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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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.

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5 Facts Small Businesses Should Know About Local SEO

Without a doubt, businesses throughout the world all have one thing in common, and that is to bring in more customers to their establishments. No matter how big or small the business is, it is really important for the owner to be able to draw in more people to do business with. Otherwise, they’ll end up having to close the business since there is no way for them to sustain it. One suitable way a company can gain new business is to make sure it targets the right people in his specific geographic location; especially if the business is new. Thankfully, the internet has now given these business owners various ways they can let their prospect customers find them.

But when it comes to utilizing these tools to attract customers, it is important to use them properly. Otherwise, the tool won’t be used to its full potential and it would not lead to good results for the business owner. If you are a business owner, it is important that you know how you can properly target customers to your location. The good news is that you can optimize your online visibility to your local search engine optimization (SEO).

And with the success of this tool, there’s no surprise why search engines seem to be updating itself with new trends every now and then. Because of these changes, companies have been able to place a better local footprint on the results page of search engines. This gives them a tremendous amount of opportunity to be more visible locally and get better exposure of their business and brand to the audience they truly target. In a way, this gives them an edge as it helps make their strategy work for their benefit. Of course, the success of their local SEO search efforts is translated into sales.

The problem is, optimizing local SEO can be very tricky. It doesn’t only end with learning about customary SEO terms and practices, you will also need to continuously do your research on what works in SEO. In this time and age, your visibility online can make or break your brand. Considering the fact that SEO practices continually change, it’s important that you know how things work every time. So how are you to make sure that local SEO works to your advantage? Here are 5 things you need to know about local SEO as a small business owner:

Accurate and Consistent Online Listing

As a business, you want customers to be able to find you and your vital information: your NAP. This stands for the Name, Address and Phone Number. In some cases, it could even be NAP+W (W= Website). Every local optimizer knows how important all these information is. The problem however, is that the accuracy and consistency of these data can be a problem.

A number of users have become discouraged to discover that the business they are looking for online does not update these information whenever they change something. And in truth, there is a large number of businesses who know their NAP+W is no longer updated yet they know that many of their customers rely on the internet for such information. Despite this, many businesses believe they do not have the time to update the information anymore.

As a business owner, you have to remember that these inaccuracies can kill your local SEO. No matter how serious you are with your business, it will be questioned by those who are unable to find updated information of your NAP. This is why you really have to be vigilant and be careful of updating your NAP.

Maximize Directory Listings

Nowadays, there are so many websites that offer directory listings of various companies in their vicinity. So in reality, it’s very easy for your brand to be listed on such websites. The only question is how you will be able to make use of the local directory website to its full potential. It might be very tedious and time-consuming work for you to create a local listing, but in the end, it can be beneficial for your business if you want it to rank on local SEO search. As much as possible, you should fill up the required information on the directory so you can let it work for your advantage.

Researchers have discovered that when a customer looks for a listing, he will want to see the following:
• Address
• Phone number
• General proximity to location
• Hours of operation
• Company name
• Website
• Prices
• General product or service info
• Ratings or reviews
• Compare features, services, other info.
• Forms of payment accepted
As much as you can, try to complete each of these items as every added citation adds to your local SEO uptick. The more complete your online listing is, the better it will be for potential customers to trust your business and patronize it.

Optimize Social Media

Social media has played an important role in everyone’s lives. To this extent, businesses can thrive on local SEO even if they don’t have their own website. As long as they are active on social media, customers can still find them easily. Once a business does not have its own website, its traffic gets redirected to another local listing or a page. This is why it is recommended that you make your business active on websites such as Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Urbanspoon. On websites such as these, they can see a star rating or a review left behind by other customers of the business.

With the new Google My Business platform rollout, experts in the field of local SEO insist that it’s very important for business owners to fill out all their needed information as accurately and completely as possible. Thanks to this tool, your customers will be able to find you easily.

Don’t Beg for Reviews

Online, the best way you can get people to trust your business is through the reviews you received from other people who have already used your services. Unfortunately, this is something you cannot force or beg other people to do. As a business owner, you can’t force people to leave a five-star review of you on social media. Instead, you can encourage users to leave a review about your business by giving them a freebie or a discount.

The main reason why you need reviews is because it can help with your local SEO. The more reviews you have, the more Google will deliver your establishment in local searches.

Never Stop Learning

As Google continues to expand its horizon and target more hyperlocal businesses, your brand should also do the same. It is best that you work with a professional company that knows the latest trends and tools Google uses to make sure that your information stays relevant and on the top results of a page. Only then will you be sure of how you can drive users to your business.

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Are You Scaring Your Customer’s Inner Caveman?

Author credit: Liraz Margalit, PhD Neurosciencemarketing.com

When it comes to improving online customer experience, your visitors are all cavemen.

Why is this important? Because marketers, from tiny entrepreneurs to global enterprises, can unintentionally trigger adverse behavior from visitors if they don’t take psychology into account.

All day long, we humans are trapped in an endless tussle for control of our surroundings, from the big things to minutiae. Since our days dwelling in caves, we crave control because it offers comfort.

When things feel out of our control, our bodies immediately respond. Our deep subconscious floods us with tension until we can remedy things.

This neurological response is the same regardless of the loss-of-control trigger.

If you lose control of a relationship or the buzz of your phone makes you lose control of a pleasant weekend moment, you’re likely to react in the same way.

Case Study: News Content

For businesses with websites, understanding the human need for control offers a powerful tool for enhancing customer experience. In my role as a web psychologist for ClickTale, I recently helped one of the world’s largest and most influential news organizations analyze customer behavior on their website. The news organization was trying to increase video content viewing by having video load automatically on their homepage.

The video in question was slick and well designed, and its content was interesting.

But, there was one aspect the organization hadn’t considered… when a visitor comes to a website planning to read the news but sound and video suddenly jump out at them, the effect is jarring. That surprise makes visitors feel they are losing control.

What we found when we analyzed the page was that visitors tended to always click on the “pause” button as soon as they encountered the video.

Pausing the video put the control of their experience back into the visitors’ own hands.

Automatically starting the video created the opposite reaction. It increased the probability that visitors would not watch the video at all. Instead, it encouraged them to read the text located below the video – not the desired outcome!

The Expectation Factor

This response can be explained by a psychological effect called the expectation factor.

People come into situations expecting to receive something specific. Expectation factors apply to all aspects of life. You go to a job interview and expect the hiring manager to ask certain questions. You go to a birthday party and expect to eat certain foods and have a certain level of fun.

It’s important for businesses to understand that, when customers visit their websites, the expectation factor is also very much at play.

If you present your visitors with an experience that strays too much from what they anticipate, they will end up feeling a loss of control. In response, they will do things to regain the feeling of control. They might click “pause” on a video or even exit the page entirely.

In order to manage this tussle over control between websites and visitors, it’s important to also understand the power of perceived control.

Visitors like to think they are in charge of their actions. When a video plays without visitors initiating any interaction, they feel the opposite.

If a visitor feels that a website is trying to “sell” him something, or push him into viewing certain content without his choosing to do so, he will push back by trying to take back the interaction and intentionally avoid that content. This occurs deep within our subconscious and triggers biochemical prods that are part of a primitive neurological mechanism.

Danger Cues

Why do we react so strongly to encountering a video playing automatically on a website or to a cell phone alarm going off in the middle of a quiet afternoon? The reasons, it turns out, are rooted in our deepest prehistoric history.

The first humans had to be constantly on alert for changes in their environment, because unexpected sounds or sights meant only one thing: danger.

When we click on a website hoping to read an article and instead are confronted with a loud, bright video, the automatic response is not so different from that our prehistoric ancestors, walking in the forest and stumbling upon a bear or a saber-toothed tiger.

Our body reacts first to eliminate the stressor in our midst. Then, because we have an inner need to make sure our thoughts and behaviors are consistent, we then subconsciously rationalize our decision.

“If I stopped the video, it must not be interesting,” you might think to yourself.

By forcing the video upon its visitors instead of letting them choose to click “play,” the news organization significantly decreased the chances readers would have any interest in watching it.

Other Stressors

Automatic videos are not the only online situations that promote stress responses. Visitors also start to feel control slipping from their hands when they encounter very long web pages, especially those that require endless scrolling.

I’ve witnessed visitors start scrolling along a page and suddenly realize they don’t know where they are anymore. It’s a thoroughly modern phenomenon but it evokes the same fear triggers that our ancestors felt when they were in a foreign environment and suddenly didn’t know how far they were from home.

Our prehistoric ancestors used trail markers in order to not get lost. And websites that understand human psychology can also do something similar, employing sticky navigation – website menus that move with the page as the visitor scrolls, “sticking” in place and always remaining visible – to keep visitors feeling in control.

Old reactions, new triggers

From an evolutionary standpoint, if we are in control of our environment, we have a better chance of survival. While our behavior adapts to changes all the time, our evolutionary roots continue to affect us.

Even though the threats have become less obvious and sometimes are not even real, our body will generate the same autonomic reactions in response to perceived or imagined threats. The need for control is rooted deeply within us and has a subconscious impact on our online behavior too.

To avoid these threat-driven behaviors, be sure that your website or mobile app:

1.Doesn’t startle the user.
2.Behaves in the way most users expect it to.
3.Leaves the user in control at all times.

Do you need help putting your visitors back in the driver’s seat? Contact gotcha! today.

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Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

Most businesses already know how important social media is. They are already aware of how crucial having good practice of social media can help lead their business to be better. But there’s a problem: not all of them know how to implement things so they can practice what they believe in. For some businesses, the problem actually lies when they try to create good content that will strike their audience on social media positively. If you’re wondering how you’ll be able to make the most out of your content strategy, it’s important that you know just how crucial it is for your business.

So What Exactly is a Content Marketing Strategy?

Think of it this way– it’s your guiding light that you should follow in terms of your planning, production, promotion and measurement of content for your business. If you want to be successful with your content marketing efforts, you also have to take the time to create a solid strategy that you believe will work for your brand. While it could be pretty heavy work in the beginning, it could reduce your workload in the future, thus making your content more effective. And how do you do that? Follow these tips to help you create a content marketing strategy:

Obtain Support from Stakeholders

First of all, keep in mind that content marketing is not just a short-term thing. It’s a long-term commitment that will require you to continuously collaborate and engage with your team members so that your efforts will succeed. If you have an executive team deciding for the business, it’s important that you sell the idea to them before anything else. Once they agree to the voice of the content marketing strategy, you’ll know that you are doing something right with your campaign.

The main reason why you need to get support from the executives of the business is so you can get the funds needed to implement your content strategy. At the same time, this will help you know that there is a commitment from them to fully implement the strategy to see just how well it would benefit the business.

Know Your Audience

Another thing you have to remember about content marketing is that you should know who your audience is. Content marketing is not about selling your products or services. It’s all about entertaining, educating, and informing your readers. This way, you’ll be able to earn their trust over time. By knowing who your audience is and what they are interested in, you’ll be able to determine how viable your current content is and what you’ll need to do to gain their attention.

Take a Customer-Centered Approach

It’s extremely important that you focus on and address what your audience wants. This is why you need to do your research and look for information that’s currently available so you can supply what’s missing. One way you can do this is to investigate social media such as blog and forums. Try to see how your audience is interacting through the use of tools so you’ll be able to collect data needed to help you create useful content. You can also conduct a survey on your customers so you know just what type of information they need from a company such as yours.

Have a Good Content Formula

You’ve already established that content marketing is about building trust between you and your customers. By doing so, they’ll be able to solve issues that are important to them. You can customize your content in a way where you engage with influencers, decision-makers and stakeholders to know what else is missing in your content. And at the same time, they’ll help promote your business since they were tapped to be a guest.

Plan Your Editorial Calendar

A good content marketing program starts with an editorial calendar that has been carefully planned. After all that you’ve researched and created, it’s time for you to execute and implement your content. Through the editorial calendar, you’ll be able to carefully create the content in a way that it doesn’t go against one another.

Make Use of Tools to Analyze Your Strategy

When you were still gathering information for your content marketing strategy, you made use of tools to help you out. In the same way, you should also make use of tools to gauge just how successful your strategy is doing. This will be a big help for you to know if you’re doing something right and to pinpoint what that is. Don’t be afraid to use tools for your content marketing. You’ll realize that this is actually one of the best ways you can get the help you need.

As a business owner, you need to know how to make the most out of your content marketing strategy so you can fully implement your business. Follow these tips to help you achieve this. If you need more help, contact gotcha! to learn more about our expert content marketing services.

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Social Media Marketing : Secrets and Lies

While many businesses already understand the importance of having a social media strategy, others might argue that social media marketing is a trend without any real return on investment. There’s a little bit of truth to both. Take a look at the following social media marketing truths and secrets before you embark on building your social presence.

The Road Is Long

The social media road is long and cumbersome. There is no such thing as an overnight success, and it can take a significant amount of time before you see (if ever) any financial return from investing in it. While it might not cost much to build your social profiles, there are other things to consider that will cost both money and time in the long-run. If you’re expecting something that brings sales overnight and makes you a viral success, social media is not the answer.

You Only Get a Peek

The most difficult aspect of building a successful social media presence is actually in understanding your page guests and their behaviors. The problem is, social media only gives you a peek inside of who they are and what their interests are. There’s really no way to really track if they visited similar businesses as your own, or made a purchase outside of your website. The initial demographic reports will help you understand your audience, but it won’t tell you why they chose not to buy from you.

You Have to Maintain It

Posting on social media is a regular, if not daily, effort. In order to keep your brand afloat you will need to devote several hours per week on social media. In the beginning of launching a start-up that might seem feasible. Over time you might get burned on in writing fresh content that matters.

Managing the Workload

When it comes to managing your social media workload you might end up hiring a social media manager or a content writer who will create an editorial calendar and post blogs on a weekly basis. These blogs will help Google find your page and in turn you might rank higher in search results. Because your blog is constantly updated, your business page appears active and authoritative in the industry.

When you can no longer devote the time to writing for you web page, you’ll need to factor in the costs of hiring experts for the job. The problem is, social media marketing will never make you rich. You may never see much return from investing in hiring a social and content writing team. You will, however, have a business webpage and social presence that shows the world more about your brand, and that slowly builds a reputation. If you’re patient, social media marketing can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your brand strategy.

You Need Knowledge

Identifying your social audience takes emotional intelligence. If you hire a manager, they’ll likely begin to analyze your site visitors and try to figure out which sorts of posts and updates receive the best response. The problem is this will take time, and you’ll likely have more fails than success in the beginning.

Beyond understanding the demographics of your guest, you need to identify what makes them buy, or walk away from a purchase. You’ll also need to figure out what makes them “click” to read more. This is exactly why it takes time to build a presence on social media, especially one that carries any sort of return.

What Channels Should You Choose?

It’s always best to keep things simple, especially when you might be juggling your social media management with all the other aspects of your business. When you begin building portfolios for your brand, you’ll need to determine which ones will be the most worthy of your time.

Rather than hopping all over the place, you’ll need to evaluate where most of your customers are active, and then use those platforms to connect with your audience. This might mean adapting to other social platforms such as Instagram or Twitter.

It Costs Money

The last dirty little secret about social media marketing is that it costs money. Sure, everything is free in the beginning, but overtime you will be limited in your organic reach, and it will cost your company money if you want to be shown in reader’s search results. You also might decide to pass the buck and hire a creative team to handle the social side of your business. Either way, social media marketing costs money.

But it’s worth every penny.

Because when someone visits your page and clicks on your blog they should be able to read something relevant and recent. Just like this.

Now you know why social media marketing is important, so we won’t bother you with the lies. For what it’s worth social media is just something your brand has to do. Before you hire a social manager, make sure they aren’t making too many promises.

Do you need assistance navigating the world of social media marketing? We’re butterflies. Contact gotcha! Mobile Solutions today and send us a tweet.

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Top 5 Facebook Business Page Mistakes

There’s no doubt that Facebook plays a huge importance for businesses trying to reach their customers. Considering there is 1.65 billion monthly active users on Facebook, it pays to make use of this social media tool to help a business promote itself. Because of this, there are individuals who are tasked to handle the social media accounts of the company to ensure that they get their message across properly.

However, it is unfortunate to know that not everyone does it right. There are still a number of individuals who are not properly utilizing Facebook to help their brand prosper. The fact of the matter is that everybody thinks they can handle social media easily. But as soon as they start doing so, they realize that there’s actually a big difference between handling your personal Facebook account and a page for a brand.

Experts believe that there’s actually a science and art to posting on Facebook. By eliminating the common mistakes people do on Facebook, you can start understanding the beauty behind this social media site. If you work as a social media manager and you want to avoid making the common mistakes people do on Facebook, make sure that you know these things:

No. 5 Facebook Business Page Mistake: Posting too much text

Let’s get one thing clear, a Facebook post is not meant for long paragraphs of text. It is not a blog post or an entire news article. Some of your followers could get turned off upon seeing a bulk of text that they have to scroll through to go to the next post. And when this happens, they’ll end up skipping whatever it is you’re saying and totally missing out the reason for the post. In some cases, these followers could even unfollow your page just so they don’t have to encounter the same type of post.

Whenever you post on Facebook, you have to remember to include small bite-size pieces of information they can easily digest from the post. Your followers want to know the gist of your post right away. And if they’re interested, they can just click on a link to get more details. A good practice is to follow Twitter’s 140-character limit even when you’re posting on Facebook.

No. 4 Facebook Business Page Mistake: Promoting your business or product too much

The main reason why your business is on Facebook in the first place is so you could promote it along with your products. However, this does not mean you should bombard your followers with posts that only talk about this. Although this strategy could work for a while, it does not mean that it will work every single time. Your followers could end up getting annoyed that they will unfollow your page.

The thing is, it’s okay to post about your business and products through your posts. However, the trick here is to do it in a way that you’re being creative, and ditch the pitch. Instead of directly talking about a product you are trying to sell, it would be better if you offer valuable information to them or you entertain them. You’ll find that this is more effective compared to directly promoting your products.

No. 3 Facebook Business Page Mistake: Posting at the wrong time and insufficiently

Another important trick to know about posting on a Facebook page is the right time to post. The good news is that there are now tools you can use to schedule posts in advance so you no longer have to do it in real time. At the same time, you have to make sure that these posts are time accurate and not too late. Otherwise, you’re posting something that’s no longer relevant to your followers.

In the same sense, it can be quite disappointing to find a Facebook page that has no activity for the past year. No matter how legitimate your business is, you still need to find time to let your customers know that your business is still ongoing. The best way you can do this is to come up with a content strategy and to be sure to post at least once a day. Remember that if you’re not posting, no one gets to find your company on social media.

No. 2 Facebook Business Page Mistake: Focusing on getting likes too much

In hindsight, having a lot of likes on your Facebook allows you to reach more people at once. But that’s it. Sure, there are days they get entertained by one or two posts you’ve made and they’d click on the like or share button. But when it comes to the business side of things, they’re actually too far away from it. In fact, your followers may even be on the other side of the planet. Even though you have a lot of likes on your page, it doesn’t mean that each one will convert into business for you.

This is why it is important that you avoid asking people to like and share your page. As a business, it will make you sound like you are begging for interest and this will turn off a lot of people. Instead of focusing your attention on getting likes on your page, find more ways you can share engaging posts. This is a better way you can generate genuine interest in your business.

No. 1 Facebook Business Page Mistake: Responding unprofessionally to negative feedback

Always remember that Facebook is an interactive platform where people can exchange ideas. Whenever you publish a post, you are giving people an opportunity to comment on it, positively and negatively. If you happen to receive a complaint on your page, the best thing to do is to keep calm and respond in a courteous manner. Always be thoughtful when you are responding but do so with a personal tone.

When someone leaves a negative comment on your page, think of it as a way to improve on that aspect of your business. At the same time, this helps give your followers an idea that their opinion matters and that there is more to your business than just sales.

Facebook is very useful to market your business online. How you use it, however, plays a crucial part in your success.

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Mobile-Friendly vs. Mobile-Optimized Websites

There’s a lot of questions about the differences between mobile-friendly vs mobile-optimization vs responsive design for websites. These questions include:

What is a mobile-friendly website?
What is mobile-optimization?
What is responsive design?
What are the differences of all of the above?
Where does mobile first design fit in?
What is the best design strategy for my website?

The goal of this article is to answer all of these questions, plus a few more along the way.

For clarity’s sake, when referring to say mobile or mobile device, we are referring to devices that are the approximate size and shape of most smartphones (mobile phones).

Ok, let’s hop to it!

Mobile-Friendly Websites

Google’s search rankings now emphasize and reward mobile-friendly websites. Many people may think that having a mobile-friendly website is good enough, and for Google’s robots it is! But this is not necessarily good enough for the visitors coming to your website. In short, mobile-friendly is the bare minimum mobile design strategy you should have for your mobile visitors.

If you aren’t sure if your website is mobile-friendly, then check-out Google’s webmaster tool. A mobile-friendly website is often just a slimmed down version of the website viewed on a desktop.

For example, as a general rule your content should be written in at least 14 or 16 pt font. It seems big, but when it gets shrunk down anything less will be hard to read. Hard to read ≠ mobile-friendly.

Mobile-friendly websites will work for mobile users, but these websites were designed for the desktop users. A smaller version of your desktop website can be functional but may not be as user friendly as it could be… And this is where mobile-optimization starts to enter the fray.

All mobile-optimized websites are mobile-friendly, but not all mobile-friendly websites are mobile-optimized. Mobile-optimization targets mobile users; these websites are designed for smaller screens.

A mobile-optimized website will reformat itself for mobile users. It is not just a shrunken down version of the desktop website.

Design features of a mobile-optimized website can include:

Single column layout
Easy, simple navigation that is “thumb friendly”
Large graphics with white-space borders for those of us with large or clumsy fingers
Formatted content for maximum readability
Limited to no need for typing
Image file sizes are smaller for the mobile version of the website than those used for the desktop version of the website. (This allows for quicker load times.)
A fewer number of features overall (minimalist, uncluttered design)
Mobile users are much more likely to be searching for a quick answer compared to their desktop search counterparts.

The goal of a mobile-optimized website is to make the website as frictionless as possible for the mobile user. Mobile users are seeking the quickest, most efficient way to answer their questions. Mobile-optimization aims to do exactly that.

Responsively designed websites do exactly as phrase suggest. They “respond” to the screen size of the device being used. In a sense, responsive design picks up where mobile-optimization leaves off.

Responsive design reformats and restructures websites for any device—regardless of screen size. Mobile-optimization only does this for mobile devices. With responsive design, the layout of the website will scale from the smaller screens of mobile, tablets, and small laptops, to the standard desktop screen and even larger widescreen monitors.

Responsive design offers flexibility and great usability on all devices for users. It’s really the only way to guarantee that your website will look good and have optimized usability on any device.

Mobile-First Design Strategy

Mobile-first is a design strategy in which the mobile version of the website is designed first over the traditional desktop version. This design strategy can also apply to products designed for and marketed to mobile users first, ahead of “traditional” internet users.

A lot of design issues come from trying to stuff too many features into a single page. When designing with mobile-first in mind, you tend to get a simpler, cleaner design structure. This works well as a base, because it’s easier to add relevant features into the desktop view as needed, rather than trying to stuff every bell and whistle into a mobile view.

What type of design is best for my business and my website?

The not very helpful answer is “it depends”. Honestly, the answer depends on the answers to the following questions:

What is the purpose of your website?
What do you want your website to do for visitors?
What devices are you expecting your visitors to be accessing your site from?

Websites are meant to take visitors on a digital journey. That journey is supposed to be as smooth and frictionless as possible. The easier you can make navigating your website, the more likely you are to increase conversions.

Also, what is the budget for your website? Mobile-optimized and responsively designed websites are often a little more expensive than mobile-friendly websites. Why? In short, they take longer to develop and build.

In the long run, the extra optimization to functionality and usability offered by a responsively designed or mobile-optimized site will provide you with a higher ROI than a site that is just mobile-friendly. Now, whether or not the expense is justified will have to be evaluated on a business-by-business basis.

On a side note, have you tried to use your business’s website as if you were a customer? What about as a mobile user? Do you know what your mobile site looks like? If you are drawing a blank, or have a panicky uncertain feeling right now, that’s probably not a good indicator.

Consider The Following for Mobile-Friendly vs Mobile-Optimized vs Responsive Design

Is your main customer base cruising your website on a desktop? Then maybe a mobile-friendly website is good enough for you. Google doesn’t penalize you in the search rankings, and you don’t spend extra money on a mobile-optimized or responsively designed website.

On the other hand…
Do you have any kind of e-commerce, blogs, or a customer base that actively uses mobile devices? If this is the case, then you may want to invest in a mobile-optimized or responsively designed website.

Mobile-Optimized and Responsively Designed Websites Can Offer a Creative User Experience

Just because visitors are viewing your website on a smaller screen, doesn’t mean your site has to be boring. Remember mobile users have the ability to take pictures and videos, make phone calls, use GPS for finding things near their location, and so much more!

And this is the beauty of stepping beyond just a mobile-friendly website. There are so many new and different user interface options for visitors NOT using a desktop. Some businesses even have completely different website versions for desktop users versus mobile users.

Think about your visitors. What type of experience do you want them to have using your website? Optimize your website for that experience! Given the possibilities with the internet, saying the sky’s the limit seems almost diminutive.

Ready to update your website? Contact gotcha! Mobile Solutions today.

Originally published on Torspark

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Improve Your SEO Now With 5 Easy Tips

While it’s always wise to hire a SEO professional for guidance in improving search engine rank, you can improve your SEO now with 5 easy tips (and save some cash).

This list is for the digital marketing do-it-yourselfer. Keep in mind the depths of search are vast and complicated. This entry level guide will give you enough confidence to dive in, and swim.

Start in Production

In the early phase of your website production, you’ll need to carefully determine which keywords are relevant and most popular about your business, goods, and services. These keywords will be part of the original blueprint for your website, and as the developers build your site page by page, these words will be used to name the page urls, which will help improve your overall SEO score, improving the usability and indexing of your site.

When carefully analyzed in the very beginning, this research can be used to create a website that Google loves to share in its top search results. If your website is already developed and you’re suspecting some mistakes might have your rank down, it’s essential you contact an SEO expert, like gotcha! Mobile Solutions, for a free assessment of your website. Our report will reveal crucial errors that could be affecting your website’s traffic and overall visibility.

Optimize Keyword Usage in Design Structure

In addition to building the foundation of the site, core keywords should be implemented throughout all other parts of your website design process. Page designers should be made well aware what focus search terms and words have been selected so that the structured pages can incorporate optimal keyword usage.

Just like the developers who work on the back-end of a website, designers also need to know keywords and direction to inspire their own ideas for the layout and visuals. Work together with your designers to ensure that SEO is drawn right into your website from the very beginning, and you’ll be fast on track for ranking success.

Create a Successful Content Strategy

Moving past the design, you can improve your SEO right now by mapping out an effective content strategy that incorporates correct usage of said keywords throughout the heading tags, images, page content, and blogs.

What does that mean at the moment? It means scour your website from top to bottom and from page to page. Once you have your concrete list of targeted keywords, you can begin to see the gaps in your published material. Don’t be generic when it comes to writing copy, and by all means make every word count.

Ditch any pre-written web text or product descriptions and customize all of your content so that it is packed full of rich keywords, which in turn will help improve your site’s ranking. To add even more value to your site, consider writing a blog. Yes, of course. You’re probably wondering why the heck you need a blog. The short answer is, the more SEO-packed content that you can continually add to your website, the faster your SEO score could improve. When in doubt, focus on writing engaging and evergreen web content that is timeless. Become an expert in your niche so that Google will identify you as such, and you’ll rank higher in search results just by producing frequent and compelling content. If you can’t pen that many words in a week, hire a professional content writer who can. The results will be worth it.

Incorporate SEO in Your Social Media

It’s not all pins and memes. Don’t forget to integrate social media into your successful SEO strategy. After all, social websites are considered search engines, all in themselves. Google will search social pages for signals that a website is active. While links may not improve your social ranking on their own, viral posts can have significant impact and will increase your page visibility.

Social profiles are often the first introduction a potential consumer has to your brand. Keep your social profiles updated and interesting to help boost the engagement on your pages, and to help direct traffic to your website. Increased web flow will organically improve your SEO score.

Hurry Up and Wait

It takes time to improve your SEO ranking, but these 5 do-it-yourself tips will help you save some money, when time is all you have to spend. Small start-ups and at-home businesses can still tackle SEO at-home without having to hire a professional web developer or SEO company. Then again, when you’re ready to expand, you’ll need to incorporate much, much more to continually improve your SEO score and ebb and flow with any upcoming Google updates. Search is always changing. The best way to stay ahead is to make sure your site checks off with each of these SEO tips.

Ready to hire our team of SEO experts? Let us do the work.

Give it your best, and then call gotcha! for the rest.

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