Our Local SEO Services Team Explains Five Hidden Ways to Improve Local Results
SEO is one of the most affordable ways to market your business locally. Our team at Web Geeks has helped thousands of small business owners develop an online following. And in our latest post, we’re delving more into the world of local SEO services with five tips for improving local results from SEO campaigns.
- Fix Broken Links
Many companies find that the links back to their site from common hubs such as Yelp are broken. This could be simply due to a change in page formatting or an error in the listing. By speaking to the owners of the site directly, you can ensure that these links are fixed and your backlinking is improved for instant improvements in rankings.
- Fix NAPs
The Name, Address and Phone Number of your site (NAP) should be consistent across all local listings. This is particularly true of the content on your Google My Business page. Make sure that in any listings the NAP data for your company remains consistent and is clearly written.
- Build Social Proof
One of the first items new customers will be searching for when interacting with your business online is reviews. Social proofs such as reviews and testimonials can help to give your organization the edge in the local marketplace. Make sure that each page features a social proof that links back to your product and services.
- Use Structured Data Markup
The structured data markup is a feature that allows your business to be included on the Knowledge Graph in the search rankings. The markup also allows for snippets such as reviews to be included in your listings before the searcher clicks on your site. Work with your local SEO services expert to implement the markup on your site.
- Format Images and Videos for Local Search
Video and images are gaining in value in the local search market. Make sure that each media is formatted for use on all devices, and that you track your image and video rankings carefully. Video content can be an especially strong way to introduce your local business to a new customer.
‘What goes up must come down’. This is a saying that we’ve all been told since we were children. This basic physics lesson is also a metaphor for many things – one that is applicable to the now-defunct social media network Vine.
Vine has now been gone for six months. It seems like only yesterday we were huddled over our phones, watching whatever 6-second wacky antics our favorite Vine star was going to do next. The Web Geeks are spending today reminiscing about our favorite gone – but not forgotten – social media network.
What Made Vine Special
There is one question that is asked by every person who hasn’t used Vine – “What’s the point?” They don’t understand what the appeal of Vine ever was, and can’t fathom why so many people were using it. While it’s true, on the outside having a whole social network based on short 6-second clips seemed like a silly idea. However, its usability proved otherwise.
The real appeal of Vine was it fit in so well with millennial culture. Us millennials have the attention span of a goldfish. Often times if we don’t get what we’re looking for in a few seconds we’ll just shut whatever we’re watching off. The problem is millennials are on the go at all times and don’t have time to stop and smell the flowers.
That’s where Vine did things so right. It catered to the millennials’ short attention span and ensured that their content was kept short and straight to the point. By having 6-second clips, it not only ensured that users could watch their content in a short amount of time, but it also challenged content creators to cater to this new form of media. Content creators were used to the ‘YouTube parameters’ of being able to have a seemingly endless amount of time to get their point across. Now, they had to say everything they needed to say in a limited 6-second period.
What Caused The Death Of Vine?
Some say Vine flew too close to the sun. Some say it got too big too fast. The reality is simple – it didn’t move fast enough with user interests. Vine became popular due to millennials’ short attention span. Vine also died because of millennials’ short attention span.
When Vine exploded in popularity, other networks took note. Instagram added their 15-second clips with an explore functionality to find celebrities. Vine investors soon started to dwindle. Then, of course, the final nail in the coffin: Snapchat.
Snapchat exploded in popularity seemingly overnight. It was similar to Vine in some respects – it had 10-second clip functionality and added the ability to post these videos publicly rather than just to friends. It also had a more casual appeal to it – it allowed you to get a peak into peoples’ daily lives. Unfortunately for Vine, that was their original goal – it just never panned out that way and became more of an entertainment network. This ended up being the downfall of Vine.
Here we are in 2017, with Snapchat being the third most popular social network for millennials, and Vine being a distant memory. But in our memories, we look back at Vine as an old friend. It’s brief time as a social network king was short-lived but impactful. It may be gone now, but it will not be forgotten.
Social Media Marketing : Social Seeding
We’ve talked about social media in the past and have given you posting tips. However, today we’ll be talking about something different called social seeding. Social Seeding is a great way to boost your created content and allow you spread it out to a more broad user base. It’s something that should be done often and can keep your brand within the consumer mindset.
Today The Geeks will be giving you tips on how to properly utilize social seeding. By following these tips you will find your social seeding methods more effective, and see results quicker.
Run A Contest
One great tip for social seeding is to run a contest on social media. Contests are great because it gives incentive for the users to take action with your brand. In order to be considered for the contest, they must interact with your brand. Once they’ve done that, your brand will stay in their mindset until the day you announce the winner.
On top of the interaction, you’re much more likely to gain new followers with a contest in place. One way to do this is to make a stipulation where the user must share the contest in order to be entered. This widens your reach and will allow new people to see the contest your brand is putting on. If the prize is good enough, they will join in.
It’s important that you engage with other users during the social seeding process. Engaging is one of the most important parts of social media and needs to be utilized if you want to be successful in the social realm. Engagement should be managed daily, and be targeted towards your target user base.
Use feeds to your advantage. Like posts from your clients. Share a status. Engaging with your audience not only serves as a reminder that you exist – it shows your audience that you’re listening to them as well.
Create Shareable Content
Arguably the most important aspect is to create shareable content. You must be cognizant of what you are posting at all times. Is it something that your audience would actually be interested in? Would the audience actually take the time to read the content your posting?
It’s important to put a lot of thought in the content you post – and what kind of content it is. For example, a great way to share information is in the form of a blog. If you’re like many businesses, you may already have a blog on your website (if not we can help!). Why not share those posts to your social followers? There also needs to be an importance placed on the visual. The visual is your first impression for the post – make sure it is one that your audience would want to stop and look at!
Social seeding is a great way to ensure that your business is keeping an increased presence on social networks. This isn’t a once in a while job – social seeding needs to be done often in order for it to be effective. If you need help with social seeding, The Geeks can help!
Social media – the ruler of the internet. It was 12 years ago that Mark Zuckerberg first created ‘The Facebook’, likely not knowing just how big it was going to be. Today, you can’t go anywhere without seeing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram buttons. The internet as we know it today is run by social media.
But just how important is social media for marketers?
A lot of people have the thought process of social media just being a tool to share likes, interests and photos within your social circle. Sure, that’s a big part of it, but as a marketer why should you care about that? As a millennial, I’m here to tell you exactly why your business NEEDS social media.
First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Matt Bouwmeester, I’m 22 years old and I’ve recently just finished my advanced diploma for Advertising and Marketing Communications Management at St. Clair College. Most recently, I’ve started my internship here at Web Geeks Marketing. Now, let’s focus on the age for a second. I’m 22 years old, meaning I grew up with social media as it rose to its prominence. I’m a millennial, which means I work, live and breathe social media. Using social media for over half my life has allowed me to learn a thing or two about what makes it tick, and how it can be properly utilized. Now, I’m going to help your business successfully use social media, in order to generate awareness and profit for your brand.
Over 75% of internet users have social media accounts. That’s a staggering number when you think about the fact that there are 3.174 billion internet users worldwide. As a business, this should be extremely important to you. To go more in depth 71% have Facebook, 23% have Twitter, 26% use Instagram, 28% use Pintrest and lastly 28% have a LinkedIn. But you run a business, you know these statistics off by heart. I’m not here to bore you with more numbers, I’m here to tell you why knowing how to utilize social media is most important.
The fact is, social media is an extension of who you are. It’s like high school all over again, complete with judgemental and mean people who are going to judge every status and every article you post. Therefore, you must establish what you want your brand’s personality to be before entering the social realm. Once you choose this, stick with it. Nothing is worse than following a brand who cracks you up with hilarious posts one day, then depresses you with sad articles the next. People see right through fakes on social media, so make sure that your personality doesn’t come across as fake or contradicting to what you do as a business.
Whatever you do, do not be boring. Nothing can hurt your brand more than boring your audience to death. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be eccentric in everything you post, but if you’re a charity – pull at people’s heart strings. If you’re in the food industry – make people hungry with imagery. Just don’t post statuses such as, “Come to Mom’s Pie Shop. We open at 7.” These are boring, and uncreative. Social media is like a boxing ring, and brands are duking it out to make the best content they can to capture the attention of their audience. Being boring is not an option.
The Golden Ratio
This is something that’s so simple, yet so important in regards to success with social media. The Golden Ratio dictates the type of content you should be posting, and how often. It’s referred to as the 30/60/10 rule. Let me break it down for you:
30% Owned – Owned content is content that YOU created. For example, this content would include your blogs, videos and photos that are all original content made by you or for you. This keeps you in touch with your clients by giving them original content, but at the same time doesn’t flood their newsfeed. This is important because you need just the right amount of owned content. Any less and you’ll lose relevance. Anymore and you become annoying and seen as that one friend who doesn’t stop talking about him/herself all day. By keeping owned content at 30% you’re keeping it just right.
Here’s an example of owned content:
60% Curated – Curated content is content made by other people. These usually come in the form of links or retweets. “But Matt! I’m trying to advertise my business here, why am I focusing on other brands?!” Don’t worry my concerned reader friend, I’m not saying you should be blindly retweeting every article or video you see. When posting curated content, it’s important that you put your input on it as well. So for example, if you’re doing social media for your car dealership, you might want to post an article about the brand new Tesla that’s basically a spaceship. With that article you’ll want to post a status with it such as, “Why fly in a space shuttle if you can just buy a Tesla?”
The reason why the curated content percentage is so high is because it makes people want to keep following your brand. If all you did was post about yourself, users would lose interest extremely fast. By posting articles that are relevant to your business, but not about your business, your clients – who will likely have that same interest – are going to find your brand relevant.
Here’s an example of curated content:
10% Promotional Content – We have now arrived at our final destination of the golden ratio: promotional content. So what exactly is promotional content? Promotional content is your business’ call-to-action. This is where you sell your business.
“Why only 10%? Isn’t the point of making my business a social media account to sell my product?”
Well think of it this way – have you ever been to an electronic store where you have that really needy employee won’t stop bugging you to buy that computer monitor, all because he saw you look in that general direction? That’s what a social media account that won’t stop trying to sell their product is like. If a brand posts too much trying to sell their product, they become needy and annoying. If anything, it makes people NOT want to buy the product. This is especially true for millennials. We have extremely low attention spans and don’t have time to be bothered by a brand that keeps pestering us to buy its products. By only using promotional content once in a while, it becomes a gentle reminder that you are offering something that is of use to your followers. They don’t need to be hounded, since if they’re already following the brand, it obviously offers something of interest to them.
Here’s an example of promotional content:
While the idea of the golden ratio is simple, it can be difficult to follow. As a brand, you’re going to feel that itch for self-promotion all the time. It’s only natural. However, for your brands benefit, following the 30/60/10 ratio is the best way to success.
So now that we’ve talked about brand personality and following the golden ratio for social media, it’s time to talk about trends and how to utilize them. As a millennial, I’m very inclined to follow what’s trending. From fashion to technology, I like to keep up with the latest and greatest. As a brand, the best way to stay relevant is to keep up with social trends. It’s just like real life – if you want people to notice you, you have to stay trendy.
Just like in high school, trends can change weekly. What’s popular right now may be forgotten by next week. Remember that dress that no one could tell was obviously gold and white?
Yeah that was all the rage for about three days. Now if you mention it to someone they’d say, “Huh? Oh yeah, I forgot about that.” But for a few short days it was all the internet rage, and brands were jumping on board.
As a brand, this is something you need to be aware of, and utilize it properly. If something’s gone viral, find a way to implement it to your campaign. While that viral thing is trending, people are going to see your brand if you’ve implemented it creatively. However, these aren’t the only trends that your brand has to be aware of.
You also must be aware of how brands are sending out their messages via social media. Gone are the days where statuses are the only method for getting your message across. Brands utilize pictures, videos and games to advertise themselves on social media. What’s trending right now? Live video.
Now you can literally interact with your audience in real time. This is effective because it makes the audience feel like they’re a part of something, as if they’re right there with you. Think of it as seeing a band you like in concert. Yeah hearing them on your iPod is great, but when you see Slash perform that guitar solo in person, you feel a connection with what’s happening live in front of you. As a brand, this is something you’d want to jump on while it’s still fresh, because in a few weeks it might already get stale.
To Sum Up…
As a millennial, my life revolves around social media. To be honest, I think I might spend more time looking at my phone than not in a day. Social media has evolved from a site where people at Harvard could connect, to a full blown world globalized society. As a business, it is literally the most important marketing tool at your disposal, and it WILL benefit your business if utilized properly.
Social media is always changing. In the digital age, a social network can’t rely on its same tricks. It seems as if every week, a new trend comes along that changes the way we use these networks. It’s important for the reigning networks to keep up with these trends, and even capitalize on them. Instagram has done just that. Its recent update has added stories, a similar feature to the most popular social network amongst teens – Snapchat.
What Are Instagram Stories?
Instagram stories are very similar to Snapchat stories. Users can share a row of compiled photos and videos to people for a span of 24 hours before the content goes away. Instagram is already known for its ability to let users share “Special Moments” through photo and video in exchange for some likes. However, users only post from time to time so it doesn’t come off as they are spamming their followers. With stories, users can now share quick takes of their lives without having to worry about posting too many times and annoying their followers.
When Instagram stories were announced a few days ago, users online were quick to making jokes and memes of Instagram blatantly “Stole” the idea from Snapchat. When asked about this Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom had admitted, “They deserve all the credit” and stated, “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it”.
Although both Instagram and Snapchat stories follow the same formula for sharing, there are some differences between the two. For starters, you don’t have to be following someone to view their Instagram story as long as the account is public.
Instagram stories also lacks location filters, stickers, speed effects and more feature’s that give users more freedom to customize their photos with on Snapchat. Instagram also doesn’t let you know who has taken a screenshot of your photo, while Snapchat sends you a notification when someone does so.
Snapchat also has made brand deals with companies for limited timed filters that revolve around upcoming movies such as Batman v Superman and Ghostbusters. This is great for user engagement, and you can be sure that Instagram is cooking up something similar.
Only time will tell what Instagram’s strategy will be in the next few months with stories. Its exciting to think about some of the things they might be able to add in the future. As of now the feature is only available in the United States, but it has already been stated that it will begin to start rolling out globally in the next few weeks. Until then will Instagram be able to convince users to come over from Snapchat to use Instagram stories?People tend to be hesitant to switch over to something new when they’ve been using the same thing for the past few years. We’ll have to wait and see if Instagram will be able to capitalize on this idea, or if it will fade away from the app in just a few months. With that being said, Instagram knows what they’re doing and it’s always exciting to see social media networks take those next steps!
At Web Geeks we love all things social media! If your business needs help getting attention from social media networks, we’re here to help!