Localize Your Internet Marketing for Better ROI

General Aug 20, 2013 No Comments

Local Internet Marketing StrategiesThe surge in mobile device usage and statistics that illustrate a large number of users who search for local goods and services on their mobile devices has led to Google gradually shifting its algorithms and implementing more social engagement to provide users with more local search results.

This trend has delivered small businesses with a huge opportunity to compete with the big boys in their industries for local consumers. It also has provided businesses that invest in Internet marketing with a lean, highly focused (local) target for their marketing efforts that produces better ROI.

Organic Search Marketing With a Local Focus

One of the most effective, ROI-producing local Internet marketing strategies is organic search engine optimization that is focused on local keyword targets.

Like traditional SEO campaigns, local organic SEO hinges on building a reputation for your business online that drives higher rankings through effective content marketing and link building.

In local organic SEO, small businesses are able to target consumers in their local area who are searching for their goods or services by optimizing for geo-modified keyword phrases. For example, if your company offers plumbing services and you’re located in Jacksonville, Florida, you might want to target the keyword phrase “Plumbers Jacksonville FL” instead of a broader, more general term like “Plumbers.”

A primary advantage of localizing your organic SEO campaign it costs less and provides higher returns for small businesses, as compared to to an Internet marketing program that encompasses broader, wider markets.

Google+ Local Offers Prime SERP Placement

The game changer for local Internet marketing came in May of 2012 when Google replaced its Google Places pages for businesses with Google+ Local listings.

Google offers local businesses prime real estate to get in front of users who search for their service/product in their local area. Google displays their listing near the top of the search engine results page (SERP) next to the local map.

Google+ Local SEO

Getting your  company listed next to the map is yet again a process of building trust with the search engines by establishing local business listings (citations), acquiring positive online reviews, and general listing optimization.

Enhanced Adwords Campaigns Cater to Local Mobile Search

If your business participates in pay per click advertising with Google Adwords, Google has made it easier for you to manage a mobile, local PPC campaign with its new Enhanced Adwords Campaigns.

It’s important to remember the significance percentage (over half) of all Google searches that are conducted on mobile devices that are done with the intention of finding a local solution.

Google Adwords has provided its advertisers with the ability to narrow the scope of their campaigns with “geo-targeting” their ads to specific locations.

This allows companies to reach highly qualified consumers in their local area, as well as users who are searching for businesses with their geo-modified keywords.

Weeding out consumers not in your local area with geo-targeting, and reaching more highly qualified consumers provides for better ROI for your campaign.

The new Enhanced Adwords Campaigns also allow businesses to easily manage their mobile PPC strategies with simple mobile ad configuration, rather than having to create a separate mobile campaign within their Adwords account, which was the previous best practice.

Now more than ever, reaching local consumers via Internet marketing is essential for sustained business growth, and implementing a locally-focused marketing strategy is going to provide your business the most bang for its buck in the long run.

Leverage Google+ to Drive More Local Business

General Feb 10, 2013 No Comments

One of the newest social media platforms, but now the second largest in the world, Google+ is an excellent tool for small business owners targeting the local customers.

Google+’s merit as a resource for driving business from local consumers comes because of its marriage of local organic search and social media marketing into a single platform.

Google+ business pages are Google’s replacement for Google Places listings. Google+ listings offer local small businesses a wonderful opportunity to get found by local consumers because of their inclusion in the search results for locally focused keywords. Below you’ll see an example of chiropractors in Atlanta and the Google+ listings that display near the top of page one on the search engine results page:

Google+ Local SEO

As a small business, getting found online by local consumers is a highly valuable source of lead and sales generation. With the prime real estate offered by Google+ local listings, small businesses need to understand how this platform can be utilized to drive business.

Below I’ll go into touch on why small businesses need to adopt Google+ as a lead generation tool.

Why Does Google+ Matter to Small Businesses?

Research has found that 40 percent of all Google mobile searches and 20 percent of entire Google searches have a local intent. That is, Internet searchers are searching for local businesses providing a specific product or service. That said, small businesses need to understand the power of Google+ and the positioning they receive in the search results for local queries. Small businesses will definitely want to capitalize on that visibility, but might not know how to get their company up in those listings.

Google+ Reviews Are Testimonials That Drive New Customers

As you begin to grow your Google+ listing profile and visibility through optimizing your page by building citations, acquiring reviews from your customers on your Google+ profile is going to help you convert people who click onto your profile into sales leads. These reviews are testimonials from clients who have done business with you, and as you build your Google+ visibility, the positive reviews left by your customers that are read by potential new customers online can increase the likelihood of them contacting you to do business. That said, encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google+ profile if they had a great experience with your company. Their testimonial will go a long way in helping your Google+ profile attract new customers to your small business.

Google+ as a Social Media Marketing Tool

Aside from their inclusion in the Google local search results, the aspect that makes Google+ business pages so unique is that they also allow for social media interaction with your customers. Much like Facebook, your business is able to use Google+ as a platform to share compelling content with your followers. Share links to blog posts that you’ve written or other relevant content that your Google+ followers will enjoy.

Google Plus for Small Business

If your content is valuable enough, your followers will be obliged to share or +1 your content, which leads to an increase in social media signals which have a direct impact on how your content ranks organically.

The Google+ platform provides local small businesses an incredible opportunity to get found by local consumers who are searching for your product or service. If you haven’t joined the Google+ bandwagon yet, you’re doing your small business a disservice, missing out on valuable search visibility that can drive more visibility, more traffic, and more sales for your small business.

Citations – the key to Google Places rankings

General Dec 10, 2012 No Comments

Google Places has gotten confusing.

Every time you do a search, the results look different. Every time you click on a result it takes you to some other Google website that talks about plusses and circles. You claim your listing and fill it out, but your business still languishes as a little speck on the map.

It’s understandable for a business owner with little knowledge about search engine optimisation to get confused.

This article is here to make some sense of it all, focusing on one particular factor that could be the answer to your Google Places needs. Citations.

What are citations?

Citations are references to your businesses name, address and contact details around the web. There are a host of sites in any given country that will list citations of your business. Places like Yelp and Yellow Pages are great examples of websites that utilise citations. Even Google Places itself gives a citation of your business.

These websites act as a reference point for search engines. They not only link to your site, but also give information on your company’s whereabouts, thus outlining the area that you service.

How do citations help me to rank better?

Various citation websites are crawled by Google to find your information. Ones that have full details and information about your business, complete with a link to your site, get considered and added to the database.

This in turn gives your website stronger credibility. Google knows that you really are a business operating in ‘X’ location because there are a number of other sites that affirm this statement.

The more credible websites you are listed on, the more likely Google is to rank you highly in Places.

I’ve got heaps of citations but my Places still doesn’t rank

Check that the details listed in your citations match those on your website exactly. Consistency is the key.

That means a consistent business name and a consistent address. If your address is:

1/123 Fake Street

Make sure other variations like:

123 Fake Street

Suite 1, 123 Fake Street

Level 1, 123 Fake Street

Are not used!

When this happens, Google becomes unsure if the same business is being referenced. It sees “1/123” on your Google Places page and website but “Suite 1, 123” on Yellow Pages, and won’t want to risk labeling these as the same business. That’s a strong citation down the drain.

To eliminate any confusion, pick a standardised business name and address style and stick with it across all websites:

Example Services and Solutions

123 Fake Street,

Fake Town, Fake Postal Code,

Fake State, Fake Country

Being consistent will ensure you avoid any confusion, no matter how minor you might think it is. No “this little difference shouldn’t matter” or “I’ll be OK to leave it like this.” Ensure it is all the same and don’t take the risk.

Check your own citations and see what variations are being used. Did you make some changes and see improvements? If so, share them below.