Local Searches

Remember when using the Yellow Pages was the way to look up business information – especially addresses and phone numbers? That seems like eons ago.  In fact most people would be hard pressed to find a Phone Book in their house anymore.  With the ease and access of search engines on our mobile devices the hunt for local business has changed completely!  So let’s look at Local Searches: what they are and why they are so important for your business.

What are Local searches? Local search is when someone ‘searches’ the Internet for a local business or service. If your company does business locally, whether it’s through an actual storefront or some other means, you will want to optimize your local visibility. Keep in mind that in order to do this, you’ll need to make sure that your website is optimized for local search. Searches with local intent are more likely to lead to store visits and sales within a day.

Why is getting listed locally so important? New Google research says that 50 percent of mobile users are most likely to visit a store after conducting a local search, while 34 percent of consumers on tablets or computers will go to a store. And Google says these people are ready to buy once they are in a store, as 18 percent of local searches lead to sales, compared to 7 percent for non-local searches. Find more statistics about local searches in Google’s Research. 

How to get listed locally. Google’s local search results can be seen in Google Maps and as localized results in universal search. You can create a free local business listing on Google+ by logging in and navigating to Create a Google+ Page, but first you’ll need a Google Account. Google My Business is Google’s new unified interface designed to make life easier for local businesses as well as brands to be better found within Google. It’s a big, huge change. Other search engines provide similar tools to make it easy to find your company when entering a keyword and your city/town. or state. Add a new listing at Bing Places for Business or Yahoo’s at http://local.yahoo.com.

 

 

 

How to Write a Great Blog

So you heard the secret?  Blogging drives traffic to your site and helps your company get on the social media radar when people share your blog posts. It doesn’t hurt either that It’s also one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and dynamic.  So now that you know this – how do you write a blog that people will want to read?

Here are some key ingredients to a good blog. . .

  1. Grab attention – Create a headline  with key words that will grab the attention of readers and compel them to read it.  In addition it is important that the first 3-4 sentences grab the interest of the reader so they will continue to read until the end. . . and even more importantly come back and read future blogs.
  2. Connect to the Reader. Relate your topic to something your reader can understand emotionally.  This may be through humor, personal story or a key insight that they can connect back to their business.  They will see the added value in your site through your discussions on your blog.
  3. Give Key Points in a “How to” to linked section. By giving readers practical and easy to understand advice they will remember you and possibly subscribe to your site thus guaranteeing future visits.
  4. Publish regularly. If readers can anticipate that you will be publishing once a week or even more regularly they will look forward to hearing from you.  In addition, respond quickly and positively to comments readers make on a regular basis.
  5. Be Visual.  Use headers, numbers, bullets, and pictures to illustrate your point.  This will make reading the blog easy and keep it organized.

 

Probably the best advice about blogging is to be yourself.  Let your company’s personality come out in your words not just your research .  Have fun blogging!

 

Key Word Tools

Key Words!  Choosing the right combination is absolutely crucial to a successful SEO. A keyword is a word or search term(s) that someone types into Google, Bing, Yahoo  or any other search engine when they’re looking for information online. When given the right combination of key words –  the search engine will direct users to information relevant to their search and ultimately to your site. So how do you choose those oh-so-important words so that they are relevant without being too broad?

  1. Back to Basics – Ask your customers what key words they used to find you online.  Or better yet, try finding yourself online through simple searches.  You will quickly see what page your company is found on and what key words work best at getting you a higher ranking. This is fairly old school but a good place to start.
  2. Add Location Based Keywords – When looking for products and services in a specific area, search engine users will usually include their location in the search.  For example Boston, MA.  You may want to consider adding location-based keywords to all of your pages, since traffic from other locations isn’t going to be very much help to you.
  3. Use Key Word Tools – Here are some great online tools to take the guesswork out of deciding on Key Words!
  • Google Ad Words Keyword Tool Your company can insert one keyword, multiple keywords, or even your website address, and Google will then return a list of related keywords along with simple metrics to gauge how fierce the competition is around each one and how many searches it gets on both a global and local search level.
  • Hub Spot Software or Google Analytics This tool will allow you to identify which organic search terms are already driving traffic to your website. These keywords will provide a good baseline of core keywords.

 

Now that you have some tools to discover your top key words for SEO , get out there and start discovering your best keywords for your growing company!

Branding Using Font

Building your company’s Brand Identity has many components to consider including: logo, tagline, colors, and of course font.  A font can reflect your businesses personality, style, and mood.  So what do you want your font to portray about you and your company?

Font or typeface may be serious or light-hearted, traditional or modern, legible or decorative, or any number of other personality traits. The traits of the font that you use in your marketing materials and business communications should reflect and enhance your company’s brand identity. Fonts are usually designed to include several style variations. This can include styles like light, regular, bold, semi-bold, ultra bold, and italic. Some fonts also include “Expert” versions, which are fonts that include fractions and mathematical symbols.

The researchers at Wichita State University have revealed what your favorite font says about you—and when it’s appropriate to use it.

Serif Fonts are rounded and have edges that have extra strokes added to the top and the bottom.  The following are Serif Fonts and what it may be saying about your company.

  • Times New Roman – is your best bet for technical or business documents.  It says you are formal and practical and is good for web sites, spreadsheets, and business documents.
  • Courier New – is masculine, plain and is appropriate for business letters.

 

Sans Serif Fonts These are the typefaces without the embellishments.

  • Arial – portray stability and authority and is best used for spreadsheets, Web headlines, and PowerPoint presentations.
  • Verdana was described as dull and straightforward.  Best for online tests, math documents, computer programming, spreadsheets and PowerPoint.
  • Comic Sans– The wacky uncle of the font family, subjects described this one as youthful, casual, and passive. Save it for Web graphics, documents aimed at kids, and digital scrap booking. A fun choice for invitations to kids’ parties.

Each piece of marketing material or document created should have a maximum of three or four families of fonts on them. More than that can be confusing and wont make you stand out from the competition.  To read more about what specific fonts say about a company read Font Basics for Branding Your Small Business.