Tons of traffic can be a bad thing. Very bad. One of my favorite billboards of all time, strategically placed outside the Fort Pitt Tunnels in Pittsburgh showed a closeup image of the iconic Heinz Ketchup bottle with a caption underneath that read, “Unfortunately, ths is not the only bottleneck Pittsburgh is famous for”. Great advertising-acknowledging an irritating problem and at the same time, celebrating one of Pittsburgh’s most beloved brands. I was still annoyed, however, having to sit in traffic for an extra twenty-five minutes (albeit a great ad had me entertained).
Tons of traffic can also be a good thing in my world. Very good. Online marketers, search engine optimizers and Google Analytics (not to mention business owners) love website traffic. In your Google Analytics reports, you’ll see some of the same entries come up again and again in your data tables. Where are your website visitors coming from? What should you do with the information? Here are a few “Traffic Sources” terms defined.
- Direct-Visitors who visited the site by typing the URL directly into their browser. Pretty self-explanatory, right? Hold on. ‘Direct’ can also refer to the visitors who clicked on the links from their own bookmarks/favorites, untagged links within emails, or links from documents that don’t include tracking variables (such as a link within a PDF file or a Word document). There are a variety of other “direct sources” but these are a few examples. Google Analytics sometimes terms “unknowns” as “direct” so be aware of this when reading these numbers.
- Referral-Visitors referred by links on another website. Referral traffic is Google’s method of reporting visits that came to your site from sources outside of its search engine. When someone clicks on a hyperlink to go to a new page on a different website, Analytics tracks the click as a referral visit to the second site. For example, if you click on the Fina Promos link here, you will be considered part of referral traffic, since this link connects you to a different website and it was found by you outside of Google search.
- Organic-Visitors referred by an unpaid search engine listing, e.g. Google.com search. This is my favorite traffic source. The traffic that comes from organic sources is extremely important. Three immediate benefits include trust and credibility, inbound marketing and high ranking in search engines.
Once you have learned from your Google Analytics Reporting where your traffic is coming from, you can begin to make intelligent decisions for your website. For example, If your bounce rate is high (the percentage of a single page visit without exploring your site further) that could be an indicator that site entrance pages are not relevant to your visitors, or that your CTA (call to action) is not prominent. Possibly you are not giving your reader a reason to explore your site or landing page further.
Bounce rate of a website has nothing to do with “Time spent on a webpage/website” (a misconception common about marketers and webmasters.) Bounce rate speaks to the quality of traffic to your site and/or landing pages. Bounce rate can be a powerful metric for measuring the defined goals of your page or site.
Fina Marketing Group can help direct your traffic. Tons of traffic can be a good thing. Very good. Be sure your website traffc sources get your readers where they want to go.
Online business reviews can influence internet search engine results. This is crucial for small business owners wanting to increase local seo results. Search engines such as Google take into account how many times your business is mentioned in reviews. Your business getting alot of mentions usuually translates into appearing higher in search results than a business that isn’t reviewed often. Research suggests that consumers generally trust peer recommendations more than they trust advertising.
A recent Nelson survey found that of 25,000 internet consumers from 50 countries 90% trusted recommendations from people they know, while 70% trusted consumer opinions posted online.
I’m not going to lie. Getting reviews is not always easy. In fact, I find it to be challenging for a number or reasons. 1.) Who has the time to find your review site, compose a review, and get it posted quickly? 2.) Some of your clients no doubt love you and your product but they just aren’t skilled writers. 3.) Transparency is always an issue. Have you ever read an online business review that just felt fake? False reviews are tacky and will actually hurt your seo results.
That being said, here are 4 painless ways to encourage online reviews for your business:
- Encourage your customers to leave ratings and reviews of your business if they are satisfied with your work. Send them a simple email after a service is rendered, give them a flyer at checkout, a call to action on your website or a phone call or direct text message. Don’t be shy. You’ve done a wonderful job. Asking for an endorsement is fine, as long as it is authentic. Don’t miss our updates! Subscribe here.
- Provide customers with a variety of sites to post reviews about you. For example, if you are asking for a review via email, send the appropriate links in the body of your message so that they can easily click on the site and get typing directly. Instead of just providing links at the bottom of your email signature, why not kindly encourage and/or ask for a review? make this the SUBJECT OF YOUR EMAIL, not an afterthought or closing comment.
- Respond to Reviews. The Good. The Bad. And The Ugly. Be proactive about responding to all reviews. Say thank you. Say you’re sorry. Say something! If the comment is a postive one, thank the customer for their feedback and encourage them (by name if appropriate) to use your services again. If the post is negative, explain that you appreciate their honesty and ask the customer to get in contact with you about their concerns so you can address their problems directly. And do that. I love seeing when business owners show the negative posts and their susbsequent tactful replies. Through your replies, customers can get to know you as an individual, not just ‘business x.’ Transparency and authenticity are gold in the business world.
- Never ever post false reviews. False reviews are eventually discovered. Because of their obvious generic transparency, you risk the chance of losing visibility in search engines. Worse yet, the visibility you do get will not be the kind you want. Exercise patience and be consistent with points 1-3 and eventually you will build a strong business online review sampling.
Here’s to your success!
Audrey Gotto- Fina Promos
Links from your website to other related websites, and vice versa, play a role in your business’ local SEO visibility, because they help to establish the authenticity and credibility of your business. Without appearing “spammy” use these 5 action items in your website link strategy:
- Consistently share links to your website via your Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels, and encourage others to pass along the information as well. Speaking of links; Here’s a few of ours: Fina Promos Website FinaPromos Facebook Page I find myself struggling with this at times. But really, the next time you are sending off an email try and take a few seconds and include a link to a special blog post or article from one of your social sites or website that would help, entertain or amuse your recipients.
- Include links to your website in email newsletters and other updates to customers. Posting a link back to your website on your LinkedIn and GooglePlus Page updates/posts can greatly increase your search engine optimization efforts. Again, without being a self-serving spammer, try to include your website link if it would actually be helpful to your associates or readers.
- Host or sponsor local events, or provide discounts for neighborhood students, and then encourage neighborhood businesses, the local chamber of commerce, charity organizations and other partners to link to your website when talking about those activities. And don’t forget to return the favor.
- Create a local directory of community resources including your favorite nearby restaurants, stores and cultural attractions, to provide an opportunity for you to link out to others (and for them to return the favor). Even consider starting a blog where you can talk about your business’ neighborhood and link to businesses and places of interest.
- However, be sure that your link strategy is authentic in that you know who you are linking to and that they have relevance to your business. Also, do not create link schemes like spamming your business’ domain name on websites, forums or blog comments.
Here’s to your success!
Social media sites play a key role in local business’ visibility in search results. When a potential or current client Googles your business, (and believe me they will before deciding to do business with you) ideally, your business website should appear first, followed by social sites. The more proactive your social media strategy, the higher likelihood your pages will attract followers- and in turn, appear within search. Give it a try. Google your name or company name. Does your website appear first? Where do your social sites appear and in what order? I tried this with my company name – Fina Promos My website appears first followed by Fina Promos Google Plus Page, Fina Promos Facebook Page, Fina Promos LinkedIn Page, Fina Promos Pinterest, My You Tube Page and finally my blog.
What can you (or you social media marketing partner) do to help your local (organic) SEO rankings? In two words- Engage Regularly! Here are 5 action steps you can take to regularly engage with your online audience:
- Develop a strong social media strategy that includes engagement and follower goals like the one in this inforgraphic from Social Media Online Classes
- Post updates on your new products or services offered. Can you feature a “product of the day, week, or month” and highlight the benefits?
- Create promotions or giveaways that require engagement from your audience. Everyone loves a chance to win a promotional product, branded gift or premium. Gift cards also make great promotions since they are easy to distribute and less bulky than larger gifts. Give away a chance to win your product or service for free if this is possible
- Highlight stories of relevence to your customers. Who is your target audience and what are their concerns? Posting about things happening in your city or town puts you on the map with local rankings!
- Engage on social media by responding to those reaching out to you via your social sites with questions or feedback on their orders.
I hope these few tips help you see good results with your visibility online.
All my best,
Audrey Gotto-Fina Promos
via SEO In 2016: What It Means For Your Content Strategy.
I love precise, easy-to-understand articles that help me stategize my marketing efforts for my small business. To be honest, I do not often find them in the vast sea of “content articles” on the web. However, this morning I read an article written by Jessy Smulski, contributing author for Business2Community that I feel is share worthy. Click on the link at the top of the page to read the full article.
So, research shows us that these four factors are important aspects for SEO in 2016.
- Mobile Browsing is Boss. Stop procrastinating on this. Get your website on par.
- Social is Increasingly Important. Yep. Stop thinking Facebook is a waste of your marketing time.
- Voice Search is a Game-Changer. People talk to their phones to find you.
- “Rich Answers” Are Stealing Thunder. Write your content intelligently. SEO infographic from LeapFroggr
Achieving effective local search engine optimization for your business is like striking gold. In my last blogpost, I suggested that we begin with properly optimiizing information that appears on your business website. Read article Today, we will discuss an issue often overlooked by small business owners-How your business appears on websites and business listings.
One of the most effective ways to boost local SEO is to be consistent with your business listing information. Google and other search engines LOVE consistency. When your business is not listed, or worse yet, the information listed is incomplete or inaccurate, this can negatively effect your placements in search results. Here are 5 tips to help optimize your business listings:
- Search local listings websites like Facebook, Yelp, GooglePlus, YP, Yellowbook and TripAdvisor to be sure your business is actually listed. If not, be sure to claim those listings, and be consistent and acurate with your business name, phone number and address. If your business is listed as located on 6th St., use 6th St consistently, NOT Sixth Street. Make changes as neccessary and delete duplicate pages.
- Include videos, photos, your website URL and any other key information to make your listings attractive, interactive and informative. I get reaaly annoyed seeing the unprofessional looking “blue silhoette” in place of a photo or logo. Really. COMPLETE the listing.
- Categorize your business properly. This greatly aids in properly optimizing your business website. If you happen to have relevant key words in your business name that helps. For example my company sells promo products. I choose the company name Fina Promos for that reason, and the domain name of finapromos.net
- Work with a “listings provider” such as Moz.com to automate the process for all local sites. Usually the price for this service is reasonable and worth your small investment in dollars compared to your large investment in time to care for this manually.
- Does your business have more than one location? Create a seperate listing for each location on your website to boost visibility of your brand and each of your stores or offices.
Here’s to your success!
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Do you own or manage a local small business? If so, you’re no doubt painfully aware of the need for strong local SEO (search engine optimization) success. Just like your computer is the new typewriter; Local search engine optimization is the new Yellow Pages. If you want to be found online, you must be seen online. Your website is your most important and valuable online assest, so ensure that it is properly optimized to appear high within search results. Let’s assume you do not have thousands of dollars to spend on SEO AdWords. Here are 4 action items to boost your local SEO.
- Choose a domain name that reflects your business location and business type. For example, Joe’s Lawncare located in Pittsburgh, PA could use the domain “joeslawncarepittsburgh.com” which says it all.
- Add key words on page titles that identify with your business, its products and services and its location.
- Be sure to add your business name, phone number, address and social media links on EACH INDIVIDUAL PAGE of your website, not just your homepage.
- In your website copy, be sure to mention not only your products and services, but include as much as possible about your local area. This associates your business with the nearby vicinity. Remember, we are after LOCAL optimization here. Include if possible, what sports teams plays in your city, what section of town you’re in, what special place of interest is just around the corner. Not only will this added information improve your website copy for customers, it will also boost your search visibility as a local business.
My next post will discuss how to utilize local business listings to boost SEO success.
Here’s to your success!
Fina Promos Website