What you need to know about Google Ads for Local Businesses

You have your website, an active blog page, and a consistent social media strategy all in place. So now what? If your organic marketing is all set and working for you, it’s time to take that content and put it in hyper-drive with Google Ads.

Great content is the key to reaching and building trust with your audience, so they feel confident purchasing your services and products. To maximize it, you’ll want to get it in front of even more eyes, so spending some money on Google Ads is a logical next step. Of course, if you’re spending money on advertising, you’ll want to make sure that your ad structure helps maximize your potential Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Because Google Ads can be a bit complicated, we’ve put together a few tips to help get you started.

Google Ads for Local Businesses: Quick Glossary
  • Keywords: The words or phrases consumers search for which signal to Google to show your ad. You choose a list of keywords when creating your ad campaign.
  • Bid: The maximum amount you’re willing to spend to get a click on an ad.
  • Quality Score: How relevant your ad is to your selected keywords and your landing page. The higher your Quality Score, the better.
  • Ad Rank: Where your ad shows on Google.
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): What you pay when an ad is clicked on.
  • Conversions: The action someone takes after they click your ad – for example, making a purchase.
Google Ads for Local Businesses: Use the Location Ad Extension

You can use several extensions with your Google Ads that help you achieve increased click-through rates, provide additional information to consumers, and make it easier for customers to call.

If you’re focusing on local search, the local ad extension can help you find a nearby product or service by opening Google Maps and giving the consumer directions to your store. The surprising news? Although 76% of people who search for a local service visit a business that day, not many companies use this ad extension! So you can get a leg up on your competition with just a few simple steps. 

In your Google Ads dashboard, search for the “Location Extensions” option.

Google Ads for Local Businesses: Update Your Location Targeting

Google’s targeting defaults to “anyone who shows interest in your area.” But what you want to do is target consumers who are in your area! 

To make this change, go to Campaign Settings -> Locations -> Target. Under Target, select the “People in or regularly in your targeted locations” option. Doing so will help narrow the search field and increase the chances of getting foot traffic to your store.

Google Ads for Local Businesses: Budgeting for Success

You’ll want to set up a campaign for each business objective you have. You could divide your budget evenly across each campaign set, but we recommend adjusting the budget based on your current focus. For example, if you’re having a sale on a particular product, you should focus more of your ad budget on that product for the duration of your sale. You can rearrange your budget again the following month, so you’re always putting more money behind the current business goals.

Google AdWords can seem daunting at first, but if you break it into steps and make tweaks to help target hyper-local consumers, you can effectively use AdWords to drive more foot traffic to your store. If you have more questions about how Google AdWords can help drive traffic to your store, book a free consultation call

How Your Local Business Benefits From Trust According To The Edelman Trust Barometer

If you’re a business owner, you likely know that trust plays a big factor in your sales – trust in your business, trust in your products, and trust built by reviews and testimonials left on sites like Google My Business or shared on social media. But how can you build and harness this trust factor? The Edelman Trust Barometer offers some clues. 

The Edelman Trust Barometer

Edelman recently released their 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer; stats which are pulled from a survey issued to more than 33,000 respondents in 28 countries. While trust, on the whole, has declined, largely due to the pandemic and the public being unsure of what information they can trust and from where, the good news is that for businesses, the trust index has actually increased.

Out of the four institution types included in the survey – Business, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Government, and Media – business is the only one that scored high enough to be classified as “Trusted”.

“While the world seems to be clouded by mistrust and misinformation, there is a glimmer of hope in business. This year’s study shows that business is not only the most trusted institution among the four studied, but it is also the only trusted institution with a 61 percent trust level globally, and the only institution seen as both ethical and competent.”

https://www.edelman.com/trust/2021-trust-barometer

 

Because folks are turning to businesses to fill in the gaps where it’s perceived that governments and media aren’t, it’s now more important than ever for CEOs to share quality, trustworthy information with their employees, which in turn finds its way into the community. But this isn’t just information about the business itself, more than 53% of respondents believe that corporations are responsible for filling in the information void, and 86% believe this should include topics such as COVID-19 and other social issues. 

A Person Like Me – Trusted Brands

There is a ripple effect here that occurs when businesses begin sharing trustworthy information and where they stand on major societal issues – businesses suddenly become perceived as having personalities. And who doesn’t want to hang out with and support people like them?

Here’s an example:

In 2018, Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) found itself at the center of the gun-control debate, when it was revealed that one of its suppliers, Vista, had holdings in the manufacture of assault-style weapons. MEC’s main consumer base, made up of outdoorsy folks who spend their time hiking, biking, camping, and enjoying nature, weren’t exactly on board with supporting the Vista brand. So MEC had to decide: Where do we stand on this issue?

Not surprisingly, they opted to stop using Vista as a distributor. 

“It’s been [a] really good exercise internally in taking the facts and coming up with an opinion that we believe is both balanced, and fair, and right,” Labistour told CBC News at the time.

The result? Sure, MEC likely lost some pro-gun shoppers, but it built its trust with its core community of brand-loyal customers.

Those consumers will share the “good news” with others in their network – mostly people like them who are pro gun control and enjoy the outdoors. A trusted friend sharing something good about a local business? You know they went there to buy their next pair of hiking boots.

Consumers like and trust brands that share the same values as them. Shoppers don’t only go after the cheapest price anymore. They want to know where their money is going, who they are supporting, and if the business has the same values as they do.

It all comes down to trust.

A Person Like Me – Trusted People

There’s something else we touched on in that last segment – trusted people. 72% of consumers won’t complete a purchase before consulting reviews, but how can we double-down on those reviews to get the most out of them?

By making sure they come from people like our consumers; from brand evangelists or ambassadors. This is why the rise of the social media influencer has been so popular among large brands and small local businesses alike – when people see someone they perceive to be like themselves advocating for a business or product, they’re infinitely more likely to also trust that business or product right away.

Social media influencers have essentially moved word-of-mouth marketing from small, in-person conversations to massive audiences that span from local communities to global ones. And again, it’s all rooted in the trust of the person sharing your message for you.

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 report has shown us that, more than ever, consumers are turning to businesses to see how they are communicating and handling social justice issues – and are therefore seeing which businesses have personalities (aka brands) that seem similar to themselves prior to making purchase decisions moving forward.

Now is the time to understand your brand, your ideal customer, and make sure they know, like, and trust you.

The Local Marketing Toolkit For Small Businesses

Our clients often ask us what local marketing toolkit they should be using to promote their business. So we’ve developed this post to provide guidance to those looking to promote their business in a local area.

We’re a small business too – so we know that small business owners have a lot to think about all the time. There’s a lot on your plate, from managing the day-to-day to behind-the-scenes operations, ensuring customer satisfaction, making sure employees are up to speed, and so forth.

Unfortunately, marketing often falls to the bottom of the to-do list. But, it is crucial to use the right tools to market your business. Doing so can go a long way to helping you build sales – and peace of mind. So, we’ve put together this local marketing toolkit that won’t break the budget and will move your business further along the line.

Website

A website is vital for online success. Whether you’re looking to collect leads or close an e-commerce sale, you need the proper infrastructure in place. That’s why these platforms are at the top of our local marketing toolkit. 

  • WordPress or Shopify: Website builders like WordPress and Shopify allow you to create unique websites that your customers will find. (Shopify will enable you to start selling online for as little as $29/month.) Many plug-and-play website builders out there make it easy to create and manage a website. But these sites come with a significant downside, too: they’re not set up with the appropriate back-end fields to help your website get found in search results. 
  • Google Analytics: Before you have your website up and running, make sure to enable Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It’s vital as it lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track referral traffic from organic, social media and paid traffic sources. This platform will help you understand where people are coming from to get to your site and which traffic converts the most visitors. 

Search Necessities

Now that your website is up and running and you’re tracking visits, you can concentrate on getting your needs found. Being search-ready can help you attract and intercept customers looking for what you sell or provide. 

  • Google My Business: This free profile or business listing on Google helps you keep your current customers up-to-date and makes it easier to be found by potential customers. Often, Google My Business listings will appear in search results even before websites do, so you’ll want to take advantage. 
  • Other directories and listing platforms: Countless apps and platforms allow businesses to set up a profile and get found by potential customers. But your business needs to have these profiles set up and be active! Expanding your presence to more directories allows you to increase your reach, build awareness and generate more traffic to your website. 10|20 Marketing offers a low-cost service that manages all of your profiles so you can focus on more important things in your business.

Email Marketing

If your website exists to generate leads or convert sales, then you’ll want to do something with all those email addresses you’re collecting. Regularly communicating with your prospects and clients can lead to (repeat) sales and greater loyalty. Make sure they opt-in to receive emails from you first, though!

  • ConvertKit: Free email marketing software for up to 1,000 subscribers. The free account includes unlimited landing pages and forms (to collect email addresses), allows you to send emails, and lets you sell and track digital products and subscriptions. You can even build your forms in ConvertKit and embed them into your website. Doing so allows each form completion to go directly into ConvertKit so you can make sure these sign-ups are in your database!
  • Mailchimp: More often than not, MailChimp seems to be the email marketing software of choice among small business owners. The free account allows you to have up to 2,000 contacts, sending up to 10,000 emails per month. It also includes landing pages and design tools.

Promotion

With everything running nice and smooth, you may want to consider a content (and) or a paid advertising strategy.

  • Social Media: Social media is excellent for building brand awareness and engaging with your audience for free. Use it to promote your content, blogs, tips, and advice – all things that help build trust with your audience and customers. Popular platforms for business are InstagramFacebook Pages, LinkedInPinterest, and yes, even TikTok! However, we recommend choosing one or two platforms to focus on, especially if you’re getting started. It’s to be present in one or two places all the time, then only once in a while on several networks. 
  • Facebook Ads: On Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, or any other social platform, if you want more than organic reach, you can create ads to target a wider audience. You can choose exactly how much you want to spend. And doing so is especially helpful if you are promoting a new product or service.
  • Google Ads: Wish your website would appear at the top of the search results page? Well, it can. Google Ads are similar to Facebook Ads, except, of course, they appear on the Google web search results page. Create an ad and choose what kind of keywords you want to target, set a budget, and you’re you’red running!

10|20 Marketing can help you manage your ad campaigns on social media and Google if this is outside of your comfort zone.

Other Tools

What else might you need to keep your business running smoothly? Here are some other ideas. 

  • LastPass: LastPass allows you to store all of your passwords securely and share individual passwords with trusted team members that require them. It’s an important tool to maintain business integrity and stay safe online.
  • Zapier: Zapier allows you to integrate all of your apps and automate specific processes to save time. Build triggers to complete processes for your business. For example, you can use this to get an email every time a new form completion comes from your website.

The Local Marketing Toolkit For Small Businesses

Finally, you’ll want your website, apps, social profiles, and email marketing all connected so you can accurately measure the results of your efforts. Connect what you can to Google Analytics, and take the time to understand the leads and sales you get from your promotions.

There are several moving pieces when it comes to marketing your local business online. If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, book a free consultation with us and let’s see how we can help. 

Visit These Sites For The Best Local Marketing Advice

Looking for local marketing advice? With all of the ‘expert’ marketing guidance out there on the internet, it can be hard to know what sources you can trust. And which pieces of local marketing advice you should leave behind. As a small business owner, you want to be sure you’re not wasting your time!

We get it, and we want to see you succeed. So we’ve compiled a list of resources we believe offer great insights that you can feel good about.

Local University

Local U teaches business owners all about online marketing, focusing on Local Search Engine Optimization. Pre-COVID, Local U brought together SEO experts to deliver training at in-person, full-day seminars. (Note: you can buy access to past, recorded conferences or stay up-to-date on upcoming events here.)

But Local U is more than just a marketing conference. They have an affordable, paid membership forum where local business owners have access to more than 20 local search experts to get professional advice to their most burning questions, as well as access to discounts on event tickets.

They also have several free resources, including a blog and unique tool that gives you the ability to score your Google Homepage.

Wordstream

Wordstream offers “online advertising made easy,” pairing advisors with businesses. But we think the real gem on their site is the Local Marketing section. Here they have a blog full of tips and advice for local businesses who want to drive more sales with cost-effective marketing strategies.

They recently published a new blog called Our 7 Favourite (Free!) Local Marketing Resources for 2021, a list explicitly curated for local businesses. Their list offers resources on everything from pay-per-click advertising to SEO and lifestyle and career growth. No matter where you are in your business, there’s a tool for everyone on Wordstream. 

Uberall

Uberall offers various online marketing services and products, but they also deliver a vast amount of free resources. These resources include tips, news, and industry insights for local businesses.

One recent blog post looks at the Future of Retail and the “seismic shift” that happened in the market thanks to COVID-19. Online shopping exploded last year – what does that mean for the brick-and-mortar store?

Uberall also has webinars, e-books, and reports, if you want to take a deep dive into any of the content topics, including a white paper called The Automotive Guide to Digital Marketing.

Full disclosure: 10|20 Marketing is a Uberall reseller. 

Moz

Moz was founded in 2004. It was initially a blog and online community dedicated to search engine optimization, and eventually, they created some of their own tools and products.

You can bet that a company that started out as a blog about SEO still has a great blog all about search! Their articles go beyond the basics and dive into the specifics. For example, they discuss long-tail SEO in 2021 or using low-search volume keywords to optimize content. If you’re ready to take on your website’s SEO, Moz is the place to go!

10|20 Marketing

Of course, our very own site is full of carefully curated blogs, advice, and stories from other local business owners to help you learn and grow your business. We’re passionate about supporting local businesses in any way we can, so our blog is full of advice like tips on how to Spring Clean Your Business for Growth and Four Creative Ways to Use GeoFencing.

At the same time, we love giving the spotlight to those local businesses we want to support. So we created a series to highlight Owner Stories, where we chat with local business owners about all things business! And PS: we’re always looking for folks to feature, so if you’re interested in sharing your story, send us a message!

We’ll continue scouring the internet for the best local marketing advice for you, so be sure to check back often to see what’s new!

 

What You Need To Know About Shopify For Small Businesses

There’s a reason Shopify is a top name in the e-commerce website industry: it was built for people and businesses like you by people with businesses like yours. The first Shopify website was their own; when the company’s founders wanted to sell snowboards online. Not finding an e-commerce site that gave them everything they needed, they decided to create a platform. And that platform became Shopify. 

Shopify is a DIY platform, allowing business owners to “start, run, and grow a business.” Ten years after creating the site for themselves, almost 2 million businesses use Shopify around the world today! The platform handles everything from marketing and payments to checkout and shipping. It’s a one-stop-shop that makes it easy to keep track of everything in one place. No fussing with complicated integrations!

Great, so how do I get started?

  • First, sign-up! (Here’s a link to the free trial for you). Shopify will ask you for some basic information, like your personal info and what type of products you are or might be selling.
  • Set up your shop. After signing up, you can start right away on the fun stuff: customizing your store!
  • Choose a theme for your storefront. Shopify storefront themes are easily customizable and look great, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t know how to write code or develop websites. That’s the exact point. Personalize it by adding your business colours, logo, and fonts.
  • Add your products. Hit ‘Add a product’ at the top right corner of the screen and follow the prompts! Add photos, a description, and anything a customer would want to know about the product.

That’s it! After you’ve created your site, all that’s left to do is add your payment option (whether with PayPal, Amazon payments, or something else) and get ready to go live.

The Shopify Checklist

Of course, no matter how user-friendly the platform is or how great their customer support team is, creating and launching an online shop can quickly get overwhelming. Luckily, Shopify put together this Launch Checklist, which includes 13 steps you should go through before publishing your online store. There are many pieces here, but luckily Shopify has a great blog and customer support system to help you through each stage if needed.

  1. Choose and Add your sales channels 
  2. Add your custom domain
  3. Do a thorough review of your checkout experience and payment settings
  4. Prepare your standard website pages, like your Home, About, and Contact pages
  5. Review your email notification settings
  6. Do a content audit (or have someone else do it for you) to make sure there are no spelling errors or other grammatical mistakes. 
  7. Optimize all of your pages so people will easily find your website.
  8. Install an analytics tool, like Google Analytics, to track your results
  9. Create a pre-launch marketing plan
  10. Adjust tax and shipping rates as needed
  11. Make it easy for customers to contact you
  12. Remove any non-essential apps (or don’t install them) 
  13. Set up your billing information

Shopify plans are all month-to-month, so you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time. You’re never locked in, which can sometimes feel intimidating for business owners. And in the post-COVID era, this rings truer as we’ve all quickly discovered that anything could happen.

So, what kind of products can you sell on the e-commerce platform?

Almost anything! You can sell most physical products, manage a drop-shipping business, and sell digital products and services. There are some exceptions, but they are familiar to most e-commerce platforms: no pharmaceuticals or supplements, alcohol or marijuana, or gambling products.

Do you use Shopify? Here’s what we’ve done to help clients who use it. We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Geofencing: Four Creative Uses To Build Awareness and Drive Traffic

Geofencing is a highly effective way to target your ideal customers the moment they’re primed for responding to an ad from your business when done right. For example, traditionally you may put a geofence around a competitor’s location, and send ads to people who enter the area letting them know your products or services are currently discounted.

Thanks to COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, however, many businesses have changed their business model and many consumers are now shopping online as opposed to in-store. So how can small business owners still take advantage of geofencing, a location-based targeting tactic? Here are a couple of ways to keep it functioning as an integral part of your marketing strategy.

Expand Your Location Parameter

Curbside pick-up, long lines outside of stores, and drive-thrus are becoming increasingly popular as this pandemic continues. Because of this, it’s important to expand your geofencing parameter to a larger area in order to incorporate those consumers. Of course, you’ll want to double-check that the locations you’re targeting are still open, or what their current hours are so that you’re not targeting locations without an audience present.

Build Awareness About Amenities

Whether it’s a city park, a stadium, a hospital, or a shopping center – instead of driving traffic to your location from a competitor, you can use geofencing to alert consumers already on or near your site to available amenities. This can include food services, public restrooms, taxi pick-up; a number of services consumers still require, but that are more difficult to locate these days.

Strengthen Your Current Strategy

By adapting your strategy to include a larger parameter, or targeting more people for brand or amenity awareness, you naturally bring a larger audience into your range. Now is a good time to review the audience layers of your strategy and tighten them up to ensure you’re only attracting the most ideal customers to your business. This will help increase your conversion rate.

Keep Your Content Fresh

When driving traffic to your website through geofencing during COVID-19, ensure you’re updating your web and social media content regularly. You want to make sure the potential customers you are attracting have the most accurate information possible, understand what you are doing in terms of COVID protocols, and know how to purchase from you safely. Stale content will result in a potential loss of conversions.

If geofencing is part of your strategy, or you want to incorporate it, but aren’t sure of the best way to do so during the pandemic, send us a message. We’re always happy to help and set you up with a strategy for success. 

Small Business Tips: Optimize Your Online Presence To Prepare For The Second Wave

Whether you’re looking for foot traffic or website traffic, ensuring your online presence is up-to-par will help your small business as we enter the second wave of COVID-19 in Canada. Up-to-date and easily findable information goes a long way towards consumers building confidence in your business.

If you haven’t yet, you’ll want to review three main pieces of your online presence to ensure the information is accurate:

  1. Your website
  2. Your Google My Business listing
  3. And your social media accounts. 

Whether you own a car dealership, coffee shop, dry cleaners, restaurant, clinic, sports venue or any other small business, here’s what you need to do to gain an edge during these challenging times for small business owners. 

Your Website

For those customers that already know you, one of the first places they’re likely to go to get information about your small business is your website. Update your essential business information, including your hours, how you are operating, whether or not your physical location is currently open, and other critical elements. 

You may also want to include a couple of FAQs about what you are doing to ensure everyone’s safety during the pandemic (staff and customers alike). It would help if you also took this opportunity to answer any other questions you’ve been consistently receiving over the past six months.

For example, if you own a restaurant, make it clear if you’re open for in-house dining or take-out only. For hair salons or spas, include any protocols clients must follow (wait outside and call when you arrive, wear a mask inside, and other directives.) Knowing what to expect upon arrival will help put your clients at ease and reduce any confusion.

Your Google My Business Listing

It’s vital that your Google My Business listing is optimized and up-to-date with accurate information so that you’re more likely to be prioritized by Google in their search results. Doing so will also help potential new clients instantly get the answers to everything they need to know before visiting your business or clicking through to your website.

Updating your Google My Business listing includes:

  • Having an accurate phone number
  • Including your website address (to an updated website)
  • Providing the address to your physical location, if applicable
  • Updating your attributes (take-out, curbside pick-up, delivery)
  • Updating your hours
  • Answering all questions people leave for you – especially those related to COVID-19 protocols
  • Repurposing your website FAQs in the Questions & Answers section
  • Responding to all reviews

Creating confidence in your small business leads to trust and action. When your listing is up-to-date, and consumers can find answers to their questions there, they’re more likely to follow through with a visit to your store or make a purchase online. 

When you consider that 80% of all local searches convert to a sale or action, it’s clear how important it is to have your small business ready to properly intercept local and “near me” searches. 

Your Social Media Accounts

Similar to your website, any current clients may turn to social media to quickly check whether you’re open, what your hours are, and if there’s anything they need to know about how you’re operating during COVID-19.

On the other hand, 54% of people on social media use it to research products – so you can bet they’re also using it to search for and support local businesses. With hashtags and location tags, plus searchable name fields, it’s easy to search for and find small businesses on platforms like Instagram. With both current and potential clients turning to social media for information, it’s essential you keep these accounts up-to-date as well. 

Here’s how to share that information:

Posts 

Communicate your updated hours (due to the pandemic, or even just the changing season), COVID-19 protocols, or new operational practices (i.e., take-out only) through a static post on your feed. Use a graphic that clearly says “New Hours”, instead of an image, to make it easy to find. On Facebook, you can pin a post to the top of your business page.

Stories 

More and more people are watching Instagram Stories instead of (or in addition to) scrolling through their feed. With the ever-changing algorithm only showing your content to 10% of followers, it’s vital to share your information in stories to reach as many people as possible. You can do this with a graphic (dimensions should be 9:16) or by filming yourself directly in the app giving the updates. 

Because stories disappear after 24 hours, you can do this as a weekly reminder – not only does this ensure your business information gets found easily, but it also gives you a content idea for at least one day of the week.

Profile

All social media platforms have a profile of some sort. On Facebook, your business page has spots to fill out your hours, physical address, phone number, website, list services, and a business description. Make sure all of these are filled out and up-to-date. On Instagram, you have a much shorter ‘bio’ field to fill out. 

Your handle (@username) and the name field are both searchable, so include keywords here like your location, industry, or business name, and be sure to include a link to your up-to-date website. 

Need Help?

If you’re not sure how to set-up or optimize your online presence, send us a message, we’re always happy to help get you on the right track. Business is hard, especially this year, so let’s make sure you’re set-up for the most success possible. 

Four Top Marketing Tips for Realtors in 2020

We’ve pulled together our top four tips for realtors to ensure you have a successful, well-rounded online marketing strategy.

Why? Because the marketing landscape in real estate has changed dramatically in the past ten years or so. Door knocking and print advertisements aren’t quite a thing of the past, but as more and more people – your target demographic among them – move online, it’s important your marketing strategy does, too.

Top Marketing Tip for Realtors #1: A Landing Page

Nothing you do online matters if you don’t have a strong landing page. A landing page is a single webpage that opens when a person clicks a link that appears in your content. This content could be an ad, a social media platform, newsletter, or any other content part of your strategy.

Once they’ve shown interest in your services by clicking the link, the landing page should then clearly direct them to take further action:

  • Schedule a viewing.
  • Book an initial meeting with you.
  • Sign up for your market insights.
  • Or another act that you decide. 

The landing page not only gives those interested a way to contact you but also allows you to collect email addresses. Doing so will enable you to contact them directly with targeted emails.

Top Marketing Tip for Realtors #2: A Solid Organic Social Media Strategy

Because of its visual nature, social media is one of the best performing marketing channels for realtors. Social media, as a whole, encompasses several platforms. You can choose one or two that you enjoy most to focus on and use to drive traffic to your landing page.

Why is it essential to enjoy the platforms you choose? Because social media relies heavily on personality and brand connection. That’s why it’s so important to show up consistently and build relationships with your audience. Only posting occasionally won’t do the trick.

Some tips for a successful organic social media strategy include:

● Optimizing your bio or profile can make it very clear who you work with and how you help them. For example, do you specialize in assisting people in purchasing investment properties? Or working with first-time homebuyers?

● Be consistent posting to your feed, appearing on Instagram Stories, sharing video to your youtube channel, or doing whatever it is you choose to focus on.

● Show up with purpose. Of course, you’ll want to share the homes you have for sale, but don’t forget to share value for those who may be planning for the future. Market Insights, buying and selling tips, and neighbourhood stories are all ideas that share value and build trust with your prospective clients.

● Use high-quality images. Whether you’re posting a single static post, a carousel (multiple images on one post), a 360 photo, or Instant Experiences (Facebook’s new ad format), it’s important your images are professional and draw in your audience.

Top Marketing Tip for Realtors #3: An Ads Strategy

Instead of posting organically to your feed, you can create an ad within Facebook that appears on Facebook and Instagram. In particular, Carousel Ads have a high click-through rate, and you can either target new audiences or retarget those who have been to your website before for much cheaper – pennies a day. To do this, you’ll need to add a Facebook Pixel to your website to track visitors.

You can also set up a Google AdWords strategy to improve your chances of appearing in search results when someone searches for specific keywords related to your niche.

Top Marketing Tip for Realtors #4: Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing will help you appear in more Google searches and drive more traffic to your website or landing page. A properly set-up listing makes it easier for future clients to call you, find your office, visit your website, and share your location with others.

10|20 Marketing can help you set up your Google My Business listing and make sure it’s working for you. We will ensure that people find your listing by making sure that your contact information is readily available. Our team can also help you with your review strategy or make sure there are valuable content and images that teach your audience about your business.

If you have questions about Google My Business or other aspects of your online marketing strategy, send us a message and let’s chat. We’re always happy to help.

How Your Car Dealership Can Take Advantage of Google My Business

If you’re looking for a way to get more foot traffic into your car dealership, look no further than Google My Business. Google My Business is a powerful tool that can help raise awareness, drive website visitors and ultimately increase foot traffic to your car dealership. The goal? To help you find new leads and increase sales.

What is Google My Business?

Not to be confused with Google+, Google My Business is one of several listing sites – and probably the internet’s most important. A listing site is a directory where your business can appear. When the listing is correctly set up and managed, the people who actively search for a car dealership near them will be able to quickly find your business. A proper set up in Google My Business makes it easier for potential buyers to discover you and:

  • call your car dealership
  • get directions
  • click through to your website to browse the inventory
  • or share your location with others.

Google My Business is often the first point of contact people have with your business. This makes the platform even more important than your website in some ways. Why? Because Google My Business can become an online hub for your business location. The platform will feature all of your pertinent business information, reviews, posts and updates, events, offers, products and photos.

Also, when you take advantage of all that Google My Business has to offer, Google will understand your car dealership more and be able to point even more qualified shoppers your way.

How Can Google My Business Help My Car Dealership?

No matter how established – or new! – your dealership and its online presence is, there is an opportunity to increase your visibility and the number of interactions potential customers take with your dealership.

Still unsure of how important it is to have your dealership listed on Google My Business? The eight key metrics we track will indicate improved awareness and increased interactions. The metrics we track will show numbers steadily increasing when your Google My Business listing is active and optimized. They are:

  • Total Views:Total number of times your Google My Business (GMB) listing is presented in a given month.
  • Total Actions:Total number of times people clicked through to call, map your dealership’s address, or visit your website from your GMB listing.
  • Action Rate:Total actions/total views. The action rate shows the percentage of people who acted on your business information to learn more about your dealership (for example, called your location).
  • Map Views: The number of times your local listing appeared in the Google maps results following a query.
  • Search Views:The number of times your local listing appeared in search results following a query.
  • Calls:The number of calls made to your dealership initiated from your local listing on desktop or mobile.
  • Directions:The number of times someone mapped your address from your local listing on desktop or mobile.
  • Website Visits:The number of times someone visited your website after clicking from your listing on desktop or mobile.

Of these eight, the two most important metrics we track for our clients are views and total actions. We recently worked with a local dealership with three locations (and therefore separate listings for all three). One of these was brand new, opening just before working with us. Take a look at the trend report below for those two metrics after working with us to optimize the listing at this location (i.e., manage information, reviews, and post to the listing twice weekly):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This car dealership had impressive, business-changing results with all three locations, not just their newest one. For one of the dealerships, our service helped improve views and actions by 88% and 61%, respectively, after ten months of working with us. Results like these represent a lot of new leads – and car sales!

What Happens If A Car Dealership Doesn’t Optimize Their Google My Business Listing?

Every error in your dealership’s information across the internet reduces your chances of appearing in results when potential customers search online.

Without having an active and optimized Google My Business listing, each day you miss out on:

  • Increased awareness of your business (eyes on your listing)
  • Additional awareness by appearing in Google Maps
  • Phone calls to your dealership
  • Website visits
  • Easy directions to your dealership for potential customers right from their current location (key for attracting those who are spending an afternoon browsing dealerships)

In addition, Google My Business helps validate your business, which has an impact on SEO, and makes your dealership more ‘findable’ overall.

Remember the days when you needed a plumber, and you went right to the Yellow Pages Book under P for ‘Plumber’? No plumber in town would intentionally not have their business listed there, and Google My Business is today’s digital version of the Yellow Pages. You can’t afford not to appear there when people are searching for your business.

Not using or not optimizing your Google My Business listing is a missed opportunity.

What You Get For Your Car Dealership When You Work With 10|20 Marketing

When you work with us, you get more than just a quick review to ensure your listing is set-up correctly. We will:

  • Claim business listings online
  • Manage how locations appear across the internet
  • Fix errors in listings that are costing businesses sales
  • List locations on new engines, review sites, social networks and maps
  • Improve search engine optimization
  • Monitor customer reviews and ratings
  • Drive more customers to your client’s locations

If you have questions about how your car dealership can start taking advantage of a Google My Business listing right away, and start seeing more foot traffic on site, send us a message and let’s chat. Want more info on the process and results you can expect as a car dealership? Write us and we’ll happily send you our case study.

Small Business Owners: Use This Pandemic To Build Your Online Foundation

Calling all small business owners, particularly those with retail locations.

Our world has changed significantly over the last two months. With lockdowns in place, people have been stuck at home and/or afraid to venture out. With that in mind, getting food, clothes and other household items — essential or not — has often come down to an online order.

But what if you’re a small business owner who has a retail location that isn’t open right now? Or, even more importantly, what if your store is about to open but you expect traffic to be slow once restrictions are lifted? If this sounds like you, it’s time to ensure that you have a solid online foundation in place so you’ll be good and ready to service your clients. And some of this may require some flexibility on your part.

Google Thinks for Small Business Owners

Before we get into how to build your online foundation, consider these numbers as published by Google Think earlier today:

  • 60% of Canadians used search to see “what is open or closed near me” in April.
  • In late March, global search volume for curbside pickup grew 70% in one week (e.g., ‘curbside pickup near me’, ‘what is curbside pickup’).
  • According to Ipsos research between April 16-19, over 25% of consumers said they tried a new brand or product due to unavailability of their regular brand.

What does this tell us? People are looking for businesses like yours and you need to be prepared to intercept that search, particularly on a local level. But how?

Three Ways Small Business Owners Can Use This Pandemic To Build An Online Foundation

1. Ensure your listings are claimed and consistent – and then optimized

The first thing you can do – and likely the least expensive – is to go to key directories, including Google My Business, and claim your location. Once they’re claimed, spend time on Google My Business specifically to optimize this listing as their directory appears on the search engine that accounts for over 70% of all Canadian searches. As Google My Business now acts as a social network too, we recommend regularly updating your listing with content. Feeding content directly into Google My Business ensures that Google understands who you are, what you do and who you help – and you don’t have to wait from their crawlers to come to your website, as you can feed content directly within their engine. There are three areas where you can concentrate to optimize this listing:

  • Google Posts + Photos: Update your listing with content and photos twice a week. Highlight your products, specials, environment and then take advantage of the text areas to describe what you’re showing in as much detail as possible. The more detail, the more meat you provide to Google to associate to your listing and the more likely your business will be presented.
  • Questions & Answers: Google helps people ask businesses questions via their listing that the business owner can go and answer. But did you know that you can also ask the questions? This allows you to create an entire FAQ right into Google. Again, this helps you put keywords right into Google and get your listing discovered.
  • Review Solicitation: Businesses that do not have a 4-star rating or higher lose sales as people seek the opinion of others before deciding on who to work with. Ask your best customers to review your business to gain social currency with those who discover your listing.

When you claim your local listings and optimize them in this way, you’ll end up with more views of your listing, which leads to more foot traffic to your location and online traffic to your website. In a post-lockdown retail space, you’ll want to increase both in any way possible.

2. Increase your online presence through social media

Keeping your customers informed means being on the networks where they’re highly present. This could mean Google, of course, but also Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest or elsewhere. While each of these platforms may require unique approaches, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to double up your content efforts. The same pictures and posts you use on Google can also be posted to these other networks. Sure, go ahead and change up the copy or play up to the individual network’s strength, but by all means use the media you’re using. When you post to Instagram, put all relevant hashtags. Live content works really well on Facebook. Videos on LinkedIn. You get the gist.

Evaluate your abilities and comfort zone and choose the networks where your best customers are that also play to your strengths. That’s where the win is. Hitting these channels will help you increase awareness of your business and also allow others to magnify your content through the built-in sharing tools within each of the networks. The more shares, likes and comments you get, the more people your message will reach. Just develop compelling content or great specials or anything to help your business get noticed and watch your word-of-mouth grow.

3. Push forward with an e-commerce platform

When this lockdown started and retailers were forced to close, our partner at Red Dream Studios helped one of their clients get up and running with an e-commerce platform within that first weekend. First there was a soft launch for this clothing retailer promoted through the store’s email list, and over time more products were added. The online store may have saved this retailer’s business, generating revenue for the business when the store itself otherwise would’ve been empty.

Getting set up with an online store doesn’t have be expensive. Nor does it have to be complicated. If you have an existing clientele that you can easily communicate with, offering them a new way to buy from you could be all they need to spend money. “Not able to leave the house? Don’t! Buy my goods online.” And the easier you make order fulfillment, the easier it will be for clients to sing your praises and spread word of mouth about your extraordinary goods and services.

Don’t just survive, thrive

Remember, folks. This pandemic will not last forever. What may last a long time, though, is how people behave once the lockdowns are lifted. How quickly will Canadians feel comfortable crowding into shopping spaces? It may take a good long while. Use these tips to help you prepare and survive. Start with the easy and inexpensive and move on to the more involved investments of time and money. Who knows, it just may be the answer to help you not only survive this lockdown, but also thrive once restrictions are lifted.

Looking for more tips on how to weather the storm? Read our other pandemic-related content:

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash.