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Tag : Google+

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

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17Apr

Local businesses can’t succeed online without optimized Google My Business (GMB) listings. First impressions are everything, and your GMB profile is the first thing that a lot of your potential customers will see. Why not make it impressive?

The number one reason I hear that local businesses don’t use GMB is that they’re not sure what they’re supposed to do. You fill in your business’ name, address, and…then what? I’m going to walk you through how to optimize your GMB listing so you can catch up to your local competitors!

Add a Business Description
Let people know who you are! Whether your local business’ name is something obscure like “Vulture Inc.” or it’s super clear like “Jim’s Pants Shack,” not having a business description is a missed opportunity.

No matter how you write it, it’s going to give your brand a distinct voice. If you do it well, a business description can give your brand a more human aspect for people to connect with. If I’m looking for a jeweler and find “Stefano’s Luxury Diamonds” then I’ve got some idea of who they are, but when I read a description describing their “60 years of jeweler experience to provide customers with unparalleled service and expertise that blah blah blah,” I get a better sense for who they are and if they’re who I want to buy from.

Never treat a business description as optional. You need it, and just as importantly, it needs to be clear, on-brand, and error free!

Fix Any Inconsistencies
Your listings need to have the same information across all platforms. No duh, right? But think of the areas you might be overlooking. Are your hours EXACTLY the same? I can’t tell you how often I see local businesses listed as open 9:00am-5:30pm on one site and 9:00am-4:30pm on another, and trust me, that’s going to matter to your customers. If you don’t know your own hours, why should they come by and hope you’re open?

The same rule applies to spelling your business’ name, your address, etc. But it doesn’t stop with information issues! Your style needs to be the same across platforms. So if your Twitter bio says you work on, “Planes, trains, and automobiles!” then your GMB listing can’t say you’ll handle “Planes, trains and automobiles!” Believe it or not, commas matter!

Take a good chunk of time to check this. You don’t want to post a listing and find a mistake three months later!

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Check On Your Customers
If you haven’t heard; a LOT of people use Google. When a potential customer looks you up on Google and they have a question, they’re going to ask on your GMB page. And if you don’t answer, you can kiss their business goodbye.

82% of customers expect immediate responses, so don’t think you can get away with checking your GMB listing every other day. You need to have alerts set for customer questions and be actively monitoring the page to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

You should also set up messaging so that customers can reach your cell phone directly. This way you’ll be able to answer any questions as they arise and earn the confidence of your local customers!

If it sounds like a lot of work, it is! But the alternative is losing local business, so think of it as a necessary evil.

Post Updates
While you don’t need daily updates like on Facebook or Twitter, GMB is a great place to share details about your latest sale, event, or blog post. You already know that your local audiences are going to see your GMB listing, and these features are crucial in drawing them in!

Posts stay live for seven days after posting them, so bear this in mind when you’re scheduling your GMB content. Old posts are still visible on your listing, but they’ll be pushed down by newer GMB updates. Bear this in mind when building a content mix and recycling old content!

Don’t Think Small
Optimizing your GMB listing isn’t as simple as filling out a box or checking on things twice a month. You need to be engaged, proactive, and present with your listing. Take this advice and make some big changes to your GMB listing if you want to succeed!

Does this all sound like a lot to handle? Let’s talk about your business’ GMB listing during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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GoTV Episode 8

GoTV Episode 8
26Oct

Welcome to this week’s episode recap of Go!TV! We hope you’re ready for the breaking social media updates that are changing the industry!

Analytics

Free Programs to Monitor Your Competitors’ Social Media
Learning from your own mistakes is great, but learning from your competitors’ failings is even better. These five programs are completely free to you and let you monitor the social media ventures of your chosen business. By using these programs, you’ll be able to see what does and doesn’t work for the competition, which will enable you to adjust your own marketing strategy accordingly, all without paying a dime!

Business 2 Community

Google

Google Analytics Offers Valuable Traffic Tracking
Measuring your brand’s social media traffic is essential to improving your ROI. How else will you know which ads are working or what content your audience responds to? Google Analytics lets you easily do both of these, and you can use that information to optimize your social media marketing strategy!

Social Media Examiner

That’s it for this week’s Go!TV recap! More data is always your friend in the world of social media marketing, so make sure you’re staying in the know. For more information like this, go to our podcast and blog!

Want to see what other marketing advice we dish out? Check us out across social media: FacebookInstagramTwitter!

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SEO for Amateurs: What, How, and Why

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16Jul

If your brand has a website, you have probably heard of SEO. This concept is frequently mentioned, but rarely discussed in lay terms. What is it? How does it work? Why should you care? We’re here to break it down and help you understand how to make it work for you. 

The What

Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a., SEO) is the process of optimizing the content of your website for search engines (shocking, we know). People rarely look past the first few pages of search engine (let’s be honest, of Google) results, so the closer your website is to the top of that first page , the better. SEO is considered “organic,” in that you are not paying a search engine for your rank. 

The How

Ask yourself how much you really want to know about SEO, because there is a lot of information to unpack here. At first glance, SEO might appear to be an ice berg: small on the surface, gargantuan beneath the waves. In reality, SEO is more like an ant hill: it looks simple enough above ground, but that unassuming mound of dirt hides an extensive and intricate network of tunnels guarded by hordes of zealous soldiers.

What we’re trying to say is this: SEO is surprisingly complicated. Here is a very brief, very broad overview of SEO mechanics.

Search engines (almost all of them, anyway) index sites using crawlers, computer programs that continually browse the internet. As crawlers travel the world wide web, they index and catalog all of the information they find. The search engine’s algorithm then sorts the findings according to two criteria: relevance and popularity. Relevance is influenced by myriad factors, including external links, meta data, and citations. Popularity is a factor because the algorithm–much like middle school students–assumes that popularity is a good indicator of value. (Generally, that holds true.)

You optimize your search engine rankings by incorporating keywords and key phrases into your website and content. How do you know which words are key? Well, what are the most common search terms used by your customers? What do people type into the search bar when they’re looking for your industry, product, or service? Some of this seems like it would be common sense (for example, a gluten-free bakery would use keywords and phrases like “gluten-free,” “gluten-free ingredients,” “celiac,” et cetera), but there are other aspects that you might miss (e.g., there is often an overlap between gluten sensitivity and other dietary restrictions). Most people use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Keyword Explorer from Moz. SEO is more than stuffing your website with keywords and calling it a day. You must carefully integrate keywords into your content.

By the way, remember the ant metaphor? Much like the angry soldier ants who fiercely protect their queen and kin, Google doesn’t play. If there are indications that you’re gaming the system (keyword stuffing, manipulating back links, or any other black hat nonsense), you will be penalized. The algorithm won’t literally attack you, but you’ll lose rank. There is no appeals process, either: the only way to regain your standing is to reform your SEO practices.

The Why

There is no logical reason to abstain from SEO. A well-designed website is using at least a few keywords anyway–the process of SEO just ensures that the best keywords are being used. A brand has no excuse to avoid this powerful tool.

Need help with your SEO? Yeah, you do. Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

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Is Your Business Ready For These Social Media Updates?

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14Sep

Social media marketing is all about a friendly back-and-forth conversation between brands and customers. Companies need to send out a healthy dose of content onto their platforms to achieve the friendly and potentially sales-boosting engagement we all hope for.

While there is a ton of ideas out there, there are particular posts that are reserved for when your audience is really rocking. After you spend time growing your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram community, then you can drum up some real conversations and engagement with the following ideas.

  1. Contests. Obviously, contests will only work if you have participants. That’s why it’s important to hold off on hosting one until you have an active audience. When the time is right, these little competitions will be helpful for boosting numbers. Neither the prize nor conditions need to be elaborate. Usually, entrants just Like the post and page, but there can always be fun and simple twists.
  2. Polls. Looking for some honest feedback? Ask for it! Polls are helpful tools that aid your company in a variety of ways. On Facebook, you can take advantage of the reaction system. For instance, you can say “React with a heart for option A. React with an angry emoji for option B!” For Twitter, many marketers use the, “Quote Tweet for option A, Retweet for Option B” method. There are also more sophisticated polling methods such as customizable widgets. A quick Google search will land you today’s most popular software.
  3. Word games. Add some fun to your content by adding a caption contest or fill-in-the-blank post. Everyone will smile when someone enters a funny response, but they will roll their eyes if there are no responses. This is why you need an active audience for these kinds of posts.
  4. Pro tips. If you are a professional, you should share your wealth of information. Choose a specific day of the week and share a tip for customers and fellow colleagues in your industry.
  5. User-generated content. Once you have a strong internet presence, ask your fans to share pictures of them using your product or service. This instills humanity into your feed. You can even create your own, unique hashtag and request people to use it when sharing. For example, the fine folks at Prisma, an image filter app, share and like most posts that have #Prisma.

These five content ideas are sure to get people talking about your brand online. Be sure to take social media marketing slow and steady, though. Otherwise, your new contest, poll or custom hashtag could fall on deaf ears.

Share your content ideas below!

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4 Elements Of Social Media That Need Your Attention

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14Aug

When companies create a budget, they want to make sure they are paying for the most efficient tools, products, and services available. Companies are gradually starting to realize that social media fits into these categories. Unfortunately, you can’t just buy a box labeled “Social Media Marketing” once a year and call it a day. There are many facets to this industry, some that must be considered when budgeting for the coming year.

Our previous article covered the advertising side of social media, so today we are talking about four additional major elements to social media marketing. Whether you are just clicking “Sign Up” or you are a social media veteran, these areas require constant attention. Luckily, there’s also helpful resources just a few clicks away. Here are some areas of social media marketing that will be benefited by some paid services:

Scheduling – Unless you want to create a team of 24/7 vigilant workers that stare at Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all day and night, you will need help with scheduling. You have the ability to write posts for the week ahead and schedule accordingly. Several sites can help with this, but we recommend Hootsuite. This handy tool is a fantastic, multi-layered solution that helps marketers set up content for the coming days. However, it doesn’t work for every social media platform. You will be able to schedule Instagram posts via Onlypult, and Tailwind can schedule your pins on Pinterest.

Analytics – A majority of the above schedulers also offer data analysis features so you can study how your social media is working. This is crucial to your online marketing success so you can see what posts, publishing times, subject matter, and platforms are working better than others so you can fine-tune your approach. There are many companies offering tools that help you track this data on a regular basis. A simple Google search will bring back relevant results to get you started.

Reach Optimization – Social media is all about reach. For Twitter, this is particularly important. You need to make sure you have lots of people following you, but you also need to reciprocate so your brand is active in the community. To do this, there are certain tools like Crowdfire that have the potential to deliver amazing results. With programs like this, you can connect with those who follow your industry’s leaders, which will raise brand awareness. You will also be able to switch between accounts quickly if such a case arises. All this can be done with just a few clicks given the right software. As you plan for the coming year, consider these services.

Creative Software – Anyone who spends more than a few minutes on social media will run into eye-catching imagery, captivating videos, and enjoyable GIFs. Since it’s only natural for the eye to gravitate towards attractive visuals, social media marketers need to keep this in mind when creating content. Even the most powerful writing can only do so much. Unfortunately, the power to be an artist isn’t typically free. Adobe Photoshop, video editing software, and creative apps all offer premium services either in the form of one-time fees or subscriptions that will pay off once you start incorporating them into your content.

Social media marketing is most certainly a multifunctional machine. There are many cogs and gears needed to be maintained, so it moves along smoothly. However, as you can see, you don’t go in without assistance. There are many programs, apps, and services that will bring your marketing to a whole new level.

Which programs do you use for your social media content? Share below!

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How Social Media Can Rock Your Company’s Events

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20Jul

Who says social media is confined to the digital world? While we do not have a physical leather-bound book called Facebook, or tiny blue birds sending out messages out to our favorite people, the digital world often visits reality through several avenues.

One of the biggest ways businesses can use social media is to cover a live event. We see this during big unveilings like Apple’s press releases. Soon enough, we will see the social media platforms exploding when iPhone 7 is announced. However, it doesn’t have to be as monumental as Apple’s releases. It can simply be a get-together or your team attending a local charity event. Here are the best ways to cover an event through your social media channels.

  1. Live Video- With the advent of Facebook Live, Periscope, and Snapchat, people all around the world can attend your event with just the tap of a button. By providing a live broadcast of your event, customers from all over will be able to join in the fun, or could benefit from the knowledge your event is providing.
  2. Tweeting- Twitter is perfect for live events. Reporters use Twitter to unveil news stories as they happen, minute by minute. It offers an alternative method of covering live events as opposed to live video, since you can read the tweets at your own pace.
  3. Checking In- Facebook’s popular feature that allows people to check into a location is great to advertise your event. Be sure to remind all attendees to check in on their individual Facebook accounts so the word can spread quickly.
  4. Event Pages- You can also use Facebook and Google+ as a way to invite your friends, family, and colleagues to your event. They can let you know if they plan on attending and, through notifications, will be reminded that a fun time is on the horizon.
  5. Ongoing Promotion- A post saying what a good time you had will be a great closer to the event. Posting pictures, tagging your fellow attendees, and an invitation to the next event are all great ways to keep people invested, even months after the actual event.

As you can see, social media is made to promote your real life party, meeting, or conference. It seems that the internet and the “brick and mortar” world aren’t so separate after all!

How do you use social media to promote your event? Comment below!

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How To Be A Google+ Genius

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17Jul

In 2011, Google replaced its first attempt at a social media network, Google Buzz, with Google+. However, during its run the website seems to be underappreciated by the general populace. Of the top social media networks in the US, Google+ is one that is often overlooked. This is a shame since it really does have some interesting approaches to the social side of the internet and very effective tools for perfecting your marketing. In November 2015, it underwent a facelift in an attempt to attract new life to the platform and new users may be wondering just how to use the website.

One of the most powerful features of Google+ is its ability to improve one’s SEO. Since Google is the king of search engines, this may seem obvious for the uninformed but when you take into consideration that Facebook posts do not appear in Google’s search results, this automatically puts Google+ in a more preferable light, doesn’t it? On top of SEO, it indexes every piece of content you share through your Google account and comes up in search. This alone proves Google+’s worth.

Now, if you have a Google+ account, there is a very good chance you have Facebook and Twitter as well. This means you have already written content refined for social media that isn’t coming up on a Google search. By simply reposting your content onto your Google+ account, you will be doing your social media marketing a favor. However, there is more to this social media platform than search engine optimization.

While Twitter has their Lists, Google+ has Circles. Circles essentially perform the same function as Lists, however, you can use them to filter the content on your news feed as well. You can choose to only see posts from a specific Circle, which can help social media marketers refine content searches.

Google+ also gives you the room for writing long form articles, and helps spread your original content quickly. However, we would not recommend using a Google+ page solely for blogging purposes, but rather publish a snippet and then link to your actual blog.

As you can see, Google+ has a place in the social media marketing world, despite Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s growing domination. By having a Google+ page you will show that you are serious about social media and its effectivity, as well as spreading your word through the web. To truly develop a powerful page, you will need some background in social media marketing. We have seen professionals really benefit from its features and we have the know- how to help you succeed in this new frontier.

What do you think of Google+? Comment below!

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