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

How to Optimize Google My Business

Claiming and Verifying your Google My Business location is the first step to ensuring customers can find your business in Google Search and Google Maps. Now let’s ensure your customers see the best digital storefront possible!   Business Info When you Created and Claimed your business, you provided the basics, but there’s more to a business than the address and phone number. Making sure your customers find accurate – and helpful - information is key to starting off on the right foot. Confirm your business category. Check to make sure you have the correct category or categories selected for your business. This will ensure you're showing up in the right search results. Enter your business hours. No one wants to show up to a store to find it closed. Let your customers know when they can expect to find your doors open. You’ll also be able to enter special hours for holidays so no one is left guessing. Confirm your phone number(s). If you have toll-free and local numbers, you can add both here. Confirm your Website. Your Google listing will include a link to your website so make sure it’s sending customers to the right place. Depending on your business, you may also be able to add links for appointment booking, online ordering, or menu. Add your list of services. If you have a list of standard services, you can list them here along with prices. Add a description. Add a paragraph or two to let prospects know what you’re all about. Add an opening date. Let your prospects know how long you’ve been in business.   Photos & Videos Your customers (and prospects!) want to learn about your business. Adding pictures and videos provides your customers and prospects a preview of your business before they hop in the car. Exterior Photos. Adding a good exterior photo or two of your storefront will help prospective customers know they’re in the right place. Interior Photos. Add interior photos to showcase the look and feel of your business. Videos If you have a video that tells the story of your business, this a great place to put it on display. At Work Photos. Add pictures to the “At Work” section to show off your friendly staff helping customers. Team Photos. Add pictures to the “Team” section to introduce prospective customers to your team before they even step foot in the store.   Messaging  Not all customers want to make a phone call. These days, more and more customers would rather text or message you than talk on the phone. Google’s Messaging integration allows customers to text message you without making your mobile phone number public.   Reviews Being responsive to customer reviews is pivotal to Local SEO success. Whether it’s a simple “Thank You” when a customer leaves a positive review or jumping on a complaint to make it right, you need to be responsive. Connecting your Google My Business page to HOT!Content and enabling “Reputation Monitor” will help you stay [...]

By | 2018-12-05T19:12:54+00:00 November 2nd, 2018|Digital Marketing, Google My Business, Local SEO|

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 [...]

How HOT!Content Helps Local Businesses Connect With Their Community and Build Brand Awareness

HOT!Content is a daily content email by industry, reputation monitoring and advertising. HOT!Content™ subscribers build a loyal community and leverage community goodwill to build their brand and grow their customer base. A recent Facebook study highlights the opportunity for local businesses to build brand awareness across communities: 46% of businesses surveyed say they maintain a close connection to the local community And, the feeling is mutual; 48% of people surveyed say they shop locally to support local businesses* Social media provides a convenient way for both businesses and consumers to connect and engage to create a dynamic community. Facebook recommends the following tactics: Create your online presence Post engaging and relevant content Interact with your customers online Two critical challenges local businesses face in building their online community are lack of time and lack of knowledge. We developed HOT!Content to overcome these two issues. Small business owners hear a lot about the potential of digital, but they don’t really understand how to use it and learning how isn’t high on their priority list. We knew we had to offer them something that they could use ‘out of the box,’ that would deliver immediate results without a significant investment in time or financial resources. With HOT!Content, busy local businesses build, engage and retain a community of customers and prospects with relevant content; reputation monitoring and targeted advertising services. HOT!Content subscribers receive a daily email with curated content by industry that contains five articles with images or videos that are ready to post to your social media pages; reputation monitoring that alerts you when your average rating or number of consumer reviews changes; and digital advertising services. We invite you to get started building your local business brand and community with HOT!Content. And, it is FREE. Click here to learn more! Please connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+. Source: Facebook, www.facebook.com/iq/articles/how-local-businesses-forge-connections-that-build-brands/

Let’s Get Started Writing A Press Release For Your Local Business

A story in local media shows your business is the local trusted expert. Have you considered submitting a press release about your business to local media, but you are not sure how to get started? The Engage121 team has the following suggestions to create your engaging press release. First, let’s begin with the fundamentals. A press release is a short newsworthy communication directed at members of the news media to kick off a conversation with a reporter or editor about a product or service launch, company news or employment announcement. It is a useful tool to generate media coverage to position your local business as an expert in your field and ultimately help your business grow and succeed! Is your story newsworthy?  A newsworthy story contains information that your readers will care about. Local: As a local business, your story will be of interest to local publications with readers in your area. Influence: The larger the impact, the more people will be interested. Relevance: It is important to share how your story is relevant for your audience. Brand or Name Recognition: Brands and names that people know increase interest in your story. Tips for writing your press release.  Press releases contain the following four parts: The headline/subhead The purpose of the headline is to explain your news and encourage readers to want to learn more. The body The body includes the pertinent information reporters will want and need to know, without explaining too much. It should answer the following questions: who, what, when, where and why. And, be sure to include a quote to add a personal element to your story. Lastly, grammar matters so please check for typos and grammar mistakes before sending. The About Us section Background information about your business should be included in the About Us section. This section is usually the same in every release and can include links to your website and social media sites so readers can learn more. Contact Info At the end of your press release, include your contact information so a reporter knows how to reach you for any follow-up questions! Want to get started on issuing your Local PR today? The Engage121 Local PR solution makes it easy for you to share your business news and announcements. As a HOT!Content subscriber, Local PR is available through your HOT!Content. Open your Hot!Content email to get started. Not a HOT!Content subscriber? HOT!Content is a daily email containing five interesting and engaging articles, images and videos - all ready to post to your social sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. And, it is FREE. Click here to learn more!

By | 2018-09-19T19:01:46+00:00 August 31st, 2018|Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Local PR|