What Should Keep Every Marketing Manager Up at Night

When you are working on the marketing for your business, or any business, there are so many elements that you need to keep track of. And, as a marketing manager you have to take the steps to resolve any issues and make sure that your business appears in the best possible light. That takes time and effort, but you don’t want to miss out and catch issues each day. Here are a few of the most important things marketing managers need to look out for. 

Staying Ahead of Competitors 

A huge part of marketing your company is making sure that you are beating your competitors whenever possible. If you can find a way to consistently stay ahead of your competitors with your marketing, you can make a huge impact on the industry and your audience. Take time to do research into what your competitors are doing and try different methods to surpass them at their best technique and avoid the things that aren’t working as well. Learning from your competitors is one of the most important elements of overcoming the odds and ensuring that your company comes out on top. 

Bad Information 

When you are marketing you need to make sure that the information you use to create your strategy is good and from a reputable source. If you develop a marketing strategy out of false or faulty information, it is likely to lead you in a negative direction. So, as you gather research about the market and work towards formulating a strategy, it is essential that you make sure to source check your info. You also want to be sure to use information that is easily proven and that shows a big potential for success as you put out your campaign. When you can always ensure you have good information on your side, you can make your campaign more successful. 

Bad Leads 

The bulk of your job as a marketer is to make sure that you are generating leads for your company so you can continue bringing in new customers. However, you don’t just want to generate any leads you can. Instead, you want to make sure that you are generating strong leads that actually lead to a purchase and a future relationship with the customer. This can be done by improving your research and doing a better job at tailoring your content to the specific audience you are trying to reach. Make it a point to focus on homing in on your audience and improving your leads so you can grow stronger as a company. 

Data Breaches 

As you market for your business and have customer interactions, you generate a lot of data. That data can be hugely helpful to moving your business forward, but it can also lead to a serious issue if it isn’t being properly secured. A data breach is bad press and can do a huge amount of damage to your brand. If you aren’t sure how to take care of your data on your own, it may be time to find someone else to do it for you. Outsourcing IT services can increase productivity by allowing you to focus on what you know. Make it your goal to do what is best for your data so you can make your marketing campaign something that focuses on your customers and their needs rather than recovering from a data breach. 

Communicating Your Message 

The goal of any marketing campaign is to communicate a message to your audience and help them to better understand your products and services and how they can help them in their lives. For this reason, you want to focus on creating marketing content that is clear, easy to read, and accessible. Remember that your marketing materials can be more than just blocks of text. Think about how you can use images, videos, and creative processes to help your marketing materials to reach a wider audience. When you can communicate your message clearly, your customers will know what they need to do. 

Finding the Balance with Your Metrics 

It’s important that you are measuring data to help you work towards better marketing materials. However, you don’t need to be collecting data on everything that ever happens. Having a stream of solid data coming in is better than being flooded with so much data that you can’t actually get anything done. Your job is to make sure that you are keeping track of the metrics you need to while avoiding over collecting data that just gets in your way rather than helping you to meet the needs of your customers and your company. 

Your Social Media Campaign 

In the past, people have not taken social media marketing as seriously as other methods. However, it has become clear that it is a very valuable way to reach a broad audience and introduce them to your products in a meaningful way. If you have been avoiding the social media aspects of marketing, it is probably a good time to start working towards it. Making a move towards building your platform on social media will help you to increase your impact and reach a more tailored audience in a personal way. 

Your Measures for Success 

One of the most important parts of any strategy is knowing what success will actually look like. Before you can know whether to change your strategy or try a new approach, you have to know what success looks like for you. So identifying the ways you will recognize success within your marketing is essential to getting the job done right. There’s a lot you can do to make sure your goals are trackable and measurable so you can see your success. 

Marketing is a huge part of what makes any business more successful. And, if you want to make sure your marketing is done right, you need to be paying attention to all the elements that come into play. The more you know, the easier it will be to make sure your marketing is doing what it needs to do.

Read this next: 16 Digital Marketing Trends to try in 2022

16 Digital Marketing Trends to try in 2022

Try these Digital Marketing Ideas in 2022

As 2021 draws to an end, it is time to start planning your editorial calendar for 2022. While there is a lot of chatter about using AI technology to make marketing easier, many small-and-medium-sized companies find that technology cost-prohibitive. Instead of giving up on digital marketing, consider these techniques for 2022.

 

1. Mobile-friendly Websites

Your website needs to be responsive so that it displays appropriately on any device. Take a look at your website and see where you can reduce scrolling, pinching and panning. Create with a fluid grid instead of pixels. Make sure that all areas where you need users to input data are large enough so that people can efficiently complete the task. Set rules so that only the most essential information displays on smaller devices. Create rules so that images display correctly or not at all, depending on the device’s size.

If your website needs an overhaul to comply with mobile standards, we offer affordable website design plans for businesses small and large!

 

2. Local SEO/ Google Map Optimization

With Google’s latest algorithm changes, the company said that they consider user experience to be the most important factor when ranking websites. Therefore, you must ensure that your website loads quickly, provide the content they want and is easy to navigate.

Google My Business is a key to advertising for small-and-medium-sized businesses. Take advantage of the space to promote products that your customers are likely to want the most. Make the most of this space by filling your description with keywords your customers are likely to use. Post directly to Google My Business so that customers see your information directly on your listing, which can take up to 50$ of the SERP when someone enters your company name.

Optimizing for Google maps can be paramount to your success, so consider these tips.

  • A large percentage of your backlinks should come from high-quality business directories that people can easily access online.
  • Keep Google My Business fresh. You can have up to 10 pictures and photos on your Google My Business. Additionally, you can add a call to action directly from your listing.
  • Ensure all citations are up-to-date. Aim to have your business listed everywhere using the same company name, address and phone number.
  • Add rich snippets to your website’s content. Use the automatic rich snippet generator from Google to increase the space that your website listing gets on SERPS. This will also help Google put you in the correct category on Google maps.

3. Content Marketing

There is usually a bounce upwards after a website hits 100 posts, but after that point, longer posts are generally more effective than several smaller ones in promoting your company. Unless you are in a fast-paced industry, like entertainment or fashion, consider creating longer posts filled with great detail.

Long-form content is more likely to capture your audience’s attention. Furthermore, since it takes people longer to read them, it increases time spent on your site, which often increases how your website ranks in the SERPs.

You may want to consider creating:

  • How-to guides
  • Buyer guides
  • Tutorials
  • Resource lists
  • Industry definitions
  • Case studies

You may want to consider different formattings, like whitepapers, ebooks and blogs.

Long-form content can be very effective at building your voice as an industry leader. Viewers often see it as someone who understands their pain points because the longer form allows you to have room to offer a complete solution. Since people are happier with the content, they are more likely to share it with their friends and family. Longer content is also more likely to attract links that can be important in building your domain authority. Long-form content can increase conversion rates by up to 30%. It is effortless to repurpose long-form content for other purposes, like podcasts, presentations and webinars.

 

4. Online Reviews

While not a new trend, the importance of online reviews will continue to be big in 2022, you need to include customer testimonies on your site because it builds your reputation. You should always ask for reviews when your customer is likely to be the happiest with your product or service.

If you are not happy with the number of reviews that customers are leaving you, then:

  • Make sure that you have a process in place that makes it easy for customers to leave you a review.
  • Provide a template for reviews
  • Send a personalized email or message asking for the review.
  • Explain to loyal customers why you appreciate them leaving you a review

 

5. Google Features

In addition to Featured Snippets and Google My Business, there are other features that small-and-medium-sized companies may want to consider:

• Knowledge panels – These panels that look similar to Google My Business usually contain more details. They are often given to companies that provide good information in that listing and have established domain authority.

• Local pack – These three listings appear at the top of some SERP pages where the user is looking for a particular item, such as a restaurant, gas station or campground. Google selects these entities based on relevance, proximity and prominence.

• Top stories – You may be able to get your news stories published in this feature by submitting your RSS feeds, website URLs, or videos to Google’s Publisher Center.

•Video packs- These are usually YouTube videos. Increase the chances of Google choosing your video by using video Schema markup.

• Related questions – Watch when you enter your keywords into the SERP and see if a list of questions appears. Write good 40–50-word answers to those questions, and you may be able to win a featured snippet.

• Shopping Results – To have a product chosen by Google, make sure you have used Schema product markup and gotten lots of good reviews.

6. Conversational marketing

The pandemic has made many software companies lower prices on conversational marketing software, so it has become more available to smaller businesses.

While your conversion rate may have risen during 2021, stop and think about the customers that did not buy, although you gave them great information wrapped in a pretty package. Now, imagine that you had a way to reach those customers and answer their questions while they are considering your products. People naturally prefer two-way conversations, and conversational marketing makes that possible at a reasonable cost. Many companies have discovered that it has raised their conversions by up to 70%.

The second advantage of conversational marketing is that you can qualify leads easily. This makes your marketing much more agile so that your sales team reaches out quickly to the best prospects.

Conversational marketing also builds trust in your company. This is particularly important for new companies who are still trying to establish a loyal customer base.

Conversational marketing allows you to integrate potential customers who engage with your company into one platform, making your website, direct marketing efforts, and social marketing valuable. This allows to connect with more customers and lead them through the sales funnel at a lower cost.

7 . Video Marketing

Video marketing is not going anywhere, and it probably will not for the next 10 years. Therefore, if you are not already using this technique, you need to add it to your repertoire now. 90% of potential customers in a recent survey indicated they wanted to see videos before making a purchase. Another survey found that companies who used video marketing grew 49% faster than those who did not.

Video marketing is a great way to build brand awareness without spending a lot of money. You can host the video on YouTube, which is the second-largest search engine in the world. Then, embed it into your website or share it on your social media feed. Depending on the video, you may also be able to use only the audio as a podcast. It is easy to set up a television to play your videos in a loop if you do trade shows and other events.

Since about 65% of your target audience are visual learners, video makes it easy to capture their attention. Most people can recall visual content that they see three days later, which is much longer than written or audio content. Additionally, creating a video often makes it easy to teach your audience a difficult concept to explain when only using words.

The types of videos that you can produce are almost endless. You may want to consider:

  • Documentaries with your branding in front or at the end
  • Branded informational videos
  • Product demonstrations
  • Product promotions
  • Product launch videos
  • Crowd-funding videos
  • Animated explainer videos
  • Live feeds
  • User-generated videos
  • Stunt videos
  • Event videos
  • Infomercials
  • Customer testimonials
  • Product reviews
  • Unboxing videos
  • Behind-the-scene videos
  • Customer support videos
  • Frequently asked questions videos

8. Interactive Content

Interactive content is any content that relies on user input to deliver a helpful answer. Using this type of content can be a fabulous way to build engagement, capture more leads and create customer loyalty.

Interactive content is helpful at each step of the sales funnel. For example, at the top interactive quizzes are a perfect way to collect data on customers interested in your product to create other marketing that shows the viewer how your product meets their needs and where they need more education.

In the middle of the funnel, interactive content is excellent at helping the buyer make a buying decision by allowing them to enter specifics about their situation. Then, you can recommend your solution.

At the bottom of the funnel, 360-degree videos are a beautiful way to encourage buyers to go ahead and make the buying decision. You can also upsell during these videos by surrounding the product with useful accessories.

There are many types of interactive content that you may want to consider, including:

  • Interactive quizzes
  • Interactive infographics
  • 360-degree videos
  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Calculators
  • Assessments
  • Ebooks
  • Emails
  • Webinars
  • Mobile apps
  • Mobile games
  • Troubleshooting tools
  • How-to guides
  • Interactive timelines
  • Augmented reality overlays

9. SERP Position Zero

Often called featured snippets, SERP Position Zero can get your website a lot of traffic. These snippets appear above the fold for many user search queries. While Google advises trying to optimize content for featured snippets, there are some tips you will want to keep in mind to try to capture this coveted position as featured snippets result in 35.1% of all clicks.

About 82% of all featured snippets are in paragraph form, and they usually incorporate a long-tail keyword. While Google will not tell its secret on exactly how it chooses website information to display, they take most featured snippets from websites already ranking high on those keywords in SERPs.

Create content that uses language that your customers use. Featured snippets are almost always well written and answer specific questions from your target audience. Most answers are between 40 and 50 words long. If you cannot adequately cover the answer in that length, consider creating a video as Google and other search engines often use them in SERP position zeros.

Especially if you are a newer company, you may want to think about using keywords with no feature snippet. A recent survey showed that the top search engine ranking on webpages where there was no feature snippet received 6% more hits than when a feature snippet was present.

10. Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce will continue to grow in 2022. In 2020, customers spent about $339.03 billion online, and consumers made over 50% of those purchases from a mobile device.

Think about the different payment methods that you are going to offer. In particular:

  • Choose a payment method designed to grow with your business.
  • Select a payment method that allows customers to pay quickly and securely to ensure that you leave your customers happy with their experience.
  • Consider fees charged by your payment processor and how you plan to handle those fees.
  • Pick a payment provider with clear analytics so that you can see how your customers are paying and other data.
  • Pick out a provider offering smooth and timely procedures for payouts, refunds, and disbursements.
  • Make sure that you can easily integrate the provider’s code into your website.

11. Alternative Search Engines

Newscasters and others have made a lot of noise in 2021 about big platforms controlling users too much and collecting data that they do not need, often without users’ permission. Therefore, you need to constantly be tracking which platforms your users are using.

Google has consistently lost market share to other search engines, but over 88% of all users continue to use this platform.

In June 2021, Bing received 1.08 billion unique monthly views. In the United States, Bing has over a 34% market share because it cooperated with Microsoft, and that share is growing. Advertising on Bing is very similar to Google Ads, but their agreements with Microsoft allow them to reach at least 66 million users that Google cannot reach.

There are many reasons that you may want to seek out alternatives to Google. The average small business spends about $8,500 per month on Google Ads, which is too much for many small businesses to handle. Additionally, the cost for each customer that clicks on your advertising can be over $50, and they average about $1.50.

12. Social Messaging

Experts predict that 60% of all customer engagements will happen through social messaging before the end of 2022. You cannot afford to lose those customers to your competitors who have embraced this technology. Social messaging is hugely successful because your customers are already using Facebook Messenger, WeChat, WhatsApp, and other platforms. Therefore, when you advertise through social messaging, you engage your customers where they are already comfortable.

Secondly, customers repeatedly say that they want speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service. Especially when you combine social messaging with chatbots, it is easy to deliver those elements to customers in wow moments that will quickly capture their attention.

Customers expect a personalized shopping experience, and it is easy to deliver that through social messaging. You can divide your customer list into different segments and send just the right message for where they are in the buyer’s journey and what products are most likely to capture their attention.

Successful marketing is never a one-way street. It is effortless to capture new insights about your customers through social messaging. This allows you to respond to negative feedback right away and helps you capture more sales when the customer is happiest with their most recent purchase.

Recent surveys show that customers expect to engage more with companies through social messaging in the future, and you cannot afford to get left behind.

13. Visual Search

Visual search allows users to capture an image and search for that product online using the image. Over 90% of the data received by the brain is visual, and you need part of those images to be yours.

Visual search is different than image search because the user enters an image without entering any text. Therefore, it is excellent for those marketing in areas where a picture speaks volumes, such as fashion, home décor and travel.

In a world that seems to be constantly going faster than ever, visual search allows users to find items online quicker. Researchers asked a group to find a particular item online. Those using text-based search found the item in two minutes and 31 seconds. Meanwhile, those who used visual search found the item in 37 seconds.

Additionally, marketing with visual search is a fantastic way to sell more to customers. Imagine that your potential customer has found an outfit online that they love. When each item can be visually searched, you can sell them the pants, shoes, tops and accessories. Then, imagine that customer loves everything about the item, but the shoes. You can easily use images on your website to show them different shoes that look great with the outfit.

A massive benefit of visual search is that you can use programs to create tags for you. You no longer have to spend hours trying to decide what words a potential customer would use to describe that item because the program does it automatically for you. This is a huge benefit when it comes to SEO and having the right keywords on your site.

14. Social Media Stories

Over 1 billion people see stories daily on Facebook-controlled platforms alone. Furthermore, people are more likely to swipe or click on links included in stories than on links contained in traditional social media. You have probably seen these stories on apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.

There are many benefits of using social media stories, including:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Creating more engagement with your followers
  • Cost-effective advertising
  • Increase traffic to webpages
  • Reach a younger target audience

15. Social Commerce

Instagram and Tik Tok are changing the world of social commerce in a big way, and it is likely to become even more significant in 2022. Over 4.48 billion people use social media, and that number has more than doubled in the last six years. Most users are active on at least six different platforms. Find success by positioning your company where your target audience is online. Almost 50% of people in the world use social media.

Secondly, social commerce is a fantastic way to increase your SEO efforts. While there is some debate about the exact numbers, the more you can get people to engage with your social media accounts, the higher your site will rank on search engines if all other things are equal.

Social commerce is a powerful branding tool. You will get authentic engagement that will keep your company at the forefront of people’s minds. Therefore, even if they never place an order when their friends are looking for the products they sell, you are likely to be the first company to pop into their minds.

Social commerce also gives you a platform to build customer trust. As people watch you interact with people who leave comments, they will form a positive impression of your company. This can be key to getting customers to place larger orders.

16. Geotargeting

You may have come out of a business and received a short message promoting a nearby business. This technology, usually based on radio-frequency, can be a great way to encourage people to take a specific action that you want them to take, such as visiting your physical location. While this technology has been around for a while, there are new uses for it worth considering.

You will want to keep in mind several points if you are going to try location-based advertising.

A larger geotarget will cost you more money than a smaller one, but more people may see your advertising. Try setting up several smaller geotargets within 5 minutes of your physical location.

Craft messages that connect with your target audience. Just because someone is in a particular location does not necessarily mean your products will interest them, so you need to create messages that connect with customers.

Your message should give those receiving it a reason to come in. You may want to offer a small discount or a free item if a person responds to your geofence marketing. Of course, you need a compelling call-to-action telling your audience exactly what you want them to do.

Using different types of geofencing helps ensure that you reach the maximum number of people in your target audience. You may want to set your geofencing to only display during a specific time of day or when the user completes a particular behavior. You can also set geofences to show to all people who visit a specific website. This makes them very useful for retargeting customers who have already visited your website or physical location.

 

Setting Your Digital Marketing Goals for 2022

Now that you understand the trends, it is time to set your marketing goals for 2022. To get you thinking in the right direction, consider putting a goal for the year in each of these categories and working on them regularly throughout the year.

As with all goals, they should be SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Then, rate your progress regularly.

  • Mobile-friendly websites
  • SEO
  • Local SEO/Google Maps Optimization
  • Online Reviews
  • Content Marketing
  • SERP Position Zero
  • Alternative Search Engines
  • Mobile Commerce
  • Conversational marketing
  • Chatbots
  • Video Marketing
  • Social Messaging
  • Visual Search
  • Social Commerce
  • Interactive Content
  • Geotargeting

Now that you have your marketing goals in place for 2022, you may feel overwhelmed and wonder how you will accomplish all that you need to before the end of the year. Let us help you meet your digital marketing goals in 2022.

 

References

 

Google Algorithm Changes September 2021

Google Algorithm Update September 2021

If you manage a website, there are some Google algorithm updates and new features that you need to implement. September was a quieter month than the summer when Page User experience rolled out, but you should not have stopped working on your site throughout the month.

Google Discover Rollout

Google is rolling out a new feature that allows people to follow your site and get automatic notifications whenever you post a new article. To take advantage of this feature, you need either an RSS or an Atom feed on your website.

Google Warns Against Republishing Content

Google’s John Mueller once again warned webmasters not to republish content found on another site if they want to rank for those keywords. He says you can share content from another site if you are trying to broaden your audience, but you will not rank well for the chosen keywords.

Updates to Google News

Google will no longer require webmasters to enable amp for their news stories to appear in Google News. Furthermore, users will be sent to the publisher’s site to read the store instead of reading it from an RSS feed.

Google Rolls Out New Automotive Features Section

Google users in the United States can now learn more about the vehicle they are considering straight from the Google search engine page. This feature shows possible prices for different trim levels and various options. Google says they license this content, and it does not come from the internet.

Use Product Structured Markup/ Schema

Google’s John Mueller says that you still should use product structured markup/schema even if you do not have product reviews on your website. You either need reviews, the aggregate rating, or offers to use this markup, but you do not need all three.

Google Adds New Features for Travel and Leisure Businesses

Google has added a new ticket button to their listings of attractions. They are also creating new things to do listings that will include images, reviews, pricing and a booking link that will be shown to users that indicate an interest in an attraction or a particular area. They are also offering a new eco-certified badge for hotel listings.

Google Releases New E-commerce SEO Guide

Google has released a new seven-page e-commerce SEO guide designed to help businesses take their business online. Covered topics include:

  • Understanding where e-commerce content can appear on Google
  • How to share your product data with Google
  • The importance of using structured data in e-commerce
  • How to launch a new e-commerce website
  • How to design a URL structure for an e-commerce website
  • Help understanding an e-commerce website’s structure
  • Learn common UX patterns

Google Search Makes Changes

Google Search has announced that they are rolling out several changes to search result pages. Viewers will now be able to use a “visually browsable” interface. The company has also added more information to their about this result box, including information pulled from a company’s about us page and what others are saying about the company.

 

Sources:

Top 10 Ways To Boost E-commerce Sales

Increase Your E-Commerce Sales

Moving customers through the sales funnel is key to your e-commerce business. Yet, it can be challenging to connect with them and convince them that you have the right answer to their issues. Since your target audience is never without their smartphones with the internet on it, you must connect with your customers each step of the way. The companies who do it best are successful. Some techniques have proven more successful than others, so you will want to be sure and use them.

1. Connect With Your Target Audience Where They Are

The more you keep your company’s name at the forefront of your audience’s minds, the more likely they are to think of you when they need your products. Almost every company can benefit from posting on Facebook regularly. The best time to post depends on your type of business. Consider these survey results:

  • Consumer goods- Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m.
  • Media- Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. Friday at 8:30 a.m.
  • Education – Wednesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 5 p.m.
  • Nonprofits- Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Technology – Wednesdays from 9-to-11 a.m.
  • Healthcare- Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-to-12 p.m.
  • Finance – Wednesdays at 12 p.m.
  • Recreation – Tuesdays at 2 p.m., Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m.

2. Use Influencers to Create Buzz Around Your Company

You can change a lot of people’s minds when the right influencers are promoting your company. If you are a small-to-mid-size company, consider using multiple influencers that have a smaller following. Before hooking up with an influencer, spend some time learning about their followers as you want their followers and your target audience to match as closely as possible. If you are working with a limited budget, adding small influencers can help you attract more attention.

3. Employ Instagram-worthy Photos

While you can find plenty of free photo sites, they will not have the same impact as having a professional take photo of your products. Design each image to have an emotional effect on your target audience. People love to see themselves when they look at your photos, so choose options that feature people like your target audience. Select images that help to emphasize the unique selling points of your products.

4. Utilize Structured Data

On average, creating structured data for each of your web pages increases click-through rates by 43%, impressions by 1% and average position by 12%. Part of the reason is that your site is more likely to get selected for one of Google’s unique features, such as their shopping carts, knowledge panels, and other notable aspects appearing at the top of their page. They make the process simple by offering an easy-to-use tool to add to your code. If your site operates on WordPress, you can even use a tool to take most of the manual labor out of the process.

5. Garner Reviews

Over 70% of customers read online reviews before making a purchasing decision, with the average customer reading 10 reviews before deciding on the product meeting their needs the best. Therefore, you should make it easy for customers to find your reviews by claiming sites where your customers are most likely to look. Create ways to make it easy for customers to leave reviews when they are happiest with your products. Be sure to react to the reviews left regularly. Customers usually ignore reviews written more than three months ago, so you must keep harvesting new reviews an ongoing priority. Depending on your industry, some sites you may want to claim include:

  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Angie’s List
  • Choice
  • Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Consumer Reports
  • Manta

6. Claim Your Google My Business Page

If you have not already done so, you need to claim your Google My Business page. This location is one of the first places where customers will leave reviews, and you will want others to read those reviews and your responses. Not only does your target audience member see this pop up when they Google the name of your business, but Google is also more likely to pull from this section when they are creating their unique features. Therefore, you should take the time to optimize your listing. Start by filling out your business profile. Take advantage of Google Posts to promote sales, information and other details about your business. As with other reviews, you should be responding to the reviews regularly. You should also write your business description carefully so that it contains your most important keywords without looking spammy.

7. Create a Strong Navigation System

Do not frustrate your customers by making them spend hours on your site before they arrive at the products that they are most interested in buying, or they will head to your customer’s site. Most people look at a webpage in an F pattern. Imagine an F appearing on your page and put the product’s critical details somewhere along that imaginary line. If you have many products to offer, consider letting them lazy load as you only have about two seconds to get your website loaded before your customer heads to your competition. In order to encourage sales, it takes a great product described using your company’s tone by an outstanding copywriter on a well-designed page.

8. Offer a Secure Buying System

Almost 70% of shopping carts are abandoned, but you can do things to lower that number. Start by looking at your additional costs, such as shipping and handling, to see that you have them set at reasonable fees. Offer the customer a small reward for giving you their email address early in their visit and automatically complete this part of the form. Gather only the information that you need to complete the sale. Give your customers an opportunity to checkout as a guest. Allow customers to pay in as many ways as possible. Complete the steps to get an SSL certificate on your site. Provide straightforward ways to reach your customer service and equip the agents to answer most questions.

9. Give Your Customer More Than They Expect

There are many ways that you can give your customers more than they expect. Even if you must raise your prices a little, consider offering free shipping or free shipping over a reasonable dollar amount. Create opt-in offers that allow you to capture their email address. Suggest packages that give customers bargains if they buy more at one time.

10. Make Use of Remarketing Techniques

One of the keys to successful remarketing is to hyper-focus on what pages a customer visited. For example, if a customer reads one blog and left, you will want to capture them with a general message. Alternatively, if the customer visited several pages and looked at products in one of your categories, target them specifically with content fitting that category. Spend some of your resources retargeting customers who have brought from you in the past. Assuming they were happy with their first purchase, they are more likely to return and statistics show that they will usually buy more at one time.

Keep these tips in mind and watch your e-commerce business thrive. If you need help implementing them, be sure to contact us.

Google Algorithm Updates for January 2021

January Algorithm Updates

The new year started quietly for Google algorithm updates. For the most part, it stayed that way throughout the month.

SMITH Algorithm

The company placed renewed emphasis on the SMITH algorithm as the year started. Google designed this tool to help them understand passages within a document. They did not mean it to replace BERT, but for both instruments to complement each other. This change may be huge, especially for researchers, because it may help Google locate more relevant documents for particular topics.

Index Coverage Data Improvements

Google has been quietly rolling out improvements to their indexes since mid-November. This index that you can view in your Google Search Console shows you what Google found when trying to crawl your site. You may have gotten a generic crawl anomaly message in the past, but the company is trying to be more helpful. Now, if there is a problem, you will see:

  • Indexed but blocked – These pages were blocked by a robots.txt when Google tried to crawl them.
  • Indexed Without Content – Google did not find any content when crawling these pages.
  • 404 errors- Google says soft 404 error reporting is more accurate.

Google Page Rankings Influenced by Site Quality

SEO experts worldwide have long debated whether Google issues rankings based on entire sites or if they issue rankings based on individual pages. The answer is a little of both, depending on what information they can discover. Therefore, you need to make sure that it is clear how each page on your site fits into your overall scheme to build your domain authority. You also need to make each page is the best that it can be to get a higher quality score and to impress real people.

We want to help you have a more productive year in 2021. Let us help you move towards your SEO New Year’s resolutions.

5 Signs Your Website Needs Work

If you have been working hard on your website, but you are disappointed in the results that you are seeing, then you may be overlooking some fundamental issues. Taking care of these issues will often help your website rise to the top of the rankings. Your Website is Not Mobile Friendly In a recent poll, […]

How to Get Your New Business On Google Searches – 5 Things You Can Do Right Now

How To Get Your New Business Found On Google

 

You have a brand new website for your brand new business – what now? How do you start generating business online? Follow the five steps below and you’ll get a jump start to having your business ranking online!

1. Create a Google My Business Page

A Google My Business page is the maps listings you see on Google maps when performing a search for places near you. Here is an example of what it looks like:

It shows you information about the business, hours, and also a link to your website. This is essential especially for any business that offers services to local businesses or people in a certain area.

To Set up Google My Business:

  1. Follow this link: https://www.google.com/business
  2. Sign in (you’ll need a Google account – you can create one as well by clicking “create account”)
  3. Follow the prompts to create the account:
    1. Enter your business name
    2.  Question: Do you want to add a location customers can visit like a store or office?
      1. This question is for Google to know if it should add a marker at your physical location so people can visit your shop or just list your service areas.
    3. Enter your address
      1. Google may ask you to move a marker onto your physical location
    4. Question: Do you also serve customers outside this location?
      1. Tell Google if you also make house calls or deliver to your customers
    5. List the areas you serve
    6. Chose the category that best fits your business
    7. Add your contact info
    8. Click “finish”
    9. Google will be sending a PIN number to the location you listed. You will need this to verify your business – this usually comes within five days

Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Make sure that you add pictures, a detailed description and make regular Google My Business posts to keep your profile up to date and looking appealing to your potential customers.

Don’t have time to optimize your Google My Business page? Contact us!

 

2. Add Your Business To Local Directories

 

Submit your website to as many local listing directories as you can. This influx of references to your website and business will help Google learn about what your business is, where it is located and who your target market is. Here is a list of local directories that you can submit your website to.

 

 

3. Submit Your Website to Google

It takes Google some time to recognize a new website, but you can speed up the process by submitting your website to Google. This involves setting up an account with Google Search Console.

To do this:

1. Go here: https://search.google.com/search-console/about and click “start now”

2. Sign in with your Google login

3. Click “add property” under the search dropdown

4. Under “domain”, type in your website domain (without the https://www.)

5. You’ll need to verify your domain. The easiest way to do this is to copy the TXT record and call your web host to ask them to direct you where to install this. Let them know that it is a TXT record that you’d like to add to your DNS for your domain.

(Not sure how to do this? We can help! Ask us for a quote to install your Google Search Console code!)

6) To submit your website, click in the search box at the top of the Search Console page, and type in your website url.

7) Google will bring you to a page where you can select “request indexing” – this will send off the request to Google to start crawling your website!

 

Be sure to check Google Search Console often – it will let you know if there are any errors on your website!

Need help analyzing your Google Search Console reports? We can help!

 

 

 

4. Make Sure Your Content Has the Right Keywords

Your website should mention both your services/products and service area somewhere on the home page – preferably the website page title and within a few sentences into your content. Take note of the “keywords” people use when walking into your storefront or asking you about your services. If you notice that people use a common phrase, make sure that the phrase is mentioned on your website.

Keep in mind that the home page is typically the most common page to rank first, so while this is happening, make sure that the most common services/keywords are on that page.

 

 

 

5. Ask For Backlinks

If you have any vendors or clients that could list you on their website, ask them to link to your website, and in return, you can link to their site. Websites or vendors that are in the same industry as your own will be the most beneficial.

 

 

These five things will help Google:
1) learn that your website exists and
2) know that your website is important to your service area
This will help give your website a quick boost – although it won’t guarantee a page one placement, this is an excellent start!

As a business owner, you are very busy and may not be able to perform these important tasks. We can help you rank on Google with our SEO plans!

Google Local Services in Milwaukee – How To Get Listed

Google Local Services – What is It and How Do I Sign Up?

Google is constantly coming up with new ways to display search results (and make money of course). One of their newest products is called “Local Services” and is for service-based businesses only and is another way for your business to show up 1st on google and get more overall exposure.

What is Google Local Services?

Google local services are ads that are catered to specific industries in the service sector such as plumbing, locksmiths, HVAC services, electricians & more. These ads show up towards the top of google searches and display your business, ratings & a link to call your service.

Once the searcher clicks on one of these listings, google asks the user to confirm the job they are looking for and where they are located. If your business fits the job description and the service area, the searcher will be able to view your listing in detail before calling your business.

What makes this service unique is that you pay per qualified lead instead of per click. This unique google product is slowly being released across the U.S. and we are starting to see these pop up in the Milwaukee area. Google also gives you the opportunity to dispute a charge if the lead is a spam lead.

Not only do you pay per lead, but there are no large lists of keywords to manage or A/B testing ad formats. This makes management easy, and if you have a PPC company managing these, much more affordable than traditional CPC ads.

 

Google Local Services show on both desktop and mobile devices.

 

Why Should You Sign Up For Google Local Services in Milwaukee?

Right now, there are not many businesses in Milwaukee using this – the less competition, the more likely you will grab a large portion of the leads looking for this service. We can’t guarantee this, but if you are one of a few businesses in your industry advertising, you may not even need to pay per lead because there are no paid ads ahead of you!!

If you are in the following industries, you can take advantage of these services in the Milwaukee Area: 

  • Appliance Repair Service
  • Auto Service Technician
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Electrician
  • Event Planner
  • Garage Door Pro
  • HVAC Pro
  • House Cleaner
  • Junk Removal Provider
  • Lawn Care Provider
  • Locksmith
  • Mover
  • Pest Control Technician
  • Pet Care Provider
  • Pet Groomer
  • Photographer
  • Plumber
  • Roofer
  • Tree Service Provider
  • Tutor
  • Water Damage Service Provider
  • Window Cleaner
  • Window Service Provider

Not utilizing Google Local Services, and don’t know where to start? We can Help!

 

How Do Google Local Services Ads Work?

After signing up for their service and being approved by Google, you will set a weekly budget and are charged on a per lead basis. The lead cost is set based on the industry your business is in which will vary based on the category and market. Typically, you’ll see leads costing you from $5-$140 per lead. 

Don’t want to pay per lead? This is possible! You can list your business for free with google local services, however, your listing will likely not show at the top of results – they show up below the paid ads and are not displayed as “Google Guaranteed”.

What is “Google Guaranteed”? Upon sign up, Google will screen your business which typically includes license and insurance verification & employee background checks. Once you are approved, you get a green check mark next to your listing saying you’re “Google  Guaranteed”- the ultimate Google stamp of approval. Along with this “Google Guaranteed” stamp, if a customer is not satisfied with work quality, google may refund up to the amount paid for jobs booked through Local Service Ads. Google puts a lifetime cap of $2,000 for this coverage. You can read more about the Google Guarantee HERE

This Sounds Amazing! How Do I Get Started With Google Local Services?

 

You can start the sign-up process here.

You will fill out a form and google will let you know if the service you provide is currently available in the area you are located. If it is, you will then be able to estimate your spend to give you an idea for a weekly budget.

From there,  you create your listing and Local Services Profile.

After that, you will then be asked to provide license and insurance details.

In order to be “Google Guaranteed,” you will need to pass the background checks and have your license and insurance details verified.

 

If you need help signing up, we offer management services! Contact Us to learn more!

 

SEO is More Human Than You Think

Search engine optimization sounds technical, but it’s more human-oriented than we think. Humans are on the other end of every search phrase, so it makes sense that the best strategy is to write engaging content. Google has stated this fact numerous times over the years in different ways. As long as you write good content and don’t use black hat SEO techniques, you don’t need to worry about being burned by an algorithm update.

Content is King

Original, valuable content is one of the most important aspects of your website and SEO. Google’s goal is to display high-quality, relevant web pages in the top 10 search results. These webpages should answer the question searchers have when they entered the search term. The hundreds of ranking factors that Google looks at indicate the quality of the page in some way. Google’s algorithm updates are about ensuring the best content ranks high in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

You can strategize high-quality content by paying writers to create content for your website and either brushing up on your grammar or having any content you post to go through an editor first. Keeping content free of errors helps establish your website as an authority. It should also be engaging to create loyal readers.

Social Proof Matters

Social proof is a phenomenon in which people give more credibility to behavior, the more they see other people doing it. If you’re trying to choose between two new businesses, you will feel more comfortable choosing the one that has a greater number of positive customer reviews. Customer reviews, likes, and retweets are indicators of social proof online.

Positive reviews contribute to organic search performance. Search engines perceive customer reviews as a sign of trustworthiness and authority. Google reviews are especially important in Google rankings for local businesses because Google displays important information like customer ratings about the top three businesses it lists in the SERPs. You can encourage customers to leave reviews by responding to current reviews, asking them to write reviews, and adding your business to multiple review sites.

User Experience is Key

Metrics like bounce rate and page load times, which affect user experience, are part of ranking algorithms. Search engines understand that people get frustrated easily with long page load times. Webpages are expected to load instantly with today’s technology. Users will often hit the back button if the page takes too long to load. This can increase your bounce rate, which is the percentage of users who leave your website after seeing one page.

The average bounce rate varies among industries. In general, bounce rates of 60 percent and below are normal. 90 percent and above is when you may want to consider there is something chasing people off of your website. Design pages with user experience in mind by making all pages on your website mobile-friendly and quick to load. Use ads sparingly as well. Pages cluttered with ads deter readers.

A Personal Touch

Google delivers personalized search results based on each person’s browsing history. This increases the importance of appealing to your target audience. Write content for your website with the target audience in mind. Don’t focus too much on the SEO beyond using the keyword at least once and naturally within the content.

SEO techniques like header tags and meta descriptions also matter, but content is written for humans. Incorporate pictures into your content to improve their readability, and keep paragraphs short. Also understand that because of personalized search results, not everyone will necessarily see the same SERPs for the same search term. The goal is to reach people who are interested in your content.

SEO is becoming more and more human as Google refines its algorithm and technology evolves. Webpages load faster, so users have higher demands. Mobile search traffic has also overtaken desktop traffic, resulting in a necessity for mobile-friendly design. Google’s SERPs is even personalized now based on what sites an individual frequently visits, their search history and other data that Google gathers on them. Businesses must focus on providing high-quality content, and use SEO to support that content.

Are Your Website Forms Going to Your Spam? Try This

How To Make Sure Your Forms Are Being Received

A marketer’s worst nightmare is when they send traffic and potential leads to a website but their client is not receiving the forms that are filled out.

We have run into this issue a few years ago. Short of asking our clients “hey did you receive this lead” after ever form fill-out, we didn’t always know if our clients received the leads coming in. Now, thanks to SendGrid, we can be confident leads are going to our clients’ inboxes!

If you aren’t a web developer, feel free to send this email over to your developer and they can set this up for you!

How To Install Sendgrid on Your WordPress Website:

First, Set up the API: 

  1. Log into SendGrid or create an account
  2. Go to Settings (on the left menu)
  3. Click API
  4. Click Create API Key
  5. Name it the company name
  6. Restricted Access
  7. toggle the mail send option on (should be a bright blue)
  8. Click Create & View
  9. Copy the API Key

Install the Plugin on Your Website

  1. Go to Plugins > Add New
  2. Search for Sendgrid
  3. Install and Activate the first option
  4. Go to Settings >sendgrid
  5. Enter the api Key
  6. Add the Name and sending address
  7. Click “save”
  8. Test the email by sending it to yoruself.

Once you have confirmed you can receive emails, you’re all set! 

Want to make sure your emails are coming in? You can check your sendgrid account to see what has been sent and the status of the email (has it been delivered/bounced/opened).