Last updated 5 days ago
Our second Small Business Summer Guide instalment puts the spotlight on the top ten essentials to pack into your website. For most businesses, a website is the key destination of their online marketing journey- not surprising when 56% of consumers do online research before making a local purchase. Try these ten pearls of wisdom to say hello to new customers and more sales!
Last updated 10 days ago
With summer just around the corner, now is the time to heat up your Web presence with our 3 steps to assess, monitor and build a blockbuster online reputation. 80% of consumers now say that online reviews help them decide whether or not to make a purchase, which means it is more important than ever to address negative comments about your business and work on promoting positive feedback from your customers and employees.
Last updated 17 days ago
1 business website which is mobile-optimised, with Analytics embedded
1 business Facebook page
1 business Twitter page
1 business Google+ page
1 business YouTube page
SEO as needed
SEA as needed
Retargeting as needed
LiveChat mixed well with the website
10 or more Customer Testimonials
Various Email templates with an email CMS system subscription
Various white papers, ebooks or infographics
Traditional media as needed (dependent on your target market).
Preparation: Preparation is key with all things done right. Make sure that you have a clear idea of your business’s brand and image. You need to think carefully about what it is that your business stands for, what the brand represents and what image you want to portray to the mass market. Thinking about this brand strategy carefully will ensure that there is consistency with messaging across all forms of marketing.
Most importantly, study your customers well so that you understand their behaviour and know what will appeal and not appeal to them. While you’re at it, make sure you take a look at your competitors also. This will help you determine your unique selling propositions and what elements to focus on with your customers so that your business stands out most.
Build a business website that clearly gives your target market the right amount of information that they need to make a decision to contact you. A short video on the homepage, with a clear call to action and an inquiry form will work well with consumers who are on the move. Here are some tips to developing captivating website content.
Don’t forget to also develop a mobile-optimised page of your website to improve your customers’ experience when they visit your site on various devices such as a Smartphone, tablet or desktop. It is advisable to also add in a Google Analytics code so you can assess the success of your website and how it integrates with your online marketing initiatives.
Drop a LiveChat widget on your website to maximise all visits into opportunities and obtain qualified leads no matter the time. Make sure that you contact these leads at the earliest convenience.
Add in a mix of Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Advertising as needed to drive traffic to your website. Seek the advice of a reputable Digital Marketing Specialist to ensure that you get the right strategy built in for business, which will deliver the right type of leads and sales. When considering from the various brands of SEO and SEA, it is important that your supplier provides you with transparent reporting and data to show the success of your campaign. Some helpful tips to identifying the right online marketing supplier can be found here.
Build a social media presence for your business by creating a Facebook page, Twitter page, Google+ page and YouTube page. Make sure that you maintain consistency across the various social media accounts such as keeping the same logo, imagery, URL and even speech and tone. Visit our Social page as an example of maintaining consistency across the various social media profiles.
Add a dash social media icons onto your Website, to inform your customers and prospects of your social media profiles and relevant URLs. Look for ways to boost social media engagement such as competitions, creative photos and sharing links of interest to your target market.
Raise brand awareness using Retargeting tactics. Apply some seasonal themes that will engage your target market and encourage click-through. A special offer or a limited download can be some of the ways to engage prospects.
Develop various email templates that’s consistent of your brand aesthetic and schedule in relevant communication to prospects and customers. Keep the emails short, sharp and sweet (the three ‘S’) to maintain interest, encourage engagement and sustain a high open-rate. Make sure that you send emails with high-relevance and send them out thoughtfully and sparingly to avoid being seen as spam.
Excite with a white paper, eBook or infographic every few months. Think about content that’s of interest or relevance to your target market. If you don't have the time to create one yourself, then enlist the services of a professional. Ask other thought-leaders in your industry if they’ll allow you to be a guest blogger or to publish a slide-share version of your content. Content marketing tactics like this will help to boost your web presence and raise your business profile in the industry.
Keep your business’s good reputation on the forefront by promoting your happy customers with video testimonials or online reviews. Testimonials are extremely powerful and can be the difference between a prospect calling your company or not. Send out a quick thank you to satisfied customers and promote the different ways that they can leave a review about their customer experience. And if you happen to have an SEO company helping you with your organic visibility, it would be worthwhile to also encourage the visibility of your positive reviews online.
Add in a pinch of Traditional Media if suitable. Remember the part about studying and knowing your customers? This is where it comes in handy. Once you have identified your customers’ behaviour and the touch-points of communication, you can determine if some traditional media may be suitable. For example, if a large segment of your more profitable customers belong in the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, then it is highly likely that they consume a lot of traditional media such as television or radio. So it would make sense to raise awareness for your brand among this target market using the radio to promote special offer on your website or your store. Traditional and Online marketing tactics can work hand in hand when mixed in well with your overall strategy.
Keep warm. Using the ingredients in this recipe and mixing it up in different ways can keep your brand hot and on the forefront. Develop a marketing calendar to ensure that you have full visibility of all activities and can easily identify any idle areas or gaps. Update imagery on your website, send out an email, change your display banners, add a special offer, post daily status updates, share pictures – the list is endless.
If you'd like more tips to creating a strong online strategy, then keep your eyes peeled to this blog. Otherwise, subscribe to our monthly newsletter via www.reachlocal-ebook.com.au today.
Last updated 24 days ago
Search engine optimisation (SEO) should be considered for every online marketing strategy, but do you have a solid understand of this important marketing tactic, or how what best practices will help your business rank better in organic search? We have outlined the top three key SEO principles to employ for success on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Keyword-Optimised Content Is King
According to Matt Cutts of Google, quality website content is still one of the key factors determining a high Google search rank, particularly after it’s Penguin 2.0 release. Everything you write, upload, post and share online is considered “content”. This includes all website and blog content as well as images, videos and downloadable slide presentations and PDFs. By creating and posting great quality content online you will offer a rich and engaging experience for you viewers, which will be rewarded with higher rankings on search engines. Google, Bing and Yahoo determine how valuable the content you offer is by analysing what your website visitors read, comment on, re-pin, share, re-tweet, or like.
The key tactic for creating valuable website content is the strategic use of keywords, but what is a keyword and how can you use them effectively? They’re simply a word or phrase, which you believe people will be typing into search engines when looking online, and that you’d like your website or blog to rank well for. Strategically speaking it’s worth starting with some keyword research, to best identify the ideal keywords for your content. Then you can utilise these keywords along with naturally related terms in your copy.
If you’re writing the content for a Sydney Vet website for example, a good local keyword phrase would be “Emergency Vet Sydney”. You would use this phrase throughout your website content, but remember not to go overboard with keyword stuffing. A prime example of what not to do sounds like this; “Need an emergency vet in Sydney? We offer the best emergency vet services in Sydney. Our prices on emergency vet services in Sydney can’t be beaten. Call us to book your emergency vet procedure in Sydney now.”
Instead, your use of keywords should sound natural. If Google determines that your copy has been keyword stuffed then you might be penalised with a lower search ranking. A useful guide to remember is your keyword phrase should represent no more than 5% of your copy. You can however include your keywords in your website’s code, through meta descriptions, title tags and anchor text.
Shareable Content Drives Inbound Links
Inbound links or backlinks are inbound connections to a completely different site. These are created when another site links to your web material and it signals to search engines that another site views your content as an authority. Thus Google will see websites that have multiple inbound links as more authoritative and rank them higher. Since a share is inherently a link back to your content, it’s important to write compelling copy and blog posts that people will want to share.
A good approach is to use social media and email to promote your content and include links back to it when you write guest content on other publications This will help generate more inbound links to your website. Remember to include URLs to your content in all PDFs, videos, images etc, so when these are shared there will still be an existing reference back to you, the source. This particularly applies to infographic creation as a content marketing tactic.
Be Active on Social Media
Search engines love social media when it comes to SEO, so it’s vital to include a social media strategy in your content marketing plan. Google, Bing and Yahoo all look at social media signals as a factor in their ranking algorithms. Being active on all the top social media sites will help you own more “shelf space” on these search engines. So, by claiming and actively using these profiles for your business, you are in fact creating more pages that can be indexed for your business keywords. This of course means there are more pages on a variety of sites that can lead consumers to your business.
A good place to start is with a Google+ or Facebook page, and once you have your social media pages launched you can begin sharing, commenting and engaging with your customers and prospects straight away. In order to boost your SEO with social media, make sure your posts are both engaging and educating for your online audience, so they will in turn share that content with others. Sharing content increases online traffic, creates inbound links, and promotes social signals, all of which will assist in ranking you higher on search engines when people search for your business.
Content, Links and Social Media are just some of the basics to SEO. There are a lot more activities that can be done that will enhance your organic presence and optimise your site. If you want to learn more about SEO activities that will differentiate your business from your competitors, then you should consider ReachSEO, our unique search engine optimisation solution that delivers success by ensuring the right tasks are worked on by the right people, at the right time!
What SEO principles have you used in your business’ marketing? Let us know in the comments.
Last updated 1 month ago
Spring has sprung, and with the warmer temperatures, comes a great time to tackle the often unpopular task of spring-cleaning. Homes and gardens aren’t the only places that need tidying up! As a business owner, organising your digital life can not only help clear hard drive space but will also set you up to run your business and personal more efficiently. Practice our following tips to get yourself digitally organised this spring.
Clean your email inbox.
Is your inbox brimming with unread or unfiled emails? Set some time aside to sort through as many as you can. It might just be a starting point for some, but if you develop a habit of cleaning out your inbox regularly it will help put you on track for managing future emails. When struggling to reduce your inbox to zero, try moving everything but important emails to a separate folder or archive. This way, you can still access old messages, whilst creating an empty inbox for moving forward.
It’s a good idea to mark unsolicited mass emails as Spam to keep them out of your inbox. This will also assist email clients like Gmail to detect patterns within emails that you and other users mark as Spam so they automatically move future similar emails to a separate folder. Setting up folders, rules or filters that automatically manage emails is also a handy way to keep emails filling your inbox.
Move your desktop to the cloud.
Is your desktop background hidden behind endless icons? Organising your desktop by creating a filing system for all your documents will help clear clutter and assist in finding documents at a glance. Consider using cloud computing like Dropbox or Google Drive, which provide space online to store your documents and pictures whilst making them easily shared for collaboration. Once you’ve created an account, upload files from your desktop to your online storage space and access them later from anywhere with an internet connection – including your mobile device.
Create a web album.
Are you hoarding folders of business, product or service photos that haven’t been used? Rather than keeping these images to yourself, consider uploading them to a photo sharing site such as Flickr or Picasa. Another option is to upload images to your business’ Facebook page, making it easy to display and share images with your followers, which will also increase engagement with your fans. Google has updated its image ranking process recently which means relevant images appear higher on image search results pages, regardless of whether they’re on a low performing landing page. Always include detailed descriptions with appropriate tags on your images.
Put your contacts online.
Have you ever misplaced a business contact’s information? Connecting with prospects, customers and other professionals is a daily occurrence for most small business owners, so make the most of your networking by saving contact information digitally. The easiest way is to save contacts is in your smartphone, or if you have already adopted mobile technology to run your business, there is a whole range of mobile apps available to help organise contacts.
Reassess your reputation management strategy.
An area you may not have considered cleaning is your online reputation. When did you last check the status of your business on the top review sites? If customers are leaving comments and reviews about your business online, have you taken the time to respond to them or manage your social Web presence? Comments on your social media pages and review sites will affect how your business appears when customers search for your business online. Online reviews are becoming more and more valued, even as much as personal recommendations. Freshening up your online reputation management strategy is key to ensuring customers see positive results when they search online.
Digitally cleaning your small business may take some time and effort, but just like cleaning out your house, it gives you a fresh perspective, helps you find what you’re looking for, and paves the way to developing new habits.
Let us know in the comments some of the other ways you have found to help you organise your business’ digital life.