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Anyone who has experience with SEO strategy knows that it is constantly changing. This is especially true for those working with local SEO. Optimizing your on-site and off-site SEO is crucial, as local competition is quickly heating up. You want to use the best strategies possible to get customers and clients on your website. Take this time to make sure you’re on the top of rankings, because if you aren’t, someone else will snatch that spot.

Here are some excellent tactics that you can use to help your business rank higher in the local market.

Local Structured Data Markup

Structured data markup – which can also be called “scheme markup” – is something added to the code of your website to provide search engines useful information about your business. Some things you can ensure a search engine picks up are reviews you’ve acquired, services you manage, and products you sell.

The reason doing this is important is because most businesses aren’t using this technique at all and those who are usually only work with the basics. By diving into this strategy, you will make your business stand out among the competition. It can even lead to higher rankings, which is nothing to sneeze about.

Google appreciates sites using structured data markup because it allows their technology to understand the content on your site. In fact, Google provides a Structured Data Testing Tool that lets you know if your markup is working the way it should be.

Online Directories

Roughly 80% of customers use a search engine to make local searches. This is why having business listings online is such an important thing. You should take time to get your business listed on the top online business directories. Some of the first you should consider are Yelp, Citysearch, and Merchant City. It can also be a good idea to find local directories that you can have your business listed with. Check with your Chamber of Commerce and local newspaper’s site to see if they have directories you should list with.

In addition to this, you want to have your business name, number, and address on major citation data aggregators, such as Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup, and Neustar. When filling these out, make sure your business name, address, and phone number are all used consistently. Misspellings, altered formatting, and abbreviations can actually make it harder for search engines to determine what information is correct.

Google My Business Optimization

Google My Business counts as a directory, but it’s a huge one and needs to be considered with an awareness of that. If you haven’t claimed your business on Google My Business, you should do that as soon as possible. It is completely free and it can get you some amazing exposure for your business, especially when you optimize things to the best of your ability.

To claim your business, surf over to http://google.com/business. From there, you’ll need to go through a verification process. Google will send out a postcard to your business’s physical location. This postcard will have a pin included which you will simply plug in to proove you own the business.

As far as optimization goes, start with filling out your business hours, payment types accepted, categories, and filling in a great description. It’s also smart to upload a logo, along with photos of your business, services, and products. After that, fill in every section that pertains to your business so it’s complete for potential customers.

Meta Description & Titles

Titles and meta descriptions are HTML elements that you can customize for your webpage. Whatever you put into the title and description will be displayed on search results. You can use this as a way to offer a small ad, and as such, needs to be crafted carefully.

In 2016, Google made the width of the search results area larger. This allows for a title tag that is around 50 to 60 characters, and a description that can be anywhere from 160 to 200 characters. With that knowledge in mind, take advantage of the space you have to show yourself in the best light possible.

Writing descriptions and titles can be difficult, because text that isn’t exciting and descriptive may make it harder to get people to click. In addition, if you make your text a bit too long, it won’t all appear on the search engine, which can look pretty unprofessional.

Keep these tips in mind while crafting your title and descriptions:

·      Focus on a single keyword that is carefully targeted and place that keyword toward the beginning of the tag if you are able to.

·      Don’t waste space on unneeded characters and words, make every character matter.

·      When looking for local customers, use the name of the city or area your business is in or will be serving.

If someone sees your business show up, you want to make them click on it. Don’t waste characters and time on things that won’t get you more page views. Be succinct and interesting.

Online Reviews

Customers put a lot of trust into online reviews in order to determine what businesses offer quality products or services. Surveys show that over 80% of people trust online reviews just as much as word of mouth. In addition, about 70% of customers are happy to leave a review for a business if they are asked to.

There are quite a few software offerings that allow you to track, manage, and acquire reviews. Some of the most popular include Get Five Stars, Reputation Loop, Trust Pilot, and Vendasta. There are also social media platforms, such as Hootsuite, that notify you if your business is mentioned. This allows you to respond, which shows you care what customers are saying.

By implementing these strategies for local SEO, you’ll have a jump on the competition. You will find that doing each of these things well can lead to more page clicks and customers. There’s not a better day than today to get started, so get in there!

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There are so many social media sites and applications on the landscape nowadays. This makes it difficult to determine exactly where to focus your attention. Facebook and Twitter are known as excellent social media spots to have a presence, but what about the other guys? Tumblr. Pinterest. YouTube.

One of those other guys, Snapchat, may be one you haven’t thought about in regards to your local business SEO. However, it might be an application worth taking a second look at. Snapchat is no longer an app for selfies and cat photos. Celebrities have taken to it as a destination to promote themselves, so why not businesses?

While there is plenty of room for businesses on the platform, it hasn’t taken off as a destination yet. Be one of the first by signing up.

Why Snapchat

A recent report shows that more than 60% of United States citizens between the ages of 13 and 34 are on Snapchat. Most of these users are not just logging on once out of curiosity, either. They’re on the app every single day, sometimes multiple times a day, to interact with others and create new content.

So, how can you use Snapchat for your brand? We have some tips to start you off. Of course, you should allow your imagination to dictate your use of the platform, as that’s what the social media giant is known for. However, sometimes that can be overwhelming so we’re going to break down a few ideas for you.

How to Use Snapchat as a Business

Snapchat is still new compared to many other social media platforms, so there is no standard strategy that you can copy. However, that might be a good thing. It allows for creative marketing and the possibility of being on the waves of a big thing when marketing goes big on Snapchat.

Here are the most common reasons brands have taken to Snapchat:

Engaging with Their Audience

Snapchat is different from other social media platforms in that content can only be seen for a very limited amount of time. This actually makes content more valuable for users, knowing they have such a minuscule time period to check out new content. It makes engaging with content fun and limited, something the audience truly enjoys.

Showing Humanity

You are probably interested in Snapchat to show off your brand, but you don’t have to make the entire account related to the business. You can show off yourself as a person by snapping moments from your day and showing them to fans. People on Snapchat don’t want the same boring interactions they can get on any other site, they want to get deeper and Snapchat allows that.

Showcasing the human side of your business is a marketing trick that is especially useful on Snapchat. It’s also a great place to provide casual content that is intended for a smaller audience.

Building Brand Awareness

Snapchat does have a younger user base, which is why typical marketing techniques may not work so well. The platform works well for storytelling, however, as evidenced by the inclusion of ‘Snapchat Stories’ – which are compilations of videos and images that are available for 24 hours and allow you to show off moments from your day.

If you have a dose of creativity, you can use the platform to create exciting snaps that wouldn’t go over on other social media sites. In addition, with a little work you can partner with influencers to grow your business locally and spread brand awareness.

Building a Strategy

While there is plenty of room for interesting and fresh marketing ideas on Snapchat, there are some ways to use the platform in a strategic way. We’ll go over a few of these, which might give you something to work off of when determining your own business plan for Snapchat.

Tease Users

Since snaps are only ten seconds long, it makes it the perfect option for showing off a new product or offering a look at one of your services. If you have something new coming out or simply want to shine light on an existing product, make a few images related to the product. Show behind the scene photos or make short videos offering up tidbits about the next new thing coming from your brand.

Promos and Discounts

Promotions and contests work well for boosting engagement and Snapchat’s platform is a great place to offer these types of perks. If people know you’re offering an exclusive deal, they’re more likely to open your snaps and engage with you and your company. You can even go a bit further and hold fun contests. You might offer a great deal to those who take snaps while using one of your products.

Live Events

If there’s something exciting going on in the area, you can use Snapchat to spread some excitement about it. This will result in interest in your business, as well. If you’re visiting somewhere cool or enjoying an event, take some snaps and interact with your fans while the event is happening. The excitement and fun of the event will translate in your snaps and make people more excited to see more of your content.

Exclusive Content

People nowadays want a real glimpse into the background of the things and people they love, and Snapchat is a great place to offer that. People on Snapchat appreciate authenticity and they want to see what happens with things and people they care about when they aren’t around to see it.

Use this to your advantage by providing that content to the people who watch your snaps. This might be taking them behind the scenes while you introduce something new, or a few snaps introducing different people on your team and who they are aside from being a part of the business.

Whether you use these tips or go in another direction, it’s clear that Snapchat has potential to spread news about your brand to people in your area. Log on and see how it can help you in your pursuit of local marketing ideas.

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Tumblr might not be the first place you think of when it comes to marketing, but it can actually be a great place to bring some marketing strategy. Having a Tumblr presence is similar to having a typical website. It’s a wonderful place to find a niche audience and following, especially if you’re in an interesting industry. However, even typical industries can find some success there if they do things right.

Basic Tumblr SEO Tips

·      Choose a responsive theme for your Tumblr page

·      Keep ads reasonable and to a minimum

·      Use your on-site SEO strategy and do the same thing on your Tumblr

·      Check for any page errors and fix them ASAP

·      Optimize your images with title tags, as well as preferred quality and sizes

·      Build links to your Tumblr posts for added ranking

·      Use Google Search Console to link your Tumblr

·      Build a sitemap for the Tumblr

·      Do responsible anchor text optimization

·      Utilize structured data, when possible

Most of these things are similar to the concepts you use on your website, but without a lot of the added hassle. If you’re already confident with your SEO strategy on your website, using the same methods on Tumblr will go a long way.

On-Page SEO Options

Most of your Tumblr traffic is going to come from a search engine, link on your or someone else’s site, or a Tumblr search. This is why it’s important to ensure you optimize each of your Tumblr pages, along with each post you make. This relates to the text, links, videos, and pictures that you post.

For the most part, search engine and link traffic is going to work the same way it does for other sites. So, we’re going to focus on ways to optimize your site for Tumblr searches.

Tagging

When you post on Tumblr, you want to ensure you tag your posts. Think of keywords that describe what you’re posting and then tag with those words. You will want to optimize your use of tags and the best way to do so is by using five tags on each post. Only five will show up in searches, so anything more is less effective.

When you tag, the Tumblr bots will group your page with similar pages so those looking for pages on those categories can find it easily.

Custom URLs

You will have the option to create custom post URLs on Tumblr, which you should definitely take advantage of. You should also fill in alt text, description boxes, etc. These all help Tumblr determine how to categorize you, which gets your Tumblr in front of more people who are interested in things you post about.

Title and Meta

From your customize tab on Tumblr, you will have a number of options to go over. One of the most important is the title and description. The title and description are what will show up when someone does a Google search, so these are important to fill out well. Use keywords, post your location, and make sure you give information that you would use for the title and description on your regular website.

Headings

In the customize tab, you will also find a section where you can edit your HTML. If you have an understanding of CSS and HTML, you’ll want to go in and tweak your format. One of the easiest things to do is ensure all post titles have an H1 tag, something that helps with SEO. You can also make other changes to make your Tumblr look better and draw more views.

Off-Page SEO Options

Linking is a big part of off-page SEO strategy and that is no different for Tumblr. The best way to get links from other Tumblrs is to provide content which others can repost. This may take a little time, as the sort of posts that trend on Tumblr can be different than posts on other sites. However, with experience and a little luck, this can bring people to your Tumblr or even your website.

Off of Tumblr, getting links to your content is different. One option is to create a Pinterest board for your Tumblr account. Both of these social media platforms are very visual and have crossover, so this is a good way to start. Another way to get exposure is to speak with people in your industry and ask them to work with you. You could have them do a guest post or interview that you post on your Tumblr.

Content That Works

As mentioned above, the content that works on Tumblr can be a little different than what works elsewhere. We’ll offer you a few ideas of things that can work. You can then use your imagination to work off of these ideas and come up with something innovative.

For those in retail, consider content like the below:

·      Curated images of your store and products

·      Infographics about your products

·      Fun pictures or gifs of people using your products

·      Statistics built into graphics with information about your products.

If you are a service business, try these instead:

·      Videos that show how things are done at your business

·      Funny photos about things happening on the job

·      Graphs about why your service is needed

·      How-to content related to your services and offerings

Don’t make the mistake of making your Tumblr systematic, like you might for your Pinterest. Photos are appreciated but they should not be your only content source. You want to provide useful information along with any graphics and photos you want to use. You should also avoid making too many subpages on your Tumblr, although a contact page might be an exception.

Tumblr is a very imaginative and artistic social media platform where trendy products and services are most likely to go viral. Even if you do not offer this, you can still find a place there and round out your customer base. All you need to do is offer meaningful posts and some fun photos. Many of the same standards you use on your website will work well here, so start there and build as you go along.

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 If you are looking for a new way to lift your local search rankings, Pinterest may be a good option for your business. This social media platform is fairly well entrenched at this point. It also offers something a little different from the big boys, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Pinterest has stayed relatively popular over time and has many avid users who visit the platform on a daily basis. This is partially because of the innovative social media features, but also because of the attractive and simple to use interface. Then there’s the fact that the constant sharing to and from the site can help with search rankings.

But, you may wonder how you can utilize Pinterest to help with your local marketing. We have a number of tips that can help you take Pinterest and use it for the benefit of your brand. So, check those out and consider whether Pinterest is another platform you should add to your marketing arsenal.

Setting Up Your Profile

When you make your profile on Pinterest, you will have the option to hide it from search engines, which you will clearly not want to take advantage of. When it comes to the ‘About’ section of your profile, use your main keywords to describe your business. You will also want to set your location to wherever your business is located. You can also add the URL to your website and connect to your business Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Local Reviews

Another option, when it comes to the URL you post on Pinterest, is to link to one of your review pages that features many positive reviews. This is only something you should consider if you already have a reasonable local ranking for your main website. However, this can get you some traffic toward the review page, which can help ranking for your business name.

Pinterest Boards

The biggest draw of Pinterest might be the boards, which are used to categorize the pins you post. To take advantage of boards from a marketing standpoint, you should consider having a board with your city name where you post pins about the area. You should also have boards for your industry, products, and services.

Following

Following other Pinterest users in your area is a great idea, as it could lead to them following you and even visiting your website. You may also find that they have some excellent local pins for you to display on your own boards. Following people and businesses in your industry is also a good step to filling out your followers with some great content.

Pinning Strategy

It’s important to only pin photos and infographics of a good quality, as Pinterest is a very visually oriented social media platform. In order to gain exposure and get users to follow you, you want to be sure your pins are of great quality items. Of course, not every pin is going to be excellent quality but ensuring most of them are can go a long way toward helping your marketing on the site.

Keyword Text

When you post photos on your local board, take the time to describe it and use keywords to do so. This will give people more information about you and the pin, which is more likely to get people to click. Even though Pinterest is largely visual, you don’t want to forget your keywords. Any time you can associate your brand with your industry or the local area, you should take advantage of it.

Think Local

While you will want to post many pins that relate to your business, don’t forget that other local pins can be helpful too. This shows that you care about the community as a whole. It can also bring exposure to people who might not otherwise find you. Posting photos of landmarks and special events is a good way to utilize this aspect of marketing. Any local view can lead to business, whether from that specific user or someone connected to them.

Heart Photos

When you come across quality pins from other local users, you can click on the like (heart) button to show your appreciation. Even if the photo is not something you want to pin, you can still express care and respect by clicking this button and putting yourself out there. However, don’t do this on every single pin you see. Save it for the truly special ones.

Create Content

Design an infographic related to your industry (or have one designed for you) and use Pinterest to gain exposure for it. Being a content creator can be a real perk on this platform and offering a few items that are specifically created by your business can provide you with more followers and clicks. You can also use Pinterest to link to blog posts and things of that nature, just be sure there’s a high-quality image to go with it to draw people in.

Cross Promote

Facebook and Twitter are great places to cross promote your pins. This allows you to gain a larger audience. In addition, it can lead to those who follow you on one platform making the move to be a fan on another platform. You always want more numbers, and this is just one option for getting there.

Contests

Pinterest can be an interesting platform for holding a contest. One option is to make the contest available to customers, asking them to post pictures of your products and place of business. In exchange for that, you can offer promos, coupons, or unique prizes that customers will be happy to compete for. Through this option, a user’s friends will gain access to your business and could end up on your profile or even website.

There are many ways to use Pinterest to bring in some local love, many of which we’ve mentioned above. You don’t have to use all of these tips, but by incorporating a few of them, you have a new place for marketing and a potential opening to a new audience who might make awesome fans.

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You have a website. You have a social media strategy. You send out newsletters with links that bring views in. But do you have a blog?

It can seem like blogging is only done by huge companies when it comes to business marketing. That is far from the truth. Even local businesses have a lot they can gain from choosing to publish and maintain a well-devised blog.

If you don’t believe us, consider these statistics, straight from Google:

·      4/5 of internet consumers use a search engine to find local businesses around them.

·      Half of consumers who perform this search for a local business end up visiting that same business on that same day.

·      Of the people who make up the first two, 18% make a purchase at the business they end up visiting.

That should be more than enough proof of how your website, and blog, can lead to great business advantages. Blogging can help you rank higher in the search results, leading you to be that company a consumer clicks on, visits, and purchases from.

How to Make Blogging Work for You

There are many ways to make blogging a part of your day and ensure a higher search engine ranking. Some of them are common sense, while others are far from it. Utilizing ideas from both columns will help you in your marketing efforts. So, how do you make blogging help in marketing?

Schema Markup

As much as possible, use schema markup to “tell” Google and Bing that you’re a local business. This can help bump your ranking on the search engines. However, you don’t have to stop there. Use markup to ensure the type of business you do is known. Many small businesses don’t do this so it really can make your website, and your business, stand out. Plus, by utilizing your blog this information can be provided numerous times, along with other keywords that can help.

Check for Consistent NAP

NAP refers to your business name, address, and phone number. Something that is extremely important is listing this in the exact same way on every site you work with. This includes directory listings, social media, website, and blog. Check this over every once in a while, to ensure nothing is formatted strangely or written in a different way from typical.

Provide Interesting Information

If you aren’t sure what to blog about, you are far from alone. Many businesses make posts that only serve as advertisements for their products and services. Don’t be that business owner. Instead of talking about yourself and your business, talk about things that matter to your audience. Get to know the people who are reading and talk about things they care about. Industry information, tips, hints, and stories are more likely to get you links that help in the pursuit of prime search engine space.

Provide Your Blog on the Business’ Domain

It’s much better to park the blog on your actual business domain. This is because links to the blog might lead to the main site and vice versa. Links are very important in search engine ranking so having all inbound links going to the same place is something essential. Whether your blog starts ranking higher or your business does, each will build off of the other as far as popularity.

Talk About Things Happening in the Neighborhood

On days when you aren’t sure what to write about, consider delving into news and events nearby. You can talk about an election or a local fair, while using the perspective of your business to make the article stand out. Not only may you gain new readers interested in what you’re talking about, but those who are already reading your blog may find out something new and decide your blog is a good place to find further information of the sort.

Incorporate Location

Of course, many local searches will include the name of the city you are located in. However, this isn’t the only location to use to your advantage. You can find ways to talk about neighboring areas or cities or use terms that are common in the specific area. These are things that might bring in more clicks and entrench you as part of the community that you are a part of.

Converse About Other Blogs

To build up readers on your own blog, it can be a good practice to participate on other blogs of businesses in the area. You might go to blogs that do things similar or complementary to your own services and leave a few comments. You can also mention them in your own blog post. This often leads the other blog to link to your site, giving you both an advantage and potential higher numbers when it comes to readership. Being seen as someone who understands about cares about the community is never going to be a bad thing.

Themes and Keywords

Think about the way people use technology today and make your blog optimal for these searches. Of course, you should use specific keyword phrases important to your business, but long-tail keywords can be a great thing to add into blog content. Are there questions you think local individuals might be typing in? Find a way to add those answers into your own keywords to pull in more people and provide higher conversions.

Conclusion

Blogging is not just for the corporations out there, it’s a great way to become a steadfast member of your local community online. By conversing with other local companies, you gain an audience who might not otherwise know you exist. When you link to events and talk about news in the area, you show care for the people who are there and interested. Blogging might take some time and creativity, but it’s something everyone should think about incorporating. The many positives that can come from it can have a huge effect on conversion and search engine ranking. So get out there and make some people think.

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We know that an important aspect of marketing for any business, big or small, is procuring an effective position for the brand in results from search engines. As such, it’s crucial to ensure that marketing works toward this goal. This can be difficult and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a number of tricks that can be utilized to get that golden spot you want.

Make Your Website Spotless

We aren’t talking about design or development here, but content. Your website is the most valuable asset you have online so it’s important to make sure that it ranks high in search results that matter for your brand. There are a few ways to do this:

·      Make certain that your business’ name, phone number, and address (NAP) are available on the site. Don’t put it on a single page like the homepage and call it good. This should be available on every single page. While you’re at it, make sure everything is spelled and formatted the exact same way. This matters when it comes to search engines so check on it occasionally.

·      Use keywords on page titles that give information into your company, services, and location. Again, doing this in more than one place is important so make it a habit for added pages.

·      If possible, take the time to ensure your website pages talk about your area. This should go beyond just posting the address. You can talk about sports team, events, and important locations. This allows you to be noticed by people you may not otherwise pull to your page.

Ensure Excellent Link Strategy

Having a strong link profile can lead to better results on search engines. In fact, this is something that some businesses have used to build their entire brand. That said, be careful about what links you use and how often, this is the type of thing that occurs over time rather than as a massive one-time strategy.

·      Create a spreadsheet or directory with resources about local places you appreciate. This might include your favorite Chinese restaurant, grocery store, dry cleaner, and any cultural attractions that you’re partial to. This gives you some places to link to and to have return the favor. This can grab views from people who might not otherwise frequent your brand or industry.

·      Share links to your website from your social media accounts and ask others to do the same.

·      If you utilize newsletters, make sure to include links there too. You can give updates to get even more eyes on your website.

·      Avoid “get views fast” strategies like spamming your website on forums or blogs. You should also avoid linking from and to random sites. Make sure that you go for quality so your reputation isn’t damaged, rather than inflated.

Make Listings on Local Sites

Getting your name out is important and one of the best ways to do that, when it comes to local SEO, is by utilizing listings on third-party sites. Search engines look at these sites and can learn more about you and your business. Not listing your business or allowing inaccurate information can have the opposite effect, bringing your search engine ranking lower.

·      For a business with more than one location, make listings for each of them to boost your brand and hype each of your locations up.

·      Make certain your business is listed in the right area so its properly optimized. You can use keywords to help with this, but don’t go overboard. That can lead to negative effects, so strike a balance.

·      Find out what the local listing sites are and make sure you have an appearance. That means claiming your business, checking that NAP are accurate and spelled correctly, and making any changes that are needed. Local sites are of huge importance so take the time to do this right.

·      Later on, consider adding photos, URLs, videos, or other information that makes your listings more informational and useful for those who might stumble upon them.

Respond and Acknowledge

Once you have listings on various sites, you’re also going to have reviews and ratings to consider. Engaging with those is an important part of ensuring local SEO. This can be time-consuming but the benefit outweighs that to a large degree.

·      Give your customers a chance to leave feedback if they appreciated your work. This could be via an email, flyer, or rating on Yelp or a similar site. The more positive reviews you get from actual customers, the better your business will look on both review sites and on search engines.

·      Don’t post reviews that are fake. You may think they will never be discovered but they probably will be. When they are discovered, all of your ratings and reviews are going to be scrutinized and that’s extremely difficult to come back from.

·      Respond, respond, respond. If someone leaves positive feedback, thank them and welcome them to use your service in the future. If the post is negative, let the person know you appreciate their review. Then give them a way to contact you so you can address whatever issues they brought up.

Utilize Social Media

Social media has a huge amount of influence on how your business ranks in search results. If you have a great social media strategy, your page will likely find more fans and then come up higher in searches. It’s a win-win and something that needs to be worked on regularly to ensure the best results.

·      Engage your social media followers in interesting and fun ways. Offer updates, giveaways, and promotions that get people excited. You can also highlight various customers and offer links or stories that will matter to them. Always make sure you also reach out when questions or feedback come in via your social media page.

·      Have a real strategy for your social media on each site you use. Companies that do well on social media engage on a regular basis. The more you interact, the more followers you’ll get, and the higher you’ll rank on search engines.

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If you are looking for a way to market your business locally, but you don’t have the money to dip your toe into every pool, you aren’t alone. There are many ways to make an impact on the local area without spending much, or any, of your precious capital on it. Some of these ideas are likely old hat, but you may find that some of them you have not considered. We hope at least one or two of them spark something and give you a way to further market your business without dipping into the bank.

Research the Market

This is an option that costs nothing, at least in terms of money. It may take some time, but it can certainly be worth it in the end. By researching your target market and the characteristics that are shared by them, you can even save money in other ways.

Are you curious how?

Focus your marketing efforts on the people who are most likely to be a customer to begin with. You can also change the way you write messages to make them more likely to pull in those who may be customers down the line.

You can also study your competition and determine what their strengths and weaknesses are. From there you can capitalize on their weaknesses instead of going toe-to-toe in an area where they have an advantage. Turn those weaknesses for them into benefits for your company.

Use Business Cards

Sure, this might seem old-school, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Meeting people face to face is a great way to get your name out there. Introduce yourself to new people you encounter, whether that happens to be someone in line behind you at the grocery store or the person behind the counter at the gas station. Pull out a card, jot down a freebie code, and sign it with a date. Many will use that business card coupon, and that can lead to returning customers.

Turn to Email

Email marketing is an inexpensive way to get the word out to people. A bare-bones marketing company may cost you only a few dollars a month, yet allow you thousands of contacts and more than enough space and span for a local business to do well. But what makes email stand out is that it is known for having a huge return on marketing dollars.

There are dozens of studies that show consumers prefer email communication. So, give the people what they want and save a bundle while you do it. It’s a situation that’s perfect for you and excellent for your customers, as well.

Engage Quickly

You want to engage and convert as fast as possible in the modern, digital world we live in. Most people look for a service or product online. In fact, studies show that many people use online research so much that they no longer need to ask questions of a sales person. They show up wanting what they want and knowing exactly what they expect.

One means of increased engagement comes through being aware of the device someone uses to browse your site. There are inexpensive methods to offer different iterations of the same site, so it looks great, no matter how a customer chooses to navigate. This can lead to someone who sticks around longer and gives you a sale.

Optimize for Crowds

Most consumers visit the web before making a purchase, and they often do this weeks or months before a decision. People are interested in having all the information they need to make the best choices. This applies whether the item in question is something expensive like a car or something low-budget that may not seem worthy of research. The starting point for buying is searching on the Internet.

Build your sites using best practices of search engine optimization to give yourself a leg up in rankings. Your business will be more prominently displayed and in turn get more traffic as people see you before other offerings.

Consider Cross Promotion

If you know another business that needs some marketing help, think about joining up with them. You could offer them a flyer for their store to pass out with a discount code. You could even offer to do the same back for them. You end up advertising to people out and about who may not know you exist and customers may stop in due to the discount code or other perks you offer them.

Other Ideas

There are tons of other ways to market inexpensively if you get creative. Here are some ideas that you could consider implementing. Each of them is inexpensive, and most won’t take up too much time, either.

·      Place a magnet on your company car with your business’ name on it. You could also use a window decal or bumper sticker if preferred.

·      Hold a business card drawing. Take visitors cards and then offer a prize to one lucky person at the end of the month based on who is randomly picked.

·      Have an event or offer a class. You can often post a flyer with your company name, plus you get to help the community with something.

·      Apply online for awards in your industry. Having badges from awards makes your website look more credible and reputable, leading to more sales.

·      Offer a small online contest with a prize to the winner. This will pull people in, some of whom will stick around after the competition is over.

·      Implement a customer referral program where an existing customer receives a free product or a discount when they refer a new customer.

·      Recycle your content by turning a blog post into an eBook or a video into a webinar.

No matter what kind of business you are and what kind of services or products you provide, there are ways to get new customers without spending a ton of money. This list above should be a good basis for finding a few marketing ideas that work for you. Good luck!

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You probably know what Instagram is. It’s a social network that is largely photo driven and offers a way for people to show off snippets of their lives. However, it’s also an amazing place for businesses to show off their company and what they stand for. While you may hear about Facebook and Twitter more often when it comes to marketing, that doesn’t mean you should ignore this large community of people.

Like any social network, it’s best to have a strategy when going into it as a business. We’ll go over some of the ways that Instagram excels when it comes to marketing local SEO and bringing attention to your company.

Increase Brand Awareness

Instagram is an excellent place to showcase your company and their services and products. Photography is king on this social media site, with all sorts of styles finding an audience. The site offers tons of filters and effects that you can add to photos. You can also utilize hashtags and advertise in a way that is more personal than you might be able to on Facebook or Twitter.

Of course, you have to be willing to take photos but the good news is that there’s no need for a professional. Photos that seem real and natural tend to get a better response. You don’t want your advertisements to look like advertisements. This may mean getting creative with logo use or photo captures in your business. But if people find and like what you’re posting, they often move on to checking out your website.

Use Text Overlays, Captions, and Keywords

Overlays are a great way to add information to a photo while not detracting from the aesthetic. There are many simple and free editing tools that let you add text to your photos. This allows you to communicate prices, dates, or other important information that your customers will want to know. Amplify this effect by using smart captions. Leave your call-to-action here to drive traffic to your main website. The final part of this is hashtags. You can add about 10 hashtags to each photo so use them. Use things that are relatable and interesting in the same way as you would use SEO keywords. But remember, timely hashtags and fun references are also good options.

Understand Business Tools

Instagram has a few business tools that can be helpful if used properly. You can get metrics that show you how well certain posts do. The data includes insights, reach, engagement, shares, and more for every paid advertisement. Take this data and use it find out what people are reacting to in order to give them more of this in the future. Pay attention to what keywords and hashtags offer the most reach and interaction.

Be Aware of Post Frequency

As with any other site, don’t spam. You shouldn’t be posting all your photos one by one at the same time. People will get frustrated and want to stop paying attention. Instead, consider having a schedule for when you post photos. This way you ensure you don’t go a long time without posting but you also don’t upload 20 photos in an hour and turn off viewers. The good news is that it’s actually easier to feature your products in a creative way if you aren’t posting every moment, so it all works together.

Engage Your Audience and Promote Traffic

It’s easier to engage with contests and photos, which is part of what makes Instagram such a unique site. People are there to share their lives and show their creativity and you can be a part of that. Do what you can to stay involved with people by replying to comments and using hashtags as you would keywords. Interesting content is important no matter where you are, but Instagram really appreciates and applauds creativity in marketing.

Hold a Photo Contest

Photo contests are huge on Instagram and for good reason, the entire site revolves around photos. How you make this work for you is by holding a contest of your own that somehow ties in with your brand. You could require a product of yours be in the photo, for instance. This gets you free promotion from others when they snap those photos and put them up on their own pages.

You should also have a hashtag you use for the contest and talk it up for a while before it launches. Anytime the hashtag is used, that’s more of an audience hearing about you and the contest. As for a prize, you can consider a free product of some sort. Of course, that takes money but you’ll likely make up for that with the new followers you pull in throughout the contest.

Partner with a Non-Profit

People love to support companies that support others, especially when these companies are in their own communities. One of the simplest ways to have a part in this is by donating a part of your profits to an organization close to your industry and having a hashtag that speaks to that partnership. The other organization may speak about you, as well, giving you even more publicity as a company that cares about others.

Conclusion

These should arm you with some interesting ideas for how to make Instagram a part of your social media marketing arsenal. All it takes is some time, interesting photos, and a plan, just like any other marketing option. The difference is that Instagram is a creative powerhouse where more unique options will often be embraced.

So, if you don’t have an Instagram, now is the time to make one. If you do have one and aren’t using it to its full ability, make a few changes for the better. You may be surprised to see the community spirit there, which can lead to more views on your website and other social media profiles, as well as a higher rate of conversion and money in your pocket.

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It's important to be aware of your social media presence on various sites and proceed to use the sites in a way that helps your brand. Twitter is a massive social site with lots of positives that can be used to grow your business. However, you want to be sure that you do everything just right to get those positives coming your way. We give you some ideas below.

Fill Out Your Bio

This is important for any social media site, directory, or website. You need to have a profile that helps search engines determine ranking for your business. When it comes to Twitter, there are a number of ways to ensure that Google and Bing pick up the information that will help you climb the page. Having a bio that is complete and optimized helps more than you might imagine.

Make sure that your business name, address, and phone number are listed and are formatted the same way as on your company website. You should also use your company logo and provide a link for users to get to your site. For the description, use optimized keywords to make a positive impact!

Utilize Twitter Lists

Using Twitter lists allows you to organize your Twitter feed so you can better interact with select people. You can use private lists that only you can see as a way to see what competitors or important clients are doing without actually following them. Public lists, on the other hand, can be seen by anyone and those added to the list are notified. One thing to remember is to add your own Twitter to the list for exposure purposes. Here are some good uses of private list ideas:

·      Clients

·      Competitors

·      Employees

·      Target Clients

·      Suppliers

And these are good uses of a public list:

·      Events

·      Networking

·      Influencers

·      News in the industry

·      Motivational Tweeters

Don’t Forget Hashtags

Hashtags are important. No, really, they are. Hashtags allow people to see your tweets who may not be following you or know anything about you. When you hashtag posts, you can also gain exposure. Sometimes a hashtag can even take off, and you’ll find something you use come into everyday use.

So, for instance, use a tag like #macandcheesemonday to describe something you offer. Put it on the bottom of your tweet. Anyone who looks up the hashtag or parts of it is going to see your post. So, people will see the posts and could decide to learn more about your company, following you or adding to your retweets.

Retweets Matter

Interacting and gaining a following is crucial for Twitter business accounts. Tweeting on a regular basis is a good idea, but retweeting can have significant effects, as well. This allows you to build relationships with other people and companies. It also helps with search engine ranking. But don’t retweet just anything; make sure to retweet things that your followers appreciate. However, when others retweet your tweets, search engines notice. The more you get retweeted, the better. So, offer the best content you can and work toward retweets with this platform.

Interact with Nearby Users

By using the Geolocation feature on Twitter, you can increase brand awareness and improve local marketing efforts. You can find out who is in the neighborhood that tweets, along with what businesses utilize Twitter. However, not everyone knows how to take advantage of geolocation on Twitter, so we’ll go over that first.

1.    Go to MyGeoPosition.com or a similar site.

2.    Type in your business address in the search box.

3.    Click on ‘Calculate Geodata.'

4.    Copy the coordinates that result from this search.

5.    Log into your Twitter account

6.    Hit up the search box and put in ‘geocode:.'

7.    After that, paste in the latitude from before

8.    Add a comma and then enter a value in miles.

9.    Click on search.

After the search is complete, you just select the Accounts tab to see all the accounts nearby your business location. From there, all you need to do is look through the various accounts and connect with any that seem relevant to your business.

Connect with Influencers

Using influencers is an excellent way to get the word out about your brand or company. Many people on Twitter are well-known and managing to get them retweeting or responding to you can go a long way. By being known by an influencer, other followers will follow you and allow you to increase how far your messages go.

Perhaps there’s a company that would be a great option for you to have a relationship with. Use the geolocation method explained above to find the address of that company or location. From there you can find people who tweet from that location. You can then tweet toward these people in order to bring attention to your brand. Try to be unique and exciting for the best chance of being answered or followed back.

Use Filters to Refine Results

When using geolocation and other tactics, you usually have an end goal. This might be growing your network by location, or it might be topic targeting or something else. Whatever the goal is, make sure it’s actually fleshed out so you can focus on the most important things. By being specific, you have a better chance of engaging the right people.

In this case, you add a topic or industry filter to the geolocation query. Use the same format we used before, but add a # and then a phrase that relates to your goals. This will give you information on the account in the location you choose that is relevant to your phrase. This is very helpful for filtering out people and finding exactly who you want.

Conclusion

Some of these methods are more likely than others to work for certain sectors, so it’s always a good idea to consider that first. Decide which of these tricks to use to bring more followers and attention to your brand. Then try one or two of them and see how it affects your marketing strategy in the future.

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Whether you pay for search engine optimization (SEO) or do it on your own, it’s important to know how it’s paying off for your local company or brand. Of course, this is easier said than done as it’s nearly impossible to determine whether you are top-ranked on search engines.

What you can determine is how many people are coming to your site and what leads to conversion and money in your hand. There are a number of ways to check return on investment (ROI) on SEO for your brand. We’ll go over a few of them below, specifically those related to Google Analytics, which makes checking on stats extremely easy.

Determine Need for Mobile Site

You can check under your Visitors menu to see whether a mobile version of your site would be beneficial. There is a Mobile option on the page where you can see what devices are used on your site and the percentage of people browsing from mobile.

Be sure to check out your bounce rate and average time on site here as it shows how long people stay on the site. If you find the mobile users spend less time on the site, you can determine that you are losing traffic and potential sales by not having a mobile site option.

Understand Shopping Cart Abandonment

For those with an online shopping cart and multiple step checkout, you can set up a Goal Funnel to understand what is causing people to leave. You just click on Goals and then create a new goal based on URL Destination. Toward the end of the goal you will include the last URL of checkout, which may be a thank you page. Click on Use Funnel to enter all the other URLs that correspond to making a purchase.

This lets you view reports that show when people leave the site while in the middle of purchasing. If a ton of people leave on the shipping page or payment page, that page needs work to make it friendlier to shoppers. Find out what is causing the issue and then fix it to bump up the number of sales you get.

Badly Performing Pages

On the content menu, you’ll see your top pages with your top exit pages below that. This shows you where people are coming into your site and where they are choosing to exit. If there are specific pages where people leave on a regular basis and that seem confusing, there may be a problem that is leading them to do so. It’s a good idea to evaluate these pages and content to see whether people are getting what they want. You could also post a call to action like purchasing a product or joining a mailing list.

Top Performing Pages

So, now that the badly performing pages are out of the way, let’s check out the best performing ones. Click on the Content Menu and click on Pages under Site Content. This lets you see information about pages that keep visitors for a long period of time or that lead them to visit more pages on your website. These are pages that are doing well and analyzing them can lead to making improvements elsewhere.

Visualize Clicks

If you want to know what people are clicking on more than average, go to In-Page Analytics under Content. Here you can see the percentage of clicks on each link your site has. You can hover over and click on these links to find out more information which may help to understand what people are clicking on and why. If you have something you want people to visit, try placing it somewhere that gets more clicks than other pages.

Search Results

Of course, keywords bring visitors to your site from places like Google and Bing. But it can be interesting to see what visitors are searching for on your actual site, too. If your site has a search box, head to Analytics and Profile Settings. Select the option to track site searches. Fill that in appropriately so Analytics takes a look at searches made.

For results, visit the Site Search area. You can see what terms are being searched for under Usage. It will also show whether they left, browsed more, or exited. This can help you understand if people are finding what they want. Seeing searches can also help you see what people want from your site so you can tune your content to be helpful for them.

Online Campaign Traffic

You can also check out how your marketing campaigns are doing and what is bringing the most traffic. You do this by going to Advanced Segments and building a new customer segment. You will fill in sites you have profiles on if you want to see how search directories are helping. Once you’ve added these, you can go back in later and see how traffic and conversion are working on each website so you can determine where to spend more time to enhance ROI.

Determine Best Locations

If you aren’t sure who to target with ads, it can be a difficult decision to make. You may want to focus on certain countries or areas if those give better results, but first you have to know. Google Analytics makes that easy. Check out your Visitors menu to see Location data about your visitors. This gives information on average time on site, bounce rates, and more. You can also move into a country and see stats from certain regions. From there, you have a great list to target; who you know already are interested in your services.

Conclusion

If you are new to Google Analytics or want to delve into it more deeply, these suggestions will help you determine where to start or where to go from where you are. There are hundreds of other ways to utilize this tool, but doing even a few of the listed options here will help you find the people you want and turn that traffic into ROI and conversions to keep your business healthy.

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What is a retail company to do when the digital world is so immersive and full of activity?

Use the opportunity to reach people you might not otherwise, that’s what!

You can use the real-world relationships you have to transform them into online fans. You can also do the opposite, make online fans who will turn into real-world customers. It’s the best of both worlds and it isn’t as daunting as many may think it is at first look.

Implement eCommerce and Profit

If your retail store doesn’t do eCommerce, you’re missing out on tons of potential customers and sales. Selling online has never been easier and everyone from charities, community groups, and entrepreneurs are running their own web stores without having to stress over much web development.

How? I’m glad you asked.

·      Services like Shopify allow people to start their own stores, selling their products to people across the globe. These services take care of all the technological stuff so you can focus on posting products, communicating with buyers, and otherwise marketing your business and making money.

·      Sites like Etsy are another great option for creatives. There’s no need to know any web design or development to sign up. Having an ability with the camera can help, though. Post your products online and wait for the sales. Everyone else is out there doing it.

·      Jump all in with an eCommerce site. You can build it yourself if you’re feeling motivated, or you can hire someone to do it for you. Either way, it gives another way to run into people who would love to buy your products but perhaps aren’t in the local area to do so.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a great way to get involved in the online world. It’s an excellent way to tell people about your company and answer questions. Social media also has huge numbers of people who can become fans, which leads to more conversion and popularity for your company.

·      Local businesses can gain followings on social media by being nothing but honest and relatable. There are millions of corporate social media accounts out there, but they’re hard to feel a connection with. Offering something new and providing a means of value will quickly have you picking up fans who will stick around.

·      You can give great customer experiences online as there are so many ways to interact. Make sure your fans and customers always feel appreciated, even if that’s by doing something simple like thanking a person for a good review. It makes them feel better about shopping with you.

Digital Recommendations

Everyone knows that word of mouth can lead to more customers and more interest in your brand. That’s true with online interaction, as well. With endorsements and excellent reviews, you can pull more people into your marketing web and snag sales down the line.

·      Choose a way to collect online reviews and make it easy for the other party to use. You could add a review form to your social media or business newsletters or try something else. The important thing is having a means for collecting these reviews, as they can serve you well later down the road.

·      Make sure to treat your customers well, whether in real-life or in digital interactions. Capture happy feedback for later use. Manufactured reviews often appear like just that, which nobody is going to take seriously.

·      Get people involved. Once you have customers who love your brand, find a way to get them making videos or taking photos that show your brand in a good light. You can then use these things in email campaigns later to bring even more fans and customers over to your brand.

Digital PR Matters

Find a way to get your real-world relationships online. Find a way to get the online ones in the real-world. Always consider how relationships can morph and merge between the two, because you may find mutually beneficial ways to take advantage of these relationships.

·      Join some social media groups on LinkedIn or Facebook to learn more about other new businesses and who else is around the area. By being active and approachable, you’re likely to meet people who are interested in what you’re doing and want to be a party of it.

·      When you meet someone online who is local, think about how you could work together. Maybe you could feature them in some work you’re doing or the two of you could work on PR together somewhere local. These relationships and just being nice to people can lead to some stellar benefits if you do what you want to drive them in that direction.

Local SEO Still Matters

You need to have a decent SEO if you want to be seen and heard, and that’s just as important for local retail as anyone else. This means that search engines need to know about you and who you are, which is something that requires a bit of work. However, there are a few great ways to start the process.

·      Keep your information consistent from site to site. Make sure things are spelled the same and detailed in the same way. This makes it more likely all your web marketing will tie together and push you up the page on Bing.

·      If you own a website, make sure you offer the physical address and phone number so people can find you locally and get in contact.

·      Use Google+ Business, and other listings, to put your businesses (literally) on the map where people can find you. Someone searching for something nearby may click on your business and end up a customer. That won’t happen if there are no listings to begin with.

·      Join business associations that offer listings and use those as a way to get your name out there.

There are many ways to use the online digital world as a forum for selling your retail products. Just be sure you are providing ways for people to find you. Of course, there’s more to local SEO than that, but just ensuring you’re out there where you should be and taking advantage of situations can help a whole lot.

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Facebook Ads provided a perfect solution for promoting yourself with local SEO. You can turn on and off ads whenever you want, add in a new campaign with ease, and the advertising itself can work well with a small budget. On top of that, your customers can promote you online and off, giving great word of mouth, which as we all know is extremely effective.

Here is how to get your company out there on Facebook using ads:

Choosing the Right Type of Ad

Facebook makes it simple to choose who you want to target your ad towards, including a number of audience options that are excellent for local marketers. We’ll get into that more below. Facebook also lets you choose the objective for each campaign you start. These include options such as “promote your page,” “increase conversions on your website,” “increase engagement in your app,” and “get people to claim your offer.”

As a local marketer, the options “raise attendance at your event,” and “reach people near your business” ad types are especially useful.

How to Target Your Audience

There are various ways to set up audience targeting and they depend on what type of ad you chose. If you choose to target those near your location, a map will pop up that allows you to dig down and choose additional options of age and gender. Anyone who is in your city or local area will see your ad, whether they are from there or visiting.

If you choose a different type of advertisement, you’ll be able to choose locations to target. You can choose an entire country, if you wish, or choose to use a specific address. Somewhere in between is often going to work better than either of those, however. Facebook also allows you to exclude locations if there’s an area you prefer not to target.

Refine Your Targeting

Beyond locational targeting, you can make other choices to drill down to the exact audience that you want. With all ads, save the one targeting your area, you can choose a whole host of other things to help you reach the people you want. Of course, age and gender are there, but so are demographics like income, education, interests, political beliefs, and hobbies. You can also browse to explore different things and learn more about them.

By default, Facebook will set things up to include people who match at least one of your targeting options, but you can also change this by hitting “narrow audience.” You can add criteria there of which the target user must match each option. So, you could target to only high school graduates who like painting or go even deeper and target graduate students of business who are interested in horses and use iPads. The sky is limit.

As with locations, you can also exclude people based on behavior, interests, and demographics if you have a certain type of person you would prefer not to advertise to.

Provide a Reason to Click

At this point you have an advertisement campaign, along with an audience who you want to advertise to. So, what you need now is to give customers a reason to click on your link. Of course, you can do that in various ways, depending on your business and needs.

One of the most common ways to do this is by offering a coupon. People love the idea of having a discount, which will make them more likely to click and check out your page. It can even lead to more sales if people feel that the coupon has a value that they are interested in.

Another option, one that is completely free, is adding in your location to the ad. People are more likely to notice the advertisement if it appeals to them and having their location listed is a good way to do so. For instance, instead of making your ad headline say, “stop in for lunch today!” try “Seattleites – stop in for lunch today.”

Pay Attention to Numbers

The first half of advertising on Facebook is creating and running the ad, the other half is tracking the statistics from your ad. Between ads manager and the coupon app, Facebook will automatically track metrics from the ad and the landing page. This includes everything from number of conversions to how many coupons have been claimed, along with how many views your advertisement has pulled in.

Take what you learn from that and use it in further campaigns. If something works well and something else doesn’t, you know what to use the next time to bring in the most views and clicks.

Follow Up with Customers

If you choose to go the route of coupons, be aware that not everyone who claims it will use it. Some will use it later but others will completely forget about them between everything else going on in their lives. A good way to deal with this situation is by following up with people, whether they use the coupon or not. An email campaign can be a great way to do this.

A drip email campaign is an option as you send out timed emails at optimal times. Of course, you can choose another route, if preferred. Whatever you choose, be sure to offer exciting content and further incentives that keep people interested in your brand and what you are doing.

Conclusion

A Facebook ad campaign can be beneficial for a business looking for a hold in the local area. By ensuring you look at each of these important aspects when building, using, and ending campaigns, you have a better chance of getting those all-important links and views, which lead to a higher ranking on the major search engines.

If you already use Facebook as a business page, it’s worth throwing a little money in and utilizing their ads, so long as you know what you want from it. Following the above suggestions is likely to help you out in the long run with getting more fans and customers.

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Everyone knows that marketing with social media is important. This holds true whether you have a global company or a local business that is marketing in nearby areas. In fact, it may be even more important for a smaller business owner to utilize various social media sites to get their information and names out there. Here’s why:

Engaged Contact List

Gaining fans on social media is not easy and the people who follow you want to be engaged. If you can manage to make your brand fun or interesting, more people are likely to pay attention to what you post, tweet, or snap. But here’s the best part – once you have fans on social media, you also have a customer base that will pay attention to your advertisements at no cost.

Having an excellent social media strategy and a social audience will lead to referral traffic, conversions, and more money in your pocket.

Search Engine Optimization

The major search engines have confirmed again and again that social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram influence a company’s SEO. Having active social profiles will push your name up on Google and give you more opportunity for traffic.

If social media isn’t part of your marketing plan, you’re leaving traffic and money on the table. So not only must you have profiles, but you must be active and give people what they want on these profiles.

Management of Reputation

If you own a social media page with your company name on it, nobody else can do so. If you don’t grab up that opportunity, chances are someone else well. This makes it harder to prove you are who you say you are. It also makes it difficult to prove someone posting in your name isn’t connected to the company. Even if you don’t make updates on some social sites, having the account is something you should not ignore.

Using Social Sites as Part of Your Social Media Strategy

First off, there are some social media sites that are more important than others. Even if you don’t want to jump into every site, ensure you have profiles or pages available on these very important pages:

Facebook

Facebook is the most important account you can have, because nearly everyone has a personal account there. As a business, what you want is to start a Facebook Page. These represent companies, organizations, and public figures. In addition, Facebook allows you to advertise on their website. They even go so far as allowing you to ensure your advertisements get to those who matter – the people in your local area who can utilize your company.

LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, you can create a company page, which gives tons of information about your business. You can list the site, type, industry, employees, and more. You can also add updates and post articles in order to gain exposure.

Google+ Business

A business page on Google+ is different from a personal profile, just as pages are different than profiles on Facebook. Google+ doesn’t yet have the ability to advertise, but they do offer page listings in Google search results, so you should have a page set up.

Google+ Local

The Google+ Local account is often ignored, but it should not be. It’s probably one of the most important places to have a presence. This is because they display reviews from Zagat, a competitor to Yelp and similar sites. Google is integrating these with Google+ Business pages, which will make the two even more important.

Twitter

Twitter is another social media site that has the base of people that you want finding your page and site. You should absolutely make an account on Twitter. If you don’t have the time to keep it updated, at least ensure you fill out the bio with your location and website, which can lead people to you.

Foursquare

This social media site offers recommendations to users based on places nearby that are similar to what they and friends are already visiting. As such, this is a gold mine for getting your name out in the local area and converting visitors. People can find out who you are and what you do, along with things like hours, and even check out reviews.

Additional Possibilities

Snapchat

Snapchat has some great options for local SEO, including geofilters. These allow you to create a filter and make it available to a geographic area for a certain amount of time. When people use these filters, it’s simple advertisement and can spark conversation about your brand and what you bring to the table.

Quora

Quora is a community question forum that can be used to elevate a local brand. The site is a place where people ask questions. You can visit it and answer questions in your industry. You simply make a profile, start answering questions, and you can tack on a link to a blog or website where people can learn more about your company.

Where to go from Here

It can be difficult to find out what opportunities work best for local brands looking to build SEO in their area. It’s not impossible though. It’s a great idea to start small, with one or two sites, and keep up a presence. By trial and error, you’ll encounter things that work and things that don’t work.

That said, there are new social media sites that pop up all the time and many don’t last long. One way to have a constant presence is by being one of the first local companies in your industry to adopt a new service. This can give you a whole new group of people to market toward who you may not find elsewhere.

Social media is not just for the big guys, it’s for everyone. Local marketing teams can make a lot of headway using the sites that are popular. Be active and try to fill a need and you can find conversion paths from all sort of services.

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Looking for some interesting ways to market your business in the local area? Having a strong marketing strategy is a great way to be competitive and stand up to the big chains and franchises in the area. Being creative with that marketing can go a long way toward building your brand and reputation in the area.

So, what are some unique ways to market yourself that others aren’t? We have quite a few and some of them are sure to resonate with your company and style of marketing.

Use Images of Your Business in Advertisements

When you use your business location in your advertisements, you can tie together both your online and real-world environments. Someone who drives by your location on the way to work each day, who then sees an advertisement showing that location, may have their interest piqued and check out your page. That could lead to a new customer or fan.

List Directions on Your Website

Nearly everyone has a page on their site explaining where the location is and how to get there. If you want to see how this leads to conversion, the process is simple. All you do is set up your directions page as a destination URL goal in your Google Analytics account. Then, you can check out this data and see the result of various campaigns. For instance, you could spend $100 on advertisements one month and $200 another and see how much that leads to revenue growth.

Mobile Emailed Coupons

It can be hard to track offline conversion rates, something every business struggles with. A great way to handle this is through emailed coupons. These coupons go to the customer through email. When they get to your location, they show the coupon on their phone and go ahead with their purchase. This is a great way to track conversion and execution.

Correct Yelp Categories

Yelp is important, and ensuring your business is listed in the right category is crucial. Why? Because when advertising on Yelp your ads show up based on what categories are chosen. Sometimes someone who is searching for a specific service will type that in a search engine and Yelp often pops up near the top of the results. If you’re listed as providing the service they need, there’s a better chance that person will check out your website.

Remarketing for Reviews

Sometimes a customer loves what you’re doing but doesn’t think to leave you a review. As time goes on, it’s even less likely that they will consider it unless something reminds them. You can be that something that reminds them to stop in and post a review. If you already have a confirmation page when people fill out something that is linked to Google Analytics, you can add a tracking code to the confirmation page and set up a list that tags who visits the URL. Something simple that reminds your customers to leave a review can go a long way.

Local Activity Advertisements

Talking about your business is, of course, important but so is talking about things that your fans and customers enjoy. This is especially useful in the local market because you can make content about events and locations nearby. Let’s say you own a business that delivers prescription medications. Let’s further say that the local hospital sometimes runs events that encourage locals to be aware of their health.

You can then cover that event, which is important and people will appreciate, yet keep the content in your wheelhouse. People who may not follow you could see this article and choose to visit your social media page or website. You may end up with all new customers who never would have known about you before. You show you care about the community and want others to succeed.

Neighborhood Facebook Ads

Facebook ads can lead to local SEO bumps, as Google and other search engines do pay attention to these things. By having ads for the local area, your name is going to be out there. If people know you on Facebook as the pharmacy delivery experts, that will stay there. This may lead to situations where a friend or family member has a need which you can fill and your name immediately comes to mind.

Implement Call-Only Ads

If you make money driving sales through phone calls, a call-only ad can be a great option for your business. For those who don’t have a full ad team or custom landing pages, call-only ads allow you to advertise exactly what you want, and the customer to give you a call. Of course, this does mean having great ad copy that clearly explains who you are and what you do to ensure the calls you get are useful for the both of you.

Consider Third-Person Copy

Using third person copy can lead to higher click through rate because the language speaks to the customer and their specific needs. One way to utilize this in your own copy is by using reviews from your customers. Check out those Yelp or Facebook or Google My Business reviews and use some of them to show what people are saying or thinking. It’s a unique way to position yourself as different from the rest of the pack.

Conclusion

There are literally hundreds of unique ways to market your business to stand out. The handful featured here may not all be gold for you and your business, but we hope some of them make a difference. If nothing else, you have a place to start. Consider how to combine or tweak these tips to work best for your industry and location. Advertising is hard work but it can also be a fun and creative pursuit. We hope to help you make it both while also ensuring views and page clicks come to you. So give some of these tips a try and see how they work for you. If you come up with some even more unique ideas, let us know!

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