Weekly Bitz: Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season & Why Online Reviews are Important

Weekly Bitz: Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season & Why Online Reviews are Important

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.

Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season (November 15, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “Whether customers are researching or purchasing online or in-store, you want to make sure that you have components in place online that guides, encourages and educates them. So how can you increase your chances of standing out against competitors online this year?”

Why are Online Reviews Important for Your Small Business’s Reputation? (November 13, 2018)
MarektingBitz: “Reviews are a love-hate thing, especially for small businesses trying to build a solid reputation. On the one hand, positive reviews help promote your brand and on the other, negative reviews can produce an undesirable impact.”

3 Wonderful Dos and Don’ts to Unlock Your Social Video Marketing Potential (November 13, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “One of the main reasons why social video works – and does it very well – can be best summed up with a single word: Familiarity. That’s not to be confused with getting used to things. Something can be new and yet feel familiar. Familiarity speaks to a sense of close acquaintances and relaxed friendliness between two parties.”

How to Use Social Media to Promote a Product (November 12, 2018)
Search Engine Journal: “You have a product you’re passionate about. You’re gearing up to launch that baby into the world. What’s a low-cost, high-impact way to do it? How do you make waves and get people interested, especially the fans that already follow you on social media?”

5 Secrets to Get More Visibility for Your Business (November 12, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “The aim of any business is to make a profit but there’s no profit if people do not know about your business. It’s all about increasing the visibility of your company. As a busy owner, you might quickly find yourself in a time and budget crunch with your marketing. In turn, you lose opportunities to grow your business.”

Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is upon us. Arguably the most profitable time of year for many small businesses, the holidays bring about tremendous opportunities for gaining new customers, building brand awareness and increasing sales. In fact, according to the National Retail Foundation, 20-40% of yearly sales for small and mid-sized businesses takes place within the final two months of the year.

Whether customers are researching or purchasing online or in-store, you want to make sure that you have components in place online that guides, encourages and educates them. So how can you increase your chances of standing out against competitors online this year? Here are a few tips.

Determine Your Goals

What was your target holiday revenue last year? What is it this year? What are you going to do to achieve it? In order to meet your goals, both sales and others, you must first determine what they are. Are you looking to gain more social media followers this holiday season, or increase your exposure across multiple channels?

Much like a digital marketing plan you would prepare for the entire year, you should also create one that focuses on holiday goals, specifically. As stated above, this time of year provides the greatest opportunity for optimal sales. Take advantage by putting together a plan, as well as the steps needed to achieve your goals.

Start Sooner Rather than Later

It’s seems that every year holiday promotions start earlier and earlier. Don’t get left behind, sooner is better when it comes to launching your digital promotions and campaigns for the holidays. You want to let consumers know what you’re planning as soon as possible. Keep them in the loop as the year goes on.

Although many people plan to shop on Black Friday, they may be unaware of exactly where they’d like to go. Consumers need to know what you can offer them, whether it’s discounts, a new product or something else. By advertising your offerings prior, you may sway them into visiting your store, as opposed to a competitor’s.

Offer Discounts and Promotions

Nothing sets a business apart better than a good discount or promotion. Think about the problems your customers might be facing this holiday season and come up with promotions that help solve these issues. For instance, you might consider offering free shipping on all orders. Or perhaps a limited offer that runs a few days before the holiday, that way, last minute shoppers will take advantage.

Consumers are continuously researching products and services on mobile devices. According to a Google/Purchase Digital Diary study, of the consumers who used a mobile device to research a product or service, 92% made a purchase within a day and 76% visited a related business within a day.

If you want to capture the attention of these users, it’s a good idea to send targeted promotions via email, or even post about them on social media. This will increase your exposure over multiple avenues, rather than just your website.

Utilize Social Media

Social media is not only an easy way to let people know about your holiday deals and promotions, but it’s also a great avenue for interacting with customers and spreading holiday cheer to them.

Don’t solely promote your business, be sure to set posts aside that simply celebrate the holidays and wish people well during the season. Not only will this humanize your brand, but it will show your commit to customers and making them happy. They might even share your post to their followers to highlight the positive message you’re sending.

Why are Online Reviews Important for Your Small Business’s Reputation?

Why are Online Reviews Important for Your Small Business’s Reputation?

In 2018, reviews made by consumers on websites like Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Yelp and more can make or break a business. Not only do 91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, but 84% trust them as much as personal recommendations. It’s statistics like this that explain why online reviews have become an invaluable asset for small businesses.

Reviews are a love-hate thing, especially for small businesses trying to build a solid reputation. On the one hand, positive reviews help promote your brand and on the other, negative reviews can produce an undesirable impact. As a business owner, you should always remember that a negative review here and there is inevitable, and if the vast majority are positive, you have nothing to worry about.

There are three major steps within the online review timeline, including inquiring customers to leave them, monitoring the reviews that come in and responding to the customers who leave them, both positive and negative. You should be prepared to invest your time and resources into each of these components.

In order to understand why these investments are necessary, here are a few reasons why online reviews are so important.

Reviews Build Credibility

In the era of smartphones, consumers conduct more research than ever prior to selecting where to purchase goods and services. And, as mentioned above, most of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Consumers turn to review sites to gain a better understanding of a business, so the more positive reviews you have, the better. These positive reviews will help instill trust within your business and solidify your reputation as a leader in your perspective field.

Reviews Help Your SEO

In order to appear in online searches, your business needs to have good SEO (search engine optimization) tactics in place. Online reviews play a big role in SEO, as reviews can influence where a business falls within search rankings. Google, for instance, gathers review information from many sites when determining where a business will fall in search results. Sites like Yelp and Facebook determine a business’s ranking based on overall rating and number of reviews.

Reviews Help Connect you with Your Customers

To stand out against competitors within your local community, it’s important to find interesting ways to connect with your customers. Reviews provide an avenue for doing just that. When a customer leaves a review, you can take the time to respond and thank them for taking the time to do so. This will also provide credibility to others who read the reviews and see your responses.

You can also learn about issues that you didn’t know existed this way. For instance, a customer might leave a comment regarding an issue they came across. You can then provide them with a solution to their problem, and hopefully turn that negative comment into a positive one.

Small businesses should embrace the power of positive online reviews. They can help customers learn more about your business so that in the future, they turn to you when they’re ready to learn more and possibly make a purchase.

Weekly Bitz: Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid & How to Increase Positive Online Reviews

Weekly Bitz: Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid & How to Increase Positive Online Reviews

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.

5 of the Most Common SEO Mistakes You Need to Avoid (November 8, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “Search algorithms and SEO best practices are constantly evolving, and you need to make sure that you follow these trends and implement changes within your own website. When your website isn’t optimized correctly, you’ll miss out on search traffic and risk losing new customers to your competitors who have executed their SEO properly.”

How to Take Advantage of Holiday Cheer to Increase Positive Online Reviews (November 7, 2018)
MarketingBitz: “The holiday season gives you an excellent opportunity to increase your number of positive reviews. Customers are full of holiday cheer and looking to spread their good will. However, it’s still unlikely that they’ll leave a review without some encouragement.”

What NOT to Do When You Want More Site Traffic (November 8, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “I don’t want more site traffic – said no eCommerce business owner ever! Boosting traffic is the number one objective for every online store owner and it can be frustrating if your traffic is not growing with your business.”

14 Simple Tips to Keep Your Content Interesting (November 7, 2018)
Search Engine Journal: “How do you stand out from all of the clutter and get your audience to take notice? People are exposed to messages (i.e., content) consistently – so much so that it becomes noise.”

Tips, Ideas and Secret Ingredients for a Best Small Business Website (November 6, 2018)
Business 2 Community: “Making your business presence online is an essential no matter you are a big brand or a small business. Especially, if you are a small or medium scale business then having a website is one of the cost-effective ways to market your products or services.”

5 of the Most Common SEO Mistakes You Need to Avoid

5 of the Most Common SEO Mistakes You Need to Avoid

If you have a content marketing strategy in place for your business, search engine optimization (SEO) for your business’s website needs to be a part of it. And any SEO expert will tell you that although it’s a timely process and one that requires diligent effort, a properly executed strategy is invaluable to your business.

Search algorithms and SEO best practices are constantly evolving, and you need to make sure that you follow these trends and implement changes within your own website. When your website isn’t optimized correctly, you’ll miss out on search traffic and risk losing new customers to your competitors who have executed their SEO properly.

Don’t get lazy when it comes to SEO for your small business website. Here are some of the more common SEO mistakes that you’ll want to avoid making.

1. Selecting Irrelevant Keywords

Keywords are the words that tell search engines about the content on your website. When a searcher types in a phrase into a search engine, the search engine will populate with relevant web pages based on those keywords. For your website, you want to make sure that you are choosing keywords that are relevant to your business. This will give you the best odds of showing up in search results for items related to your business.

Determine which keywords and phrases you believe potential customers would search for to find things about your business. Conduct keyword research using tools like Google’s keyword planner or the Moz keyword explorer. These tools will help you gain a better understanding of what’s trending, so you can determine the best, most relevant keywords.

2. Posting Duplicate Content

You wouldn’t reuse another business’s logo or tagline, would you? Well, the same should be true of your content. Your customers expect high-quality, original content, and that’s exactly what you should be providing them with. So, copying and duplicating content from other websites is not an option. Not only does it make your website appear incredibly unprofessional, but search engines pick up replicate content as spam and will penalize you for it. Take the time to come up with fresh, unique content ideas that provide value to your customers.

3. Not Utilizing Meta Tags Properly

Meta tags tell a search engine what the content on your website is about. They cannot be seen on a page, but they appear behind the scenes within the code. They are a huge element of SEO and a necessity for performing well with search engines. You’ll want to focus on the following:

Meta keywords attribute – Keywords that are relevant to the page’s content.
Title tags – The title of your page that appears at the top of the browser.
Meta description attribute – A short description of the page’s content.
Meta robots attribute – Tells a search engine what it should do with a web page.

4. Having a Slow Page Speed

Page speed is the length of time that it takes for a website page to load all of its content entirely. It’s simple fact that the longer a web page takes to load, the more likely it is that searches will leave the site, thus increasing your bounce rate and negatively impacting the traffic to your website, as seen below.

As a simple starting point, web pages with large files or images will load slower than those without. In order to avoid this, you can optimize your images and other content. Here are a few more in-depth tips.

5. Not Optimizing for Mobile

In order to succeed in your market, you need to be where your customers are. In 2018, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated via mobile. Additionally, 57% of all US online traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

Optimizing your website for mobile has never been more important than it is now, especially with the initiation of Google’s Mobile First Index. This practice means that Google now looks to a website’s mobile version in order to create and rank it within search listings.

To make your website mobile friendly, you’ll need to select a website design that’s mobile responsive. You also want to avoid using flash, as users can’t view those items via mobile. Don’t utilize pop-ups either, as they are difficult to close out of on a mobile device and can impact your bounce rate.