Effective Local SEO strategies

local seo

Within the small business marketing world, you may have noticed a trend towards referring to local SEO as an effective tool for websites to gain ranking. When you have a business that relies on a local customer base, or if you have a brick and mortar location, then you want to rank high in search engines for local queries. Here are a few quick ways to kickstart an effective local SEO campaign.

Include your city in your title and meta descriptions

Every page on your site should have a title so make sure that these include your location and brand. That way, the results displayed from a search will reflect exactly who, what, and where you are. For instance ‘John Smith LLC – CPA Lansing’. 

The blurb that displays under the title in a search result is called a Meta description and there you should expand a bit more, though keeping it under 155 characters. ‘John Smith LLC offering personal and small business accounting and tax preparation for the Lansing area.’

Create local profiles

Start out with the Big Three sites:

  • Google + Local
  • Bing Places
  • Yahoo Local

These profiles are naturally going to be favored by their respective search engines which are the top three used by prospective customers so creating listings there first is critical. Make sure that you format your profile information consistently across all platforms. For instance, if your business address is on Main Street, then make sure you type out the word Street each time rather than alternating between Street and St. Depending on your area, setup profiles on the relevant community review sites such as Yelp.

Add a map on your site

Embed a map of your business address from Google Maps showing your Google+ Local profile on your site’s Contact Us page. This is another effective way to help both the user and the search engines find you within your geographic area.

Reviews

Encourage satisfied customers to write reviews on the local sites such as Yelp and Google + Local. Make it easy for them by displaying an icon on your door and perhaps on your sales receipts. People love to see testimonials on sites when they find them, and they are much more likely to check your place out if other customers recommend your business.

These are just a few strategies to implement that are fairly easy and will get a business moving up the ranks local SEO search results. For more information related to the successful online marketing of your company, contact us today.


Marketing Ideas: Can Flat Fee Shipping Improve Conversion Rates?

flat rate shipping

Consumers love free shipping and there’s lots of marketing data which supports the improvements to Key Performance Indicators when it is implemented. E-commerce sites that ship small but expensive products (jewelry, perfumes, cell phones) can easily absorb the additional expense, but what about sites that ship larger and less expensive items? One marketing idea is to implement Flat Fee Shipping.

Flat Fee Shipping is the middle ground between per weight shipping costs and free shipping. Implemented correctly, it can solve the issues associated with high shipping costs, handling fees or surprise fees, which is what most consumers worry about when shipping is not free. Research is key to making sure your new shipping business model is successful:

  • Analyze your historical shipping costs and develop an average.
  • The flat fee needs to be at or below your average in order to make it attractive to site visitors.
  • Determine how much your conversions need to increase to break even.
  • Determine how much your conversions need to increase to improve your ROI.

Your ideal flat shipping fee should cover the bulk of your orders while a few will fall far from the average and will definitely erode your margins. However, remember that the whole purpose of the exercise is to improve conversion rates. The additional volume and the associated profits should not only cover all shipping cost losses, it should raise your overall Return On Spiritual Investment as well.

Refrain from implementing price changes if at all possible. Introducing price changes as a variable on top of the flat shipping fees can make analysis very difficult if not outright impossible. It is best to implement marketing ideas one at a time to avoid data confusion.

Once you come up with the final shipping fee you need to fully market the change and make sure every visitor to your site is aware of the new fixed fee. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Test to make sure the site is correctly configured for flat fees.
  2. A banner, a sidebox or the footer should announce the new shipping fee structure. It should be seen on every page of the site.
  3. If possible, make sure your shopping cart automatically displays the flat fee without having to click on a shipping estimator button.
  4. Mention the change in all your advertising & marketing campaigns (PPC, display banners, marketing materials, articles, etc.).
  5. Analyze results frequently to avoid end of month surprises.

While many e-commerce sites implement free shipping to generate additional sales, it is widely believed that some money is being left on the table. Consumers do indeed love free shipping but they are also willing to pay a reasonably reduced shipping rate. Flat fee shipping can increase conversion rates while still capturing some revenue which would be otherwise lost in a free shipping solution.

Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help you implement flat fee shipping and any other marketing ideas which may improve your conversion rates. Thank you to our sponsor for underwriting this article. If you’re looking for Lansing jobs, check them out.