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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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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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The Crazy Value of PPC Management

I was just looking back on this past year of rule changes for Google Adwords and I was shocked to see that there were over 250 changes. I’ve been managing my clients pay-per-click campaigns for years and change is just a factor of marketing online, but 250? That seems like a lot to keep up with unless you have a professional manager. Whenever I do an audit for an existing pay-per-click campaign, I always find waste, the only question is, how much? Never less than 10%, sometimes as much as 47%. On a $10,000 monthly budget, that can mean $4,700 per month is wasted. That is crazy, but here’s crazier. Over the course of a year, that’s over $55,000 of waste. I like to put this in terms of LOST business. If you are wasting $55,000 in ad spend, how many customers would that have been? At $25 per click for a great keyword, that’s 2200 clicks. If you close 5% of those, that’s 110 jobs that are not coming through your door. Pay-per-click advertising is like a faucet, where you pay for every drop. If you aren’t careful, it can be a firehose. Of course, the numbers change with every business, but we always find the waste. I’ll tell you the places I look first for waste and offer a few other insights: 1. Time of day optimization – If you look at conversion costs at night, they sometimes are 2-5x the daytime conversion cost. Look at this inside your adwords account; if it’s true, turn off ads at night. (hopefully you are tracking conversion cost. if not, you need to start!) 2. Device optimization – Look at the cost per conversion for desktop vs mobile. They can be wildly different. Turn off or reduce whichever is much, much higher. 3. Split testing copy – You absolutely NEED to have more than 1 version of an ad where something is very different. Click-through-rate (CTR) will be higher for 1 variant after 3-4 weeks. Kill the other ad and now test a new variation. The higher your CTR, the cheaper your cost-per-click. 4. Don’t put your business name in your headline. 9.7 times out of 10, people are looking for a service, not a particular company. And if they are looking for a particular company, let them find you organically, where the clicks don’t cost money! Use your headline...

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Getting to the First Page of Google

Getting onto the first page of Google has supposedly been the pinnacle of internet marketing, at least when it comes to SEO. But what do the numbers tell us? Let’s look at a few stats I pulled from an article on Chitika. 1) Organic results get 90% of the traffic. (Organic, meaning, not paid ads on the results page.) Wow. This one is big. This means, if you want a lot of traffic, continuously working on your SEO is worth it! My only realization was that this number is so high. The corollary to this is that only 10% of clicks go to the paid ads. Again, this ratio surprised me. 2) The first result gets 1/3 of all traffic. Another biggie. The 2nd spot is getting 18% and 3rd 11%. That leaves the top 3 spots getting 2/3 of all traffic! 3) Less than 10% ever visit Page 2. I’m actually surprised this one isn’t lower. This reinforces the need to be on page 1, or be getting close to getting on page 1. Page 2 drives about 5% of the traffic and Page 3 about 1%. It gets really low after that. There you have it. The data telling you what you probably already had a good feel for. I learned a few things and I hope you did too. I have a general caveat here – there is no ‘single solution’ for marketing yourself online. SEO should play an integral role and can play alongside reputation, ppc, social, etc. Be everywhere! The next question, after knowing all of this is, what keywords are you trying to rank for? What is the average monthly search volume for those keywords? That is something I’ll save for a later post- this is so so so crucial to succeeding with SEO. It is the foundation upon which all good SEO is...

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