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Lately, a lot of businesses worldwide have realized the advantages of ranking well on search engines suchas Google, Yahoo and Bing. A typical company with a modest marketing budget would consider either hiring a professional SEOor starting a Pay-Per-Click campaign.

The first option (the cheaper of the two) involves a dedicated effort of at least a few weeks(or months if the keyword is competitive), after which your website's rankings for key phrases start rising. The second option, PPC, can give you instant results and ROI, depending on your budget and the keyword competitiveness. But what do smaller business like mom and pop stores do? How would they get a piece of the pie? The answer is Local Business Listings. These are listings that show up when locally targeted keywords are searched for, and are displayed above the organic search results, likeso:

Google Search Result Page

With listings so predominant, it would be a crime not to take advantage of this, especially if you can do it for FREE. All you need to do for your business to show up is-

1)Create a Google account

2)Login to Google Local Business Center

3)Fill in all the information

4)Complete the verification process

The whole process does not take more than 15 minutes to complete and your listing starts showing up within a day or two. Quite an easy way to get traffic to your website wouldn't you say? Not really. There are literally 100's such listings that you will compete with, especially if you are located in the city.

So how do you rise above the others? Here are a bunch of tips that can help increase your chances of ranking well on Local Listings:

1)Fill out your business listing comprehensively- Put in all the information you can about your business. All your phone numbers, images of your shop/office, videos(if you have any), payments modes accepted and any other additional specifics.

2)Correct the location marker- Once you put in your address, Google dynamically places a placemarker on the map. If the location is not precise, you can manually correct it. This is more so that people looking for your location are able to spot you precisely(Imagine if a customer turns up at the wrong location! That's one prospective customer lost.)

3)Provide proper categories- Make sure that the categories that you list your business under are a precise as possible. Once you start typing within the box , you'll get a list of suggested categories, which are usually the most popular ones. Entering these as products/services you offer will increase the chances of your listing showing up, since these are terms that people actually search for.

4)Include your product/service in your business title- For example, "Joe Friday's" could be changed to "Joe Friday's Plumbing Services". This will highlight the service- "Plumbing Services" and will increase your click-through rate.

5)Get customers to review you- Google generates reviewsfrompopular websites like TrueLocal, CitySearch, TripAdvisor, InsiderPages and so on. Requesting your clients to rate you based on their experiences is a good idea. This will help increase your credibility of your business and convince prospects to contact you.

6)Offer Coupons- Adding an incentive though coupons for visitors through the Local Listing will increase your enquiries and help keep your listing active. Remember- search engines love businesses that are active on the web.

Keeping these few points in mind could really prove to be a golden duck for your business, especially when click-through-rates for these listings are comparable to an exceptional PPC Campaign!

http://pragmites.com/blog/2009/06/16/how-your-business-could-rank-well-on-local-search/

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I often write about things you should do on LinkedIn to maximize your effectiveness.Today we're going to look at the other side of the equationthe mistakes. The five mistakes listed here are related to your ability to eventually monetize LinkedIn.

1. Not Having a Purpose or Not Understanding Why You Are On LinkedInQuite simply if you don't know the answer to this question then how do you know what actions you should be taking on LinkedIn?There are numerous reasons to be on LinkedIn and you may have several.The actions you take should be done to support your purpose.

My ultimate goal is to grow my business (make money) so I focus on growing my networks and communicating my message as often as possible.Because I know my purpose, have determined what actions support this purpose, and implement my strategy on an ongoing basis, I have been successful in developing new business clients.

Action Steps:

a.Write down the top 3 reasons why you are on LinkedIn

b.Determine what actions will support each reason

2. Failure to ParticipateThere are 41 million people on LinkedIn and a large majority does not interact with others on a consistent basis.This is a direct result of mistake number one.Without understanding your purpose you can't know which actions to take that will produce a positive outcome.

There are only so many hours in a day and people tend to repeat what works.Social media marketing rarely provides quick results.Most often success is built over time only after people get to know you, like you, and trust you.You have to have the patience to continue participating when you're not seeing the results.

There are no guarantees that your efforts will produce results, but if you do not participate consistently, I guarantee that you will not find success.

I spent almost a year providing value and interacting before I started seeing results.Now I can count on several inquiries each week from potential client's looking to engage my services.

Action Steps

a.Commit to taking action on a weekly basis

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b.Schedule these activities

c.Post them next to your computer or in your electronic calendar

3. Presenting an Incomplete PictureOn LinkedIn people get to know you through being connected, belonging to common groups, the information your share, and your profile.People want to look at your profile and have a clear understanding of who you are and how you might be of service to them.

If you don't provide enough information for them to know those two pieces they are unlikely to go looking for the information.You need to make sure you have a detailed profile.You need to include a professional photo.You need to have links to your websites, blogs, etc.

If you've been fortunate enough to get them to view your profile, you've accomplished the hardest part.It would seem a shame to lose them for simply failing to provide enough information.

Action Steps

a.Look at 20 profiles to see how others are presenting themselves

b.Spend an hour each month working on your profile

c.Personalize your profile-add keywords, personalize your public URL, and Change your Web URL's to the name (go to edit and choose "Other")

d.Look at the LinkedIn application to see which make sense to add

4. Not Sharing Information or Providing ValueMistake number three is about people getting to know you.Number four is all about getting people to like you.It's a simple fact:If you provide value to others without asking for something in return people will start to like you.

The quickest way to generate goodwill on LinkedIn is to provide value to others.Directly this might be responding to a connection or introduction request.You can also build goodwill by providing thoughtful responses to questions in Answers and in group discussion posts.Another great way to provide value to others is through writing recommendations for those who have provide great service or assistance to you.

Everything you do on LinkedIn either adds to or subtracts from your online brand so make sure you put some thought into what you say.Participate consistently and you'll notice that your profile visits increase and people will start interacting with you.

Action steps

a.Find at least two connections to introduce each week.

b.Answer at least three questions each week

c.Identify connections that deserve a recommendation and write it.Try to find at least 15 people to recommend.Make sure these are 15 people that deserve it.If you can't find 15 now, build this up over time

5. Failure to Build CredibilityBy addressing the previous four mistakes you will have reached a point where people know and like you.You may have even started to build some credibility.There are six ways that I document to build your credibility.These include:

A. Your Profile:first impressions count.

B. Answers:In number four we addresses answers from the perspective of providing value.This is also a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.Whenever you answer a question it is available for anyone on LinkedIn to view.Your Direct connections are also notified that you answered a question on their Home page.

C. Recommendations:Nothing beats having another sing your praises.I have found that my client recommendations have been a huge part of building my online brand.

D. Your connections:Who you are connected to can have an impact.When I seek to connect to others I will often reference a common connection in the invitation.

E. Your Groups:With groups you have something in common with fellow members.I reference common groups in invitation requests as well.

F. Providing Value:This will help others grow to like you but it also is very helpful in building your credibility.

Action Steps

a. Answer at least three questions each week in your field of expertise

b. Try to get 10 recommendations.You can request recommendations but only do so from people you know that you have provided great service or help to.If you don't have 10, keep providing great service and you'll get there.When you do, join The "Top Recommended People" group on LinkedIn.

c. Grow your connections based on your connection strategy

d. If you don't belong to 50 groups find 50 that are relevant and join.

e. Seek out every opportunity to help others.

Wrap Up

There are many other LinkedIn mistakes I could mention including avoiding typos, having multiple accounts, etc.These 5 though are fundamental mistakes that will impact your ability to monetize LinkedIn.

I'm a firm believer that the true value in LinkedIn as a vehicle to add to your bottom line.You may have joined to network, to find a job, or to advance your careerall are great reasons and all that at the end of the day are about monetization.

It's OK to be on LinkedIn to make more money.It's what will keep you coming back and participating, which in the end helps every other person on LinkedIn.

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Posted in Algorithms Post Date 12/31/2018


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