Mobile is a Crucial Piece of Your Local Search Initiative

Mobile is a Crucial Piece of Your Local Search Initiative

Almost everyone knows that having a mobile marketing strategy is no longer just an option, but somehow the concept is slower being implemented by local business owners.

More than ever, local business owners have to realize the incredible opportunity that being active in mobile offers them, and how best to take advantage of that. Here are a few reasons why this is important, plus some things you can do about it.

Why you need to be mobilized

Part of this is based on being aware of what your market is doing with their mobile devices. Here are some eye-opening statistics to help all of us get an understanding on just how important this is:

  • 97 percent of consumers go online in search of services or products in their local area.
  • 73 percent of mobile searches lead to store visits and/or conversions.
  • They’re quick: 70 percent of those consumers search who locally on their mobile device act upon it within one hour.
  • 15 percent of consumers will actively use their smartphone to check prices once they’re in your store!

So how best to take advantage of mobile for local search?

Here are a few ways you can ensure your business is ready to be found locally via mobile devices.

Make sure you’re mobile ready - Taking the time to get a mobile version of your site out there is paramount. Access your site to see what the user experience is, and modify accordingly. Don’t simply assume it will all work out. You’ve got fewer than 10 seconds to create a good impression, and if your site isn’t even loaded in that time, well…

Watch sizes and content - Obviously small screens are harder to read and act upon. Don’t load you mobile pages with lots of textual content that nobody will take the time to read with their phone. Use brief, bulleted text chunks, along with optimized images and call to action buttons big enough to click on easily!

Engage with your visitors - Just getting your site be mobile ready isn’t enough: you need to engage with people who are attempting to communicate with you there also. Mobile is very much a social medium, so you should treat it as such.

Claim your directory listings - You’ll want to claim any listing you find on local directories, and create them where you don’t. Be consistent in the information you put on each site, so visitors and search engines can easily find you.

Look at These 10 Reasons for Marketing on Pinterest

Who knew that Pinterest, that began as yet another photo sharing site would become not just one of the most popular sites on the Web, but would be a fantastic place for small and large business alike to market.

Let’s have a look at ten great reasons why you need to consider using Pinterest in your marketing.

10 Reasons to market on Pinterest

  1. Half of them are buyers! - Statistics show that more than 47 percent of online shoppers in the U.S. have bought at least in part from a recommendation on Pinterest.
  2. It’s a social media powerhouse - When it comes to e-commerce traffic, Pinterest gets a 41 percent share, while Facebook is second at 37 percent!
  3. You’ll make more money - The typical purchase made by a customer referred off of Pinterest is $80, compared to $40 from Facebook.
  4. They don’t bounce - Pinterest users like to hang around for a while. For instance, they spend an impressive four and a half times more time on Pinterest than on LinkedIn.
  5. It’s popular - Pinterest’s popularity has risen quickly, making it now the 16th most visited site in the United States.
  6. Retailers love it! - An astonishing 90 percent of US online specialty retailers employ Pinterest, which represents an 81 percent bump up from 2012.
  7. Pinterest users have disposable income - Pinterest users are doing well. A typical Pinterest user has an annual income of over $100,000 per year, and just 10 percent of them have an income less than $30,000.
  8. Ripe for rewards and deals - When moms were asked if they would like or follow a brand on Pinterest if rewards or deals were a part of the bargain, a good 50 percent said yes!
  9. Easily viral - It’s quite common for a pin to go viral as more than 80 percent of Pins turn out to be Repins!
  10. A trusted source - Most importantly, a robust 81 percent of women online view Pinterest as a trustworthy source for information.

See How to Repurpose Your Content Quickly and Easily

We know that content creation isn't for the faint of heart. It can take lots of time and effort to produce content that stands out. All the more reason not to let it end there! Repurposing your content is a great way to give your content a life after the initial blog post or article. Closely similar to content syndication, although the choice of medium can be different.

We've got eight favorite mediums we prefer for repurposing content, and you ought to understand that your initial content can originate in any of them, and it is not limited with how it can spread. Here's our top eight ways to repurpose content!

Articles or Blog Posts Often the original content, it's a no-brainer to publish to your blog or site as a first option, before it gets spread around, so that you can receive the best search engine benefits from it.  Creating a very simple video, even just with PowerPoint slides, can take advantage of the traffic and ranking YouTube can afford.  Uploading a podcast of your content to iTunes and the many podcast directories often means a LOT of downloads and traffic.  Popular slide-sharing sites like Slideshare.net and Scribd.com receive a ton of direct traffic and ranking love from Google.  Likewise there are numerous PDF directories where you can submit a PDF of your content.  Infographics, One of the better ways to generate lots of views/visits is by making an infographic and posting it to Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.  Webinars or Hangouts - Using your content as the foundation for a webinar or Google Hangout is an excellent way to accomplish many things at once! Make it Micro! Seperating your content into micro-morsels for use in your social media marketing makes perfect sense, and can lead visitors to the entire content, or really anywhere you want.

Your content can serve you in many ways you might not have considered before! Don't miss out on the opportunity to easily increase traffic many times over by not repurposing your content!

How Mobile Ads Can Explode Your Small Business

Mobile is the new frontier in advertising, having a monstrous 27.8 billion more search queries than desktop searches by 2015. Pew Research lets us know that that 74% of smartphone owners use their phone to receive real-time location-based information, such as directions, which is acted upon typically within an hour.

These facts, in conjunction with the prediction of double digit growth in mobile advertising over the next five years are sending a clear and unmistakable message to business owners: mobile is where the people are!

So with all this growth happening, how does a small business take advantage of this opportunity to drive customers to their doors? We’ve outlined a number of ways your business can profit from mobile ads.

How to start taking advantage of mobile ads in your small business

  • Make sure your site is mobile friendly - consider revamping its design now. Ideally move to a responsive design that automatically resizes the screen and provides the optimal user experience for your visitor.
  • Optimize for local keywords - This could kill two birds with one stone. Ranking organically to appear on mobile search, as well as advertising for those terms can provide you with a double dip. With GPS and Google Maps keen to help its users find you locally, who are you to deny them!
  • Look into various ad platforms - There are more and more mobile ad choices these days, and the big dogs have started to make their presence known as well. Facebook and Google are devoting progressively more resources to mobile, and don’t neglect looking at platforms like Jumptap, mMedia, Mojiva, and Foursquare.
  • Investigate Native Advertising - A term that’s enjoying a lot of play these days is native advertising. What this means is simply that the ad complements the content on the site it is running on, thereby boosting the chances of consumer interest. This will help keep you more in control of where your ads are showing.

It’s time to get into mobile ads! Research firm IBISWorlds reports that within the next five years, geolocation services will allow advertisers to concentrate on consumers with ads and coupons at the most opportune moment, as they pass by a store or walk down a certain aisle. You’ll want that to be your store!

Best Practices for Local SEO in 2014

Making local SEO work for you in 2014 is starting to become less and less of a mystery. We’ve discovered a variety of best practices that if used sensibly, will return good results quickly! Let’s have a look at what’s working for ranking your local pages.

What’s Working in Local SEO for 2014

  • Make an optimized Google+ Local Places page - This should be your first stop. Filling your page with all your pertinent (real) business information has several near immediate benefits: fast indexing, maps inclusion, better rankings for local geo-modified keywords and more. Don’t miss this!
  • Make sure that citations, NAP listings and on-page address data are accurate - NAP (name, address, phone number) citations are a major ranking signal for local SEO, and work much the same way that backlinks do for a non-local site. Make sure you have consistent information across all of these platforms.
  • Optimize local pages for local keywords - This is something of an art to weave in location geo-modifiers into your copy and make it sound human. The payoff is worth it however. Make sure your primary page keyword, brand name and location is in the title tag, the first third of the page, and the description tag.
  • Business directory listings - Make it a point and claim your listings in all of the local directories. These will be the easiest citations you will acquire, and will also be of great benefit in terms of SEO, search rankings and traffic.
  • Great testimonials and reviews - The best way to do this is to encourage your existing satisfied customers to leave reviews for you on your Google+ Place page, or third party sites. You can help them by providing the way to get there easily on your page! In no event should you write fake reviews or otherwise cause these to be generated. They will be found out, and you will suffer because of it.

Performing local SEO on your sites is not nuclear physics anymore, and only requires one four-letter word: work!

Start Quick with Social Media in 2014

Okay, it’s every marketer’s dirty little secret: We simply aren’t active enough on social media.

Who can blame you? It changes just about daily, and with no plan or roadmap it’s super easy to get lost in all the little stuff. Even so, we’re just now starting to see the tremendous power of connecting through social media. The reach is unrivaled, and the possibilities are endless.

So since we know we have to get this social media thing done, let’s examine 4 ways we can set ourselves up for a great start in 2014.

4 Ways to rock social media this year!

  1. Embrace Google+ - Say what you like about Google+, but the naked truth is that it offers many advantages that other social media platforms can just dream of. It may not have the numbers that Facebook enjoys, but the ease of indexing, SEO, YouTube connections with Hangouts and commenting, as well as a host of other Google services make this a significant business decision.
  2. Get serious and social with video - It’s good to churn out a bunch of videos, but what would be superior is to make 2014 the year you effectively market them via your social channels. Building up your YouTube channel is a fantastic way to explode your traffic!
  3. Decide on which social networks to plunder! - Regardless of whether you want to make use of Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube, or your own mixture of these, decide on those that have the most potential for your business and move forward with it.
  4. Be committed and consistent - You could have the most attractive Facebook page in the world, but if you aren’t actively engaging and developing a community there, it makes no difference. Get out of the habit of treating social media as a poor stepchild and start taking advantage of the platforms where everyone is hanging out right now! You’ll be very glad you did!

Social Engagement — What is it and How to Increase it in 2014

So what exactly is social media engagement, and why is it on everyone’s to-do list nowadays? A brief definition of the term is the act of interacting with your audience both interactively and with a certain degree of helpfulness.

While it’s possible to build a large following without engaging with them, this really is useless as they will all disappear once they realize there’s no “there” there. So in order to help facilitate these connections that you’re going to be making a top priority in 2014, here are a few tips to make things easier!

6 Ways to engage your audience more effectively in 2014

  1. Use visual content - Graphics and videos are far and away the most effective way to improve engagement. Consider this: how often have you liked or shared an image that somehow touched you. Make it your habit to use visuals in your content, as that can frequently have a spectacular effect on the actions you are seeking.
  2. Video reviews and testimonials - There is no better social proof than having your customers rave about you, especially on video. These carry a lot more weight with viewers, and sometimes can result in sparkling conversations about the brand you don’t have to initiate!
  3. Hold contests - An excellent way to help build brand loyalty is by holding contests. The reward may be branded merchandise, or something that is useful and appealing to the winner.
  4. Get your social media mobilized - Studies are showing that a full 60 percent of mobile use is for social media, so it makes a lot of sense to go where your audience is hanging out!
  5. Give a shout-out to your customers - All of us love to feel appreciated, and an uncomplicated way to build a boatload of raving fans is to promote your Facebook shout-outs to all of your social media world, and stand by for massive growth.
  6. Questions breed answers - Ask your audience relevant questions, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of responses you get, especially if you are touching hot areas of interest. Naturally, questions are also a terrific way to find out what those areas are in the first place!

If you’ll start out 2014 using at least a few of these methods of engagement, we think you’ll be extremely pleased with the results!

5 Ways to Ramp up Your Analytics in 2014

No matter the size of your business, understanding where your customers are originating from and how is essential if you want to improve revenues in 2014. That’s why we must pay particular attention to the analytics we are using on our sites.

Not using any, you say? Well, you’ve just defined job one! Until you determine a greater need, it’s okay to start with Google Analytics as it will probably deliver far more than you’ll even know how to handle. And, did I say it’s free?

Once you are collecting data, listed below are five methods to make smarter and more profitable use of it in 2014!

5 Ways to use analytics in your small business

  1. Choose the performance indicators you need - While there are numerous things you can track, it can be overwhelming to bite off a large slice when just starting out. First pay attention to indicators that all of us need to know, like site traffic, conversions, referrals and time on page.
  2. Understand what your Analytics are telling you - This is often a lot to digest in the beginning. There are a lot of terms and acronyms you might not recognize, so take a moment to understand what you’re looking at. The data will start to be more easy to understand if you do.
  3. Set up an automated email report - Many of us will be either too busy or forget to login in regularly to look at the data. Address this by setting up a regular email that sends to the data in a PDF format, so you can act on it!
  4. You can track more than your site - There are few web properties that can’t accept the JavaScript code needed to track for your Analytics. Therefore, be sure you use it in code on all your significant pages, such as social media, squeeze and landing pages, videos and emails.
  5. Note key changes in your data - If your site went through a redesign, or you began a pay per click campaign, or some other significant change happened that affected your site, make note of it so you will understand the variations in the data you are viewing. If you don’t know why that surge in traffic occurred, you might find it difficult to act on it!

Video Marketing for Your Small Business

You’ve always meant to get a video marketing strategy started, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t gotten off the ground. Let’s end any confusion and procrastination resulting from lack of knowledge regarding what to do right here and now.

Developing a great video marketing strategy isn’t just luck. It has to be a part of an overall content marketing plan that links together multiple elements of your marketing, from email to social media. It’s not something to outsource unless you’re really confident in the person executing it. It’s your company we’re showcasing here, after all!

Let’s check out a few of the ways you can develop a viable video marketing strategy for your business.

5 Tips for setting up a killer video marketing strategy!

  1. Video your testimonials - Video is a terrific way to not only offer awesome social proof regarding your business and products, and can also generate a lot of goodwill with those who offer the testimonial. It’s a win-win for all, and is miles beyond a print testimonial in terms of veracity and usefulness.
  2. Be helpful - Nothing endears you to your audience like someone who consistently offers advice and help on topics of importance to them. Use video to teach, inspire, answer questions and deliver useful tutorials.
  3. Product videos - Showcase your products, but not simply with a salesy selection of slick images accompanied by an obligatory call to action. Instead, show how your products can help the end user in an engaging and fun way, and you’ll have a customer for life!
  4. Brand your videos - Keeping your brand front and center in your videos is a simple way to help build brand awareness, so you’re the only outfit they think of with regards to your niche.
  5. Develop your YouTube Channel - Getting people to subscribe to your YouTube channel is a wonderful way to improve your reach across the Web, getting more views, links and consequently, more traffic and sales. Brand your YouTube channel as carefully as you would your Facebook page or website, as it can be a traffic magnet!

With over 6 billion hours of YouTube videos getting watched every month, isn’t it time to get in on some of that action?