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3 Incredibly Powerful Tools to Help You Boost Web Traffic for Free

Growing your organic web traffic is no simple feat – you have to be willing to put lots of time and effort into getting near or to the top of Google searches. But before you start pouring money into a paid SEO consultant, consider trying out these 3 free resources to help you boost web traffic.

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3 Incredibly Powerful Tools to Help You Boost Web Traffic for Free

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that keeps track of almost anything and everything about your website – from page visits to average time spent on your site to bounce rate. Work with your webmaster (or do it yourself if you know how) to insert a short piece of code that allows Google to keep up with your site.

Once you have that installed, Google Analytics will be able to tell you lots of very important information that can help you determine what needs to be fixed on your site. Are people leaving your site soon after arriving? Which pages are they visiting most frequently? How are they getting to your site? Google Analytics can tell you all this and more. With this information, you can build a marketing plan that plugs any holes in your leaky bucket.

Note: While we love Google Analytics, it can be pretty daunting to understand, let alone use. Even though this post by Buffer is nearly a year old, I go back to it time after time when I need help with Google Analytics.

2. Google Ads – Keyword Planner

Another great free feature from Google is their Keyword Planner tool. This resource is primarily used for advertisers looking to create and manage ads on Google. Once you sign up, you can use the tool to find out what people are searching when they come looking for a business like yours – even if you don’t want to run ads on Google. This is probably the most powerful tool on this list because it gives you insights into how people are (or are not) finding you. Once you know your popular search terms, you can start incorporating those keywords into your website and social media to appear more regularly in those searches.

3. Moz Local – Check my Listing Score

Can your customers find you on the web? Simply enter your business name and zip code and the Moz Local Listing Score tool tells you what you can fix right now to get in front of the right people. This handy tool checks your listings on several common websites like Google, Yelp, and social media and lets you know if there are any problems that are barring you from appearing in common web searches.

These three tools are great starting points to understand and analyze your web traffic for improvements. Once you have a good idea of how you’re appearing to your customers, you can start optimizing everything from your social media pages to your website be the obvious choice in web searches.

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Sending Out Offers to Your Customers? Get Them to Buy More with This One Trick

A majority of our customers use LocBox to send out offers to their customers without sharing any revenue. When working with our Success Managers a big question is “What can we do to get more people to buy this offer?”

There are a lot of factors that go into building an effective and attractive offer such as an interesting image and an easy purchasing process. But what about the language? If you’re running an offer, what is the best way to talk about it for the most purchases?

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For example, which of the following do you think converts the best?

  1. 50% off
  2. Half off
  3. Buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO)
  4. 2-for-1

If you picked option 3, you’d be correct. Even those all of these options offer a similar if not exactly the same product, studies show that BOGO offers perform better and get more purchases when compared to 50% off or half off offers.

The big question now is: why does BOGO work so well when sending out offers?

1. Customers can’t (or won’t) do the math

Customers today are constantly bombarded with advertising and promotions. Instead of choosing to do the math every single time, more and more people are making purchases based on a gut reaction: am I getting the best deal possible? BOGO offers do so well because it’s much easier to understand getting something for free than it is to try and figure out just how much you’re saving with the discount.

2. Getting something for free is much more enticing than paying

Everyone wants to get a good deal. The idea of getting twice as much for one simple price is hard to pass up. This is especially true when you compare that to a 50% off or half off offer, which only guarantees one good for one price.

3. It’s not just about the goods – it’s also about the time and effort

When a customer is contemplating a purchase, they are not only thinking about how much they’re going to have to pay – they’re thinking about how much time and effort it’s going to cost them to make the purchase. With BOGO, they understand it as double the product for the same amount of time and effort.

When it comes to increasing your conversions, it’s all about perception: how do your customers interpret what you’re showing them? How does it make them feel? Once you start appealing to their needs, they will instinctively want to make a purchase.

Have you sold offers to your customers? What have been your best practices? Do you prefer BOGO or 50% off? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Why You Absolutely Must Start Paying for Facebook Marketing

Facebook is one of the most effective advertising tools available online. Everyone from individuals to small businesses are leveraging their presence on Facebook in order to garner more interest and increase their audiences. But not everyone is getting the most out of their Facebook page.

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It used to be that engagement happened more organically and companies built audiences based on the time they spent interacting with Facebook users and their followers. Times have changed, however, and leads, conversions and money don’t come through Facebook without paid promotions. However, this doesn’t mean you should abandon your community management work and switch gears completely. It means that paid media is just as important and should be used in conjunction with organic efforts.

Why You Absolutely Must Start Paying for Facebook Marketing

It’s Not About the Money

First off, Facebook isn’t trying to squeeze money out of you by asking for paid promotions. It just boils down to the simple fact that there is more competition out there for content, so brands need to start advertising in order to stay above the fold. There are over 1.23 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and at any give time there are 1500 stories competing for your attention. Facebook simply needs a way to figure out what to prioritize within all of those posts.

Business Posts Get Bumped From Bottom to Top

Secondly, Facebook is a social network. That means that users expect to see and connect with their friends and acquaintances. They don’t expect to see brands or small and local businesses, and for this reason Facebook’s algorithms favor personal posts over business posts, which puts ads at a disadvantage.

Great Tool for Retaining Leads

Facebook is a great channel for acquiring and retaining customers, as a Facebook profile is permanent. This translates to great leads, because once you can urge a user to “Like” your page, you have their attention. When it comes to emails, we found that 70% of purchases made through Facebook came from and email that the business owner previously did not have.

Paying For Facebook = More Marketing Savvy

Paying for promotions and boosting ads on Facebook will make you a better marketer. The best ads on Facebook create interest without pushing for a sale. Users are likely to click on content that is attractive and inherently interesting, not content that is urging them to spend money. Ads that rely on building a relationship are more successful, and Facebook prefers them to pushy sales ads.

If you’re involved in marketing a small business, it’s important to understand the need to combine organic marketing efforts with paid promotions. Ads bring in more fans, and your reach will begin to grow if you get over the hurdle and start getting comfortable paying for Facebook marketing alongside your existing community management efforts.

The best approach to Facebook Advertising is a strategic one. Sign up for a free marketing assessment to learn how we can help you get the most out of the world’s most popular social network.

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Why This Bay Area Restaurant Wants to Be the Worst Rated Business on Yelp

A recent campaign by Botto Italian Bistro in Richmond, California to become the worst rated business on Yelp called for loyal and new customers alike to write horrible, one-star reviews on the review site. In exchange for their help in the crusade against unfair Yelp advertising practices, the restaurant offered 25% discounts.

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Customers were more than happy to support the restaurant, posting over a 1,000 hilarious, satirical one-star reviews with ridiculous claims such as “I’ve never been to this restaurant, but methinks it’s improperly named” and “Worst water I’ve ever had in a restaurant”. After only a few days, the restaurant successfully claimed the title of “Worst Restaurant on Yelp.”

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Davide Cerretini, Chef and co-owners, came up with this strategy after many unsuccessful months with Yelp advertising and the successive filtering of legitimate, positive reviews. Fed up with the aggressive sales tactics and bad business model, Cerretini wanted to prove that his restaurant could still be successful even without the high praises of the popular review site.

Not only has Cerretini gotten hundreds of reviews, but he has also helped shed some light on the many difficulties small and local business owners face when dealing with the review site, such as the supposed filter that hides positive reviews until a business agrees to sign up for Yelp’s advertising.

Yelp has responded with a letter claiming that Botto is violating their Terms and Conditions by offering services or discounts in exchange for reviews. The restaurant has since stopped rewarding one-star reviews but is still adamant on their anti-Yelp agenda, boasting both a new level of transparency for Yelp and better paying customers.