Building a Local Content Marketing Strategy

When consumers are in the market for a product or service, their first stop is usually the web. Consumers search for local businesses using keywords paired with their prefered location.

 

Research shows that these searches overwhelming lead to store visits. In fact, one Google study found that 76% of local searches conducted on a smartphone led to a store visit.

 

This is just one of the reasons why showing up in local search results is such an important factor in your marketing success. Implementing localized content for your website is one of the best ways to improve your local search rankings.

 

Creating Content that Ranks For Local SEO

Local SEO is a strategy within the broader scope of organic search engine optimization. With a Local SEO focus, you’ll be improving your website’s ranking for local searches. Which is critical if your intention is to capture the attention of local prospects right when they are looking for your product or service.


You can improve your local search ranking by focusing on content marketing. Here are a few ways to optimize content for local SEO:

 

  1. Target Locally Relevant Keywords

Choose keywords that are relevant to your products or services. You should also combine your target geography(ies) with your keyword. For example, the keyword “custom framing” is great, but if you want to rank locally, try “custom framing in Roswell”.

 

Tools such as Google Keyword Planner are great keyword finders. You’ll need an AdWords account to use the tool. Once you’re ready, follow these steps to start your research:

  1. Go to the homepage
  2. Click on Tools
  3. Select the Keyword Planner
  4. Search for keywords

Look for keywords that combine high average monthly search with low competition scores. Finally, combine your preferred keywords with your target geographies. It’s best to target only one geography per page of content.

 

 

  1. Write New Localized Content

Writing content can be time consuming but is a valuable tool. Regular blog updates drive traffic and search ranking. Use your target keyword list to create content related to your industry, products, services, promotions, and other topics.

 

Content built around lists or bullet points are easy to read and tend to grab reader attention. Other popular topics include how to posts, hints and tips, new industry developments, and other educational topics. Be wary of too much self promotion. You should provide content that is valuable to the reader, don’t just promote your business.

 

 

  1. Don’t Forget Your Social Media Pages

Once your blogs are written and posted, extend their reach by sharing them on your social media pages. Content can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other sites. Be sure to include images to capture reader attention.

 

You can also share your content in social media groups in your local area. Sharing content in multiple locations helps to drive traffic to your site and establish your business as an thought leader in the industry..

 

 

  1. Get Published on Local Websites

Building on strategy of posting to your website, you can approach other websites about opportunities for guest blogging. Guest blogging allows you to demonstrate your industry knowledge while gathering backlinks that improve SEO rankings. You’ll need to create new content for other sites. Do not re-purpose content already posted to your website.


Not sure where to begin? Start by searching for sites that accept guest blogs. Try this search combination, “[your city or state] + website + write for us/guest post/submit a guest post.” Then, check out the sites that come up, read their guidelines for guest bloggers, and narrow down a list of sites that cater to your target audience.

 

 

5. Stay Active Locally

Many local business owners are active in their local communities. Staying active in local events and groups can provide backlinks to your site from their sponsor or membership pages. Plus you get the added bonus of becoming known in the community and getting word of mouth referrals.

 

Can Facebook Help You Find Your Dream Job?

facebook vs linkedin for job postingsThis fall, Facebook has changed the way professionals approach social media. In early November, TechCrunch announced that Facebook was testing a new “Jobs” tab that companies could use to create job postings. This feature would allow companies to create job postings and promote those postings on users’ timelines, allowing brands to recruit directly through Facebook.

With this update, Facebook is positioned for a bare-knuckle fight with Microsoft, which is finalizing its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn this quarter. Until now, LinkedIn has been the white-collar worker’s go-to social network for job hunting, recruiting, and making new professional connections.

Unsure what to make of this latest social development? Here are the quick facts that brands need to know…

Effects Felt by Job Seekers and Employers

Facebook’s entry into the job market is likely to create ripples across the professional world, affecting seekers and employers alike.

Given Facebook’s 1.6 billion user base, it’s unlikely that employers will pass up the chance to harness Facebook as a recruitment platform. Many brands — particularly small businesses — already use Facebook to announce and promote their job openings. But with the added functionality of Facebook’s “Jobs” tab, you can expect that number to substantially increase.

There’s a lot for recruiters to like about the new “Jobs” tab. Job postings generated through this tab will have a distinct appearance compared to normal posts. In the same way that “Life Events” posts have a unique timeline appearance, “Jobs” posts will be easy for users to identify when they appear. Posts are also formatted differently, with built-in fields for a position’s title, salary, and hours. Brands will be able to harness Facebook’s powerful targeting algorithms to have their postings appear on the timelines of top candidates.

For job seekers, there are also clear benefits. Facebook users will see more relevant job postings, and will be able to apply to job posting more easily. When users click an “Apply Now” button on a job posting, their application will be generated using their Facebook information, making it easier to fill out and submit their application. As Facebook becomes more widely used as a recruitment tool, users on the job market will be able to tailor their profiles to ensure they are seeing the kinds of postings they want on their timelines.

Measuring Facebook “Jobs” Against LinkedIn

Facebook’s success as a recruitment platform will hinge on how it stacks up against LinkedIn. While Facebook has been able to chip away — or wipe out — it’s competition in other social niches, LinkedIn has maintained a comfortable hold on the professional market over the past half-decade. Now that Microsoft has added LinkedIn to its portfolio, its unlikely the network will go down without a fight.

Functionality concerns with Facebook “Jobs” may give LinkedIn an edge. One big concern with Facebook’s new feature is that job applications are received as messages, meaning they’ll end up lumped in with customer feedback and complaints. LinkedIn also possesses a built-in user base and reputation among the professional set. Plus, users seem to prefer separate personal and professional social networks, using Facebook for friends and LinkedIn for the office.

But in the end, sheer numbers might spell defeat for LinkedIn. In the United States alone, Facebook has nearly three times as many active users as LinkedIn, with 155 million compared to 55 million. More telling is the amount of time users spend on each network. While LinkedIn users spend 356 million minutes a month on the network, users spend a staggering 53.5 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

Granted, much of users’ time on Facebook is spent reading articles, sharing photos, or responding to friends’ comments. But the fact remains that even frequent LinkedIn users generally spend more time on their Facebook timeline than they do looking at LinkedIn. And when finding more talent means reaching more eyeballs, that gives Facebook the clear edge.

Whether you’re searching for new customers or new workers, getting noticed on social media isn’t always easy. But with the Qiigo’s digital marketing experts on your team, reaching your target market is a piece of cake. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 to find out how our team can help your brand conquer the social landscape.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About On-Page SEO

everything you wanted to know about on page seo

If you’re like most business owners, you’ve heard of on-page SEO – and yet, you don’t really know what it means and how it can impact your business. After all, you’re not a programmer or an SEO expert.

But considering that on-page SEO is a critical factor in the success of your website, it’s something you can’t afford to ignore. Without it, your site can easily get lost in an already noisy marketplace.

The good news is that with some basic knowledge, you can improve your on-page SEO – giving your website more influence on search engine results. Here’s what you need to know to get there:

 

What Is On-Page SEO?

First, ‘on-page’ simply refers to the elements on your website, like copy, images, video, meta tags, and HTML code. On-page SEO is the act of optimizing those elements in order to boost your rankings in organic search results.

 

Why Does It Matter?

Because when you improve your search engine rankings, customers are more likely to find and click on your site when they’re searching for the types of products or services you sell. The endgame here is to get on the first page of Google’s search engine results. Why?

Report after report shows that most people don’t click past the first page of results. Some say that number is 75%, while others put it at 92%. But the bottom line is that if you’re on page two or three of Google’s search engine results, you can kiss a whole lot of prospects good-bye. Solid on-page SEO, on the other hand, can help you achieve first-page rankings.

 

How Can I Improve On-Page SEO?

There are a variety of areas you can focus on, a few of which include:

  • If you’re serious about SEO, you need to know what keywords and key phrases your audience is using. Use online tools, like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Suggest, for research.
  • High-quality, relevant copy. This serves multiple purposes. First, authoritative content ranks better. Second, it will improve the ‘dwell time’ of your page. This is simply the length of time a visitor spends on your page. And third, Google takes this ‘dwell time’ into account, which means it impacts your rankings. So if people are going to your website and immediately clicking off due to poor content, it will affect your rankings.
  • Keyword density. Don’t cram 100 keywords on a page. This can actually diminish your rankings. However, do sprinkle your keywords (as well as variations of them) throughout the page’s copy and in subheads. Put them in the title tag (the headline that displays in the top bar of Internet browsers) as close to the beginning as you can. Use them in the alt text of a page’s image, as well as in the URL for that page.
  • Images, videos and infographics. Enhancing copy with different types of media throughout your site can better engage visitors. This, in turn, can increase time spent on your site, impacting rankings.
  • SEO-friendly URLs. Shorter URLs (i.e. website addresses) are ranked better by Google. So go with com/products rather than yourwebsite.com/categorya12/articleandtitlehere.
  • Responsive design. Google is actually penalizing websites that aren’t optimized for tablets and smart phones. Don’t be one of them! Make sure your site is optimized for all devices and computers.
  • Site speed. Site speed is simply how fast pages on your site load. The faster the better. Not only can site speed impact your rankings, but also your user experience, as well.

Don’t have the time to invest in on-page SEO efforts? Turn to the search engine marketing experts at Qiigo. We can do it for you, helping you boost your ranking results and generate more interest in your site. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 to find out how.

 

Are You Budgeting for Content Marketing?

budgeting for content marketingThe end of the year is swiftly approaching. That means you should be in budget planning mode. Is content marketing a part of your efforts? If not, you’re passing up a prime opportunity to enhance your online footprint and drive traffic to your site.

Consider a few statistics. According to research group Aberdeen, year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is 7.8 times higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers. What’s more, according to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing – and generates about three times as many leads.

That’s an impressive return on investments. And it means, when you’re leveraging content marketing, you’re getting more traffic and more leads – and it costs you less to do so. What are a few other reasons content marketing is so important?

It Builds Trust With Your Audience

When you have relevant, authoritative content to share, it demonstrates your expertise with site visitors – and they come to trust you more for it. In fact, 70% of consumers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company. People trust – and buy from – experts who can help solve their problems and pain points.

It Boosts Rankings

When you’re regularly creating expert content, other bloggers and websites will take notice – and link to your site. If it’s a high authority site, it could improve your online visibility since search engines use back-linking as one criterion for ranking sites. The more quality sites linking to yours, the better. And you can only do that through good content marketing.

It’s Easy to Share

If your content is solving a problem for a customer, then chances are high that they’re going to share it on social media with their friends and network. This is good because 71% of customers are more likely to buy when they see content about a product or service that’s shared from a friend.

If the above reasons aren’t enough to convince you that you should be budgeting for content marketing, then think about this: If you’re not, then you’re falling behind your competitors. A recent report from the Content Marketing Institute stated that, on average, 29% of a brand’s total marketing budget is spent on content, with 39% of respondents expecting to increase that number. This means your competitors are most likely investing in content marketing – and if you don’t, you could get left behind in 2017.

Don’t have time to develop your own content marketing strategy and budget? Let the experts at Qiigo help you. We can also create, schedule, and publish content that helps you build your fan base. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 to find out more about content marketing as well as all of our local franchise marketing services.

Qiigo Named to Inc. 5000 List for Second Consecutive Year

inc5000-1334
Qiigo is proud to have been named to the Inc. magazine list of Top 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in the country for the second consecutive year.

Companies selected to the 2016 Inc. 500 | 5000 list must meet minimum revenue requirements for 2012 and 2015. Rankings for this year’s list are determined based on the percentage revenue growth from 2012 and 2015. All companies on the 2016 Inc. 500 | 5000 list are U.S.-based, privately held, independent companies.

Appearing for the second consecutive year on the 2016 Inc. 500 | 5000 list, Qiigo earned the No. 1334 ranking moving up from our 2015 position of No. 1373. This placed Qiigo among the Top 27% of companies on the list. Qiigo’s 3-year revenue growth reached 288%.

Qiigo’s mission is to build brand unity and success by helping businesses get found locally. Through superior service and a comprehensive technology platform Qiigo solidifies relationships with clients and provides them with successful, measurable and manageable results. As a Digital Expert, Qiigo is always listening, making suggestions, and providing critical feedback for future success.

“We are honored to be listed on the 2016 Inc. 500 | 5000 list,” said Rick Batchelor, Qiigo CEO. “To be included in the company of so many leading companies is truly outstanding. We look forward to continued growth during the remainder of this year and far into the future.”

View Qiigo’s profile on the Inc. 500|5000 list

View the complete 2015 Inc. 500|5000 list

YouTube Live-Streaming Goes Mobile (Finally)

Youtube live streaming

In a move that some internet marketing pros are labeling too little, too late, YouTube has developed a mobile live-streaming technology.

Positioned to compete against Periscope and Facebook Live, this new version of YouTube live-streaming is being touted by its developers as the clear choice for major content creators. Despite this, critics say that this new version of YouTube live-streaming doesn’t do enough to distinguish itself from its competitors.

Capabilities Similar to Periscope & Facebook Live

While YouTube was eager to showcase its new live-streaming format when it was announced, those who had a chance to see the new platform in action expressed doubts that it was unique enough to siphon market share from Facebook and Periscope.

Internet marketing insiders have noted, for instance, that the look and interface of the full-screen live feed closely mirrors that of Periscope. The company also added live streaming notifications for channel subscribers, a feature already on Facebook. Furthermore, it announced that live feeds would be recorded and made immediately available post-broadcast. This feature is – you guessed it – already a part of both Facebook and Periscope.

The new platform’s lack of uniqueness could be bad news for YouTube, which is desperate to regain the internet’s live-streaming title – a title it lost by failing to anticipate mobile live-streaming.

Speed, Reliability to Attract Content Creators

Despite all this, YouTube expressed confidence that their new, improved live-streaming platform will woo content creators and internet marketing professionals. While the new platform doesn’t boast flashy or especially unique features, it does have one thing going for it: technical infrastructure.

YouTube claims that its live-streaming capabilities are faster, more robust, and more reliable than those offered by Facebook and Periscope. It’s betting that premium content creators and internet marketing teams will switch over to take advantage of these benefits.

YouTube even took a subtle shot at Facebook during the announcement. YouTube’s product lead for immersive experiences, Kurt Wilms, alluded to an infamous Facebook Live failure by saying that YouTube would be the choice for content creators who broadcasted major events, like interviews with the President. In May of this year, a Buzzfeed live interview with President Obama glitched and died on Facebook Live. Buzzfeed ended up directing its users to a YouTube feed of the event.

See your brand’s road to online success in 1080p resolution with the internet marketing experts at Qiigo. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 and find out how our internet marketing tools and solutions can help your brand.

Verizon Buys Yahoo — The Internet Marketing Impact

yahoo-verizon

Once valued at $125 billion, Yahoo was sold this past week to telecom giant Verizon for a fraction of that figure: $4.8 billion. Yahoo might not be the search titan it once was, but that doesn’t mean that this sale won’t have a big impact on the internet marketing world.

Reports indicate that Verizon is planning on shifting Yahoo core focus to targeted advertising. Verizon may already have a leg up in these efforts, having acquired another onetime internet power player in AOL last year for $4.4 billion. Because of existing ties to Microsoft, this could make Verizon a significant player when it comes to internet marketing.

Yahoo’s Internet Marketing Value to Verizon

Ever since Yahoo was put up for sale this spring, the storyline has held steady. In article after article, internet marketing experts wondered how an internet giant transformed itself into an internet mouse.

But that storyline — as convenient as it is — misses several key details. One of the bigger ones is that Yahoo is still the third-biggest American internet property behind Google and Facebook. While the drop-off from #2 to #3 is significant, that still gives Yahoo significant clout and power.

It also means that Verizon has just acquired a huge chunk of data on internet traffic. That is where internet marketing experts believe Verizon is getting value out of this deal. According to Barclays, Verizon is saving around $500 million a year on the sale, with the bulk of that value coming from the user data that Yahoo generates.

Now, Verizon plans to take that data, combine it with AOL user data, and harness both for the company’s internet marketing and advertising technologies. With the new data, Verizon plans to offer a more carefully targeted ad platform for online and mobile properties.

Verizon’s AOL unit is already a major player in the internet marketing sphere thanks to a deal with Microsoft for display, mobile, and video ads across US and international markets.

Mayer Headed Out, Walden In

Marissa Mayer, the embattled CEO of Yahoo, has announced that she will stay on through the close of the deal. After that, she is expected to be leaving the company entirely, though she has said that she remains open to a role within Verizon’s larger enterprise.

With Mayer out, Verizon’s head of product innovation and new business, Marni Walden, will be overseeing the transition.

Yahoo Inc. Retains Other Ventures

The news isn’t all bad for Yahoo investors. While the company’s internet properties have been sold to Verizon, Yahoo Inc. still retains its shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan Corp. Those combined shares are valued at an impressive $40 billion.

Give your brand a boost when it comes to internet marketing by turning to the experts at Qiigo. From PPC to SEO, display to mobile, and everything in between, our team will unlock your digital potential. Call us at (888) 673-1212 to find out what we can do for your brand.

Qiigo to Attend Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference

fcmc

The 2016 Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference will be held June 21 and 22 at the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta. The Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference takes an in-depth look at what’s trending in franchise marketing today. From branding to marketing technologies to unparalleled networking, the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference is one of the leading franchise industry events. Qiigo is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of this important event.

Attending from Qiigo will be Rick Batchelor, CEO, Jack Monson, Director of Digital Strategy, and Julie Kirkland, Digital Director. You’ll be able to find the Qiigo team at Booth #12. We invite you to stop by and learn how we can help your brand “Unlock Your Digital Potential”.

On Wednesday, June 22 from 4:15 to 5:45 pm, you’ll also be able to find Rick Batchelor at Table 3 leading one of the Business Solution Roundtable Challenge Sessions as part of the Keynote Speaker’s presentation. During the presentation, keynote speaker Curt Steinhorst will issue a challenge to the group. Rick will work his table to craft a solution and present it to the audience. This is your chance to work hand in hand with our CEO to craft a solution to a common problem, distracted audiences.

Not able to attend this year’s Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference, but want to know more about Qiigo’s suite of Digital Marketing products and local franchise marketing services? Call us today at (404) 496-6841.

Google Tests Low-Feature Version of Local Box

In what may be an attempt to improve SERP performance on phones with weaker hardware or poor connectivity, Google has begun to test a new, low-feature version of the local box on mobile devices.

The local box, as it is termed by local search marketers, is a box that contains information about top-ranked businesses in local Google search results. On desktop searches, it appears on the right-hand side. On mobile searches, it appears above the rest of the search results.

Usually, the local box is composed of three bands. The upper band includes an image of the business (usually taken from the business’s Google My Business page) and a Google Maps snapshot showing the business’s location. The second band, which is blue, includes the business’s name, the business’s category, the business’s rating on Google Reviews, and a star icon that allows users to save the business as a favorite. Finally, the lower band includes icons to call the business, search for directions through Google Maps, or visit the business’s website, as well as info about the business’s address and hours.

local box redesign

In the new test, the box has been redesigned, with a stripped-down, less aesthetically-driven look. The upper band is gone completely, with no image of the business and no Google Maps snapshot. Meanwhile, the middle and bottom bands remain. All of the business information is still there, but in a denser, less-colorful format with fewer icons. The only other feature missing is the star that allows users to save businesses.

Why is Google testing this new, stripped-down local box? Local search marketers believe it is a way to improve load speed. Some are suggesting that Google is detecting the connection quality of each user’s device and then using the new, low-feature box on devices with slow load times. This way, users who might otherwise grow frustrated and give up before their search properly loads will be able to see their search results faster.

Improve your local search results on Google and other major search engines by working with the digital marketing team at Qiigo. Call (888) 673-1212 today to learn how our digital marketing strategies can help you conquer Google’s local results.

Google Running Closed Test on “Expanded Text Ads”

Do you often find yourself frustrated with the low character count allowed by Google AdWords? That might change soon, as Google is currently beta testing a new layout for text ads that search engine marketers are raving about. The new layout – termed “Expanded Text Ads” – allows text-based ads with longer headlines and greater display URL flexibility.

Increased Headlines & Display URLs

google tests expanded text ads

For search engine marketers, the most exciting aspect of the new format is the new character count placed on headlines. This was made possible when Google got rid of right-column ads, shifting all ad content to the much wider mainline of SERPs.

Because of this change, Google currently allows longer headlines, but only under certain display conditions. The problem is that Google creates longer headlines for you, which it does by adding the first line of your ad’s main copy to the headline.

There are a few problems with this system. First, Google does not create a longer headline if you have not entered a punctuation mark that separates the two sections. Second, it reduces the amount of ad copy in your ad. Third, it places limits on the kind of headlines and copy you can write.

Google’s new tested format fixes all of these issues. Headline length is extended to 70 characters, and search engine marketers have control over what goes into all of those characters. Even better, Google doesn’t need to steal part of your ad’s main copy to create the headline, so all parts of your ad display in full. In fact, ad copy is now a single, longer field instead of two short fields, opening up new possibilities for the kinds of copy search engine marketers can write.

These is also a little bit of added flexibility for your display URLs. Search engine marketers can now enter a second path or directory to their ads. So a display URL that previously ended with “/HDTVs” can now end “/HDTVs/Megasale”. This gives search engine marketers a little bit of extra room to entice potential leads.

Google Mum on Possible Rollout

While search engine marketers are eager to try out the new format, it may be a while before most of them can do so. Google’s test is in closed beta, with a limited number of participants. Right now, Google is not giving any information about when new participants might be allowed to join the test, or what a timeline might look like for a full rollout of the new ad format.

Unlock the latest in search marketing for your business by partnering with the search engine marketers at Qiigo. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 to find out how our team can boost your online presence.