Local Business Marketing Strategy – How to Write Effective Text Ads for AdWords

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Local Business Marketing StrategyOne of the most critical pieces of the puzzle when it comes to a successful AdWords campaign is your ad copy. Writing a killer ad won’t just increase your chances of showing up on the top listings; it will also drive in a lot more traffic.

So how do you write effective text ads? Below you’ll discover some of the best tips to follow…

1. Learn from your competitors

More often than not, killer ads aren’t created overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort to realize what works and what doesn’t. If you want to get it right the first time, it helps to look at your competitor’s PPC campaigns.

They will have no doubt put a lot of effort into their text ads over the years. They’ll have done numerous tests and spent a lot of money figuring out which keywords work best for example. So, carry out a search on the keywords you plan to target and see what your competitors are focusing on. That gives you a great idea of which ones are going to be most effective for you.

2. Make use of numbers and symbols

One tip you may not have thought of is incorporating numbers and symbols into your ads. These really help your ads stand out from the competition and more effectively catch the eye than a simple block of text.

For example, an ad which contains something along the lines of “Save up to 50% when you buy today,” is going to draw in a lot more visitors than “great prices guaranteed.”

3. Focus on just one feature

It’s common for businesses to try to advertise all of the key features of a product or service in an ad. After all, the more benefits you list, the more chance customers are going to click on the ad right? Wrong!

There simply isn’t enough space to effectively market all of the benefits of a product in Google AdWords. Instead, focus on the main feature your target audience is likely to be interested in. You could always run several ads, each focusing on different features and figure out which works best for attracting visitors.

Writing killer text ads takes time and effort. The above tips can save you a lot of hard work and help you to get the most out of your PPC campaigns.

Need help creating effective text ads? Contact us to learn more call

Local Business Marketing Strategy – 7 LinkedIn Profile Mistakes to Avoid

Monday, August 7th, 2017

With LinkedIn rising quickly to become one of the largest professional marketplaces in internet history, it is more important than ever to make sure that your presence on it lets you stand out in a positive, professional way.

You never know who is going to stumble upon your profile; and when they do, you want to make sure they leave feeling impressed and inclined to stay connected.

In order to capitalize on your LinkedIn presence, it is necessary to carefully construct your profile in order to show the best of your brand to potential customers and clients.

The 7 Most Common Profile Mistakes On LinkedIn

1. No Picture – On the Internet, one of the easiest ways to shoot yourself in the foot is to avoid putting up a picture of yourself or your company logo. The fact is that, in the minds of the masses, no picture means not human, i.e. a robot or fake profile.

2. Boring Headline – You have 120 characters you can use to describe yourself in your profile headline. Most people either go strictly by the book and use their job title only or describe themselves in superfluous, mellifluous language that nobody understands or cares about. Go for a middle ground approach that represents you not only clearly, but distinctively as well.

3. Not Updating – Granted, Twitter and Facebook are much more favorable to constant feeds of your activity, but LinkedIn is the perfect place to keep interested clients and customers up to date on what you are up to in a professional sense. News like a colleague’s promotion or a recent article about the company will work perfectly here.

4. Updating With The Wrong Content – If you choose to update your LinkedIn profile with the same things you would put on your personal Facebook page, you should re-examine your social media strategy. Different social platforms have different purposes; and your content should mesh with the purpose of each platform for the best results.

5. Not Using Your Company Description Effectively – This 2000-character space might look fine with some general information about your business, but it is too important of an area to simply copy and paste some sales copy into it.

This is the area where search engine algorithms will be looking most intently for keywords, so you want to make sure you add a few, as well as key figures and statistics that reflect your businesses’ success.

6. Not Connecting With Your Existing Relations – Chances are that the suppliers you work with for your business are also on LinkedIn. Connecting at this level can help to show that your business is both established and active, as well as earn you customers through other relationships those suppliers may have.

7. Profile Set to Private – This could go without saying, but a “private” profile makes it hard for people to find it. Therefore, when you set yours up, make sure it is set to “public” so that new leads can easily find your business.

Need help maximizing your LinkedIn profile? Contact us to learn more call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – How Online Videos can Help Achieve Customer Loyalty

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Local Business Marketing SuccessVideo marketing is widely known for its excellent customer attraction benefits. In fact, short, helpful and promotional videos are becoming the preferred way consumers choose to consume online content.

So obviously, it’s great for attracting new customers.

However, did you know that it is just as good at retaining customers as it is at gaining new ones?

Using online videos is a great way to build up customer loyalty. So how can you do this?

Building Yourself up as a Trusted Resource

Videos perform a lot better than written content. They’re easier to digest and are extremely effective when it comes to engaging your target audience. When it comes to creating videos for customer retention, there are a few things you need to remember.

First, the video needs to be useful. With customer retention, you need to focus more upon delivering advice and information, rather than promotional content.
You can also release videos in a series, rather than one-off posts. That way, the customer will continue to come back for more as they will start to see you as a trusted resource for information.

The more they trust you, the more likely they’re going to be to buy from you again.

Helping to Build up a Personal Relationship

Brands face a lot of struggles in today’s digital world. One of the main things that has changed due to the high level of competition out there, is customers now expect to develop a personal relationship with a brand.

They like to know who they are buying from. Therefore, you need to give your business a voice if you want to keep your customers coming back. Video is one of the best ways to do this.

It really helps to use your own employees and premises in the video. That way, customers get to know you, they can clearly see the faces they are buying from and it does develop a more sustainable relationship.

You can also make use of storytelling as they tend to play on the viewer’s emotions. Creating a video that triggers happiness, fear and laughter for example, tend to be the most effective.

Overall, video can be a very powerful way to build customer loyalty. Just be sure to research as much as you can prior to making a video. There are so many mistakes you could end up making that would turn customers off, rather than keep them around.

Need help creating your company videos? Contact us to learn more call

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Google Local Listings 3-Pack will now Include Paid Ads

Monday, July 24th, 2017

It wasn’t that long ago Google decided to ditch its popular local 7-pack in favor of a smaller 3-pack. However, things are set to change once again as the search engine giant ditches one organic local listing and replaces it with a paid ad.

The result? Well, now it’s a 2-pack PLUS an ad, making it much more difficult for businesses to appear in the top listings organically.

Ad Space will now be Sold to the Highest Bidder

That all important third spot on Google’s original 3-pack, is now open to all businesses. It was already difficult enough for businesses to reach the top 3, so with 33% of that ad space now being offered up to the highest bidder, it opens the door for AdWords users to claim their space there.

Some experts feel that there are some disadvantages to this recent change; one being that Google is now set to gain a lot more revenue as businesses are forced to pay to appear in that third space.

They argue that:

  • Good, genuine businesses could be penalized
  • Users will have a worse search experience
  • There will likely be an increase in grey tactics as businesses try desperately to get ahead of their competitors

It does appear to be a confusing step backwards by the search giant. Google has taken several measures over the past decade to ensure its search results are more relevant. Now, it appears to be focusing more upon its own profits than it does providing relevant, useful results.

What can Businesses Do?

So what should you do to increase your chances of being shown in Google’s local listing results? Unless your listings are already ranking highly, you may need to consider paying.

Paid AdWords campaigns are a great effective way to ensure you are showing up in relevant searches. The great thing about AdWords is you can control your budget. Limit the amount you’re willing to spend on AdWords campaigns each day and keep track of how certain keywords are working for you.

When done right, AdWords can be an incredibly successful and powerful marketing tool. Of course, the change also gives you the opportunity to gain more exposure in the top spots, providing you’re willing to spend more. You could end up occupying the top organic spot and the top paid spot if you work hard enough.

The change to the Google 3-pack is going to present more challenges to local businesses overall. However, you can limit the damage, as well as gain the competitive advantage simply by leveraging the power of AdWords campaigns.

Need help with your Google Local Listing? Contact us to learn more call

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Avoid Losing Customers Due to NAP Inconsistencies

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Local Business Marketing StrategyIn an age where social media is more relevant than local newspapers and local listings are more relevant than the physical Yellow Pages, it has become increasingly important to maintain a consistent business profile online.

NAP stands for the “name,” “address,” and “phone number,” and makes up the basic elements of your company’s online profile.

NAP accuracy can strengthen your company’s credibility and overall brand, while inconsistencies can deter and discourage potential customers. In short, when someone searches for your company on a local web engine such as Google or Yahoo, the ideal situation is that all contact information remains consistent and updated.

Beyond the technicalities of potential customers not being able to reach your company, having the wrong information posted online can also detract from the amount of attention you are receiving in a search.

Google tracks the citations of the business and omits certain information from searches when they detect inconsistent information. The technology Google uses to track your business information will match your listings with as many search results as possible. The less variation you have in this information, the higher the ranking your business could potentially have.

This function was designed to provide the most optimized and relevant search results to users, but can also serve as a major marketing disadvantage to business owners who are not aware of their online profile.

Keeping all of your business’s listing information relevant and synced at all times ensures that your business data is being distributed to the largest number of people possible. The more potential customers you have accessing your business profile, the better chance your business has of succeeding.

Types of Inconsistencies to Avoid

The technical aspect of NAP consistency can be as specific as ending your company’s name with an “Inc.” or “Co.” Some other popular mistakes that business owners make are:

  • Using various spellings and/or abbreviations of the company name
  • Having duplicate listings
  • Misinformation
  • Incomplete information

These errors will create confusion within servers and even among potential clients.

When maintaining consistency, it is important to include area code numbers when listing phone numbers, and spelling out the correct street suffix when providing addresses. Search engines can detect these minute details, which could negatively influence your business’s search ranking if incorrect.

The first step to fixing NAP inconsistency is to take control of your listings on search engines. You can easily do this by typing your business name into a web engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

Then, you can view and make any changes to the listings that are already available online. By following these steps, you are taking the first initiative to creating a stronger marketing strategy for your business. That stronger marketing strategy will result in more customers and better sales.

Need help checking the accuracy of your NAP? Contact us to learn more call

Local Business Marketing Strategy – 5 Tips for Creating the Perfect LinkedIn Company Page

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Local Business Marketing SuccessYour LinkedIn Company Page is one of the most important elements of your presence on this social media web service. In order to maximize the benefits of using LinkedIn, it is necessary to have an eye-catching company page that represents you and your business in a meaningful way.

Five Ways You Can Improve Your Company Page

1. Choose a Recognizable and Eye – Catching Banner – The banner of your company page is the first thing that most customers and business partners will see when they enter your page. For this reason, it is very important that your banner be recognizable and effectively branded.

Customers will associate a professional-looking banner with a high quality page that offers useful information, products and services to them. Color is very important here, as choosing a scheme that matches your company brand, as well as the rest of the page, will create a smooth, pleasant experience for anyone who lands on your page.

Another important tip for creating your banner is to make it different than the one you use on your company Facebook or Twitter accounts.

2. Examine your Wording – Two of the greatest pitfalls to an otherwise healthy company page is the overuse of industry buzzwords and standard search terms that every business in the field would use. In order to help your page stand out, it is best to minimize your wordiness as much as possible.

Even though it is tempting to try and prove your company’s worth through a detailed history of your successes on the market, those four paragraphs of information are going to wear out your user’s eyes before they finish reading. Keep your wording short and succinct for the best results.

3. Include a Video – Customers and potential business partners who land on your page may not have time or may lack the mood to read too much. A quick, 30-second video that summarizes your company, the products or services you offer and your goals will help immensely in completing an attractive company profile.

4. Keep Your Information Up To Date – This should come off as an obvious tip, but it is an important one, that many people forget about over time. There are quite a few LinkedIn profiles that, despite a very polished, professional look and approach, still display an old address of the company or an industry that does not match the company profile exactly.

5. Update the Page – One of the most important aspects of using LinkedIn is keeping it active. This means taking advantage of the blog-style news feed format and delivering links to useful information, just like you would on Twitter.

In fact, you can crosslink your posts in order to communicate more easily with your LinkedIn audience through another social media site. This lets you double the effectiveness of any post.

Need help improving your LinkedIn company page? Contact us to learn more call

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Not Considering User Intent? Your SEO Strategy is Incomplete

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Local Business Marketing Strategy“Just Google it” is the phrase you probably hear everywhere you go nowadays. As search engines continue to improve by focusing more on user experience, your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy should always consider decoding user intent.

What is User Intent?

User intent refers to anything customers intend to look for when they conduct a search query on the Internet. The intent may be shown through keywords or by implication. For instance, if you type the word “crawfish” into many search engines, a list of local seafood restaurants appears as a result. The search engine matches the user intent based on search data, click data, and heuristics, and no longer produces old simple results from keywords. Thus, successful SEO strategy requires a good grasp of user intent.

Different Types of User Intent

There are typically three main types of user intent: navigational, informational, and transactional. Navigational intent is when a user wants to get to a certain site. If a user tries to look for information, it is called informational intent. And when a user wants to perform an activity or purchase something online, it is considered transactional intent.

How to Create Content That Relates

To develop a solid SEO content strategy, you need to understand what customers truly want about your products or service and would be more likely to put in their online search. The initial step is to list everything your business does and wants to be looked up for.

Categorize those things into types of user intent and assign value to each one to help prioritize efforts and resource allocation. Then, brainstorm about the types of media, message, or graphics that need to be created to match with the user intent incorporated in your marketing plan.

User Intent Differences Across Devices

Users move across platforms and devices to search and make decisions. It is vital that your SEO agency can help you plan a content approach that reaches multiple media channels where potential customers can possibly have access.

Mobile users may aim at finding a quick answer, compared to longer results on a desktop. For instance, a user who looks for “furniture” on a phone is more likely to pay attention to the differences in prices and images of the product than to detailed descriptions of it. Therefore, the time element plays a role in the types of products searched on devices.

Moreover, mobile search tends to yield more local-based results. This means regional business owners can advertise to and capture local customers with promotions that cater to a specific demographic. When a user uses location-based keywords such as “hot tub dealer in San Jose,” you have a clear indication of what the user is searching for. With this information, design content, product positioning, and a marketing plan will be simplified.

Shifting the focus of keyword search to user intent will help business owners seize more opportunity to attract and accommodate customers. The success rate depends on how much you understand user intent and are able to develop a content strategy around it.

Need help with SEO? Contact us to learn more call

Local Business Marketing Strategy – How to Write Facebook Ad Copy that Converts

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Are your Facebook ads failing to convert? The answer could be in your content.

Attracting potential customers is one thing, but getting them to actually visit your website and fill out a form is entirely another. While Facebook ads have the power to bring in millions of potential customers, there are a lot of mistakes you can make when writing them.

Here you’ll discover how to write Facebook ad copy that converts and subsequently boosts your bottom line.

Make Sure it’s Relevant

One of the main reasons many Facebook ads fail to convert is because they aren’t relevant to the content they’re linked to. So, if you’re finding you have a high click-through rate, but a low conversion rate in comparison, relevance could be the issue.

Make sure what you write in the ad, accurately reflects what the user is going to receive. If the link from the ad just takes them to your homepage for example, rather than a dedicated landing page related to the ad, your conversion rate will suffer.

Create a Compelling Headline

As you’re only given 25 characters for the headline, it’s vital you make the most of them.

One of the worst things you can do is use your business name. This is surprisingly common, yet it’s going to prove really ineffective. Why? Because it acts as more of a statement than an enticement.

Your jobs here is to make people want to click on the ad and to do that they’re going to need a compelling reason. A great way to do this is to include discount or promotional information such as “50% off all products”. This captures the attention right away and provides a good reason for users to click through.

Include an Image

In the world of marketing, images are much more effective than written content. What’s great about Facebook ads is they allow you to use multiple pictures in the same ad. It’s actually quite clever as you can set it so that different images appear to different groups of people.

Just be sure to check the guidelines to see what size restrictions apply to Facebook ads to prevent your ad from getting rejected.

The above tips will help you to ensure your ads not only grab your audience’s attention, but will lead to a higher conversion rate. The more ad viewers you can convert into customers, the more revenue you can add to your bottom line.

Need help creating your Facebook ad? Contact us to learn more call

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Is Pinterest Right for Your Local Business?

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Even though Pinterest is essentially an online tool that people spend time on to find funny images and delicious recipes, it can have a lot of benefits when it comes to promoting local businesses.

You have to find out, however, if your local business is in line with the expectations of Pinterest users or if it’s better to just focus your attention on other tools and online resources for targeting local customers.

Is Pinterest Good for Your Local Business Campaign?

Before determining whether or not Pinterest promotional techniques are a good idea for improving your local business’ recognition, you have to find out if there’s an actual market for your products on the website and if you have the ability to sustain a consistent marketing campaign that could yield actual results.

Along these lines, there are a number of aspects you need to take into account before you can determine whether or not Pinterest would be a valid marketing tool to use as part of your local promotion campaigns:

  • Are the products and/or services you are selling presentable in a visual way? This is highly essential for any business trying to promote its efforts on Pinterest, since the social network itself is based on compelling, visually appealing images that users would be intrigued by.
  • It’s important to note that you have to live in a community that either browses Pinterest and other online social media outlets on an active basis, or that has a steady stream of visitors or tourists coming in from highly populated areas where online shopping and browsing are used on a regular basis.
  • You also need to determine whether your business will appeal to female audience members. Up to 70% of all Pinterest users are women, so you’d definitely lose a lot of ground if you can’t promote your local business in such a way that it would be appealing to them.
  • Finally, it’s important to actually have enough time and resources to use Pinterest on a daily basis. This doesn’t simply involve going online and repinning other people’s pins or following local accounts, but also has to do with the time, energy and money that may need to go into buying online ads, creating informational or entertaining images and posting attractive pins on a regular basis.

Steps for Maximizing Your Local Following

Even if you don’t own a clothing shop, a toy store, a restaurant or a retail store – which would normally be the best types of local businesses to promote on Pinterest – there are still a number of ways to use the social network to your advantage.

You can create attractive infographics outlining the benefits of your practice and niche, share attractive images with tips relating to the services you have to offer and build funny, entertaining or creative pins that would influence people to visit your shop just out of pure curiosity.

Although not every business can benefit from Pinterest, there are certainly a great number of advantages that can be gained from a good presentation with catchy graphics and informative pins that will capture the attention of your audience, as well as increase your brand authority and reputation in a positive manner.

Need help utilizing Pinterest? Contact us to learn more call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – The Importance of Providing a Seamless Online and Offline Customer Experience

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Local Business Marketing StrategyCustomer loyalty is a hard thing to maintain these days. Consumers expect a lot from businesses and know if they aren’t happy, there are plenty of competitors they can switch to.

One thing small businesses absolutely need to do if they want to succeed is ensure both their online and offline customer experiences are seamless. At one time, it was all about taking care of customers who physically came into your store. These days however, even local customers are turning to the internet to make purchasing decisions.

What do customers want?
So what does it mean to offer a seamless customer experience both online and offline? Well, you first need to understand what your customers want.

These days, customers want maximum convenience. This means they expect to be able to buy your products and services through whichever channel they prefer. They also expect to be able to contact you easily via numerous channels.

In order to build customer loyalty therefore, you need to make your business as accessible and as easy to contact as possible.

It’s worth sitting down and figuring out just how flawless your current customer experience is. Look at both your online presence and your offline service. Is there anything that can be improved upon?

You probably already have a website, which is great. But the fact that many customers are now using their mobile devices to shop and find out company information gives you a unique opportunity to expand your marketing efforts.

With on-the-go customers, you can make use of in-app messaging, geo-targeting and many other methods. Mobile optimization offers you more digital channels to stay connected with your target audience, which ultimately increases sales.

Giving the customer numerous ways to engage with you is priceless because you have removed some of the barriers. Make things easier for them and they will thank you with long-term loyalty.

Think about it, if you were having trouble finding the information you needed to either contact a company or buy from them, would you persist or would you try another company?

I’m sure you know the answer. So be sure to pay as much attention to your online customer experience as you do with your offline experience to boost overall retention.

Also be sure to ask for and act on customer feedback too. This will alert you to any existing problems customers are having during the buying or browsing process. It also gives you the opportunity to develop trust by showing you actually reply and listen to customer feedback.

Need help evaluating your customer experience? Contact us to learn more call

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