Author Archives: Jen Vogel

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Top 3 Tips for Running a Successful Local PPC Campaign

Most businesses understand and embrace the value of building their organic search rankings on Google, but the value of pay-per-click or PPC advertising is often misunderstood and underestimated. While high organic search rankings are a great way to drive traffic and increase exposure for any business, there are only 10-16 spots available on the first page of Google for any given search term. In most industries, hundreds of businesses will be vying for those coveted first page Google results, and PPC ads give all businesses the ability to gain exposure on the first page of Google for local search terms.

Businesses can also run PPC ads through a variety of other mediums like Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This makes it possible to target your ideal customers and experiment with different platforms to see which one generates the highest click through and conversion rates.

Reasons to Consider Utilizing Pay-Per-Click Advertising  

PPC is a powerful marketing tool for all businesses. For companies that don’t have high organic rankings for relevant local search terms, PPC can provide a way to achieve better visibility and leverage your online assets. For start-ups or businesses that are just beginning to ramp up their SEO efforts, PPC can provide an additional revenue stream, and even businesses with an established presence on search engines can generate additional revenue through PPC ads.

Another great reason to consider running a PPC campaign is because you can set the budget, which means you can start small to analyze your return and then grow it once you find a strategy that works for you. Most businesses hire an experienced search engine marketer to help them set up and manage their PPC campaign, as these marketers know the ins and outs of PPC advertising and can establish cost-effective and successful ad campaigns.

Search engine marketing may also play a role in organic search rankings due to the increase in clicks and exposure a website will get from PPC advertising. Since organic rankings are based on relevance and popularity, PPC ads can help improve the website’s popularity score through Google and bolster search engine optimization efforts.

Top Tips for Running a PPC Campaign

Beginning a PPC campaign can be a little confusing at first if you’ve never worked with the programs before, but by utilizing the following tips, you can get the most from your paid advertising efforts.

#1. Keep it Local

For local businesses, bidding on key phrases that are targeted to your geographic area can be extremely beneficial in driving traffic that will eventually lead to a conversion. Location specific keywords often have less competition, so marketers can get more bang for their buck by choosing a geographically targeted keyword as opposed to a generic keyword. If you need assistance selecting the keyword phrases that will result in the highest ROI, consult a PPC marketer to help you establish your campaign and perform appropriate keyword research.

#2. Expand Beyond Google

When most people think of PPC advertising, they think of Google AdWords. While Google AdWords is a great tool to gain exposure and visibility for your business, there may be other venues that offer advertising in the pay-per-click model that could yield better results. Some companies have success advertising on Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, and even LinkedIn. Assess where your target market spends their time and how they would search for your business to determine whether you should branch out to other PPC advertising mediums.

#3. Measure Your Success

Once you start your PPC campaign, make sure to keep track of your progress so that you can make adjustments and improvements where necessary. This may include testing your ads using different keywords, experimenting with different ad text, and utilizing advanced targeting options so that you can reach the customers that will be most interested in what you have to offer. An expert in search engine marketing can help to analyze your metrics to determine the best strategy for your campaign’s success.

By implementing a few of these key tips and reaching out for help from an experienced search engine marketing firm, you can harness the power of paid advertising to increase sales, drive more website traffic, and improve conversion rates.

If you would like to learn more about how to implement a local Pay-Per-Click campaign for your business, please contact Net-Craft.com at 480-563-0558 for a free PPC consultation.

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Stand Out in Local Search Directories

A powerful local search strategy for your business is an essential component to a well-developed local marketing plan. Local search directories have improved in recent years, with the integration of Google+ and Google Places as well as updates to directories such as Yahoo, Yelp, Bing, etc. Incorporating local search directories into your marketing mix can improve your search rankings and help your business gain higher visibility online.

Maximizing Google+ Local: The Integration of Google+ and Google Places

Google is one of the most important directories to provide accurate and up-to-date information about your business. Google has recently integrated Google Places local listings with Google+, transitioning to a seamless Google+ Local listing. This new approach to local directories provides a social component and allows businesses to capitalize on this budding social network to improve search rankings, drive more local business, and increase sales.

Tips for Managing Your Business’s Google+ Local Listing

Updating your Google+ Local profile requires just a few steps. The first step is to define the main product or service line that you offer, e.g., furniture company in Scottsdale, Arizona. With this, compile the following information about your business: brief description, photos, place of business (physical address), and link to the business website. You will enter all of these details about your business before submitting your Google+ Local listing. You will also be given the option to select categories that are relevant to your business so that Google can better determine when to display your listing to search engine users. Once you have filled out the basic information requested by the local search directories, you should also update the rest of the information on the form such as service area, payment options, operating hours, and videos.

If this is the first time you have filled out a Google+ Local listing or your address has changed, you will also need to authorize your address. After you submit your information, Google will mail you a postcard with additional instructions. Once the postcard arrives after about two weeks, complete the steps listed on the postcard to finalize your Google local search directory listing.

Claiming and Updating Other Local Directory Listings

In addition to Google, there are several other local search directories such as Yelp, Yahoo, Merchant Circle, Angie’s List, Bing, etc. that you should submit your directory listing. Be sure to use the same information that you used in your Google listing so that all of the information aligns across online directories. Consistency will help you maintain quality and will improve your local search rankings.

Do’s and Don’ts for Managing Local Directory Listings

Finally, there are a few things to remember as you complete your local directory listings.

The Do’s

  • Incentives. Local directory listings are a great place to list special offers or discounts to new customers online. List any specials that you are currently running to encourage prospective customers to try out your products or services.
  • Visuals. Upload pictures that accurately represent the products or services that you offer. This will allow search users to identify what you do quickly and easily, and it will also provide insight into how your business operates.
  • Reviews. Manage your reviews periodically to maintain a positive reputation for your business online. Respond to every review – positive or negative – in a polite and professional way. Being responsive to customer reviews about your business shows prospective customers that you care about the satisfaction of each and every customer.
  • Accuracy. Ensure accuracy across your local directory listings. Consistency is imperative to maintaining a high local search ranking for your target keywords.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t use a non-local phone number. Make sure that the phone number that you use is a local landline and not a toll-free number. Toll-free numbers can make it more difficult for the search engines to track your place of business.
  • Don’t use a P.O. Box. Make sure to use your business’s physical address and not a P.O. box, as this can also make it more challenging for the search engines to track your location.
  • Don’t change your business name. Instead of adding location keywords to your business name, make sure to keep it intact to achieve the best search results.
  • Don’t falsify reviews. Search engines are getting better at identifying false reviews so it is important to ask for reviews from your satisfied customers rather than to create mock reviews that the search engines will notice and eventually de-value.

If you would like to learn more about how local search engine optimization can help your business, please contact Net-Craft.com at 480-563-0558 for a free local SEO consultation.

 

 

 

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Local Search Engine Optimization

Better rankings in search engines can have a significant impact on any business. For local businesses, higher visibility can result in more sales, more exposure, and accelerated business growth. From doctor’s offices to dry cleaners, local search engine optimization (SEO) has influenced the way customers are interacting with local businesses online. With the ever-expanding popularity of the Internet, more people are turning to search engines to locate local businesses. Local businesses that seize the opportunity that local SEO offers can experience measurable results and unprecedented growth.

How Search Engines Rank Websites

Before launching a local search campaign, it is important to understand the basic methodology used by search engines to rank web pages. Several factors are used to determine which websites are more relevant to a user’s search. Based on available evidence, there are two main components involved in how websites are ranked: relevance and popularity. These two components are also referred to as on-site factors and off-site factors respectively.

Search engines determine the relevance of a web page based on the content of that page, which includes the body text of the page, the title tag, meta description, alt tag, etc. Relevant keywords are strategically placed in the content and code of the website to alert the search engines to what the page is about and what users can expect to find when they visit that page.

While on-page factors are important, off-page factors also play a significant role in how the website is ranked in the search engines. The popularity of the page is determined by off-page factors such as the volume of incoming links to the website, the quality of those links, and the relevance of those links. In order to gain higher rankings in the search engines, it is important to ensure that the website is appropriately optimized and that a quality link building strategy is used.

Five Best Practices for Local Search Engine Optimization

While there are several known factors such as title tags, meta descriptions, and incoming links that play a role in rankings, each search engine has a unique algorithm that they use to rank web pages, and as such, rankings on separate search engines can be quite different. The algorithms of search engines are updated constantly, which means that the factors that they use to rank websites today could be different than those used tomorrow. For this reason, it is imperative to utilize the following industry best practices when implementing a local SEO campaign.

Titles & Descriptions. The titles and descriptions on the company website should be properly optimized to include relevant keywords. The title tag is considered the most important on-page factor, as it is usually given the most weight by the search engines in determining what the page is about. Optimizing the title tags and descriptions is a key step to good local search engine optimization. Here is an example of how your site should appear in Google’s search results:

Location. Make sure to include the city and state in the content of the web page that the search engine will index. The location should be included in the title tag, meta description, alt tag, and the body copy.

Sitemaps. A good HTML/XML sitemap can go a long way in helping to build search rankings. The sitemap provides a list of all of the web pages so that the search engines can quickly index all of the pages on the website. The sitemap is one of the most important elements to a properly optimized website.

Local Directories. Local directory listings can help a business reach their customers directly, and it can also provide relevant, quality links back to the website to improve the website’s search rankings. There are hundreds of local directories on the Web, and businesses can enjoy increased visibility and exposure from including their business in as many of those directories as possible. In Part Two of this three part series on Local Business optimization, we will be exploring the Do’s and Don’ts of local directories and what it takes to stand out in Google Places.

Fresh Content. Search engines love fresh content, so updating the website on a consistent basis can help gain and maintain good search rankings. The best way to keep customers updated about recent news, events, product updates, etc. is to create a blog. The blog can serve as a platform to inform, educate, interest, and inspire customers and readers, which is a great way to gain more exposure to the business. The blog also serves as the social media hub, and the content on the blog can be shared on other social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, etc.

Why a Pro is Often Necessary for Best Results

A successful local SEO campaign requires dedication, persistence, patience, and a powerful strategy. A professional can correctly optimize the website while also providing expert guidance on ways that businesses can achieve more visibility and growth. With a robust link building strategy along with on-page optimization, businesses can improve their website rankings, drive more traffic to their website, and connect with more customers. A professional can help eliminate the guesswork in working with website code and can also implement a natural and effective link building strategy.

If you would like to learn more about how SEO can help your business, please contact Net-Craft.com at 480-563-0558 for a free consultation.