Monthly Archives: July 2019

10 Steps to Successful Online & Website SEO

online shopper finding business that utilized local seoKnowing the basics of search engine optimization (SEO)—and using the latest tactics—can be the difference between being lost online and generating valuable business leads. Successful local SEO gets a business found by local online visitors who are searching for information related to the business. Because search engines look for factors that cater to a better online experience for visitors, these tips can also convert visitors and give a business the edge over a competitor’s less-than-stellar web presence.

SEO can be broken down into two types: on-site and off-site. On-site SEO is the process of optimizing a website for search engines. This effort sets up a website so it checks off boxes on the list of search engine ranking signals. Off-site SEO are those checklist items that ensure a business shows up in search engine listings, such as a listing on an online directory.

While businesses have been using SEO for many years, SEO is an ever-evolving process with a changing list of ranking factors. To stay on top of those updates (and on top of the search engine results page), use these steps to get started and a professional marketing company to utilize the latest SEO practices.

On-Site SEO

Build a website with optimized structure and easy-to-use navigation.

Google has specifically stated that a HTTPS website is a top ranking signal. In addition to a secure HTTPS site, a website needs an optimized structure with an easy-to-use navigation. The latter is important for SEO and visitors. While SEO gets a website found, a website with an easy-to-use menu and conveniently positioned call-to-actions turns online visitors into buyers.

Consider website speed.

Website page loading speed matters, both to search engines and visitors. According to Google, when website page loading goes from one to three seconds, the chance of an online user leaving the website increases by 32%. That number almost triples, to 90%, when page loading speed goes from one to five seconds. The number increases to 106% when loading from one to six seconds. From one to 10 seconds, the chances of a bounce are a whopping 123%.

Make the website mobile-friendly.

According to the Pew Research Center, more than three-quarters of Americans have a smartphone. Google reports that more than half of online searches came from a search on a mobile device. Both of these statistics are the reason that a mobile-friendly site with fast loading time is a search engine signal.

Add optimized website content (for search engines and voice searches).

Optimized website content contains keywords that are relevant to online visitors’ searches. Basically, the website should contain information with keywords relevant to online searches—without sounding canned. This is another way that professionally-drafted website content can satisfy search engines and online visitors.

Select and optimize website images and video.

Website images are another integral part of a stellar website, both for online visitors and search engines. These images and videos should not be random media downloaded off of the internet (in fact, this is a huge online marketing mistake). Instead, the photos and video should be professional quality purchased or produced in-house. (These tips on choosing the right images for online marketing are invaluable.)

Add content on a regular basis.

New content regularly added to a website is a top search engine ranking signal. These types of content should be added on a regular basis to a website for optimal results. All content should be optimized with strategic keywords and information valuable to online visitors.

Off-Site SEO

Completely fill out a Google My Business listing.

Google My Business listings show up in searches when online users search for a local business. Businesses who claim a free listing can customize the information that shows up, such as the hours and listings. The claiming process is free, but does need to be confirmed by a postcard sent to the business address. For optimal results, take the process a step further by optimizing the GMB listing or outsource the task of creating and optimizing to trusted marketing professionals.

Claim review site listings.

Accurate listings on review sites are a valuable source of online traffic and a vital part of a business local SEO. This makes accurate and standard listings on Yelp, Manta, and the Better Business Bureau an important part of business’ efforts to get found online. Review sites should be monitored regularly (manually or with an automated system) to ensure that all negative reviews are responded to with excellent customer service.

Review company protocols to find ways to ask for reviews.

Positive online reviews build trust and earn customers. According to Search Engine Land, 88% of online visitors have reported that they factor online reviews into their purchasing decision. Businesses should make getting more reviews a top priority in daily operations; many of the asks for reviews can be integrated into daily operations.

Choose online directories.

Accurate business listings on online directories are another key to getting found in local searches. When claiming listings, businesses should make sure that the information is consistent on all sites. For example, an address with a street or suite should be written out fully or abbreviated the same on all sites. This effort can be done in-house or managed and updated by professionals as part of a comprehensive local SEO plan.

10 Tips that Get Businesses Better Social Media (and Results!)

user on phone looking at social mediaSocial media should be the source of more customer interactions and engagements—not frustrations. This list of social media tips gets business owner and managers the improved social media presence that gets the results they want.

Those results should mirror the benefits of a solid business social media presence:

  • Raising brand awareness,
  • Driving more traffic to a business location,
  • Generating more business leads,
  • Driving more traffic to a business website,
  • Increasing interactions with current and potential customers,
  • Generating more messages to the business

Tip #1: Make a clear (but flexible) social media plan.

The good news about this social media tip is that it’s never too late to draft a plan. The plan should be flexible and open to improvisation when needed, but provide a clear foundation for getting results. It should be important to note that the social media marketing plan should cater to what the target audience wants to know, not what businesses want to tell them. This post details the process that gets businesses up and selling on social media.

Step by Step: How to Get Your Business Up & Selling on Social Media

Tip #2: Choose a social media site that your target audience is actually on.

The long-and-short of the process should include documenting the target audience (who the business is trying to reach) and selecting the social media platform that the target audience is on. This part of the process is outlined in this post.

What Social Media Site Fits Your Brand?

Tip #3: Take the two R’s of social media to heart.

While there are many parts of building and maintaining a results-driven presence on social media, the basis is the same for every social media platform:

Understanding the Two R’s of Social Media Marketing

Tip #4: Build a social media following that wants to engage with the brand.

Businesses should never pass up on an opportunity to attract followers that are interested in the brand. These social media followers are not randomly bought and paid for. Instead, they are “recruited” at meetings, at check-out (in-person or online), and through off-line marketing materials.

10 Offline & Online Tips to Build Your Social Media Following

Tip #5: Never stop testing social media ideas.

The age old question, “what should be posted to social media?” is answered in this post. In addition to these lists (the second is more specific to local businesses targeting local customers), ideas can also be found by reviewing competitor pages. The exact formula for a business social media page is different for every business and should be continually tested to ensure that it fits customers’ preferences and updated social media trends.

What should I post to social media? What do people want to see?

Local Businesses: 30 Ideas for Your Next Social Media Post

Tip #6: Focus on goals.

There is no doubt that online bantering and entertainment is part of the customer experience (when appropriate). However, these social media strategies do not always achieve goals the business set out to achieve.

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Sales

Tip #7: For local results, use social media to connect with local customers.

For local businesses with local social media marketing goals, world-wide recognition is nice—but it does nothing to help get local customers and sales. Local businesses need to use different tactics to showcase their part in the community and the value they can provide to anyone who stops in (or contacts them). This approach does not always mean using a “sell, sell, sell!” approach, as discussed in this post for local businesses.

How can I use social media to connect with local customers?

Tip #8: Make the WHOLE customer experience favorable—especially customer service!

Customers appreciate businesses that make their life easier. Businesses can meet (and surpass) those expectations by providing helpful information, entertaining them, and answering their questions. The latter effort is more important than ever because customers expect quick, helpful, and complete answers. This post discusses how businesses can respond to customers and earn their business.

6 Rules for Delivering Excellent Customer Service on Social Media

Tip #9: Only the best and most relevant images work on social media.

Statistics have repeatedly shown that marketing with images get better results. The exact nature of those images is different for every business, but there are some guidelines businesses can use when choosing images for social media. Depending on the social media platform, the images don’t have to be high-quality but they do have to be highly relevant to the target audience.

How to Choose the Best Online Marketing Images

Tip #10: Don’t put all those proverbial eggs in one basket.

As beneficial as social media is, a business social media presence should never be a stand-alone marketing tool. Not every customer or potential customer is going to find a business or want to interact on social media. Instead, a social media plan should be part of a bigger marketing plan that includes SEO, email, and other marketing tactics. This post details the process.

Step by step: Make SEO, Content, Social Media & Email Work Together for You