Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Does your business often suffer from being “too expensive”?
If you sell anything directly, you undoubtedly have encountered this at some point in your business journey.
The key is that you can circumvent this problem by negotiating like a true pro. No matter what it is that you sell, you can demand top prices if you frame it right.
Recently I provided a little insight into this very idea for Fit Small Business. Actually, a whole bunch of experts from a wide range of industries added to the article.
Check out the post here for tips on negotiating your prices like a boss.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
When it comes to promoting your business, gone are the days of Yellow Pages, billboards and radio ads. Sure, those all still exist, but the ROI on such efforts pales in comparison to the multiple you can often achieve from local internet marketing efforts.
But don’t just take our word for it, listen to the 800lb gorilla in the digital room: GOOGLE.
Research has shown that over 83% of ALL consumers and almost as many businesses begin their buying journey with an internet search. That even includes purchases that are eventually made “in store”. In fact, one of the most popular searches for local services and products is “product/service name near me”.
And with Google holding around 78% of that market share hostage, they are the master we must aim to please.
So without further delay, let’s dig into some key local internet marketing opportunities your small business can take advantage of today to drive sales, growth, brand recognition and revenue!
What is Local Online Marketing?
Local online marketing is equivalent to any other online marketing campaign or effort, with one key exception: it is tailored geographically to a locale in which you operate.
For example, if you run a home services business like a plumber or dental office and only service a few towns/cities, you wouldn’t want to waste hard earned dollars on internet marketing campaigns that targeted individuals too far to drive to or frome your business right?
Local Online Marketing Might Leverage the Following:
- News publications
- Social media groups
- Google search optimization
- Google My Business (GMB) local listings
- And more…
What Does a Solid Local Marketing Strategy Look Like?
The internet is a multi-faceted, multi-medium digital information superhighway. Which is just a fancy way of saying, the internet has many mediums through which you can communicate with and to your target market.
And a solid local online marketing strategy will leverage multiple channels and mediums on the internet to do this.
In fact, research from SalesForce has shown that it takes up to 6-8 touch points just to generate a SOLID lead…and that’s not even a sale!
This means that the most effective local digital marketing strategies will utilize a broad range of mediums through which they can shape and influence the customer’s awareness of the product, service or brand, and nurture them towards actively engaging (via submitting a lead form, messaging, email, phone, etc.). It’s all about getting the conversion in the end.
Examples of mediums/channels include:
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.)
- Web (GMB, Google, Bing, etc.)
- Forums / online communities
- Websites / Blogs
- News / Media
- Pay Per Click Ads
- Display Ads
- Native advertising
- And more…
How Does More Competition Affect Internet Marketing for Local Business?
Competition is good, generally speaking. But competition also means you need to keep at the top of your game or get left behind.
Like physical real estate, the digital landscape is not unlimited, and as such, supply and demand can impact both your local marketing strategy online as well as the costs involved.
For example, only around 9% of individuals ever click past the first page of Google, and over 68% of click on Google go to the first three organic results. That means, if your business isn’t on page one (which only has around 7-10 organic positions available), you’re missing out on over 90% of your market. And if you’re not ranking in those positions, that means your competitors are and they are taking YOUR business, earning more money to outcompete you in the long run.
Similarly, local competition will likely be bidding on some of the same ad placements and keywords you will want to, potentially driving up costs for those ad impressions or clicks to your business.
How to Choose the Right Marketing Company
Given the complexity of online marketing, choosing the right marketing company for your localized online strategy is important.
We suggest looking at the following to help you find the right fit:
- Reviews and testimonials
- Ask for references that you can call
- A proven and demonstrated track record of success in your industry/market
- A free initial consultation to see if they are a good match
- A team that offers full stack services, from design to web copy, SEO and everything in-between.
- Clear and easy to understand agreements
At Cloud Inspector Web Design we pride ourselves on delivering results for clients that exceed expectations. We’re a transparent, fair and ethical marketing company that works hard to both bolster and protect your brand and reputation.
Over the years we have delivered results that speak for themselves. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you:
- Rank higher on Google
- Make your phone ring off the hook
- Drive sales and profitability
- Automate workflows
- Improve brand recognition
- And more!
Ready to Get Started?
Give us a call or drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you.
Thursday, July 26, 2018
With constant updates to search engine algorithms, you need to be on top of your game if you hope to consistently rank high on organic search results. Schema Pro can help.
This plugin helps Google understand your website by enabling you to easily and efficiently produce optimized Schema markup for all your pages.
What is Schema markup?
Schema markup is a type of microdata that is formed by schema.org. After being added to a web page, it generates a rich snippet that appears in search results.
Schema.org is a collaborative organization between Google, Yandex, Bing, and Yahoo! It was created with the aim of making it easier for search engines to understand the content on your site and offer the most relevant search results whenever someone submits a query.
Getting Schema markup on your HTML enhances the way that your page is displayed on search results by inserting rich snippets that are located under your page title.
As you’ll see above, the top search result displays a publication date and star rating. Both of these elements were added using Schema. The search result below it doesn’t have rich snippets and displays the meta description instead.
In the event that no meta description was provided by the site owner, Google will choose what to display — usually preview text from the content on your page.
Quality and Relevancy
Most search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing consider rich snippets a ranking and relevancy factor when displaying search results. This holds even more weight following Google’s Hummingbird update.
The update was meant to provide search results of higher quality whenever someone would Google something. Schema helps your website display quality so that Google — and other search engines — will rank it higher in the organic search results.
It’s worth noting that rich snippets are dependent on search engines and that any plugin you use to add schema on your site can do nothing more than add a few important lines of code to your website. The content on your website coupled with its authority will also be an important factor.
How Can Schema Pro Help Improve Your SEO?
There is evidence to support the theory that schema microdata plays a significant role in organic search results. Schema rich snippets look a lot better in search results too. The enhanced aesthetic will increase your click-through rate and, as a result, your organic traffic.
Recent studies show fewer than 30% of websites in Google search results have a rich snippet. The fact that less than a third of all websites are using rich snippets provides a useful opportunity for your company to get ahead of its competition with very little effort.
What is Schema Used For?
The debate is still ongoing on whether or not structured data affects website rankings. While there isn’t any concrete evidence, there are strong indications that search engines factor in rich snippets when ranking a site.
Even assuming that they don’t, the boost in click-through rate due to its improved visibility is reason enough to get a rich snippet on your website. Try to experiment with Schema markup to see how your target audience responds to different rich snippets.
Schema can be used on any page or website but here are a few categories that would greatly benefit from it:
- Businesses and organizations
Is Schema Pro the Right Plugin for you?
While there are numerous plugins for WordPress that let you add Schema markup to your website, you need to proceed with caution when picking one out. Choosing the wrong plugin could end with your efforts collapsing with nothing to show for it.
Schema Pro is a top-recommended plugin for every WordPress site. You can apply Schema markup to any website, not just those within the categories mentioned above. Schema Pro lets webmasters add Schema data without having to write code. It’s especially useful to those without programming knowledge.
Some site owners use Yoast SEO for Schema optimization but they have to bear in mind the fact that Yoast is an SEO plugin and isn’t effective when it comes to Schema implementation. Schema Pro’s robust programming an versatile features make it the best option for a website in any niche.
How to Use Schema Pro to Maximize Results
Select Schema Type
Schema Pro provides 13 different types of Schemas. These include recipe, article, book, job posting, review, and so much more. Start by picking the one that best suits your page.
Choose Your Target
Choose which pages and posts should have the Schema markup added to them. You can implement Schema on the entire website at once or choose specific pages to include/exclude.
Map Existing Content
The chances are that your website already has information like author, date, category, title, and even the featured image. Using Schema Pro, you can integrate Schema code into these data fields in just a few clicks. It even supports custom fields that you’ve added to your website.
Closing Thoughts on Schema Pro
We hope that this article has helped clarify a thing or two with regards to the importance of Schema markup for your site, and made your decision on which Schema plugin to pick a lot easier. Whether you’re a programmer, blogger or small business owner, Schema is extremely easy to implement and can provide great benefits to you and your website.
Using Schema Pro on your site is the best way to avoid seeing your site drop in rankings due to sloppy Schema implementation done by a subpar plugin.
The rule of thumb is to implement Schema on every website that you manage to ensure it ranks high and gets a lot of traffic. With this plugin, you can do that with ease without having to type a single line of code.
The pro version of Schema Pro is a paid plugin but with the time and effort you save, you’re getting great value for your money. Do you still have any doubts or questions regarding the plugin?
Have a look at their official FAQs or contact the Schema Pro support team on the website to learn more about the plugin. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
I’m sure by now you know that your business needs to be online in order to maximize exposure of your brand. But how do you get it done if you don’t have the skills? You need to hire the best internet marketing company your budget can afford.
Understanding Internet Marketing Strategies
There are many different facets of internet marketing for small business. Some of the main points are website design, SEO, map rankings, social media optimization and video marketing.
For local businesses, these will be your bread and butter. Done properly, these strategies will ensure that customers can find you on the web. Additionally, they will trust your brand and you have a great shot at earning their business.
Conversion Focused Lead Generation Website
I understand that 4 years ago you spent $1000 on a website and you still love it. Worse yet, you never got back a return on that money.
Just know that it isn’t your fault. If you have a website that old, folks aren’t going to gain trust when it pops up on their screen. Quite frankly, it gives the appearance that you don’t care about your brand.
Essentially, your website is your first impression in most cases. Make sure that you give the visitor a clean website with easy access to contact information. Show them some testimonials and make sure you clearly state how you can solve their problem.
If you can accomplish these simple things, your website will no longer stand in the way of your internet marketing goals and you will see an increase in conversions.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Back in the day, folks just picked up the phone book and called the first company they found.
That is why businesses were named “AAA Business” or “A-1 Business”. They showed up first!
Essentially, this was the first form of “SEO”. By naming their businesses in this manner, they were ensuring that they showed up at the top of the search results.
Not many people use a phone book anymore to find a local business, but SEO is alive and well. The difference is that today business owners want to rank at the top of Google, rather than the pages of a yellow phone book that was delivered to their doorstep.
While naming your business near the front of the alphabet won’t help you rank better on Google, we can boost your position. An SEO package will make sure that your online properties are optimized and that you show above the competition in the organic search results.
The cost of SEO varies wildly and is based on competition. As you can imagine, SEO for a plastic surgeon in Hollywood is going to cost far more than it would for a snow removal company in Vegas.
For one, plastic surgery costs a lot more and is highly sought after in Hollywood, thus it has more competition in the search rankings. Adversely, it doesn’t snow a lot in Vegas so there isn’t likely any competition for snow removal rankings.
In general, SEO packages are sold as a monthly service since rankings are always fluid. You can’t just reach #1 and expect to stay with no additional effort. Whoever was in that spot will want it back, thus an ongoing service is needed.
Earning a 3 Pack Position
I’m sure by now you have heard of the “3 pack or map pack”. This is the map feature Google displays when searching for service-based businesses. The display is part of the Google My Business listing, which is free to business owners.
The map pack gathers a large portion of clicks and your business can explode if you haven’t been taking advantage. If this is you, go sign up for GMB right now!
Just having a GMB listing isn’t going to guarantee that visitors see you though. As you can imagine, these map listings are coveted. They can also be optimized and improved.
Just like regular SEO, optimizing the map ranking is also an ongoing service. Also, there is a direct correlation between the organic ranking of your website and your GMB ranking for a great number of searches. This means that in some cities, for some niches, you simply can’t rank in the map pack without ranking highly organically on Google.
Social Media Optimization
Social media is all the rage today. Everyone is using at least one platform and many folks use several. If you don’t have a business page on the popular social media channels, you are leaving money on the table.
Using social media to engage your audience is an excellent way to build trust as well as improve brand recognition. By keeping active, your users will have you front of mind when they need a service you provide.
One thing to consider when using social media, it won’t go away. Never use social media to engage negatively with a customer. Even when they are wrong, you want to take the high road.
Basically, it comes down to the old analogy: when I do something right, nobody notices; but when I do something wrong, nobody forgets. Keep that in mind and always take a minute to read what you typed before hitting enter.
I’m sure I don’t need to state how important video is in today’s internet marketing landscape. The number of video hours watched per day on YouTube is increasing at an alarming rate. The reason is simple…
Not only do people love to watch videos, they also like to share them more than standard text content. This means that using video could have great effects on your brand.
Don’t think that you can’t use video because it costs too much either.
Most businesses do not need some elaborate and flashy trailer type video. A set of slideshow or spokesperson style videos targeted for the services you provide will do just fine. They also won’t cost you a fortune. What they will do is boost engagement and give you additional opportunities to be found online.
Go With the Best Internet Marketing Company
Hopefully, this post gave you some insight into what type of services you can acquire in the realm of internet marketing. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Of course, if you want to work with the best, Cloud Inspector provides internet marketing for small business on a daily basis.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
How much do you know about your customers’ online practices, including their social media use? What about their time (and effort) spent with messaging services?
Those are, of course, just two of the many factors that are important to consider in “getting to know” your customers’ online habits and building the plan. But they’re two important indicators that may speak to how much you do or don’t know about them: Most people spend about two hours a day, just doing those things.
Notice the Social Media Marketing Trends
So if they’re devoting that amount of time to social media and messaging, what are they doing during those valuable minutes? What sites are they visiting, and what information are they gathering? How are they engaging, and how are you missing the mark by not understanding that? Do you even know what best practices are important to pay attention to? This graphic explains them.
The post [INFOGRAPHIC] Latest Social Media Marketing Best Practices appeared first on Cloud Inspector Web Design.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Running a successful plumbing business means bringing in positive cash flow from your investments. This holds true whether we are talking about employees or a marketing budget. Marketing for plumbers, having said that, is fairly simple and cost effective. But it doesn’t happen overnight.
Plumber Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Business
The plumbing industry, like most local business niches, can use the web to target customers in their market. A quality lead generation website, professional seo, an active social media network, and Google My Business (GMB) are a few of the big ways to do this. If you are the DIY type, just know that the plumbing niche is not the easiest to target and a professional may be needed to compete.
High Quality Lead Generation Website
It even sounds great right?
Your website can’t still be the same old 2013 cool site that you had made. Today’s web is so different and so are all the mobile devices.
Even if your website was made with great care, it still is too dated to be effective today when it comes to getting plumbing leads for plumbers.
So what makes a great lead gen site?
Today, the best pages have a contact form present above the fold, or before the user scrolls. You also want a couple key reasons why you are the best bet for the user. The final key is to put some social proof right there, in the form of a testimonial.
Gone are the days when a “fancy” slider introduces your company. When is the last time you actually waited to see all 5 slides on a homepage? Even worse, if you do wait, do you ever find what you came looking for?
Beyond that top section of each page, you need awesome content that tells your customers how you can help them. Also ensure that your navigation is simple and the site isn’t cluttered. Finally, use images that are of your business where possible, otherwise purchase quality stock images. Don’t just grab free ones from Google, it looks tacky.
Finally, make sure that your website loads fast for visitors. Nobody wants to wait 6 seconds for the fancy moving images on your page. Keep it simple and clean, a fast site is often the result. And lots of leads for your business.
Search Engine Optimization Gets Your Plumbing Website on Google
Perhaps you have heard the term by now. SEO. But what is it?
SEO, or search engine optimization is the act of attempting to make your web properties more visible in search engines for a given set of terms.
Take for instance, a great looking website in the plumbing niche. If it doesn’t even get seen on search, how many customers could it possibly attract?
Not many, so how do you fix it?
The answer is simple, you perform seo to get the website ranking higher for searches that your potential customers use when they search online.
White Hat vs Black Hat (or Gray)
SEO comes in many forms, but it is often classified between either white or black hat, and now gray hat has emerged as a term.
White hat seo is a term used by the “purists” that cling to every word that comes from the Google propoganda machine. They claim to strictyly adhere to every rule.
The truth is, nobody is abiding by every rule, or they aren’t performing seo.
Black hat seo means the gloves come off. Black hats do whatever is necessary to get the ranking. Often they are seen as lazy, since automation is one of their main weapons of choice.
Somewhere in between those 2 “factions” lies the gray hat seo scene. As you may have guessed, it’s a mix of the two. On the surface and when talking to clients, they claim to be clean (likely). In practice however, they only try to be. If a limit can’t be reached and a site won’t climb, they will stray to the dark side, thus the gray hat.
Whatever side of the color spectrum suits your plumbing business, some certain things need to be done. These are foundational seo tactics that every website should strive to perfect. Of course you know that everything you create needs to be centered around quality keyword research and planning.
- on page seo ~ optimize the title, description, headings, images, and text to make sure search engines understand the meaning of your content
- interlinking ~ to make your site more searchable, you want to link pages together where it makes sense
- citations/directories ~ there are still a few major data aggregators out there that send your data to websites across the world, get on those
One of the often overlooked pieces to seo, is the social media network. Having the popular social media channels locked down for your brand is important and powerful.
Branded Social Media Marketing Network for a Complete Plumber Marketing Package
Don’t make these just to get them online either. Make them being a solid representation of your brand. Your social channels can be a great way to instill trust in potential customers, don’t take that lightly.
I’m referring to the big ones like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and so on. Grab at least those 5 for the plumbing industry.
By now you have probably heard that having an active social media channel is important for business. I can surely tell you that blindly posting will not grow your brand.
However, properly building out these profiles, interlinking them all together and with your website, and syndicating your content is great for seo.
It provides backlinks from high quality websites, and they aren’t spammy links from fake fiverr gigs.
Aside from that, these profiles have the ability to rank. A well built, active and powerful Twitter or Facebook page can easily outrank a competitor’s poor website. You get 2 chances instead of one.
Then there is the obvious fact.
Social sites can generate traffic! Considering traffic is one of the main goals of seo, it just makes sense as a potential candidate in terms of marketing for plumbers.
Perhaps the easiest avenue for traffic in the plumbing industry would be from YouTube. Considering the number of DIY plumbing projects there are that you may not necessarily want a call from, your content options are big.
Fix a leaky faucet and make a step by step video. That could well drive thousands of visitors to your website over time. Will they all be in your local market? No, but the traffic builds the authority of your channel, and consequently the website it links to (yours). Since you do the work anyway, this is a smart marketing strategy.
That brings us to the final point of the plumbing marketing must haves. And it’s another Google product.
Get Your Plumbing Business on The Google Map
GMB is perhaps one of the best marketing channels for a business to generate inexpensive calls that are somewhat predictable and inexpensive.
One of the cool parts about the GMB platform is the Insights. This area tells you the number of calls, how many folks asked for driving directions to your shop, and the number of direct website visits generated by the map listing in the last 30-90 days.
Even Google is realizing the power of the map listing in local search. Consequently, they are testing paid service ads in that area of the search results around the country at times, and in certain niches.
The best part about Google My Business is that the listing itself is a free digital marketing opportunity!
The bad part is that getting your plumbing business listed is tough unless the searcher is in your driveway or you live in a small city.
I’m not trying to say the “average Joe Plumber” couldn’t rank in the map pack, but it’s unlikely. Unless you are a plumbing company in Tinytown, USA, it’s time for an seo specialist.
If you must go it alone, here is a guide that will help you add your business to Google Maps.
The Google Map Listing is one of the most powerful business profiles you can build online. For that reason, make sure you provide quality images and text, as well as completely building the profile.
Get Your Plumber Marketing Plan Together and Running
This is just a handful of plumber marketing tips you will likely need to run a successful campaign, but it is the foundation. Once you have these items together and in place, you are ready for your business to climb the ranks. And of course, if you need help, we perform awesome marketing for plumbers!