06- Mar2018
Posted By: DPadmin
47 Views

Why Building a Brand Is the Most Viable SEO Strategy

Google has always given brands preferential treatment.

They get better rankings with fewer links. They get “penalized” for improper conduct, only to resurface a few weeks later.

Small brands, on the other hand?

Never get the benefit of the doubt. Need to earn twice as many links. And never resurface. Ever.

And this is only accelerating. It’s only getting more pronounced.

So much so, that there’s virtually nothing else you should focus on in 2018, besides building a brand. Big brands will get showcased in the SERPs. And small companies will be left in the dust.

Here’s why.

SERPs Are Changing Dramatically

Google is known for tinkering. Thousands of times a year.

But it isn’t just the algorithm updates we should pay attention to. The cause and effect of layout adjustments also changes user behavior.

For example, featured snippets have been on the rise.

featured snippet

Moz found that they’ve risen from 5.5 percent to 16 percent in just two years. But they recently saw a 10 percent decrease in featured snippets in a matter of four days.

So, what happened?

The knowledge panels got a serious boost in visibility, for starters. Search terms like “Graphic Design,” that once had featured snippets, now have gone full knowledge panel:

knowledge graphs

And all those related searches above have it now, too. Even a generic search for “travel” will net you this:

travel knowledge graph

Moz also found a 30 percent increase in knowledge panels for SERPs without a featured snippet in the first place.

So what’s happening?

Google is trying to answer the query. With content from other people. Without requiring them to click to view the source.

Where searches for “travel” would once net travel-based blog posts or definitions on branded sites, Google now pulls data directly into the SERPs.

And most of that content is coming from huge brands and definition-based sources like Wikipedia.

That means the pool of helpful content is narrowed down to a few big players.

People don’t have to click on an organic listing to get information anymore. And currently, only one brand is being featured in a given knowledge panel.

Spoiler alert: It probably isn’t you.

Less and less people are clicking on actual search engine listings now. We’re currently at a 60/40 split.

Only 60 percent of searches on Google results in a click. That’s 40 percent generating zero clicks. And smarter people than me expect that to hit 50 percent soon.

And for smaller fish trying to swim past the reef, that’s bad news.

Google’s implementation of the Knowledge Graph is solving user problems without the need to click. And the majority of brands ranking in the knowledge panels are the big ones.

That means less traffic, fewer clicks, and more importantly: less organically-driven sales.

Brand Recognition Is Critical to Getting Clicks

Do me a favor real quick:

Perform a basic test right now on Google. Perform an obscure, long-tail search for an industry keyword and analyze the SERPs.

What do you see? What sticks out instantly?

Specific brands.

HubSpot. Search Engine Journal. Marketo.

bestmarketingblogger.com? Not so much.

Even if bestmarketingblogger.com is ranking #1, you’re probably going to skip right over it to a familiar site.

Just like you’d choose Coca-Cola over your local grocery store’s generic version.

Brand recognition is a powerful thing. Powerful enough for you to skip on Google’s top ranking post. Powerful enough to drive a more expensive sale.

We can’t help it. We’re creatures of habit.

We do what feels comfortable. What we know and what we can trust.

For example, a Nielsen study found that global consumers are far more likely to buy new products from brands that are familiar.

Sixty percent of consumers would rather buy new products from a familiar brand that they recall, rather than switching to a new one.

Take this “basketball shoes” sponsored search result for an example:

basketball shoes sponsored search

Which shoe would you buy? Probably Nike.

They’re a familiar brand that’s known for producing high-quality basketball shoes. Plus they’ve got Lebron and Kobe and Jordan.

Champion on the other hand? C’mon, son.

The Champion shoe could be cheaper. And you’re still more likely to click on Nike, first.

Trust is one of the most important factors in making a purchase decision. And it’s no different when it comes to organic search results.

You’re going to click on what you know and trust. And that all comes down to branding.

For example, with this SERP below, nearly every article is the same.

small business SEO SERP

“XX SEO tips for small businesses.” The content is virtually the same. Meaning clicks are going to come down to one thing:

Brand recognition.

Does Forbes instantly stand out in your mind as a popular source of information? They get the click. Even though it has nothing to do with their content quality (another spoiler: It’s not good).

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Research from Search Engine Land and Survey Monkey again proves this underlying trend. They surveyed over 400 consumers on one specific question:

What is most important in helping you decide which results to click on in a search engine search?

According to their data, nearly 70 percent of U.S. consumers said they look for a “known retailer” when deciding what search results to click on.

The stronger the brand recognition, the higher the odds of generating clicks. Which means the higher the odds of getting the sale.

SERP CTR Is Beginning to Outperform Rankings

Ranking number one doesn’t mean what it used to anymore.

Historical SERP click-through rate graphs are beginning to lie. You know, the ones that say ranking first on Google gets you 30+percent of clicks for an unbranded search.

The stats I referenced above prove that’s not the case anymore.

If nobody knows who you are, you aren’t generating 30+ percent of the organic clicks. The content might be amazing. But you’re a nobody. So nobody’s giving you a chance.

SERP CTR is becoming more important than traditional rankings, too.

And in fact, SERP CTR likely has an impact on rankings.

While links and content are the top two direct ranking factors, SERP CTR is creeping up as an indirect factor.

Check out this tweet from Rand Fishkin of Moz:

Rand Fishkin tweet

That’s evidence of Google analyzing search queries and clicks to see what content users preferred.

No click on the first position? That’s a signal to Google that it’s not performing like a top piece of content.

More clicks might, in fact, result in a rankings boost.

And WordStream’s own data just backed this up, finding that the more your pages beat the expected organic CTR for a query, the more likely they are to appear higher in organic listings.

But when you don’t have the luxury of brand awareness, people don’t see your content until they click. So they really don’t know how amazing it is.

And sadly, they probably never will:

The vast majority are clicking because of brand recognition, not content strength.

similar content better brand strength

It’s the same with digital advertising and purchase behavior too. Brand aware users are 2x more likely to purchase from you.

If HubSpot is two spots below you, you can bet that the lion’s share of “your” traffic is being stolen.

Those fancy headline hacks and meta description tweaks can improve your CTR, sure.

Going against the grain and producing clickbait-esque headlines might get you a 1-2 percent increase:

content marketing clickbait

But not enough to have a big impact.

Not enough to take your traffic and double it.

Small changes won’t net massive results.

If they did, we’d all be dominating the competition, and I wouldn’t be writing this post.

Simply A/B testing or changing a button color won’t do it either.

Large-scale changes are needed to produce better SEO results.

Branding is the only way to do it, and it’s the most viable SEO strategy on the market today.

Focusing on branding will help drive higher click-through rates in organic SERPs, which correlates with higher conversion rates.

A fantastic, cheap way to put this into practice is using cheap social ads to drive brand awareness.

Facebook has the cheapest CPM out of any advertising platform ever created.

You can get away with spending $1 per day, reaching up to 4,000 new users with brand awareness ads.

That’s roughly 120,000 new faces coming across your brand monthly for just $30.

There’s no cheaper way to build brand awareness than with social ads.

Use them to drive traffic to your latest content and build a brand reputation in the process.

brand awareness social media

Branding is an investment in your company’s future. Sure, the effects won’t be instant.

But when your organic traffic is declining, and brands are starting to overpower you, you’ll wish you’d invested in it sooner.

Conclusion

Google has given brands preferential treatment for years now.

And that preferential treatment only increases with each minor and major update.

It’s a vicious trap where the rich keep cruising, and the poor keep drowning.

Branding is our only hope for conducting better SEO in 2018.

The vast majority of consumers cite brand recognition as driving clicks and sales.

And that means those typical organic CTR graphs are a heaping pile of BS.

Brand recall drives more clicks and sales than positioning.

As Google SERPs shift more toward favoring big brands, it’s time for smaller brands to invest more of their SEO budget and strategy into building a memorable brand.

Source: Why Building a Brand Is the Most Viable SEO Strategy

06- Mar2018
Posted By: DPadmin
21 Views

Supercharge your email marketing with Google AdWords

I have a confession to make.

The odds of my instantly deleting one of the many marketing emails I receive each day are about as good as Tom Brady and the Patriots making the playoffs — meaning it’s pretty likely to happen.

Unfortunately for all you email marketers out there, I’m not alone. According to email marketing service MailChimp, the average email open rate across industries is below 25 percent,with a click rate of 2 to 3 percent. That means that, on average, you’d need to send 100 emails to get two or three people to take any action. All that time and energy spent crafting the perfect email marketing campaign will be wasted if you don’t create a complementary strategy to get more sales from your hard-earned email list.

The good news is that you can use Google AdWords as your complementary strategy by simply leveraging the existing data you have on your email subscribers. Let’s dive into the best ways to make that happen.

Learn the ins and outs of Customer Match in AdWords

Customer Match in AdWords might be the greatest secret weapon for email marketers that Google has to offer. It allows you to target or exclude your existing customers on Google Search, Display and YouTube by simply uploading your customer email list to AdWords. Think of it as another way to nurture your sales leads besides sending them more emails.

The best thing about Customer Match is that it’s not that difficult to get up and running. Here’s what you need to do to get started:

  • Click on the “Wrench” icon in the top right corner of your AdWords Dashboard.
  • Click on “Audience Manager” under the Shared Library section.
  • Click on “Audience Lists” from the Page Menu on the left.
  • Click on the blue “+” button to create a new audience list.
  • Select “Customer List.”
  • Choose the option to upload a plain text data file or a hashed data file.
  • Choose your new file.
  • Check the box that says “This data was collected and is being shared with Google in compliance with Google’s policies.”
  • Set a membership duration (this should be determined by the types of customers that make up the list).
  • Click “Upload and Create List.”

Please note that these instructions are for the “new” version of the AdWords dashboard. If you’re interested in Customer Match but are still using the “old” version of the AdWords dashboard, see here for more instructions.

Segment your email list

Now that you have a better understanding of Customer Match, let’s take a look at how you might want to slice and dice your email list to more effectively target your sales leads on AdWords.

Take a look at the following email audience segments we use at AdHawk (my company) for a moment:

  • New and engaged email subscribers who have not become customers.
  • Email subscribers who have not opened an email recently.
  • Email subscribers who are existing customers and would be a good fit for an upgraded product or service.

Each of these email audience segments has an entirely different relationship with our business and needs to be messaged to differently. If you have a similar breakdown of your marketing emails, you can repurpose your email list segmentation for your AdWords campaigns via Customer Match. This will allow you to tailor the messaging of your ads for each segment, and as a result, help to nudge your sales leads farther down your funnel.

Create a different AdWords strategy for each segment of your email list

Once you have your email audience segments in place, it’s time to develop a unique AdWords strategy for each segment.

I’m going to use the three email audience segments noted above as examples. Your approach might be different, and that’s okay. Just make sure you’re not using general ads for every email audience segment you have on your list.

Converting new and engaged email subscribers

When a new lead signs up to learn more about AdHawk, our team goes into “educate” mode. The goal is to get them to see the value of our product and services as quickly as possible so we can move them down the funnel.

Our “Welcome” email flow takes the first steps in educating our leads, and it performs pretty well compared to the industry average. But our secret weapon emerges when we take a list of our “new” sales leads and turn it into a Customer Match campaign in AdWords.

Here’s what a typical flow for this segment looks at AdHawk:

  • Step 1: Potential customer signs up to learn more about AdHawk.
  • Step 2: After signing up, the potential customer receives the first email in the “Welcome” email flow, with a call to action to book a time with our sales team.
  • Step 3: A Customer Match segment is created for all “new” prospective customers that didn’t take action on the first email in the “Welcome” email flow.

By using a Customer Match segment for all new and engaged AdHawk sales leads, we’re able to bid up on more generic keywords that would be too risky to bid up on for a general search campaign. We’re also able to create Gmail Ads with a similar look and feel to our “Welcome” emails series that prompt a strong customer recall.

Converting unengaged email subscribers

Converting unengaged email subscribers can be a huge pain in the butt. They’ve stopped engaging with your emails, so the worst thing you could do is continue to bash them over the head with more emails.

Here’s the flow we use to re-engage leads that have left us hanging:

  • Step 1: Potential customer signs up to learn more about AdHawk but does not engage with our emails for 30 days.
  • Step 2: A Customer Match segment is created for all “unengaged” prospective customers.
  • Step 3: A Remarketing campaign is created to target prospective customers that have not converted after 30 days.
  • Step 4: We tailor the Customer Match and Remarketing ads to promote a special offer.

This group is the least likely to convert, so any new business scraped up is a huge win! It’s important to educate these stale leads on what we do and remind them why they signed up in the first place.

Upselling existing customers to a new product or service

Most marketers are so intent on attracting new business that they often forget that there is a wealth of opportunity under their noses. Don’t sleep on marketing to those that have bought something from you in the past! We use our existing customer segment to promote new features or products we feel they will be a good fit for.

Here’s the flow we use to target existing customers:

  • Step 1: A Customer Match segment is created for our “Existing Customers.”
  • Step 2: We further segment this list by renewal date to ensure that customers see our ads when their contract is up.
  • Step 3: Tailor the ads to promote additional services we offer that our customers are not leveraging.

We’ve structured our flow this way because our product runs on a subscription basis. If you’re selling physical goods that can be repurchased often, break down your segment by the products your customers have shown the most interest in. That way, you can tailor your ads to the specific products you believe would resonate most with them.

Final thoughts

Are you leveraging AdWords as part of your email marketing strategy? If you are, I’d love to learn more about what strategies you have used that have been successful.

Source: Supercharge your email marketing with Google AdWords

26- Jan2018
Posted By: DPadmin
28 Views

When SEO isn’t your SEO problem

Even the greatest SEO strategy won’t succeed if you can’t implement it properly. Columnist Casie Gillette discusses common client obstacles and how to overcome them.

If you’ve been doing SEO for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly experienced your fair share of failures. And in many cases, frustratingly, the SEO program itself was not the issue. While I’ve discussed meta topics such as management challengesgetting executive buy-in, and the need for flexibility in the past, I haven’t directly addressed the question, “What do you do if SEO isn’t your SEO problem?”

As search marketers, we work our tails off analyzing data, search results, client websites and more, with the goal of providing recommendations that will move the needle. Unfortunately, the best recommendations in the world don’t matter if they aren’t implemented — and therein lies one of the biggest challenges of SEO.

Let’s look at a few common obstacles that can hinder an SEO program’s progress and discuss how we can overcome them.

Just following up

We’ve all been there: You’ve sent one, two, three emails and still have heard nothing back. How can you possibly get anything done if the client won’t even answer your emails?

It’s not a simple solution. People are busy; they have other priorities, and it’s our job to ensure our clients understand the importance and value of the program.

If a contact goes silent, there are a few options we can try.

Pick up the phone

Your clients are busy people, and many of them probably receive dozens or even hundreds of emails per day. That’s a lot of messages to sort through! While it can be frustrating to not receive a response, it’s possible your contact has more important emails to get through.

Pick up the phone. It’s so simple, yet we often forgot to do it. In the age of technology, everyone is emailing and texting. Talking to someone can go a long way.

Use an email tracker

If your emails aren’t being responded to, maybe you are sending them at the wrong time of day. Even worse, maybe they aren’t even getting to your client’s inbox.

Tools like Yesware and Bananatag show you when a person opens your email, allowing you to see if your emails are being read — and giving you an opportunity to follow up quickly. Did your client just open the email? Send another one while it’s top of mind, or give them a quick call.

Go to the next person

Sometimes, the only option is to go a level up. I only like to use this as a last resort — we certainly don’t want to make anyone look bad, but at the end of the day, the program’s success is tied to our ability to make things happen.

I disagree with you

As a marketing consultant, you typically end up working directly with an organization’s internal marketing team — a marketing team with experienced professionals, brand knowledge and more often than not, a whole lot of opinions.

For agencies, the key to program success is getting buy-in from key decision-makers. The person in charge needs to ensure that their team approves and implements what you are recommending. However, in some cases, the boss will rely on his or her team to make those decisions. And that’s OK. A sign of a good leader is trusting one’s team.

Unfortunately, the team may not always agree with what you are recommending. Perhaps they’ve done it a different way in the past or don’t think it’s worth the effort. How do we change their minds?

Lay out your strategy

It’s no secret that there’s a lack of education in the SEO world, both inside and out. The result? More work on the front end. Instead of just providing a recommendation, make sure you discuss the why. What is the overall goal, and how is this suggestion going to help them get there?

Pick your battles

We provide a lot of recommendations. In many cases, we make recommendations that aren’t going to move the needle significantly but are best practices that will make the site better. Sure, we’d like these implemented — but sometimes it’s okay if they aren’t. We have to pick our battles.

Let’s take ALT text, for example. A few weeks ago, I had a client who disagreed with an ALT text recommendation my team had made. The client wanted to use something else, so they decided they weren’t going to implement our suggestion. And that’s OK — overall, it wasn’t a high-priority task.

In all likelihood, you won’t be able to implement every SEO recommendation you put forth — so be sure to save your fights for the ones that are really going to matter.

Run a test

For efforts that may require additional time and resources, it can be hard to get buy-in. Suggest running a test.

A few months ago, we provided recommendations to improve a client’s product pages. Unfortunately, the client didn’t want to spend the time and effort making the changes. Our suggestion? There’s a new product page launching, so why don’t we try the proposed improvements on that page and see how it performs?

The new page outperformed all the others — and as a result, the team is now ready to go back and revisit the rest of the product section.

Like most things in life, we want reassurances. If we can prove that our recommendations will get results, it makes it much easier to push for others down the line.

We don’t have time

Time. Precious time. How often have you uttered the phrase, “There’s not enough time in the day?” You aren’t alone.

We only have so many hours in our work week, so we have to prioritize the things that matter to us. Unfortunately, SEO isn’t always the top item on your client’s list of things that have to get done. How can we overcome this hurdle?

Agency implementation

We learned a long time ago that if we wanted things done, we needed to do them ourselves. While agency implementation takes time (and trust from the client), it ensures your recommendations are applied and the program can move forward.

Prioritize recommendations

There’s a thing I like to call “deliverable overload.” A client falls behind, but we continue to send out deliverables. Instead of working through them from start to finish, the client gets overloaded and is unsure where to begin.

Make it easier. When a client starts getting behind, the first thing I do is make a list of outstanding deliverables and prioritize them based on what’s going to have the biggest impact on the site and/or what can be done quickly. That makes it easier for the client to sort through our recommendations and start working on them.

Make your case with data

It’s extremely frustrating to have to put together a bad report for your client — especially when you know that the reason for the poor performance is that nothing was actually done.

If you aren’t making any headway, and if you aren’t able to implement the recommendations yourself, start pulling data. What metrics are important to the client? Show them how those metrics are (or are not) being impacted, and explain how your proposed changes can help.

Final thoughts

As search marketers, our jobs are hard. On top of doing great SEO work, we are managing different personalities, dealing with internal company issues and trying to manage our own day. But if we can proactively address the issues above, we can remove some of the biggest impediments to our SEO program’s success.

Source: When SEO isn’t your SEO problem

26- Jan2018
Posted By: DPadmin
26 Views

Take My Advice: Stop Taking So Much SEO Advice

If you want to be truly successful in SEO, you need to stop taking so much SEO advice. Here’s why.

There’s no shortage of SEO advice to go around. Heck, I’ve made a career out of it. I’ve listed hundreds of strategies companies can use to improve their rankings in search engines, and have provided updates as SEO develops, to guide search optimizers in the right way to respond to algorithm changes and new technologies.

For the most part, the advice you read on high-authority publishers and niche specialist sites is “good”—it’s not meant to lead you astray, and it usually provides factual, valuable information. But if you want to be truly successful in SEO, you need to stop taking so much SEO advice.

Wait, What?

I realize the bit of hypocrisy here. I’m dispensing advice that tells you to deliberately avoid taking advice—but I don’t mean you should ignore SEO advice altogether. Instead, I caution you to do three things:

  1. Double check the facts. Don’t just assume that an author knows what he/she is talking about. Do the research to see if other authorities have made similar claims, and how their experiments may have differed.
  2. Don’t follow tactics blindly. Make the effort to understand what you’re doing before you follow a step-by-step approach.
  3. Try new things for yourself. Dedicate some time to experimenting with new strategies of your own. It may seem riskier than just doing what other people have already done, but there are significant benefits to this experimental approach.

Here’s why.

SEO Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

For starters, SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. What works for one business in one industry isn’t necessarily going to work for someone else. For example:

  • National and local SEO function on different algorithms. Local SEO demands a separate set of tactics and strategies, which simply aren’t relevant to you if you’re pursuing national SEO. Fortunately, it’s easy to filter out irrelevant articles in this split, but it’s an example of just how different SEO can be for different companies.
  • Competition can make or break a strategy. Next, understand that the level of competition you’re dealing with can make or break a given strategy. If an influencer reports that their homepage moved up three spots for a given keyword term after producing a new video every week, that doesn’t mean you’ll see the same results; if you have far more competition, you might not move at all, and if you have far less competition, you might not need nearly as much effort to see the same results.
  • There are thousands of influential variables that can’t all be isolated. SEO is ridiculously complicated; even though we’ve pinned down a number of ranking factors, and how much impact they have (relatively speaking), it’s still hard to determine exact root causes for each shift in rankings we experience. For example, let’s say an article goes viral on social media and subsequently rises in rankings. It would be easy to think that its ranking increase was a direct result of those social shares, but in reality, it was likely a secondary factor—such as increased inbound links as a result of those social shares—that did the trick.

Misinformation Is Easy to Spread Unintentionally

I’ve written recently about a problem in the SEO industry related to the emergence and spread of inaccurate SEO information. This isn’t a product of people deliberately trying to lead others astray; instead, it’s a natural result of the industry.

SEO is necessarily imprecise in some ways (since Google doesn’t formally publish exactly how its ranking algorithm works), the nature of the industry changes quickly, and the SEO community is ravenous for new information, which many search optimizers are quick and eager to provide.

The end result is that information often gets published before it’s fully verified, and it’s easy for readers to form first impressions of articles that may reflect isolated incidents rather than broad trends. It’s also easy for this information to spread, since many influencers and community members share new information without checking its validity for themselves (I’ve been guilty of this too—we all have).

Misinformation is Often Spread Intentionally, Too

Aside from well-intentioned SEO professionals jumping the gun with unverified information in an attempt to be the first to publish new information, the internet is full of self-proclaimed “SEO experts” who eagerly spread false information in order to make a profit. Forums and low-authority blogs are where I most commonly find bad information being perpetuated.

For example, before Google’s Penguin algorithm update in April of 2012, it was considered a “best practice” to obtain as many inbound links as one possibly could, regardless of the quality of those links, and the anchor text used for those links needed to be “exact match” keywords. That is, if your keyword was “green widgets” then the link to your website should always say “green widgets.”

Today, this is precisely the kind of practice that will get your website penalized by Google. But lurking in the dark confines of small blogs and community forums are snake-oil salespeople, proclaiming that they can get you thousands of high-quality links in a day, each with perfectly keyword-optimized anchor text, and all this for the low price of $100. To many SEO newcomers looking for a cheap start to their SEO campaign, this seems like just the deal they’ve been looking for. After all, they know that more links is generally a good thing, so why not take the deal?

Clearly, this is just one type of SEO scam perpetuated by lurkers, but they are numerous. Distinguishing trustworthy SEO advice can be difficult for business owners who are just getting their feet wet with SEO, and it can be a minefield of misinformation designed to confuse business owners into spending their money unwisely.

Experimentation Is the Best Way to Learn

According to a scientific study of—ironically enough—science students, it’s easier for people to learn by doing than it is to learn by traditional forms of instruction. You can read and regurgitate information about SEO all day long, but until you get your hands on a campaign, doing your own keyword research, writing your own content, and doing your own measurement and analysis, you won’t develop a subjective, innate “feel” for how SEO works.

There’s nothing mystical going on here. Over time, as you venture into SEO on your own, you’ll get better at intuitively troubleshooting problems (the way auto mechanics can tell what’s wrong with a vehicle just by listening to it), and you’ll end up tinkering with tactics that even industry leaders haven’t considered. Ignoring the advice—and sometimes contradicting it—can lead you down an even more innovative path.

Conclusion

SEO advice is, for the most part, good. It will help you learn more about the industry, come up with better ideas, and might even inspire you to try something new. But you shouldn’t rely exclusively on advice, verbatim, to fuel your strategies.

If you want to see the best results, you need to take SEO advice with a grain of salt, think critically about what you’re reading, and ultimately use your own research and experience to fuel your progress.

Source: Take My Advice: Stop Taking So Much SEO Advice

27- Sep2017
Posted By: DPadmin
170 Views

Find your target audience with YouTube video advertising

Contributor Will Scott outlines six reasons why your business can’t afford to ignore YouTube when it comes to online marketing.

Advertising on YouTube is a cost-effective way to reach potential customers for nearly any product or business. YouTube users consume more than a billion hours of video content per day on the site. Within that large volume of traffic, advertisers are able to target specific demographics and regions.

For startups and international corporations alike, the video-sharing website has become an increasingly popular place to advertise. In 2017, 20 percent of all video ad revenues in America will go to YouTube, according to eMarketer forecasts. Below, find out why so many businesses are turning to YouTube for online marketing.

1. High rate of consumption

With over a billion users, YouTube hosts nearly one-third of all the people online. And the platform reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the US, according to YouTube.

With younger generations reluctant to pay for television and cable, YouTube provides a free alternative for all kinds of media content, from music videos and tutorials to vlogs and cat videos. Industry-specific and informational videos are an effective place to reach niche markets, but outreach across YouTube puts your message in front of a much broader audience.

2. Find your business’s target audience

As with other online platforms, advertisers on YouTube have the freedom to target specific regions and demographics for their advertising budget. By sponsoring specific kinds of content, your business can advertise on the types of videos most likely to appeal to your potential customers.

Nationwide and industry-specific targeting is easy with the suite of options available to advertisers. Because many viewers are logged into their personal YouTube accounts, advertisers can target specific populations based on their search history and other key data. Affinity audiences allow your business to target viewers based on categories of interests, like auto enthusiasts or do-it-yourselfers.

3. Follow your audience along the consumer journey

Depending on search terms and video content, you can target customers with different types of videos. Is a viewer already comparison-shopping for your service? Your commercial may need to emphasize reasons to choose your business. On the other hand, the same video may not be effective for your established customers.

Customer Match allows you to filter the audience for particular videos using data from AdWords and uploaded email lists. By showing specific videos to your customers and newsletter subscribers, you can reinforce brand loyalty and shape the reputation of your company.

4. Part of a diverse advertising strategy

Facebook is likely to remain the biggest player in social media, but YouTube has a solid footing with vloggers and video content. Rather than advertising exclusively on one website, it’s better to plan an inclusive strategy that includes both social media and paid search advertising on Google.

When users move between search engines and different social media platforms, it’s important to have a clear presence across the different arenas for advertising. The mobile viewers on YouTube spend 40 minutes in an average session. Advertising directly on YouTube allows your business to reach your audience when they aren’t actively on Facebook or interacting with search engines.

5. Measurability

Unlike other forms of advertising, online ads provide detailed information about the effectiveness of each listing. Exposures, click-through rates, bounce rates and conversions are just a few of the critical data points that would be nearly impossible to objectively measure with radio, billboards and conventional alternatives.

With data about which ads are most effective, your business is better able to tailor promotional and marketing strategies in the future. The relative success of certain ads can serve as market research into the selling points and products most important to consumers.

6. Audience research

Unlike with conventional television, YouTube advertisers can allow viewers to “skip” after the first few seconds of a commercial. While millennial viewers skip videos nearly 60 percent of the time, according to a survey from LaunchLeap, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for advertisers. Viewers eager to skip after the first few seconds likely aren’t interested in the product or service, and platforms like TrueView allow you to pay only for the content watched to completion.

The data about which viewers click “skip,” on the other hand, can be beneficial for evaluating the success of different marketing strategies. You can even learn how long viewers continued to watch, whether they skipped immediately or after a certain point in the commercial.

The major benefits of advertising on YouTube parallel the advantages of other online marketing strategies. Unlike billboards and other tangible forms of product promotion, online advertising is easily scalable to fit any budget. A higher available budget can be used for a higher level of exposure and views. On the other hand, a small budget can be specific for targeting a niche industry or interest group.

YouTube video advertising is just one of many important elements for promoting your company’s presence online. Make the most of this vibrant social network by making sure that your business is a visible participant.

Source: Find your target audience with YouTube video advertising

12- Sep2017
Posted By: DPadmin
164 Views

SEO: 10 Things Every Small Business Should Do

Search engine optimization isn’t always much fun for small businesses. Aside from having to compete with your closest rivals, you’ve got those industry leaders hogging up page one of results.

To make matters worse, organic results are getting pushed further down the page, leaving less space for the little guy. These are the challenges small business marketers face, but each of these challenges is also an opportunity to get ahead of your competitors. Here are ten things every small business should be doing with their SEO strategy.

#1: Local SEO

We may as well start with the obvious one. Unless you happen to be a small online-only retailer, chances are you have brick-and-mortar stores or offices. Which means local SEO is going to be a core part of your search marketing efforts. Below is an example of a local listing in Google:

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/local-seo-listing.jpg

Vertical Leaps Portsmouth office has a Google My Business listingThere’s more to local SEO than Google Maps, though. First, you have third-party directory and review sites to think about – both of which Google uses for search and Google Maps results. You’ll also want to localise your content strategy and work location names into anchor text, URLs, headings, etc.

#2: Tactical link building

Link building is tricky for every business so don’t let this one get you down. Just keep in mind that quality outweighs quantity when it comes to inbound links – so focus on getting links from sites with a higher domain authority than yourself.

These are some techniques to try:

  • Guest blogging: The classic link building technique still works today.
  • Syndication: Targeting trusted publishers that syndicate content can increase the number of links, traffic and audience you gain from guest blogging.
  • The Skyscraper Technique: Find popular content, publish an improved version and reach out to the sites linking to the original piece.
  • Broken link building: Find broken links to popular content and provide these sites with a replacement version.

Of course, your content needs to be good enough to earn those essential links and shares. Until your audience is large enough that link building largely takes care of itself, you’ll have to be tactical with your approach.

#3: Reach out to local/relevant publications

Another good link building strategy is to reach out to local/relevant publications. It’s not only the links you’re after, though. Google likes to see your brand mentioned in publications relevant to your industry or in your local area – so even if you don’t get links, simply being mentioned is beneficial.

The other main benefit with local and relevant publications is their audience. Links mean potential traffic, citations mean brand awareness and regularly featuring in these publications means you can tap into their regular audience.

#4: Exploit your competitors’ weaknesses

Your closest competitors are facing all the same challenges you are. Use this to your advantage. Are they missing out on obvious keyword opportunities? Are they suffering from poor reviews on Google My Business? Is their website painfully slow to load or poorly optimised for mobile?

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Apollo-3-screens.jpg

Apollo Insights offers in-depth competitor analysis

Apollo Insights offers in-depth competitor analysis to help you pinpoint their weaknesses

Every weakness your competitor shows is an opportunity to beat them, show users you’re the better brand and prove to Google you should rank higher than them.

#5: Get a head start with AdWords

While SEO is a long-term process of building an online presence, AdWords is a much faster way of bringing traffic to your site. It’ll take time for your SEO strategy to generate any kind of ROI but advertising on AdWords allows you to generate profit as your organic presence builds up.

AdWords isn’t simply a shortcut to getting traffic on your site, though. It allows you to target users who aren’t looking for content anymore; they’re looking to buy. There’s a reason Google charges to advertise on its search engine – because it generates the kind of high-quality leads you can’t get elsewhere.

#6: Target high-intent users with your SEO strategy

Unlike paid advertising, SEO largely focuses on users who are still looking for content. Generally speaking, these are people who haven’t quite made up their minds yet. They might know they want to buy a new TV, but they’re not sure which model to go for. Essentially, they need help making a buying decision.

It’s important to understand what users look for as they progress along the buying journey. For example, someone who has booked a holiday but needs a hotel is very high-intent. They need a place to stay and it’s simply a case of finding the best place within their price range.

So let’s say you’re a small hotel, here’s your content idea: “Top 10 hotels in [location] for any budget”. Make this an evergreen piece of content that builds search authority over time and is always there for people looking for a room in the area.

#7: Target lower-intent leads as your SEO strategy matures

We all love high-intent leads but they’re sadly the minority of your potential customers. The vast majority are low-intent and end up doing business elsewhere, unless you capture them early enough and bring them closer to the sale.

Instead of looking for hotel rooms in your area, these people are still considering where to go on their holiday. So you’re recommending destinations rather than hotel choices at this earlier stage of the consumer journey.

#8: Website speed, bounce rate, etc.

Websites that offer a poor user experience aren’t much good to Google. The search giant wants to send users to pages that load quickly, are well-optimised for mobile and – above all – provide the content people are looking for.

Make performance a priority (speed, mobile optimisation, etc), refine your content to keep people on your page (reduce bounce rate) and guide users to the next relevant page.

#9: Automate everything you can

One of your biggest challenges as a small business is marketing efficiency. Keyword research, competitor analysis and everything else takes valuable time – all of which adds up very quickly.

The answer? Automate everything you can to cut down the workload of repetitive, time-consuming tasks.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/autom8.jpg

How many tools do you use in your small business?Infusionsoft’s 2017 Small Business Marketing Trends Report reveals that automation is not a priority for most small business owners. Which means this is another one of those competitor weaknesses you can exploit while they’re busy updating their Facebook status.

#10: Build an in-house team or hire an agency

The biggest misconception with small business SEO is that budgets are the main barrier. Whereas the real thing that stops a lot of smaller brands building a solid search presence is resources – i.e. not having the right team on board.

Going back to the Infusionsoft report, small business owners also tend to be the marketing manager for their brand. The problem is most small business owners aren’t marketers and they’re too busy running a business to dedicate the time it takes to build an online presence. Our advice – build a decent in-house marketing team or hire an SEO agency.

We understand SEO can be frustrating for smaller businesses but it doesn’t have to be an uphill struggle. With the right personnel on board, and automation taking care of reports and other technical SEO tasks, you’ll start to see real progress.

Small businesses have a lot to gain from the latest marketing technology. Agility is one of the biggest advantages you have over bigger brands so move quickly to adopt the latest SEO technology and techniques – this is the best chance you’ve got at jumping ahead of your competitors and giving bigger businesses something to think about.

Source: SEO: 10 Things Every Small Business Should Do

12- Sep2017
Posted By: DPadmin
131 Views

6 SEO Trends That Will Influence Your Content Marketing

In the world of marketing, there are plenty of trends for leaders to stay on top of. From PR trends that affect their branding on a larger scale to the content marketing and social media tools that affect their day-to-day communication, leaders have a lot on their plates.

I hate to be the guy who adds to your list, but if SEO isn’t also on your radar, you could be missing out on serious opportunities. Thankfully, Moz CEO Sarah Bird shared lots of valuable insights on the future of SEO at this year’s MozCon. My team rounded up a few of the biggest trends she highlighted and spoke with other experts in attendance to learn more about how SEO and content will affect brands’ marketing; here are six trends in SEO you need to know about:

1. Search is taking on new and different formats.

Most marketers tend to think of search as it relates to audiences typing queries into search engines, but that’s changing. You can now speak  directly to Alexa or Google Home and search using your own voice in your own words. Not only is this exciting for us as humans, but it ’ s also pushing the industry to learn more about its consumers and exactly what they want.

People are searching more than ever, probably because they have more ways to perform those searches. It’s your job as a leader and marketer to figure out how to influence search results on these different platforms and formats.That comes down to getting into your audience members’ heads, understanding who they are, and delivering what they want — only then can you start to unlock the analytical and creative processes of optimizing for search.

2. New formats mean new opportunities — but not all will translate into dollars for your brand right away.

This increase in search — and ways to search — doesn ’ t necessarily mean you ’ re going to be able to capitalize on it commercially. Think of recipes, for example:  People could be using Alexa to search certain recipes as they prepare dinner, but showing up as a result there probably won ’ t translate into dollars for your brand every time.  Some formats and types of searches reveal purchase intent, and others don ’ t; this change in search trends just reinforces how important it is for marketers to understand those differences and create and optimize accordingly.

3. Paid search is SEO’s biggest competitor for marketing dollars.

Despite the fact that people tend to scroll straight to organic results on search engine results pages, the paid ads industry is still huge, making pay-per-click one of the biggest competitors for would-be SEO dollars. Sure, PPC can be a great way to test your organic strategy or boost your high-performing organic efforts, but building out your organic SEO efforts is a more effective long-term strategy. Eventually, we’ll see more and more dollars funneled into marketers’ organic search efforts, but a lack of patience is keeping this from happening sooner.

4. Marketers have to remember the long-term benefits of their search strategies.

When marketers start making search a priority, it’s not uncommon to see them focus on short-term wins — early signs that things are going well — before they spend a lot of money on tactics that aren’t getting them much closer to their goals. The thing about search is that the biggest benefits typically aren’t visible right away.

Paying to play in the short term is fine to get started, but you have to build your long-term content marketing strategy to create a foundation for your brand and your audience over time. SEO is more of a brand-building and authority-boosting tool than a strict transaction. It doesn’t help that many times, marketers are incentivized to think in the short term, like through monthly or quarterly goals, instead of one to three years down the road. If you put in the time and budget to do it right, it should land you future sales calls, not just sales calls today. Marketers and content creators would do well to remember the big picture as they execute individual search tactics.

5. Content marketing is in a great spot for the future of search.

According to Matthew Edgar, co-owner of Elementive, one of the classic functions of SEO is shifting. In the past, marketers relied on search engines to drive traffic to their sites — but with Google now displaying content on SERPs instead of directing users away from the page and to new sites, this is starting to change.

Google wants to give users as much information and content as possible on SERPs directly instead of forcing them to navigate to and from different sites. This is a powerful reminder for marketers that content marketing must be truly valuable, educational, and engaging to readers, not simply designed to get people to a specific site.

And when people do land on your site — whether they’re coming from a Google search or elsewhere — you’ve got to make sure you’re delivering a meaningful experience with high-quality content. That’s how search engines will know your content is worth ranking or displaying in the first place.

6. The fundamentals behind search will guide marketers through these trends.

Heather Physioc, director of organic search at VML, noted that while the formats of the content we create and how we optimize that content will continue to evolve, the fundamentals will remain the same. Some of the biggest changes we’ve seen have come in how people perform searches, from searches on Ask Jeeves from a desktop computer to mobile and voice searches today. There are dozens of places to search for and consume content, but at the heart of it all is exceptional content.

I get it — keeping up with trends in SEO and actually executing a strategy that generates the kind of results you’re after is challenging. But it’s well worth the effort. It helps you build your brand, attract and engage your audience, and generate leads, sales, and opportunities. Start with these trends, and make SEO a priority for your team. If you don’t, I promise your competitors will.

Source: 6 SEO Trends That Will Influence Your Content Marketing

14- Aug2017
Posted By: DPadmin
147 Views

2017 growth hacks: Use affiliates to improve PPC reach

Owning more paid search spots on search results can increase your clicks by 30–50 percent for each additional spot that you occupy. To get this type of monster click growth from paid search, tap on your affiliates, partners and resellers to make a paid search land grab. For example, if your CTR (click-through rate) alone is 2 percent, removing one competitor and replacing it with one affiliate with a CTR of 0.8 percent grows your additive CTR to 2.8 percent — a 40 percent gain!

The learnings I am about to share come from years of working with search marketing clients through my position as CEO of The Search Monitor.

Growth hack 1: Use affiliates to protect brand terms

One of the most effective ways to use your affiliates is to box out competitors on your brand and brand+ keywords. In this hack, you will grant a trusted list of affiliates with brand bidding rights. Typically, you will also restrict ranking so that your ads always appear on top. By utilizing affiliates to fill in competitive ad spots on your brand+ keywords, you effectively reduce the reach of your competition.

The big benefit: More page real estate for you

This tactic works best if you are in a highly competitive space with three or more advertisers bidding on your brands. If you are already dominant — i.e., the only advertiser on your brand and brand+ keywords — then this tactic does not make sense for you.

The big challenge: Cannibalizing your clicks and messaging

To protect yourself from cannibalizing your SEM team’s efforts, you need to ensure a few safeties are in place:

  1. Your affiliates are granted limited rank rights so that you are always at the top.
  2. Your affiliates stay on message so that there are no conflicting offers showing.

Below is an example of Verizon taking advantage of this tactic. All of the top positions are for Verizon — nicely done!

By contrast, the screen shot below provides an example of ADT getting taken advantage of by not using this tactic. Positions 2, 3 and 4 are occupied by competitors.

If the cumulative CTR for ads on this keyword is 6 percent, then assuming the off-brand competitors are able to snag 2-3 percent CTR as a group, ADT has lost ~50 percent of its potential clicks. Given that SimpliSafe has a better offer at $15/month versus ADT’s offer of $9/week, the click loss might be higher than this.

Growth hack 2: Use affiliates to bid on brands you sell

To extend your reach, consider granting your trusted affiliates with direct linking rights to brand bid on brands that you sell. Direct linking involves an affiliate using your display URL in the ad (so that the ad looks like yours), and then driving the clicks through an affiliate link as the destination URL, then directly to your website.

The big benefit: More reach for you, no SEM budget changes

This tactic extends your paid search reach without extending your paid search budget. Your affiliates take on the risk and the budget, while driving traffic, branding and attention to your own website.

Amazon uses this tactic a lot. Amazon’s reach is tremendous because it uses this tactic across nearly every brand where you see an Amazon ad. The ads below are all direct linking ads from Amazon’s affiliates marketing on non-Amazon brands: Nike, Keurig, DKNY, Logitech and Verizon:

The big challenge: Direct linking is risky

Allowing affiliates to link directly is a bit risky, which is why most advertisers do not allow their affiliates to do it. A few problems can arise without careful monitoring:

  1. If the keyword lists overlap with your SEM team’s list, direct linking will cause tremendous channel conflict between the affiliate and paid search teams.
  2. Ad copy and messaging need to be carefully monitored to ensure that the messaging is on-brand.
  3. If the affiliate direct links on your own brand name, you have defeated the very purpose of this tactic; you should never allow affiliates to direct link on your own brand name.

To showcase these challenges, here are a few Amazon backfires:

  • Here, Amazon gave its affiliate too much leeway. The resulting keyword choice and ad copy messaging makes no sense:

  • Here, an Amazon affiliate sneaked up on Amazon’s own branded keyword. Brand bidding should never be allowed by direct linking affiliates. We call this problem “URL Hijacking”:

Do your homework

If you are going to deploy either of the above tactics, be sure to do your homework so that all goes well and you can sleep easily at night.

Define your search policy. Your affiliate agreement must describe exactly what is and is not allowed, including keyword bidding, messaging and direct linking.

Pick trusted affiliates. Pick affiliates who have the ability to manage SEM properly. To gauge trust, ask these questions:

  1. Is your affiliate monitoring its own activities? A huge credibility win is when your affiliate uses a compliance monitoring utility to police itself.
  2. Is your affiliate risky to other merchants? Try to gain insight into the brand bidding behavior that the affiliate poses towards other merchants.

Monitor for compliance and report often. For this plan to work, all of your affiliates must comply with your rules. Carefully monitor search results pages, automate reports, get alerts and fire off complaints if affiliates are not following your rules.

How will you know if this strategy is working?

Below are signs that your plan is working:

  • Your traffic increases from the paid search channel.
  • Your reach increases — your ads appear on more search results.
  • You see fewer competitors on your brand terms.
  • Your CPC (cost per click) decreases — our clients expect to see a 50-60 percent decrease in CPCs.
  • Your CTR increases — our clients have seen 30-40 percent increases in clicks.

Source: 2017 growth hacks: Use affiliates to improve PPC reach

11- Aug2017
Posted By: DPadmin
165 Views

Cost-effective digital advertising methods that every brand must adopt

A major advantage of digital advertising is Pay per Click payment mode, which means advertiser does not pay any extra amount to the partner website other than the number of clicks on the advertisement.

The best advertising strategy is one that helps the advertiser in delivering the message to a maximum number of people at a minimum cost. That is why from startup companies to large corporates; digital advertising is the first choice of smart businesses all over the world.

Almost a year back, the IT giant Cisco saved $ 100,000 when it decided to promote the newly launched router on digital platforms only. These days’ advertisers bet on digital advertising solutions because they help them accurately analyse the return on cost and the overall impact of an advertising campaign. A forecast made by PwC USA also claims that digital advertising is growing exponentially and American companies are going to spend $38.6bn by 2019 in this domain. In contrast, newspaper advertising is going to have a tough time and could experience a negative growth of 33% during the same period.

A major advantage of digital advertising is Pay per Click (PPC) payment mode, which means advertiser does not pay any extra amount to the partner website other than the number of clicks on the advertisement. Besides, display of an ad on both desktop and mobile screen ensure maximum outreach of a brand. Also, the mass appeal of social media and the availability of advanced analytical tools on social networks make Digital Advertising highly cost-effective and result oriented.

Strategies that Bring Results and Save Money
The cost of digital advertising is significantly cheaper than traditional advertising and businesses can save a great amount of if they carefully focus on the following things.

To ensure best returns from a digital advertising campaign, it should be targeted to the right audience. Advertisers who carefully select their target audience using the first-party data, second-party data, and third-party data as per their relevance receive impressions from the potential customers only. Data-based audience segmentation empowers advertisers with informed bidding decisions which ensure the success of an ad campaign and save money for the businesses.

Chase the Majority with Dayparting
Dayparting means dividing the scheduled week/day into multiple time slots and selecting those time slots when potential customers are expected to view and click on the ad. Various analytical tools help to study and predict the media consumption behaviour of the target audience and enable the advertiser to broadcast the ad at the right time. Dayparting ensures maximum return from a digital ad campaign because it empowers the advertiser with effective bidding strategies.

Keep the Campaign Fresh with Frequency Capping
Frequency capping decides that how many times the ad will be displayed or broadcasted to the particular audience during the total duration of the campaign. Advertisers who strategically fix the frequency capping usually get better attention of the people and they positively influence the decision of the prospective buyer. Low-frequency cap is considered beneficial for new campaigns with fresh creative while in the case of repeat/revised campaign frequency capping should be increased moderately.

Choose the Right Destination with Geotargeting
Geo targeting means more qualified leads and maximum utilisation of the ad spends because it allows the advertiser to run a campaign in selected geographical locations. The target area can be finalised within a particular state, city or even a selected region of the city which ultimately reduce advertising waste. Geotargeting is an ideal way to control advertisement investments in digital landscapes as it enables the advertiser to develop a customised campaign for niche segments. Geotargeting is also a very useful tool for advertisers in collecting the information of potential customers, their buying habits and consumption behaviour. It also helps them to study market trends, the position of the competitors and what approaches they are following to promote their products.

Source: Cost-effective digital advertising methods that every brand must adopt

29- Jun2017
Posted By: DPadmin
133 Views

Going Local for 2017: Local Search Engine Marketing Strategy

If you know anything about SEO marketing strategies, then you probably know that they’re incredibly fickle. Just as soon as one “best practices” article appears online telling you how to make the most of the latest update, there’s another algorithm ready to go in and mess everything up again.

There are many different strands of SEO to consider, and one that’s often under-estimated is local SEO. As the name might suggest, local SEO is all about appealing to customers in your general area. Perfect for small businesses and brick-and-mortar companies with an online presence, local SEO helps you pinpoint your customers when they need you most – for instance, when they’re searching for somewhere to go for dinner, or a nearby place to buy shoes. After all:

Across the globe, local competition in the digital sphere is heating up, and it’s crucial for businesses to learn how they can improve their search efforts if they want to get ahead of the game this year. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do this, from refining your content, to taking social media measures. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the most-up-to-date, and timeless tips you can follow to enhance your Local SEO marketing strategy.

Tip 1: Your Title and Meta Description Tags are Still Important

Meta description and title tags are elements of HTML that can be customized to outline the content of a webpage. In other words, it’s like a mini-advertisement, a taster of what your consumer can expect when they click onto your page.

Not so long ago, Google increased the width of the primary search engine results area, which meant that description and title tags were able to get a little bit longer. However, keeping things short and simple is often the best way to go.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/pasted-image-0-8-600×294.png

Take advantage of the space that you have, but use it wisely. Make sure that you double-check to ensure that you’re hitting keywords, and that your titles aren’t getting cut off in the search results. If you’re not sure how your tags are going to look in action, you can use emulators like the Yoast SEO Plugin for extra help.

Tip 2: Use the Local Schema Markup

Local schema markups are basically structured pieces of data that inform search engines of what your business does, and where it does it. These markups are only used by around 31.3% of websites, but when accessed in your marketing strategy, they can be a great way to make your business stand out, and even ensure that you rank higher than your competitors.

Google wants you to make the most of schema markups because it helps their bots to crawl through your website and find out what you’re all about. That’s why they’ve introduced their very own “Structured Data Testing Tool” which will help you to pinpoint errors in your data.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/pasted-image-0-1-1.png

Correctly using a schema markup can raise your local ranking by several positions -yet most businesses still don’t do it. That’s great news for you – since you can take advantage of the benefits other companies in your niche are missing out on.

Tip 3: Optimize “Google my Business”

Google estimates that around 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to conduct their local searches. However, despite this, many small businesses have never claimed a single listing online – which means they’re missing out on some serious opportunities for growth.

One of the most important listings you can organize today is your “Google my Business.” This listing influences search engine users, and some studies show that users who view a complete listing are 30% more likely to visit a store.

If you’re looking for SEO rankings, then it’s worth knowing that Google likes to keep things in-house. In other words, it prefers its own business listings when giving local results to users. Additionally, if you want to make sure that you show up for the most relevant search results in your niche, then you’ll need to optimize your listing, hopefully with a lot of great reviews.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/pasted-image-0-2-1.png

Source

 

Webcast, July 6th: Advanced SEO Site Auditing

Tip 4: Publish Plenty of Locally Optimized Content

When you need information, where do you go?

Once upon a time, the answer might have been “a phonebook”, or “a library”, but today, nine times out of ten, you’ll get your information from the internet. Businesses can boost their presence online by providing content that’s connected not only to their business and niche, but their local area too. For instance, it’s the difference between writing a blog called “How to Find Great Shoes”, and “How to Find Great Shoes in New York”.

Since search engines prefer fresh content, it’s a good idea to use your blog to post plenty of copy answering questions that people might have in your industry. Make sure to include your keywords in the title, tags, and headlines consistently, and organically. At the same time, you can expand your content marketing strategy efforts by sharing locally-optimized pieces on social media too.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/pasted-image-0-3-1-600×398.png

Source

Tip 5: Build an Appropriate Link Strategy

Links that span outwards from your company’s website to other websites, and vice versa, are essential to your business marketing strategy. These links help to indicate the authority and credibility of your business to Google, so that it knows where it should rank you. Links are great, but if you try to game the system and fill your pages full of them, you’re just going to end up damaging your reputation in the long-run.

Instead, you need to focus on building strong, reputable links with local companies, brands, and communities. For instance:

  • You could share links on social media to stories from local publications that are relevant to your industry
  • Include links to your website in your email newsletters, and the updates you post for customers
  • Sponsor or host local events that allow you to link out to neighborhood businesses, or ask for guest-spots posting on their blogs

Perhaps the most important part of building an authentic link strategy is to make sure it’s authentic. Ensure you know exactly who you’re linking to, and that the people you connect with are relevant to your business. Also, make sure that you don’t venture out to third-party content providers who claim they can fill your content full of SEO-boosting links. Trust me when I say this could have a disastrous impact on your reputation.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/pasted-image-0-4-1-600×343.png

Source

Tip 6: Post more Customer Reviews Where They Matter Most

According to recent surveys, around 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. In other words, if someone isn’t sure whether they should buy your product, they’ll go elsewhere for advice on what to do.

Google has put a great deal of emphasis on customer reviews lately, showing snippets on the search engine results page with bright golden stars designed to draw attention to your business. Getting those reviews to show up in relation to your business is one of the best ways you can boost your business trust levels, and enhance click-through rates.

The best way to increase your chances of getting great reviews for your company is to offer incredible products or services, and simply ask your customers for what you need. Some people will be so impressed by your product that they’ll be happy to write a testimonial for you without any prompting, whereas others might need the promise of a future discount to get their fingers twitching.

Either way, by adding positive customer reviews to your local SEO marketing strategy, you’re giving people close to your business the information they need, when they need it most. If someone passes your store and wonders whether you’re trustworthy, or worth their money, then all they need to do is look at those golden stars.

Building Local SEO

Obviously, building your local presence is only one aspect of a killer marketing campaign, but it’s one of the best ways to combine your offline and online advertising efforts for more traffic and more customers. If you can give your customers the information they need to find your store, and then offer an incredible experience that links back to your brand, you’ll be on your way to a profit-generating reputation in no time.

Source: Going Local for 2017: Local Search Engine Marketing Strategy