davewent@gmail.com

Facebook Lead Ads are Coming

Until now, Facebook has been lagging in the lead generation realm, in comparison to companies like Yelp, Google and others. But, they may be catching up with this most recent feature release. Facebook Lead Ads Facebook hasn’t been specifically targeting gathering leads for businesses directly, mostly indirectly, as “awareness”, “engagement” or activity, such as email sign-up. But where does that leave the local contractor or local business who is interested in acquiring customers today? Facebook is slowly releasing this feature called “Lead Ads”. I don’t have access to it yet, but it’s coming and I’m excited. Here are the instructions from Facebook – this will let you know if you have access already: Before you begin creating your lead ads campaign, we advise having someone from your legal team review the questions you plan to ask on your form, as well as go over the lead ads policies and terms of service. Once you’re ready, make sure you also have:   Access to your business’s Facebook Page.   The URL to your business’s privacy policy.   An image for your ad.   When you’re ready, go to your Power Editor. Below are instructions for what to do at the campaign, ad set and ad levels.   Campaign Click Create Campaign and give it a name.   Under Objective, select Lead Generation. Keep in mind your buying type must be Auction.   Click Create. The reason I’m excited is because Facebook has an unprecedented amount of information and user base. Combining that with the laser-focused intent of capturing leads (not just engaging or clicking) has the potential to be very powerful. Let me know if you have access and are interested in this type of ad. It looks to be promising, especially for service-based businesses that could use new customers every...

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Google Snack Pack

Yes, it’s the delicious pudding snack from your lunch box. But I’m not here to talk about lunch today. Google is shaking up the local business search (again) and this time it’s a doozy. Do you remember what used to be called the 7-pack? It was the list of 7 businesses that appears with a map nearby. Google went off and reduced that list it by more than 50%! Now, it’s 3 businesses, affectionately known as the Google Snack Pack. Here’s what it looks like:​ Why did Google make this change? They are always testing and some theories include that they are trying to make the desktop and mobile experiences similar; showing 7 results to a mobile user is a bit futile. Another theory is that they are trying to create a listing format where they can sneak paid ads in there without users knowing (very sneaky that Google). Yet another theory is they looked at the percentage of clicks the bottom 4 received and didn’t think it was valuable to keep 7 businesses in play. I personally like seeing 7 businesses and frequently call more than the top 3, but they didn’t ask my opinion… What does this mean to your business? Now it’s more important and more competitive than ever to be ranking in your top 3 for maps, to stay inside the snack pack. 1. Do you know your target keywords that trigger the maps results? 2. Do you know your maps ranking for those keywords? For example, if you were a roofing company in Toledo, you might target ‘roofing toledo’ as a keyword since that gets a good amount of search volume. If you have to click ‘more results’ before you ever see your company name, you are not getting as many views, clicks & calls as you...

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Explainer Videos explained

One of the biggest trends in the last few years for local business advertising has been using whiteboard or explainer videos. These videos do not include you or your coworkers in the video at all. They are completely animated. These videos demonstrate a complex idea very quickly and simply by animating what looks like an artist making the drawings as they go. They capture attention and explain difficult ideas so easily – audiences love them. I had this problem where I was constantly explaining how our reputation services work. I’d explain them and after talking to someone for over 5 minutes, I realized I wasn’t really connecting or explaining things well. It helps to have a visual component for good understanding. I went to have my own video made and here is it (my reputation marketing video). This video captures the essence – it doesn’t attempt to include every detail or nuance of our services. But they get the basic idea very easily. Now how might you get a video like this done? It must cost thousands to get something animated with a voice-over! One of my secret resources is Fiverr.com where most services start at $5. A video of this length with this detail was not $5, but only a few hundred dollars. And really, what price could I put on a professional, animated video that explained one of our most basic and popular services? I hope this helps. If you are interested in explainer videos and would like one made, I can help, just let me know and we’ll get you one...

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The Crazy Importance of Google Maps

One of the most reliable ways to generate leads for your local business is through online presence, specifically Google Maps. For those that don’t know, when you search a term with ‘local intent’, Google serves up a map with 7 businesses listed on it, A through G, and their address, phone number and website, including any reviews. Getting into (and on top of) this ‘Google 7 Pack’ has long been the goal of many SEO and local marketing campaigns. There are over 200 signals that Google considers when selecting the businesses that will fall into this group, and these change every year. The only way we even know what the signals are is from testing and surveying end-user clients, Google will not tell us directly. The cool part about the maps rankings is that the rankings do not fluctuate as much as the organic rankings for a website. Also, people use these much more often for contacting businesses because they include all of the relevant information needed to hire a business or inquire about pricing. There are so, so, so many factors that contribute to your rank, how can you focus on them all? What are the trends? Where should I put my attention? The easiest answer is to hire someone to take care of all of this for you, because of the changing nature of the business. But, you can also do a lot of it yourself if you’re willing to do the work. Moz publishes a fantastic resource for the ranking signals every year. This is invaluable. Get it here. A few things you can do. Get more accurate citations. Citations are essentially backlinks for maps. This seems to be something that might not carry as much weight in the future, but it still seems to push business pages upwards when more citations are gathered. A citation is a listing somewhere else (Yelp, Citysearch, Manta, YP, etc) that has the EXACT SAME name address and phone number (abbreviated as NAP) as what is on your site. Google recognizes these as validating the information it already has and gives you credit for it. We offer help for this. This is easy to do, but never spend more than 15 minutes getting a citation. I recommend getting 5-20 per month, because Google also considers the velocity at which these citations are gotten. If you have more than 1 location,...

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The Important Role of SEO in Marketing Your Business on the Internet

If your business webpage is created without any SEO incorporated into it, your brick and mortar location might as well have no signage on it, either. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is absolutely necessary if you want to attract customers to your website in order to eventually make a sale. No internet marketing strategy is complete without it. So what exactly is SEO? To break it down to its most basic function, it’s the practice of incorporating certain keywords into your website content so that when those keywords are typed into a search engine like Google, your website appears relevant to the searcher. There is, of course, much more that goes into SEO, and that’s where the professionals come in. A good way to think of an SEO specialist is as a cartographer that makes maps which are centered around you. When potential customers look at these maps, they will see your business front and center, and they will then be more likely to buy your goods or services. While anyone can make a map, it’s the SEO specialists who know every little detail that needs to be included. Keyword strategies are changing constantly, as major search engines frequently change how they determine what’s relevant to a searcher at any given time. It’s the job of a specialist to stay on top of these strategies so that your website content is as up-to-date as possible. SEO isn’t all about just keywords, however. It involves choosing the right format for your webpages, creating links that would allow search engine crawlers to find your webpages, and coming up with the right URLs, among others. Good content, however, is paramount to effective SEO. The copy that surrounds the keywords must be well-written and of high quality in order to keep a customer hooked. A content’s relevance and value to users have become important elements in SEO. All these point to the need for the services of a professional team, like the Apex Business Team who serves businesses in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Livonia, and other areas,  who can dedicate sufficient time and skills to getting your website found easily on the Web. One of the best things about SEO is that it has a seriously large ROI. Compared to traditional advertising and promotions, as well as other online marketing techniques, SEO yields better returns. Through this practice, you’re constantly attracting countless clients that...

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