Who is Local SEO For (And How Can It Help You Grow Your Business?)

Use Local SEO To Drive Website Visits

SEO chart going up

 Search engine optimization isn’t just for big corporations or business bloggers with thousands of social media followers. SEO can be used by small businesses and solo-entrepreneurs too. It’s not the size of your company that matters, but how you optimize your website for discovery. One essential component of search engine optimization is local SEO. Making your business easy to discover on a local basis is crucial for driving new customers to your door. If you want to learn how to use local SEO to grow your business, remember the following business development tips.

1) Make sure your local business listing is optimized for Google Maps. Help potential customers easily find your company by pinpointing your location on Google Maps. An ever-increasing number of consumers are using their smartphones to connect with local companies. When you optimize your Google Maps listing for discovery, you make it super simple for customers to find your local business.

2) One of the smartest ways to optimize your website for local SEO is to add a local news section to your blog. Post fresh content on a regular basis spotlighting local events and share your new blog posts with local customers on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Not only does this build your business’ reputation as a community-minded organization, it gives search engine crawlers plenty of references to locations in your area. Can you say SEO growth hack?

3) Create videos about your small business and post your video marketing to YouTube. Be sure to include the name of your city/town in the title of your video as well as in the caption you add on YouTube. You’ll often find videos at the top of Google search engine results. Incorporating a local SEO strategy into your YouTube marketing efforts is an excellent way to grow your business via visual marketing outreach.

Once you discover that local SEO can be used by businesses of all sizes, you understand its potential for significant brand growth. Failing to optimize your company’s online presence for local customers is like telling consumers in your area you’re not interested in their business. Incorporate the above-listed tips into your digital marketing efforts and watch how quickly you start to notice new customers visiting your local company.

5 Fabulous Ways Home Renovation Professionals Can Market Their Business on Instagram

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Are you using Facebook to market your renovation business? Have you been sharing project updates on Twitter, yet have failed to see increased engagement from potential customers? Whether you are promoting your company on Facebook, Twitter, or even Snapchat, it is important that you integrate a strong visual marketing strategy into your brand building efforts. Instagram provides a powerful platform for brands of all types, including renovation professionals and construction companies. If you want to watch your social media engagement numbers skyrocket, here are five ways you can use Instagram to market your renovation company online:

Use Before and After Images

Posting before and after images on Instagram is essential for socially savvy renovation experts. Be sure to include everything from doorway shots to flooring and light fixture images. Add images of your crew hard at work too so potential customers know they can expect a professional crew on site.

Make A Collage of Images

Be sure to use collage images for your Instagram marketing strategy. Use a mobile app like PicCollage (pic-collage.com) to maximize the potential of your graphics. From a collage featuring multiple components of a bathroom renovation to a series of window shots, create a theme for your photo essays prior to sharing on social media.

 

Use Inspirational Images 

 Include inspirational renovation images into your Instagram marketing efforts. Add a text overlay to an image of an exhausted employee or opt for dream-inspiring graphics to catch the eye of potential customers. Whether you want to showcase how hard your employees work or you want buyers to imagine their home undergoing a renovation, inspirational Instagram images can have a long-lasting impact on social media.

 

Include Instagram Video Compilations 

 Don’t forget to incorporate video into your Instagram strategy. Post videos of your team tackling a tough job or videos of renovation reveals for happy customers. The more customers can feel the excitement in your video content, the better the chances are they’ll think of your company for their next upgrade.

 

Include Tool Shots

Add images of your team’s construction tools to your Instagram feed. From your employees sporting hard hats and hammers to nail guns and jackhammers, each picture highlights your company’s professional capabilities. Customers want to be sure they’re dealing with a professional construction company and not just a dude with a pickup truck. Let your tool shots reflect this professionalism.

Instagram can be a powerful resource for marketing your renovation business. Customers are far more likely to hire a contractor they’ve seen in action than one who just talks a good game. Spotlight your Instagram feed on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest so clients know the caliber of your work and your team’s work ethic. Will you be trying any of the above-listed tips to market your construction company on Instagram?

Need help or advice on your marketing strategy? Call or Email Deppe Communications for a free estimate today.

Reaching The Masses: 4 Modern Marketing Techniques (That Won’t Break Your Budget)

In the business world, marketing is everything. In the modern age, however, people don’t respond to the same marketing tactics of past times. Today, it’s important for marketers to know how to draw attention from their audiences. Often, it takes a lot of unique methods to do that. Here are a few ideas for you to consider. image of Times Square advertising to reach the masses

Offer Free Samples

If something is free, we love it, right? We try to get as much free stuff as we can. In marketing, you have to take full advantage of that. With the right product, giving out free samples can be a quite effective tactic. When promoting food, we can often attract attention by offering samples of the new caramel corn nuggets to the general public.

However, choosing the right venue is important when offering free samples. You want to be where your target audience tends to be the most populated. If you’re targeting moms, for example, you’ll want to be at local grocery stores during the day time. You might also want to be at large events where families tend to congregate, such as city festivals on Saturdays.

Rely on Word of Mouth

For centuries, this was the marketing tool of choice for most small businesses. There are niches that continue to flourish relying on satisfied customers referring others to their business. Starbucks is an example of success initially built on word of mouth advertising. Harvard Business Review offers ways to quantify the value of word of mouth advertising.

Often, it depends on how customers feel that they were treated by a business. Marketing techniques inherently depend on how effectively they appeal to human emotions. Word of mouth is a very pure tactic in terms of its reliance upon emotions to maintain forward momentum.

Utilize Social Media Advertising

Certain products thrive through advertising on social media platforms. Your goal may be advertising the value of a tool to monitor computer security. By focusing your market on social media sites we are highly likely to attract attention from consumers needing this tool. Nearly all of us have accounts on social media. When appropriate, we can utilize our own sites to promote products to an audience looking for information.

Customized Signs and Banners

Signs and banners are the backbone of many effective marketing campaigns. They put signs on cars, billboards, and pretty much anywhere that you could look in both the physical world and in the digital space. Yet, using just any sign won’t work. There has to be aesthetic appeal.

Get the help of a designer to come up with a creative sign or banner. It has to be something that catches people’s eyes but be clear cut at the same time. They have to be able to see it and understand everything behind it. They have to understand what the product is for and shouldn’t confuse them.

Marketing tactics continue to evolve to include the latest technology. The psychology behind sound marketing remains quite simple. Getting people’s attention allows us to engage in positive conversation.

 

Today’s guest blogger is Hannah Whtttenly. Hannah is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

 

Is Your Business Sinking? Top Strategies to Stay Afloat

By Hannah Whittenly

If you’re having trouble keeping your business afloat, there are steps you can take to stay operating. By taking these steps, you can possibly eliminate the problems that are hampering your efforts. These four strategies can help you stay in business.image of marketing strategy tools

Reduce Your Expenses

Cutting some of your company’s costs is a great way to keep your business afloat. Entrepreneur.com suggests eliminating the discretionary spending such as company summer outings and holiday parties. Limiting the number of times that you travel for business should also be considered. If you lease office space and can work out an agreement with the landlord to reduce monthly payments, this may be another useful option. Reducing expenses might even involve having to lay off some of your employees or limiting their compensation.

Redirect Your Focus

Redirecting your business efforts can take your company in a more positive direction. You may have to change your business model or target customer base. Changing the type of product or service that you’re selling might also be necessary if you’re having trouble making sales. Another way to redirect your focus is to try rebranding your business to attract more widespread attention. Before making any changes, do a comprehensive analysis of your business to find out what’s working and what isn’t.

Attend Marketing Workshops

These workshops can provide you with tools to jumpstart your business efforts and leave you feeling more motivated. The Rainmaker Retreat is just one example of a marketing workshop that legal professionals have used to get ahead in their industry. While attending a workshop that is specific to your industry, you’ll receive guidance on how to increase your revenue and referrals. You’ll also learn ways to outsmart your competitors and retain a loyal customer base. Many of these workshops are held over two-day periods and cover a variety of practical topics.

Keep up with the Latest Marketing Trends

Another way to expand upon your marketing and achieve greater business success is to stay updated on the latest marketing tactics. Many companies today have turned to digital marketing to get ahead in the business world. Social media is constantly evolving, and you should have eye-catching pages on the newest sites to keep customers intrigued. Creating fresh blogs that rank high on search engines will also garner more attention. If your budget allows, getting a current celebrity to endorse your company can be a wise investment.

Saving your business and taking it to a whole new level is possible. By putting in the extra effort and making the right changes, you’re sure to yield great results.

 

Today’s Guest Post is By Hannah Whittenly, a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Failing at Facebook? 4 Steps to Vamp up Your Business’s FB Marketing Game (& Target The Right People)

image of fuzzy facebook logo

By Hannah Whittenly

image of fuzzy facebook logo

Since Facebook took off as a major social media platform, it has gradually become one of the most important modern marketing tools for businesses as well. Some businesses, though, have yet to learn how to use Facebook to its fullest when it comes to marketing. Some even have Facebook pages set up, but aren’t really sure how to use them. Here are four steps your business can take to improve its Facebook marketing, build a larger audience and generate more sales.

Link To Real Content

One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make in using Facebook is creating what amount to traditional ads only. Though normal ads can do fairly well on the Facebook platform, today’s internet users prefer content to small ads that just tell them to buy something. Mix links to blog posts on your website in with your purely promotional Facebook posts, and you’ll start to see more engagement with your page. For a good example of this strategy of mixing valuable content with more promotional posts, take a look at the Nu Skin Facebook page.

Define Your Target Audience

One of the massive strengths of Facebook as a marketing platform is the fact that it can be used to specifically target people based on demographics and interests. That power, however, is only as useful as your target customer profile allows it to be. If your business knows exactly who its ideal customer is, you’ll have no problem using the basic characteristics you look for to target a Facebook campaign to your most likely buyers. If your marketing is too broad, though, you lose the ability to increase your conversions and ROI with targeted ads. Before you launch another Facebook campaign, be sure to define your target audience. If your business sells many different products and services, you may have to define a slightly different target audience for each one.

When You Make Ads, Use Video

As stated above, creating valuable content is key to getting audience engagement on your page. There’s also a great middle ground between traditional ads and pure content, which is video-based advertising. Video ads can be entertaining and informative, but still promote specific products or services in the way a traditional ad does. Video ads also tend to encourage engagement and even sharing, widening the reach of the campaign you pay for. Best of all, once a video is made, it can be used in your marketing campaigns over and over again.

Post Regularly

Many small businesses make the critical mistake of only creating new Facebook posts once a week or even once a month. In order to build and keep an engaged audience, your Facebook page needs to turn out new posts on a much more frequent basis. There is considerable debate as to what constitutes the optimal number of Facebook posts per day. Many marketers argue for two posts a day being the best number, though some are more convinced by the argument for one post per day or a post every two days. Regardless of the exact number you settle on, remember to post fairly often to keep your audience engaged.

With these four simple tips, you’ll be able to improve your Facebook marketing and build a larger, more engaged audience for your brand. Most importantly, that audience will eventually begin to convert into paying customers, helping your business become more successful and profitable. Keep in mind that all of these strategies will require you to devote time and resources to your social media marketing efforts on a regular basis. If you want to succeed in Facebook marketing, be prepared to actively work toward that success every day.

Today’s Guest Post is By Hannah Whittenly, a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Take the Lead: 4 Ways Marketing Prowess Defines Success for CEO’s

As a CEO, marketing may be just one of numerous aspects of business operations that you may be focused on. Marketing is important because it defines your brand image in the marketplace, and it drives sales. It also can nurture brand loyalty, differentiate your business from the competition and more. However, on a more personal level, marketing can also play a major role in your career success as well as in your ability to find a new job with other top companies later. In fact, marketing can impact your personal career in each of these important ways.

Defining Your Brand’s Reputation  photo of man writing on white board

You may be aware that marketing is essential in developing your brand’s image. This can foster loyalty, help you to win business over the competition when the buyer is making a critical decision and more. You may not realize, however, that your brand’s reputation is also associated with your personal professional success. As a CEO, the reputation of your company and brand are inherently linked to you. You are ultimately responsible for defining the brand, leading the company and more. Because marketing plays such a key role in these and other factors, you understandably want to keep a close eye on the development of your marketing campaign.

Bolstering Sales Numbers

CEOs, like Dallin Larsen for example, are also judged by their ability to bolster sales numbers. In many cases, investors expect to see a year-on-year increase in sales and profits. When you look for another position or when you are being recruited by the competition, your sales numbers will be scrutinized heavily. Because your company’s marketing campaign is directly responsible for sales numbers, you can see that marketing is not an area that you want to take a backseat position on. When you are going to be judged on the results, you need to at least monitor or oversee the development and execution of the campaign carefully.

Managing Overhead

While it is important to have sales numbers as high as possible, you also need to contain overhead. After all, profitability is calculated by subtracting expenses from your sales figures. Marketing expenses can be a major component in your overhead expenses. Therefore, you need guide your team into making the most cost-effective decisions when designing and executing a marketing campaign. Thorough analytical research and a careful analysis of the marketing options available will help you and your team to design and affordable and effective campaign.

Overcoming Public Relations Issues

While marketing may be used to drive sales, establish loyalty and develop your brand image, it can also be used to overcome public relations issues. Many companies will face public relations issues over the years that can be damaging or even devastating for the company. As the CEO, you will be judged on how well you lead the company through its current crisis and build the brand back up. Marketing can be used to communicate directly with your target about beneficial steps your company is taking to deal with the issue or even to simply adjust your customers’ mindset about your company or its products and services after a negative event happens.

Some CEOs are inclined to take a backseat in the area of marketing and let the skilled professionals they hired to handle this important task. While it may not be reasonable for busy CEOs to be fully hands-on with all aspects of marketing because of a busy workload, you should remain in close contact with the department and steer the department in different ways that are in the best interest of the company. When you focus on making decisions that are right for the company, your own reputation may be enhanced as well.


Today’s guest blogger is Brooke Chaplan,  a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Web Woes: 3 Ways Your Company’s Website Might Be Losing You Customers

Having a website is a necessity in today’s market. Unfortunately, too many people create websites that drive customers away instead of bringing them in. If you are losing customers before your website, it might be because of one of the three reasons listed below. 

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You Have a Bad Domain Name

Your website’s domain name is both its address and its signage. If you have the wrong kind of domain name, you’re going to turn customers away before they even arrive. If you’ve got a long, elaborate domain name, there’s a good chance that your customers aren’t going to remember it when they need something from you. If your domain name is hard to remember at all, it’s going to slip through the cracks. Instead of having something elaborate, shoot for something memorable. If you have an auto dealership, for example, you can go through a company like Dominion Domains to eschew a commonplace .com address for a more memorable .auto address. The more memorable the address, the better. 

It’s Too Slow

Your average internet shopper won’t spend much time waiting for a website to load. In fact, most customers start to get impatient if your site takes more than a fraction of a second to load. A slow loading time can be due to a number of culprits, from a bad hosting solution to a poorly optimized website. If your customers can’t get to your website quickly, they aren’t going to come at all – so do what you can to make the experience faster for them.

It’s Too Complicated

Website visitors tend to go to websites for very particular reasons. They might be looking for information about your business or they might want to make a purchase. If you make this process harder than necessary, they’re going to go somewhere else. Don’t put important information behind several pages worth of text and certainly don’t make it hard for people to spend money with you. While you may be very proud of your website and the content that you have put on it, never make it harder than it needs to be for someone to spend money. Doing so will only hurt your business in the long run.

Your website should serve your business – so make sure that your users are comfortable with everything you do. Get a good domain name, make the site fast, and make the site very easy to use. If you can accomplish those three easy goals, you’ll find that more customers are willing to use your site.

 

Today’s guest post is by Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

What is Marketing?

What is the Definition of Marketing?

That is a question that has more than one answer and it depends upon who you ask. But, since you asked, here is my definition of Marketing:

Marketing is learning what your customers need and want and then providing it to them. 

Did you notice that it does not say anything about sales or advertising? That’s because marketing is really about understanding your  image of words related to Marketingcustomer first, and that is why so many marketers focus on research before doing anything else. When advertising was young (and I was, too), it focused on promoting a product or service using mass media – the “if you build it, they will come” approach. And it worked pretty well for a long time. A new cereal or dish soap would be developed, the advertising gurus would develop a great TV commercial and pretty soon people were buying it. 

But that method doesn’t work any longer – at least not as well as it used to. Consumers don’t consume mass media very much. We like to view TV on our own schedule and we like to skip the commercials. We listen to satellite radio, streaming music or play music on our mobile devices – all so we can customize our own media consumption without interruption. So mass marketing doesn’t really reach the masses any more.

That is why it is so important to understand the needs and wants of your customers, and then provide it to them. Customers want individualized messages tailored to their own habits. They want to care about what you have to offer, too. Putting together a few ads and sending them out into the cosmos probably won’t meet those needs.

What is it that your customer wants or needs – and why are you the right person to provide it? That’s the question to ask, and that’s the very beginning or marketing. Let’s talk about it and put together a marketing plan individualized for your company goals and your specific customers. Call 904.524.0170 or email now for a free consultation.

 

Small Business Branding – Is It Really Necessary?

Should You Be Branding Your Small Business?

Virtually every small business owner has heard the word “branding” and been told he or she needs to be doing it. But there can be confusion  image of words Who are youabout what, exactly, is meant by the term and how it is different from marketing, planning, operations and all of the other things that a business owner is responsible for doing every day. So let’s break it down. First, a definition of branding.

What is a brand? 

A brand is a promise. It is not a logo or a tagline. It is not package design or spiffy uniforms. It is an emotional connection between the company and its customers that creates an image or understanding of the company at a “gut level.” Let me give you an example. There are multiple brands of baby shampoo that you can buy, but I’ll bet you immediately thought of one – Johnson’s Baby Shampoo*. With that thought came an image or understanding about the product – perhaps it was “no more tears” or the image of a smiling baby with shampoo in its hair and a loving mom bathing the child.

Both of those things, along with other images that may have come to mind from your own childhood, are part of the company’s brand for that product. Johnson & Johnson has worked diligently over the years to build that brand identity and they have done a great job.

photo of baby in bath with shampoo on head

You Already Have A Brand

So, what does that mean for a small business? The truth is that your company already has a brand in the minds of your customers. They already know something about the company, your services or products based on their experience with the firm. The question is whether it is the image you want them to have.

Your branding activity should be deliberate and thoughtful so that you can be sure your customers – and future customers – know who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. By specifically managing your brand to align with your company’s core values and its business goals, it will be easier to do the right kind of marketing that increases sales.

In the next few blog entries, we will review specific steps that small businesses can take to build, and manage, their brands. Stay tuned – and email me if you have any questions or issues you would like to have included.

 

*Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson.