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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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MegaPu.sh Push Notifications Network is Excellent for Affiliate Marketing

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As an affiliate marketer, you are constantly looking for new, creative, and effective ways to optimize your campaigns. It’s critically important that you look at every step at the process to unearth potential opportunities. Are you picking the right offers to promote? Are you basing them purely on payout or are you looking at conversion rates and competition too? In promoting these offers, are you looking at better ways to drive traffic toward the landing pages?

When it comes to converting on an affiliate offer, you must first get the attention of the potential lead. Once you’ve got their attention, you need them to click on through to the landing page. And once there, you need them to convert.

One of the fastest growing and most effective ways to get the attention of users is with push notifications, both on mobile and desktop. And MegaPu.sh is the first advertising network with an exclusive focus on push notifications.

Pu-Push It Real Good

Push notifications offer a number of advantages over more traditional ad formats. Whereas there is a certain expectation for “ad blindness” with display advertising and click-thru rates via content marketing can be wildly unpredictable, push notifications are immediately noticeable and timely. They cannot be so easily ignored, representing an incredible opportunity for marketers to reach audiences like never before.

MegaPu.sh has certainly recognized this amazing opportunity and have provided a great platform where affiliates can reach these audiences easily and in a very cost-effective manner. In just one day, the network serves up around a billion impressions and over 9 million clicks with an effective cost-per-click (eCPC) of just 2.7 cents.

Pushing Demographics

As mentioned, these push notifications work on both desktop and mobile, so you’re able to get to your audience no matter where they are. The immediacy of the push notification allows for great targeting based on demographics too. The traffic found on MegaPu.sh is summed up in these pie charts.

The majority of users are male (80%) and you’ll find that nearly half fall into the 35 to 54 year age range. With such interests as business and software, this key demographic can be ripe for affiliate marketing opportunities. These are individuals who are typically at an age where they have some disposable income or they have interests that align with that (like cryptocurrency, gambling, and binary options).

So while you can certainly find success approaching other niches and verticals, keeping this kind of target demographic in mind can give you a sense of the kinds of affiliate offers that would likely perform best on the network. In addition to gaming and investing, you might also look into dating and similar areas.

Advertiser Control Panel

The user dashboard for MegaPu.sh is straightforward in its approach and aligns with much of what you’ve likely already experienced with other ad networks. The main page shows your main statistics at a glance, including the number of clicks and the amount of ad spend you’ve had today and this month. This amalgamates all the data across all your campaigns.

Before this main bar graph, you’ll find information about yesterday’s top 10 campaigns and your top campaigns overall, offering the number of clicks, targeted country and total cost. Next to this are lists of the top 10 active countries for campaigns across the network, plus the top 10 free across the network.

Navigation is through the left side, which is where you’ll access more detailed statistics reports, your campaign list, the area to add more funds to your account, information about the referral program, network news and so on. Two small items are worth noting here.

First, there is a bonus system in place based on the amount of your deposits. These are outlined in the FAQ. Putting $500 earns you one point, for instance, while putting in $5000 gets you 20 points. Each MP is worth $15 in ad budget, but you must exchange a minimum of 10 MP at a time.

Second, the referral program offers a generous 7% commission of the total payment by a partner that you refer to MegaPu.sh.

Create a Campaign

Creating a new campaign within MegaPu.sh consists of just a single page. It’s here that you’ll enter basic information like the campaign name and target link, as well as upload the image, set your target country, enter your CPC bid and so forth.

The CPC amount you should bid will vary considerably based on the geo you are trying to target. The country with the most volume at the moment is India and it has an average CPC of just 0.3 cents. By contrast, the average CPC in Russia is 8.9 cents, it’s 1.3 cents in Turkey, 6.1 cents in Kazakhstan, and 0.2 cents in Egypt.

Once you are done configuring your campaign (you can set limits based on spending or clicks, if you’d like), you submit it for approval. The moderation process is really efficient and fast. MegaPu.sh says that it is completed “within 30 minutes from the date of sending the campaign” during regular working hours, which are 8am to 11pm (GMT+3) Monday to Friday and 8am to 5pm (GMT+3) on Saturday and Sunday.

Campaign Case Studies

As with all things advertising, your mileage may vary and these case studies may not necessarily be representative of what you might expect from your own campaigns. Such is the nature of affiliate marketing, after all.

In one modest example, the affiliate attempted to push traffic to a cryptocurrency offer that paid $250 on deposit. He ran a campaign targeting Poland, spending just $33.25 at 1.4 cents per click. This resulted in one conversion for a net profit of $216 or an ROI of 651%.

In a campaign on a larger scale, the offer being promoted was for a gambling site in Italy. The offer converts on signup, offering the new users 7 Euro in free bonus without a deposit. After running the push notification ad campaign for about three weeks, spending a total of $1,818.60 for around 70,000 clicks (96% unique), total commissions of $3,700.20 were generated. That’s an average ROI of 107.5%.

An Effective Traffic Source

Based on these two different examples, it’s clear enough that push notifications as a means of generating targeted traffic for affiliate offers can be very effective and remarkably profitable. MegaPu.sh makes it easy, giving you seamless access to traffic from all countries, including advanced targeting by platform and OS, full native tracking, and a generous referral program to boot.

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Rapidly Growing Business? Here Are 13 Ways to Stay on Brand

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Branding is incredibly important for any business. It becomes critical, however, when your company is growing quickly. After all, if more people are coming in contact with your brand over a shorter period of time, you must solidify the right message for that audience.

So, how can you keep your communications consistent as you expand operations and onboard new team members? To find out, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council how to stay on brand when a new company is gaining traction.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Create a Consistent Social Media Voice

As your team grows, more people will be posting as your brand on different social media channels, so it’s important that you have a consistent voice across the board. Create a document that outlines the type of voice you want to portray. Is your brand funny, serious or a mix of the two? What are some jokes that you’ve used in the past?

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

2. Develop a Brand Persona

Having a very clear and thoroughly fleshed-out brand persona is essential to ensure consistency in messaging. It enables your team to communicate in your brand’s voice across all channels, from your website to social media to email marketing. Brand personas can, and probably should, evolve, but the sooner you define one the more on brand your messaging will be.

Karl Kangur, MRR Media

3. Create a Collaborative Style Guide

Having a brand style guide that is both easily accessible and managed in a way that leads to collaboration between team members is a great way to ensure messaging and brand guidelines are adhered to even as new channels are identified and built out.

Nick Eubanks, From The Future

4. Educate Employees During Onboarding

My company is currently in a rapid-growth phase, so we’ve made brand messaging part of our onboarding process for new hires. Everyone who comes through our doors learns our value propositions because they apply to company goals beyond marketing. They guide the interactions we have with customers and our vision for the future state of the company.

Sean Harper, Kin Insurance

5. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

When marketers and public relations professionals are in a rush to draft a press release or marketing email, mistakes happen that can negatively impact how your customers receive brand messaging. To keep your communications on brand, prioritize quality over quantity. Be strategic about the marketing and media opportunities you pursue (and the ones you decline).

Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

6. Keep Your Ears Open

The best way to stay on brand and relevant as your business grows is to listen to your current customers. As people who already benefit from your products and services, it is crucial to pay attention to their ideas and the feedback and comments they make on social media. Customers help build a brand and keep it on track.

Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

7. Hire a Designer and a Copywriter

Different teams manage different communications channels (in-app is engineers, email and social media are marketing, knowledge base and tickets are customer support), which makes it very hard to align them. Before the “publish” button gets pushed, everything should have gone through a designer and a writer with a deep understanding of your brand.

Tim Chaves, ZipBooks Accounting Software

8. Remain True to Your Core Values

Even as you grow and scale up your marketing, it’s important to stay consistent with your core brand identity. To do this, you need a clear understanding of your role in the marketplace and your unique value proposition. Understand what your customers expect from you in your messages and marketing as well as in your products. Always remember your commitment to your core values.

Shawn Porat, Scorely

9. Centralize Your Documents

We have a centralized place, our intranet, where all of our documents can be found. These documents are constantly being updated. Employees send marketing team requests for what is needed and then they are uploaded to the intranet so everyone can find and use them.

Nicole Smartt, Star Staffing

10. Remain Consistent

Stay true to your brand’s purpose. Through familiarity, you’ll build a good business reputation. If you keep switching the name, the look and the message, people will think they’re looking at a different company. Stay consistent to your brand by creating relevant content that will also enhance it. Old customers will recognize your longevity while you continue to build the business.

Codie Sanchez, Www.CodieSanchez.com

11. Utilize Trusted Communicators

Even while a business is rapidly expanding, one thing you do not want to do is have newer team members handle outward communications. I’ve found that the best way to maintain a consistent level of on-brand communications is to have team members with seniority have the final say on content editing and social media, while newer talent shadows the seniors to better understand the brand’s philosophy.

Bryce Welker, Crush The LSAT

12. Embrace Change

Be comfortable with change. When you’re new and growing fast, your brand will be changing and evolving over time. It’s a good idea to embrace that communications will need to change. The best way to keep it as streamlined and consistent as possible is to know your brand and your customer. Make sure you’re speaking to them in a consistent way, and if you do evolve the message over time, do so in an intentional manner, then measure the results.

Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

13. Don’t Neglect Design

When we talk about staying on message, it’s common to focus primarily on the written or spoken word. However, it is important to remember that an audience sees your visual design before reading a single word. Your website, email newsletters, social media visual content and even your team’s email signatures should all share a well-designed and cohesive visual brand identity.

Ismael Wrixen, FE International

Nothing is Better than Watching Your Business Grow…

However… if you aren’t ready and have the necessary precautions in place, you might find your thriving business actually falling behind and imploding onto itself. Make sure you have all eyes on your business and are ready to expand in all directions. To learn more about improving your business and scaling to that next level, be sure to read up on these expert tips.

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11 Features of a Great Law Firm Web Design and SEO

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Lawyers are awesome at what they do — which is legal stuff. If you want to be the best at what you do, it’s often best to focus solely on what you are best at, while outsourcing the rest. This should be true with all services and organizations that want to have an amazing website that not only shows off what a business or agency does but also blows away the competition in the process.

The legal industry is growing rapidly, which means it is important that your law firm stands out from the pack. Your website should be the place where your prospective clients can get a sense of your knowledge and skills in law practice. Hence, they can trust you to win their cases.

In order to make your website stand out, you should call on a professional web design firm that knows how to highlight your strengths. So, let’s see how a great law firm web design should look.

Use Your Firm’s Logo and Name

Use your unique logo to build brand recognition on your website. This will allow clients to identify you immediately and follow you both online and offline. In the same respect, use your law firm’s name in the URL and in the header of the website so that it can be easier for customers to find you.

If you don’t currently have a logo design for your legal firm, this is something you should immediately invest. The good news is that this can be accomplished for a fraction of the cost a traditional design team or agency would charge. Through the power of the internet and artificial intelligence, you can use this design tool to create a legal company brand logo like the one below in a matter of seconds.

Highlight Your Law Firm’s Strengths

Your strengths set you apart from the rest. So, try to stress your practice in a particular area of practice. We can actually point out a perfect example of this from a Seattle-based personal injury lawsuit team below. By highlighting these numbers and success rates, it not only shows off your firm’s legitimacy and success rate but will also keep your clients feel safe and secure in the process. When using this type of content on your site, ensure that this piece of information stands out in the firm’s web design. This is also called the unique selling point and will make your prospective clients want to work with you.

List All the Legal Services You Offer

Make sure that the website lists all the services that you provide and how you can help your clients. Also, mention your skills and your experience and try to place these details on your homepage. Make sure they are informative and helpful.

If you aren’t sure how to best set this up, just take a few minutes to search “top legal firms” on Google, and see the many different site designs and navigation menus being used. The most important thing is to provide your audience with what they are looking for, while also not overloading them with options and distractions in the process.

Use the Firm’s Chosen Colors

Make your website design and company brand stand out by adopting a color combination that is perfectly tailored to convey your message. Use the colors as backgrounds, in the links, in the visual separators, and for the icons. Make sure that these colors are the same as those in your logo so that you can be easily recognizable.

When it comes to building a trustworthy brand and relating to your audience, take a look at the different ways businesses and brand use colors to accomplish this. A perfect example would be the color “Grey”, and how companies like Apple, Wikipedia, Puma and others implement this into their logo design and branding to better relate with their audience and show off their professionalism in the process.

Share Your Work

Share your best case studies and their results on your website. They will show that you have the necessary knowledge and expertise and they also demonstrate that you have had exceptional results in your previous practice. Moreover, link your website to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This way, people can interact with you and this can also be a window to harvest new clients and convert your client base into a great following.

This is something I often discuss when talking about blogging and building out About Me pages. While most people just throw these types of pages together, they are actually going to be one of the most read pages on your site, and definitely a great place to showcase any case studies, testimonials, or customer success stories.

Register Your Firm with Google My Business

This is not a web design feature per say, but it will be of great help to you. List your law firm with Google My Business. It is free and easy to register. All that it requires is your basic information such as the firm’s name, the website information, and the location of your company. Then, you can verify your business with the firm’s code.

After that, you can enter more information such as the hours of operation, your description, and services. You can optimize your presence so that your firm can be identified through Google searches by clients around you. Incorporate a link to the firm’s site and build a great and lasting reputation.

Optimization through SEO

Optimize your website for the search engines so that you can get in the top rankings. It might sound like rocket science, but it’s not difficult at all. For example, WordPress has amazing SEO features built within their themes and plugins.

Also, as far as SEO is concerned, you can keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use proper names for the images on your site as this enhances the results from the search engines and improves the content of the site.
  • Do not choke or stuff your site with too many pages and posts that are not related to your practice. This will have an opposite result and it will be harder for the search engines to find you. Moreover, your website may suffer a penalty as a result of irrelevance.
  • Format your texts properly to make sure that they are easy to read and comprehend. This will make the prospective clients want to return to your website.
  • Contextualize your links as this makes it easier for clients to get the bigger picture and understand the information on your website. Customers can relate when you link to relevant sources and materials.

Share your Results and Testimonials

Share the most important testimonials from past clients. This helps build great confidence, trust, and credibility in your prospective customers. Clients will be more inclined to seek your legal services if they can tell that you’ve been winning related cases.

Research supports the fact that testimonials work to attract customers. It is a marketing tool and you can display it on the lawyer’s profiles.

When adding testimonials to your site, it’s important to make sure you are using ones that are real and authentic. Also, if you have the opportunity to showcase someone famous or well-known within your niche, do that as well. You can see some great examples of testimonial usage on my Blogging University course page. Not only are testimonials and reviews important for legal firms and online courses, they are crucial in the acceptance and usage of local businesses, stores, and resturants as well.

Highlight Your Attorneys’ Successes and use Social Profiles

You may have many lawyers dealing with different law areas. List all their awards and achievements and include a testimonial from each of them. This will make them more approachable. Also, it is a sure-fire way of enhancing and promoting their skills and building the firm’s credibility. It is also a way of winning new clients.

Also, don’t forget to take advantage of social media and profile pages have to offer. To see a perfect example of how to build a personal brand, while showing off your expertise, user reviews, and awards are to check out Michelle Hubbard’s Instagram profile. Not only is this helping her build a personal brand and following, it’s also showing she is the real deal and knows what she is doing when it comes to fighting for animal rights.

List the Areas of Practice

It is a must to list all the practice areas and the contact for each lawyer in your firm. It will be easier for future customers to search for the right specialist for their case. It also helps them reach the attorney directly without going through a lot of hassle with the customer support, toll-free numbers, etc.

Again, this goes back to the practice of making sure you provide your audience with as much information and value as possible, but not overloading them with options in the process. Highlight your expertise and areas of practice through bullet points or visuals to get the most impact.

Make Your Website Fast and Responsive

Many of the clients work online with their desktops, laptops, and smartphones. Make sure that your website is responsive and works perfectly on every device and does not frustrate your customers with various delays. Your site should not take ages to load and display the information. You can always check the site’s speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Also, make the content easy to read because most visitors don’t have the time to go through large blocks of text.

These are the main aspects that will make your law firm’s web design attractive for prospective customers. Also, make sure that you always take your client’s grievances into consideration and implement their recommendations. They are the users and they know best what they are looking for.

Need help making your legal page even better?

Don’t worry if all of these seems too time-consuming and overwhelming… we’ve got you covered! Having been in the industry for well over 20 years now, I’ve been able to work alongside some of the best agencies, freelancers, and designers in the world today. Take a look at our web services page and see how we can help launch your brand or business to that next level.

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Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

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