. However, in this game, large companies have the upper hand, and small businesses need to do their due diligence to stay relevant.

One of the best ways small businesses can make room for themselves in this crazy-competitive world is by leveraging the benefits of local marketing. Appealing to their local audience is the way to go. Here are some essential elements that will help you succeed at local marketing.

Manage Your Local Listings

The information available on your locals listings, like Google My Business, is extremely important. Before you get into SEO, you must make sure the data on your listings is clear and accurate —you know, business name, phone number, address, contact email address, business hours, and accepted payment methods. Including detailed information about your products and services is a plus.

Care for Local SEO

There is no denying that SEO is essential for digital marketing, especially local marketing. Optimizing your website for local search results is a must unless you want to compete directly with every business that has a website up and running online. So, make sure your website is responsive, set up a profile on local review sites, do keyword research and use SEO good practices on your website.

satisfied customer

Consider Creating Local Landing Pages

Local landing pages can increase your conversion rates, are great for lead generation and can help reduce bounce rates. Be sure local landing pages are optimized before they go live.

Manage Your Reputation

It may sound odd but reputation management is critical for any small business. After all, word-of-mouth has a big impact on what your potential customers think of your business. Manage your reviews and address them as needed. Many customers will check out your ratings and comments about your business before they make a buying-decision.

 

If you want to compete locally, your digital marketing strategy should be focused on local. This will help you increase your local traffic and attract more customers.

 

Simple Ways to Promote Your Website

How to Promote Your Website

Promotion Tips for Your Small Business Website

Even if you invest a fortune on the coolest website, it’s purpose is not going to be fulfilled if no one knows about it. There’s some advertising involved in spreading the word about your website and how it can help address the needs of your potential customers.

For people to know you have a website, you must promote it. Otherwise, it is just going to be floating out there in cyberspace. Here are some tips that will help you promote your website and organically work your way up the search results pages.

Make SEO a Priority

One of the most effective ways to promote your website is through good SEO. SEO requires planning, even before you start producing content for your website. Be sure you do keyword research so you can find out which keywords are most relevant to your business and can target them later on in your content. Focusing on keywords that have high search frequency but low competition is a good strategy.

Produce Quality Content

Writing blog posts for readers is not just about publishing something every week; it’s about what your audience wants to read. Quality content provides value to your audience, helps you rank higher on search results, and gains visibility.

open laptop on desk

Create a Google My Business Page

A Google My Business page will help put you in front of your local audience and gain visibility. When customers search for your name or for services similar to what you offer, your Google My Business page should pop up right at the top of the search results, which is a great way to capture more leads.

Work on Your Branding

Your brand image is the face of your company. Investing in creating a brand that draws people in and is recognizable will pay off. Be sure to put your brand on every digital output. Include it in your URL, emails —by creating an email signature, text messages, and all of your print advertising, as well.

 

Promoting your website is not complicated but does require a plan of action and proper execution. With the help of experts in the digital marketing field, this process can be much quicker and smoother.

Essential Tips for Building Your Small Business Website

Web development

Recommendations for a Great Small Business Website

If you’re starting a website from scratch for your business or revamping your existing website, be sure to take the right direction, so the results are worth it. You want a great website, not just an OK one. You need a website that represents your brand, captures the attention of your audience, generates leads, helps get good search rankings, and plugs easily into your other digital platforms.

Websites are incredibly important for small businesses. Did you know that 92% of business owners agree that a website is the most effective digital marketing strategy? 83% of those small business owners who do have a website feel like they have an advantage over their competition. Here are a few essential tips so you can build a quality website for your small business.

Go for a Simple Design

Design a website that’s true to your brand without going overboard. You want to draw people in, and people tend to be attracted to clean and elegant designs. Putting too many elements on your site can be offputting and even confusing. You want it uncluttered and uncomplicated.

Make It Responsive

We’re in the digital era. A time when everything is accessed mostly via mobile devices, so make sure you make it responsive. Your website should look just as good in a mobile device as it does on a desktop device. That will allow you to reach more people and increase traffic.

developing websites for small businessesApply SEO

If you want your website to rank well on organic search results, your website needs to be optimized with your keywords and met other criteria. That will help Google understand that your website has information that is valuable for users searching for a particular type of content.

Create a 404 Page

It might come as a shock, but 404 pages are one of the most visited pages on any website. Either the server goes down, or someone makes a mistake typing a URL, and they end up on your 404 pages. So why not make it look nice? Take that opportunity to add some of your business’s personality, maybe add a form to capture leads, or perhaps offer some helpful links within your website. A little creativity goes a long way.

Include Social Sharing Icons

First of all, if you have no social media presence yet, you should. Social sharing icons are an essential part of your website, especially when you have a blog and are continually producing valuable content for your audience. That gives them a chance to share your articles with others and give you more exposure.

Creating a quality website on your own can be time-consuming, which is why many business owners postpone this initiative. Outsourcing this responsibility can free you up to focus on other things that matter, while a professional team works on a website that will help your business grow.

In Case You Thought Keyword Research Didn’t Matter…

Person typing in search engine bar

Keyword Research Is Important and Here’s Why

When starting a digital marketing strategy, businesses sometimes tend to forget where they should start —or prefer to ignore it. Before you even begin writing blogs or investing in PPC campaigns, you should know what your keywords are.

Keyword research refers to the process of researching the words and phrases that people are likely to search with that directly relate to your products, services, or business, in general. So, let’s say you own a bakery in Colorado. Ideally, when people look for bakeries in Colorado, your business should pop up in the results, but for that, your site should be optimized around those keywords. If you skip keyword research, you will likely have trouble being found by your target audience —a.k.a lousy SEO. But that’s not all. Here are a few reasons why keyword research is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Helps Startups GrowProper Keyword Research Strategy Results in High Ranks

Without keyword research, getting zero organic traffic shouldn’t come as a surprise. Why? Well, if you’re not researching for the right keywords to use, you are probably using the wrong ones. That means you might be targeting search topics or keywords that are of no interest to your audience.

The thing about targetting keywords is that you need to focus on the ones that have good search volume; otherwise, your efforts will come back empty.

Keyword Research Could Lead to New Opportunities

The fun thing about search terms is that their popularity can change from one minute to the next. Something like Twitter’s trending topics. Maybe today one of your keywords is not super popular, but tomorrow it might be. If you’re one of the few people targetting it, guess what will happen? You will likely get most of that traffic. So it is very important to learn to judge what is trending, and than use it to your advantage.

Keyword research is a critical step in developing your digital marketing strategy. Take time to work on this step before you invest in the rest, and you’ll see your efforts pay off.

Email Marketing: What to Do with Disengaged Contacts?

Laptop with gmail open

Managing Disengaged Leads

Marketing is meant to help you attract the attention of your audience, but it can be a challenging task, particularly since you’re not the only one out there doing the same thing. Email marketing is an effective way to reach your audience but it has a tricky part: keeping your subscribers engaged.

Even when your intention is to keep in touch with your audience or leads, and provide them with valuable information, it is not uncommon to find more inactive subscribers on your list, than active ones. By inactive —or otherwise called dead— we are referring to those contacts on your mailing list that haven’t interacted with any of your emails in the past 6 months or so. No interaction, meaning no opens, no clicks, nada. In this case, you have three options: keep sending them emails knowing that your deliverability rate will likely be affected, remove them from the list or… wait for it… attempt to re-engage them. ?

Man checking email on smart phone

Value of Re-Engaging

While those inactive subscribers might not be interacting with your email marketing campaigns at all, they are not uninterested enough to unsubscribe. At some point, they voluntarily decided to opt-in and there is a reason why they have decided to keep you around. That means you still have a chance to get their attention and re-establish your relationship. If you pull it off, the quality of your list will improve and so will your conversion rates. 

Take Time to Analyze the Situation

There are many reasons why disengagement might happen. Finding out what the root cause is will help you address the problem in a more efficient manner.

  • Are your emails offering good quality content or could they use a little revamping? If your content is not relevant and valuable to your audience, they will likely leave them unopened in their inbox.
  • Are you sending too many emails? Your contacts are already being bombarded by emails from many other sources. If you want a chance to stand out, you can’t do the same thing they’re doing.
  • Maybe they weren’t really interested to start with. Despite your hard work, you can sometimes attract people who are not legitimately interested in your brand but just in what you were offering at that moment. 

Your game plan to reel them back in will depend on what caused them to take a step back. Of course, this is all easier when you’re getting help from pros in the digital marketing area. That way you have one less thing to worry about!

 

Are Your Email Marketing Campaigns Generating Engagement?

hands holding iphone

Email Marketing Engagement Matters

Email marketing is not a groundbreaking way to promote your business. It may not seem like the most exciting type of digital marketing, but it is effective.

Did you know that approximately 70% of people aged 18 to 34 use email as a preferred way to communicate with companies? In fact, that number increases when we look at what people aged 35 to 44 or 45 to 54 prefer. That means the opportunity is there. Your customers want to remain in touch with you via email. So, how do you know if your email marketing campaign is rendering the results you expect?

Engagement basically means how much your readers are opening your emails or interacting with them somehow, like clicking on a link. Looking at metrics like opens, reopens, replies, forwards and other types of interactions, you can understand the level of engagement of your customers with your email marketing campaign.

Email marketing is measurable

Engagement Should be Top of Mind

When creating an email marketing campaign, the main idea is not to just generate mass emails and distribute them to a long list of subscribers. It may sound simple but sometimes your team of professionals can help light the way. Even if your emails look nice, are they really what your readers want or need? After all, your leads will only turn into customers if they show interest and start engaging with you. The components of an email are subject and preheader text, message and copy, and lastly, CTAs. Putting thought into each will really make a difference. 

How you craft your emails will directly impact engagement but there are other elements that can help you produce a successful email marketing campaign. It’s all about careful and thoughtful planning. That’s what will take your email marketing campaign from good to great!

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Gears

Basics for Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing

Having a Google My Business listing is has a vital role in any business’s digital marketing strategy, especially startups and small businesses. Google My Business provides your business with a public identity and helps your online presence. It also gives more exposure, allowing your audience to find you easily.

Once you set up a Google My Business profile, make sure to keep up your listing since it has everything needed to be a useful resource for your audience. Here are some simple tips that can help you optimize your Google My Business page.

Share All the Details

For your listing to be useful to your audience, it needs to have detailed information —and it needs to be accurate too! Local search results are only helpful if they show everything users need to know to make a decision. Tell people about what you do, share your location, and let them know how they can get what you offer.

Make Sure Your Operating Hours Are Right

So maybe your operating hours were accurate when you first created your listing. But, anytime you make changes like for special events or holidays, make sure to update your Google My Business listing. That will prevent customers from heading down to your business location only to find that you’re closed. That could end up causing frustration and leading them in the direction of your competition.

woman with tablet and graphsUse Keywords

We know about the importance of using keywords for SEO on your website, but your Google My Business listing counts too. Go ahead and include some of your relevant keywords or key phrases in your listing. Whenever you have an opportunity to improve your SEO, you should take it.

Leverage the Power of Photos

Let’s say you search for a service you need in your area, and a listing with no photos comes up. Would you trust it? Probably not. The visual component is essential to encourage customers to make a decision. Customers are 35% more likely to click through a business’ website when there are photos in their listing.

Take Care of Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are critical in the online world and how you manage them says a lot about your business. Find ways to encourage your customers to leave a review. Positive reviews help increases your business’s visibility in SERPs, but negative reviews can offer a chance for improvement, so don’t take them for granted.

Learning to prep and use your Google My Business listing the right way can make a big difference for your business.

Geo-Marketing: What It Is and How it Can Help Your Business

Man looking at Google Maps on phone

Using Geomarketing to Benefit Your Business

Attracting local customers is always on the mind of business owners, and marketing efforts are usually geared toward that purpose. Customers are still on the lookout for local business to fulfill their needs, and their best ally in finding what they need is their mobile device. That’s why geomarketing comes in handy.

Map with pinsWhat is Geomarketing?

If you want to get the attention of customers in a specific geographic area, you can resort to geomarketing. Geomarketing uses your location information —which comes from various sources, like mobile devices and social media— to help you make the best calls about how to target specific customers and when. Using data from a designated geographic area, you’ll create a digital map that shows local activity.

Search engines can geo-target customers based on IP addresses, and that’s how they know which search results are relevant to them. With the help of analytics tools, like Google Analytics, targeting can be a more efficient process, as you will be able to see the most frequent times at which users visit your site. Knowing this is the equivalent to having an ace up your sleeve since it will give you information to focus your marketing efforts accordingly.

Benefits of Geomarketing

There are many ways geomarketing can benefit your business:

  • Helps identify the best physical locations, if you’re planning to open a new store, based on the customer activity by area.
  • Makes your email marketing campaigns more useful by adding details of your business location nearest to the recipient’s location.
  • Helps determine the best time to post to social media.
  • Aids in tailoring your content based on location and geo-targeting data, for more useful content campaigns.

How you use geomarketing will depend entirely on the goals of your business. Pairing geo-marketing with local SEO is a great way to create a more robust digital marketing strategy. It helps you attract the attention of those who are looking for the type of products or services you offer. And even reach out to the audience that doesn’t know you have what they need.

Why You Should Finish Writing Your Website Before Going Live

How To Update Your Social Identity After Rebranding

Launching an Unfinished Site Could Harm Your Business

Planning a new website for your business is exciting. Once you get the design laid out and get a hosting plan and domain, all you want to do is get it up and running as quickly as possible, but setting up a website takes time and that time should be respected.

There are website builders that can help you sort of speed up the process, but they’re not always the best option. It is best to work with a team of professionals that can help you launch a good quality website. After all, a website is the front face of your business online.

Although it is not uncommon to get all anxious about launching your website as soon as possible, it is not a good idea to launch it without the content being fully written, and ready to face the public. Here are some of the reasons why it’s better to wait.

You’ll Start-Off on the Wrong Foot

First impressions matter, and you only get one chance at it. If you launch an unfinished website, you put your business image at risk and could end up creating a not-so-great first impression. After all the time and hard work you’ve put into this, is that really what you want?

People pointing fingers at laptop screenThere’s a Higher Chance of Errors

If your idea is to launch a half-done website and continue to edit it while it’s live, the likelihood that you’ll make mistakes that will be fully visible to the public increases. Plus, let’s say you publish your site with some info today, and tomorrow you change it to something else. The information that you publish should be consistent to visitors instead of being confusing rather than relevant or useful.

By taking the time to create all the content before you publish your website, you will have the opportunity to review everything that will be on there before anyone else can see it. And, you’ll be free to change anything you want without anyone noticing.

You Could Lose Potential Clients

What if someone is interested in your products or services, calls the number on your contact page, but it’s incorrect? Or what if you left out an important piece of relevant on your website. Visitors will likely go to someone else to get what they need, and you will lose a business opportunity. Not fun.

It’s Unlikely That You’ll Finish

Let’s be honest. As a business owner, there are a thousand and one things you need to care for every day. If you’re in a hurry to launch your website, you probably won’t have time, later on, to keep working on the things that are left. So, after all the trouble you went through to get your site up and running, all you’ll have to show for is a mediocre website that will likely not render the results you expected.

 

Containing your excitement to launch your website can be hard, but it is best to be patient. Content creation is one of the most important parts of the process of creating a website. Once your site is entirely written, validated, and ready to go, you can be sure it will be of value to your audience, instead of a reason to make them walk away.

How to Set Up Your Google My Business Page

Woman in front of computer

Your Google My Business Page Can Be Ready in No Time

By now, we know that having a Google My Business listing matters. It helps your local SEO and gives your business more visibility. People who search for a product or service online usually visit a store on that same day, trying to get what they need. Imagine if your business shows up on their search. Boom. Sales. It’s an excellent place to focus your efforts, especially when you’re starting.

When you first get started, you might feel a little overwhelmed. It happens with everything you have to do for the first time. You might not know what to do or where to go. That’s ok, though. We got you.

Create Your Listing

You will need a Google My Business listing to kick things off. All you have to do is:

  1. Assuming you already have a Google account that you want to be associated to your Google My Business listing, log into it. Otherwise, you should start by creating a Google account.
  2. Visit google.com/business and click on “Start Now” at the top of the page.
  3. Enter your business name, followed by your address. You can keep your address private if you work out of your home.
  4. Choose the correct business category. This is very important, as you are telling Google what kind of customers should see your listing.
  5. Add your business website or phone number.
  6. Select a verification option. You can select “try a different method” and then click on “later” if you’re not ready to verify your business just yet.

Verify Your Business

To ensure you indeed created your listing, Google asks that you verify it. There’s more than one way to do it: by postcard, phone, email, instant verification, or bulk verification.

Google allows most businesses to go through the verification process by phone, but in some cases, the option to verify by email will be available, but Google will make the call. Let’s go through the most common options:

Verifying Google account

Verify by Phone

  • Once you’re logged in to Google My Business, confirm your phone number is correct and click on Verify by Phone.
  • You’ll receive a text to your phone with a verification code. Enter that code, and you’re all set.

Verify by Email

  • Once you’re logged in to Google My Business, confirm your email address is correct and click on Verify by Email.
  • Check your inbox for an email from Google My Business. It will contain a verification code and a button that takes you to the verification page. Just click on it to verify your account with the code given.

Finish Up Your Profile

After verifying you will need to add some information —including photos— about your business in the “Info” section. Make sure it is as accurate as possible. Anyone can suggest edits to your listing, so getting it right the first time will prevent random people from suggesting or making edits. Also, keep your information up to date. If anything changes, be sure to update your profile with the new information.