Author Archive

Local Business Marketing Strategy – 5 Ways to Show Off Your Awesome Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Monday, May 29th, 2017

You probably already know how important reviews are in terms of marketing your products and services. They break down the barriers your potential customers may have when trying to decide whether or not to do business with you.

Reviews and testimonials can bring a lot of credibility to your business, which ultimately results in higher conversions and more revenue.

Whether you’re a dentist, handyman, attorney, chiropractor, electrician, or other local services company, it is important to build up a certain level of trust with your prospects – and reviews can help you do just that.

In other words, they bring an incredible level of profitability that businesses cannot afford to ignore.

Maybe you already have some glowing reviews and are wondering how to get more eyes on them. This is key.

Here are three places you can show them off for maximum exposure:

1. Your website
Displaying customer reviews on your actual website will really help draw in sales because these prospects are obviously already interested in your business. So putting your customer reviews and testimonials where they can clearly see them will only work to your benefit. Ideally, you should have a testimonials page, but don’t be shy about posting a few of them on your home page and other pages as well.

2. Social media
It’s hardly surprising that displaying your reviews on social media is going to give you ultimate exposure. With millions of visitors every day, these sites give you the opportunity to show off your ratings to a massive number of people. Take Facebook for example.

If you go to the ‘about’ section on your business page timeline, you’ll see it if you edit the address section, there’s an option to check a box which reads “show map, check-ins and star ratings on the page”.

3. Place them inside of your special reports or buyer’s guides
If you’re giving away free e-books or reports to get opt-ins for your email list, put your reviews and testimonials inside of them to boost results. You’re already giving them helpful information that they find valuable by providing the content. Including your reviews and testimonials will further add to the fact that your business is the right one to meet their needs.

4. Add them to your printed marketing materials
Just like everything mentioned above, reviews and testimonials can also help any printed advertising perform better. Most of the time, you may be limited on space, but it only really takes one or two reviews to show prospects that you are reputable.

5. At your place of business
Showing off your reviews and testimonials inside of your place of business is powerful. It’s a great way to show existing customers that they’ve made the right choice and can go a long way in customer retention and referrals.

Reviews and testimonials themselves are important. But it’s where you display them that brings the real value. Displaying them in the places mentioned above will definitely shine a positive light on your business, increase conversions, and help you generate more sales.

Want to Get More 5 Star Reviews and minimize negative ones?  Are you a hot tub dealer or pool builder?  If so, click here to check out our Dealer Automated Reviews System

Need help utilizing your reviews and testimonials? Contact us to learn more call

Local Business Marketing Strategy – 3 Signs That Your SEO Is Failing

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Local Business Marketing StrategySearch Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process by which your website is built with the goal of having it appear higher in search results. This criterion is always changing to keep up with searchers’ needs and expectations, so your approach to your site design must change to keep up with them.

If it has been a few months since your site was updated, you may notice your conversion rate dropping off. To help you judge your site’s SEO effectiveness, these are 3 signs that your SEO is failing.

1. Phone Calls Slow Down
When your website is left to fend for itself, it quickly becomes out of date. Search engines like Google look at the last time your site was updated and use that as part of their ranking criteria. Sites that are updated often are ranked higher, thereby generating more top hits and, as a result, more conversion from search results to customer contact. When your SEO is out of date, you will notice a market decline in customer contacts, including phone calls, over the course of a couple months.

2. Decline in Organic Website Traffic
Organic traffic is one of the most reliable ways to measure the effectiveness of your SEO, as it refers to the people who found your website through a search engine. If you log into the Google Analytics tool then click on “Acquisitions,” you will see a breakdown of where the traffic to your site is coming from, including searches, social media, direct visits, and referrals. This is something you want to keep an eye on monthly, if not weekly, to look for any drops and where they are coming from.

3. Drop in Keyword Rankings
While keywords are not as major a factor in search rankings as they once were, they still count toward the way Google views your website. Keywords now play a role more aligned with the intent of the person searching. This means building higher quality, more relevant content features into your content rather than strictly building it around specific keywords. By using a half a dozen or so keywords as your reference point, you can watch their performance to determine how they affect your rankings.

Oversaturating your website with keywords is another way to lose rank in the Google search algorithm. If you are overusing keywords and clumping them all together at the top of your page, Google will look at this as spam and will drop your ranking accordingly. Keeping an eye on keyword performance can be tedious, but it can provide a good deal of information about your rankings.

So, how do you address these problems? The key is to stay updated on the criteria the major search engines use to determine how your website fits into the searches being conducted. Spread out your keyword usage throughout the page with no more than a 3 percent ratio of keywords to content. Keep your site updated regularly, ultimately weekly, so Google knows is it not abandoned. Most importantly, make use of Google’s reporting features to learn where improvements are necessary, and your site will remain on top.

Need help improving your SEO? Contact us to learn more call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – 3 Facebook Ad Bidding Tips

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Local Business Marketing StrategyThink all you have to do to create successful Facebook ads is utilize a stand-out design and write killer copy? Think again…

While the above is definitely going to help, it’s not going to do anything at all if you aren’t bidding properly. When done incorrectly, you could end up failing to reach a massive portion of your target audience, as well as waste a lot of money in the process.

So how should you bid? Below you’ll discover 3 great Facebook ad bidding tips…

1. Do a split test
One of the most vital tips you can follow to ensure you’re bidding correctly is to carry out split tests. This basically involves testing out different types of ads.

A good example is creating two of the same ad and targeting two different demographics. You then measure exactly which demographic responded better to the ad.

You could also do this with keywords. Try out ads that focus on different keywords and see which produce the highest click-through rate.

It’s impossible to tell whether you’re bidding correctly, without knowing which types of bids bring the best results.

2. Consider your objective
The objective of the ad will very much affect the bid strategy you should use. If you’re looking to gain more conversions and increase sales, the pay per click bidding strategy is the one you’ll want to go with.

In fact, this is the bidding strategy recommended to all businesses just getting started with Facebook ads. It’s really easy to control your budget and the ads encourage people to click on them.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to boost brand awareness, you might be better off with a pay per impression strategy. This allows you to pay for a set amount of views for your ad. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the users will click on it, but it does gradually build up your brand awareness and is pretty cheap compared to pay-per-click.

3. Don’t bid too low
It’s common for local businesses to start off with a very low budget. After all, you don’t want to end up wasting a lot of money if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, bidding too low is going to be detrimental.

A low bid won’t get your ad displayed to a large target audience, so the returns you make are also going to be low. You should start with a budget of at least $10 per day, but the more you can spend, the higher the returns are going to be.

These are some tips you can use to ensure your Facebook ad bidding strategy delivers the best results. The key is to do as much research as you can before bidding to ensure you know exactly what you’re doing.

Need help creating your Facebook ad? Contact us to learn more call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Monitor Your Success with Google Analytics

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Local Business Marketing StrategyGoogle Analytics can be your best friend if you’re trying to get detailed statistics about your website’s traffic numbers and traffic sources. In fact, it’s the most popular analytics tool online.

The basic service is free, but there is a fee for the premium version. For a majority of users, the basic version should be good enough to get the information you need.

Google Analytics is an effective local business marketing strategy that you can use to track traffic from all sources, including social networks and search engines, as well as direct visits and links from other sites. It can also keep track of email marketing, pay-per-click campaigns, and display advertising.

Smart Tips for Using Google Analytics

If you’re already using Google Analytics, you probably log in, look around a little, and then leave with a hazy idea of what is going on with your traffic. In other words, you’re hardly scratching the surface of what’s possible with this robust platform.

There are probably a ton of features that you’re not taking advantage of. Here are some tips that will help you use the platform more effectively.

Look at long-term trends

Google Analytics will show you results from the last 30 days by default. This is great for looking into what has been working recently.

However, you should extend the graph to show you up to six months’ worth of data to look at bigger trends. You will be able to see which pages are sending the most traffic. You can even go back a year or more if you want.

Long-term data is important for helping you identify any patterns and allow you to make smarter decisions about adjusting your marketing plans going forward.

Look at how visitors are using your site

In addition to the number of visitors or page views, you also want to see how those people are using your site. What content are they finding the most useful? How long are they staying on the most popular pages? Which pages are the users leaving almost immediately?

Google Analytics can help you answer specific questions along these lines as well; giving you a first-hand view of what you need to do to better serve your existing customers, as well as generate new leads.

When you know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong, you can optimize your content to fully meet the needs of your target audience. Google Analytics is a great place to start to gather the information you need for a solid online marketing presence.

Need help monitoring your success with Google Analytics? Contact us to learn more or call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Google My Business: Overview & Tips for Small Businesses

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Local Business Marketing StrategyWhat is Google My Business?
Google My Business is Google’s new local listing platform; replacing Google+ Local and Google Places.

This brand new system is a useful local business marketing strategy that makes it easier for local businesses and brands to update and manage their business information across Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+.

As a result, they can connect with more consumers who are looking for their product, service, or company.

What Should You Do Now?
Already Have a Verified Google+ Local or Google Places Account? Your Information Should Have Automatically Transferred Over. Login to Review the Information and Make Sure it is Correct.

Never Claimed or Verified Your Google Listing Before? It’s Time to Setup a Page Using Google My Listing.

10 Tips for an Effective Google My Business Listing
• Complete Your Profile 100%
• Choose the Proper Categories
• Add All of Your Locations
• Correct Any Duplicate or Inaccurate Information
• Get Local Citations
• Post Content, Photos, and Images
• Optimize & Verify Your Page
• Utilize the Insights Feature
• Monitor & Respond to Customer Reviews
• Encourage Reviews from Customers

What Can You Do on Google My Business?
• Upload More Photos and Virtual Tours
• Sharing Content and Interacting with Your Google+ Followers
• See Insights on How Google+ Users Find & Interact With Your Page
• See Analytics About Your YouTube Channel
• Read and Respond to Customer Reviews
• Create and Track AdWords Express Campaigns

Need help utilizing Google My Business?  Contact us to learn more or call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Why Video is Important to Your Website and Social Media Marketing

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Local Business Marketing StrategyIf you think that your website and social media marketing campaigns can do without video, think again. Did you know that one video is equivalent to about 1.8 million words of content in the eyes of the viewer? Or that 46% of all internet users watch at least one video per month (with the average number of videos per person per month being 33? How about the fact that 100 million people view videos online daily? Need a more sales-orientated number?

90% of all online shoppers have reported that a video on a major retailer’s website has been very helpful when it comes to their shopping and buying decisions. Or how about that when all the video ads at the beginning of online videos are added up, the average viewer spends almost 17 minutes a month watching ads online?

Other Reasons that You Should be Incorporating Video into Your Marketing Strategy

Okay, enough with the hard numbers. It’s quite clear that video is an excellent local business marketing strategy. It makes up a substantial portion of what people come to the internet for and if you’re not taking advantage of that, you’re not living up to your business’s full potential. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (behind Google) and is bigger than Yelp! and Bing combined.

Combine that with the fact that Google owns YouTube and it’s easy to see why having videos up on YouTube will increase your rankings. Uploading and tagging your video on YouTube not only builds another avenue to your site, it also helps increase your website’s rankings in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Google’s algorithm actually adds more weight to sites that have a YouTube video not only embedded, but also associated with YouTube via links and tagging. Further, your video will show up on SERPs, taking up more real estate (and thus pushing your competition below the fold where people are less likely to scroll down to see them).

The bottom line is that videos are a major marketing opportunity and if you aren’t hitting them, your competition probably is (or soon will be).

Three Benefits Your Business Gets from Making a Video

As if that weren’t enough, here are three more reasons that your business needs to incorporate videos into your marketing strategy:

1. Videos Attract People Who Learn Visually. Not everyone acquires knowledge in the same manner. Some like to read content, some like to look at data charts and others like to watch videos. Videos are unique in that you can attract both audio and visual learners at the same time. Plus, videos can condense a lot of information into a short period of time, making it perfect for the multi-tasking, on-the-go consumer who doesn’t have time to read your brilliant content.

2. Videos Make You Human. Businesses don’t always have the best face when it comes to public relations. A corporation might be a necessity, but that doesn’t mean people want to be reminded they are dealing with a business and spending money. Instead, a video helps you put a personal touch on your brand. You can show your human side and build confidence in your audience. This also helps put the value proposition at the forefront of the transaction, i.e. what they are getting, not what they are spending.

3. Videos are Engaging. When your lead is watching your video, they are thoroughly engaged. Not only are they watching, they are listening, they are clicking and they are reading any information you put on the screen. This is a fantastic way to get your main points across and have them stick, thus reinforcing consumer confidence.

Video Marketing FAQs

Q: Can I make my own videos?

A: You certainly can, but be wary of producing poor quality videos with bad audio or shoddy camera work as these can be detrimental to the quality image your brand is trying to portray. Hiring a professional video marketing team isn’t that costly and your results are guaranteed.

Q: Will videos work for any business?

A: Indeed they will, depending on how you go about it. Videos do work better for certain industries over others, for example, businesses that have complicated products see a lot of benefit because videos simplify their explanation (showing instead of telling). If you are creating a video for say, a manufacturing plant, you can still get some upside, perhaps by uploading a video of your employees parodying an internet sensation or something else that shows the human side of your company through fun videography.

Need help developing your Video Marketing campaign?  Contact us to learn more or call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Stay Up-to-Date with Google Alerts

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Local Business Marketing Strategy

Are there times when you wish you could be alerted about new content posted on the web about your business or industry? Wish no more – Google Alerts can help you do all of that and more.

Once you set it up, Google Alerts will send email notifications directly to your inbox whenever new web content is posted on your topics of choice. This includes news articles, social media, blogs, web pages, and more – as long as they match the search term you set up, you will be notified.

Google Alerts is a great local business marketing strategy.
It can help you stay on top of the buzz surrounding your products, services, and company. It’s perfect for online reputation management because you will know immediately when bad press is posted about your business so you can address it accordingly.

On the same note, you will know if good press is being published about your business as well. You will quickly be able to see where the praise is coming from and respond if you choose to do so. Being able to identify good mentions about your business gives you a chance to interact with customers, as well as see what you’re doing right. It’s also a way to build positive customer reviews and testimonials, which will ultimately help you generate even more new business.

Furthermore, Google Alerts will allow you to get first-hand news and information related to your industry. By targeting keyword phrases that are specific to your type of business, product, or service, you will always be informed about trends and changes that could directly impact your company.

Want to spy on your competitors?
Google Alerts can help you do that too. Now it’s easier than ever before to see what your competitors are up to. If you want to gain the competitive advantage in your local area, use this information to improve your own processes and product or service lines.

By setting up alerts related to your business, the industry as a whole, and your competitors, you will have a much better idea of how to move forward, invest, and promote your business.

Google Alerts is tried and true.
It is proven to work, it’s simple to set up, and it’s easy for even the newest user to understand. However, don’t hesitate to get the help of a professional if you would like some direction on how to use the platform to its full potential.

Need help setting up Google Alerts?  Contact us to learn more or call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Understanding Retargetting in Order to Boost Your Revenue

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Local Business Marketing StrategyRetargeting (also called retarget marketing) is a simple but effective way to go after people who have already browsed your site or shown a certain level of interest, but left without buying. They might have placed items in their shopping cart and gotten distracted, or spent a significant amount of time browsing your site and then left to compare prices.

Regardless of why they left, the key here to remember is that only about 2% to 8% of all customers convert on their first visit to an eCommerce storefront. Retargeting helps you tap into that other 98% to 92% you would otherwise be missing out on. This can happen a few types of ways, from email campaigns to simple cookie-based solutions.

Retargeting Your Leads with Cookies
The easiest (but not always the most effective) way to retarget your visitors who have bounced off your site is to embed a JavaScript tag right into the footer on your website. This is just a little piece of coding (often called a ‘pixel’) on the back end of the site (meaning your visitors don’t see it). The code programs your site to create lists of all your visitors and places tracking cookies into their browsers.

You’ve likely visited a site that requires you to turn on your cookies if you have them turned off – this is for retargeting purposes most of the time. The cookies that store in your visitor’s browsers are harmless. They simply allow your retarget ads to display to people who’ve visited your site as they browse other sections and sites of the internet.

Think of the cookies as an “on” switch. There are millions of ads out there floating around on the internet thanks to ad vendors, so when a visitor walks into the room (i.e. a website), how can the site know which ads to turn on? Exactly, the cookies. Since that person already visited your site, your retarget ad gets the okay from the cookie and displays to the visitor.

This not only helps to get your brand recognized, it also provides another in for the customer to get back to your site while simultaneously creating a more personalized internet experience for the user (seeing as your site is obviously pertinent to their interests, or at least was at one point).

Retargeting Your Leads with Email Marketing
You can also retarget people who have visited your site if they have signed up for your emailing list or have made purchases from you before (i.e. they have an account and you have their email address). Let’s say one of your customers is searching lawnmowers but a week goes by and they don’t buy. A simple email pointing to a sale you have on lawnmowers this week might be just the motivation to buy what they need.

This also works with items left in a shopping cart or with supplemental items that might be on sale which coincide with a bigger purchase the customer previously made.

Why Should You Use Retargeting?
The main reason – and probably only one you’ll need – to use retargeting is because it increases your sales. It also raises brand awareness and draws in more targeted traffic to your site. You get higher click-thru rates, higher conversion rates, higher return rates—all in all it’s a win-win.

Think of retargeting as both a branding tool and a conversion optimization tool. Of course, on its own, retarget marketing is effective, but it can work even better if it’s integrated into a comprehensive digital marketing and branding strategy. Use retargeting as a local business marketing strategy along with content marketing and regular AdWord campaigns to give your sales a substantial, sustainable boost.

Retargeting FAQs
Q: How can I make my retargeting more effective?
A: Segment your audience by demographics such as age, interests, location, economic status, buying habits, etc. to tailor your retargeting ads to the individual.

Q: Are there time frames which are most effective for retargeting?
A: Depending on what you are selling, retargeting time frames vary. For example, those with time-sensitive needs (e.g. booking a flight or hotel) should get immediate retargeting but those making large purchases (e.g. cars, diamond rings) should be retargeted down the line (since the initial visit was likely research and price comparison).

Need help with Retargetting?  Contact us to learn more or call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Get More Out of Your Marketing with Google Trends

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Local Business Marketing StrategyGoogle Trends is an online service that is based on searches performed in the Google search engine; in other words, it is excellent for keyword research and brainstorming possibilities that will take your online presence to the next level.

It will show you how popular certain keywords or keyword phrases are, which is powerful information for any search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns.

The heart of SEO is keyword research. Keyword phrases are what your customers will use to find your company online. Using Google Trends, you can see how popular certain keywords are in your specific area, and you can also get suggestions for more related keywords.

With this completely free tool, you can easily compare the search volume between two or more different terms; as a result, you can build a list of profitable keyword terms based on real information instead of taking a guess at which terms you should target.

Need content ideas? Google Trends is perfect for helping you come up with content ideas for your website, blog, videos, or social media posts. Spending just a few minutes to do some research can give you a whole list of ideas with just a few clicks of the mouse.

You can learn a whole lot about your target audience using Google Trends as a local business marketing strategy; information that you may have never learned by reading some industry publication or trade magazine. Instead, you will get the real, raw data about what people are searching for on Google.

Want your main company website or secondary site to sit on a keyword-rich domain name? Google Trends can help you pinpoint the best domain names based on hot keyword terms.

Much like Google Alerts, you can use Google Trends to monitor your competitors too. It may not work for every business, especially those with very few searches for their specific name. However, if there is data available that is specific to one of your competitors, this is an excellent way to see how many people are searching for their company name vs. yours.

Google Trends has numerous features built-in that can take your business to new heights. As a small business owner, you are always in the fight for more local customers or clients. So you need as many tools in your arsenal as possible that will help you improve your online presence and maintain solid visibility.

Need help with Google Trends?  Contact us to learn more or call 858-442-3131

Local Business Marketing Strategy – Social Media Marketing and How Engagement Sells

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Attract-LeadsSocial media marketing has been building a head of steam for the past decade. Today, social media platforms are an undeniable outlet for any company, organization or individual that wants to reach the masses, no matter how big or small they are. The fact of the matter is, when you want to sell an idea, good or service, you have to be where your audience is. Today, that simply means you have to be on social media. Period.

Why Does Social Media Marketing Work?
If you don’t know what social media is by now, you’re pretty far behind the curve. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., allow users to stay in contact with one another, sharing ideas, videos, updates, news, recipes, etc. Social media is exactly what it means: a place to be social and share media (and more).

For brands and individuals that are looking to connect with their audience, being on social media gives them a unique opportunity to engage their demographic. Social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter allows you to open a direct line of communications with the masses, one that they can then respond to, share or ignore as they see fit.

With some social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc.), you have to get your audience to connect with you first before they can regularly see the content you post. With other platforms (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), your content goes out to the world, but people can still choose to connect with you to better follow.

Joining In the Conversation
One popular method of getting others into the conversation is called “hashtagging.” A hashtag (the pound sign followed by a keyword that represents the topic e.g. #SocialMedia) gets people to join the conversation, yourself included.

When you join the conversation about topics near and dear to your brand, you set yourself as an authority in the industry. This local business marketing strategy is how you get people interested in you on social media. Once they are following you (or “liking” you or “friending” you or whatever), your content will go directly into their newsfeeds.

When this happens, you have a direct line to your consumer to tell them anything you want. This means you can talk about your new product line, give them information they need and want, or any other number of things. Of course, you don’t want to just sell yourself – you want to keep them interested in what you have to say, so providing them with data, information, useful tips, funny stories, etc., will keep them coming back for more.

It will also create a viral aspect to your social media marketing since your followers will want to share your interesting, fresh and helpful content with their friends. In turn, this brings more followers, viewers and ultimately, dollars to your brand.

Which Social Media Platforms are the Best for Marketing?
Generally speaking, the best social media sites for marketing are going to be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any one of the other few dozen out there – as long as your audience is there. Each social media site has a fairly reliable user profile in terms of age group, interests and online habits.

For example:

  • Facebook tends to attract a middle-aged to older crowd (think college graduates and up) while Twitter lends itself to the younger to teen crowd.
  • LinkedIn is mainly used by business and industry professionals as well as those looking for careers (not jobs)
  • People who use Pinterest are more likely to be into crafts, the arts, cooking and DIY home projects

If you know your audience, you can directly translate that into knowing where your audience is on social media. Then, it’s only a matter of being there and engaging – of course, that’s the part that takes a little bit of know-how.

Social Media FAQs
Q: Should I be on more than one social media platform?
A: You should be on as many social media sites as you will be able to constantly keep updated. A poorly kept social media site is worse than no social media profile at all. It also makes no sense to be on social media sites if your target audience isn’t using them.

Q: Is social media marketing free?
A: While some of the social media marketing success you will have will be organic (and thus free), it’s becoming more common for paid social media campaigns to be a normal part of marketing spend. This trend towards paid social media marketing campaigns’ results being worth the spend in terms of ROI is expected to continue to increase.

Need help with Social Media Marketing?  Contact us to learn more or call 858-442-3131

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