The Importance of Local Directory Listings in Business
February 20, 2023
Before the rise of the internet and mobile technology, local directory listings came in the form of printed, hardcopy publications that, like the phonebook, were often delivered to your door. Today, when people want to find the addresses and/or contact information for a local business, they can find similar listings online.
But these online local directories can do far more than simply offer basic contact information to an interested consumer. Read on to learn a bit more about these listings and what they can do for your business.
What Is a Local Listing, and Why Is It Important?
In short, a local directory listing is an extremely brief online profile that publishes the name of your local company along with a few key contact details that might include your brick-and-mortar address, your website address, your email address, and your phone number. In addition to stand-alone directory platforms, a broad spectrum of industry websites, apps, social media pages, and blogs may feature online local business listings.
Often a well-established part of the cities and towns in which they operate, local businesses may deem building a strong online presence unnecessary. However, studies have shown that 81% of today’s shoppers conduct an online search before they visit a store in person.
How Does Local Directory Listing Work?
A broad range of online directories and other websites provide businesses with ample platforms to create free business listings. Even better, the vast majority of these listings are available free of charge. For this reason and many more, local businesses simply can’t afford to overlook the tremendous marketing power of these listings. Because this typically means submitting your company’s details and contact information to a broad spectrum of relevant listings and aggregators, many small business owners choose to enlist the help of a quality digital marketing agency to take full advantage of local directory listing benefits.
The Main Components of a Local Listing
As previously mentioned, most local listings will include at least the name, address, phone number, and website and/or email address of your business. However, many platforms encourage you to provide much more information. According to the digital marking marketing resource Hennessey, other common categories of local listing information may include:
A short business description
Company hours of operation including holiday hours
Photos and/or videos related to your company and/or its goods/services
Directions to your brick-and-mortar location
Accepted forms of payment
Customer ratings and/or reviews
Links to social media pages
To get the very most out of your listings, you should add as many of these components as each platform allows.
The Most Common Directory Platforms
Although local directory listings abound online, here are just a few of the best platforms to consider:
The old Yellow Pages that used to come to every US home along with a phonebook has transitioned to the online environment where 17 million monthly visitors continue to find its listing quite handy.
Google Business Profile
Formerly known as Google My Business, Google Business Profile is an excellent way to promote your business on the world’s most popular search engine. Plus, your listing on Google Business Profile can do wonders for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
While Google has Google Business Profile, Bing (the world’s second most popular search engine) has Bing Places. While Bing has far fewer users than Google, it remains the default search engine for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge, making it essential for anyone who wants to take advantage of Microsoft’s dominant position in the desktop computer market.
According to the Local Marketing Institute, 1 out of every 8 internet searches in the United States are performed on Yahoo. So you shouldn’t count out its local business directory Yahoo Local!
If you’re looking for a listing platform that focuses on consumer ratings and reviews, you can’t do better than the longtime industry leader Yelp. It currently features 224 million reviews and has 90 million monthly users.
The Benefits of Business Listings
By leveraging the best online local directory listings for your company, you can reap these benefits and many, many, more!
Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
Because they are reliable indicators of the existence and legitimacy of your company, local directory listings cause internet search engines to rank your company higher in returned user search results, giving a significant boost to your SEO efforts. In fact, they are one of the most important factors that determine where your company appears on the page after local search queries for your company as well as the local goods and services it provides. Although Google and other search engines support their own local directory platforms, all online listings can have a positive effect on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Make the Most of Your Reviews
The internet marketing organization American Creative reports that 70% of US consumers search for online reviews before deciding to purchase, and 90% of US consumers cite reviews as an influence on those purchasing decisions. Local directory listings can not only directly provide and link to consumer reviews but encourage more of your satisfied customers to post a post review. While positive reviews are great, even negative reviews can prove a valuable resource when it comes to improving business operations.
Better Your Brand Reputation
Local businesses without local directory listings tend to appear untrustworthy to their target customer base. Even if people have heard about your company through word of mouth, they will tend to choose a listed competitor if your company is unlisted. For full brand integration and marketing power, you’ll want to maintain a consistent company image across all local directory listings. You’ll also want to ensure that this image reflects the distinct personality of your website, social media pages, and online advertisements.
For More Information
To learn more about local directory listings and how they can benefit your business, contact the digital marketing professionals at Cleveland, Ohio’s Marketing Done Right today!
The Importance of Internal Linking in SEO
February 20, 2023
By embedding internal links in your company website, you can greatly aid in navigation by allowing visitors to access desired information or view specific company products and services with a single click of the mouse. Beyond enhancing user experience (UX), internal links can have a profound impact on search engine optimization (SEO). Read on for more information about internal links and the beneficial applications of internal linking in SEO.
What Are Internal Links?
The internal link is a specific type of hyperlink, which commonly uses hypertext (highlighted words or phrases) to facilitate easy and instant navigation to another internet site or page. While website designers can utilize clickable hyperlinks that can take visitors virtually anywhere on the internet, there is particular value in employing hyperlinks that connect to other pages on the same website with the same general internet protocol (IP) address. Any hyperlink that does this is called an internal link. From your homepage to your blog posts to your e-commerce pages, internal links can link any specific company website page to any other.
Why Are Internal Links Important?
If you want to connect to more consumers online, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of internal linking. Users may love the way that internal links aid in website navigation, but when it comes to determining the rankings of its search results, Google may love internal links even more.
In fact, all major internet search engines use index bots called “crawlers” to assess internal links, using them as tools to better locate and understand each page on your company website. This has made internal linking a critically important part of any effective SEO campaign.
Essentially, digital marketing specialists can strategically employ internal links to assign page authority (or page rank) to key pages. So if you want your business to appear at or near the top of relevant searches for your goods or services, you’ll want to pay close attention to internal linking.
Benefits of Internal Linking in SEO
Here are just a few of the competitive advantages that SEO-focused internal linking can provide:
Leverage the Authoritative Power of Your Homepage
When other websites link to yours (otherwise known as “external linking”), they generally link to your homepage. Google and other search engines use external links as a mark of legitimacy and authority, making them an extremely important component of the ranking process. Therefore, external links are also a key focus in the art and science of SEO. Digital marketing specialists recommend making the most of your authoritative homepage with a number of internal links to all pages that you deem important or noteworthy.
Highlight Recent and Important Posts
Whether linking from your homepage or elsewhere, the strategic placement of internal links is a great way to help people navigate to your newly published posts on your website or its attached blog. The SEO education platform Yoast recognizes that this will place more on the already crowded plates of business managers and marketing specialists who produce and post content on a regular basis. However, it is certainly worth the hassle. Linking to these posts can not only further their organic popularity but aid in SEO by ensuring that search engine crawlers index them after landing on other pages on your website.
Attract the Right Consumers with the Right Keywords
As the digital marketing thought leader Neil Patel puts it, “your internal links should use anchor text, but not just any anchor text will do.” In short, your anchor text should consist of words and phrases that summarize or describe exactly what the target link is about. Ideally, it will also include one or more keywords that relate directly to your business and what it does. Keywords are an essential element of Search Engine Optimization that helps search engine crawlers identify your business and evaluate your website for ranking results.
Drive More Traffic to Your Webpages
By leveraging the above benefits and many more, you can successfully capture the attention of more people online and route more users to your website. And after visitors arrive at your site, internal linking has a unique ability to encourage click-through to other pages, including e-commerce pages that allow them to make an online purchase. By lending your website authority, internal linking can dramatically improve your average Google rankings.
Internal Linking Best Practices
To make the very most of internal linking on your website, you should adhere to a broad range of SEO best practices. While enlisting the help of an experienced digital marketing agency is key to gaining a definitive competitive advantage, here are just a few of the internal linking best practices to follow according to the authoritative resource Backlinko.
First and foremost, you should avoid using the same anchor text for two or more different pages on your website. This confuses search engine crawlers and severely damages your SEO efforts. The precise placement of your anchor text can also make a big difference in terms of both user navigation and SEO. Research has shown that internal links near the top of the page fare considerably better than those located further down.
Other internal linking best practices to consider include linking to older website posts that may have newfound relevance and ensuring that your links are both viable and functional on the mobile versions of your website.
However, when it comes to building internal links, you can certainly have too much of a good thing. Backlinko estimates that as the total number of internal and external links approaches triple digits, the overall value of those links begins to diminish. It is also important to remember that any page with two identical internal links will gain little value from the second link because search engine crawlers will only index the first.
Internal linking can help your company get to the first page of internet searches. To learn more about the importance of internal linking and SEO in general, contact a representative of Cleveland, Ohio’s Marketing Done Right today.
Top 8 Social Media Advertising Benefits for Small Businesses
February 20, 2023
A relatively diverse category of advertising that encompasses all types of paid marketing outreach on social media, social media advertising benefits small businesses in a variety of ways.
In fact, a 2022 study by the data-driven online design network Visual Objects determined that roughly two-thirds of all small businesses utilize social media in their marketing efforts. Furthermore, one in four small businesses surveyed considers social media to be their most successful digital marketing tool.
Why, exactly, are social media ads so valuable for a small business? Here are just eight advantages to launching and maintaining an effective social media adverting campaign.
The Advantages of an Effective Social Media Advertising Campaign
1. Increased Brand Awareness
A good digital marketing firm can design your social media adverting campaign to accomplish highly targeted goals that range from attracting new customers to selling specific products. While working toward these objectives, however, campaigns can simultaneously boost public visibility and brand awareness about your small business. Wise campaign leaders will ensure that all ads reflect a clearly defined company image that is both relevant and compelling. Due to their broad yet targeted outreach, these ads have a proven ability to drive sales by boosting brand loyalty through extended brand awareness.
2. More Cost-Effective Than Other Forms of Advertising
For many reasons, social media advertising can generate a considerably better ROI (return on investment) than other marketing approaches. According to the digital marketing experts at Marketing Done Right, this is largely due to the specialized nature and unique demographics of the various social platforms available. A successful small business will place ads on social networks that cater specifically to its target audience. This can accomplish wonders when it comes to helping that business better focus its marketing resources and avoid wasted ad spend. Furthermore, Facebook and other major social media sites have outstanding ad targeting services that can help you reach only your ideal prospective customers in terms of interests and social activities as well as gender, age, location, and other key demographic characteristics.
3. Broader Audience Reach
Citing research by Global WebIndex, the marketing education platform Smart Insights reported that 59 percent of the global population is currently using social media on a regular basis. In January of 2023, the average daily social media usage time was more than 2 hours and 30 minutes. Furthermore, the rise in social media’s popularity is ongoing, as the market saw 27 million new social media users come online within the last year. With numbers like these, few small business leaders can deny the power of social media advertising to help them reach a far wider audience.
4. Increased Website Traffic
As your social media ads catch the attention of new and existing customer bases, you can expect a significant boost in traffic on your company website. As reported by the Content Marketing Institute, nearly 9 out of 10 marketers identify increasing website traffic as a primary benefit of social media advertising. In fact, few online marketing efforts can do more to drive traffic to your website.
5. Increased Lead Generation
In marketing terms, a lead is a customer prospect who is entirely new to your company. Social media can help you generate new leads in several different ways. A strategically placed social media ad has a unique ability to capture consumer leads due to its unique ability to appear (almost like magic!) before the eyes and ears of the specific audience that you want to target. Even better, these ads specifically target your ideal prospective consumers, often when they are the most motivated to make an immediate purchase decision. By clicking on a social media ad, your leads will be automatically routed to your website where they will enter your digital sales pipeline. For these reasons and more, social media is rapidly becoming the most popular advertising focus across a broad spectrum of markets and industries.
6. Improved Audience Engagement
As we have already established, much of the power of social media advertising comes from its ability to target certain demographic groups with supreme precision. In addition to dramatically boosting ad spend ROI and driving high-quality lead generation, the precise nature of social media advertising has proven extremely useful when it comes to improving audience engagement. To effectively engage with your ideal target consumer, you should not only choose your social media platforms wisely but specifically tailor your posts to captivate this consumer and motivate them to interact with your company. Therefore, the small business marketing resource WordStream recommends different approaches to content generation for different sites. For example, Facebook users will likely see your business posts right next to pictures of their boss’s new grandson or their college roommate’s last brunch. Therefore, your posts should be relatively causal and not take themselves too seriously. Conversely, LinkedIn posts should take a practical tone and stress helpful professional information.
7. Improved SEO Efforts
A good SEO (search engine optimization) campaign can ensure that your company and its goods/services appear at or near the top of all relevant user inquiries on Google and other major internet search engines. Your social media ads can lead to better SEO if they include certain keywords in strategic places within their written content.
8. Improved Customer Relationships
From reaching and attracting an optimal consumer audience to engaging with that consumer audience in an ideal manner, social media advertising offers virtually limitless opportunities to build positive and lasting relationships with customers. This leads to dedicated brand loyalty, ongoing repeat business, organic word-of-mouth referrals, and, ultimately, stable revenue growth. It all begins by meeting prospective and existing customers where they already are!
For More Information
Social media advertising benefits small businesses in a wide variety of ways. To learn more about what your specific company can gain through social media advertising, contact a representative of Marketing Done Right today. A full-service digital marketing agency with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, Marketing Done Right has helped a large number of small businesses use social media to get a competitive edge.