Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of design, functionality and content stats for websites.
Imagine a world where a single, gigantic shopping mall hosted a store for every business across the globe. It’s easy to imagine that any business that doesn’t have a store in this mall may as well not exist, as every consumer looking to shop would come to the mall to find what they need. If a business was nowhere to be found in this mall, the consumer would shop at one of the other infinite stores. Simple solution: all businesses need a store. However, simply having a store in the mall is not enough. Each store needs visible signage spread all throughout the mall to entice consumers, and businesses need to be accurately listed in the mall directories so shoppers know they exist. The more often a business and products/services are displayed and mentioned around the shopping mall, the easier it is for the shoppers to locate the store. Another simple solution: businesses need visible signage, and accurate listings in the mall directories. But, again, there’s more to attracting customers than just having pretty signs, and the store itself has to provide value, too. Once the consumer walks through the door, the look, feel and contents of a store have to be good enough to keep customers from turning around and walking out again.
Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Good thing this shopping mall doesn’t exist, right? Wrong. The thing is, this shopping mall exists. It’s called the Internet. The store is your website. Everything that holds true for stores in our fantasy shopping mall is true for businesses on the internet.
Accurate signs and listings in the appropriate directories will get a business found, but it’s the business’s website that’s going to keep consumers interested. With over half of businesses having websites, businesses who want to experience success need to know how to stand out.
These stats for websites illustrate why it’s essential to build the best store in the mall, and how to keep traffic and conversion rates on the rise.
1. The average revenue for a small business is $3.6 million, but the average revenue for a small business with a website is $5.03 million
2. 53% of small businesses had websites in 2014
3. 67% of businesses with annual sales of $1,000,000 – $2,490,000 have websites
4. 64% of shoppers who had a poor experience with their site visit will shop somewhere else next time
5. 39% of consumers will stop engaging with content if the images won’t load
6. 39% of consumers give up on content when it takes too long to load
7. 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less
8. 23% of online shoppers will stop shopping if page loads are too slow, while 14% of online shoppers will take their business to another site
9. More than half (52%) of online shoppers say that quick page loading times are important for their loyalty to a site
10. Delays at peak traffic times made more than 75% of online consumers abandon a site for a competitor’s
11. A one second delay in website loading time can lead to a 7% loss in conversion
12. Increasing your site’s loading speed from 8 seconds to 2 seconds can boost conversion rate by 74%
13. A site that takes 6 seconds to load will have a 50% loss in conversion
14. 40% of consumers will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load
15. 75% of online consumers will use the “back” button before a slow page fully loads
16. 51% of American online shoppers say that a slow loading time is the top reason they abandon a purchase
17. Slow websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales each year
18. 38% of consumers will stop engaging with content that is unattractive in imagery or layout
19. A consumer’s first-impression of a website is 94% design-related
20. Website credibility is judged 75% on the site’s overall design
21. 85% of consumers will abandon a site due to poor design
22. Given 15 minutes, 66% of consumers would prefer consuming content that is beautifully designed than something simple
23. It takes consumers 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your website, so use that time wisely!
24. The right colors increase brand recognition by 80%
25. 52% of consumers states “aesthetics” as the main reason why they would not return to a site
26. 90% of consumers use multiple devices sequentially
27. Not only are 97% of millennials mobile users, but 20% don’t use desktop at all
28. 61% of digital media time is spent on mobile, with only 39% on desktop
29. 85% of adult consumers believe that a company’s mobile site should be good or better than the desktop version
30. 65% of customers develop a better opinion of brands, services and products when they have a great mobile experience
31. 88% of consumers prefer to shop with retailers that deliver connected cross-channel experiences
32. If consumers have a good experience on your mobile site, they are 59% more likely to make a purchase
33. 67% of online shoppers are more likely to buy from a site that is compatible with mobile devices
34. Mobile-commerce (m-commerce) saw an annual growth of 56% in 2015, while desktop e-commerce only saw an increase of 8%
35. 50% of online shopping is done on a mobile device
36. Almost 70% of tablet users make a purchase on their device every month
37. Over 20% of tablet owners admit to shopping less in real life since they purchased their device
38. While 50% of consumers will switch devices if they are having trouble interacting with the content on a site, 33% will stop engaging entirely
39. 62% of companies that designed a site specifically for mobile experienced an increase in sales
40. 47% of consumers check the products/services pages of a website first
41. 65% of consumers want to see contact information on the site’s home page
42. 44% of consumers left the website because there was no contact information
43. Over half of consumers want to see an “about us” section on a company’s home page
44. 54% of consumers find that a lack of contact information available on a vendor’s site reduces the vendor’s credibility
45. In a study of 200 small business websites, 70% did not display clear calls-to-action
46. TL;DR! 38% of consumers will stop engaging if the content is too long
47. 50% of sales are lost because consumers can’t find the content they’re looking for
48. 46% of consumers say that the most annoying thing about a website is the lack of message (unable to tell what the company does)
49. Keep it down! 33% of consumers said that video/audio that plays automatically on a website annoyed them or caused them to leave
50. 69% of consumers reported that having too many form fields deterred them from filling out a contact form
51. 70% of viewers look at lists with bullets, while only 55% look at lists without
52. Websites that have 51-100 pages generate 48% more traffic than website with 50 pages or less
53. 69% of North American marketers say that personalized and dynamic content is important for their business’s website
54. 20% of consumers think that a blog helps establish a company’s credibility
55. B2B companies that blog once/twice a month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all
Sources: business2community, Adobe, Econsultancy, Statistic Brain, Hosting Facts, Online Marketing Institute, KoMarketing, Fifty and Fifty, NN Group, InvasionApp, TechRadar, comScore, IronPaper, Business Insider, Kinesis Inc, Entrepreneur
The world has gone digital, and business has followed. It’s easier to go where your audience is than to bring them to your door, and the biggest audience lives online. Carving out your own corner of digital space with a killer website is the first step to dominating the online world, and these stats for websites can be your guide.
A good or bad reputation can mean the difference between a business thriving and expanding, or closing their doors for good. In the digital age, a business’s reputation is controlled by consumers using online review platforms like Yelp, Google and Facebook to announce the quality of their business publicly. The good news is that this lets businesses easily monitor and manage their online reputation, a power they can put to good use by responding in a timely manner to the reviews they receive.
While negative reviews often get this most attention, positive reviews are as or more important! It’s important to respond to positive reviews to thank customers for taking the time to review your business and to encourage others to do the same.
With 92% of consumers reading reviews online, businesses can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. An effective response will help ensure that a happy first time customer becomes a regular, and 70% of complaining customers will come back if you resolve the complaint in their favor. The first step is engaging with them.
How to respond to positive reviews
It’s simple. Thank the customer, name drop, promote and tell the customer what to do!
Say thank you and be specific
No one would let a compliment pass them by in real life. Apply that same principle to a review response! And make sure to reiterate your customer’s compliment. This let’s the customer know that a real person took time out of their day to acknowledge them, and that feels good.
Use the business name and keywords
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to drive your business up in search results—positive reviews work wonders in search. Referring to your business name, location and category (restaurant, coffee shop, hotel, etc.) helps index that review online.
Market, market, market
Is your business famous for a certain secret sauce? Are you having a promotion next month? A review response is a great place to get the good word out.
Give your customer a task
Not as scary as it sounds. Invite them to try something different the next time they visit, or bring a friend!
As you can see, there’s a ton of potential hidden in a positive review response. Instead of one advertisement to rule them all, each review is an opportunity to sell your business!
Digital advertising comes in many different varieties, including display advertising (those web banners next to your favorite Youtube videos), sponsored ads (such as those on Google and Facebook), and of course, search ads—just to name a few!
So where do you start?
While there are so many online options to choose from, reaching your intended audience will still require a little bit of work. Luckily, using digital advertising to get your message across is easier than you think.
Pick the right Platform
In 2008, only 24 percent of the United States had a social media account. Today that number has skyrocketed to 81%. While traditional mediums such as television and newspapers still have their place, most companies are turning towards digital advertising for the majority of their needs—and who could blame them?
As of 2016, tech titans Google and Facebook together control over nearly 76% of total internet revenue growth. Furthermore, in the third quarter of the same year, Google and Facebook together controlled 99% of advertising growth, with this number projected to be on the rise). So why would you settle for anything but the best? Pick the right digital platforms and go where you’ll be seen.
Know your Audience
Knowing your target demographic is undoubtedly one of the most beneficial tools in your advertising toolbox. Why? First off, not only does it give you a leg up for reaching the most likely people to buy your product or service, but it also helps to pick the appropriate platform and technology to deliver your message. But be warned. Once you have their attention, there’s still plenty of work to do!
To push all the right buttons, advertisers need to know exactly what to say. Great content moves people—and in turn, products. It keeps audiences engaged, entertained and coming back for more!
Did you know? The average clickthrough rate of display ads across all formats is a measly 0.06%. From the moment that first browser opens in the morning until that last cat video before bed, internet users are bombarded with dozens of digital advertisements. By the time they get to work they’ve seen so many digital ads that they’ll likely only remember one or two, if that.That’s why it is vital to have the most creative content on the web to achieve that long sought after CLICK.
When YouTube celebrities Rhett and Link rattled funny bones as the ‘Commercial Kings’ in the late 2000’s, they were an instant hit. Their witty (and often outrageous) videos generated millions of views for small businesses. How, you ask? By parodying cheesy retro-style TV ads. And while you don’t have to break out into 90’s jingles and fake mustaches, you can win over big crowds by being entertaining, and authentically you. So go against the grain and dare to be different!
As the internet continues to advance, media is consumed differently. More and more people are getting their entertainment and news from streaming options such as Netflix, Roku, Hulu and YouTube. So what does this mean for digital advertising? Interaction! Interactive ads get a higher clickthrough rate of around 6 percent, whereas most digital ads remain at a fraction of one percent.
Good advertisements tell a story that engages the audience. If you’re a restaurant owner, enticing future customers with a snappy ad no longer cuts the mustard. But when you intrigue potential buyers with an eye catching video, a hilarious one-liner or a captivating call to action, you give them autonomy. Don’t tell customers what to think, but instead show them why buying your product is the best decision.
Keep it short and sweet
Don’t say too much! Short messages that pack a wallop and avoid cliches go a long way in the digital advertising world. Hook readers in with a memorable joke, a one liner, or a quick play on words.
Tug at their heartstrings
When Coca Cola launched their Remove Labels campaign it gave audiences a friendly reminder not to judge someone by their looks, but by their words. And whether your message is sensitive or funny, at its core it should come across as authentic.
Today’s audiences are smart and expect more than basic pandering. They want engaging content that scratches beyond the surface of a product and relates to them on a meaningful level. That’s why today’s most memorable campaigns reject tradition in exchange for something more sincere.
While traditional word of mouth will always impact local business, the trick is to give them something positive to talk about. The most important thing about your digital advertising campaign should be about connecting with your audience. A little passion goes a long way.
Successful digital advertising plucks viewers’ heartstrings and entices with humor. It takes you on an emotional roller coaster by conjuring up feelings of forgotten memories and nostalgia. Most importantly, whatever your approach, be sure to make an emotional connection with your audience—leave them breathless and standing in awe, or contemplative with the warm fuzzies. Make your digital ad memorable and appealing, and thereby your brand. Remember, if you think your message is fun and entertaining, so will your audience!
Have you heard that improving your SEO will help you get found online more easily? You’ve probably heard that implementing keywords into the content on your website, blog, and URL are key strategies for improving your SEO ranking. However, including the wrong keywords or too many keywords can be just as detrimental.
Although you may not always notice them, keywords play an integral role when it comes to helping a small business get found online. So let’s get to it by breaking down the long and short (tail) of it.
Do Your Own Keyword Research
Keyword research should never be a one-time commitment, but rather an ever-changing process that involves a strategy and a comprehensive understanding of your business and your industry. Including keywords that are specific to your business and industry will help to ensure that the right customers are being driven to your door rather than just any customer. Although we want to increase our customer base, we don’t want to target consumers that may not find the value in our business.
Using the Right Keywords
Short-tail keywords, or keywords composed of very generic keywords, might seem appealing because they’re searched more often than long-tail keywords, however, they’re also a lot more competitive. So, unless you’re writing content for a large organization, like Apple or Macy’s, and consumers are likely searching specifically for your product, you don’t want to enter into a sea of competitors with big brands that have even bigger pockets.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, may not be as frequently typed into a search engine—think, “Egg” vs. “Poached Egg with Avocado and Bechemel”. By including more long-tail keywords into the content on your page, you’ll attract a larger number of customers who are likely to search for any combination of those long-tail keywords.
Location-based keywords are keywords that directly relate to your business’s physical location. For example, if your business is a bakery in a popular neighborhood in Charlotte, NC, you’ll want to include not only Charlotte, but also the name of that specific neighborhood. By doing so, you’re more likely to target visitors in your area rather than across town who may or may not ever make it to your location.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Speaking of misleading customers that may not find value in your business, adding practically any keyword under the sun is referred to as keyword stuffing and is largely considered a taboo in the digital marketing world. Like with any other digital marketing rule of thumb, less is more and quality will always conquer quantity. Ideally, a website’s content should include keywords in a natural way. However, by inputting keywords into a few sentences and repeating them over and over, you’re stuffing your content with keywords. Even if they’re good keywords, it’s still too much.
Now that you’ve read through these tips, you’re ready to become an SEO expert too!
Is your social media falling flat? Don’t sweat it; many hours have gone into perfecting the use of this not-so-secret weapon. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram strategies are outlined in detail below. Once you understand how they all work and which will suit your business best, learn how to handle them and other factors such as SEO, reviews, and more!
Facebook, Google+, & Twitter
What works: Images, videos, calls to action, industry-related content, general share-worthy content.
What doesn’t work: Lengthy content, bland content, poor business/related/share-worthy balance.
Videos and images are best used to catch the eye of social media readers, though video works a little better to hold the reader’s attention. Whether it’s redirecting consumers to your website or online store, or getting them to stop and look at an interesting piece of content titled by your business, images and videos are your anchor.
The three best ways to get traction from your readers are to:
- Get them to go straight to your website or store
- Get them to like/follow
- and/or get them to share your content
Let’s say three people see your business posts about that 2 for 1 sale. These posts are not likely to be shared, so those same three people will see all your posts, and that’s it. Once people start liking and sharing your posts, you’ll start to see new eyes on your page. This is where industry related/general share-worthy content comes in.
If you’re a physical therapist, for example, get your readers excited to see and share those workout tips and you’ll have a better chance that someone who needs physical therapy will come across them. Having a good mix of these types of posts is extremely important.
Once you’ve gained the attention of your readers with a photo or video, a call to action is a great way to guide them to their next step.
“Do you like these home renovation ideas? Let’s get started with yours!”
As seen in this above example, calls to action can be used for almost every type of post. Tell your reader to check out your website for a business related post, or tell them to read the article or video you’re sharing. Though industry-related or share-worthy content may not lead your reader straight to your website, the posts are more likely to gain likes and shares.
Packaged in with the importance of shared content is the name of your business. Every time your post is shared, someone new has the chance to see you. That’s brand-recognition, baby! When the time comes for that person to need a lawyer, they’ll remember the interesting law posts you shared and seek out the name they remember seeing or hearing about.
On the other hand, lengthy content, bland posts, and a poor balance of business/industry/shareable don’t work well on these media channels. Lengthy content is an especially bad choice for Twitter’s 140 character count limit. As for Facebook and Google+, people just don’t have the attention spans to read posts that are more than a couple of lines long. Keep them short and concise! Don’t post bland, filler content like, “Happy Friday!” unless people have a reason to share it. “Happy Friday, here’s a hilarious cat meme” can improve brand recognition, but only if shared- use humor to your advantage.
Find your balance between business and shareable content. Too much boring business related posts and calls to action can lead to a stagnant viewer count, while too many share-worthy posts may lead to your readers not knowing what your business does.
What works: Images, videos, industry related content, general share-worthy content.
What doesn’t work: Lengthy content, bland content, and it may not suit your vertical.
Pinterest, like Instagram below, is all about the pictures. If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, you know that it’s a very visual sight to behold. The hook of Pinterest is that people are looking for ideas. This will work best for you if your business provides ideas or the means with which to make ideas happen. A hardware store can benefit from Pinterest because you may share tree-house building ideas with your store’s name attached- don’t forget about brand recognition. Once people get the ideas from you, they’ll come into your store to buy the tools they need for the job! The best use of Pinterest includes non-business related content. Show people ideas that may lead them to your business, but don’t try to sell them right then and there.
However, Pinterest may not suit your vertical, and it definitely won’t prosper with too much emphasis on text. Many verticals such as plumbing just don’t have many corresponding ideas given the nature of the job. In this case, Pinterest can only be used for shareable content and brand recognition. The text attached to Pinterest posts is often ignored, so any applicable text should go into an infographic displayed as an image. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use any text. A small headline or message will suffice here.
What works: Images, projects.
What doesn’t work: Mostly everything else.
Instagram is a strange beast. The entire point of this medium is to compel readers to follow you and talk about what you offer. This works best for verticals like restaurants because your customers can post images of your food for their friends to see. This also works great for verticals like home improvement. In this vertical, your business can post project and progress images of what you’ve been working on. Seeing these images and sharing them can work well to compel the reader to seek you out.
Instagram posts can’t include links, so just like Pinterest, the aim here is brand recognition. Can you consistently post interesting enough images for your readers to stay interested? Not every business can.
Now that we’ve covered the main social media channels, let’s discuss other ways they can be used. Facebook, Google+, and other media channels support reviews. Aside from the engagement from posts, reviews can make or break a business. You may be thinking “I can’t control what people rate my business”, and you’d be right. However, you can control how you respond to people. You can turn around even the angriest rater by replying to their review in a quick and professional manner. See our other articles to learn about the importance of reviews!
Forbes discusses social listening as finding where your audience is discussing topics related to your brand. People are talking about cars somewhere, and these are great topics for your dealership. The short and sweet of this is that you need to be researching your competitors and your peers. What are people talking about, liking, and sharing, and how can you get in on it? You’ll want to shape your social media strategies around what’s getting the best traction everywhere else. Get researching!
This likely isn’t the first time you’ve read about the importance of SEO, and it definitely won’t be your last. When you search your business’s name or keywords related to your work, how high on the results page does it appear? The more you and your readers are mentioning your name and other keywords in relation to your business, the better your SEO results will be.
Finally, take a step back and look at what you’re doing. Naturally, you’ll want to look for what’s working and what isn’t. Whether you’re counting likes and shares by hand or using Google Analytics to track the information for you, understanding your trends may just be the most important part of the process, so what are you waiting for?
Listings are an online summary of essential information for your business that serves as a powerful tool to help customers find you online and in real life. Here’s what you need to know:
No, we didn’t fall asleep on the keyboard. NAP+W is the acronym that explains all the information that should be included in business listings.
These four pieces of information are the business listings starter-pack. They provide the basic information potential customers need to have in order to research, contact and locate your business.
Want to score some major bonus points? Include information like hours of operation in business listings—it’s what consumers are most interested in!
Will my listings work?
The effectiveness of a business listing depends on the information’s presence and accuracy. Listings are available through a variety of sources, including search engines, online directories and maps, or social sites. When it comes to listings presence, more is definitely better. Availability on as many sources as possible will create multiple avenues for consumers to find your business. But (and this is a big but), presence only pays off if the listings are accurate. Listings are accurate if the information is correct and consistent across all potential sources. Seems easy enough, right?
Why are listings important?
Listings with good presence and accuracy will undoubtedly pay off for your business. Here’s how:
No more hide and seek
Just as the brightly lit bat signal guides everyone’s favorite caped crusader (that’s right Superman, we said it!), accurate and readily available listings will help guide consumers right to your business’s door steps.
They even have similar shapes. Coincidence? We think not…
If a business’s listing is incorrect or missing, the majority of consumers will feel less confident about the brand, likely leading them to choose a competitor’s product or service. The availability of accurate listings ensures customers are actually able to find brick and mortar locations while they’re open for business. This means money in the business owner’s pocket and, just as importantly, it means the business can be reviewed.
“In my humble opinion…”
An ample review pipeline is an essential tool for developing a business’ online reputation and fostering brand loyalty. Reviews allow customers to communicate their experience with a business to potential buyers, but if consumers can’t find a business listed online, their opinion of it won’t be well-informed. Accurate listings create the opportunity for transparency between businesses and consumers in the form of reviews, and the availability of this information will help increase a business’s visibility.
All aboard the search engine
Consistent, accurate listings and the generation of reviews will directly benefit a business’s visibility by boosting its ranking in local search engine results. Search engine optimization is a complex tool, so why not take advantage of it by simply ensuring your business is listed accurately! Increased visibility means more customers, and what business owner doesn’t want that?
This listings low-down provides a basic definition and describes the benefits of business listings. Create listings on sites worth lots of points to improve your listings score. We’ve ranked them by importance using a lot of key factors—how many sites reference them, traffic, demographics and more.
Businesses on page 2 of the SERP might as well not exist.
It sounds harsh but it’s simply the reality that we all need to accept.
You know the drill—you want pizza so you get on your phone and do a search. Google presents its top 3 local options in the “Snack Pack” and 10 other organic results. You pick one make a call or pop in the pizza joint.
If you’re the local pizza joint, you want and need to appear on the first page for those target keywords. So how do you get them there?
You’ll need to do a local SEO audit to find out. Here’s how to get it done.
Step 1: Audit Keywords
What keywords are you targeting? Step one of your audit should be to determine what you’re currently ranking for and identify any opportunities you might be missing.
For example, if you’re ranking well for ‘Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney’ but are nowhere to be found for ‘Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer’, you’ve identified an area to improve.
Start by making a list of services, products, or a page you’d like to drive traffic to. Once you do this you’ll be able to use tools like Keyword Finder to quickly put together a list of high volume local target keywords.
With this list in hand, you can proceed through the rest of your local SEO audit and determine how well these keywords are optimized every step of the way.
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
Step 2: Audit Your Competition’s Local SEO
Your local SEO audit should include a snooping session to determine your competitor’s SEO status and tactics early on. If you’re located in a highly competitive area where the other top businesses are doing everything right, you need to document what you’re up against.
You don’t need to do a full diagnostic on each competitor, but take a look at the following, and compare that data against yours:
- GMB ranking for top keywords
- Organic rankings for top keywords
- Review quantity and quality
- Number of links
- Site Speed
- Social Stats
In most cases, you should be able to take a look through these items and develop a hypothesis on why your competitor is successful in local SERPs.
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
Step 3: Audit Google My Business Listing
The 2017 edition of Moz’ Local Search Ranking Factors Survey ranks Google My Business (GMB) as the biggest driver of local SEO success. If you want to appear in Google’s ‘snack pack’, your GMB listing should be robust, and well-optimized with your core target keywords.
Here are some things to look for:
- Do you have a GMB listing? If so, is it claimed and verified?
- Is all business information present and correct?
- Do you have multiple reviews and a high cumulative rating? Are you responding to reviews?
- Do you have appropriate business categories listed?
- Do you have images of the business?
- Have you created any GMB posts?
- Are you participating in the Questions & Answers section?
These are the core elements that make up a strong GMB listing.
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
- Manager access to your GMB listing
- Yoast Local SEO Plugin
Step 4: Audit Reviews for Quality and Quantity
Reviews pack a ton of clout in both the local ranking and reputation building arenas. Search engines regard them as an authentic measure of a local business’s popularity and viability. Potential customers trust reviews as an accurate gauge for that business’s quality level.
Getting an abundance of positive, glowing and wordy reviews across multiple review platforms like GMB, Facebook, Yelp, and vertical-specific sites like Houzz, Tripadvisor, and Healthgrades helps you win on many levels.
Local SEO Guide notes that Google does pick up on the keywords people use in their reviews:
“At a high level, having a keyword you are trying to rank for, and a mention of a city you are working to rank in, in reviews has a high correlation with high ranking Google My Business results.”
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
- Get and manage reviews with Customer Voice (contact us for more info)
Step 5: Audit Links for Quality and Quantity
Links remain the bread and butter of Google’s ranking algorithm.
Darren Shaw of WhiteSpark notes that,
“Google is still leaning heavily on links as a primary measure of a business’ authority and prominence, and the local search practitioners that invest time and resources to secure quality links for their clients are reaping the ranking rewards.”
A diverse array of quality links is crucial for any local business’s link portfolio. This means that you’ll need to evaluate your links, looking for links with:
- Local content
- Industry or vertical topic clusters
- High domain authority
Link quality will win over quantity, and quality + quantity will help you dominate the search rankings in your market. On the flip side, if you see a high volume of spammy, off-topic links, you’ll want to make a note of it as a red flag that may be damaging your ability to rank well for your target keywords.
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
Step 6: Audit Schema-Markup for Local
Schema markup is code that goes on a website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. Schema tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says.
This is a key way to tell search engines exactly what a given website is about, which will help them serve it up on SERPs for the correct search queries.
One way to check to ensure that your site is using schema markup is to enter your URL in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool You’ll be able to check to see if all the correct info about your business has been included.
To add Schema markup, if it’s a WordPress website, then “All In One Schema Rich Snippets” is a great plugin. For other websites, this is a good tool to create the code.
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
Step 7: Audit Local SEO Citations
How frequently is your business mentioned online? Auditing your citations will determine how many online mentions exist of the name, address, and phone number for your business.
It’s important to look into both your structured and unstructured citations. For structured citations, you’ll audit your business listings across the web, looking at social platforms and directories like Yelp, Yellowpages, Facebook, Superpages, and MapQuest. You’ll also need to check to see if their correct business info is listed on the main data aggregators: Axiom, Neustar/Localeze, Factual, and Infogroup.
Next, you’ll need to check your unstructured citations. An unstructured citation can be found on random websites, blogs, event listings, job posting sites, government records or social media mentions. These are unstructured because they could be as simple as a company mention. Usually, these citations don’t include a business’s NAP data.
Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder is a great free tool to find and analyze both your structured and unstructured citations.
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
Step 8: Audit SEO on Main Pages
An audit of the main website pages is probably the most important piece of your entire audit. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming if you have the proper tools though. Screaming Frog is one of many excellent tools that’ll deliver a comprehensive look at your on-page SEO.
With your list of target keywords in hand, you’ll want to run through each page on your spreadsheet looking at the keywords on each page. Specifically, you’ll be looking at:
- Page title
- Title tags
- Word count
- Meta description
Even with just this information, you’ll be well-equipped to analyze how well your pages are optimized for local SEO. Plus, you’ll be able to determine improvements and content gaps that might be missing.
Once you’ve evaluated and recorded the weaknesses in your local SEO, you can make use of a host of top-tier SEO plugins to help you do your work.
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
Step 9: Audit Image SEO
There are two main components two image optimization for local SEO: keyword usage and how it affects page load speed. You can use ScreamingFrog’s free SEO tool to evaluate both.
Auditing image keyword optimization boils down to evaluating each image’s filename and alt text. Since Google can’t yet tell what visual content an image contains yet, site crawlers rely on things like the filename and alt text to determine what’s being displayed. These are places you should optimize with relevant target keywords.
You can get some big improvements in page load speed when images are optimized to reduce their file size without significantly impacting their visual quality. Using ScreamingFrog, you can take an inventory of all the images on your site and highlight the images that are slowing things down. (There are also image size optimization plugins that resize images automatically going forward.)
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
Step 10: Check Website Speed
Having a site that loads rapidly is crucial in today’s online business environment.
Edwin Toonen of Yoast notes that,
“Google’s latest research shows that the chance of a bounce increases 32% when the page load time goes from 1s to 3s. 1s to 5s increases the chance to 90% and if your site takes up to 10s to load, the chance of a bounce increases to 123%. That’s incredible. For search engines, better results and performance is a sign of a healthy site that pleases customers and therefore should be rewarded with a higher ranking.”
Google PageSpeed Insights Tool performs a near-instant audit of a given URL for both mobile and desktop searches. This will give you a quick way to tell if improvements are needed, and a list of actions to take to improve your website speed.
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
Step 11: Audit Site Engagement
What visitors do when they discover your business online affects your rankings. In fact, David Mihm argues that,
“Engagement is simply a much more accurate signal of the quality of local businesses than the traditional ranking factors of links, directory citations, and even reviews.”
Metrics like organic search click-through rate (CTR), dwell time, bounce rate, and conversion rate are all ranking factors. You can simply use Google Analytics to examine your engagement metrics and compare them to industry benchmarks.
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
Step 12: Audit Social Engagement
The truth is that we’re not sure to what extent social signals are baked into Google’s ranking algorithm. However, there’s no doubt that a strong social media presence can significantly boost local SEO efforts.
According to Ron Dod of Search Engine Journal, the bigger and more engaged your audience is, the more they’ll boost rankings:
“The bigger your brand is and the more consumers trust you, the more likely you are to receive a larger share of clicks in Google. Social media can be a great and efficient way to help you build your brand and get in front of people who wouldn’t have otherwise found you.”
Therefore, evaluating your social platforms is an essential part of your local SEO audit:
- Number of people that like your Facebook page + Facebook shares
- Number of Twitter followers + tweets mentioning your brand name
- Number of LinkedIn company followers and Linkedin Shares
Helpful Local SEO Tools:
- Track dark social (contact us for more info)
- Find all social media profiles
- Find your most shared content
Performing a comprehensive local SEO audit using the 12 steps I’ve outlined is going to dredge up issues. Finding and fixing any SEO optimization issues you discover along the way is also crucial, as is recording your progress to ensure you’re not missing any vital pieces to the local SEO puzzle.
A good way to get started is to use MarketGoo, which automatically scans a website and generates a step-by-step SEO plan to help you increase your website traffic and rankings.
Once you’re ready to get started optimizing your website for SEO, using Boostability’s and SEO Network‘s SEO packages are key ways to power up your local presence. Just contact us for more info on any of these products.
Want to skip all this work and let the experts handle your local SEO? Contact us today!
Instagram has entered the territory of “must” rather than “nice-to-have” when it comes to social marketing for businesses. There are a few key reasons why every business should have an Instagram account, and why you’re going to be pretty left out if you don’t get on this social platform.
1. Skyrocket Your Engagement
The data shows that Instagram is the #1 platform for getting post engagement.
That means that if you want to establish a relationship with your client base (which you do), then you’re going to need that post engagement that only Instagram can provide.
But let’s back it up for a second…
It’s an interesting time to be involved in social media marketing… Facebook is facing major allegations, and as a result—people are doing crazy things like starting movements to delete their Facebook accounts… (For my sake, and the sake of your distant relatives, please do not delete your facebook). As much as internet trolls might have you think that it’s the social media Armageddon, I assure you that life will go on.
It might be looking a little overcast in the internet landscape, but before we pack our bags —there’s still some hope. Facebook’s more charismatic and adopted little brother (Instagram) still has users entranced with its purity and boasts a pristine opportunity for brands who are ready to stir up the marketing pot.
Now, Instagram is the #1 platform for post engagement because its focus on visual content creates a very unique space for brands to interact with others—and if you’re a skeptic, the numbers don’t lie. According to a study conducted by Forrester, Facebook and Twitter organic post engagement levels are currently less than 0.1%. In comparison, the millennial-centric Instagram boasts regular engagement at 4% for brands. (That’s 40x better btw).
2. Grow Your Following with Ease
80 percent of Instagram accounts already follow a business on Instagram, and 65% of top-performing posts feature products. The translation here is obvious, Instagrammers want to see branded content, and they want to connect with brands.
Add the engagement levels for brands (4%) that we just saw and we have the optimal landscape for growing your branded following on this platform.
3. Generate Leads
Instagram is a tool for lead generation.
We know that social media strongly influences purchase decisions, even if that is at the subconscious level of the consumer decision-making process.
It’s 2018, and our favorite lead generation tool (Facebook) is making algorithm changes that are making it harder for brands to get heard. With engagement rates already resting around the 0.1% mark, it just might be the ideal time to expand your reach to include some Instagram marketing.
With Instagram, 60% of users have first heard of a product or service through the platform, and over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, got directions, or called/emailed/direct messaged a business as a result of their engagement with the platform (sproutsocial). That means that 120 million Instagrammers have been lead to a business through the platform.
You can easily use Instagram to generate new business and sales with strategic content and links in your bio, as well as reach new targeted and engaged audiences through paid ad campaigns through the Facebook ad platform.
4. Stay On Top of “Instagram Reviews”
A little-known fact is that when an Instagram user posts something on Instagram and uses a location tag, this tag isn’t owned or regulated by the business that owns the physical location. All location tags on Instagram, or “Instagram Geotags”,” are tied to a separate public account that Instagram will store posts under.
For businesses, this is a blessing and a curse.
Best Case Scenario:
Say you own a local restaurant and you have numerous dedicated and consistent customers who love to post at your restaurant and have nothing but glowing words to accompany beautiful pictures of your space. When others look at your location on Instagram, this is what they see, and they are that much more likely to convert and become loyal customers as well.
Worst Case Scenario:
You own the same local restaurant, but one dissatisfied customer took it upon themselves to post a picture of your front door exclaiming their disgust with the service that they received. This post has lingered on the web and likely dissuaded other customers from posting to the location, and has resulted in the loss of unknown amounts of revenue through prospects who steered away from your business as a result.
Although you have no control over the things that users might be saying about your brand (much like standard reviews), you can still help mitigate some possible damages by having a branded Instagram account and monitoring the posts on your location. Much like negative reviews left on other review platforms, by responding to negative Instagram posts, you are much more likely to prevent harm to your reputation.
5. Don’t Get Left Behind
As of 2017, nearly 71% of businesses in the United States were already using Instagram. The release of Instagram business profiles and the ability to to run ads/analytics with ease have been large factors in driving the Instagram growth movement.
You may notice that this looks like an exponential growth graph, and that’s probably because it is. Fortunately for you, just because 71% of these businesses are using Instagram doesn’t mean that these businesses are using it to its full potential.
We can make a pretty good estimate as to where this usage rate is going to reside by the end of 2018, so don’t get left behind.
Don’t wait, get started on your Instagram strategy today to generate new leads, amplify your brand, and build new business!
While the world of online marketing has expanded far beyond paid advertising, advertising still plays a very important role in generating revenue and business. Digital advertising is the top of the “new advertising stack,” and it’s what can create brand awareness, drive sales, and create visibility across a variety of channels that are oversaturated with businesses trying to stand out.
Although there are many new players in the online marketing landscape like email, social media, and reputation, digital advertising isn’t set to slow down yet—a statement that’s underlined by the fact that ad spend is set to grow from $83 billion in 2017 to over $129 billion by 2021 (DMB Adobe).
We’ve compiled this list of top advertising stats so you can spend your advertising dollars where it matters, and get the ROI you need to thrive in the digital world.
Statistics about Digital Advertising
1. Digital ad spend is set to grow from $83 billion this year to $129+ billion by 2021
2. Google and Facebook are set to rake in 63.1% of digital ad spend in 2017
3. Google has +20% y/y advertising revenue growth, Facebook has +62% y/y growth
4. 39% of marketers list search engine marketing as their top business priority for 2017
5. Marketers that invest over 10% of their budgets on measurement are three times more likely to beat their sales targets by 25% or more
6. 56% of advertising use engagement to measure success, 21% use conversion & revenue
7. 34% of social media marketers list “tying social campaigns to business goals” as a top challenge
Video Advertising Statistics for 2018
8. 2017’s video advertising spend is $13.23 billion, and projected to reach $22.18 billion by 2021
9. 68% of consumers feel positively about watching video ads for mobile app rewards
10. 52% of marketers believe that video is effective for brand awareness
11. Online shoppers who view demo videos are 1.81x more likely to purchase than non-viewers
12. 51.9 percent of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI
13. According to retailers, video can account for a 40% increase in purchases
14. Mobile shoppers are 3x as likely to watch a video than desktop shoppers
15. 46% of users act after viewing an ad
16. 80% of consumers remember a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days
17. Combining video with full-page ads boosts engagement by 22 percent
18. Ecommerce sellers find that using product videos increases product purchases by 144%
19. Video ad completion rate for videos 15 seconds long is 93-95%, with 30 second videos seeing a completion rate of 92-93%
20. Over half of video advertising is viewed on mobile
Mobile Advertising Statistics
21. Americans spend 71% of their online time on mobile, with Canada and the UK coming in at 62% and 61% respectively
22. Average smartphone conversion rates are up by 64%
23. Mobile advertising accounts for $37 billion of the $73 billion total ad spend (51%)
24. 81% of consumers feel negatively about mobile add pop-ups
25. Mobile accounts for 60% of click share on Google Search ads, compared to desktop’s 32%
26. Search ad spending on mobile is set to rise by 25% in 2017
Social Media Advertising Statistics
27. 70% of advertisers plan to increase their mobile social advertising budget in 2017
28. 26% of Facebook Users that click ads make a purchase
29. Images account for 75-90% of Facebook advertising effectivity/performance
30. The best headline length for a Facebook ad is four words, with 15 for the description.
Sources: DMB Adobe, 2017 | Smart Insights, 2017 | KPCB, 2017 | Digital Marketing Depot, 2017 | eMarketer, 2017 | CMS Report | WordStream, 2017 | Small Biz Trends, 2016 | WowMakers, 2016
Contact us to get started with digital advertising for your business today!