LSMinute – Google My Business Video Uploads Now Available to Business Owners

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!

What Happened?

What This Means For You

  • Videos can now appear on a business’s listing in Google Maps or the local web search results. It’s undetermined if these videos have any SEO-related impact, but listings containing videos will likely experience more engagement than those without videos.
Next Steps
  • We’re speaking with our clients to determine what video files to upload onto their Google My Business listings over the coming weeks. In the meantime, we strongly suggest that  your brand consider developing more 30-second video content for pre-roll, programmatic, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads (franchise development-related videos for LinkedIn).

What Happened?

  • Facebook adjusted their algorithm that determines what content to show on an individual’s newsfeed late last year. Long story short, business owners must “boost” their organic posts on Facebook, otherwise few people will see them.
What This Means For You
  • Businesses need to “boost” their posts in order for them to be seen by the right audience. Because “boosting” posts costs money, businesses should focus on posting and boosting high-quality content that your audience actually cares about.
Next Steps
  • Our team prepared for this change last year and has plans in place that we’re excited to share with our clients during our coming strategy sessions!

 

What Happened? 

  • Google confirmed that a change was made to the way Google displays snippets in search results, growing the space from 160 characters to about 230 characters. A snippet is the description of a page displayed below the blue URL in an organic search result (LSM’s description snippet is highlighted in red above).
What This Means For You
  • Having an optimized meta description for each key page on your website will increase your chances of having an optimized snippet, and an optimized snippet will increase your site’s ability to attract more clicks from Google’s organic search results.

Next Steps
  • We’ve been going through our clients’ meta descriptions to ensure that they’re optimized for this snippet update. Other businesses should perform a few Google searches on their own business to see what their new snippets look like.

 

Google published a case study on our advertising and user experience work for Brain Balance Achievement Centers. We increased conversions by 437% and decreased cost-per-lead by 370%. The fact that Google wanted to create a formal case study on our digital advertising services was an LSM dream come true, and it is a testament to the LSMers working day and night to provide clients with excellent results. We’ll continue striving to achieve similar results for all our clients in 2018 and beyond!

Google Publishes Case Study About LSM’s Advertising

Last August, we were named the winner of the ‘Growing Businesses Online Award’ in North America at the 2017 Google Premier Partner Awards! The award recognizes the top-performing Google Premier Partner in North America for their contributions to digital marketing, product innovation, and client growth.

A perk of winning the award is Google publishing a formal case study about the services performed and results provided. Check it out below and read how LSM increased Brain Balance Achievement Centers’ PPC conversion rate by 437 percent!


LSM’s work drove a 225 percent increase in website traffic and a 381 percent return on investment for Brain Balance Achievement Centers.

Contact us today and learn how we’ll provide your brand with exceptional results.

LSMinute – Booking Buttons Available in Google My Business

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!

What Happened?

  • LinkedIn announced a closed beta for testing video ads as Sponsored Content. This comes a few months after they enable native videos in the LinkedIn News Feed. It is expected to roll out to all advertisers by the first half of 2018.

What This Means For You

  • This will be a great tool for B2B businesses whose targeted audience actively uses LinkedIn. For example, franchisors should strongly consider implementing a LinkedIn video advertising strategy if they are looking to expand their franchise development marketing strategy in 2018.
Next Steps
  • B2B businesses should begin planning video advertising campaigns for LinkedIn’s platform sooner rather than later. That way you hit the ground running when the feature officially rolls out.
What Happened?
What This Means For You
  • This can expedite the booking process of your typical user since they no longer need to visit your website to schedule an appointment. HOWEVER, depending on your platform, you may be subject to a fee every time someone books an appointment. For example, MINDBODY applies a 10 percent marketing network fee to each purchase made through their booking button on Google.
Next Steps
  • If your business uses one of the listed platforms, you should investigate the costs and benefits of implementing a similar ‘Book Now’ button into your Google My Business listing(s) .

 

What Happened? 

  • Our web development, digital advertising, and software integration work helped our team win multiple recognitions the past few months, including ‘Best Small PPC Agency’ (agencies with a pay-per-click department of less than 25 people) at the 2017 US Search Awards.
What This Means For You
  • Our achievements wouldn’t be possible without the support of brands we’re fortunate enough to partner with. It’s a pleasure working with you all, and we thank you for your business!

Next Steps
  • We’ll strive to produce even better results for next year’s award season.

“We enjoy partnering with Local Search Masters. Their team provides exceptional customer service, and their dashboard software makes it easy to understand which customers originated from our website and which originated from digital advertising campaigns. They’re continually working to improve upon their results; their steadfast mentality is most appreciated.”

Chip Miller – CEO – Brain Balance Achievement Centers

We won gold twice at the 2017 MarCom Awards: once for a ‘Grand Opening’ landing page template and again for a ‘Special Offer’ template. The MarCom Awards has recognized companies’ excellence in marketing and communication for over a decade. For more information about our landing pages, contact us today.

LSM a Featured Speaker at Nashville Entrepreneur Center


Local Search Masters was asked to be a featured speaker at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center‘s ongoing “How To Workshops,” a hands on training series taught by community mentors in order to help new companies and entrepreneurs learn specific business skills at a high level. Earlier this month, LSM’s Business Development Executive, Luke Myszka, spoke to the group about digital marketing best practices entrepreneurs should consider applying to their business’ marketing strategies.

Key takeaways from Luke’s presentation include:


Over 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses according to Yelp, and that trend is only increasing as the population becomes more and more integrated with technology. Even if the point of sale does not occur online, a customer’s journey to purchasing your product or using your service will almost always include some kind of online component. For example, a customer might see an ad for your retail store on their favorite news website, click on to your ad, navigate to your “Contact Us” page, and then drive to your retail storefront to make a purchase. Long story short: your business needs to be online, and it needs to look great too.


Providing your audience with quality content is a terrific way of establishing trust between them and your brand. Great content converts search visitors into sales. When a potential customer finds the information they were looking for on your website, they stop browsing, and and they take action.


Customers are more likely to engage your brand on platforms where they already have an active presence. This concept usually comes up when a client asks whether they should support newer social media channels (ie. Instagram) or advertising platforms (ie. Facebook ads). If your customers are on that platform…yes….if they aren’t on that platform….probably not.


Using LinkedIn To Support Franchise Lead Generation Efforts: IFA WednesdayWise Webinar Series

Hosted by industry professionals and the International Franchise Association, WednesdayWise Webinars is a monthly series of informative, interactive seminars that helps franchises run their businesses better. This month’s session was presented by Matthew Job of Local Search Masters and focused on strategies that franchise systems can apply on LinkedIn to improve their ability to 1) generate more franchise leads and 2) nurture franchise leads into new franchise sales.

Key Takeaways from IFA Presentation

1. LinkedIn can have a huge impact on your ability to generate franchise leads. Whether or not that impact is positive or negative however, is completely up to how you’re using it.

2. Review your competitors’ profiles to earn a better understanding of how they’re positioning themselves toward your target audience.

3. Develop a showcase page that revolves around your franchise opportunity.

4. Regularly post educational, informative content (good press) about your franchise system on your company’s LinkedIn profile page and your franchise opportunity showcase page.

5. Use sponsored updates to maximize post visibility. Example of when to use it: promoting your attendance at franchise expositions and promoting your expansion into a new market.

6. Engage with LinkedIn Groups related to your target audience in order to keep top of mind with people that may be good franchise lead opportunities in time.

7. Purchase one of LinkedIn’s premium packages.

8. Get your employees to share the updates that are posted on your company’s LinkedIn profile or your company’s franchise opportunity showcase page to maximize exposure.

9. Posting your good press on LinkedIn allows you to increase the longevity of the content, as well as get it in front of more quality eye-balls.

10. Use conversion goals in Google Analytics to help track the amount of web leads you receive that originated from LinkedIn.

11. Make your blog posts shareable via LinkedIn as well in case someone checks out one of your blog posts and decides to share it on their own newsfeed; you want to make it as easy as possible for people to find, read and share your content.

The next WednesdayWise Webinar session will be help March 5th. For more information, please click here.

UPDATED (8/29/2014): this webinar for the International Franchise Association prompted Entrepreneur to have an article written on the subject of using LinkedIn to boost franchise sales, which can be found here.

Give Customers a Reason to Follow You on Social Media

For larger brands like Apple, Pepsi, and Chipotle, it’s not too difficult to make a splash on social media.  They simply show up to the digital party and collect their millions of fans fairly quickly thanks to their outstanding levels of brand awareness and popularity.  However, if you run a small business, it’s significantly more difficult to build up a dedicated army of social followers that will interact with your posts consistently.  Therefore, for smaller companies and less visible brands particularly, it’s important to give your current and future customers a reason to take the time to find you on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.

So what counts as a “good reason” to get someone to connect with you on your social networks? That’s the million dollar question, and it really depends on the nature of what your business does and what sorts of things customers in your target market will likely respond to.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Coupons- Giving away coupons and other special offers is a very common practice amongst smaller businesses.  Make sure that the offer is noteworthy enough to really draw interest.  However, you should note that you run the risk of someone liking your company to get the offer and then unliking you afterward, so try to combat this by posting interesting, helpful content on a regular basis.
  • Prizes- Instead of instantly granting a coupon for any like or follow, some companies go for a sweepstakes-style approach, exchanging a like for a chance to be entered into a drawing (or multiple drawings that occur periodically).  Because a sweepstakes is usually accompanied by long odds, you need to make the prize particularly enticing if you want to see significant action from customers.
  • Helpful information- Again, this will vary depending on the industry your firm competes in.  Restaurants should consider keeping customers up to date on things like specials and new menu items.  Entertainment venues can announce upcoming events and update show information.  A shoe store might announce sales on certain brands.  You’re only limited by your offerings and your imagination.
  • Donations to charity-  If your business works with a non-profit, it can actually be fairly effective to offer to contribute a small donation in exchange for each unique like or follow.  In this case, you give the non-profit an incentive to promote your social channels as well.

Like most social initiatives, strategizing to increase follower count should be a fun opportunity to let your creative marketing juices flow.  Try to think outside the box to come up with radical incentives that really catch customers’ eyes.

James on Google+