Category Archives: Small Business Marketing

Local SEO Step-By-Step Guide

An Easy to Follow Local SEO Guide for Small Businesses
local SEO guide

I’ve been offering many SEO training events all over Westchester NY, NYC and CT and there is a takeaway I give attendees at the end of each and every seminar that people have been raving about.  It’s a short 10 page guide I made up on how to implement Local SEO for Small Businesses.  I am now giving away this local SEO step-by-step guide for free. All I ask is that you share and like the information through your social networks in return. Just like, plus or tweet below and the download link will be revealed for the full 10 page pdf guide! Enjoy!

How to Write Content for Your Brand: Having a Unique Voice in Writing to Stand Out

branding with content marketingContent marketing is the new buzzword when it comes to online marketing. SEO was sooo 2001. Social media has been and gone. It’s now all about Content Marketing. Whilst I don’t actually agree with these statements, it does throw up an out of the ordinary and problematic situation for brands that are now engaging in content marketing. The problem is that everyone is doing it! So how are you going to break through the mass of content and make your writing and your message stand out? In this article, I take a look why giving your content a voice is crucial to whether or not your content marketing efforts succeed. Hold tight, this could be a bumpy ride (for your existing strategy).

The Internet is Awash with Content with No Voice

Every man and his dog now have a blog. Kids are even being told to start a blog when they get to college in order to, ‘get their name out there’. Most of these blogs are truly terrible, but sometimes the content is actually pretty good. Millions of blog posts get published every day. Thousands of eBooks go live too. The competition is crazy!

That’s bad enough for businesses, but when we combine this with a tool such as Feedly and we’ve got a real problem. Feedly, if you don’t already know, allows you to read articles from all across the internet in one single location. It strips away all of your website branding and presents the reader with just the naked content. It’s a great tool for readers, but when it comes to publishing content it throws up an interesting problem. How does the reader know that the content is yours?

Why Do You Need a Voice?

It’s worth thinking about this question for a second. If you just write content to appear for certain search terms and not much else, I guess a voice isn’t vital. You’re aim, in this instance, is to appear in search engines and gain impressions. You don’t need a voice for that. However, most businesses write content for more than just impressions. They want the readers to sign up to an offer. Or they want them to subscribe to the mailing list. If you want the reader of your content to do more than just read what you’ve written, if you want to connect with them and incite an action on their behalf, you need to have a voice. A voice that they will want to hear more of, that will help to convert them from readers to advocates of your brand.

Why You Won’t Find Your Voice Today

Luckily, finding the voice of your brand probably won’t happen overnight. Why is that a good thing? Well, can you imagine your blog all of a sudden reads totally differently than how it has done for the past six months? Your existing readers are going to wonder what is going on. Worst case scenario, they may all leave you. So luckily, a true voice can’t be found overnight. It’s something that develops as your business grows.

Feedback from readers is perhaps the biggest driving force behind this. Develop your content around what your readers like. Do they prefer a humorous tone? Do they like facts and figures? They may be more creatively minded and as such prefer rich graphics and images.

These are all things that you can gauge from your existing audience. Engage with them. Talk to them. Ask them. They are your biggest advocates and they are the ones who will make content marketing work for you. Without them, you just have content.

Getting a Head Start

So whilst you won’t be able to develop your voice into a finished product today, you can begin to put things into order now. Think about whom your ideal customer is and why they read your content. Are they looking for some light-hearted reading after a hard day at work? Do they need some cold-hard facts that they can reel off to their boss in the middle of a heated debate? You probably already know your target audience, so begin to think what they would want. There are a few companies who do this incredibly well and you could learn a lot from them.

Buffer is a social media posting tool, but there blog has an incredible voice that attracts their ideal user. The blog is transparent and adheres to their culture. Its popularity shows just how well received the content is.

Coursefindr is another start-up that has really nailed its voice. It’s aimed at kids from the UK that are looking for a university degree. When you read their content, you can really tell that it knows how to talk to them. Whilst it’s got all the facts and important stuff that teachers and parents look for, it delivers it in a manner that the students find interesting and engaging.

Finally, Seth Godin is a thinker/author/speaker who knows that his readers are bombarded with content every day. Instead of aiming for blog posts that surpass the 1,000 word mark, he writes short posts that you can read before you get out of bed in the morning. Each post has a real focus and he uses his words wisely.

What ‘Your Voice’ Will Look Like

As you learn more from your readers and begin to think about who your target reader is, it’s important to make sure you keep your voice steady through each article or blog post you write. My personal preference for doing this is to have a ‘living document’ that you continually update. I use bullet points so I can easily see what makes up ‘the voice’. Points such as, ‘to the point’, ‘funny’, ‘professional’, ‘juvenile’, are the types of words that I would include.

I also like to have these printed off and stuck to the wall in front of my screen. It acts as a constant reminder for how I should be writing any content and also allows me to switch between writing styles more easily. Of course, if you’re only writing content for your own brand, then you may be able to get away with just the digital version that you can refer to before proofreading your article.

In essence, finding your voice is a never-ending journey. It’s a fun one though, and one that is well worth the effort. Your content will be recognised by readers more easily and you’ll see the benefits in the comment box beneath your articles too!

If you’ve already got your voice, let me know how you keep yourself on tone when writing. I’m always interested to hear how other people work!

About the Author

Lewis Love is a professional Marketing Consultant, specialising in new media. He’s the author of the bestselling book, Facebook Business Basics.

SEO Marketing: Savvy Bits And Tips Why It Boosts Your Business

 

SEO marketingMore than two billion people worldwide use the internet on a regular basis. In fact, this number is set to increase exponentially in a few years to come. This means that businesses can maximize their sales and increase their profits by tapping into the market potential that the internet has to offer. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to do this because they do not invest as much as they should in SEO marketing. Yes, SEO marketing can help your business in ways you never thought possible. Here is how SEO marketing can be of benefit to you.

SEO Marketing Allows You to Benefit from Professional Tools of Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is a professional undertaking and as such, various tools and techniques exist that make it effective. Only professional SEO companies have updated versions of these tools. In addition, these companies also understand the techniques necessary to improve your search engine ranking. You will be at a great disadvantage if you decide to do your own SEO marketing because you will not have these tools at your disposal. Moreover, you may not understand how to use the various techniques that are necessary when it comes to marketing your website or blog over the internet.

SEO Marketing Increases Web Traffic To Your Website

It is important for you to note that there are over two hundred and fifty million registered domains in the world. Why would potential web visitors visit your website/blog and not visit others websites or blogs. You should take some time to think over this question because it will show you the importance of SEO marketing. To put it differently, SEO marketing will make your website more appealing to potential web visitors. This means that they would rather visit your website than go to other websites that have similar products, services or information.

SEO Marketing Improves the Popularity of Your Brand

Selling a product over the internet is all about credibility. No one is willing to buy a product from a company that he or she has never heard of before. The same goes with the information you display on your website. No one will believe the information you display if he or she cannot find the same website on other search engines or at the top of a search engine results page. This is why the popularity of your brand matters. SEO marketing will make your brand visible on all search engines. Moreover, it will ensure that your website appears at the top of search engine results. This kind of internet marketing will also help you to increase your market share in your niche market.

SEO Marketing Offers You a Better Return on Your Investment

Spending money on any given item in your business should lead to a sizeable return on investment. This includes hiring your employees, hiring equipment and purchasing software. The same applies to your investment in SEO marketing. Trying to save costs by hiring your own staff will only lead to reduced efficiency and burgeoning costs. This is because your staff members lack professional training on SEO management and internet marketing. This means that they will only take up resources without delivering adequate results. In contrast, a professional SEO company will only deliver results because you pay them for results in addition to the fact that they are capable of delivering those results.

As you can now tell, SEO marketing is extremely beneficial to your business. It can help your business to achieve great heights and open up new doors. Hire a professional and competent SEO company today. Contact us for details and assistance on SEO marketing. We are here to help you.

Phil Smith is an avid blogger on websites, servers, and data storage. He also shares his best insights about getting the bestSEO services from Turning Point company .

What Will 2014 Bring for Local Search Marketing?

Local-SEOAs opportunity grows for businesses to connect with customers via search, so do the challenges of determining the best approach. Here are a few local search happenings to expect in this year.

National to Local Approach for Brands

The idea of a coordinated national to local strategy will become a reality for more brands and local businesses in 2014. Many local markets (and vertical industries) are very competitive and keyword saturated, making it difficult for national and regional brands, as well as for independent business owners, to win the online visibility game on their own.

National marketers that depend on the success of independent business owners (franchises, dealers, contractors) will find they can create a platform effect with a coordinated national-to-local approach to SEO, social media and content marketing.

Mobile Optimized Websites

Making sure a business’ website is mobile optimized might mean the difference between being found by customers on a mobile browser or not. With more consumers shopping via mobile, it is clear that site traffic is moving to mobile. So, being mobile-ready is a must.

In 2013, we witnessed Google giving prominence in mobile SERPs to local businesses that properly configured their websites for mobile devices, and this will be a growing trend in 2014.

Some websites could even be penalized by Google and the other major search engines if they’re not optimized correctly. Also on the mobile front, strategies like click-to-call will become even more interesting as they play a larger role in the digital lead generation strategy for many business verticals.

Google will Focus more on Ratings & Reviews

In 2013, Google focused on ramping up its local ratings and reviews. It will continue to try to gather this rich, hyper local content from local consumers to grow Google+.

In another sign of this effort, businesses with verified Google listings will continue to reap benefits including having the ability to see customer ratings and reviews in their Places for Business dashboard and the ability to reply to those reviews.

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