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The State of Local SEO and How to Get More Local Customers

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Do you want to acquire more local customers from search?… Of course, you do!

First, you need to understand that SEO is no longer the way it used to be. A lot of has changed. In fact, the impact of these changes are more glaring in local search engine optimization.

When it comes to Local SEO, you need to get serious with Google My Business Page and citations.

When you implement both practices, you’re telling local consumers and search engines alike that you’re open for business. And your sales will possibly increase.

Remember that local searches are more likely to lead to sales, compared to non-local searches. According to a research study by Google, 18% of local smartphone searches generated a purchase within 24 hours.

Of course, links are still important to search rankings, but the approach has changed a lot in the last 3 years. You now need to understand the on-page technicalities first, before moving out to get links.

Make no mistakes about it. Modern SEO boils down to listening to and attending to your website’s visitor – people who consume your content, after clicking on your search result from Google organic listings.

It’s no secret that you have to do more to thrive in the search these days. If you choose to manipulate search using blackhat techniques, you may end up losing your precious rankings.

That’s why I created this in-depth article, to help you understand the State of Local SEO & where to pay attention now.

Your SEO is not all about ranking #1

If you think that SEO is all about getting ranked in #1 position, then you’re making a deadly mistake. Of course who wouldn’t desire that spot – but that’s not the focus.

At the end of the day, the focus of SEO is to build sustainable rankings for your target keywords. You want to rank today, tomorrow, and even next year.

For this to happen, you need an effective social media strategy – because social signals have become an integral part of organic ranking factors.

Once you pass some social juice to your web pages, every other effort would yield better results. In fact, your CTR will weigh more – because you have a lot of people engaging with your content on social media sites.

So the #1 result in Google may not always get the most clicks. Remember that majority of your searchers, especially those outside internet marketing field don’t know the difference between organic and paid search results.

To a large extent, what determines whether a search result (both organic and paid) gets clicked on is the title, meta description, and page URL. And more importantly, the local map packs with reviews and star ratings.

For example, I searched for “plumber” but I don’t feel excited with these results. So I’ll skip them and scroll down a bit.

Scrolling down the same page, a search result in the Google maps caught my attention. I thought I should click on this one. With all these reviews and ratings from real customers, how can I go wrong?

Your localized link is your new advantage

In today’s local rankings, where you got your inbound links play a vital role in the search rankings.

More so, if you get more links from relevant directories and websites in the same geographical area, Google may reward you better.

And for that to work, you need to gain links to your brand social media, to your product page (or specific service page), and pass more link juice to your video content. [image

To surmount your competition, you don’t need the best website design or a huge marketing budget. You need compelling content and trusted backlinks. It’s your new advantage.

Compelling content will help you rank for several long-tail keywords that you’re not directly targeting. And being on Google’s first page drives more clicks to your local business landing pages.

Note that when you get few inbound links from a website with high domain authority, this can improve your rankings for highly competitive keyword phrases.

On the flip side, low domain authority websites can result in a nose dive for your web pages that are already climbing the top of organic listings. Ahrefs conducted an exclusive research study in this respect.

If you look at it closely, you’ll agree with me that modern SEO isn’t about keywords, but on the searcher’s intent.

For example, why do people search for “small business tools” in Google?

Are they looking for tools to buy, or they just want to learn how fast new tools are being released in the small business field?

An in-depth market research will answer that question.

Higher Organic Rankings depends on how much you engage your site users

Truly, links are the lifeblood of local search rankings.

But all links are not created equal.

Since 2014, brands that proactively research authority websites, build relationships, and eventually earned links to their web pages, have seen a spike in organic rankings as the year goes by.

The imminent challenge that local businesses face is the time and expertise to build these links. If you’re in the same both, the solution is to:

Build engagement with site visitors.

Engagement is so important.

For instance, when website visitors are engaged, they’ll share content, cite it, leave valuable comments, write honest reviews, and push your brand to the spotlight through word of mouth.

When I did a search for plumber earlier, did you notice what inspired me to click on a search result?

Reviews and star ratings.

You’ll often find reviews and star ratings in rich snippets of the organic search results.

Reviews are hard to get.

Reviews speak volumes and show how responsive your customers and website visitors are towards your content or product.

Customer reviews may not improve your search rankings (at least Google hasn’t made it clear yet), but it improves user experience.

Consequently, the more reviews your local business garner, the more inspired and ready your customers will be. It can increase your product orders.

From the results above, I can boldly say that the trust level you have with customers can be directly or indirectly traced to how engaging your content is.

Yes the term “content engagement” has become a buzzword. So many local businesses throw it around, but only a few people truly knows what it means.

Of course engagement could mean several things at the same time. But when it comes to getting more local customers through content, the engagement that you want can be summarized in these few points:

  • Get local clients to click on your headline and read your content.
  • Your content inspires local clients to call your business.
  • Your ideal customers find your physical business address, and take steps to visit you now or later.
  • Get customers to place order on your online store.

And so forth.

At the end of the day, you want to track conversions, not some vanity metrics like reach, comments, and so on.

However, you can increase content engagement if you understand the consumer engagement cycle. This is more or less the various paths that your ideal customer must tour, before deciding on your business.

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Conclusion

Local SEO is all about telling great story of your brand without rambling endlessly. You don’t have to be a natural-born storyteller.

Great storytelling entrepreneurs thrive on a simple secret:

They understand their audience more than the average Joe.

In your page title, page description, and within your content, find reasons to tell stories that pique the user’s mind. Don’t stuff keywords. Instead, stuff your content with stories.

This is Marcus Sheridan’s strategy. Though he’s known as a pools guy, but by telling stories of his brand and the struggles he had to go through, his local business went international.

And guess what? Today, he generates more traffic from organic searches. Every challenge that you’ve experienced is a goldmine when creating content.

Tap into it – and tell the story – while driving your brand message home. Your local customers will understand it better.

 

This article was a contribution from Michael Chibuzor, who is a seasoned freelance writer. If you’re looking for long-form articles that drives traffic and sales, visit ContentMarketingUp.com.

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Maximizing the ROI of Exhibition Marketing by Leveraging Your Blog

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Many business owners mistakenly believe that trade show marketing is obsolete. They believe that it is better to focus on educating and reaching potential customers through their blog or posting videos on YouTube. Marketers that make this assumption are missing out on an excellent source of potential new customers. Trade show marketing is alive and well. PwC estimates that the exhibition event industry is worth $14.3 billion. Rather than viewing exhibition marketing as an outdated strategy, you should combine it with your digital marketing strategy.

You can definitely reach a lot of customers through content marketing. However, many customers want to see you show off your products at local exhibitions. Tradeshows are A much more personal form for interacting with customers.

If you want to make the most of your tradeshow marketing strategy, you should leverage it with your blog. Here are some ideas to consider.

Use your blog to educate future customers about products before they attend your tradeshow

Most people stumble upon trade shows while attending another, larger event, such as a county fair. They have no prior knowledge of the products or vendors at the tradeshow.

As a trade show vendor, you aren’t going to get as much value if your prospective customers aren’t informed beforehand. You are going to need to dedicate the entire event to educating them and answering elementary questions.

This is where your blog can come in handy. Take some time to write blog posts about your upcoming trade show. A marketing expert we talked to from RollerBanners suggests having an FAQ section so you can let people know about the different products that you are going to showcase. You can even embed a couple of videos about your products, so readers have some idea of what to expect when they attend your trade show.

Customers will have a better idea about your products after reading your blog posts. They will attend your trade show more prepared and ready to ask more helpful questions. By asking more informed questions, they will have the information they need to decide whether or not to make a purchase.

Encourage customers to contribute positively to the discussion

Most exhibition events encourage two-way conversations. This format can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the comments of the attendees.

If customers have a negative perception of your product, they may make negative comments that will dissuade other people from making a purchase. On the other hand, people that express positive sentiments about your products well encourage others to consider buying your products.

For example, click fraud detection company Clickcease, is attending conferences around the world all the time. The benefit here is two fold:

  1. They get to increase exposure to their brand and meet new businesses and potential clients.
  2. The visibility and one-on-one interaction is a great way to build trust and new clientele.

However, it’s also important to understand that not all businesses and brands have the time or budget to attending conferences around the world. For times like these, it’s best to use your blog to facilitate positive discussions which may have also been relevant at marketing trade shows.

Here are few ways it can help:

  • You can use your blog to dispel any negative assumptions people might have about your product. This will help discourage people from asking leading questions that could cast your brand in a negative light.
  • You can highlight some of the milestones you have reached and unique selling points about your products. Did you get an honorable mention from a reputable organization in your area? Talk about it on your blog. People might discuss the positive elements of your product amongst each other at your event or ask positive questions about the admirable elements of your brand.
  • People that are not going to be interested in your product will be less likely to attend. Although there is always a possibility that hecklers will come by to express their criticism, most people that don’t like what you have to offer will simply avoid your event after reading your blog post. This means they won’t be around to spread negative feelings about your brand at your tradeshow.

Your blog is a great platform for facilitating discussions about your brand. Why not use it to encourage positive feedback with other customers at your tradeshow?

Attract more targeted attendees to your event

Old school marketers used to measure the success of exhibition marketing by the number of people that attended an event. In the digital marketing era, marketers understand that the quality of leads is more important than the quantity. Attracting more targeted leads significantly increases your opportunity to make a sale.

You can use your blog to draw more interested participants. The easiest way to do this is by reading blog articles and optimizing them around relevant keywords. For example, if you are running a trade show in Dallas, Texas to promote a couple of woodworking tools you created, you could optimize your articles around the following keywords:

  • “Woodworking trade show Dallas”
  • “woodworking events in Dallas”
  • “woodworking schools in Dallas”
  • “Learn about woodworking in Dallas”

You could also add the names of other surrounding cities so that you could reach people in those areas as well. People going on Google to learn more about woodworking will stumble upon your blog posts and learn about your upcoming events. Then they will be more likely to attend your events and consider making a purchase.

Optimizing your blog for SEO is an excellent way to draw targeted leads to your tradeshows. Here are some tips that will help.

Build backlinks to your blog from local websites

Offsite optimization is one of the most important elements of SEO. You can have exceptional content on your blog, but it won’t start ranking until you have built quality backlinks.

There are a number of ways that you can build the links to your blog. Some of them are much more effective than others. A lot of the outdated SEO strategies that worked well 10 years ago are pretty much worthless today. Submitting articles to generic article directories like Ezine Articles is not going to give you quality results. Also, most of the old website directories have either been deindexed by Google or have started adding the “nofollow” tag to outgoing links. You won’t get any link benefit from using them.

So, how do you go about building quality links to your blog to promote your events? One of the best approaches to use local news and other websites. There are a couple of reasons this is better than using generic platforms for building links:

  • Backlinks from local sites will seem more relevant to Google.
  • These websites are not constantly getting spammed by people looking to promote their websites. They will be more comfortable using the “dofollow” tag.
  • Websites owned by other businesses in your area will be more likely to trust you if you are also local. They will be more comfortable sharing your event.

Try collaborating with at least five local websites. You might be surprised to see how much your rankings increase afterwards.

Optimize your blog for every city within a couple of hours

When you are trying to optimize your website to reach local customers, it is easy to get tunnel vision. Most businesses only optimize their website for their own city. They forget that there might be a dozen other cities within a reasonable driving distance. If you optimize your blog for those cities, you might be able to reach those customers too.

Create high-quality articles that are at least 1,000 words long

When you are writing a blog post about your upcoming tradeshows, you should make sure they are as detailed as possible. Google tends to rank websites higher in the SERPs if most of the articles are 1,000 to 2000 words long. The average article on the front page is 1,900 words long.  You will find that a lot of local competitors are still ranking for websites with short-form content. However, this is usually because there isn’t much competition. You will have a strong advantage if you use longer articles.

You can also learn more about SEO and blog page length here.

Share testimonials on your blog

Your tradeshow could help people decide whether or not to purchase a product. However, it never hurts to try influencing customers before the event.

If you can give customers a positive impression of your brand before the event, you will have an easier time coaxing them into making a purchase. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing testimonials on your blog.

Testimonials have been proven to be very effective at increasing conversion rates. They will both entice people to attend your event and make them more willing to make a purchase once they visit.

Use your blog to follow up with customers that attended your tradeshow

Most of the other strategies outlined here focus on encouraging people to attend your tradeshow and making them more open to your pitch. However, your blog can also be great for engaging with people that attended your event.

The average person needs to be exposed to your brand seven times before they make a purchase. They might not be ready to become a customer after attending your tradeshow. However, if you encourage them to visit your blog for more information, they might be ready to make the commitment. You can also use your trade show to get them to join your mailing list so you will be able to engage with them more regularly.

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Billboard Marketing vs. Digital Marketing in 2019

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More than 71 percent of customers look at billboard advertisements. That alone might be enough to sell you on a new billboard campaign, but digital marketing is no slouch when it comes to generating leads either. This begs the question: how does billboard marketing measure up against digital marketing?

Here’s a breakdown of both advertising methods: their pros, cons, and what you should take from each.

What Is Billboard Marketing?

Billboard marketing is exactly what it says on the tin: marketing using billboards. The style of billboard has gone through a few changes, with the digital billboard leading the pack in modern times, but the principles are the same. Someone must pass by a billboard in order to see your advert.

Pro: It Targets Local Audiences

If you’re looking to give your brand local flair, then a billboard isn’t a bad choice. It’s hyper-local, so only customers in your area will see it. This is also a great way to associate your brand with a particular location.

Pro: Increases Brand Awareness

It’s not enough to have your brand seen just once; to cultivate proper awareness, an audience must be exposed to a message multiple times.

In marketing, this repetition is called “effective frequency.” It’s the driving principle behind many campaign slogans, and for good reason: it works.

Marketers like to debate the numbers behind effective frequency, but no matter how many times it might take for a message to reach your audience, there’s little doubt that billboards are an effective way to do it.

Con: It Isn’t Measurable

You can make a guess at how many people saw your billboard, but that’s all it would be: a guess. Compare that to digital marketing efforts that provide detailed analytics breakdowns of who saw your ad and what actions they took after doing so.

What about Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the practice of advertising goods or services to audiences online. It can take the form of social media campaigns, banner ads, or pay-per-click advertising.

Pro: You’re Able to Better Target Your Campaigns

A billboard is the very definition of a broad marketing strategy. You’re targeting anyone who drives by in the hopes that some of them might be your intended demographic.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows you to carefully target your campaigns. You can target age brackets, seller behaviors, or even individual accounts – read more about ABM marketing here.

Pro: More Effective Use of Inbound Marketing Strategies

Billboards are the quintessential outbound marketing strategy, and that’s not a good thing. Inbound marketing techniques not only see higher lead generation rates, but they’re also cheaper.

Plus, inbound marketing costs 62 percent less per lead than outbound techniques.

Con: People Tend to Ignore Online Advertising

As a species, we’re very good at tuning out non-essential details. Unfortunately for your business, that can include ignoring your slick new online campaign.

Four out of five American consumers ignore online ads. This doesn’t mean they’re not worth investing in — you just have to try harder to grab attention.

Billboard Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

At the end of the day, every marketing strategy has its pros and cons. If you want to cultivate local brand awareness, then a billboard marketing campaign will work well. If, however, you’re looking to harness the power of inbound marketing, you can’t go past digital.

Looking to grow your engagement on Instagram? Here are nine ways to do just that.

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Quick Tips to Find eCommerce Marketing Success with Instagram

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When it comes to online retail, the competition is very stiff on a global scale. With so many people now going online to make purchases, the number of etail businesses has rocketed over the years. For those who plan to set up a retail business online through platforms such as Shopify, it is important to work out how to make your business stand out and increase exposure.

As a small online retailer, the chances are you don’t have a lot of money to splash out on marketing. The good news is that in today’s digital era, you don’t need a huge amount of money to market your online retail venture and help gain exposure. In fact, you can do is very simply and conveniently through sites such as Instagram and other social media platforms.

What Are the Key Benefits for Businesses?

So, what are the key benefits of marketing your online retail business through Instagram and other social media sites? Well, one of the key benefits you can look forward to is the cost-efficiency of this solution, as you won’t have to spend a fortune to reach out to audiences far and wide. In fact, you can market your business and reach out to audiences with far greater ease when you use social media, and you can do it completely free.

With the addition of ecommerce features and advertising options comes to Instagram, this is only going to expand the growth opportunities even further. If you think Facebook was great for demographic targeting and for ecommerce sales, just want until you see what Instagram has lined up. You can read more on this here.

Another major benefit you can look forward to is saving a huge amount of time and resources. This is particularly beneficial for small and start-up businesses, as they often don’t have the resources and time needed to get involved in complex marketing campaigns. With social media platforms like Instagram, you won’t need to worry about this, as you can market your business with speed and ease.

It is also important to consider the reach that social media offers compared to other forms of advertising and marketing. When you use social media platforms, you can reach out far and wide to a global audience with your message. This means that you can engage your target audience and break into new marketing in other destinations simply by promoting your retail business, products, and services online.

Customer engagement can be very difficult these days, but it is also vital if you want to benefit from business success. By using social media, you can engage your audience with far greater ease. This means you can help to build confidence in your business and brand, which will help to further boost the success of your business.

A Simple Solution for Success

Anyone that runs a Shopify business will be keen to spread the word and let people know about special deals, offers, promotions, and new lines. In addition, they will be eager to build a solid reputation for their brand and business. Well, this provides a simple and effective solution that can help to seal the success of your Shopify business. With digital technology at your fingertips and with so many people spending time online, marketing your business is simpler than ever.

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