In my humble opinion, based on the years I have been in business and working with businesses, I have found the most ignored and overlooked marketing strategy in today’s digital world to be … drum roll …. Local SEO (search engine optimization).The mindset appears to be that SEO is for businesses that can offer products or services nationwide or globally. Many businesses that depend upon a local market for survival, such as hair salons, mom & pop bakeries, coffee shops, attorneys, mechanics, etc. still focus on the word of mouth or traditional local marketing resources such as radio, newspaper, etc. While these have their place for certain demographics, there is a whole generation of new customers that are not being marketed to.The new generation of consumers are mobile. That means they use their mobile devices to listen to music, read news, check social media and search for information. In fact, 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find information. These consumers are less likely to hear an ad on the radio, in the newspaper, or on TV. So how do you reach this new generation of consumers? You go digital. Locally.Here are 16 helpful statistics to convince you how important local SEO is. We all love bullet statistics. The Google 3-pack appears in the top spot in 93% of searches with local intent 50% of consumer who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within day, and 34% who searched on a computer/tablet did the same 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day 87% of smartphone owners use a search engine at least once a day 60% of American adults use smartphones and tablets to search for local product and service information 50% of local mobile searches are looking for business information like a local address 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases 71% of people surveyed say they look up and confirm the location of a business before going to it for the first time For local listings, 68% of searches were found to have used 'get directions' or 'click to call' in a mobile ad 1 in 3 smartphone searches were made right before a store visit 89% of participants admitted to searching for a local business on their smarthphone once a week or more with 58% searching at least daily 46% of all searches on Google are local 86% look up the location of a business on Google Maps 76% local searches result in a phone call Are you curious about your local visibility? Click to get a FREE report. Want to receive articles like this in your inbox? Sign up here
Believe it or not some businesses are not tapping into the wealth that email marketing offers. There are many objections by businesses for using email marketing but the biggest objection I receive is: I hate getting all that spam. I don’t want my customers to be annoyed with me. Palm plant to face!It isn’t spam if your customers are signing up to receive your emails! Businesses don’t grasp what a consumer is stating when they sign up for their email campaigns. What a consumer is saying is:I love you!I love your product or service!I want to hear from you!I enjoy your company!Please contact me!I can’t wait to hear from you!I want a relationship with you!Owning a business can be lonely. Who doesn’t want to hear that daily?!It might sound silly, but this is what your customers are telling you when they sign up to receive your email campaigns. If that isn’t enough to convince you, here are some handy statistics by really smart people in the industry. FYI, email marketing isn’t just for B2C businesses … read on … Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences, behind only colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders. 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes. CTRs are 47% higher for B2B email campaigns than B2C email campaigns. 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation. Tuesday is the best day of the week to send email (according to 10 email marketing studies). Welcome emails are incredibly effective: on average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails. Consumers who purchase products through email spend 138% more than those that don’t receive email offers. Email subscribers are 3x more likely to share content on social media than leads who came through another channel, according to QuickSprout. 80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention (the next closest channel? Social media, identified by just 44% of those same professionals). 77% of people prefer to get permission-based promotional messages via email (versus direct mail, text, phone, or social media). 72.9% of 18-24 year olds use their phones to check email. (We didn’t think they were paying attention) Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns. Click-throughs are 100.95% higher in segmented email campaigns than non-segmented campaigns. The number of email users worldwide is forecasted to rise to 2.9 billion by 2019. The number of email users in the US was projected to grow to 254.7 million by 2020. Checking email is a complementary activity. People do it while watching TV (69 percent), in bed (57 percent), and on vacation (79 percent). Can we say borderline addiction? For every $1 spent on email marketing $44 is made in return, according to a study by Campaign Monitor. 28% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails more than once per week. Pretty impressive, right? Have you implemented email marketing into your business marketing strategy?Are you struggling to develop content and create effective campaigns that drive results?We know someone who can help with that. Check out our Email Marketing page for details on our services. Want to receive articles like this in your inbox? Sign up here
Facebook has rolled out another algorithm change in December. This may not be news to some, but unfortunately this is news to many and they don’t understand what it means.How will these changes affect your posts on Facebook?To answer that question, you first need to understand why. Facebook’s desire is to return to their roots. The whole reason they became into existence. They want to create meaningful connections between humans. Warm, fuzzy, joyful, heartfelt, and bonding connections. They will assist in this endeavor by determining which types of posts are creating those warm and fuzzy feelings and which are not. This has come down to 3 things you want to STOP doing on Facebook. Stop “engagement baiting”. Facebook wants authentic engagement. They do not want you to ask for your customers to engage in a post. This includes asking people to like, share, comment, tag, vote, etc. Facebook wants the content of the post to fend for itself. They theory is this: If the content is good, you don’t need to ask for engagement. Those who use baiting will begin to see a decrease in their post views. Those who continue this practice will be punished by decreased exposure to their Facebook page.Don’t share content that only gets passive engagement.As I stated above, Facebook wants positive interactions that create meaningful relationships. What does passive engagement mean to Facebook? They measure this by the interaction that is generated by the content. This could equal comments and tagging friends. You want to share content that sparks a conversation. How do you spark a conversation? Or encourage people to tag their friends without asking for it? No one said you couldn’t ask for it …. Wait. What? But I said earlier … what I said was you can’t request a specific action like “comment below …” You CAN ask people for their reaction to your post. See the difference? No? Ok. See these examples:Don’t: “Comment on this post if you like bunnies.”Do: “Think bunnies are cute or scary?”See. It is in the WAY you are encouraging engagement. The don’t method doesn’t encourage a conversation. The Do method does. Naturally humans are going to want to provide details for their answer which sparks more conversation. Simple.Don’t share untrustworthy, uninformative, or sensational links, videos, or news.This last no-no is two-fold. The first is to address ‘untrustworthy’ posts. It is no secret that Facebook is taking the initiative to combat what may be considered fake news. There is no insight as to what the criteria is in determining what Facebook considers as an untrustworthy source. You will have to use your judgement on this, but a simple solution is if you are not familiar with the source or can’t collaborate the information, don’t share it.The second part addresses the uninformative and sensational aspects. These types of post typically generate one of 2 responses: none or argumentative. Neither of these create a meaningful conversation or connection. However, there is good news in all of this for small businesses that depend upon a local customer base. Facebook will put more of an emphasis on information that is local. So, if you are sharing March Madness game results vs. local high school basketball results, your local basketball team will get better exposure locally. In conclusion the moral of the story is to start conversations. Help create meaningful connections.BONUS TIP:One great way to get people talking about your product or service is to start a Facebook group. I bet many of you belong to at least one group on your Facebook page. How would you rank participation within the group compared to outside the group? Something to think about. Want to receive articles and tips like this in your inbox? Sign up here.