The Importance of Having a Local SEO Company: 3 Ways It Benefits You | X3 Marketing Group

The Importance of Having a Local SEO Company: 3 Ways It Benefits You

The Importance of Having a Local SEO Company: 3 Ways It Benefits You | X3 Marketing Group

The Importance of Having a Local SEO Company: 3 Ways It Benefits You

When it comes to good SEO, data rules the day and defines strategy as well as the measurement of ROI. However, a local SEO company that knows a particular market is invaluable. Today we’re going to take a quick look at the importance of a local SEO company and how working with one – like X3 Marketing Group – can affect your bottom line

Local SEO Company

How does it benefit you? It works in different ways for every business. You get the ability to know your local competition. You get to understand what your own strategy looks like when compared to the competition. You get to know where to direct your message in order to garner the most attention.

Also, the local SEO company has access to a wider range of data that will show you where you stand in terms of keyword competition, competitive keywords, and much more. This is invaluable in terms of understanding what you’re getting for your money. A local SEO company in Northglenn, Colorado for instance knows that their city is completely surrounded by the cities of Westminster and Thornton. With the population density in these cities, someone like X3 will understand that simply marketing to one city will miss out on a huge audience of potential customers.

The Importance of Having a Local SEO Company: 3 Ways It Benefits You | X3 Marketing Group
A local SEO agency will understand the local community better. They are aware of what the website ranking is and how they can improve their rankings.
The Importance of Having a Local SEO Company: 3 Ways It Benefits You | X3 Marketing Group

Marketing with Data

A local SEO company has analyzed the typical customer profiles and made predictions based on these metrics. These predictions are based on the assumptions that a company will spend a certain amount of money to improve the position of their site in Google search. By employing an effective local SEO strategy, the company will get the following benefits:

Improved ranking in local search
More visibility in local business directories
Increased reviews from local customers to drive trust
If the local SEO company works with their clients to drive strong social signals, the company will have their customers ranked better (higher) in search results and social mentions.

The importance of local SEO for your business

While many small businesses take on the responsibility of doing their own SEO, data and measurement aren’t their forte and they have no idea what type of numbers to look for. A local SEO company can provide a myriad of data to both inform and implement your SEO strategy within the best SEO packages. It’s not just your website that needs a little boosting, but all of your digital efforts. The Importance of Having a Local SEO Company: 3 Ways It Benefits You | X3 Marketing Group Even if you’ve done your research and picked the perfect keywords for your website, the traffic you receive on a monthly basis isn’t always good. For instance, we were once looking to work with a client in Loveland, Colorado called Affordable Plumbing. On average, their website got about 500 visitors which is a good amount of traffic for a local plumbing SEO effort. However, when we dug deeper, what we found was that because of their name, much of their traffic was coming from across the country. In addition to that, the searchers which were coming to their website were simply bargain shopping and seldom actually turning into a customer. Without a local SEO company, you won’t have the local insights to help you understand the exact reason why your website is not doing well in the search engines.
Finding good roofing leads in Colorado: X3 Marketing Group

Finding Good Roofing Leads in Colorado

How to find the best digital marketing and small business SEO packages

Colorado Roofing Company Marketing: X3 Marketing Group

Finding good Colorado roofing leads is a challenging thing to do but if roofing companies are working with a good digital marketing agency for online advertising and search engine optimization campaigns, those roofing contractors will be poised to dominate their competitors.

The above being said, roofing companies in Colorado have typically relied on damaging hail storms to drive potential leads from potential customers. However, until mid-July of 2021, there hadn’t been a significant hail storm in the Colorado Front Range for more than two years. This meant that the stream of happy customers delivered by insurance companies delivering potential customers to the doorstep of roofing businesses dried up and almost every roofing business was hunting for every single roof inspection they could find. Often to no avail.

In this article we’re going to go over five ways to approach a roofing marketing strategy to bring in more phone calls and thus, roofing jobs. before we get into it, if you’re the owner or manager of a roofing business, we’d love to hear your experience on what’s been working for you in finding qualified leads in the slowest hail seasons in decades. Leave a comment below or send us a message HERE.

Roof Inspection Canvassing

If you live in a house in the Colorado Front Range then there is a roughly 100% chance that a representative of any number of residential roofing contractors has knocked on your door. For years roofer canvassing and door-knocking have been one of the most impactful ways for business owners to find consistent leads. A roof inspector can knock on a door and almost certainly be in front of the property owner on a regular basis.

One of the biggest challenges that canvassers face is getting a homeowner to let them get out their ladder to inspect the roof for damage or simply wear and tear. After a damaging hail storm, the potential customers are plentiful and roof replacements are all over the place from Colorado Springs to Northglenn to Loveland and everywhere in between.

The downside of canvassing is the amount of manpower and time it takes. With an online marketing strategy from X3 Marketing Group, we can enhance the effectiveness of door-knocking and in many cases, replace it by providing a “digital door-knocking” strategy that has a steady stream of potential customers seeking out your professional roofing service rather than you looking for customers.

Networking and Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Another very effective way to generate quality roofing leads for roof repairs and replacement is by getting your name and face – or the faces of your employees – into your community. Part of this comes down to the fact that you’re likely going to be meeting homeowners but the bigger strategy is becoming familiar with them so that it’s not just when THEY need a roof inspection but also when they’re asked by their network of friends and family if they have the name of a roofing company, your name comes up. The conversion rate of this type of introduction is almost as impactful as having a list of exclusive leads for roofing.

As with canvassing and door-knocking though, the manpower and time to be involved in a deep networking dive can be large. Additionally, someone who’s told about you and your roofing company owners is still going to go online to see more about you.

SEO

Part of any good digital marketing strategy for roofing in Colorado or any other competitive state like Texas or Florida is search engine optimization – aka, SEO. What is SEO? SEO is a digital marketing strategy that aims to bring your business above your competitors in organic search.

X3 Digital Marketing: HVAC, Heating and cooling SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

There is the misconception that search engine optimization is simply writing a bunch of relevant content posts (like the one you’re reading right now) but simply posting fresh content is not all that SEO is. On local business directories like Google My Business, it’s important that a roofing business appears with the proper name, address, and phone number. It’s also important for other sites in the roofing industry to link back to your business. This helps to drive higher rankings in Google search as well as displaying trust which turns potential leads into customers.

SEO is the single best long-term marketing strategy as it continually reinforces brand awareness. However, SEO is also an ongoing process that takes a ton of work and it lacks the immediacy of PPC advertising. At X3 Marketing, we work with clients to build their entire strategy which uses relevant keywords to build long and short-term strategies that increase overall conversion rate.

Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC)

Often simply called “Google Ads” by many, there are a number of ways to access digital advertising but for today, we’ll simply talk about this marketing technique as PPC.

In the past, (and sometimes still) Colorado roofing companies would use paid advertising like a direct mail campaign (lovingly called “junk mail”). With these campaigns, the upfront cost is not guaranteed to be recouped and moreover, there is very little ability to track which and how many direct mail deliveries actually convert into business. This means that as an effective channel it’s very challenging to see what the real return on investment (ROI) is.

In the case of PPC digital advertising, there are several aspects that make it an incredibly effective way to generate qualified roofing leads. First, you don’t pay unless someone actually clicks on an ad (hence the name, pay-per-click). This means that if someone searches for “roof inspection” and your ad shows, should they click on that ad, you’d pay for that click (which currently goes for ~$9/click according to Google). But what about competitors just sitting in their living room clicking on your ads to waste your money? While that can happen, Google works hard on click fraud detection to mitigate that risk.

Another reason that PPC is so effective is the ability to see exactly which ad results in that click. You can also see where that “clicker” is located, what time they clicked and other demographic information which can help isolate ideal customers which can drastically lower customer acquisition costs.

The final thing we’ll mention about PPC – although we’d love to talk to you more about how we can help your Colorado roofing company dominate your competition – is the timeliness of it. For instance, we had a roofing customer in Aurora, Colorado emails his project manager after there had been a hail storm nearby. Because we’d planned ahead and built advertising assets directed at people who had possible hail damage, he named the budget he wanted to stay under and we had his Google ads live and reaching potential customers inside of 36 hours.

Social Media Marketing

In an effort to not get too into the nitty-gritty of every single social media platform out there, today we’ll just talk about Facebook Ads.

One of the beautiful things about social media platforms is that they give roofing businesses – and anyone else who’s got a budget – the ability to easily promote posts and drive brand awareness. However, more often than not, inexperience finds business owners not spending enough on say, a promoted post on Facebook. As an analogy, if you have a Dixie cup fool of water which costs $1 and a gallon of water which costs $5 using the Dixie cup to water a full-grown tomato plant won’t be effective whereas the gallon of water will give the plant the water it needs for the day and then some. At X3, we use existing and learning data to help clients find the most effective budget which drives the most ROI through a high conversion rate.

The last thing we’ll mention about social media marketing – particularly Facebook – is that the profile data we can glean from that platform can help advertisements be laser-focused on exactly the right client. For instance, if you only wanted your commercial roofing leads to come from people who “Like” quarter horses within 10 miles of the 80233 zip code in Northglenn, Colorado, you can do that. It’s a very powerful way to increase conversion rates while decreasing customer acquisition costs.

FAQ's for great HVAC marketing

A Few FAQ’s For Great HVAC Marketing

Finding great HVAC marketing is a job in itself. Curious about what digital marketing for HVAC businesses looks like or where to start? We’re here to help you in…

What are the best HVAC lead generation marketing ideas?

  1. Use Local Search Engine HVAC Marketing. This is often referred to as HVAC SEO – or just simply Search Engine Optimization. A good SEO strategy will show your business in organic search results on platforms like Google above your competitors. SEO is a cornerstone of any good internet marketing campaign.
  2. Run Google Ads For HVAC Advertising. Today, many traditional advertising ideas and techniques have been replaced by laser-focused digital advertising campaigns. HVAC service companies can hone their marketing efforts to reach very specific potential customers. For instance, someone who has Carrier Air Conditioners cooling their home wants to find and HVAC business who specifically works on Carrier products rather than any old air conditioning repair company. a good HVAC PPC (pay-per-click) campaign can focus only on potential customers searching for that.
  3. Use HVAC Google Local Service Ads. This part of your digital marketing strategy is meant to truly focus on people looking for and HVAC business’ online presence that shows them as being nearby.
  4. Gather Lots Of Customer Reviews For Trust & HVAC Marketing. If you’re an HVAC business owner, by now you’re very likely familiar with Google My Business and many other online reviews. This is a crucial part of a good digital marketing plan and will show people who their neighbors trust.
  5. Publish Great HVAC Blog Content. Frequently referred to as content marketing, this is a piece of a marketing plan which can take a lot of time and energy. A good marketing partner like X3 will help with the burden of generating good, SEO-rich content to help build SEO.
  6. Use YouTube To Build Your Brand & Trust. A platform like YouTube can be used in both organic SEO campaigns as well as advertising campaigns and even in a good email marketing strategy. These videos can pick up where things like Google My Business leaves off and help establish familiarity and trust.
  7. Use Email Marketing To Build Recurring HVAC Jobs. An email marketing plan is a good way to stay in touch with existing clients and to potentially drive more business from those who already know you. This can help save on some of your marketing budget and drive Google reviews as well as connecting those same customers to your social media marketing for even more customer service.

If you are only using billboards, Yellow Pages or phone book to generate leads, you’re missing out! Click HERE to read more about our work with HVAC companies in Colorado’s Front Range and beyond.

X3: What is Small Business SEO and Why is it Important for Your Business?

What are Local Service Ads?

Google Local Service ads are another HVAC marketing idea offered by Google to help HVAC contractors reach their customers.

What are Google Search Ads?

Like traditional HVAC ads, Google Search ads appear whenever a customer types in a specific search query. The advertising which X3 and good marketing teams use are mostly pay-per-click ads which means that you – the HVAC business owner – only pay when someone clicks on an ad. VISIT GOOGLE ADS

What Can You Do With These Ads?

If you power through the tedious steps to activate your Google Ads account, you will see that these ads can help you drive qualified leads and find more HVAC jobs! Probably the best reason to use an advertising platform rather than solely SEO (or word of mouth, networking, etc.) is that you can be very focused on exactly the right prospective customers. Want so find someone in a specific zip code? Online business listings can get you pretty close but that can also spill outside of the desired location. Let’s say one of your business ideas was to market only to someone in Denver, Colorado in a specific zip code, who (on Facebook) likes horses, reads books by Dean Koontz and who speaks English and Mandarin. Ideal customers who fit that profile would be the only ones to see those advertisements making them the right (albeit, very narrow) customer base your HVAC business is looking for.

X3 Small Business SEO Packages

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a specialized type of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that helps you reach people close to your business and service area.

What do other search engines use to list my business?

You will need to do the following if you want to enjoy the benefits that come from local SEO: Add Contact Information To All Pages: Google and other search engines use your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) to list your company on local SEO directories.

What are the best ways to get more local SEO results?

Be sure you claim your listings and generate citations in the top local directories for the best results. SEO is an ongoing marketing technique which X3 specializes in. It can be the biggest bang for your buck for bringing is good sales leads over time but it is definitely more of a long-term strategy as opposed to a right here, right now form of advertising.

X3 Digital Marketing: Marketing for HVAC, heating cooling service technician leads

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads is a Pay Per Click marketing platform that allows you to tailor a unique message based and target your ads based on several variables like specific keywords, audience demographic, and geographic location.

What are the benefits of Google Ads?

Here are a few of the benefits that HVAC companies enjoy with Google Ads (AKA Google Adwords): Efficient Cost & High ROI: You only spend money when someone clicks on your HVAC ads.

How do I use Google Ads?

Google Ads offers a wide range of benefits for HVAC marketing, and HVAC contractors can use Google ads to drive more sales and calls.

What are the benefits of reviews?

As you can see, reviews are an essential part of your HVAC marketing strategy, and you can use customer reviews to show the value you offer and help customers choose your HVAC services over your competition. Online reviews such as those on Google My Business do what business card cannot; they play a major role in sharing with potential customers what happy customers (and not-so-happy customers) have to say about your air conditioning or heating company.

Abstract vector created by vectorjuice

How can I generate more customer reviews?

One of the best ways to generate more customer reviews is to reach out to past and current customers to discuss their experience. Customer relationships can be similar to friendships and can lead to more business across the board if properly cultivated.

What is blogging?

Blogging is one of the least used HVAC marketing tactics, and this means that you can use blogs to help you stand out from your competition, get found in Google, and increase trust with customers. Basically, blogging is writing long-form, industry-specific content which people can read for further information. This article you’re reading right now? This is a blog.

Bottom Line: What you should expect from a good digital marketing company.

Benefits can range from brand awareness to online sales (if you have products that are sold online) and everything in between. At the end of the day, we at X3 Marketing group pride ourselves on showing a fantastic return on investment by bringing the best HVAC leads in the door (or phone or email or social media and on and on) of your business. You should expect an increase in potential business by way of leads which you can close.

What’s the next step toward success with your online marketing tactics? Reach out to us now!

Curious to see how small business from X3 can hep you DOMINATE YOUR COMPETITION ONLINE? Get in touch!

4 + 2 = 

Denver SEO: how to get your business found online by X3 Marketing Group

Denver SEO: How To Get Your Business Found

Recently, when sitting down with someone they called search engine optimization “black magic”. He’s not wrong. Probably the biggest reason he said that is because SEO isn’t simply ONE thing. Rather, it’s a series of techniques which are used to varying degrees depending on strategy and goals of a business. With X3 Marketing Group’s home state of Colorado being something of an emerging tech hub, finding the best Denver SEO agency can be a job unto itself. Sifting through big promises of agencies to find those who put trust, results and clarity for their customer first is challenging at best.

An SEO expert understands the need to have a powerful, yet flexible search engine optimization strategy to increase online visibility, bring lots of good site traffic, provide powerful user experience through design and make sure the proper target audience full of potential customers are those finding your business online.

Global spending on digital marketing nears $100 billion: study

What is SEO?

SEO simply stands for search engine optimization. Now in its fifth decade, this tactic has evolved to become an integrated part of web design, development, content creation and inbound marketing for businesses. As with many other business strategies, SEO has become much more sophisticated over time. Today there are more than 60 billion monthly online searches around the world. Many of these searches are looking for something geographically nearby with local business owners. Yet for most businesses, they will only see about 20 percent of those searches translated into conversions.

Why do websites fail? No matter the industry you work in, the most common cause of website failure is site speed. People can instantly tell when a site is loading slowly or not loading at all. As we’ve discussed, websites are not static objects; they are changing and updating all the time.

X3: What is Small Business SEO and Why is it Important for Your Business?

What are the basic tenets of SEO?

Search engine optimization is more than just matching keywords to particular content marketing assets. In many cases, that’s the bare minimum, but many tools and strategies exist for SEO. When done correctly, they help businesses show up in search results more often. Topical Analytics An analytics tool allows for a more in-depth understanding of what the business is doing for an individual keyword. This might be, “What pages are ranking for our company name? What pages are ranking for our phone number?” The common denominator here is that when people search for a service or product, they aren’t necessarily looking to read about your competition, but what’s out there that meets their needs.

We’ll also take a second here to mention digital advertising using platforms like Google Ads or any number of paid marketing options including social media marketing. These things should also be a large part of a good digital marketing strategy but can often be overlooked. While SEO has probably the best long-term return on investment (ROI), since it takes time to implement and shift if needs be, digital advertising makes for a much more nimble and fast-reacting marketing strategy and, depending on a particular business model, these types of internet marketing services can serve to bolster SEO by quite a bit.

X3 Small Business SEO Packages

What makes Denver SEO challenging?

Denver has a large and unique blend of companies within the larger metro region when it comes to Denver SEO. There are those who employ ‘black hat’ tactics to game the system, and then there are those that keep an open mind, offer training and use optimization techniques in an ethical, accurate manner. For the industry as a whole, the first problem is getting a handle on the industry itself. People get away with deceptive SEO for the simple reason that it’s hard to see.

What is black hat SEO? Can it be used against a website? Can you trust a company to not go around using tricks that could leave your site defenseless against the wolves of the internet? these are a few of the questions any good agency providing reasonable SEO services should be able to address without hesitation.

SEO tips and tricks

Think carefully. Yes, there are some solid specialists out there. But if a small company is already working with a digital marketing strategy they can get from a service like Google Ads, they can probably save themselves the hassle of finding an SEO specialist. As an added bonus, look for an agency who has a client list. If you know for sure that you are willing to take on a couple of new clients and you have a firm understanding of their marketing goals for the upcoming year, asking if they do work with businesses similar to yours might go a long way. Beyond just their website content, the Denver SEO agency you choose should be taking on more of the effort to improve a company’s overall site presence.

While we may be a bit biased since X3 Marketing Group does handle everything in the digital marketing arena, it’s important to add to the above the fact that having and agency who has a holistic view of all your businesses digital marketing services and needs can be crucial. A digital marketing agency such as X3 takes into consideration the proper focus for each of the arms of digital marketing. Does your social media marketing needs to be increased? Great. Do your Google ads need a higher cost-per-click to reach the ideal audience? Let’s do it. Are most of your potential customers looking for businesses like yours on Google Maps? Let’s make sure you’re doing everything you can to be found there.

Bottom Line: Finding the best Denver SEO is hard. X3 Marketing Group is here.

All this information is likely confusing and possibly even counterintuitive, but at the end of the day, the value in it comes from how well it can inform a business’ search engine optimization strategy. There’s no silver bullet when it comes to getting Denver search engine optimization results, which is why it’s important to find a seasoned agency with a proven track record of results for clients. This goes not only for Denver but for the entire state of Colorado.

We’d love to take a good look at how your business is getting customers online (or not) so please tell us about yourself!

Just remember that SEO is a never ending pursuit with some new techniques popping up all the time, so it’s the job of a good SEO company to continually research, refine and make informed decisions about SEO strategy based on business traffic goals and outcomes.

What’s the next step toward success with your online marketing tactics? Reach out to us now!

Curious to see how small business from X3 can hep you DOMINATE YOUR COMPETITION ONLINE? Get in touch!

7 + 10 = 

X3 Marketing Group: Do I need a business website in 2021?

Do I Need A Business Website in 2021?

We’re going to get into the “Why?” of this question below but first, let’s get the main answer out of the way:

Yes, your small business definitely needs a website. And it needs it yesterday. 84% of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible than companies who only have social media profiles (themeisle.com). On top of that, 72% of consumers that perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location.

Does my small business need a website?

Does my small business need a website?

What's the best website builder for small business?

What’s the best website builder for small business?

How about Google My Business websites?

How about Google My Business websites?

What about those "Free" website builders?

What about those “Free” website builders?

Does my small business need a website?

As we said unequivocally above, yes. 100%. Why though? Frankly, it’s all about legitimacy and appearing above your competitors in Google Search. By the end of 2019, 97% of consumers looking for a local business did so by using a search engine and 91% of the time, that search engine is Google.

X3 Marketing Group Mobile and Digital Marketing

When we search for a local business – let’s take a mechanic in Northglenn, Colorado where our office is, for example – we’re looking for a business that is close by so we don’t spend a huge amount of our day driving to and from and we also want a mechanic who comes recommended by our neighbors and people we know.

If we search for this mechanic and there is simply a Google My Business listing which hasn’t been “claimed” by the business owner and whose information is incorrect and whose phone number is incorrect. Out of the gate, that business is losing credibility and frustrating a potential customer. In this scenario, let’s say that the customer keeps looking for a way to get in touch with the mechanic and they go digging for a website. If no website exists, the auto shop has almost certainly lost that potential customer.

When we, as an agency that provides local SEO services, work with a client the very first thing we look at is whether that small business has a website where we can drive traffic using one of our strategic SEO packages or digital advertising services. If you don’t have a website to accompany your marketing efforts, it will affect all of your online marketing plans and no amount of customer service can help if no customers can find your otherwise successful business online.

As a final point, a full 80% of online search engine usage takes place on a mobile device. If you don’t have a site at all, you’re not going to show up on mobile either.

What’s the best website builder for small business?

We’ve certainly covered this in other X3 Marketing Group articles but since HOW your website is built is almost as important as having a website at all, we’ll touch on it again. Here are some of the most popular ways to build a small business website ranging from “Free” to quite expensive, custom website builds:

Weebly: This is a reasonable way to just get an online presence but it’s extremely limited in its ability to generate leads for heating and air conditioning repair and service (or any other leads for that matter). Not good for SEO.
Wix: Similar to Weebly in that it’s a decent stop-gap while your “big kid” website is under construction with X3 (#shamelessplug). Generally speaking, there’s quite a bit of “you-get-what-you-pay-for” when it comes to online marketing and there are challenges with Wix which would make it less than ideal for reaching and engaging a loyal customer base through SEO.
Squarespace: While it’s still missing some of the SEO tools of other platforms, Squarespace is known for visually appealing websites that incorporate beautiful images on a bit of a budget. Easy to work with, it requires almost none of the technical skills that may give you pause.
WordPress: Open source and very customizable, WordPress is primarily what we build on (ahem) and makes for a solid solution. There is a world of plugins by third-party developers to make WordPress very customizable to your needs. Can be a bit sluggish from time to time if not properly optimized.
Custom: There are a couple of very important things to consider when looking at a fully custom coded website; 1. the cost will likely be significantly more than other platforms and 2. the development time will certainly be longer (typically about double) than most estimates given at the outset of a project. On the other hand, a fully-custom Python build, for example, can be fast, powerful and do pretty much everything a company of any size could need (and pay for).
In order for an agency like X3 Marketing Group to bring a small business the best local SEO services as well as giving the most bang-for-your-buck with pay-per-click and other other digital marketing and advertising methods, your website needs needs to be at the forefront of marketing efforts to effectively capitalize on a wide range of the available marketing tools.
X3 Marketing Group: Squarespace
X3 Marketing Group: Weebly

X3 Marketing Group: Wix

X3 Marketing Group: WordPress

What about Google Sites?

Speaking frankly, we wouldn’t consider Google Sites (Google My Business free websites) a true “website builder”. It can be a temporary placeholder while your website is under construction but its functionality is very limited and while it may answer basic questions your perspective customers may have, customer behavior tells use that a well-organized and visually appealing website is what causes a prospective customer to reach out. Google sites simply don’t have enough functionality.

X3 Marketing Group: Google Sites

Additionally, Google sites don’t offer the ability to have a custom domain – this means you don’t truly have your own .COM. Google’s sites instead have a long URL string beginning with “sites.google.com/yournamehere”. This means that any traffic you get isn’t owned by your business and things like social media channels will reflect this. At the outset of this article, we talked about the credibility factor of having a website and not having your own URL is a big no-no in the world of online marketing.

What about a free website builder?

We touched on this above when talking about some of the types of website builders available but we’ll expand a bit more here. Free website builders are certainly a tempting option – especially for those small businesses who are starting out and simply need a web presence. These free options often act as the hosting provider, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website editor and, to some degree, design company.
Most free website builders will give you some templates from which to select your website layout and even access to royalty-free, high-quality images to use. You can include functionality like a contact form. With some free website builders you can have your own custom domain with whatever domain extension you’d like (.com, .net, .tv, .co, etc.) but others will restrict your URL to being a subdirectory or subdomain of their site (like the sites.google.com/yournamehere mentioned above).

Another drawback of these free website builders is that they often require their own branding to remain on YOUR site. This is akin to handing someone your business card and it having “Kinko’s!” printed across the top.

As a marketing tool, your website helps establish and, over time, build credibility. It give people who have found you through and online review a place to click to to find out more about your business success. If it appears unprofessional and/or isn’t engaging, potential customers will leave and look elsewhere.

When it comes to websites, there are widely varying degrees of “you-get-what-you-pay-for” for sure but few (if any) digital marketing professionals would agree that a “free” website is much more than a placeholder while you grown-up site is being built.

X3: Local SEO is one of the 3 Best ways to market your small business during COVID-19

The 3 Best Ways to Market Your Small Business During COVID-19 (Local SEO is #1)

2020 has hit everyone hard – especially small business owners and their local businesses. Government enforced closures and restrictions, less consumer discretionary income and general fear in the marketplace have become a factor to the toughest business climate since the Great Depression. With spending getting tighter and the competition for dollars intensifying, the marketing strategies that a CEO/CMO chooses will make or break many operations. Local SEO and other digital marketing strategies have been pushed ahead by over five years and your business needs to be ready.

In this article, we will discuss 3 of the best areas to invest in marketing during the COVID pandemic to maximize return on investment.

The 3 Best Ways – focus on return on investment

With COVID-19 severely reducing the amount of time that a person spends out and about and drastically increasing the amount of time that they spend at home, it’s no surprise that people are spending more time online – on their smartphones, tablets and computers.

The increase in time spent on devices means that customers are searching, researching and buying more online. This means that even the smallest local search ranking factor can mean the difference between a person finding your business listing or another. Here are the top 3 ways to take advantage of these trends as a smart marketer:

Global spending on digital marketing nears $100 billion: study

X3: The 3 Best ways to market your small business during COVID-19 (#1 is local SEO)

1. Improve Your Company’s Local SEO

 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. (Source: SEO Tribunal)

A decrease in leaving the house means an increase in online shopping from home. An increase in shopping from home means more people using search engines and shopping online. Increasingly, potential customers areusing local search and platforms like Google My Business for services “near me” or “close by”. These Google searches grew by more than 900% over two years according to Chat Meter.

With your customers increasingly turning to search engines like Google for local products and services, it is essential that your local businesses rank well in LOCAL SEO for your main offerings. If you don’t rank in the top five organic SEO search results for local businesses with your main keywords, that factor will get smoked by your local competitor as they will snap up your potential customers.

So what are a few of the ways to get your business listing to rank in local search above your nearest competitor on Google? Well, let’s look at the LOCAL SEARCH part of the equation – which includes Google My Business and the results which appear on a Google Map. The first thing a local business can do is decide where you want to see opportunity. Most potential clients and customers are going to search with local intent. This means that they’re going to use Google search to find local listings. If someone is searching for a plumber, they don’t want to see the business profile for a plumber who is located 100 miles away. They want someone who appears high in a local ranking because being local is a factor that more often than not drives business.

What are local SERP’s?

Global spending on digital marketing nears $100 billion: study

One of the best ways to increase your local SEO is to research local small business SEO packages. A great digital marketing agency will help you to reach local customers based on your business location rather than having a local ranking for a potential customer who may be hours away. That person may be searching for a business like yours but they are not truly YOUR local audience.

One of the best ways to increase your local SEO is to research local small business SEO packages. For other ways to increase your local SEO, check out our article:

5 Ways to Improve Your Local SEO

X3: The 3 Best ways to market your small business during COVID-19 (#1 is local SEO)

2. Digital Advertising

Probably the fastest and one of the best (if done correctly) ways to get a positive return on your marketing investment is through digital advertising.

With digital ads on Google, you are essentially buying the right type of traffic and leads to your website. Unlike local SEO, digital ads can generate leads for a product or service right away. This means that search engines like Google show ads targeted to a specific “avatar” which an agency such as X3 can help you develop. In other words, if you want a local link to be shown only to a person searching for “roofers near me” who is also a woman between the ages of 25 and 34 who speaks english within 10 miles of your business location – only a person fitting that profile will be shown your ad.

The best types of ads to market your small business during COVID are:

Retargeting

The click-through rate (CTR) of a retargeted ad is 10x higher than the CTR of a typical display ad. [Source: Wishpond]

Data rules the world around us and the big tech players (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn etc..) are tracking everything that you do on the internet.

If you search for something (new shoes for example) Google and Facebook both know that you are interested in buying new shoes and will show you ads for businesses that sell new shoes. If you read a blog post on how to cook a great apple pie or click on a Google map result showing the best fried chicken in your zip code, Google and other search engines know.

If you go to a shoe website, that website knows that you have been there (through “cookies”) and can serve you a retargeted ad to you via Facebook or the Google display network on other websites. This sort of tactic is meant to re-engage a potential customer.

Because you have searched for shoes and gone to a shoe website, you are likely to purchase shoes and being shown a retargeted ad will have a high conversion rate.

Very few small businesses that we meet with as a digital advertising agency in Denver are running retargeting ads which can be a huge missed opportunity. A competitor of a certain business owner may have social or paid campaigns going but a person will only see ads from that organization once or twice and only on selected platforms whereas retargeting will follow a potential customer who’s already been to the retargeting company’s website.

Because of the high conversion rate and low relative cost, we recommend retargeting ads to most of our digital advertising clients. This is doubly true for those who frequent mobile search since our phones always know where we are and using NAP citations (Name, Address, Phone number) can show us ads targeted to our location at that moment. This results in better offers to the people who are most likely to buy.

Pay Per Click Ads

Pay per click (PPC) ads are still a great way to go for small businesses that are looking to maximize their spend on digital advertising.

If the agency in charge of PPC is running a great campaign for the small business, then the ads are only being shown for keywords where potential customers are going to buy products or services and are therefore more likely to respond to those offers.

The PPC agency also has to make sure that the keywords selected for the campaign are not too competitive or costly. When that happens, the business will run out of budget quickly and will not show a positive ROI. However, because these ads can be so narrowly targeted to exactly who a business wants to reach, they can fit into national or local search.

When using PPC ads on a platform like Google or Google My Business, a business also doesn’t pay for impressions (impressions are similar to paying for a billboard which people drive by without ever paying attention). Rather, this tactic means that the only time you pay Google is when someone actually clicks on your ad. After that, it’s up to your website to convert them into a customer.

Many local searches also give a business owner the opportunity to include specific, local keywords which takes the results of search engines like Google and displays ads that aren’t simply relevant to the topic a potential client is looking for, but also the business listing of someone nearby who can be on-the-spot much more quickly. This not only delivers faster results and local knowledge but it also give the business organization a chance to influence their local search visibility.

X3: The 3 Best ways to market your small business during COVID-19 (#1 is local SEO)

3. Social Media

As of Q1 2020, there are 2.6 billion monthly active Facebook users. (Statista, 2020)

Social Media posts and ads (especially Facebook ads) can provide a very high return on digital marketing investment for small businesses.

Because Facebook knows their users interests, friends and search histories, ads can be very targeted and only served to users with a very high likelihood to engage and purchase. Additionally, Facebook and Google can often share the sort of information gleaned from your posts which make the advertisements you see on both platforms that much more catered specifically to you

Small businesses looking to do retargeting ads through Facebook should hire a digital marketing agency that can dive deep into their ideal customer’s behavior and demographics and can create compelling visual ads with great written copy. Part of our job is to makes sure that your social media posts are focused, have proper timing and display the proper “look & feel” of your business personality.

Encouraging your social media audience to engage with a business can also encourage more sharing and gaining of a new local link to your website (think of it like a person‘s website with a link back to your business as “social proof”). Things like this not only share your website but also increase your business profile and brand recognition. Aspects like this will also increase appearance of a given local keyword on social media just as it would in Google.

The final thing we’ll mention as it relates to social media is the online reviews which live there. Giving your customer base a chance to leave both positive and negative reviews on social outlets allows a steady stream of your customers to share their feelings with you and other potential customers. It also allows you to openly resolve conflicts which shows your professionalism in handling a bad review. Search engine rankings will ultimately be affected by all online reviews – even on social media – so local organizations should make sure their SEO strategy includes a way to respond to all reviews – good AND bad.

The Bottom Line

Due to COVID-19, (and technology adoption as a whole) your target customers are spending less time in cars listening to the radio, less people are watching traditional TV and very few people still pick up a physical copy of a newspaper. The traditional methods of advertising (Radio, TV and Print) are dying. Business owners must change with the time to maximize return on investment and the top ways to go are: local SEOdigital advertising and social media.

At X3, we are experts at delivering local SEO and digital advertising campaigns to maximize return on investment. It all starts with a free assessment or contacting us to learn more!

Curious to see how small business from X3 can hep you DOMINATE YOUR COMPETITION ONLINE? Get in touch!

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