Posts

Image of Google Search Page

5 ways to improve your small business rankings in Google for 2019

For many years, McKinney small businesses have understood the power of strong rankings in the search engines.

Indeed, achieving a strong page 1 ranking on Google can boost the number of customers for any business with an online presence.

But how exactly do you score a great ranking in Google?

With more and more small businesses in McKinney, TX turning to Digital Marketing, there is a growing need to understand the power of strong rankings in the search engines. The tactics have evolved from what they were just a few years ago. Let us outline 5 important strategies for small businesses trying to improve their exposure online.

Technical Onsite SEO

5 or 6 years ago, SEO was more of a technical exercise. Today this is still an important component of a small business SEO strategy. In fact, many of the same components are used. 

Overall, you will not rank for a keyword that is not physically on your website. We know this sounds obvious, but many small business owners don’t have strong content on their homepage, and can’t figure out why they don’t rank well.

Keywords needs to be strategically placed in the Title Tag and H1 Tag. If you don’t know what these are, learn them. It isn’t rocket science. This will also make you better able to communicate with your developer. Or if your website is on the WordPress platform, you can adjust these yourself with one of many SEO plugins available.

Having a website that looks good is important. Many people believe that Google is monitoring bounce rates and dwell times as indicators of user experience. An outdated website or one that is just confusing will repel users, and may hurt rankings. 

Ensure that your website is fast. Google explicitly tells us it does not like to rank slow websites. This hurts user experience, and rankings too.

Also build a mobile-friendly website. More and more users view websites on mobile devices. The latest stats available indicate that 58% of website traffic comes from a mobile device. Your business needs to be well represented on any digital device platform.

Google My Business 

Google presents a map for many keyword searches. They do this for keywords they believe to have local searcher intent, where seeing the business in a map is more helpful. The catch here is that Google is not presenting the business website itself, but rather the Google My Business page listing for that business.

Because of this dynamic, it is important that small business owners claim their business listing and ensure all the information is accurately updated. Business phone numbers, addresses, hours and other relevant information is critical. The way this information is entered in the Google database has been shown to impact rankings. 

Additionally, the number of times the phone number on file with Google My Business is seen by Google’s spiders around the internet has been identified as a ranking factor. These are known as citations, and sometimes NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number). To give your business an edge over the competition, post your NAP everywhere you can. There are also numerous services that can help you with this SEO process known as Directory Listing Services. Luce Media can submit your NAP to dozens of different directories and get you quickly ranking. Click here and scroll down to Online Visibility.

Strong Content

At Luce Media, we know that Google has a strong preference for long-form, well-researched content. For this reason, it pays to write very long blog posts on your website. However, the content needs to be informative and helpful for users.

Many small business owners claim they will have time to write blog posts themselves. However, after a month or two, they stop blogging (if they ever started in the first place). This is a critical mistake. If you can’t produce the blog yourself, hire a service to do it for you. Luce Media provides blog writing and content marketing in McKinney, TX.

Content published on the website needs to be visually appealing as well as well-written. This means many pictures and graphics – sometimes called visual assets. These visual assets should give the reader a visual representation of the main concepts of the blog post. This will help keep lazy readers engaged.

Many of the top bloggers recommend something visual to break up the words between every fold of the screen. This technique is strong because readers have something appealing to look at as they get tired of reading.

Backlinks

For many years, backlinks have been known to be a critical ingredient in search engine ranking success. This is no less true in 2019 than it was a few years ago. Great content will not rank without strong backlinks to the content from highly authoritative and relevant websites.

Backlinks are key to ranking higher in search engines.

Adam Stetzer, Ph.D. has been in the SEO business for 10 years and says: “Backlinks are one of the hardest concepts for small business owners to understand and execute. They understand on-site SEO and writing great content. They have a hard time committing to a great backlink building strategy because of the mathematical and conceptual nature of backlinks in the Google algorithm. Nonetheless, there are great places on the Internet to earn backlinks for free.” 

Search engine optimization experts generally agree that there are 2 major components of a backlink that determine if it will help you rank: Authority and Relevance. 

A backlink is considered to have authority if it comes from a domain with high Domain Rating or Domain Authority. These factors are easily queryable using free SEO analytic tools. In generally, you want a link from a high domain authority website. 

Furthermore, the backlink will help you more if it is on a specific page on that website that also has strong authority. Several years ago, Google started distinguishing which pages on a particular website were the strongest. This, again, is determined by how many backlinks are feeding into a specific page on a domain. So while a link from a high authority domain is good, a link placed on the strong web page on that domain (usually the home page) is the best.

The second criteria for a backlink is the relevance of that link. You want links from websites that are about the same subject matter as your website. If you are trying to rank a website about cars, a link from another automotive website would be much more valuable than a link from a foodie website.

How to weigh the relative importance of categorical relevance vs domain authority nobody can really answer except the engineers at Google. Most SEO’s go for relevance over authority. Both is ideal.

Relationships and Reputation

The final parts of the small business strategy are relationships and reputation. This is a very important part of any SEO strategy as negative reviews often rank very highly in Google. Additionally, the more relationships you have the stronger your ability to earn great mentions, reviews and backlinks.

Many small business owners overlook the idea that building relationships will help their online presence. Indeed, it feels old fashioned. However, human relationships are at the heart of all business, and it is humans that place great backlinks into powerful stories online. Understanding the importance of online reviews is critical for the business owner in McKinney, TX.

Small business owners need to be active in their communities, regularly attend meetups and maintain ties with those who can mention them online.

Conclusions 

Earning a top position for your small business in McKinney, TX on Google will bring in customers. Because these positions are so coveted, they are also extremely competitive. The 5 strategies outlined in this article represent an outstanding opportunity to move search engine rankings up and get the phone ringing.

This Post was originally Posted at: https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/marketing/5-ways-to-improve-your-small-business-rankings-in-google/

5 SEO Steps for 2019

The 5 SEO Recommendations That Matter in 2019

Picture of the letters SEO standing for search engine optimization in McKinney

One of the biggest challenges in SEO is measuring impact — we know what matters (or doesn’t matter) until the rules of the game have changed. And when they do, we’re all scrambling to find a baseline again.  One of the most important elements about SEO is it helps you rank better on search engines.

Here are the five SEO recommendations that we’ve consistently seen make a positive impact in SEO’s ever-changing world.

1. Structured data matters

The short explanation of why structured data is helpful is that it tells crawlers (search engine bots) what there is within your page. If you are not familiar with this you can follow this helpful Structured Data guide to get you quickly up and running.

Structured data makes it faster and easier for crawlers from Google and other search engines to understand the information within each website page, making it a powerful (but often misused) tool. If applied correctly, it will make quite a positive impact on your pages.

2. Page freshness

Your page’s freshness is determined by multiple factors, but something as simple as having a date on a page is one of the easiest ways to indicate to Google how fresh your page is. This applies to blogs and news, but it’s also relevant for product pages related to dates, such as event sites.

If you think about page freshness from a user perspective, it’s easier to understand why it matters so much. When you obtain search results that have an old date, such as articles, depending on the subject, you might consider them less relevant than if they had a recent date. Search engines know this too and have the ability to differentiate between fresh and old content whether it has a date or not.

Another relatively easy task is to go through webpages and blog posts and make sure there are not OLD date references. Having done this for several clients we found after the update, we observed improved ranking on SERP (search engine results) results, which doubled impressions and CTR.

Page freshness matters for any industry, and while dates are helpful, your content freshness should always reflect and target what users are searching. Here are a few other things to consider if you think you may need to refresh your pages:

  • How often have you conducted keyword research in the last 18 months and updated your page’s content based on keywords results?
  • Are you featured on SERP results with dates and if so how old are these dates?
  • Luce Media’s Google Certified team can do this for you.

3. Internal linking (still matters)

The right balance of internal linking is never a straightforward answer. However, not having too many links on one page can make a positive impact.

For example, linking to all categories from your homepage could be the best user experience or the fastest way for crawlers to discover your pages but it will also impact the amount of equity the page is sending to all the pages it links to.

Balancing internal linking is definitely an important ranking factor because it will dictate how users and search engines discover your pages.

4. Title tags

Changing your title tags and finding out if they made a positive impact can be quite difficult to prove. We’ve tested this many times for clients in different industries, and changing a title has always changed (positively or negatively) the amount of sessions pages were getting.

How you change your title will depend on your page type, so there is no absolute rule on what to change a title to. Here are some ideas:

Include the year in the title, which also signals freshness. 

Here is an example I made up:

Original title: “Book a Trip to Hawaii Now | [brand name]”

Changed title: “Hawaii Trips 2019/2010 | Book Now | [brand name]”

Include the lowest product price of the page, for example:

Original title: “Cheap Flights to Hawaii – [brand name]”

Changed title: “Cheap Flight to Hawaii from $400 – [brand name]”

We also tested these following changes, which had a negative result in terms of the number of sessions:

  • Adding the number of products for sale on the page to the title tag
  • Adding emojis to the title tag

What you change your title to will depend on many factors, so a year or price might not help in your case. However, if some of your category pages have seasonal products or your industry competes heavily on prices, adding the year — or date, if applicable — or a price in the title could be quite beneficial.

5. Obtain backlinks

One thing that consistently helped our clients to obtain external links is creative pages — not shocking. These are usually interesting articles or campaigns related to the business, not commercial pages (pages that are just trying to sell something), and they end up obtaining quite a lot of coverage from different sources and, subsequently, external links.

Building successful creative pages are not easy and won’t guarantee that an increase in any specific amount of backlinks, but it’s one of the safest ways to obtain organic backlinks. The process can also be quite expensive for big pieces but we’ve also experienced a positive impact with more lightweight pieces on a smaller budget.

If your budget is on the modest side, you can still create a great piece. Here are a few tips to achieve that:

  • Think about the data you have collected and what insights it might have for users who do not have access to it: can you spot trends and patterns that could be interesting for a wider audience?
  • Surveys: you can certainly reach an audience to ask questions on a topic you want to create a piece of content for. If you can’t reach an audience for free, you can do this cheaply through paid surveys and collect your data this way.
  • Hire freelancers: there is a lot of great talent you can scout on sites like Upwork to help you create a visually enticing piece
  • Know your primary campaign goal
  • Do not expect short term — focus on the long term strategy
  • Measure results with multiple tools

Wrapping it up

If you’ve you been able to measure an impactful SEO change that consistently helped your clients, please share your experience in a comment below.

This was posted originally at: https://moz.com/blog/5-seo-recommendations

Images will generate more than 94% more views

Social Media: It’s All About The Images

Why are images so important to the Social Media Scene?

Social media marketing has evolved significantly over the past few years, and staying up-to-date on trends is crucial for success. One of the biggest trends is image-centric marketing rather than traditional text-based.

Humans are visual creatures and the way we interact with imagery online is no exception. Your website and social media platforms should have consistent, high-quality imagery that effectively showcases your products or services. This will help ensure that your audience is actually engaging with and absorbing your content. If you’re looking for ways to succeed in social media marketing in McKinney, Luce Media is here to help with any and all of your social media needs. We can ensure you are getting the most out of your social accounts for your business.

Humans: We are visual beings

Of all human communication, 93% is visual. Two-thirds of all stimuli reach the brain through the visual system. Our brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text alone. Think how often you’re scrolling through your own feed and continue right past a text post, but pause at a photo, graphic, or video.

Between 65 and 85 percent of people describe themselves as visual learners. This means they digest information more easily by viewing an image instead of reading text. Understanding this phenomenon can help optimize your social media marketing campaign and give you an edge over competitors who mainly publish written content.

As mentioned before people are visual beings. Online consumers can retain only 10 to 20% of the information they read or hear about. However, once that information is paired with visual elements, the retention rate suddenly goes up to 65%.  Posts with visuals (images and video) receive 94% more page visits and engagements than those without. A good visual is crucial for expressing an idea quickly and effectively getting through all the clutter that we experience everyday – online and in real life. Another example, Facebook posts with images typically received more than twice as many comments as those without.

Get Straight to the Point

Most people have a limited attention span. In an information age where data can quickly become overwhelming, people have to pick and choose among plenty of content options. This has resulted in many people skimming through content looking for something compelling or relevant.

When there’s a long winded post with nothing but text, it will turn many visitors off because they simply don’t have time to read through it. However, incorporating images is a natural way to grab attention. Better yet – including images with important data is even better. It’s the perfect motivating force to encourage visitors to stick around and explore content in greater detail.

People can quickly make up their minds about a business based on their social media profiles. Make sure you don’t turn people away on the first visit. 67% of consumers consider a clear, detailed image to be more reliable and carry more weight than product information or customer ratings. Think of it this way, why just tell someone about your product or service when you can show them?

If you’re a small business owner looking to optimize your online visibility in Mckinney, Frisco, or Plano, be sure to take a look at our blog explaining why it is so important to be digitally active by clicking here.

Quality Images Are Always Best

What kind of image you post also matters. While a good visual can grab your customer’s attention, a bad one can cause them to dismiss your content completely. What’s considered bad? It really depends, but images that are blurry, pixelated, or have that “stock image” feel can really put people off.

Don’t just throw anything up for the sake of having a visual. It’s important to make sure it’s good quality and relevant to your brand.

Consistently using good visuals with your content can help ensure your customers are engaging with your content. And ensure they’re not scrolling right past it. It will help your business feel more professional and legitimate in your customer’s eye.

Visual elements, such as images, videos, infographics and other are undeniably more interesting and appealing to social media users and online consumers. Implementing visual content into your social media marketing will not only improve views, engagement and social following, but it will also help your content attract the right kind of attention. It will also majorly boost engagement from your target audience. Take a look at how small businesses in Mckinney are using social media marketing by clicking here.

While you are honing your image and infographic-crafting skills, you need to be able to track the reach, likes, shares of your creations to see what types are well received. That way you’ll be able to boost your social media presence and get the jumpstart your company needs. Here at Luce Media we can take care of that for you easily and ensure you have optimal online visibility for your business. Give us a call at (469)-907-1057. Luce Media has deep expertise in Digital Marketing, B2B Marketing, Internet Marketing and is a well-established Digital Media Consultant in McKinney, TX.

Image from Luce Media showing Google My Business logo

6 Steps to Claim and Optimize a Local Business Listing on Google My Business

For a lImage from Luce Media showing Google My Business logoocal business that wants to get discovered in search results, maintaining an accurate Google My Business listing is critical. The listing details (such as the business’ phone number, website, photos, and hours of operation) determine what information consumers see in Google Search and Maps.

Business owners need to take control of the company’s Google My Business listing to ensure up-to-date business information is displayed online. This means creating or claiming the business listing on Google My Business and optimizing the content to ensure accuracy and improve visibility.

Claim and Optimize a Google My Business Listing in Six Steps

Here are 6 Steps to claiming and optimizing a local business listing on Google My Business.

1. Search for the Business on Google

The first step is to find out if the business already has a Google My Business listing. Google often generates listings based on information available online, which may or may be fully accurate. An existing listing should be claimed so the information can be updated and kept accurate.

A simple Google search for the company name can reveal whether or not a Google My Business listing already exists. If a matching listing appears in search results, there should be a link that says “Are You the Business Owner” next to the listing. If, however, the business does not show up in search results, it’s important to create a new Google My Business listing and update it with correct information about the company.

2. Request Verification of an Existing Listing

To claim the listing, click on the “Are You the Business Owner” link. Next, sign into Google, search for the business name, and request verification. This will give you control of the listing and allow you to begin optimizing it. In most cases, Google will give you two options to verify the listing, “Mail me my code” or “Call me now.”

If the “Are You the Business Owner” button is not visible, then the listing has already been claimed. Talk to any partners, owners, or marketers involved with the business to find out who has claimed the listing. Double check if there is another Google account linked to the business. If you can’t figure out who verified the listing, you’ll have to go through Google Help to gain access.

3. Confirm Business Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)

Once the business has been verified, you can easily edit and update the business details that will show up in search results. It’s crucial that the business’ name, physical address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across the web – so the NAP data in the Google My Business listing should exactly match what’s on the business’ website.

It’s highly recommended that if you need to make changes to the listing you make those before requesting the verification from Google. If you make the request and then make a change, you’ll quite possibly have to make a second request to get the listing verified.

4. Choose a Single Business Category

Customers and search engines both prefer business’ that accurately represent themselves online. So when selecting a category for a company’s Google My Business listing, it helps to be as specific as possible. Even if the business falls under multiple categories, it’s best to select the single most relevant category to describe the products or services offered. If you aren’t sure which category is the optimal choice for a particular business, search for similar companies on Google to see what categories they’ve selected.

5. Upload Relevant Images to Represent the Business

In order to provide customers with more context in search results, Google likes to display images next to business listings. Google My Business listings with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions as well as a 32% better click-through rate to the company’s website.

If the business doesn’t upload official images, Google can display photos uploaded by the public – which can sometimes result in embarrassing mishaps for the business. Although a business can suggest a ‘preferred photo’ for search results, Google will only use the recommended photo if it truly represents the business.

Here are some tips for setting preferred photos that Google will approve:

  • Upload high-quality photos that give an accurate impression of the store location.
  • Use real pictures of products sold by the business.
  • Keep Google’s recommended file size (between 10KB and 5MB) and minimum resolution (720px tall, 720px wide) in mind.
  • Don’t use stock photos or text-based images.

6. Further Optimize the Business Listing

There are a few more ways to get the most out of a Google My Business listing, including:

  • Keeping the Business Hours Up-to-Date: Google displays hours of operation to tell consumers whether or not the business is open at the time of their search. Remember to update this information if business hours change during the holiday season.
  • Collecting More Customer Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews and take the time to reply when they do.
  • Adding a Description on Google+: Although businesses can no longer edit their descriptions on Google My Business, this field can still be viewed and edited on Google+.

Whether claiming an existing Google My Business listing or creating one from scratch, use the above tips to ensure accurate information shows up the next time a consumer searches. Keep customers happy, keep Google happy, and increase local visibility.

Need help claiming, creating, or optimizing a Google My Business listing? One location or one thousand, we have you covered!

This story first appeared on Advice Local

Google My Business image with GMB logo and mapping

Image from Luce Media showing Google My Business logo

Why Google My Business, Google Maps, and Online Reviews are CRUCIAL to your business? Here’s What You Need To Know.

Image from Luce Media showing Google My Business logoGoogle My Business provides you with the ability to list your business location on Google Maps and local search results. You can display valuable and key information about your business, including the opening/closing times, contact phone number or a link to your website. You can display important information about your business, including the opening/closing times, contact phone number or a link to your website. More recently Google has also released a new feature allowing you to post a link to articles or up and coming events.

Setting up your Google My Business listing is one of the simplest and most effective ways of establishing your business to be found online. More and more search queries are becoming geographically specific, and Google’s algorithms have been developed to consider user intent. Why do this? Check how often your business shows up in local searches by clicking here. (Scroll down to FREE Online Visibility Check)

So, how important are Google Reviews for Local SEO in 2018? Several studies regarding Google reviews provide proof of the reasons that your business should be soliciting reviews.  These reasons include things like “most consumers read reviews before making a decision” and “people trust online reviews as much as personal reviews.”

These reasons are completely valid and will come into play creating larger conversion and clickthrough rates to your website when a potential customer has found you and is deciding between your business and a competitor. For these reasons Luce Media Video Talks About Google My Business and Google Reviews

When it comes to reviews – here is the bottom line. 

The quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. And, when a person scans the search results for a local product or service in Google, the business listings that include customer reviews present greater credibility and, naturally, receive more clicks.

Watch as Mark Toney, CEO of Luce Media talks about the latest information for small to medium-sized businesses in completely filling out the information on Google My Business as well as the importance of soliciting Google Reviews for your business.

 

We can not stress the Importance of Google My Business, Google Maps and Good Reviews for Small to Medium Sized Businesses.

This is just one of many of the aspects we focus on for your business -and encourage YOU to look at all these variables.  Do you want to GROW your business? Do you want more online presence?

Luce Media works strategically helping all of our clients grow. Get started today with our FREE Social Media Analysis. We analyze your website, all current social platforms you are on plus tell you immediately what your Online Visibility looks like.  I guarantee you will learn key elements to grow your business.  And it is FREE.

Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to continue learning.

If your business needs help with social media marketing in McKinney, TX., please call us at (469) 907-1057.  Luce Media has deep expertise in Digital Marketing, B2B Marketing, Internet Marketing and is a well-established Digital Media Consultant in McKinney, TX.

Man looking at Digital Wall and LinkedIn

LinkedIn Can Improve Your Online Branding

Every business wants to be seen. In this day and age, the best way to get noticed is online, especially through social media. Your online branding is important because it dictates who you are and what you do, and it’s the first thing any potential client will notice. If your small business is selling services or products to other businesses, then LinkedIn is a social media platform you must be using.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn are the main social media platforms, but the latter – LinkedIn – is one of the best forms of social media businesses can use to, not only to network with like-minded business people but also to help with their online branding as well.

Drinking coffee while reading LinkedIn on a laptopThere are a variety of ways social media can benefit businesses, but why LinkedIn? This is because it is considered business social media, which allows businesses to interact professionally online. And to stand out, you must craft a profile that stands out.

LinkedIn is based on business connections. All of the connections you have are considered 1st level connections. Anyone connected to them is 2nd level and then connected to them are 3rd level connections. This shows how wide-ranging this social media platform is, and the opportunities are endless.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the number one business social media platform, with over 500 million members worldwide. It is considered a professional tool used by many companies in a variety of sectors. It essentially exists to look like an online CV or resumé, which allows professionals to seek out new opportunities.

But it’s also beneficial to companies, not just as a recruitment tool, but to exist solely as a brand on the social media platform. A profile consists of several scripts (summary, experience, education, etc.) and the written content in each one can reflect the business as well as the individual.

As a member on LinkedIn, you can make connections with your connections (i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd level connections), and search for people who work in a sector you may be interested in. Mainly used for professional networking, LinkedIn allows professionals from any sector to find potential employees or potential business clients.

Who Uses LinkedIn?

It’s used by everyone and anyone in business who wants to be seen online and make strong business connections. With over 500 million people signed up, as of 2017, and 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn (statistic: LinkedIn, 2017), it has become the platform for professional business networking.

The top 5 industries on LinkedIn are Finance, Medical, Educational, High-Tech, and Manufacturing, and 48% of all LinkedIn members use it at least once a day. (Statistic: SlideShare, 2016). Therefore, plenty of small business owners, managing directors, CEOs, etc., can be found networking on this business social media platform, so your online branding is important.

Your Online Branding

Your online branding starts with visibility. How you look, or how you appear to others online. Using LinkedIn for your online branding is essential to be seen by professionals, or by people whom you want to see you.

When using social media for online branding, you should be doing this for the promotion of your company’s brand and yourself as a brand. It’s all about identity – Who are you? What do you do? and Why should I like you?

In doing this, it’s all about optimizing your LinkedIn profile with professionally written, SEO-rich content, that reflects the individual as well as referencing the company at the same time. Having that personal touch instigates the emotional side of the brand, as it moves away from a faceless, corporate entity.

Social media marketing has made it essential now for businesses to have a personal touch to their visibility. Because the individual LinkedIn profile relates to an individual employee, it puts a friendly face on the company and makes it much more personal, too.

The things you can do on LinkedIn for your online branding are:

  • Optimise your profile
  • Make connections
  • Post consistent, quality content

LinkedIn is seen as the social media platform where businesses and professionals can network freely without having to travel anywhere. LinkedIn can help with your online branding primarily through visibility and recognition in a place where your reputation is at home with other like-minded businesspeople.

The Benefits

There are plenty of benefits to having LinkedIn help with your online branding. It’s a powerful sales, marketing, and branding asset that can result in exponential business growth and profit. LinkedIn can help with your online branding because it’s an effective tool for brand awareness and brand promotion.

The more visibility you and your company have on LinkedIn, the more people will know who you are and the positive impact you can have on their working lives. More connections mean more money. This is because the more businesspeople you network with online, the more likely you are to generate leads.

Lead generation can be turned around to potential clients and business, and it’s from this where businesses progress, move forward and achieve the success they set out to achieve. Businesses can gain quality leads simply through networking with other businesses online.

Businesses can network on LinkedIn’s Homepage, or ‘news feed’, or they can network to specific companies/sectors through LinkedIn groups. You can use LinkedIn to generate leads in three simple steps:

  • Become a group member
  • Create a piece of relevant content
  • Share the content in the group

So, get a professional-looking, well-written profile with a quality photo; network with your connections and on groups; share content consistently; and interact with people to show, not just what you sell, but who you are as a brand.

Sign on store door that says Come in We're Open

Costly Mistakes That Sabotage A Business’s Local Search Presence (And How To Fix Them)

More customers are actively searching for small businesses online than ever before. Google processes over 3.5 billion search queries per day, over half of which take place on mobile devices. That’s a lot of on-the-go mobile shoppers looking for nearby stores. But that traffic is worthless to businesses that fail to optimize their local search.

Social Media for Small Business OwnersImproving your business’ online visibility and placement in search results is one key to attracting more local shoppers to both your website and your small business location. That said, local competition can be fierce. Small businesses that want to connect with local consumers online can’t afford to make marketing mistakes that place them at a disadvantage.

Although there’s no perfect formula for dominating local search, there are certain mistakes that you must stop making to keep from sabotaging your own visibility. Today, we’ll examine the most common mistakes and what can be done to remedy them.

Writing Content For Search Engines, Not Local Customers

Done right, content marketing can be a powerful tool for local businesses. Publishing consistent content allows you to tell your brand story and educate consumers about products, news, and trends, all while establishing your small business as an industry leader.

Quality blog posts also help search engines learn more about your company, which can lead to increased credibility and higher rankings in search results. To be specific, Google loves E-A-T content — content enriched by the author’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Local small businesses need to take it a step further and realize content is most effective when it has a bit of local flavor. A local perspective can infuse blog content with personality, make it more relevant to readers, and help the business build a stronger connection with local customers.

Sacrificing Backlink And Citation Quality For Quantity

Gone are the days when those scoring the most backlinks are guaranteed to come out on top. Backlinks are the number of other websites that have a link in them pointing to your small business website.  Sure, having lots of citations and backlinks pointing to the business’ website can still be great for SEO, but only if the sources are authoritative and credible.

Businesses that invest in high-quality link-building and submit listings to respectable local directories will see a boost in their online visibility. However, search engines do notice when a site receives most of its traffic from untrustworthy sources, which can result in lower search rankings.  Luce Media has a very cost-effective program to get your business on the top 50 online directories.  To check what your online visibility looks like, click here.

Instead of trying to get as many backlinks as possible, focus on earning high-quality citations from reputable sources. The citations themselves should offer up-to-date information, and the business’s name, address and phone number (NAP data) must be consistent across the web.

Here are a few suggestions for improving your web presence through backlinks and citations:

  • Submit small business listings to high-quality local directories
  • Contribute guest posts to authoritative websites
  • Sponsor a local charity event or Little League team
  • Include the website in social media bios for the business

Just remember: Quality is more important than quantity.

The online visibility of any small business is essential for getting found by consumers in this digital age and, if there is bad data, duplicate listings or no listing at all, then small businesses are losing customers. Luce Media has the tools and the technology to make sure your small business is highly visible online.  Online visibility is not a “one and done” process. A small business’s local presence must be monitored, maintained, and adapted based on algorithm changes on a consistent basis.  Contact us here at Luce Media to find out how we can help you improve your SEO and be found more often in Google searches. Luce Media helps companies in McKinney, Allen, Plano and Frisco with social media marketing.

Written by Bernadette Coleman and originally appeared in Advice Local’s blog.

Blue Arrow with Words Social Media Makreting

WHY USING SOCIAL MEDIA AS A MARKETING TOOL IS ESSENTIAL IN 2018!

Some business owners still believe that social media is merely gossiping and hanging out on Facebook. Once again, social media for business has nothing to do with simply hanging out on social media. But using social media marketing gives even small businesses real marketing advantages and opportunities.

In 2018, not using social media as a marketing tool is like saying you still rely on yellow page ads. It doesn’t work that way any more. Yet some people are stubborn and ask: Why is using social media good for me? Why do I need that again? Here are some of the most compelling reasons why:

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING DRIVES TARGETED TRAFFIC

The Power of Social MediaCreating a new page on your business website is like taking a really great selfie. You want the world to see it, but you don’t want to beg for attention (or worse, pay for it). That’s why for selfies and landing pages, well-placed social media posts can make all the difference.

SOCIAL MEDIA BOOSTS SEO

Search engine crawlers know which pages are consistently earning traffic and which are just floating out there, forgotten and ignored. A killer content strategy for SEO is the most important part of earning top spots in search engine rankings, but driving traffic to your optimized pages will cause them to climb much faster in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Don’t forget that Google considers your social activity to be a top ranking signal.

SOCIAL MEDIA LEADS TO RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

Part of what makes Twitter and Instagram marketing so cool is the interaction you can have with your consumers; you can read their tweets and status updates to get real-time insights into their daily. What products are they buying and why? What are they doing on the weekend? What kind of posts do they love to share, and from which brands?

Using social media as a tool for connecting with complementary, non-competing businesses, thought leaders and influencers in your industry, as well as journalists who cover your industry, is another benefit. You never know what a simple retweet or comment can lead to. Compliments work especially well.

SOCIAL MEDIA USERS ARE RECEPTIVE TO MESSAGES

People view Twitter and Facebook as social networks, not marketing machines. As a result, they’re less likely to see what you post as an advertisement and will be more likely to hear what you have to say. This translates to serious web traffic when you link to your site and posts that market themselves as your friends and followers share what you’ve posted.

SOCIAL MEDIA ALLOWS FOR RETARGETING ADS

One of the reasons using social media is important is because of the highly customizable nature of social media ads. Facebook ads, for example, allow you to target users by things like location, education level, industry and even purchase history and the pages they’ve liked.

SOCIAL MEDIA GETS EVENTS NOTICED

Whether your business is sponsoring a local charity fundraiser or attending a major international trade-show, there’s no better way to leverage your presence than using social media.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING BUILDS BRAND LOYALTY

Brands using social media have more engaged and loyal customers. When you’re engaging and interacting on social media (not just tossing your posts out onto the web hoping someone will stumble upon them) you become less like a big corporation and more approachable to potential consumers.

MOST LIKELY YOUR COMPETITORS ARE SOCIAL

According to AdWeek91% of retail brands are using more than one social media platform. This is something you need to keep in mind, because it’s much harder and more expensive to catch up than it is to get in on the game ahead of your competitors.

If your competitors get to your potential customers first, they’ll earn their loyalty and you’ll have a hard time winning them back. If you’re active and engaging on a variety of social platforms, you can gain those friends and followers first and your competition will be playing catch up to you.

SOCIAL MEDIA LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD

Some brands may have bigger marketing budgets than others, but all businesses start off on pretty equal footing when it comes to using social media for marketing. Nobody knows you, and you are trying to get noticed. The businesses and brands that thrive are those with the most clever, attention grabbing tactics and the most relevant and informative content.

In short, they’re providing value to their target audience while also showing personality and being entertaining. If you really want to get lots of traffic and increase your online presence, you will have to outwit, outdo and outsmart your competition while offering superior products and customer service.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING INCREASES SALES

According to MarketingTech70% of business-to-consumer marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. Or that 84% of CEOs and VPs say using social media helps make purchasing decisions.

Picture showing building money with Social MediaUsing social media as a marketing tool doesn’t just keep your brand in front of potential consumers; it also gives you the opportunity to provide them with incentives to purchase. Share coupon codes, with a unique code for each social channel – you may be surprised at which social network drives the most sales.

FIND NEW CUSTOMERS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

If you set up streams to follow keywords in Twitter (Hootsuite makes this simple), you can find people looking for the products you sell and direct them to your site. Using Twitter for social media marketing is great that way; telling consumers wanting your products how to get them is just an @yourbusiness away.

NEW CUSTOMERS FIND YOU THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

If you are using LinkedIn or Facebook marketing you most likely belong to groups related to your products, industry and target audience. By posting in these groups you can help influence potential customers to check out your site. Answering questions on platforms like Quora is another strategy.

According to WordStream, the average cost per click on Google Adwords is between $1 and $2. Depending on the keyword targeted you can actually end up paying $65 or more for a single click. And that’s real money for any business that we know!

At the same time, you can send traffic through Facebook and Pinterest for as little as $0.12 per click. Why pay up to ten or twenty times as much for each visit when using social media is so much more cost-effective?

Simply put, using social media as a marketing tool is part of doing business in 2018. If your business isn’t already active on social networking sites, now is the time to start.

Let Luce Media provide a FREE Digital and Social Media analysis of your efforts.

 

This information was originally posted here.

Icons of Locations to Have a Online Presence

5 Reasons Why Having an Online Presence Is Essential for Your Small Business

Having an online presence increases accessibility for your clients or consumers. It’s an effortless way for them to browse prices and hours and compare all these factors with your competition with a simple click. And it’s important that it’s effortless—nothing should take too long to load, and nothing should be difficult to find. Any questions that may need to be answered should be readily available on the site itself, and if they’re not, then you should really be sure that your contact information is displayed in an obvious way.

How visible is your business online? Click here to run a FREE report that will show you what percent of searches your business is potentially showing up in.

An Online Presence Garners a Wider Audience

Graphic with bold words Online PresenceAn online presence also allows the customer to come to you. Even when you’re closed, customers will be able to purchase goods and services online. Basically, they’re doing your work for you, even when you’re not working yourself. There’s no better give and take for a business than that. You’ll be able to reach a wider audience, such as people who are unable to make it to your physical shop for whatever reason, be it disabilities, lack of transportation, or even because they’re in another country.

Enabling your business to reach the widest audience possible will only be beneficial. The best part? When customers like what they see, they’re willing to share the news of your products and services with others. Allowing these secondary customers to see that your site is up-to-date will ensure that you come across as professional. To enhance this, having active social media accounts will allow your products and services to be shared easily between customers, and then you’ll have even more customers coming to your site. Win-Win!

An Online Presence Builds Relationships and Consumer Trust

The beauty of having a site, blog, and social media accounts is that they enable reviews and comments about your products. As an expert in your business, you’ll be able to answer any queries quickly and thoroughly. Any glowing praise that is publicly available will build your online presence and show even brand-new customers that you’re a reputable business.

Even where there are less-than-kind reviews or comments, you can reach out to unhappy customers and resolve the issue so that your good name stays intact. It’s better to know about an unhappy client so you can make amends and carry your name forward, rather than having an angry customer sharing their distaste for your business without you even knowing they were unhappy in the first place. Being able to right wrongs only helps to build customer loyalty. If you’re not forgiven, at least other clients and customers can see that you tried and that you’re willing to do everything in your power to keep customers happy.

An Online Presence Enables Effortless Marketing

Selling your products and services becomes an effortless process thanks to your online presence. Consumers will be able to browse your products and ensure that they’re happy with their choice without feeling pressured by sales associates. And, as we said, you don’t have to be there for this entire process to take place. Even at night, customers will be buying.

Not only is the process no longer limited, but it’s also never-ending (in a good way!). Marketing yourself online can cost as much or as little as you decide. You don’t have to mail out coupons or flyers; you can simply share them with the click of a button. You can advertise your products and services for free across your social media sites and on your blog. And, if you focus on improving your SEO, then the search engines will work in your favor.

An Online Presence Shows You What Works—And What Doesn’t

Finally, an online presence allows you to see the effects of all these efforts. Understanding and tracking the metrics of your site and social media accounts is quite simple. You’ll be able to see numerical proof of what works and what doesn’t.  If you share a new blog post and see a huge spike in visits, then you’ll know you’ve hit on some content that your audience likes to see. Being able to see the results of your efforts will allow you to make improvements in every aspect of your business and let you experience the real ROI of social media marketing.

Building an online presence isn’t just beneficial to growing a small business—it’s absolutely essential. By creating a blog, maintaining your site, and becoming active in social media, you’ll be more accessible to a wider audience. You’ll also build consumer trust and be able to market effortlessly. Best of all, you’ll always be able to make improvements in all these areas.

This post originally appeared on allbusiness.com