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6 Hacks To Optimize Your Local Search Marketing

6 Hacks To Optimize Your Local Search Marketing

Local search marketing is a concerted effort that uses geographically optimized web content, business listings and social media signals to draw local search traffic from your neighbourhood, town or city to your business. Local search puts your company and the products it’s selling in front of your local audience. With the increased use of mobile devices, local search is a mission critical marketing tactic that cannot be ignored. Let’s look at the 5 top hacks for optimizing your local search marketing:

1. Claim Your Place(s)

Google Places
    Multiple Locations on Google Maps

    Claim a place for your business in local listings and display authentic information about your product or service to millions via search engines like Google, Yahoo Local and Bing Places for Business.

    If your business is multi-locational, ensure each location has a dedicated page that includes name, phone number address, hours of operation and (if required) directions to the given location. This information helps search engines return the most relevant results based on the location of the user and the keywords they’ve searched.

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    List your business with a 100% score on Google My Business by completely filling in the 20+ fields. By completely filling in all the different account fields, you’re more likely to earn a place in the first page of Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

    Google My Business

      2. Spread the Word

      Go beyond Google and spread the word about your business in some of the top local information repositories:

      • Search Engine Maps (Google, Bing and Yahoo)
      • Yellow Page Directories (Insider Pages, Superpages)
      • Local Directories (CitySearch, Localeze)
      • Review Sites (Yelp, Urban Spoon, Zagat)
      • Business Directories (InfoGroup/InfoUSA, Acxiom)
      • Niche, Industry Specific Directories (Health Grades)

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      While submitting your listings, make sure your local search listings are verified, accurate and optimized.

      3. Optimize Your Profile

      Even if you’ve mentioned your business name, address, phone number and other necessary information in the listings, it won’t be enough as long as you do not optimize your profile and content for the major search engines. How will search engines decide if your listing is more visible on SERPs over that of your competitors? It depends on how well you optimize your listings. Optimization, accuracy and completeness are the three qualities that help steal a march over your competitors.

      Make your descriptions keyword rich (using location based keywords), provide maps and details of your physical store or business location and embed brand photos and videos.

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      4. Distribution Is Key

      Your job does not end after claiming and optimizing your listings. Rather, it is half done unless you make an effort to keep reaching out to a wider audience. One of the ways you can do this is by creating and distributing content relevant to your business niche and its location. The content you are distributing in the name of your business must be a fine balancing act between ‘value addition’ and ‘branding’.

      A great way to target your content for local search is to orientate your content to have a local focus. This can be easier said than done, but is achieved by including a lot of place name related keywords, information about local issues or promoting your business’ voice in the local community.

      5. Track Performance

      Local search is a cost-effective marketing strategy; but the problem is that many businesses and online marketers don’t understand it all that well. Because of this, they’re also vague on how to accurately report on their efforts and measure their effectiveness. Use tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite to realize the full potential of local search and harness its benefits for your business. HootSuite is a great tool because it can track location-based campaigns across social platforms such as Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter.

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      How you track your analytics will be specific to your business goals, but make sure these are clear in your mind and you’re able to keep track of them through accurate reporting.

      6. Encourage Customer Reviews

      Optimize your online business by encouraging good customer reviews. According to a Nielsen study, 70 percent of people trust online consumer opinions. Reviews are also an important ranking signal for Google, and the more the number of reviews your business attracts, the better your ranking on SERPs. Authenticity is a key element here, so make sure you encourage real reviews as Google is very diligent at detecting fake or spammy review practices.

      Use the above mentioned six sure-fire tips and tap into the benefits that this local search marketing tactic provides your business. Not only will you more effectively target local consumers in your area, but your rankings on the results pages of Google will improve drastically.

      Featured photo credit: Hluboki Dzianis/Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

      How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

      We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

      So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

      While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

      Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

      What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

      How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

      But what does being productive actually entail?

      Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

      Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

      It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

      Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

      9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

      1. Avoid Multitasking

      Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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      Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

      If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

      2. Turn off Notifications

      According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

      Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

      The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

      Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

      3. Manage Interruptions

      There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

      Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

      If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

      By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

      4. Eat the Frog

      Mark Twain once famously said that:

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      “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

      What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

      We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

      Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

      5. Cut Down on Meetings

      Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

      You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

      The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

      But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

      If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

      6. Utilize Tools

      Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

      If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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      And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

      Some examples of tools that could be used:

      Communication
      • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
      • Samepage for video conference software.
      • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
      Task Management
      • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
      • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
      • Wekan for an open source option.
      Database Management
      Time Tracking
      • Clockify for a free tracker.
      • TMetric for workspace integrations.
      • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

      You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

      7. Declutter and Organize

      Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

      Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

      Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

      Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

      8. Take Breaks

      Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

      As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

      Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

      Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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      9. Drink Water

      Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

      Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

      Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

      A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

      If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

      You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

      The Bottom Line

      The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

      After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

      In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

      A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

      Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

      More About Boosting Productivity

      Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

      Reference

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