A logo is so much more than a pretty face! It’s got the potential to unite your visual branding to convey a message to your audience. This seemingly innocuous image is actually quite powerful if you use it correctly. Sadly, many brands treat it as an afterthought, quickly forgotten by consumers. Businesses lose the opportunity for their audience to visually connect with the brand. Afterall, beauty is nothing apart from brains!
When your logo is used to its full potential, it can quickly become the first thing your customers recall when they think of your brand. If you’re doing things right, they will relive all the good feelings they associate with your brand when they see that image in their mind’s eye.
Here are some of the best places to feature your logo:
- In your website header. For many new customers, their first experience of your brand will be via your website. Having your logo featured in your website header will ensure that they have a clear idea of who you are and the message you want to convey.
- In your social media. Branding goes beyond your website. It can be easy to treat your social media pages as a separate entity, yet they are a vital part of your visual branding. Make sure to include your logo on every social media page you have.
- On your invoices. Invoices aren’t very exciting to look at. In fact, most of your clients will likely give them a cursory glance. However, the presence of your logo on your business invoices catches the attention of your customers, signifies your professionalism and is a visual representation of your cohesive business elements.
- In purchase confirmations. Your customer is going to be in “feel good” mode when they’ve made a purchase from you. In those immediate moments after a purchase when their order confirmation appears on the screen, you’ll want to capture that positive emotion and link it to your brand. This is exactly where you want to be sure your logo is featured.
- On your emails. Newsletters, promotional emails and even basic customer service responses all present an opportunity to share and connect with your customers. Consider including your logo in your signature whenever you communicate with them.
- In your downloadable content. If you offer downloadable content – a paid product or free ebooklet – make sure to brand it! Having your logo featured on the content will raise the trust factor and create an opportunity to stay in your customers’ minds for longer.
You can increase your level of engagement by using your logo both on and offline if you think strategically. The goal is to raise brand awareness and increase lead generation. Remember: your logo is often the first insight a consumer will gain into your brand. It should be featured on every piece of information, material, digital media and element of your business! Don’t use it sparingly! Go all out and be liberal!
All business owners were and are consumers first. As such, you’ve likely already experienced the difference between reactive and proactive customer service. Reactive customer service addresses consumer issues after they’ve occurred. A bit like over-the counter-medication, this form of service acts as a means of aiding in the recovery process.
RingCentral surveyed 6,000 consumers of whom a measly 13% reported ever having received proactive customer service. Not. Good.
Proactive customer service involves making the first move to help consumers BEFORE they reach out to you regarding a specific problem or issue. It all boils down to who is acting first and being more proactive in today’s digital age which leads to higher customer satisfaction. Being proactive with your customer service can:
- Increase customer retention.
- Decrease frustrated customer calls and complaints.
- Attract new customers.
- Increase productivity and efficiency.
- Make consumers feel empowered.
- Improve consumer trust in your brand.
- Strengthen your brand’s credibility.
Implementing great proactive customer service isn’t rocket science, although some businesses might lead you to believe that it is. The concept is actually quite simple and the steps are easy:
- Perform regular updates. No plan ever runs smoothly and life has a habit of derailing deadlines. I’m sure you know this all too well. Perhaps you even find yourself scrambling for extra time or extending business deadlines. This is where your consumers need to be kept in the loop. Don’t leave them feeling as though you’ve completely forgotten about them. If you are waiting for your customers to complain because you are faced with service delays, you are behaving reactively rather than proactively. If you are addressing your customers before they raise concerns, you are wisely providing customer service. Whether via emails, social media announcements or changes to your website copy, proactive customer service will ALWAYS be most appreciated among your clientele.
- Schedule routine reviews of social media comments. Social media isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and it’s a great platform where your customers love to share their opinions. While you might already be encouraging your customers to tag or message you with questions, you are still exhibiting reactive customer service. Taking the time to read your customers’ comments gives you valuable insight as to how you can help them. By inserting your own comments, you are letting them know you’re actually paying attention beyond responding to a direct message or reacting to a tag. This lets them know you are listening and you are truly interested in what they think.
- Check in regularly with your customers. While this might seem like a “no-brainer”, it’s easy to forget to simply ask your customers if they’re happy. Although many people are all too happy to share their experiences on social media, some of your customers might be holding back. If you want true, honest feedback, consider checking in on them from time to time BEFORE small issues snowball into HUGE problems. Consider implementing surveys, polls or just a few routine questions on social media to get people talking.
The bottom line is that your consumers want more customer-centric experiences with your brand and that means you’re going to have to offer them consistent, proactive levels of service. While sitting back and waiting for consumers to come to you might seem like the easier option, you’re risking a lot in the way of customer retention, new converts and lead generation and profits. Be proactive with your consumers AND with your bottom line!
Content marketing and blog posts are an excellent source for increasing website traffic and expanding your company’s email list. Instagram and TikTok might be all the rage, but they’re no substitute for the written word. Furthermore, no blog post will ever require expensive equipment such as video cameras and live recording devices in order to communicate valuable information to your consumer audience. The truth is that when your posts deliver coveted answers to consumer questions regarding your brand, the search engines take notice. With a little SEO work and some optimization, your blog content can rank highly in SERPs (search engine results pages), attracting visitors to your website. In fact, companies which blog eleven or more times each month average three times the website traffic than businesses which blog once a month (or not at all).
Your blog posts establish your brand’s credibility, positioning your business as an authority on a subject. However, failure to include a next step for readers is a common, costly mistake.
Here’s what you SHOULD be doing with your blog posts in order to grow your customer database:
Offer opt-ins. While 95% of users have a functioning email address, they can’t sign up for your newsletter if they don’t know you have one. Incorporate links to sign up for your email list throughout your entire blog as well as the individual posts. Opt-ins can be a form in which readers input their email addresses or a link to a sign-up page. You can incorporate opt-in forms on your website header, footer, sidebar, as a pop-up or at the end of each post. You want to place them where readers will notice.
Incorporate personalized CTAs (Call to Action). A personalized CTA which offers something to your customers will compel them to stop and fill in their email info. Be sure your CTAs stand out and are noticeable among the existing content. CTAs should be visually appealing while matching the rest of your website. In addition, be sure to use direct, interesting copy to describe your CTA so that customers will want to click on it.
Lead magnets are crucial to a thriving email list. Lead magnets are offers which attract consumers to your email list. A good lead magnet is the entire reason a consumer will want to receive email from you, so you need to think carefully about what it is you’d like to offer! Readers will want to know what kind of email they are signing up for and whether or not it will be of value to them. Imagine being invited to a restaurant without having the ability to choose what you will be served. I doubt you’d go.
Clarity is key and you need to offer your readers relevant content and info in order to get them to subscribe. AND, while this might seem obvious, don’t forget to connect your CTA with your preferred email platform. Your landing page sign-up form, should you choose to have one, will connect new subscribers with your email list so they are signed up to receive your next email.
Email is one of the most important tools in your brand’s arsenal. In fact, email list building should definitely be incorporated into your marketing strategy! Afterall, 80% of online users say that email is their preferred marketing method.
The best marketing campaigns are the ones that are constantly being tweaked and optimized to improve their results. This is known as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). If you’re not currently getting the best results from your marketing efforts, you need to take a good look at what you’re doing and make some changes.
- Improve your landing page – Your landing page is the page that someone will reach after clicking on your marketing campaign. This should not be your home page. It should be a page which specifically focuses on a product or service that you sell. Make sure the content on your landing page reflects the copy in your marketing campaign. There should be symmetry so that someone clicking through to your website knows they’re in the right place.
- Adjust your audience – If you’re running paid ads or carrying out SEO work, make sure you’re targeting the right audience and the right keywords. Don’t be afraid to test new audiences and look for additional opportunities. You need to think about what interests your ideal customers and what they’re searching for when they’re looking for your products or services.
- Change your frequency – Is your audience seeing marketing communications from you regularly? If you don’t send out regular emails, it’s easy for your business to escape the minds of your ideal customers. Make communication a regular thing with your audience and you’ll increase your chances of generating more sales.
- Increase your budget – Sometimes your marketing budget isn’t quite high enough to get the results that you want. If we take paid ads as an example, you may have a budget that is too small to be able to compete for popular keywords. When this happens, your budget is used up too quickly in the day and then your ads stop being visible.
- Try something new – If a marketing method just isn’t working for your business and you’ve given it a reasonable period of time, don’t be afraid to try something different. There are a lot of ways that every business can be marketed and the right option for your competitors isn’t always the right option for you. Sometimes doing something different can help you to stand out even more with your ideal customers.
Every business owner wants to get the most bang for the buck when it comes to marketing strategies and solid results. The key to improving your marketing ROI is to practice ongoing measurements of the results and make adjustments to your marketing strategies accordingly. Winning campaigns can only be found via consistent measuring and optimization which will collectively reveal what works and what doesn’t.
Your email is a core tool for your business and it needs to be professional in order to consistently present the best image of your brand to your customers. For most business owners, their first venture into having a business email address is either a free or cheap email account purchased through a web host. While this might be acceptable as a short-term starter solution, free email addresses can be a serious red flag for consumers who feel it lacks credibility. In other words, you get what you pay for and free email is not good business.
When people see an email account that is from a free service, they may assume that you are reluctant to spend money, therefore the products and services that you offer may not be of the highest quality. Consumer perceptions are critical to the success of your business. Having a free email address may make those who are considering doing business with you think twice before they enter into a relationship with you. An easy remedy: register your business domain name in order to have a professional business email address. Businesses with professional email addresses are viewed as more established businesses. You might be surprised at how this simple, inexpensive step can easily open up a large amount of new business opportunities for you and your business.
No domain? No business investment.
Registering your domain name is very inexpensive. Failure to register your domain will likely be viewed as a direct lack of investment into your business. Customers may wonder where else you’ve cut costs (a.k.a. corners). This feeds into the perception that your products or services are of inferior quality.
Are you here to stay?
If you aren’t investing in one of the most inexpensive purchases a business can make, consumers will begin to question whether your business is here to stay. Customers need to be able to trust that you will always work with their best interests in mind. A professional email address reflects your willingness to invest consumers’ hard-earned money reassuring them that your brand is trustworthy and that you plan to stick around for a very long time. Having a legitimate business email address and email system is evidence of your willingness to invest in your business for the betterment of consumer experiences with your brand.
‘Free’ means ‘No technical support’.
I don’t know who you plan to call when your free email service goes out of commission because I can guarantee you that no one’s answering the phone over at Yahoo. With a true email hosting service, you will very often get technical support (you certainly would with us). In the event that your email service stops working at that critical time, you will be able to get the help you need. AND, let’s face it: any time is a critical time because communication is a top priority in any business.
It’s not for a business.
Although a free email address might be enough for your business now, it will definitely not be a good option as you continue to grow. Free email services offer a consumer-grade set of products and so the clever features offered in a business-standard email platform are immediately missed out on. Your business services need to be able to scale actively with your business successes. You don’t need the stress or potential downtime of having to change email services when you get busy. You won’t have time for that!
You are missing out!
Using your domain name in your email address is similar to how product placement is used in the movies to get people to remember that product looooong after the movie is over.
When you use your business domain name in your email communications, you are continually presenting your company name over and over again. It’s like free marketing. Failure to take this opportunity to market your own business is the same as putting a sign up for somebody else’s business over your front door. In other words, you are advertising for Gmail and not your own business. Google thanks you, but your customers won’t.
If your email has your domain name in the email address, you are cementing the name of your company into your potential customer’s mind. Do this over and over again and the customer will remember your company before any other company when they are about to buy your products or services.
Custom domain – cheap billboard.
Hosting your email separately from your web host is definitely worth considering because you can ensure that your website’s disk space doesn’t run too low. You want to make sure you have plenty of space for website content and, quite frankly, your business email shouldn’t be a “bonus feature” of your web hosting. When your emails and hosting are in the same location,you risk losing temporary access to everything if there is a problem with the server or the data center. Fortunately, there are a number of budget-friendly options:
- Google Workspace – One of the two best options for most businesses with excellent deliverability rates and access to a whole suite of tools.
- Office 365 – A great option with access to the Microsoft Office software that you probably already use.
- Zoho Mail – They have a very cheap starter plan that is good for conservative budgets and there are additional reasonably priced options available.
- Rackspace – Offers affordable, per user email plans.
- Namecheap – Affordable plans with good options, especially if your domain is already registered with them.
It’s worth spending a small amount of money so that you can register your domain, representing your brand to consumers as credible and trustworthy. In addition, is anything in life truly free? I think not, but the general cost associated with a business email system is significantly less than the cost of a customer facing issues such as deliverability or customer service problems. Customer relationships need to last for a very, very long time. An investment in your business email system shows consumers that you will be around for a long time.
As a business owner, authenticity is paramount to your brand. In fact, consumers are searching for the “real” you in order to learn what your business is truly about and what makes you different. Authenticity is what consumers are after and it must be reflected in all that you do, including your logo design.
While no idea is 100% original these days, you need to take simple steps to ensure your logo is bespoke. The last thing you want is to be accused of copyright infringement. Furthermore, you never want consumers confusing your logo with another brand. While you can have a logo which is visually similar to another brand, you should make every effort to maintain your brand’s authenticity.
One of the simplest ways to ensure your logo is authentic is to perform a reverse image search on Google. Google has recently changed its main image search option to Google Lens, which allows you to click on an image on a website and find more images similar to it. While this can help, it gives a somewhat limited range of information compared to Google’s classic reverse image search. However, you can still install an extension such as Search By Image which works in much the same way in your browser. This will allow you to select your chosen image, drop it into the search bar, and see if that image exists elsewhere.
I prefer to perform reverse image searches on my phone. Afterall, isn’t that how most of us do business now? These same steps apply to a desktop as well:
- I simply go to the Google Chrome app.
- Then I type in http://images.google.com.
- I search for the image I want:
- I then tap on the image.
- Then I hit the Google Lens icon on the top right:
- Google then performs a reverse image search for me:
Stock images and portfolio sites are a great means of learning if your logo already exists. While a bit more time-consuming than a simple Google reverse image search, manually reviewing stock images can help you to find out if your logo design exists or already belongs to another designer. Sites like 99Designs and Dribbble have thousands of logos created by designers. You can use the search bar using keywords that would describe your logo. For example “Marlin logo” will show you a huge range of logo designs that you can search through.
Understanding how your logo originated is also important to ensuring its authenticity. This one will require your hindsight if you’ve had your business logo for a while, but it’s also useful in the event that you are currently working with a designer on your branding. Did your designer provide you with concepts before the final logo was decided upon? Now, first concepts are usually a little rough around the edges, and that’s actually a good thing. It usually means the designer sketched up the designs themselves based on your criteria. Overly polished concepts without initial sketches or concepts that aren’t in keeping with your criteria could be suspect for a stock image. A professional logo designer will rarely use stock images in their concepts without explicitly telling you. If you’re not sure if the concepts you have received are original, you can always reverse image search the images they send you.
Your logo should absolutely, 100% reflect your brand as it’s entire function is to uniquely identify your business. Think about it this way: there are thousands of people in the world with the name “John”, however they are individually unique, each possessing different values, goals, likes and dislikes. Your business is John and he needs to stand out. Make sure you do him justice with a really unique logo containing details which make him stand out from the rest.
In today’s day and age, EVERYONE is on the Podcast kick. If you’re not subscribed to at least one podcast, chances are that you probably host one of your own or that you are at least considering the possibility. As a business owner, it’s not a bad idea because nearly 75% of podcast listeners say they want to learn new things, therefore a company podcast could greatly benefit your bottom line. BUT…. We know you’re busy and understand that your hectic schedule is probably the number one factor keeping you on the fence. If only there was a way to get your feet wet…
Here’s the deal: if you are, in fact, toying with the idea of launching yourself into mainstream media (okay, that’s a bit of a stretch), guest-starring on someone else’s established podcast can be a great way to “test” yourself! As a guest, you won’t need to endure the pressure of script writing or recording your material. You can sit back, relax and allow the host to take charge. By simply guest-starring, you are offering valuable content for eager-to-learn listeners while benefiting your business for FREE!
As of this year, 62% of consumers enjoy listening to podcasts. This is a 5% increase from 2021. Consumers enjoy the convenience of listening to podcasts as a means of quickly acquiring information while commuting to work, exercising and performing various tasks requiring them to stay in one spot for an extended period of time. What a great opportunity to showcase your brand, educate consumers regarding your products and services and build consumer trust!
I know you’re getting excited about this, but slow down just a bit. As with anything else in life, preparedness is key – especially when representing your brand. You can’t just show up and start self promoting. Here’s what you need to know:
You need to find your niche.
- Select your subject.
- List your strengths/expertise.
- Consider what your consumers would appreciate hearing about from you.
- Make yourself enjoyable to listen to (don’t be cocky, boring or rude).
- Steer clear of topics revolving around heavy competition.
- Think about how you could expand on your chosen topic in the future.
Start listening to podcasts in your chosen niche, getting a feel for the host’s process, and close in on your favorites. This will give you a better understanding of which podcasts you’re interested in being a guest on and whether you are looking for a formal or relaxed podcast. This will also help you determine if the host will be doing most of the talking or if you will be expected to fill the air time. In addition, you can also glean tidbits from podcast episodes you’ve already listened to in order to bring up natural points in the conversation. The host will appreciate this and you will be able to create a natural, conversational flow.
Do your homework and prep your answers ahead of time. The podcast host might send you some questions prior to recording an episode. In fact, many podcasters like to be prepared and are accustomed to sending their guests a list of questions to run through ahead of recording. They might not want to deviate too far from these subjects due to time constraints, so it’s important to prepare your answers. If they want to freestyle their questions a little more and don’t send you a list, prepare some of the most commonly asked questions about your business. Don’t script it, though. Keep things natural.
Build in emergency silence breakers. Pregnant pauses and conversational lulls are inevitable, especially in casual podcasts. While small, limited pauses are fine, listeners find long, silent gaps awkward and unengaging. Hosts can suffer “off” days and forgetfulness, but having a couple of prepared silence breakers on standby can easily save the day. Make sure you have one or two ready to go! You could even refer back to something relevant from a previous episode which ties in with what you were talking about.
Overpromotion is a turnoff. One mistake that some podcast guests make is that they take every opportunity to promote their business. The problem is that this can sound like a never-ending, dreadfully boring infomercial. Instead, promote your business by being yourself, and talk about why you do what you do. The audience wants to hear about the human being behind the business and they want to feel included in the story. Avoid being a talking billboard. Try to talk TO your audience and not AT them.
Be yourself! You don’t want to come across as overly formal, even on a more professional scale. You can still appear reputable without being a robot. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and maybe incorporate some natural humor. More informal, conversational podcasts are a great way to share a joke or two. If you’re feeling nervous, you can even allude to that with humor. It makes you human and authentic and listeners (and especially consumers) crave authenticity.
Podcasting isn’t for everyone, but guest starring on one might just reveal that you’re a natural. Feel free to reach out to us to pursue being a guest on our own podcast, “The Small Business Leadership Podcast”. Furthermore, podcasts have the power to:
- Generate an increase in business website traffic.
- Improve conversion rates.
- Motivate consumers to try your products/services.
- Expand your network with other like-minded professionals.
- Build brand awareness.
- Establish a highly interactive platform with your consumers.
Don’t worry about acquiring top-of-the-line broadcasting equipment. Start simple. Get a decent microphone and some headphones. Check out some user-friendly editing software and get crackin’! Regardless of the scale of your business, your podcast could become one of the most compelling ways to engage consumers, build loyalty and increase revenue.
Do I really NEED to be on the first page of Google search engine results?
Almost all questions in this day and age are answerable by Google and understanding how to get your website on the first page of Google search results is one of the most profitable moves you can make for your business. In fact, Google occupies 92% of search engine market share with Bing at 2.28% and Yahoo as even less at 1.52%. I dare say Google’s powers are boundless and can even help you gain website traffic while spiking revenue!
Many entrepreneurs don’t fully understand how to use Google’s boundless powers to their benefit. Here is where the rubber meets the road: consumers don’t want to click more than they absolutely have to. If desired results show up on the first page of Google’s search engine results, you can bet the farm customers aren’t going to continue clicking through page after page when what they’ve searched for is staring them in the face on the first page. In fact, 75% of users don’t even want to think about clicking to the next page. Why bother?
Yes, and here’s how to get on the first page of Google!
Here’s where you, as a business owner, come in. Let me start by saying one thing: if you’re excited that your company shows up on the third page of Google’s search engine results, prepare for me to burst your bubble. You are are not visible to your customers unless you have a first page presence and here’s how it’s done:
- Communication is key! Notify Google right away that you have a company website. Google bots are extremely thorough, never missing a beat when crawling the web for various websites. It can take some time for the bots to pick up on your website and, while waiting around is one way to do things, it’s best to submit your website to Google Search Console pronto. The program is free and breaks down your performance on Google search, emailing you suggestions as to what you can do to enhance your website’s visibility. It’s still important to login regularly in order to make sure all is well. For step-by-step instructions, visit “The Beginner’s Guide to Search Console” in Google Search Central.
- Be strategic in targeting brilliant keywords. There is a great deal I could say about keyword selection, but I’ll try to keep it short. Finding the right keywords is the beginning of your process in ranking your website on Google’s first page of search results, but what is right to one business owner may seem wrong for another. Fortunately, there are some basic principles that apply to everyone:
- Think about words best describing your products or services and think like a customer. For example, what would a customer type in the search engine bar if they were shopping for a reputable lawn service?
- Shoot for phrases with the three to five words your customers are most likely to type into the search bar. If your keyword consists of those matching your website and coincide with what customers are likely to enter, then your website will most likely appear in the search engine results. Stay with me. This is just the beginning!
- Walk a mile in your customers’ shoes. Really get inside their heads and think about the types of questions they will ask on Google. This will help you generate keywords specific to your website, easily located by Google’s search engines. Be sure to do a search in order to learn which phrases are most commonly related to your company.
- Once you decide on your keywords, be sure to weave them generously into your content, communicating to Google that your company website exudes authority and is the place where customers need to go in order to gain the right answers to their questions. This will help boost your website ranking on Google’s first page as you stand out from your competition.
- Research your competitors and find out how they got on the first page and what is keeping them there. You know the olds saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. In this case, keep your customers close and your competition closer by researching your competitors. You might be up against some tough competition with an impressive audience. Don’t be intimidated! Type your desired keyword into the search bar and learn what and who you’re dealing with! This will allow you to adopt a strategy and select keywords best geared to your target audience. Furthermore, try to learn why your competitor ranks higher for the same keywords and whether they are gaining popularity due to paid campaigns or organically. You might even discover that you can target keywords your competitors haven’t yet implemented! In addition, research long-tail keywords that your customers might be using and grab keywords targeted by your competitors. You can strategize about ways to beat your competition at their own game by using them more effectively.
- Make sure you create a page which supports search intent. Let me be clear in saying that web pages and not actual websites rank on Google’s first page. For example, you might rank for “how to spot clean a sofa” and “carpet pet stain removal” as two separate web pages, both landing on separate search engine results pages. It is entirely up to you as to which page you’d like to rank, but the options are limitless. You may choose as many as you’d like as long as you understand that website authority will affect the ranking of each individual page you select. Just be sure that your page content is chalked full of info that Google can rank for your target keyword as your chances are better when your content lines up with the content of search intent. Don’t be tempted to tamper with your web page URL so as not to compromise established quality backlinks. If you absolutely must reconfigure your URL’s, don’t forget to direct the old ones to the new ones!
Develop a content angle, addressing your target audience and be thorough in your content descriptions and discussions as the authority on the subject(s). Stick to subjects directly related to your website and industry.
- Incorporate both internal links and quality backlinks. Backlinks will serve to enhance page authority and higher authority websites mean higher ranking on search engine results pages. You can easily acquire quality backlinks by looking for sites similar to yours. You can email those sites with requests that they link a relevant post to your website. You can even add internal links which are relevant to your industry in order to boost authority. Both backlinks and internal links which point to your business website, communicate with Google that consumers consider you a reputable authority. All the more reason to ensure that your backlinks come from reputable sites in order to boost your rankings. Be sure you aren’t incorporating SPAM!
- Shoot for snippets featured. Short text snippets located above various Google search results offer quick answers to search queries and are even better than having your web page rank on Google’s first page of search engine results. Google selects the featured text, so there is no magic trick for achieving this and it is not automatically generated. The best thing to do is alter your content in order to boost your chances of having featured snippets. You can also implement a bulleted format, create bulleted lists, and incorporate sentences beginning with how, why, where, when, what, and who. Extra points for developing content that immediately answers these questions.
- Take charge of your meta tags and manage them well. The short text appearing in Google search results are called “meta tags” and they are content descriptors which are shorter than featured snippets. Meta tags consist of no more than 120 characters, containing the most crucial info plus a keyword. While they don’t show up on a website, they are made up of clear, concise verbiage specific to each individual web page on your website. Keywords should be incorporated in your meta tags, so be creative!
- Make sure your web page is mobile optimized. Half of global internet traffic takes place on mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads. Users get frustrated when web pages don’t load or they cannot be viewed in full, so it’s paramount that you ensure your website is optimized for all screen types. Customers will avoid your page if the experience is poor.
- Include your location! Customers want to know whether you are locally based or overseas. Increase your chances of getting on the first page of search engine results by incorporating your locale in your keywords. Many consumers want to do business with companies located in specific cities or states, so adding your business to local directories such as Foursquare or Yelp will only gain your higher search engine visibility, boosting your online presence.
Web page visibility entices consumers to click in order to learn who you are and what you’re about. Don’t shy away from tools such as social media and chat forums in order to show consumers what they’re missing. Establish your authority and expertise regarding your products and services and you are sure to turn the right heads as you show consumers they can rely on you for questions regarding your profession. Keep your target audience engaged with consistent, fresh content, leaving them hungry for more. Better yet, consult your local small business SEO Jacksonville Florida expert today!
Ninety-one percent of adults prefer to use search engines in order to quickly glean information and Google has over 90% of the search engine market share. As a result, a solid Google Business profile is a necessary must for your company. The benefits are endless and you can easily edit your company info at any time in order to maintain an updated online presence. Consumers want to know your story and learn about your brand and a solid Google Business Profile is a very simple, effective way of:
- Sharing your story.
- Ensuring your company shows up in Google Maps searches.
- Boosting sales (both online and in-store).
- Building trust with your customers.
- Earning reviews in order to boost your brand’s appeal.
- Increasing website traffic.
- Getting the lowdown on your customers.
- Ranking higher in search engine results.
- Taking advantage of FREE advertising!
In addition, 16% of companies who utilize their Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) can gain as many as 100 additional calls monthly because this is how 64% of consumers use this tool to get info on various businesses.
Creation and optimization of your Google Business Profile is quite simple and I’m going to walk you through five simple steps which will help you navigate this process:
Make sure you create or “claim” your business profile. You need to check to make sure you don’t already have a Google Business Profile. Go to Google Search or Google Maps and search for your company by name and location. You might be surprised to learn that your profile already exists. In this event, you would click “Claim this business” and follow the prompts through a verification process. If you don’t see your company already listed:
- Bookmark google.com/businesses.
- Login with your google account or create one if you don’t already have one.
- Enter your business name/address.
- Select “storefront” or “service provider”.
- Select your primary business category.
- Add your business phone number & company website.
- Follow the prompts through the verification process.
- Follow the prompts to finish the population process.
Regular updates are the key to success! Updating your business profile is even easier! You can incorporate images, videos, product and services information and even post weekly updates!
- From the Business Profile menu, click “Info”.
- Click on the section you wish to edit and begin entering your new info. It can take as many as 60 days before you see old info deleted. Also, summaries or keywords from the internet appearing next to your business, such as the description, cannot be edited.
- Boom! You’ve just updated/edited your Business Profile! Click “done editing”! Who’s the pro now?
It’s important to respond to reviews left by customers as it shows you are paying attention. This helps to establish trust among your consumership while building brand authority and credibility. Don’t be tempted to stick to the positive reviews. Addressing negative comments can be a game changer, showing the public that you take ALL concerns seriously and you are both respectful and considerate of all consumers.
Use your Google Business Profile as an opportunity to answer questions. Google relies on a lot of user-sourced info, so it’s important to ensure that questions are answered correctly and in a timely fashion.
- Log in to your Google Business Account.
- Click on “See all questions (#)” under the “Questions & Answers” section on the right-hand sidebar.
- Click on the “Answer” button.
In addition, answering messages through your Google Business Profile is equally as simple and powerfully effective in communicating with your customers. Simply select “turn on messaging” under “complete your business profile” voila! You’re a genius!
Remember: the goal with any business is to stand out and apart from the competition. A well managed Google Business Profile will help you do just that!
Do you ever struggle to write engaging blog content that instantly hooks your readers? You’re not alone! In fact, many entrepreneurs battle this same problem. The trouble is that the more you loathe a task, the harder it becomes to complete said task. Drudgery overcomes you, weighing you down like cement shoes and you just can’t seem to break this loathsome cycle.
Here’s the deal: it’s going to be infinitely harder for your business to stand out from the rest of your online competition if you can’t produce content that grabs the attention of your target audience. Think about this:
- Great content will attract customers, guiding them through your sales funnel.
- Customers don’t want to spend time on the phone asking questions about your products and services. They want to quickly skim your website content to see how you can add value to their lives by solving a specific problem.
- The content you post presents opportunities to engage with your customers.
- You stand to gain as high as 97% more links to your business website if you post good content.
- Your company blog could be considered five times more trustworthy a source for consumers who are seeking to gather information about you online.
- 77% of people online are blog readers.
While I could just rest my case here, I want to offer some hope for breaking the cycle of drudgery you encounter when you think about engaging blog content. At the end of the day, your customers just want to read something they can identify with and there are some really easy methods you can implement in order to amplify your content’s appeal.
Tone of voice is everything! I recently received a letter from an old friend and found myself thinking, “Wow! He writes EXACTLY how he sounds in person!” I enjoyed the letter even more for the sake of my buddy’s tone, feeling as though he was standing in my living room conversing with me. That’s how your content should read! It should be reflective of who you are in tone and personality, humanizing your brand. You might find you actually enjoy writing when you can simply be yourself. The content will have more of a natural flow and you will be far less likely to suffer from writer’s block. It’s a win-win!
Relatability is the key! It’s best when you stick to subjects to which your consumers can relate. Try to incorporate lingo commonly used by your target audience such as “cool new promo” or “awesome discount”! This allows you to show more passion for your brand and products while writing in a much more interactive style TO your customers rather than AT them.
When used properly, video and images can be helpful. While both are a great means of simplifying and enhancing your content, they should be used strategically and not in a manner which clutters your message or doesn’t reflect your brand. The great thing about videos is that they are easily and quickly digested by your customers and can help break up large chunks of text. They also have the capacity to be engaging! For example, if you have a new product to showcase, you might consider doing a helpful demo video. Your consumers will appreciate knowing they can visit your website for solutions if they need help!
Keep it simple! Long, rambling paragraphs will compel no one to revisit your business website. Don’t be boring, getting bogged down with technical jargon and uninteresting information. Customers aren’t looking for a novel, so keep your epistles short and sweet, using simple, easy-to-understand lingo. Bullet points, lists and headlines are great attention grabbers, allowing consumers to quickly glean helpful info. The trick is to ensure that your content can easily be skimmed. Customers don’t want to spend the whole day on your website. Quick and easy is best and, if the content is easily skimmable, even better!
Write now. Edit later. The best way to frustrate yourself is by editing your content as you’re writing it. Don’t. Do. That. Get your thoughts down quickly and then go back for edits. Don’t stop to correct simple typos along the way. You could easily lose focus and your train of thought can seriously derail and that’s not good for anyone. Write first and make the corrections later.
The best way to maximize the results of your efforts is to post on a regular basis and stay current in your content. Make sure you perform regular checks on your website content to ensure relevance and remove outdated posts. Don’t frustrate your readers with tips from 1998! While it doesn’t seem like that long ago, some of your customers probably weren’t even born yet!