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    A Day in the Life of ReachEdge

    Last updated 9 months ago

    We recently announced a new software-as-a-service offering, ReachEdge, a marketing system that helps local businesses acquire more customers from their online marketing. Today, many local businesses are using online marketing but don’t have systems in place to help turn all their leads into customers. In fact, most businesses are losing some of their valuable leads.

    So, how does ReachEdge help? It combines a smart website with lead management software that work together and simplifies the process for businesses with its handy app and useful reminders, helping them turn more leads into customers. How, exactly? Let’s take a look at a day in the life of the ReachEdge system to see how local business owners can use it to get more customers. We’ll use the example of Bill, a cosmetic dentist using the ReachEdge system.

    10:00 a.m.
    SEO-Friendly Website Gets Discovered in Search

    Bill knows how important it is for his site to show up in search results, so he has a ReachEdge smart website that’s optimized for his top business terms, like “cosmetic dentist” and “teeth whitening.” When a consumer, Sally, wants to find a cosmetic dentist near her, she turns to a search engine like Google and searches for dental services she’s considering. Because Bill's site is optimized for those terms, it shows up in the search results, and Sally clicks on the organic link and visits the site.

    A ReachEdge smart website helps your business rank in the organic search results with search-optimized copy and basic on-site SEO, including keyword-rich product descriptions, meta descriptions, tags, and images, so a consumer like Sally can discover your business and visit your website.

    10:15 a.m.
    Interesting Website Engages Visitors & Keeps Them On Site

    When Sally lands on Bill's ReachEdge website, she is wowed by a clean, professionally-designed site with easy-to-find information like hours, service area, and business details. Plus, the simple navigation enables her to find descriptions of services, video testimonials, and photos of happy, smiling patients that entice her to learn more.

    Each ReachEdge website is built with beautiful design, clear information, and important elements that impress and engage site visitors and keep them from leaving your site as soon as they visit it. Because what good is an SEO-friendly website if your visitors can’t find the information they need?

    10:25 a.m.
    Conversion-Optimized Website Captures New Contact

    Now that Sally is impressed with what she sees, she thinks that Bill's dental practice is a great fit for her. She sees a compelling call to action, “Call Now for a Free Consultation,” at the top of his website that encourages her to contact the office. She makes the call and is greeted by a friendly receptionist who answers her questions and schedules her appointment.

    ReachEdge websites begin with a design that’s optimized for conversions, featuring an easy-to-see phone number and email address right next to a prominent call to action. This makes it easy for prospects to know exactly what you want them to do so they are more likely to follow through with making a call, sending an email, or completing a Web form. ReachEdge also captures the details of every contact automatically and stores them in your contact list so you can follow up later.

    10:30 a.m.
    Mobile Alert Notifies Business of a New Contact

    As soon as Sally’s call is completed, Bill receives an alert via his smartphone notifying him that Sally is a new contact. No matter where he is, he can review her contact details, listen to the call recording, and classify Sally as a sales lead. 

    With ReachEdge, lead management begins by alerting you to every new contact so you don’t miss an opportunity. And since ReachEdge records the entire conversation, you can easily review the call and classify the caller as an active or long-term lead for your business. ReachEdge automatically adds the lead information to your contact list so you can follow up with them later. 

    11:00 a.m.
    Automated Email Impresses New Contact

    Since Bill's receptionist asked Sally for her email address and recorded it in the ReachEdge system, the business can now  connect with Sally via a follow-up email. Soon after calling the business, Sally receives an automated response email that thanks her for her call and for scheduling an appointment with Bill. She is impressed by the quick response, which reassures her that she chose the right cosmetic dentist.

    Recording a contact’s email address in the ReachEdge system enables it to send automated follow-up emails that you can customize for your audience. Using an automated response email like a thank you or appointment reminder helps you stay in touch with new leads without ever lifting a finger, helping you create a great experience for your prospects that will turn them into loyal customers. 

    1:00 p.m.
    Notification Reminds Staff to Call New Leads

    It's important for Bill to stay in touch with all his new leads in addition to Sally. He receives a notification that reminds him to call Karen, a new lead that contacted him two days ago. With the touch of a button, Bill calls Karen to let her know about a new teeth whitening promotion that is running.  

    Following up with new leads is a key component of lead management. ReachEdge sends daily notifications that remind you to contact your leads so you can offer them additional information about products and services, share new promotions, or answer any questions so they are more likely to do business with you. 

    3:00 p.m.
    Lead Nurturing Automatically Sends Emails to Active Leads

    In addition to automating follow-up emails, the ReachEdge system also sends automated emails to other active leads that have an email address recorded in the system and have been classified. A marketing email goes out to Bill's active leads, sharing photos of happy patients along with a quote about what they love about his practice. Karen has been passively considering getting dental work for several months, and when she reads some of the testimonials from Bill's past patients, she immediately calls back to schedule an appointment.

    In addition to hot leads, ReachEdge keeps a pulse on leads who have contacted you or even scheduled a consultation, but have not yet committed to making a purchase. Because you can set up a series of marketing emails and timelines in the system, ReachEdge sends them to your leads automatically. Follow up emails that contain content like videos, client testimonials, and before and after pictures keeps your business top of mind with your leads so they remember you when they are ready to make a purchase. 

    5:00 p.m.
    Mobile Report Shows the Marketing Source of Leads & Customers

    Even after he leaves the office, Bill can still check his ReachEdge mobile app to see an overview of his most recent contacts and leads. He sees that organic search is bringing him the most new leads of all of his online marketing programs. He remembered that he is optimizing his website around his new teeth whitening promotion. Since it doesn’t cost anything to post a Facebook update, he decides to also share the promotion on his Facebook page to help drive more traffic from that site.

    Since ReachEdge captures the marketing source of leads and customers, it’s able to provide details about how people are discovering your business. This snapshot shows you how effective each of your sources is at bringing new customers to your business. With this information at your fingertips, you can make decisions about where and how to spend your marketing budget, so you get more from the marketing tactics that are the most effective and improve others.

    With a smart website, lead management software, and an easy-to-use mobile app, ReachEdge works every day to help local businesses like yours acquire more leads and customers. Learn more about ReachEdge to see how it can help your business.   

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    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.

    5 Online Marketing Tips to Get More Residents

    Last updated 9 months ago

    As new generations of prospective residents become more and more technology- dependent when deciding on their next apartment community, it’s imperative to meet them in their preferred channels. This can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. Whether you are trying to get found online or convince more prospective residents to sign a lease, here are five online marketing and lead management tips to get you more leads and residents from your multifamily marketing.

    Know Your Consumer’s Buying Journey

    Before discussing the best ways to reach multifamily prospects, you need to understand your consumer’s buying journey. To do this, you need to know who your target prospects are and the information they are looking for online, so you can drive more visitors to your website. Because, increasing the number of prospects who visit your website, even by a relatively small amount, can lead to a much higher number of leases. Some steps you can take to increase website visits include: implementing a combined search engine marketing strategy to improve your site’s organic and paid positions on search engine results, and boosting those results with online display advertising and retargeting efforts. These tactics, in conjunction with the rest of your multifamily marketing mix, can keep your property front and center as prospects search, surf, and socialize online. 

    Update Your Website

    One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the community where your apartment property resides and its residents are always changing. A website that worked well a couple of years ago may no longer resonate with the majority of your current market. Make sure to review resident data from your own property and research trade organizations like NAA and trade publications like Multifamily Executive to create a clearer picture of your target audience, what messaging they respond to, and how they want to contact you. You can survey your current residents to see what kinds of information they like to see on your website that may resonate with your prospects, such as resident quotes or videos and photos of your property. Staying in tune with your property’s online reputation on review sites and other social media should be a priority as well.  

    Respond Appropriately

    Once you are successful at getting contacts from your online marketing and website, you have the challenge of responding to them with the information they will use to make their decision. When new contacts call you, make sure your staff is armed with the right information and is asking the right questions to qualify the prospect as someone who is interested in your property. To ensure that you stay on top of leads who reach out via email or after hours, follow up with them within an hour – not days – and avoid hard- sell responses. Even better consider forwarding calls to a call center to handle inbound traffic to ensure timely response and higher likelihood of scheduling a tour.

    Stay In Touch With Leads

    A “high-touch” approach to communicating with a prospective resident that isn’t quite ready to sign a lease produces the best results. Keeping good notes about their needs, wants and even personal facts like a pet’s or child’s name helps make that connection when you follow-up personally. This puts them more at ease and allows them to imagine themselves as a resident at your community. Follow up on leads multiple times within the first 48 hours of receipt to improve your close ratio. For prospects who are just “looking,” stay in front of them over time with marketing emails that contain messages like testimonials, events, and move-in specials so they are more willing to follow through with a lease. Employing a lead management program that integrates with your property management software can make this time and data intensive process easier.

    Measure Twice, Spend Once

    In a perfect world, we would all have unlimited multifamily marketing budgets to spend on filling our properties. The reality is we do have limits to what we can spend. To make sure marketing budgets are being spent effectively, track all incoming leads by source. This is, of course, easier said than done. To help manage this task, you can employ software like call tracking or Google Analytics that helps you attribute leads to the appropriate source so you know which marketing tactics are working to get you the most leads. 

    Getting and converting prospects into residents requires a robust marketing plan that includes online marketing, a great website, and lead follow-up practices that are fully embraced by your staff and integrated into your property management software. Once in place, a strong lead generation and management plan will result in higher traffic, more efficient marketing efforts and, ultimately, an increase in conversions. 

    What marketing tips do you have for getting and converting leads for your property? Let us know in the comments. 

    About the Author

    Doug Jackson is a Sr. Marketing Manager at ReachLocal. He assists real estate organizations with information on local online advertising, social media marketing and content marketing through the ReachLocal blog.

    The Lawyer's Guide to Blogging: Why Should You "Blawg"?

    Last updated 9 months ago

    As the world of online marketing expands to all industries and business categories, more professional services firms are jumping on to the blogging bandwagon. Law firms have started to realize the benefits of having a blog and the positive effect that it can have on their website’s search rank and the credibility of their firms.

    So, why should your law firm or solo law practice have a blog? Here are three reasons you should start one.

    1. It Improves the SEO of Your Law Firm’s Website 

    Maintaining a blog is a great way to add fresh, new content to your website, which can improve your law firm’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This means that by creating a blog with keyword-optimized content, your law firm’s website may appear higher in search engine results when that term is searched. The more frequently you blog, the more assets and credibility you build. Creating quality content should be a top priority for your law firm, as Google has made many search algorithm updates such as Panda and Penguin, which are known for rewarding websites for producing quality and relevant content with higher rank on the organic search engine results. 

    2. It Boosts Your Law Firm's Social Media Marketing Strategy

    A law blog can complement your social media marketing strategy by providing you with material that you can post on your firm’s social media sites, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. Blog posts on social media sites help increase your firm’s visibility, drive inbound links to your website, and help you to become more engaged with your social media audience. One way to drive social shares from you website is to write a call to action that engages your readers and encourages them to take next steps. For example, you could include a CTA like “If you enjoyed this post, please share it,” along with share buttons to post the blog post on their social media pages.

    3. It Gives Your Law Firm a Forum for Thought Leadership

    A law blog is an excellent tactic to help position your firm and your partners as thought leaders in the various areas of law practice. The more frequently you and your firm’s partners blog, the more exposure your firm gets and the more credibility you build with your audience. You become a public expert in your field, which helps you generate more followers and prospects. 

    A great way to start the blogging process, whether your law firm is large or small, is to form a blog team.  Each team member should focus his or her blog posts on a different area of practice or have a specialty topic within that practice subcategory. Define a leader of the team to create an editorial calendar that outlines the topic for each week’s blog post and assign one blog per week to each team member. This technique works well for busy lawyers as they can plan out their topic weeks ahead and have sufficient time to dedicate to research and writing. If you can, create a team of at least five lawyers so that each one is responsible for no more than one blog post per month.

    Once you have your team in place, it is time to start blogging. Here are some basic blogging tips to help make your blog posts a success:

    1. Keep your blog conversational in tone.
    2. Present your information in a quick and easy-to-read manner.
    3. Think about pain points that might affect your audience and develop your topics around them.
    4. Always use a clever, attention-getting headline.
    5. Use your own voice; let your personality shine through.
    6. Keep it brief – 400-600 words is sufficient.
    7. Use bullet points for better readability.
    8. Keep it simple; stay away from difficult jargon.
    9. Get to the point; don’t ramble.
    10. Conclude your points.
    11. Use imagery in your post (like a graphic or infographic) to emphasize your point.
    12. Make sure you understand the audience you are writing for.
    13. Show off your knowledge; don’t be afraid to share your secrets

    So, form the team, or simply get started writing a blog on your own. The more you blog, the easier it becomes. You’ll be surprised at the ideas that start presenting themselves to you! Remember, be true to your voice and keep the blog post simple and concise. As Mark Twain said, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”.

    What tactics have you tried to create a blog for your law firm? Let us know!

    About the Author

    Carolyn Rayner is the Sr. Manager of Marketing for the Professional Services division of ReachLocal. She helps provide small- and medium sized law firms with information on how to grow their practice through online advertising, social media, and content management. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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    Bickford Senior Living Case Study: 3 Important Online Marketing Lessons

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Bickford Senior Living’s 50 locations around the country provide a family environment for senior residents who can no longer live alone. A longstanding ReachLocal search engine advertising customer, Bickford wanted to drive more leads through their website rather than relying on lead aggregators that provide the same lead information to multiple assisted living facilities. However, Bickford’s new website wasn’t showing up in organic search results, so they turned to ReachLocal for help with search engine optimization (SEO).

    Within four months, the SEO project delivered great results. Most importantly, Bickford has seen 100% increase in the number of resident move-ins coming from web leads. All the other important web metrics have also improved.

    Here are three important online marketing lessons from Bickford Senior Living's SEO case study

    1. All Web Traffic Is Not Created Equal

    Sometimes people focus on metrics that look good but don’t really impact the business. Overall web site traffic is one of those metrics. The old adage, “It’s quality, not quantity” couldn’t be more relevant to online marketing. You want to bring visitors to the site that are actually interested in your product or service and have the potential to convert into customers. While this may seem intuitive, some businesses concentrate more on bringing “eyeballs” to the website rather than attracting a lower number of more qualified visitors.

    Why is unqualified traffic bad? Search engines look at the quality of your website as part of the algorithm that determines search results. A high bounce rate along with low time spent on a site indicates that visitors are not finding the information they are looking for. Search engines are constantly trying to weed out spam sites, so pages with high bounce rate risk being penalized or even banned from appearing in search results. Bickford had used a number of different domain names to redirect web traffic to their main site so the overall traffic was high, but so was the bounce rate because they had too many visitors coming to the site and not finding the information they were looking for, causing a negative impact on their rank in organic search.

    2. Incorporate SEO Into Your Website Before You Build It

    SEO best practices should be incorporated during the planning and building of a new website, not afterwards. Retrofitting SEO into an existing website takes more time than implementing SEO tactics while the site is being constructed. Some elements of SEO are structural, so making these changes can be very difficult once the design and coding is complete. The technology used to build the site should be SEO-compatible. For example, using Flash for animated graphics can be visually spectacular, but is disastrous for SEO since search engines can’t read Flash content.

    Since SEO best practices include everything from site structure to load times to optimized content, it is easier – and more effective – to build all of this from the ground up. Rewriting copy to include relevant keywords, editing or adding tags, speeding up page load-times and other SEO modifications takes additional time and money that could have been spent on other revenue-generating activities. Bickford’s website is beautiful and engaging, but SEO principles weren’t adequately incorporated in the initial construction and most of the optimization work had to be done after the site was live.

    3. SEO & Search Engine Advertising Work Better Together

    Studies have shown that using SEO and search engine advertising together improves the performance of both and drives incremental traffic to your website. Analyzing the keyword and conversion data from both tactics can tell you what high value keywords to focus on. Since you can only effectively optimize a limited number of keywords using SEO, search engine advertising can provide more broad coverage of other good value terms. While clicks from organic search results are free, SEO is a long-term process, while search engine advertising can bring instant results.

    Optimization of landing pages can also bring up the quality score in Google’s AdWords paid search. Higher quality scores enable your paid keywords to show up in better positions for less money. Once Bickford’s site was optimized, their SEM campaigns began performing better with lower cost-per-click than before.

    Bickford’s SEO Results

    • 100% increase in resident move-ins coming from web leads
    • 176% increase in visits
    • 51% increase in organic visits
    • 80% improvement in bounce rate on home page
    • 91% of location pages with page 1 Google rank for at least one non-branded keyword

    Want to learn more about how this senior learning community boosted their online marketing results with ReachLocal SEO? Download the entire Bickford Senior Living SEO case study to learn more about the project and results.

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    About the Author

    Karen Platt Bearman specializes in online marketing issues related to healthcare and wellness businesses. She regularly contributes insights to the ReachLocal blog and can be followed on Twitter.

    More Students, More ROI: One Education Client's ReachLocal Success Story [Video]

    Last updated 9 months ago

    One of our goals at ReachLocal is helping local businesses of all types reach their customers online. With one education client, we did just that.

    In this customer review video, a local art school reveals how ReachLocal helped them increase new business, allowing them to open a second location in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hear firsthand how Young at Art uses ReachSearch search engine advertising, TotalTrack offline advertising tracking, and the ReachLocal mobile app, to not only get leads, but also to measure the number of leads they are getting from their marketing efforts so they can spend their budget more effectively. The result?  More leads for a lower cost. 

    Watch the video review now to see how they did it:

    “After we brought ReachLocal on to help us with our advertising, we did a TotalTrack of our paper ads and found that the phone calls we were getting were far less than what ReachLocal was providing us. Our company Young at Art has grown because of ReachLocal’s online advertising.” – Paul Wood, Owner, Young At Art

    Visit the ReachLocal Education website to see more ReachLocal Reviews from other education clients. 

    About the Author

    Paul Herrera, Marketing Manager for Education and Specialty Services, provides small and medium-size businesses and B2C brands with information about local online advertising, social media, and content marketing as a writer for the ReachLocal blog.

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