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Why Your Small Local Business Needs a Website

Google maps showing a local business and their website link

88% of consumers who search for a local business on their smartphones will call or go to that business within 24 hours.

Your business must have a website that is well optimized, eye-catching, and intuitive for consumers. Let’s be honest, most people don’t want to have to go on a 3rd party website to find out about your service hours or menu items. It’s imperative that you find a web design company that will know how to get your companies website up and running. Especially when having that website put on Google Maps.

Before you call a million different places asking for quotes, it is important that you have a basic idea of what you would like your website’s design to be. At Social Eyes Marketing we offer our web design services in Boise that best reflect both our client’s style and the local environment of the business.

Why You Need a Website

No matter how small your business is, you need a website for these exact reasons:

  1. Build Brand Awareness
  2. Get Customers
  3. Share Information
  4. Differentiate From Competitors

1. Build Brand Awareness

Small businesses don’t always have the means to launch a national branding campaign like a lot of chain businesses can. However, by just having a website you are opening the door for more customers without physically doing so. Your customers will be able to more readily associate the products you have to offer with your company’s name. Your website builds brand awareness while you kick back and relax because they can search for your companies name and easily find out all the information they need.

2. Get Customers

Over a billion people use Google Maps. If your business isn’t popping up in Google Maps, then I will not be your customer. Google has made it more intuitive for businesses to set up their profiles in Google My Business.

This makes it so that when your potential client is hungry and they search for a keyword like “Chinese,” your Chinese restaurant will hopefully pop up as a suggested place to eat at. Boom, easy potential customer grab.

3. Share Information

Before someone gets in their car they are usually wanting to know if you are open in the first place. If your web design is intuitive and mobile-friendly then people are able to see your hours and any other sort of information you want to show more readily and quickly.
More and more people are wanting to find information conveniently and at no expense to them. This means less time, less gas, and fewer headaches from crawling google for your business information.

4. Differentiate From Competitors

By having differences in colors, logos, and content, your business is “not just another (blank) company.” Your website shows what is unique to your business’s services, values, and ideals.

Our clients receive web design and development in Boise and beyond, unique to each and every business we serve to ensure that not only is the business owner’s style incorporated, but also what is on-trend and up-to-date is being accounted for. Your website can very easily make customers want your services over your competitors if their website is not readable or intuitive.

Local for a Local

Sometimes seeking the help of companies that are not local can be a challenge communication-wise. A local digital marketing company near you will be able to go all-in with your needs. When receiving help from a local web design company you will be able to convey exactly how you want your website designed without the hassle of making a million phone calls. You also will have a more personal connection because they understand the area and the people you are marketing to.

If you are looking for any Boise SEO services, web design, web development, video production and or more, go here!

Online Branding: Your Brand’s Color

Man with sticker on forehead saying "be happy" while working on a digital project in design software

When designing a website, a lot more thought goes into creating it than just adding a bunch of fancy text and movements. Take for instance color. While easy to take for granted, color helps convey our emotions and elicit an immediate response. When building your brand, it is often a strong tactic to choose a color will be your signature. Taking this color or color palette, you can then implement a design for your website that is centered around it and the feel you want to convey.

Implementing Your Branding Desires

You may come up with the color(s), but how you portray it is just as important. Instead of wracking your brain on what is the most effective way to design your brand’s website, a professional web designer can provide the guidance you need to take your company to the next level.

Web Designers

Web designers, those that work in frontend development, will be the artists for your website. They aid in the overall style and composition of how your website designed. This includes user experience, but also help you carry your branding throughout the website. While it may have been an easy task to come up with your colors, learning how to complement these colors with shapes and text is another story. When thinking about your brand it is best to consider what type of message you want to portray to your audience about your company/product. A web designer can then help you map out your design so when customers land on your website, they aren’t running for the hills, but instead embracing your brand.

Why is Color So Important in Website Design?

Ever think of the color green and immediately think of money or health? This is because a lot of companies use this color as a method for your brain to associate the two meanings with each other. Take for instance Idaho Central Credit Union, their logo is a true green. When considering all the banks in the Boise area, you may find yourself reverting to ICCU because of their distinguishable green logo. Not only does the colored logo aid in remembrance, but green evokes emotions of health, generosity, and prestige; all qualities you would hope a bank has.

Color is the voice of your brand. When used effectively and tactfully, you may find yourself rising above competitors in your area.

Why Have a Web Designer?

Your website should be an interactive experience for your audience. An overload of effects or not enough effects can be detrimental to your brand. Web designers are skilled in keeping up to date with what is fresh in the web design industry. Not only do they implement these effects, but they also make sure to place them in the right spots to engage your customers. After the initial eye-catch, what you are viewing and how it makes you feel is what gives a brand personality.

Refresh Your Website

When pairing yourself with a digital marketing company be sure that your web designer is creating an experience that best conveys the personality of your company. Out of date one-page websites are not cutting it nowadays. Freshening up your brand image will have more people staying on your site and absorbing the information with ease.

Knowing the psychology behind colors is just one part of what makes a good digital marketer. By implementing a strong brand with a signature color you can go a long way, but being able to implement your branding on a digital platform is what will set your company up for success in the long run.

What does SEO mean?

Two Men Planning a Website's SEO on a Clear Whiteboard

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of driving traffic to your website from search engines through organic search engine results. The idea is to drive quality traffic in high quantities to your website. There are a variety of SEO techniques that are used to enhance the ranking of a website in search engine results pages. We will talk more about these techniques throughout this article.

How exactly does SEO work?

Search engines have crawlers that gather information from content all across the internet. These crawlers use algorithms to match data with your website. It is a fairly complex system with a lot of factors involved when it comes to the sorting of websites on search engines. Keep this in mind: user-friendly websites will usually rank higher if the search engine decides that the site is easy to read and navigate.

SEO vs. SEM

When it comes down to it, you have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The key difference here is that SEO concepts revolve around organic results – in other words, these are free search results. SEM uses paid services, such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. Basically, you are paying the search engines to increase the visibility of your website when you use SEM. It all comes down to the approach of your business – either organic SEO or paying for services with SEM.

What is Organic Click-Through Rate?

Organic Click-Through Rate is the percentage of searchers that click on a search engine result. In other words, it shows you how often a person will click on your search result after it is viewed. There are many techniques that a Search Engine Optimization company can implement that will help improve organic click-through rates. We will talk more about that in the next section below.

What is a Search Engine Optimization Company?

A Search Engine Optimization company can help businesses improve their SEO strategies to better position themselves on search engine rankings. It often requires changes to content, images, coding and other pieces of a company website to improve SEO results. An SEO service is complete with SEO professionals who can properly analyze a company website to implement the necessary changes that will improve the visibility of a website.

What are Structured Snippets?

Structured snippets are ad extensions that allow you to highlight aspects of your product or service. These can basically give your customers a preview of what your business has to offer before they even click on the link. The goal is to entice people to click on the link to learn more. Utilizing structured snippets can help drastically improve your click-through rates.

What is the Purpose of a Google Analytics Report?

A Google Analytics report is a free web analytics service that gives you in-depth detail about the visitors that come to your website. This valuable tool will help you understand where visitors click, how long they stay and other aspects related to their visit. Using this report will help you better shape the strategy of your website if you notice particular weaknesses that show up in the reports.

Why is Web Marketing so Important?

Marketing your business online requires the use of search engines, social media, videos, email, blogging and other such online tools. Fortunately, these efforts allow you to reach a large audience. While you can certainly focus your marketing efforts locally in Boise, web marketing makes it easier to expand your services across the nation. For this reason, web marketing is essential to the modern business. In order to successfully market your business online, it is important to focus on website optimization. Along with SEO techniques, it is important to design your website content in ways that will ensure that it is clear, concise, and relevant to your products or services.

SEO: What It Is and What It’s Not

A person working n a computer to build a website

What does SEO mean?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of driving traffic to your website from search engines through organic search engine results. The idea is to drive quality traffic in high quantities to your website. There are a variety of SEO techniques that are used to enhance the ranking of a website in search engine results pages. We will talk more about these techniques throughout this article.

How exactly does SEO work?

Search engines have crawlers that gather information from content all across the internet. These crawlers use algorithms to match data with your website. It is fairly complex system with a lot of factors involved when it comes to the sorting of websites on search engines. Keep this in mind: user-friendly websites will usually rank higher if the search engine decides that the site is easy to read and navigate.

SEO vs. SEM

When it comes down to it, you have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The key difference here is that SEO concepts revolve around organic results – in other words, these are free search results. SEM uses paid services, such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. Basically, you are paying the search engines to increase the visibility of your website when you use SEM. It all comes down to the approach of your business – either organic SEO or paying for services with SEM.

What is Organic Click-Through Rate?

Organic Click-Through Rate is the percentage of searchers that click on a search engine result. In other words, it shows you how often a person will click on your search result after it is viewed. There are many techniques that a Search Engine Optimization company can implement that will help improve organic click-through rates. We will talk more about that in the next section below.

What is a Search Engine Optimization Company?

A Search Engine Optimization company can help businesses improve their SEO strategies to better position themselves on search engine rankings. It often requires changes to content, images, coding and other pieces of a company website to improve SEO results. An SEO service is complete with SEO professionals who can properly analyze a company website to implement the necessary changes that will improve the visibility of a website.

What are Structured Snippets?

Structured snippets are ad extensions that allow you to highlight aspects of your product or service. These can basically give your customer a preview of what your business has to offer before they even click on the link. The goal is to entice people to click on the link to learn more. Utilizing structured snippets can help drastically improve your click-through rates.

What is the Purpose of a Google Analytics Report?

A Google analytics report is a web analytics service that gives you in-depth detail about the visitors that come to your website. This valuable tool will help you understand where visitors click, how long they stay and other aspects related to their visit. Using this report will help you better shape the strategy of your website if you notice particular weaknesses that show up in the reports.

Why is Web Marketing so Important?

Marketing your business online requires the use of search engines, social media, videos, email, blogging and other such online tools. Fortunately, these efforts allow you to reach a large audience. While you can certainly focus your marketing efforts locally in Boise, web marketing makes it easier to expand your services across the nation. For this reason, web marketing is essential to the modern business. In order to successfully market your business online, it is important to focus on website optimization. Along with SEO techniques, it is important to design your website content in ways that will ensure that it is clear, concise, and relevant to your products or services.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the advertising of products or services through digital technologies. Examples of these technologies include search engines, social media, email, and mobile apps. Today’s businesses utilize digital marketing as one of the most efficient forms of communication amongst their customers. While there are many forms of digital marketing, each digital marketing strategy can be customized for a particular target market.

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

As we mentioned above, there are many different types of digital marketing approaches. For this reason, it is important for every business to develop a digital marketing strategy that will help advertise the products or services for a particular group of customers. It is essential to narrow down ideas that can be executed within the different arenas of digital advertising; for example, these include content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and video marketing.

What are Marketing Analytics?

Marketing analytics are crucial to the development of any digital marketing strategy. The utilization of marketing analytics will help your business to measure, manage and analyze its marketing performance. These results will help you figure out how to be more efficient with your digital advertising methods.

How can a Digital Marketing Agency Help your Business?

A digital marketing agency strives to produce results-based marketing with digital strategies. In other words, traditional marketing strategies (such as cold calling and direct mail) are generally dismissed among digital marketing agencies. The idea is to provide digital marketing strategies through the use of an agency that is made up of digital marketing professionals with years of experience in this field.

B2B vs. B2C

There are two types of models that businesses usually adhere to: B2B and B2C. B2B stands for business-to-business. This is when you sell products or services to businesses. B2C stands for business-to-consumer. This is when you sell products or services to customers in the general public. Every business needs to establish one of these models in order to hone in on the proper type of digital marketing strategy. For example, B2B strategies are much different than those of B2C strategies. With a B2B strategy, the marketing efforts need to be designed in ways that are attractive to a business as a whole, rather than an individual consumer.

How to Develop a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

Take a look at these how-to steps to help guide your forward with your digital marketing strategy:

  • Set your goals.Establishing your goals will help shape the overall strategy.
  • Evaluate the tools that you have on hand. It helps to understand the framework that you have in place when it comes to digital channels and assets. You can use these digital assets to help get started with your plan. You can add more assets along the way as you develop your plan further.
  • Create a content strategy. Develop your content and establish a landing spot for each piece of content that you develop. Whether it is social media, a video, or website content, an established guide will help you place these content pieces in the right spots.
  • Monitor your results. At the end of the day, you need to rely on analytics to get a handle on your results. If something isn’t working, you need to be aware of the issue so that it can be adjusted in a way that will improve your ROI (return on investment).

Keeping up with Digital Marketing

Let’s face it, technology moves fast in today’s world. Digital marketing is an ongoing component of every business that requires time and dedication. For this reason, many businesses will turn to a digital marketing agency for assistance. These are trained professionals who regularly keep up with all of the latest trends and tactics that are relevant in the world of digital advertising. At the end of the day, digital marketing is all about finding efficient ways to reach your customers. It takes a thorough, well-thought-out strategy to achieve this goal.

Web Design Trends For 2019

The rate of progress in website design has been nothing short of phenomenal in the past few years. With faster, affordable technology now in most households, and businesses recognizing that a well-designed, attractive website is a must, web design agencies are constantly picking up new ideas.

The art of designing a website is one that requires several skills. Of course, a good web designer will be able to keep brand messaging to the forefront, but there is more to it than simply looking good and saying the right things. A website needs to be easy for the user to navigate, and simple to understand. It needs to get its message across quickly and effectively.

What tends to happen is that some new ideas are introduced that users like, and others that they don’t. The latter are soon removed and replaced, and the former expanded upon. This is what we mean when we talk about trends. Let’s have a closer look at the website design trends industry insiders expect to see for 2019.

The Right Typeface

Choosing a typeface for a website is no easy task these days, as there are a great many to choose from. However, some are more suited to certain types of business than others. For example, if you are building a site for a modern business – one firmly in the digital age – you need to use a modern typeface.

There is also a trend that many commentators believe will become more prevalent in 2019 web design for outlined type. This gives a very neat image, and hints at a cleaner and unique style. Plus, it works well with colours.

The trend for stylish, clean type is one that will take hold firmly in 2019; it’s easier to read, and makes a point without too much effort.

Monochrome

Look around at new websites and you’ll begin to see many that are utilising the monochrome look to the full. Black and white can have a very bold impact on the reader, and is also easy to read. It is also easy to translate into both modern and retro styles, so it is surprisingly versatile.

If you are aiming at a younger customer then this could be a good way to go. Black and white imagery has a very striking impact on the reader, and is surprisingly effective. In a world that is mired in colour, the simple effect of monochrome imagery may help the website stand out.

Even More Video

The move towards video imagery in websites is a major force, and is predicted to become even more prevalent into 2019. Video backgrounds may not be favoured by all users – some find they distract from the text and the point – but they are popular with website owners and designers.

A background that shows off your product doing what it does, or your service being carried out, gives the viewer an immediate idea of what you’re all about. It’s a bit like giving the customer engaging content, but in picture form.

The use of a background that is in video form on your home page is going to be one of the main trends in website design, and we expect video to be used throughout the website pages too.

Asymmetric Design

Think of the standard homepage website design. It is centered, with everything equidistant on the page. This is a neat and clean way of getting the main information across. Now, have a browse; you’ll start to see that many websites now feature offset images alongside the text, perhaps with the image occupying two thirds of the screen, and the text just one.

It may sound confusing, but if done well, it can be very effective – and also memorable. Remember that you want a cleanly designed website, so it is certainly worth checking out the various design houses and their past designs in order to get an idea of what they are capable of.

Great Writing

There was a time when the words on your website meant less than your pictures. Those were the days when consumers visited a site and clicked on the product they want, and that was it. Now, in the age of creative, engaging blogs and social media interaction, visitors and consumers want so much more.

They want to be informed, amused, engaged and educated; they want to have something interesting to read during their lunch break or browsing time. They want to know more about you, and about the product.

If you can write a story about how you turned your passion into a business, or how you dedicated your time to a worthwhile cause, or just tell an interesting story, then do it. If you are not a confident writer, it pays to engage a professional to make the words stand out. Great writing is a 2019 website trend without a doubt.

Animation

As if to confirm that moving images are one of the primary trends in website design this year, we are forecasting the rapid rise of integrated animation, used throughout the website to inform and help the user, as the way forward.

Clever, neat and engaging for the user, animation can take a wide range of forms from the amusing to the practical and informative, and always adds something extra when it is done well. Any competent website designer will have experience in incorporating animated images in the design, and it’s going to be massive this year.

The above are just some of the trends that are being forecast within the website design industry, and you may find many more if you look around. The key to great website design lies in keeping things simple yet engaging, and practical yet fun. More than ever, the consumer wants to feel that they are getting something worthwhile from their website interaction. So, why not have a look at your existing site to see how you can utilize the 2019 trends for improvement?

How Video Can Help Your Marketing and Online Presence

We all enjoy a good YouTube video or even a funny commercial, but have you ever considered the benefits of using video as a marketing tool? Here are our top five reasons why not using video as a marketing tool can leave you in the dark ages:

It is highly digestible.

One of the best things about video is how, when used properly, information can be laid out in a way that is extremely easy to understand. Video requires much less effort from the audience and is therefore way more likely to be watched through completely than an article is to be read from start to finish. Plus, with 90% of consumers watching video on mobile devices, video content is ideal because it can be accessed and watched from anywhere in the world.

It can be entertaining and engaging.

While there are many different types of video, the best ones for online marketing are explainers, interviews, product reviews and demo videos, live video and video ads. While these may seem pretty straightforward, there’s a few key factors you may not have yet considered.

Types of Videos for Online Marketing:

  • Explainer
  • Interviews
  • Product Reviews and Demo
  • Live
  • Video Ads

1. Explainer Videos

These type of videos are great when you release a product that may need more explanation, for instance this video made by GTBank, a Nigerian financial institution, has a short anecdotal hook at the beginning and then proceeds to explain what their newest application is and how to use it. It is entertaining and funny and has almost two million views on YouTube, which is awesome exposure for the company. It’s also animated which can be a great choice for explainers and video ads as using storytelling as a marketing technique engages more people and is overall more memorable content than the alternative. After all, 97% of marketers say videos help customers understand products and help them to make purchasing decisions. (explainer videos are also great for social causes too, like this video that illustrates the dangers of texting or talking while driving)

2. Interviews

Say you work for a company that spells specialty shoes that are supposed to improve posture, circulation, etc. Making a video interviewing someone like a foot and ankle specialist who can give an expert recommendation for your product can be extremely useful. This is also a great opportunity to bring in social media influencers or celebrities who can vouch for your product and get your video more exposure as well.

3. Product Reviews and Demo Videos

Ever heard of user generated content, or UGC? This is the perfect opportunity to spread awareness of your product to potentially a previously untapped audience. You or your company can use brand ambassadors to make their own content or review of your product and promote it to their followers. This is especially important when trying to reach a younger audience as many college students are willing to be a brand or campus ambassador just for the experience. Another great thing about UGC is that because it is mainly posted and shared on social media, you can actually consider it a form of market research, helping you to identify key publics to appeal to and where to put out your main messaging. There is also a ton of YouTube videos that are product reviews and serve as free or earned advertising, assuming it’s positive feedback of course.

4. Live Video

Live video is great because it builds trust in your company or organization by letting your audience get to know the inner workings of your organization. This type of video is more engaging as it’s seen as a more face to face type of interaction than just you sending out messaging to your audience. It’s also fun and interesting for consumers to see a “behind the scenes” view of your company, it’ll make them feel more familiar with your company and in turn fosters brand loyalty.

5. Video Ads

As we mentioned before, storytelling is a great marketing technique, and while a picture is worth a thousand words, video ads that have a distinct beginning, middle and end are much more entertaining and memorable than their still counterparts. In 2017 84 Lumber wanted to increase brand awareness for their company so they created this video ad. It has an emotional appeal, grabs people’s attention and is very memorable. Another good approach for video ads could be illustrated or animated because they can advertise your product in a way that is understandable and retainable.

Videos give high ROI and Search Engines love websites with embedded videos.

To make a really professional, good looking video, you could either hire a video production company, or try to do it yourself. Now either way, it is going to cost you, but because video can reach such a large audience, you have the potential to make back the money you spent on the process and then some. Also, search engines like Google love videos embedded in websites. In fact, they love them so much that pages with video are 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results than those without. This is a great way for your company or organization to improve your search engine optimization, or SEO, because search engines see video as high quality content.

Video boosts conversions and can improve sales.

In a study conducted by Social Media Today, 90% of consumers claim a video will help them in making a purchasing decision. Since most people look at product reviews before making a purchase, having a video that stands out from the rest can boost sales and improve your conversion rates.

It is easily shareable.

Consumers prefer watching a video to reading an article, so keeping that in mind, creating a video that is entertaining, engaging, tells a story and is also consistently branded has the potential to go viral and in turn increase traffic to your website, which, once again, can lead to more sales and conversions.

If these reasons didn’t convince you that video is an excellent marketing tool, you might be interested to know that YouTube reports that by 2021 80% of all web traffic will consist of video. Another reason to get ahead of this trend is that 81% of businesses are already using video for marketing purposes. So, next time you sit down to write an advertisement, consider using a video instead.

7 Reasons to Drop Yellow Pages and Get On Google

7 Reasons to Drop Yellow Pages and Get On Google

If you are still paying your $100 monthly fee to stay “relevant” in the Yellow Page phonebooks that most people use for kindling, now’s the time to ditch them. In an increasingly digital world, it’s safe to say that most consumers go to Google when they are looking for a new service – whether it’s a doctor, dentist, plumber, restaurant, yard service, you name it.

Think about the last time you were wanting to try a new restaurant or that time when your furnace broke and you needed an HVAC tech. Did you thumb through the phone book that you had so readily available? Maybe…But more likely, you pulled your phone out of your pocket and did a quick search on Google.

If you own a small business that offers local services, then you totally need to be showing up there! Maybe you know this already, maybe you don’t, but there are still so many businesses who are struggling to break free of their phone books and who are not on Google. It’s time to make sure you are showing up in the Yellow Pages of the online world.

Google My Business, the online platform that allows you to show up on Google Maps, provides so many wonderful benefits to local businesses and to the consumers who search for them.

Better Conversions

Typically, Google Maps and the businesses it lists are the first things that show up when someone does a Google search for a business or service. You know this, you’ve done it. Because of this, these businesses at the top of the search results often capture the majority of the clicks that come from that search.

And when a searcher comes to Google looking to solve their problem through a new service, they are showing explicit intent to buy. They have that shopping mentality and are ready to make a purchase. So you want to make sure you’re showing up when someone makes that search.

Trust Metrics

Everyone knows Google, and most consumers put high trust into familiarity and big brands. If Google is displaying your information, that trust is then carried over to your business. You might have companies calling you to get listed in their online directories, but their websites are not the first place that consumers go to conduct a search. Google is.

Reviews

One of the most wonderful benefits of Google My Business is that customers can leave their feedback of your business on this platform. Have you ever left a review on Google?

Customers can leave reviews that convert other people who come across your listing. When you do an excellent job providing service and create an awesome product, people will naturally want to share it with others and part of that comes through leaving reviews. Of course, you need to make sure that you are providing the best service you can in order to ensure positive reviews.

Exposure

When your business is showing up on Google Maps, people see it. Not everyone will come to your business the first time they do a search for your service. Some of them might go to another similar business, but if they are let down by that one, you can bet they are going to come back and search again – and who’s going to be there? That’s right – you.

This is also a great tool for brand awareness. Even if people are searching for other similar businesses to yours and don’t click on you, they probably saw your listing, and after a few more times of doing the same search, they will start to recognize your name.

Updating Information

It’s not just about getting new leads, but also about keeping current customers up to date. Don’t make your customers have to call and find out what your hours are or second guess if you’re open on a federal, but not widely recognized, holiday.

If you move locations, change your phone number, get a new website, update your hours – you can share all of that on your Google listing and keep new and current customers in the loop in a matter of minutes. You can’t just backspace and retype your info in a phonebook.

Gain Valuable Insights

Google My Business also offers tons of great insights that have the potential to really help you increase business. Their insights will tell you how people are interacting with your listing – whether they are clicking to call your business, asking for directions, visiting your website, or even messaging you.

You can also see which search queries brought people to your Google listing. If someone searched for “orthodontists in Boise” and your business showed up, but you only do general dentistry, that could be a good indicator that you need to update your website or change the category on your listing.

It’s Free

And the best part – it’s free! Google My Business is not limited to the big businesses that can afford to show up there. It’s available for everyone. That’s not to say that you will automatically show up at the top of every search query just because you got a Google My Business listing. There are several factors that tie into it, but it gives you a good place to start.

When you are ready to really make the push for local SEO and get your business showing up well on Google, you can find a specialist to help you out.

Author Bio

Kaili Killpack is the lead SEO Specialist for Manwaring Web Solutions. She manages SEO for dozens of small businesses in and out of Idaho. Building client relationships, solving problems, writing content, and basking in their successes make her job something that she truly loves doing.

These 3 Things Make or Break your Homepage Header

Here’s the problem:

You have worked incredibly hard to design this beautiful website. You have gone through the rigorous process of gathering content, shooting photos, and planning out the structure of the website. Once that’s done, you still had to build it. You swore to yourself that business would increase because of the new site. You knew it in your gut. It had to work.

But did it work?

Most businesses build the headers of their websites wrong. They try to be cute and clever. They assume a beautiful image, a well-established logo, and a catchy slogan is enough to seal the deal with the visitor.

But it’s not.

The visitor doesn’t care. They have a problem that needs to be solved and they want to do it as efficiently and effectively as possible. Here’s the deal, every human wants two things; We want to survive and we want to thrive. We all have our own problems that we are trying to solve and we look for external solutions or guides to help us solve those problems. So why not make your website as clear as possible? Stop being cute and clever and be incredibly clear with your visitor. Tell them exactly what you do.

So here are the 3 things that will make or break your homepage header. If you are missing any of the 3, then you are leaving money on the table.

Your website should answer 3 simple questions in the first 5 seconds of the visitor looking at your site.

What do you offer?

Be incredibly clear with as few words as possible. If you are an HVAC company and your service and install heaters and AC units, here is an example of what not to say: “Established in 1972 and serving you for another 50 years”. This is incredibly vague and the visitor has to work very hard to understand what you are saying. Here is a good example to follow: “HVAC Installation and Repair that You Can Count On”. This tells the visitor exactly what you do while speaking to some internal frustration and moves them down the sales process.

How does it make my life better?

The good example above speaks to a better life with “Repair that You Can Count On”. In your headlines, it is important to be crystal clear about how it makes the visitor’s life better. Spell it out for them: “No more unbearable summers,” “No more layering clothing to stay warm”. With this type of imagery, you will paint a picture of how it makes the visitor’s life better.

Where do I click to buy it?

Add 2 call-to-action buttons to the header of your website. The first should be in the top right of the website and the second should be under your main headline. Additionally, your button needs to be a direct call-to-action. Don’t say, “Contact Us”. Use direct phrases like “Call Today” or “Schedule Now”. It might feel pushy to you, but the visitor will never receive it that way. They just want to know what to do next if they are ready to do business with you.

If you look at your website and you are NOT answering these 3 questions, then your website is losing business. Make all of that hard work worth it and double check your header. Your website is too important to be confusing visitors. For a video explanation of this post, watch this video.

BIO

Zach Rinard

Rinard Media

“Most business owners don’t feel confident in their marketing strategies. At Rinard Media, we collaboratively work to build marketing strategies that help them achieve their goals. This frees up business owners to get back to doing what they love. They get more time with their families and ultimately have less stress.”

Social Media Predictions for 2019

Since the world became entranced with social media – or indeed reliant upon it as many would say –
it has been customary for industry insiders to look for future trends. Not only is social media a fun
way to keep in touch with people and share information, but it is also an important business tool. In
fact, there are many who will tell you – and perhaps quite rightly – that it is under-utilized in terms
of marketing.

What do we see as the primary social media predictions for the next year? With 2018 having been
quite a turbulent one in many ways – we have seen a number of data security breaches after all,
with the very public Facebook breach being the one that raised eyebrows – 2019 promises to be a
year of changes, but where will these changes be, and how will they manifest?

We took a look at a few of the predicted social media trends for 2019, so you can take a step
forward and be prepared for what is about to happen.

1: Will Facebook Continue to Decline?

As we said, 2018 has been a troubled year in the social media world, and not the least for Facebook,
which for many is the poster-child of social media. In Europe in particular, user numbers have fallen,
the main catalyst being the major security breach that occurred mid-year.

In fact, when analyzed closely, the information gained was not as great as many of us thought, but
the very fact that it was easily done raised a lot of red flags in the industry.

Furthermore, with the ongoing problems of ‘fake news’ – a big problem with all areas of social
media and not just Facebook – plus concerns that many areas of the platform have become more
politicized, things are not looking great. To add insult to injury, recent updates to the way the page
looks met with little satisfaction from users.

It could be that people are becoming bored with the platform and are more in tune with Instagram
and Snapchat, which focus on much less involvement and faster interaction, but look to the USA for
signs of falling numbers here next year, and it might be the beginning of the downfall of the king.

2: Real-Time Interaction

This is an area that is already seeing some serious movement, and it’s one you need to look closely
at if you are searching for social media trends for 2019. By real-time we mean interaction with
customers in marketing and online retail. Think of it this way: you talk to your friends in real time, so
why not those who are doing you a service?

Yet, it goes further than that; chatbots, for example, are for many online businesses the way
forward. The tools are there – it happens in advertising already – for even smaller companies to have
an automated search bot looking for mentions of its products. Two people talking about a particular product
– be it on Twitter, for example, or any other platform – may find a real-time chat box
opening asking them what they are interested in.

It makes sense; why should anyone wait, when they want instant answers anyway? The next year
could see this as the biggest development in online marketing, and without anyone really noticing!

3: Personalization

There is no doubt that the ongoing personalization of social media marketing is controversial, but
then is there any area of social media that is not? The fact is, we put so much information out there
without even thinking about it, so why wouldn’t marketers use it?

It’s happening to a great degree: head to Netflix, for example, and it will give you a category of
‘Because You Watched. You will find Amazon ads on your pages featuring products like those you
recently searched. It can feel a little ‘Big Brother’, but how many times have you clicked on that
recommended film, or bought the product suggested?

This sort of thing is set to expand across the digital arena in no small way, and in all honesty, it is
nothing more than the modern version of direct mail, in which likely buyers were targeted with
physical maildrops.

You may also find this technique in an advanced form known as ‘social listening’; this is searching for
not only mentions of brands and products, but also monitoring reputations. Don’t get this mixed up
with the current raft of rumors that ‘your phone is listening to you’ – it may be, it may not – but
consider it as just a way of personalizing the consumers’ information for their own convenience.
Social listening relies on things like IP addresses and cookies instead of your phone’s mic, so take off
that tin-foil hat and relax knowing that at least the marketers aren’t listening in.

4: Video Content

The inexorable rise of video content is clear to see. Inspired by YouTube, and enabled by the ability
to film content fit for broadcast on cheap, hand-held devices, it is no surprise that the video is set to
be the digital marketeers chosen weapon when targeting social media.

It’s 2019…Let’s face it, people like to watch video, and don’t like to read slabs of words brought
down from a mountaintop. People like to be amused, and that’s something that is far easier to do in
moving picture form. And, with the tools we have now, you can even ‘go live’ and put out a real-time
broadcast inviting your potential clients to engage with you, on the spot. If we are to credit anything
as the fastest rising medium of 2019, it’s live video content, and video marketing as a whole.

The simple facts remain that social media is fluid, it’s powerful, and it’s here to stay. People sign on
to talk to someone, and if you can engage them with relevant content while you are both online, you
have a live potential customer right there.

The trends in social media are moving away from the fun and frivolous towards the practical and
beneficial – beneficial to both the customer and the provider – and it pays to stay one step ahead.
Keep an eye out for the trends mentioned above, and be aware that these are the probable movers
and shakers in terms of social media for the coming year.

This post was submitted by our friends at SociallyIn, a social media marketing agency located in Birmingham, Alabama. They were voted one of the fastest growing companies in Birmingham during 2018 and are also known for hosting the annual Southern Social Summit which is a gathering of creatives and social media marketers. SociallyIn is listed in the top 10 social media marketing firms on Clutch.