Attention local business owners – Do you own, or market for, a local business like a store, restaurant or service provider? We understand that every business is different, but we also know that there are specific and actionable tactics that you can use right now to elevate your business. Below we have compiled the top 10 local marketing trends that can help you start getting more customers to your local business from the internet.
Google My Business –
Studies show that 46% of all searches conducted have local intent. A properly set up Google My Business listing might just be one of the most vital parts of growing your business's online presence. The biggest advantage of having a GMB is how it plays into local searches. For example, if you Google “Plumbers near me” Google is going to show you listings for businesses located near you. If you’ve ever googled a similar phrase you likely saw a square profile pop up on the right side of your computer screen, or at the top of your phone screen. This would be a businesses Google My Business listing. It shows location, hours, website, reviews and more. This is now one of the top ways consumers are deciding where to go. If you properly optimize your GMB you have a better chance of showing up in the coveted Google “3 Pack” – businesses in the 3-pack (also known as local pack) show up ahead of organic results and have a spot pinned on the Google maps greatly increasing the chances of someone clicking through to your website or visiting your physical location. This is an extremely easy form of internet marketing that is simple to implement and can greatly increase your online visibility.
Online Reviews and Ratings –
Personal recommendations have long been one of the top ways consumers decide where to go, what to do, or what to purchase. The same principle still stands, but on a larger scale. Online reviews and ratings from real-life consumers are one of the biggest indicating factors on whether or not a consumer will be happy with your product or service. A 2014 study showed that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from people they know, and the same study also found that 72% of consumers say that positive reviews greatly improve the chances they will trust a business. On the same note, negative reviews can greatly impact business and whether or not consumers will choose them over the competition. Businesses are at risk of losing between 22%-70% of consumers depending on how many bad reviews they have. Use negative reviews as motivation to improve customer experiences, and offer an incentive for those customers that are happy to leave reviews. Reputation management is a marketing strategy that often gets overlooked but is crucial to your businesses long-term success.
Location-Targeted Mobile Ad Spend & Geofencing –
Studies show that location-targeted mobile ad spend is expected to nearly double in the next four years. Thanks to advanced technology and mobile devices, location-based mobile advertising is now easier than ever before. Now, instead of only targeting a person's physical location, you can also target their online location (Instagram, Facebook, etc.) or wherever they are most likely to engage with your business. Gone are the days of spending ad money and hoping someone needs your products or service, now you can target people when and where they need it most. Geofencing specifically is a location-based mobile advertising feature that allows you to send ads and notifications to people that are within your specified geographical area. For example, if you have a pizza restaurant and a person comes within your designated geographical location, you have the option to send push notifications, ads or promo messages to their mobile device urging them to try out your pizza shop that they are already conveniently near. Recent studies show that 70% of consumers think geofencing notifications are valuable and 53% of consumers are likely to engage with the advertisement.
The Effectiveness of In-Person Events –
Website Retargeting –
Research shows that only a small percentage of customers convert (meaning that they make a purchase) on their first visit to a website or an online store. So, how do you get customers to come back, pull out their credit card and make a purchase? The answer is retargeting. Retargeting is a type of advertising that lets you target your ads to people that have previously visited your website. Because it can take multiple encounters with a brand or business before someone actually purchases, retargeting is a good way to stay in the forefront of potential customers minds (and their news feed!) and increases your chances of turning website visitors into paying customers. You can target people who visited your page and left without purchasing, people who added items to their cart and left without purchasing, and more. As of now you can implement retargeting ads via Facebook retargeting, AdRoll retargeting, and Google Adwords remarketing. The best option for your business will depend on a multitude of different factors so consider checking out what each platform offers before choosing which channel is best for you and your business.
Social Media Giveaways & Promotions –
Hosting a social media giveaway for your business can actually benefit you in a few ways. Other than doing a good deed and giving some free swag, product, or services to someone, it can help promote your brand and encourage engagement. While social media and social media following aren’t the crucial aspects of your marketing efforts, they definitely don't hurt your business. Hosting a giveaway that urges consumers to like, comment on, or share your post (or better yet, all three!) can greatly increase your engagement, therefore giving your page a boost in the feed and discover pages. This also increases brand awareness as people are often prompted to tag others in giveaway posts, giving the tagged people a chance to check out your page and so on. This usually results in a surge in followers and gives you the chance to market yourself to a whole new group of people that may have never heard of you otherwise. If applicable to your business, consider investing in influencer marketing, or partner with a local influencer to help promote your giveaway. Influencers have larger social media followings and can get your giveaway in front of an even bigger audience increasing your chances of reaching more people.
Local Facebook Advertising –
Did you know that Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users every single day? Because it is the largest social media platform by far, you can pretty much guarantee that your customers are hanging out on Facebook at least some, if not most, of the time. Studies also show that 78% of people surveyed say they have found new products via Facebook, and 26% of users who clicked on ads ended up purchasing the product (that's almost 1 in 4!) Facebook Ads allows you to micro-target via a wide range of demographics you can choose from. You can target consumers based on things like location, age, gender, etc. in addition to things like stages of life (people who are engaged,) education level and more. Its micro-targeting abilities are part of what makes Facebook Ads so effective, especially for small businesses. Even better? You can spend as little as $1 per day. With all of this being said, knowing your audience and effective messaging is important for successful ad runs. Consider checking out online forums to learn more about how you can identify your target audience and advertise to them in a way that makes them want to convert.
Live Facebook & Instagram Video –
Did you know that companies that utilize forms of video marketing see up to 41% more web traffic than competitors that don’t? Or that 80% of consumers would rather watch a live stream on social media than read blog content? These are just two major reasons going “Live” on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms is an effective way to increase brand awareness and engage with consumers. While Millenials are more keen to view live streams than other age groups, streaming isn't something that should be completely ignored. Streams could be based on just about anything relevant to your brand or business whether it is a live Q&A, a tutorial, or a behind-the-scenes look at your business amongst other things. With that being said, there are a few rules you should abide by to ensure successful live-streams:
- Market your live stream ahead of time – This way you can reach more people and give consumers a chance to recommend your live video to others if they are anticipating it beforehand.
- Accurately title and describe your live stream when applicable – Giving potential viewers context greatly increases chances of them tuning in to your live video.
- Don't go live just to go live – You don't want to go into your live video ready to read from a script and put on a show, but you also don't want to randomly show up with no purpose. The purpose of your live streams should be to increase brand awareness, expand your audience, and promo for any new/upcoming releases or events.
- Bonus Tip: Utilize Instagram stories. In January 2019 Instagram reported over 500 million active Instagram stories users every day!
WordPress Website Upgrades –
Websites and website building are often a fear of local business owners. Most don't have the budget to hire a master web designer, and others don't have the knowledge or resources to do it themselves. This is one of the reasons that WordPress is now the most popular website builder of choice amongst large and small businesses. Studies show that 60.4% of all the current websites online built using site builders were built using WordPress. Aside from the fact that it is free to download, WordPress has a lot of features that other website building platforms don’t. While additional features do cost money sometimes, it is still an incredibly effective way to get your business online and ranking on Google. There is no doubt that every business now needs a website – and a well-functioning website at that. WordPress is great for small businesses because it's extremely customizable, and user-friendly if you need it to be (if not, it's easy and relatively cheap to have a site built from scratch if you have the right online resources.) In addition, many WordPress website themes already have some SEO features built-in making it easy to track your sites search engine data. Don't know anything about local SEO or why you need to be implementing it? Click here to learn more.
Search Engine Optimization (Intent Based Searches) –
Google receives over 63,000 searches per second. What this means for you and your business is that it is absolutely crucial that you have established an online presence. What good is it to have the best bakery in town if no one is able to find you? SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a process that helps you beat Google's algorithm and show up higher in their search listings. Google and other search engines only serve consumers with the highest quality content. If your website does not meet their standards you will be lost within the algorithm – which Google says changes between 500-600 times a year – and your content will be amongst the bottom of Google's search results. If you want to learn more about Search Engine Optimization or local SEO and why it is critical to your business's success, click here.
Since the first video game hit the market in the early 1970s, the world has been captivated by the virtual reality they can provide. INK Games is on the fast track to becoming the biggest gaming company on the planet – and for good reason. Founded in 2018, INK Games and their founders have experience in the gaming world-spanning much farther than the year since launching their newest venture. The Oregon Web Solutions team is excited to partner with this innovative company and work towards taking over the video gaming world.
The video game landscape is undoubtedly one of the most lucrative industries in the world. Have you ever heard of the game Fortnite? Ya know, the virtual world that captivated people around the globe, surpassing Minecraft as one of the most popular games ever released? Well, that game alone generated over $2.4 Billion in revenue in 2018 and was just released in July of 2017. Following in a close second was League of Legends with over $1.4 Billion in 2018, and Pokemon GO with $1.3 Billion in revenue that same year. In 2019, it is projected that the global games market will eclipse $150 billion – a whopping 13% year over year growth streak. Subscription-based gaming is on the rise and there is no end in sight as the digital landscape continues to advance at an increasingly rapid rate.
Coming together to build one of the best teams in the corporate world of video games was INK’s first task. Made up of some of the most notable gaming professionals, INK Games is on the fast track to dominating the gaming space. Notable accomplishments include helping establish EA in the social gaming space, and founding Diluted Studios which was ultimately bought by Zynga, launching Zynga Slots generating over $150 Million in 2015. The INK team is also known for making up the founding team of Buffalo Studios, the creator of Bingo Blitz – the industries #1 bingo game for over 7 years generating over $200,000 a day. Other notable projects include Sims 3, Marvel games, Pokemon games, and Avengers Alliance games. These guys know there is money to be made and Oregon Web Solutions is here to help.
INK Games believes the gaming world has a problem and we know our team has a solution. As of now, there is really no way for gamers and users to get paid for their following and, sometimes massive viral reach they have incurred. Veteran gamers themselves, INK Games knows that gamers want gamified, global platforms to monetize the influence they have created – after all, some gamers dedicate their daily lives exclusively to gaming. With their new proposal, influencers and users can monetize their following and viral reach. Through this, users can rightfully be paid for their part in helping grow some of the worlds largest networks. Offering influencers and gamers what others can't, INK Games surpasses even the world's largest gaming platforms in all that they can offer to users.
In comes our newest venture – World of Influence. Described as “Pokemon Go meets Monopoly” World of Influence allows users to get paid for building a virtual world. With no cap on earnings, users can collect revenues based on viral reach and in-game purchases. How is this possible you may ask? World of Influence creators built this game to allow users to purchase their real-life area codes so that as the World of Influence grows, territory owners can earn rewards based on activity within their territories. Gaming has already undoubtedly captured the eyes and minds of millions across the globe. INK Games and Oregon Web Solutions are looking forward to bringing gamers the most lucrative gaming system on the market. Interested in learning more about our latest venture? Simply click here for more information.
Despite the logic behind search engine optimization there are still naysayers speaking against SEO and the effectiveness behind it.
Despite the fact that trillions of people are still Googling things every year, these naysayers still speak of the death, or non-existence- of SEO.
Despite the naysayers, the haters, and the non-believers, we know that SEO is alive and well.
And while algorithms have changed, the way we optimize has changed, and other various things have changed, SEO and the principals behind it have stayed the same.
Even though the idea that SEO is dead is generally false, we can agree that some SEO practices have become obsolete or fizzled out. Any SEO or web expert knows that this is due to the ever changing and top-secret nature of search engine algorithms – specifically Googles.
Peoples opinions are just that – opinions. Typically used to stir up buzz and media. The truth of SEO is this, as long as there are search engines, it is always relevant and needed. Search engines run on algorithms and this means that they are looking for certain things, but what they are looking for can change as often as weekly. Search engine optimization helps the bots and crawlers find the things search engines are looking for in top-rated and trustworthy websites. Google and other search engines only want to serve users the most relevant content – algorithms and SEO practices are how they do that.
While Googles ever-changing algorithm doesnt always favor the most current SEO practices, it is proven that an optimized website ranks far better than those that arent. Websites listed on the first page of results see 91.5% of the traffic share. This means if your page is on the 3rd, 4th or even 2nd page of results a lot of web browsers may not even see your listing.
People are free to think SEO is dead. While you are thinking that, your competition is passing you by at a fast pace.
You can always count on our passion for helping small-and-medium-size companies grow as we have been over the last decade. The great news is that we have worked with so many diverse companies, that we are confident that we have a firm understanding of what will work for your small business. You can trust us to help grow your business today, tomorrow and far into the future.
Understanding the Modern Sales Funnel
As consumers increasingly become tied to their smartphones and their computers, tablets and other web-connected devices, the sales funnel is no longer linear. Instead, it runs in a loop pattern with buyers possibly passing in and out of various stages numerous times. The stages are very similar, however, to those of the past. The funnel includes:
Awareness – Customers become aware of a solution to a problem they are experiencing
Interest– Consumer researches company
Evaluation– Consumer evaluates possible solutions
Decision– Consumer chooses the best company and contacts them
Purchase– Consumer agrees to services
Reevaluation– Consumer decides if they made a good choice
Review– Consumer decides if they made a good choice.
Repurchase– Consumer hires services again.
Let's take a look at a real-life example. John has been remodeling his bathroom, and he has decided that some pipes need to be moved.
Awareness – John knows that he does not have the technical knowledge to move the pipes himself
Interest – John researches local plumbers
Evaluation – John looks at websites and narrows down his options
Decision – John decides that your company is the best one
Purchase – You go to John's and do the work. You get paid and leave.
Reevaluation – John is thrilled by your customer service and the work done
Review – John tells his friends on Facebook about your company
Repurchase – John has a clogged kitchen sink and calls your company again
Connecting with customers at each step of the buyers funnel ensures that you have less downtime, more repeat customers, and a better chance of customers referring you to friends.
In order for your marketing efforts to be successful, you must recognize what digital marketing facets your clients are using at each part of the loop.
Keep Your Workers Busy by Using These Digital Marketing Channels for Plumbers
Studies show that over 97 percent of customers go online to find a plumber.
Pay-per-lead sites and directories: While joining local directories like the local chamber of commerce can pay dividends, we are generally cautious of other pay-per-lead sites. Learn why we caution plumbers about using some of these sites like Angie's List, Yelp, HomeAdvisor and more.
Search marketing: Increase your visibility by using paid search marketing to increase the likelihood of people seeing your site when viewing search engine result pages
Pay-per-click marketing: These programs require you to pay a fee when someone clicks on your ad. They can be highly effective in the right market.
Website: Every company should have a website as over 30 percent of customers will not consider using a business that does not have one, and 63 percent of customers prefer this method to first engage with a company. If you operate in different cities, every city should have a dedicated page or website. Each of your services may also need its own page.
Social media marketing: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media channels can be highly effective through organic posts along with paid ads on some of these platforms. Over 70 percent of consumers expect a company that they are considering to be active on social media.
Email marketing: Plumbers can often use emails to raise awareness of their company, solicit reviews and for other reasons.
Video marketing: Showing customers how to do simple plumbing tasks like unclogging a toilet or turning off the main water until you arrive can be effective. Video marketing will soon be over 80 percent of content marketing.
Recruitment marketing: Let us show you how to attract the best employees through your online presence.
Customer service: Harness the power of great customer service to grow your company.
Reviews: With over 85 percent of customers trusting online reviews as much as they do if a personal friend made the recommendation, let us show you the power of reviews.
Get Listed on the First Page of Search Engine Result Pages (SERP)
Over 93 percent of customers turn to the internet when they are looking for a plumber. Most never go beyond the first page when using a search engine. Let us show you how to have your company found there even if it's not your website.
There are now over 17 different ways to be listed on Google's SERP page. While most plumbers will never be found in some of them, there are several where your local plumbing company may be found including:
Local Paks: While Google chooses who gets to appear in this listing of three companies, there is very little doubt that the company with the most positive reviews stands a better chance. Google may also include Google Ad listing in these lists.
Google Ad Listings: Your paid ad can appear above or below organic listings as long as Google finds it relevant to the user's search engine ranking.
Google My Business: If a potential customer enters your business name into the search engine, then this box will appear. It contains your address, your phone number and other details. It also offers users the chance to see your Google reviews.
Do You Own A Plumbing Business And Need Help?
We had a presentation by Oregon Web Solutions this morning and it was awesomely wonderful and informative! I will happily and confidently refer back to them when my business has progressed a bit further! I recommend Oregon Web Solutions highly to all.