When it comes to SEO, how important is your social media strategy? It's an ongoing debate. In 2014, Google's Matt Cutts proclaimed that "social signals," like posts on Facebook and Twitter, have nothing to do with Google's search algorithm. This directly opposed what many industry specialists believed at the time. In fact, numerous SEO experts still argue that social media influences search rankings, even if "social signals" aren't really a thing. Jasmine Sandler, an experienced digital … [Read more...] about Warning: Your Social Media Strategy Could Make or Break Your SEO
You know the old saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? Sometimes you want to shout that at your computer screen when you read a negative customer review about your local business. But guess what? Customers who complain are actually doing you a favor. Now, hear us out. Obviously, customers who write you glowing reviews are doing you the real favor. However, as it turns out, negative customer reviews can still be mildly beneficial to your overall web … [Read more...] about One Negative Customer Review Is Better Than No Reviews at All
Sick of hearing about how important Facebook is for your local business? Sorry, but you'll have to get used to it! We can't stop talking about Facebook—that's how critical it is to your overall web presence. With more than 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook is indispensable. However, in all our talk of how important a Facebook page is, we also need to explain what an effective Facebook page looks like. To that end, we put together a handy checklist of what you need on your page. This will … [Read more...] about The Only Checklist You Need for a Winning Facebook Page
At first thought, you might not believe emotions have anything to do with local searches for things like appliance repairs, junk removal services, or window installation. Indeed, these topics appear rather dry. However, as Ryan Shelley uncovers in his recent article on Search Engine Land, emotion is what powers every local search, and what ultimately leads to a purchasing decision—whether we're conscious of it or not. Pain and Pleasure as Motivation In his article, Shelley discusses the two … [Read more...] about Don't Be Afraid to Get Emotional in Local Search
Today, Facebook essentially doubles as a business directory. It provides businesses with their own pages to display contact information, details about products and services, photos, and more. In this sense, Facebook pages aren't much different from Google My Business listings. That's why a growing number of people aren't even using Google for local business searches anymore. Of course, Google is still dominating local searches, but Facebook is increasing in prominence. Most small business owners … [Read more...] about Are You Doing Enough to Get Noticed on Facebook?
Have you seen an e-mail in your inbox offering a "free website audit"? Lots of small business owners are receiving these e-mails from various sources—some valid, but most not. Whenever a client calls us and says they were e-mailed about a website audit, or the "results" of an audit, we're immediately skeptical. And it's not because we're worried about what the results will say. In fact, we're confident in the quality of our work, so we know our clients' websites will pass any legitimate audit. … [Read more...] about Were You Offered a Free Website Audit? It's Probably a Scam
You've heard that social media—particularly Facebook—is vital for small, local business owners. But why? In many ways, social media has become its own form of search. Many people today search on Facebook before ever turning to Google when they're looking for a local business. They turn to their social network and ask for recommendations or referrals for whatever service they need. ("Can anyone recommend a good plumber in the Albany area?") For most people, it's easier to poll their friends and … [Read more...] about How to Compete on Social Media Without Spending a Dime
What's your goal for your small business's online marketing? This is an essential question to ask yourself before you embark on any particular campaign. Why? Because, without establishing what you want out of it, you may end up going with the wrong strategy, and ultimately wasting your money. This is especially true for your PPC strategy, which generally involves a substantial investment. So, what's your goal? Is it: To get lots of calls right now? To have a steady stream of calls over … [Read more...] about Are You Using the Best PPC Strategy for Your Marketing Goal?
You've probably seen lots of chatter online about LinkedIn and why businesses should be using it. However, most of that advice is only applicable to big brands with even bigger budgets. It's not designed to help small, local businesses use LinkedIn to their advantage. As a result, many small businesses end up wasting a lot of time and money on LinkedIn because they're following the wrong advice. That's why we're writing this blog post. Considering that LinkedIn for small businesses is not a … [Read more...] about How to Use LinkedIn for Small Businesses
Do you even notice your phone buzzing in your pocket or ringing on your desk anymore? Many business owners find themselves tuning out their ringing phones for the sake of their own time, energy, and sanity. After all, an endless stream of phone calls comes with the territory of owning a small business—and a good chunk of the time, they're useless calls from solicitors. Usually, though, there are a lot of customer calls mixed in there. So if you're just letting your phone ring and not picking up, … [Read more...] about How Much Money Are You Losing From Missed Calls?