Online advertising continues to drive local ad spend growth | Marketing Interactive

Online advertising continues to drive local ad spend growth | Marketing Interactive

This curated content was originally published on 01 Mar, 2018 via:

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Online advertising continues to drive local ad spend growth

Advertisers spent 55% of their advertising budget on online advertising, including interactive and mobile last year, according to the latest Hong Kong Advertisers Association Advertising Spending Projections 2018 survey, conducted by Nielsen.

Total advertising spend in 2017 was HK$41.9 billion, 4% more than in 2016. Advertising spending on online interactive and mobile accounted for 38% of all advertising spending, compared with 39% for TV and newspaper advertising combined.

The survey shows that this year 33% of advertisers plan to increase their advertising spending, and another 53% said their budget will remain unchanged.

One changing trend is that instead of advertising funds being shifted from offline to online or mobile channels, 31% of advertisers are now gaining additional funding to support online marketing. The decline in the proportion of advertising funds allocated to offline channels last year was less than the decline in the previous year.

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“The increase in advertising budget is attributable mainly to advertisers’ increasing focus on digital media,” said Cherry Lau, senior director of media, Nielsen Hong Kong.

“As many as 63% of surveyed advertisers reported that they will increase their online advertising budget, a clear sign for marketers of how advertising is being transformed. 2018 will be another year for online advertising. As the survey shows, projected advertising spending is 59% for online and 41% for offline. Of the funds allocated for online marketing, paid social or social network advertising continued to lead at 12.8%, followed by display ads at 10.2% and video ads at 9%.”

In terms of the marketing effectiveness of various channels, 83% of respondents said they expected the marketing effectiveness of mobile marketing to increase, followed by online video (66%) and social media/paid social media content (65%). In regards to offline channels, live TV retains some of its competitiveness at 41%, but only 2% of respondents say they regard print as an effective channel.

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After years of engaging marketing activities with social media channels, advertisers are becoming more mature in using social media as a marketing platform, and more diversified strategies entail using online video (74%), mobile social (61%) and social media pages (56%).

The survey also shows that advertisers are optimistic about Hong Kong’s economy, with 38% of them expected the economy to pick up in 2018, a level of confidence greater even than that related to the global economy.

With the media landscape becoming more fragmented and diversified, advertisers see that the big challenge is to understand customers’ interactions across different media channels (41%). It is important for them to allocate the right resources to the right channels to maximise return on investment.

However, rapid technological changes (22%) and increasing concern about privacy (19%) are seen as some of the rising challenges.

“With online becoming the mainstream, there is no doubt that mobile will become preeminent over the next few years. Even though advertisers now have more experience and control in using online and in online/social marketing tactics, marketers are still keen on having cross-channel optimization and online measurement to help them make better decisions,” said Raymond Ho, chairman of the Hong Kong Advertisers Association.

This article was originally published on 01 Mar, 2018 by .
The original article appeared here:

8 Secrets of Local Facebook Marketing in 2018

This curated content was originally published on  via:

Have you made New Year’s resolutions for your business?
If not, why not?
Think about it. It’s a new year and it’s one that’s full of opportunities. Even if you killed it with your marketing in 2017, there’s always room for improvement. So, here’s one suggestion for a resolution:
Master local marketing on Facebook.
Facebook is huge, with 2.2 billion users and counting. The chances are good that many of your customers use it daily – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing a great job of connecting with them.
And let’s face it – social marketing has some challenges. Facebook keeps refining their algorithms, and that’s made it harder than it used to be to be sure your target audience sees the content you post.
With that in mind, here are eight things you can do starting right now to ring the new year in with a bang – and become a master of local Facebook marketing.

#1: Create a Facebook Event
Creating events on Facebook helps raise your visibility, engage existing customers, and attract new ones. Here’s how to do it:
1. Come up with an event. It could be a sale, a social event, or even a performance.
2. Go to the Events tab to create your event.
3. Fill in the date and time of your event, choose a category for it, and put in keywords that will help people find it.
4. Add a Google map or directions.
5. Link to a ticketing site if people need to buy tickets.
Once the event is set up, you can invite people and share it on your page. You can even pay to boost it, or run it as an ad to attract more attendees.

#2: Create and Share Local Content
You’re a local business – so show some local pride to connect with potential customers! If there’s a local tradition or event coming up, or if you see an article that highlights something unique about your city, share it with your followers.
Of course, you need to do more than share. You can increase your page’s visibility by tagging other local businesses, events, or landmarks in your post.
This is an opportunity to connect with other local business owners, too. You might be able to help one another out!

#3: Let People Know What You’re Doing
Are you attending a trade show? Hosting a booth at a community event? Maybe you’ve sponsored a soccer team and you’re attending a game.
Whatever it is, it’s an opportunity to check in at your location, tag other businesses and events, and keep your audience up-to-date on what you’re doing.
It’s important here not to overdo tagging. Nobody cares if you stopped at Starbucks for a latte. Stick to events and locations that highlight your business and your audience will thank you.

#4: Get People to Write Facebook Reviews of Your Business
Reviews are hugely important. They provide social proof – and a recent Bright Local survey found that 92% of all consumers read online reviews before they make a purchase.
Facebook reviews can help increase your profile and attract new customers. You can encourage people to leave reviews by reaching out to your list or creating a post where you ask for reviews.
Keep in mind that star reviews without a written review accompanying them won’t get you as much visibility as written reviews. You may want to create a template for people who aren’t sure what to write where you ask things like:

  • What problem did you have before buying our product or using our service?
  • How did working with us help you?
  • What were the biggest changes you experienced because of your purchase?
  • Once you’ve collected some reviews, you can share them on your page. You can do the same, of course, with reviews from Yelp and Google.

#5: Create Groups for Your Followers
Did you know that Facebook allows you to create groups for people who follow your page? Creating a group can be an effective way of building a community and focusing conversations and content on a topic.
For example, if you offer an array of services, you might create a group for each one. That way, people can connect with others who use the service, ask questions, and even recommend your services to others.

#6: Give People a Reason to Come to Your Store
Many local businesses rely on foot traffic to drive sales. If you do, you can use your Facebook account to encourage people to come see you in person.
For example, you might create and share an in-person coupon that people can use when they come to your store. Or, you might offer a giveaway for those who visit your location.
Other things you can do to entice in-person visits include:

  • Aligning yourself with a local cause or charity
  • Hosting in-store events
  • Teaming up with other local businesses to create joint promotions
  • Having a contest or sweepstakes for people who make a purchase within a specified timeframe
  • These things can all help attract customers to your store – and get them to make purchases.

#7: Run a Contest
Running a contest on Facebook can help you attract new followers and build engagement. If you decide to do it, keep in mind that Facebook has strict rules about what you can and can’t do. For example, you can’t require followers to Like or Share a post to enter.
Make sure that your contest has:

  • A clear start and end date
  • Prizes that are appealing and relevant to your target audience
  • Well-defined rules

And, of course, you’ll need to deliver prizes on schedule and as promised.

#8: Market Your Facebook Page in Your Store
In local marketing, one hand washes the other. While you might put your focus on bringing customers from your Facebook page to your store, it can work in reverse, too!
For example, you might put a link to your Facebook page on flyers, business cards, and coupons. You can also ask customers to take a picture in your store and post it on Facebook while tagging you. Offering an incentive, like a 10% off coupon or a gift card, can help.

Local Facebook marketing poses some challenges, but now you know how to address them. Local content, events, and contests can all help you attract new customers to your Facebook page – and your store.

This article was originally published on  by Scott McClure.
The original article appeared here:

10 Tips to Help Get What Little Organic Local SERP Real Estate is Left! – – #RealTalk Marketing

This curated content was originally published on 26 Feb, 2018 via:

26 Feb 2018

10 Tips to Help Get What Little Organic Local SERP Real Estate is Left!

By Tommy McDonald / No Comment

10 Tips to Help Get What Little Organic Local SERP Real Estate is Left

Local SEO is much harder now, for smaller businesses, than it was several years ago. Why? Well, Google makes it much easier for large franchise chains and brands to rank higher over the smaller local-only mom and pop shops.

For example, a local burger joint in Dallas is going to be overshadowed by McDonald’s, Burger King and In-N-Out Burger, with little to no chance of overtaking the top positions from them. Does that mean local SEO is out of the question for the mom and pop burger joint? No, but they need to realize they will be competing for the lower end of the real estate, which can still drive customers, as many searchers will be looking for a local spot rather than a fast food option.

When a local search is performed these days, the map overtakes the top of the page and those are referred to as the “local pack” and right now those are the most desirable SERP locations. The consumers like the visual element of the map, and the results can really help you attract business based on proximity.

Your position towards the top can often be impacted by the proximity of the person doing the search. For example, if you have a perfectly optimized website and a strong Google profile for your business, someone searching down the street for what you sell is likely to see your listing on top.

Below the map are more local organic listing, which mirrors non-local based searches on Google. This is still prime real estate, just not as valuable as the local pack, as it’s such a prominent section of the results now, on both desktop and mobile searches.

In order to help you move to the top of the local SERPs, I have put together a list of 10 tips that you need to address is you really want to see results.

If you follow these and spend the time and effort on these, you will see your local SERP results improve.

1. Audit Your Local Directory Listings

This is something that you should do on a frequent basis, at least every quarter. There are a few tools to help, with Moz Local and Yext probably the two most popular. Most are already familiar with Moz if they are knowledgeable regarding SEO, as their Open Site Explorer tools is used by the majority of the search engine optimization community to check Domain and Page Authority.

Moz allows you to run a. Report before purchasing, and their packages for the local product are fairly affordable. Just know that you can make changes and submit to most local directories without the use of a tool. This just helps you manage them and while a one location business can skip it if the budget doesn’t allow, I would highly recommend using this for local businesses with multiple locations.

The best use of an audit is finding high quality listings that you don’t have yet or contain inconsistent information about your business location.

2. Trade Links with Local Businesses (Power of Community)

Link exchanges. This is something that has been going on since the early days of SEO, the only difference was back then nobody tried to hide it by being clever. Old websites used to have tabs on their website labeled “Links” or “Partner Links,” but these days Google would slap you right out of the SERPs if you pulled that.

One of the easiest ways to swap links with other local businesses if by creating a page on your website along the lines of “Local Community Deals” and along with the name, a picture, description and link to the website, you will want to offer some sort of coupon or special offer. This not only looks legit and allows you to drop a link, but it also creates value and your customers will appreciate it.

You don’t even have to mention links with other businesses. Just ask them if they would like to exchange special offers for your websites. It’s as simple as that.

3. Get More Local Business Reviews

While Google loves reviews from the mega sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, the Better Business Bureau, etc., don’t you think that they will take Google reviews into the equation more? Of course they do, so while it’s important to have reviews across all platforms, you need to make Google reviews your priority, as they influence the local pack the most when it comes to reviews.

So many local businesses seem to struggle with this and complain that they don’t know how to get reviews. I will tell you the most effective way: ask for them. Yes, it is that easy. But, don’t simply send your Google URL for everyone to review, because that welcomes bad reviews. No matter how good your business is, you will never satisfy everyone.

So, since you should be collecting the email address of every single customer, set up an automatic email that asks them to review your business. Send them to a page on your website built to -re-screen reviews. If they select 5-stars, then redirect them to your Google page to leave the review. If they select anything less, then direct them to a form to complete and make sure your customer service department reaches out to them right away to make them happy. Convert them into 5-start reviews and then have your customer service rep send them the URL to your Google page. This is the easiest way to not only get a lot of reviews, but also a lot of 5-star reviews.

4. Respond to Every Single Review

I am going to keep this short and sweet: reply to every single review you receive. If it’s a positive review, thank them for being a valuable customer. This shows them you care, and it will encourage them to be a repeat customer.

By replying to less than perfect reviews it shows potential customers that you truly care. People know you can’t please everyone, and they will respect you more for replying to bad reviews than simply ignoring them.



5. Secure High Authority Brand Name Mentions

Links still are number one. Doesn’t matter if you are Best Buy trying to rank for every consumer electronic product on the planet, or a local shop trying to rank for location-based keywords. Links are the driving force between Google’s algorithm, on a national and local level. So, this means that no matter what kind of SEO you are going after, you need links.

And what are the best links? Authority links!

When building links for a local SEO campaign, you will want to try to secure them as brand mentions. For example, if a local search features 10 local companies, the one with more authority brand mentions is going to rank higher. Why? Because Google will take everything into consideration, but then see that the one particular business has been mentioned on the top sites in the world, which tells the algorithm it’s the favorite/authority option when it comes to businesses in the specific niche.

6. Join the Better Business Bureau (and register for as many categories as possible)

Many business owners dislike the BBB, because they feel it’s a pay for rating system, which it essentially is, but as long as you are a legit business you will hold a strong rating. Joining as an Accredited Member allows you to use the BBB logo on your site, but in terms of SEO value, you also get a website link on your profile. BBB chapters have very high authority, and it’s a listing that Google weighs heavily.

When you sign up, they tend to let you list under one category. Well, call your BBB rep once you pay for Accreditation, and ask them to review all possible business categories you fall under. The more you are listed under, the more links you score.

7. Enable Schema on All Website Pages

Schema markup is what helps Google identify where your business is located, your hours and it also links your Google reviews to your business. Simply put, schema impacts and influencers the local pack significantly, so take the time to have schema implemented throughout your entire website correctly.

If you look at the official schema website and its guidelines and instructions it will look foreign to some. Rather than stress about trying to figure it out or the possibility of making an error, hire a developer to handle it. You can find competent coders with a great deal of schema experience on freelance marketplaces. I have seen local SEO clients get their schema dialed in for less than $100. It’s well worth the investment, as this is a critical component of local SEO.

8. Steal Your Competitor’s Links

If there is a business (or businesses) ahead of you in the local pack results, dive into their backlink profile(s) and then copy what they are doing. It’s a simple concept: if you can copy their link profile and then add more authority links to your own profile, you will slide right past them in the SERPs.

Use tools like OSE (Open Site Explorer), SEMrush and Ahrefs to spy on your competitor’s link profiles. You will want to use some common sense though, as not all of their links will be desirable. Pay no attention to spammy or low authority links. The may have used an incompetent SEO agency in the past or may have been been victims of negative SEO, so never copy 100%.

When you build more of the links Google obviously likes and omit the bad ones, it makes your link profile more desirable. Google is not going to devalue links anytime soon, so the effort put into competition spying will not be wasted. You are likely to uncover some great link opportunities doing this.


9. Build Authority Across All Inner Pages – Not Just Your Homepage

A website for a local business is typically going to be smaller, in terms of number of pages, compared to a large national brand. They will often have a homepage, an about section, some product or service pages and then a contact page and maybe a blog if they do any type of content marketing.

It’s important to focus on building links across all of your pages, and not just the homepage. I would say that 9 out of 10 local websites that I audit are very unbalanced when it comes to links.

It just doesn’t look natural to Google. If you have a blog, build links to all of your content and then interlink it. If a business is popular and the top sites in the world are talking about them, don’t you think they should draw attention to their other pages as well?

Be smart. You want everything to look as natural as possible to fly under the radar.

10. Audit Your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) Across the Entire Internet

Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to spreading your business information throughout the internet. There are three things that you want to make sure consist of the same format everywhere it appears online, and that’s your business name, complete address and phone number.

Use the same capitalization and character spacing every time you type your business name and use a full complete address. If you abbreviate anything, keep it consistent. For example, if you are “Suite 500” you want to type it out like that every time. Don’t use “Ste. 500” or “#500” because it creates discrepancies. If Google has to question whether or not an address is valid, it will greatly impact your position in the SERPs.



Final Thoughts

“SEO is dead.”

“Local SEO is dead.”

How many times have we heard this over the past several years? It’s said every year and each year we learn that SEO isn’t dying, nor will it ever die. It simply evolves and requires more thought process and effort in order to rank organically in the SERPs.

Listen, you have two choices. You can either adapt with the changes and continue to pursue the number one spots (actually, now the most desirable spot is “position zero”) or you can give up on local search and put all of your effort and money into paid advertising.

Are some businesses doing this? They sure are, because let’s face it – local SEO is not easy by any means now, especially for businesses with a lot of local competition. Can you imagine a Los Angeles personal injury law firm trying to go after position one? There would be hundreds of firms going after that one spot. There will be some businesses that can’t compete, so they will have to pay for that top real estate, which is what Google loves. Let’s be honest: they are in this to make money.

But, if you truly want to see results in local search, make sure you are paying attention to all of the tips outlined above. They are all very important right now if you plan of chasing the top spots for any local based terms.


This article was originally published on 26 Feb, 2018 by Tommy McDonald.
The original article appeared here:

Maximizing your local marketing presence with yard signs

Maximizing your local marketing presence with yard signs

Displaying yard signs is a pretty straightforward local marketing strategy. Utilizing yard signs for your brand is simple and requires minimal investment. All that is really needed for this form of local marketing is the right material, the right design, and the right message for your brand. So what are the best tips to launch an effective yard sign campaign?

1. Create a Plan for your yard signs

Just like with any other plan in business, you need to start with a rough outline of your idea. Think about who your target audience is for the signs. What are the best ways to catch that audience’s attention through signs? What are your sign design ideas? What materials are needed? What kind of message do you want to display? Keep these questions in mind as you map out your plan.

2. Come Up with a Color Scheme

The colors need to be eye catching and associated with your brand. It is best to use contrasting colors in order to stand out. The more visible the sign is, the better. A simple example of contrasting colors would be black and white.

3. Use Large, Easy to Read Fonts

Try out different fonts before picking out the final font. Just like the color scheme, you want the font design to be attention-grabbing and easy on the eyes. Keep it simple and avoid fancy fonts – those are harder to read for passing drivers. Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, Times New Roman and Avant Garde are always popular choices for font.

4. Display an Interesting Message

The message should be short in text so that drivers will be able to read it quickly. Create a straightforward message that calls for action. Think about what you want potential customers to do. Should they call a number, visit a website, stop and grab a brochure, or visit an office in person? Are there any special discounts or deals that your business is offering? What is appealing about your brand? Make it clear on the yard sign.

5. Buy the Sign Materials

There are a variety of materials to choose from for yard signs. Size matters here; the bigger signs will be easier to read and will catch the attention of the passerby. Plastic signs are recommended as they tend to withstand rough weather conditions more easily. When choosing the number of signs to print, remember that a higher quantity per run will mean a lower price.

6. Distribute the Yard Signs

Just like with other forms of marketing, where you display your message is the key to success. The signs will need to be displayed in areas where they can most effectively reach your target audience. Besides placing them in the yards of homes or businesses that have already been serviced, look into other high-visibility areas nearby. Research into the areas that potential customers most frequently drive by. Signs posted near high traffic areas and popular business areas tend to do well.

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How to Dominate the Local Roofing SEO Game

How to Dominate the Local Roofing SEO Game

When you’re the owner of a roofing company, you have to do a lot of work yourself.

Depending on the size of your company, you might have to be your own salesman and find new clients, and you’re your own secretary when you call to confirm appointments.

On top of all of that, you have to have to be HR, the shift manager, and an accountant all rolled into one.

When you have so much on your mind it can be easy to let marketing fall by the wayside.

If you want a simple way to market your business that doesn’t require a lot of work, you need roofing SEO.

The benefits of roofing SEO

SEO makes it easy to find potential clients and workers, you just have to make sure that you’re using it the right way.

A few well-placed keywords, links, and content can make it easy for the right people to find your business.

If you’re new to digital marketing, don’t worry.  Roofing SEO is easy when you follow these simple tips.

Be consistent

You know that your contact information is up to date on your website, but what about other places.

Do a quick search for your company in Google.  Do you see the right address pop up?  What about the business hours, are they consistent?

Look through your social media profiles and dig deep into your own account.  Is the website properly listed?  Is all of the contact information correct?

Consistency is an often overlooked part of SEO, but it’s simple to get right.

Just take a little time to make sure that the right information is available online.  A missing phone number or wrong address can make it difficult for customers to get in touch with you.

Utilize local keywords

Want to know the easiest way to dominate local SEO?

Use location based keywords.

A lot of small businesses have had luck with localizing their SEO.

Keywords with specific locations in them are easy to rank for and helps ensure that the right customers are finding your business.

If you do roofing in Johnstown, CO, add the location to your keywords.

Instead using the phrase “roof repair”, utilize “roof repair Johnstown CO” in your content.

Sometimes simply adding the state or even the region and the state to your content can do wonders for search results.

Don’t neglect metadata

Now that you know to add location-based keywords to your content, it’s time to make sure they’re a part of your entire roofing SEO campaign.

Have you ever noticed those few sentences that pop up underneath a website in Google search?

That content is known as a meta description.  It gives people information about websites, and it’s an often neglected part of SEO.

Make sure that you have meta descriptions for each page on your website, and use location keywords in them.

You can also get a little SEO boost by including location keywords in other areas of your site.  Use them in your H1s and alt tags when it’s appropriate.

Don’t overuse

Now that you know how location keywords can help SEO, you may be eager to put them wherever there’s text.

In SEO you can have too much of a good thing, you don’t want to go overboard with keywords.

Only use keywords where they make sense, don’t insert them randomly into content. Doing this can actually hurt your SEO.

Your turn

Do you have questions about roofing SEO for contractors?  Have you used SEO methods that helped your roofing business?

Tell us about it in our comments section!

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6 Ways to Bolster Your Roofing Website and Win More Sales

6 Ways to Bolster Your Roofing Website and Win More Sales

With over 101,000 roofing businesses in the United States alone, you need to do everything possible to make sure yours stands out.

Here, we’ll tell you six of our favorite digital marketing strategies to take your roofing website to the next level.

1. Post Your Reviews

These days, close to 90% of people value online business reviews just as much as they do recommendations from friends or colleagues.

This means that if your reviews aren’t easy to find on your roofing website, potential customers will just go to your competitor.

Make sure, in addition to having reviews on pages like Google My Business and review websites like Yelp and Angie’s List, that your customer testimonials are displayed on your roofing website.

Show at least a few lines from satisfied customers on your homepage, and try to create a page in your drop-down header menu that’s dedicated to what your customers are saying about your services.

2. Include Videos

Video content has become more and more popular this year in digital marketing!

These days, people don’t always have time or patience to read through the internal pages of your website.

Think of a homepage video clip as your 2-minute elevator pitch. Plus, it helps people to have a face to put with the brand’s name and services.

Let people see your roofing equipment at work, and introduce yourself!

3. Share Your Social Media Links

Everyone is on social media these days – yes, even roofing websites.

You’d be surprised just how many potential customers are combing through the roofing hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for inspiration and for services.

Make sure you include links to all your social media profiles on every page of your website – remember, you can’t guarantee that every visitor will land on your homepage.

Encourage website visitors to follow you on social media for giveaways, discount codes, and inspiration!

4. Get Local

Local SEO is more important than ever.

To help local clients find your website and book your services, always make sure that your company’s contact information is current and is updated on both the website and on Google My Business.

Try to include your town’s name, the state you’re active in, and your complete service area in as much of your content as possible.

Also, make sure you frequently update your website to stay at the top of local results!

5. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand (Key)words

You probably already know just how important using images to both break up your content and give people a visual idea of what your roofing styles look like is.

But keep in mind too that image file names and captions are the perfect place to include keywords to bump your site up in the rankings!

6. Make Your Roofing Website Contact Page Visible

Lastly, always make sure that the “Contact Us” page of your website is crisp, visible, and easy to navigate.

You may want to put your contact information in both the header and footer of your homepage, as well as on your internal pages.

Even if you’re using a contact form, still display your email, address, and phone number clearly.

Get The Most Out Of Your Roofing Website

Use these tips to see big changes in your rankings!

Remember to always check back with us for more tips and tricks about how to get the best digital marketing strategy for your business.

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