A Beginner’s Guide to Local SEO

Local marketingIn recent years, local SEO has risen in importance – due to the latest devices and browsers placing a greater emphasis on search results that reflect user preferences. Consequently, regarding search results, the specific location of a user are increasingly likely to be used to determine relevant information.

Effective Local SEO Can Work Like Advertising

Local SEO now matters more than ever for websites. While those sites that utilise local SEO will have an advantage over their local competitors when it comes to targeted traffic. Rather than advertising to attract people to your website, effective local SEO means that prospective customers can find your site just by searching for it.

Focus On Local-Related Keywords

To maximise the potential of local SEO on your own website, firstly do some research. For instance, establish what people are looking for in terms of local-related keywords. This should involve looking for terms that begin with your industry or services, followed by your town, or your county, or your postcode. As an example: “Lawnmower repairs + Bolton”.

How To Use Local-Related Terms On Your Website

Local-related terms should then be used in a variety of ways. These include in title and meta tags, headers and in content (though in the case of the latter use keywords sparingly). Having your locality as part of your domain name can also be beneficial in terms of local SEO.

The Importance Of Good Reviews And Citations

Good reviews on Google Places will boost your page rank, as will citations. It makes sense, that when a person is searching for something, and they have many options to choose from, they’ll opt for the option with the best reviews. You should also actively encourage people to write a review. This can either be done on your own website, or on other pages you manage elsewhere on the web. Working not too unlike backlinks, achieving citations from major web directories will have a more significant impact than citations in a web directory with little traffic. Getting citations from your local area will also indicate that you are a respected company in your local community.

How Social Media Can Drive Traffic To Your Website

Using social media is also important to highlight your business or service. On the likes of Facebook and Twitter you’ll be able to add your address and put up a link to your website. Being listed on Google Places can be even more effective however, and having a Google+ page will also help to improve the level of traffic your site attracts.

Are you using local SEO? Please leave your comments below…

3 Things to Avoid When Sending an Email Campaign

canstockphoto14885269Everyone has been on the receiving end of an unwanted email from a marketer, but from the senders point of view, if you know why people delete without reading, you can avoid the 3 main pitfalls and create a great email campaign.

1. Irrelevant Content

The classic marketing email is written without much thought towards the end user, and whilst they may look like works of art and be stuffed full of links to products and services, potential clients won’t click through if they don’t think it has relevance to them. To avoid this pitfall:
• Only contact people who have reached out to you – purchasing lists of emails will dramatically reduce your hit rate.
• Make your content interesting – make it clear as to why they should look at your site or click on a particular link

2. Content is Too General

The next pitfall of marketing email campaigns is to send the same email to every recipient, regardless of whether they’re a new client or an old faithful. It saves time for you, but means that people will be much more dismissive. To create more personalised emails:
• Group your mailing lists – this will allow you to send out targetted emails, and whilst it means your email campaign consists of a dozen different messages, you’ll get a much higher return rate as people click through on relevant links.
• Set out your email with hyperlinks – this allows your potential clients to navigate to the parts that interest them most

3. Lengthy Content

In today’s digital age, even someone who is careful who they give their email addresses will still receive a dozen or more messages a day, whilst for most people this figure can almost reach three digits. This means that they don’t have time to sit and trawl through lengthy messages so you need to:
• Put the offer in the topic line – this way, your recipients can see immediately if they want to open it and read further
• Don’t use Flash or big images – these take ages to load, and whilst they may look impressive, you’ll get many more responses from text heavy emails with clear links and your logo clearly displayed.

Monitor Your Successes

Once you’ve got your short, concise and clearly laid out emails ready to go to small sub-sections of your mailing list, you need to have some way of monitoring the click back rate. You can ask for feedback from those people who do respond, but you can easily draw inferences from where in the email the clickthrough came, as well as which groups responded at what time of day. Use this data to inform the next stages of your email campaign.

Do you have any tips for avoiding email campaign failure? Please leave your comments below…

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google Analytics

canstockphoto16465864Knowing how a website is performing within a real-time scenario is crucial to make any changes that are necessary as well as to ascertain the effectiveness of a specific advertising approach. While intuition may have a place within this field, there are numerous tools which can provide the insight and clarity to develop this proactive position. One of the most respected systems currently on the market is known as Google Analytics. How does this software function and what are a handful of the most basic concepts to appreciate? Let’s take a closer look a the answers to these questions.

What is Addressed?

Before we look at how Google Analytics functions, we should appreciate some of the primary questions that it can help to answer. A few examples can be:

•How many visitors does my site attract?

•Is my site compatible with mobile devices?

•Is my content popular?

•What are my rankings?

•How did a specific blog affect the exposure of my site?

It is clear to see that Google Analytics is crucial in helping the owner of any site make the most important decisions at the appropriate times.

Installing the Software

It should first be pointed out that Google Analytics is absolutely free. All that is required is a current Google account. Then, Analytics can be managed centrally from this portal. It is wise to mention that only the webmaster (or business manager) should have access to such an account; it is permanent and can be used far into the future.

The Audience

The dashboard of Google Analytics will display some extremely useful data. One example can be seen in the audience feature. This tells the website owner about the demographics of their visitors. For instance, what percentage of this figure is accessing the site via a mobile device? Where are they located and does this measurement change based upon specific posts? Such questions are keys to address the right audience at the right times.

Page Reports

Which pages are drawing the most attention? Has a recent post suddenly caused a spike in the number of visitors? Page reports are great ways to determine if the content is headed in the right direction. Other metrics that can be viewed here are how long an average visitor remains on a page and the overall “bounce” rate (how quickly individuals enter and leave).

Enhanced Inbound Traffic

These are only a handful of the most basic variables addressed by Google Analytics. By correctly interpreting this data, powerful SEO changes can be made. The end result will be a highly targeted audience that is addressed with only the most relevant content. As Google Analytics can be centrally accessed and all data is current, much of the guesswork can be taken out of any marketing campaign. This process nonetheless takes a bit of time to learn but it is still a fact that the platform is an extremely powerful tool to employ.

Do you use Google Analytics for your website? Please leave your comments below…

How to Use Youtube for Effective Social Media Marketing

canstockphoto12856003YouTube’s own statistics show that the video-sharing website has more than 1 Billion users, and not only that but the number of hours people spend watching videos on YouTube each month is up an incredible 50% year on year. So, how can you capitalise on YouTube’s successful social platform?

Starting out on YouTube

As you’d expect from the leading video-sharing website, you can start your YouTube marketing journey via desktop or mobile – although desktop may be the best option to start with. It’s also worth noting you can’t currently create a new channel using the YouTube App for Android or iOS.

First, to get started on YouTube you’ll need a Google Account. Although you can opt for a personal channel, it’s a far better idea to go for a business channel to get the best results from using YouTube for social media marketing. Once signed up, the nerve centre of your activity is your YouTube channel – your account.

YouTube Channel

Think of your channel as your homepage – here you can control what your audience sees in each of the sections.It’s important to customise your channel; making it stand out from competitors. Your channel art should be a single image 2560px x 1440px, using a safe area of 1546px x 423px centred, but don’t worry if you’re not design savvy, YouTube offers a range of channel art templates.

Adding content to your channel

You don’t need to be a professional Director to record your first video, in fact now most of us are using smart phones, video content has never been so easy to create. We recommend a quiet area and use of a tripod to keep your recording professional.

Use your first video to explain your company and remember to keep it short and sweet. Don’t be afraid to ask viewers to subscribe to your channel and tell them what they can expect in the future. Once you’ve followed the upload instructions and your video is live on your channel, you can set this to auto-play to new visitors as a channel trailer.

Tip: It’s always good practice to preview your channel as a visitor. You can do this by heading to your channel and click view as public.

Sharing and embedding

To increase those all-important video views, you should include your YouTube channel name/link in future marketing. It’s worth joining your Twitter account with YouTube and tweet links through to your YouTube videos. You can also embed your YouTube video in to your website by clicking share under the video and selecting embed link, from there copy the code given and paste this in to your website.

YouTube Analytics is highly recommended to keep track of how effective your social media marketing is; giving you insights in to user demographics, traffic sources and audience engagement.

Are you using Youtube as part of your social media marketing? Please leave your comments below…