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Google My Business – Local SEO Strategies for Small Businesses

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If you have a website or business on the internet, you are likely thrilled with any search traffic and rankings you might receive. However, if you are a local-based business, it’s all about ranking for keywords that are relevant to your location or specifically about your business.

In most cases, local businesses won’t really understand the metrics of SEO or how to improve their rankings in the search results. More often than not, they will simply be happy if they are appearing at the top of Google for their brand name, and also have a Google Business Listing with their hours, location and business details.

This is ideal… but there are definitely more opportunities for traffic, growth, and improvement — especially when you start considering online traffic and content options with geo-targeted traffic.

Google My Business is a great place for local businesses to start with their online journey, but it’s definitely not the beginning and end. Implement these three components into your content creation and marketing efforts to get even more out of your local business listings in Google.

Start a Website or Blog for Your Local Business

Most small businesses and local retail locations should already have an online website or blog, but many still don’t. Unfortunately, way too many businesses think that a listing in Google Local or Yelp is going to represent them well online — however, this isn’t the case at all. Instead, it could actually be hurting them in the long run.

Without an official website for your business, there is no way for your audience and customers to really get in direct contact with you. Any information that might be found on other websites or local directories might also not be updated or accurate. At the same time, without a website of your own, you are letting customers leave reviews on other websites that you have no control over.

With a site of your own, you are always in control over what people see, find and discover about your business. This is also a great way to make a better first impression (through a nice website, pictures and company info). Once the connection has been made, you can then showcase your best customer feedback and ratings that appear within your Google My Business page.

Wouldn’t you rather be sending people directly to your own website when they search for your brand online, versus sending them to another third party website? You should.

Take Advantage of Facebook Advertising

There are currently over 1.8 billion users on Facebook. While the social network has worldwide exposure, it’s also done wonders for localized businesses and brands in the process.

Through the use of both Facebook Page and Facebook Advertising, local businesses can reach audiences within their area, while also growing a following at the same time. This is why you commonly see flyers that say “Like Us on Facebook” in your favorite retail locations. It’s a simple, fun and easy way for brands to connect with their audiences, while also allowing them to build a ‘social mailing list’ in the process.

Advanced local businesses and brands can also take advantage of the demographic and geo-targeting options that are available through Facebook Ads. The same can be said for ‘custom audience’ targeting options, which allows site owners to display ads through Facebook based on visitors to a website or emails on a mailing list.

Keeping with the theme of how to maintain a great online presence and building up your Google My Business profile, Facebook Pages and marketing can also be a great way to lead people to your local search listings where users can leave ratings and reviews of your own. Since your audience is already following you on Facebook, there is a good chance their review and rating would be positive.

Focus on Local SEO, Content Creation and Competitors

The third and final tip for improving a local business’ presence online, is to simply know how to rank your site in Google. As mentioned, it’s not hard to claim your Google My Business listing in Google… but that doesn’t mean you are going to listed at the top of the search rankings for generic search phrases like ‘car repair’, ‘food services’ or ‘pizza’ in your area, even if the geo-location settings are turned on for results. To improve your rankings you need to understand how to do each of the following;

  • Rank for Local Keywords – Ranking in Google is a science. If you don’t already know the basics of SEO, you can follow them here. In short, you need to create valuable content for your website and gain backlinks to your site. Those are the two most simple and straight to the point methods for explaining how rankings work in Google. The same thing goes for Google Local rankings as well… the more content and rankings back to them, the more likely they are to rank higher.
  • Create Local-Based Content – A listing in Google is great for your business, but there is a lot more opportunity if you are willing to put in the time, work and effort. For example, think about the many different things your potential customers might be searching for in Google (besides your company name). Ratings, locations, coupons, how to’s, local events… you name it, all of it can be used for potential content ideas you can create through your own site.
  • Know Your Competitors – As a local business, your competition is everything. If they have a bigger store, better advertisements and higher search rankings… you need to know! Tools like SEMRush and Google Alerts will allow you to keep an eye on the competition, both through search ranking movements and any new content appearing in Google your competition might be ranking for.

Another method that has worked for various businesses to help improve the look and activity of their sites, is to send geo targeted traffic to their sites. This type of traffic marketing will help with Alexa and SimilarWeb rankings. While these aren’t key components to SEO or determining how successful or big a site might be, they are metrics that brands and businesses do keep an eye on. Also, depending on the size of your business, this type of paid traffic can also bring in new audiences and customer to your website (and even local business as well).

Claim Your Google My Business Page, then Build Out Your Own Site

I’m all for having a Google My Business page for your local business, but don’t rely on that for everything. I always tell my audience the same thing — you want to own your own content! This is why it’s so important to have your own domain name and web hosting, versus starting a website on Blogger.com or WordPress.com. At the same time, you don’t want to have 100,000 fans on your Facebook page and not leading them to join your own mailing list of visiting a site you actually own.

No matter how much of your business is coming from local residents in your area, your online presence is of the utmost importance. Follow these Google My Business and local SEO marketing tips to stay ahead of the competition.

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12 Essential Digital Marketing Tools Guaranteed to Grow Your Business

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A craftsperson is only as good as their tools. Companies deploying growth strategies using digital marketing tools need to make sure they are investing the right time and money.

But with the digital economy changing so fast it can be difficult to know where to invest your time and money. There are new companies and new tools springing up every day.

Each one promises huge returns and low cost. Make sure you have the right investment or the competition could leave you behind.

You need these 10 tools today:

1. Feedly

It isn’t enough to have great content. Your content strategy needs to be curated, scheduled, and tracked.

Feedly will help you curate your content calendar across platforms.

2. CRM Software

What is CRM Software? CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a must for companies that need to make use of valuable data across all departments.

This means you! Without CRM you aren’t able to target the right people, turn insights into conversions, or avoid redundancies.

3. LeadPages

Your bounce rate could be killing your SEO. Even worse, all those bounces could be symbols of your business going elsewhere.

Leadpages is the answer. You can test new landing pages and deploy for success with Leadpages.

4. Splice

If you aren’t using video content, you should be. And if you aren’t optimizing your video content for social media you are missing a huge opportunity.

Splice, from the makers of GoPro, is the tool for your video content.

5. Google Analytics

There is no replacement. You need this.

From within your Google Webmaster Account, you can manage all aspects of your site when it comes to SEO and making sure you are good in the eyes of Google.

Not sure if your site was affected by one of the latest penalties, or if it’s indexed in Google? All of this and more is tracked from Webmaster Tools.

6. Yoast

If you are using WordPress and struggling with SEO, Yoast is the tool for you. Yoast comes in a free version and offers insight into your text.

Yoast will scan your content and rate all of it, traffic light style, for SEO.

Best of all, this tool is extremely easy to use, and free!

7. LiveChat

Customers want support in real time. Make sure you are on the cutting edge of user experience with LiveChat.

The next time you visit a website or ecommerce site and see a little chat popup window appear, this is exactly how LiveChat works.

There are plenty of alternatives out there, and many of them are powered with artificial intelligence.

Take a look at the different options available and how other brands are using these chatbots to grow their business — then think about how you could do the same.

8. WooCommerce of Shopify

If you want to start selling products online, you need to have a great ecommerce platform.

Two of the most popular and best solutions out there are WooCommerce and Shopify.

Discover how to boost ecommerce sales with either of these platforms, while also improving your SEO and revenue in the process.

9. Social Shark

With over 1 billion users worldwide, there’s never been a better time to make the most of Instagram. But for marketers new to the social media platform the results can be disappointing without the right tools.

Social Shark is the right tool to grow your Instagram presence.

10. Ahrefs and DA/PA Checkers

All those SEO hunters out there already know about Ahrefs. The tool will track your rankings as well as link-building campaigns.

The tool also helps you improve local SEO.

Another useful tool to add into this section, is TheHoth’s DA/PA checker.

It’s free to use and if you are looking up

11. MailChimp

Email marketing represents the highest return on investment in terms of digital marketing. But if your company is only dabbling in the email marketing field you are missing out.

Email marketing needs to be targeted, managed and tracked to be effective. MailChimp is a great tool for small businesses.

12. Famoid

Everyone is obsessed with social media and making sure they reach as many people as possible. This can clearly be seen by how much the top influencers are getting paid when posting content and showing brands and products within their updates.

While everyone starts at ZERO, there are ways to speed up this process.

Famoid is a social media marketing platform that allows people to grow their following fast — no matter if it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

In addition to growing your follower, they also have options for increase shares, likes, and views as well.

Moving Beyond Digital Marketing Tools

Remember, digital marketing tools are only a means to an end. Many business owners and marketing professionals feel that once they have the right tools the rest will take care of itself.

Not so. You need to lead your company into growth.

Now that you have the 10 essential tools covered, make sure you are headed in the right direction.

Learn more now about the hacks that will make your company grow faster.

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Why Isn’t My SEO Working? 10 Reasons Why (And How to Fix It)

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According to statistics, there are over 3.5 billion searches on Google every single day. If you are not getting the traffic that you want, you need to figure out why isn’t your SEO working, and what you can do to fix it.

SEO is the bread and butter behind every website, it will help people find your business and turn them into buyers.

It does not matter how beautifully designed the website is or how perfectly curated your content is written, if you do not have your SEO working properly, your business will greatly suffer.

But how exactly do you know if your SEO is optimized properly, and even harder, how do you know how to fix it if it isn’t? The last thing you want to do is keep making the same mistakes.

Keep reading to learn how to get your SEO working optimally so you can start rolling in the sales!

Let’s get started.

You Do Not Have an SEO Strategy

If you think that SEO is just the simple action of stuffing some keywords into your content, you are, well, wrong. You need to have a clear and concise plan of action, just as you would with a business plan.

An SEO strategy is where you organize your website’s content by topic, which helps Google to understand the user’s intention when hunting for relevant information. A great SEO strategy has their content organized by topics, then incorporates the long-tailed keywords that relate to each topic.

The more specific you are, the more you will attract specific clients who will turn into customers.

Your Website is Horrendous

There is more to building a website than just choosing pretty color schemes and writing awesome blogs. Sure, they are great and play a large part of your results. However, they are not the core of the SEO portion of your website.

If you used a free or cheap website builder, chances are that your website is slow, and not optimized with keywords embedded properly within. Some things to check for are;

  • Is there a call to action on every page?
  • Is it optimized for mobile searching?
  • What is the loading speed?
  • Is it simple and easy to read, or busy and convoluted?
  • Is it clear about what your business is about right off the bat?
  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Does it take the user easily to the checkout page?
  • Is there a search function?
  • Was SEO included during the entire design process?
  • Does it include basic SEO elements?

All of these are essential components of a well-designed, SEO working website. If you can agree to all of these, you are now on the right track!

Your Website Speed is Slow

With mobile searches more popular than ever, the speed of your website has become an essential SEO ranking factor. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is designed, in our current instant gratification culture, if it is not loading right away, it will turn prospective customers away.

There are many tools online, especially on Google, that will help you discover your website’s speed and what to do about it.

You Are Not Optimizing Keywords Accurately

Now we get to the juicy stuff, the keywords. We now know that keywords are not the be-all-end-all, but they are sure extremely important. Keywords are the words and phrases that a user types into the search engine to find and discover content like your website.

The more relevant your keywords are to your content, the easier your target audience can find you in the world wide web amongst all your competitors. A great example of this done perfectly is done through various local-targeted SEO agencies. You can see an example of there where one agency correctly incorporates keywords in all the right places without overdoing it, check it out!

On that same article, you will also find the following recommended tips when trying to decide on the best agency to use:

  1. Establish Your SEO Goals
  2. Set Realistic Expectations
  3. Consider Your Budget
  4. …But Don’t Go Cheap
  5. Look at Reviews and Testimonials
  6. Ask For a Consultation
  7. Don’t Buy Snake Oil

Your goal as a website is to drive traffic from the search engine result page (SERP) to your website by implementing what the specific words your ideal traffic would include in their search. This can include long-tail keywords, single words, and even full sentences.

Your Content Is Horrible and Not Optimized

We have touched on the keyword importance, and what is even more important is how you use those keywords within your content. A keyword is no good unless it is naturally placed within a well-written article or page on your website.

Make sure you are writing content that people will actually read, become engaged with and hopefully even share. Do not just write content just for the sake of getting content on your website or else you will definitely have troubles getting your SEO working. If your site design and content is just a mess and you don’t know where to start, then you can ask any of the top web design agencies to clean this up for you. While this might cost some money, it will definitely speed up the process and likely be done by a professional at the same time.

People want fresh, relative content that is easy to read and straight to the point. They do not want to feel like they are being sold on something, and will definitely pick up if you are keyword stuffing. Once in the title, first paragraph, one header, conclusion and a couple throughout the article (depending on the word count) are optimal.

You Are Not Tracking Conversions and Traffic

How are you supposed to know if your SEO is optimal if you do not have a method of tracking the progress? Using software such as Google Analytics will help you monitor your sales, conversions and incoming traffic. It will also teach you your bounce rates, and give you hints on how to improve them.

Learn More About Getting Your SEO Working Optimally

If you realized that you do not have your SEO working optimally, do not worry! You still have time to fix it, however, we suggest doing that sooner than later because most changes take about 6 months to start seeing the increase in traffic.

There are also many other factors that will come into play when looking at SEO as well. This can be anything from the DA/PA and ranking power of your site, to the length and focus of your content, to also how many backlinks you have pointing towards your site. Be sure to look at all of these variables when trying to improve your site rankings.

If you are fed up with trying to do it yourself, that’s ok, you probably shouldn’t be doing your own SEO anyways. Before you hire anyone, read this article on hiring an SEO specialist,

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SEO Video Marketing: How to Approach Video SEO and Optimization in 2019

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The Web is overwhelmingly addicted to online video content. Cisco forecasts online video traffic comprising 82% of all IP traffic by 2022. In the stat’s regards, creators forgoing SEO video marketing face obscurity.

Here’s the kicker: There’s no excuse why your brand shouldn’t explore video.

Video creation is easier-than-ever thanks to inexpensive video cameras and editing programs. The camera in your smartphone is often enough to create engaging videos. Even YouTube offers a free editing suite in its platform!

Video and SEO happen once you embrace the “something is better than nothing”. It’s overcoming your fright of being on camera and perfection. Those saying, “Yes, I’m ready!” keep reading because you’re about to learn how it’s done.

Why SEO Video Marketing Matters

Consider this: YouTube is the 2nd most used website and shares the same rank as a search engine. Yes, a search engine! YouTube is where many begin their discovery — appearing there has similar effects to the top 10 in Google.

Let’s not discount the 1-billion videos viewed on YouTube each day, either.

YouTube benefits are too good to pass — they include:

  • Presenting a face to your brand
  • Tapping the massive user base
  • Creating new marketing funnels
  • Building bigger brand awareness
  • Integrating with promo efforts

Video content is also among the most shared viral content types. A well-received video could change your business overnight! Given YouTube’s insane traffic, your efforts may prove more fruitful than written blogs alone.

Convinced yet? Let’s explore what you’ll do.

How to Create and Optimize Videos for YouTube

Your video SEO efforts do better when the content is good, that’s a given. Aim for high-quality videos covering in-demand topics. Read your audience and deliver what they want by looking at video stats and analytics.

Likewise, spend as much as you need for great video and sound quality. The mix of good content choice and video fidelity will boost engagement. The engagement is what you’re aiming for since this is one of the biggest SEO signals.

Now, let’s get into the video SEO techniques and strategies you’ll use.

1. Do Your Research

YouTube keywords are similar but different from those used in Google. Remember how YouTube is a search engine? Use its search features for topic and keyword discovery — type in your query and take notes!

Look how others use keywords:

  1. Let YT autosuggest keywords in the search bar
  2. Sort videos by ‘Most Popular’ with the given keyword
  3. Look at the creator’s keyword placement

Use this time to make a list of creators in your space and follow them. The list keeps a tab on their efforts and shows content gaps between their channel and yours. The content gap is the missing topics yet covered — giving you an advantage if you choose to cover these items.

2. Define Your Goals

Consider the video content type and how it relates to user intent:

  • Informative
  • Sales and marketing
  • Brand awareness
  • Internal resources

Your keyword selection often reveals the user intent by way of its topic. Create a spreadsheet and brainstorm a dozen ideas for each category. Then, define the direction and call-to-action used in these video types.

Examples would include tutorial or explainer videos for informative pieces. Or, reviews and product overviews for sales videos.

When knowing the intent you can:

  • Define where the video gets shared/embedded
  • Who you’ll work with for its promotion (influencers)

You can also use a tool like mysimpleshow to start creating whiteboard and animation videos through a simple drag and drop platform. There is no need to create your own videos, audios, or even being a coder or video producer.

mysimpleshow storyline

3. Keep Viewers Engaged

YouTube wants users spending a lot of time on their site. The longer users engage the better chance it shows positive ranking signals.

You can increase video engagement by doing the following:

  • Create video around interesting topics
  • Including video transcripts (they’ll linger while reading)
  • Use enticing thumbnails to boost clicks/views
  • Interlink videos on the platform and resources on your site
  • Ask for comments, subscribes, and shares

Aim at creating longer videos, too, if the topic supports it. Longer videos keep viewers hooked and could spur comments (and shares).

4. Wrap It with Content

Give your video a boost by embedding it on a page featuring relevant information. Examples include a product review on a product page. Or, crafting a video in tandem to a blog post either covering everything or acting as support.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Convert a popular post into a video
  2. Optimize the video on YouTube
  3. Embed the video back onto the page

Worry less about technicals like keeping it above the fold and more about its context. Give visitors a reason to stop and view the video by calling out its value in the content leading up to the embed.

5. Apply the Optimization

Apply optimization strategies to YouTube pages as you would your site:

  1. Place keyword(s) in the title, description, and tags
  2. Include a transcript or let YT transcribe for added content
  3. Add videos to catchy-titled playlists

Refer to your YouTube research for the keyword selection. Front-load the keyword in the title and early on in the description. Use secondary and long-tail keywords, too, if they add value to the video’s description.

You should take this time to craft an engaging channel about page, too. Fill the basics like channel description, details, and contact. Give people a reason to subscribe so they’ll return with each published video!

6. Get It Promoted

Invest in the video’s promotion as if it were a product:

  • Share it across your social channels
  • Tap influencers for mentions and shares
  • Interlink videos on popular platforms
  • Send the video URL to the newsletter
  • Promote it through paid advertising

To learn more about any of these methods and to see what’s working best for others, view this list of top influencers on YouTube. They don’t have millions of subscribers just out of luck. They actually know what they are doing when it comes to online video, and how to get viewers to click, like, and share.

The promotion satisfies two things:

  • Gets more views and potential shares
  • Provides feedback for new video ideas

Promoting like a product commands more commitment vs jumping to the next project. You’ll maximize the video’s potential and reach. This extra effort could turn viral — giving you a break in the industry!

Video Killed the Blog Star (Don’t Let It Be You)

Blogging has been the vehicle for business promotion for many years. Yet, this is changing as brands double-down on SEO video marketing. The Web has spoken and they want video content — will you deliver?

Don’t wait any longer nor overcomplicate the video creation process. Set up, press record, and shoot a video. Create something and use it when applying the video SEO strategies in this post.

Ready to take the next step in video production? Read our YouTube channel guide to grow with video content like you never imagined!

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