LSMinute – Are You Visible To Those Using Siri For Search?

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


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What Happened?
  • Digital Assistants such as Siri and Alexa have continually grown in use over the last year, with no signs of slowing down. Interestingly, we interact with digital assistants much differently than we do with traditional search queries. The majority of queries coming from digital assistants are phrased in full, grammatically correct sentences; versus the short keyword heavy traditional, typed, search queries.
What This Means For You
  • It’s becoming increasingly important to try to “capture” these full question queries for your brand in both organic and paid search listings. Using insights from Google Analytics and Google AdWords, we can shape the content to closely match those questions, which will increase relevance and, in return, increase ranking for that term.
Next Steps
  • Creating a FAQ page is a great way to “capture” full question queries. Look at your recent search terms, and identify common full question queries. Design your FAQ page to ask and answer those questions. The next time that question is asked to a digital assistant, your brand’s FAQ page should show as a top result.


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What Happened?
  • Facebook launched advertisements that are native in the Facebook News Feed, but are directed to Messenger, which is Facebook’s chat platform. With Messenger as a new destination for consumers, advertisers have the ability to have real-time conversations with their customers through a Messenger bot. The Messenger bot has a configurable structured message that prompts consumers to make real-time decisions such as purchasing an item, taking advantage of a coupon code, or even booking an appointment.
What This Means For You
  • Real-time responses are becoming more and more crucial with today’s social media platforms. Instantaneous messaging for your consumers gives you the capability to provide a real-time and impulsive experience. More and more businesses are finding ways to reach their customers as quickly as possible and before other companies have the opportunity.
Next Steps
  • Instead of linking customers to your website or running advertisements for brand awareness, put your Facebook advertisements into the trusting hands of the Messenger bot. You can give consumers an experience like no other advertising experience without the hassle of giving a real-time experience yourself.


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What Happened? 
  • Facebook is testing a “Jobs” tab on a select few Business Facebook Pages. The goal of this test is to seamlessly integrate job postings on the platform and improve the user experience for both the business and the applicant. The new tab will allow page admins to share job opening information as a status update. An “Apply Now” button directs to a job application that’s pre-populated with contact information from their Facebook profile. Business Pages will receive completed job applications via Facebook Messenger, where they can then reply directly to the applicant without ever leaving Facebook.
What This Means For You
  • According to Muse.com, 14.4 Million people in the US have used social media to search for a job. Of those 14.4 million, nearly 30% of them used social media as their primary tool in their job search. Instead of posting job openings via online job boards, your business has an opportunity to get in front of millions of job seekers via the Facebook platform. Best of all, because this is Facebook, the feature will be free to use with the option to boost posts or pay for ads targeting candidates.
Next Steps
  • As of now, the Jobs tab is still in the testing stage and has been rolled out to only a handful of businesses. No release date has been announced, nor has there been a definitive decision made as to whether or not the Jobs feature will be rolled out universally. In the meantime, make sure your organization has a Facebook Business Page so that you can take advantage of this free feature when it goes live and take your recruiting efforts to the next level.


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We’ve been recognized by Clutch as one of the Leading SEO Consultants in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Clutch, a business-to-business research firm, updates this report every year based on research leveraged from their proprietary Leaders Matrix methodology, mapping each agency’s focus on providing value-added SEO services against their ability to deliver on clients’ expectations. “Each of these agencies has proven capabilities in providing a full suite of consulting services and unique SEO solutions to their respective clients,” stated Grayson Kemper, Analyst at Clutch. We appreciate the recognition and look forward to remaining on this report for years to come!

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LSMinute – Google Possum Update = Expanded Competition & Ranking Opportunities

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


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What Happened? 

  • Google is now applying filters to reward businesses that are not only physically closest to searchers but that also are optimizing their web presence for search far better than anyone else.
What This Means For You
  • More chances to rank highly. If your site is SEO-optimized, then Google will let it rank on more localized searches regardless of your physical location. For example: when I search “tennis store Nashville,” I now see a store located in Franklin (16 miles outside of Nashville) rank #2 in the Local 3-Pack search results.
  • Greater competition for high organic rankings. It’s even more important to have an SEO-optimized web presence to prevent other businesses from overtaking your position in the search results.
Next Steps
  • We’ll review your rankings and investigate 1) new search queries you may want to try and rank for and 2) which competitors may start challenging you for rankings more often. It’s updates like this that help demonstrate the value of an award-winning SEO agency!


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What Happened?

  • Google’s Knowledge Graph now shows reviews about your business from multiple sources, not just from Google. For example, if you search for “Massage Envy Green Hills” and look at their location’s Knowledge Graph, you’ll see their composite review scores on Facebook, Foursquare and YP.com. If you type in “CertaPro Nashville” you’ll see their composite review scores on Home Advisor and Customer Lobby.

What This Means For You

  • It’s even easier for people to see multiple reviews about your business.

Next Steps

  • We’ll check out which composite review scores show up in your Knowledge Graph. It’ll then be your job to acquire more positive reviews about your business on those respective websites. Need advice on how to acquire more reviews from customers? Ask your account manager.


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What Happened?

  • A recent study was discussed at SMX East 2016. It showed that the most important factor for getting a website to rank in the Local 3-Pack / Map search results is having excellent inbound links. It accounts for 50% of the ranking equation, with various link metrics taking 10 of the top 15 ranking factors.
What This Means For You
  • This reiterates the importance of link building for SEO purposes. Without consistently getting new, quality websites to link back to your website, you won’t be able to obtain/maintain high rankings on competitive search queries.
Next Steps
  • You’re ahead of the curve because you’re paying us to build links to your website. To acquire a few more quality, local links to your website, watch this video we made at Google HQ about 9 “low hanging fruit” link building opportunities for small businesses, and then get back with us on how we can work together to develop these links.


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LSM’s portfolio of work with Amazing Lash Studio, a national eyelash extension franchise brand, was named a finalist for the ‘Best SEO Initiative – Small Business award at the 2016 Landy Awards. Presented by leading industry publication, Search Engine Land, the Landy Awards recognize individuals, agencies and Internet marketing teams who demonstrate excellence in organic and paid search marketing initiatives.

For LSM, it feels like we’ve been nominated for an Oscar! It wouldn’t have been possible to earn this recognition without the excellent communication and support provided by the folks at Amazing Lash Studio, so behalf of everyone at Local Search Masters:

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LSMinute – Facebook Upgrades Advertising Platform

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


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What Happened? 

The social network is adding multiple new features to its advertising platform that will:

  • Track whether your Facebook ads result in store visits and offline purchases.
  • Let people navigate their way to your brand’s nearest store from within the ad itself.
  • Offer the ability to optimize ad creative, delivery and targeting based on store visits.
  • Provide results across individual stores or regions.
What This Means For You
  • You’ll have access to real-time data on the offline response to your Facebook ads.
  • It’ll be easier for multi-location businesses to obtain and analyze the results of their Facebook ad campaigns at the local and regional levels.
Next Steps
  • We’re a Facebook Partner and a scheduled beta tester for these features. We’ll be learning and testing out these new features over the next few weeks, and then begin implementing these new features into our clients’ Facebook ad campaigns as they officially roll out.


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What Happened?

What This Means For You
  • This could be another great spot for your business to run ads.
  • This will increase the Local Pack section’s size, from 3 listings to 4 listings, meaning it’ll the take up more top-shelf space on Page 1 of the organic search results.
Next Steps
  • We’ll evaluate this feature further as Google continues rolling it out to their partner network and let you know it’s something your business should consider trying out!


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What Happened?

  • Google officially announced the release of Campaign Groups, which lets advertisers group AdWords campaigns with common targets to monitor performance against those goals.
What This Means For You
  • We’ll be able to make better recommendations for your business’ Google AdWords campaign based on aggregated data across multiple accounts. Pretty good timing on Google’s part since we just mentioned how Facebook’s now providing results across individual stores or regions.
Next Steps
  • We’ll begin implementing this feature into our multi-location clients’ campaigns over the coming weeks.


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We’re proud to announce that we’ve made the 2016 Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in the United States, coming in at #1282 with a three-year growth rate of 301%. Our agency could not achieve this recognition without the support of our clients and partners, so on behalf of everyone here at Local Search Masters:
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LSM a Featured Speaker at Nashville Entrepreneur Center

LSM Speaks 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.


Below you’ll find the audio recording of Luke’s presentation:

For more information about Local Search Masters you can visit https://localsearchmasters.com.

7 Simple, Informative Videos That Answer the Question, “What is SEO?”


First time hearing that weird acronym, SEO? Sure you’ve been told it stands for Search Engine Optimization, but who actually knows what that means? Don’t worry! SEO is easier to understand than you would think.


I too struggled initially to understand what SEO actually meant before I started working at a search engine marketing agency. SEO involves practices and methods intended to boost your website up in a search engine’s rankings. I compiled a series of some of the best and most insightful videos to better help beginners understand SEO quickly.


What is SEO? This video is a great place to start as SearchEngineLand.com developed it in conjunction with the online educator, Common Craft.


So SEO helps boost your website’s position in search engine rankings. As explained in the video, there are a variety of techniques and practices that go into reaching the top. The first of which involves keywords.


This video, created by Staples, quickly  explains how you can determine the best keywords for your business.


This video, from a Business Blueprint event, shows how to use those keywords and optimize your website around them.


As we previously learned, search engines value quality. One way to improve the quality of your website is by creating great content. In this video, WordPress Eagle offers suggestions on how to create content and why it helps your ranking.


Backlinks, or links to your website from other websites, are another way to gain higher rankings. This video from JS Marquis examines how quality links make your website look great in the eyes of Google.


A relatively new development to SEO is the increasing relevance of social media. As social media continues to be integrated into our daily lives, search engines are placing more value on a business’ social media use. This video, created by SiteProNews helps explain how and why your social media use affects your SEO ranking.


You may be wondering, are there any other ways to boost my search rankings?


While the previous videos explained how to boost your rankings organically, search engines allow for businesses to pay to occupy one of the top 4 spots on a specific search. This video with Hal Varian, the Chief Economist of Google, helps explain how Google’s pay-per-click model works.


For additional information on SEO, click here, or call us today at 615-387-9156.

10 Reasons Your Online Reputation Matters


What does a consumer learn about your business when they look for online reviews? Do you they see unsatisfied customers and an unengaged business or do they see a business that cares about each customer’s experience? More and more consumers are taking the time to research their purchasing decisions prior to via online reviews. As a result, your online reputation has become increasingly important.

New potential consumers are more likely to purchase a product or use a service if they see a positive online reputation.  Your reputation online is often the first thing potential consumers see! Fortunately, you can help shape your businesses online reputation with careful management and constant attention! If your still not sold on the importance of your online reputation, here are some reasons why should care about your online reputation:


Infographic why online reputation is important


Below are three ways to optimize your online review management strategy:

  1. Try and form a personalized response to any dissatisfied customers. Most customers with a complaint just want to be heard. By personally responding to the message, you have an excellent chance of turning that disgruntled customer into a future advocate for your business.
  2. Respond to as many as possible. Each review should get some sort of engagement, whether that’s a simple like or a personalized message. Showing the customer that you care enough to engage goes a long way!
  3. Respond quickly. Consumers will be pleased with a quick and timely response. Your online reputation will only benefit from responding in a timely matter!

For additional information on the importance of review management you can click here, or you can contact us at 615-346-5551

What Do Twitter Ads Bring to the Tablet?

Nashville Social Media Blog Sowell Train Awards LogoThe Sowell Train Awards aim to provide a little insight into the latest developments in the digital marketing world. From Google algorithm updates to the newest social media features, I take a look at the biggest trends and changes in the field, give a little analysis, and apply a rating system based on the value that each development provides to marketers. Highly valuable developments are awarded a whopping 5 choo choos, and not-so-promising changes get only 1.

While Twitter’s targeting options are not as sophisticated as Facebook’s Power Editor, Twitter advertising is an effective way to get engagement on social media and to maximize instant communication with target audiences.

With Twitter advertising, you can promote both Twitter accounts and individual tweets. Promoted accounts strive to acquire followers; promoted Tweets aim to increase the number of impressions and interaction on the actual post while gaining a follower or two as well.

Targeting comes at different levels. From keyword level targeting to targeting by interests and followers, Twitter ads allow marketers to get their content in front of people who are interested in what they have to say.

In addition to keyword targeting, you can market to potential customers by targeting followers of a particular user. For example, let’s say you want to promote a fashion blog post on Twitter.  By targeting followers of influential people in the fashion industry, you have the potential to reach larger but still highly relevant audience.

In addition, Twitter has recently released new advertising features. With Amplify, Twitter is ramping up their attempts to engage via videos. Recently, Twitter announced their plan to roll out 15 new types of ad products and ways to target users within the next 6 months. For instance, the upcoming app install ad feature will allow advertisers to promote their apps for downloading.

With its large follower fan base and growing connection to video, Twitter advertising is a unique way to advertise and has a lot of potential for success in the hands of creative marketing teams, especially with the advent of their new ad types. Consequently, Twitter ads earn 4 choo choos for their value to social media marketers in the last Sowell Train Awards.

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Hannah on Google+

Take Control of Your Facebook Marketing with Power Editor and Partner Categories

Nashville Social Media Blog Sowell Train Awards Logo

The Sowell Train Awards aim to provide a little insight into the latest developments in the digital marketing world. From Google algorithm updates to the newest social media features, I take a look at the biggest trends and changes in the field, give a little analysis, and apply a rating system based on the value that each development provides to marketers. Highly valuable developments are awarded a whopping 5 choo choos, and not-so-promising changes get only 1.

Fairly recently, Facebook rolled out its own version of Google AdWords and gave a golden opportunity to those of us on the social media side of digital marketing. The advent of an advanced, highly targeted advertising function on Facebook has the potential to grow the capabilities of social media marketing.

Facebook ads are a function of the giant social media corporation that will continue to grow more important as advertisements become more accepted and commonplace on social channels, so it is crucial for any good social media marketer to be well versed in the capabilities of paid Facebook campaigns.

Facebook ads can be used for anything from gaining Facebook likes for a page to increasing event responses to driving website conversions. Power Editor is a Facebook advertisement tool that allows for advanced campaign and ad editing and offers services like replicating ads and managing campaigns. However, it’s important to attract the right audience, not just any audience. While Facebook has offered various ad targeting capabilities for a while, the Power Editor function offers partner categories, which bring ad targeting to an unprecedented level with their highly detailed parameters.

Power Editor draws on data from three different external partner categories that gather information about users’ preferences. Categories are incredibly specific. For example, you can limit your audience to new parents interested in green living who make $75,000 – $100,000 per year and who have recently moved into a home worth $150,000 – $199,999. Want to target college graduates with teen drivers whose car insurance expires in April? Lucky you. You can even target people by congressional district who donate to political causes.

Much like with AdWords, Power Editor allows for multiples campaigns, ads per campaign, and the ability to pause, edit, and delete ads as necessary. In particular, A/B testing opportunities abound with the immense amount of parameters offered.

Power Editor and, more specifically, partner categories allow for targeting capabilities beyond anything we have yet seen in social media. I give Power Editor partner categories 5 choo choos for their value to social media marketing. For your convenience, I have listed out the three partner categories, along with their parameters.

[button color=”black” size=”large” link=”http://localsearchmasters.com/power-editor-partner-categories/”] See All Partner Categories[/button]

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Hannah on Google+

Snapchat in a World of Paid Ads

Sowell Train Awards

The Sowell Train Awards aim to provide a little insight into the latest developments in the digital marketing world. From Google algorithm updates to the newest social media features, I take a look at the biggest trends and changes in the field, give a little analysis, and apply a rating system based on the value that each development provides to marketers. Highly valuable developments are awarded a whopping 5 choo choos, and not-so-promising changes get only 1.

Snapchat’s recent rejection of Facebook raised some eyebrows and got the world wondering whether a company that relies solely on donations for revenue is potentially worth more than $3 billion. What many would call a risky move implies that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has his own plans for the app’s growth and development. Presumably, generating a consistent flow of revenue will be a major goal.

Snapchat has ventured into advertising by providing limited advertising capabilities, and some companies, such as Taco Bell, have started to dip their toes in. By creating an account, adding “friends,” and sending Snapchats to their “friends,” these companies have been able to market their products to users who accept their “friend requests.” However, there are a number of serious limitations associated with advertising on Snapchat.

All of this leaves us wondering – what should marketers expect in terms of paid advertisements on Snapchat?

Facebook’s offer to buy Snapchat isn’t the first time that the social media giant has made moves to purchase a successful picture and video sharing mobile app. In 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram for approximately $1 billion. More recently, Instagram announced that it would start to feature advertisements.

Perhaps a clue to the answer lies in the development of ads on Instagram. The most blatant similarity between Snapchat and Instagram is that both focus on drawing the user into a visual experience. It makes sense that both of their ad formats will not only rely heavily on pictures rather than text to convey messages but will also cater to the individual characteristics of each service.

Still in its infant stages of development, Instagram features ads from select brands such as Burberry, Ben and Jerry’s, and General Electric. The success of these ads will probably lie in their ability to convey an idea with little to no text – a picture that is worth a thousand words, if you will. Because these ads will have to be visually appealing, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity to marketers. Products like clothing, cars, and delicious ice cream, the value of which already lies partially in the ability to be visually appealing, will probably have an advantage in the Instagram ad world. Consequently, marketers will have to be smart about deciding whether to market a given product on Instagram.

This leaves us to surmise the future of advertising on Snapchat. Like other social channels, Snapchat will have to adapt ads to a format that fits the characteristics of the app without being excessively annoying to users. Thus, while keeping in mind the (albeit limited) success of their current advertising ventures, it is important to consider how – and if – Snapchat will provide value to marketers as time goes on.

Limited insight into user data is a major challenge for Snapchat. With Instagram’s access to at least some of Facebook’s massive conglomeration of user data, they are set up nicely for ad targeting. Snapchat? Not so much. While companies can add users on Snapchat, and one could argue that users who accept a company’s “friend request” are a decent market because they have already expressed interest, adding random users is by no means sufficient for ad targeting moving forward. Since user data is crucial to a successful ad campaign, Snapchat will almost certainly have to figure out a way to obtain this information. The current model of Snapchat is simply not conducive to gathering data. Whereas Facebook users express their personal preferences through page “likes,” personal profile data, and more, Snapchat users simply send pictures and videos that disappear and don’t provide much information in their user profiles beyond their phone numbers, email addresses, and ages.

The most distinguishing feature of Snapchat is its use as a medium for content that isn’t intended to be lasting. This presents another challenge for marketers, who will presumably have to create ads that somehow match that characteristic. Unlike Instagram, where users can publically express their approval of an ad by favoriting or commenting, Snapchat cannot offer a similar service without changing the very nature of the app because everything disappears so quickly.

Although the advertising future for Snapchat certainly looks less promising than for Instagram, I don’t think that hope is lost.

The new “My Story” feature could be a lifeline for the future of Snapchat advertisements. With the new “My Story” feature on Snapchat, users can choose to allow pictures and videos to last for 24 hours before deletion – much longer than the previous maximum of a few seconds – and users can view a “My Story” multiple times within the 24 hours of its creation. “Friends” of any user who has shared a Snapchat on “My Story” will get a notification of the “My Story” and will have the option of whether or not to view it.

While the option of viewing an ad multiple times might not improve the effectiveness of most ads, users presumably will want to watch a few highly interesting or humorous ads more than once – you only have to look to the hype of Super Bowl ads to see the evidence. And although many users might not choose to open the “My Story,” human curiosity will probably get the better of many of us.

Additionally, the “My Story” feature allows users to string Snapchats together in a particular sequence, and the sequence can be longer than Snapchat maximum length of 10 seconds. Although successful ads certainly can be 10 seconds or less, the ability to create a longer ad increases the versatility of Snapchat advertising.

Even more than with Instagram ads, Snapchat ads will have to be able to grab a user’s attention and convey a message immediately – and be at least mildly entertaining at the same time. The challenge to marketers utilizing Snapchat? Your ad must make an impression that is not only immediate but has enough of a lasting impression that your message lives in the mind of the viewer long after the advertisement has disappeared from the screen.

While I am skeptical of Snapchat’s ability to grab a large audience in a reasonable way, I think that the widespread adoption by so many young people means that it could be viable option.

Therefore, I give Snapchat advertising three choo choos for future digital marketers.

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Hannah on Google+

 

Check out these posts for more information!

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