Category: Tools to Use

Great social media and other communication tools you want to try.


Local Service Ad Options from Google

Google Local Services ads help businesses connect with people in a local service area. Ads show up for customers in your service area, and you only pay if a customer calls or messages you directly through the ad. This is a much more cost effective option for small businesses than traditional Google ads.

To set up a local service ad, you start with your business name, service type, and location. Google will verify your business and then you can take the next step.

Once you’re set up, you use a dashboard to update information and manage your ads. You can set the budget and pause ads as needed.

Home based businesses like plumbers and painters can get a Google Guaranteed badge that tells customers Google has verified the business and backs the services. Professional services, businesses like lawyers and event planners, can get a Google Screened badge that tells clients Google has verified your background and backs your expertise.

Once your Local Services ad is live, your business will show up with a call or message button – you choose which one – so customers can connect with you.

Get started by determining your eligibility with Google.

5 Tips to Boost Your Brand SEO

The rules of SEO are always changing. What worked a couple years ago may not work today. To take your brand SEO to the next level, follow these tips.

Design for Mobile

In most industries, most searches are now done on mobile devices. Responding to this, Google switched to mobile-first indexing in 2020. Now the mobile version of your website, not the desktop version, is indexed and used to determine search rank.

To optimize for mobile indexing, evaluate your mobile site for things like loading times and navigation. Also make sure the structural elements of your mobile site are identical to those of your desktop site.

Use Keywords Wisely

Just using a keyword isn’t always helpful. Repeating keywords too often will cause Google’s algorithm to penalize you for “keyword stuffing,” so you want to use keywords carefully.

Use keywords where they fit naturally. Content should flow for the reader and not appear stilted to use the right keywords.

Where you put keywords matters, too. Keywords in meta titles, descriptions and image tags as well as page titles, and subheadings carry more weight than keywords in the body text.

Think Q&A

More searches are questions. So, Google now offers Q&A type search results. When you type a question into a Google search, you sometimes see a box with a snippet of text answering the question. This is the answer box, and it’s becoming increasingly important.

Google’s algorithm populates answer boxes with text that directly answers a specific question. Write out the question you want to target in your content, and then provide an answer in a way that’s concise and accurate.

Keep Brand Content Fresh

Search engines still like “new” content. So, focus on making your old content new again.

Look for relevant content published in the last few years. Add new links, remove old ones, update any outdated information, and publish. This gets valuable content in front of new readers and gives it an SEO boost.

Provide Content for People

Search engines are machines, but they try to be like people. The goal is to rank highly those websites that serve user needs and interests. Google’s algorithm is designed to prioritize pages with the best user experience. If you can focus on this first, many aspects of SEO for your brand will fall into place as a result.

COVID Has More People Doing More Online

We are only beginning to understand the long term impacts of COVID on our day-to-day lives and behavior. One thing is certain, people are doing more online. Savvy businesses are adjusting their marketing accordingly.

We have all had to embrace doing more online. Running to the store was mostly taken off the table. Curbside pickup and online ordering became necessities.

COVID-19 has forced consumers to become more comfortable with shopping online, sometimes in categories they might never have expected. For some, this forced trial was a catalyst for adoption.

According to data from Dotcom Distribution’s 2020 e-commerce consumer survey, nearly 31% of consumers expect to routinely make more online purchases than they did before the pandemic.

New Frontiers for Online Shopping

According to Bloomreach’s State of Commerce Experience study, 50% of customers are shopping on digital channels for products they’ve never bought online before. Expectations are high. People expect a quality experience that makes the process complete, seamless and easy.

The days of “we’re doing our best in these unprecedented times” are gone. Brands need to get serious about their online experiences to capture business.

That same study found that 53% of customers will not buy from the same business again after a negative experience. This highlights the need for Brands to know their customers and meet their needs online.

Online Purchasing Behavior

According to Dotcom’s study, the top five categories consumers reported purchasing most online prior to the outbreak, in order, were apparel, electronics, home goods, accessories, and food and beverages. The biggest categories today are:

  • kitchenware
  • books
  • toys and games
  • crafts
  • exercise equipment
  • gardening

Consumers have largely shifted their attention and spending to digital channels for all their needs, marking a major opportunity for brands and retailers that can offer a positive online experience. Now is the time to invest in tools that help you understand your customers so you’re better positioned to get business and secure loyalty.