Local SEO Tips

Are you looking to optimise your business website for local searches but not sure where to start?

When marketing your business online most people start with search. Kraken has helped many SMEs grown their reach through targeted SEO marketing strategies. We have come across so many local businesses that have been stung by experts giving no real value and charging a lot for what they did. This has led to many people believing that SEO is a scam and phrases like growth hacking to come about (rather than saying SEO).

Because of this we wanted to write a post about local SEO and things you can do for FREE that will boost your presence locally on search engines extending your business reach.

So why local SEO?

Why is it important to look at local SEO? What makes it a good idea to invest in local SEO for your business? To put it simply people use search engines to find local businesses they want to buy from. Here is proof from google (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/how-digital-connects-shoppers-to-local-stores.htm).

So what does this mean to you? People are searching locally and they are taking action when the search. If you build a strategy to help promote in your local area and increase traffic for related search terms you will drive more traffic. Now if your website functionality is good then this means you will increase in sales. THIS CAN ALL BE TRACKED! Use analytics to track all this progress. Take the myth out of SEO and use stats.

Tip 1 – Focused local content

When talking about local SEO most people will talk about citations, local directories and maps. These are all important but not the full plan. What will give you the edge is great quality localised content.

So what is localised content you say? This is content that is based on your local area that educated the user on specific issues/problems/wants. Sharing local content can have a massive benefit to your business.

Easiest way to get this content out there is a blog on your website. On your blog you can create niche content that is very specific to your local area. This content can also be good to share on social media platforms to help boost awareness and traffic to your website. Share the content on local community and how your product aligns with local values. You started your business for a reason get that reason across to people (quality of your work, work ethic, enjoyment of working with local companies, etc).

Make sure that is your content you reference areas you want to be picked up for. So for Kraken we are based in Bridgwater, Somerset. These are some of the key words we want to be picked up for.

If you are struggling for ideas for content and need some inspiration a great place to start is interviewing your customers. Share their stories about interactions you have had.

Localised content created a personal connection with the local area and also gives reasons for local sites to connect with you and link to you.

Tip 2 – Get on Maps, Directions and Use Citations

For your business it is important that you are on Google Maps. If someone is searching for you its daft not to give them directions!

We talk to a lot of businesses that haven’t claimed their business on Google My Business (https://www.google.co.uk/business/go/). This is a great way to get more exposure for your business as it puts on google maps! This also allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Maps. So do this! Make it happen! Get more reach!

This is only one wat to get your site out there to make it easier to find your business. Our goal as business owners is to be on listings for legitimate business directories and maps. We want to have relevant business information to help benefit traffic to your site, phone calls and getting to your location.

Some of the big directories to look at are:

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo business
  • Bing
  • MapQuest
  • Yellow Pages
  • Facebook

Here is a list of directories to get on: https://moz.com/learn/local/local-search-data-us

Things to note is that putting this information out there will mean an increase of calls from bots and emails. Most will be telling you that they can grow your business for a free. IGNORE THESE. After a while they will stop.

Tip 3 – Linking building locally

Link building is one of or if not the most important factor for most SEO experts. Having links to your site is very important but not all links are equal in how good they are. For instance directory links are great but when looking at organic search don’t carry much weight when looking at backlinks.

For backlinks research is important. Locally run sites for the town/city are great places to start. Many of these sites will have a local directory on.

Other places to look at are local clubs and organisations. Joining a business club and having a backlink on their site is a high-quality backlink. These links are very important as they show you as part of the local community.

What we need to do as businesses is look to build backlinks from sites we want to be associated with. Making sure that the links make sense contextually and please NEVER PAY for a link. Link building is about building relationships.

Outro

So now you have these local SEO tips go out and do them! Make sure that the backlinks are good for you. Write blog posts about working / selling solutions products with your customers. Claim your place on directories and use that power to direct people to you (website, calls, lactation).

Get more traffic and use that to get more sales!

Make sure you use analytics to track this to know its working for you! (THIS IS AN EXTRA STEP BUT IT WILL HELP)

These are 3 free tips for things you can do to improve local SEO.

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What to do after converting?

A landing page post conversion strategy

So someone completes the goal of the page (clicks the call to action). What happens now? Well first of a little dance and celebration that your landing page worked! Well done on making a sale, get a lead, etc.

From here you can have thank you on the next page or email that is a blank canvas. This blank canvas gives you the chance to further extend you services and products. This shouldn’t be just a thank you notification but the user has already shown that they are into what you are selling, service you offer, etc. From the thank you confirmation you can tell the user what to do next!

 

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Things to look at doing post conversion

  • Suggest buying other products that are similar
  • Follow on your social media outlets
  • Visit a webpage on your site that they might find interesting

You have the user on board so don’t waste the opportunity to keep them on board!

Now hopefully you have the more of an understanding of landing pages and how to use them in your marketing strategies. Go forth and prosper! or if you need a help get in contact and let do the work for you.

Landing Page Layouts Design

Layouts of landing pages

There is a general layout to landing pages. Although from one to another there will be differences there is a basic universal design to get what you want from people (contact information, click through to products, etc). Use these design elements on your site as a guide when creating content. Remember a landing page in marketing terms is a standalone page designed for a focused objective.

Things(elements) a landing page must have

A landing page design make up should include:

  • a unique selling point (USP). This is to be made up of a main headline with a supporting headline.
  • A hero shot – this can be a image or video. Show the user what they can expect to get.
  • Supporting content made up of bullet points, paragraphs and possibly a few images. This supporting paragraphs content should show the benefits of the product/s in detail. Use bullet points to give a summary of the benefits.
  • Social proof – testimonial of someone who uses or has bought the product.
  • The single conversion goal, a call to action (buy now, sign up for xyz, etc) This can be with a form but doesn’t have to be it can also be a click through to a product. It depends on where you send the user in the funnel.

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Landing Pages A B Testing

Kraken Creative Digital Services - AB Testing

A/B testing is an experiment testing two or more pages of the same page to see which page performs (converts) the best. Although its called A/B testing you can test as many pages as you like.

You would be running A/B testing on these pages to further understand what elements on the page can be improved. Looking to test things like headlines, call to actions, images, videos, layouts , etc. 

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Naming Conventions

Champion page

A champion page is the page that is the winner of a test. 

Challenger pages

When creating a test you create new versions of a page (variants) to challenge the current champion page. These pages are call challengers.

Page variant

 A page variant are the separate pages in your test and include both the champion page and the challenger pages.

A/B testing traffic weight

The traffic that sees what variant is based upon predetermined options. For example you could be running a test the has 2 variants and do it 50/50 so half your traffic will see one variant. The other half will see the other variant. There are loads of different options to figure out what traffic sees what variant. 

If you are starting from scratch its best advised to do several ideas. This is so you can find out what works the best for you. Once you have a champion (winner) then make challengers to optimise that page.

If your looking to test against a page that already exist then it is recommended that you test against a smaller percentage of the traffic. This is to mitigate any damage the variant might have on traffic to the page.

What to do next?

Now you understand more about what A/B testing is and how to use it in your landing page marketing strategy. 

What to do after someone converts?

Why Should I Use Landing Pages

In marketing landing pages are a powerful tool to help increase conversion of what you want. Marketing campaigns should be using landing pages for all inbound advertising campaigns you have. Your marketing might be promoting specific products, discount codes or segmented offers for specific users. You cant send all this traffic to the home page! It will muddy the information and branding you're trying to get across. These separate marketing messages should have their own pages for the very separate messages that they are getting across. 

The effectiveness of inbound marketing will vary depending on the source (email, PPC, organic, social, display banners, etc). Because of these different inbound marketing sources we need to apply the relevant experiences to try and maximise each funnel.

Segmented offers

Your business might want to offer different offers to different segments of your consumers. This could be messaging for abandoned carts, converting people who sign up but don't subscribe, offers for consumers who spends over a certain amount on your site, etc. The messaging of these needs to be handled very differently for each one. Having separate landing pages for these allows you to customize the look, feel and personalisation; and with that a greater chance of improving the conversion of the page if done correctly.

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Multiple Products 

Many companies will want to have a spotlight on certain products. Having landing pages with more information and media to highlight why someone should use/buy the product is a very powerful in terms of conversion. On Kraken this is how we do our product pages (i.e. krakenservices.co.uk/services/marketing/conversion-rate-optimisation-cro/). This means we can use direct marketing for these services. 

This sort of advertising means you try to get your consumers through the funnel to the pages/page they want much more effectively. 

When Should I Use a Landing Page?

This is something we get asked when talking about landing pages with clients. We tell them to use landing pages for all inbound advertising campaigns they have.

So from the content above we understand that this is because you might be selling multiple products, have user segmentation set up and the home page would struggle to effectively message the different messages you are trying to get across. 

Traffic Source and Landing Pages

Understanding the traffic source will help you optimise what the landing page should need in terms of content. 

If someone comes from Twitter with the 140 character limit there understanding of what the product is will be slimmer than an email where you can get more information across. Because of this you can optimise the landing pages for these inbound marketing sources. From Twitter your landing page will need more information on the landing page to help support the lack of information you can give upfront from your tweet. 

These optimisations to your landing pages are to be designed to help people progress through the funnel. 

Another reason to do segmentation is to understand traffic going through your inbound marketing campaigns. Looking at which sources are performing the best. To look and see if if your landing pages need better optimisation. By getting this information you can better plan your PPC conversion and allocate your money appropriately. 

Whats Next?

Now you have a bit more of an understand why you would want to use landing pages have a look at our other articles for more landing page knowledge!

How to design a landing page

What is a landing page

What is a landing page?

The simplest way to describe a “landing page” is any page of your website that someone arrives “lands” on. In the marketing realm, a landing page is a standalone web page that is distinct from your main website. It is designed for a focused objective.

Types of landing pages There are two basic types of landing pages

  • Click through
  • lead generation.

Click through

landing page - click throughClick through landing pages are designed to try and get users to click through to another page. This type of landing page is usually used within ecommerce web sites. These pages can be used to describe a product in more detail. These pages are meant to warm up the users and turn them into a customer. This can be great for getting more users to sign up / register to your site. Or convince someone that that a product is worth purchasing.

 

Lead Generation

Lead generation landing pages are designed to gather user data. This can be things like names, phone numbers and email addresses. The whole design of these pages is to collect data. This gives marketers information to connect with potential customers and as they have given you contact information the lead will be warmer than a cold caller. These pages usually give something to the user. To get the offer / free product users exchange their information.

These can be things like (but not limited to!):

  • Ebooks
  • Webinars
  • Consultation
  • Coupons / vouchers
  • Competition entry

Whats next?

Now that you hopefully have an understanding of what landing pages are and how they work what do you do next? Hopefully this is enough information for you to start planning your own landing pages.

If you still need help and want to discuss how you can use them to get more business then get in contact!

Read up on my you should use landing pages

Is your site ready for 2017 – Website House Keeping

Digital teams need to do housekeeping on the ever evolving web to keep relevant. For many companies this is daily attention to make sure that their online presence stays relevant.

Because of this finding time to step back to review and make changes to keep you in the race can be difficult.  Here are a few things to do to make sure that you are keeping ahead of the game and moving forward.

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Re-Examine Content and User Experience

Look at what content you have produced. Make sure the content is relevant. Have your skills updated that you offer or have you incorporated new technologies into your working environment.

Look at your site as if you were a user of the site and use it.

These factors can impact a user’s experience of your site. So, making a list of things to change and improve is necessary. If you look and don’t know where to start get specialist advice. Looking at these will make sure next year on top and in control.

  • Imagery
  • Layout
  • Call to actions (like buttons)
  • Making sure your responsive / adaptive layouts work
  • Accessible for users with different needs

 

Review your analytics

Its important to look at your analytics and assess if your site is performing the way you want it to. You want to review all aspects of your websites performance. Looking at how pages are performing for both user experience and analytics perspective. This will help you see what areas needs improvements and what if certain parts of a page need further exploration to see what can be improved.

Perhaps you need to look at a full audit and don’t be worried about getting someone external to help. Look to do testing on the areas that need help. Be dynamic and be able to fail fast and change quickly.

 

Review internal processes

You want to look at processes and workflow. Where can they be improved. This could be greater communication, having less but more meaningful meetings or more depending on what works for your team. Look to remove complexity. Look to the simplest solutions KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid) to maximise productivity.

Kraken - work flow

Update and backup servers

If you don’t have a process already in place for this (Highly recommended you do!) then this time of year is a great time to make sure all your sites and databases are backed up. This in case something goes wrong, you will want the ability to recover fast. If you have already got something set up to auto do this test it!

Kraken - update and back up server

Social media

Take a look at what you’re doing on social media and look at what’s working and what isn’t.  Check your goals and campaigns are clear and you are sticking to a schedule. Things to think about; Are you looking to generate more traffic to your site? Are you trying to increase subscribers? Or are you looking to do get quality leads from direct marketing? This is a perfect Time to look at these and plan for the new year.

Kraken - social media

Check your sites security

Look into the latest security standards and are you up with them? Try to make it so your site has the least chance of having down time due to malicious attacks. Take the time now to look at your set up and make changes. Are pages with important information on using HTTPS? Do you have a fire wall? Does your site need updates to it?

Kraken - site security


Places to start

These are great places to start. One last little thing update the copyright year! Reason we wrote this post was that we are currently doing these and thought if we are doing a lot of maintenance then most likely it’s time for you to do the same!

If you need help with any of these aspect get in contact [email protected]

We are here to help you find the right solutions. Have a great holiday and new year from the Kraken team!

Reasons Why Your Website Should Be Responsive

At Kraken, all of our sites are built to be responsive as default. And here’s why we believe it is so important…

Having a responsive website has never been so essential. Given the sheer amount of platforms that people have to navigate and search the internet, it’s essential for any business to ensure that their website is usable on mobile and tablet devices.

Responsive design allows the content on a webpage to adapt to the size of the device its being viewed on, without compromising on the detail or layout of the information.

Here’s 5 reasons why your website should be responsive:

1) MOBILE USAGE IS ROCKETING – When someone recommends a great company or service, what’s the first thing that most people do? Take out their smartphone and type into Google. With 55% of all web traffic now going through smartphones, you can almost guarantee that at least half of potential new customers will be viewing your website for the first time through their mobile or tablet device.

2) FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING – How often have you typed a search into Google using your smartphone, a number of selections come up and the first one you try is slow, or confusing or simply unresponsive. The average mobile user has a VERY short attention span and if your website doesn’t meet the fundamental criteria for their viewing needs, chances our that new customer will leave the site and move on to the next one. Don’t give your website users any excuse to leave by making sure that your website is making the best first impression possible.

3) BEING RESPONSIVE INCREASES SEO – When comes to the tricky world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), there are a multitude of things that will help keep your site fighting at the top of the relevant Google rankings. And one of the most important things that Google ranks a website on, is whether or not that site is responsive. Don’t lose out on vital SEO points simply because your site isn’t up to scratch.

4) SOCIAL MEDIA PULLS IN THE USERS – With over a one billion people using Facebook and more than 100 million using Instagram every day, Social Media is a vital way for your business to interact and develop relationships with potential customers. With the majority of those users accessing their various social media platforms through their smartphones and tablets, it can be an incredibly effective way to drive traffic back to your website. But if that website isn’t responsive, then those Social Media users certainly won’t be back.

5) BE READY FOR THE FUTURE – As technology advances year upon on upon year, so do the devices, laptops and smartphones that company’s like Apple and Samsung produce. We have no way of knowing what is around the corner, or how the next generation will be viewing content on the internet – but by having responsive website you can make sure that you are at least ready for whatever exciting new technology is around the corner.

These are but a few reason you need to think about having a responsive site and hopefully now you have a greater understanding that your site needs to be responsive!

What is Conversion?

Most people have an understanding of what conversion is but don’t understand that it can go towards any goal. By this I mean it doesn’t have to be a money transaction. So how do you apply conversion to everything and keep your main goal focus on what you need to achieve?

Strategies and Goals

Most businesses have set strategies which they try to use; social media strategies, marketing strategies, networking strategies and so on. All of these have separate goals which we want from different areas. For instance social media goals are for users to interact with the content which is being posted. So you can count conversion as clicks, comments, views etc. These interactions will sometimes be the full conversion goal if you’re a media consumption company like YouTube. But for many other companies will be a part of a smaller set of goals for the overarching goal (people buying products).

Whys this Important

Now that you have a better idea of how conversion can abstracted to different areas, what is your main conversion goal?

There are many websites which are ‘brochure sites’. This means you browse their products online and contact them for the sale. On sites like this the main conversion will be the public getting in contact with you, the seller. Now this is why I’m writing this post today – Too many times recently I have come across people who have forgotten what their site is for, making it look stunning but not allowing for the goals of the site to be completed. If you want to sell online without eCommerce then your primary objective is getting contact from consumers. Yes, you need the supporting imagery and break down(s) of your product which show people why they should buy the product from you. But if you don’t make it easy to contact you then all your effort has gone to waste. It’s like having a high street shop with a brilliant window display but the door is locked so no one can get to the products.

Sum it up Then

Hopefully you now understand that there are many different conversion types/goals. These goals will change from area to area but you must always remember your overarching goal!