5 Things That Will Boost Your Local SEO

Having your website perform well in the results page of a search can play a vital role on the success of your business. This is why there are a number of companies that invest a lot of money on SEO practices to help them achieve this goal. Because there is now a growing demand for this, it can be difficult for businesses to reach a good SEO spot. Even if you are working at improving your local SEO ranking, it could still not be enough to get you the results you need. With so many other companies vying for local visibility, it’s important to know the things that truly matter in local SEO.

While most SEO practices are still applicable in today’s time and age, it pays to know a few other things. Considering nearly everyone uses their smartphone to help them with their everyday tasks, it helps to know how best you can make use of this medium to have a strong local search presence. Here are 5 things that will boost your local SEO:

Claim Company Profiles and Local Listing Pages

With so many different local listing websites available, it is so easy to improve your local rankings without costing a lot of time and effort. There are a number of websites to choose from, which is why it is recommended that you claim your company page on websites such as Google My Business, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Yelp, Foursquare, and YP.com. There are also industry-specific business directories that you can take advantage of to help your business be recognized by your target market.

An important piece of advice to remember when you are claiming such listings, is that you have to keep your information up to date. This means you have to ensure that you have input the correct location, phone number, operating hours, and any other information that will make it easier for potential customers to find you. Whenever you make a change to one of these, you should also change it on these websites.

Depending on the local listing websites you use, you may need to verify that you are indeed the owner of the business. You will have to either verify your email address or send in the PIN code they send via mail. This helps confirm that you are the right representative of the business.

Optimize Your Website

If you have a website, you need to make sure that it appeals to the algorithm of search engines but remains readable for humans. To improve your local SEO, you need to use the right keywords. However, you have to be careful in how you use keywords as they can hurt your rankings; particularly if they have been used poorly. Remember that through the years, search engines have been modified to recognize websites and pages filled with keywords for the hopes of upping its SEO ranking. These search engines are able to identify which websites do these and penalize them. Apart from that, customers don’t really enjoy looking at websites purely devoted to keywords.

Instead of focusing too much on your keywords, opt for providing quality links, reviews and just a few strategic keywords. You should also make sure your content is suitable so you can have more people visit your page and find it useful.

Make Sure Your Website is Responsive

We live in a time wherein information is accessed through smartphones and tablets. This is how majority of websites are currently being accessed. As such, you have to make sure your website is responsive to mobiles and tablets so you can attract customers to visit it. Otherwise, your customers will look for other alternatives on where they can find a business similar to yours.

Investing in a responsive website can help transform your business and build its success.

Encourage Customer Reviews

One of the best ways you can earn the trust of potential new customers is through your website. You can ask your past customers to leave behind a review of how well they enjoyed dealing with your business. And when you have enough positive reviews, your online credibility and trust can be built for future customers.

A good way you can invite customers to leave a review is to let them know which websites you are on. And while there are other businesses that offer incentives for leaving behind a review, it is not always a guarantee that you will have positive reviews. The things that would are excellent customer service and an even better product.

Make Use of Social Media

Social media has revolutionized how people do certain things. Almost everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even on all three websites. In order to build your local SEO, you need to identify which social media platforms will work best for your business. As much as you can, interact with your followers regularly and upload fresh content. When possible, advertise local events, offer discounts for residents, and even sponsor a local team. These things will help build your brand as people will look for your information online.

These things are organic ways you can boost your local SEO. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on it but with the right techniques and practices, you can be successful with building your brand online. Need help boosting your local SEO? Contact gotcha! today.

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14 Summertime Digital Marketing Ideas

Written by Catherine Marsden

With days getting longer, kids home from school, and the backyard grill calling your name, it’s easy to give digital marketing a pass during the summer months. However, this approach can backfire come Labor Day when inbound sales leads have slowed to a trickle and your largest customer let’s you know she is leaving for a competitor.

Rather than completely taking your digital marketing off the boil this summer, here are 14 free marketing strategies to give your brand a refresh, and keep your summer sales sizzling.

14 simple digital marketing tactics to do this summer:

Update your branding
De-clutter your website. Fixing broken links, revising outdated contact information or changing an old profile picture can improve your website’s performance and improve your visitors’ first impression.

Dust off your blog
When it comes to digital marketing, content and consistency are king. Summer is not the time to let your blog go cold. Stay in touch with your readers and provide useful content that answers their questions, even in summer.

Create a new sales handout
On a simple 8.5 x 11 explain who you are and what services your company provides. Keep the branding consistent with your website and have a few of these printed up for the next time you meet with a new prospect or head to a networking event.

Revisit your January business goals
Remember when you were super-charged and set those amazing 10X goals back in January? As the mid-point of the year, summer is a great time to circle back with those goals and see how your business is doing. Remember this isn’t supposed to be a blame game. Just spend some time with these goals, set new priorities and make adjustments, if necessary. The point is to re-charge, renew and reinvigorate your business.

LinkedIn
Review your LinkedIn profile. Check whether your LinkedIn profile is up to date with your most recent positions, job titles, awards and skills.

Reach out to your network
It’s a misperception that you need to be executing a large sales campaign on LinkedIn in order to use it effectively. I find the simple things done consistently can have big payoffs. Send a message to a colleague or friend and tell them what you are up to. Better yet, send them an article of interest, and expect nothing in return. Manage your recommendations. Secure one new recommendation for your profile and delete one that is from a long time ago.

Facebook Business Page
Add new services to your business page: Facebook allows you to add in new products and services to tell visitors what your company is all about. For directions on how to add products and services, click here.

Verify your business page
This only takes a few minutes, but doing so will help improve your organic reach. Head into the Settings tab on your business page and click “Verify page”. Facebook will either call a number you give them or send you a code via text message. Once entered, your business page will receive a check mark on it indicating it has been verified, and reward you with increased organic reach.

Update your FB background/cover photo

Just like a store window that needs to be changed to fit the season, you can refresh a stale Facebook business page with a summer-theme.

Build your skills
Take a class. Summer is a perfect time to up your digital marketing game by taking a class or watching a webinar.

Email Marketing
Clean up your email contact list. Gather up those business cards and enter any new contacts that you want to stay in touch with and eliminate duplicates.

Launch an end-of-summer contest or event
Use email marketing during the summer months to spread the news about a free give-away or special promotion.

Twitter
Retweet or share a customer’s tweet. Staying active on Twitter is as easy as using your cell phone during your free time. Rather than reading your email while at the doctor’s office or when waiting in line, tweet, share or comment on a Twitter post.

Newsjack a summer event. Newsjacking happens when a company adds a clever twist to a current event in the news. Keep an eye on the headlines and see if something doesn’t pop out at you this summer. Create a clever meme or snag a headline by adding your own perspective on a current event.

Distribute Summer Gift Cards

It doesn’t matter whether you own a store or a small business. A summer gift card is an easy way to get more customers flowing in through the front door! Offer decent discounts on your services to ensure people get interested.

Mobile Marketing

5 Summertime Marketing Ideas

Summer is the perfect time of year to launch a campaign that drives new customers and increases brand loyalty. Get inspired by the following 5 summertime marketing ideas, and give your customers a well deserved break from ho-hum sales.

Giveaways- What’s better than free? Your customers LOVE to be appreciated and provided the opportunity to score some cool swag for a change. Clear the remaining winter and spring inventory off your shelves and send it off into the universe. Host a social media giveaway, and ask for subscribers while you do it. You’ll get rid of the old, and make room for new loyal followers who are excited to learn more about your company.

Creative Summer Sales- From a small purchase discount to a birthday or summer soireee sale, gift your customers the opportunity to indulge in something, and make it easy on the pocketbook as well. Because summer usually involves vacation, activities, and extra household spending, your customers will appreciate a promotion while the dog days of summer leave their wallets strapped for cash.

I you want to incorporate a feel-good cause for support, why not offer customers something free or discounted in exchange for donated goods or services.

Stock Up on Promotional Items- Build brand awareness and loyalty with creative promotional products that represent your company, as well as the season. From sunglasses to water bottles, now is the time to pass out logo gear in a variety of materials and bright colors. Invite your customers in through email or social media announcements, and be sure to attract new curbside traffic by drawing attention to your storefront.

Host a Party- Nowhere to go? Get dressed up anyway. Throw a summer party right at your local business and make it themed for summertime as well as your products. Whether it’s a tropical getaway or a sightseeing escapade, dress the part and send out invites to your loyal customers via email, mail, and of course on social media, to promote your company summer bash. Consider extending store hours to accommodate sales and new customers.

Be Fun- People love to support a business that’s bustling with life and energy. When the sun starts shining, fill your vases with flowers, place bright balloons around your door, and use sidewalk chalk in bright colors to promote sales and new inventory. Invite people to sit aspell and take a break from the heat. Be sure to provide complimentary fresh water to keep customers comfortable as they shop.

While many shoppers retreat to the indoors and vacation while your business remain open, summertime is still an ideal season to reach out and attract new clients as well as greet the old. These 5 summertime marketing ideas will keep your sales sizzling while the temperatures soar.

AllContent Marketing

4 Psychology Tips for Better Marketing

Why are we only just starting with human marketing?

A freelance marketing and PR consultant spends considerable time analyzing marketing decisions made by businesses and observing how their audience is reacting to them, to come up with a strategy to improve sales. What has been startling over the past two years is how little most companies seem to think about the personality of their target audience. In that sense, how little we seem to have forgotten about the actual person behind the screen, the human who makes the decision to buy their product.

1) Use human psychology as a guide

Us marketers usually attempt to solve a problem by first identifying who the target customer is. Not all products are made for all audiences. You won’t sell wings to birds. To answer the Who, we ask ourselves what these people do, where they live, how they live, what they like and what motivates them to buy one product over another. But is it all we should ask? This seems obvious, but thinking about the psychology of your audience should not only come first but also guide all your future marketing endeavours.

One of the most crucial marketing trends ruling 2016 is human relationships, on which you can certainly base other elements of your marketing strategy. A good example is social media storytelling, which creates a personal interest and bond between brand and audience. Remembering your audience is made of humans is especially true when it comes to online marketing, an industry that sometimes forgets users have brains, feelings and needs.

2) Focus on basic emotions and feelings

But why are we so late jumping on the human marketing wagon? Thinking about others, in the most basic and human way possible, when focusing on a particular audience should be an innate principle, and a inherent action even for marketers. This doesn’t mean marketers should have a psychology degree, but infusing marketing with more psychology shall build a brighter future for businesses.

Study the mechanics of the mind to build a reaction. As a start, use the 8 basic human emotions (joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, anticipation) and 8 basic human feelings (optimism, love, submission, awe, disappointment, remorse, contempt, and aggression) in your audience analysis. These should guide a marketing strategy, as much as natural instincts and reflexes should. What exactly do you want to achieve? Forget sales for a minute. What psychological impact do you want your campaign to have? Put simply, provoke emotions of trust and joy through your marketing and advertising (in the aesthetics and the message conveyed) to build a feeling of optimism towards your brand.

A simple way to have an insight into your audience psychology is to put yourself in their shoes. Who is your typical customer? What are they looking for? What makes sense to them, and what matters most? What emotion drives their search, and what feeling does your product procure them? Are they easily influenceable, and is their emotion contagious in their group? There are hundreds of questions to answer, but this effort leads to a prize: to become your customer’s best friend, before anything else.

3) Make primitive marketing for primal understanding

In our attempt to conduct a more ‘primitive’ marketing, planted on basic human instincts,emotions and feelings, let’s focus on the area of intent. What are the series of movements and reasons behind the physical purchase? What was the customer’s initial intention? Intent plays a powerful role when it comes to online searches and SEO strategy. It is vital for online businesses to consider the human brain behind the typed keywords, and the user’s real intention rather than trying to change their habits.

Bringing humanity back in marketing is a successful formula that can be proven by the viral nature of visual content like infographics and native videos. These play with our basic reactions to bold, bright coloured information, in a primal and innate way, making information easier to remember. The visual nature of human memory is key in the quest of spreading a message, wanting a slogan, a logo or key product information remembered.

4) Become a friend brand

Trust and optimism are a winning pair for advertising and marketing, with ´friend´ brands becoming house guests and household names through regular, ‘homey’ campaigns for products that will immediately respond to their audience’s needs. Mac Donald’s and Apple are now our family friends, using our human nature as the common denominator between brand and consumer, quite rightfully, and our personal experience and stories to develop their mission: anticipating what we will need next before we know it. Facebook is mastering this, with an impressive 63% penetration still in 2015 (Comscore) but its example must be taken with a pinch of salt.

A huge mistake made by not only companies but also agencies throughout the world is neglecting the human in us (social animals) through hyper connectivity. There is now such thing as social media overdose, and social media growth has been plateauing since 2013 (only the over 65s age group is still growing, according to Smart Insights). The last two years have shown us a new, clear movement of social media bashing (users’ desire to ‘leave’ and regain freedom, or in some cases, to ‘quit’, like a bad habit). The reason? Internet connections were supposed to create a valuable and meaningful connection, but they are now often irrelevant and invading. Brands must find the subtle way to be at home with their customer, discreetly snoozing on the sofa – and never becoming a nuisance.

Opting for human marketing can only lead in a deeper, truer bond between brand and customers. Newer business models using cooperation and inclusion as principles show a greater, longer and more ‘constructive’ success. The create/participate model (used by Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Trip Advisor, Yelp…) shows us that success lies in the intersection between the ‘citizen’ customer and the ‘user’. An audience personally contributing to your success will take greater pleasure and care for the longevity of this success.

Originally posted on the Jennifer Hakim Communications blog.

Mobile Marketing
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