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So far Lucy Victor has created 9 blog entries.

Is Google The New Homepage for Local Businesses?

Consumers are searching online more than ever before. But local businesses may actually be seeing less web traffic. How is this possible? “Local search” often starts with Google and there are now numerous ways for consumers to find all the information they need right on Google’s first search results page. Google even allows consumers to interact with a local business – all without ever going to a website! This is all enabled by Google My Business listings that are becoming an increasingly vital component in creating online marketing success and attracting new customers. In fact, a new MOZ report found that 64% of local business marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses. Search used to be all about getting a click to your website. Now, it’s also about getting a click to a Google My Business listing. Websites are still important, but keeping your Google My Business and Knowledge Panel up to date is no longer just nice, it’s absolutely necessary.  If you don’t, you’re missing a huge opportunity to promote your business. What is the Knowledge Panel? When a consumer conducts a search for a particular business, Google provide the most relevant results as well a box on the right side of the page that is called the Knowledge Panel. The Knowledge Panel for that business includes directions, phone numbers, hours of operation, and more. Knowledge Panels show up in roughly 40% of searches and are especially crucial for providing consumers actionable results not requiring any additional clicks. You can keep your Knowledge Panel information relevant and up-to-date by first claiming, then verifying, your Google My Business profile. Google My Business is a free, easy to use listing that determines what appears on the Knowledge Panel. This will ensure that your customers can find and contact you, in addition to providing an overview of your products or services. Perhaps most importantly, the Knowledge Panel aggregates consumer reviews, making your online reputation readily available to all consumes. Managing your Google My Business listing, and Knowledge Panel, has become indispensable to online marketing success, as well as putting your business in the best position to get found. Claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing requires a bit of know-how, and we’re here to help -- contact us for more information on how to get started. INSIDE TIP: Subscribers to Engage121’s free HOT!Content service can access our 1-click Google My Business claiming app. Enroll here to get started. Good local marketing in the age of Google is no easy task. But doing it right can deliver some of the best returns for your local business. Interested in learning about how we can help manage your local Google My Business listings, and more?  We’d love to talk. Learn more   Related Services HOT!Content – a no-cost Daily Email with content and DIY tools. Digital Marketing Assistant, (DMA) – a managed subscription service.

If Your Focus is Local, It’s Not Just About Google Anymore

Today's consumers are more empowered than ever before, researching products and services in a multitude of ways -- and smart local marketers are there at every touchpoint. While it's true that search will always be at the heart of local marketing, it isn't just about Google. Think about it: With most local businesses laser-focused on Google, it can be hard to stand out. The ability to embrace other opportunities and diversify your local marketing mix can be a game changer for your business in 2019 and beyond. That's why more and more savvy local marketers have broadened their scope significantly, with a new focus on other platforms including social, directories and online reviews. And with competition fiercer than ever, there's no better time than now to leverage a cohesive, versatile local marketing strategy that gets you in front of the right consumers with the right messaging at the right time. Let's talk about what that looks like: Other Search Engines: When consumers are in the market for a product or service, they research on their phones, tablets or desktops. These searches take place on various engines, including Google, Safari, Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, TripAdvisor, YellowPages and many more sites. In order to meet consumers anywhere and everywhere they're looking, your business needs to be prominent on all of them. Consumer review sites: Reviews are very much a ranking factor and send a strong signal to search engines and potential customers that you are a trusted, quality business. That's why it makes good sense to be active on key consumer review sites. And once you get reviews, responding to them promptly is an essential component of careful reputation management. No reviews? No problem! Contact us for quick tips on how to build a solid base. Online Directories: Up to date directory listings are crucial, so be sure that your contact information, phone, website URL and company details are current and correct across all business directories. Not only does this matter to major search engines, it's an important way to build brand awareness and establish local consumer trust. Social Media: You simply can't do local marketing without social. Social media connects your business to the community in a way that not only raises awareness for your products and services, but also strengthens your branding efforts. By interacting with the community, you get a chance to build authenticity and nurture a genuine connection with consumers instead of just marketing at them. So be sure that your social sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, are active, vibrant and up-to-date. Optimized Content: Once your business is found, the content you provide to consumers can make or break your business. It must be relevant, accurate and fresh, not just on your website but across all platforms -- on GoogleMyBusiness and social sites like Facebook as well as Yelp, TripAdvisor and more -- presenting a consistent, professional, up-to-date and compelling face to your customer. The Takeaway: Be in All the Right Places The change in consumer [...]

6 Ways to Power Your LOCAL Search Results

Increase Visibility, Get Found and Drive Sales When people are in the market for a product or service, they search. They're already in the mood to buy; all you need to do is stand out. And you will stand out – if you add six simple but powerful local search strategies to your small business marketing mix. It's a fact: 46% of all Google searches seek local information. What's more, "near me" searches have grown 130% year-over-year since 2015, translating into a whopping 34-fold increase* in single local search queries. That's a big deal! These stats mean that now, more than ever before, local search engine optimization (LOCAL SEO) presents significant growth opportunities for every small business. Not only is LOCAL SEO an especially effective way to generate visibility, it also helps you boost site traffic, increase engagement and drive sales. What is LOCAL SEO? Like traditional SEO, LOCAL SEO focuses on content, backlinks, keywords and website activity. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. What sets LOCAL SEO apart is the way it leverages the geographical component. While traditional SEO concentrates on the "What" of your business (your product or service) LOCAL SEO also prioritizes the "Where" – further refining search to meet the demands of today's connected consumers. By combining What + Where, LOCAL SEO optimizes your online presence and puts your business in a position to show up in local searches and meet potential customers right when they're looking for you. The next step is to understand and implement the six key components that help you power LOCAL SEO: Google My Business: This free, easy to use listing helps you manage what appears on the right side of the page when customers search for your business on Google, including your business name, address, phone number and reviews. Website Backlinks: When other web pages -- including review sites and social business pages – include links back to your website, it strengthens your value and relevance. Search engines take the number of backlinks into account when they rank websites in search results; the more backlinks you have, the more positive the impact on your site's rankings. Good Online Content: Engaging content brings your products and services to life. Informative posts, images and video created and optimized to resonate with consumers help you reach your business goals. Most of all, good, relevant content captures early stage awareness queries and helps your business get found. Directory Listings: These online entries contain a local citation: the name address and phone number (NAP) of your business along with other information to help consumers in the discovery process. Citations also help your search rankings by telling search engines where you're located and validating your business. These listings can appear on other business pages, review sites, or social media platforms. Reviews: The influence of reviews on purchase decisions is strong, clear and measurable. A full 84 percent** of consumers trust consumer online reviews as much more than a personal recommendation. Furthermore, every one star [...]

A HOT!Content Quick Start Guide

HOT!Content is certainly a lot more than a daily collection of articles. There's a lot you will learn over time, so here's a Quick Start Guide that will help you get the most from HOT!Content right away: Activate. Your first step is to "introduce" or enable HOT!Content to work with the pages and sites (including Google, Facebook, Yelp and more) that will be important to your LOCAL SEO success. You will always maintain complete control - HOT!Content will never publish or interact with these sites without your express permission. Claim Google My Business. You will be able to "claim" your Google My Business ("GMB") page once you activate in Step 1. It's so important to your LOCAL SEO that it merits its own step! Claiming your GMB requires a bit of know-how. So, again, don't hesitate to contact us for help. Post. LOCAL SEO in a nutshell means getting found online by your customers and prospects - no matter where they are looking. Publishing content of interest increases the likelihood that you will be found. Think of posting as investing in your online presence. Marketing experts recommend posting 5x/week! Get started here or simply by clicking on "POST" in your HOT!Content email. Respond to your consumers. LOCAL SEO values reviews highly and HOT!Content's Reputation Monitor captures all consumer reviews posted by customers of your business. Be sure to respond to each review, even if it's just a "thank you." No reviews? Get in touch with us and we'll explain how to encourage people to say nice things about you online. Promote your business. HOT!Content is a great way to target ads at just the people you want to meet. Let us help you build a campaign that will achieve your objectives, within your budget. Questions? Comments? We're here to help: Email: support@engage121.com Facebook Messenger: @engage121

HOT!Content is DIY

HOT!Content is a comprehensive solution for local businesses; but not all local businesses! HOT!Content only makes sense for those businesses that can afford the time and effort to do-it-yourself. And, no one should underestimate that cost! Since you have not (yet) activated your HOT!Content subscription, we are thinking you may be one of the many local businesses that need an expert to manage your LOCAL SEO for you. We would like to introduce our Digital Marketing Assistant to you. A couple of quick comments: You will enjoy your own dedicated Assistant to work with you - personally. Your Digital Marketing Assistant is comprehensive and will expertly manage all 6 primary elements in developing your LOCAL SEO success. We manage LOCAL SEO for more than a thousand local businesses. One of our Assistants knows and understands your industry, and your business. There are components of LOCAL SEO success that are only available to our Digital Marketing Assistants. Make sure you are doing all you can to achieve success by exploring our full service solution. It's affordable! Unlike other digital marketing services you may have heard about, we know local business and we understand your budget. Your best next step is to request a LOCAL SEO Assessment. It's no cost, only takes about 30 minutes, and we promise, you will learn a lot! Questions? Comments? We're here to help: Email: support@engage121.com Facebook Messenger: @engage121

How Are You Doing?

You have been working hard on improving your LOCAL SEO. Are you interested in an objective analysis of what progress you are making? Engage121's LOCAL SEO Assessment can help. An Assessment can be completed in less than 1/2 hour and will cover all key elements contributing to your LOCAL SEO, including: Google My Business Website Links Online Content Directory Listings Consumer Reviews Social Activity Are you just getting started working on your LOCAL SEO and want to develop a baseline understanding of your current situation? Or, have you been diligently pursuing LOCAL SEO success and want to evaluate your progress? A LOCAL SEO Assessment is quick, and there is no obligation of any kind. And, we will provide you a follow-up report at no cost. Request a LOCAL SEO Assessment here. Questions? Comments? We're here to help: Email: support@engage121.com Facebook Messenger: @engage121

How Is Your LOCAL SEO?

LOCAL SEO is the ability of a business to be found online. It's important! And, for a business focused on a local market, LOCAL SEO success means a lot more than just being on Google. So, how are you doing? First, do you have a website - and, is your website structured correctly to work for you? If you have any questions or concerns, contact us. We can help. Next step, consider the following questions: Is your business "claimed" on all the relevant search engines (Google, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo! and more)? Are your "backlinks" correct on all the online business directories (YellowPages, Zillow, Foursquare)? Are you utilizing content strategically (on GoogleMyBusiness and social sites like Facebook? Creating and posting PR and newsletters? Encouraging consumer reviews?) This may seem obvious, but is your contact information current and correct across all business directories? This matters a lot to the major search engines! Have your customers mentioned you positively and prominently on the consumer review sites most relevant in your industry (Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google, Facebook)? Are your social sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) active and up-to-date? Your Engage121 Team offers a no cost, no obligation LOCAL SEO Assessment that will provide you an objective view of your online presence - and some of our ideas for improvement. Questions? Comments? We're here to help: Email: support@engage121.com Facebook Messenger: @engage121

What’s Different About LOCAL SEO?

What's different about LOCAL SEO? "What" and "where" – that's the difference between brand SEO and local SEO. For your franchise system's brand presence you want people to know what you do. But, your franchisees want people to find them locally – in other words, not only what they do, but equally importantly, where they do it!   LOCAL SEO ensures your franchisees are where they need to be online. To be found locally, you need to cover all six factors that most impact LOCAL SEO. You can do it! Get a great start with HOT!Content. Or, our Digital Marketing Assistants can do it for you. Contact us and we'll be glad to review your options. Questions? Comments? We're here to help: Email: support@engage121.com Facebook Messenger: @engage121

What is LOCAL SEO?

We describe HOT!Content as much more than "content." It's the beginning of a journey towards LOCAL SEO success. And, if you are a local business, LOCAL SEO success is a very big deal! "SEO" means "search engine optimization," which simply describes whether, and how easily, your customers learn about you. Add "LOCAL" and we're talking about the many ways your customers not only learn about you, but also literally find their way to your place of business. No matter what business you are in, no matter who your customers are, they are online accessing information (and may be looking for you!) from a connected device, including a computer, but today, most probably a smart cell phone. Let's go into just a bit more detail: Most information is found through a search engine; the most well-known example is Google, so, of course, your business needs to be prominent on Google.NOTE: You definitely need a website that is structured correctly to work for you. Any questions or concerns, contact us. We can help! But, LOCAL SEO means much more than Google. And, that's because there are many other search engines that matter. Consider: Facebook, Yelp, Google Maps, Trip Advisor, YellowPages and many, many more sites all have search engines. And, your business needs to be prominent on all of them! And, once your business is found, you need to present a consistent, professional, up-to-date and compelling face to your customer. Your online presence is the equivalent of your 21st century business card. We can help you do this! Your business is being judged every day based on your online presence. Let's work together to make it shine. Questions? Comments? We're here to help: Email: support@engage121.com Facebook Messenger: @engage121