Are you paying attention at all to the current trends of social media? Of course, you are. Your business depends on it. Naturally, I’m sure you are seeing the decline in ROI on Facebook and hearing about the companies leaving it because of the decrease in engagement, likes and shares. This is a very public change in how Facebook views their relationship with businesses and the end-users. You can find many articles revealing the click fraud and how only 7% of the content from your friends even gets seen. You also know from these articles and from Facebook itself that you need to pay for ads or pay to boost posts if you want your content seen by your fans.
So what should a business do if they’re going to grow their business, customer engagement and, more importantly, increase the number of paying customers acquired from Social Media?
Well, if you want your business to continue losing traction online and remain hidden from your customers, you will stay on Facebook and not play their new game, or you will sink money into their ads or boost your posts with very little return as even the end users are moving to Pinterest or Instagram.
Studies show that over 70% of online consumers use search to connect with local businesses. The majority will click on a first-page result, mainly on one of the top 3 results.
According to a study from 2014 by 2 market research firms, Ipsos Media and Purchased, the percentage of consumers who search for local information using a smartphone is at:
- Home 53%
- On the go 51% (car, bus etc.)
- In-Store 41%
- Workplace 33%
- Restaurant/Bar 33%
- Hotel/Motel 25%
- Airport 20%
There is a solution, and it’s been around for a while, even if they keep changing the name. It’s Google My Business (GMB). It used to be called Google Places. Google My Business allows you to increase the visibility of your local business with clear contact information and visual content that works across devices.
Many consider Google failed to properly pursue other social media platforms like Buzz, Orkut, and Wave. But they successfully purchased YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform — so that puts that assertion to rest right there.
My business will show up on Google Map results and link to a GMB page with valuable information for my customer or potential customer searching for the service or product I offer is a definite advantage over other social venues. The additional distinct advantage is that my content will assist in my natural search results. I can also get reviews and add photos and videos and the usual posts and promotions you would expect to see on another social platform.
This isn’t official; however, I can see GMB is poised to take over mobile devices.
You are searching for a restaurant or coffee shop to meet friends this evening. You pop on Google Maps to search for a place in a specific area. The results pop up. The top result is an Ads Advertiser, which is also in that area and relevant to your search term. You click on that, and it opens the Google My Business page showing the hours, the menu, reviews, pictures and the map location. It comes time to meet your friends. You use the map app to guide you to the restaurant, and upon arrival, a check-in window pops up. WOW! You don’t need to use another app for that: you check in and tag your friends. Since you checked in, you just now unlocked a special they are having.
By the way, the click to the GMB from the map app is tied to Ads, so you have more customer data. The unlocked special is also connected to Ads, and when the customer clicks and even makes a purchase, you now have conversion data tied back to GMB and Ads.
As I said, this is not official or even in the works that I’m aware of, but I can totally see that working.
So how do you set up a Google My Business page?
You will need to set up a Google Profile and Gmail account if you haven’t done so already. This will be connected to your Google My Business Page. Make sure you’re signed into this address and out of any other Google accounts you use.
You will list your business on the Google My Business platform. Enter your company’s phone number, address, website, description etc.
It goes without saying that your business description should be rich with relevant keywords that your prospective and current customers use to find your company when searching on the web. Naturally, you will write the description in a human-friendly tone. Keep in mind that your business description is the most important content when you set up Google My Business because this information will appear in search results.
You will now verify your business listing to prove that you aren’t a robot or someone attempting to create a dummy account for gaming the system. Don’t get me started on the number of people that try this. You will do this either by receiving a postcard or text message or a phone call. Again, I strongly stress that your contact information must match what you’ve added to your new Google My Business profile.
Now optimise your new business page with plenty of original content, including photos and videos, and definitely post often with promotions and things happening at your location.
Finally, and the most important is to monitor your GMB. Closely monitor your reviews score and analytics. The average score of your customer feedback will be visible; thus, gaining many low ratings can negatively affect your brand’s reputation: ask your most loyal customers to share their thoughts. Reach out to your brand’s promoters, and ask them to share their thoughts on your service. When adding the location extension to your Ads account, your address and phone number, and reviews will appear for customers to see.
That’s it. You are on your way to an even more successful online presence that will work across devices.
Creative Marketing Strategies for Industries That Can’t Use Traditional Paid Advertising Platforms
Changing laws, cultural shifts in belief, and evolving terms of service can cause advertising issues for businesses in specific industries these days. Different types of industries commonly find themselves restricted from using traditional paid advertising methods like Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. Industries that can’t use traditional paid advertising methods will need to get creative about how they attract customers.
One thing to consider is that if an industry is banned from advertising on Adwords, then that likely means website owners and other publishers involved in that industry are not able to use the advertising platform too. That means website publishers in specific industries are always looking for new advertisers on their websites. Most websites make their money from advertising. So not being able to use Google Ads on their websites to quickly bring in revenue impacts a lot of site owner’s abilities to adequately fund their websites.
These website owners often have thousands of people browsing their pages, and they usually have a vast, active social media following. These website owners typically send lots of emails to their extensive lists of email addresses they have collected from people related to your industry. They often send lots of regular mail to their large mailing lists too. They are often very influential in the community. These website publishers are usually very active on social media, so they have often built lots of strong industry relationships both online and offline.
As a business looking to advertise without being able to use Google or Facebook, building robust and mutually beneficial business relationships with website owners active in your industry should be a huge priority. Take some time to make a list of all the industry websites and social media pages with lots of viewers and followers. Reach out to these website owners and industry influencers directly. Make sure you contact all of the relevant industry directories and industry forums. Directories and forums in specific industries receive a large number of daily visitors.
Most of these publishers are eagerly waiting to hear from businesses looking to advertise in this kind of situation, so they will likely respond quickly. Just ask them if you can promote your business on their website and their social media pages. Most sites and social media owners use several different kinds of advertising to fund their pages.
You can ask about banner space advertising, and other media buy opportunities. You can ask them if they currently accept sponsored blog posts or sponsored social media posts. Ask them if you can advertise on their podcast. If they do not have a podcast, see if they want to put together a podcast with you to reach your targeted audience. Would they be willing to advertise your business in their email newsletter?
Some businesses even have the opportunity to create a non-profit based around their industry. Nonprofits usually do not have advertising restrictions on Google and Facebook. So by advertising the non-profit, they can reach their targeted audiences on those platforms.
Certain types of businesses may want to look offline for paid advertising opportunities. Local television networks often offer decently-priced advertising packages for people looking to test out the process and analyze the results. If your targeted audience watches a certain show or usually watches TV during a specific time, TV ads might be worth considering.
What if you’re only able to build a relationship with several smaller, less popular websites in your industry? If you get several targeted ads running through these business partnerships, then you’re likely going to get some extremely targeted traffic and referrals at a fraction of the cost of using Google Adwords. These kind of business relationships are ‘win-win’ for both parties since both parties need each other in the online advertising ecosystem.
Unofficially Supported SEO Tricks That Can Help Propel Your Website
Nobody knows exactly how Google’s algorithms work or what they consider beyond what Google has revealed. This can make it difficult to say the least to contemplate an effective SEO campaign. The problem is that SEO is the backbone of the internet and it is absolutely vital to the success of any website.
Companies have done correlation studies and extensive research to try to figure out what the key elements are when it comes to Google’s algorithms and they have yielded some surprising results. Some of these results have been found to be much more effective than others. Google seems to have done a better job lately of communicating with the communities involved with SEO and search queries, so they are putting forth an effort. They don’t hesitate when it comes to stating exactly what does and doesn’t work, but they do still have plenty of secrets.
That being said, below are some tactics that do yield very positive results, although Google doesn’t officially support them. Its kind of like when a mom tells their young child they can’t have a cookie before dinner but then leaves the top off the cookie jar and walks into the other room.
Java Script-Injected Canonical Tags
John Mueller of Google stated on Twitter that Google currently only processes the rel-canonical tags on the initially fetched, non-rendered version of a site. Seemingly, that should be the end of it and many people assumed that it was. The thing is that someone was actually smart enough to test the theory with their own website and you may be surprised by what they found. They injected canonicals into multiple pages with the Google Tag Manager. The results showed that Google actually did canonicalize the targets of the JS-injected canonical tags despite their claims. It did take several weeks for the target URLs to be recognized and picked up. However, the more important point here is that you should run your own tests and don’t just assume that what Google says is Gold.
Escaped Fragment Solution
Deprecating the escaped fragment solution has been on the table for Google for a very long time and they have made it public. Google’s official word is that it would no longer be supported as of the second quarter in 2018. John Mueller, who seems to be a large source of information from Google, has revealed that crawling the escaped fragmented versions can’t exactly stop as Google would like it to because of all the links pointing to them. So, despite all of Google’s attempts to move away from the escaped fragmented solution, there is no way to get rid of them completely just yet.
Anchor Link Attributes With Hreflang
There are multiple places these are typically placed. They show up in the head of pages, the response headers or even sitemap files. Supposedly Google does not support these attributes within anchor links. At least, that has been the long-standing word. Again, there was a website who decided to conduct their own testing on this. This client chose not to include the hreflang attributes anywhere except in their anchor links. The results? Thousand of them were picked up as hreflang tags. Not all of the hreflang attributes were picked up in Google’s Search Console, but many of them were. This suggests that Google at least partially supports hreflang attributes in the anchor links. Mueller’s stance on this? He states that Google neither officially nor unofficially endorses the use of hreflang attributes in anchor links. What you do on your site is up to you.
Getting the upper hand on your competition can be difficult, especially since everyone knows exactly what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and so forth. Except, there are a few unofficially support tricks that can boost your website that your competitors might not know. In a race to the top, there is no reason not to use these SEO tricks to promote your website in the SERP rankings.
How to Turn Your Hobby into a Blogging Business And Earn Extra Income!
Why Setting Up A Google My Business Profile?
Looking For A Keyword Research Tool? Here Are Some Options
White Hat SEO Techniques for Better Rankings and Higher Online Visibility
5 Web Design Tips To Follow When Setting Up Your Site
Social Media2 years ago
Best Influencer Marketing Campaigns Part One
Blogging2 years ago
Challenges in Digital Marketing and How to Overcome Them
Blogging2 years ago
WordPress: Three Advantages of Using It for Your New Website
Blogging2 months ago
Can You Earn Money With Affiliate Marketing?
Search Engine Optimisation2 years ago
How To Drastically Improve Your SEO And See Immediate Results In A Few Simple Steps
Search Engine Optimisation2 years ago
Is My Website’s SEO Too Complicated For Me?
Search Engine Optimisation2 years ago
An Introduction to SEO
Blogging2 years ago
7 Creative Money-Making Ideas for Stay-At-Home Moms