Category Archives: Brand Management

Make it Easy for Local Customers to Discover Your Business

When people want answers, they turn to Google. That includes those who have questions or inquiries about local companies. New to town and need to find the best Chinese takeout? Google can show you. Looking for a reliable plumber in your neck of the woods? Google can show you. Not sure where the nearest Laundromat happens to be? Google can show you.

But if Google is where people turn with their local business questions, it’s up to you to position your brand as an answer. In other words, you’ve got to show up on those search engine results pages. You’ve got to make it easy for local consumers to discover you.

That’s what local SEO is all about. And this is not just an abstract marketing concept. This has real, bottom-line significance for your business.

A recent Forbes article puts it this way: “50 percent of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store that same day. And if your business’s visibility is not ranking highly in your area, your brick and mortar location could be losing out to competitors.”

So how can you improve your visibility among local consumers? How can you make sure your brand is discoverable by people in your area who are asking the right kinds of questions? Allow us to offer a few suggestions.

Improving Your Local Visibility

  • Put contact information on every page of your website. It’s especially critical to include a local phone number, with area code, that helps Google know which customers count as “local” for you.
  • Seek opportunities in the local press. This isn’t necessarily something you’ll be able to do overnight, but reaching out to local papers and blogs—or sending out press releases—can help you get some off-site citations. This is an important ingredient in local SEO.
  • Get local links. Seek out opportunities to have your website linked from a local business bureau, professional organization, or chamber of commerce.
  • Improve internal linking, as well. Your website should have a lot of interconnectivity—specifically, links to relevant blog posts or evergreen Web pages, guiding website users through your site.
  • Don’t forget meta data! Both your title tags and meta descriptions provide useful opportunities for you to insert geographic keywords.
  • Make sure you have a Google My Business profile. It’s an important way to shore up some SEO cred.
  • Seek out customer reviews. We talk about reviews all the time, and it’s because they are really important. If you want to show Google that your business is a trusted resource, you’ve got to ask customers to furnish you with five-star ratings.
  • Provide meaningful content. There is no better way than a blog! Create helpful and informative content that local customers will want to bookmark, send to their friends, or even share on social media.
  • Promote your blog. Writing is half the battle. Going out there and promoting your content with other bloggers in your industry helps you get more backlinks and grow your SEO visibility.  Use a tool like Linkio to plan and track your backlink campaigns and be consistent about performing blogger outreach and getting your content in front of people who would find it valuable.

Remember: Local SEO is all about bringing in new, paying customers. To get started, follow some of these tips today; and for help with content creation, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. Find us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing, Social Media, Web Content

How Social Media Can Drive Brand Loyalty

In most areas of life, quality is of considerably greater importance than quantity. Case in point: Social media followers. It’s definitely significant for your company Facebook page to have a lot of followers, for instance, but it’s not especially meaningful if those followers don’t ultimately become faithful customers. Most businesses would surely prefer 10 followers—if they are loyal, paying customers who recommend your business to all their friends—to 100 followers who are casual and uninvolved.

And as it happens, social media can be a powerful tool for cultivating this kind of loyalty. We’ll offer you a few ways how.

Using Social Media to Enhance Brand Loyalty

Focus on value. We say this all the time, but it’s important: The best question you can ask when considering content shares is, what’s in it for my customers? Everything you offer should address their pain points or their needs, or at the very least make them chuckle. Remember to follow the 80-20 rule here, and keep roughly 80 percent of your posts strictly informative. You can directly market your company the other 20 percent. Providing real, free value over spammy self-promotion is how trust is formed.

Post with consistency. If you want your social media followers to stay connected and engaged with your brand, and to keep your company in the forefront of their mind, you’ve got to post regularly. We really recommend a post or two daily; posting once every nine months, meanwhile, is really just a waste. You might as well not post at all.

Remember the social in social media. A lot of companies post content to social media sites, but are they actually interacting with followers? That shows you’re willing to go the extra mile. Be vigilant in answering questions, responding to complaints, and being a part of your own online community.

Position your brand as the solution. When you do promote your brand directly, it shouldn’t be portrayed as just another consumer product, or a faceless online company. Instead, connect the dots. Show how your brand solves the problems your customers are facing. If you’re also building authority by giving away free, valuable information—as we noted above—then this will really help you appear as a trustworthy ally.

With a smart, strategic posting strategy, you can use social media to develop a faithful user base—and we can help you develop just such an approach. Reach out to the content marketing experts at Grammar Chic, Inc. to learn more. Connect at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media

5 Ways to Turn Website Visitors into Subscribers

Getting 150,000 hits on your website is pretty good, right? Well, yeah, maybe—unless all 150,000 of your visitors leave the site without taking action. Then, it might turn out, all you’ve got is sound and fury—a lot of buzz, but nothing that directly improves your bottom line.

Traffic alone isn’t the most meaningful metric. What matters are conversions. Ideally, you want all your website visitors to buy a product from your business, though of course this is a lofty goal. A more reasonable one is to convert as many visitors as possible into subscribers; this, in turn, can help build brand loyalty and awareness, and ultimately lead these visitors down the sales funnel.

Okay—but then, how do you turn your website into a subscription hub? How do you coax as many visitors as possible into joining your inner circle? Here are five methods we’ve found to be highly effective.

How to Convert Website Visitors into Subscribers

Provide valuable content that matches user intent. What are search engine users really looking for—and how can your website provide them with relevant solutions? Those are the questions you have to ask as you develop your website content. If you’re a plumber, you can assume that search engine users are probably looking for authoritative answers to all their plumbing needs. If you’re an attorney, your users may want to know when, where, and why to engage your services. Your content should always convey valuable solutions, and provide the information search engine users are after.

Create fresh content regularly. If your website blog hasn’t been updated in a year, and if the top entry in your Company News section dates to 2011, then it may be hard for your visitors to imagine why they’d want to subscribe. You’ve got to show them that by taking the time to subscribe, they will receive meaningful updates on a regular basis.

Fill your website with diverse content. The goal here is to write content that appeals to as many different people as possible—that is, blog readers, video watchers, e-book downloaders, and so on. Be robust and varied in creating value-adding, solutions-focused content.

Include strong calls to action. If you want people to subscribe to your list, you’ve got to ask them to, and provide them with an easy lead-capturing form. Do so on every page of your website, if subscriptions are your goal.

Analyze your results. In marketing, analytics are everything. Make sure you track the results of your content, and pay attention to what works and doesn’t work in terms of subscriptions.

Does Your Website Convert?

The bottom line: Your website shouldn’t just be an online placeholder. It should be a conversion machine—and in many cases, that means a subscription generator. If you’re not seeing those results, reach out to our team for a consultation. Contact Grammar Chic at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Brand Management, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Web Content

3 Timeless SEO Rules Anyone Can Master

Google’s algorithms are constantly shifting, the technical rules of search engine optimization (SEO) regularly changing. That can be frustrating, especially for small business owners who don’t have a technical background. The good news is that, though details may vary, the big picture remains more or less the same: Google wants to provide its search engine users with value, and if you help them accomplish that, you’ll probably get decent enough rankings. That’s something that even the complete novice can latch on to.

Specifically, there are three basic SEO principles that we believe will guide you toward a smart, savvy approach—and they don’t require any great technical know-how on your part. Here are those three principles, which are timeless and evergreen.

It’s Always About the End User

Again, Google is a business, and it wants to provide its customers with a great product. In this case, that means providing search engine users with relevant and valuable results.

A lot of small business owners get caught up in writing for the search algorithms—but that’s backwards thinking. You don’t need to write for Google. You need to write for the end user. Write content that is clear, well-structured, informative, and full of actionable takeaways. Writing for actual human beings is the best way to appease the algorithms.

Be One of the White Hats

Do you know the difference between black hat and white hat SEO? Basically, black hat SEO seeks to cheat the system and circumvent Google’s stated rules, while white hat SEO abides by those rules. Black hat tactics can sometimes generate quick results, but they’re never lasting results. A solid, enduring SEO presence requires a white hat approach.

So, don’t try to game Google. You don’t need to resort to gimmicks, or buy links. Just focus on providing valuable content that includes natural, judicious keywords and that earns links from other websites. Skip the shortcuts and do the real work instead.

Make Use of Every Opportunity

If you’re wondering how many keywords you can cram into your content, you’re thinking about it all wrong. The key is to use keywords organically. With that said, you definitely want to optimize every square inch of online real estate that’s available to you. That means focusing not just on writing good content, but also writing strong title tags and meta descriptions.

Not sure that you’re following these timeless rules properly? Our team of SEO-savvy copywriters can help. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today to talk about getting your Web content ranked better. Find us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Web Content

The 7 Signs of Truly Effective Content

The sheer amount of online content is staggering—and there’s more of it every second. Companies in all industries now regularly post blogs, prepare e-books, and build out their own website content—and the effect is something of a content overload. It’s more difficult than ever for your content to stand out. Difficult, but not impossible.

See, there’s a wide gap between good and mediocre content—and if you know the hallmarks of the good stuff, you can work to make your content truly distinguished and effective.

But what does good content look like? We’d argue that there are seven traits all effective content shares. We’ll list them for you here.

What Makes Content Great?

Good content is written for a specific audience. Effective writing is never general. It’s written with a specific group of people in mind—the audience laid out in your buyer personas. Before you ever write a word of content, you should think carefully about who you’re addressing, what their needs are, and how your content can offer some kind of solution.

It’s optimized for search and social, too. What do we mean when we say that content is optimized? Well, for our purposes today, we mostly just mean that it has the right keyword phrases inserted—as naturally and as judiciously as possible. This allows your content to be discovered by search engine users, including people who search for content on Facebook or Twitter.

Good content provides value. What’s in it for your reader? What benefit will they receive from reading your content? Those are the questions that should guide your content creation. Always have an actionable takeaway you can provide to your readers. If you don’t provide value, the content won’t do well—it won’t get shared, and nobody will come back for more.

To be most effective, content must also be structured well. We say this all the time, but it’s important: Nobody wants to read a long, unbroken block of text. You’ve got to provide bullet points and section subheadings for your content to be more readable.

Your content should inform. Facts, figures, statistics, how-tos—your content needs some meat to it. It shouldn’t just be a tease. It shouldn’t require the reader to call you or buy your product in order to obtain value. Your content should be enriching and informative in and of itself.

Good content converts. A strong, simple, and clear call to action should be included at the end of your content, directing readers on the next steps they should take.

Finally, good content should be properly distributed and promoted. If you’re not sharing your company blog posts across different social media channels, as well as in your email newsletter, you’re missing out on some key opportunities to connect.

Does Your Content Stand Out?

If you’re concerned that your content lacks any of these critical elements, we invite you to contact Grammar Chic, Inc., today, and find out more about what we can do to transform your content writing—truly making it effective and distinct. Learn more at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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6 Extensions to Broaden Your AdWords Reach

More and more, marketers are blurring the division between paid and organic reach—often marrying content marketing with PPC in order to claim larger sections of online real estate. For instance, a focus on content marketing can lead to more organic search listings, while an AdWords campaign will land you further visibility at the top and along the margins of the SERP. It’s only through using both strategies in tandem that you can truly dominate the search listings.

Something else to consider: Some AdWords ads take up more of that online real estate than others. By making an ad bigger, you can actually increase your visible dominance of the SERP—and also increase the odds of people clicking the ad. The way to make your ads bigger is to take advantage of AdWords extensions.

These extensions come in different types, but they all do basically the same thing—they make your ads bigger. So which ones should you be using in your AdWords campaign? Allow us to highlight six of the most essential and versatile AdWords extensions.

AdWords Extensions You Should Be Using

Sitelink Extensions

Rather than just including one link within your ad, this extension will allow you to showcase up to five—your regular link, then four extras. You can pick a unique description for each link, too, and the cumulative effect is a single AdWords listing that looks like five separate ads! There’s really no better way to expand the reach of your paid Google ads.

Location Extensions

This option will automatically display your physical address to customers who happen to be nearby—so, it’s a really good option for brick and mortar businesses looking to increase their foot traffic.

Call Extensions

Display your phone number in your ads—allowing search engine users to give you a call without even needing to click on the ad.

Callout Extensions

If you’re running an ad for a particular product, this extension will allow you to highlight some of its key features; you’ll need to practice brevity, but the extension will let you pick out a few key words or phrases to include in the ad, forming a list of benefits for your reader to consider.

Price Extensions

Include the prices of your services and products within the ad itself—a great option for companies whose affordability is a key selling point.

Review Extensions

If you’ve received rave reviews from reputable blogs or magazines, you can showcase that feedback with a review extension—a powerful way to build credibility and trust.

Get the Big Picture

AdWords extensions can be valuable—but only when you implement them within the broader context of an integrated marketing strategy, with compelling content at its core. What does that mean for your company? We’d love to talk with you about it. Reach out to the Grammar Chic team to find out more, at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Web Content

Give Google Exactly What it Wants

Here at Grammar Chic, our pet nickname for Google is the Content Monster. You see, the world’s most powerful search engine is like a beast that’s constantly hungry; if you want to stay in its good graces—that is, maintain online visibility and SEO prominence—you’ve got to throw it some chow on a pretty consistent basis.

And it helps to know exactly what kinds of grub this Content Monster likes to devour.

Regular content publication is certainly crucial, but it’s especially beneficial to post content that fits within the Content Monster’s regular diet; in other words, you don’t want to feed it just anything. There is such a thing as bad content—stuff Google just spits back out. No, you want to make sure the Content Monster is enjoying all of its favorite delicacies.

So what does that mean, exactly?

Allow us to show you, with a quick rundown of Google’s favorite kinds of content.

This is the Content That Google Loves

Long Form Articles

We’ve blogged before about word count, and noted that in some cases, a shorter article just makes more sense. With that said, Google is in the business of providing substantive answers and thorough solutions to its users—so if you’re able to put together a really rigorous and in-depth article that spans 1,500-2,000 words, that’s certainly something the Content Monster will eat up.

Evergreen Posts

If you’re writing about a topic that will be old-hat or out-of-date by tomorrow morning, you can’t really expect to score long-time search engine prominence. While flashy, hot topic posts have their place, those timeless topics are the ones that will more likely win you the Content Monster’s favor.

Lists and Galleries

The human brain seeks organization, and tends to like information that’s laid out in a clear, easy-to-follow format—like a top 10 list. Google knows this, and lends priority to articles that are structured in this way.

Resource Banks

What we mean by resource bank is, any article that will lead search engine users to still more good content. For example, a used car dealership could post its list of the top 10 best family cars, and under each entry on the list it could have a link to a separate, in-depth review of the vehicle. Google likes its users to be able to keep clicking, keep searching, and keep discovering more—so use that to your advantage with inter-connected posts.

Videos

You don’t want to post a video without some kind of caption or written synopsis, but you can make video a focal point of your content marketing campaign. The Content Monster isn’t going to object.

A final note: What Google ultimately wants is anything that provides good, relevant, and actionable information to users—period. Make that your guiding concern in content creation.

Feed the Content Monster

Keeping up with the constant demands of the Content Monster is tough—but we can help. Let’s talk about Grammar Chic’s content marketing services and how they can benefit your business. Reach out to us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media, Web Content