5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Facebook Reach and Engagement

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Facebook Reach and Engagement

Amid Facebook updating its algorithm to emphasize friend and family relationships, reducing the reach of business Pages, you may be worried that no one is going to see your Facebook posts anymore. While it is scary to hear that your reach could be reduced, we have some simple steps you can take to work with, rather than against, Facebook’s algorithm update.

How to Start Tracking Your Facebook Reach and Engagement

Before we get started, you’ll need to look at your current engagement and reach metrics. You can do this by going into Insights and looking at your past engagement. If you haven’t been keeping track of your Facebook performance, look at both Reach and Post Engagements over the last 28 days.

If you have been keeping track, I would look at those numbers over a three- or six-month period to give you a better idea of how your business’s Facebook Page has been performing over time.

Once you have a baseline number, figure out how much you want to improve your engagement and reach. Those numbers are up to you. You can start at 10% or shoot for 100% (or more) depending on how much time and effort you can put into improving your Facebook reach and engagement.

Now that you know where you’re starting and what your goals are, it’s time to work at improving those metrics.

How to Improve Your Facebook Engagement and Reach

  1. Ask followers to click the button that shows your business’s Facebook posts first.

They can do this by clicking on your page, hovering over the “Following” drop down menu and selecting “See First.”

If your followers do this, your posts will show up at the top of their news feeds, which makes this a quick work-around for Facebook’s algorithm update.

  1. Do a quick Facebook audit.

Take a look at your post insights and figure out which types of posts get the most reactions, comments and shares. You’ll also want to see if when you’re posting matters.

Depending on your industry, you might find that specific times of day are best for posting. For instance, with restaurants, the best times to post on social media are around meal times, so right before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Look at how your posts do based on the time you’re posting, and try posting more often at the times that give you the best engagement.

  1. Post visual content such as videos, images and infographics.

Sharing visual content on Facebook can get you 37% higher engagement than text-only posts, so think about sharing videos, images and infographics on your business’s Facebook Page.

Here are some ideas of visual content you could post:

  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • Tutorial videos
  • Photos of employees
  • Images of new or seasonal displays
  • Live videos
  1. Post a Facebook shout-out.

We have found that we get a lot of engagement with employee or client shout-outs.

Not only is it a nice gesture, but the person/business you’re giving a shout-out to will often share the post, putting your business’s Facebook Page in front of more people. That means that shout-out posts can boost both reach and engagement on Facebook. It’s a win/win.

So, the next time someone gets employee of the month or receives a promotion, do a shout-out to them. Similarly, if you have a customer who does something nice for you, give them a shout-out on Facebook.

  1. Ask for engagement.

If all else fails, ask. Ask followers to like or share your posts with friends. You can also ask a question to drive more engagement, prompting followers to answer you in the comments.

This is a great way to boost engagement and find ways to interact with your followers, who will see you as a person rather than a business if they are interacting with you in comments on your Facebook posts.

Final Thoughts

Facebook’s algorithm update isn’t the end of the world. Follow these steps to make sure your business doesn’t see a drop in reach or engagement!

5 Common Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

5 Common Digital Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Businesses need to be more focused and determined on their digital marketing strategies. This is the only way to generate substantial gains in growth and profit and boost the reputation of your website to your target audience. Otherwise, chances are, you might never be able to generate enough attention to rank higher on the search engine results pages of Google.

While you can’t control everything, there are steps you can take to marketing your website in a positive way. This means avoiding certain mistakes that can cost you big time. Read on to learn about 5 common digital marketing mistakes to avoid:

1. Not Having Goals

If you don’t have a goal or strategy laid out, it can be almost impossible for you to market your website and rank higher on Google. Having clear goals is crucial to figuring out how to advertise to your target audience and how you can get more people to join your business. Everything, from your website to advertising campaigns, should follow your clearly defined goals. This way, your audience can see a common thread through everything you do.

2. Not Listening to the Audience

Your target audience and customers are the lifeblood of your business. Not listening to them can create a negative image of your company. Users hate it when their voice goes unheard at times. You must try to solve problems and issues people are experienced by carefully listening to audience feedback. This can tell you what you’re doing right and what you should skip in the future.

3. Not Engaging on Social Media

In this digital world, if you still haven’t created profiles or engaged on social media, it would probably be considered a shame. Bear in mind that social media marketing is crucial to your digital marketing strategy and helps you in communicating and engaging personally with your target audience. By commenting, liking and sharing, you connect to your audience on a more interactive level. This way, you become a part of their lives and can feel assured to receive business from your fans and followers.

4. Producing Content for Content’s Sake

The days are long gone where writing the same old redundant content found on every other site would get you rankings on Google. With the search engine’s updated algorithms, it’s now imperative to be unique and distinctive with your content development approach. Be creative with producing content to get your audience excited about what’s going on.

5. Not Understanding the Use of SEO Properly

SEO plays an important role in digital marketing, just as Dr. Watson does in Sherlock Holmes’ life. If you don’t understand its purpose, you are on the wrong track to success. It’s a sensible idea to hire a SEO agency, as it will perform the necessary changes for helping your website rank better. Tactics such as keyword stuffing, overloading of backlinks and hidden text won’t get you too far.

So, if you want to rank better on the results pages of Google, make sure to avoid these five common digital marketing mistakes.

The Risk of DIY Marketing Is Doing It Wrong

The Risk of DIY Marketing Is Doing It Wrong

Most small businesses choose to approach online marketing with a do-it-yourself (DIY) mentality. From managing social media, website updates, listing management (Google My Business, Yelp, etc.) and more, DIY is the cost-effective approach. However, new research shows that many small businesses are overlooking critical and fundamental aspects of any marketing strategy.

According to Brandmuscles’s 2018 State of Local Marketing Report which surveyed over 2,700 “dealers, agents, franchisees and distributors of national and global brands,” roughly 97% of of the small businesses in the survey said they utilize some form of DIY marketing. Based on historical data, the rate of DIY marketing among small businesses has been steadily increasing.

However, other data points in the study indicate serious flaws with this approach. For example, 60% of small businesses do not know who owns their Google My Business listing and 36% of aren’t sure if their website is mobile responsive. These are fundamental digital tactics that small businesses can’t afford to overlook.

While the DIY approach is more desirable than hiring and paying for an expert to do it, digital marketing is complex and takes time. Squeezing digital marketing in when you can isn’t an effective way to grow business. To be effective, you need to educate yourself on which channels are important, how to use these channels and then put in the time to actually execute Facebook posts, website updates, email design, etc. But in many cases there just isn’t enough time in the day to do this effectively.

One survey of small businesses suggests that the majority feel their marketing efforts are “good enough.” However, the Brandmuscle study suggests the opposite and if you are going to manage the marketing of your business and do so effectively, you must be able to dedicate time to the following:

  1. Pick your desired customer action (calls, clicks, website visits, form fills, etc.)
  2. Develop an overall marketing strategy to generate these actions
  3. Identify the channels you will utilize to promote your business (social media, email, SEO, etc.)
  4. Educate yourself on how to effectively use these channels
  5. Execute the actual “work” of pushing content, sending emails, responding to customers, etc.
  6. Understand how to track the performance of these efforts
  7. Analyze the performance metrics and track ROI on the various efforts
  8. Optimize your strategy to generate more interest/leads

This is a tall order for any small business and it may make more sense to work with a partner. Whatever you decide, digital marketing can be extremely valuable when done effectively.

How Online Reviews Are Impacting Your SEO

How Online Reviews Are Impacting Your SEO

You work tirelessly to create an image for your business through authoritative, insightful content. Unfortunately, this is rarely enough. Customers are more likely to believe others who say a business offers a great service than the company itself. This is why reviews are critical to your online success.

Not only do 90 percent of consumers read reviews before visiting a business (according to Dimensional Research), Google cares, too. Reviews can improve your SEO for several reasons.

  1. Fresh Content

Reviews fulfill around 9.8 percent of total ranking factors. For instance, they are unique, they are often relevant to search queries, they are useful, they provide unique value, they are easy to read on any device, and they are the kind of content others want to share.

  1. Long-Tail Keywords

The people leaving reviews for products and services share many of the same characteristics as those who are looking for your business offerings. This means they use many of the same terms to describe your company and offerings. In other words, they use the same long-tail keywords.

  1. Rich Snippets

When you adhere to schema standards, Google favors your site. In terms of reviews, schema means Google can create rich snippets. These often appear at the top of search engine results. They feature the name of the product, its star rating, the number of reviews, and a brief summary of the top pros and cons. These rich snippets are highly-clickable.

  1. Higher Rankings for Other Pages

One of the best ways to prove your authority is to be backed up by other sources. If the majority of your reviews are positive, Google will take this to mean that your brand is popular. This will boost rankings for many of the page on your site. However, for this to be effective, you need to increase both the number of reviews you receive and the percentage of positive reviews.

  1. Third-Party Star Ratings

Google looks at reviews on your own website and on third-party pages. Ideally, you should maintain a high star ranking (at least 3.5 stars) on the most important third-party site for your industry. You should to aim for at least 30 unique reviews in the last 12 months.

Creating a Review Strategy

If you just wait for reviews to pour in, you’ll definitely be disappointed. No matter how great your service is, only a small minority of customers will leave reviews without a push or incentive from you. Worse still, if customers do have a bad experience, they may feel obliged to share it with the world. This can lead to a skewed number of negative reviews, leading to a distorted picture of your business that negatively impacts SEO.

To ensure reviews have a positive effect on SEO, you need a strategy.

Ask for Reviews

Ask satisfied customers to leave you reviews whenever they have a positive experience with your company. You can send an email after a purchase or invite users on your website and social media accounts. Asking for reviews needs to be a constant campaign — it is always beneficial to have new reviews.

Clearly state where you want reviews. The most important place is usually Google My Business, as these reviews appear on Google Maps and in Google search results. You need at least five reviews on Google My Business before you will even see a star rating in the search.

Win at Yelp

Another important third-party site for many types of businesses is Yelp. Be warned: this site is smart — it knows when reviews are likely illegitimate are hides them. To make sure the reviews you ask from your customers are published, never provide direct links to your Yelp page. Instead, ask customers to Google your business name and look for it on Yelp. Also tell customers to leave descriptive reviews, as Yelp ignores those that are too short.

Social Media

Some social media platforms allow users to leave reviews on brands’ pages. You can incorporate more reviews by using them as part of your social media strategy. Among other strategies, post your best reviews to make sure they become highly-visible to prospects and to start conversations.

Respond to Negative Reviews

Responding to negative reviews is your chance to address what went wrong and apologize or justify the situation. Never be defensive — this will only make things worse. Instead, see what you can do to make things right. This demonstrates that you care to potential customers.

Reviews have the potential to boost your SEO, but there is always the risk that they ruin your company’s reputation online. With a large number of positive reviews, you can dominate the search results for long-tail keywords that relate to your offerings. To achieve this, it is critical you have a strategy to receive the right types of reviews.

Why Online Reviews Matter for Your Small Business

Why Online Reviews Matter for Your Small Business

BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey detailed that an overwhelming amount of consumers (97%) read online reviews for local businesses in 2017. Which begs the question for small businesses: How important are online reviews, and how much do they impact a consumer’s purchasing journey?

Not only can positive reviews help build trust with potential customers, but they can increase your web visibility and search ranking. Additionally, in 2017, Small Business Trends reported that positive comments from customers or clients produce an average increase in sales of 18% and that consumers are likely to spend 31% more because of positive reviews.

Consumers are looking at reviews at a rapid pace, and 85% are beginning to trust them as much as personal recommendations. Reviews, both positive and negative, are beginning to have a significant impact on whether or not consumers will use a local business. As seen in the chart below, 68% of consumers say that positive reviews make them more likely to trust a business. In turn, 40% say that negative customer reviews make them not want to use a local business.

How Online Customer Reviews Influence a Consumer’s Decision to Use a Local Business

It’s important for your small business to acquire positive reviews in order to both gain new customers, as well as help drive their search traffic. Positive reviews also help build trust with your customer base, and provides a platform for your customers to have a voice. They also help solidify your reputation within your respective market, and build loyalty to your brand. As consumers become more engaged with online research prior to purchase, it’s important for you to prepare for this change.

Effective Ways to Conquer Local SEO

Effective Ways to Conquer Local SEO

Local SEO is a highly effective form of online marketing, which enables businesses of all sizes to promote their products and services to local customers. While mastering the local aspects of your SEO campaign may sound daunting, it’s one of the best ways to help your business achieve great success. Are you looking for ways to conquer local SEO?  Here is a detailed guide:

Get Organized

All winning strategies begin by creating a solid plan and getting organized. Therefore, when creating a local SEO strategy, make sure that you allocate the appropriate time and resources required for achieving success. Keep in mind that your SEO won’t change overnight, and you won’t see instant results. You need to be ready to put in great effort and remain consistent with your strategies. It’s a good idea to first get your entire team onboard with the strategy, so that everyone is on the same page about the time commitment from day one.

Claim Listings

One of the best ways to boost local SEO and rank better on Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages) is to check your listings. Online listings are extremely important, as they give your business instant visibility and validate your legitimacy. Google wants to help individuals looking for a particular product or service find the best business online. So, try your best to list your business across the web with accurate contact information, address and a good description. Popular places to claim listings before you move onto industry-specific forums and sites include Yahoo, Bing and Google+.

Use Social Media

Creating profiles on social media is just like claiming listings on various websites. It is crucial for helping Google test your authenticity and validate your legitimacy. The more active you are on social media, the better chances you have of ranking better. Encourage followers to connect with you by liking, sharing and commenting on posts and by visiting your blog for more information. Publishing and sharing quality content that readers will love can significantly help in boosting reputation. Having a social media profile also makes it easier for prospects to analyze how you treat your customers. Therefore, make sure you create a helpful, cooperative and friendly tone that allows prospects to engage with you.

Communicate and Engage

Besides publishing content on your social media profiles, one of the best ways to keep your customers intrigued and engaged is to create a company blog or industry-specific community or forum. These platforms will only be used for allowing people with great interests in your industry to communicate and engage in serious discussions and share useful information. Blogs and forums can help in keeping your readers engaged, while allowing Google to see you as an authoritative entity—boosting local SEO rankings.

Request Reviews

Lastly, don’t hesitate in engaging with your target audience. Provide incentives for them to buy product or services or simply post a review regarding their experience with your brand. Prospects will always be interested in hearing what others have to say about a business, as it influences their purchasing decisions. The more positive reviews you get, the better chances of you ranking higher on the local SERP rankings of Google.

Conquering local SEO is doable for your business and will help your business grow and succeed. Follow the tips mentioned above to do so!