Archives October 2019

The Importance Of Using Google My Business For Small Business Owners

Google My Business has been around since 2014, yet many businesses haven’t claimed their business listing. Have you set yours up yet? Did you know that it can go a long way to increase your online visibility? In this post we will explore the reasons why setting up and managing your Google My Business page can help your business get noticed in search results.

Why is Google My Business Beneficial for Small Businesses?

Over the years Google has offered different listings, from Google + Local to Google Places, and most recently Google My Business and Google Maps. The latter two are increasingly important given Google’s focus on local results and the addition of map listings in search results.

What does this mean to you as a small business owner? If you don’t have a Google My Business profile set up, you are missing a huge opportunity to stand out in search results, which means less visibility and ultimately fewer customers.

What Does a Google My Business Account Look Like?

When you search Google for a business with a Google My Business account, it will show up in the search results this way…

Google My Business listing

Some of the major benefits of having a Google Business listing are:

  • It’s free to use and essentially gives you free advertising and exposure on Google. Why pay big bucks to have one of your ads show up on the front page of Google when you can have your listing show up in search results with no added expense?
  • You can show up in Google’s local results (the three-pack that appears above organic search results when you do a local search).
  • Your business will show in searches done using Google Maps
  • You will earn the trust of customers with the added legitimacy that goes with being a Google verified business.
  • Customers can see your reviews at a glance.
  • Your website will rank more highly in search results, leading to increased website traffic and quality leads.
  • You will stand out against your competitors who don’t have Google business listings.

Without a Google My Business listing, you are missing out on a critical step in your local SEO strategy. Why? GMB listings give Google key information about your business and provide searchers with important at-a-glance information, including your:

  • Phone number
  • Website address
  • Business address (with link to directions via Google Maps)
  • Business reviews
  • Business description
  • Featured posts
  • Specials or upcoming events
  • And more (depending on your business)

Searchers can also ask questions directly within your business listing. According to Google, around 40% of users who conduct a search don’t click on anything, which means they are likely getting the information they need directly from the search results page. This means that you’ll benefit from having a Google Business listing and that it is completely filled out and up to date.

How to Set Up Your Google My Business Listing

Setting up your Google Business listing is pretty simple. Before starting the process, do a search to make sure you don’t already have a business listing. This can cause problems down the road as Google frowns upon duplicate listings. And trust us, you don’t want to have to work with them to resolve discrepancies. It’s no fun.

1. Once you’ve determined that you don’t already have a business listing with Google, search “Google My Business” or click here to get started.

2. Click the Manage Now button in the top right or middle of the page.

Setting up Google My Business account

3. Follow the prompts to complete your setup.

4. Once you are done filling in your information, you will need to verify your listing. This can either be done with a phone call from Google (to the number you have provided in your business listing) or a postcard, which will be sent to the address you provide. In both instances, you will receive a code, which you will then enter in your business listing. Once verified, you are good to go.

Managing Your Google Business Listing

Once you have verified your business listing, check back frequently to update information, add photos, answer questions, and respond to reviews. You can also create posts, which will show up on your business listing for seven days. This feature is especially helpful if you are running a special, promoting an event, or if you have blog posts you would like to promote.

Google My Business listing management

Google’s interface is very easy to use, so it’s easy to update your information, add photos, and more.

Hopefully, this information helps you get your Google My Business listing set up quickly so you can start reaping the SEO benefits! If you need help becoming more visible to potential customers in search results, we’re here to help. Delbimax Websolutions specializes in search engine optimization strategies to help you rank higher in search results, increase your website traffic, and grow your business. Contact us today or get a free online services quote.

Business Blogging Services for Small Businesses

Want to get the attention of Google and other search engines without spending a ton of money on paid advertising? Look no further than your keyboard. Business blogging is one of the pillars of a good inbound marketing strategy. If you are wondering whether or not your small business should have a blog, here are some pretty compelling statistics from inbound marketing giant, HubSpot, for you to ponder:

  1. B2Bs with blogs get 67% more leads than their blogless counterparts.
  2. Marketers who have made blogging a priority experience 13x more positive return on investment (ROI) than those who don’t blog consistently (or don’t blog at all).
  3. Businesses with an active blog enjoy 97% more links to their website.

We know what you are thinking: “Sounds great, but I’m too busy to blog consistently,” or “I get it, but writing makes my brain hurt.” Understandable. That’s why we provide a variety of blogging services to help your business get more quality leads, better online visibility, and more linking opportunities.

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Blogging Services We Offer

Here are the blog writing services we offer:

  • Blog Editorial Calendar—Business blogging is most beneficial when it is done strategically. We work with you to understand two important factors: What your key buyer personas are interested in and what keywords are important for your niche. Based on this information, we can set up an editorial calendar with blog post topics that get results.
  • Blog Writing—Our blogging team can provide you with bi-weekly, weekly, or monthly blog posts based on approved topics. Note: The more frequently you update your blog, the more traffic you will receive.
  • Visual Content Creation / Image Selection—We can provide relevant, engaging images to accompany your blog posts or create visual content based on your objectives.
  • Writing for SEO—Our copywriters can craft blog posts and web content based on a list of priority keywords that are both reader and search engine friendly.
  • Content Marketing—In addition to writing engaging, professional blog posts, we can also blast your content through your social media marketing channels for expanded reach.

An active blog generating posts at least once a week lets would-be and current customers know that your business is engaged and thriving, and it keeps you fresh in their minds. In fact, the Custom Content Council states that 61% of customers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are also more likely to buy from that company.

So contact us today to leverage the power of business blogging to significantly increase your website traffic and quality leads.

Benefits Of Blogging For Your Small Business

If you run a small business, chances are you are wondering if blogging is worth the time and effort. The short answer is a resounding YES! Blogging on a frequent basis is a relatively easy, inexpensive way to enhance your inbound marketing efforts, drive traffic to your site, and attract more perspective customers.

If you run a small business, you may be wondering if blogging lives up to the hype. Here are some statistics you should see:

  • 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post. (Source)
  • 37% of marketers find that blogs are the most important method of content marketing. (Source)
  • Companies that blog enjoy 97% more inbound links than blogless competitors. (Source)
  • Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages than websites without blogs. (Source)
  • B2B businesses are more likely to blog than B2C businesses. (Source)
  • 94% of those who share posts do it because they think it will be helpful to others. (Source)
  • B2B companies with blogs get 67% more leads than those without. (Source)

The Case for Small Business Blogs

Here are some of the most important benefits of having a blog for your business:

Boost Search Engine Optimization

Search engines love to provide fresh, valuable content to searchers. What better way to provide frequent content than with blog posts. By blogging consistently, you give Google and other search engines new content to index and you create opportunities to plug in those all-important keywords to increase your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPS).

As an added bonus, you will benefit from backlinks as other websites begin to link to the articles on your website. This adds more fuel to the SEO fire because search engines consider backlinks as an endorsement of the authority of your website.

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Develop Relationships with Potential and Existing Customers

Blogging allows you to connect with your site visitors. This can be accomplished by asking your readers questions at the end of your posts to get the conversation going or by simply allowing comments and feedback. By reviewing and responding to readers’ comments, you can create a rapport with your audience, build trust, and gain valuable insight into what your customers are looking for.

Establish Your Business as an Industry Leader

No matter how small your business is, you can build trust and clout within your industry by providing valuable, expert information in your blog posts. Over time, you become a “go to” resource for helpful, informative content, which can ultimately lead to higher customer conversion rates. This is especially important for small businesses looking to gain credibility to compete with larger companies.

Connect People to Your Brand

Blog posting allows you to show a personal side of your business that perspective and current customers won’t see through outbound marketing techniques. Blogging gives others a sense of the corporate standards, vision, and personality of your company.

Provide Value for Your Readers

One of the biggest benefits of business blogging is the ability to provide value to visitors. Posts that help them solve problems or include tips to make something in their life easier or better are far more interesting to potential leads than in-your-face ads. Of course, your products or services will be part of the solutions you provide in your posts, but in a subtle, helpful way. By taking the time and energy to provide beneficial content for free, you are actually building loyalty among potential customers who will become more likely choose your company over your competitors when they are ready to make a purchase. You can even include testimonial-centered posts to nudge those considering a purchase to take that next step. If your blog posts are simply product promotions or service pitches, don’t bother blogging. Readers won’t be interested.

Generate Leads

You can leverage your blog to get emails from interested leads by asking them to subscribe to your blog posts. Those emails can then be used for marketing purposes to increase touch points. Not only will they regularly see your blog posts, the door is now open for email marketing opportunities to promote your business, send special promotions, and more. The more often you can connect with a lead, the better the chance of converting them into customers. 

Create Opportunities for Sharing

Every time you blog, you create an opportunity for your audience to share your blog with others. Whether they link to your blog post, tweet it, or email it to others, it’s free marketing and it further validates you as a credible business.

From a practical standpoint, blogging just makes sense. With minimal effort and expense, you can build credibility, boost search engine rankings, increase website traffic, and foster relationships with potential and current customers. This is an opportunity no small business should pass up.

Are you interested in creating a blog for your organization? We can help. OpenVine offers a variety of web design solutions to meet your needs. No time to blog? No problem. Our copywriting and content creation team can work with you to create thoughtful, informative posts for your business blog

9 proven strategies to improve your small business’ sales on a tight budget

It’s a simple truth every startup has to face sooner or later: to grow your business, you need to maximize your sales. The thing is, improving your sales efforts can cost quite a bit of money — and this isn’t easy to do when you’re a young company operating on a tight budget.

So what can you do to improve sales results when your own financial resources are limited? Here are some key strategies that will help you achieve your desired outcomes without breaking the bank.

1) Start blogging

You don’t need to hire an ad agency to start producing your own blog content. A blog is a great way to share news about your product and company, industry insights and more.

When you produce content that engages your target audience, you’ll be able to generate SEO backlinks and keep users coming back to your website. Don’t be afraid to reach out as a guest blogger, either — this can be a great way to showcase your knowledge and expertise, while simultaneously generating positive press for your company.

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2) Join networking groups

Joining professional organizations and networking groups is a great way to make valuable contacts and spread the word about your company. The people you meet in these organizations could help you forge valuable partnerships, provide services your business needs to succeed or even become clients.

The Netherlands is home to many of these groups, including organizations for women and groups that help Dutch entrepreneurs build relationships with international businesses.

3) Give good gifts

One of the best ways to increase interest for your product or service is to give something away for free. Whether it’s an e-book sharing valuable industry information or a 30-day free trial of your software, these types of giveaways are a great way to generate sales leads and collect valuable contact information. Getting potential customers into the sales funnel will make it that much easier to learn more about their buying habits.

4) Incentivize referrals

As valuable as your own marketing efforts may be, nothing is more persuasive than word of mouth. Your current customers can be your greatest advocates, but sometimes, they need a little extra motivation. Creating a referral program is a great way to get your customers to do your marketing for you.

Best of all, you can ensure that you only provide your “reward” when a new customer is brought onboard, keeping your marketing budget from going to waste. Whether it’s a discount on future purchases, a free month of service or a special gift, you’ll be surprised what your customers will do with a little extra incentive.

5) Join social media groups

You can’t talk about low-cost methods for improving your sales without mentioning social media. However, the most successful entrepreneurs don’t just set up Facebook and Twitter profiles for their business.

Joining industry-related groups on Facebook and LinkedIn offers many of the same benefits of an in-person networking organization. As you share genuine insights, others in your niche will become more interested in what you have to offer. If you’re feeling extra bold, you could even create your own industry-targeted group.

6) Build your email list

Regardless of whether you run a B2B or B2C business, a quality email list can play a big role in driving sales and retaining current customers — in one survey, 80% of marketers said email played a direct role in customer retention.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to build your email list. For example, MailChimp is completely free for users with less than 2,000 email subscribers. Many email services offer tiered pricing that only increases in relation to your business’ subscriber list, making it easy to stay on budget.

7) Automate

Sales and marketing tasks can take up a lot of time — and unfortunately, many of these necessary responsibilities can prove quite redundant. While not all automation tools are free, they will help you save time with tasks like social media scheduling, analytics reporting, lead nurturing and more.

With better data and less time spent on mundane or complicated tasks, you will be better positioned to make smarter business decisions that will grow your sales numbers.

8) Create public relations (PR) opportunities

Any kind of media coverage — even from local outlets — can help increase awareness for your brand. To do this, you need to create “event” opportunities that will get journalists and bloggers talking about your company.

This could include providing free community seminars, hosting or sponsoring a charity event or simply highlighting how your company creates local opportunities for economic growth. While this does require you to be bold in reaching out to reporters, the results can be well worth it.

Low-cost resources like Help a Reporter Out can also serve as a great way to connect with journalists and get your insights published in major media stories.

9) Fine-tune your sales pitch

All the previously mentioned strategies won’t do your company much good if you haven’t mastered your sales pitch. This is especially true of B2B professionals, who often need to make in-person presentations.

Learn how to make your presentation relevant to each sales lead so you can better connect your offer to their needs. Focus on benefits rather than features, and don’t be afraid to use enthusiasm and showmanship in your pitch. As you perfect your elevator pitch, you’ll be better equipped to sell your product or service anytime, anywhere and using any available method.

A small budget isn’t a bad thing

While a limited budget certainly adds its fair share of challenges to your growth efforts, working within a set of constraints and limitations can ultimately be highly beneficial for your company.

As you learn to achieve more with less, your team will be able to continue budgeting and selling effectively as your business starts to grow.

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