FAQs about Local SEO

Businesses normally have a lot of questions about SEO, but, one branch that sometimes makes them scratch their heads is the difference between local SEO and traditional SEO. “What is local SEO and how is it different from normal SEO?” is a much more common question posed to digital marketers than people think. This among other frequently asked questions are what I’m going to answer in this article, but first, there’s something we should explain.

The Local Search Results aka “The 3 Pack”

Over the last several years, Google has refined and re-refined their search results pages to give local businesses prime SERP real estate on their first page. The reasoning behind this is simple, Google users want to see what local businesses there are for certain keyword phrases.

For example, let’s say, I’m looking for a good place to have a meal and a drink at the end of the day, A search for “pubs near me” will pull up pubs nearby who are (in this case) within driving distance along with some useful information such as rating, phone number, address, and hours.

Local SEO Screenshot on Pubs near me

Not only is this good for finding a good pub for a pint and burger, it’s also many people’s preferred method for finding anything from daycares to dentists. According to Ed Parsons over at Google about 1 in 3 searches are about locations. Which means that you’ve probably done this yourself so you’re probably familiar with the user side of local SEO. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive in and answer a few of these FAQs shall we?

What is local SEO and how is it different from regular SEO?

As you probably know, SEO is the use of different tactics to make your website rank high on Google, with the first page of search results being the ultimate goal. With local SEO, instead of focusing exclusively on your website, you’re also going to focus on different outlets that list your business information such as Google’s My Business profile page.

For example, try searching for “barbers near me” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. You should see a map in the upper right corner, different barbers names, addresses, and phone numbers along with reviews right at the top of the first page of Google. All of this information is coming from a business’ Google My Business page.

So, the key difference between local SEO and regular SEO is that you need to optimize both your website and your Google My Business profile page to compete for local SEO.

How Do You Get Google To Display Business Results?

One of the biggest points of contention with local SEO is that Google doesn’t always show the “3 pack” in search results. So how do you force Google to show the local business pack instead of normal search results? The long and short of it is, you can’t.

If Google isn’t showing a listing with a map and business profiles, then there is no way to force Google to show your business page. Instead, you’ll just have to optimize your content using traditional SEO tactics.

What Types of Businesses Should Pursue Local SEO?

Google has a full set of guidelines for listing your business in Google. Obviously, if you’re a 100% online presence with no physical location to speak of, then local SEO isn’t for you. The basic rule of thumb is that local SEO is a good marketing avenue for any business that interacts in-person with it’s prospective customers. If you never meet in-person, then it probably isn’t a good fit for your business.

How Can I Get My Business To Rank In Other Cities?

Location is a big factor when it comes to the ranking algorithm for local SEO. Where this is concerned you have to think from the perspective of the searcher. If I’m searching for a restaurant in Albany, it doesn’t help me to see results for places that are in Rotterdam. Google takes this into account which is why the location of the person searching versus the actual location of the business is a big factor in local SEO.

It helps to think of it like a double-edged sword; you’ll have an advantage getting into that local 3-pack the closer your prospective customer is to your business, however, the further away they’re searching, the less likely they’ll see your business. It’s not impossible to rank in other cities than the one you’re located in, just know that it’s going to be an uphill battle to beat out businesses that are closer to the searcher.

Curious about how Mountain Media can help you with your local and traditional SEO? Feel free to shoot us an email and one of our SEO specialists will be glad to consult with you to see how Mountain Media can help bring your business to new heights.

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8 Simple Tips For Improving Landing Pages

There’s no question about it, landing pages and the forms that come with them, are two of the most important elements when it comes to lead generation. Without them, your marketing department would be extremely limited in how they could convert website visitors into leads, and eventually potential conversions. Landing pages help us direct site visitors to pages that have the ability to capture leads more successfully than forms on other web pages. Additionally, they help focus visitors on one specific offer or product, eliminating the distractions of everything else on your website.

However, converting visitors into leads, even with landing pages, is easier said than done. There are quite a few best practices when it comes to setting up and optimizing landing pages. So here’s a few tips to help improve better converting landing pages.

 Make Sure All Critical Elements Are Included

Landing pages are used to convert visitors into prospects. This is done mainly by having them complete a transaction or collecting contact information. In order for either of these to occur, you need to include these critical elements.

  • A headline
  • Sub-headline (optional)
  • At least one supporting image
  • A form to capture the visitors’ information **Very Important**

Remove the Main Navigation

Once you have a visitor arrive at a landing page, it’s your job to make sure they stay there. So if there is anything to distract them, this can lead to them abandoning the landing page before they even convert! One of the best ways to make sure that the customer has nothing to distract them is to remove the navigation bar from your landing pages. This will help them focus on the page because there’s no place else for them to go.

Keep Your Message Consistent

What we mean by this is, make sure your call-to-action is the same as your headline of the landing page. If people click on a CTA for something you market as free only to find out that there’s a catch, they’ll immediately lose trust in you. Additionally, if the headline reads differently than what the CTA is, the customer might become confused and think that the call to action was linked to the wrong page. You can eliminate both of these issues by making sure your landing page is consistent in its messaging.

Less Is More

All of us probably remember the KISS method from high school and college, “Keep It Simple Stupid.” That same philosophy should apply to your landing pages. A cluttered landing page with lots of text and information will result in your visitors being confused, distracted, and (even worse) overwhelmed. Instead, keep the page very simple by using just enough text and imagery to get your point across.

Encourage Social Sharing

Don’t forget to include social sharing buttons that would enable your prospects to become brand ambassadors for your products. To limit clutter on your landing page, only include social buttons that you know your audience would use. Additionally, make sure to always include an email option because some people have different sharing preferences than others.

More Landing Pages = More Leads

This is pretty simple, the more content, offers, and landing pages you create, the more opportunities you have to generate leads for your business. More landing pages also means more targeted content towards your different buyer personas, which can also help increase your conversion rates.

Reduce Fear With Proof Of Protection

In today’s world, people are more protective of their personal information than ever before. No one wants to be the victim of identity theft, and websites that seem completely safe and legitimate might be hiding a dastardly bug or exploit in their system that leaks this sensitive information. Luckily, there are a few different features you can add to your landing pages that would help reduce this anxiety.

  • Adding a privacy message that indicates visitors’ information will never be shared or sold.
  • If your form requires sensitive information, include security seals, your BBB rating, or certifications so visitors know their information is safe with you.
  • Adding testimonials or customer logos is a great way to assuage your customers by showing that other companies/individuals have trusted you with their information

Short and Simple

Sometimes when people see a long form, they don’t fill it out because it looks like it could be time consuming. If your form requires a lot of fields, make it look as short as possible. Reducing the spacing in-between fields and aligning the titles to the left of each field instead of above it makes the form seem shorter.

What tips do you have for better conversions with landing pages? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Essentials of Video Marketing for Ecommerce

Video marketing has successfully insinuated itself in almost every online experience and provides the perfect complement to content marketing. Regardless if the video is informative, comedic, or somewhere in between, videos are going to play a vital role in any brand’s future marketing strategy.

Demand Metric recently released a report that 70 percent of marketers are now using videos as part of their marketing strategies. Additionally, 82 percent of marketers surveyed indicated that video content marketing has proven successful when implemented. Given these figures, there is plenty of reasons to consider implementing video content marketing in your current marketing strategy. If you need any more proof of how essential video marketing has become to your marketing strategy, just check out the infographic below.

Video Marketing Infographic

Whether you’re going to implement video marketing in your current strategy or in the future, make sure to follow these essentials to make sure your video marketing achieves optimal success.

Identify Your Goals

Before you shoot your first take, begin by thinking about what you want to accomplish with your videos. Are you looking to boost awareness of one of your products or services? Are you trying to use the video to recruit talent? Or, are you trying to increase your brand awareness?

Whatever your goals are, make sure you define them so that you can accurately measure to see if your video marketing efforts have succeeded. Along with your goals you’re going to have to define what counts as a success? Is it how many times your video has been viewed? Or will it be based on an increased number of subscribers to your video channel?

Is It Relevant To Your Audience?

To ensure that your video is relevant, think about the audience you wish to reach when you’re developing your marketing strategy. Don’t overlook the opportunity to get creative in order to reach your audience.

It’s All About The Experience

Consider for a moment, that you’ve been confronted with something you’ve never heard of. Let’s say, you’re making a dish and it requires you to temper an egg. A cooking site or blog is your best friend right? Absolutely, but a video can really show you what the technique is used for and how to do it properly without scrambling the egg.

As Michael Litt, founder of VidYard says, “video is the next best thing to being in person.” That’s because it provides us with the feeling of being there and experiencing something first hand, even if, it’s still just a virtual experience.

Have A CTA

Regardless of how well your video is acted and produced, it may fail to yield the expected results if you don’t include a CTA (call-to-action). Think about the goals you defined for your video marketing strategy, how do you plan to achieve those goals? In order to achieve the most impact with your videos and in the process meeting your goals, including a call-to-action can help you maximize that impact. Make sure you include both a visual and audible call to action to help achieve this.

Distributing Your Video Marketing

Finally, when distributing your video, make sure to distribute it to the networks that will reach your target audience the best. Additionally, make sure that you don’t overlook social media, even B2B customers use YouTube and other social media platforms when doing research on products or services. Additionally, make sure the video is optimized for mobile viewing, as over 50 percent of internet traffic now comes from a mobile source.

What do you feel is essential to making your video marketing efforts a success? Need help getting your video marketing off the ground? Shoot us an email or give us a call, we’d be glad to discuss with you how to achieve your video marketing goals.

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8 Landing Page Best Practices

So, you’ve made the leap and opened up a website to help sell your product. But, you want to make sure your customers have something to see when they land at your shiny new site. Well, this is where landing pages come in. Think of them as the complimentary bottles of water that you get when you check in to a hotel. They make you feel welcomed and mainly are there to help encourage you to possibly raid the mini-fridge later. However, a bad landing page can have customers go off your site faster than you can say bounce rate. Well, that’s what we’re here for, to help you make sure that when potential customers come to your site, they don’t want to leave. Here’s our list of the top 10 best practices you should use when building your landing pages.

Tip #1 – Why Do I Need A Landing Page In The First Place?

Good Question! Let’s break this down a bit before we answer it. First off, what is a landing page? Well, a landing page is a standalone page that’s tangentially attached to your website. They’re also designed for someone who’s on your site to complete an action, whether this is signing up for a mailing list, purchase something, it can also simply be used as a gate to gather information before the visitor gets to the main part of your site. Mainly, this page is used for someone to complete an action and leave the page. So if you’re looking to build a mailing list to help gain repeat customers, and let’s be honest here, who isn’t? Then that is why you need a landing page or several for your site.

Tip # 2 – Make Sure Your Landing Page Can Adapt

No, I’m not talking about making your landing page into some kind of AI bent on…hold on I’ve seen this movie before. Anyway, adaptive content means that the landing page works on multiple streams. I.e. Can work across social media platforms, slideshares, email blasts, can be syndicated, you get where I’m going with this? However, don’t try to make it work with every single channel out there, all you’ll end up with is a headache. Make the landing page work across a few channels where you know that these channels are where you want to get traffic from.

Tip #3 – Make Sure The Landing Page Is Responsive

Alrighty guys and gals, it’s 2015, mobile is not going away, it’s just getting bigger. Mobile made up 55% of all search in 2014, so you can imagine what it is now. Plus, portents are pointing towards Google giving extra goodies (read: ranking factor) for sites that are mobile friendly. So what do you have to make sure that you have to do? That’s right! Make sure the landing page is responsive and can work across all devices; mobile, tablet, and desktop because you will get traffic across all 3, so make sure you can handle all 3.

Tip # 4 – Pay Attention To Your Competitors

The best way to do research to see what works for landing pages and what doesn’t, is looking at what your competitors are doing. Got a competitor that’s taking your lunch money? Mosey on over to their site and look to see what’s good about it. Watch for trends, and read articles (like this one!) to find what’s big, what’s good, and what you should move past/get rid of if you have it. This leads us to our next point…

Tip #5 – A/B Test Like There Is No Tomorrow!

Split test, split test, split test…did I say split test? Split testing is a great tool as it lets you dissect what your customer base responds to by finding out what they like and dislike about the landing page. Not only will you gain insight into your customers’ behavior, you’ll also help to increase your conversion rate, by implementing these incremental changes.

Tip #6 – Seduce Your Prospects With Your Copy

Alright, so we’re going to switch gears here and talk more about design than concept. One of the biggest things when dealing with landing pages is you have a very short window to convince someone to stay. According to Hubspot, 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a page before leaving. So you have to make sure your content is short, concise, and to the point whatever it is you’re saying. If you can’t read it in 15 seconds it’s too long.

Tip #7 – Make That Call To Action Big And Beautiful

When building your landing page, having your customers performing an action is the reason why you built it in the first place. So you’re going to want to make sure that the CTA that you build for the page is big and in a prominent position above the fold. Additionally, you’re going to want to make sure that you use your copy to entice your visitors so that they fill out the form. Finally, only ask for information you need, additional information might turn off your visitor and they’ll leave.

Tip # 8 – Landing Pages Are Not The End Of The Rainbow…Thank You Pages Are

So you’ve designed the landing page, your potential customer has filled out the form for more info, now what? Getting a user to fill out your form is not where the process ends. You’re going to want to direct them to a thank you page for a few reasons. Firstly, it allows you to engage with the customer further. By directing them to a landing page, you can direct them from there to check out your blog, the rest of your site, or interact with you on social media. Additionally, a thank you page allows you to explain what happens next, and when your prospect will get their info/white paper/free stuff.

Well, there you have it folks, by using these best practices, you’ll have a high-converting landing page in no time! Need help? Or looking for something more than just a landing page? Swing by mountainmedia.com or give us a call at 1-877-583-0300.

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