Google is growing larger and larger as a major source of local searches. More than a third of the millions of searches made daily by Google users are for businesses in the areas around them. As a business owner, where do you stand when it comes to your local business search term ranking?
These top ten factors will help you form a Google local pack listing.
Claim your business on Google local listings.
You can submit your business to Google local listings if it is not already listed. If it is, you can just click to claim it, and you will be given the ability to update information on it after you confirm it is yours.
Be sure you have a local address. It will be useless to customers if your corporate address is listed rather than the address of the actual establishment.
Assure that you have the correct category tags. You will be able to add tags to your business profile to help customers find you.
Your tags should be simple, like “bakery” rather than “fancy pastries.” Use other search terms to your advantage. For a high-end French bakery, effective tags would be “cookies,” “cakes,” and “French.” Predict the search terms that customers might use to find your business locally.
Use your product or business category in the title of your business claim. For example, rather than “Coco’s,” use the title “Coco’s French Cupcake Bakery.” This should help direct customers to your search result.
It helps to be close to the city center. Sure, you can’t do much about this, but it is one of many factors that affects search results.
Use relevant keywords in your Google Place Pages description. Fill out the description page to help customers find what they need to know about your business or products and services.
Add photos to your Google Place Page. Take photos of your products, your interior, and your exterior. Add a video if you can. This will turn views into paying customers. Consider this part to be mandatory! It is one of the more effective steps you can take to using Google to your business advantage.
Ask for customer reviews. Good reviews will help build trust between you and your customers, even if they are doing business with you for the first time.
Add a local phone number. If you have business spots in more than one location, be sure to make certain that each has an accurate phone number. Also, be sure that the main number listed on your website is the same as the Google map listing number.
Create or review your website. Develop a business website with a domain if you have not already done so. The information on your business website should have the same details as your Google maps listing. The address and phone number should be clearly listed on the home page, and photos and links.
Start building a prospect and client email list NOW – A list that you buy will never be as effective as a list you’ve developed yourself over time. Plus, your own list won’t have as many spam issues as one you purchase.
When a customer buys, or even inquires, about your business, try to get their email address. This is true whether they’ve visited your store or your webpage. If you have a contest once a month and send out a gift card to the winner, you’ll rarely have anyone unsubscribe from your list.
If your business has many types of services, then you might want to divide your list into different categories. Not everyone on your list has to get the exact email or the same offers. Target your offer to the right list.
The Subject Line in Your Email
If your subject line doesn’t speak to your reader then they won’t even open your email. Be honest and tell them who the email is from. Then they’ll know it’s a list they’ve subscribed to and it’s not spam.
Then tell them about the interesting offer or information you have in the email.
ABC Co. – 7 Ways to Increase your Profits this Month
ABC Co. – The Winner of this Month’s Gift Card
ABC Co. – How to Build Your List Faster
ABC Co. – Why Your Webpage isn’t Working
Keeping Readers’ Interest
Write emails that intrigue or interest your potential customers; a good subject line gets them to open the email, but then you must hold their interest. Make it short and sweet. People want to read quickly on the internet. If your information is good they’ll keep reading. Don’t ramble.
Break the information into small paragraphs or bulleted lists. Long blocks of text are overwhelming and harder to read.
Make it personal. Use their name at the beginning if possible. Talk about things happening in your local city. Let them know your company is community-minded.
Put the most important information first – If they only read the first few lines before they’re distracted, you’ve still made your point.
Have a clear call-to-action – Tell them exactly what they should do next.
Provide Links – Make it easy for them to click through to your landing page or web site.
Include your phone number and the physical address of your business; this is one of the major differences in email marketing to local customers. Not all of them will want to correspond by email. They may want to call or actually drop by your business.
Use a P.S. at the end – This is one holdover from direct-mail days that still works. A P.S. is your last chance to throw in an extra offer or reinforce your call-to-action. Even when people skip reading the email, they’ll often read the P.S. at the end.
Don’t send it on Monday – Everyone’s busy, they’re not happy to be back at work, and their email box is full. There’s a good chance your email will get deleted before it’s even opened.
Follow-up – Your email campaign can be the greatest in the world, but if you don’t follow up on the contacts you’ve made or the interest you’ve generated, then you’ve done it all for nothing.
Have your follow-up plan in place from the beginning.
If you don’t have the time or ability to write an effective email campaign, consider hiring a professional. The investment will pay for itself over time with increasing customers and profits.
The answer to this question is: it depends. Pricing for a web site can vary from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. The secret is knowing what you want your web page to do for your business and finding designers who will help you accomplish those goals.
A web site costs too much if it’s:
- Not user friendly – Your customers won’t hang around trying to figure out how to search for what they need. The design and content need to be clear, concise, and easy to navigate.
- Too slow – If the design is filled with too many gadgets and graphics it will load slowly and transition from page to page even slower. Not everyone has the latest computer and the fastest internet access.
- Difficult to add your own content – After the page is set up, you need to be able to add your own articles or have a blog where you can keep your customers up to date about future offerings of your company. You don’t want to have to go back to a designer every time you add content.
- Cluttered and messy looking – You’ve seen these kinds of pages. They’re filled with so many ads and flashy graphics that you’re not even sure what the page is about. You don’t want anything on your page that distracts from your message.
- Not appropriate for your target audience – A page designed to sell video games to teenagers shouldn’t look similar to a web site that sells investment products to senior citizens. If you sell Harleys, it should look different than a company’s who sells baby equipment for new parents. Make sure your design company spends some time understanding not only what your company does, but who you want to reach with your web presence.
- Impossible for your potential customers to find – Be sure you’re working with a company who understand search engine optimization so potential customers can find your page.
- Unable to build your mailing list – One of main reasons companies build websites is to collect names and email addresses of potential customers. If they don’t buy from you on their first visit, they might buy from you in the future when you send them notice of a special offer. There are many ways to encourage visitors to leave their information. Offer them a free e-book or newsletter. Offer to keep them informed of any upcoming sales.
- Not guaranteed – A good design company will stand behind their product and offer to correct any problems you have with your final site.
- Can’t take online orders – If your company’s goal is to process orders through your site 24/7 then make sure your web design offers an online payment processor.
A good web design requires graphic design and technical expertise. You should hire a company that’s experienced in both.
Read testimonials from former clients. See how satisfied they are with their web pages and the service they received.
Compare apples to apples when you get quotes. A low-ball quote could mean that an important function is being skipped. Make sure everything you need is included. You want to feel confident that the final result is a web page that brings you the results you need.
There was a time, not so long ago, that when someone wanted to find out about a business they went to the yellow pages. Or maybe they’d hear about a business on a television commercial. Then they’d ask their friends if they knew anything about the company. But the world is changing quickly.
The first place most people start their search for a business or product is on the internet. Online marketing is the marketing of today.
On a company’s webpage people look for:
- Services or products offered that can solve their problems
- Prices and how they compete with other sites
- FAQ’s about the company and their services
- Testimonials from past customers
- Contact information
- Where to get more information
Future customers also look on social media sites. They might send a note on their Facebook page that says: “I’m looking for a car mechanic in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Anyone know a good one?” They’ll also click on ads they see on social media sites and join fan pages of companies they like.
Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other social media sites opened a whole new world of online advertising opportunities. They collect a wealth of information on members concerning their like and dislikes. That means when you advertise on these sites you can target a very specific audience.
How does this information help your company?
Understanding the power of online marketing can save your company a ton of money in wasted advertising. Should you blow your budget on local print ads that reach a few thousand people? Or spend your money on web exposure that markets your company to millions of people all over the world. You choose who you target by how you optimize and market your page. World-wide or local, the choice is up to you.
If you sell digital information your product can be sold automatically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Orders for physical products can be taken night or day and shipped by your fulfillment person the next day. You can get up one morning and discover you’ve made sales while you were sleeping. You’re no longer tied to only taking orders during “office hours.” Your page markets your business night and day.
When your webpage isn’t optimized correctly or marketed correctly you’ll find yourself with a lonely site that gets few visitors. Good optimization will make your online marketing more effective.
If your site doesn’t have a strong appeal to your visitors and hold them long enough to make a decision to buy, then your site won’t bring in additional business. You need a clear call-to-action that tells customers exactly what they need to do and walks them through it step by step.
If you know you’re site isn’t performing as well as you’d like, it’s time to consult a professional web company and let them explain how they can help you. This investment in your business will pay off in additional profits for years to come.
If your website isn’t as effective as you’d like, maybe it’s time for a makeover. A tired-looking, static site is not an effective marketing tool.
Here are the top reasons to redesign your website:
Your design looks outdated. You may have set up a webpage several years ago that was on the cutting edge of technology. But the internet world changes quickly. Make sure that your site stays current with the fast pace of technology.
Your site hasn’t evolved with your business growth. You set up your webpage when your business started, but now you’ve grown and expanded. Be sure your webpage evolves with your business. If you’ve upgraded your products or services, then keep your site current with all the changes.
It’s not user-friendly. If your site is hard to navigate visitors will click away. Internet searchers are not patient people. They won’t waste their time with a poorly-planned site.
It’s not getting traffic. You need to rethink your SEO if you’re not getting enough visitors. Effective keyword marketing can make a lonely site popular. If you don’t understand search engine optimization, consider consulting a professional.
It doesn’t connect with your visitors. Does your site look like there’s a real person connected with it, or a faceless company? Do you clearly explain to visitors how you can help them and how they’ll benefit from your products and services?
It doesn’t work properly. Do you have outdated links? Does it load too slowly? How does it look in various browsers? Have you checked all the popular browsers or just the one you use? Does your order processing system work correctly?
It’s boring. Let your website have personality. Write with a personal voice that relates to your target audience. A technical site will obviously need to be written in a different style than a guitar webpage or comic book web store. Show some excitement about your products.
It gets traffic but doesn’t make any sales. If you’re not getting any sales then there could be several problems with your site. Do you explain how your products benefit your potential customers or do you talk about features only? Does your site have a clear call-to-action? Can visitors easily figure out how to place an order? Is there a buy button or similar way to make a purchase?
It doesn’t build your list. Your page should have an easy way for visitors to join your mailing list. Have them sign up to receive your newsletter or a free e-book.
Keep your site current, workable, and readable. SEO techniques are constantly changing, so market your site armed with current strategies.
If your site has any of the above problems, then it’s time to consider getting it redesigned. A good web design company can give you a quote and explain the process to you. Don’t let one of your most effective marketing tools become obsolete.
When it comes to things like how much a website costs, there’s no such thing as a menu that you can look at and pick from. Just as with any other outsourced talent, the pricing is going to be a case-by-case basis, based on the going rate of the designer and what kind of website it is that you are looking for. While there are many other factors to launching a website aside from the design, for the sake of this article, we will stick to design fees topics.
Now that you know that website design fees vary, this is when you need to ask yourself a few questions. The three major questions that we will tackle are:
- What do you need the website for?
- What is it you need in your website?
- How much time are you giving the designer to work on your site?
To give it to you straight, the initial industry standard begins at around $2000. That’s just the beginning of the site; the more complicated the website gets, the more you’re going to need to pay. For a big corporation, this price is nothing compared to the advantages they will get to properly branding their product. For an individual, on the other hand, this is quite steep. If you’re only putting up a personal website that will not garner you any income, it might be best for you to keep it to a minimum, unless you’re willing to dish out the cash.
What is it that you need in your website?
Now that you know the $2000 base web design costs, you need to figure out how many features you would like to add to the site. Don’t expect to pay that same amount if you want complicated Java and Multimedia add-ons to your site. But then again, adding something different to your site will make you stand out. Weigh the pros and the cons before making that decision.
How much time are you giving the designer to work on your website?
Good web design is an art; and in an ideal world, art is never rushed. But the reality is that we all have to deal with deadlines. Rush work is hard, especially if you’re expecting something that is top-of-the-line. If you need something right away, be prepared to pay as much as double the initial cost. The best way to avoid something rushed is to plan to give them ample time to work on the designs.
But of course, there are still cases where a website designer may take advantage of you, especially if you are not experienced in hiring one. Make sure that you see a working example of their work before you decide whether you want to hire them or not. Your relationship with the web designer should be a two-way street: you give them what they deserve, and they should give you exactly what you pay for. It’s that simple.
Inconsistent business location information across online maps, apps, directories, GPS devices, social networks, and search engines costs you real sales. PowerListings lets you control your listings across 60+ partner sites, including Google, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Yahoo, and Yelp.
Get on Google
Today’s world of smartphones, mobile moments, and self-driving cars demands accurate location data more than ever. And no single search, maps, and apps provider is more important to your location marketing strategy than Google.
Sync and manage your Google My Business account and:
- Update your customers rapidly about timely changes to key location data like hours or unforeseen closings.
- Control the data Google receives about your locations and ensure it’s always consistent, authoritative, and up-to-date.
- Save time and streamline your data management process by managing information on Google My Business and across the web with a single click from the Yext Location Management Platform.
Publish Everywhere and on Every Device
We partner with the most established and popular search engines, maps, apps, and directories across the globe. Leverage our direct connections to the publishers in the PowerListings Network to get found.
Enhance and Drive Revenue From Your Listings
Help customers choose you by creating the most complete, rich, and accurate presence on all the search engines, maps, apps, and local directories where they search for local businesses.
Enhanced Content Syndication: Leverage your listings across the web to differentiate your business from the competition and drive measurable business results.
- Showcase photos, videos, business descriptions, hours and holiday hours, menus, staff bios, product & service lists, and more than a dozen other fields alongside basic NAP. Listings complete with enhanced content receive 416% more views than those without.
- Turn your listings into measurable marketing opportunities with the exclusive Featured Message. Highlight special offers, drive reservations or form fills, and more with this exclusive 50-character field.
Website Widgets: Embeddable widgets drive consistency across your digital presence. Sync information like social posts, staff bios, menus, calendars, and product or service lists from the Location Management Platform to your own website. Updates flow immediately to your site, reducing hassle and complexity.
Measure With Exclusive Analytics
Analytics are crucial to your success. Our publisher relationships provide exclusive analytics on your presence across the PowerListings Network to help you measure what’s working and how customers are engaging.
Listing Visitor Reporting: See how often a listing appears in local search results, the views its detail page receives, and the number of times customers click on a Featured Message – which helps you tie revenue back to your digital presence.
Search Term Reporting: Monitor the search queries for which your listings show up most often in local search results. Use this information to optimize your listings and your own website for the keywords you want and discover hidden opportunities to get found more often.
Listen To Your Customers
Most brand experiences happen at the local level, and your customers record and amplify those experiences through reviews, photos, videos, and posts across the web. Monitor the feedback and content customers generate about your locations to ensure you deliver the best experience possible, everywhere.
I think the minimum budget for any effective paid ad campaign should be about $500/mo – split between Google Adwords and Facebook. If you can manage the basics of Google Adwords Express and Facebook Ads, you’re best off doing it yourself.
If you want help with Pay Per Click advertising:
Ad campaign setup and maintenance fees range from 500-1500 setup (depending on the number of campaigns) and a minimum monthly management fee vs. a percentage of the monthly ad spend. We charge $200 per month up to $1000 and 20% over $1000.
Tips! Some of the things that go into a successful paid advertising campaign:
- You should have a dedicated landing page for each campaign so you can count clicks from the ads. An effective landing page will also collect user data and provide very specific contact information.
- Thoughtful and keyword rich ad copy & artwork needs to be created for each Facebook ad (at least 2 ads per ad group for A/B testing).
- Ad copy needs to be written for each text and phone-only Google Ad (at least 2 ads per ad group for A/B testing).
- Apply keyword research and configure ad visibility.
- Google Analytics goals should to be created and linked to Adwords.
- Remarketing pixels and custom audiences.
You know your friends have done it. You’ve thought about doing it, but you weren’t sure how it would benefit your company. But now is the time to build a great website for your Pompano Beach business.
Here are few a things an effective website will do for your business.
- Broadens your potential customer base to the entire online world. You’re not limited to local people picking up a phone book (who uses the Yellow Pages anymore?) or reading your print ads in the newspaper. Anyone with internet access becomes a potential customer or referral source.
- Answers questions and explains the benefits of your business 24/7. Your potential customers don’t have to wait until office hours to call you. They don’t have to wait for a return call if you’re on another line. By searching your website they can find out exactly what you’re offering to do for them, read your company’s mission statement, see your answers to the FAQ section, and find out where to email or call you for more information.
- Makes you an expert. People go online to find out information from someone who knows what they’re talking about. You can be that expert if you provide current, helpful information. It increases your credibility.
- Creates an interactive environment for your customers. Your site can have a place for comments or questions or even a survey asking what your customers would like to see added to your page or to your product line.
- Keeps your information current. A website isn’t like spending thousands of dollars to print full-color brochures that are obsolete before you finish distributing them. Websites can be set up with reasonable fees and expanded when needed. You an update content whenever you choose.
- Sells your services night and day. Your page can be set up to directly process orders online. You get up in the morning to find out you made sales while you were sleeping.
- Explains your services in as much detail as your potential customer wants – or as little. Some people want to skim web pages and read headlines or lists. Other people want all the details. A good webpage is set up to make both happy.
- Shows you understand technology. A well-designed webpage brings your company up to speed with other companies. It shows you’re not afraid to use technology to improve your level of customer service.
- Increases awareness of your business to people who normally wouldn’t seek you out. People might not scan the phone book, but they do scan the web. And if your webpage is set up properly and optimized with the right content, you can pull in customers who weren’t even aware they needed your service until your webpage explains to them why they do!
- Test new products and advertisements quickly. Instead of sending out an expensive direct mail package to a few thousand people, and then waiting to find out the results, you can test new products and marketing ideas on the web cheaply and quickly. If it doesn’t work, you can easily tweak the ads and try again.
Web Design Pompano Beach
A good web design company like Sun Digital Marketing will provide you a detailed proposal explaining exactly how much to build and maintain an effective website will cost your company.
Back in the day, a full page ad in the local Yellow Pages could cost as much as $25,000 per year! Borrel Associates recently reported that local business spending on printed Yellow Pages ads is about to plummet by at least five billion United States dollars over the next five years.
You already know why – nobody you know uses the Yellow Pages anymore, except for a few who do not know how to use a computer or prefer to find their local services in the print. Naturally, the potency of Yellow Pages advertising just isn’t what it used to be.
If you are already depending on the Yellow Pages for advertising in Pompano Beach, where can you go to make sure that you keep your business going and catch the attention of local consumers?
Search Engines are the new “Yellow Pages.”
If you have not already, you have to get on the Internet. You need to make sure people find you when they search on-line for products or services like yours. This was a no-brainer if you were starting your business website just a decade ago. You could get a flood of visits with even a poorly-designed website, without any advertising. However, there is still hope. With just a little work and effort, you can make sure local consumers find you.
Search engines are the number one way for consumers to find services and products like yours on the Internet. With the help of Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., you can be one of the first results. However, there are a few tricks you need to learn to be one of the first results when a potential local consumer searches for your service.
But just how can you assure that your website will come up first, or close to it? Skills to do this are called “Search Engine Optimization,” or SEO for short.
What are you willing to invest in South Florida SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is when you take special steps to make sure that your website comes up top when your potential consumer searches for a service or business that is similar to yours. With a little research and some hard work, you really can achieve this. You will also have to maintain it, and it will not happen overnight. It is achievable, and it can be done.
Now is the best time for you to kick your business in the butt and get it to the top in search engines. Many of your competitor’s small business have not taken advantage of SEO, but you can be the first in Pompano Beach.
As it can be seen, people are no longer reaching for the Yellow Pages when it comes to looking for local business and services nearby. They are looking to search engines for quick access to websites, contact information, and phone numbers for their local businesses. We’re working to be number 1 on Google for “SEO Pompano Beach.” How will you rank?