Small Digital Marketing Agency vs Large Agency

Small Digital Marketing Agency vs Large Agency

Which  Should You Hire: Big or Small?

 

Small business vs big business  

Deciding between big and small comes down to deciding your priorities.

Go big or go home, right? Not necessarily.

When it comes to marketing, going with a large agency or a small agency comes down to a few key factors. Mostly, what are you looking for in an agency?

When we stacked small vs. big in various categories:

Cost

Small  Small agency = smaller bill. Here’s where low overhead works in your favor.The smaller agency will treat your business more like their own.They will work with you rather than just for you.They are having to work harder to show the clients they can be trusted and they can get results.

Big – At a big agency, you’re not the only one they’re trying to impress.In addition to the clients, there are board members, stockholders and other offices around the country to keep up with. Which means more money needed for exuberant award shows, ping pong tables, beer on tap, an over-the-top holiday and summer party, and skyrise office buildings. Sounds like $$$$$. 

Experienced

Big – These guys didn’t open their doors yesterday. They’re big for a reason, they’ve proved themselves again and again, and won big name awards doing so.

Small – Many of these agencies also have proven themselves, but they have to gain the trust of the business owner just because they are smaller in space. They may not want the big office and usually have a team of virtual assistance’s working for them who are experts in their field.   

Size of Team

Tie – Whether big or small, your team should be around the same size. At the large agency, it’s most likely everyone will be in-house, while at the smaller agency, several team members may be contractors.

Power Players

Small – Yes, the big agencies have the big names, but will the CEO touch your account? Sorry to break it to you, but probably not.

At small agencies, every client has a big impact on the company. So the lead creatives are invested in every project and will probably give your business more attention to detail.

Innovation

Tie – Small agencies have the freedom to be innovative. Big agencies have the money. It’s such a selling point that both sizes will constantly vie to be considered innovative.

Culture plays a big part in whether new ideas are welcome.

Large Projects

Big – If your aim is to reach internationally, the big agencies have it. Typically, they have offices around the world, a wide range of resources and they know how to get influencers to show up

Small – They may not have the office around the world, but I’ll bet they have people around the world and know plenty of influencers because now everything is online.

Culture

Small – Organic culture has a much easier time growing at a small agency. Small teams plus small spaces turn into “We’re best friends.”

When creatives build trust, they build a workplace where ideas can be played with and explored without the layer of politics or excessive competition.  

All the Stops

Big – You want to be waited on from the moment you walk in the door? Go big.

Small agencies will offer you coffee and snacks, but big agencies will have that double espresso, caramel macchiato just the way you like it even though you will pay for it in the long run if you do business with them – remember nothing is FREE.

Nimble

Small – With fewer layers of bureaucracy, small agencies can adapt their spaces, staff and processes faster. So you get a team that suits you — and your specific goals — to a tee.

Big – They have their process already in place and all they do is put your business in their mold with the rest of their clients, kind of like set it and forget it.

Who Wins?

That’s up to you. What does your company need? How can an agency support your company? Which of the above factors are important to you? 

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Small Digital Marketing Agency vs Large Agency

Which  Should You Hire: Big or Small?      Deciding between big and small comes down to deciding your priorities. Go big or go home, right? Not necessarily. When it comes to marketing, going with a large agency or a small agency comes down to a few key factors....

Our Blog Post

Digital Marketing for Small Business  We are always adding more value to our blog, so be sure to bookmark and share our articles...325+Avid Subscribers

SEO WEB DESIGN & Optimization

SEO WEB DESIGN & Optimization: This is where beauty meets function. Our web designs naturally include SEO. Our web designs naturally include Search Engine Optimization. Here’s the deal. When we design a web site, we design it to be beautiful or professional (of...

Why SEO Works For Business

Article By: https://www.pixelseoservices.com/ Why SEO generates best leads for your business Why SEO Works For Business - Every month, more than a hundred billion searches are performed by people from all over the world on Google. It is, therefore no wonder that...

5 Tips for Boosting Low Cash Flow

This is artical about 5 Tips for Boosting Low Cash Flow The Cash flow issues can make running your small business a tough challenge. It’s hard to expand if you lack the funds to support marketing and growth strategies. For certain businesses,… Read more » The post 5...

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SEO WEB DESIGN & Optimization

SEO WEB DESIGN & Optimization

SEO WEB DESIGN & Optimization:

This is where beauty meets function. Our web designs naturally include SEO.
Our web designs naturally include Search Engine Optimization.

Here’s the deal. When we design a web site, we design it to be beautiful or professional (of course), but it doesn’t take that much extra work to incorporate basic SEO in the design itself. That’s why SEO WEB DESIGN & Optimization is so important.

                                                                      google ranking image

seo-magnifying-glass

As a result, many of our clients are in the top 10 for their keywords, or phrases. Obviously, we cannot guarantee top search engine results for everyone or anyone because the competition will vary from term to term, but we are often pleasantly surprised when another of our regular client climbs to the top of the search engines.

The best part of it for us is that we just design their website and submit it to the search engines like we always do, and after a little while we notice that it’s getting lots of visits from the search engines. It’s like a bonus you weren’t you expecting.

We know what SEO web design is and how to apply it to work for you. SEO WEB DESIGN & Optimization is what one of the biggest factors in your business if you are online today!

We have been including SEO in our web site design services since 2017. We have helped hundreds of clients RULE the search engines since then. Of course the search engines have evolved and the SEO rules have changed,so we all have to adapt and it is always changing.
That’s why it will always be an on-going process with SEO.

These results are what can happen naturally when SEO is included in the web design.

Why SEO Works For Business

Why SEO Works For Business

Why SEO generates best leads for your business
Article By: https://www.pixelseoservices.com/

Why SEO generates best leads for your business

Why SEO Works For Business – Every month, more than a hundred billion searches are performed by people from all over the world on Google. It is, therefore no wonder that investing in an organized SEO campaign can have great results for your business. Among the different types of online marketing strategies that you can try out. SEO is by far one of the most simple and result driven. Effective search engine optimization can not only bring more traffic to your website, but it can also get you more leads which you can then convert to sales. It is, therefore no wonder that most companies all over the world prefer to invest in effective SEO solutions.

Effective of SEO in bringing more leads

While there are many other types of online marketing strategies such as PPC marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and affiliate marketing. SEO is considered to be the most effective way to promote a business in general, or even let everyone know about a special offer. It is a well-known fact that SEO generates faster results and more leads than the other types of marketing methods. The majority of people prefer to do online research before buying any kind of product. It is due to this reason, companies leave no stone unturned to optimize their websites so that they can be at the forefront of business and have an edge over their competitors. Moreover, SEO offers cost-effective methods to business owners to promote their products and services.

Here are some of the

Most effective ways to generate more leads for Why SEO Works For Business.

The first thing

  • that you need to do to lead more leads is to optimize your website with the right kinds of keywords. Using the right short tail and long tail keywords are important when you want to attract the target audience through the search engines. It is always a good idea to make use of a single keyword with high search volume than multiple keywords with low search volumes. Since you will be regularly competing with numerous well-known brands, it is necessary that you develop your SEO strategy in a manner that can help you to stand out from your competitors.

2nd Thing

  • A very good way to improve your online presence is by making smart use of the long tail keywords. The long tail keywords can be described as keyword phrases that have at least 4 to 5 words in them. By implementing the long tail keywords that are relevant to your brand, business or product, you can easily generate the interest in your company and its products in the minds of your customers. The long tail keywords are specifically well suited for local businesses but can also be used by non-local companies as well. The long tail keywords enable you to keep the searches more specific. This means that by optimizing your site for them, you can have your target customers visiting your website more frequently.

3rd Thing

  • Another important and effective method that you can use to boost your leads is by studying your competition and understanding their motives when they are working on their marketing goals. Learning more from your competition can help you to generate backlinks from reputable sources which can, in turn, help you to get more traffic and leads. You can also create a high-quality backlink database for your company. However, make sure that you only use high quality and legitimate backlinks as otherwise, that will do you more harm than good.

Top 25 Business Podcasts | Benefits Of Digital Marketing

Top 25 Business Podcasts | Benefits Of Digital Marketing

Top 25 Business Podcasts

Business Podcasts List. The Best Business Podcasts from thousands of Business Podcasts on the web using search and social metrics. Subscribe to these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.

These podcasts are ranked based on following criteria

Google reputation and Google search ranking Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites Quality and consistency of posts. Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review Best 25 Business Podcasts

CONGRATULATIONS to every podcast that has made this Top Business Podcasts list! This is the most comprehensive list of best Business Podcasts on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world.

If your podcast is one of the Top 25 Business Podcasts, you have the honour of displaying the following badge on your site. Use the below code to display this badge proudly on your website. You deserve it!:

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Contents [show1 Business Podcast Newsletter 2 Business Podcasts 2.1 Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal 2.2 Mixergy Interviews 2.3 NPR | Business Story of the Day 2.4 Business Daily Podcast 2.5 Econlib | EconTalk Podcast 2.6 The McKinsey Podcast 2.7 Master of Business Leadership Podcast 2.8 Financial Times | Banking Weekly podcast 2.9 MarketFoolery Podcast 2.10 The Side Hustle Show 2.11 Women in Business & Technology Podcast 2.12 Foundr Podcast 2.13 Business Wars 2.14 Macro Voices 2.15 Sarah Shaw Consulting Podcast 2.16 Hack the Entrepreneur 2.17 The $100 MBA | Online Business Courses For Entrepreneurs 2.18 Entrepreneurs in Motion | For action-takers, not excuse-makers 2.19 Breaking Down Your Business 2.20 Business Leaders Podcast 2.21 The Business Leadership Podcast for Business Leaders 2.22 Everyday MBA with Kevin Craine | Success Tips You Don’t Learn in Business School 2.23 Speaking of Wealth | Jason Hartman Show 2.24 World Business Podcasts

Business Podcast Newsletter Business Podcast newsletter is a comprehensive summary of the day’s most important blog posts and news articles from the best Business Podcast websites on the web, and delivered to your email inbox each morning. To subscribe, simply provide us with your email address. Subscribe newsletter

Business Podcasts 1. Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal

Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal United States About Blog Marketplace® is the leading business news program in the nation. Host Kai Ryssdal and our team of reporters bring you clear explorations of how economic news affects you, through stories, conversations, newsworthy numbers and more. Marketplace is your liaison between economics and life. Marketplace programs are heard by more than 14 million weekly listeners. This makes the Marketplace portfolio the most widely heard business or economic programming in the country. Frequency about 2 posts per week. Website marketplace.org/shows/market.. Facebook fans 98,355. Twitter followers 113,161.

2. Mixergy Interviews

Mixergy Interviews San Francisco About Blog Mixergy Interviews provides business tips for startups by proven entrepreneurs. Frequency about 1 post per week. Since Apr 2008 Website mixergy.com/interviews Facebook fans 16,278. Twitter followers 43,073.

3. NPR | Business Story of the Day

NPR | Business Story of the Day About Blog Business Story of the Day podcast provides you with NPR’s top stories about business, money, Wall Street, companies and the economy that you can’t miss. Frequency about 3 posts per week. Since Nov 2005 Website npr.org/templates/story/stor.. Facebook fans 6,344,029. Twitter followers 7,592,316.

4. Business Daily Podcast

Business Daily Podcast London About Blog The daily drama of money and work from the BBC. Frequency about 3 posts per week. Website podtail.com/en/podcast/busin.. Facebook fans 47,621,810. Twitter followers 9,571,972.

5. Econlib | EconTalk Podcast

Econlib | EconTalk Podcast About Blog The Library of Economics and Liberty carries a weekly podcast, EconTalk, hosted by Russ Roberts. The talk show features one-on-one discussions with an eclectic mix of authors, professors, Nobel Laureates, entrepreneurs, leaders of charities and businesses, and people on the street. The emphases are on using topical books and the news to illustrate economic principles. Exploring how economics emerges in practice is a primary theme. Frequency about 4 posts per month. Website econtalk.org Facebook fans 52,572. Twitter followers 42,097.

6. The McKinsey Podcast

The McKinsey Podcast About Blog The McKinsey Podcast, our new flagship podcast series, takes you inside our global firm, and features conversations with experts on issues that matter most in business and management. McKinsey & Company is a management-consulting firm that helps businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations realize their most important goals. Topics covered in this series include strategy, technology, leadership, marketing and much more. Frequency about 1 post per month. Website mckinsey.com/featured-insigh.. Facebook fans 293,541. Twitter followers 311,368.

7. Master of Business Leadership Podcast

Master of Business Leadership Podcast Toronto, Canada About Blog The Master of Business Leadership program fills a fundamental gap in our education and development. MBL enables executives and their organizations to get the results they want. The podcast highlights keystone foundations of the program, discusses organizational development through emotional intelligence and related topics. Guests of the podcast share their wealth of experiences and results. Frequency about 1 post per week. Website masterofbusinessleadership.l.. Facebook fans 127. Twitter followers 1,232.

8. Financial Times | Banking Weekly podcast

Financial Times | Banking Weekly podcast London About Blog Each week the FT banking team discuss the biggest banking stories of the week, bringing you global insight and commentary on the top issues concerning this sector. Frequency about 2 posts per month. Website ft.com/banking-weekly-podcast Facebook fans 3,831,218. Twitter followers 3,330,812.

9. MarketFoolery Podcast

MarketFoolery Podcast Alexandria, VA About Blog The Motley Fool’s daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories. The Motley Fool seeks to teach individual investors how to invest in a smart and strategic way. Our investing advice focuses on buying great stocks of great companies that will build wealth over the long term. Frequency about 1 post per week. Since Jan 2011 Website marketfoolery.libsyn.com Facebook fans 652,225. Twitter followers 720,904.

10. The Side Hustle Show

The Side Hustle Show Nor-Cal About Blog The Side Hustle Show is the podcast for part-time entrepreneurs who are looking for actionable tips and strategies on how to turn their side hustle dreams into reality. We cover all aspects of small business including marketing, sales, websites, social media, and more. Learn from experienced side hustle entrepreneurs the tactics you can implement today to take your ideas to the next level. Frequency about 2 posts per month. Since May 2013 Website sidehustlenation.libsyn.com Facebook fans 18,123. Twitter followers 24,207.

11. Women in Business & Technology Podcast

Women in Business & Technology Podcast About Blog The Women in Business and Technology podcast was created to empower women in their careers. We showcase interviews with prominent women in business and tech roles and their male allies, as well as coverage of programs promoting inclusion in the workplace. Whether you’re just starting out in the tech industry, strategizing about how to land your next big role, or managing a woman for the first time, we’ll provide some great insights to support a great career and broader inclusion. Frequency about 1 post per month. Since Jul 2017 Website womeninbizandtech.libsyn.com Facebook fans n/a. Twitter followers n/a.

12. Foundr Podcast

Foundr Podcast About Blog Listen to this podcast to learn from some of the most successful living entrepreneurs on the planet so that you too can build and grow a successful business. Frequency about 2 posts per month. Since Nov 2014 Website foundr.com/category/podcast Facebook fans 617,393. Twitter followers 130,531.

13. Business Wars

Business Wars About Blog Business Wars gives you the unauthorized, real story of what drives these companies and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights or to ruin. Hosted by David Brown, former anchor of Marketplace. Frequency about 3 posts per month. Website wondery.com/shows/business-wars Facebook fans 748. Twitter followers 1,172.

14. Macro Voices

Macro Voices About Blog A weekly financial podcast for professional finance, high net worth individuals, and other sophisticated investors. Frequency about 2 posts per month. Since Feb 2016 Website macrovoices.com/podcast-listing Facebook fans 294. Twitter followers 13,116.

15. Sarah Shaw Consulting Podcast

Sarah Shaw Consulting Podcast Los Angeles About Blog Sarah Shaw Podcast is an information “junkie” and the ultimate go-to girl for everything about your product launch or business questions. Frequency about 1 post per month. Website sarahshawconsulting.com/podcast Facebook fans 6,527. Twitter followers 11,390.

16. Hack the Entrepreneur

Hack the Entrepreneur Canada About Blog Hack the Entrepreneur podcast is for people looking to start a side hustle, create a passive income, and build an audience from scratch. From launching your first product to building an email list, HTE will get you moving forward today. Frequency about 2 posts per month. Website hacktheentrepreneur.com/podc.. Facebook fans n/a. Twitter followers 289.

17. The $100 MBA | Online Business Courses For Entrepreneurs

The $100 MBA | Online Business Courses For Entrepreneurs Sydney, Australia About Blog The $100 MBA is the #1 alternative business education online. Start and grow your business with step-by-step tutorials and guides. Frequency about 3 posts per week. Since Sep 2013 Website 100mba.net/blog Facebook fans 663. Twitter followers 90.

18. Entrepreneurs in Motion | For action-takers, not excuse-makers

Entrepreneurs in Motion | For action-takers, not excuse-makers About Blog Are you a fast-moving, forward-thinking entrepreneur who doesn’t wait around to get things done? If so, then it is a great podcast for you. Not beginner stuff like “how to find an idea”, but instead, how to grow your business and level up its revenue and impact. Frequency about 2 posts per month. Since Jun 2016 Website entrepreneursinmotion.com Facebook fans n/a. Twitter followers 444.

19. Breaking Down Your Business

Breaking Down Your Business CHICAGO About Blog In the Breaking Down Your Business podcast, Brad Farris and Jill Salzman tackle the most complex small business questions of our day: How do I make more money without driving myself nuts? Why am I not a billionaire yet? How long is that going to take? And is it possible to take over the world armed with nothing but a smart phone and a credit card swiper? They get to the bottom of these mysteries with help from real entrepreneurs. Frequency about 3 posts per month. Since Dec 2013 Website breakingdownyourbusiness.com Facebook fans 503. Twitter followers 558.

20. Business Leaders Podcast

Business Leaders Podcast Colorado Springs, CO About Blog Business Leaders Podcast is designed to function as your digital mentor so you can build the business you want so you can live the life you dream about. This is not just another business podcast, it features business leaders from your community that operate, overcome, and succeed. Frequency about 2 posts per month. Since Apr 2017 Website businessleaderspodcast.com/e.. Facebook fans 205. Twitter followers 15.

21. The Business Leadership Podcast for Business Leaders

The Business Leadership Podcast for Business Leaders Toronto, Ontario About Blog An award-winning business leadership podcast featuring interviews with influential business leaders sharing personal stories, experience, and best practices. Frequency about 3 posts per month. Website thebusinessleadership.com Facebook fans 105. Twitter followers 181.

22. Everyday MBA with Kevin Craine | Success Tips You Don’t Learn in Business School

Everyday MBA with Kevin Craine | Success Tips You Don't Learn in Business School About Blog Welcome to Everyday MBA – Interviews with best-selling business authors, innovative thought leaders and top-shelf executives all sharing their best success techniques and tips that you don’t learn in business school. Whether you are an experienced professional or you’re just starting out, Everyday MBA will help you take your business and your career to the next level. Frequency about 2 posts per month. Since Mar 2015 Website everyday-mba.com Facebook fans n/a. Twitter followers 3,938.

23. Speaking of Wealth | Jason Hartman Show

Speaking of Wealth | Jason Hartman Show United States About Blog Jason Hartman Speaking of Wealth Show helps speakers and consultants to maximize their income by promoting their knowledge and finding good clients. Frequency about 2 posts per month. Since Jun 2010 Website speakingofwealth.com/categor.. Facebook fans 3,712. Twitter followers 76.

24. World Business Podcasts

World Business Podcasts London, United Kingdom About Blog This channel belongs to ICC United Kingdom. ICC is the largest world business organisation representing 6.5 million companies in 135 countries. Frequency about 1 post per month. Since May 2017 Website iccwbouk.podbean.com Facebook fans 21,160. Twitter followers 2,912.

 

The post Top 25 Business Podcasts You Must Subscribe and Listen To appeared first on Feedspot Blog.

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Why Is Advertising so Important to Business?

Why Is Advertising so Important to Business?

  • by Christina Hamlett

As far back as Ancient Egypt, advertising has served a critical purpose in the business world by enabling sellers to effectively compete with one another for the attention of buyers. Whether the goods and services your company provides are a necessity, a luxury or just a bit of whimsy, you can’t rely on a one-time announcement or word-of-mouth chatter to keep a steady stream of customers. This is why

Why Is Advertising so Important to Business

A strong commitment to advertising is as much an external call to action as it is an internal reinforcement to your sales team.

Promotion

The primary objective of advertising is to get the word out that you have something exciting to offer, says George Felton, author of “Advertising: Concept and Copy.” It can be anything from an upcoming entertainment event you’re promoting, a new product line you’re selling, a political campaign you’re managing, the expansion of an existing platform of services or officially hanging out a shingle for your first business. Whether your promotion takes the form of print ads, commercials, billboards or handbills, the content adheres to the rules of journalism by identifying who, what, when, where and why.

Awareness

Advertising helps to raise your target demographic’s awareness of issues with which they may be unfamiliar as well as educate them on the related benefits of your product or service. A popular example of this is the health care industry. If, for instance, a consumer watches a television commercial in which someone describes aches and pains that are similar to those experienced by the viewer, the ad not only identifies a probable cause but suggests a potential remedy or treatment option to discuss with her doctor.

Comparisons

Advertising invites your target audience to evaluate how your product or service measures up against your competitors, says Gerard Tellis, author of “Effective Advertising: Understanding When, How, and Why Advertising Works.” Demonstrations of household cleaning products are a good example of this because they provide compelling visual evidence of which product does a faster and more effective job of tackling stubborn stains. Political ads are another example of how advertising serves up side-by-side comparisons of the candidates’ qualifications and voting records for readers and viewers to make informed choices at the polls.

Retention

An ongoing advertising campaign is essential in reminding your existing customers that you’re still around, say Kenneth Roman and Jane Maas, authors of “How to Advertise.” In a troubled economy where so many shops, restaurants and companies are going out of business, maintaining a strong presence through regular ads, fliers, postcards, events and a dynamic website is invaluable for long-term relationships. This also serves to attract new customers who may not have been in need of your products or services when you first opened but are now pleased to have their memories jogged.

Morale

When people ask your employees where they’re working, the latter will likely feel better about their jobs if the reaction to their reply is, “Wow! I’ve heard a lot of great things about that store” instead of “Nope, never heard of it” or “Oh, are they still around?” Investing in an advertising plan keeps your business an active part of the conversational vocabulary and community buzz. This, in turn, gives your workers a sense of pride and emotional ownership in an enterprise that’s generating positive feelings and name recognition.

12 Digital Marketing Ideas for Small Business

12 Digital Marketing Ideas for Small Business

By Isabella Andersen

Well, it’s 2018, and if your small business doesn’t have a digital marketing strategy, you’re already behind the competition.

That’s why we put together this list of digital marketing ideas to get your business headed in the right direction. Read on to learn the 12 digital marketing ideas for small business that will put your business ahead of the competition this year and beyond!

Here are your 2018 digital marketing ideas for small business.

1. Do some local search marketing.

Nothing rivals a solid local search marketing strategy for small businesses.

Local search marketing consists of claiming and optimizing your business’s online listings so that you show up in relevant local searches. There’s a lot to local search, but when it’s done right, it puts your business on the map so local consumers find you when they need your products or services.

Local search isn’t a new marketing idea, but it can be complicated, though, and it’s not something that happens overnight or that you can do once and forget about it. It’s best left to experts.

 Local_Search_Marketing_Takes_Time

2. Optimize your website for humans and search engines.

Does your small business website still look like it’s from 1997?

Time to fix that. It’s 2018, and consumers are impatient. We want instant results. We have short attention spans, so if your website is unattractive, slow to load or confusing to use, we’re going to leave and check out your competition.

Make sure your website loads quickly because consumers will abandon your site. And make sure your site is easy to navigate. Don’t forget to add clear calls-to-action that tell the customer what they should do. For instance, you can put a button in the header of your main page that says “Get Directions,” “Call Today” or “something.”

Mobile optimization is extremely important too. Google will penalize your website if it isn’t optimized for mobile so make sure yours is!

3. Engage in link building.

Link building is a great way to show search engines like Google that your website is popular.

If you build links the right way, getting a few high-quality links rather than a bunch of low-quality spam links, you’ll prove to Google that your small business’s website is relevant (and high-quality) so that it knows you are worthy of showing up in a local search.

Find local business owners and bloggers who are willing to link to your website if you return the favor or write a guest post for a local blog.

Don’t forget about local news sites that might run an article that links to your website if you have a special promotion or event coming up.

 Link_Building_101

4. Take advantage of keywords.

Keyword research should be a mandatory part of every small business digital marketing strategy. You can use your business’s keywords for so many things!

And, it’s a great way to find out exactly what terms people are using to search for your business’s products and services.

Use a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Google Trends, Keywordtool.io or even search recommendations (when Google tries to help you complete a search) or the “People also search for” box at the bottom of the page to find relevant keywords for your business.

Insert those keywords into the pages of your website (try to make it natural so that they make sense within your content) or in blog posts.

5. Ask for email addresses.

I can’t remember the last time I went through a line in a retail store and the cashier didn’t ask me for my email address, and you know, I never say no.

It’s that easy. At check-in or check-out, ask your clients or customers for email addresses.

Once you have the customer’s email address, you can send them emails that let them know about new promotions, specials and products. You can also use those emails to ask for more online reviews!

Since online reviews can help you show up in local search results and could even make customers spend more money at your business, you really can’t afford to skip this simple step. Start collecting those emails and give your business the boost it needs to stand out from the competition.

 How_Online_Reviews_Impact_Sales

6. Monitor your online reputation.

Reputation management isn’t just for the biggest brands. Small businesses need to know what their customers are saying about them too.

Set up a Google alert for your business so you know when new articles that mention your business are posted.

Don’t forget about social media monitoring tools. We have one called Radiate that lets us know when people publicly post about us or comment on our statuses.

If you are aware of the chatter, you can become part of the conversation, fix problems that arise and keep your business’s reputation as squeaky clean as possible.

You should also be aware of the reasons customers complain about businesses so that you can try and protect your business from public backlash.

7. Use online networking sites to build a bigger network.

LinkedIn is a great way to connect with local consumers as well as other small business owners. Not only can you network on a personal level but you can build more awareness for your business by creating and managing a business page.

LinkedIn will suggest friends of friends with whom you can connect. You can also join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook to boost your local presence.

 

8. Get more attendees with Facebook Events and Eventbrite.

Hosting a special event or sale? Create a Facebook or Eventbrite event to reach more people.

When you create a Facebook event, you can share it with followers. And, it will show up in the events section for local consumers when they are looking for events in your area.

Eventbrite will do the same, so people who may have never heard of your business before will have a chance to hear about and attend your event.

9. Speaking of social media, it’s time to build a better social strategy.

It’s 2018. You can’t avoid social media anymore.

Everyone uses it, and at the very least, your small business should have a Facebook page that you keep up-to-date with business information and hours. You should also be posting regularly (at least a couple of times a week) to keep your business fresh in the minds of consumers.

But, you should also consider Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, depending on your industry and typical customer.

Make sure to tailor your social media messages to each social platform because consumers, especially Generation Z, want to see custom messages for the social media platform they’re using.

Here’s how to build a social media strategy and determine which social networks will give your small business the biggest bang for its social media marketing buck.

10. Try Facebook ads.

Ready to put your small business in front of more customers? Facebook ads are where it’s at. Facebook has many ad types that can be used to help you build more local awareness, drive to targeted landing pages and even get you more followers.

No matter your goal, there’s probably a Facebook ad type that will work for you.

Be careful, though. Advertising is another one of those things that are better left to the experts. Without experience or knowledge of proper targeting, you may end up losing money.

 

11. Give live video a try.

Live video is a great way to add a human element to your small business marketing strategy. You’ll connect with customers on a more personal level if you give them a behind-the-scenes look at your business, and you can show off new products, services or promotions in the meantime.

And, as a bonus, if you go live on Facebook or Instagram, your followers will get a notification that tells them you’re live so they should watch before the video ends.

Live video has been popular for a while now, but it’s only getting bigger. It’s one of 2018’s biggest digital marketing trends, so you should give it a try while it’s hot.

12. Add video to your Google My Business listing.

Google recently announced that small business owners can add videos to their listings. Your business’s videos will show up in the photos right in your Google listing, giving you more control over what customers can see about your business before they make a purchase decision.

7-Step Facebook Marketing Strategy to Dominate

7-Step Facebook Marketing Strategy to Dominate

7-Step Facebook Marketing Strategy to Dominate 2018

Let’s be honest here–Facebook isn’t slowing down. There are more than 1.86 billion monthly active users on Facebook, which includes a 17% spike in two years. For your business, brand or enterprise company, this channel is unavoidable if you’re truly trying to create a worthwhile play in social media marketing.

Your Facebook marketing strategy has to be unique. There’s an ocean of potential customers you can reach on Facebook. But with a larger pool, it’s harder to dissect and find your spot within its space.

That’s why we created this Facebook marketing strategy for 2018, which includes seven essential steps to not only get started, but also create an impressive plan. Get started now.

1. Create Facebook Goals That Directly Affect Your Biggest Needs

Every marketing strategy you’ve read–at least the good ones–probably suggested to create goals for your specific market. The reason everyone mentions this is because goals are essential to address your biggest marketing needs.

If you’re considering using Facebook for marketing or looking to improve upon an existing strategy, you obviously have some needs. Don’t create unrealistic goals that chase vanity metrics like followers and Likes. Instead, address your biggest challenges with Facebook or social media in general through proper tracking tools.

Sprout provides an easy to understand overview of your Facebook growth

Addressing Your 2018 Goals

Your CEO most likely sent out an inspiring email or gave an enthralling speech at the end of 2017 outlining the core goals for 2018. OK–maybe it wasn’t life changing, but we bet if you looked back, it has everything you need for your Facebook marketing strategy in 2018.

Here are some common yearly goals for businesses and how an effective Facebook strategy can help you in 2018:

  • Increasing quality of sales: Improving the quality of sales starts with better targeting (we’ll address this more further down). Through a well-planned Facebook marketing strategy, you reach your target audience more efficiently. Just because the pond is bigger, doesn’t mean you’ll get bigger fish. Work on what you know best and use Facebook as a source to improve your reach.
  • Adding more value to the organization: Facebook can better nurture customers, improve awareness and provide more resources to you audience. Make Facebook your go-to source of information.
  • Better pulse on the industry: Are your competitors always one step ahead? With the help of social media monitoring tools, you can track, listen and report on all social conversations revolving around you, your competitors or the industry. Always try to increase your listening powers before speaking.
  • More efficient recruiting: No one said social recruiting is easy, but it’s only growing in popularity. Social can be a great source for increasing recruiting efforts and reaching top talent faster (we’ll also talk about this more later). Working your employees’ social networks for a higher social reach makes your chances of recruiting higher quality employees better.
  • Smarter growth: Reducing churn, limiting spend and increasing acquisition are all parts of a successful business, but Facebook can help you in each of these areas. Whether it’s through ad spend, increased targeting or more social selling, addressing your Facebook marketing strategy can help you get closer to these goals.

These goals won’t address everyone’s needs, but you can see a trend on how better social media marketing can affect the entire organization. You’ve heard it a thousand times, work smarter not harder.

2. Study Your Facebook Demographics

Demographics are key to any marketing strategy and on social media, it’s no different. When looking at Facebook, you have nearly 1.15 billion people scrolling through their feeds every day, so it’s important to know who you need to reach and how.

Additionally, understanding the latest demographics is important as this network’s audience fluctuates through the years. But for 2018, let’s take a look at the latest data on its core demographics:

facebook demographics image

Age & Gender

Data from the Pew Social Media Update 2016 report showed women tend to adopt Facebook more frequently than men and the core age group is 18-29. However, with 62% of 65 and older users on Facebook, your band has a much better reach across age groups than any other network.

Pro Tip: don’t limit yourself because you think younger generations are only on Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook is still most used network among 18-29 year olds.

Location & Income

Facebook’s demographics spread across all primary locations and income pretty evenly. However, urban and rural areas both have 81% of their demographics on Facebook, while suburban areas make up 77%.

As for income, data shows the highest amount of Facebook users (84%) make less than $30,000, while 77% make more than $75,000.

Pro Tip: Again, Facebook’s versatility shouldn’t prevent you from exploring targeting your most core business demographic. More likely than not, you have better reaching power here than other social networks.

3. Choose & Schedule Your Facebook Content

Each social network has it’s own style of content, but Facebook tends to jump the line. With Facebook Stories, Live, image and videos posts, your brand’s content strategy has endless opportunities.

For your business, it’s about the quality of content and what your audience should come to expect from your Facebook Business Page. Remember that being overly promotional can have its downside. According to the Sprout Social Q3 2016 Index, 57.5% of social media users said posting too many promotions was the most annoying action from brands.

sprout social q3 2016 index annoying actions

Your Facebook Page shouldn’t be like a used car lot–full of ready-to-pound salesmen. The content you produce should be compelling, entertaining or helpful to your audience. People know they can get an elevator pitch on your website or ad. But this doesn’t mean your social networks, especially Facebook, have to be a home for promotions.

Highlight your brand values, identify your audiences and create a space that is unique to your company.

Types of Facebook Content & How to Implement

So you know the importance of your content, but which type will work best for your brand? Let’s take a look at the various types of organic Facebook content and how you can best use each one:

  • Status: The simplest form of communication can sometimes be the most powerful. With new features like larger text for shorter messages and the option to put your text on a colored background, you can get your essential message out in a more vibrant and eye-catching way.
  • Images: Posts with images drive 2.3 times more engagement, so being visual helps. But don’t rely on images to do all the work–put effort into high-quality photos and awe your audience. If your product is considered “boring,” use beautiful images to highlight your brand’s creative side. Inspire users with virtual reality features or 360-degree content.

  • Videos: Video is in high demand and 43% of users would like to see even more from marketers. However, only 15% of Facebook videosare watched with sound. Video should be accessible, easy to digest and always have captions. Create videos that catch a user’s attention and provides something worthwhile.
  • Links: Links are perfect for sharing industry news and your own blog content. Find your most engaged content and continue to share it on Facebook. It’s not easy doing so organically, but it shouldn’t stop you from posting your best content.
  • Facebook Live: Live content drives three times more engagementon Facebook. With in-the-moment content growing in popularity, see how your brand can give sneak peeks into industry or office events, product launches and other behind the scenes content. Go Live, wow your audience and engage.
  • Facebook Stories: Facebook Stories are in-the-moment content clips. This was based off Instagram Stories, which ultimately were from Snapchat Stories–seeing a trend here? Brands have tested their efforts on Snapchat for a few years now. But with the newest release, you can attempt this style of content with one of your biggest networks. Follow our Snapchat guide for ideas!

Schedule Facebook Content to Your Social Media Calendar

The last thing you want to do is hastily post something to Facebook for the sake of publishing content. Planning content means you put more effort into the quality of a post. This gives you a higher chance at engaging and inspiring your audience.

However, you don’t always have time to create content. That’s why using a social media publishing tool like Sprout Social can help you stay on track with content. Easily view, monitor and maintain your Facebook publishing with the social media calendar view.

instagram scheduling publishing calendar view

With our scheduling tools, you can set up posts across all networks and build your Facebook content for weeks in advance. Don’t rush to schedule. Save time and plan ahead with a tool that makes it easy to manage and publish all at once. Check out our guide on how to create a calendar below!

4 Steps for Creating a Social Media Calendar
Related Article
4 Steps for Creating a Social Media Calendar

If you’re not taking the time to plan your social media calendar in advance, you could end up scrambling to find Read More …

4. Determine Your Facebook Ads Strategy

Maybe you read the previous section and thought–nice idea, but it seems like a lot of work for little payoff. Well, you’re not totally out of bounds with that idea. According to a SocialFlow study, Facebook organic reach dropped a massive 52% in 2016 and has fallen even more in 2018.

However, you should always put more effort into your social media strategy than what you expect to get in return. Growing your audience and brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. You have to earn it.

But there is one shortcut to get there a bit faster–social media advertising. Specifically on Facebook, there are more than 4 million advertisers with just an average click-through rate of 0.9%. Advertising on Facebook is simpler, but not easier. You still have to effectively build your brand and showcase it perfectly with ads.

Aim for Higher Brand Awareness

You Facebook ad campaigns should always be focused on two things:

  1. Cost Effective
  2. Relevant

For starters, you want to stay within your allocated weekly or monthly spend with Facebook to avoid over exposure and useless clicks. Ad spend can shoot up in a hurry when you’re targeting isn’t effective or set appropriately, which brings us to the next step.

Your Facebook ad has to be relevant. Targeting a broad audience isn’t a bad thing. At first, you want to actually see what works best to build awareness. However, relevance is crucial toward great Facebook ads.

facebook-ad-audience

Try to build custom audiences and address customers who would best fit your Facebook content. If it’s a retargeting measure, make sure the content provides something recognizable but also something new.

Decide on Creative Content

We’ll mention it again, but quality over quantity will always prevail. Earlier in this post, we did a deep dive into the types of content on Facebook. Now it’s time to choose which pieces of content you think are worth advertising in front of a much larger audience.

Some of the best aspects of your ad content should include:

  • Identity: Does it relate to your brand and effectively showcase your product/service? Are your logo and business colors correctly displayed?
  • Reward: What do viewers get out of it? Is it a deal, promotion, offer code, whitepaper or industry guide?
  • Tone: Does your content maintain the same tone across your entire Facebook page or business in general?
  • Action: Your content must drive an action, which goes back to your Facebook goals. A clear and precise call to action is best.

Keep Facebook Ad Content Fresh

Facebook ad content is literally squeezed between your friends and family feed, which means it’s seen often. Have you ever deemed a TV commercial the worst ever and seen it replayed endlessly through your favorite show? This is the same thing.

Don’t let your content get stale with viewers, so make sure to update and repurpose your ad content every week or two. The whole purpose is to drive users to a specific site or purchasing page. So don’t let old content ruin your Facebook retargeting or remarketing efforts.

Create a spreadsheet and document your core metrics. Each metric will provide you with unique insights into what you specifically want to achieve with your ad:

  • Click-through Rate: If traffic is essential, track CTR and see where you can improve.
  • Impressions: Having trouble with visibility? Revisit your image or content and see what can drive more impressions.
  • Cost to Acquire: If your purpose is to limit spend and budget more effectively, track cost to acquire and set weekly or monthly goals.

5. Engage & Don’t Wait for Your Audience to Interact First

Like most social media channels, they’re built as networks to converse, discuss and share content. As a brand, you can’t forget that basic idea of what makes a social media network. That means conversation and engagement should never be put on the back burner.

Instead, try to be a community for your audience. Facebook is a great place to hold industry chats or discussions, whether it’s with a different audience or your own customers. While Twitter often gets all the limelight of being a social customer care mecca, don’t forget about Facebook too.

You can help drive Facebook engagement by asking people to simply engage in the first place. However, you can’t sit back and wait for your followers to interact. You can’t reach everyone, but there are ways to increase engagement.

For example, Zippo does a great job at interacting with users on several comments and continues the discussion on Facebook. The brand also acts as a source for info for loyal customers.

zippo helpful facebook comment

Post at the Best Time on Facebook

Facebook is still one of the most difficult social networks to use for organic content. Again, algorithms make it a challenge for businesses trying to find optimal posting times. However, our guide on the best times to post on social media outlines the do’s and don’ts of posting on Facebook:

heat map of best times to post on facebook
  • Thursday is the highest recommended day to post.
  • Noon and 2 p.m. on Wednesday and 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday are most engaged times on Facebook.
  • You’re safe to post weekdays between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday is the least engaged day of the week.
  • The least recommended times include early mornings and late nights.

6. Enable Your Entire Workforce to Use Facebook

Like we mentioned earlier, social media works as a great resource for employee advocacy. By providing employees with shareable content, you’re able to reach their audiences. This makes your company’s reach all the greater when you can get content shared through your employees’ feeds.

However, the biggest issue is finding the right content to share. Most employees fall into two categories:

  1. They’re afraid to share company content on networks like Facebook.
  2. They’re too willing to share company information on networks like Facebook.

A marketing data report from Bambu showed 54% of people don’t know how to share the right content and be an advocate on social media. When the same report shows 70% of employees use social at work, you have to build an advocacy platform to enable their reach.

Giving Employees a Chance to Share

It all starts with an employee advocacy program that allows your staff to use their biggest networks like Facebook to share company info. Luckily with tools like Bambu, you can easily track, measure and promote content from within your walls.

bambu user report example

Use Facebook as a tool to show off company perks, highlight awards or even promote new job openings. Giving them easy-to-use tools makes sharing a sinch. Utilize your employees have and have your employees help promote your business on Facebook.

7. Track & Analyze Your Facebook Marketing Strategy

Last but not least, a successful Facebook marketing strategy needs to be analyzed–strenuously. We’ve already mentioned some ways to carefully analyze your best times to post, Facebook advertising metrics and the types of content to publish.

With the help of Sprout Social, you can stack up your Facebook growth against competing pages

If you plan to improve your strategy for 2018 and into 2019, it takes helpful insights from Facebook analytics tools and its competitor analysis features. Our beautifully-designed reports give access into multiple Facebook Pages, activity overviews and content reports to see what works best.

To be truly successful, you need insights on what works. That’s why social media tools are a must for any marketer trying to get ahead of the game in 2018.

Conclusion

These seven steps should help you navigate Facebook marketing and identify the strategy that works best for your brand. In short, when you’re looking to get started with a Facebook strategy, you’ll want to:

  • Create Facebook goals that directly affect your biggest needs and address your business goals
  • Study your Facebook audience demographics
  • Choose your types of Facebook content and schedule them for posting
  • Determine your Facebook Ads strategy and drive brand awareness
  • Engage your audience immediately, including identifying the best times to post
  • Enable your entire workforce to use Facebook and become brand advocates
  • Track and analyze your Facebook Marketing strategy to discover what worked and what didn’t

A Guide For Local Business | In 2017 And Beyond

A Guide For Local Business | In 2017 And Beyond

A Beginners Guide To Businesses | In 2017 And Beyond

TL;DR This article outlines the key areas which you should focus on when it comes to launching a local SEO campaign for your new or already established business. The article covers topics including, but not limited to –

  • Google My Business Account Setup
  • Local Citation Acquisition
  • Local Link Acquisition
  • Review Acquisition
  • On Page Optimization
  • Schema Markup Implementation
  • Press Releases

Gone are the days where ‘Brick & Mortar’ businesses can rely on word of mouth and local advertising in order to attract customers (although this still helps of course). With the rise of the internet and especially smartphones, consumers are finding local businesses in different ways, and if your business doesn’t adapt, you may be losing out on a large number of potential customers.

There have been numerous studies of the past few years into how many searches in Google are made with local intent (ie. people wanting to find a service, restaurant, shop etc. within their current location).

study conducted by Google themselves, suggests that 56% of searches conducted by consumers on the go from their smartphones have local intent, and that 4 out of 5 consumers used search engines to search locally. This particular study was conducted in 2014, and since then the use of smartphones has only increased, and with this also has the number of consumers searching with local intent.

This is why optimizing your business for local search within Google is more important now than ever. SEO experts Moz, released a list of of ‘local ranking factors’ earlier this year suggesting the importance of individual factors when it comes to ranking within the Google’s ‘local pack results’ –

Local SEO Pie Chart

For more information on how Moz gathered this data, read the full article here.

As can be seen in the graph above, although there are multiple areas to consider when it comes to optimizing your business for local search, but it seems that having a well optimized and full Google My Business Account is arguably the most important factor when it comes to ranking locally, and as such, this is where we’ll start.

 

Google My Business

Google My Business is Google’s own directory of sorts where you can create a local business listing which to appear within Google’s search results. Before your My Business listing will show in the search results, your business needs to be verified by Google.

This can take up to 2 weeks, as Google needs to send a postcard containing a verification pin code to your given business address (thus verifying its existence and that you are the business owner).

Some businesses can be verified by either phone or email, but for the vast majority however, post is the only way, and unfortunately this process can’t be fast tracked. Whilst waiting for your My Business account to be verified, you should optimize your profile and add as much relevant information as possible,

as this will increase your chances of appearing in the ‘local pack results’. Alongside including accurate NAP (Business Name, Address & Phone Number) information and correctly categorizing the business (it’s important that this is as accurate as possible!), you should also include a detailed description of the business, opening hours, business offerings, price range, payment method etc.

If you have a website (which you should!), the website address should also be included. Also be sure to include plenty of photos of the business and your company logo within the profile. If there’s options to add more information which you feel is relevant to your business, don’t hesitate to do so, again the key is to make your profile as complete as possible.

 

 Local Citations & Links

Local citations are mentions of your business name and address on other websites. The most common types of local citations are directory pages. Most businesses will want to be included within high authority directories such as Yellow Pages, True Local and Yelp, but also smaller local directories and directories which are relevant to your business are also great places to be listed.

For example if you own a cafe in Melbourne which serves exclusively gluten free food, it would make sense to have your business listed on a website such as the Australian Gluten Free Eating Directory (this directory was taken from the top 10 results when searching for ‘Restaurant Directory Melbourne’). Searching in Google like this ‘[business category] “Directory” [location]’ is a great way to find local relevant directories to add your business to.

One thing you need to keep note of though is the consistency of the citations. It is important that the NAP information included on all websites is exactly the same. If it needs to be updated, unfortunately it should be updated across all directories in which it is listed. This is because Google uses these citations to determine what information to return about the business within the search results.

If the information found in these citations is inconsistent (even down to small typos), Google may provide incorrect information within the search results, or even worse not return any result for the business at all!

Obviously with local listings, often comes links to your site, and links are just as important for ranking locally as they are as a ranking factor in general, but you shouldn’t rely only on links from directory listings alone, as quality directory links can often be ‘nofollowed’, meaning that they don’t provide link value (don’t let this stop you from creating listings though!)

Editorial links are important when it comes to building link authority to your site. These types of links can be earned by reaching out to local bloggers or influencers working within your niche, and developing a working relationship, hopefully leading to your business being featured on their website in some way or another. Using the Gluten Free Restaurant example from earlier, a link to your restaurant’s website in a post on local food blog would help to push the needle when it comes to local SEO.

Not all links have to be editorial however, another great way to earn local links from related business who’s don’t directly compete with your own. For example, if you run a local butcher’s shop and you supply meat exclusively to a number of local restaurants in your area, these restaurants may have supplier information on their website, by leveraging your existing relationship with the restaurant owner, you could politely request for a link to your own business website to be placed on the restaurant website.

There are many different ways to build local links to your website, but it can be a long and arduous task, so you should start compiling a list of potential directories to list your business details, alongside local influencers and relevant websites where you may be able to have your business mentioned and linked to as soon as possible.

It’s also worth noting that when it comes to ranking locally, links pointing to your site which contain the location name within the anchor text (e.g. the name of the city your business is located in), may help improve your chances of ranking within the ‘local 3 pack’ results and also for ‘Near Me’ searches, which with the rise of mobile search,

have been increasing rapidly over the past few years. Local SEO Guide actually released a comprehensive study on these types of searches earlier this year, which reinforces the idea that Google is using link data to determine where business as placed within the ‘local 3 pack’ results for ‘near me’ searches.

Near Me Ordinal Variables Graph

Reviews

Reviews are massively important when it comes to local search and Google has said that having “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility”. Google uses metrics such as the review rating given, number of reviews, and diversity of the reviews to help determine where it will place your business within the search results. So obviously, having a high number of 4 or 5 star reviews gives you a better chance of ranking higher for local search results, and maybe even within the ‘local 3 pack’.

Obviously, as it’s Google we’re talking about, Google reviews themselves are the most important when it comes to how your business is ranked (and you can even sort the local results by the Google review score), however as mentioned, review diversity is important, and Google will also takes reviews in other popular websites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor into account, as well as looking at reviews on your business’s Facebook page and other social media platforms.

Reviews definitely shouldn’t just be considered as a ranking factor for local search however. Reviews can make the difference between a consumer choosing to visit your business or taking their patronage elsewhere. The 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by BrightLocal provides some invaluable statistics when it comes to how consumers see online reviews.

The results show that 91% of consumers read online reviews, 74% of consumers will trust a local business more if it has positive reviews, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations, and 58% of consumers believe that the star rating of a business is the most important factor when it comes to making their decision. These statistics alone are enough to show how important online reviews are to you local business.

Consumer Review Data Graph

The question now is; “how do I get these reviews?” Firstly, as tempting as it may be, don’t create ‘fake reviews’. Google has explicitly warned against this, and it’s spam detection algorithm is pretty good at picking these up. What Google does recommend is to prompt actual customers to your business to leave reviews in their own time, whether it be by giving them a business card with a reminder on it or sending a friendly email a few days after they have visited or used your service.

As mentioned above, don’t just focus on getting reviews for Google, encourage customers to review your business on different platforms, whether it’s Facebook or Tripadvisor etc. (note that some websites such as Yelp have a policy against directly asking for reviews, so be sure to read the website’s terms and conditions before reaching out to customers). The results of the survey show that 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to. Obviously it goes without saying, there’s no point asking for reviews if your customer service isn’t up to scratch, as all you’ll likely get is negative feedback, but as long as you provide your customer with a great experience, when asking them for a review, the odds are in your favor.

Inevitably, chances are you will  still get a negative review from time to time, as no matter how much you try, you just can’t make everybody happy! When this happens, instead of panicking, just respond to the criticism in a polite and professional manner, and use it constructively.

Displaying your willingness to accept fault, and deal with the complaint appropriately will show other potential customers reading these reviews that you are a professional and courteous business owner, hopefully making them less likely to be dissuaded from visiting your business based off of a few negative reviews.

 

On Site Elements & Schema Markup

As with SEO in general, optimizing on site elements such as Meta titles and descriptions is also hugely important when it comes to local SEO. Including target keywords within the Meta title (and H1 title) helps Google to understand what the purpose of the page is, and these can also be optimized to target your local area,  e.g. ‘[Business Type] – [Location] | Business Name’. An example of this is for the following result for the search ‘Dental Clinic Fitzroy’ –

Fitzroy Dentist Search Snippet

Although not the perfect snippet as the Meta description is being cut off, the title includes the business type (dentist), location (Fitzroy, Melbourne) and brand name (St Vincent’s Dental Care). This result also ranks second within the ‘local 3 pack’ results for this query.

Using keyword research (you can read our previous article on generating long tail keywords here), you can find out exactly which keywords to include within the title of your businesses homepage (assuming this is also the target landing page), and optimize them accordingly (note that, although page titles are considered the most important element when it comes to keyword placement, be sure to use target keywords throughout the on page copy where applicable too, this can be a small as just including the name of the location where your business is located).

However, be aware that there are character limits for Meta titles, and if you exceed this limit your title may be cut off within the search results. The ideal length for a Meta title is anywhere between 50 – 60 characters as Google will be able to show all of the title, but up to 70 characters is often allowed depending on pixel width. It’s best practice to check how your title looks in the search results, to ensure that it isn’t being cut off.

Like Meta titles, Meta descriptions also have a character limit, which in this case is up to 160 characters (or 180 depending on pixel width). Unlike Meta titles however, Meta descriptions don’t affect how Google will rank your business page, but having an informative, well written description (alongside accurate Meta titles) has been shown to increase CTR (click through rate).

As with Meta titles, be sure to check how your Meta description looks within the search results, to ensure that the entire description can be seen. Fully optimizing Meta titles and descriptions (whilst staying within the character limit) can make the difference between a potential customer clicking through to your website, or choosing a more enticing option from the search results.

Including the appropriate Schema Markup within your business pages can also help when it comes to local search visibility. Schema markup is code which can be added to web pages to help search engines better understand the content and therefore return more informative results to users.

At the very least, it’s advisable to add NAP (name, address, phone number) schema to all contact information throughout the site (this acts as almost a ‘virtual business card’), as well as adding organisation schema around the business logo (this will show Google the preferred image to return for the business within the knowledge graph).

There are endless types of Schema that you can add to your local business website, and a number of online schema markup generators which make this process quick and easy. Below is an example of basic Schema markup for a business address –

NAP Schema Code Example

This code would be added to the Contact page (or wherever the address can be found on your website). You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure that the code which you have created is fully functioning before adding it to your site.

 

Conclusion

One last thing to note with regards to local SEO, is not to forget the importance of traditional SEO practices, such as ensuring that your website is technically sound, easy to navigate for users and search engines, contain high quality content and pages load properly etc.

It may make sense that your business only needs to rank for local searches, so this is where you put your focus your energy, but your business website still needs to be fully accessible and up to Google’s standard in order to perform well. Not to mention, there’s no point going to all that effort of getting your business found, just for a customer to leave your website straight away due to a poor user experience (and Google also takes user engagement metrics into consideration when deciding where to rank businesses locally!)

Launching a local SEO campaign is a mammoth task for any new or established business, and results cannot be expected overnight. However, if you use the above information as a starting point, you should increase the visibility of your business within the local search results, thus hopefully leading to more customers, more sales and more success!