5 Important Factors to Consider for Effective Local SEO Marketing

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Why Local SEO Marketing?

As a local business owner, you are probably aware that reaching new customers is essential for growing your business. While traditional marketing such as newspaper ads and posters can target the older customers, if you want to broaden you customer appeal to a younger audience you’ll need to get acquainted with local SEO marketing.

Even if you are already established in the digital marketing and have run a few pay-per-click ads, SEO is still essential for an effective marketing campaign. According to Imforza, 85% of users ignore paid ads and focus on organic search results. This statistic only proves the value of SEO. The following local search optimisation tips will help you to use the power of SEO to improve the marketing strategy of your local business.

What is Local Search Engine Optimisation?

Before we start with the tips on improving your local SEO, let’s just make sure that you have an absolute understanding of the concept.

You have probably heard about this term, but if you want to use it as a tool in your online marketing campaign you need to be completely aware of what it represents.

First of all, local search results differ from regular search results. Local SEO utilizes many of the aspects of regular SEO, but its focus is targeting users in a specific city or region. Your local SEO marketing is designed to reach those customers and bring them either onto your site or into your store. That is, local SEO for small business strikes precisely when local customers need your services or want to buy your products.

Local SEO can make it easier for business to matter where they are in real time.

1. Google My Business

Google My Business is a feature of Google search that displays a list of local businesses on a map, based on the users’ search.

Local SEO marketing Google My Business

Source: Google

When users conduct searches using “near me” or “in (location)”, this triggers the Google My Business listings.

The reason why Google My Business is a crucial factor in your local search engine optimisation is that it will help you to get numerous new customers by popping up in their Google search results.

If you want to improve your ranking, the first thing you need to do is to get an owner-verified listing. It will enable you to include all the information potential customers need such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Hours of operation
  • Photos

Claim your listing by searching for it on Google My Business. Just find your business listed on the page and claim it. In case you don’t see your business listed among others, then make your own listing.

Make sure that you include as much information as possible if you want to improve your visibility.

2. Keyword Research

The importance of doing a keyword research can never be emphasised enough.

If you are trying to rank for a keyword such as a restaurant, bait shop, tool store, etc., you need to show search engines that your site is a relevant result for it. This requires including that keyword on the page you want to rank.

Search engines analyse the pages and determine what they’re about. Keywords are an essential part of this because they determine which searches your page has the chance to rank for.

Conversion-Uplift recommends the following six steps if you want to do an effective keyword research:

  1. Identify important topics to your business
  2. Produce a list of keywords for the general topic
  3. Examine related search terms
  4. Combine head terms and long-tail keywords
  5. Undertake keyword research into what your competitors are targeting
  6. Keyword list reduction

One of the keywords tools you can use for finding keywords which are relevant to your business is Google Ads Keyword Planner. It will allow you to find the right keywords to target.

Local SEO marketing Google Ads Keyword Planner

Source: AdWords

3. Local Link Building

Links remain at the core of Google’s search algorithm and they have the same importance when optimising for local search.

Why is that? It is because when another site links to yours, it drives traffic and signals to search engines that your web page can be trusted.

Not to mention that by linking to credible external sites, you will help the users to find additional information that’s relevant to their interests. This tells search engines that you are providing solid information to support your site’s content.

The best way to build links is by creating content. When you create content, you are giving a chance to blogs and other business sites to link it as a source for their readers. The content can be anything from blog posts to videos.

In order to get some high-quality sites to link your web page, you need to provide them with an equally good content. You can resort to some writing services if you want to make sure that what you offer will get their attention.

Reach out to any business that you find to be related to yours, send them an email and let them know why your content will benefit their users. You can even offer to mention their business in your content in return.

4. User-Generated Content

This is one of the main things that Google pays attention to. Previous experiences of your customers are what local search engine marketing relies on when recommending your business to other users.

Encourage people to leave positive reviews on your Google+ page, Yelp, or similar pages. If you want Google to value your site you need to obtain some good and real reviews for your business.

The more active you are on the review sites, the more will Google pay attention to you. Search for review sites in your niche by searching your keywords plus “reviews”.

User experience is also what other users rely on when choosing where to go or which service to choose. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 67% of frequent online shoppers read customer reviews before purchasing a product for the first time.

Here are some simple and effective ways to get your users to leave reviews and create content:

  • Solicit reviews via email or by approaching your regular customers
  • Create live videos and build a closer relationship with the customers
  • Offer entry to a contest or a giveaway to those who leave a review
  • Publish user-generated pictures which motivate them to get interactive
  • Give your customers a sense of direction by creating a call-to-action (CTA)

5. Responsive Design

According to Engage 121, 88% of mobile searches are for local businesses. In addition, the most recent statistics for digital marketing show that people will also call or go to that business within 24 hours. A mobile-optimised website will significantly ease this decision.

Considering that, you need to adapt your website so that the users can have an easy access to it over their mobile phones. In order to achieve that you need to implement a responsive design.

Local SEO marketing and importance of responsive design

Source: Unsplash.com

A responsive design enables your content to be viewed on all technological devices such as mobile phones and tablets without any troubles. It adapts to every device that the customer is using.

This is especially important for local businesses since people tend to search for services which are near them over their phones.

If you want to keep people interested, create a sleek and modern design which enables simple navigation. It will help the users to quickly access the information they need.

By including a responsive design, you’ll give the users a positive experience which will spark their interest in your business and keep them on your site. By doing so, you will be able to increase your SEO ranking because Google’s mobile first indexing policy means your mobile responsive page is now the baseline for how they determine rankings.

Conclusion

No matter what your local business is about, the goal is always the same which is to increase the number of customers. Local SEO is one of the main ways to do that in today’s technology-driven world. Keep your business up to date and embrace the fact that local SEO is bound to create an even greater stronghold in the future.

This local SEO guide will help you to understand the various aspects of local SEO and apply it to your small business as well. There is no better proof of its benefits than to try it out yourself and wait for the results.

Featured image by Svilen001 on FreeImages.

7 secrets for email marketing that you mustn’t forget

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With all the marketing tools and options available in today’s age it’s easy to overlook the value of email marketing. Electronic mail has always been one of the main staples of the internet as a whole and its role in marketing and advertising is still prominent.

One of the main reasons why many people overlook the value of email marketing is due to social media, blogging and other types of the digital marketing being more prevalent. However, everyone still has a need for personal email, and with it comes a channel of communication by which companies can advertise their products and services.

Recent surveys have shown that there are approximately 3.7 billion email users today which mean a huge number of potential customers and subscribers. That being said, let’s take a detailed look at what makes email marketing tick as well as several secrets which can affect the way people perceive your mail once it arrives in their inboxes.

The benefits:

Before we take a look at some secret tips and tricks that can help you convert readers into subscribers, let’s talk about why you should care in the first place. Email marketing carries with it several benefits from the moment you start implementing it:

High RoI
Easy implementation
  • Email marketing doesn’t disrupt your existing marketing strategies and seamlessly integrates into your marketing campaigns.
Audience segmentation
Tracking and analysis
  • Email marketing is easy to track, analyse and develop over time by following the progress of implemented email campaigns.
Global networking
  • Lastly, email marketing is able to reach anyone on the planet if they own an email address. This makes it far more approachable and widespread than any other marketing campaign – online or off.

Tools and services for email marketing

Setting up a successful marketing campaign via email takes more than just writing skills to pull off. Talking about email marketing secrets without touching on the tools that can help you act on them is a half-baked argument. To that end, there are several tools and services available for everyday email marketing use:

Mailchimp

When it comes to email marketing, the name of the game is “automation”. The content you create for your audiences can usually be sent and tracked without your direct supervision.

Mailchimp is a popular mail automation platform that can easily double as a content creation platform. It can track each individual mail for the interactions made by the target user which is great for further content development and marketing analysis.

If you have a relatively small number of email subscribers (e.g. less than 1,000) MailChimp is free to use and yet it still gives you access to a professional automation platform. For other free marketing tools see the post: 5 Free Digital Tools That Every Start-Up Should Have.

Active Campaign

If automation and content creation isn’t enough for you, Active Campaign might be worth checking out. The platform is created with full cloud support for sales, project management and messaging in mind.

This means that you can safely centralize your marketing efforts and use Active Campaign as your sole tool for email marketing. This can help your coworkers and content creators work on same projects in parallel without a fear of data loss, deadline breaches or misunderstanding.

Get Good Grade

Sometimes editing or formatting won’t be enough to save your marketing campaign from postponed launch. To that end, Get Good Grade offers trustworthy and professional writing services for many types of online content including email.

Get Good Grade features beginner discounts, loyalty programs and a versatile pricing system which can be adjusted to fit just about any pocket. Make sure to check this platform out if you need email content written on a short notice and don’t know how to do it yourself.

Image of how customers perceive colour

Source: Pixel.com

The secret ingredients of email marketing

  1. Subject lines matter

People tend to forget how email works once they start developing marketing strategies. As a rule of thumb, email content should always be presented using a clear subject line that grabs your attention. For example, if you are advertising the latest book design solutions you made for your existing clients, the subject line should allude to it.

Make sure that a “hook” is present whenever you want people to open your email and interact with it. Feed their imagination but don’t give direct information, answers or overly-excited statements in the subject line. Be professional and represent your brand in the best way possible from the get-to – or in this case, the subject line.

  1. Brand preview capabilities

Most people overlook the deeper meaning and capabilities of email marketing. Once you deliver an email to someone’s inbox, they will essentially have a bit of history about your company available to them. Every word, pixel and link present in the email’s body means something to the reader.

You can easily use your email content to represent your brand, company and way of thinking without being overly direct. For example, you can include your company’s branding, vision, portfolio and other relevant links in the footer for people to have access to.

You can also localize your email content into other languages and make it available to an even wider audience. Check out IsAccurate if you want to find professional translation writers based on testimonials and reviews left by satisfied clients. Anything you can do to go the extra mile in regards to your brand representation can bring you a step closer to another conversion.

  1. Making it easy to convert

One of the main reasons why companies opt for social media or blog content is the conversion process itself. It appears easier to encourage people to subscribe, purchase or interact with content if they are already present on your website.

Email marketing works differently however and you need to make sure that people want to convert in the first place. This is where most companies buckle, and it’s where you can make the most impact. Make sure that it’s easy and straightforward to interact with your brand in some way or form.

Depending on the type of campaign you are creating, you should make it clear how people can interact with your brand. This might be for subscriptions or survey buttons, purchase links or promotional events. People tend to spend little time reading through email bodies, especially from addresses they have never seen before. That’s why you must make it easy to buy or interact with your organization. Email marketing can then prove beneficial to your company.

  1. Apply SEO methods

Search Engine Optimization is a practice that can help you rank better in search engines such as Google or Yahoo. However, these rules can also be applied to email marketing content to make it more legible and organized. While SEO doesn’t matter for email marketing (because it’s targeted, not organic), it can make your content come across as more professional and easy to digest.

Some of the things you can do to make your email content better are to use popular keywords (depending on your industry), minimise the size of multimedia content present in the body and format any written content with subheadings and tags. This can help improve your relationship with existing clients and convert new ones due to the fact that your emails are not only well-formatted but easy to read quickly.

  1. Minimalism and negative space

One of the worst mistakes you can make in building an effective email marketing strategy is to treat your email’s body as a brochure. You do not want to make the mistake of overwhelming your readers with too much information or data that doesn’t matter to them.

Instead, focus on building a minimalistic approach to email design and make ample use of negative space in your email’s body. Include only a few sentences of information that is relevant and actionable. Pair that information with hyperlinks or buttons that lead to your website’s pages relevant to the marketing campaign.

That way, you will attract the audience that really cares about your brand and products on offer. Others will politely pass on the opportunity but still appreciate your professionalism and understanding in not spamming them with too much content. If they don’t care about your brand and sales pitch from the start, they will never buy anything no matter what you say.

  1. Focus on value – not yourself

Email marketing is a great way to promote your brand’s mission, goals and company culture. However, make sure that this doesn’t end up being the majority of the content you have on offer.

People that may or may not buy your products have no value from knowing how much your company made in the past several years. They have no desire to know how many employees you have or how many subsidiaries are under your name.

Instead, focus on presenting the benefits of your products and services for each individual user. Remember that emails are usually read individually without the presence of another person. Treat each reader as a friendly neighbour and talk about the benefits you have on offer for them today. You will come across as unobtrusive and casual while still maintaining a strong professional presence that is more likely to lead to a conversion.

  1. Calls to action work wonders

Lastly, there is no point in building an email marketing campaign without adequate call-to-actions (CTA’s) to back them up. Calls to action represent the pinnacle of marketing, email or not. These phrases, short messages and direct requests serve as a reminder to the reader about the importance of interacting with the content.

Make sure to always “tell” your readers to subscribe, buy, comment, reach out or otherwise act on what they just read. Assuming that someone will do what you want in marketing campaigns never ends well. Don’t assume that your readers are well-informed from the start.

Be the friendly reminder that they need and tell them what to do about the email content they just read at the end of the body. That way, you will always leave on a punch line and ensure that some form of interaction took place.

Missing the point (Conclusion)

If you’ve read through some of the above-listed secrets to email marketing, you might have noticed a pattern. These “secrets” are only secret because we made them that way.

They follow a sales logic that can ensure effective conversion and revenue streams if handled correctly. They are in no way a revelation or a game-changing perspective on an existing marketing strategy.

All they do is reaffirm the stance that email marketing has a lot to offer even in today’s age of short-form content and social media. Try implementing some of them in your own strategies in order to make the most of what this marketing medium has to offer.

Featured image by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels