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    Your Guide to Small Business Lead Management [EBOOK]

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Driving consumers to your business website is a major marketing accomplishment that proves your top-of-the-funnel strategies are working. And, when a visitor contacts you via a phone, email, or web form, and you qualify them as someone who’s interested in your business, you’ve successfully converted them into a lead.

    But, what are you doing with your leads after you’ve captured them? As a business owner or marketer, engaging with leads after they’ve contacted you plays a huge role in determining whether or not they become customers. That’s where lead management comes in. In order to convince your leads to choose your business, you need to manage, follow up with, and nurture them. In fact, nurturing your leads via email alone can result in up to 45% more ROI when done consistently.

    So what does lead management look like for a small business? In our latest ebook, we share lead management best practices every small business should be using. In this ebook, you’ll learn more about what lead management is and what steps and actions you can take to help convert leads into customers.

    Get the Ebook: Convert More Leads Into Customers With the Power of Lead Management

     

    Related Articles

    ·     Don’t Leak Leads Website: Is Your Marketing Leaking Leads?

    ·     Sales Leads: What to Do After the Call

    ·     3 Compelling Reasons You Need a Lead Management Process — And What to Do About Them

    ·     Ebook: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

     

    About the Author

    Amy Neeley helps small- and medium-size businesses navigate the online marketing world with insights and information featured on the ReachLocal blog. Follow her on Twitter.

    Is Your SEO Strategy Up to Date?

    Last updated 2 months ago

    What many used to consider the fundamentals of SEO are best practices no more. To get found by people searching online today, it’s critical to make sure your SEO strategy is aligned with recent changes in search engines – and with the way people search online today.

    What does SEO mean today, when search engines are getting smarter, people are searching in more places than just Web-based search engines (think maps, social media, and mobile), and businesses are looking for tangible results from their marketing efforts?  

    As a result of these changing demands, SEO strategies have expanded to include a wide variety of onsite and offsite tactics. Now, you can no longer get by with buying links, stuffing keywords into content, and other outdated (and often penalized) tactics that used to be common in the SEO world. But is your SEO up to date in providing what search engines (and consumers) really want when it comes to helping them find relevant, useful content?

    In this on-demand webinar video, ReachLocal’s Sr. Director of SEO Brian Ledis explains what a comprehensive, modern SEO strategy looks like and tips to effectively build a successful SEO program for your business.    

    Check out the video below to learn:

    • The challenges of an outdated SEO strategy
    • The factors of modern SEO, such as content creation and local SEO
    • How to achieve today’s SEO best practices for your business
    • How our ReachSEO solution delivers modern SEO — and ROI
    • Early results of ReahchLocal clients using ReachSEO

    Marketing to Millennials – Free Webinar

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Did you know that the purchasing power of today’s Millennial Generation (also know as Gen Y) is nearly $1.7 trillion? This new generation of consumers, roughly including those in their 20s to those in their early 30s, has surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest age demographic in the U.S. And for your business, reaching young consumers during their buying process is critical.

    That’s because Millennials are now buying houses, taking vacations, raising families, and making other purchases from all kinds of businesses. And how they find these products and services is dramatically different from the way consumers have done so in the past. The Millennial generation knows that phone books were once the standard for looking up a local business, but laugh at the idea of doing it now. Why? The Web. Whether they are looking for a local business, writing reviews, or recommending a product or service to their friends via social networks like Facebook and Instagram, Millennials spend the majority of their purchasing time online.

    But are you effectively marketing to Millennials? If you’re not sure, or if you just want to find out more about how you can market your business to multiple generations of consumers, sign up for our free webinar Millennial Marketing: Targeting Gen Y, Gen X, and Boomers Too. This live session takes place Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 A.M. PDT). 

     

    30 Simple Tips That Can Significantly Improve Your Online Marketing

    Last updated 2 months ago

    If you didn’t already know, this week is National Small Business Week. This week celebrates all small businesses and what they do for consumers, the economy, and the country. And now that today’s consumers rely more on the Web to find and choose local businesses, online marketing has become a high priority on the list of things SMBs need to do.

    But that list is often long and takes a while to sort through. So, here’s a roundup of some of our most popular blog posts with quick online marketing tips. From search advertising best practices to social media tactics, these are tips that any small business owner can use to help consumers find them online.

    Tips for Great Search Advertising:

    1. Know the Text Ad Format – All text ads aren’t created equal. Bing, Yahoo!, and Google all have slightly different text ad formats, so identify and follow the rules of each before running your search advertising campaign.

    2. Optimize the URL in Your Search Ad – Text ads feature a URL along with the title of your ad, so make sure it’s relevant to the product or service you are promoting and that it doesn’t conflict with the publisher’s requirements.

    3. Include Target Keywords in Your AdUse keywords in both your headline and text ad copy that match or are closely related to the keywords you bid in order to help your ad show up in search results for those terms.

    4. Write a Strong Call to Action – Tell consumers who see your text ad what action you want them to take, like getting a free estimate or downloading a coupon, so they are more willing to click through to your site.

    5. Use a Call Tracking Number – If you use a click-to-call extension in your ad, consider using a tracking number to identify the calls that come from your ads and to measure the results of your search advertising.

    6. Don’t Include Your Business Name in the Ad’s Headline – Headlines have limited character space, so don’t waste it on your business name. You can include your business name in your optimized URL, and use your headline for more critical content.

    7. Use Title Case – Capitalizing the first letter of major words is a text ad best practice. Just don’t go crazy with all caps. (NEVER go crazy with all caps.)

    8. Include the Right Punctuation – Using correct punctuation in a text ad is mandatory at the end of your ad, but it can also be used within the rest of your ad to ask a question or make a point.

    9. Don’t Use Trademarked Terms (Unless You Own Them) – This is just a no-no. You can bid on trademarked terms if they are relevant to your ad, but using terms you don’t own can go against the publisher’s requirements.

    10. Don’t Use Unknown Abbreviations – Nobody will know that “WFWAM” means “We Fix Windows and More.” There are many ways to include your message in your text ad without using abbreviations that only you can decipher.

    To see the full tips for search advertising, check out our search advertising 101 blog post. 

    Tips for a Better Business Website

    11. Update Your Website – It’s 2014, so your business website shouldn’t look like it’s still stuck in the early 2000s. And it’s about more than just looks. Best practices and Web standards change often, so a refresh can help you make sure your website is at the top of its game.

    12. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly – The 2014 Local Search Study from Neustar Localeze found that nearly 80% of local searches on a mobile phone ended in a purchase. If you’re website isn’t mobile-friendly, you are missing out on these local consumers.

    13. Complete and Optimize Your Site’s Metadata – Metadata on your website (like title tags, descriptions, and alt text) is a critical component of your website’s SEO. Leaving it out can negatively impact how you show up in search results.

    14. Create and Use a Business Blog – Blogging and your business should be best friends. Maintaining a business blog can help boost your site’s SEO; plus, it can set you apart from the competition and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. It’s a win-win situation.

    15. Optimize Your Website for Local Search – If your law practice only handles cases in Albuquerque, New Mexico, then it doesn’t do much good to get it seen by consumers searching for legal consultations in Crawford County, New Hampshire. Make sure your business website includes local information, like a phone number, address, and geo-targeted keywords so that local consumers call you.

    Get the full scoop on website best practices in our blog post about the 5 most common website mistakes.

    Tips for Effective Search Engine Optimization:

    16. Regularly Post Quality Content – Creating and promoting fresh, original, and sharable content on a business blog can help increase your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) because these social shares signal to search engines that your site is knowledgeable and relevant in a particular topic.  

    17. Be Present on Maps – This is especially applicable to consumers searching for your business on the go using apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps. Make sure they not only find you by claiming your local listings and making sure information like your phone number and address are correct.

    18. Claim Your Google+ Local PageClaiming and optimizing a Google+ Local page is key to showing up in Google Maps and Google’s local search results. Plus, this page provides users with important information like your phone number, operating hours, and ratings and reviews that they use when deciding whether to use your business.

    19. Engage Your Social Media Fans – Social media is a great way to build your brand and interact with potential and current customers. Post engaging content frequently to generate shares and connect with consumers, which can positively impact the number of those who see your content.  

    20. Use Local Keywords – Include geo-specific keywords in your website, blog, and even social media copy to drive visits and interest from consumers in your area.

    21. Generate Backlinks – High-quality links, such as those from influencers, are great for building your authority. Plus, they tell search engines that your business is credible, therefore ranking your website or other sites higher in search engines.

    22. Get Positive Reviews – What people say in reviews matters to consumers. In fact, one study determined that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation. And as these reviews are visible in search results, having positive reviews with high rankings can help persuade interested consumers to give your business a chance.

    23. Set Up Google Authorship – In addition to building your business brand, building your personal brand can be a great way to get new consumers. Google Authorship can help you do this.

    See more about what gets your business found in Google in our blog post about what Google loves

    24. Complete Your Business Information – Yelp is a great hub to host all kinds of information about your small business. From operating hours to business type to payment options to parking information, it’s a great way to help consumers find you and your business.

    25. Post Realistic Images – Images speak volumes, and Yelp features them loud and clear. Post inviting and realistic photos of what consumers can expect when visiting your business.

    26. Promote Positive Reviews – Since Yelp reviews are featured in local search results on all major search engines, generating great reviews is more important that ever. Plus, you can promote these reviews in other places, like your website and social media sites.

    Read more about how your small business can get the most out of a Yelp Business Page in our blog post featuring these tips.

    Tips for a Glowing Social Media Presence:

    27. Think Before You Post – It’s becoming more impossible to take back what you say in social media (hello, screenshots). In order to keep yourself from putting your foot in your mouth, make sure to think before you speak, er, post.

    28. Have a Social Media Policy – Social profiles for your business aren’t the end-all and be-all of your brand. Your employees also represent your brand, both in person and online. Having a social media policy today is important so employees know the rules and expectations for posting online as well. 

    29. Be Careful when Newsjacking – Staying in the know is a great idea for generating timely social content. However, if you jump in a conversation online without knowing the origin of the topic, you could risk looking like a social media newbie and potentially coming off as insensitive. 

    30. Stay Alert – Social media is the place where consumers voice their opinions about you, good and bad. Having alerts set up to notify you of mentions, comments, or messages can help you make sure you address situations before they get out of hand.

    Find out more about how your small business can use social media to build and promote your brand and tips to prevent social media mistakes.  

    How does your small business use online marketing to reach consumers? Let us know with a comment!

    About the Author

    Tara Banda writes about how local business owners can reach more customers through inbound marketing for the ReachLocal blog. You can connect with her on Twitter.

    Real Small Businesses on Measurable Marketing ROI [Video]

    Last updated 2 months ago

    In honor of National Small Business Week, we’re featuring some of our favorite small businesses – our very own clients – on the ReachLocal blog! We’re extremely proud to work with each and every one of these small businesses and help them get the results they want from their online marketing. In these videos, hear what our clients have to say about what it’s like working with ReachLocal and also about how important getting tangible, measurable ROI is to their small businesses.

    Reports Show True Business Growth

    Triangle Orthopedic Associates knows just how important it is to reach their target audience online – and how important tracking is to their marketing success. ReachLocal’s Web and mobile reporting has enabled this small business to see exactly how their search advertising and retargeting campaigns have improved their business over the past four years. Plus, they can drill down into month-by-month performance to see granular details that have helped their business grow. 

    “The mobile app has given me a lot more accessibility to the reports… I can quickly pull it up, talk about the results month after month,” said Chris Adkins, CAO.

    Marketing Automation & Follow Up Improves ROI

    The Law Offices of Robert M. Geller wanted to stay in front of potential clients who contact them. With ReachLocal’s automated marketing solution, this small business can follow up with new leads, send automated emails to long-term leads, and keep new clients apprised of other business offerings, all of which can help them close more deals and increase the ROI of their online marketing efforts. Plus, it tracks the sources of all their leads, so they can see what marketing efforts are the most effective.

    “I’m getting a better return on the investment on the expenditure that I’m making for my marketing in terms of pay per click or in terms of my website by having the ability to follow up with people… so I’m able to bring in more business,” said owner Robert Geller. 

    Real-Time Results Provide Valuable Insight

    For Safe Home Security, getting more leads – and having mobile reports at their fingertips – is vital to running their small business. To know exactly how their marketing is doing, they rely on being able to see every lead they receive, including website visits, calls, emails, and chat leads as soon as they contact their business.  

    “For each lead, each phone call, each chat lead, each chat lead we receive, that’s all organized on the mobile app for us. That kind of real-time information is huge in our industry, and huge in sales in general,” said Luke Malcolm, Co-Owner of Safe Home Security.

    As you can see, getting real results like calls, emails, leads, and customers, and having the ability to see at any moment how their marketing is doing sets the ReachLocal experience apart for these clients.

    What marketing results do you want to drive for your small business? Vote in our poll to let us know which marketing metric you think is the most valuable for SMBs!

    About the Author

    Tamara Weintraub helps equip small business owners with information about local online advertising, social media, and content marketing as a writer for the ReachLocal blog.

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