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Marketing is vital to the survival of any business, whether you have an online only company or a fantastic shop nestled in the Outer Banks. You need to understand that marketing in today’s world has some differences from advertising in the past. In fact, it is even different from what it was a few years ago. Local SEO has become more important than ever, and you need to integrate this with your current content and SEO work.

 

New SEO

One of the other things you will need to remember when it comes to working with SEO is that in the past, SEO would focus on single keywords. That is no longer the case today. Utilizing keywords phrases and longtail searches is more important. When you are working on SEO, you need to think about what a person is going to enter into the search string to attempt to find companies such as yours. It is your job to make sure the phrases you are using, and your content, match those searches. In addition, remember to think local, as we will discuss. Put the location in those keyword phrases, and you will start to see better results for your brick and mortar business.

Think Local

One of the other things you will want to make sure you do when you are creating content is to make sure that you remember to add your locale. Add these to the content and your keywords naturally. This will help you to boost your local SEO, which will place you higher in the rankings when people are searching for your type of products or services in your area. You can do this in your content on your blog and site, as well as on your social media posts.

How Can You Add Localization to Content?

First, you need to make sure that you are considering your website overall. Each of your pages, including the blog, should have a footer that includes your company name, location, and phone number. In addition, in some of the posts that you create should also feature the location of your business. For example, if you have a company based in the Outer Banks, and you run a fishing charter, your posts about fishing, things to do in the area, or anything else, should generally contain mention of the outer banks, along with the type of business you run.

For example, “if you are looking for a fantastic fishing charter in the Outer Banks, AAA Fishing has just what you need. Check out some of the fish our guests caught the last time we went out.” You would then add the location and name of your business in a similar manner once or twice more through the content. You never want it to seem too forced. If you stuff too many keywords into the content, local or otherwise, you will find that Google could strip you of your ranking, believing you are trying to game the system.

It is quite simple to add work with local SEO, as you can see. You will find that it can be just as easy when you work with social media and local SEO.

How Can Social Media Help?

In addition to content marketing on your blog, you will want to make sure you are on social media and that you are active. Social media is still technically a form of content marketing, as you are providing content – your posts, images, etc. – to your audience. However, there are certain things that you can do to make this more effective, and to help gear it toward a local audience.

Your content for your website or blog can work along with your social media posts. By creating quality content on your site, and then linking to it through your blog, using local terms along with your keywords, it can help to boost your SEO rankings. However, you do need to make sure you are creating quality content that people will want to share. It should never be geared solely toward marketing and trying to sell someone on your products or services. Instead, it should be about enlightening or entertaining the audience. They are more likely to share, which will help to boost your SEO rankings, which helps get more eyes on your store online, and offline if you are using local SEO to good effect.

Can Social Links Boost Your Ranking?

Social links do have the potential to help boost your ranking in search engines. This is because search engines such as google tend to put a lot of weight behind the importance of social links. Therefore, when you have links that go from your social media site to your website, and when people on social media share those links, it can help with your ranking. The more of these quality links you have the better. By adding localization to your posts that have these links – simply mentioning your location – it can help with your local SEO efforts.

This is not going to be a boost that happens overnight. However, with time and a bit of effort, it can help with your rankings, and it should be a part of your SEO practices. This does not mean that you need to add localization to all your posts – it would start to look ridiculous to have your location in everything you post. Just do it naturally.

You can make local SEO work for you by incorporating it in social media outlets and the content you write for your site. In addition, always be on the lookout for other ways that you can boost your local SEO on the web, such as becoming part of local directories. You can find these from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and more. If you have a brick and mortar business, focusing on local SEO is becoming more and more important. Your competitors are doing it, and you must do it to if you hope to survive and thrive.

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You want your business to get more attention so you can get more customers. This helps you grow and become successful, and it is the goal of anyone who owns a business no matter how altruistic they might think they are. If you would like to increase your level of success, you need to market in ways that can get attention from people who have a high potential of becoming your customers. The following are some of the content marketing tips and ideas that you may want to try.

Remember Local Marketing

If you have a physical store location, you must make sure you use local marketing techniques in all the ideas that we talk about below. Local marketing is not complicated, and it is something you can add to your own marketing plan right now without too much work. At its core, it is about using the name of your city and/or neighborhood in the posts you write and all the other content you create. When the search engines see that content, and categorize it, they will utilize the location.

When someone then looks up your type of business, using keywords and the location, your site will show up much higher in the search engines. In addition to using this on your blog, you should also use localization techniques on social media with the posts that you write. You do not have to do this with all the posts that you put up on the web, but with every few posts – just like you do not want to be advertising with all your posts. Everything needs to seem natural.

Videos Are Helpful in Many Ways

Why would you want to take the time and put in the effort to put up videos? Depending on the type of business you own, they can be extremely useful, and you will find that they can translate quite well to local marketing. You can create many different types of videos for your business, and you can put them onto YouTube, where you can even monetize them to make some additional money. Once they are on YouTube, you can easily embed them into your own website, or put them onto your social media sites.

So, what types of videos could you make? Remember that all the videos are a method of content marketing. You are creating content with the idea of getting people to come to your store. You could do product demos, for example. You could also do reviews, or how to videos, or even behind the scenes videos. There are countless possibilities that might work well for your business. You know your ideal customer better than anyone else, so you will want to create content that he or she will want to consume, regardless of whether it is a blog post, a video, or something else entirely.

It is important to realize that you do not simply want to throw any poorly shot and unedited video up onto the Internet. You should have a decent camera and audio gear, as well as good ideas for the video. Also, a basic video editing program can help. You do not need the capabilities to shoot the next Oscar-winning film, but you do not want to have a video that looks like it was thrown together at the last minute with a cheap flip-phone camera.

Videos are a great idea because they tend to be more engaging than other types of content. People will stick around on a site that has video, so they can watch it longer than they will a site that only contains text.

Perhaps you do not have the time to make videos each week. That’s fine, but make sure you are putting photos into your posts to provide the viewer with some type of visual stimulus. It might seem silly, but it really can help.

Consider Infographics

In addition to videos, there are some other popular options when it comes to content marketing. You might want to consider creating infographics that are based around your business. The infographics could be serious and very fact-based, or they could be fun and whimsical. It will depend on the type of business you have. Infographics are popular because they are easy to read and easy to share. Check out several infographics before you try to create your own, just so you can get a better sense of how everything goes together.

Could an E-Book Help Your Business?

Depending on your business, an e-book, which you could sell or give away, might be a good addition to your website, as well. This is a popular type of content marketing, and they are easier to put together than you might think. If you are going to be giving away the e-book, you could just create a PDF of what you write. Formatting them and putting them up on Amazon and other sites takes a bit more work, but it is still relatively simple. Just make sure you are writing on a subject that interests your customers, and that you know your products or services could help them with. This way, you can help the customers, but you are still marketing to them.

Traditional Content Marketing on the Site

Of course, you also need to think about all the regular content marketing that you can do through your regular blog posts and social media posts. Good content, especially content that contains a strong call to action, can get people out of their homes and down to your store.

There are plenty of other interesting options when it comes to content marketing that might appeal to you and work well for your business, as well. Perhaps you feel that podcasting might work for you, for example. Whenever you are trying to determine whether an idea might work for you or not, think about your core audience and ideal customer to see if you feel they would be open to that type of marketing or not.

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Are you having trouble getting enough people into your brick and mortar store? If so, it could be due to a range of things. If you are sure that your products and services are on point, and that you are treating customers well, it might just be your marketing. Many business owners, especially those who have relatively small businesses, find that it is difficult to market properly, simply because they do not have the time or the budget for it.

One of the biggest problems, however, is due to the website not doing its job. Let’s look at some things you can do to help get your website in line with what’s needed in today’s competitive world.

Is the Website Modern and Aesthetically Pleasing?

In the past, when businesses were first getting online and using websites, they were not very attractive. They would have flashy, bright graphics, sounds that played as soon as someone arrived on the site, and annoying popups, not to mention a terrible color scheme. Websites are no longer novelties, and this won’t cut it. However, there still seem to be quite a few people out there who have sites that have those types of problems.

It is time that you examined your site with a critical eye, or had someone else do it for you. It is important to have an impressive landing page that is easy on the eyes and that contains all the pertinent information about your business, including the location, without being overwhelming to any of the senses. In fact, you should make sure you have your name, address, and phone number on the footer of all your pages on the site. Identify your city and neighborhood. This is going to help get you a better rank in the search engines when people use local terms to find businesses such as yours.

The colors of the website, and the font that you use, are more important than you might realize, as well. You want to make sure that everything is nice and easy on the eyes. This means stay away from green text on a red background and similar sins of graphic design. If you are not sure of how to create an aesthetically pleasing site, you might want to hire someone to help.

When it comes to being more modern, this also means you need to make sure that your site is usable in mobile browsers, such as those used by smartphones and tablets. Since so many people are using these devices today and using them to access the web when they are out, you want your site to work well no matter what device someone is using.

Never Forget the Importance of Content Marketing

You should also remember the phrase “content is king”. This is still true, even with the advent of social media. People need to have content to consume and share, and that is what you should have on your site’s blog. The content should also be localized, remember. Some of the posts will certainly want to mention your location. Consider the types of things your ideal customer might want to know about your business or your field and create content based around that. You will find that it is possible to create content about nearly anything.

Always make sure the content is as engaging as possible. Whether it is a well-written blog post that asks questions of the readers at the end, or it is a video, you want the viewer to be educated and perhaps entertained by the content they consumer. You also want to elicit a reaction from them – namely, you want them to come into the store. With quality, friendly content that has calls to action, this is possible.

Can You Make Sales Online?

One of the mistakes that some people make is believing that their website is simply a shingle that they hang out to get attention rather than a place where they can make actual sales. This is certainly true of those who have brick and mortar stores. However, the site can do quite a bit more for you, and depending on the type of business you have, you might even be able to sell through your site, even if you are primarily a local store.

Of course, this is not a viable solution for all businesses, at least not on the surface. You might not be able to sell a cup of coffee or breakfast on the web to someone who is several thousand miles away. However, you can sell gift cards and gift certificates online. These might not be big business for you, but it is another avenue for sales – and an easy one at that. You might find other things that you can sell online, as well as in your store, too.

Show Them What You Offer on Your Site for When They Visit the Store

The web is a great place for you to showcase the types of services and products you offer. Even if you are not selling online, you can use this space as an enticement to get them into the store so they can buy. Let them do the research they need on the web, and show them what your shop can offer. Provide photos and videos of your store and the products or services, as well. If you offer a service, such as manicures, you might want to allow people to reserve an appointment on the web, for example. There are plenty of ways you can use your site to get people more excited about what you offer.

Your website is every important when it comes to the success of your brick and mortar store. They have a symbiotic relationship. When you have a better quality website, there tends to be greater potential for sales at your brick and mortar store simply because more people will know about your site and feel that you are running a professional business.

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You are a business owner with big dreams and lofty goals, and you want your company to be a success. You also know that to achieve success, you need to market properly. As a relatively small business, you do not have the money or the time to waste on ineffectual marketing methods. Focusing on local marketing that can get people through your doors is essential, and we want to provide you with some methods of local marketing that can work well for your business.

You Need to Have a Strong Online Presence

In today’s world, when people need just about anything, they turn to the Internet for help. They use the web when they are looking up places to eat, places to shop, things to buy, reviews, and the like. Therefore, you need to have a strong presence on the web, which can help to increase the possibility of people finding your business. There are certain things you can do to help increase that likelihood further.

Work on your website’s content, and make sure the quality is up to pat with what your customers and potential customers expect. Having great content, and plenty of it, is very important when it comes to the search engines. In addition, you need to make sure you are localizing the content. This simply means you need to use your location in the content, and in other areas of your site. If you are in the Outer Banks, make sure to mention the location naturally in the content.

For example, let’s say your business in the Outer Banks rents bicycles and other items to residents and visitors who want to use them. In the blog posts you write, you would simply mention “bike rentals in the Outer Banks” or similar phrases. Take the normal keyword phrases you would use and consider adding those localizing terms to them – just don’t go overboard with them. You want everything to look and sound natural.

Having the location in the content will help with your rankings in the search engines, as many people also input the location in their searches. In addition, some of the browsers, as well as phones, know the location of the person searching, and help to point them in the direction of local businesses that have what they need.

You should also make sure you are on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. However, do not overlook the power of Instagram and Snapchat, as these are becoming quite popular. Having accounts set up, and working to grow your followers and presence in the community can help with your marketing.

Make Sure You Consider Mobile Users

How do you check for restaurant reviews or to look for a place to get gas when you are out and in a new location? Most people today have smartphones, and they are using those phones to get online to do just about everything, including looking at your website. As we mentioned, you need to have a great website. However, you also need to make sure the website looks good and is easy to use from various devices including various types of smartphone, as well as tablets, laptops, and desktops. Having a responsive site design, or even a separate site for mobile users, is important. If you haven’t taken the time yet, check out what your company’s website looks like on your smartphone. Is it difficult to navigate?  Is it frustrating? Your customers do not want to deal with this, and they shouldn’t.

Consider Using Promotions

Something else you might want to do when you are marketing your brick and mortar business is offer special promotions. You can advertise promotions or freebies quite in your store, as well as through your online channels, such as your website and social media. People always like to feel as though they are getting a great deal, and having some type of freebie or promotion is a good option. It can also build good will with customers. In addition, it can lead to word of mouth, especially with local customers.

Become a Part of Online Business Directories

Another great way to get your business seen and to get more people through your doors is to make sure you are a part of online business directories. A number of directories are out there today, including those from large companies, such as Google and Yahoo. It’s a good idea to be a part of those directories, for certain. However, you should also look at some of the smaller, niche business directories in your area. Make sure you are a part of those directories, as well. It can boost your company’s SEO, knowledge of your brand, and help your business to get found.

Good Customer Service

When it comes to customers in the local area, and those who will be visiting, having a good reputation is essential. If you hope to do good business, you need to provide your customers with the care and service they expect and deserve. Failure to do so means you will end up getting negative word of mouth online and offline. People will leave bad reviews about your company. They will tell their friends and neighbors to avoid you and to go to the competition instead.

You need to strive to provide the very best when it comes to products and services, and to handle any problems a customer might have as quickly as you can. You never want them to feel as though you are brushing them aside or that you do not care about them after you have their money in your hands. Treat the customers well, and they will treat you well with excellent reviews and great word of mouth.

If you have a brick and mortar business, whether you are offering services or products, you need to make sure you are marketing locally for the best results. Use these tips, and continue learning how to improve your marketing skills.

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For a local search marketing campaign to be successful, you need to make sure you have created quality local business listings in a range of directories. There are many different sites for local business owners to create free business listings, and it is a good idea to add your own information to those sites. Some of the most popular include Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Places, and Yelp. However, these are certainly not the only choices out there. You could – and should – also find sites that are specifically for your area. For example, those who are in the Outer Banks may want to look for business directories that cater to businesses in the Outer Banks.

Why Are Business Directory Listings So Important?

The Internet is crowded, and you have a lot of competition. The goal of creating business listings is to help improve your visibility on the Internet, just as with all your other online activities. When your business is more visible, it gives you the opportunity to be seen by more people who are looking for businesses like yours, and that are in your area.

It is important that you claim your listings on business directories so you can take advantage of them. Verification of the listing can usually be done over the phone or through email. If you find that the directory does not have your business, you can start filling out the information needed.

Fill Out the Directory Properly

When you are filling out the business directory, you need to make sure that you include all the necessary information. You will need to have your business name, as well as a local phone number that matches the city where you are located. You do not want to use a toll-free number, for example. In addition, you will want to have a dedicated street address, not a PO box or a virtual office.

Make sure you fill out all the areas of the business directory. You will find that they are the same, at least for the most part. Some may allow you to provide more information than others will. For example, on some sites, you might also be able to add video and images, or perhaps a menu for those who offer food and beverages. Utilize all of the tools available through the various directories, as they can help you to boost your SEO and make your business easier to find for the right people.

One of the other things you must think about when you are listing your business is the categories you choose. Make sure you are in the proper category or categories for the type of business you have.

With many of the directories, you can add your website. It is a good idea to do this, and you should make sure the landing page has information that will wow the potential customers and make them want to visit your shop. You might want to have the page link to your blog, a page that offers a discount, or something else that will entice the visitors to want to go to your shop.

Be Careful of Duplicates

It is possible that you could have duplicate listings on a business directory. This will often happen if you have changed your business location, but you are still in the same general area. Those who have duplicate listings will find that it can cause issues with their customers, because it can appear as if there are several locations for your company. Some customers could leave bad reviews because of this, or they could be confused when they arrive at a location where you used to have your business. You want to make sure you have those duplicate listings removed on the business directories as soon as possible. It will alleviate a lot of confusion.

Try to Get Good Reviews

With some of the business directories, such as Yelp, customers have the option of leaving feedback for businesses. These reviews have the potential to really help set your business apart… so long as they are good reviews, of course. If you have a business that treats customers well and that provides them with good customer service and/or products, they may leave you a nice review on one of the business directory sites that accepts reviews. However, you might want to ask your customers, particularly your best customers, if they would mind leaving a review.

When people are looking for a company, regardless of the type of company it might be, they tend to want to find one that they can trust and that can provide them with good overall service. Naturally, they check reviews to determine your ability as a company. It might not be the “make or break” of whether they will visit or not, but it will play a factor with many. Having no reviews will not do you any favors, and having negative reviews will harm you. Work toward getting good reviews, and make sure you deal with any negative reviews professionally, and as quickly as you can.

Keep It Updated

If you make any changes, for example, to your phone number, make sure that it is updated across all the business directories you are a part of. If you don’t, it means your potential customers are not going to be able to get a hold of you when needed. You should also make sure that you updated any changes to the business. For example, if you own a café or restaurant, and you have a seasonal menu, make sure you change it to reflect what you have available currently. People who view your business listing need to have it be an accurate representation of your company as it stands right now.

As you can see, having a business directory listing is important. By using the name of your business, and the right categories and keywords, it boosts your SEO and puts your company in front of people who are potential buyers. Do not overlook the importance of these directories.

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SEO and social media marketing have the potential to work hand in hand with one another, and when you use these methods wisely, it can mean great success for your company. They are inbound strategies for the most part, although it is possible to utilize adds to boost their visibility. However, ads are not always necessary. You can use these as organic methods of finding new potential customers without spending on additional advertising. Proper use of social media can help to increase your search rankings, and putting in the time and effort to improve your SEO all around can help to improve your reach on the web through your site, as well as your rankings and your social media reach.

Get Quality Followers and More of Them

Having a lot of followers might make you feel good on social media, but unless those followers are considered “high quality” it will not do you as much good. Google has the ability to check the quality of your followers, and they do. They want to make sure they are sending their visitors to the best possible sites, so buying up a large number of followers who are using proxy or fake accounts, or that have no actual interest in your business and what you do is just a waste of money.

Instead, you need to improve the quality of your followers. You do this by building your followers organically. This does take substantially longer, but you will find that it can be effective in the long run. By practicing some simple social media tenets of good behavior – posting quality links, posting regularly, engaging with the audience, etc. – you will find that growing your number of followers in an organic way is certainly possible.

Ideally, you will want to have followers that are engaging and interacting with your page often. This could be sharing links, commenting, and the like. In the beginning, it can be difficult to get people to do much of anything. However, being consistent, and being engaged with the people who are following you can help.

Links from Social Media can Help With Your Rankings

Having high quality links can help you with your rankings in the search engines, and Google tends to put quite a bit of emphasis on links from social media. The social sites have a high web authority. Therefore, having a link from the social posts online that go to your website, as well as links to your site from your social profiles, can do a lot to help boost your rankings. In addition to boosting the rankings, it also helps to bring more traffic to your website.

When people choose to share your links that you have posted on social media, or they share them on their own, it helps to get the word out about your content and continues to give you a nice boost.

Make Things Easy to Share

You should always strive to make the content you create as shareable as possible. After all, social media is about being social and sharing information. Whether you are creating a post for the social media sites, putting up images on Pinterest, or linking to a blog, always make it easy to share.

Make sure that everything you want to share is public. With many of the social sites, including Pinterest and YouTube, there are private settings. Many people set up their accounts and make certain elements private. Then, they start posting for their business and wondering why no one is seeing or sharing anything. Check the privacy settings to your posts to make sure everything is visible and searchable.

Remember Keywords in Your Posts

When you are writing your posts on social media, do not forget the keywords that you have been using in the content on your website. By using the same keywords and phrases, it can help you to boost your rankings via social media for those terms, and to identify those terms with your business. Think local when it comes to the terms, as well. When you add your location to the posts, this can help with search engine results. This is true for any of the main social media outlets you likely use for your business including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Remember Local Listings

While social media is quite important, as is the content that you are posting on your website and blog, you need to consider the power of local listings on business directories, as well. Through places such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, you can claim your company, which will help to bring you to the top of the list on the search engine rankings. Make sure you consider all the local listing options, not just the largest sites. Check for some of the smaller directories in your area. If you have a company in the Outer Banks, for example, you should always add your business to those listings that cater specifically to that area.

Keep an Eye Out for New Options

Technology advances quickly, and it seems as if there is always some new website or tech out there that has the potential to make your marketing easier. Maybe it is a new social media site that gets popular, or a new tool or app for those social media sites.  You want to stay on top of things if possible. This way, you can stay a couple of steps ahead of the competition.

You need to put in the same amount of care and attention as you are building your business and developing your marketing plan. Search engine optimization, local and otherwise, is marketing for the long haul. Make sure you learn how to do it properly, or work with those who can help you. It takes some time and work, but the results are well worth it.

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Search engine optimization remains an important part of marketing for your business. It is extremely useful when it comes to getting more visibility for your website, and therefore your company. When used properly, like social media, it can provide your business with more potential for success. Better rankings in the search engines means more eyes on your content, and your business. This increases the change of sales of your products or services.

Some who have brick and mortar stores still do not realize that they need to invest just as much time and effort into SEO content as those companies that are selling exclusively on the web. A good site and good content gets more eyes on the website, and it increases your rankings in Google and other search engines. Having a higher rank means your site and business show up on the first page or so when people are looking for businesses such as yours.

The Content Should Not Be Just for Ranking Purposes

One of the first and most important things to remember is that people are going to be reading this content, and that means it needs to be readable. You are not merely putting up posts to you can boost your rankings. The days of throwing haphazard posts together with keywords and key phrases jumbled up in them are thankfully over.

Today, people expect there to be good and interesting content on your page. It doesn’t have to be content that is going to change the world. It merely need to be content that is going to be something that will interest the people who visit your site – your potential customers. Perhaps you have a shop that sells touristy items in the Outer Banks. Why not have some blogs about all the things there are to see and do in the area. Some of the posts can be about items you offer in the shop and why they would be beneficial.

You can do this with just about any type of business you have. Whether it is a cleaning company, a restaurant, a fishing charter or anything else. Create good content, and you will find that people are far more likely to stay on your page. In addition, that content can help to build more of a rapport with your readers.

Smart Keywords and Phrases

In addition to writing good content, you need to make sure it has good keywords and phrases in it that not only focus on the topic of the content and your business, but also your location. It is very important to take steps to localize the content as much as possible. This gets you rankings in front of the right people who are on the search engines – people who are looking for a business just like yours in your area.

You will find that this is easier to do than you might imagine. Let’s say you have a massage facility and spa in the Outer Banks, and you want to attract people to your business. You can write content based on the different types of services you offer, the benefits of massage and other services, and some basic health-related articles. You could focus your keywords on your services, but make sure to add your location. You can do this a couple of times in the post very simply. For example, you could say, “if you are looking for a great way to relax, a massage in the Outer Banks is ideal” as a line in the content. A couple of other lines that utilize the keywords and location, without going overboard, can be quite helpful in getting you higher in the rankings.

What Do the People Want?

If you have a good blog, and you are engaging with people on social media, they can often give you a better idea of the type of content you should be creating by the things that they comment. Interact with the people who are on your site and on your social media outlets. After all, they are your customers, or your potential customers. If they say they wish you had some information on aromatherapy, perhaps put up a post about it, and then let them know.

Do Not Give Up

SEO improvements do not happen overnight. They take time, and that means you need to be willing to put in the work needed. You have to nurture your content creation just as you would any other area of your business, since it is such an important part of marketing, as well as your company’s brand and identity.

Any Type of Company Can Improve SEO Content

Perhaps you are thinking that it would be impossible to add content to your site that would be of interest to customers. That’s just not true! Whether you are selling physical products or a service from your brick and mortar store, you can create content that will appeal to the type of customers you are hoping to attract no matter who they might be. Take the time to think about the types of problems or questions those individuals might have, and the types of answers they would need. You could also think about the sorts of things that would entertain your customers. Then, you can create content in that vein. It really is that simple, as long as you remember to use your keywords wisely and focus on localization.

Outsource Content Creation If Needed

Of course, you might worry that you simply do not have enough time to handle all of this on your own. You may be spending all your time trying to run the other aspects of your business. If that’s the case, you can still reap the benefits of quality SEO content to help your business. Simply outsource to writers who know, or who can learn, the type of content you need for your customers. It is cost effective, and it has the potential to really boost your business’s visibility.

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Are you having trouble getting as many people through your business’ doors as you would like? Have you stopped to think about what the problem might be? Even if you are running a fantastic business, it might just mean that there are a lot of people out there that have no idea you even exist. This is likely due to your marketing. We know it can be difficult when you are a small company that does not have a large marketing budget. However, we have some tips that you can start using right now that have the potential to bring more people into your brick and mortar stores, and you can take care of these marketing tweaks on your own.

Local SEO Is Essential for Brick and Mortar Shops

Many people do not focus much on local SEO. You know that you need to use keywords, and that’s what you do. However, if you localize these terms by using the name of your city or neighborhood, it helps to focus your content. The content can then reach higher rankings in the search engines because people who are performing web searches will often use their city, or a city they are planning to visit, in the search bar. This way, they only see businesses in the area. When you do this for your business, you will be among the companies they see. If you hope to compete, this is vital.

Optimize Your Business Page With Google and Remember Other Business Directories

You can set up a Google My Business Page for your company, which can help you to climb in the rankings. Make sure that you fill out your page completely, including NAP (name, address, phone) information. You also need to add your business hours, location, website, and other pertinent information. Make sure the profile is 100% complete. Ensure your business is verified – you can generally do this with a phone call or an email.

While Google is the big dog when it comes to business directories, do not forget to utilize other directories, as well, including Bing and Yahoo. Also, make sure that you take the time to go to some of the local business directories and add your business to those, as well. The greater your presence online, the easier it will be for people to find you. Just remember that if you make changes to your business, such as moving the location or changing the phone number, you will need to make those changes to the directories to keep everything up to date.

Getting Your Website Ready

Just because you have a website, it does not mean that the site is working as hard for you as it could be. You need to think local, but you also need to make sure the website is working well in other areas, too.

The landing page needs to provide customers with information about your products or services, as well as your location or locations. The website needs to be easy to navigate, and it should always be easy for the customers to find everything they need in a matter of seconds. Having a large and convoluted website is going to cause more problems than it is worth. In addition, your landing page, at the very least, should have all of your business information readily available. This includes the name, phone number, location, and hours.

To get the most out of local SEO, it is often a good idea to start a blog if you haven’t already. The blog will contain posts and content relating to things your potential customers want and need to know, and you will add local “tags” to the content. Simply mentioning the area in the post can help you rise in the search engines, and you can do it in a natural manner so it never appears as if you are stuffing keywords into your content.

For example, if you have a café in the Outer Banks, you could write a post that talks about an event that you attended recently in the Outer Banks, and you can even mention your café briefly. This way, you are not directly advertising through the content, but it is still doing marketing work for you.

You can also use tools such as Yoast SEO, which can change the title tags and meta descriptions to add local keywords. Keep an eye out for various tools that can help make posting to your social media accounts, and even your blog easier.

We know that it can sometimes be difficult to take care of all these things on your own when it comes to marketing. You might find that it could be easier if you outsource some of it instead. It can provide you with some more free time, which you can use to handle other parts of the job, or even other parts of marketing.

If you have had your website for a while now, you might find that it is outdated and could use an upgrade. This is an upgrade that will be well worth the cost. For example, you might have a website that does not look good or work well when someone is viewing it on a tablet or a mobile phone. Keep in mind that this is how most people visit the web today. You will want to make sure your site is responsive, or you will want to make sure you get another site that will work with mobile. You do not want to miss out on those customers.

You Can Succeed

Think local in everything you do with your advertisements online if you have a brick and mortar store and you do not serve customers around the country. You want people in your area, and who are going to be visiting your area to find you as easily as possible. Add local SEO to all of your online locations from the blog to social media and business directories, and you will see a difference in the number of customers you get.

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Social Media Marketing Calendar 2017

Most business owners do not have the budget to employ a large team of developers or a small army of marketing people to develop tools or scour the internet minute by minute trying to find unique photos or inspirational quotes to create the witty and engaging memes that become the next viral sensation.

Social media posting is not all about the quick viral sensation --- yes it can create a quick uptick in your engagement but if you are not the next David Chappelle, Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian, you are going to need topics that ensure you stay consistent in your posting frequency on your social media profiles.   

Below are 24 content types to keep your community engaged across your online profiles.

  1. Promote Your Business
  2. Inspirational Quote
  3. Personal Image (You/Your Products)
  4. Promote your Website
  5. Free (Download/Printable)
  6. Short Video
  7. Ask A Question
  8. Quick Helpful Tip
  9. List Building (Opt in offer or Newsletter)
  10. Fill in the Blank
  11. Behind the Scenes
  12. Answer A FAQ
  13. Share your Favorite Resource (Tool/Website)
  14. Share Link to a Blog Post
  15. Text Quote
  16. Offer A Discount or Promotion
  17. Thank your Fans
  18. Testimonial
  19. Share Other People’s Content
  20. Fun Fact (Personal or Business)
  21. Share Eyecatching Visual/Graphic
  22. Discuss Trending Topic/News/Hashtags
  23. Share a Bit of Your Story
  24. Motivational (Quote/Graphic Story)

 

Now I have 24 content ideas, is there a certain posting rate for my posts…

There are many posting rates that people can swear by, here are just a few:

  • 30/60/10
    30% Owned, 60% Curated from other places & 10% Promotional

  • 5-3-2
    5 should be content from others, 3 should be content from you & 2 should be personal updates.

  • Rule of Thirds
    1/3 of your updates are about you and your content
    1/3 of your updates are for sharing content from others
    1/3 of your updates are based on personal interactions

OK, so you have some good content types and a good idea for the rates at which some companies choose to publish their content types…  

Now you will need to decide on the frequency that you will share your content with your community…

Ideally, you want to post a minimum of 1 time per day on each of your social media profiles.

Some studies show posting frequencies on:

  • Facebook 2x a day

  • Twitter 5x a day

  • Linkedin 1x a day

  • Google + 2x a day

  • Pinterest 2x a day

  • Instagram 1.5x a day (not sure how you pull that one off, but letting the data tell it. 

The main insight to take away on posting frequency is that each business is different.  

The best way to gauge is to continue to add to your post frequency until your community tells you that is enough posting or posting frequency becomes a burden to your staff.

Takeaway:  Post frequent enough to keep your community engaged on a consistent basis with quality content.

 

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Link building Strategies

 

If you are like most Outer Banks business owners, you want to get your business ready for the summertime.  In this article, we will discuss basic link building techniques that will give you exposure to new clients and help create authority in your specific industry for your brand. 

What is a Link…

A link is short for a hyperlink.  A hyperlink acts as a bridge that your readers and search engines use to navigate the internet.  It allows new Websites, Social Media profiles, videos on Youtube and pins on Pinterest to be uncovered as relevant pieces of content on the internet >>> Search engines see relevant content as sources that deliver an answer that a reader is searching for.  

Ten O Six is a restaurant located on the Beach Road in Kill Devil Hills at MP 8.8.  It is right next door to Just For the Beach Rentals where the original Dirty Dick’s Crab House, first opened. 

What Does A Search Engine do with a link…

Did you know, search engines are web crawlers of the internet that are constantly crawling everything on the internet.  There are two fundamental uses of search engines and the links they come across:

There are two fundamental uses of search engines and the links they come across:

  1. Discover new web pages
  2. Help determine how well a page should rank in their results

As a search engine crawls all of the pages on a website, they can extract the content of the pages it crawls and adds them to its files.  Once the files are indexed, the real magic starts....

It is reviewed to see if a page offers sufficient quality to be ranked for specific keywords.  

Not only are search engines looking at the content but they are also counting the number of links pointing to specific pages from external websites.   A search engine sees “more links” to a web page from both internal and external website pages as a “Vote of confidence” about the page being linked to.  

The theory is that a page would not get links if it did not deserve it.  Most people accept this because… you would not send your friend to eat at a bad restaurant, right?  

SEO’s that do well today dedicate serious resources (time, money, and skilled labor) towards their link building campaigns. 

So now that you have a basic understanding of how search engines work, here are 3 Actionable Ways to build Quality Links before summertime….

1. Build Relationships

Link building often involves you reaching out to local websites and business owners that are relevant to your target market with a recently completed piece of content --- an article or infographic that you can share with them. 

In layman’s terms, link building is just an internet term for word of mouth marketing but with a much larger reach.   

As in word of mouth, a common goal of building these relationships is building links but it is also important to build long-term relationships with these local business owners & key influencers --- it can mean that your business becomes highly regarded and trusted while at the same time you are creating genuine evangelists and advocates for your business. 

 

2. Content-Based Link Building, Writing Articles for Relevant Websites

Yes, this is guest blogging but not in the form of creating low-quality content and hoping to gain multiple links from low-quality websites.  You will be expected to create high-quality unique content and in return, you get a high-quality link from an established community (what search engines love).    

Be Prepared…  Most communities that allow outside guest writers have guidelines to create more exclusivity and because they have a better understanding of the types of content that their community expects.

Types of original unique content pieces that will get the most engagement will be:

 

How to Show the Love to your Article and the community it is published in…

Once your article has been published be sure to share links to your article on their website.  You can do your normal posting on your social media profiles but remember as you continue to share other articles on other sites try and continue to share your other guest blogging links if it works itself into the text of your content.

Tell Us About Your Article Idea and let’s see if we can get it published here on our blog!

 

3. Local Directory Marketing

Creating listings in business directories that outline legitimate information attached to your brand or service is still an appropriate step to take when it comes to earning links.  

However, you need to keep your target audience in mind at all times and think about whether or not the directory you want to work with will lead to a new quality link or better yet lead to a new quality link while driving qualified referral traffic. 

Do not place your listing in a directory that has nothing to do with your primary message or service that your brand offers.  This could lead to some trouble with Google (possible deindexing) due to the concept of “building links just to build them.”

Instead, identify which specific directory sites engages with your brand’s target audience, based on information related to the online behavior of your audience.

Popular, credible directory sites such as Yelp and Foursquare and TripAdvisor create links that derive from authoritative sources and that connect brands with real, qualified consumers.

If you are looking for high quality and credible directory sites that are hyperlocal then you must add your business to these local Outer Banks Directories:  

 

So now you have actionable steps to get your business’ online marketing in line before the chaos arrives. Let us know what link building initiatives you have used for your business.

 

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As a business owner today, you understand the importance of your business being found online.  

While creating content and writing blogs can help, a very important step in ensuring the longevity of your businesses search engine ranking authority is creating and maintaining up to date business listings across the web.

A local business listing is an online profile that contains your business name, address, phone number, and other details (NAP).  Thousands of websites and directories allow local business owners to create free business listings. Some you may already have heard about include Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing Places, Internet Yellow Pages, and Yahoo! Local.

The purpose of creating local listings is to make your business visible on the Internet. Each new listing you create increases your chances of being found by customers.

Did you know that many of the local business indexes share data with each other. Thus, the more places you are listed and the more visible you are, the more these indexes trust the accuracy of your business data—increasing your chances of ranking well in local searches.

FYI... 

Most people think of local listings as only working for local search marketing, however it also offers citations that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing incorporate into their search algorithms. 

 

Check Your Local Listing Now with Umbrella Local

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Outer Banks Web Designer, Development and Marketing Agency

Umbrella Consultants is a team of professional web designers, web developers and marketers with offices located in San Diego, CA and Kitty Hawk, NC. Our consultants have a combined history of over 30 years in the web design industry and Yes!, the technology within our field is constantly improving!!.

One of the most rewarding parts of our job is staying on top of all the latest trends and capabilities available to ensure our customers can always meet their unique website goals and business objectives.

From the beginning, we have never been married to a specific tool, service or methodology. For us always recommending the right tool for the job requires careful consideration of many factors, tools, languages, and methodologies.

We pride ourselves on thinking outside of the box to come up with the best fit solution for our clients’ needs.

Learn More about our Web Design, Development and Marketing Workflow…

  1. Establish Goals

    During the initial collaboration phase, we want and need to learn about your unique website goals in order to optimize your online business for functionality and features. We research your competition and get to know your target audience in order to prioritize your website’s user experience.

    In this step, we seek to capture your company’s identity through a beautiful, clean and purposeful design strategy.

  2. Develop Your Project Scope

    Now that we have an understanding of your business objectives and website goals, it’s time to create a custom and detailed blueprint for your project. We spend time with each client to walk them through the organization of their website, outlining requirements such as content architecture, functions, and the user experience.

    We keep you informed of all decisions along the way through an organized approval process.

  3. Design & Program

    Now that your site looks great, we want to make it work even more efficiently. To stay ahead of the competition, we build your custom site on the web’s most flexible and up-to-date platforms available.

    We are constantly exploring innovative technology to ensure your new site keeps your customers coming back for more

  4. Implementation

    Before your site is ready to go live, we complete extensive quality testing on multiple browsers and devices. But we don’t stop there. Even after you’ve successfully launched, we provide ongoing support and walk you down the path of key features including search engine optimization, social media and more.

    We want your site to stay as agile and fast as the web itself, meaning we’re always on the lookout for innovative ways to improve your site’s speed, feature enhancements and updates to content management systems.

 

Umbrella Consultants is a web development firm with two offices in San Diego, CA and Kitty Hawk, NC.  Would you like a Free Demo of Umbrella CMS?  Contact us or give us a call 252-573-8027.  

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301 Redirects

What is a 301 Redirect?

A "301 redirect" is a permanent redirect from one URL to the other. A 301 redirect can be described as a "change of address form" similar to what you will get from a post office. Simply stating, it ensures that those who do not know that you have moved that they can still find you.  And for web visitors it forwards them onto your new address.

For example, if your previous website was www.oldwebsite.com and you wanted to change it to www.newwebsite.com,  you'd implement a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. Now whoever typed in your old URL (or clicked on a leftover link to your old URL), would automatically appear at your new URL.

So what does this mean to marketers and business owners?  

Here are two insights to better understand how a 301 redirect will help you be seen by your best leads and customers.

  1. Set up a 301 redirect between the http:// and http://www versions of your domain.
    Here's something surprising ... Did you know http://newwebsite.com and http://www.newwebsite.com are considered two different websites? It's true! Even though in passing we may consider both versions the "same URL", they're actually different and could hypothetically lead to different content.

    FYI... Make sure you have a 301 redirect between the http:// and the http://www versions of your website. If you don't, all the inbound links that point to http://www.newwebsite.com won't pass authority over to http://newwebsite.com and vice versa.

    What about link authority (link juice)... Imagine http://www.newwebsite.com has 10 websites linking to it and http://newwebsite.com has 10 inbound links as well. The internet will view your business as having two URLs both with only 10 links. That's a lost opportunity to rank just a little bit better in the search engines!  By creating a 301 redirect, now the internet will see a single URL attributed to your business with 20 strong links.

    For current Umbrella CMS clients we programmed this feature to be automatically taken care of for you.  For potential or new clients looking to leave your current website's CMS (legacy platform) do not fret we handle this for you as well during website development.

    See how we handled 1100+ 301 redirects without any loss of website authority or inbound links!!!


  2. Don't move to a new domain without setting up a 301 redirect first!
    Thinking about rebranding? Revitalizing your image? Getting a website facelift? Perhaps, you're also considering changing your website domain.

    Sounds reasonable, but make sure you do it the RIGHT way! Otherwise, you're shooting yourself in the foot. But perhaps you're thinking, "But wait ... I don't WANT that URL anymore. Why would I want to use a permanent 301 redirect to connect it to my new URL?"

    Why?

    Because without it, you will be throwing the web authority your previous domain collected right out the window. Any inbound links your old domain earned will lead to no-wheres-land--and worse, they won't be passing SEO credit to YOU any longer.

    Don't you want to keep them? Links are gold!

    FYI... Don't start from scratch when creating a new domain. Set up a 301 redirect from your old URL to your new one so the inbound links to your old domain will send the same authority to your new domain. 


Umbrella Consultants is a web development firm with two offices in San Diego, CA and Kitty Hawk, NC.  Would you like a Free Demo of Umbrella CMS contact us or give us a call 252-573-8027.  

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