What are your customers searching for on the web? If you’re anything like most small business owners, you have no real idea. Using Google Keyword Planner will allow you to pinpoint what Internet users are searching for, in turn giving you insight that you can use to build more effective content for the web. Ready to get started? Follow these simple steps.
Create an AdWords Account
If you’re not already a Google AdWords user, you’ll need to create an account. Google provides its Keyword Planner as a tool for businesses who want to advertise online. By identifying the search terms customers use to find relevant businesses and products, you can customize your ads to connect with the right users. Of course, the Google Keyword Planner works well for generating content, too.
Find New Keywords
Once you’ve accessed the Keyword Planner, you can find new keywords by telling Google about your business. For example, if you’re selling craft beer, insert craft beer in the product or service field to generate a keyword list.
You can also give the Keyword Planner your landing page. Google’s bot will search the page and attempt to find relevant keywords.
Choose Your Keywords Carefully
The Keyword Planner provides a list of search keywords, along with information about the number of searches performed each month. Using this information, you can pick out keywords that will likely generate organic traffic for your blog posts.
Remember, it may be tempting to only choose the keywords that generate a lot of monthly searches, but the competition for these keywords is generally quite high. If your website is relatively young, you may struggle to compete with bloggers or companies that have an established presence in the industry. For this reason, it’s beneficial to choose an assortment of different keywords, using both high and low competition options.
Build Your Content Thoughtfully
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, it’s time to start building content that converts well. Once upon a time, bloggers would stuff their posts with tons of keywords in an effort to pull in the most traffic possible. Unfortunately, this created text that was difficult to read and felt spammy.
Most search engines have changed their algorithms in the years since, so stuffing your posts with keywords doesn’t just make your blog appear spammy—Google could actually block your site from showing up in its results. Keep things in check by using a few keywords scattered throughout your posts.
Using keywords is a great way to boost your traffic and Google’s Keyword Planner makes it easy to do it correctly. By learning how to use this simple tool, you can ensure your posts make a greater impact, while simultaneously building page rank for your site. This will lead to more visitors, and hopefully, more customers.
Establishing trust and credibility is no simple feat, but testimonials hold significant power over the modern consumer. Unlike marketing materials and advertising campaigns, testimonials reveal the opinions and experiences of real buyers. Numerous business sectors have recognized the undeniable sway of effective testimonials, including the hospitality industry and online retailers. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a multinational brand to maximize your selling potential online.
Rules of Useful Testimonials
For testimonials to have the desired effect on buyers, it’s important for businesses to respect the following simple rules:
● Honest Opinions: Testimonials shouldn’t be edited or filtered to avoid negative feedback. Consumers want to see the raw truth.
● Proof: Testimonials should be accompanied by a name and photo when possible. Even a simple username is better than a vague, “Satisfied Customer.”
● Real People: It goes without saying, but testimonials shouldn’t be fabricated. Not only is this unethical, but it’s also illegal in some instances.
Some of the world’s most powerful online marketplaces have truly mastered the art of testimonials, with notable examples including Amazon.com and the Priceline Group. For any product on these sites, you’ll see good reviews, bad reviews, and everything in-between.
How to Solicit Testimonials
The undeniable potential of a well-written testimonial makes them incredibly useful, but it can be hard to get customers to leave reviews and testimonials. Some businesses offer incentives to customers for sharing their opinions, with giveaways and promotional discounts. If you have a large email list or an active following on social media, this method may be your best bet.
If you’re an independent business owner with a relatively small customer base, consider direct contact with your clients. Reach out via phone or email and explain what you’re looking for. You may be surprised how many customers agree to participate. Depending on the product or service you sell, it may be useful to help guide your buyers with a questionnaire or survey.
Using Testimonials on Your Site
Once you’ve obtained testimonials, you should display them prominently throughout the pages of your website. Social proof is often one of the first things consumers look for when they visit an e-commerce or small business site, so don’t bury them on a “reviews” page. Instead, place small blurbs above the fold on your website. (Above the fold means visitors won’t need to scroll to see your testimonials) If you have a large number of testimonials, you can always link to a full reviews page under the blurbs.
Word-of-mouth advertising has long been a powerful tool for small businesses, and testimonials and reviews serve as a natural extension of this. By building testimonials into your site, you’ll help convince buyers to interact with your business. If possible, start gathering consumer opinions from the day you open your doors. This will help you build a large cache of reviews you can use to bolster the success of your business.
If you hadn’t already noticed, a skyrocketing number of consumers use their smartphones and tablets to connect to the web. According to the Pew Research Center, If your site isn’t ready for a mobile audience, you’re missing out on a substantial portion of your target audience. Stop throwing away sales and begin learning how to use mobile trends to your advantage.
Reviewing the Growth of Mobile
Once upon a time, mobile web usage represented a tiny portion of overall web traffic. The astonishing growth of smartphone platforms over the past decade is largely responsible for the mobile internet boom. Google confirmed for the first time earlier this year that mobile search queries now outnumber desktop searches. A further 59% of searchers report using Google on their cell phone to find local businesses.
For marketers, the message is clear: mobile is here to stay. As smartphone manufacturers work furiously to create faster, more affordable devices, the number of consumers turning to the mobile web will continue to increase. This makes it imperative to invest in mobile website tools to protect the long-term returns of your business.
Preparing Your Site for Mobile Users
From a user experience (UX) point of view, it makes perfect sense to ensure your mobile customers can easily peruse your business site on their smartphones and tablets. The ramifications of neglecting mobile buyers extend far beyond a lost sale here and there, however. Google announced its intention to penalize sites that don’t use responsive design earlier this year. Dubbed “mobilegeddon,” this event marked an important turning point for marketers across the globe.
Fortunately, implementing a responsive design isn’t very challenging, particularly if you’re working with the right web design partner. If you haven’t already made the switch over, be sure to prioritize this development, as failure to do so will hurt your ranking in search results.
Maximizing Mobile Conversion Rates
Any effective website needs to convert visitors into buyers, but the rules are different when catering to the mobile customer. First and foremost, keep page bloat in check by eliminating extra content. A mobile visitor wants simplicity and a streamlined experience.
You also need a visible call-to-action for mobile readers. Encourage them to make a reservation at your restaurant or connect with your team on social media—don’t simply leave engagement in the user’s hands and hope for the best. Continually test new conversion techniques to perfect your sales funnel and keep your site performing optimally.
Attracting potential customers online is a complex formula that hinges on a number of different factors. By ensuring your site is responsive and following the best conversion practices, you’ll maximize the value of your mobile marketing dollars. This will in turn generate additional sales for your business and help you make a real impact on mobile consumers.
Customers make split-second judgments about your business every single day. From your branding and logo to the product you sell, your clients will use the information available to them to make a snap decision. While some things simply cannot be helped, your business website isn’t one of them. Rather than slapping something together on the cheap and calling it a done deal, it’s essential to approach your site’s development from a marketing point of view.
Ready to get started? Use the following tips to make a great first impression on your site visitors.
Exploring the Importance of UX
User experience, often shortened UX, is a key component of a successful website. UX encompasses a number of different elements, including your branding, marketing, and overall usability of the site. In most cases, partnering with a trusted web development firm is the smartest option for creating an appealing site that makes the right impression on your customers.
Remember, a poor site won’t merely cause frustration for your customers, but it could send them in droves to your competitors. A poorly designed site shows a lack of appropriate customer care and could convince would-be clients that you’re irrelevant or out of touch. Don’t play around with bad design—get things in order from the moment you purchase your domain.
Connecting On Mobile Devices
The mobile web has witnessed an incredible period of growth over the last decade, as consumers flock to smartphones and tablets to access the internet. Responsive website design plays an important role in ensuring every visitor receives the same positive browsing experience. If your site is only optimized for desktop users, you could be missing out on a huge segment of your target audience. An estimated 79% of smartphone users search for local businesses via their mobile devices, which should be more than convincing if you’re still in two minds about investing in responsive design.
Creating Cohesive Branding
Cohesive, consistent branding falls under the umbrella of Marketing 101, but a surprising number of small business owners ignore this key principle. Simple discrepancies in your color scheme, logos, and marketing materials could confuse your clients and cause them to lose trust in your brand. Treat your website as an extension of your marketing materials, and apply the same branding across your physical products, ads, and site. This builds credibility for your business and keeps your message on point.
As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Don’t leave your business’ success up to chance, but instead invest in the right tools to build a strong foundation for your company. A well-designed, thoughtful website serves as the first point of contact for reaching many of your customers. By investing the time and resources to ensure the site effectively converts, you’ll avoid lost sales and keep your company on the path to a healthy future.
Many marketers think of word-of-mouth advertising as the holy grail, and for one simple reason: it’s incredibly effective. In our digitally connected modern world, the humble online review is often seen as the equivalent of word-to-mouth advertising. Many buyers use these reviews to find local businesses to patronize and learn more about which to avoid. Don’t leave the impact of your customer reviews up to chance—instead, use a few simple steps to maximize the positive benefits of online reviews for your business.
Get Proactive: Respond to Every Review
If a customer approaches you in your business with a compliment, you’ll thank them warmly for their business. With a complaint, you’ll work to resolve the problem in an amicable way. Apply these same simple techniques to your reviewers online and you’ll be in good shape.
Most review sites allow business owners to respond to their client feedback. When someone shares positive feedback, thank them and explain that you can’t wait to see them again soon. Negative and unpleasant reviewers should also get a response. Be thoughtful and kind in your comments and when possible, invite the client to stop in again for a better experience. Most importantly, don’t let frustration or anger get the better of you.
Responding to reviews shows other customers that you’re engaged and committed to providing great customer service. It can even result in an unhappy customer rethinking his opinion. Either way, you’ve demonstrated your business’ approach to providing great customer service, which will leave a positive impression for others.
Build a Complete Profile
Of course, the reviews themselves are the main dish of sites like Yelp, but business owners also have a role to play beyond simple responses. Use review sites to highlight the key selling points of your business. Complete your business profile in the greatest detail possible, and upload a full gallery of images. Remember, when catering to a customer who doesn’t know your company or your product, you want to help fill in as many gaps as possible.
Encourage More Reviews
Many review sites have clauses that explicitly forbid soliciting reviews from your customers, but don’t let that stop you from publicizing your business’ presence on these sites. Consider adding a small review logo to your website footer and business cards, which will remind customers to share their feedback. You might also want to think about advertising with a review site. Many of these destinations allow businesses to offer special deals to clients who learn about them through a review.
Engaging with customers in a way that reflects positively on your business is nothing new. As the old adage goes, the customer is king. By treating a review site as a public forum for maintaining positive relationships with existing clients and resolving disputes, you can harness the power of these destinations for your business. Ultimately, building a review response strategy alongside your social media campaigns and traditional advertising initiatives can help supercharge your company’s marketing prowess and earn you more business.