A Simple Tip That'll Help Your SME Generate More Leads 

lead generation tips for SMEs

It’s no secret that Google can do you a favor or two to help your online success as an small or medium-sized business. With a 67.6% market share in the US and 12.6 billion searches processed per month1, the opportunities for customers to discover your business via Google present themselves thousands of times each day. 

However, if Google is going to prioritize your business above everything else on the entire internet when users search for particular phrases, then you’ve got to let it know you exist. One of the ways to let Google know you exist that’ll help you generate more leads and sales is to register to Google My Business2/3.

Google My Business will help potential customers find you by taking the details of your business and spreading them across the Google services.

 

How Can Google My Business Generate Leads?

Google Maps

When your business registers to Google My Business, you’ll be given a presence on Google Maps. This will come in the shape of an icon at your business location, which gives potential customers a chance to find you when they’re browsing.

Once Google knows your location, it can offer directions to your business across its services, too. This can help raise awareness, entice ad hoc traffic to your site and generate leads from local customers. It’s particularly handy for bars, restaurants and retailers.

Local Searches

Google personalizes its search results depending on the searcher’s location, so those searching for ‘pizza delivery’ in Washington DC will be shown different results than those searching for ‘pizza delivery’ in Seattle. If your business targets customers at a local level – maybe you’re a local business or have a number of branches - then being featured in local searches can help you find customers that match your target geographic4.

Enhanced Visibility

The local search results pages tend to be formatted differently to the standard results pages, so your business could be given the entire right-hand spread if users search for your business by name5.

This stands head and shoulders above the listings on the left-hand side and draws unparalleled attention to your business.

Phone Number, Opening Hours and Address

When you register with Google My Business, your companies contact details are visible on the search results page6, as well as on Google+ and Google Maps. This means that potential customers can make an inquiry without having to go through trouble of searching through your website. This is a handy feature if you’re either a well-known brand, or if you’re in an industry with many substitutes, like car mechanics. Opening hours and your address are also listed, so potential customers can be informed early.

Reviews and Endorsements

As well as your phone number and address, Google My Business also features ratings and customer reviews, which allow customers to share their experiences and rate your business7. The more positive reviews you attract, the more chance you’ll have of attracting new leads.

Google+

Rumors suggest that Google are set to axe their third attempt at a social network, or at lease phasing it into the background and removing its front-end aspect8/9. However, with over 300 million active monthly users10, the presence on Google+ that you’ll adopt when you register with Google My Business will provide you with the opportunity to tap into some of that potential customer base while it’s there.

Google Autocomplete

An added bonus that we recently discovered is that, through registering to Google My Business, you can work your way into the branded Google Autocomplete feature11. This is prime link-bait for user searching for your business or similar phrases, which again has the potential to increase your leads and find new custom.

How Do I Get Involved?

Google My Business isn’t a replacement for a business website, nor is it all you should focus on to increase your visibility in the search engines. However, it’s free, it’s handy and it has the potential to increase your leads online.

To get involved and register your business, follow these steps to register your business or find out more here.

References

1 http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2345837/Google-Search-Engine-Market-Share-Nears-68

2 http://www.google.com/business/

3 http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2350395/Google-My-Business-New-Tools-for-Small-Business-Owners

4 http://pocketnow.com/2014/05/05/axe-google-plus

5 https://support.google.com/business/answer/2721884?hl=en&ref_topic=4596754

6 http://www.google.com/business/#befound

7 https://support.google.com/business/answer/4801187?hl=en-GB

8 http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/24/google-is-walking-dead/

9 http://pocketnow.com/2014/05/05/axe-google-plus

10 http://marketingland.com/google-hits-300-million-active-monthly-in-stream-users-540-million-across-google-63354

11 http://www.fasttrackteam.com/the-latest-google-addition-that’ll-boost-your-website-traffic.aspx

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Posted by Sunday, August 24, 2014 6:59:00 PM Categories: online marketing social media

Why Site Availability Important to Your Business 

importance of site availability

Site Availability measures the percentage of the time that website is up and available to users.

It is critically important that a website be up and responding to users as much as possible. A website that is down is like a store that is closed. Users will not be able to visit, obtain product information, or make purchases. Web sales will stop and users may go to a competitor’s site. While it may not be possible to be up 100% of the time, a site should strive for an availability of at least 99.95%.

How can you improve your site availability score?

To obtain a good availability score, it’s important to choose and stick to a trusted web hosting company that has a history of providing good services to clients. Make sure that the web hosting company is offering a minimum of 99.95% availability.

To learn about site availability and other key metrics that are critical to gaining business on the internet, or for a free site evaluation, visit www.site-evaluator.com.

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Posted by Sunday, August 17, 2014 6:19:00 PM Categories: online marketing SEO Site Evaluator social media

The Secret Google Analytics Feature That Will Change Your Life Forever  

I’m going to let you in on the single most helpful and immensely useful, but hidden secret in the whole of Google Analytics. There’s no cheats or workarounds involved here, you don’t need to make any adjustments to your tracking code and you don’t need special admin privileges to take advantage.

Have you ever been pondering over your traffic timeline and seen unusual spikes or out of the ordinary traffic? Or have you ever wondered whether those posters you put up, the ad you created or campaign you launched had any noticeable effect on your website traffic? Well, now you can see all of this at a glance by using Google Analytics annotations.

What are Google Analytics annotations?

Annotations in Google Analytics are little notes that you can place across your timeline to monitor or remind yourself of, well, whatever you want! You can use them to keep on top of your marketing activity, online and offline, and monitor what effect it has on your web traffic at a glance. You could note:

  • Product launches
  • Big website changes (or new website launch)
  • Newsletter and email news shots
  • Marketing campaign launches
  • Server downtime
  • Or anything else you feel is important

Then, you’ll quickly be able to see the overall and broad effects that your activity has on your traffic. Plus, annotations stick around, so in six months time when you’ve moved on to future projects, you’ll still have a reminder in your annotations. This is handy for retrospective analysis and completely eradicates those “Hmm, I wonder what that spike was” moments.

How Do You Use Annotations?

Getting started using Google Analytics annotations is simple and, once you do start, you won’t be able to stop. It’s that addictive!

So here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start using annotations:

Step 1. Log in to Google Analytics and head to the Audience – Overview screen.

Google Analytics annotations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2. You see that little, sneaky arrow hiding in plain site? Click that.

Voila. This will open the annotation editor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: From here, you can click on ‘+ Create new annotation'.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4. Select the date of your event, newsletter mailout, campaign launch or whatever you want to make a note of.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5. Add your note. You only get 160 characters here, so pretend you’re jotting a tweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6. Select whether you’d like it to be a shared or private note.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s a shared or private note?

Glad you asked.

A shared note means that anyone with an analytics log in for the site in question can see the note. A private note is only visible to the person that creates it (or the email address currently logged in). So if you only have one email address and one log in for your Google Analytics account that lots of people use, be careful of noting sensitive information. Consider creating a separate log in1 for each person that needs access.

Click Save. Now you’ll be able to see your annotation on the axis of your timeline and your annotations underneath:

Bonus Tip: If a campaign or a specific marketing activity is particularly important, you can favorite it by clicking the little star next to the date:

This allows you to keep track of major marketing initiatives and groups them in the ‘Starred’ tab:

Hopefully, in the future, Google will introduce the facility to create groups of annotations. This way, you could group all of the ‘email’ related annotations together and access them through the same tabs at the top.

Let’s Get to Work

So, now that you know the most useful trick in Google Analytics, it’s time to get to work and use it. Don’t be left in the dark any longer, keep track of your marketing activity and see the effect it has on your web traffic at a glance with annotations.

Believe it or not, few people are aware of this hidden gem, so whether you choose to keep it a secret or share it with your followers is entirely up to you.

There are some sharing buttons below, if you’re tempted.

1 https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009702?hl=en-GB

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Posted by Thursday, July 31, 2014 6:29:00 PM Categories: blogging content development inbound marketing online marketing social media

Three Ways To Find Out Which Social Network is Perfect For Your Business 

social media strategy

What's the ideal social media strategy?

 

The ideal social media strategy isn’t one where you are active on every network and hope for results. A carpet bombing approach doesn’t work on social media. It is absolutely critical to find out where your customers are most active on, and reach out to them on that network. You may find that they are very active on multiple networks, in which case you should make sure to share content on all those channels. Otherwise all your efforts will fall upon deaf ears. So how do you go about finding out which channels to be active on?

Define what your target segment is

The first step is to establish what your target segment is. Create a customer profile, and write it down. Are they other businesses or consumers? Are they young, or older? What are their wants and needs? All of these impact where they will be most active.

Establish how customers have connected with you in the past

How have your customers connected with you before? This can be a great indicator as to where they are most active. History tends to repeat itself. If you have noticed that you receive a lot more engagement on Facebook than Twitter or LinkedIn, you need to focus your efforts on that channel! Concentrate on maximizing your strengths, and not trying too hard to shore up your shortcomings on other networks. That is the best way to get more ROI on your social media marketing.

Use tracking and analytics tools to evaluate each network.

Social media marketing is constantly evolving. Networks come and go. Currently, the mainstays for B2B and B2C are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. However, who knows where these networks will be in a few years, or how effective they will remain for your marketing efforts. That’s why you need to use tracking tools to consistently monitor how much engagement you are receiving online. Free tools like bit.ly work great. Facebook and LinkedIn also provide free analytics dashboards which can provide valuable insights. Keep track of your progress over time, and make a note of any changing trends. If you begin to see that you are getting more traction on another network, then put some more time and effort into that channel. You need to stay ahead of the curve!

View User Profile for Power Site Power Site is subsidiary of Fast Track. It's a robust, customizable website solution package especially developed to help small businesses how to leverage their website as a marketing tool. Follow Power Site on Twitter as @FTPowerSite.
Posted by Power Site Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:11:00 PM Categories: online marketing SEO social media social media marketing

Social Media Optimization 101: Three Mistakes to Avoid 

social media optimization 101

Social media optimization (SMO) is a fast growing trend online.  More and more of inbound traffic to websites is coming from social media channels. This marketing tool is steadily becoming one of the most important assets traffic-wise. All of this means that your content needs to be socially optimized so that your website doesn’t miss out on potential traffic. That being said, much like SEO, there are some common mistakes you need to avoid to maximize your success.

Forgetting to include social sharing buttons/badges on your website

This one seems like a no brainer, but you would be surprised by how many websites don’t have social share buttons and badges on their websites. This is one of the easiest ways of driving traffic to your website, assuming your content is interesting. Make life easy for your users and they will repay the favor!

Not sharing other people’s content

Another mistake that some people make is refusing to share content other than their own. The whole point of social media is the sharing of ideas between different users. No one likes that one person who only talks about themselves all the time. One of the easiest ways to build engagement with other users is by sharing their content. They’ll inevitably look at who retweeted their post, and check out your profile, and then hopefully your website. Not only that, but sharing other people’s content will also make them more inclined to share yours. SMO is about driving engagement, and actively sharing interesting content is one of the best ways to accomplish that.

Not being active on SEO/SMO friendly platforms like G+

Ignore G+ at your own peril. It may not be the most powerful social media network on the planet, but it offers some great SEO/SMO benefits that other social media networks don’t. Make sure to post your content to G+ and stay ahead of the curve! Your SEO and SMO will take a noticeable jump over time.

View User Profile for Power Site Power Site is subsidiary of Fast Track. It's a robust, customizable website solution package especially developed to help small businesses how to leverage their website as a marketing tool. Follow Power Site on Twitter as @FTPowerSite.
Posted by Power Site Monday, June 9, 2014 11:05:00 PM Categories: SEO social media social media marketing
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