GUEST BLOGGER: Tuning Visitors into Leads by Alex Szaki

We all need a website for our business but is yours working for you or against you?

It’s one thing to get your website up and running, and to get people to visit your site, but there still remains one more question you need to ask yourself…

What happens when they arrive there?

These questions are very important and depending on how you answer, can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

As a local business owner you must think carefully about what you present to your website visitors when they first arrive. Remember the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”?

Well this quote has never been more accurate and the reason is, our attention span is very low these days and dropping every year.

With this in mind. Here are few things to consider when looking at your website.

What do you want your website visitor to do?

Do you make it easy for them to do it and is it obvious?

You see, the objective of your website is to turn visitors into customers, right?

This is the first issue with most websites. They treat it as a brochure and not a tool to attract customers.

So, take a look at your website. I mean really look at it and not from your perspective but from the eyes of a new visitor who has never heard of your business.

Is your contact information clearly visible? One simple but very important detail that many businesses leave out is having their phone number at the top. This is key if you do nothing else.

Do you have a working contact form that people can easily access to get in touch with you?

Is your website front page confusing or is it easy to read and navigate?

Does your website talk about you and your business or does it explain the benefits of your products or services?

All of these questions need to be answered honestly because when done right, your visitor will become a fan of your business and have no reason to look any further.

Always remember, when people are searching the Internet they will not hang around on a website that is confusing, difficult to understand or read.

You want to make it simple and clear for people when they arrive at our site.

Think of the one thing, above everything else, that you want to present to your customer, and the one action that you would like them to take when they visit, and make it abundantly clear how to do that one thing.

One of the ways to achieve this is by setting up an e-mail capture form on your web site. You may even offer an incentive for visitors in exchange for their name and email.

There are several creative and very effective ways to accomplish this. It can be a free report, a quiz, questionnaire, free eBook, access to an informative video, a coupon or discount code.

The list is endless, but what is important is the fact that we offer something of value first. Think about it this way. Would you rather be offered something of value without being asked for anything in return when you first meet someone? Of course.

We are always being sold to so don’t you think your website visitor would be more likely to do business with you after you give them something of value? Absolutely!

Costco comes to mind as I write this post. If you’ve ever been to a Costco I’m sure you have noticed that they set up small sample tables, usually around the frozen food section.

You’ve probably also noticed how many people are waiting in line to get their free sample. Right?

What you might not have noticed but is very strategic is that they very rarely ask for the sale. They just smile and hand out samples.

When someone likes the offering, they ask where they can find it. The person working the sample table usually just points a few feet away and the sale is complete.

No advertising, no high pressure sales tactic and they let the product sell itself. Well, this is what you want to achieve with your website.

Think of your new website visitor experiencing a warm smile, feeling welcome, offered a sample of your product or service and knowing you’re available if they need more information or want to purchase.

The bonus for you that Costco doesn’t have is you are able to gather contact information which when done right, can now nurture your new prospect with more goodies and offers. Oh, and best of all, it can all run on autopilot!

The bottom line is, create a soft place to land and focus on the customer and not you or your business. I’m very sorry to say this but they don’t really care anyway. They just want information on how you can serve THEM.

Now that you have a better understanding of what your website should do and offer, you’re probably wondering what you should do next, right?

Here are a few options to consider. If you created your business website yourself then go ahead and add some type of optin box to start. Most hosting companies that have website builders will have the option of adding a landing page or optin box.

They can probably also create a pop up. You’ve seen them I’m sure. You get to a website and within a few seconds a box appears with an offer usually.

Some people hate them but if you offer value and don’t ask for a sale, people are usually ok with that. As a side note, they convert really well no matter how many people say they hate them.

If you need help, most hosting companies are also very good at helping you with these projects so don’t be afraid to ask.

If you had your website creating by someone else, reach out to them and ask if they can add some type of option box for you.

If both those options won’t work, I would really consider creating a new webpage (not a full website) as a sister site to your main website.

This would be a single landing page, with a headline and offer. It’s meant to be simple so don’t worry about it looking great. After they provide their information you can then send them automatically to your main page anyway.

In the meantime you will be emailing them the information they requested.

The best part of having more than one website or single page is you can direct traffic any way you want. If you want to offer something of value you send them to your single page and forward to your main site.

If you don’t have an offer or specific promotion, send them to your main website. Think of it as having a benefit packed brochure for each service or product you provide but only using it when needed.

In regards to your free offer, don’t over complicate this. For now just send them a discount offer of some sort but get that email list started.

If you really like the idea of offering a report or short ebook but don’t have the time to create it, use a service like Fiverr. You can find thousands of people who are more than happy to create something for you and make it look amazing for less than $100.

Finally, if you want to do it yourself, write down 10 questions you have been asked about your products or services and head over to Canva. There you can create a report using templates that look amazing and download it as a PDF file. All for free!

You really don’t need to overthink this project but remember, once it’s done, you will use it for years and it will attract many new customers for you while you do other things.

If you are stressed out just at the thought of doing any of this, help is available. Visit us at www.marketingforlocal.com and schedule your FREE 30 minute call so we can discuss your options.

We would love to help you set up a system that attracts new customers to your business and one that runs on autopilot so you can focus on taking care of your current customers. 

At the end of the day the only thing we want as local business owners is to help others with our products or services and do it with the least amount of stress possible. Having a website that works for you is just one way to accomplish this.

I hope you found this post helpful and if it made you take a look at your website in a different light, I’ve done my job.

Cheers,
Alex
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Alex Szaki

Alex Szaki helps people scale their businesses with predictability. He is an expert at helping people get clients using online methods and making things super simple to understand.
If you’re interested in scaling up and getting clients then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.

GUEST BLOGGER: How to Leverage Social Media to Help your SEO Strategy

Website owners and marketers know the power of social media in generating positive results, but they don’t realize that it can also be used to complement their SEO strategy. So, they focus their resources in SEO services such as link building and growth hacking techniques to get a higher domain authority and page ranking.

However, it’s getting harder and harder to build links. Some websites are stingy about linking out to other sites, while others block them to prevent spam. A lot of websites will link back to yours, but they can be no-follow links. To top it all off, search engines are implementing stricter protocols that make it more complicated to increase page rankings. Enter social media.

For most businesses, the main goal of their SEO strategies is to get on the first page of Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo!. So, how does social media help your website get closer to that coveted #1 spot? Here are the things you can do.

  1. Reach Out Through Social Media

Email outreach is one of the tactics used for link building. But, social media can be used the same way. For example, instead of emailing the prospects, we can use Twitter to tweet or DM them the link. It’s a great way to earn links through outreach.

Think about it. Big brands and well-known bloggers most likely use social media to share their content and engage with their followers. Connecting with them through social media lets them know that you’re doing your homework. You didn’t just go to their website and clicked their ‘contact us’ button. You engaged with them on another platform, which means that you do follow their content. You’re not just one of those trolls asking for a backlink.

  1. Influence Social Shares and Engagement

Social shares and engagement can help search engines determine how valuable and relevant your content or website is. It’ll send a ranking signal to Google if a lot of people are commenting, sharing, and liking your content. Chances are, you’ll get a higher ranking on Google because of this.

Think of social shares and customer engagement as part of your online public relations strategy or online reputation management. When people engage with your brand, they are encouraged to go to your website and find out more about you. In turn, this increases your website traffic.

High engagement rates also encourage external inbound links to your site, giving you more opportunities for link building. The more diverse your external links are, the higher authority search engines will associate with your website.

  1. Manage your Online Reputation

People talk about their experience and post their opinions on social media. Since no brand or website is protected from criticism in this digital era, it’s important to make sure that you’re managing your online reputation well.

If someone googles your brand and a negative review comes up on page one or two of search engines, then you need to devise a search marketing strategy that pushes down the negative content in exchange for positive content.

Note that social profiles rank higher on Google, so if you’re planning to start an Online Reputation Management strategy for your name or your business, make sure that you have all the necessary social profiles that are relevant to your industry. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, IMDB (for the film and TV industry), Quora, and more.

  1. Grow your Fans and Followers

Having a horde of followers interacting with your brand can indirectly contribute to your search engine ranking.

Recently, Search Engine Journal conducted a quick analysis of the fashion website FashionNova, after it significantly increased their search ranking to 88,000 keywords on SEMrush in just one year. According to their findings, the only positive SEO ranking factors it exhibited were its very low bounce rate and 6.3 million Instagram followers.

Growing your fans and followers can increase brand awareness and encourage more people to talk about your brand. People were hopping on Google and looking up their brand and products.

  1. Increase Brand Awareness

This may seem more like a marketing strategy than an SEO strategy, but social media can help with brand awareness (as illustrated by FashionNova) and ultimately, your SEO ranking.

When you improve your online presence and increase brand awareness, people will remember your brand. They will search for you on Google and talk about you. Chances are, the buzz they create will prompt other users to look you up as well. It’s a chain reaction that can go on and on.

The more brand searches your brand receives, the higher the likelihood of getting more qualified leads and conversions.

  1. Optimize Business Listings on Yelp

Remember how your grandparents used the yellow pages to find services they needed? Well, it’s all online now. Placements on sites like Yelp (yes, it’s a social networking site) and the like can help boost local SEO for your website.

Not only are you helping users and potential customers find you on the platform that they trust, but you’re also placing your website (with its relevant keywords) on Google.

As long as your site is getting great reviews from these business listing sites, Google and other search engines will take notice of your website. The more positive reviews you’re getting, the more signals search engines receive that will help them track and rank your website for the relevant keywords.

  1. Use Hashtags

What started on Twitter is now being widely used on major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Hashtags help social media users discover the latest trending topics.

On social media, words that start with a hash or pound symbol becomes a searchable link. When users click on the hashtag or search the platform using it, they’re led to social media posts that use the same hashtag. In short, hashtags are to social media as keywords are to search engines.

If you want to be searchable on social media or join a specific topic exchange, then you better use hashtags. They also help increase shares and engagement.

Articles posted on social media that get very high social engagement rates tend to result in better organic rankings. According to a Twitter report, brands that use hashtags get a 50% increase in engagement. Additionally, tweets with more than 1 hashtag are 55% more likely to be retweeted than those without.

On the other hand, the same isn’t true for Facebook. An Edgerank Checker research discovered that hashtags don’t have any effect on the reach and engagement of Facebook posts. In fact, posts that don’t include any hashtag outperform posts that use hashtags. So, be mindful of using hashtags.

  1. Use Social Media Listening Tools

Use social media listening tools such as Google Alerts, Mention, and Social Mention. These tools crawl blogs and social media pages for brand name mentions and related keywords. You can use it to identify and track unlinked brand mentions so that you can reach out to these websites and ask them to link your site to their content.

Website owners or bloggers tend to mention your brand on their site, and there’s a chance that they don’t link to you. This is where you reach out to them to get that link. This link building strategy works perfectly for well-known brands, as they get mentioned a lot on different sites.

Social media listening can also help you determine what’s trending within your industry or niche. If you know what your target market is talking about and what keywords they’re using on social media, then you can also determine the top keywords to rank for when creating content.

Again, this does not directly affect your SEO, but it can enhance and complement your link building, keyword research strategy, and content ideation. Get insight into the content that’s currently going viral so that you can choose the content topic, format, and type accordingly.

Final Advice

Google remains highly private about their algorithms, but search strategies can get you up there on the first page. If you know someone working in Google who didn’t sign a non-disclosure agreement, then lucky you. But chances are, your SEO strategists, no matter how awesome they are, are left to their own resources and experiences to create the best tactics that can increase ranking and authority.

Nonetheless, social media is now part of the overall online experience that can contribute to your SEO strategies in the long run. Google and other search engines may (or may not) include social media as part of their algorithms, but one thing’s for sure, your social media efforts contribute to your website’s SEO success, whether directly or indirectly.

Nina Pineda

Nina is part of Spiralytics’ SEO Team. She launched her career as a web copywriter but eventually jumped into SEO and Online Marketing out of curiosity. This curious cat may be easily amused by Tumblr memes, funny YouTube clips, and foreign TV series but she is keen and driven in achieving results when it comes to work. Don’t let the petite physique fool you; She has a big heart wherein her other half, family and friends fit in.
Follow Nina on Twitter HERE

 

GUEST BLOGGER: 5 Facebook Marketing Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Despite the popularity of Social Media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, Facebook still remains to be the widely used Social Media tool among them all. Due to its wide reach, Facebook is always a good place for brands and businesses to promote themselves.

Recent studies have found that an average user in the US spends around 40 minutes on Facebook each day. So choosing Facebook for your marketing promotions is always a good thing. Whether you are targeting baby boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Y, you can reach almost all of them via Facebook!

However, it is best to remember that Facebook is also constantly changing and updating its algorithms. To remain relevant, you have to keep up with these tech changes and comply with their quality guidelines. To keep your business relevant on Facebook, you must avoid these mistakes at all costs!

  1. Not using Facebook ads.

Many digital marketers would say that running Facebook ads is a costly campaign – and that is indeed true! However, if you know how to run Facebook ads efficiently, the money you spent will not go to waste. The wide reach and potential benefits of running a Facebook ad gives your business a higher chance of success than those who rely on organic likes and views.

However, if you are working on a very limited budget, you should know how to make the most out of it. First, make use of the Facebook Power Editor Tool so you can dictate where to put up your ads on the platform.

Certain placements will work better depending on your niche. If you are advertising a game or app for example, it would be best to place your ad on the Facebook mobile feed instead of putting it on the desktop sidebar.

  1. Not engaging with your readers/audience.

Facebook is first and foremost, a social tool. People go there to like, comment, and talk to friends and family. And that is what your brand or business should do too! You have to humanize your brand and engage with the readers and audience of your page. Ignoring the social aspect of your marketing efforts will eventually isolate your customers, and the disconnect will result to lesser customer retention and brand awareness.

So what to do? Engage your audience with different types of content and respond to their comments, queries and concerns! Say thanks to positive feedback, and offer an apology for unsatisfied customers. Show that your business cares, and that you are easy to do business/deal with.

  1. Posting the wrong type of content.

Posting content is a major way to initiate engagement among customers, but what kind of content is that? You have to be a bit versatile on this aspect. You have to strike a balance between talking about your brand/business, and talking about your customers and community. You have to prepare a variety of helpful topics so readers won’t get bored.

On Facebook, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of posting lengthy content and bland content. Remember, users are just browsing through their news feed all day – what makes you think that they will stop and read a very long post instead of sharing funny memes and looking at funny vine videos all day?

Unless you have already established a good following, posting lengthy content is best done on a blog. On Facebook, make your content shorter. Stick to 200 or 300 words. Don’t waste your reader’s time, and get to the point right away!

Another common mistake is posting bland content after bland content. Status updates are okay every now and then, but you have to accompany your posts with a relevant photo or video from time to time!

People are more attracted to visuals – especially on a platform like Facebook! If you have a lengthy content to post, you might want to try converting that into an infographic or photograph to make it more appealing to users.

  1. Not going on Facebook Live.

Many entrepreneurs and businesses are hesitant to go on Facebook Live because of discomfort, but this is actually a very effective tool when it comes to marketing! You can start short and simple by going Live to showcase introductory videos about you or the business. As you gain more traction, you can then promote your products and services through a live demonstration or seminar!

  1. Irregular posting and content updates.

This is very common, especially among businesses that established multiple business page. Pages that are not regularly updated with new content and engagements give the user an impression that the page is abandoned. It might also give the impression that certain business is already inoperational! To avoid this, just create one Facebook page for your business so you can easily manage it.

You don’t have to post something everyday, but you do have to come up with new content for at least once or twice a week. And even if you don’t have a new post, you have to attend to customer queries, concerns, comments, and messages! If you want your business to stay relevant, you must keep it updated.

Like any marketing plan, Facebook marketing entails a lot of planning and execution. However, the reward here is that your business can stay on top of its game! You get to meet a lot of your customers and create a small community that can help your business grow in sales and value.

 Author Bio:

Sarah Jacobs

Sarah Jacobs is an experienced writer who loves creating articles that can benefit others. She has worked as a freelance writer in the past making informative articles and fascinating stories. She has extensive knowledge in a variety of fields such as technology, business, finance, marketing, personal development, and more. Check out her company here: https://digitoolreview.com

Commitment……

Changes, changes, and more changes….that seems to be what is happening in Facebook on a constant basis.  I admit, it can be frustrating to try and keep up but also to find work-arounds when the glitches happen because of changes.  I am currently battling 4 glitches that are driving me crazy lol

The one thing I can be sure of, that doesn’t change, is how you market your business on Facebook.  Even with the changes, you can still successfully build a business however, you have to put the work in.  Doing a post per day on your Business Page, is just not cutting it anymore.  The algorithms seem to have changed again, meaning we need to double up our previous engagements to reach the numbers we used to achieve.

I hate to tell you but the reality is that you have to do so much more to get the visibility you need.  You need to be working your personal timeline, you need to be networking in the different groups, you need to think about creating your own group for your clients and potential clients.  You need to focus on selling you, selling your knowledge, teaching people, have some fun and sell your product/services.

You need to schedule time on your calendar and do this every single day!  This will help you to create a flow, a consistency, that will start to show you a return.  We all know that when we work it, we can achieve it.

You have to commit, otherwise, you can’t build successfully, you are competing for space in Facebook and the larger companies have a lot more money than us lol, so time to work it!

  • Be regular and consistent on your personal timeline
  • Network in at least 3 different groups
  • Post at least once per day on your business page
  • Engage on other people’s posts
  • Invest some money into Facebook Ads to bring more visibility to your business page
  • Share your business page posts into a variety of groups for more visibility
  • Have FUN

 

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Moving forward even with Facebook Changes

As Facebook continues to make changes, we need to make sure we are still being consistent with everything we are doing.  As changes happen, it can affect our overall exposure BUT if you have been working Facebook, from all aspects, then you should NOT see an impact to your marketing efforts.

Here are some elements you want to make sure you are doing on a daily basis, to help you with being consistent, for getting your business out there, for bringing exposure to you, the Business Owner.

  • Posting on your personal timeline WITHOUT directly selling your products/services.  This is represented by doing strategic posts, like every Monday, doing a post that outlines what you have on your agenda for meetings, clients, customer service elements, business tasks that you need to complete, even throwing in a little bit of personal.  This is also represented by doing a Friday post that talks about one element of success you had in the past week.  The purpose of these types of statuses is to ultimately showcase what you do, but indirectly selling to your audience.
  • Interaction in a variety of ‘networking’ style groups.  You want to make sure to go in each day, and post a question, share a tip, post a quote, something funny BUT keeping in mind that these posts should not be directly related to what you offer, more generic.  You also want to scroll through the Group wall and engage on other people’s post where you can.  It is important to use these groups to build relationships, not to sell your product/services because that will happen when you focus more on selling you.
  • Post on your Business Page
  • Share your Business Page posts into a variety of groups (5 shares per day would be great).  Please note:  Check each Group’s about section to know when you can or cannot promote your business.
  • Share your Business Page posts onto your personal timeline twice a week BUT please make sure that what you share is of value.
  • Grow your Friends’ List.  As you are building relationships within the different groups, start sending friend requests to those who are engaging on your posts.
  • Respond to any events you have been invited to, this way, when it is time for you to host an event, others will respond to your’s.

By working these elements consistently, you will be building relationships, which in turn will lead to new clients and referrals.  Then as you are building and Facebook makes changes, you will not see the impact as much as those who are not working social media on a daily basis.

MORE tips on my Facebook Business Page, be sure to follow me HERE!

Visuals for Social Media

Here is a little exercise you can do.

For the next week, I want you to write down everytime you stopped on a post in your news feed as to what made you stop to read the post.  At the end of the week, review your list and find out what the common factors were.  In most cases, it was the visual that stopped you.

So…….why aren’t you using more visuals in your posts?

I love when I see pictures of people I know and for me, I tend to get more traffic/visibility when I use a picture of myself.  For this reason, I had an ‘Influencer” photoshoot done to capture my personality as well as certain ones to use when I am talking about a tip, something new that is happening, etc.

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Think about the content that you are putting out in Social Media and put together a list of what type of pictures/animation you want to create and either hire a professional or get one of your friends to take the photos for you (our cameras do a pretty great job of taking photos).

Start selling YOU in your posts with your visuals!

What to post on your Facebook Personal Timeline

Since Facebook states that we cannot use our Personal Timelines for commercial use, many people are unsure of what they should post to bring visibility to their business.

The goal here is to be talking about all the elements that make up your business, where you are going, what training you are taking, who you are working with, where you are speaking, what deliveries you receive; all elements that ultimately indirectly sell you and your business.  This is a great way to showcase everything that you do to enhance your business, enhance what you offer your clients, the knowledge you have, what you are learning to improve on your business.

I have put together some examples to help you think about how you can showcase your business.

Excited to be one of the table speakers at the Rock Your Biz event.  My focus will be finding out where business owners are stuck and give them some tips on how to get past it.

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Another GREAT meeting with the ladies from FemCity Bradford!

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Attending the WinterFresh Trivia Night to help raise funds for the York Region Food Network.  I am thankful for these women, who are small business owners but also great friends, as they helped me survive my lack of trivia knowledge lol

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Thanks to my girlfriend Darla for accompanying me to the CDC Lunch n Learn where I was one of the speakers, talking the world of Facebook.

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Excited for another Zoom Facebook Training today, I love teaching!!

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Look who I ran into at Rogers TV this morning!!  We were all guest speakers on the show!

P.S.  I would actually tag both of these ladies in the post which ultimately brings all of us more visibility.

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Today was all about learning from Guest Speakers, building relationships and selling our businesses.

P.S.  I would tag each of them as well

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As you can see, I have inserted a variety of different elements that make up some of the things I do but also showcases some fun things, like the Trivia night as I was with other business owners.  At no point, did I directly sell anything, I am just showcasing what “Tammy” is up to.

I also do two main posts, one on Mondays and one on Fridays.

Mondays I focus on outlining my week, what is going to keep Tammy busy.

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Fridays, I look back over my week and I review all the different success elements and I pick one to talk about.  I tell them why I feel that it was successful for me and also include some type of quote to support it.

Moving forward, I encourage you to sit down and make a list of all the activities that you do for building your business and determine what type of pictures you need to take (the more of you the better as people love seeing photos of us).

I hope this helps you to think a little differently about what you are posting on your personal timeline.