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5 Ways to Get Your Business In Front of Potential New Customers on Google

Whenever I am looking for a new hair salon or a new dentist the first place I turn to is Google. Google has worked really hard to make the best search engine possible and it almost always delivers. They use my location, my past searches, even my social media profiles to provide me with information that I will find most useful.

Businesses that I don’t find on Google, however, often fall off my radar. Because Google is so easy, I rarely spend time looking on other search engines, looking in phone books, or even asking my friends. And when I’m already on the go, searching on Google on my phone is just the natural thing to do.

So what can you do to make sure you’re getting your business in front of potential new customers on Google? How can you get to the top and stand out?

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5 Ways to Get Your Business In Front of Potential New Customers on Google

1. Create and fill out your Google+ profile.

Google+ is Google’s own social media site. While it’s not quite as popular as say Facebook or Twitter, it does hold a lot of power in the world of search rankings. Because Google wants to encourage people to use it’s own site, they give precedence to businesses with complete and established Google+ profiles. To learn more about how to create and complete your profile, read our article here.

2. Get lots of reviews for your Google+ profile.

It’s one thing to have a good Google+ profile that gets you noticed by Google – it’s another to have one that sings your praises to potential new customers. Much like Yelp, Google+ allows customers to leave reviews after they’ve visited a business. The more positive reviews you have, the more Google wants to share your business with the world. Read more about how to get reviews from your customers here.

3. Make sure your website looks good on mobile devices.

In an attempt to create a better overall experience for Google users, Google is now penalizing businesses without mobile-friendly websites by burying them in the search results. Not sure if your site is mobile-responsive? Need help creating a mobile-responsive site? Read more with our latest blog post on Google’s search engine changes.

4. Make a name for yourself elsewhere on the web.

Another helpful way to get found more often is to give Google more chances to find stuff about you. Sites like social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram), blogs, and Yelp are all ways that you can increase your web presence. The more good content you have on the web about you, the more likely Google is to show it to your potential new customers.

5. Run ads on Google.

If you’re ready to take your online marketing to the next level, consider showing your business to customers through Google AdWords. Once you’ve set a budget, created an ad, and identified your ideal customer, Google will show your ad to customers who are searching for businesses or information like yours. If done right, Google Ads can be extremely effective in driving new customers right to your door.

There’s no one single solution to getting found more often on Google. With a product so powerful and so complex it can take a lot of tweaking to figure out what works for your business – and these 5 strategies are a great place to start.

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These 3 Social Media Marketing Mistakes Could Be Costing You Customers

Every business should have it’s own social media strategy. Because there are so many people on channels like Facebook and Twitter, businesses should try to reach them where they’re spending the majority of their time.

While the nitty gritty of each businesses’ plan will inevitably vary, there are a few key things you should always keep in mind if you want to make social media a profitable channel that generates revenue, not just likes or clicks.

We’ve worked with a lot of small business owners, some more savvy in social media than others. Here are the 3 most common social media marketing mistakes that are taking away big gains in revenue.

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These 3 Social Media Marketing Mistakes Could Be Costing You Customers

1. Buying Likes (or Followers)

There once was a time when people thought it was a good idea to spend their marketing budgets buying “likes” or “followers” in order to look more relevant or popular on social media. By and large, this wave has passed. But if you’re still thinking about it, let me be the first to tell you that it’s one of the fastest ways to ruin your social media reputation.

Not only do many of today’s social media sites filter for these “fake” likes or follows, but they also penalize people who do so by blocking, revoking access to, or shutting down the accounts.

Click here to learn more about the woes of buying likes and followers on social media.

2. Not having a Call-to-Action at the end of your posts.

When you’re using social media in your personal life, often it’s just to share what’s going on in your life: photos from a recent vacation or what restaurant you visited for lunch with your friends. These kinds of posts ask little of your followers besides perhaps a like or a comment.

FB_Ads_2_headerBut when you’re using social media as a business, you need to make sure you’re giving your customers something to do at the end of every post.

If you’re main goal is to turn Facebook fans into customers, you should focus on putting something they can buy at the end of your post.

Even more important is making sure it’s clear what they’re supposed to do and how they’re supposed to do it. The simpler it is, the better.

3. Starting it once, then abandoning it.

The beauty of social media is that it shares information in real time. Or at least it’s supposed to. We come across a lot of businesses that build a social media page on Facebook or Twitter, post once or twice, and then forget about it for the next year.

The problem here is that unlike before when the internet was not always available on the go, customers are using social media to check out a business before they visit. So when they see that a business hasn’t posted anything new in over 6 months, they start to wonder, “Are they open? Are they a real business? There must be a bad reason why they haven’t updated their profile in so long.”

This is where you lose potential new customers to your competitors. Because the internet makes it so easy to find local businesses, it’s easy to abandon one for the next best option.

While it’s true that not every social media platform is a good fit for every single local business, more and more of today’s shoppers are spending their time (and their money) when they’re browsing through their News Feed or scrolling through Twitter. Local businesses need to ensure that they’re doing everything they can to capitalize on this virtual foot traffic.

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4 Reasons Why You Absolutely Need to Focus on Facebook Marketing

Facebook isn’t just for sharing vacation photos and stalking your childhood nemesis anymore – Facebook is now where millennial get their political news, where people find jobs and apartments, and most importantly, where businesses find customers.

If you’re brand new to online marketing for your business, Facebook is a great place to start. Not only are you reaching millions, if not billions, of potential new customers, but you are also building a great brand online that will benefit your business in more way than one.

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4 Reasons Why You Absolutely Need to Focus on Facebook Marketing

1. Facebook lets you engage one-on-one with your customers.

In order to stand out in today’s age of the Internet-savvy consumer, more and more businesses are going to have to rely on quicker methods of communicating with their customers. Gone are the days of lengthy waits on the phone. No more faxes or calling in to book an appointment. People want things faster, quicker, and easier than ever before.

Facebook allows you to communicate with your customers on a much more personal level. You can update store hours by posting to your fans, you can let them know about sales and special offerings by linking them to a purchasable offer. You can even use it to resolve customer service issues by messaging and commenting with fans. All of these ways keep your customers happy and informed and you top of mind.

2. People move, get new emails, get new phone numbers but they don’t get new Facebook profiles.

No matter where people go, how often they change their information, they always keep their Facebook profiles the same. Who wants to go through all the trouble of re-adding all your old friends or uploading all your old photos?

Because of this, Facebook is the best way to keep in touch with your customers even as they move on.

3. The network effect means potential for tons of new customers.

At it’s core, Facebook is all about the network. It’s about connecting people, building a digital record of all the people in your life – past and present. This means that for every fan who likes your page, for every customer who likes your photo, there are potentially hundreds more of their friends who might see the interaction and decide that they’re just as interested in your business. And if you happen to get into advertising, the Friends of Fans targeting feature allows you to reach all those potential new customers.

4. You can update your Facebook faster than you can update your website.

Because Facebook handles all of the web set up and development for you, they make it easy to publish new information about your business. Just log in to your account and start sharing! This means that if you’re not the most tech-savvy or you’re webmaster isn’t always within reach, Facebook is an excellent alternative to keeping your customers updated as your business changes. New products in store? Snowstorm that is keeping you off the road and your business unexpectedly closed for the day? Use Facebook to share this information – it’s much easier, faster, and often where people turn to get the latest “news”.

Learning how to utilize today’s technology like Facebook is what will give your business a competitive advantage. As more and more people turn to the web to find local businesses, it’s up to you to get in front of them where they’re searching.

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3 Creative Ways to Use Instagram to Drive Foot Traffic and Sales to Your Business

As we spend more and more time on our phones, mobile-only photo sharing apps like Instagram are becoming increasingly more popular. Combined with the fact that photos are quicker to consume than text- 60,000x faster to be precise – and it’s easy to see why everyone is turning to Instagram as their main social media platform.

What can you do as a small business owner to leverage this growing platform? How do you make sure you’re integrating well with photos of friends and family, vacations and nights out? Even if you think you don’t have a very “visual” company, here are 3 easy ways any business can get started with Instagram.

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3 Creative Ways to Use Instagram to Drive Foot Traffic and Sales to Your Business

1. “Behind-the-scenes” photos

This stationary store in Michigan always shares photos when new items come in stock.

This stationary store in Michigan always shares photos when new items come in stock.

One of my favorite ways to use Instagram is by showcasing what goes on when the customers aren’t around. Did you get some new products in stock? Are you redoing a display for the holidays? Take a minute to snap a quick photo and upload it to your feed – people always like to feel like they have the “inside scoop”.

Showcasing new shipments and offers is also a great way to get people to come in and buy. Once they know that your Instagram is the fastest way to learn about new offerings, they’ll always look forward to seeing your brand popup in their stream.

 

2. Showcase special offers and discounts – with links to the landing page in your profile

Similar to how people like to be the first to know about new products, they also like to be the first to know about sales and specials. Because Instagram is so, well, instant, it’s a good way to get people to take an immediate action – especially if you give them something actionable like purchasing a discounted product.

One of the most important things to remember about Instagram is that it’s almost entirely mobile – this means that whatever action you want your customers to take should be well-formatted for mobile devices. If you send them to a landing page where they can make a purchase, for example, make sure it’s mobile-responsive!

3. Interact with Your Customers

Last but not least, it’s critical to remember that Instagram is a consumer platform with our without your business. While you might be posting to get more foot traffic or more sales, your customers are browsing just to see what’s going on in the world. They’re liking, commenting, and maybe even sharing posts. So in order to do well on Instagram, you need to think like a consumer, not like a business.

This means interacting with your customers as they interact with you. Respond to their comments and questions. Consider running a sweepstakes or two that encourages people to share, comment, or like your post. Maybe even do a “customer spotlight” where you feature a particularly special customer.

However you chose to build your brand on Instagram, just remember that it’s more than just a place to share your photos. When you think outside the box, it can become a very powerful source of revenue for your business.

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How to Spend Money (Effectively) on Facebook for Your Business (It’s Harder Than It Looks)

One of the biggest problems we hear about Facebook advertising is that it’s hard to do it well. There are a lot of competing factors like who to target, what to say, and how to say it. But there’s also the issue of budgeting: how do you know how much to spend so that you’re getting results without wasting money?

While Facebook is a great platform for attracting new customers, they don’t always do such a good job of explaining how everything works. What’s the difference between a News Feed ad and a side bar ad? What’s a custom audience? What’s retargeting?

While the returns for each business will vary based on a lot of factors such as ad copy and audience targeting, there are a few key things you should know to effectively spend money on Facebook for your business.

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How to Spend Money (Effectively) on Facebook for Your Business (It’s Harder Than It Looks)

1. Boosting a Post

Screenshot 2015-05-18 20.45.43One of the most simple ways to spend advertising your business on Facebook is with a feature they call Boost Post. As more and more content got on Facebook, they realized there simply wasn’t enough time or room in the average user’s News Feed to show it all. So they started cutting back on what appeared organically – or without advertising. If a business wants to get their existing Facebook posts (i.e. something you write in the “What have you been up to?” section of your Facebook page) in front of their existing customers, they should choose to boost a post. You can put anywhere from $20 to hundreds of dollars into boosting a post (the more fans you have, the more money you’ll need to spend boosting).

While this is an effective way to make sure your fans are seeing the content you’re sharing, it’s not very good for generating revenue, acquiring new customers, or getting eyes on your page if you don’t already have good content to start with. What is considered good content for Facebook? Take a look at our post on how to create a Facebook post that converts.

2. Running Ads on Facebook

This is where things start to get a bit tricky. Facebook ads is so powerful that if you don’t have the time or resources to spend creating really good content, researching your target audience, and tweaking everything as time goes on, it can really lose its effectiveness. If you’re really hoping to turn Facebook ads into a revenue-generating channel, consider talking to an outside agency or business that will help you optimize your ads.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge yourself, here are a few quick hacks you should absolutely know about:

  • Website retargeting: show Facebook ads to people who have visited your website before. It’s as easy as installing a piece of code from Facebook onto your website. People rarely buy or claim the first time they visit your website. But if you keep popping up wherever they go, soon enough they’ll start to remember you instead of your competitors.
  • Custom audience: a custom audience is a list of people you already know – now we’ve just tracked them down on Facebook. This could be a list of people who have visited your website before (see above) or it could be a list of fans that have been found on Facebook based on an email list you collected in store. Either way, this is an incredibly effective way to see great results from advertising because you’re working with a warm introduction – people who have been to, interacted with, or simply have seen your business before.
  • CTA, CTA, CTA: the most important thing you should have in your Facebook ad is a CTA or call-to-action. Without it, you’re not giving your viewers much of a chance to become your customers. A CTA is as it says, an action that you are asking of the viewer – whether that’s to click a link, claim an offer, or engage with your post somehow. This is important because it means that you’re converting what was once a passive Facebook user into someone who wants to engage with your business – either online again or in person.

While there are many ways to spend money on Facebook, there are fewer ways to do it effectively. Whether you want to get back on the radar of your existing customers or find new ones, Facebook is an extremely effective channel – when you have a little bit of help.

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