Using Your Facebook for Business Page to Improve Your SEO

 
Categories
SEO

Utilizing social media marketing has a huge potential to increase your sales. Let’s talk about Facebook, specifically. And no, we don’t mean Facebook ads. Your business Facebook page helps you increase brand awareness, improve brand loyalty and get better ranks in SERPs.

And know that when we say “brand awareness” we are just saying make people more aware of your company and what it has to offer.

Did you know that 51% of Facebook users are more likely to buy from brands/companies they follow? And did you know 47% of Americans say Facebook has a greater impact on their purchasing behavior than any other social network? And this is especially true since Facebook added the widget for asking for recommendations.

Besides having a Business Facebook page with your address, hours, location and the basics, what’s a business owner to do? We have some suggestions that relate to updating your Facebook page as a whole, and with posts:

  1. Place keywords in strategic locations. Facebook limits where you can write large amounts of text, so if you want to use key words and phrases, you should use them on every post. The About section allows you the greatest opportunity for a large amount of text that explains who you are and what you do, and allows you to use your key phrases and related phrases to your benefit.

 

So there really is no justifiable reason to leave that About section blank. Use the About section on your website for guidance, but don’t copy and paste.

  1. Optimize Facebook status updates for SEO. Every time you post an update on a project, talk about a special, wish your Facebook fans Happy Holidays, create an event or share cute photos, it’s an opportunity to improve your SEO. Take advantage of the descriptive fields to add keywords because even if it takes only one minute to fill in everything, it can make a difference in your SERPs ranking. Keep in mind that this text will become the SEO title of your Facebook post.
  2. Include your address to improve your local SEO. This one is pretty simple. And if you want people to know you’re in their part of town, why wouldn’t you include your address? Even if you run your business out of your home, you need to include something.
  3. Link to your business Facebook page from your website. This is a no brainer for whoever built your website. If you don’t already link to your business Facebook page, get that done ASAP. Many people who visit your website will click on the Facebook link to see reviews of your company, and to see if they can get a discount or special offer by “liking” your page.
  4. Use the Notes feature on your business Facebook page. You can post Notes to update your fans and customers on important news, or update them in a crisis. This is different than just writing a post. And assuming your business page is public, Google will search and index the Notes section on business pages. This is not true of personal pages. So, this is another chance to write keyword rich content on your business Facebook page. Be sure you include relevant keywords in the title of your post. And yes, it should have a title.
  5. Post direct links to your website on your Facebook page. Every post should have a link back to your website (backlinks). Post links to your blog on your Facebook page. Post something about a recent job you completed and link to the relevant Services page. You get the idea.
  6. Engage with your reviewers. Thank people for good reviews. Publicly offer to work things out with people who left negative reviews. Visitors to your Facebook page will appreciate that you didn’t just ignore the person who left a negative review.
  7. Above all, post frequently and post content that will engage visitors. Post about something good that happened that day. Post about a new service. Post about a special offer. Post pictures of your employees on the job. Ask questions. Take a poll. The more engaged people are on your Facebook page, the more visible it becomes to Google. And the more engagement you get on positive posts, the less likely that negative review is t stay at the top of the page.
  8. Use calls to action (CTAs) and ask people to like and share posts. Consider offering a chance to win something or get a discount.
  9. Have fun with it. Use your own voice, and be real. Of course, always be professional.

If you as a business owner take a little time to review your Facebook page and make sure it gets new posts on a regular basis, you should start to see some results. If you feel you have the time or computer savvy, hire someone to do it for you, whether that’s a company employee or an outside firm.

If you need help keeping your business Facebook page up to date and adding new and engaging posts, Coastal Web Services can help. We offer SEO consulting services, social media marketing services and web design services to small businesses in the Mid-Atlantic and Alabama.                              Call us at 410-420-9390 for a free SEO analysis.

Tips to Getting More Customer Reviews

 
Categories
SEO

Tips to Getting More Customer Reviews

In today’s competitive business world, having a bunch of positive online reviews is important. 90% of customers say their decision on which product to buy or which service company to hire are influenced by online reviews, such as Google reviews, Yelp reviews, Facebook reviews and Angie’s List reviews to name a few.

Customer testimonials on your website are still good, but some people may not even visit your website if your overall star rating is 3 or below, or if (gasp!) you don’t have any reviews at all.

With that in mind, here are some easy ways to get more customer reviews:

  1. Go above and beyond. You’ve probably heard the phrase “under promise and over deliver”. It’s great advice for any business, and allows you to exceed expectations. Nothing makes a happy customer like delivering on time and under budget or handling unexpected issues with grace. Make it a company policy to always offer polite and friednly customer service, every step of the way. Deliver a product or service so great they can’t wait to tell everyone about it!
  2. It’s not about you. It’s about your client. Let them know you care about their experience and appreciate their feedback. You can use any requests for a review to make sure your customer was totally satisfied with the product or service they bought, and the treatment they received. Asking for reviews is pretty common, but it’s important that you don’t talk about how important it is for you to have reviews, but to focus on how by completing a review, your client can help others make a buying decision when it comes to your products and services. Tell your customer how much you enjoyed working with them and hope to work with them again in the future.
  3. Make it easy. Make it easy for your customers to provide feedback and reviews. Provide them with links to the various review sites – you don’t want them to have to spend time searching. One of the simplest ways to do this is to have a Tell Us What You Think! Page on your website that links to your company page on the various review platforms. You should also include a link to the review page in your email signature.
  4. Follow up. If you have an ongoing relationship with a client, they are more likely to use your services again and again. Allow some time to pass, for your client to have gotten some use out of your product or service, and send them an email to follow up. Ask them if they are happy with the service, and if they are, ask them to consider writing an updated review. This is also a good time to correct any problems they may bring up. A follow-up review is especially helpful if the product or service has exceeded their expectations. Again, make it easy for them by providing a link .
  5. Show your gratitude. Offering an incentive for completing a review is an excellent way to increase the number of online reviews for your business. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It can be an entry to win a gift card, a free sample or a discount on the next product or service they buy. You need to be sure that they know this incentive is not tied to them giving a positive review. You want people to be honest when giving feedback, not feel like they are being bribed.
  6. Do not write fake reviews. If you don’t have any reviews yet, do not be tempted to write a fake review. Reach out to long-time, satisfied customers to get the ball rolling.
  7. Monitor your reviews. You need to monitor your reviews, thanking people for positive feedback, and offering to help work out a solution with clients who leave negative feedback. Keeping track of what people are saying about you, and responding directly to them, shows prospective customers that you are on top of things and offer great customer service.

As an added bonus, customer reviews can help your SEO efforts in several ways.

Creates fresh user-generated content. Google loves fresh, relevant content.

Boosts long-tail keyword traffic. People who leave reviews will use language similar to what your target audience will use in a search.

Boosts social conversation. What if a series of impressive/glowing reviews increases your company’s popularity? Consider incorporating reviews into your social media marketing strategy.

Google favors highly rated sites. Customer reviews boost your social proof, or online credibility.

Get visible star ratings from Google. When star ratings are displayed in Google search results, prospective customers can instantly judge if they trust your company enough to visit your website. This helps increase traffic, and possibly sales. Google relies on specific third-party review sites to determine your star rating.

Sites with 4-5 stars are going to get more clicks than sites with 3 or less stars, or no reviews at all. Check out this blog for more in-depth information on how the whole Google stars thing works.

So, there you have it. Once you implement a plan for asking for reviews, it gets easier.

Coastal Web Services can help you automate asking for reviews, and following up. We also offer online reputation management services to our clients. We offer a full range of web design and SEO consulting services. Call us today at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form and someone will gt back to you. We serve clients in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as North Carolina and Alabama.

 

5 Things That Belong on the Home Page of Your Website

 
Categories
Website Design

5 Things That Belong on the Home Page of Your Website

Whether you call it a Home page, a Landing page or something else, that first page that visitors come to when they visit your site is your chance to make the right impression. Potential customers should be able to tell right away what products and services you offer, and what you’re all about. Sure, it helps if your business name tells what you do – ABC Plumbing, for instance – but there’s more to it than that.

Coastal Web Services is in the business of helping you make the right first impression with your website, and to us, all of these items are no brainers. But if another web design company tells you differently, at least this way you’re informed.

  1. Contact Information But you would be surprised how many small business websites don’t have a phone number, email link or contact form on their Home page. How are people supposed to contact you? And having an email link or a contact form is crucial, because a lot of people do their research on products and businesses after hours, so if they have a question for you, you want to make it easy for them to ask. You should also have your physical or mailing address included on the page. The common location is in the footer of the page. You really should consider having the same contact information included in all of your interior pages as well. It’s pretty easy to build it into your website design.
  2. Images that Represent What You Do If you’re a plumber, show a photo of running water, or someone working under a sink. Make sense? You’d be surprised how many small business websites have flowers, scrollwork or family photos that don’t relate to what the business does.
  3. Clear Navigation With Working Links Visitors to your website should have an easy pathway to get where they’re going. Have clearly named navigation menus at the top of the page, the side of the page, or both. Using the plumbing business, things could include Plumbing Repairs, Water Heaters, Septic Systems, etc.
  4. An Email Sign-Up Box Ask visitors to sign up for your email newsletter, with the promise of discounts, special offers, pertinent news, etc.
  5. Social Media Links Help customers stay up to date and engaged with social media. Use the standard icons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Call us today at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form to get started. We provide web design and SEO consulting services to small business clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as the Carolinas and the Gulf coast. We’d love to work with you.

Do You Need a Website Redesign?

 
Categories
Website Design

If you ask 10 people how often you need a website redesign, you’ll get 10 different answers. A website redesign is not like changing the paint color in a room. It’s more like gutting the kitchen during kitchen remodeling. If small adjustments or tweaking can fix problem areas, then a full-fledged website redesign may not be needed.

The main question to ask yourself is if your site is performing well. Are you getting plenty of good leads? Do site visitors convert to customers? If the answer is yes, then just some minor adjustments may be all that’s needed to keep your site fresh and current. In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just because your website is old, if it’s performing well, you may want to leave it be. A website redesign just for the sake of it might actually hurt you.

On the other hand, there are many reasons to implement a website redesign.

  • People can’t find your contact page without a lot of effort
  • It’s hard to find what you need on your website
  • Your site is incredibly slow to load
  • You can’t update your site easily, and really old information is misleading.
  • Mobile users visit your site, but it’s not mobile friendly, so they leave quickly
  • Your website is 80% images and 20% text and you want to do better in search results
  • You want to incorporate SEO

Here at Coastal Web Services, we just recently launched a website redesign of our own website, for various reasons. We hope you like it!

If you decide to say yes to a website redesign, it’s important to do your homework before anything is changed. If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics or other web analytics tools, opt for a free web analysis and SEO analysis from various web design and SEO companies. Or better yet, find a company that does both.

The website analytics should help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t, how visitors arrive at your site, what pages they go to, are they converting to sales or do they leave? Also, take a look at what your competition is doing. Do they now offer online appointment scheduling or the opportunity to buy online?

If you’re investing in a website redesign, it makes sense to invest in SEO at the same time. An SEO analysis will help make recommendations on what pages to keep, which to delete, which to combine with other pages, how to set up your website navigation, and more. This is also the time to develop a user profile – who comes to your website? Who are your current clients? Who are you trying to attract?

The SEO research and target audience research needs to be done BEFORE designing your site. Think of SEO and user profile research as the blueprints for your website. Everything is built around them.

Things to Include in Your Website Redesign

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) See above.
  • Responsive Website Design Your site should be easily viewable on any size screen, without enlarging or swiping to the side.
  • Professionally written content. Writing for websites, and especially for SEO, is not like other writing. There is a whole different set of rules to follow. Above all, make sure your web content is easy to read and informative.
  • Content Management System (CMS) Getting a site built with a Content Management System (CMS) would be optimal as well, allowing you to make updates to your site yourself, such as changing photos, changing special offers, changing staff bios, etc.
  • Call to Action (CTA) on every page. This should be built into the web pages, but a CTA should also be included in your text.
  • A Home page that clearly defines who you are. Your Home page should pass the 5 second test. Can anyone visiting your site clearly identify what it is you do within 5 seconds?
  • A Blog page. Including a blog on your website is one of the easiest ways to add fresh content on a regular basis, and Google loves fresh content.

Still have questions about whether w website redesign is right for you? Call Coastal Web Services at 410-420-9390 for a free website analysis and SEO analysis, or use our contact form, and someone will get back to you. We work with small business clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the Carolinas and Alabama.

Small Business Website Mistakes

 
Categories
Website Design

If you’re guilty (or your website is guilty) of some of the mistakes in the infographic below, you are missing out. Coastal Web Services can help you take advantage of every opportunity with some changes to your website. Call us today at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form to get started. We provide web design and SEO consulting services to small business clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as the Carolinas and the Gulf coast. We’d love to work with you.

 

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