Local Media Specialist

In-House SEO vs. Agency Specialization

Who likes your website-Businesses today realize that their online presence matters. The question is what to do about it. What is the best approach? Do you do attempt to do your own SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in-house, or do you hire an Agency that specializes in providing SEO services?

Of course, the answer depends on a variety of factors, such as the type and size of the business, and a myriad of other considerations, and there are always Pros & Cons to both. Certain highly competitive sectors, I would suggest, would be foolish to attempt their own campaigns, while those low competition ones might not even consider doing any SEO at all.

Why Be First In Search Listings?

plumber victoria bcThe fact remains, customers who are seeking out the services or products that you offer, often use search to investigate well before making a purchase. How much does being in the top listings affect the end purchase? This is always debatable, because just being first doesn’t guarantee selection. The number and quality of reviews plays an equally if nit increasingly important role, as does mobile optimization. But one thing is clear: having a sound SEO strategy is becoming quite important.

Some company owners might feel, after Googling their business on a daily basis, that they are well positioned in search results. But unless they are searching anonymously, the results are probably misleading. If they happen to actually find their business listed near the top already, without having much interaction, it is possibly only due to the low competitive environment. All it takes is for a few of those competitors to wake up and start doing something and the tables might quickly turn.

For most small businesses, the prospect of doing anything valid towards SEO is heavily influenced by two main factors: Time & Money. The tasks associated with proper SEO are both complex and time-consuming, and consequently most times get prioritized somewhere near the bottom of the pile. The cost of either attempting it themselves or paying an outside agency is the other issue.

The ROI of SEO

brainstormingOne of the most important tests is the consideration for the possibility of increased returns. Lets consider the ROI (return of Investment) of embarking on a proper SEO campaign. Here are some examples of actual costs and possible returns:

The cost of letting an agency handle the SEO tasks for smaller types of businesses is usually somewhere between $400-$600./mo., and somewhere between $1000-10,000 for large enterprises, so lets assume its a small enterprise and the average cost is $500. What is the return of each additional sale? Obviously, this depends on the business, but for demonstration purposes, lets say that the average is $100./sale. This means that roughly 5 additional sales are needed each month to break even. More than 5 is a bonus. Again, depending on the specifics of each business, the numbers change, but the thought process is the same.

Specialized Expert vs. Employee

The expertise of an SEO Agency or Specialist should not be discounted. If you choose to empower an employee within your organization, results may not be guaranteed, unless they have had some sort of prior training. Also, there are probably more costs associated with retaining an employee without a clear methodology and set of tools verses the costs of hiring a dedicated expert, with the proper array of tools and focus.

Not only is the work associated with SEO improvements highly technical, it’s also imprecise. And tactics change over time. This is why there are some differences in results and why some specialists get better results than others. To think that a non-specialized attempt at SEO could achieve similar results is just a bit more than optimistic.

Hiring a specialist or Agency should come with a certain amount of professional accountability. Clear goals and expectations should be established, and regular reporting should demonstrate improvements towards those goals. The results should speak for themselves. Fortunately, everything to do with the internet and search is measurable, over time.

Finally, and perhaps the real reason a company might entertain doing their own SEO is that they might not understand what is exactly involved in a campaign. This is probably the failure of the SEO expert as it’s often difficult to explain in layman’s terms exactly what goes on during a campaign. The SEO builds both onsite and offsite links and assets, on a consistent basis, over time, in order to stay ahead of the competitors who might possibly be trying to do the same thing. If the specialists’ work is done proficiently, the results will be consistently better than the competitors results.

If your company is serious about improving the SEO results of the online presence, hiring a service might be the wisest decision. Based on certain agreed upon criteria and goals set, results can be monitored and judged if positive or not. Its well worth considering.

Contact LocalBizReach today and start your campaign.

 

 

Bed Breakfast Websites

B&Bslider4Do you have a Bed & Breakfast business which you enjoy running, but need a little help attracting new visitors? Getting new visitors is not easy, because, after all, your B&B is just another place that nobody has heard of. If you are feeling a bit lost, there are plenty of things that you can do to help promote your fine establishment. It might surprise you that most of these things don’t cost anything, or cost very little. I should think that promoting your B&B in as many free ways as you can first would be among your first tasks, before you start paying for them.

Here are a few things you might consider when promoting your B&B:

Paid B&B Directory Listings

While there are a few listings that you should probably list your B&B in that are worthwhile, mainly because they are top level directories and very popular. Directories and third-party review sites such as TripAdvisor fit in this category. There are also many paid, industry specific listings that you might be tempted to use. Most directories are free to create a basic listing, but charge for premium top listing positioning. While this might be tempting, which ones are worth the money? Trial and error to prove their effectiveness might be a costly exercise.

On the West Coast of Canada, where I live, these are the main directories that are most visible, along with their respective annual membership fees:

BBCanada.com

BBCanada.com $125/yr

bed breakfast website

bedandbreakfast.com $288/yr

bed bnreakfast website

vancouverislandbedbreakfast.com $225/yr

 

 

 

bed breakfast websites

Canadian b and b guide $75/yr

 

 

 

bed breakfast websites

bedbreakfastweb.com $50/yr

bed breakfast website

bedsandbreakfasts.ca $29/yr

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Search PopularityFree B&B Directory Listings

But are the paid directory listings the only option you have? Of course not. Here are a list of directories which are either free, or offer a listing in favour of a link exchange:

http://www.vancouverisland.travel/accommodations/

http://www.canada-bnb.com/

http://www.bnb-owners.com/

http://book-a-bnb.com/#view-intro

http://bed4thenight.com/

http://bnb-reviews.com/

http://bnb-international.com/

http://bnb-booking.com/

http://canada.bedandbreakfasts.net/

http://www.bc-bed-and-breakfast.com/

http://www.bcsbestbnbs.com/

http://listingsca.com/travel/accommodations/bed_and_breakfast/ ($10. lifetime fee)

http://www.bnbstar.ca/SiteHome.asp

http://www.bbselect.com/

http://www.vancouverislandbedbreakfast.com/

http://www.cottagesincanada.com/ ($100/yr)

 

A Bed & Breakfast Website

Is a website really necessary for your B&B? Most would argue, yes, of course. After all, this a business like any other, and not having a website might limit your visibility or even make your business look unprofessional. While these are good reasons, they are not the main reasons why you should consider having one. If you choose to have a website, search engines will list all of your content on all of your web pages, including photos and videos.

Before you rush out and hire someone to build a website for your B&B or attempt to build one yourself, ask yourself why you want a website and what exactly you want it to accomplish. Creating a new website involves some heavy lifting, even if you have it built for you. The words you use for the content, the photo’s and videos you choose to represent your B&B all have a profound impact on potential customers who visit to your site, as well as the mechanical ones such as Google bots, the spiders that crawl the site trying to understand and categorize what it is you are trying to say.

There are some additional costs, not only for the creation and development of the site. These include the cost of buying and maintaining your own business domain name, the cost of website hosting and possible maintenance fees to keep the website up to date. Learning how best to do all of this might be a bit overwhelming for some, but it is necessary to understand what the costs are before deciding what type of website to have. There is a broad range of prices and services available.

There are free websites, or blogs, template type website builders to choose from, as well as having a professional custom built site. This is an example of a customized free WordPress theme.

Noodles Nook - Quadra Island, BC - A Cozy Cabin in Heriot Bay, Quadra Island BC

Paying for this service might be more effective and in the long run, less expensive. A professional who is adept in the latest marketing techniques can solve the problem of getting exposure in local search, getting found by potential visitors more easily than paying for numerous expensive directory listings.

Contact LocalBizReach and order a custom site today.

Search Engine Optimization in Victoria BC

Search Engine Optimization in Victoria BCSearch engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, means many thing to many people, and most likely not much to most. Hardly surprising, really, since most people don’t really care about such things. Business owners, however, would be wise to know a bit more about SEO since it directly affects their company website, and specifically the traffic that is hoped comes to the site. Again, not surprisingly, most small business owners either need help gaining some understanding in this area of their business, or would benefit greatly from a service that specializes in and provides results in this area.

Small business owners in particular could derive a lot of benefits from SEO services from a competent source. And although LocalBizReach specializes in providing search engine optimization services in Victoria BC, the service can be used for any region anywhere in the world.

Beyond all of the helpful benefits of optimization, it should also be understood that making even minor changes to company website structure or content without the proper knowledge can have a dramatic, and unfortunately mostly negative effect. Business owners who attempt to do it them selves, or let someone who is less competent do this work might be wise to give pause. In a word, Search Engine Optimization matters, so what exactly is it?

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Here is a quick video explaining what SEO is: 

The topic of “search engine optimization” has become quite a catch all phrase used across the full field of website optimization in general. The definition of SEO is specific and what it actually refers to is arranging the myriad of business and content data so that search engine robots can quickly and easily index all of the content within a website for relevance, quality and area specificity.

What is important to recognize is that “local” search optimization is different from “organic” search optimization. The maps of local businesses in what is known as the “7 pack” that appears within the first few listings are different from the organic listings that mostly appear afterward local listings. There are in fact 2 separate search engine algorithms at work within any search that features a geographical region. Searching for any type of local business usually involves a search structure such as “service” “region/town/city.”

Why is Search Engine Optimization Important?

The fact is that search is changing and becoming more and more focused on real or natural signals, over time, rather than structural or “search optimized” ones. This is an essential distinction. Gone are the days that someone can attempt to game the system, grab a bunch of low quality backlinks and get ranked. There is no clear way to achieve the best rankings as it always depends on the flow and quality of the data. Fortunately, building content naturally, and over time, with exceptional socially relevant content that people actually use will never go out of style.

The importance of ranking in local search, particularly for small business, cannot be understated. It will most likely become more and more important, so it cannot be ignored. Choosing to hire a professional service will always be better than doing it in house or simply doing nothing. And getting the best service will get the best results.

If you are a small business owner who is interested in improving your company website rankings, contact LocalBizReach and get a clear understanding and achieve the results that you want.

Toot your own horn and get the rankings your business deserves. . . call today!

How Do I Get My Business on the First Page Google Search?

how do i get my business on the first page google search

How do I get my business on the first page google search?

As a small or local business owner, have you ever asked the question, “how do I get my business on the first page google search?” It’s one of those questions that can remain illusive, especially if your day-to-day concerns comprise of things other than musings of the machination of Google. The small business owner is usually busy with the things that he is intimately acquainted with – his trade, his expertise, and his staff – and most-likely not how to get more search engine traffic.

Well, How do you get traffic on Google?

This is the sixty-four thousand dollar question for most small business owners. In todays dollars it the million dollar question. Here are the facts: In 2008, the internet changed. The algorithm that governs all significant search traffic underwent a paradigm shifting change. Not only did millions of spammy sites get de-indexed, but the tastes of internet users changed – for the better, I might add. No longer were sites with massive amounts of backlinks ruling page #1. Now it was all about quality rather than the quantity of content. Ranking metrics such as the relevance and user experience were suddenly now more important.

This had a profound change on everything Google. Suddenly the playing field levelled a bit more in favour of those astute and thoughtful enough to provide worthwhile content making it easier for those searching for the specific content being provided. Now small and large players had equal footing.

This was great news for local & small business owners…

…Except for the fact that they didn’t really know about this.

This is not really surprising since almost everything Google does is a bit of a mystery. Google has some great products for sure, but arguably, does not do such a good job making everything they do crystal clear. They launch new products, cancel others, merge products and modify others without much notice. All of this is hard to keep up with, even for those more in tune with SEO. It’s no surprise that owners of local establishments don’t really get it.

How can the owners of small business go about the task of getting traffic to their website? More often than not, they pay for it – either in ads (Google Adwords) which show up at the top or at the sides of searches, or Directory type programs (Internet Yellow Pages, Yelp, Local Directories) which are single listings that show up in search engine page results (or, SERP’s).

Paying for help seems the obvious course of action but there is a different way to get traffic than just paying for ads and listings. The answer is to create content that their potential customers might be searching for. Good or great content, oven epic content, published on a frequent basis. This can be the written content, the graphics or videos, or even better a combination of all three published on their website or blog. This content will get indexed in the search engines and remains in search until it gets replaced by better content.

Sounds easy, right? What we’ve found is that there are very few business owners savvy enough to be able to create and rank their content by themselves, and on a regular basis. They need help. And they must be willing to pay for it.

LocalBizReach provides services for the creation of awesome quality content, specifically tailored to local businesses that can be highly focused, high quality content about your service or products for your business.

Regularly published content will get your business ranked, plain and simple.

 

Content Creation
per month, recurring
$100
Website Content
Let us create Awesome Content for your website
1 per month
Published monthly
Keyword focused
Fully Optimized
1000+ words
Posts
Buy Now
Content Authority
per month, recurring
$299
Website Content
We'll create Awesome Content, regularly published for authority
4 per month
Published every week
Keyword focused
Fully Optimized
1000+ words
Posts and Pages
Buy Now

 

 

Local SEO Checklist

Why “Local” Matters

Local Search Popularity

If you are a local proprietor and sell products or services to local customers, you are most likely aware that some customers might try to locate exactly where a store such as yours is and possibly do some investigation to get some more information about the business and products or services that are offered before heading out to make a purchase.

Today, more people are using smart phones to find local services or products with the intent of a purchase. Rather that just browsing, consumers are using their mobile devices for local search. Its true, as far as web visibility is concerned, local search matters.

According to Google, 50% of people searching for local products or services on mobile devices will personally use that service or visit that store within 1 day. 18% of them will make a purchase the same day.

Though its really important to have a current and informative website, even more important is to be found on the first page of the search engines. Google, the most popular search engine, displays a map listing of the 7 most relevant businesses in a search for a local business or product. When it comes to local searches, as opposed to non-local or global searches, it is extremely important to have a top position in the so called “7 pack” of local businesses.

Is your company visible in a local search? If its not where you want to be, consider using LocalBizReach services to increase your business online profile. Get more customers by getting found first.

Contact us to get more information about how we can help your local business.

Going Mobile?

1368864236_iPad_black_red_coverHow does your site look on mobile devices? See for yourself on the Responsive Website Tool. Check out this free new tool that lets you view how your site looks across all mobile and desk top devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops as well as . The site also provides some actionable tips and advice to improve the user experience.

Fill out this form and let us help you create a better mobile experience.

Contact Us

Marketing In The Age Of Google

VFmarketinggoogleDownload Vanessa Fox’ new book, Marketing In The Age Of Google

Oops! We could not locate your form.

 

How The “New” Google Local Works

When you do a search for any local search term, such as this example: “plumber victoria bc,” this is what you might see:

plumber victoria bc

 Now, when you search for any local service, Google maps will appear, featuring listings with a website, map and a Google+ page (Just look under the link to your website). This is quite an amazing and unique opportunity for any business who wants to appear first in their listings. Google has given a FREE Google+ business page to  each and every business!

What is the criteria for attaining the top positions in “local search?”  Well, the first obvious thing to do is to claim your page and then update information about your business. Then it is a matter of further “local” optimization. This is where it gets a bit murky. LocalBizReach can manage this for you.

Google wants the best companies with the most up to date, and local information. These are the ones that get top billing. Where do you want your company to be? What’s it going to take to get there and stay there?

LocalBizReach can show you how to get there. Contact us today.

Is Digital Media Marketing Worth It?

WebHow big is your business “digital footprint?” Bigger is better. And more diversity counts. Especially when it comes to content which both informs and educates in words, images and videos.

For most small business, social marketing and blogging is an ad hoc activity, not a strategy. You might do it when you get time and almost certainly not very consistently, or very well for that matter. Is it important? Probably. Things like Facebook and Twitter are popular and can get your message out quickly.

But one of the most under-utilized forms of expression is Google local search. Whenever someone searches anything associated with your local business or product, wouldn’t it be great to come up first on the first page of a Google search? This is not a random event, but a carefully planned strategy that most businesses fail to recognize as even being important. SERPS or Search Engine Page Results  can bring an ever increasing amount of customers. As people become more reliant on the results that an independent search brings. Only the best and most focused businesses will be found on a page 1 result.

Is that what your business is…the best?

Find out more!

Managed by LocalBizReach Find us on Google+