If you have a local business and were ever involved with the former Google Places program, you probably noticed that a few months ago your profile was overhauled to be consistent with the new Google+ platform. In addition to the aesthetic changes, Google has been incorporating local search—previously known as "Maps" results—into the organic listings more than ever before. Without a Google+ profile, especially one that is optimized, it will be hard to survive the competition of local search as Google continues to put more importance on it. Whether you currently have a profile or are starting from scratch, here are some of the most important things to pay attention to:
Claim your profile
Often considered one of the big players in the social media trifecta, LinkedIn plays a big part in how modern companies do business. Many people are aware of how LinkedIn works for their personal resume and job prospects, but don't recognize the benefit it can have in the bigger business marketplace. What's different about LinkedIn is that it's a social network just for business. Sure, you make connections and contacts, but it has a sense of heightened professionalism and credentials that make it a valuable tool to add to your efforts in increasing your company's brand and visibility. If you're new to LinkedIn or aren't quite sure how you can use it as a business tool, here are a few tips:
Build a Company Profile
When it comes to online advertising, there are seemingly endless possibilities of where you could allocate your marketing dollars. And while there are lots of options available to place online ads, you want to make sure that the outlet you choose is going to be the most successful in catering to your target audience.
YouTube has long been known as another social media channel that businesses can use to promote their brand, but as the 2nd largest search engine (behind Google, which its owner), businesses are finding that YouTube has much more impact on their online presence than just through social activity.
More and more YouTube videos are incorporated into Google organic searches each day, and when used properly, YouTube videos can be a great way for potential customers to find you first, not just showing current customers what you do through social channels.
When looking to build your business and brand online, there are many trains of thought on what works best. However, one of the most common needs for websites of all shapes and sizes is a solid body of links from outside websites pointing to your site. This is also commonly referred to as off-site SEO liked we mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, SEO for Beginners. While Google also looks at your site's on-site keyword usage, another important ranking factor is the quantity and quality of other links that point to your site. Google’s algorithm is a constantly evolving entity, but the need for quality links is ever present.
Growing by nearly 20 million users in just the past year, Pinterest has certainly made a splash in the social media scene. Used as a virtual pin board for organizing links through the use of images, Pinterest has become wildly popular with users who want to keep track of and find new ideas for recipes, fashion, design, tips, and more. Pinterest has experienced such staggering growth over the past two years that many are calling it "the next social media giant" along the ranks of Facebook and Twitter.
But before your business jumps on the Pinterest bandwagon, it's important to first determine if it will contribute to your company's bottom line. If you're not sure whether Pinterest would be a good addition to your social media landscape, ask yourself these questions:
As the Internet becomes more dominant in our society, the competition in the online marketplace is constantly increasing, too. Businesses wanting to have an edge over their online competition need to do more than just have a website. A successful site should be properly designed for viewers and should be used as the center of a larger campaign for increased online visibility.
So how can you gauge how well your site is performing amongst your online competitors? Here are a few tips:
Search Engine Rankings:
Is it better to have one large website or several targeted websites related to individual products or services you offer? Through our experience with clients across the nation in various industries, we have found that many businesses have multiple websites, but often are not maintained or optimized like they should be. As a general rule, it's almost always more effective to have one authoritative website rather than multiple, small sites. Why? One website is far more productive for your budget and reaching optimal rankings while also creating brand consistency,
Whether a visitor comes to your site via search engine or referral link, you only have a few key seconds to convince them that your site provides the information, product, or service they were looking for. If your site can't answer these questions on first glance, you're probably missing out on a lot of site traffic that could otherwise turn into leads, customers, and overall profit for your business.
These five questions include:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Why are you good at it?
- Where are you?
- What do I need to do next?
These questions might seem overly simple or self-explanatory, but each is an important factor in communicating how your site (and company) can fill a need for your visitors.