Saturday, November 11, 2017

SEO Strategies | Local SEO in 2018

5 Strategies to Improve Local SEO in 2018

Local SEO competition is heating up. 2018 is the year for you to really raise your local SEO game to enjoy the sweet fruits of high visibility for local searches on Google. 

Here are 5 strategies you can trust.

1) Capture Your Space on All Local Business Directories

Did you know – 80% consumers rely on online searches for choosing local businesses! However, not many local businesses claim their local business listings. Those that do, however, have a lot to gain. Before the local SEO search space becomes saturated, make sure that you get the early mover advantage. Here’s what you need to do:
  • List your local business on top local business directories; Yelp, Citysearch, and Merchant Circle are obvious starting points.
  • Make your business profiles as complete as possible.
  • Use this HubSpot list of high-value business directories (50 of them) and start creating your business pages on these, 5 a day.
  • Check your local newspapers and Chamber of Commerce (or equivalent agencies) websites for possibilities of creating your listing.
  • Make sure your business’ NAP (name, address, and phone) is consistent, and list it on aggregator networks like Infogroup, Neustar, and Factual.
  • Hunt down any niche specific directories for your business and make sure you secure your listings there before anything else.

2) Leverage the Power of Local Link Building

Is there anything of this sort? Yes, indeed. This is one of the best-kept secrets of local SEO that only the most seasoned local SEO experts are good at. Link building for local SEO is different from link building in general because you get a lot of value from local links even if the niche of the backlink source website is not linked to your business. Because in local business, relationships hold a key position, this reflects in Google’s search algorithm for local SEO. Getting local backlinks, however, requires you to get off the cushioned seat and take your marketing to the ground. Here are some suggestions:
  • Look for local sponsorship opportunities
  • Organize a donation drive
  • Get involved in local community events and then their websites
  • Be active on local newsgroups and portals
  • Look for creative low-cost advertisements on local classifieds

3) Measure Your Store Branding Campaigns For Better Returns

We talked about all kinds of local events, giveaway, and community efforts you can engage in with the aim of getting local mentions of your business. This can be expensive, particularly for local businesses only getting started with SEO. This is where the need for focused measurement of store branding execution campaigns comes to the fore. This is where brands have to gain a lot from local retail store process automation and reporting tools like Zipline. Using this tool, store managers can set up campaigns to measure success (subscriptions, footfall, inquiries, purchases, etc). Zipline also helps bring together information and analytics from all channels together, enabling local stores to leverage their marketing collateral from across locations for inexpensive yet consistent branding and promotions.

Social Media Tips | Social Media Marketing

3 Tips to Make the Most of Social Media 

It’s hard to underestimate the role social media plays in marketing and sales these days — it’s fast, it’s free and it’s everywhere.

For small businesses, the question today isn’t whether you should engage with social media. It’s what are the best ways to engage with potential customers using social media? The following best practices can help you set or sharpen your company’s social media strategy.

Listen

Marketing used to be a one-way street. To get information out, companies would place ads in newspapers, as well as on TV and radio. With the advent of the internet, the medium changed but the techniques didn’t — banner ads were just the new billboards.

Today, things are radically different. Social media has made marketing a two-way street: It’s just as easy for customers to reach out to you as it is for you to reach out to them. Make sure your customers’ comments, complaints and compliments aren’t falling on deaf ears. Even if you’re a small business, you can carve out a little time each day or week to listen and respond to customers.

Choose Your Platforms

Large organizations with endless marketing budgets can set up camp on every social media site. If you’re running a small business, however, you will only have the budget, staff and patience to commit to two or three social media platforms. So, how do you decide which ones would work for your business?

Guy Kawasaki, a well-known marketing specialist in Silicon Valley, recently told the American Marketing Association that he puts the most emphasis on Facebook because it allows companies to target a large number of customers. He says he considers LinkedIn second in importance, and Instagram third.

What works for Kawasaki may not necessarily work for you — after all, if you’re selling home accessories, Pinterest may be a much better social media option than LinkedIn. Before you commit to posting on a particular site,  research where your customers spend their time online, and then gravitate toward those platforms.

SEO For Beginners | SEO Tips

Small Business Marketing - Social Media

Small Biz Focus: Top 10 Tips to Effectively Promote Your Business Using Social Media

First, think of social media as a part of your overall marketing plan. It can be an extremely useful tool in your toolkit if it is used wisely. Keep the below Top 10 Tips in mind as a handy guide to ensure that your business is getting the most out of your social media efforts.

Tip #1 — Identify which social media platforms your customers, competition, and industry colleagues are on.

You don’t want to be the only one at the party. Be present where members of your field are located. Business Decision is a free online tool offered by Arlington Public Library which can help you understand what social media platforms your target market is on.

For example, many businesses can be found on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not just for job seekers but a community to identify like-minded colleagues that can help grow your business. Artists, retailers and food-related businesses use Instagram and Pinterest (imagery) to promote their businesses to name just a few platforms.

Tip #2 — Understand the best time to reach your customers using social media.

As a business, you can see how effective your sharing of information is to your target market by immediately analyzing the analytics as to how effective a tweet or post has gone. What time did you send the information? When are most of your customers on social media? At the end of the work day? On the weekends? Make sure to monitor your social media content daily so that you can develop a strategy around “when,” is the most effective time of day to post your information.

Tip #3 — How often do you want to be on social media?

Come up with a plan and stick to it. You’ll want to be responsive to your customers; however, you’ll also want to be realistic about how much time you can effectively spend online. Think of social media as you would when you respond to emails or respond to phone calls. It is another way for your clients to reach out to you.

Depending on your industry you may want to schedule 3 posts per day or 3 posts per week. It really is dependent on how much and how often you would like or need to share information. The biggest key here is to stick with your plan. You can also use multiple platforms to distribute the same information.

Four Pillars of SEO | Technical, Content, On-Site, Off-Site

The Four Pillars of an Effective SEO Strategy

SEO can be complicated — in many cases, overcomplicated. How many ranking factors are involved in generating strong organic search results? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? Two hundred?

A quick search for “SEO ranking factors” will give you all of these answers and myriad others. There is a lot of information out there. And the reality is, while there are likely hundreds of variables working together to determine final placement, much of what is suggested is guesswork. And certainly, not all ranking factors are relevant to every business.

Point being, it is easy to get lost down an algorithmic rabbit hole. It’s information overload out there, and you can spend all your time on a research hamster wheel and achieve very little.

In this article, I want to simplify things and outline the four main areas you should be focusing on with your SEO. Really, when it comes down to it, SEO is actually pretty simple at a strategic level.

The four pillars of SEO

The four key areas of SEO that site owners need to consider are:
  1. technical SEO: How well your content can be crawled and indexed.
  2. content: Having the most relevant and best answers to a prospect’s question.
  3. on-site SEO: The optimization of your content and HTML.
  4. off-site SEO: Building authority to ensure Google stacks the deck in your favor.
Of course, these four areas have some complexity and overlap, but understanding your strengths and weaknesses in relation to them is key to focusing your efforts.

SEO - Internet Marketing | Strategy and Tips

The SEO ‘do more with less’ cookbook

“Do more with less.” How often in our careers have we heard that phrase? Ultimately, that statement always means there is a need to reduce budget while still maintaining growth (or, at a minimum, flat year-over-year performance).

The good news is that in SEO, we are the kings and queens of “do more with less.” SEO professionals today are constantly competing against significantly larger teams — unless, of course, you are working at the online gorilla Amazon or in a top affiliate organization.

Over the past 20 years working in SEO, I have worked in pureplay, omnichannel, startups and Fortune 500, and the cookbook for doing more with less contains the same recipe. Sure, the recipe may need to be modified at an ingredient level to increase servings, but the ingredients never change. What you should find in your cookbook for your “more with less” recipe is as follows:
  • Pursue position gains for head terms.
  • Maximize CTR (click-through rate).
  • Expand long-tail keyword inventory.
  • Maximize value from existing traffic.
  • Amplify external content marketing efforts.
  • Align SEO efforts more closely to the campaign calendars.
Myself, I like to add a bit of a kick to my recipe: I step back and think big picture. How can I adjust my ingredient amounts to maximize the effort to include value for all channels?

Demonstrating impact across all channels is critical in obtaining resources to support my objectives today, and it establishes credibility within the organization long-term. The nature of our profession requires that an SEO professional routinely take off their marketing hat and explore user experience, merchandising and broader technology issues. These areas of the business have a direct impact on the performance of all marketing channels as well as direct traffic.

While we are always looking for program improvements, clearly there are times where we must squeeze the most out of the program to achieve the goals assigned to us by the company. I like to use a divide-and-conquer approach to make sure I have dedicated attention to each core growth activity.

In the divide-and-conquer approach, I typically take on the global impact improvements and task my other team members to devise a strategy to tackle the SEO-specific activities. Depending on your team size, you may have to do all the activities, or you may be able to spread them out evenly across the team. Regardless of team size, every growth opportunity area must be worked. Don’t forget to include your key partners as well when assigning out the activities.

For my part, I am going to specifically look at areas of the website where the data indicates that an improvement in user experience, merchandising and/or performance can drive additional revenue. In this example data set, I pulled landing page data from Google Analytics. This can be entry page data from Omniture or Coremetrics as well. The key area of analysis in this data set is focusing on potential opportunities by evaluating engagement metrics and conversion rate.

Gary Vaynerchuk - Daily Vee | Zero Percent of Zero is 0