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12 Feb 16:09

Online Reviews ~ Your Business Is Failing Your Customers!

How Your Online Reviews Impact Your Business



84% of consumers stated in a survey that they trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations.

 

Now, as far as I’m concerned this is a massive statistic and a massive statement that I don’t believe most people are actually paying attention to or using to their advantage when it comes to their online reputation and marketing.

Now anyone who has been in business for any period of time for anyone who knows anything about marketing understands one fact, and it’s been going around the planet for decades and is this, word-of-mouth marketing is without question the best form of marketing.

Now this is an extremely powerful phrase and the reason why is because personal recommendations equal trust. If your brother’s says to do business with somebody you do. If your mom says I like that guy hes done my work for me, you generally will hire them to do the same for you, so this is important to understand.

However, it’s important understand that not everybody can get that “personal recommendation”.

The though that most businesses and individuals for that matter have in their head is tha,t you offer a product or service to an individual or to another business and if they are happy with the product or the service, then they begin to shout from the rooftops how amazing you are as a company and how happy they were and how they will always do business with you again over and over and over and over and continue to do this until the their dying days.

Here’s a newsflash for everybody to pay attention to, it doesn’t work like that.

 

The reality is according this website , customers will tell about 2-3 people if the have had a good experience… fact.

 

 

However on the other side of that, they will tell 8-10 people about a bad experience .

 

Don’t you think it’s about time to start paying attention to some different approaches to start explaining how good you are at what you do?

This is where online reviews become so much more important than most people realise. Immediately after users have experienced your product or service, all you have to do is point them to one of the hundreds of review sites online and asked them to leave their opinion on what they thought about your service.

So why aren’t more companies taking full advantage of online customer reviews?

The reality is most people just don’t get it.

They don’t understand the importance of customer reviews, they don’t understand where these customer review sites are and they just don’t understand the exact power of online reviews. For example almost 60% of business owners haven’t even claimed a Google business listing. In fact they don’t even know that it exists, which means people could be leaving negative comments about their business all day long and these owners are losing business and don’t even realise it.

 

Online businesses reviews are important because they are made by real people who have real opinions and reviews and more important than anything else you can’t delete them.

 

This is why individuals trust online reviews as much as they do because if somebody leaves a positive review about their honest opinion of the business or somebody leaves a negative review about their honest opinion on the business, it is still the opinion of the individual no matter what and that’s what people trust, they know for a fact that this is a person who has a thought. So how do you tap into this culture to help your overall brand?

The first thing that you have to do is deliver a good product or service no matter what this is. A bad services or product will build a bad reputation, so lets try to avoid that.

The next point, and this is the most important part is to ask your customers. Understand when I say ask your customers I mean asking them immediately at the point when a sale has been made or very shortly after. You’d be surprised how many businesses feel that it’s not appropriate to ask a question or don’t want to bother the customers to ask the question.

Now, let’s be clear, not everyone is going to say yes, and that’s okay as well. Online reviews provide businesses with an opportunity to learn what they are doing well and what they can improve on. So make sure to welcome negative feedback, as this is the only way you can really grow your business…by learning.  

S o do I honestly feel that online customer reviews matter… yes I absolutely feel they do and whilst the stats say 84% I believe one hundred percent trust what they read. Now it’s important understand one fact as well in life you pretty much have a 50-50 chance of accomplishing anything. So if you had a 80% to 85% chance of someone sharing their experience about your business and that you would more than likely to get business from it, is not something that you want to explore at least a little bit further instead of listening to the old ways of doing marketing and business and hoping that people may spread a good word when really thy only spread bad words.

If you are curious about how to start taking advantage of how to utilise online reviews to build your brand and grow your your business, then contact us today. However even if you don’t contact us, you need to do what is necessary to ensure that you always know what is being said about you online . 

12 Feb 16:09

Facebook Marketing Made Easy

by contact@backgroundmarketing.co.uk (Terrence Kent)

Facebook Marketing Is Easier Than You Think

 

Do You Need Social Network Marketing for Your Business?


Traffic generation is an important criterion that plays a significant role in the promotion of your respective blog or website. 
Creating a blog or business site has grown to be extremely easy these days. However, the hardest part is generating the traffic. 

 

Some excellent methods which can be used by you are Facebook marketing, marketing with video, market and keyword research, article marketing, free classifieds, advertisements, forum marketing and article submission.

First of all, the internet business you are marketing will need to have both profile and fan page on Facebook. 

 

Facebook marketing is primarily consisting of both of these forms of pages with this famous social media site. 

 

Your social media profile page will be your default business page on Facebook while fan page is extra storage to get more possible customers. 

 

Signing up with these two Facebook pages will be the initial step in Facebook marketing.

The last time I checked, there are over 350 million users on Facebook which is a massive number of users.

 

 It overtook MySpace because of number 1 online community website on earth this past year which is just behind Google about online traffic. 

 

You are then in a position to know how important Facebook marketing has become for all those websites.

Interaction is the key to social media success. You will need to engage your fans, not only to promote but also to build a rapport. 

 

You can be creative with all the questions too! Don't just seek advice which is a method to a conclusion on your business. 

 

This approach is not a client satisfaction survey we are doing here; it is looking to strike up a conversation using your exact to life fans.

You can do some things, and we will attempt to explain them here. For instance, take a look at other brands or internet businesses and see how they are promoting themselves on Facebook. 

 

You can try and build a Facebook fan page where individuals will be watching news and updates about your products and evolution. This technique is also ideal to reach what your clients' desires and requires are since they will be commenting your new posts. Don't post Nonsense on Facebook!


Finally if you internal team is big enough, create a social media policy and have your team take part in the outreach.

 

12 Feb 16:09

6 Smart Approaches to Prevent Google Penalties

Google Address sign for penalty reconsideration

How to Avoid Google Penalties

Google penalties can hit a website hard, and this usually results in a significant loss for you and your organization.


 Google will penalize sites for not following their established guidelines.


If Google administers a penalty on your site, this means that your site will no longer be listed on their search results, or rankings for your targeted keywords will drop drastically. 


If your website suffers a Google penalty due to bad marketing, unnatural links, thin content, doorway pages, or any other negative actions, then your target audience will find it difficult to see your company.


And, once you're invisible to your intended audience, you may lose your visitors and any potential revenue that would come with those visitors.


Google uses algorithms and other tools to understand how you're attempting to get more visitors to your blog.


If they're contrary to Googles terms, then you'll be subject to a number of manual penalties.


 This is why you have to optimize your site regularly to help save you and your site from Google penalties, and to give your users a good web experience.


Following are a few techniques which you may utilize to prevent Google penalties.

1. Keep Current with Google's Algorithm Changes


Google changes its algorithm over 600 times each year. If you would like to avoid penalties, then you need to get updated with the most recent and the most significant changes in Google's algorithm.


Historically, the biggest algorithmic changes happened during the Penguin and Panda updates , which negatively affected a large number of websites.


Hence, marketers need to avoid doing any incorrect action that could affect your SEO Strategy and trigger a manual action and review of your website.


While manual actions and any manual penalty that may result from the reviews are rare if you are following the rules, it's important to understand that ranking in Google search is not the main goal, improving your customer experience is.


It not only saves you the possibility of experiencing the Google penalties process but also rewards you for offering a fantastic user experience and appropriate content to your users. If the rules change, you need to be clear on how to adapt quickly.


2. Follow All the Rules


Algorithm changes don't matter if you don't understand the rules of the game first. Google makes the rules, and it's our role to follow them. If you do not adhere to the instructions, you may be penalized or removed from the Google index.


You will hear a lot of digital marketers discuss dictate what you can't do , and what you can, without actually understanding what the guidance is from Google first.


If you follow the rules that Google has laid out, Google will reward your site with increased rankings, which will result in more traffic.

3. Ignore Keyword Stuffing


Keyword research is essential and should be at the top of any businesses to-do list. Keywords research is one of the most crucial elements regarding ranking a website, but stuffing keywords tells Google to develop a negative opinion about your site's reputation.


Keyword stuffing is an outdated strategy that pertains to loading many critical terms in a page that may manipulate the website's rank. Irrelevant keywords or too many variations of the same search phrase that seem unnatural may be the main reason behind a lousy google ranking.


The number of keywords should be adjusted in line with how long your content is. Thus, your primary focus should be on providing excellent content first, and not with the correct use of keywords.


4. Create Qualitative Content


Qualitative content is the new normal for any promotion. If the content that you're providing for your user isn't appropriate and relevant, then it's fair to assume that your users will not be interested, which will make it harder to get new users.


It might help if you did the items listed below when creating content to Reduce the odds of being penalized?


- Prevent grammatical mistakes


- Use proper sentence formation


- Duplicate content has no value - Don't Do It!


- Always write relevant content with accurate information


- Keep track of everything you write, and go back over it over time to ensure you are still not at risk of any Google penalties.


These are the easiest ways to avoid a Google penalty.

5. Prevent Bad Linking Strategies


Inappropriate or broken links in your site may be the main reason for a sinking website. Eliminate all of the traffic from the page which is coming from websites which aren't quality.


Google algorithms work quickly and locate all of the links which aren't trusted. Sources like social media links tend to not add much value, so understanding how to get quality links is a post for another time.


When Google begins indexing your website, it looks deep into your backlink profile to better understand what websites link back to you.


Google looks at the quality of links to your site profile and the established anchor text to determine if a site can be trusted or not.


6. Work On Your SEO Regularly


SEO is the most significant aspect of ranking your websites. It assesses traffic, keywords, domain authority content, interlinking, and anchor text, etc., to boost your website's value in the eyes of Google.


SEO is how you make the internet better.


You have to optimize your site from time to time and carry out necessary tasks to minimize the possibilities of attracting penalties from Google.


There are a lot of search engine optimization agencies which may be bad for your site; it's your job to have a basic understanding of the work you want them to carry out. If you are unclear, always ask an agency to clarify their position before they get started.

Google penalties aren't something you want your business to experience. It will help your business both now, and in the future, if you help your business avoid this possibility. 



Use the above mentioned powerful approaches to prevent Google penalties in the future.

12 Feb 16:09

5 Vital Digital Marketing Methods For Success

by contact@backgroundmarketing.co.uk (Terrence Kent)

5 Digital Marketing Tactics For Success.

If you want to get the most out of your business, then these digital marketing methods are a must.

Mobile Marketing - Of all of the digital marketing approaches that you could be using, mobile is probably one of the fastest groing approaches. It also represents a few unique oportunities for those with more technical skills. From mobile ads or GPS tracking to basic mobile apps, there really is no shortage of opportunities you can use to grow your brand.

 

Social Marketing - This style of marketing is most beneficial for those that are more creative, or for those that love being in front of people. Once again, this is where marketing managers are expected to spend the bulk of their time and money this year. While most of you probably believe that you understand social media, with constant changes to most of the major algorithms, be sure to pay a lot of attention to your analytics, and always be testing.

 

 

Website Design / Development - The reality is that trying to have a successful business in this day and age without a website is a lot like trying to sail across the Atlantic in a rubbish bin. The journey will be long, and uncomfortable, and statistically speaking you probably won't succeed. However having a website isn't enough . You should be conducting a consistent behavioral analysis to see not only how your users interact with your site, but you should as well be looking at ways to improve the overall user experience of your users. However none of it really matters without well thought out content.

 

Content Marketing & Development - As previously stated well thought out content is the key to any digital marketing campaign, and should be where you spend the bulk of your time. When it comes to content creation the key thing to remember is that everything is content. No matter if you are talking a quick social media post or a 2000 word blog post making sure that you are creating engaging content that gets users to take action should be your goal before you publish anything.

 

Digital Marketing / Advertising - While typically many would say that this is the catchall for all other forms of marketing online, I believe it should be looked at seperately. The reality is the analytics and SEM side of digital marketing deserve their own categories. Search engine marketing, has been and will continue to be the most cost effective way to get new business. This is just a simple fact.

 

12 Feb 16:08

Can You Actually Guarantee Results In SEO?

by contact@backgroundmarketing.co.uk (Terrence Kent)

Why Can't You Guarantee SEO Results?

I would like to talk about a frequently asked question throughout the marketing space that I believe that most people don't take the time to think about the answer. That question is can you guarantee results using digital marketing for your small business?


Now before you answer this question, it's important to understand one undeniable fact. The information you will read on this subject is being written by marketers just like myself, and that our job is to get you to think along our way of thinking. It doesn't necessarily mean one opinion is right or one idea is wrong. What matters is what works best for your business. My goal is to try to get you use a little bit of common sense when approaching this question and then to re-evaluate how you look at the answer.

 

Now the reality is that whenever you Google this question or any variation of this question in regards to SEO or ranking websites or anything along these lines there is a specific response that states that, no you cannot guarantee results and that you should stay away from any company that does claim to promise results.

 



Well, today I’d like to challenge that thought process. Let's be honest for a second. Why can't you guarantee results in this day and age utilising digital marketing for your small business? Seriously, if you can’t ensure at least some form of results, then what exactly is a small business owner paying for when they contract an internet marketing company ?

 



Now many years ago Google went on record in stating that no one can guarantee number one rankings, they never explicitly said that you could not guarantee page 1 rankings. As well, they never said that you couldn’t promise improved rankings. In fact, Google teaches a course on how to improve your rankings organically feel free to take a look here.

 

 

Now the argument is that there is no possible way to guarantee top rankings and I'm not exactly sure why you cannot.

 



In fact, I would venture to say that with regards to SEO you can guarantee page 1 rankings, however, what you can't do is guarantee sustained page 1 rankings.

 


Anyone who understands the process of search engine optimisation or any aspect of digital marketing understands that things regularly change. If you are an SEO agency that is doing your job and that you are continually testing and continually monitoring results, you will see certain trends that you should be following, and if you're following those trends, you should be able to make pretty strong guarantees based on a particular point in time. Now again what you cannot guarantee is how long a webpage will stay ranked, or how long it will take to see rankings increase for a webpage

Now I know I'm going to get a whole lot of abuse for making such a bold claim that you can, in fact, guarantee results in SEO or digital marketing but let's be honest and break things down a little bit further for a second. Take a market that you want to explore. I don't care what business you're in, I don't care what industry, and I don't care how big or small the companies are and look at the top 10 results when you Google whatever phrases associated with each market. Now look at what they were a year ago and look at what they were six months ago and look at what they were three months ago and look at what they are now. Now, wait and see what they are a month from now and look at what they are two months from now.


Now I understand that for you small business owners out there you aren’t tracking your rankings in multiple markets, but I bet you know who is ranking on page one for your target market.

Now what you will realise is there's not a whole lot of changing in these websites that are on page 1 because Google has understood that these pages are doing something predictable and guaranteed and Google wants them to stay in a position that promises to give users the best experience.


So common sense says if you can repeat a similar process to what these ten pages have been doing you can, in fact, guarantee results based on common sense. Right?


Now about every other aspect of digital marketing can you guarantee results. Yes! Once again the reason I say this is because we live in an age of complete data information and analytics we can look at numbers and make logical choices based on what the data tells us.


For example, if a small business owner walks into a digital marketing agency and says I only have three Facebook followers can you increase my following? Yes, I can guarantee you an increase in your audience. If somebody states I don't have enough content on my website can you add more content to my site? Yes, I can guarantee that we can create more content.

Now to wrap this thing up a whole lot better in a beautiful big bow for all of you to read if somebody comes in and says I don't have enough people looking at my site can you increase traffic? The answer is yes; I can guarantee that your traffic will increase from working with our digital marketing because we understand how to read data.


Now again, I am positive there are going to be people who are going to read this and still fight to the end by telling people you can’t guarantee results because they have spent years discussing business owners that, no you can’t deal with this business or that business because they guarantee results. They have made a fortune from saying small business owners that companies that promise results are bad news.


I do wonder though why don’t we consider companies that don't guarantee results a problem?


If you can’t ensure results for your clients why exactly are you taking their money? What exactly do you promise them if you do not promise them results? You should be able to guarantee results in any business. If I walk into any company, I expect that company to ensure that they're going to do what they say. There should be a guarantee based on their service, not a promise to try, but a commitment to in fact get results.

 

Again this information has come from marketers and since “I’ll try my best” Isn’t a feasible sales tactic, what they tell you is anyone that guarantees results is wrong, and that’s just nonsense.

 



Now let's be clear, even though I stated this earlier I want to make sure that it's clear again, so everybody understands.

 



The issue is not guaranteeing results; you can ensure results in any aspect of digital marketing. I don't care whether its social media, or whether it’s SEO. I don't care whether it's traffic generation, the lead generation it doesn't matter all aspects of digital marketing can without question be guaranteed, and the process is verifiable to show a guaranteed return on investment .

 



The real question is the amount of time that it will take to get those results and the amount of time that those results will be maintained primarily in regards to search engine optimisation.

 

 

SEO on its own is an entirely different monster...

12 Feb 15:56

Why Hire An SEO Consultant?

SEO Consultant Help?

 1. SEO Saves Effort

Ask yourself, do you want to put in more effort in optimizing your website content or improving your business?

 

Unless you have an unlimited amount of time and energy, it is usually unwise to put all of your effort into website optimization.

 

You can’t learn how to optimize your company in a few days. It takes experience and a careful understanding of the latest Google updates as well as your website’s aims.


Rather than focusing on learning a completely different subject, focus on improving your business, and leave SEO (search engine optimisation) to an agency that has experience in search.

2. They're Job Is To Get You Results.

 If you hire a good consultant , they will do a better job of optimizing your content than you ever could.

 

Remember, these consultants have extensive knowledge of optimization. They keep themselves up to date with all of the latest changes being introduced in search and highlight new trends.


 A digital marketing expert will know the best SEO practices in use today and help you create an SEO strategy that will get results.

 

With years of experience behind them, a good consultant will help you in creating a robust optimization campaign for your company. 

 3. Avoid Pitfalls

 We have already mentioned that there are no shortcuts in terms of SEO. If you want to make your site more popular, you will have to build credibility on the internet.


 You must have seen agencies offering quick results and making unrealistic claims.


By using techniques such as link farming, hidden text and other illegal methods, they aim to increase your website’s visibility.


While it may work in the near future, it won’t be long before Google puts your site in its crosshairs.


Before you know it, your site will be blacklisted. Hiring a professional will prevent that from happening. 

4. They Have Tools and Resources

A digital marketing agency will help you find the SEO tools you need to grow your business in the most efficient way possible.


While there is much discussion about the use of tools and software in SEO one thing is true, it will be difficult to see success.


A SEO consultancy will help you understand which tools are vital to working with the search engines and obtaining a high ranking.


 An expert will also review which tools and resources will help you provide the best user experience for your customers.

 5. A Clear SEO Strategy

SEO consulting is more than just data analysis. It mainly revolves around the creation of a focused strategy.


Do you want to get your website indexed by Google? You will have to take a different approach.


Perhaps your website is on Page 2 of the search engines and you want to take it to the top of your niche?


 That will require a different approach as well. Needless to say, an SEO agency will help you devise a clear strategy that is focused on achieving targets for their clients.  

6. External Advice

At times, the power of external advice cannot be overstated.


For business owners, simply knowing that they can get in touch with an expert and get external advice about how to alter their website is reassuring.


 It doesn’t hurt to ask for external advice, and professional SEO consultants will be all too happy to offer it. With their experience and expertise, they will usually help you with other aspects of your business too.

7. Quick Results

 A marketing campaign designed by an experienced practitioner will yield better and quicker results. Professional SEO consultants know what they are doing.

They usually have extensive experience in designing SEO services for a number of different kinds of websites. As a result, an SEO consultancy will begin to understand what is required for promoting a website on the internet.


In some cases, it might be link building. In other cases, content creation and appropriate keyword use may be required for quick results.


 One search term can make or break a business. They will carefully analyze your website before implementing a strategy.

8. Organic Growth

Achieving a high ranking on the web is how you improve organic traffic to a site.


 If you are trying to achieve organic growth, then working with SEO consultants and their team is important.


 In fact, building a web presence at the top of Google has the potential to take small websites from London and make them international powerhouses.

 9. A Better Overall Website

Who doesn’t want a user-friendly website? The main aim of SEO is to increase the amount of traffic on your page.


An experienced analyst will conduct an SEO audit and carefully go through your companies current marketing procedures and determine what works and what doesn't.


They will provide insight into the best SEO practices, highlighting where change is needed. The result is a website that is more user-friendly and better search optimized.


 This will improve navigation on your page, which ultimately increases traffic on your page.

  10. Return on Investment

As a business owner, you may already know about the concept of “return on investment,” or ROI. If you are investing money on the internet, you will want to see returns, same as any client.


 Most people believe that SEO simply helps in generating online rankings. In truth, SEO is so much more than that. With the help of a professional, you will be able to attract quality traffic to your website.


 Because it will be targeted traffic, the chances of converting them into a lead or sale are also higher . All of this helps to increase your online ROI.

 11. A Second Opinion

In this rapidly evolving industry, the importance of a second opinion cannot be understated. If you are about to make a change to your website, it is in your best interests to know whether the change will yield positive results.


Perhaps you have put in a lot of work in creating your website. However, the internet is continuously undergoing change. Before you know it, there will be lots more quality work to be done.

 

However, unless you know what needs to be done, it will be difficult to improve on the work already done. An SEO consultant will be able to give you an external.


 Their fresh perspective will help you gain a new perspective of your website. This will help you adopt strategies that are better and focused towards driving quality traffic to your website.

12. Save Money

SEO services will without a doubt save you money. No matter if you are in London, New York, or Dubai finding a competitive edge for your business is crucial. That means understanding where your marketing spend is going, and why.


Consistent technical reviews of where your traffic is coming from and what is actually driving business will not only save you money, it will get you ahead of your competitors .


 This is especially true for ecommerce businesses. Besides PPC is even more expensive if you don't know what you're doing

13. An SEO Consultant Has Experience

You cannot discount experience when it comes to search engine optimization. Over the years,  technical optimization techniques have evolved considerably especially in regards to local SEO and keyword density.


 For instance, spun content was acceptable a few years ago. However, Google altered its policies and introduced new changes, which led to many websites losing their rankings.


If you work with a professional SEO consultant , they will guide you based on their experience and implement only the most up to date SEO services that they have personally tested. They will know which techniques are more viable, and which yield the best results.


With their extensive knowledge and understanding of the best practices and general SEO techniques, you will get a tailored, more responsive, SEO strategy.

 14. Dedicated Support

 15. An SEO Consultant Will Keep Up With Change

“The only thing that remains constant is change.” How many times have you heard this line? This is especially true in the world of online marketing. Optimization techniques are rapidly changing as Google and other websites introduce a variety of changes. Only recently, Google’s latest update “Penguin” brought about a significant change in the marketing world and new SEO strategies have been created to deal with these changes..


If words such as “ Panda ” and “Penguin” still bring images of exotic animals in your mind, you definitely need to hire a professional SEO specialist.


An SEO expert will help you adopt different strategies and techniques when they are most effective. You may still be trying to optimize your website using techniques that have become obsolete. A technical SEO will ensure that your resources are utilized in the best possible manner.

Perhaps the best reason why you should hire a professional SEO analyst is because they will help you do it right. SEO is a completely different ballgame as compared to other forms of marketing.


 It is a very complicated process. You need to have a careful understanding of what you are doing, and how it will impact your website.


 It is unwise to dabble in search engine optimization without professional help. Also if your competitors are employing technical SEO support, then you will need to do more just to keep up.

A specialist will guide you through every step of the way. Most consultants offer a variety of different SEO services.


You can choose to hire them for optimizing a certain aspect of your website, simple keyword research, a local SEO audit, or you can hire a full-time consultant to work on every aspect of your website.


If you have no prior experience with optimization, it is better to choose the latter option.

12 Feb 15:55

Why You Should Care About SEO Citations

Understandng SEO Citations and Local Marketing

Local seo

SEO citations are online references to your business’s name, address, and phone number, often abbreviated to NAP.


They can also be referenced as NAPW when the business’s URL is inserted as well. They are used to validate that your company is real.


 The more your NAP appears linked to your business, the higher up in the search your business will be, and the more people can learn about your service.

The most important thing is that the citation matches the information on your Google My Business (GMB) page.


You need to be completely consistent with your details in order for citations to work for you, right down to how many spaces you use between data and capitalization or phone number formatting.

In addition, you will only receive partial credit if you vary what information is listed.


 So, if you list the company name and phone number in one place and the business name and address in another, they won’t get the same credit as if both are identical.


This is important to keep in mind as you build your SEO citation strategy.

Once you know the answer to the question, “What are SEO citations?” you need to understand why they are important.


The main reason that local citations are so important is that they are the primary source used when determining the order of the SERPS.


 If an organization is mentioned frequently, they make sure that it gets a higher ranking.



In addition, these citations are used to ensure that your organisation is real.


They want to make sure that the information in their local profiles are accurate so that people continue to consider them to be a reliable source of information.


 If they are able to find the identical details on multiple sites, they feel pretty confident that it is a real company, and they will allow the business to rank higher in searches.



What Makes Local Search Important?

Finally, citations are important because they provide searchers with more locations to find your business online. It’s basic marketing; if you have your business citation listed in many different indexes, it is likely that more people will come across it.


  Name recognition leads to brand familiarity , which leads to business and sales. 

Where Does Google Look for Citations?

One of the most obvious places to submit your details are directories.


 If you have a painting business, you might have your details listed in a number of different indexes as part of your advertising campaign.


This is where you need to make sure that your details are identical. If you say E. in one listing and East in the other, they don’t match up. You need complete consistency in your profiles.

There are many additional sites where checks for this information takes place, including social media sites, chamber of commerce sites, press releases, news releases, articles and guest-post bylines, image and video descriptions, forum sites, and many others.


 What this means is that you need to make sure that your citation is consistent no matter where you list it.


The only way that all of your citations will be connected is if they are identical in every way.

What Can Hurt Citations?

Any inconsistency at all can hurt your local SEO citation.


If you have “Road” on one citation and “rd.” on another, this will be seen as two different citations.


You could have 20 citations with slight variations, and they will not be viewed as the same business.


It is absolutely critical that you make sure that every time your citation appears, it is identical in form right down to the last character or space.

In addition, using more than one phone number will hurt your ranking.


Even if you have more than one number for your business, you need to pick one for all of your citations.


I  t is the only way to ensure that the citations are all connected.

You don’t want to change the name of your business or use multiple forms of the name.


If you think that you can add variety to your business name to add in a few important keywords, that is a mistake.


This is viewed as spam, and you will get penalized for it.


The best way to get higher up in the search is to choose one format for your NAP or NAPW and stick with it no matter what.

How to Start Making Local SEO Citations

Before you even get started, you need to decide where you will keep your citations organized.


You really should have a spreadsheet or some document that lists all of your citations.


Then, you want to start with your own site.


You need to determine how your details will be written, and you will keep this identical format throughout.


On your business site, make sure that your address details are listed on every page.


You should have your city, state, and phone number in the title tags whenever you can; replace “contact us” with a title tag for your contact page.

Then, make sure that the way you list your account details is identical to your other posts


Now that your business matches up to the Google Business Directory, you can take it further.


Gather a list of all of the free indexes that are available for your industry.


You can submit your profile, making sure that it is identical to your main profile.

If you want to find out which sites are used the most in your industry, you can search a competitor.


For example, if you have an Italian restaurant, you can run a search for your keywords and the town where your business is located.


For example, search “Italian restaurant in London.” When you see the results, you want to make a note of the indexes that show at the top of the search engines.


These are the indexes that rank the highest to locate Italian restaurants in this location.


How Are Citations Different From Backlinks?

Citations and backlinks will both help your website to rank up in the SERPs over your competitors, but they are two different things.


The reality is that having both successfully optimized for search and citations will raise your website up in the SERPS.

While a citation is basically your business listing, the NAP (name, address, and phone number) or NAPW (name, address, phone number, and website URL), a backlink is another site that links to your site.


In other words, Google uses the citations to verify that your business is legitimate, and backlinks show how frequently your link appears on other sites and a sites popularity . 

Before you run out and paste your link all over the Internet, you need to understand that the traffic you receive is impacted by the quality of the backlinks you have.


Y  ou want credible, authoritative websites to link back to yours because it raises your website’s bar as well.

Are Backlinks as Important as SEO Citations?

Both backlinks and citations are important, but they achieve different goals in your online marketing strategy.


Your citations will improve your visibility in local and map rankings, while your authority backlinks will help you with organic rankings. 

With backlinks, you are getting inbound links from other websites.


The more credible those websites are, the more credible your website will be considered.


I  n turn, they will boost your online visibility in search engines, which translates to leads, conversions, and sales. 

You will want to use both of these local search tools to improve your search position and traffic to your blog or site.


Start with your citations for local search and map listings, and incorporate backlinks into your strategy to bolster your credibility.

How to Build Your Local Citations

Once you have determined the exact format of your profile and included it on every page of your website, you will make sure that you enter it in the GMB directory. 

There are two types of citations: structured and unstructured.


Structured citations are listings in formal indexes, and unstructured citations are partial references on blogs, online news, and other sources. 

You can submit your citation to formal indexes and receive a citation.


Some of these indexes are websites that have business information, such as:

●       Yellowpages

●       Yelp

●       Facebook

●       Mapquest

Once you are ready to begin building your citations, you should designate an email address for this.


It is ideal if the email address uses your company domain rather than a generic domain.


 Remember that you can submit your citation to any website, but you want them to approve it.


When you use your company URL, it will hold a higher place than one that uses a generic URL like Gmail.

As stated before, make sure that your account details are identical in every submission.


This cannot be overstated because inconsistencies will defeat the purpose of what you are trying to accomplish.


Although there is a difference of opinion as to whether or not Google will count RD and Road as the same thing, it is best to pick one and stick with it for every submission.


Next, you will need to select your category, and you want it to be consistent on all of the sites you choose.


T  his might be simple if your business is a restaurant, but if you cross over different industry categories, choose the one you want to use and stick to it. 

In your directory submission, include as much information as you can.


You can include photographs, your logo, a complete description of your business, your business hours, and links to your social media.


The more information you can provide, the more verifiable your business becomes.

Don’t forget to verify your listings.


One of the reasons to designate an email address specifically for your citations is that it will be organized and simple to click the links and verify your listings as they come in.


R  emember that your information will not go live until you have clicked the link to verify it.

Finally, remember to keep track of all of your submissions on the spreadsheet you started in the beginning.


Y  ou will have all of your submissions and information in one place, and it will make it a lot easier to add to it later on and keep track of it, as well.

How to Find Sources for Your Citations

After answering the question, “What are SEO citations?” you will find that there are different methods to building up your citations, and you can actually find lists online that will tell you the top sources in your country or area.


 If you are feeling overwhelmed by the entire process, you can source it out.


There are businesses out there that will handle all aspects of SEO (and backlinks) for you.


However, if you are ready to get it done on your own, you can organize it and make it happen.


Start with your GMB listing.


Many people say that this doesn’t count as a citation, but the reality is that without it, your citations will be a whole lot less meaningful.


It can be argued that this is the citation that is the most important because Google is a dominant force in local searches.

Next, you want to develop a list of your primary structured citations.


This includes search engines, local business pages, and apps that build directories specifically for business listings.


Consider the following examples:


●       Apple Maps

●       Facebook

●       Yahoo

●       Yelp

●       Bing

●       Superpages

●       Yellowpages

●       YP

●       Foursquare

●       Citygrid

There are others, but you will want to compile a list of all of the web pages that will benefit your business.


You cannot have too many; the more citations you have, the higher your rankings will be in the search.


You can create and manage a listing on any and all of the above sites, even if that is the extent of what you do. 

Bear in mind that some sites are free (and you should take advantage of all of those), while others require a fee for your listing.


W  hen determining where you should pay for listings, consider the impact on your business. 

The next step is to compile a list of sites that are specific to your industry and your geographical location.


Lawyers, doctors, and travel services all use these sites to get citations.


I  f your industry has sites that provide listings, you want to find them and get your citation included. 

Sites that are specific to your geographical location such as the chamber of commerce (US), local business associations, and community centers, networking groups and this will give you more citations as well as exposure to potential clients who are looking.


Again, some will charge you, and others will be free.


You should be flexible and willing to pay for a citation that will bring you traffic, but pass on those that don’t bring you any direct benefit.

Finally, you will want to build some unstructured citations.


This might be a mention in a newspaper, a blog post, or on someone’s social media page.


You can actually take charge of this as well by submitting material to be published.


Make sure that you embed your citation in your post or article.

NAP Versus NAPW 

More and more directories allow businesses to include the website URL in the citation, which is a huge benefit.


Getting links back to your site is a huge part of SEO, and when you can submit your link with your citation, it basically does double duty.


In fact, some sites will display the link as a “dofollow” link, which further boosts your SEO.


Always provide your NAP (name, address, and phone number), but whenever the option exists, make sure that you insert the website URL because this will further boost your visibility.

It is really important to make sure that your profiles are relevant, have reviews, and are up to date.


 Search engines have programs that crawl through sites to develop an accurate idea of what your website is about as well as how legitimate it is.


When it finds inconsistencies, this counts as marks against you.


Inconsistencies will actually harm your rankings, so you want to avoid it. 

If your business experiences any changes in name, address, phone number, or website, make sure that you go to your spreadsheet and update every listing out there.


There are additional reasons for this. Customers are known to lose trust in businesses with faulty or inconsistent information.


In our current world, customers don’t want to investigate to find out how to get in touch with a business; instead, they will move to the next one on the list.


You definitely need to make changes across the board if any of your information changes.

Additional Ways to Add Google Citations

In addition to all of your submissions and blog posts, articles, and social media listings, there are things you can do to further get your reputation out there.


For example, if you make YouTube videos, you can add your details to any description of the video.


This gives you citations built into your video content marketing plan. 

You can open an account on a photography website such as Photobucket and upload the same photos you put on your website or another directory listing.


Make sure that you submit your NAP or NAPW to their tags.


If you run ads in any online publication, you can place your details there, as well.

Content marketing is a great way to not only start link building, but also creating high quality content improves traffic. Basically, anytime you upload any article to the internet, insert your account details because you are getting another citation, which will only add to the list and improve your search results in the SERPs. Make sure it's keyword focused

How Many Citations Does a Business Need? 

It is hard to answer this question, as there is no data that says how many citations a business needs.


However, there is a lot of data that shows how many citations businesses have.


What your specific business needs are will depend on your size and your industry.


F  or example, businesses in the hospitality industry make significant use of citations, whereas smaller one-person businesses use fewer citations.

One study looked at over 100,000 local businesses, and found that the average number of citations per business was 81.


T  hey also found a strong correlation between the number of citations and how high the business appeared in the Google search results, which suggests that businesses should have as many citations as possible. 

Facebook is one of the most widely used platforms for citations, as it is simple to create a business page and make sure that your citation information is accurate.


E  ven if you do nothing more than create and maintain the page, it will be out there, and it will give credence to your business.

Local SEO Serves a Dual Purpose

The bottom line is that local marketing is beneficial to businesses in more ways than one.


First of all, by submitting your citation to directory listings and other resources, you are growing your market .


You are creating visibility for your brand, and you are extending your reach to find new clients. 

In addition, you are building your online presence through credible and reliable listings, which in turn builds up your credibility and reliability with the search engine.


The more Google can “prove” that you are a legitimate and trusted business, the higher they will place you in the rankings for searches.

This further increases your visibility and has the potential to further grow your customer base.


It may seem like a lot of work, but in the end, it pays off.


G  rowing your presence both amongst your local customers and online will ultimately help your business to be more successful.

If you start out with organization as a priority, maintain your spreadsheet with all of your citations, and update them as needed, it will not require more time than it is worth .


Building credibility and trust is the key to any successful business, and by taking the time to ensure that your citations are accurate and appear in all of the right places, you will be better off.

Despite what some will say, you can not use PPC to outperform your competitors. No matter how good or big an agency, it's crazy to think that moving forward is as easy as just use PPC to pay, as if Google is that simplistic.


The truth is, the companies that see success research. They learn what great relevant content actually is in terms of keyword analysis.


They research based on a each individual case to determine what resources will help small organisations prevail.


If you're looking for a guide to help your company move forward, then speak with our agency and get a detailed analysis based on you're actual goals and targets. This isn't a push button audit, but a strategic roadmap providing you with the tools you need to succeed. No matter how small your business, using the right terms, having sound structure and a knowledgeable guide will help you see success.

12 Feb 15:55

How SEO Helps Your Business Grow

A Quick Look At How SEO Can Help Your Small Business Grow Online!

brick building architecture,seo

If you ask how SEO helps your business grow, then the answer depends on how it is implemented in the right circumstances.


W  ith so many different digital marketers are telling you otherwise. After all, it is pretty hard to dispel SEO myth from fact, getting a clear understanding of SEO  and how Google works becomes hazy. 


If you want a simple explanation of how SEO can help grow your business, you need to get more in-depth.


How SEO helps your online business depends on how effectively you implement a search engine optimization marketing strategy. When talking about a strategy, it is important to understand that there are several factors at play. 

These factors include the size of your target audience, the nature of your products or services, and lastly, your credibility in your target market.


Let us take each one of these points separately and then explore how SEO can help you with your marketing strategy.


The first thing to keep in mind is that SEO works off of a customer journey.


What does that mean? SEO looks at the user experience of a page and gauges a users interest in your products or services. 


For instance, if you sell watches on a website, you want your customers to be able to identify with your brand, to the point where they'll want to see what kind of watches you're selling, how reliable you are, how beautiful they look, etc.


 If your website's architecture fails to meet these requirements, your SEO efforts will be a waste.

One of the first things any good search marketing firm will do is analyze your competition.


A competitor's websites must also be investigated to understand their strengths and weaknesses and their overall success level. 


Keywords and search phrases that relate to your target audience should help boost your search engine results.


However, it's important not to guess at the right keywords to use; instead, an SEO consultant will analyze your competition to determine which keywords your competitors are using and why.


They will also create a list of what keywords people are using to search.


Knowing what words are powerful and which aren't will allow you to effectively build a keyword list and use those words to your advantage in a content marketing plan.

Once you've found a list of powerful keywords, you need to rank for those keywords to draw customers and traffic to your website. What does "draw customers" mean?


A good SEO company will optimize your website and blog posts for your chosen keywords in an effort to  improve your visibility on the results pages of the search engines.


Higher rankings for your site will give you more high quality traffic, more customers, higher conversion rates , higher repeat visits, and a more profitable bottom line.


The more traffic you have visited your site, the more likely you are to make a sale. And the more customers you have buying from you, the more likely you will make a profit.


Achieving this is not impossible for a small business owner without help but will be very time consuming.


Luckily, some professional digital marketing consultants can give you the training you need to know how SEO helps your website succeed.


These consultants will assess your current website presence and determine the things that are working and things that aren't working.


From there, they will provide you with the strategies, tactics, and software tools you need to ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck.


H  aving a great SEO strategy will increase your website ranking in the search engines and draw more customers to your website.

Because so many people go online to purchase products or services, online marketing is an essential part of every business grows.


If you have a solid SEO strategy in place, you won't have to waste time or money on initiatives that don't work. SEO can help your small businesses grow to become the success that you've always dreamed.


While Social media marketing is generally treated as a separate search strategy, the truth is most social media platforms are actually built around search engines.


By understanding how social platforms work you can use these sites to create content that can be found when users search for a service. Social media is especially helpful for local SEO.


I  n fact for many small business owners, if they are looking to improve the visibility of a page combining social media marketing and local SEO is the best long term strategy you can use.

When developing your online marketing strategy, you need to keep in mind how SEO helps your customer journey.


You don't need to read countless case studies, or have fancy website design, if you understand how SEO connects the customer journey and the user intent of your audience.


Understanding this, you'll be able to implement tactics that engage your audience and draw them to your website. With the right strategy, SEO can open the door to a profitable future for your small businesses.

12 Feb 15:55

10 Reasons Why Your Digital Marketing Campaigns Are Failing

Why Are Your Digital Marketing Campaigns Failing?

What I would like to do is fairly quickly talk to you about the 10 main reasons why digital marketing campaigns fail today.

  This is a subject that I am very passionate about because when you read through each of these reasons you realise that every one of them can easily be avoided by just having a little bit more knowledge than what you may currently have.

So please have a read through and hopefully, this will ensure the achievement of your goals in the future.

 1. You Don’t Have A Clear Goal

Despite what people think, having a goal or setting goals for your company isn’t something that’s reserved to the for the self-help gurus. 


In fact in order to see any type of progression forward in any area of life goal setting is absolutely at the core of moving forward. 


Now if you actually want to win online, it makes sense to clarify what victory actually looks like when it’s all said and done. 


Clarifying the goal of what your promotional efforts are supposed to be will ensure that you actually have a higher probability of making that goal a reality. 


If you really want your advertising campaign to be the best it can possibly be, then take the time before you start to visualise what the end result will be, after all, what’s the purpose of you doing it in the first place?

 2. You Don’t Have An Established Budget.  

 Now it’s critical to understand that we’re not talking about how much a service actually costs.  

 Everybody will always try to get the best possible price for whatever promotional service there is, but that has absolutely nothing to do with how much you budgeted each month to achieve your specific results. 

  Also, let’s be honest, in this day and age, you really can’t market for free. Sure you’ll hear stories of someone that had viral success with a video but ask yourself. How many videos did they produce before then? I don’t care what anyone says, success costs, and sometimes a lot.

If you’re not budgeting properly to obtain specific outcomes, your never going to get them . It is universally recommended that roughly 7% – 8% of your total revenue should be utilised for your marketing budget.

   

Now 7% may not seem like much or it may seem like loads, but what’s necessary to remember is that it is a consistent number to work with, and once you understand how much money you’re willing to spend it becomes a lot easier to find out how to make that money work for you.  

 If you are really trying to find victory in the digital space then make sure that you have a proper budget for your campaign.  

 3. You Never Did Enough Research

  Long gone are the days of having to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds or dollars or euros or whatever currency you choose to use to a large upscale agency to find out what consumers really want.  

  

Now all you need is a little bit of creativity and big data. If you’re not utilising the data that exists for free in your market in order to establish a fact-based campaign then you are setting yourself up for failure.

  

  

These free resources are there to help you gain traction in your online publicity campaigns so that you will see the type of results that you have planned for initially.

  

Also, proper research will allow you to stay one step ahead of your competition .  

 

  It’s very easy to fall into the trap that many marketers leave for consumers online and to go in thinking that you can handle all of your digital marketing on autopilot.  

 The reality is, things change, people change, people’s personalities change, customer buying habits change and more.   

  If you’re not monitoring and changing with them, your campaign and your company will in fact fail.  

5. You Never Had Anything To Say To The Customer

 This happens more times than people want to or even care to admit. In a world where we are constantly fighting to get people’s attention, once you have it you better have something worthwhile to say to them. 

   If you really want to start seeing massive growth in your digital marketing campaign quickly than the smartest thing that you can do is look at the content that you are putting out throughout the Internet.  

 Ask yourself key questions like ‘is this the type of content that my potential customer would like to see’? 

  W ill my potential customers share the information that I’m passionate about? As well and as mentioned above, if you were measuring your engagement and monitoring properly a lot of these questions and other questions on how to effectively create content and add value to your market will be shown to you through the data. 

 

 6. You Never Established Realistic Timeframes To Reach Your Goals

   You’ll hear that you need to do social media, or you need to do SEO, or you need to do email marketing.  

 However, the biggest issue that plagues most business owners is that they never actually took the time to understand how long it was going to take to see results from each of these individual marketing tactics. 

   Understand that nobody achieves success overnight. 

   While it may look like it, this just isn’t the case. In fact what usually happens is years and years of calculated determined effort with measurable timescales and milestones at each step on the ladder to success.  

 If you want a campaign to actually help you reach your long-term goals, then make sure that you establish how long it’s going to take you to actually get there. If you plan properly, this should be a very easy step. 

7. Your Product Or Service Was Never Really That Good

   It’s essential to listen to your customers and listen to your friends to find out whether you do have a product that actually makes sense or whether you just have a copycat product because you see somebody else making money from it.

  Sometimes just listening can be the difference between achievement and failure.  

   One of the great things about the Internet is that you’re able to actually read what users think about products or services or anything for that matter online.  

   So before ever entering into a market, you can determine whether you actually have a product that is good and that offers customers exactly what they’re looking for in a way that they are looking for it.   

   If you really want to start seeing continuous gains, make sure to find out whether you actually have a product that people want.

8. You Never Told Your Users What To Do In Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

   This is short sweet and to the point. If you want people to do something online you have to tell them what to do.  

   This is what is known as a call to action.  

   If you really want users to have a solid understanding of what they need to do in order to help you reach success then be very very clear on what that is, it’s vital that you understand that fact.  

 Now you have to understand why this call to action is such a vital component to your overall plan. One of the main reasons this is relevant is because not every website on the Internet is trying to sell you something.  

   For example, take a look at a website like Wikipedia, this is what is known as an informational site.  

   They are not trying to sell you books or magazines or anything and all they are just trying to provide you with knowledge.  

 By not providing a clear call to action for users to purchase or to call or to email, what you effectively do is put your website in the same situation as Wikipedia which means you’re telling people about a topic, but your not telling them what to do, which means that they will never ever buy from you because they don’t believe you want them too.  

 9. You’re Copying The Competition and Not Being Unique.

   You generally see this in a market that has one clear leader and everybody else just trying to copy the financial success of that market leader and not actually duplicate the success that the market leader has gained.   

   If you really want to see success not just in your digital marketing campaign but in your marketplace as well, ensure that you’ve established a clear unique selling point for users so they understand why you are a better alternative to what already exists in the market.  

   Understand that your unique selling point can be something small, it can be something big, it can be financial, it could be mental, it really doesn’t matter just as long as you have one.  

10. You Never Established A Clear Strategy For Your Campaign

   Despite what people may tell you it is almost impossible nowadays to sustain an organisation without having a clear digital marketing strategy as its guiding force moving forward.  

   A strategy lays out everything that has been mentioned previously in the reasons why campaigns fail.  

   This is significant because this takes the guesswork out of any marketing campaign and makes it so any person in the organisation can pick up right where somebody else left off and still achieve massive benefits.  

   A solid digital strategy also will allow the owner of a brand to outsource some if not every individual aspect of the digital marketing campaign or to be able to do every single aspect himself depending on the size of his business.  

 Without having a digital strategy what ends up happening is you are consistently left asking yourself what do you have to do next? Busywork is not profitable work !

   So what we have laid out are the 10 main reasons why digital efforts are failing businesses today.  

   Now there are other reasons why promotional campaigns fail and we could spend most of the day talking about them but when it really comes down to it these 10 reasons are the clearest reasons why they fail and without a doubt, they are the ones that you should pay the most attention to.  

 If you’ve ever experienced failed digital marketing campaigns or if you want to be pre-emptive and not have to deal with any failed campaigns in the future then why not click on the link below to find out more about our digital marketing strategies, and to discuss putting together a digital marketing plan that’s right for you and your team.

   A quick phone call could be the difference between success or failure in your business. We look forward to hearing from you.  

12 Feb 15:54

A Quick Review Of What The Google Penguin and Panda Upadates Are.

Understanding The Google Penguin And Panda Updates

 

In light of the recent Google Penguin update, I felt it was important to revisit these two influential algorithm changes and look at how they changed SEO.

 

 

Why Google decided to name its algorithm upgrades after creatures in nature that are white and black is puzzling; in fact, the most recent was Hummingbird, although one might well have believed that the next upgrade would be called Zebra. All of them bear about as much similarity to the theme as an apple does to mobile phones to computers or an orange.

 

 

Both Penguin and Panda were changes to Google’s conditions for ranking sites. Panda was launched in February 2011 and Penguin on April 24th, 2012.

 

 

The purpose of Panda was to ensure that what Google considered “low quality” sites were lowered in the standings. According to some reports, around 12% of all sites were changed, many dropped from the top spots on page 1 that they’d inhabited for quite a while. Lots of these sites vanishing into oblivion meant that their owners, who’d undoubtedly worked hard to reach the positions in the first place, lost the important part – if not all – of their business essentially over night .

 

 

One might consider that Google actually doesn’t care how hard you actually work to make a living, and while you may be skeptical to accept this fact – it’s still accurate; Google is  a business, concerned with its own profits. Nevertheless, from a purely business standpoint, you cannot fault them.
Google Panda

 

 

Recommendations are to remove the offending pages or rewrite them and have new web design. Nevertheless, rewriting doesn’t ensure restoring the standing, unless the rewriting and web design is of quite high quality and creates a fresh idea that didn’t exist before. The main point here is that Panda is more focused on onpage content and quality

 

 

 

 
Google Penguin

 

 

Nevertheless, a wide range of devious “black hat” approaches are used in order to try to artificially increase the position of low-quality websites, and Penguin was designed to stamp out the practice. Sadly it also resulted in lots of websites that were innocent becoming caught in the cross, although significantly less than in the Panda upgrade. So here Penguin is based on targeting all off page efforts for promoting a website online.

 

 

Whatever the future holds, there’s no doubt that Google is becoming a lot smarter quite fast; attempting to outfox it won’t be simple or smart. How to avoid Google penalties .

 

 

The truth is, the easiest thing to do is clear: supply quality content that searchers want to learn about, interact with, and share. That way, your site will be rewarded organically.