Keyword Research for Small Business

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Keyword Research|Keyword Research for Small BusinessAs digital is taking over the lives of pretty much everyone, SEO and SEM are becoming a more competitive and intricate industry. As everyone is competing for the same ‘prize’ with many different approaches to going about winning. One of the biggest advantages to SEO and SEM is that the size of a business doesn’t determine how well it ranks in organic rankings. This is decided by its relevance, content and the trust Google has that the site provides a near perfect answer for the search term.

For those building the digital face of their business having decided to take on the challenge alone, here is some information from a SEO marketing agency that should help make this feel a lot easier.

What is a keyword research and why should you do it?

A keyword research is the term used for undertaking research in finding out what words and phrases people use most often when searching in Google and looking for specific items/services/pages etc. Understanding these keywords will give those trying to rank higher and reach more customers a better idea of which words are being used by their target audience, how often these words are being used and how hard it will be to rank highly for these words. Combining this knowledge with a solid strategy will enable you to compete for those selected keywords in the organic search results.

What do I need to run a keyword research?

Apart from time and an enthusiastic approach to hard work, you will need a tool that will help provide you with the details to understand each keyword. Moz, one of the most trusted sources in this industry, has their own tool called Keyword Explorer that will enable you to get a good initial idea of you websites keyword needs. There are plenty of other tools out there that with paid subscriptions can provide you with detail that you could spend an eternity looking at.

Where do I start?

All keyword research projects begin with a single word/idea/experience. If you have worked in your industry for a long time and frequently answer the same questions, look for a word that continually pops-up in these conversations. From this individual word you can begin to evolve your search around it finding similar combinations and variations of this search word. Do this for however many individual key terms you come across until you feel you have a good “seed” list. From here you will use your selected tool to find out how popular a term is, the perceived difficulty to rank for this and other similar keywords that might provide better results.

1. Run a keyword research for your website

By running a keyword research for you site you will find an idea of your strengths and weaknesses in terms of rankings. Be sure to know that your website meets the needs of potential customers. Furthermore, think about splitting the keyword you find between where a customer is in their journey, are they just finding out about a product, are they doing further research, or are they now looking specifically for you or a provider of this product. Use tools similar to keyword explorer, such as SEMrush, to understand their volume, your positioning etc.

2. Identify your competitors

Who your competitors are online may differ greatly to those offline. You are suddenly competing on a larger scale with business across the county, region and country. You can find these competitors by simply searching for the keyword terms you are ranking for and those you want to be ranking for. Your competitors are all those in the top 20. To understand more than simply keywords about a competitor it is useful to look at the ‘strength’ of their domain. This agency believes Trust Flow is the best metric and provides a better understanding of a website than DA can provide. If you need to know more, this article explaining Trust Flow is fairly thorough.

Beyond these other measures, of which there are a few, you’ll need to decide whether you have the capacity or budget to invest in going after these top ranking spots or will be happy with appearing between 10-20

3. Compare competitors to find keyword gaps

Thankfully there are tools for this task, as there seems to be for everything, that allows you to find keywords that your competitors aren’t ranking for that could be fruitful for you. After these tools provide a list there is still a fair bit of analysis to be done by you.

4. Decide on the keywords you want to focus on

Taking your potentially long list of good potential keywords, you now need to cut it down to those you will be able to focus on. You need to understand if you are able to rank for each individual keyword through website strength, content building and backlinks.

As mentioned above, cutting these groups into categories based on the users journey will help you cut down your list. Once this list is in place, create a content strategy that covers these keywords and their topics completely. Once again, Moz has a very good guide on keyword clustering that should help.

5. Start ranking for the chosen keywords

It sounds much simpler than it really is, but if the right steps have been taken you’ll begin to see vast improvements in your rankings, and even if the improvements are small you know you have begun to do something right and that you are able to start positive change in your digital business.

Marketing Your Restaurant: 4 Strategy Driven Tips that are Guaranteed to Work

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Marketing|Marketing Your Restaurant: 4 Strategy Driven Tips that are Guaranteed to WorkThe restaurant business fulfills a need that has to be refilled on a continuous basis, so it is no wonder that it’s a flourishing trade to get involved in. As is common to any lucrative field of business, it’s also an extremely crowded and seemingly saturated market. “Seemingly” being the key word, there is still ample room to have a successful restaurant business anywhere in the US, as long as you fulfil certain criteria.

The most important of those criteria is of course the knowledge and resources necessary to run such an establishment. As you probably have that part covered, we are going to concentrate on the second most important aspect of running a successful business in this sector, which would be marketing.

Utilizing the Power of Artificial Intelligence to Drive Traffic from Social Media

While AI is still in its initial stages, the machine learning process has progressed to a level already, where its application in marketing is beyond what anyone could have ever imagined even just three to five years ago.

So, how do you capitalize on the infinite data collection, organization and targeting abilities of artificial intelligence in marketing? Just visit the Targetable website and they will help you to build AI-driven restaurant ad campaigns in a matter of minutes, which essentially removes the digital ad agencies from the picture altogether.

Targetable offers a one-step solution for almost every aspect of a restaurant’s social media marketing needs with the help of their automated platform, that only requires access to your restaurant’s data and answers to a few relevant questions to better tune the ad campaign.

Facebook and Instagram marketing are a must for the restaurant business these days, and Targetable makes it a superfast and easy process, not to mention, not a single second is wasted as the artificial intelligence eliminates guesswork. Every step you take with them is a strategized one, designed to promote your restaurant to the target audience on social media with pinpoint accuracy.

Get Acquainted with the Popular Food Bloggers in Your Locality

People believe more in what social influencers suggest, than what a highly paid celebrity might endorse. There might still be a few people following only celebrities in everything they do, but the majority of the consumers have become aware and intelligent enough to rely on actual, real life people who have made a reputation for themselves by honestly reviewing restaurants and food in general.
Seek out those social influencers (particularly YouTubers and Instagrammers) and invite them to enjoy food at your restaurant so that they can review it for you. However, as they are not paid endorsements, be prepared for honest reviews. It helps immensely if you make sure that everything is on point before sending them an invitation of course!

Sometimes, it’s just better to ask them in for a free meal, rather than a full-on review of course; you get them to post pictures of themselves, your place and the food they ordered, without too much critical judgement!

Even mediocre ratings by a popular social influencer are part of the strategy we have here, as it will get your business in front of people and provide you with the limelight that the restaurant needs to promote itself.

SEO is Still All-Important

The number of people that search for “good restaurant near me” on Google is pretty huge, so unless your restaurant is search engine optimized properly to show up whenever geographically relevant and potential customers search for a restaurant, you are missing out big time.

Alongside the usual steps for successful SEO which are necessary for the strategy driven marketing campaign we are discussing here, be sure to sign up your business with Google as well. It’s a free process but its importance cannot be stressed enough. When someone looks up your business’s name after seeing a few targeted ads on social media, it should come up registered as a restaurant on top of their SERPs.

Stress on Customer Reception and Experience to Create a Great Reputation

There is no better or more powerful way to promote your restaurant and build a strong following of loyal customers than to treat them well. Concentrate on providing an experience to your customers that they would actually want to have again. Now, this is trickier said than done, because depending on the customer group which you are trying to attract, the approach, menu and theme of the restaurant will have to vary.

For example, family restaurants will likely have customers who will want attention from the waiters almost constantly, while a romantic place will benefit if the waiters give couples as much space as they need in order to feel comfortable. Sports bars on the other hand, are supposed to let people yell, drink, eat and have a great time in general.

The food is an important part of the restaurant business and it has to be at least average to even be considered by anyone, but most people come back to a place because of the reception and service they receive there, more than anything else. They will bring their friends the next time around and post photos on social media too. The list and the chain goes on, with everything working in your favor.
There is actually an online aspect to a restaurant’s reputation as well these days, and it mostly comes down to how you interact with your customer base on social media. The contests, ads and promotions are all fine, but did you tend to that one-star review on Facebook by asking about the issue which the customer had?

It is impossible to please everyone, and some people complain about things that are beyond anyone’s control, but if there are genuine grievances, they need to be addressed in order to save your online and offline reputation.

All of this may seem like a lot, but there’s no getting around it! The restaurant business is a highly profitable trade that you are delving into and as a result, the competition is immense. Nonetheless, as long as you serve good food and keep promoting your restaurant, you are almost guaranteed to break even, sooner rather than later.

How Can SEO Boost Your Site’s Online Results?

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Search Engine Optimization|How Can SEO Boost Your Site’s Online Results?The idea with search engine optimization (SEO) is to rank better in Google to get more organic search traffic to your website. With more visitors, there’s the opportunity to sell a greater number of products or services to potential customers.
Here are some ideas on how SEO can boost your website’s results.

Better Keyword Research

With SEO, content on the website, such as articles, should focus on certain popular search terms (keywords) that are easier to rank for in Google.

Some keywords are too difficult because the largest competitors in your industry are already ranking in the top 10 spots. Being stuck on page 2 or further back in Google’s search results doesn’t lead to much new web traffic at all. Therefore, it’s important to research the keywords better and cherry-pick the ones that don’t have stiff competition even if their monthly search volume (the number of estimated searches every month) is lower.

An SEO agency is best positioned to home in on appropriate keywords to target. They have the experience in many different industries to have a better sense about what can be achieved and how long it might take.

Leading with Content

Content marketing is important for almost every website. By publishing useful articles that visitors will be interested in, it provides both a convincing way to demonstrate the knowledge staff at the company possess and have juicy keywords as subjects to write articles about.

By combining sensible keyword research with informative content that’s genuinely helpful to readers, it provides a path to create new activity on the site (so it doesn’t look abandoned). It also offers a place to use topical keywords that can rank well and drive extra inbound traffic.

Once the additional traffic is flowing onto the site, it’s up to you to use that to increase sales, sign up visitors to an email newsletter, and find other tactics that boost the business.

Building Inbound Links

If content and keywords are the fuel, inbound backlinks from other sites pointing to your own add some fuel injection. They get the most out of the site’s content. A new link is essentially a vote of confidence for the page the link is pointing to. The strength and reputation of the site that links to you also matters.

While smaller, less competitive keywords with low searches under 500 a month can often rank with few, if any, inbound links, the reality is that with increased competition, links are needed. By taking the time to have guest posts published with a link pointing to a page on your site, offering a review page as a useful resource or publishing an infographic that gets published elsewhere, links grow over time when working on them progressively.

Then, a few months or a year later, the website is in a much stronger position to rank for harder search terms and compete well against powerful opposition.

While making strides by using SEO isn’t something that moves the needle with sudden leaps in traffic overnight, it’s an excellent way for site owners to create meaningful improvements over a reasonable period. And for any business owner in it for the medium- to long-term, that’s music to their ears.

The Strategy Driven Guide to Improving Your Digital Marketing

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Digital Marketing|The Strategy Driven Guide to Improving Your Digital MarketingDigital marketing can be a difficult beast to master. Not only do you have changes made to the technology, trends have never come and gone so fast. More has changed in the last 2 years of marketing than the previous 50, and it’s all thanks to technology, technology integration, and globalization. You have the opportunity to build a true global community for your brand, but only if you work out a solid digital marketing strategy.

The key to a successful digital marketing strategy is to use multiple avenues. The digital world is incredibly connected, and so too should the channels you use and your strategies. Your home page needs to be optimized to make best use of your PPC marketing campaign. Your influencer marketing must coincide with your social media marketing and sales, and so on.

Improving your digital marketing strategy can only be done if you focus on all these key areas:

Optimize Your Website

The first step to improving your entire digital marketing strategy is to improve your website as a whole. This means revamping it so that it is a breeze to use, is beautiful, secure, and the home page is compelling. You want people to go through your website and to either hire your services or buy your products as a result.

To optimize your site you will first want to audit it. Go through and make sure that all the content is up to date, fresh, optimized for search engines, is fun, and reflects your brand. You will also want to check links to make sure they all work and that no page is “lost” – or, in other words, cannot be accessed to via a page link.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO applies to all aspects of your digital marketing strategy. You will want to optimize your on-site content for search engines, you will want to improve your back link profile, and so on. SEO can be a mystery to many business owners, which is why it is best to hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO from the start.

Pay Per Click Marketing

SEO can help you raise the ranks within Google. PPC marketing can put you right at the top. That being said you want to be very careful when it comes to which keywords you use and invest in. The more specific the keyword, the better, but you don’t want to overdo it. You want to instead conduct keyword research so that you make the most out of your budget.

When creating a PPC strategy it is important to remember your home page. Create a call to action that reflects the keyword or keywords you have chosen for your PPC campaign. If you are paying to be at the top of results for “gardening supplies” and you are an outdoor landscaping company, you will want to put gardening supplies offers right at the top of your site. Otherwise users will click away.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is powerful for building up a community. Any company type can benefit from this, even manufacturing businesses. On social media you want to:

  • Post high quality photos
  • Be genuine
  • Be informative
  • Be engaging

This means not only do you need to worry about your own content, you need to respond to messages, reply, and interact with the community you are building as a whole.

PR Marketing

Public Relations marketing refers to contacting media and influencers with the hope that they will give you free publicity as part of their story. PR marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. To be successful in this you will want to only contact relevant parties. If you are a gardening business, contact gardening magazines. If you are a local boutique or café, contact local travel magazines or local newspapers.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has greatly changed in recent years. Instagram models with hundreds if not millions of followers have failed companies, and for one simple reason: they are unauthentic. Most of them have fake followers, and even if they are genuine followers, chances are they will never be able to be as engaged as a micro influencer.

Micro influencers often have 10,000 or less followers. They are notable because they are active in their community. They build up real relationships and engage in authentic and genuine ways. This engagement builds trust between them and their followers, so when they use and review your product, you can bet that their followers will trust their word and even consider buying your product for themselves.

Collaborative Marketing

Collaborative marketing is similar to influencer marketing. Smaller brands that really work in building an engaged community are the perfect partners. The difference is that you both work together to offer a combined service or a special product line to your followers.

What to Remember

The key to any successful strategy is to keep updating it. Try new things, see what works, and remember that past success does not guarantee future success. Trends, values, and news will all change over time, and your digital marketing strategy must reflect this.

Take single use plastic as an example. Just a few years ago no one was talking about it. Today, it has become such a contentious issue with citizens and consumers around the world that government after government are banning it.

You need to stay up to date with what the public wants from their companies, and change accordingly. Take fast food chains, for example. Previously it would have been unheard of for them to serve vegan options, and yet, the number of vegans is only growing in popularity. Today even brands like Burger King offer a vegan burger. Due to the spices and unique taste, they are a huge hit with vegans and non-vegans alike.

Keeping your ear to the ground in this way can help you get on top of trends and be a real leader in your industry. Combine this forward-thinking with a solid marketing strategy, and you will have crafted a recipe for success.

Easy Tips for Localized SEO in 2019

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article|SEO|Easy Tips for Localized SEO in 2019Local SEO marketing is a digital marketing method for small and local businesses to build an online presence that’ll expose them to potential clients and customers. This is so that smaller and independent businesses can gain custom and not be overshadowed by enterprises.

Like any digital marketing method, you need to find a strategy that works with your business model and overall business goals. What’s more, the ways in which we search shift at an outstanding rate, so it is crucial that you keep on top of the latest local SEO trends.

Cover the basics

Firstly, you need to cover the basics. Otherwise, your whole campaign can falter. You need to cover the title, and meta description tags as these HTML elements will describe your content and help it show up in the SERPs. Basically, it is a preview of your content.

When writing your title and meta descriptions, do not think longer is better. You want to avoid having your title and meta descriptions being cut off, so be sure to put your keywords sooner rather than later. However, be sure to make your content unique so that you do not suffer from a low click-through rate. When it comes to the title and meta descriptions, each and every character counts.

Tip: You’re a local business, so do not forget to mention your location. After all, this is the whole point of local SEO. Need help with finding such keywords? Experts like Trevor Tynes can help.

Claim your ‘Google My Business’

Google My Business (GMB) is incredibly important for local businesses, so be sure to claim yours and fill out all the required fields the signing up process asks for. You may have to set up a page on the GMB platform, or if you are already there, claim it and make sure the information is a) correct but also b) optimized.

Remember that there is a verification process, so be ready for this. Google will send you a physical postcard with a PIN on it, which you will then have to key in.

When optimizing your Google My Business, do not forget to do the following:

  • Write a solid and SEO optimized description of your business
  • Update your business’s operating hours
  • Make sure your business is listed in the right category
  • Include a logo and/or a photo of your business so that people can recognize it in person
  • Provide further quality photos of your business such as products and services you provide

Collect reviews from your customers

Reviews are gold dust when it comes to building a reliable and concrete brand. You want to be trusted but also seem real. For instance, while a negative or mediocre review may seem bad, too many 5-star reviews will make your business seem fake and unreliable.
It is believed that 88% of people trust online reviews, so be sure to spur on your customers to leave them. You can, for instance, offer a prize for your employees so that they win something if they get the most good reviews, or have the customer be entered in a raffle.