Creating Better Facebook Ads For this 2021

Whether you are a seasoned veteran or working with Facebook ads is new to you, you’ll need to know how to create better Facebook ads in 2021. In an industry as quick-changing as online advertising, you want to stay up on the best practices for the advertising platforms that give you the best return on your investment.

There is a wide range of advertising options on Facebook, and whether you DIY or work with an agency to run your ad campaigns, it works the same:

  • You choose an objective.
  • Decide where you want your ads to run on the page.
  • Create your ad.
  • Set your budget.
  • Start your ad campaign.
  • Measure, manage, and adjust.

In no time at all, you can see your ad popping up on people’s Facebook scrolls, so you’ll want to make sure you know how to create the best ads possible.

Facebook Ad Best Practices for 2021

In a June 2020 report published by Statista.com, they found that during a March 2020 survey of social media users at the beginning of the pandemic, 63 percent of respondents said that if they were confined to their homes as a result of COVID-19, they would use Facebook more during that period. No surprise, Facebook has seen a marked increase in usage, which means more eyes on ads, which means more competition for ad space.

Increased competition for Facebook ads emphasizes the importance of creating better ads to give Facebook quality ads they want to show to and increase conversions when your ads do show. Follow these best practices to beat out the competition.

Present the Right Offers to Improve Conversions

Focus on creating the best offer possible for your target market. The right offers creates a desire to buy within your chosen audience. People aren’t looking for ads. If you’re going to distract them from their purpose of being on Facebook, you have to provide offers to solve a problem in their lives. It should be so valuable your potential customers can’t pass it up.

To create an irresistible offer, you need to have a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and pain points. Paying for ads when you don’t know what your customers want is a waste of money. Even if you know your customers need your products or services, figuring out how to present your ad offer as something they want is how you get people to click on your ads.

Get More Clicks with Engaging Images

If you want to engage Facebook users, you have to show something interesting for them to look at. Images are the main element in an ad, and the only way to catch the eye of someone online is to stand out with an image that draws the eye to your ad.

The Facebook ad platform is huge, and there several locations for your ad to show up and attract clicks:

  • Facebook Feed
  • Facebook Carousel
  • Facebook Right Column
  • Facebook In-stream Video
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Facebook Instant Articles
  • Facebook Stories
  • Facebook Collection

Each ad type has very specific image size specifications but remember that Facebook wants your ad to succeed (because then you buy more ads – GENIUS). Closely follow the image specifications to optimize your ad for the best results.

So, the takeaway here is that with Facebook ads, the image is more important than the copy and the biggest influencer on your ad’s performance.

Improve Your Ad Copy

While ads should be eye-catching, no image can close a sale as words can. And ultimately, you are paying for Facebook ads to create sales. The wording of ads and how written content is structured are the biggest factors for increasing your conversion rate.

Suppose you are not experienced at effective copywriting. In that case, you’ll want to learn the basics or turn to a professional to ensure your attracting and converting pre-qualified leads that understand the benefits of your offer and your products. Even small but purposeful changes to the copy of your ads and sales funnels can reap monumental results.

Stand Out and Follow Through on Unique Promises

With even more people spending even more time on the internet, the ad market is overcrowded with similar businesses showing the same ads. You need to stand out with unique promises to your customers and follow through, so your reputation sells for you.

Facebook users could see hundreds of ads a day – all with big promises they don’t believe. You’ll want a unique hook that persuades viewers of your ads to click through and get more information. Offer something your customers have never seen before to convince even the most jaded viewer that your offer is worth exploring. To do this, you need to know your ideal customer, their pain points, and what they want.

Remember, you know your business and products and have a good idea of what consumers needs, but sometimes that doesn’t match up with what they want. You create a smoother path to the sale when you cater your images, messaging, and offers to what they want (which may not necessarily be what you think they need).

Using Your Website For Lead Generation

The growth of any business can be predicted by the owner’s ability to generate a steady stream of quality leads. For many small businesses when there are no leads, there are few new customers and no business growth.

Your business website is not only your online business card but also a powerful lead generation tool. Make sure your website is set up to collect new leads.

Local Lead Generation from Your Website

First, you’ll want to look at your website analytics. You need to know what kind of traffic you’re currently getting. You’ll want to see how many people are coming and how long they stick around before clicking to another website. Most importantly, you want to know if they are engaging with your website by opting-in, leaving feedback, clicking links, or taking surveys.

Use that information to understand how users travel your website and how to get the most out of your lead generation efforts.

  • Search Engine Optimization

If your traffic is too low to get good analytics (because of so little data), start focusing on creating web pages and blog content that is properly optimized to increase your business website visibility online and attract more traffic. This is so important to your business’s health and future growth that you should consider hiring a professional who specialized in Search Engine Optimization to ensure your website and its content is attractive to search engines and search engine users.

  • Make it Mobile-Friendly

Many consumers exclusively check out businesses on their mobile devices. We want to make decisions on the go, and that includes purchasing decisions. If potential customers are checking out your business on their mobile devices, your website MUST be mobile-ready.

Google has prioritized mobile-friendliness and speed as ranking factors in search results, so it’s not optional for any business website. Not only does mobile-friendliness help your SEO, but no matter how a potential customer found your site, they want to navigate and view the information they are looking for easily.

  • Pop-Ups

Popups are used so frequently for lead generation because they work! With unmatched versatility, popups can be used in dozens of ways and triggered by a multitude of different user actions.

Here are just a few of the ways a visitor on your website can trigger a popup:

  • Entry popups appear when a viewer lands on or opens a page.
  • Click popups open when a user clicks a specified link.
  • Timed popups are triggered when a visitor has been on the page for a set amount of time.
  • Scroll popups appear when the visitor has scrolled down a certain percentage of the page they’re on.
  • Exit popups are triggered when a visitor’s mouse leaves the window.

Local lead generation benefits from any of these popups because they all encourage website visitors to give you the information you can use to contact them. Entry popups allow you to offer something valuable enough to exchange for contact information. Similarly, exit popups give you an opportunity to provide something that will make the visitor stick around for a little longer, like a Lead Magnet.

  • Lead Magnet

Not every website visitor is looking to contact you for a sales talk. Most are searching for more information. A lead magnet is a perfect resource for lead generation. Lead magnets provide prospects with more information, demonstrate your expertise, and gather contact information on leads who have displayed an interest in the topics you covered in the lead magnet.

Your lead magnet’s topic also serves as a pre-qualifier for leads who might be open to the solutions you provide – putting a website visitor a step closer to being your next customer.

Whether it is a banner, popup, or inside a blog post, offering a quality and highly relevant lead magnet in exchange for an email address is a lead generation machine you need on your website.

  • Testimonials, Reviews, and Call to Action

Build trust and credibility with website visitors by displaying customer reviews and testimonials prominently on your website. The high praise of other customers remains a huge influence on the buying decisions of future customers.

Take advantage of that five-star glow by including a clear call-to-action close to reviews asking visitors to do something (opt-in, download, visit) that moves them from unknown website prospects to engaged and interested leads. Make it very obvious what your website visitors should do next to get closer to solving their problem.

BLOG 2 – Using Your Website for Lead

The growth of any business can be predicted by the owner’s ability to generate a steady stream of quality leads. For many small businesses when there are no leads, there are few new customers and no business growth.

Your business website is not only your online business card, but also a powerful lead generation tool. Make sure you website is set up to collect new leads.

Local Lead Generation from Your Website

First, you’ll want to look at your website analytics. You need to know what kind of traffic you’re currently getting. You’ll want to see how many people are coming and how long they stick around before clicking to another website. Most importantly, you want to know if they are engaging with your website by opting-in, leaving feedback, clicking links, or taking surveys.

Use that information to understand how users travel your website and how to get the most out of your lead generation efforts.

  • Search Engine Optimization

If your traffic is too low to get good analytics (because of so little data), start focusing on creating web pages and blog content that is properly optimized to increase your business website visibility online and attract more traffic. This is so important to your business’s health and future growth that you should consider hiring a professional who specialized in Search Engine Optimization to ensure your website and its content is attractive to search engines and search engine users.

  • Make it Mobile-Friendly

Many consumers exclusively check out businesses on their mobile devices. We want to make decisions on the go, and that includes purchasing decisions. If potential customers are checking out your business on their mobile devices, your website MUST be mobile-ready.

Google has prioritized mobile-friendliness and speed as ranking factors in search results, so it’s not optional for any business website. Not only does mobile-friendliness help your SEO, but no matter how a potential customer found your site, they want to navigate and view the information they are looking for easily.

  • Pop-Ups

Popups are used so frequently for lead generation because they work! With unmatched versatility, popups can be used dozens of ways and triggered by a multitude of different user actions.

Here are just a few of the ways a visitor on your website can trigger a popup:

  • Entry popups appear when a viewer lands on or opens a page.
  • Click popups open when a user clicks a specified link.
  • Timed popups are triggered when a visitor has been on the page for a set amount of time.
  • Scroll popups appear when the visitor has scrolled down a certain percentage of the page they’re on.
  • Exit popups are triggered when a visitor’s mouse leaves the window.

Local lead generation benefits from any of these popups because they all encourage website visitors to give you information you can use to contact them. Entry popups allow you to offer something valuable enough to exchange for contact information. Similarly, exit popups give you an opportunity to provide something that will make the visitor stick around for a little longer, like a Lead Magnet.

  • Lead Magnet

Not every website visitor is looking to contact you for a sales talk. Most are searching for more information. A lead magnet is a perfect resource for lead generation. Lead magnets provide prospects with more information, demonstrate your expertise, and gather contact information on leads who have displayed an interest in the topics you covered in the lead magnet.

Your lead magnet’s topic also serves as a pre-qualifier for leads who might be open to the solutions you provide – putting a website visitor a step closer to being your next customer.

Whether it is a banner, popup, or inside a blog post, offering a quality and highly relevant lead magnet in exchange for an email address is a lead generation machine you need on your website.

  • Testimonials, Reviews, and Call to Action

Build trust and credibility with website visitors by displaying customer reviews and testimonials prominently on your website. The high praise of other customers remains a huge influence on the buying decisions of future customers.

Take advantage of that five-star glow by including a clear call-to-action close to reviews asking visitors to do something (opt-in, download, visit) that moves them from unknown website prospects to engaged and interested leads. Make it very obvious what your website visitors should do next to get closer to solving their problem.

Facebook Lead Ads for Local Lead Generation

Facebook Lead Ads for Local Lead Generation
Facebook Lead Ads for Local Lead Generation

With its hyper-targeting capabilities and wealth of personal data, Facebook is one of the best ways for businesses of any size to find leads for new customers in their area and gain more eyes on their offers. Facebook lead generation ads make it quick and easy for both you and the leads you attract to gain interest and show interest quickly.

Using Facebook for Local Lead Generation

The ever-growing and evolving Facebook ad platform is one of the most powerful paid channels online. Because they collect so much data on their users’ habits and likes (and dislikes), Facebook is capable of an unmatched level of targeting that ensures your ad is seen by exactly the right prospect in an exact location down to the zip code if desired.

They want every business to use Facebook Ads, so they work hard to make the ad platform as easy and effective as possible. You can upload your current email list and and Facebook will create a “look alike” audience (i.e. finding people exactly like them) and sending ads directly to them. There isn’t a simpler way to build campaigns that target your ideal customer.

Maybe you don’t have an email list and just want to target a specific niche. You can select the pages that particular niches and areas follow and send ads specifically to that community for less than you think.

It’s easy to find your people with Facebook’s audience selection and optimization tools. With your Facebook Page, you can also put a call-to-action button at the top of your Page to send interested Facebook users and followers directly to your website.

Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook Lead Ads lets you run an ad specifically designed to gain prospects’ attention and get them to provide you with information to contact them so you can explore that interest. When a prospect or Facebook user clicks on that ad, they are sent to a Facebook landing page or shown a pop-up where they can opt-in.

People in your market want to hear from your business, but we all know that filling out forms can be tedious – especially on mobile devices where consumers spend most of their online time. Facebook lead ads make it easier by allowing users to simply tap your ad to pop up a form already pre-populated with their Facebook contact info.

That means it is just one more click to send that information to you! AND… Your lead ads can run across both Facebook and Instagram as long as your ads follow Instagram’s design requirements.

Create a Facebook Page for your business so you can post and create specific landing pages inside of Facebook for additional advertising options. Then you can run targeted Facebook ads to get in front of the best prospects to convert into leads. If you want to grow your customer base and increase revenue, you need these leads.

Local Lead Generation on Social Media

As the world’s largest social media platform, Facebook is a great place to start your local lead generation efforts. But why would you stop there?

Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, even Snapchat are other social media used by billions. Make use of ad targeting, geotagging, and local #hashtags to find new customers with ease. It couldn’t be easier to find, attract, and convert prospects into quality leads for your business than leveraging the power of Facebook, lead ads, and social media.

Small Business Success with Online Reputation Management

Small Business Success with Online Reputation Management
Small Business Success with Online Reputation Management

Reputation Management may sound like a big business process that your small business doesn’t have to worry about, but that just isn’t’ true. Whether you are a dentist, lawn service, barbershop, pizza shop, or shoe store, your online reputation is winning or losing customers every day.

Living in the digital age, a business’s reputation is increasingly tied almost exclusively to its online presence. Where we use to find a plumber by asking our friends and neighbors who they use, now all the information we could want is just a few clicks or voice search away.

Whether you have created it or not, there is a lot of information on the internet about your business. Your reputation is built upon all this information, and whether you like it or not, customers are making buying decisions based on a tiny glimpse of what you do and how well customers say you do it.

A Positive Online Reputation is Vital to Business Success

In your area, there may be bigger businesses with wider selections, lower prices, and even bigger marketing budgets. However, your small business can still dominate your local market with proper reputation management. A local search for a product or service will turn up dozens of results, and search engine users are looking for the best option – not the biggest, most well known, or even the closest when all results are within similar proximity.

In fact, your online reputation is so vital to the prosperity of your business that if it is not well-managed new customers will either hold off on making a decision until they find proof yours is a good company or choose a competitor with a better online reputation.

Do you want to risk losing more sales while watching your competitors grow? Then it would be best if you got to work on your online reputation management.

What is Online Reputation Management – ORM?

Online Reputation Management or ORM is the process of cultivating the different aspects of your online presence to build and grow a positive reputation. This includes online content other people outside your business create like reviews, blog posts, social media mentions, articles, and competitor comparisons. Add to that your website, blog, and social media content, and there is a lot of information free-floating around the internet.

With an ever-growing reliance on our devices, everything posted about your business online can have a huge impact on a customer’s decision on whether to buy from you. Proactively creating positive content, gathering and responding to reviews, and monitoring brand mentions (mentions of your business and signature products/services) are the reputation management activities that will ensure your positive online reputation is working hard for your business.

Reputation Management Services for Small Local Businesses

Most small business owners put off adding reputation management to their overflowing to-do lists. But implementing an Online Reputation Management strategy gives you a series of solutions that will minimize the impact of negative reputation content and maximize the effect of the positive content that convinces customers to choose you over the competition. With online reputation management, you are ensuring your reputation is positive and stays that way.

There are a few ways to handle your Online Reputation Management:

  • In-house or DIY
  • Freelance consultant
  • Local agency
  • National agency

Whichever way you choose to tackle Online Reputation Management for your business, it’s important to start with a reputation audit to assess whether your online reputation is positive or if there are issues that need to be addressed.

Reputation Management Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Your online reputation is vital to the future success and growth of your business. Don’t risk leaving your online presence solely in the hands of any person with wifi, a free minute, and an opinion about your business they want to share.

Protecting your online reputation doesn’t have to be complicated when much of the process can be automated to take a lot of the work out building a positive business image across the web, wherever your customer base is looking.

Start today with ORM, and you will be able to more effectivley market your business and attract those new customers and clients who use online searches and reviews make their buying decisions.

Your Reputation Self-Audit Action Plan

Your Reputation Self-Audit Action Plan
Your Reputation Self-Audit Action Plan

As a small business owner, you need to know that your online reputation is how your business is viewed in the marketplace. Future customers are relying on your online reputation to decide whether or not they should do business with you, and it’s vital to future growth to grow a positive online reputation and protect it.

First Things First – Reputation Audit

The first step in growing and protecting your online reputation is knowing what your reputation is. You can’t control what is being shared online if you don’t see for yourself what is currently showing up online when your business shows up in search engine results and business listings. You must know from the start what hurdles you are facing in building a positive online reputation.

Time to do a reputation audit. A reputation audit is a process you can use to analyze what your reputation looks like right now online. It’s common to get an audit of your reputation when engaging the services of a professional – and that is one way to get an audit done.

If you’re looking to DIY a reputation audit first to see where your business stands, you’re in the right place. Keep reading for your reputation self-audit checklist.

Reputation Self-Audit Action List

1. Create a list of terms to monitor. You’re going to list all the words people would use to search for your business:

  • Business Name
  • Unique product names (anything your famous for or trying to famous for)
  • Common misspellings of your business name
  • Business name with location terms (city, neighborhood, downtown, campus, etc.)

2. Create a spreadsheet (as simple or complex as your abilities allow) where you will record the results of the online searches you will perform on your terms. There are various search engines, networks, and tools you can use to find mentions of your business online. An Excel or Word (Sheets/Docs) document will allow you to copy links to reference later. But the tech-challenged hand writers can also use old-school pen and paper to take detailed notes.

3. Google it. Then hit Yahoo. You’ve probably done this, but it’s time for a deeper dive into Google with these tips:

  • Use quotation marks to find mentions of your business name as a whole. A search for [ “monster donuts”] gives results of those two words together in that order, giving very specific results. Less relevant results will appear for [monster donuts] or [monster+donuts].
  • Include -site: yourwebsite.com in your search query to eliminate your website pages and get specific results of where your business is mentioned online besides your website. It will look like this in the search box [“monster donuts” -site: monsterdonutsLA.com].

4. Make a note of every mention online. Reviewing the first 3-4 pages of search engine results, note of how your business was mentioned, the website, where the link ranked results, if it was positive or negative, and if it was created by you (like your Yelp listing or Twitter account) or created by a customer (a review, complaint, kudos), or created by an organization (directory, resource page, competitor).

5. Search major review sites and industry review sites. Record the same details you did with the Google search, but add overall ratings and note any particularly good or bad customer comments. Also, note what position your business ranks in a search for your type of business.

6. Search social media. Keep it simple and use the search function on these major networks and any industry-specific social media sites, noting the same data:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Reddit

7. Review your collective findings. You will see a detailed picture of what is being said about your business, the perception of your reputation, or your lack of reputation.

You Know Your Online Reputation is Important – What’s Next?

When you are not proactive, you are leaving your reputation in the hands of anybody with internet access. Do you really want to trust anyone who can find a Wi-Fi signal with your precious online reputation?

It’s important to build and promote an online reputation that demonstrates a high level of expertise and trustworthiness, so new customers pick you first.

It’s time to create an action plan that helps you dominate search engine results by monitoring your online presence, managing your reviews, and creating positive content and links for your business to promote.

Drive Local Traffic Without Draining Your Budget

Drive Local Traffic Without Draining Your Budget
Drive Local Traffic Without Draining Your Budget

Small businesses run a large spectrum of industries, but one thing they all have in common is smaller budgets and fewer employees for operations and marketing than larger competitors.

One important equalizer among small businesses is the ability to set up a website and drive traffic to that website for little to no costs.

How to Drive Local Traffic to Your Website

Reputation Marketing

With reputation marketing, you want to build a positive online reputation and use that stellar reputation to get consumers to trust and buy from your business. Reviews, business listings, and even your blog posts are all part of your online reputation.

Review sites have a huge impact on sales because they give consumers the information they are looking for when researching the right place to buy something or comparing similar providers of services and goods. In a consumer’s mind, a business with no reviews is a bad sign and a five-star reputation is all the reason they need to choose one business over another.

Reputation Marketing Quick Tips:

1. Use reputation management services to save precious time, gather more five-star reviews, and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your reputation marketing is automated and handled at every level.

2. Manage your business listings and advertise in local classifieds websites to create backlinks to your website. Local classifieds and business listings (such as Chambers of Commerce) not only attract new customers who use local listings, they also provide more websites for customers to write reviews and put more social proof online for your business.

3. If you want people to visit your website, then that URL should be everywhere you are:

  • Business cards, brochures, letterhead
  • All channels of advertisement
  • Email signature lines for all employees
  • Social media profiles
  • Business listings that allow website listings
  • Review site business listings
  • Part of the conversation when networking
  • Online forums and commenting on other blogs
  • Press releases and sponsorship listings

4. Verify and optimize your Google My Business listing to make sure your business website, location, and phone number are displayed in search results and on the map when customers Google search.

Email Marketing

Stay in front of your customers with email marketing to drive local traffic to your website. Have an email opt-in on every page of your website or use a pop-up capture email addresses you can use for your email campaigns.

Invest the time to actually learning all the features of your email provider, and you’ll be able to automate most of the email marketing process. Fully automated email campaigns can be set up to send a specific email for every action by the customer from sign-up to purchase.

Social Media

Social media allows businesses of all sizes to interact, educate, and advertise to current and future customers and clients. There are hundreds of free social media networks and websites, but the most important thing to remember is to be where your customers are.

BE ACTIVE, make connections, and engage your followers with posts they find useful or entertaining while sprinkling in some self-promotion.

Social Media Quick Tips:

  • Create a Facebook Page for each location to build a platform where you can post updates on your products, offers, the latest events, and happenings about your business.
  • Customize your posts with offers, previews, and images for your different audiences to get viewers to click to see more.
  • Provide social media customer support by monitoring what is being said and responding to customers.

Blogging (Content Marketing)

 

Customers need a reason to visit your website, and blogging is one of the top ways to drive local traffic to your website. Quality content that answers their questions and solves their problems gives them not only a way to find your business in search but also a reason to click through.

Grow your business’s web presence by showing you’re a knowledgeable leader in your industry. Build relationships with similar or complementary websites where you can post content to each other’s website and link back to drive local traffic back to your website.

Drive Local Traffic to Your Small Business Website

Connecting with someone who specializes in SEO (search engine optimization) will help you create a web presence that attracts customers and gets you faster results. But, you don’t need to be an SEO expert to use these tips and tools to drive local traffic to your website.

Brick and Mortar Businesses Need Specialized Local SEO

Brick and Mortar Businesses Need Specialized Local SEO
Brick and Mortar Businesses Need Specialized Local SEO

When your business relies on local customers to be successful, general SEO just isn’t enough. Local SEO for brick and mortar businesses focuses on proven search engine optimization tactics that put your business at the top of local search results for people in your geographic area.

The Difference between Everyday SEO and Local SEO for Brick and Mortar Businesses

Studies show local searches are performed by customers looking to make a purchase soon, most of them the same day.

A dentist in Colorado Springs, for example, with a dental clinic that serves just the surrounding area, should obviously have an SEO strategy in place.  But with no service or product that can be bought online, that SEO strategy needs to be focused specifically on local search results.

Local SEO uses geographical keywords and designators that let search engines know your business is highly relevant in local search results. Optimizing for local search lowers competition for the top spots in search results because you are competing only with businesses within a certain radius of your geographical location.

A local dentist won’t rank on the first three pages of national search results (which is the furthest anyone will look) for any meaningful keywords competing against every dentist in the United States.

And if this dentist did somehow rank on the first page of Google search results, what good is all that SEO effort if someone a 400 miles away found his clinic because of a blog post on veneers? Local SEO focuses on getting the attention of customers in your area who are likely to buy.

That is why brick and mortar businesses need specialized local SEO to rank high in the local searches that bring in new customers.

On-Page and Off-Page Local SEO

Mastering local SEO involves executing a handful of on-page and off-page SEO tasks that optimize your website for long-term local search visibility.   When done right, it helps search engines and search users find, sort, and prioritize your most important information, such as location, services, and benefits.

On-Page Local SEO Tactics include:

  1. Optimize URL, title tags, headers, meta description, and content.
  2. Add location pages to your website.
  3. Create local content.
  4. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
  5. Improve the internal linking structure.
  6. Speed up website loading time.

Off-Page Local SEO Tactics include:

  1. Optimize Google My Business accounts.
  2. Ensure your name, address, and phone number are consistent online.
  3. Optimize online directories and citations.
  4. Get inbound links with relevance and authority.
  5. Engage relevant audiences on social media.

Local SEO for Brick and Mortar Businesses

Many of the things you need to do as part of your local SEO strategy are small tasks that will have a huge impact.

If you don’t like where your business is ranking in local search results, then now is the time to ask yourself these Local SEO for Brick and Mortar Businesses questions to get started:

  • Are you gathering and posting five-star customer reviews and testimonials on your site as well as top review sites?
  • Have you claimed, verified, and optimized your Google My Business Listing?
  • Do you have a business blog with useful localized content to show your expertise and give the search engines more content to index and provide in search results?
  • Have you verified and corrected all your online business listings?

Local search is so powerful for brick and mortar businesses! Four out of five consumers use search to find local information, so if your business is not optimized for local search, you could be missing out on 80% of your potential customers. Don’t let new customers slip through your fingers.

Restaurant Google My Business COVID-19 Updates

Restaurant Google My Business COVID-19 Updates
Restaurant Google My Business COVID-19 Updates

As a local restaurant, you need a fast, cheap, and effective way to keep your customers informed of your operations during the coronavirus pandemic. Right now, Google is providing special Google My Business COVID-19 Updates that are prominently displayed on your business listings when your business shows up on Google Search and Maps when you make the appropriate updates to your profile.

Use Your Restaurant’s Google My Business to Provide COVID-19 Updates

Temporary closures, changes to hours of operation, and modified services must be communicated to your customers. Use Google to get that information out throughout the crisis so people searching know-how and when to buy from your restaurant.

Communicate Pandemic Changes and Restrictions

Use your Google My Business profile’s business description to share information about what adjustments have been made in response to COVID-19. Let customers know if your restaurant has open outdoor seating, is only providing takeout or delivery, or if your services are delayed or taking longer.

To update the business description, go into the “Info” section of your GMB account, you can enter information “From the business.” Do not include URLs or HTML, and you can’t exceed 750 characters.

Add COVID-19 Related Post to Your Business Listing on Google

Currently, Google My Business offers a new Post type specifically for COVID-19 related messages. Use these to share more detailed and timely updates about what’s going on at your business throughout the crisis. You can add information about closures or reduced hours, safety and hygiene practices, availability of gift cards to support your business, and delivery services.

You’ll find COVID-specific post options in your GMB menu. Simply click on “Post” and choose the “COVID-19 update” tab and enter the information customers need to know during the crisis. Preview your post and hit “Publish.”

COVID-19 update posts appear prominently on your profile and are more noticeable to your customers.

Turn on Messaging to Connect with Customers

Turn on the messaging feature on your Google My Business profile to help your customers reach you. If you aren’t reachable by phone or it’s after your business hours, messaging can help customers get the information they need.

First, you will need to download the Google My Business app and turn on messaging. Once you turn on messaging, customers will find a “Message” button on your Google My Business listing where they can message you at any time.

Messages will appear in the Google My Business app, and you’ll receive notifications for incoming messages. You can customize an automated welcome message that customers will get when they message you.

Closing Dining Room? Mark Takeout, Delivery, Curbside Options

When customers search for your restaurant, your business listing in Google search and Maps results will prominently show which of these dining options you currently support: “Dine-in,” “Takeout,” “Delivery,” or “Curbside pickup.”

Let your customers know whether your food business offers takeout, delivery or curbside pickup and/or stopped providing dine-in service by adding or editing the “Dine-in,” “Takeout,” “Delivery,” and “Curbside pickup” attributes in the “Info” section of your GMB account. Find “Attributes” and click “Edit,” then scroll through and select the attributes you want to display on your business profile for searchers. Make sure you click “Apply.”

Highlight Changes to Menus and Specials

If you reduced your selection, or have deals or specials to attract customers, update your menu in the “Info” section of your GMB account, click on “Menu” to add or edit your menu items and then click “Apply.” If you link to an URL of your menu, select “Menu URL” to update that information instead.

You can also add photos of your most popular dishes on Google Maps.

Always Update Business Hours

At this time, any business may find a disclaimer on their profile to let customers know that their business info may not be up to date. Verified businesses can remove this disclaimer when they update recent special hours.

The disclaimer won’t appear if a business hasn’t set hours of operation or if you mark your business “Temporarily closed.” If you mark your business “Temporarily closed,” attributes such as takeout or delivery won’t display on your profile.

To update hours during the pandemic, go into your GMB menu, choose “Info” and click on “Special hours.” Next, click on “Add new date” and enter the opening and closing times for that day. When you’re done entering all your special hours, make sure you click “Apply.”

To better serve customers through the crisis and well beyond, communicate with customers searching for your restaurant or type of restaurant on Google through your Google My Business listing. All these updates will show on your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps search results.

Leveraging Local SEO and Google My Business During Coronavirus

 

-Leveraging Local SEO and Google My Business During Coronavirus
Leveraging Local SEO and Google My Business During Coronavirus

As the fight against COVID-19 continues worldwide, both globally and local business owners and customers are being forced to adjust to a new way of life. While adjusting how we live and making sacrifices to keep healthy, we as natural-born consumers are still shopping, still spending money, and relying on search engines to get us the information we want.

How are the businesses I shop at handling coronavirus restrictions?

Is my favorite boutique still open?

Is the furniture store still doing in-home delivery?

What local gym is offering virtual or outdoor training?

As we adapt to remote working and virtual learning, try to stay entertained and informed, and look for the best options to still buy the stuff we want, search has become more important than ever.

Local SEO Protects and Promotes Your Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Claiming and verifying a Google My Business listing for each location of your business is the first and most basic step to local search engine optimization (SEO).

This is an easy way to ensure your business shows up in local search engine results displaying the information customers need to make buying decisions while dealing with local COVID-19 restrictions.

Google My Business – The Best Tool for Local SEO

Since March 2020, Google has added several features to help you further promote your business and communicate COVID-19 changes. With these new tools, customers who use search can tell at a glance how your business has adapted to serve them throughout the pandemic better.

Learning how to utilize these special COVID-19 tools and features give your business increased visibility online and exposure to more local customers.

If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers. You can give updates on your business to customers such as:

  • Your adjusted hours of operation – closing earlier, opening later, or closed certain days during COVID.
  • Add “More hours” that describe other business operations such as delivery, takeout, and drive-through.
  • Select an attribute to show you now offer online services such as classes, appointments, or estimates.
  • Delays on specific business services.
  • Extra services you are providing for the community.
  • If your business is “Temporarily closed.”

The updates will show on your GMB business listing on Google Search and Maps.

Marking your business “Temporarily closed” won’t affect local search ranking, and it will be treated similarly to open businesses, but services won’t show on Google.

COVID-19 Google My Business Updates Quick Action List

1. Update Your Business Hours

You may need to adjust your business operations during the pandemic. This could mean changing your hours, temporarily closing, or changing the types of products and services you offer.

You can communicate this information to customers searching for the products and services you provide with your business listing on Google.

2. Update Your GMB Listing Description

Use your business description to share information about your business, such as:

  • If your business is only available for takeout or delivery
  • Extra services you provide to the community
  • If your business services are delayed

3. Connect With Your Customers

Download the Google My Business app and turn on messaging so your customers can reach you. You can use messaging to provide your customers with the support they need when you’re not reachable by phone or after your business hours.

Learn how to turn on messaging in the Google My Business app.

4. Add Links to Business Listings on Google

Your business listing can include two types of links that make it easier for customers to learn more about your business. They can also take action directly from your profile on Google Maps or Search.

Consider adding a link that helps customers, such as “view a menu” or “learn more about COVID-19 related information”. Or choose a preferred link that displays at the top so customers can easily find it. The links help customers, such as:

  • Book an appointment
  • Make a reservation
  • Place a food order

To add links to your business listing, sign in to Google My Business and click into the Info New Features URL section, which lets you edit several different fields. Depending on your business category, you may get options to add more links. NOTE: This option isn’t available for informational links, like a menu, COVID-19-related, or service links.

Making these four changes to your Google My Business profile lets Google and Google users know you are open and ready to serve customers safely during the pandemic.

Best Practices for Creating Facebook Lead Ads

FB Lead Ads Best Practices
FB Lead Ads Best Practices

On the Facebook Ads platform, Lead ads let you run lead generation campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Lead ads are different because they include a contact form people interested in your ad can fill out with their details so you can follow up with them.

What’s So Awesome About Facebook Lead Ads?

Facebook makes collecting high-quality leads super easy. Not only are lead ads designed to get you the information you need to contact respondents, but they also make it so easy for users to respond that they are more likely to engage, knowing it’s a quick process to complete.

Benefits of using Facebook Lead Ads:

  • Contact forms are included in your ad: When people click on your lead ad, they are prompted to fill out a short form.
  • Choose which questions to ask in your form: Customize questions in your lead ad Instant Form to tailor them to your business and marketing needs.
  • Downloading your leads is easy: You can download your leads directly from Facebook, or connect a CRM like MailChimp or Salesforce to send over leads directly.

Best Practices for Creating Lead Ads

When creating your lead ad and Instant Form, use these best practices to reach more people, and increase conversion rates.

Best Practices to Improve Lead Ad Performance

Include an engaging image or video and relevant call to action in your ad: Your lead ad should encourage people to click on it to open the Instant Form. Make your ad as engaging as possible and clearly communicate why people should fill out your form.

Determine the right budget: Global reach can scale your campaign quickly, but receiving thousands of leads in a short time can overwhelm your sales team or call centers. Use Ad Scheduling in the Campaign Budget Optimization section of Ads Manager to ensure that your team will be ready to respond to leads as they are submitted.

Run your ad on Facebook and Instagram: Extend the reach of your campaign by using Automatic Placements to deliver advertisements on both Facebook and Instagram. This optimizes delivery to reach the most relevant people in a platform-agnostic manner. Note that not all features are available on Instagram.

Reach people who look like your best customers: Use a Lookalike Audience to reach people with characteristics similar to your current customers. For lead ads, we recommend using an audience based on existing customers rather than those who have submitted a form so you can reach the people that are likely to provide the most value to your business.

Reach people who previously engaged with your lead ad: Create an Engagement Custom Audience to reach people who started your Instant Form but never finished it. Capitalize on this intent to encourage them to complete and submit your form.

Best Practices to Increase Conversion Rates for Instant Forms

Use the Intro section: Include relevant information in the Intro section of your Instant Form to communicate more information about your business and what people can expect when they submit your form.

Keep your Instant Form simple: Avoid overwhelming your audience with too many questions. Keep your questions aligned to your goal, and ask as few questions as possible to make it easier for people to submit your form.

Include prefilled fields: Make it easier for people to submit your form by including questions that will prefill answers based on the information people have already given to Facebook.

Use multiple-choice questions to qualify your leads better: Ask multiple-choice questions to help you better understand or qualify your leads. Fewer multiple-choice questions result in a higher conversion rate, whereas more multiple-choice questions typically result in fewer, higher quality leads.

Limit the number of short answer questions: Requiring people to type in multiple pieces of information may prevent them from submitting the form. As an alternative, try using Multiple Choice questions to collect similar information.

Use the Thank You Screen: Customize the screen people see after they submit your Instant Form to encourage them to take another action.

Test various Instant Form lengths: Consider running an A/B test where you measure completion rates, cost per lead, and cost per conversion against the length of the form to make sure your form is meeting your business goals.

Getting the Most Out of Facebook Lead Ads

There are people out there who want to hear from your business, but filling out a long form (especially on a mobile device) can be difficult. Facebook lead ads make lead generation simple and fast for you and the ad viewer.

People can just tap on your ad, and the form pops up pre-populated with their Facebook contact information, ready to be sent directly to you. It’s a win-win situation where they get the information they want, and you generate qualified leads for your business in just a few taps.