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Reasons You Need Local SEO And Strategies You Can Use That Show Results

Placing your business in front of local customers looking to buy your product or service is the goal of every business. Local SEO is how you can achieve this goal. The next ten minutes spent reading this post will inform you on what Local SEO is, the top reasons you need it and educate you on simple strategies you can implement today that will show results.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing your website to show up locally (depending on where the search is made) for targeted keywords or phrases on search engines.

If you use Google, you are likely familiar with the image below, which shows local search results.

 

Google Search | Local SEO

 

The letters next to the businesses name are also points on Google’s map; other search engines have a similar service. If you wish to view for yourself, simply Google “Local Law Firms” and you will see a map for yourself listing law firms in your area.

As a business owner I am sure that you can already see the benefits of being at the top of the local list. After researching we compiled a list of the top reasons you need local SEO covered in detail below.

Top Reasons You Need Local SEO

  1. Mobile Traffic

Chances are you have a smartphone, even if you do not, your customers do. People are utilizing search engines more and more from their phones. These searches are based on the current GPS location of the mobile device, in turn; delivering search results from the local surrounding area. You can see from the picture below how local SEO plays a factor on a mobile device.

 

Local SEO | Mobile Device

 

Potential customers have the ability to immediately call a business that appears at the top of the local search results. We are certain that you want your business to be in that position, making mobile traffic one of the top reasons to focus on local SEO.

On a side note, Google and other search engines factor whether or not your website is mobile-friendly (responsive) when determining local search engine rankings. Visit our post on responsive web design.

  1. Local Consumers Switching To The Internet

Bright Local states, “64% of local customers use online search engines and directories as their main way to find local business; only 28% of people use old paper directories as their preferred source of local information.

The online search trend will continue to grow; phone books are not making a comeback.

Bright Local also states in the same article that only 10% of businesses have claimed their local listing on Google. You have the opportunity to become one of the early adopters of local SEO. Take advantage of it while you can.

  1. Professional Appearance

People believe that the results Google and other search engines provide are credible businesses. Having your business at the top of this list (not as a paid advertisement) showcases you as what search engines consider to be the best.

You can take this appearance to the next level by having a modern, professional and clean user-friendly website. Trust online is an extremely valuable asset, combining local SEO with a premier website places your business leaps and bounds past your competition.

  1. Budget Friendly

As stated previously only 10% of businesses have claimed their free Google local listing. Like the Google local listing, many other local SEO strategies can be completed for free, costing only a time commitment, which we will be covering shortly.

You should be realizing local SEO is something your business needs to be focusing on. We provided a video below that covers even more reasons to get started.

 

 

We are going to transition this post into gaining an understanding of the factors that play a role on local SEO and the steps you can take now for free that will begin improving your local search position.

Local SEO Ranking Factors

 

Stats | Local SEO

 

Having knowledge of the factors that count toward local SEO will help in making sense of the upcoming do-it-yourself strategies. Moz, one of the most reputable sources for SEO information, determined these ranking factors; clicking provides the full top 50 list. Many of the items on the list may seem confusing, we would be more than happy to clear up any questions, by clicking here.

Our strategies are going to focus on the two aspects that require no technical skill: NAPw (name, address, phone and website) and social media.

Strategies You Can Use To Boost Local SEO

The strategies below are completely free, no gimmicks or hidden charges, however, some of the steps will lead to calls asking you to pay for ‘premium services’. Out of all of the clients we helped, we were able to achieve the top spot on local searches without having to pay. Our suggestion is to decline the offer.

Directory Listing Strategy

For this strategy you want to submit your business to as many applicable free directories that you can find. Applicable is the keyword, and we will address how to find these directories and how to properly submit your business to them.

Finding Listing Directories

We first want to touch on the listings you should set up before finding others, they are:

Google places for business, Bing places for business, Yahoo local listing, Yelp business listing, Merchant Circle, Yellow Pages, Manta, City Search and Local.com

These can all be found by searching “(listing directory) free business listing.” These will take some time, but the investment will be worth it. You can also click here for a list of 32 directories or here for a list of 100.

The next step will be to find directories that are specific to your area. The easiest way to do this is simply search “(your city name) free business listing.” The image below is a sample of what you will see.

 

San Diego | Free Business Listing | Search Result

 

Finding local free listings can take time and patience, but the work is worth it if you want to eventually reach the top spot for local SEO.

Some directories you find may not be free to join anymore. If you run into one of these directories simply exit the page and continue searching for free opportunities.

Proper Business Listing Submission

You need to ensure that all listing information is consistent. For example:

KriXis Consulting

123 Penn Drive

San Diego, CA 92104

(855) 457-4947

http://krixis.com

 

CANNOT ON ANOTHER LISTING BE:

 

KriXis Consulting

123 Penn Drive

San Diego, CA 92104

8554574947

http://www.krixis.com

 

Do you see the problem? The phone number is appearing different, as well as the website address. You need to ensure that even the spacing remains the same from directory to directory. This is crucial, or all of your work placing listings will go to waste.

Social Media Local SEO Strategy

Even if you are not planning to be active on social media, you should have accounts set up and thoroughly filled out for the major platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Creating these profiles alone provide the opportunity for placing your listing information on another source, boosting your local SEO visibility.

 

social media growth - machine shop marketing

 

We do suggest becoming active on these accounts. More fans and activity on social media provide signals, which reflect on local SEO. You can find more information regarding getting started in social media from our previous post.

Summary

Understanding that you can control your position on search engines is an opportunity you must capitalize on. If you begin investing the time towards the above strategies you are going to see an improvement in your search result position.

The above information is a starting point. We are more than happy to answer any local SEO questions you may have. KriXis Consulting offers a full range of services, capable of meeting all digital marketing needs.

Thank you for taking the time to read our post, we encourage you to comment below and share this post with friends and co-workers.

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Manage Small Business Email Marketing

Setting up, Managing & Optimizing Small Business Email Marketing

Revenue from email marketing has increased by 28% from 2013-2014, having an outstanding ROI of 4300% (econsultancy); making email marketing a priority when looking into cost effective digital marketing options. The goal of this post is to get small businesses headed in the right direction, with as little cost to the business as possible.

Taking advantage of email marketing is not difficult when using mailing list management software such as http://mailchimp.com/. It is also free to create an account. This software allows you to arrange and refine email lists, track user behavior and create professional appearing emails. The software provides you the freedom to update and prioritize your contacts according to their interests or participation level. It is important to have an active list, meaning, only sending emails to those reading and interested in your content otherwise you run the risk of being labeled as spam, which will be addressed later.

E-consultancy’s survey has shown that only 7% of businesses find email marketing to be not effective. A 93% approval rating for those who implement an email marketing strategy should make reading and sharing this post an easy choice. We are going to cover how to set up an emailing list management account, keys to optimizing your email campaigns and the benefits email marketing brings to your small business.

How To Setup Your Emailing List Management Account

Setting up a mailing list management account can be done in just 4 simple steps. We suggest using Mail Chimp for 2 reasons: it is free to create an account, and it is easy to use. You can open a second browser window and follow the steps below as an easy-to-follow guide.

The first step is to go to Mail Chimp’s home page. Up at the top right corner of Mail Chimp’s website is their sign up button. Go ahead and click on that button to get the whole process started.

setting up email marketing management for small business

The first thing Mail Chimp will prompt you for is your email. Make sure you list your primary email for the best communication line between you and Mail Chimp. Next, create a username and password. Once you have those two filled in, click on the “create my account” button.

signing up for email marketing management

Mail Chimp runs what’s called a double opt-in procedure. What this means is they will send you an email asking you to verify that you indeed want to use Mail Chimp’s services. We mention this here because this is a strategy that you should use when developing your mailing lists in the future. You want relevant contacts. It is better to have a list of 100 readers, than 2,500 that will never open your email.

creating a mail chimp account

After going to your email and confirming with Mail Chimp, they will redirect you to this page here. Make sure to fill in the entire form then click to finish generating your account.

email marketing opt-in page

After finishing the preliminary admin work, you will be taken to this screen. You can set up an email campaign from here, create a list, start building your audience and even invite your colleagues.

last step in creating a email marketing management account

 

How to Optimize Your Emails

Now that you have an account set up and created a list (or imported a list of contacts you already had – you can import from excel), it is time to create a campaign. There are several ways that we have found to optimize your emails for a higher ROI.

Write Attention Grabbing Subject Lines That Offer A Clear Benefit

Think about how much your email is bombarded with advertisements. Then think about how many emails you delete without opening them. This is why it is so important to have a subject line that screams “OPEN ME!” You know your customers and what is important to them. Use this knowledge as a point of reference, if you are having trouble coming up with an attention grabbing subject line I suggest visiting Marketing Profs blog.

Email Marketing Attention Grabbing Subject Line Example

If you were a machine shop owner your clients (or email list) would be interested in you purchasing a new machine that is faster, allowing you to complete work cheaper than before. You need to make sure the subject line gets that information across as concisely as possible.

“Saving You Money With New Additions To Our Company,” would be a great subject line.

 

Provide A Clear Call-To-Action In Your Email Marketing

Whether a customer is buying your latest widget, or reading your latest post, your call-to-action needs to be clearly shown in your email. The digital marketing team at KriXis Consulting has found opening and ending with the same call-to-action yields the best results. Additionally, we have also found putting the ending call-to-action on its own line receives more clicks.

You need to provide direction to your audience.

Below are two examples of clear call-to-actions perfect for small business email marketing:

 

“If you like what you read share this with your co-workers, and check out our post on responsive websites.”

 

“Reply with this code XXXXX and receive a 15% discount on your next order.”

 

Use Appealing Graphics/ Visuals In Emails

 

Words alone will not grab attention. Human beings are visually stimulated; use this to your advantage. You will want to find something that is both attention grabbing and relevant. Pixabay is a great place to find professional images for free if you do not have your own. The image below is a great example for advertising this blog post through email marketing.

 

Segment Your Email List

 

Your email list is not just one giant collection of contacts. Each of those contacts falls into different sub categories that can boost targeting.

 

Segmenting Scenario For Email Marketing Campaigns

 

You have three types of buyers: steel, aluminum and copper. You purchased the new machine mentioned above in the subject line section, and it can be used for all metals; you may want to email all three groups. A week later you discover a new use for copper. In this case it would be best to only email the copper buyers.

 

Incorporate Social Media

 

This promotes social sharing of your email, and allows those reading your email to connect with you on other platforms. Your business will be rewarded on Google’s search engine results as more social media signals are pointing back to your website.

 

business social media promotion in email

Focus on Formatting Your Campaigns

 

The days of only checking email on your computer are gone. Smart phones allow your contacts to check their email anywhere, and you need to tailor your emails to this. Mail Chimp allows you to send test emails before messaging your entire list. We suggest emailing yourself the test and opening it on your phone. You may be surprised and find out what looked great on your computer, looks awful on mobile.

 

It is also equally important to use a format that makes sense, here is a logically formatted email: title, attention, call-to-action, grabbing phrase, body and call-to-action. This is basic, but works. Simple and easy to follow emails provide the best user-experience.

Prevent Spam Complaints

 

You can get penalized from too many spam complaints. The penalty is having your emails filtered as spam by those who have not even reported your message as spam. The best way to avoid this is to make sure the “unsubscribe” button is big and clearly visible in your emails. Losing one subscriber is way less of an impact than having dozens of people on your list not see your latest promotion because it was marked as spam. For more information on how spam affects your email I suggest reading this post by Search CRM.

 

Small Business Email Marketing Allows For Tests and Tracking

 

Email marketing requires analyzing the data and making adjustments. It is a constantly evolving process and needs to be evaluated regularly to make sure the practices you are using are indeed being effective. Mail Chimp is a great tool, since it gathers all of this information for you. Professional help is available, KriXis Consulting offers email management services, allowing you to focus on your business, while we track the data and make adjustments.

Benefits of Using Mailing List Platforms

 

Email Marketing Reduces Time And Effort For Small Businesses

Storing all of your customer’s information in one place makes life easy. Two major benefits are:

1. You can group contacts based on industry or interests

 

2. You can access this information from anywhere with an Internet connection

Typing in multiple emails into an address bar is a thing of the past. One click composes a personalized email (based on their name and information you have stored) to a small target group, or your entire emailing list. Mail Chimp also has premade templates, allowing you to focus on the message and not the layout.

More Frequent Communication With Current And Potential Customers

Mailing List Marketing will give you the opportunity to stay more connected with your customer base. It is important to note that emailing once per week is considered best practice.

email marketing technology advances improve b2c communication

Test Email Marketing Messages

Many people never think about how an email is going to appear on someone’s phone. Using an email management system will let you view the message from a mobile device before you send it to your list.

Bonus Information Spreading For Small Businesses

The great thing about email is the ability to forward messages. The creation of a successful email campaign increases the chances of your message being shared.

Low Cost Of Email Marketing

The monetary cost associated with beginning an Email Marketing Campaign are very low. The management tool is free (unless you have enormous email lists or want more than basic features), and you can take the time to manage everything yourself. However, as with everything time related there is an opportunity cost, which is why mailing list management is one of our digital marketing services growing in popularity for small businesses.

Exponentially Better Ability To Track Sales And User Engagement

Mailing List Marketing Software tracks the following data: how many people opened an email, how many people clicked a link in email, which specific link within an email was clicked, how many people complained that an email was spam or unsubscribed and whether your email made it to the inbox of your subscribers. You get the feedback that matters instantly.

email management allows small businesses to track data

Small Business Email Marketing Conclusion

Effective marketing campaigns can transform a business. Becoming an early adopter to technology puts you ahead of everything else. You should now be able to open a mailing list management account, understand the basics of how to use it and see the benefits it has for your business.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. We always appreciate sharing our content as well. If you have any further questions, please comment below.

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Top 15 Reasons Your Business Needs Responsive Website Design

Top 15 Reasons Your Business Needs Responsive Website Design

What is a responsive website?

Responsive websites are designed for optimum viewing on different devices. They are just as easy to navigate on a smartphone or other device as they are on a desktop.

Many websites are great on computers, but look awful from a phone or tablet. Here is an example of a website that is not responsive:

Desktop View

not responsive website design example | desktop

 Mobile View

mobile site view of not responsive design

As you can see this is not friendly at all for the potential customer. This type of website will be quickly left. Below is a responsive example found at KriXis Consulting’s responsive website design page.

 Desktop Viewresponsive website | desktop view

 Mobile View

responsive website example | mobile view

The difference is night and day. Before you continue reading I encourage you to look at your own website on your phone or tablet. You will immediately see if you have a responsive website or not.

This post highlights the top 15 reasons your website should be responsive. After reading, the decision to make the change to responsive website design should be easy.

 The Reasons For Responsive Website Design

  1. User-Experience (UX) Is Best On Responsive

If a customer is on your website via mobile the last thing you want is for them to leave immediately because the screen is impossible to read. Maybe they were just on your website at the office, but had a doctor appointment. While in the waiting room they wanted to learn more about your services. However, your website is impossible to navigate from their phone. That lead leaves your website and finds a company with similar services that is mobile-friendly. Creating a responsive website ensures that the user-experience is the same on all devices.

  1. Life Becomes Easier

It is not uncommon for web developers to create multiple versions of your website. For example, your website may be http://xyz.com; but a http://mobile.xyz.com may have been created separately. This practice helped make non-responsive websites mobile-friendly, or at least appear to be. The downfall arises with the maintenance and upkeep of two different websites, not even thinking about the possibility of new devices for searching the web being created in the future.

  1. Search Engines Want Responsive Website Design

Google likes responsive website design. Why would you want to go against the company that controls where you appear? Google not only recommends responsive website design as the best way to target mobile and tablet users, it also favors mobile-optimized sites when presenting results for searches made on a mobile device. Yahoo and Bing state the same. This should be reason enough to make the change.

  1. Increasing Number Of Mobile Users

More and more people are getting away from accessing the Internet through a desktop. Google searches done on mobile devices have actually been surpassed by searches done via desktop. This trend is not going to change, and the gap between mobile v. desktop will continue to expand as more people utilize their smart phones to their capacity. In fact, 61% of people have a better opinion of a brand based on their mobile website. Are you ready to make a responsive website with KriXis Consulting?

  1. Customer Trends Show An Increase Of Shopping Online

We all know that shopping online is easier than driving to the store. In many cases it is cheaper as well. Studies show that out of those who shop online 80% have bought something through their mobile device. A responsive website design gets your business a piece of that large influx in sales.

mobile-friendly shopping | starbuck mobile

  1. Staying Ahead Of Your Competition

Every leading business is developing a way to easily make purchases on mobile devices. They are developing responsive website design to make these transactions as simple as possible. As a business owner you should pick up on this trend since it works. This is an opportunity to get ahead of your competition, or a chance for your competition to get ahead of you.

  1. Major Platforms Support Responsive Designs

If you are reading this I am sure that you have heard of CMS’s (content management systems) such as WordPress. These CMS now have theme options that allow for a responsive website design. Going responsive also provides the perfect opportunity and reason for you to change over to one of these CMS. They make your online life much easier, we suggest going with WordPress and I’m sure most would agree.

  1. Responsive Website Design Is Cost Effective

Responsive websites may cost more to initially have designed and built. However, this investment requires less maintenance cost in the long run, since the responsive website will automatically adapt to every device. Making them considered one of the most cost effective and time saving development options available today. Our price is set to get you started towards a responsive design today.

  1. SEO And Marketing Benefits

As stated before many businesses have different websites for different devices. Search engines such as Google prefer using just one URL, hence providing an SEO boost. Also, Google uses a separate algorithm for mobile devices; this algorithm marks some websites as mobile-friendly. A responsive website design will make your website mobile-friendly. Notice the gray ‘mobile-friendly’ tags in the image below.

Search Results Page | Mobile-Friendly Tags

  1. Benefits On Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-Per-Click advertising can benefit your business by allowing you to specifically target a customer based on location and search terms. Google Adwords has the feature ‘enhanced campaigns’, which now allows you to target customers by device. Having a responsive website design adds to the flexibility and specificity of your paid marketing campaigns.

  1. Keeping People On Your Website

Bounce rate refers to people heading to your website and leaving before checking out other pages. You want to have a lower bounce rate. As more people visit websites on their phones, they will expect to be visiting an operable website. If your website looks awful on mobile, customers will leave. Responsive website design guarantees the same functionality as they would have on a desktop.

  1. Social Media Brings Mobile Traffic

As a business owner you should have Google Analytics attached to your website. Google Analytics allows you to track where traffic to your website is coming from and what pages people are landing on when they do arrive. Most inbound marketing strategies include social media and blogging. ComScore has recently completed a study that shows 55% of social media usage is mobile. As you change to responsive website design you would be able to see in Google Analytics that customers being funneled to your website from social media are staying longer. Our approach towards digital marketing begins with a responsive foundation, but then attached all the tools needed to collect and record data.

  1. Internet Devices In The Future

The original iPhone was released in June 2007. The iPad was released in September 2010. These devices completely changed the way people use and connect to the Internet. New devices will emerge, and a responsive website design will adapt to that device.

  1. Americans Use Their Phone In The Bathroom

75% of Americans are using their phones while in the bathroom. They are taking this time to catch up with social media or look for things online. Responsive website design will give customers a positive web experience during this time.

  1. Fresh Presence For Your Business

Everyone has been to websites that are impressive. People have also gone to websites that appear old, cluttered and lousy. How do you want your business to appear? Our small business digital marketing page is a sleek, clean and up-to-date look, which was built with responsive website design.

small business marketing responsive web design

Process Of Making The Change

 

There are a few factors you need to consider after deciding to go with a responsive website design.

 Summing Up Responsive Website Design

The reasons above should motivate you towards responsive website design. Adjusting to what your customers are doing is necessary for all businesses to succeed. Thank you for taking the time to read this post, we greatly appreciate all social media sharing, as well as sharing this information directly with friends and colleagues. You can click here to learn more on how KriXis Consulting can begin the responsive website design process with your business.