Ask many small business owners about online ads, and you might hear something like this:
“I tried AdWords, but it just didn’t work for me.”
Or worse still, perhaps they bought ads from Yelp and received little to no return on ad spend (ROAS). Then they threw up their hands despairingly and concluded that Internet ads are no good.
(Protip: Never buy Yelp ads.)
Here’s the thing: most people don’t use AdWords correctly because, admittedly, it’s not 100% intuitive without some understanding of Internet marketing and search engine traffic. Even when you do have a working knowledge of those things, it’s not always simple to maximize AdWords to its full potential.
But on the other hand, if you do use AdWords correctly, it can be a terrific channel. Here’s how to do it right. If Charlton Heston were here today, these are the commandments he would have for you.
You shouldn’t spend money on digital marketing unless you have the proper analytics set up to measure the results. But what if customers aren’t buying something directly from your website like they would on an e-commerce store?
For local businesses, a conversion is usually when a lead contacts them. This can be through:
Luckily, it’s possible to track these website actions. Yes! It can be done with the power of an amazing free tool called Google Tag Manager (GTM).
If Google’s algorithm is proprietary, how do SEO professionals know what factors can help a business optimize for top rankings in the search results? There are a couple different ways.
Here’s a talk I recently gave at PechaKucha Madison on this subject. It’s a neat format, 20 slides in 20 seconds apiece, that forces you to be concise.
It’s worth questioning whether manual search engine submission is still worth doing. Here’s some information that calls into question the need to manually submit your site to Google and Bing:
“You don’t need to submit your website to search engines because search engines have evolved beyond the point of needing to be directly notified when a new website, or page on a website, is created.”“Since 2001, not only has search engine submission not been required, but has become virtually useless.”
From the business owner’s perspective, Google Analytics is in the category of incredible stuff that’s free. By placing a short snippet of code on your site, you are able to see how many people come to your website, how they found you (like from SEO or SEM), and what they did once they arrived. Speaking in pre-Google terms, this would be a costly enterprise software suite, not a free service, which it now is.
Now that we have the proper gratefulness for “GA,” let’s talk about what metrics a business owner should focus on in the busy and complicated-looking interface.
Five (UPDATE: Three) is the magic number when it comes to reviews on your Google Local or Google My Business (GMB) page. That’s because once you have 5 reviews, Google shows your star rating visually to potential customers on Google Maps and in the result page 3-pack. Something about seeing stars just makes a person want to click and check out that business.
Not having those stars when other businesses do just makes it look like you’re lacking somehow. And you are, really, because you should regularly be using social proof (like testimonials and reviews) to sell to your future customers. Anybody can say their own company is great, but new customers are more likely to believe your past customers.
So how do you encourage your customers to leave you reviews on Google? There’s no obvious link URL like there is for your main website.
Fortunately, someone has made it easy by creating a tool. Check out how it works in our YouTube video here.