Which Facebook Ad Format is Right for Your Small Business?

Which Facebook Ad Format is Right for Your Small Business?

We’re living in a digital world. Nearly everything consumers do nowadays is influenced, in other or another, by the Internet. A huge portion of that impact comes from social media. In fact, 57% of consumers say that social media influences their shopping.

Facebook is far and away the most dominant social media platform, with 1.49 billion daily active users. Due to its overwhelming popularity, your Facebook content can easily get lost in user’s feeds. That’s why more and more businesses are turning to Facebook ads to ensure that their content is seen by those within their target audience.

A staggering 93% of social media advertisers use Facebook Ads, so if you’re not utilizing them, it’s likely that your competitors are. Facebook offers several different ad formats for its users, and they all aim to serve different purposes. To determine which format is right for your small business, you must first decide what your goals are and what you aim to achieve through advertising on Facebook. Then, you can select with ad type makes the most sense for your business.

To improve your understanding of the advertising options, and help you gain an edge on your competitors, below is a brief description of several of Facebook’s different ad formats.

Image Ads

According to Facebook, all ads on the platform should have an image in place. Photo ads are a great way to drive traffic to your website or draw attention to your products. They should focus on a single element with an image that’s directly correlated with whatever it is that you’re promoting or selling. You also want to be sure that the amount of text is limited, as too much can draw away from the focus of the ad. Image ads are easy to create and can be completed in mere minutes.

Video Ads

Videos are a great way to draw consumer’s attention and engage them in what you’re advertising. Facebook offers a number of different video ad formats, ranging from short bursts and GIFs to long in-stream videos. They also offer the following:

  • Collection Video Ads: These ads feature a central video or image and have four smaller images below it. When a user clicks the ad, they are taken to a “visual post-click experience,” on the Facebook platform.
  • Carousel Video: Carousel video ads feature up to 10 images or videos that each have their own unique link. The multi option allows the user to showcase any number of things, like various pieces of information about a product, or a story about the brand.

Slideshow Ads

This unique ad format combines images, videos, text and sound to capture the attention of your target audience. Slideshow ads are easy to create and come at a low cost to the advertiser. Facebook offers  free stock images, video editing tools and different types of music that can be placed within the ads.

Instant Experience Ads

Instant experience ads provide a “full-screen experience” that opens after a user interacts with an ad via a mobile device. The ad loads instantly and can incorporate several different ad formats within it, including single image, video, carousel, slideshow and collection.

Lead Generation Ads

As stated in the name, these ads are designed to help you gather leads. When an ad is clicked, a form will appear on the user’s screen and auto-populate with the contact information from their Facebook page. This information is then sent directly to you, the business.

Offers Ads

Facebook’s offer ads allow businesses to create special, limited time promotions and offers. These ads are customizable and easy to create. Users can store the offer on their mobile, giving them easier access to it when they decide to redeem it.

To learn more about Facebook‘s many ad formats, visit https://www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide.

3 Types of Google Search Listings & How to Appear in Them

3 Types of Google Search Listings & How to Appear in Them

Nowadays, when a consumer seeks out information about a business, or anything really, they know that they can turn to Google and likely find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. The moment a search in conducted, Google’s machine learning technology analyzes the search and determines the results that best fit the query.

There’s many factors that come into play when Google determines what content will show up in a search and how it will appear. Each unique search may display a different variation of results, depending on the searcher’s location, search history, device or time of day. Here are a few of the more common types of search results and tips for how you can get your business to show up in them.

Paid Ads

The results that appear at the top of a page following a search are generally ads. Ads display a green “Ad” rectangle to the left of a URL (shown below), so as not to confuse the searcher with organic results.

Getting your small business website to appear at the top of search results can seem impossible, but Google’s ad platform offers an opportunity to do so. Businesses can set up a Google AdWords account and “bid” on different keywords related to their business through an auction-like format. The auction takes into account bid amounts as well as the quality score of the linked page within the advertisement.

Each time someone clicks on your ad, you’ll pay a fee. The higher Google deems a page’s quality score, the lower the cost per click of the advertisement.

Knowledge Graph Panel

When someone searches for your business directly, or something very closely related, the knowledge panel will appear on the right side of the screen. It highlights a number of things, including reviews, address, hours and phone number.

First and foremost, you need to make sure that all of this information is correct. The last thing you want is a customer searching for you on Google, only to find an incorrect phone number or hours of operation.

To do this, you must claim your Google My Business listing. It’s completely free and very user-friendly. Once claimed, you should input as much information about your business as you can, including photos, videos, special offers and more.

Local 3 Pack

When a search is made on Google that involves a location, the results populate with a map and three separate listings related to the search. For example, if I search for BBQ places in Nashville, here’s what appears:

These listings are almost exclusively dependent on location. To appear in these results, you again need to make sure that you’ve claimed and optimized your GMB listing with all of the correct information. You should also work to obtain a good amount of positive reviews, as places with higher star ratings tend to rank higher, as it indicates credibility.

Weekly Bitz: Ways to Improve Your Google Rankings & How to Make Your Business Voice Search Ready

Weekly Bitz: Ways to Improve Your Google Rankings & How to Make Your Business Voice Search Ready

Below is the roundup of some of this week’s MarketingBitz articles and blogs. MarketingBitz publishes digital marketing articles, videos and slideshows written to address the needs of small businesses.

3 Ways to Improve Your Google Rankings (May 16, 2019)
MarketingBitz: “Consumers are turning to the Internet more often than ever before when seeking out information. Google, specifically, is where the majority of those searches take place. In fact, Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day.”

How to Make Your Small Business Voice Search Ready (May 14, 2019)
MarketingBitz: “You’re never more than a few meters away from a voice-search profit. Someone who proclaims the oncoming and absolute reign of screenless searches in the very-much not distant future. And while research suggests their predictions are a little overblown, the number of people using mobile phones and smart speakers for voice search is rising every year.”

3 Tips to Give your Marketing a Good Cleaning (May 15, 2019)
Business 2 Community: “Spring has sprung and we are quickly bouncing toward Summer fun. Now is a great time to give your Digital Marketing a good spring cleaning and get ready for the second half of the year.”

Facebook’s Top 4 Ranking Signals for Videos (May 15, 2019)
Search Engine Journal: “Facebook has published a set of best practices to help pages achieve greater reach with video posts. The tips are focused on optimizing video for the signals that have the greatest influence on distribution in the news feed.”

The Benefits of Google My Business (May 14, 2019)
Business 2 Community: “Google has created Google My Business and in the past year they have been adding more options to improve the ability for businesses to be discovered online. Google My Business is particularly effective for small, local businesses.”

3 Ways to Improve Your Google Rankings

3 Ways to Improve Your Google Rankings

Consumers are turning to the Internet more often than ever before when seeking out information. Google, specifically, is where the majority of those searches take place. In fact, Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day.

When a user conducts a search for a specific keyword or phrase, Google utilizes machine learning technology to populate results that are most closely related to the user’s intent. Your ranking in these search engine results pages (SERPs) is determined by a number of factors. Things like keywords, meta descriptions and backlinks play a large role in where your website falls after a user conducts a search.

It’s important to constantly seek out ways to improve your Google rankings by adapting your website to follow any new trends or best practices taking place in the search world. Here are three ways that you can help improve your ranking.

Improve Your Website’s User Experience

There’s no shortage of websites available on the Internet. So, when a user lands on yours after a search is conducted, you need to be sure that your site is one that is easy to navigate and has good structure. Your site’s structure is a roadmap for search engines and helps them understand what your website is about. Based on this structure, Google will determine which pages hold the most value.

A well-structured website has a logical and simple hierarchy (below). Beginning with your homepage, your website should extend out to relevant categories. For example, if you owned a restaurant, your categories might include “Menu,” “Location,” or “Our Story.” The subcategories would then fall below those, like “Dinner Menu,” “Drink Menu,” or “Brunch Menu.”

A study by SEMrush revealed that the top four ranking factors for appearing in SERPs are website visits, time on site, pages per session and bounce rate. You want your site to be organized in a manner that users can easily find what they are looking for. This will subsequently have a positive impact on these factors.

Optimize for Voice Search

Voice search usage has grown substantially over the last few years, and consumers are utilizing it frequently when seeking out information on a local business. Research shows that 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information within the last year, and 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily.

That’s a lot of searches. And to better ensure that your small business website shows up in such searches, it’s critical to optimize for voice search. Voice searches vary significantly from text ones, as they are more conversational and lengthier in nature. For example, a user seeking out salon information might type “salons in the Detroit area,” but using voice search they might ask, “What salons offer coloring services near me?”

You want to adapt your content to match such questions. Think about your customers and what they might search for when looking for information about your business. Having an FAQ page on your site can help build out some of these commonly asked queries and prove beneficial in improving your SEO. You can also create tutorial-based content that shows a user how to do something, like “how to detangle hair,” or “how to create the perfect beach wave.”

Focus on Your Links

There are two main types of links that have a great impact on your SEO. Inbound links, which are links on outside websites that link back to your site, and outbound links that direct users to a website away from yours.

When inserting outbound links into various pages on your website, you want to make sure that you are linking to credible, relevant sites. Google sees this as a positive, which helps increase the credibility of your site. However, be careful not to include too many links as this will be a red flag for Google. Add relevant links to pages that really fit the content and support the message you’re trying to get across, like a statistic or study that supports your position.

Inbound links, or backlinks, can tremendously improve your SEO, although the links are only valuable if they are from high authority sites. Look for websites that might find a link to a resource on your site valuable.

By doing a simple search, you may even find websites that mention your business’s name, but don’t provide a backlink. Reach out to them and see if they wouldn’t mind inserting a link back to your website. If you’re unsure of where to begin, there are plenty of resources available that explain best practices for obtaining backlinks.

In addition to your inbound and outbound links, you also want to be sure that your site is rid of any broken links. There’s nothing more off putting than clicking on a link and receiving an error message. And because it would be very time consuming to go through each link individually, there are sites available where you can go and enter a URL from your website to be analyzed. This type of tool will then find any broken links on that specific page, so that you can go in and correct them.

Weekly Bitz: How New Technologies Help Business Owners & Part 2 — Local SEO is About More Than Your Website

Weekly Bitz: How New Technologies Help Business Owners & Part 2 — Local SEO is About More Than Your Website

Below is the roundup of some of this week’s MarketingBitz articles and blogs. MarketingBitz publishes digital marketing articles, videos and slideshows written to address the needs of small businesses.

How Can New Technologies Help Small Business Owners Get Back to Business? (May, 2019)
MarketingBitz: “The tasks involved with being a small business owner have shifted radically over time. Small business owners are now often forced to take on many different roles when operating their businesses, and their duties extend far beyond just interacting with customers.”

Part 2: Local SEO is About Much More Than Just Your Website (May 8, 2019)
MarketingBitz: “In Part I of Hibu’s Local SEO series, you saw some of the many parts that make up modern (or local) SEO – what it takes to optimize your website for both your customers and search engine crawlers, and why SEO isn’t just about optimizing your site anymore. Now let’s take a look at your other online properties that contribute to the bigger picture of Local SEO.”

What’s the Better Investment – Paid Search or SEO? (May 9, 2019)
Business 2 Community: “ Working with limited marketing resources often means prioritizing your initiatives based on the overall impact they can have on your goals. One of the main considerations in this pursuit is whether your time is better invested in paid search or in search engine optimization (SEO). This can be a tricky decision.”

Facebook Launches New Small Business Marketing Tools (May 8, 2019)
Small Business Trends: “Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) launched a new small business product bundle this week. It’s designed to help the 90 million small businesses using it. The new products integrate on both Facebook and Instagram.”

5 Tips to Improve Your Under-Performing Content (May 7, 2019)
Search Engine Journal: “People remove content when it stops adding to company goals. They fix content when it’s broken by redirecting content or repurposing it as new opportunities arise.”