There are thousands of incredible marketing tools on the Internet. Which marketing tools make sense for small local business owners?[Read more…] about 11+ Best Marketing Tools for Small Local Business Owners
Digital Marketing: Strategies & Tactics To Grow Your Website
Digital marketing is an incredible way to grow your website. While it shares many concepts from traditional & offline marketing, the strategies, tactics, and tools are usually faster, more personalized, more scalable, and more affordable.
Even though keyword rank does not directly matter the way it used to, local SEO rankings can still be valuable for small local businesses.[Read more…] about 5+ Ways To Check Your Local SEO Rankings & Visibility
Have you ever made it to the end of an article online and seen “From Around Web” or “Recommended Content?” Usually the headlines are incredibly shocking, and the images eye-catching. Often they’re just plain weird.[Read more…] about How To Advertise On OutBrain: My Experience & 4 Ideas for Advertising With OutBrain
Starting an SEO Agency is one of the best types of marketing agencies to start from scratch.
Unlike paid media, an SEO agency requires very little capital for learning / training and can deliver very high value for clients and high-profit margins for you.[Read more…] about 11+ Must Have Tools To Start an SEO Agency
Most nursing home & assisted living managers would agree that there’s nothing like finding a good client. But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have new applications coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Assisted Living & Nursing Home Marketing Ideas To Help Families Find You
Online advertising has been critical for local businesses for years. But 2020 has made online advertising the only option for some local businesses.[Read more…] about 10+ Online Local Advertising Channels for Small Businesses in 2020
Most nail & hair salon owners would agree that there’s nothing like a full appointment book. But it’s hard to fill appointments without a regular flow of new clients coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Nail & Hair Salon Marketing Ideas To Find More Customers
Most contractors would agree that there’s nothing like finding a good client. A new client not only means immediate revenue, but also future revenue and possible word of mouth referrals. But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have calls & emails coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Contractor Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients
Quora Ads are one of the myriad options for advertising online. Like eBay, Reddit, and LinkedIn, Quora is one of those Web 2.0 properties that feels like it should be dated but remains surprisingly relevant.
In fact, while Quora itself has been around since 2009, Quora’s self-serve Ad Platform only rolled out in 2016. They have aggressively built one of the most targeted social ad platforms on the Internet. In just the last year, they’ve rolled out 5+ new beta ad programs and dramatically increased their number of advertisers. Their costs & competition is still low compared to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram though.[Read more…] about How To Advertise on Quora Ads Effectively
Most auto repair shops would agree that there’s nothing like finding a new customer. New customers not only bring in immediate revenue, but also lifetime value since they are likely to return year after year. And in an industry built on trust, new customers also represent potential word of mouth referrals.
But it’s hard to find a good customer if you don’t have new calls & emails coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Auto Repair Shop Marketing Ideas To Get More Customers
Most home inspectors would agree that there’s nothing like finding a good client. A new client not only means immediate revenue, but also future revenue and possible word of mouth referrals. But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have calls & emails coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Home Inspector Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients
Most tax preparation services & tax professionals would agree that there’s nothing like finding a new client. New clients not only bring in immediate revenue, but also lifetime value since they are likely to return year after year. And in an industry built on trust, new clients also represent potential word of mouth referrals.
But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have new inquiries coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Tax Preparation Service Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients
Zillow is one of the leading real estate websites. It allows owners or agents to list homes for sale or rent. On the other side of things, users can search listings and view approximate property values. These services are free.[Read more…] about How To Advertise On Zillow Effectively
Most insurance agencies & brokers would agree that there’s nothing like finding a new client. New clients not only bring in revenue, but also lifetime value and new referrals. But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have new inquiries coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Insurance Agency Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients
Most law firms would agree that there’s nothing like finding a new client. New clients not only bring in revenue, but also lifetime value and new referrals. But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have new inquiries coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Law Firm Marketing & Advertising Ideas To Find More Clients
NAP stands for “Name, Address, Phone Number.”
NAP is the core element of local business citations (aka listings) across the Internet.[Read more…] about 11+ Ways To Check Your NAP Consistency for Local SEO
Every web design agency’s core problem is that large, profitable projects end while costs continue month after month.[Read more…] about 22+ Web Design Agency Recurring Revenue Ideas
Most fitness center & gym owners would agree that there’s nothing like finding a good customer. But it’s hard to find a good customer if you don’t have calls & emails coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Fitness Center & Gym Marketing Ideas To Find More Customers
eBay is one of the oldest and most well established online marketplaces. With millions of active users, it can be an important sales channel for your eCommerce business, regardless of the industry you’re in.
While eBay has been thought of by many as a marketplace that connects individuals, akin to a sort of digital yard sale, the climate has certainly changed in recent years.[Read more…] about How to Advertise on eBay Effectively
Most bank managers would agree that there’s nothing like finding a new client But it’s hard to find a good bank client if you don’t have account applications coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Bank Marketing Ideas To Find More Clients
I know what you’re thinking: “Twitter has analytics?!”
Getting started with the platform is easy. As long as you have an existing account that’s more than 14 days old and isn’t deleted, restricted, protected, or suspended, just sign in with your account credentials at http://analytics.twitter.com.
After you log in, click Get Started on the Analytics homepage.[Read more…] about How To Understand & Use Twitter Analytics Effectively
Most dentists & dental practice owners would agree that there’s nothing like finding a good, consistent patient. But it’s hard to find a good patient if you don’t have new appointments coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Dental Marketing Ideas To Serve More Clients
Most credit union managers would agree that there’s nothing like finding a new member. But it’s hard to find a good credit union member if you don’t have account applications coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Credit Union Marketing Ideas To Grow Membership
Most resort & spa owners would agree that there’s nothing like a full appointment book. But it’s hard to fill appointments without a regular flow of new clients coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Resort & Medical Spa Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients
So you want to promote your website online…for free, preferably.
By now, you probably know from experience that the “build it and they will come” philosophy is flawed. You can have great content — in fact, you need at least “good” content — but unless you know how to promote it, your site is a ghost town. But you also don’t have the budget to go straight to advertising online.
You don’t need a grab bag of tips and tricks. You don’t need best practices to “go viral”. What you need is an actual process to follow consistently to create a “flywheel effect“.
Here is an exact, step-by-step strategy that I recommend to anyone who wants to promote their website online. The specific details vary, but it’s a pretty tried and true path for anyone who wants to promote their website.[Read more…] about How to Promote Your Website Online (for free!)
Most golf course owners would agree that there’s nothing like fully booked tee times. But it’s hard to book tee times if you don’t have golfers calling or landing on your website.[Read more…] about 22+ Golf Course Marketing Ideas To Get More Golfers
Most apartment & rental unit owners would agree that there’s nothing like finding a good tenant. But it’s hard to find a good tenant if you don’t have lease applications coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Property Management & Apartment Marketing Ideas To Get More Leases
Craigslist is a treasure trove of opportunity for astute marketers. Each month, more than 60 million people visit Craigslist in the United States alone.
The site features a very simple interface and several highly targeted sub-sections. Best of all, many of Craigslist’s daily visitors are qualified buyers, looking to make immediate purchases.[Read more…] about How To Advertise On Craigslist Effectively
So you have a rapidly growing local business, and you are looking to expand. You have the brand, the capital, and the processes to open a second or even third location.
You’re in a growing metro area with lots of opportunity and open real estate.
And yet, you know that every real estate agent and business analyst will tell you that long-term success depends on “location, location, location.”
Now, if you were a national retail chain or a franchise owner, you could hire a location consultant to comb through census data and expensive proprietary business intelligence.
But you aren’t sure it’s truly worth the price. After all, your local real estate agent knows most of the metro market. And you generally know what the Census data says…even though the Census data is almost 10 years old.
So what can you use to gather hard data about what locations are most likely to succeed?[Read more…] about How To Choose a New Local Business Location with Digital Marketing Data [Case Study]
So you’ve got some marketing skills, and you’re wondering how to start a digital marketing agency.
But there’s just one problem…
How do you start a digital marketing agency with no experience?
There have never been more opportunities to strike off on your own in the digital marketing space than there today. But how do you actually do it? Where do you start, and how do you scale?[Read more…] about How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency with No Experience
Creating content for your website requires a ton of time, money & resources to do well. But when it doesn’t generate visitors or sales – it’s a huge waste.
There are a lot of reasons why a piece of content might not perform well, but you can dramatically increase your odds of success by prequalifying your content idea.[Read more…] about How To Use 11+ Free Tools To Find Prequalified Content Ideas for SEO
Anyone who owns a website and recognizes the opportunity to get visitors from Google organic search suspects the importance of keywords.
If you can appear in those results when someone types in a certain keyword – that’s not only a visitor…but a highly qualified, free visitor.[Read more…] about Keyword Mapping for SEO: How To Use Keywords On Your Website
So you have a website and you are really anxious to get visitors to your site. You have three main tactics to get visitors to your website.
You can either –
- Tell your network about it (ie, word of mouth, social media)
- Try to be there when other people are asking about you (ie, search engine optimization)
- Just advertise your website to people who might be interested.
Website advertising is by far the fastest and most scalable right away, but it’s hard to do right – even if you have the budget.
Here’s how to advertise your website online effectively in 5 steps.[Read more…] about How To Advertise Your Website Online Effectively in 5 Steps
Wikipedia is the 800 lb gorilla in the Google search results. It ranks for almost half of all searches. It is the online resource. Google has even built large portions of its Knowledge Graph off the back of Wikipedia.
- Wikipedia is human knowledge. It uses language the way humans use it, because it’s written by humans. It connects topics and keywords in ways that only humans can.
- Wikipedia is the online resource. People trust it, use it, and reference it.
So whether you are just starting out planning your website’s keyword strategy, looking for new content ideas, or looking for ways to build trust for your website, here’s how to use Wikipedia for SEO and content marketing.[Read more…] about How To Use Wikipedia for SEO & Content Marketing
For years, SEOs (unlike our paid media counterparts) have dealt with less and less data.
First, Google stopped providing keyword data from organic search.
Then, Google made Keyword Planner a lot less useful with averaged and rounded volume and merged queries.
Then, Google made Keyword Planner a tool specifically for active advertisers.
In fact, there was a period in 2015 when keyword research moved from an art + science to a total art.
And then came clickstream data. It was like magic.[Read more…] about Clickstream Data & SEO Explained
Astute marketers are constantly looking for new platforms to connect with their audience in useful and meaningful ways, and Nextdoor is one of the most promising social platforms for local business marketing to look towards as we approach 2021.
As a platform designed to connect neighborhoods and the people who live there, Nextdoor seems to have that special sauce that’s so appealing to marketers of all sizes. Over 75% of neighborhoods in the United States are already part of the platform, the user base is constantly growing, and it provides neighbors with the tools they need to connect on a local level to the businesses in their area.
As with any new social network, there’s a learning curve associated with it. If you’re wondering how to advertise on Nextdoor or simply fit NextDoor into your digital marketing, and you’re hoping you’ll be able to jump right in, you’ll need to cool your jets, unfortunately. But, this helpful guide will provide you with everything you need to know about this exciting new local social network and how you can leverage it to the advantage of your business.[Read more…] about How To Advertise on Nextdoor Effectively
YouTube Analytics are a bit of anomaly because YouTube itself is an anomaly.
It’s not your website and it’s not purely a social network. It’s more than a video hosting platform even though videos are it’s thing. It’s the world’s 2nd largest search engine by queries processed, but it’s not a search engine that crawls & indexes the Web like Google or Bing.
There is a lot to going on. And that makes YouTube Analytics challenging. There is a lot of noise. There are a lot of metrics. Some matter, and some don’t. Some matter in ways that you would not expect.
However you use it, YouTube wants you to improve. More videos viewed means more revenue and more visibility for YouTube. They want you to have more watch time, a bigger audience, and more reach. So like other social networks, YouTube provides a wealth of data to help you understand your audience, discovery and engagement.
But it goes further – because, again, there’s a lot going on. Since YouTube is a Google product, it integrates well with other Google products such as Google Analytics, Ads, AdSense and Search Console. And that’s just the marketing tools – there’s another universe of app integrations and Google Play integrations.
Unlike other social networks, you can get a better understanding of how YouTube fits with your other marketing data. The key (like other analytics products) is to set it up correctly, know what you are looking for, and to keep exploring.
I’ve worked on client YouTube channels, personal channels, and I’ve started exploring my own ShivarWeb YouTube channel. So here’s what I’ve learned about setting up, understanding & using YouTube Analytics (plus additional resources at the end).[Read more…] about YouTube Analytics Guide: Setting Up, Understanding & Using YouTube Analytics
Starting in October 2014, I automated many tweets by scheduling them for the next year. It cost $126. Within 6 months, I’ve increased my Twitter following by 32%, had interactions with many people I’d love to meet in person, and removed myself from the Twitter Treadmill. And now I use Twitter day to day however I like (mainly sharing links and checking notifications once per month).
Monday through Saturday at some point in the day, you’ll see me tweet out an article that I have actually read with a mention of the author. I’ve been doing this for more than 4 years.
It’s part of my ongoing experiment to use social media platforms more sustainably and effectively.
Even though I joined Twitter back in 2009, I never really took to the platform. It seemed too broadcast-oriented with an insular culture where soon people were fighting over Klout scores. It seemed absurd at worst and tedious at best.
I also couldn’t see any huge traffic benefit to investing time when even tweets from my industry’s most influential leaders drive less than 1% click through rates.
However, after much informed reading and prodding from Brett Snyder, I figured out that even though Twitter does not drive traffic per se – it does drive awareness and connections.
It’s sort of like a giant conference. Each session or networking event doesn’t drive a lead or sale, but the people you see, meet, talk about, and talk with all drive success for everyone in the future.
The question still remains – how do you maintain that visibility and make initial connections without draining hours into a platform that you don’t own. In other words, how do you get to meet and spark conversations with people at the conference without sitting through every boring session, standing in every lunch line, and hovering over the coffee table?
For me, that’s where automated tweets of posts that I have read and found useful comes in. Writing custom tweets, searching and tagging author at the end of each article, then posting is productivity death by a thousand cuts. But batch writing and scheduling the tweets save time while keeping the benefits of custom tweets.
If your goal is to build visibility on Twitter, make connections, build a “sharing safety net” to free your Twitter-self up and save time while doing it, then this strategy is for you.
*Note – also, I tried to make this process as optional as possible. I dislike the bot-ification of Twitter as much as anyone. And yes, by adopting this strategy, you are guilty on the same spectrum as the Internet Research Agency. Use it in moderation with your own personal spin. Don’t hook it up to a random RSS feed. Make it yours with a bit of computer help.[Read more…] about How I Automated Tweets for a Year: My Experience & Guide To Scheduling Quality Tweets
DuckDuckGo is an independent search engine that provides web search results without tracking users behavior or search history (like Google does). They are strictly focused on user privacy.
It’s a tiny search engine – like less than 0.50% of the global search engine market.
But it’s also rapidly growing year over year, and past 15 billion queries in 2019. Every time a story comes out about Google’s data trove, “filter bubbles”, the NSA or online privacy – more and more users start to switch to DuckDuckGo.
So even though DuckDuckGo has only a small slice of the search market, it has a significant share among a certain slice of the population – ie, tech-savvy individuals with money who are concerned about their privacy. If you look at US search engine marketshare, it doubles to 1.00%.
If your target customers fit into that bucket – how can you reach them online?
That’s where advertising on DuckDuckGo comes in. DuckDuckGo runs pay per click ads the same as Google, Bing & Yahoo. You run ads based on the search query and pay when someone clicks on your ad. Here’s an example.
Here’s how to set up your ads & what to keep in mind.[Read more…] about How To Advertise On DuckDuckGo for Bonus PPC Wins
What do you think of when you think of marketing campaigns? Typically, crazy promotions, phoney contests, giveaways, and flash sales come to mind. These campaigns, while effective in the short term, are not repeatable.
At what point does your discount become the regular price? At what point do you burn out your Facebook following or email list?
What if I told you there was a better way to build a marketing campaign? What if I told you there was a type of marketing campaign that could provide lasting benefits to your business for years to come?
It’s your lucky day. There is such a strategy. It’s called evergreen marketing, and it fuels some of the most powerful companies across industries.[Read more…] about Evergreen Marketing: How To Plan Marketing That Lasts
When it comes to most digital channels (think your typical online marketing activities), the focus is often on getting in front of customers who know they need your products/services.
Here’s the catch: eventually, you run into limitations. Why? Because you’re working with existing demand, and existing demand is always limited.
Which means at some point, you’re going to have to create demand for your offering.
But how do you do that? And do you have to choose one versus the other?
Before we dive in too deep, let’s break down the difference between harvesting demand vs. creating demand.[Read more…] about Harvesting Demand vs. Creating Demand
If you’ve done any research on tracking data on your website, you’ve probably heard about Google Analytics. But what exactly does Google Analytics do?
Google Analytics is a free website analytics service offered by Google that gives you insights into how users find and use your website. With Google Analytics, you can track return on investment (“ROI”) for your online marketing.[Read more…] about What Does Google Analytics Do? And What Can I Do With Google Analytics?
Quora is the largest question and answer website on the internet. It has been around since 2009.
While Quora never achieved the cultural prominence that it was hyped up to be in the mid-2000s, it has become a staple of the internet.
Quora allows you to get answers from real experts or at least people in relevant industries. Unlike Google, Facebook or Twitter, it allows you to get more nuanced answers.
Here are some ways that I use Quora for SEO, content development and link building.[Read more…] about How To Use Quora For SEO & Content Marketing
You’re ready to audit and optimize your (or your clients’) YouTube channel or you want to see what a competitor is doing with their YouTube videos. But you run into the problem that YouTube makes it kind of tough to scrape and export video information.
You can’t really crawl YouTube like you can a website – it’s too large and there’s no way to control your crawl. I ran into this problem a few weeks ago while trying to map out videos and optimize titles & tags in bulk.
Here’s how to scrape & export video information from YouTube without buying sketchy blackhat scraper software.[Read more…] about How To Scrape & Export Video Information from YouTube
LinkedIn has been one of the continually growing social networks on the Internet for years. But like Pinterest and Reddit, it has such a deep internal culture focused on recruiting & jobs that it gets written off by small & large content marketers alike.[Read more…] about How to Use LinkedIn for SEO & Content Marketing
SlideShare is an unsung staple of the Internet. It’s the place that’s all too familiar to conference goers, trade show attendees, and corporate pitch decks.
SlideShare is simply a website where anyone can upload and share a presentation. It’s owned by LinkedIn and it’s free and open to all, and promises to help you “share what you know and love through presentations, infographics, documents and more.”
Here’s how to use SlideShare for keyword research, content development, and link building.[Read more…] about How To Use Slideshare For SEO & Content Marketing
The biggest problem for website owners and marketers in 2020 and beyond isn’t the tools available. It’s figuring out how to use the tools they have.
What Is Ahrefs?
Ahrefs is one of the most powerful suites of social media & SEO tools that I’ve ever used. Most SEOs know it as a “backlink checker” that competes with Majestic, Mangools, Moz, and SEMRush. But “backlink checker” grossly undersells Ahrefs as a marketing suite.
Ahrefs has so many features that you can get lost and resort to simply staring at your own links – maybe rank tracking a few keywords. Here’s the guide to how to use Ahrefs that I wish existed when I first signed up.
*Reader’s Note 1 – all images are clickable if you want to see the full resolution.[Read more…] about Ahrefs Guide: How To Use Ahrefs for SEO, Content & Link Building
Ah, the art of email marketing. Chances are you’ve landed here because you’re looking into sending email blasts as a part of your marketing strategy, and you’re wondering how to do it.
Email can be an incredibly effective way to connect with your customers and improve your business… when used correctly.
When used incorrectly, it can be a surefire way to land in spam (AKA where emails go to die).
So how do you use email blasts effectively for your business? What best practices should you follow?
But before we get there, let’s cover a few of the basics.[Read more…] about Email Blasts: Definition, Examples, & Best Practices
People don’t just listen to music anymore; they experience it. Advertising on a platform like Spotify can expose listeners to your brand in an engaging, involved way.
You can currently use Spotify’s Ad Studio to develop & target ads.
Spotify can be used to market your business similarly as a radio ad. You can also sponsor streaming sessions and playlists to get in front of the people who are most likely to resonate with your message.[Read more…] about How To Advertise On Spotify Effectively