Digital Marketing During & After COVID-19

At Prediq, we are, and have always been, committed to growth and progress in order to best serve our clients. As we all continue to adapt to the “new normal” resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have the resources and are ready and able to help your business not only navigate the changes, but discover new opportunities to come out stronger than before.

In a digitally-driven world, communication and connection are king, and we recognize the need to provide our clients with various ways to both connect with us and with their own customers and clients.  We communicate daily with our global team virtually, and have expanded our communication tools over the past 4 years, using video communications such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype to virtually connect with our clients when face-to-face meetings are not possible.  We’ve assisted many clients in adopting these types of communication channels, as well as new remote working platforms and more, to stay connected and help smooth the transitions.

As the business landscape readjusts, we’ve transformed our strategies to reflect those changes, and we remain as committed as ever to providing an unparalleled customer journey. We are refocusing energies and reengaging with our clients, and like most businesses, we’re reassessing and optimizing our efforts. And we’re facilitating transitional strategies to support and assist our clients as they restart their marketing efforts in innovative ways designed to enhance performance in today’s challenging climate. We’re here with you, looking forward to brighter days and a bright future ahead. Feel free to check out this video where our CEO, Alex Oliveira, shares tips on Digital Marketing during the pandemic.

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog   -  0   Comments

How To Create Effective Website Content

4 Steps To Create Effective Website Content

Below you’ll find a summary for each section, the video recording and the presentation.

1) Preparation Checklist

We touched on the importance of conducting a website audit, having a consistent brand message, choosing the right CMS (content management system) like WordPress, Joomla, Wix, SquareSpace, Drupal and others, finding the right hosting plan for your website like GoDaddy, Siteground, WP Engine and others, Website compliance elements like ADA, Privacy Policy, Forms, having a Sitemap and more. Here are some website stats you may want to learn more about http://blog.prediqmedia.com/55-stellar-statistics-for-websites/

Content Management Systems

2) Content Strategies

We discussed the differences between Owned Media, Paid Media, Shared Media and Earned Media.

Media Types

The difference between Information Content VS Purposeful Content. What type or format of content do your prospects and customers want to consume? We covered the importance of secret shopping and customer journey on the website. Would a live chat agent help you generate more business? Could you learn more about your customers by conducting a survey using Survey Monkey? The importance of creating Landing Pages. We went through the main elements of a Landing Page like the Heading, Form, Call To Action, Image and layout.

For Keyword Research we recommended tools like SEM Rush, Keyword.io, ahrefs and others.

We touched on the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and what some of the ranking indicators are such as backlinks, speed and content. We also covered the importance of Reviews across the search engines. We provided Content Creation resources like Upwork, Canva, 99 Designs, Wave.video, LinkedIn ProFinder and Textbroker. Next we discussed the Blog Game Plan.

Before you embark on writing a blog ask yourself questions like.
-Who Are You Writing For?
-Who is your Target Audience?
-Utilize Google Analytics & Facebook Insights

What Kind of Post Are You Writing?
-How-To Post
-List-Based Post
-Curated Collection Post
-SlideShare Presentation Post
-Newsjacking Post

Begin with a Topic & a Working Title (Google prefers 65 characters)
-Write an Intro
-First, grab the reader’s attention.
-Describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having.
-Organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content
-Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.
-Image – Make sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post.
-Tags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog.
-CTA- At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc.
-Meta Description- Ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.
-Page Title and Headers
-Anchor text is the word or words that link to another page.
Lastly, we discussed the importance of creating other forms of Content such as images, videos, case studies, podcasts, FAQ’s, eBooks & Email Marketing.
Tips on how to improve keyword research http://blog.prediqmedia.com/3-seo-tips-to-improve-your-keyword-research/

3) Measure & Analyze

We covered the importance of measuring the data and results of your Website and Marketing campaigns. Google Analytics is the tool of choice for Small Businesses. Benefits of using the tool include getting to know your website user’s flow or customer journey. We covered the Demographics and Psychographic data points such as Audience, Acquisition channels like Organic, Paid, Social Media and other traffic sources. Behavior flow like what pages the user visited and for how long. We didn’t get a chance to cover Conversion, but this is an important element if Leads and Sales are important to your business.


Ultimately, businesses want to know 3 main points of data about their website. How do visitors find my website? Am I creating effective content? How does this impact my bottom line?
Here’s how you can learn more about Google Analytics http://blog.prediqmedia.com/google-analytics/

4) Free Tools

In this last section we provided links to free tools that will help you learn more about pageload speed, website security, site performance issues with Google Search Console & Google My Business for your local search results.
https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/testmysite/
https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
https://www.digicert.com/help/

Zoom Video

Presentation Slides

If you found this post helpful and you’re interested in working with our team feel free to contact us for a free consultation. You may also want to get your free website audit here https://prediqmedia.com/go/website-audit/

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog   -  0   Comments

Social Media Reference Guide

Social media image sizes in 2020

Social media is always evolving. It’s hard to keep up with the updates the Social Media platforms implement to their apps and websites. The image sizes change cconstantly. Marketers and Social Media managers work so hard to get the perfect cover page for your accounts. One moment it looks great, the next, it’s been resized, and looks all pixelated. To make matters worse the information about official dimensions and image sizes are inconsistent across the web. We’ve put together the most up-to-date guide with image sizes to 2020.

1.     Instagram image sizes

2.     Twitter image sizes

3.     Facebook image sizes

4.     LinkedIn image sizes

5.     Pinterest image sizes

6.     Tumblr image sizes

7.     Snapchat image sizes

8.     YouTube image sizes

9.     TikTok image sizes

The free resource includes recommended photo dimensions for every type of image on every major network.

Instagram image sizes

Instagram now supports horizontally and vertically oriented images along with the square images they used to prefer.

This increases your options, but also makes image dimensions a little trickier to get right. Follow these guidelines to make sure your images end up looking their best.

Instagram profile photo size: 110 x 110 pixels

Instagram profile picture size

Instagram profile photos need to be 110 x 110 pixels at minimum. They’re stored at 320 x 320 pixels so make sure to upload an image at least that big, to future-proof.

Also, they are displayed as a circle. So make sure any elements you want to focus on in the photo are centered so they don’t get cropped out.

Instagram feed photos size:

  • Landscape: 1080 x 566 pixels
  • Portrait: 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • Square: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Supported aspect ratios: Anywhere between 1.91:1 and 4:5
  • Recommended image size: Width of 1080 pixels, height between 566 and 1350 pixels (depending on whether the image is landscape or portrait)
instagram feed photo size

Tips:

  • If you want your images to look their best on Instagram, aim to upload an image that is 1080 pixels wide.
  • Larger images will be sized down to 1080 pixels, and images less than 320 pixels will be sized up to 320 pixels wide.
  • If your image is between 320 and 1080 pixels wide, Instagram will keep that photo at its original resolution, “as long as the photo’s aspect ratio is between 1.91:1 and 4:5 (a height between 566 and 1350 pixels with a width of 1080 pixels).”
  • If the aspect ratio of your photo isn’t supported, it will be “cropped to fit a supported ratio.”

Instagram thumbnail size:

  • Display size: 161 x 161 pixels
  • Recommended upload size: 1080 pixels wide
instagram thumbnail photo size 3

Tips:

  • For best images: Instagram stores versions of these thumbnails that are as large as 1080 x 1080. To future-proof your Instagram, upload images that are as large as possible.

Instagram stories image size: 1080 x 1920 pixels (recommended)

instagram stories image size

Tips:

  • These images are highly dependant on the device that the story is being displayed on (each story is tailored to the resolution of your device) so it’s hard to suggest an exact image size. For best results, upload an image that is 1080 x 1920.

Instagram ads sizes:

  • Landscape: 1080 x 566 pixels
  • Square: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Minimum width: 320 pixels
  • Maximum width: 1080 pixels
  • Supported aspect ratios: Anywhere between 1.91:1 and 4:5
instagram ads sizes

Instagram stories ads sizes: 1080 x 1920 pixels (recommended)

instagram stories ads sizes

Tips:

  • Because the exact dimensions of stories are highly dependant on the device they’re displayed on, Instagram recommends leaving roughly “14% (250 pixels) of the top and bottom of the image free from text and logos” to prevent them from being covered.
  • Also remember that images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery, due to Instagram’s rules around text in images.

Twitter image sizes

Tweets that include images consistently get more clickthroughs, more likes, and more retweets than non-image tweets. So it pays to get images right on Twitter. If you’re unsure which image dimensions to use, stick to the recommended sizes below:

Twitter profile photo size:

  • Recommended image size: 400 by 400 pixels
  • Minimum image size: 200 by 200 pixels
Twitter profile image size

Twitter header image size: 1500 x 500 pixels (recommended)

Twitter header image size

Tips:

  • Twitter will accept an image as small as 1024 x 280, but it’s best to use the maximum available size.

Twitter in-stream image size: 1024 x 512 pixels (recommended)

  • Minimum size: 440 x 220 pixels
  • Recommended aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Supported formats: .GIF, .JPG, .PNG
  • Maximum file size: 3 MB for photos, 5 MB for animated gifs
Twitter image size

Twitter summary card image size:

  • Size: 280 x 150 pixels
  • Supported formats: GIF, JPG, PNG
  • Maximum file size: 1MB
Twitter summary card image size

Twitter ad image size:

  • Website card image: 800 x 418 pixels for 1.91:1 aspect ratio, 800 x 800 for 1:1 aspect ratio
  • App card image: 800 x 800 pixels (max 3mb) for 1:1 aspect ratio. 800 x 418 pixels (max 3mb) for 1.91:1 aspect ratio
  • Single and multi-image tweets: Minimum 600 x 335 pixels, use larger images for best results
  • Direct Message card: Minimum width 800 pixels

Facebook image sizes

Facebook updates its design and image dimensions constantly, so the best strategy to use on the platform is to future-proof. Always upload the highest-quality image you can, and stick to Facebook’s recommended file formats for best results.

Facebook profile photo size: 170 x 170 pixels (on most computers)

Your profile picture will display at 170 x 170 pixels on desktop, and 128 x 128 pixels on smartphones.

Facebook profile image size

Facebook cover photo size: 720 x 315 pixels (recommended)

  • Display size desktop: 820 x 312 pixels
  • Display size smartphone: 640 x 360 pixels
  • Minimum size: 400 x 150 pixels
Facebook cover photo size

Tips

  • To avoid any compression or distortion, upload a .JPG or .PNG file (experiment to see which works best) less than 100 KB, and don’t drag to reposition once you’ve uploaded your cover photo.

Resource: More tips on creating great Facebook cover photos.

Facebook timeline photos size:

  • Recommended size: 1200 x 630 pixels
  • Minimum size: 600 x 315 pixels
Facebook photo size

Facebook event cover photo size: 1920 x 1080 pixels (16:9 ratio)

Facebook event cover photo size

Tips

  • Images narrower than 1920 pixels will be enlarged to fit, images wider than 1920 pixels will be cropped on both sides. Images taller than 1080 pixels will be cropped from top and bottom.

Facebook panorama or 360 photo size:

  • Minimum image size: Facebook says that it should be “30,000 pixels in any dimension, and less than 135,000,000 pixels in total size.”
  • Aspect ratio: 2:1

Tips

  • Facebook automatically recognizes and processes these images based on “camera-specific metadata found in photos taken using 360-ready devices.”

Facebook ads size:

  • Facebook timeline ads size: at least 1200 x 628 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16 to 16:9
Facebook ad image sizes

Tips

  • Facebook recommends that you upload “the highest resolution image available” in either .JPG or .PNG format, cropped to a supported aspect ratio. Also remember that images that “consist of more than 20 percent text may experience reduced delivery,” as per Facebook’s text in images rules.

Facebook right column ads size: at least 1200 x 628 pixels, 9:16 to 16:9 aspect ratio

Tips

  • Same rules as timeline images (upload highest resolution possible, keep text to a minimum).
  • Remember that right column ads are a desktop-only format

Facebook instant articles ads size: at least 1,200 x 628 pixels, 9:16 to 16:9 aspect ratio

Facebook Marketplace ads size: at least 1,200 x 628 pixels, 9:16 to 16:9 aspect ratio

Facebook messenger ads size:

  • Image size: 254 x 133 pixels
  • Image ratio: 16:9 to 1:1
Facebook messenger ad photo size

Facebook Stories: 1080 x 1920 pixels (but keep your text within 1080 x 1420)

Facebook Stories image size

Carousel photos: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels

Facebook carousel ad image size

LinkedIn image sizes

Pairing your LinkedIn updates—whether it be through your personal profile, or through a company page—been consistently shown to increase comments and sharing on the platform.

Stick to the recommended sizes below for best results, and always make sure to look at your profile and content on multiple devices before finalizing.

LinkedIn profile photo size: 400 x 400 pixels or larger (recommended)

LinkedIn profile photo image size

Tips

  • LinkedIn can accommodate large profile photo files (anything up to 8MB) so upload as large as you can to future-proof.

LinkedIn profile cover image size: 1584 x 396 pixels (recommended)

  • Aspect ratio: 4:1
LinkedIn cover photo size

Tips

  • Cover photos are cropped differently on mobile and desktop—make sure to view your profile on both kinds of display before finalizing.

LinkedIn company page sizes:

  • Cover photo size: 1536 x 768 pixels
  • Company logo size: 300 x 300 pixels
  • Overview tab image size: 360 x 120 pixels
  • Overview tab cover image size: 1192 x 220 pixels
  • Life tab hero image size: 1128 x 376 pixels
  • Life tab custom modules image size: 502 x 282 pixels
  • Life tab company photos image sizes: 900 x 600 pixels
  • Square logo: 60 x 60 pixels

Tips

  • When posting image updates to your company page, make sure to use .PNG or .JPG images and an aspect ratio of 1.91:1 (1200 x 627 pixel images are ideal).

Linkedin blog post link image size: 1200 x 628 pixels (recommended)

LinkedIn blog post image size

Linkedin custom image size for sharing a link in an update: 1200 x 627 pixels (recommended)

LinkedIn image size
  • When pasting a URL into an update, an auto-generated thumbnail image may appear in the preview if one is available, along with the article or website title. But, you can customize it by clicking the Image icon below the text box and selecting an image from your computer.
  • The image should use a 1.91:1 ratio (1200 x 627 px)
  • At least more than 200px width
  • If the image width is less than 200px, it will appear as a thumbnail on the left side of the post

Linkedin ads size:

  • Company logo size for ads: 100 x 100 pixels
  • Spotlight ads logo size: 100 x 100 pixels
  • Spotlight ads custom background image: 300 x 250 pixels
  • Sponsored content images: 1200 x 627 pixels (1.91:1 aspect ratio)
LinkedIn spotlight ad image size

Pinterest image sizes

Pinterest profile photo size: 165 x 165 pixels (recommended)

pinterest profile image size

Tips

  • Your profile image will be scaled down to 32 x 32 pixels elsewhere, so make sure to preview on desktop and mobile before finalizing.

Pinterest pin image size: between 600 and 735 pixels wide, 2:3 aspect ratio (recommended)

pinterest image size

Tips

  • Remember that in previews and on boards, pins are 236 pixels wide and cropped vertically (make sure nothing important is cropped out when uploading pins that are particularly long/tall).

Promoted pins, one-tap promoted pins, promoted app pins size:

  • Recommended size: 1000 x 1500 (aspect ratio 2:3)
  • Minimum width: 600 pixels
  • Minimum height: 900 pixels
  • Maximum height: 2100 pixels
  • Recommended format: .GIF, .JPG or .PNG
  • Thumbnail sizes: 69 x 69 pixels for small thumbnails, 216 x 146 pixels for large thumbnails\Promoted video
  • Aspect ratio minimum: Shorter than 1:2, taller than 1.91:1
  • Aspect ratio recommended: 1:1 for square videos, and 2:3 or 9:16 for vertical videos.
  • Maximum file size: 2GB
  • File type: .mp4, .mov, and .m4v
pinterest promoted pin size

Tumblr image sizes

Tumblr profile photo size:

  • Recommended size: 128 x 128 pixels
  • Minimum size: 64 x 64 pixels
Tumblr profile image size

Dashboard view image:

  • Minimum size: 500 x 750 pixels
  • Maximum size: 1280 x 1920 pixels
Tumblr image size

Tumblr photo set:

  • One image: each photo 500 pixels wide
  • Two image: each photo 245 pixels wide
  • Three image: each photo 160 pixels wide
tumblr image size

Tumblr images in a shared link or text post:

  • The thumbnail image in a link will display at 130 x 130 pixels.
  • Images in a text post display at a width of 125 pixels, but expand when clicked on.
tumblr image size

Tumblr audio post image size: 169 x 169 pixels

tumblr image size

Tumblr ads image size: 1280 x 1920 pixels (recommended)

Snapchat image sizes

Snapchat ads image size: 1080 x 1920 pixels (recommended)

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
Social Media Image Sizes: A Quick Reference Guide for Each Network | Hootsuite Blog

Snapchat Geofilter image size: 1080 x 1920 (recommended)

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16

Resource: How to Create a Custom Snapchat Geofilter

YouTube image sizes

YouTube profile photo size: 800 x 800 pixels (recommended)

youtube profile image size

Tips

  • YouTube allows you to choose different borders for your profile photo. However, the size is always the same. Make sure the focus of your photo is centered for best results.

YouTube channel cover photo size: 2560 x 1440 pixels

  • Minimum area for text and logos without being cut off: 1546 x 423 pixels
  • Minimum dimension for upload: 2048 x 1152 pixels
  • Maximum file size: 6MB
youtube cover photo size

Resource: How to make the best YouTube channel art (plus 5 free templates).

YouTube video size: 1280 x 720 pixels (HD)

youtube video size

Tips

  • YouTube requires videos to be 1280 x 720 pixels in order to meet HD standards. This is highly suggested in order to have good image quality on your video and also attract viewers.

Tik Tok image sizes

Tik Tok profile photo size: 100 x 100 pixels

tik tok profile image size

Tips

  • While 100 x 100 is the minimum image size, we recommend you hit at least 200 x 200 for best quality.

Tik Tok video size: 1080 x 1920

tik tok video size

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog,Social Media   -  0   Comments

3 SEO Tips to Improve Your Keyword Research

Improving your SEO (search engine optimization) will help you get found online more easily. Getting found will lead to clicks and more clicks leads to customer leads. You’ve probably heard that implementing keywords into the content on your website, blog, and URL are key strategies for improving your SEO ranking. However, including the wrong keywords or too many keywords can be just as detrimental.

Although you may not always notice them, keywords play an integral role when it comes to helping a small business get found online. So let’s get to it by breaking down the long and short (tail) of it.

Do Your Own Keyword Research

Keyword research should never be a one-time commitment, but rather an ever-changing process that involves a strategy and a comprehensive understanding of your business and your industry. Including keywords that are specific to your business and industry will help to ensure that the right customers are being driven to your door rather than just any customer. Although we want to increase our customer base, we don’t want to target consumers that may not find the value in our business.

Using the Right Keywords

Short-tail keywords, or keywords composed of very generic keywords, might seem appealing because they’re searched more often than long-tail keywords, however, they’re also a lot more competitive. So, unless you’re writing content for a large organization, like Apple or Macy’s, and consumers are likely searching specifically for your product, you don’t want to enter into a sea of competitors with big brands that have even bigger pockets.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, may not be as frequently typed into a search engine—think, “Egg” vs. “Poached Egg with Avocado and Bechemel”. By including more long-tail keywords into the content on your page, you’ll attract a larger number of customers who are likely to search for any combination of those long-tail keywords.

Location-based keywords are keywords that directly relate to your business’s physical location. For example, if your business is a bakery in a popular neighborhood in Charlotte, NC, you’ll want to include not only Charlotte, but also the name of that specific neighborhood. By doing so, you’re more likely to target visitors in your area rather than across town who may or may not ever make it to your location.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Speaking of misleading customers that may not find value in your business, adding practically any keyword under the sun is referred to as keyword stuffing and is largely considered a taboo in the digital marketing world. Like with any other digital marketing rule of thumb, less is more and quality will always conquer quantity. Ideally, a website’s content should include keywords in a natural way. However, by inputting keywords into a few sentences and repeating them over and over, you’re stuffing your content with keywords. Even if they’re good keywords, it’s still too much. Now that you’ve read through these tips, you’re ready to become an SEO expert too!

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog   -  0   Comments

6 Reasons Your Local Business Listings Need to Be Accurate

As a business, how likely is it that potential customers will come through your door?
The whole point of an online presence is to entice customers into your store, your leasing office or your showroom so you can convert them to paying customers rather than just browsers online.

Further, nothing is more frustrating as a customer than finding out that you have been given the wrong information about where a business is located. As a customer, how likely are you to give this company your business? Not very. In fact, according to Placeable, 73% of consumers stated that they lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information.


1. Missing hours of operation information can be a dealbreaker

There are many things that people look for in listings, whether they are looking at that search engine on a PC or on a mobile device. The top piece of information that most people look for is the hours of operation, since their search is likely for a business that they frequent quite often.

In fact, in a study conducted by local data aggregator Localeze, hours of operation were noted as the most helpful feature in selecting a business during local search. 76% of respondent reporting that they expect this information when searching and 61% believe that it is a feature that helps them to select a business.

Even if people are new to a business, it doesn’t give people a good impression if the business hours are not listed and they don’t know that it’s only open from 11 a.m-6p.m. Tuesday-Saturday .Imagine that potential customer who is ready to spend their money in store, but shows up on Monday at 7 p.m. only to find it closed. That customer is likely going to do another search on a mobile phone to find a different store and spend their money there.


2.You can’t spell NAP data (and score a citation) without an A(ddress)

While most people would assume that the number one reason people do a search online is for the address or location of a business, the address is actually behind hours of operation as the second most desired information. But, of course, the whole point of being in business is to make money doing what you love or selling what you love. And that happens by attracting foot traffic and increasing customer base.

It bears repeating that if a business address is incorrect on listing sites such as Google or Bing, then customers will not be crossing the threshold. A simple thing such as the wrong number on a street address, or even the wrong town, can mean that a customer cannot find you. The US Postal Service relies on a complex system of checks to verify and standardize addresses, and many of the search engines will default to the USPS for correct mailing addresses.

What this means for the average new business owner is that unless a business is in an established location, getting the correct address on their listing means that both the address from City Hall and the information on USPS must be consistent. If USPS doesn’t recognize that address, then a business owner must contact them to verify their new address and get that information updated on USPS’s online database.


3. Local searchers are mobile creatures

According to Localeze, mobile-phone-based searches drive in-store purchases with more than 75% of searches ending in a purchase—if a business has their listing details correct. Now if half of the people searching for a business listing on a local search engine, such as Google Local/Maps, can’t find the store’s business listing details, then the business is going to lose 100% of their business.

For ease of use for potential customers, some of those details need to be as readily available as possible in a mobile-friendly manner. This can be accomplished with a responsive website that supports cellphone and tablet-specific versions.


4. Updated, accurate websites still serve as a first impression

At the same time, more than 60% of searches on PC platforms such as website portals, Internet Yellow Page directories and local sites have a similar chance of ending in a purchase. While mobile searches are becoming more of a standard in where a customer searches, a business owner should not discount the power of a fulsome, consistent and accurate listing that is reflective of the business website.

Any listing should be linked to the business’s website and feature the exact same information, but more of it. While a website should be enough to entice a customer to visit or buy, if those inconsistencies exist, then trust issues may arise in a business’s practices before a customer ever crosses their threshold.


5. Local searchers mix it up across multiple devices, situations and times

People who search for listings are doing it in many more ways than when the Internet first coalesced into existence about two decades ago. In that time, we went from working on desktops to laptops to PDAs to Blackberries to Apples to tablets—and in each iteration, the methods of search have changed.

However, that has slowed over the last five years or so as web developers realize that they need to be smarter. Rather than designing three different sites for three different platforms, they have created websites that are scalable to the search device. And that has been helped along by the proliferation of types of devices in use everyday.

According to Pew Research Center, In 2015, smartphone ownership in America was at 68%, with tablet and computer ownership at 45%. Statista says that almost half of American adults use their smartphones the most to search for local information online, the other half being split between computers (40%) and tablets (11%). According to Localeze, like the types of devices used, what we are searching for varies by the time of day and device. Entertainment is searched for during work hours on computers, restaurants during evening using phones and health/fitness evening using tablets.

The most important part of those mobile searches is accuracy. If someone cannot find your business in a local search or find inaccurate results whilst out and about, then your business has lost the chance for that browser to become a customer. So having those listings correct in all of the device formats is a must as we, and our technology, continue to evolve in the way we interact with local businesses.


6. Local search results are trusted sources of information

Last but certainly not least is the fact that local search results are considered the most trustworthy. In a study by Neustar, it was determined that these searches, such as “used games Raleigh”, are what people do the most since they put that trust in local business more than big box, big website stores.

Think about it, would you rather find a local store where you can get that latest purse in town right now? Or you can wait a week for delivery, which is four days past the event that you want it for! Local searches lend themselves to instant gratification and that interaction between browser and salesperson will convert that browser from someone who might get just the minimum to a loyal customer who feels like a million having spent a little more, but getting what they consider to be gold!

Those interactions are what lead people to local searches and the absolute necessity of getting your listings correct. Trust leads to loyalty, which leads to more business, which leads to happy customers and business owners.

And it all starts with that correct listing in that customer’s local search.

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog   -  0   Comments

Is Buying Someone Else’s Instagram a Good Investment?

Is Buying Someone Else’s Instagram a Good Investment?

There are many variables to consider when buying a social media account. It’s much like buying a business. Here are the questions you should consider:

  1. Does it generate revenue? If so, how much?
  2. Does this profile send traffic to a specific website listed in the profile? If so, will the website be included?
  3. How did the account get it’s followers? Hopefully they didn’t buy it or grow it through PODS.
  4. Insights- Assuming the account has been converted into a business account, ask the seller to give you full access to the Insights data (activity, audience, content) If they allow you to login their account you may want to check the actual “activity” report which tells you the amount of time they’ve spent on Instagram
  5. Followers- to learn more about their followers and the engagement with the account you can simply do this from your own account. Definitely spend a lot of time analyzing those followers (how many people do they follow vs people follow them, where are the accounts from, how many posts do they have, do those posts get engagement, etc)
  6. Posts- How often do they post? What kind of posts are these? static, video, stories, etc. How many people engage with their posts and what do they say? Are these the same people engaging post after post?
  7. Original Content- Make sure you find out if the images on this account are unique. if these are stock images you’ll want to find out how they obtained it. If they simply downloaded images from Google or some other search engine you won’t know if they infringed on copyrights. If they used something like Canva to create their posts maybe they’ll share that account with you.
  8. Messaging – make sure you assess the messages with followers. The best Influencers are communicating with their audience through the Messages.
  9. Facebook/Messenger- Is this Instagram account connected
  10. Video- How many videos to they have? How many video views does it get? Are they using IGTV? Have they used Live videos with Stories?
  11. Stories- How does their Highlights folder of Stories look? What are the most popular Stories and how many people viewed it?
  12. Paid Ads – Has this account ever promoted any Posts or Stories? If so, what were the results?
  13. 3rd Party Platforms- you’ll want to ask them if they’ve used any 3rd party platforms to share, schedule and optimize the posts on their Instagram account. You may want to consider the cost of managing this account through those platforms like Hootsuite, Buffer, Union Metrics and many others.
  14. Legal – before you enter into an agreement to buy this profile make sure you do a Search for the account name on various search engines to make sure there’s nothing hanging out there. If you decide to buy it make sure that the agreement is very specific about who owns the Content created from the accounts inception. What you don’t want to see is this user take the Content and simply start a new account using the same posts (text and images).

 

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog   -  0   Comments

Lead Generation Tips & Tools
13 Lead Generation Tips & Tools:
1. Be clear on your campaign objectives and expected CPA (cost per acquisition)
2. Define your target audience and geographic market
3. Make sure tracking is in place (use Google Analytics)
4. Create a scoring mechanism & criteria for prospects. Understand your Customer’s Journey!
5. Design a dedicated Landing Page (try Unbounce)
6. Hire a good Graphic Designer (try LinkedIn Profinder) 7. Use an experienced Copywriter (try LinkedIn Profinder) 8. Test multiple CTA’s (call to action)
9. Set up an email automation campaign (try Mailchimp)
10. Set up Call Tracking (try CallRail)
11. Choose a CRM (Customer Relationship Management software – try Zoho Corporation)
12. Decide what traffic generating channels you’ll use. Paid Search, Social, Email, Affiliate, etc. (try Facebook Lead Ads)
13. Make sure your Sales team is ready to follow up in real time as many times as it takes.

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog   -  0   Comments

How to Perform a Local SEO Audit for Your Business in 12 Steps

Businesses on page 2 of the SERP might as well not exist.

It sounds harsh but it’s simply the reality that we all need to accept.

You know the drill—you want pizza so you get on your phone and do a search. Google presents its top 3 local options in the “Snack Pack” and 10 other organic results. You pick one make a call or pop in the pizza joint.

If you’re the local pizza joint, you want and need to appear on the first page for those target keywords. So how do you get them there?

You’ll need to do a local SEO audit to find out. Here’s how to get it done.

Step 1: Audit Keywords

What keywords are you targeting? Step one of your audit should be to determine what you’re currently ranking for and identify any opportunities you might be missing.

For example, if you’re ranking well for ‘Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney’ but are nowhere to be found for ‘Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer’, you’ve identified an area to improve.

Start by making a list of services, products, or a page you’d like to drive traffic to. Once you do this you’ll be able to use tools like Keyword Finder to quickly put together a list of high volume local target keywords.

With this list in hand, you can proceed through the rest of your local SEO audit and determine how well these keywords are optimized every step of the way.

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 2: Audit Your Competition’s Local SEO

Your local SEO audit should include a snooping session to determine your competitor’s SEO status and tactics early on. If you’re located in a highly competitive area where the other top businesses are doing everything right, you need to document what you’re up against.

You don’t need to do a full diagnostic on each competitor, but take a look at the following, and compare that data against yours:

  • GMB ranking for top keywords
  • Organic rankings for top keywords
  • Review quantity and quality
  • Number of links
  • Site Speed
  • Social Stats

In most cases, you should be able to take a look through these items and develop a hypothesis on why your competitor is successful in local SERPs.

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 3: Audit Google My Business Listing

The 2017 edition of Moz’ Local Search Ranking Factors Survey ranks Google My Business (GMB) as the biggest driver of local SEO success. If you want to appear in Google’s ‘snack pack’, your GMB listing should be robust, and well-optimized with your core target keywords.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Do you have a GMB listing? If so, is it claimed and verified?
  • Is all business information present and correct?
  • Do you have multiple reviews and a high cumulative rating? Are you responding to reviews?
  • Do you have appropriate business categories listed?
  • Do you have images of the business?
  • Have you created any GMB posts?
  • Are you participating in the Questions & Answers section?

These are the core elements that make up a strong GMB listing.

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 4: Audit Reviews for Quality and Quantity

Reviews pack a ton of clout in both the local ranking and reputation building arenas. Search engines regard them as an authentic measure of a local business’s popularity and viability. Potential customers trust reviews as an accurate gauge for that business’s quality level.

Getting an abundance of positive, glowing and wordy reviews across multiple review platforms like GMB, Facebook, Yelp, and vertical-specific sites like Houzz, Tripadvisor, and Healthgrades helps you win on many levels.

Local SEO Guide notes that Google does pick up on the keywords people use in their reviews:

“At a high level, having a keyword you are trying to rank for, and a mention of a city you are working to rank in, in reviews has a high correlation with high ranking Google My Business results.”

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

  • Get and manage reviews with Customer Voice (contact us for more info)
  • KiyOh

Step 5: Audit Links for Quality and Quantity

Links remain the bread and butter of Google’s ranking algorithm.

Darren Shaw of WhiteSpark notes that,

“Google is still leaning heavily on links as a primary measure of a business’ authority and prominence, and the local search practitioners that invest time and resources to secure quality links for their clients are reaping the ranking rewards.”

A diverse array of quality links is crucial for any local business’s link portfolio. This means that you’ll need to evaluate your links, looking for links with:

  • Local content
  • Industry or vertical topic clusters
  • High domain authority

Link quality will win over quantity, and quality + quantity will help you dominate the search rankings in your market. On the flip side, if you see a high volume of spammy, off-topic links, you’ll want to make a note of it as a red flag that may be damaging your ability to rank well for your target keywords.

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 6: Audit Schema-Markup for Local

Schema markup is code that goes on a website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. Schema tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says.

This is a key way to tell search engines exactly what a given website is about, which will help them serve it up on SERPs for the correct search queries.

One way to check to ensure that your site is using schema markup is to enter your URL in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool You’ll be able to check to see if all the correct info about your business has been included.

To add Schema markup, if it’s a WordPress website, then “All In One Schema Rich Snippets” is a great plugin. For other websites, this is a good tool to create the code.

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 7: Audit Local SEO Citations

How frequently is your business mentioned online? Auditing your citations will determine how many online mentions exist of the name, address, and phone number for your business.

It’s important to look into both your structured and unstructured citations. For structured citations, you’ll audit your business listings across the web, looking at social platforms and directories like Yelp, Yellowpages, Facebook, Superpages, and MapQuest. You’ll also need to check to see if their correct business info is listed on the main data aggregators: Axiom, Neustar/Localeze, Factual, and Infogroup.

Next, you’ll need to check your unstructured citations. An unstructured citation can be found on random websites, blogs, event listings, job posting sites, government records or social media mentions. These are unstructured because they could be as simple as a company mention. Usually, these citations don’t include a business’s NAP data.

Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder is a great free tool to find and analyze both your structured and unstructured citations.

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 8: Audit SEO on Main Pages

An audit of the main website pages is probably the most important piece of your entire audit. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming if you have the proper tools though. Screaming Frog is one of many excellent tools that’ll deliver a comprehensive look at your on-page SEO.

With your list of target keywords in hand, you’ll want to run through each page on your spreadsheet looking at the keywords on each page. Specifically, you’ll be looking at:

  • Page title
  • Title tags
  • Sub-headings
  • Word count
  • Meta description

Even with just this information, you’ll be well-equipped to analyze how well your pages are optimized for local SEO. Plus, you’ll be able to determine improvements and content gaps that might be missing.

Once you’ve evaluated and recorded the weaknesses in your local SEO, you can make use of a host of top-tier SEO plugins to help you do your work.

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 9: Audit Image SEO

There are two main components two image optimization for local SEO: keyword usage and how it affects page load speed. You can use ScreamingFrog’s free SEO tool to evaluate both.

Auditing image keyword optimization boils down to evaluating each image’s filename and alt text. Since Google can’t yet tell what visual content an image contains yet, site crawlers rely on things like the filename and alt text to determine what’s being displayed. These are places you should optimize with relevant target keywords.

You can get some big improvements in page load speed when images are optimized to reduce their file size without significantly impacting their visual quality. Using ScreamingFrog, you can take an inventory of all the images on your site and highlight the images that are slowing things down. (There are also image size optimization plugins that resize images automatically going forward.)

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 10: Check Website Speed

Having a site that loads rapidly is crucial in today’s online business environment.

Edwin Toonen of Yoast notes that,

“Google’s latest research shows that the chance of a bounce increases 32% when the page load time goes from 1s to 3s. 1s to 5s increases the chance to 90% and if your site takes up to 10s to load, the chance of a bounce increases to 123%. That’s incredible. For search engines, better results and performance is a sign of a healthy site that pleases customers and therefore should be rewarded with a higher ranking.”

Google PageSpeed Insights Tool performs a near-instant audit of a given URL for both mobile and desktop searches. This will give you a quick way to tell if improvements are needed, and a list of actions to take to improve your website speed.

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 11: Audit Site Engagement

What visitors do when they discover your business online affects your rankings. In fact, David Mihm argues that,

“Engagement is simply a much more accurate signal of the quality of local businesses than the traditional ranking factors of links, directory citations, and even reviews.”

Metrics like organic search click-through rate (CTR), dwell time, bounce rate, and conversion rate are all ranking factors. You can simply use Google Analytics to examine your engagement metrics and compare them to industry benchmarks.

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Step 12: Audit Social Engagement

The truth is that we’re not sure to what extent social signals are baked into Google’s ranking algorithm. However, there’s no doubt that a strong social media presence can significantly boost local SEO efforts.

According to Ron Dod of Search Engine Journal, the bigger and more engaged your audience is, the more they’ll boost rankings:

“The bigger your brand is and the more consumers trust you, the more likely you are to receive a larger share of clicks in Google. Social media can be a great and efficient way to help you build your brand and get in front of people who wouldn’t have otherwise found you.”

Therefore, evaluating your social platforms is an essential part of your local SEO audit:

  • Number of people that like your Facebook page + Facebook shares
  • Number of Twitter followers + tweets mentioning your brand name
  • Number of LinkedIn company followers and Linkedin Shares

Helpful Local SEO Tools:

Final Thoughts

Performing a comprehensive local SEO audit using the 12 steps I’ve outlined is going to dredge up issues. Finding and fixing any SEO optimization issues you discover along the way is also crucial, as is recording your progress to ensure you’re not missing any vital pieces to the local SEO puzzle.

A good way to get started is to use MarketGoo, which automatically scans a website and generates a step-by-step SEO plan to help you increase your website traffic and rankings.

Once you’re ready to get started optimizing your website for SEO, using Boostability’s and SEO Network‘s SEO packages are key ways to power up your local presence. Just contact us for more info on any of these products.

Want to skip all this work and let the experts handle your local SEO? Contact us today!

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog,SEO   -  0   Comments

What are Listings and Why Do They Matter?

Listings are an online summary of essential information for your business that serve as a powerful tool to help customers find you online and in real life. Here’s what you need to know:

NAP+W

No, we didn’t fall asleep on the keyboard. NAP+W is the acronym that explains all the information that should be included in business listings.

Name
Address
Phone number
+
Website

These four pieces of information are the business listings starter-pack. They provide the basic information potential customers need to have in order to research, contact and locate your business.

Want to score some major bonus points? Include information like hours of operation in business listings—it’s what consumers are most interested in!


Will my listings work?

The effectiveness of a business listing depends on the information’s presence and accuracy. Listings are available through a variety of sources, including search engines, online directories and maps, or social sites. When it comes to listings presence, more is definitely better. Availability on as many sources as possible will create multiple avenues for consumers to find your business. But (and this is a big but), presence only pays off if the listings are accurate. Listings are accurate if the information is correct and consistent across all potential sources. Seems easy enough, right?


Why are listings important?

Listings with good presence and accuracy will undoubtedly pay off for your business. Here’s how:

No more hide and seek

Just as the brightly lit bat signal guides everyone’s favorite caped crusader (that’s right Superman, we said it!), accurate and readily available listings will help guide consumers right to your business’s door steps.

They even have similar shapes. Coincidence? We think not…

If a business’s listing is incorrect or missing, the majority of consumers will feel less confident about the brand, likely leading them to choose a competitor’s product or service. The availability of accurate listings ensures customers are actually able to find brick and mortar locations while they’re open for business. This means money in the business owner’s pocket and, just as importantly, it means the business can be reviewed.

“In my humble opinion…”

An ample review pipeline is an essential tool for developing a business’ online reputation and fostering brand loyalty. Reviews allow customers to communicate their experience with a business to potential buyers, but if consumers can’t find a business listed online, their opinion of it won’t be well-informed. Accurate listings create the opportunity for transparency between businesses and consumers in the form of reviews, and the availability of this information will help increase a business’s visibility.

All aboard the search engine

Consistent, accurate listings and the generation of reviews will directly benefit a business’s visibility by boosting its ranking in local search engine results. Search engine optimization is a complex tool, so why not take advantage of it by simply ensuring your business is listed accurately! Increased visibility means more customers, and what business owner doesn’t want that?


Now what?

This listings low-down provides a basic definition and describes the benefits of business listings. Create listings on sites worth lots of points to improve your listings score. We’ve ranked them by importance using a lot of key factors—how many sites reference them, traffic, demographics and more.

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog   -  0   Comments

6 Reasons Your Local Business Listings Need to Be Accurate

As a business, how likely is it that potential customers will come through your door?
The whole point of an online presence is to entice customers into your store, your leasing office or your showroom so you can convert them to paying customers rather than just browsers online.

Further, nothing is more frustrating as a customer than finding out that you have been given the wrong information about where a business is located. As a customer, how likely are you to give this company your business? Not very. In fact, according to Placeable, 73% of consumers stated that they lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information.


1. Missing hours of operation information can be a dealbreaker

There are many things that people look for in listings, whether they are looking at that search engine on a PC or on a mobile device. The top piece of information that most people look for is the hours of operation, since their search is likely for a business that they frequent quite often.

In fact, in a study conducted by local data aggregator Localeze, hours of operation were noted as the most helpful feature in selecting a business during local search. 76% of respondent reporting that they expect this information when searching and 61% believe that it is a feature that helps them to select a business.

Even if people are new to a business, it doesn’t give people a good impression if the business hours are not listed and they don’t know that it’s only open from 11 a.m-6p.m. Tuesday-Saturday .Imagine that potential customer who is ready to spend their money in store, but shows up on Monday at 7 p.m. only to find it closed. That customer is likely going to do another search on a mobile phone to find a different store and spend their money there.


2.You can’t spell NAP data (and score a citation) without an A(ddress)

While most people would assume that the number one reason people do a search online is for the address or location of a business, the address is actually behind hours of operation as the second most desired information. But, of course, the whole point of being in business is to make money doing what you love or selling what you love. And that happens by attracting foot traffic and increasing customer base.

It bears repeating that if a business address is incorrect on listing sites such as Google or Bing, then customers will not be crossing the threshold. A simple thing such as the wrong number on a street address, or even the wrong town, can mean that a customer cannot find you. The US Postal Service relies on a complex system of checks to verify and standardize addresses, and many of the search engines will default to the USPS for correct mailing addresses.

What this means for the average new business owner is that unless a business is in an established location, getting the correct address on their listing means that both the address from City Hall and the information on USPS must be consistent. If USPS doesn’t recognize that address, then a business owner must contact them to verify their new address and get that information updated on USPS’s online database.


3. Local searchers are mobile creatures

According to Localeze, mobile-phone-based searches drive in-store purchases with more than 75% of searches ending in a purchase—if a business has their listing details correct. Now if half of the people searching for a business listing on a local search engine, such as Google Local/Maps, can’t find the store’s business listing details, then the business is going to lose 100% of their business.

For ease of use for potential customers, some of those details need to be as readily available as possible in a mobile-friendly manner. This can be accomplished with a responsive website that supports cellphone and tablet-specific versions.


4. Updated, accurate websites still serve as a first impression

At the same time, more than 60% of searches on PC platforms such as website portals, Internet Yellow Page directories and local sites have a similar chance of ending in a purchase. While mobile searches are becoming more of a standard in where a customer searches, a business owner should not discount the power of a fulsome, consistent and accurate listing that is reflective of the business website.

Any listing should be linked to the business’s website and feature the exact same information, but more of it. While a website should be enough to entice a customer to visit or buy, if those inconsistencies exist, then trust issues may arise in a business’s practices before a customer ever crosses their threshold.


5. Local searchers mix it up across multiple devices, situations and times

People who search for listings are doing it in many more ways than when the Internet first coalesced into existence about two decades ago. In that time, we went from working on desktops to laptops to PDAs to Blackberries to Apples to tablets—and in each iteration, the methods of search have changed.

However, that has slowed over the last five years or so as web developers realize that they need to be smarter. Rather than designing three different sites for three different platforms, they have created websites that are scalable to the search device. And that has been helped along by the proliferation of types of devices in use everyday.

According to Pew Research Center, In 2015, smartphone ownership in America was at 68%, with tablet and computer ownership at 45%. Statista says that almost half of American adults use their smartphones the most to search for local information online, the other half being split between computers (40%) and tablets (11%). According to Localeze, like the types of devices used, what we are searching for varies by the time of day and device. Entertainment is searched for during work hours on computers, restaurants during evening using phones and health/fitness evening using tablets.

The most important part of those mobile searches is accuracy. If someone cannot find your business in a local search or find inaccurate results whilst out and about, then your business has lost the chance for that browser to become a customer. So having those listings correct in all of the device formats is a must as we, and our technology, continue to evolve in the way we interact with local businesses.


6. Local search results are trusted sources of information

Last but certainly not least is the fact that local search results are considered the most trustworthy. In a study by Neustar, it was determined that these searches, such as “used games Raleigh”, are what people do the most since they put that trust in local business more than big box, big website stores.

Think about it, would you rather find a local store where you can get that latest purse in town right now? Or you can wait a week for delivery, which is four days past the event that you want it for! Local searches lend themselves to instant gratification and that interaction between browser and salesperson will convert that browser from someone who might get just the minimum to a loyal customer who feels like a million having spent a little more, but getting what they consider to be gold!

Those interactions are what lead people to local searches and the absolute necessity of getting your listings correct. Trust leads to loyalty, which leads to more business, which leads to happy customers and business owners.

And it all starts with that correct listing in that customer’s local search.

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By: Alex   -  In: Blog   -  0   Comments

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