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3 Marketing Practices to Ditch

Here are three marketing practices that are no longer effective. Let them go! While you may be leaving something you are comfortable with, this makes room for new ideas.

Campaign Mindset

The concept of a campaign has the concept of a start and finish baked in. Real companies and real initiatives don’t work like that. The people you engage with expect a long term relationship. Marketing that is connected to long-term goals and that evolves to align with changing needs is far more effective.

Siloed Marketing

If your efforts on Facebook, including messaging and imagery, is handled as a secluded marketing effort, stop. Everything you do, online and offline, needs to be part of a whole. You can’t be a different company at one location than another. Every part of your marketing – website, email, social platforms – need to be part of one coordinated marketing strategy.

Relying on Thought Leadership of Others

There was a time that people genuinely appreciated people who “curated” content on a particular topic or area of interest. You could cultivate a strong following by aggregating information written by many people and published by a variety of sources. This is another marketing practice to let go. Your people want to know what YOU think and what YOU have to say. They have the skills to find the rest of it without you. Layer on top of this that just about every platform reduces visibility of posts with links external to that platform. They want to keep their users on their platform, and will penalize you for efforts to take them elsewhere.

Assess for Marketing Ideas to Ditch, and Others to Add

As we head into the final quarter of 2021, it is a good time to assess your marketing strategy. Look at the data. Consider the impact of each thing that you do.

Now is a great time to amp up efforts on what works and drop the things that aren’t pulling their weight. That will set you up for greater achievement in 2022.

You Have Complete Control Over this Critical Factor in SEO

Heads up to all businesses with a local service area. A major factor in determining how you rank locally is the consistency of business name, address and phone across your citations online. Yes, focusing on just your name, address and phone – NAP – and ensuring they are 100% consistent everywhere will boost your search rank.

How NAP Is Used

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. It’s a critical factor in local SEO and influences what Google and other search engines show for local intent searches.

Occurrences of NAP data around the web are commonly referred to as citations. A citation is when your NAP data shows up on directory sites like Yelp or Angi, membership directories, Google Business listing, etc.

Several search ranking factors are highly influenced by a consistent NAP across all locations. A consistent business name, address, phone number is one of the most important factors in achieving good online visibility.

There are data companies that collect, verify, and distribute business data for companies all around the world. Information for just about every business eventually finds its way into this business data ecosystem.

Many of those providers make money by selling this data as leads or as a data feed to other companies. Companies like Google, Yelp and Manta subscribe to the business data from these providers. They also crawl the web for business data and add it to their databases.

This business data collection effort often leads to your business information being listed on sites like Yelp, Google Maps, and YellowPages.com even if nobody in your company created a listing on those sites.

Citations Are an Important Search Ranking Factor

Google uses data points it can process programmatically to determine search rankings. To determine how a business should rank in local results, Google scans the web for mentions of your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and several other data points. It then compares that information to other data sources, including the major data providers and official records like state business filings.

Your local search rankings are heavily influenced by whether or not Google finds consistent business information on the web and from data suppliers. This all works well, as long as your NAP is accurate everywhere.

However, if the information is inaccurate, it still spreads. And this spreading of inaccurate information can confuse the search engines and make it more difficult to rank. It also creates a big mess of inaccurate data all over the web that is difficult and time-consuming to clean up.

Control Your NAP

Starting with the basics, the first step in having an accurate NAP everywhere is to decide what name, address and phone you will use. Sounds basic, but this can be a challenge if you refer to your business by various forms of your name, have several phone numbers, and your physical address differs from your registered address.

You need to decide on one NAP in order to rank well on search engines.

Fixing the problem of inaccurate or inconsistent NAP data starts by fixing information on file with the authoritative players. That usually means starting with the big data providers:

Then moving on to the authoritative directory sites:

And finally, cleaning up any remaining listings on directory sites like:

  • Yellowpages.com
  • CitySearch
  • Manta
  • Angi
  • Member Directories

Google yourself to find out all the places you are listed.

Clean-up can take a while until you correct all the data sources and prevent bad date from being shared. In the end, your online citations should match the business filings with the state, the information the post office has, the information on your website and your listings everywhere online. Accomplishing this puts you in a solid position for great local search ranking and overall online visibility.

Write for Online Readers

The rules you followed to make your print newsletter grab readers don’t work anymore. As we have transitioned to reading online, how we read and the time we are willing to give have changed. You need to change the way you present your communications to successfully compete for time and attention.

You Get 10 Seconds

Yup, just 10 seconds. Most people give your content 10 seconds (or less) to convince them to read on or they move on. Even your top readers likely spend about two minutes on your content.

Capture Readers With the Headline

The headline of your content is the first thing that will be read. This is where decisions will be made to proceed or move on. Spend the most time writing headlines that are meaningful to your target audience.

Next in importance:

  • Subheads
  • Bullet points
  • Pullout quote

Online Readers Are Scanners

It’s more accurate to think of people scanning your content than reading it. They look for key takeaways and don’t read all your text. And, they don’t necessarily review your content in a linear fashion.

You need to tell your story in the headline and subheads. Add more in the bullets. Consider a pullout quote if there is a statement or sentence that is compelling.

Use an illustrative image. Caption it in a way that relays the key message of the content.