Digital press releases, which are used extensively by large companies, are often overlooked by small businesses as a viable additional to their online marketing strategies, despite the fact that the format can deliver a number of cost-effective benefits. These benefits include increased visibility with the local customer base, the generation of SEO signals, and having the potential of being picked up for wider distribution through news agencies.
Here are 4 steps you can take now to boost your local SEO efforts by issuing digital press releases.
* Incorporate your local SEO keywords in your press release – These keywords should include the geographic region for which you’re optimizing (city name, county, etc.) along with your company name, products and/or services.
* Be newsworthy – The main requirement of a newsworthy press release is that it has to be of interest to your audience. For releases targeting a local audience, topics can include the opening of a new location, events, or new product information.
* Include a quote or two from the owners or from management – While the balance of a press release will be written in third person context, quotes can add elements of personality and passion while also familiarizing locals with company personnel.
* Promote press releases through social media – You should be promoting your published content already, so be sure to include your press releases as well. Links to your press releases and your website will generate social signals that play a growing role in the algorithms that search engines use to rank web pages.
Your business does not need to be a member of the Fortune 500 to benefit from issuing digital press releases. By generating press releases that are keyword relevant and interesting, your business will benefit by attracting the attention of both your local market and the search engines.
While reputation management campaigns are typically executed across numerous channels with a focus on controlling the visibility of content on the search engines, business owners need to pay particular attention to the conversations that are taking place on social media platforms. This sharpened focus is necessary due to the fact that, while businesses are virtually required to participate on social media sites to compete, these platforms are often the launching pad for fast-developing reputation management problems.
Here are three measures you can implement now to start the process of managing your company’s reputation on social media platforms:
* Be a good social media citizen – Position your business to engage with your respective communities as an informative resource while de-emphasizing overt selling practices. Taking an advisory role can build your business’ authority within its industry while increasing trust and credibility with your customer base.
* Create a clear social media policy – Some of the biggest reputation management problems for businesses are created by employees that unknowingly go outside the boundaries of propriety when participating in conversations or posting content. Having a clear social media policy that delineates what can and cannot be posted by employees will greatly reduce the chances of something harmful going viral.
* Develop crisis management plans – Having set protocols in place to handle emerging reputation management issues is far superior to trying to create a plan in the face of an unfolding crisis. While you may not be able to foresee all contingencies, these protocols can be used as a framework for a variety of issues.
Social media sites offer both opportunity and danger. By implementing reputation management practices on these platforms now, you’ll be well ahead of the curve should a potential crisis emerge.
Being seen by your customers when they search online for your business, either by category or by name, can make the difference between having them buy from your business and heading off to do business with a competitor that has higher local visibility. Here are 3 steps you can take now to make sure that your business gets seen when local customers search for your products/services.
* Incorporate your location into your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts – Most local inquiries will include the name of a city, county, region, etc. with the product or service that is being searched. For example, people looking for pizza places that are nearest to them in Daytona Beach will use a search term such as “pizza Daytona Beach”. By tailoring your SEO efforts to the most commonly used search terms for your product/service in your local area, your business’ visibility will improve dramatically.
* Claim your listings in local directories – Google’s “Places for Business” and Yahoo’s local directory are two of the major local directories that people use to find local businesses, but there are many others as well. Don’t assume that your business will automatically appear in these listings, even for searches that specify you by name. Claiming your local directory listings and populating them with basic information can usually be accomplished in a couple of minutes, so take the first steps as soon as possible.
* Get social – More people are using social media platforms to find and get recommendations on local businesses. Developing a presence on selected social media sites will raise your business’ visibility and will also contribute to your overall SEO efforts.
More of your customers are using local search every day. Help them find your business by taking these three steps today.
If your business is a “David” competing against the “Goliaths” in your industry, outsourcing your IT requirements can be a significant step that levels the playing field while also lowering the barriers to entry.
* Outsourcing IT enables resources to be focused on competing and generating revenues – Businesses with unlimited resources are few and far between, meaning that most businesses are faced with prioritizing where time and money will be allocated. Outsourcing can free up resources which can then be directed toward revenue generating activities.
* The ability to ramp up projects quickly – In certain circumstances, business opportunities may only be available for a narrow window of time, which can be missed if training in-house staff in advance of ramping up a new project adds costs and delays implementation. These impediments can be eliminated by outsourcing IT to a firm with a broad base of experience and capabilities, resulting projects that start quickly and efficiently.
* Operational efficiencies can lower unit costs – One of the advantages possessed by big companies is the lowering of unit costs due to economies of scale. Small businesses that keep duties such as research, back office work, product development, etc. in-house typically have a larger cost structure which can narrow profit margins and hinder competitive pricing. Outsourcing specific types of IT work can enable small businesses to capitalize on the benefits of economies of scale via their provider.
Many of the advantages which were once the sole province of larger companies are now available to smaller competitors. By strategically outsourcing IT duties, small companies can level the playing field with competitive pricing, faster project development and operational efficiencies that can help the “Davids” of the business world to compete against the “Goliaths”.
The level of success in the implementation and acceptance of a customer relationship management (CRM) system is often determined well before the new software is integrated into a business’ operations. The following tips can help you define the best CRM system for your business and then ensure that its potential is optimized by your personnel.
* Eliminate the CRM systems that aren’t compatible will your applications and infrastructure – Your CRM system will have to seamlessly interface with a variety of different systems across your business’ infrastructure. Eliminating the systems that aren’t a good fit can narrow the field to those which will offer easy integration and high performance.
* Prioritize basic systems that meet your needs versus those with all the bells and whistles – Buying a system that is loaded with features may seem attractive, but the only applications that really matter are those which will be used in your business.
* Make sure that your new system can scale up for the growth of your business and be customized for future applications – While you don’t want a system that has widgets you’ll never use, you’ll also want to avoid a CRM system that needs to be replaced because your business has outgrown it. Look for a system that offers plenty of flexibility so that it can be modified as your business evolves.
* Offer easy access to tech support for your personnel – By highlighting the advantages and making user adoption easy, your employees will integrate your new CRM system into their daily routine faster and more efficiently.
Business owners are often frustrated after purchasing new software due to lack of compatibility and low user engagement. By taking these steps before making your purchase, you’ll be able to avoid these issues and realize the full potential of your CRM system.