The Ultimate Local Search Engine Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses

  • By Joel Conner
  • 29 Sep, 2017

What exactly is Local SEO? And how do you get the right content in place so that you can increase your chances of being found. 

Local Search engine marketing is a mix of marketing strategies applied to your website and other online channels with the goal that it is found in the highest position possible of Google, Bing and Yahoo for searches that are related to your local area.

Google is extremely attentive as to which websites to showcase in the local search results box, since the local companies that get a top listing will receive higher CTRs (click through rates) and traffic.

Here is a brief summary of local SEO:
An individual wants to find a company (address or a telephone number), in the specified region defined by the query, so as to visit or call to satisfy a need.
Search engines alternatively, want to provide folks with helpful content by offering them details for businesses that satisfy the user-intent.
Experts agree that local SEO resembles long-tail SEO, however, with the proximity added in the query string.

The saying "local SEO" is usually unknown to numerous small enterprises, but for quite a few companies this is certainly all they require to become successful on the internet.
Embroco's extensive local search engine optimization checklist can help you optimize your website for local internet search.

Who needs local SEO?
Every business that has a street address and conducts business a certain area needs local SEO.
Do you own a restaurant, a mechanic shop, a clothing store? Are you a dentist, hairdresser, mechanic or a store?
You must have a website that is designed for local SEO.
Consumers use the Internet to seek out a business before they actually stop by and if they don’t find yours, it’s obvious that you are giving up consumers as well as opportunities and someone else will capitalize. And you can be sure that most of the time another business will undoubtedly be around to pick up your missed opportunity.

Just what are the merits associated with local Search engine optimization regarding small companies?
Boost your odds of showing up higher in Search results - Companies that are chosen to appear in Google local results (including Google Maps) are more likely to get more engagements than websites that don’t show up in this section.

A Cornucopia of Conversions - The conversion rate is significant, since guests visiting a website from local search are highly precise.
Brand visibility and attention -People looking for companies in your area will know that you actually exist and this will make your brand more familiar plus boost interest about your business.
Higher return on investment - An maximized website for local search should produce more benefit to a ‘brick and mortar’ business, since all they want is to get customers searching the web for businesses in their area.
This makes a higher yield on the investment made and possibly faster development than companies that don’t use this.

How is local SEO distinct from general SEO?
Local SEO marketing is for targeting searches in a particular geo location while general SEO methods are applicable for global broad searches.
It should be considered that all SEO advice about on-page or off-page SEO is also applicable for local SEO also.
The main difference is that for local enhancement, you also should provide area interest indicators to Search engines, as we will see in the checklist below.
Smart phone searches are by ‘default’ localized
If you're looking from your smart phone or if you have allowed Google to observe your location when searching from your personal computer, you don’t need to type your location in your search, due to the fact Google already knows your region.
In other words, if you are literally located in Cape Coral and type in italian restaurants on Google search from your smartphone, Google will return the same results as if you typed in restaurants in your area. And the closer you are to a restaurant, the more likely results are going to show that particular place.
The same is true if you search for mexican restaurants near me.
Should all businesses apply Local SEO?
No and the reason is that if you try to target users in a particular area, it will be more difficult to rank for keywords that are related to global search.
Take for example my business, reliablesoft.net.
Some businesses have clients from all over the planet and want to rank for more general terms, they do not provide any local signals to search engines, apart from those they need to give to their users for business understanding and trustworthiness.


Embroco Checklist for Local Search Optimization
I have written regarding the benefit of optimizing for local search for businesses but I haven't yet come to the most crucial part of this post i.e. what you have to do in order to enhance your business site for local search results.

This components on this list are only effective if you actually perform this stuff persistently.

1. Register your business with Google My Business

Having a Google My Business account is the most essential component for Local SEO.
When you create an account with Google Business, Google will verify your address and ownership of the company.
This will be done by either sending you a postcard with a code.
Once your mailing address is verified, your organization will show up on the map and also will be a prospect to show up in local results.
To increase your local ranking on Google, you should make certain that:
• The information provided for your organization is accurate, thorough and correct.
• You respond to every single review customers leave about your business (even the not so good ones).
• You have added photos of your business, attractive looking logos, graphics, & staff photos, to your Google My Business page.
• The hours of your company are correctly set and up-to-date.

2. Register Your Business With Local online directories
Register your company with any trustworthy local directories and don't forget to be consistent in the details you are using.
There are a number of websites that provide lists of helpful directories. Also consider directories directly related to your niche.

3. Create a Local business web page on Facebook
Facebook has a special kind of category for local businesses.
When you create a Facebook Business Page and select the category ‘local business’, Facebook will validate your address and business details.

Facebook can be rapid method to boost brand recognition through easy to operate boosted posts and paid advertising. You can easily select your region for targeted ads. Also, Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive.

4. Optimize page titles, meta-descriptions and URLS
Titles and Descriptions are important for local SEO.
An optimized title should be between 50-60 characters and if you are focusing on local consumers then the location should be part of your meta-title and meta-description.
A couple of real examples from the web:

A local SEO optimized URL could be: https://www.busybee.com/honey-florida

5. NAP (Name, Address, Phone) on website
On your homepage, make sure that your full street address details (telephone number, email, street number, post code, state, country, email) are found as text (not image) in a notable location.
Critical: When displaying your contact number, make sure that you use your local number (including the area code) rather than your toll-free number.
Any indicators you can share with Search engines associated with your vicinity are helpful for boosting the local search results.

6. Register your website with Bing Places for Business is also a pretty good idea
Bing Places for Business is free of charge, simple to complete and yet another way to validate your company data on the internet. Do not forget to link to your Bing profile from your Google My Business page (and the other way around).

7. Try to reply to nearly every single review on every media platform, but primarily your website's blog
In addition to registering on the previously mentioned platforms, it is important to entice clients to review your company and it is equally important to respond to all reviews, even if they are upsetting. In some instances, it may be wise to ignore it and is imperative not to get into some kind of argument while endeavoring to defend your position. You ought to preserve professionalism and built rapport.
You can ask for testimonials by asking very nicely and letting them understand just how much it would mean to you personally and for your company. Do not try to bribe them. That could work against establishing the sort of confidence you desire to obtain. Make the steps as basic and convenient as you possibly can and be mindful of opportune timing. Don't plead, don't nag. Simply don't.

8. Smart phone optimization
Do not forget about mobile, particularly when referring to obtaining clients in your area.
The majority of people make use of their smartphone while on the move and landing on a non-mobile friendly webpage is wearisome and will discourage them from carrying on to search or investigation.



9. Website speed optimization
Speed. That is what all website users require. By using primary players including Google announcing page loading speed as a ranking component, speed is being deemed as a significant factor on the playing field. In fact, Google made a press release stating that its strategy is to use site load speed as a ranking factor. This change coupled with Google's mobile-first index algorithm makes it painfully apparent that smartphone style and design and page load speed are very important for success in ranking well for search queries. Studies indicate that sites with high speed have a higher rate of conversion and a lower bounce rate. Users today want an opportunity to assess products, solutions and price ranges. And page load speed plays a pivotal role here. If your webpages are slow in launching, you are out of the race before it has started. This could result in a loss of revenue particularly if you are running paid ads.

10. Start posting
How can writing content assist local search engine optimization?
You can submit high quality information consistently and integrate location based internal linking.
For instance, coming from a blog post you could link to the services you provide by using the anchor ‘financial services in Southwest Florida’.
This one thing will not likely do a lot but it is another small step in your overall optimization process. If a website visitor clicks around your site, coming across useful content, Google will take note of this. Also, you can use the blog to target ‘local keywords’ in the title and content of the blog posts.   A huge problem that business owners have is coming up with content.  We have solved that issue for you in this post about content creation: The Embroco Content Blueprint or in our Done for you content creation management: Content Rain

11. Social Media Channels such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and others
I haven’t noted twitter, instagram, youTube or other social media sites separately, however, for best results also you need to have an accurate profile on these also.
These communities are excellent to get new potential clients in your area to follow you since all social channels possess the facility to point out followers depending on the location of your business.

12. Take advantage of your lovely logo (if you don't completely love your logo, hire a professional to upgrade it)
One of the first things that search engines like google come across when crawling your website is the logo and this is a good place to start your local SEO optimization.
Make sure that your image filename is descriptive. Instead of using logo.png better use a more meaningful filename like ‘Bubbas-Big-Bathtubs-logo.png’
ALT text is important for all images but it’s more important for the company logo.
Try to use the same logo across all channels.
Everywhere that your logo is found try to use the same logo and ALT text.

Summary
Local Search engine marketing is a significant instrument for businesses that have a physical address and desire to use the web to get additional prospects from people looking for businesses/services/goods in their area.
The strategy for local SEO are comparable to but considerably distinct from traditional SEO techniques. Being savvy of these distinctions and implementing the tactics indexed in this article may just provide you with exactly what you were looking for: a competitive edge.

Embroco Blog

By Joel Conner 09 Oct, 2017
As we fast approach the new year, lots of firms are preparing to introduce their 2017 marketing efforts. If you're
thinking about employing a marketing professional, ensure you think about these 17 key factors.

1. Objective Advice. Specialists who are paid costs are more likely to provide you objective guidance than experts who earn commissions based on the quantity of cash you spend. If the consultant profits from ad agency commissions, he has a fundamental conflict of interest because the more you invest, the more he makes.

2. Marketing is so specific and complicated that I advise you work with someone who has offered marketing services for a minimum of 15 years. Make sure you completely interview all consultants you are thinking about.

3. Work. Does the law marketing expert do the work for you? Or does the marketing individual act as a coach and simply tell you what you should be doing?

4. Service. Do you feel that the specialist desires to supply you with the aid you need to make your program be successful?

5. Access. Is the specialist concealed behind a wall of secretaries, account executives and administrative assistants? Or is he easily available to you by phone, fax, and e-mail?

6. Stability. Has the consultant been offering marketing services for some years? Or is he brand-new to marketing-- or brand-new to lawyer marketing-- and just waiting for the opportunity to move on to something else?

7. Marketing Focus. Is the consultant a full-time marketing expert? Or does he use recommendations in other disciplines, such as management, human resources, training or finance?

8. Authority. Does the consultant have sufficient experience that he is an acknowledged authority in his field? Or is he still a relative unknown?

9. Does the specialist have a big personnel and/or a fancy workplace that his customers pay for? Or when you compose a check, are you paying for his high level of understanding, judgment, ability and experience?

10. Does this specialist mark up outdoors services he employs on your behalf, such as graphic artists, printers, professional photographers, web website professionals, and so forth? Or does this specialist offer those services to you at expense?

11. Travel. Does the expert travel around the country from one client to next, running up airline company bills? Or does the expert keep costs down by working effectively with you by telephone, fax and e-mail?

12. Protection. Does the consultant have a skilled marketing specialist who covers for him when he takes a trip? Or are you relegated to an account executive or administrative assistant who takes messages and attempts to relay them to the consultant while he is on the road.

13. Does the specialist have so many clients he cannot supply you with the personal care and attention you should have? Or does he limit his services to a couple of choose clients who receive the best he has to offer?

14. Does the specialist himself perform the work on your behalf? Or does the consultant entrust your work to a junior partner?

15. Marketing Specialization. Is the specialist a marketing professional who works only with one kind of marketing? Or does he aim to be a "jack of all trades" so he can provide whatever marketing services you wish to buy?

16. In marketing, absolutely nothing is more essential than for your expert to have superior composing skills. And don't anticipate the specialist's composing to follow the guidelines of exactly what you and I discovered in school due to the fact that marketing writing is different from scholastic writing. To sample your specialist's writing style, checked out released articles and marketing materials that your consultant wrote.

17. Reviews. Does the marketing consultant have comments from other attorneys that you can examine? The expert you're considering ought to offer you testimonials from various other legal representatives. If he offers only a few, you may be reading remarks from his in-laws.


Experts who are paid fees are more likely to provide you objective guidance than experts who earn commissions based on the amount of cash you spend. Is the consultant a marketing professional who works just with one type of marketing? In marketing, absolutely nothing is more important than for your specialist to have superior writing abilities. Don't expect their writing to follow the guidelines of what you and I discovered in school since marketing writing is quite different from scholastic writing. To sample your specialist's writing style, read released articles and marketing materials that your expert wrote.
By Joel Conner 04 Oct, 2017

1. The absolute worst mistake that I have seen small businesses make in my years as a web consultant in is to never get around to setting up a good website. They fall back on one of many excuses, the foremost is, "word of mouth is what drives my business.” "Word of mouth” and running a great business is what keeps you in business, but it doesn't change the fact that most folks looking for products or services are going to go straight to google. The stats for local business search are undeniably compelling. Local businesses more easily rank well for local search with an optimized website. And with your own website (depending on which option you go with) you have total control of their engagement and user experience, which brings us to the second catastrophic mistake that just breaks my marketing heart.
Action Point: Get a Website (but not before finishing this article)

2. The second worst mistake is thinking, "It’s enough to just have a good facebook page.” Facebook is a great tool for brand awareness and creating some engagement with your product. It is not a replacement for a website. For sure it is much better than having nothing, but facebook and other social media tools are much too confining and limited in what they accomplish for businesses. Also, you have no control of the decisions they may make in the future. This was a lesson I learned years ago as an eBay seller. On a whim, they could change the parameters that could totally change your chances of doing successful business. When a person finds you in search engine land, and they have the option of clicking to learn more about you and your products or services, almost all would prefer to click to a website and not a social media page. And you would much prefer that as well because you have control of what kind of content they will see, how it is structured, and want action points you would like them to take as a result of coming to your website.
Action point: Keep your facebook page and get a great website built for you or take the time to learn how to create one for yourself.

3. The third mistake that I often see is using a "cheap" website builder or simple drag and drop website builder. This one hits close to home for me as a website builder and consultant, because I see some businesses go this route after finding out that there is a cost of having a website built for you. And in contrast, many of my happy clients tried this route before deciding to partner with Embroco to achieve their business goals.   Many if not all of their pain points in setting up their web presence are not only eliminated but are transformed into excitement as they see the results that were previously elusive. When you hire a professional, they have access directly to "the code", and all of it, thus you are no longer confined to the limitations of "safe and simple" website builder application. Using these DIY services might be acceptable for the hobbyist or a simple blogging site, but for a serious business, hiring someone who really knows how to optimize a site for results both for search engine and in user experience, makes all the difference between success and failure. Website marketing firms build and optimize websites every day, know best practices, and have insights that the business owners typically just don't have time to acquire. I have seen some pretty decent attempts by zealous go-getter types. But the astronomical amount of time that they spent trying to achieve a good looking site leave me thinking, “was it really worth it.” And having a pretty site doesn't mean that your site is optimized for success in a world where your competition online is steadily getting more fierce. Having said that, it noteworthy to mention that there are a few DIY website builders that have have the flexibility and power to make a great website. However, for the best results, I still would recommend hiring a designer with marketing experience to build your site.
Action Point: Hire the right Professional Web Design Firm

4. The next mistake that kills your results is never taking the time to maintain and add fresh content to their site or not hiring someone to do it for them. In order to thrive and not just survive when it comes to ranking well on google, you must have a reason for people visiting your site. Not just once but you would like folks to come back and visit from time to time. Create a valuable resource for your clients. Answer questions. Search engines look for helpful original unique insightful written content. Give incentives, promotions, and knowledge and try to make it interesting or even entertaining. One thing that I have learned working in web consulting over the years is that: "Getting content from business owners is harder than pulling teeth!" There are a lot of reasons and excuses for this, but I believe that the main one is that writing is hard work. It is true that no one knows your business like you do and your insight for delivering good content would be invaluable, however, if you never get around to doing it, you would be much better off hiring someone else to do it. The payoff is that once great content has been created, it is done and it will continue to reap benefits in the future.
Action Point: Maintain and create content or hire someone to do it.

5. The fifth mistake that I want to touch on can be a very costly one, Hiring the wrong web design firm for the wrong reasons. The world of web browsers, code, search engines and aggressive start-ups with big ideas is exciting and rapidly evolving. I am going to list a few things to look out for when looking to hire a web design firm.
1. Don’t hire a firm just because they have been around the longest. This may seem like a viable reason, but I have seen large established firms that are still producing websites that are not optimized for mobile devices with code elements dated by 5-10 years.
2. Don’t hire a firm just because they charge the most. Also, they don't give a reasonable justification for the astronomical prices. Having a website built for you should be like a trip to the ER. We practice complete transparency with our pricing from the very beginning. It should be simple, this is how much it costs, this is why.
3. Carefully consider the Content Management System that the firm is connecting to the code of their website. This can be a really big issue once a site has gone live. It is absolutely vital that you have a clear understanding of how easy or not it is to maintain and make changes to your site.
4. Don’t hire a mega-firm that sends much of their work abroad which can cause communication issues and may not be accessible to fix things quickly and accurately. This is a temptation for every web-developer. Hire abroad, manage, take the profits off the top, and retire now. This scenario is problematic in too many ways to mention in this article.

Action Point: Hire a small to midsized firm that uses current best design practices, practices fair pricing with transparency, builds in a powerful content management system, and is dedicated to customer service so you have a real person you can call up and talk to immediately.

6. The final blow that deflates the online potential of any local business is a failure to invest in local marketing tools. For the amount of “seo juice” and traffic that these services provide, they are well worth the meager investment. A beautiful and optimized website is the foundation for success, but in today's competitive online atmosphere, it is just not enough. Most competent web firms will offer to incorporate these services for a one-time fee or small recurring fee to keep these vital marketing engines optimized. Businesses can take advantage of websites such as MOZ Local or BrightLocal and use some of their very helpful tools for free or take advantage of their paid services. Keep in mind that some web-firms may already have access to the more advanced tools offered by these local marketing applications, and have experience in implementing and optimizing your results. What do these sites offer? They maximize your presence in two main areas: Citations (listing your site on online directories) and providing monitoring and Analytics. The other key factor that needs to be actively pursued is getting and monitoring online reviews. Marketing firms can help with this, but the easiest way to accomplish it is to just ask your favorite clients to write you a 5-star review.
Action Point: Use local marketing tools or hire your web-firm to set this up for you. At the very least utilize this strategy for a few months.

I genuinely hope that this article was helpful and helps bring your dreams to fruition.


By Joel Conner 29 Sep, 2017

Local Search engine marketing is a mix of marketing strategies applied to your website and other online channels with the goal that it is found in the highest position possible of Google, Bing and Yahoo for searches that are related to your local area.

Google is extremely attentive as to which websites to showcase in the local search results box, since the local companies that get a top listing will receive higher CTRs (click through rates) and traffic.

Here is a brief summary of local SEO:
An individual wants to find a company (address or a telephone number), in the specified region defined by the query, so as to visit or call to satisfy a need.
Search engines alternatively, want to provide folks with helpful content by offering them details for businesses that satisfy the user-intent.
Experts agree that local SEO resembles long-tail SEO, however, with the proximity added in the query string.

The saying "local SEO" is usually unknown to numerous small enterprises, but for quite a few companies this is certainly all they require to become successful on the internet.
Embroco's extensive local search engine optimization checklist can help you optimize your website for local internet search.

Who needs local SEO?
Every business that has a street address and conducts business a certain area needs local SEO.
Do you own a restaurant, a mechanic shop, a clothing store? Are you a dentist, hairdresser, mechanic or a store?
You must have a website that is designed for local SEO.
Consumers use the Internet to seek out a business before they actually stop by and if they don’t find yours, it’s obvious that you are giving up consumers as well as opportunities and someone else will capitalize. And you can be sure that most of the time another business will undoubtedly be around to pick up your missed opportunity.

Just what are the merits associated with local Search engine optimization regarding small companies?
Boost your odds of showing up higher in Search results - Companies that are chosen to appear in Google local results (including Google Maps) are more likely to get more engagements than websites that don’t show up in this section.

A Cornucopia of Conversions - The conversion rate is significant, since guests visiting a website from local search are highly precise.
Brand visibility and attention -People looking for companies in your area will know that you actually exist and this will make your brand more familiar plus boost interest about your business.
Higher return on investment - An maximized website for local search should produce more benefit to a ‘brick and mortar’ business, since all they want is to get customers searching the web for businesses in their area.
This makes a higher yield on the investment made and possibly faster development than companies that don’t use this.

How is local SEO distinct from general SEO?
Local SEO marketing is for targeting searches in a particular geo location while general SEO methods are applicable for global broad searches.
It should be considered that all SEO advice about on-page or off-page SEO is also applicable for local SEO also.
The main difference is that for local enhancement, you also should provide area interest indicators to Search engines, as we will see in the checklist below.
Smart phone searches are by ‘default’ localized
If you're looking from your smart phone or if you have allowed Google to observe your location when searching from your personal computer, you don’t need to type your location in your search, due to the fact Google already knows your region.
In other words, if you are literally located in Cape Coral and type in italian restaurants on Google search from your smartphone, Google will return the same results as if you typed in restaurants in your area. And the closer you are to a restaurant, the more likely results are going to show that particular place.
The same is true if you search for mexican restaurants near me.
Should all businesses apply Local SEO?
No and the reason is that if you try to target users in a particular area, it will be more difficult to rank for keywords that are related to global search.
Take for example my business, reliablesoft.net.
Some businesses have clients from all over the planet and want to rank for more general terms, they do not provide any local signals to search engines, apart from those they need to give to their users for business understanding and trustworthiness.


Embroco Checklist for Local Search Optimization
I have written regarding the benefit of optimizing for local search for businesses but I haven't yet come to the most crucial part of this post i.e. what you have to do in order to enhance your business site for local search results.

This components on this list are only effective if you actually perform this stuff persistently.

1. Register your business with Google My Business

Having a Google My Business account is the most essential component for Local SEO.
When you create an account with Google Business, Google will verify your address and ownership of the company.
This will be done by either sending you a postcard with a code.
Once your mailing address is verified, your organization will show up on the map and also will be a prospect to show up in local results.
To increase your local ranking on Google, you should make certain that:
• The information provided for your organization is accurate, thorough and correct.
• You respond to every single review customers leave about your business (even the not so good ones).
• You have added photos of your business, attractive looking logos, graphics, & staff photos, to your Google My Business page.
• The hours of your company are correctly set and up-to-date.

2. Register Your Business With Local online directories
Register your company with any trustworthy local directories and don't forget to be consistent in the details you are using.
There are a number of websites that provide lists of helpful directories. Also consider directories directly related to your niche.

3. Create a Local business web page on Facebook
Facebook has a special kind of category for local businesses.
When you create a Facebook Business Page and select the category ‘local business’, Facebook will validate your address and business details.

Facebook can be rapid method to boost brand recognition through easy to operate boosted posts and paid advertising. You can easily select your region for targeted ads. Also, Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive.

4. Optimize page titles, meta-descriptions and URLS
Titles and Descriptions are important for local SEO.
An optimized title should be between 50-60 characters and if you are focusing on local consumers then the location should be part of your meta-title and meta-description.
A couple of real examples from the web:

A local SEO optimized URL could be: https://www.busybee.com/honey-florida

5. NAP (Name, Address, Phone) on website
On your homepage, make sure that your full street address details (telephone number, email, street number, post code, state, country, email) are found as text (not image) in a notable location.
Critical: When displaying your contact number, make sure that you use your local number (including the area code) rather than your toll-free number.
Any indicators you can share with Search engines associated with your vicinity are helpful for boosting the local search results.

6. Register your website with Bing Places for Business is also a pretty good idea
Bing Places for Business is free of charge, simple to complete and yet another way to validate your company data on the internet. Do not forget to link to your Bing profile from your Google My Business page (and the other way around).

7. Try to reply to nearly every single review on every media platform, but primarily your website's blog
In addition to registering on the previously mentioned platforms, it is important to entice clients to review your company and it is equally important to respond to all reviews, even if they are upsetting. In some instances, it may be wise to ignore it and is imperative not to get into some kind of argument while endeavoring to defend your position. You ought to preserve professionalism and built rapport.
You can ask for testimonials by asking very nicely and letting them understand just how much it would mean to you personally and for your company. Do not try to bribe them. That could work against establishing the sort of confidence you desire to obtain. Make the steps as basic and convenient as you possibly can and be mindful of opportune timing. Don't plead, don't nag. Simply don't.

8. Smart phone optimization
Do not forget about mobile, particularly when referring to obtaining clients in your area.
The majority of people make use of their smartphone while on the move and landing on a non-mobile friendly webpage is wearisome and will discourage them from carrying on to search or investigation.



By Joel Conner 21 Aug, 2017

Nothing else comes close to the versatility that Facebook ad targeting offers. You can target ads based on a number of parameters like interest, gender, user location, interest, education, relationship status, education among others.
Due to the constant and ever high traffic on Facebook, you literally have the chance to get the conversion rates you’ve always only dreamed of.

For instance, let’s assume that your company recently launched their own coffee, you can aim to attract customers from Starbucks by targeting lovers of Starbucks coffee in your ads in a bid to sway them to your own coffee brand.

When you target users based on interest, you will notice a surge in the number of Facebook fans, email subscribers, brand advocates and buyers. Eventually, you will have succeeded in converting more users into customers or potential customers at least. Once they buy into your brand and become actual customers, they will most likely become your advocates as social evidence of the quality of your brand to your target audience/market.

It’s actually a no brainer, if someone didn’t own a car, they probably wouldn’t care about car wipers and blades.
Equally, if I have in the past expressed my willingness to learn baking and I come across an ad that promises to tutor people on baking and all its mysteries and promises to make me a professional baker in under a year, then chances are that I am going to be more inclined to click on the ad, more than I would have clicked on an ad that was selling plastic chairs at 20% off the original price.

A non-profit organization can also seamlessly target users for a higher click-through rate based on their interests and preferences:
Once you have a perfect idea for your ad, the next thing you want to do is to select and target an audience based on one or multiple interests.

Usually, these kind of people are usually pre-qualified leads, because they have already indicated interest in your topic.
Interest-based targeting is usually effective in increasing a Facebook fan base.
Keep in mind that you would have to set up a lead nurturing system if you want to make the best out of your leads. The truth is, the vast majority of them are not just going to magically buy your product on sighting your ad.

Therefore, you would still need to do a bit of marketing, education and persuasion before you get the click-through rate to become a high website conversion rate – before you can accomplish that, you need to have a system that can seamlessly allow you communicate with them regularly.
Sounds pretty basic right? Well, it's quite an easy process if you actually know the basics of it.

You must realize that target audience is the most important significant factor to your Facebook ad success.

Do’s
There are a few Do’s that can ensure that your odds at targeting users based on the audience are greatly improved.
I’ll go ahead and just conclude that you are familiar with very basics here (gender, age, location etc.). Grouping in that demographic data will help you sieve out all of the people who probably would have no business buying your “chairs at 20% off its original price.” – Basically, those who wouldn’t think twice to care about what you are selling.

But let’s assume, you are still left with a very long list at this point – even after you have added a few interest like celebrities they follow or brands they like and you are target audience is still running into millions.
If you’re caught in that dilemma, here is the next action that you should take;

Customer Segment or Personas
First, divide your audience into multiple customer segment or personas. This may seem very obvious. But it is a complete game changer.
You may proceed with something as easy as the industry your prospects are in. like this:
For instance, let’s say you are targeting other business people, you can easily segregate those people by virtue of their industry (like consulting vs finance). You can also divide them by location (big cities). And you can also further segment them by job title (middle managers vs VP and C-level).
So you can apply these textbook moves by simply chipping in a few parameters like this to help you slash one big group into a tiny bit (this will also save you money).


Filters: Intersections or Exclusions
After segmentation, you can further refine those you intend to target by using interest intersection and exclusion feature.
What if you are still left with a big list? What if it’s still too vague?
For instance, what if what you actually want are self-employed accountants who are not tax attorneys? You can also add “law”, “legal”, “attorney”, “lawyer”, and the likes to further refine the search result.
Notice how these intersections and exclusions actually give you efficient targeting options to find just the right people. Those who are interested in what you have are the ones that may probably patronize you.

The moment you get a steady flow of incoming traffic; you’ll be able to start using custom audiences. This is more like remarketing or retargeting audiences that have just visited your website, subscribed to your newsletter or engaged with you on Facebook.
So, begin with interest targeting.                                                                                    
If you need to refine your audience, split the customers into multiple segments and use intersections or exclusions to filter the list. Then you can go on to try out custom audiences and lookalikes to when you are ready to move to the next level.
If not, the next thing is to begin generating traffic from your first few leads. We’ll get to more of that in coming posts.


By Joel Conner 02 Apr, 2017

Speed, speed and more speed. That is what all website users demand. With prime players like Google announcing speed as a ranking factor, speed is being considered as vital for success on the web.  In fact last year, Google made an announcement  stating that its plan is to use site load speed as a ranking factor. This change coupled with Google's mobile-first index algorhitm  makes it painfully clear that mobile design and page load speed are very important for success on the web. Studies indicate that sites with high speed have a higher conversion rate and a lower bounce rate. Consumers today want an opportunity to compare and contrast products, services and prices. And speed plays a pivotal role here. If your pages are slow in opening, you are out of the race before it has begun. This could translate into a loss especially if you are running paid advertisements.

Making standard web pages to load and render faster has been made possible by Embroco. The speed optimization project undertaken by the developers that power our sites, allows mobile users to instantly view the initial page while additional content is being loaded in the background.  Another part of our blazing fast websites is a relatively new service provided by Amazon Web Services called "Lambda”  that helps us structure the code on the fly to load certain in the optimal order according to different screen sizes.

By Joel Conner 13 Feb, 2017

Want to quickly learn some powerful foundation principles of SEO and actually remember them. How? By connecting what you are learning about search engine optimization with yourself. How you like to be treated is a lot like google likes to be approached. Play nicely. Mean what you say. Don’t try to deceive. Share good stuff. Be authentic. Be specific with your words. Google’s search engine has gotten a lot smarter and its designers have continuously labored to engineer a search result that delivers as accurately as possible, "What you are searching for,” not some website that really has another agenda for your wallet, and pretending to be what you were searching for. So, google has the intent of pulling the disguise off of the wolf in sheep's clothing. But, keep in mind that google made around 59.06 billion in 2014 from paid ads, yes that is Billion with a BIG B. Therefore, google is not opposed to taking your money to put you at the top. So we have a dance going on between paid results and organic results, and the interesting thing about search engine evolution is that the overall strategies (that I will make crystal clear in this book) for long-term and short term success are starting to look surprisingly similar and easier to grasp. Put simply, google is becoming a lot more like us.

Disclaimer: The Search Engine Not The Company

I need to make a quick clarification, lest some folks think that this book is an entirely different subject. When I say, "Google is a lot like you,” I am speaking about google’s search engine, not Google as a company. This book is about long and short term strategies for the successful growth of your online presence.

Google Hates Being Manipulated As Much As You Do

I recently was making some updates on a client’s website. This site had been taken over by a guru of old, I found hidden over 6,000 words and a local address hidden on every page of the site. It just goes to show the black hats are still out there. Of course, I made very strong recommendations to the client that such be removed.

That word is able to conjure strong emotion, especially if you have endured a relationship with a control freak. Manipulation of search engines used to be quite easy, if you knew the right tricks. You could stuff a bunch of keywords like "presidential election results” on your site in a text color that matched the background color, therefore making it invisible. And then folks searching for "presidential election results” would find your site that sells the "fabulous ab-tracker workout machine.” You could get away with such things because, well a few years back, search engines just weren’t that smart. Amazingly enough, similar techniques can still be found today. I know this because I work on websites every day.

The developers at google were able to differentiate themselves from competitors by developing smarter search engines results. As a matter of fact, most of the attempts at search engine manipulation will, in fact, result in a negative consequence. Google will penalize such actions and your site won’t show up at all. Come to think of it, that’s probably exactly how you would react to such behavior. You would likely delete them out of contacts, unfriend them on Facebook, send a clear message, "don’t call me, don’t bother me, I don’t like being manipulated.”

It goes back to the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”


Cheers,
Joel Conner / Embroco Enthusiast


By Joel Conner 02 Feb, 2017
How stable is AMP?
When implementing a new web development feature or tool, one must always ask the question, "How is this going to jive with all the current scripts and features that I am using?”  Most modern websites come with high doses of javascript and advanced CSS that could possibly be disabled on AMP mobile page.   And certain disabled features may affect page flow and other functionality such as lightboxes, carousels, webforms, models, filtering and a whole host of other js functions. If these are removed, and the HTML is stripped of them and then reformatted within the AMP framework, the page may be super fast and optimized, but what if some of your pages no longer makes sense.  If your section header says, "filter by color” and you can’t.  Another thing to consider is a loss of control.  If your AMP page is going to render to a predetermined output, then it may limit your creative control of how your page displays.   For many, having a page that instant loads and is super easy to navigate would be worth it. And if AMP pages become more common, users will be used to the format, thus improving the ease of use even more.

Will AMP pages have an edge?
Will google give higher rankings to an AMP page over   non -   apmed   pages, even if the non-amped page is optimized for mobile? If google did this, I believe there would be   backlash   from the web community. So, hopefully, they will not. AMP pages most likely would be hard to compete against if page load time was the main criteria for sorting page with similar page authority and relevance.  A fair approach would be that if a non-amp page that is optimized and load quickly would have an equal chance to rank well.

Wouldn’t it be better if…
Wouldn’t it be better if the web could be optimized for mobile devices with the use of an added on an extra set of code?  If HTML, CSS, and javascript could evolve a bit to automatically slim down for mobile optimization? To me, this seems like a better step forward, whereas AMP pages seem like a step forward and backward at the same time.  Accelerated mobile pages may just be enough to push the web in the right direction.

Does this mean I can ignore AMP?
I know that I have given a fair amount of reasoning that could cause many to shy away from using this new project, however, as a web-developer myself, I think it is worth at least trying out before dismissing it.  That is exactly what I am going to do.  Knowing comes by doing. I would run a few small trials and if those go well, consider opening a beta opportunity to clients who rely heavily on a mobile presence.  

Worth Trying?
If you want a simple path for trying Google’s AMP project, just wire it up for the one part of your website that really makes sense. For most, that would be your blog. You just need to implement on your blog template page.  One page and you have a great chance to test out just good or not this new phenomenon is. I hope this has been helpful.

Have you tried implementing AMP?  Share your experience.

Good will,
Joel Conner / Embroco Enthusiast 

By _dm_templates 26 Jan, 2017
If you hook readers with promises, deliver good content. It is true that good hooks will help your site ranking, and draw users in, but crawlers will look at the whole document. And just like you, google is not fond of bait and switch strategies. This kind of reminds me of fast food advertisements. You see a picture of a huge, beautifully stacked, mouth-watering hamburger on a perfect bun, but the one that you order looks like something completely different. Likewise, facebook profile photos can be a bit deceiving as well. With outsourcing being a very common place, and content generation websites readily available content is easy to create almost overnight. But, that content in almost always, a quick sloppy rewording of some content already in place. This works poorly for your goals in two ways. Duplicate content is not highly regarded by search engines. Let’s give credit where credit is due. If Mrs. X writes an original groundbreaking article on a certain subject on her blog, then Mr. Y reposts that article on his blog, who should get the credit? Easy answer for us and for search engines.

The second way this works against you is that poorly written content usually contains a lot of flowery redundant verbiage that is only there to get the word count high enough to reach the quota. On top of that, anyone who is somewhat literate will bounce off of poorly written content, never to return. So acquiring poor content is like taking one step forward and three steps back. Unless, you find a great content writer who is willing to do some research, put some original thought into it, and has the skill and integrity that you can depend on. Such a writer would be a valuable, though most likely more expensive asset. And even in that case, unless the writer is an expert in your field of expertise, the level of insight of a hired writer will be limited at best.

Copy Cat
Bring Something New or at least a new perspective or opinion on the content.
I want to clarify this issue just a bit more because it has many ramifications. I will use real estate as an example. Real estate is the prime example of duplicate content on multiple websites. Realtors sign up for an IDX property listings feed and hundreds of listings show up on their website. Lots of really great relevant content. But such content will not help their search engine results. Why? Well, I hope you know the answer by now, but to make sure I will break it down for you. First, when this content first hits the web from a huge power player like Zillow or Trulia, it is indexed by search engines. Credit is given. That’s it. No more SEO juice left for the little guys. And what did these smaller sites expect to get credit for anyway, signing up for an automated service?

So what approach could they take in such a predicament? Well, that answer depends on several factors and leads to more questions. How willing is that person to think outside of the box on how he can provide value to his potential clients? How willing is that person to try something a bit different from the norm to connect with his target audience? How willing is she to analyze and find insight that will set her apart from her competitors? Such hard work paired with action, testing, and adjustment will always lead to improved rankings. If your content is original, insightful, and solves someone’s problem, then your web presence is likely to succeed over time.
As Seth Godin put it,"We're not going to outgrow our need for information.”

By _dm_templates 24 May, 2016

A SIMPLE PLAN TO HELP YOU MOVE FORWARD.

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