A Secret Weapon for Local SEO

More and more businesses are finding, local SEO is about ongoing, consistent online promotion activities. That’s where blogging comes in.
So how is blogging a secret weapon? It is because, many local businesses still are not blogging, so use of it as a search engine optimization tactic is still something of a secret weapon.
Many local businesses in highly competitive categories have already done the straightforward things for optimizing their businesses to rank for local. They may have optimized their websites,obtained back links, optimized their business profiles, created a Facebook Fan page, Google + Local ( Google Places), business directory listings, and more.
Since the majority of these local businesses are doing essentially the same activities, they end up barely trumping the listings just below them in Google local search results, and they may often be  jostling back and forth, month after month, for the same slots.
But, if one of these local businesses begins blogging consistently, that business may rapidly become top dog, having an advantage that the non-blogging businesses lose out on. Blogging gives some distinct advantages, and can become a secret weapon that may allow the first company using blogging to develop a lead that may be difficult for the other non-blogging businesses to quickly imitate.

Blogging also provides a “hub” for developing your social media presence! Blogging is a perfect tool for feeding content out onto Twitter, LinkedIn, your Facebook Fan page and Google + and other social media sites. You can use it to actually reduce your workload by simply adding content in one place and having it show up in your various social media pages if that’s what you want.

Keep in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Blogging takes time. SEO results from blogging takes time. If your expecting to see immediate results from blogging you’re in for a rude awakening. Keep in mind, with online content marketing you are building a complex and long-standing infrastructure that, will grow with time and effort. As important as quality relevant content is also consistency in posting new quality relevant content.

When properly implemented, blogging, can be a game changer for your business. However, you can’t simply throw caution to the wind and hope everything plays out the way you’re wishing. Instead, you must devise a blogging strategy that uses the best resources of what today’s technology has to offer.

Social Media Marketing and Blogging your way to Brand Loyalty.

Blogging is one of the most effective tools available to assist the small business owner in achieving branding.
What makes blogging such a useful tool for branding? A number of things, you can’t control the conversation in most online platforms. Forums, social media, other off-site platforms are usually controlled by someone else. But your blog is yours. You can initiate the conversation and control the conversation. It’s the perfect branding tool. Everyone needs a home base. I’m not saying don’t use social mediaor off-site platforms as a matter of fact I strongly believe you should but not as your home base or “hub”. You should use social media, but you should use social media to drive traffic back to your hub, remember  the place that is yours, that you can control, your blog.
As you direct traffic to your blog, get people to join your mailing list. This is where the money is and your blog is the gateway.
When it comes to business success, customer loyalty is everything. Luckily, social media marketing provides the perfect platform to start these relationships between customers and brands. Social media marketing is an excellent starting point to connect with prospects and customers so you can transform your online fans and followers into taking the next step and becoming brand loyalists.

Remember, people are on social media because they want their opinions and thoughts to be heard. If a fan or follower tweets to you or posts a question on your Facebook wall, they are looking for a response, and a fast one at that.
More often than not, instead of calling a customer service line, people will jump over to a company’s social media account and say what is on their mind.  Your job is to keep an open ear and be ready to respond.  Fans and followers won’t hesitate to ask questions directly on your social media profiles.  Be ready to provide helpful content, everything from how-to guides to simple customer service answers about your products and services (no doubt links to pages on your website). Going out of your way to respond directly to someone’s question instantly creates a closer connection, making your customer feel appreciated and important.
If someone posts a negative comment, put your customer service skills to work to provide a speedy solution.  Respond quickly to that disgruntled customer’s post, assuring them that you appreciate their business, as well as their patience while work towards a solution to the problem, Just as you respond to a negative online comment, you should also respond to fans and followers who thank you for your excellent service or give a rave review. This interaction shows your customers you appreciate them and their business, and adds to brand loyalty.
Honest and consistent social engagement are the key building blocks to gaining the trust needed to start building your brand loyalty.
You can develop a great strategy to sustain valuable social media presence on your own? If you don’t have the time or resources to do your social media marketing yourself, then we can help you with your social media marketing.

What a Business Needs for Online Marketing Success.

As a business owner in this century you know you need to market your business online, While it may seem a bit overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be that way! There are 3 basic components you need as part of your online marketing strategy to support your business growth.

You must have a website for your business. Your website should be the hub of your online activity, this is where you want your traffic to ultimately be driven to. Your website is like a salesperson that generates leads for you around the clock. A good site will make it clear what products or services you provide, and the talents and expertise that you have to offer ( your website is where you brag and boost ).
Of course your website needs be optimized for search engines and online marketing. This requires understanding what your users are searching for, as well as making sure that your website can be viewed on mobile devices. Unfortunately, many websites that look good don’t function as effectively as they can.

You must use Content Marketing. One of the most important components necessary to make your website an effective online marketing hub will be your content, delivering content that is relevant to your prospects. Content can be video, podcasts or business blog. In order to achieve the most SEO benefit and building long term relationship with your prospects and customers new content should be delivered regularly and constantly. I know delivering new content regularly can seem overwhelming.
The best to develop new is to address the questions that your current and prospective clients continually ask you. What are the questions that come up most often?  Addressing questions and issuers people have gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise by addressing these questions and issues.
When you’re writing your business blog, address one issue per post. Choose one or two keywords or phrases (preferably long tail keywords) to focus on in each blog post or resource. Don’t try to cram every keyword in every article.
You must also have Social Media presence.  Social media should be used to share  via  social networks every time you have created new content,  In addition to announcing your latest content, you can update social media sites with helpful relevant, quick tips and links to more information on your site. The goal for your social media activities is to connect with your audience and drive traffic back to your website ( social media is not where you brag and boost or sell products or services) .
People are far more likely to trust a peer recommendation than advertising. According to a Neilsen study, “90% of consumers trust a testimonial from a peer. Compare that to just 14% of consumers who trust advertisements.” Use that to your advantage by encouraging interaction with your company on social media.
Don’t let overwhelm deter you from creating an effective online marketing presence!  You must have a good website, regular, consistent relevant content and social marketing to support your business growth.
There are resources available to help you.

SEO or PPC, Which is Better?

Google’s latest Penguin update brought the hammer down on websites, including legitimate websites, fairly hard making PPC look attractive but is SEO is a better long term solution.
Small businesses understand the fundamental challenges that go hand in hand with SEO, the ever-changing Google algorithms, and the threat of  on their site— affecting their rankings and, as a result, the livelihood of their business. PPC may look to be the “quick fix” for a company, right, with measured results right at your fingertips?
Of course, if you’re looking for short-term success, allocating your budget toward PPC is the way to go.
However, what are your business’  long term goals?
I believe PPC should be used for short term success, until your SEO is successful enough to cut back on the PPC program.
I feel strongly  content marketing by blogging for SEO is the answer for small business the majority of the time. It’s much more cost-effective—most of the time—and provides longer term value.

One of the main goals of online content marketing by blogging, is to drive quality traffic to your website. Traffic that is more likely to convert into leads and eventually sales. This is possible by providing quality content that is useful, content that solves a problem. At the end of the day, the whole point of sales is need fulfillment. Providing your target audience relevant quality content online, is merely a more efficient way.
Keep in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Blogging takes time. SEO results from online content marketing takes time. If your expecting to see immediate results from blogging you’re in for a rude awakening. Keep in mind, with online content marketing you are building a complex and long-standing infrastructure that, will grow with time and effort. As important as quality relevant content is also consistency in posting new quality relevant content.

When properly implemented, online content marketing by blogging, can be a game changer for your business. However, you can’t simply throw caution to the wind and hope everything plays out the way you’re wishing. Instead, you must devise a blogging strategy that uses the best resources of what today’s technology has to offer.

Do You Know How Much Business You are Losing By Not Blogging?

An awesome website that no one sees, is a waste of time and money no matter how nice it looks. But you can do something about that.
You may be like one of the dozens of business owners I talk to every week that have a website that is not providing them Leads, at least not enough to justify what the site costs them.

Now that I got you in a bad mood, why don’t you do something about that cyber brochure out there that you call a website, that can actually help your business. Sounds like an SEO problem. Which is nothing a little blogging can’t help. And yes it can help. According to Marketing Charts “Blogs are the single most important inbound marketing tool. “When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%)” for a total of 81%”.  Social Media B2B reported “B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms”.

Yes blogging can help you get more traffic to your website. The reason blogs might position better than a standard website to increase traffic is because blogs are modified more often than full websites. Search Engines love to discover new content, so their interest in your website may be powerful due to the new content you are making available. It is common for a business blog to actually outperform a main business website with regards to SEO positions simply because there is more new content to consider and that often results in improved trust and rank position. Ideally you should have your blog on your website.

Are You Really Missing Out on Business By Not Blogging?

Do you ever think you should have a blog, but you don’t think you would know what you would write about on your company blog?

And if you did, would it even be worth the time and effort?

It is challenging to come up with new content consistently and frequently, and it is time consuming so why do it?
“B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms” according to Social Media B2B. So you need to decide what that is worth to your business.

Some of the benefits for your company of blogging are:

Blogs are like search engine magnets. Search engines are drawn to blogs, because blogs contain the kind of data search engines look for and the information is updated regularly.

Because your customers may be allowed to comment on your posts, blogs provide an open 2 way communication for you and your customers and prospects to speck directly with each other.
It really is more about relationship marketing.
Blogs provide you a platform to share your viewpoints and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise of the industry also allowing you to Brand yourself, your business and differentiate yourself from the competition.

According to Marketing Charts, “Blogs are the single most important inbound marketing tool. “When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%)” for a total of 81%”.

Blogs, cross promoted with marketing with social media sites, can be even more beneficial.
“Social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all U.S. internet users” according to Mindjumpers
“You cannot afford to close your eyes to them [blogs], because they’re the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the internet itself. And they’re going to shake up just about every business-including your……Given the changes barreling down upon us, blogs are not a business elective. They’re a prerequisite”. – BusinessWeek, May 2, 2005

So their you have it, you know you need to, what are you waiting for? it’s kinda like exercise, you know you should, but it’s not easy and it will take time, about as much time as time as it would to write a blog post.
So what are you going to do? How healthy do you want to be? How healthy do you want your company to be?
There are resources to help you, seriously less time than it takes you to work out, and you know you should, so just do it!