I love helping Local Businesses find new ways of increasing their bottom line. With Social Media and all the data-mining tools out you can market till your hearts content. I have allot of local businesses that follow me on the various Social Networks and they e-mail as well call me asking many questions from Marketing to SEO.
Since I usually blog about my local market that I live in which is less competitive as its a small area, I would help out a Local follower and their business in a more populated area in a more competitive industry. One of my new Followers on Twitter is Jason Brusewitz @BranchOutShrubs and I immediately took a look at his website: http://www.branchoutshrub.com/
He is in the Shrub Trimming/Landscaping Business and it looks pretty competitive in his local market.
He is on the Right Track Socially, However I do not see any link for Google+ or any +1 button. He has A Google+ Business page located here Branching Out. See my post on Increasing Citations using Social Analytics and Strategies on how to data-mine Google+ and Facebook. Increasing the Citations helps boost your local business rankings in the serps with Social Integration. I also recommend adding Authorship to help increase the CTR's and give more credibility.
I'm going to use a couple of social data-mining tools (Followerwonk & All My Tweets) for the tools too help boost his bottom line by finding personal advocates that will spread the word socially and help his business out in the search rankings.Props out to Anthony Pensabene for showing me these tools in some of his guest articles on various blogs.
Landscaping Woodbury, MN
Lets check out his rankings in Google. I chose "Landscaping Woodbury, MN" as its a more competitive search term and not as targeted as Shrub Trimming.
You can see his business does not rank on the first page for the query at hand.
I suggest Adding Geo-Tags to his website and pictures, also adding Alt-Image descriptions to every picture, I think I found 3 on his home-page that did not have any.
Add a Video to YouTube and link it to home page as well upload it to your Google+ business page.
Now that a little basic SEO is done, we can focus on data-mining to find personal advocates to spread the word and increase his links from social networks and websites to improve his local business ranking in the organic listings.
The first tool we are going to use is Followerwonk, this cool tool lets you analyze twitter Followers. Click on the tab for Analyze Followers and put in his Twitter handle. Next in the drop-down menu select "Analyze Their Followers" and give it a minute to populate all his followers. Since I'm looking for Local Advocates you can click on the Map and Zoom in to his local area and see who is following him.
There is one Follower in St. Paul and two outside of Minneapolis. I click on the 2 and chose Tim Ryan @SeamusPicMcGee and clicked through to twitter.
Tim Ryan Twitter Page
Tim Ryan has a website he can add a link too, He tweets allot and has a good amount of followers.
Tim Ryans All My Tweets
Using AllMyTweets we can see Tim also Mentions @BranchOutShrub.You can search using Ctrl+F.
I would Thank Tim for the Mention and ask him for a citation on Google+. Offer him some services at a discount, and he may just tweet about it again or share on other social networks.
From here you can go back to Followerwonk and analyze his local followers and find ones that have the greatest clout and influence to spread the word.
There is much more data you can dig into by using these tools. I would say a few times a week he should reach out to past clients and potential clients using these social tools to thank and ask them to spread the word. Social links will follow helping boost his rankings in as little 3-6 months possibly sooner.
Use the Map in Followerwonk to target local followers and engage with them on all social platforms. Use AllMyTweets to search the tweets of followers if they have mentioned other services you may provide.
Become the expert, share and re-share on Google + and other social networks, while staying in contact with your followers by engaging in a timely manner.
I hoped this help a little in helping out your Bottom line, this is tested, tried and true!
Structured micro-data is a way for search engine to make sense of content in your HTML. Google, Bing and other search engines created a structured data standard called schema.org.
Schema Micro-Data tells Search Engines what a particular product is about and this info is usually shown in the SERP's as a Rich Snippet. This kind of Snippet is chock full of information and can increase the visibility of your Local Business Products and Services.
So how do you use Schema and add it to each individual page? Raven Tools have made it easy for us by creating a tool that lets you list your products, Services, reviews etc.
This very cool tool is called the Schema Creator. Copy and paste is all there is to it! First step is to figure out which schema you want to use and select it as you can see in the picture to the right. After you have selected your Schema it will take you to a form to fill out and this is where it gets fun!
Schema Creator Form
Select from the Drop-Down List Local Business and fill out the rest of the form. When you get to City, State and Region you would want to put your Local Business address. Now if you want to cover multiple service areas you can add an additional state in the region area as I have done here.
Next you can see a preview of how the structured data looks. Underneath the preview you can copy and paste into your HTML document (Page) in the header.
To see how the data looks in search results head on over to Google's Rich Snippet Testing Tool for Local Search and this will show you if it is working or not.
Google+ Rich Snippet Tool
The Google+ platform released a tool that allows you to customize the snippet people see when your page is shared. Using this tool, you can generate code for your page that indicates the images and text that best represent what's being shared.
When used in conjunction with Google Authorship, you should gain a higher click-through rate in the SERP's as you post will be optimized with a good description, and a relevant image.
You have the choice of adding the code to the header or body source of your webpage.
Google+ Rich Snippet Tool Customize your text and image when linking from Google+ to your website
Local Search Tool
Here is a nice tool to add to your Local Search Marketing strategy. LocalSearchTool.org is a website that sends you a detailed report on your business using various tools for checking your business listing. Here is how it works.
First they check the Search Engine Local Listings to see how well your business is optimized in Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local, for example they check on any reviews that may help your Local Business Listing ranking .
Second they check for Citations in national Local Directories, These Citations optimized with Pictures, Address and Business info will naturally increase your score.
Third they check for your competitors citations. This allows you to list where they are in your industry specific and Geo location directories.
The fourth step they check is on Social media Sites for example: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn. The Search Engines look to see if your engaging with your customers. Build out the pages on these sites and include a full profile with NAP (Name, address, and Phone Number). This builds trust which can rank you higher and they also recommend you to upload a YouTube Business Video to increase your visibility.
The fifth step they check is your reviews. High reviews are a trust builder for your prospective clients. Your prospect is more likely to call, email or walk in if they see more stars.Increase your reputation management score by getting more positive reviews.
The sixth and last step they check is a the rankings for the top 5 keywords in Google, Yahoo and Bing.They check both the main site (pure organic rankings) and the 'local' sections on all three search engines. Your score will increase as your rankings increase on these 3 major search engines.
To get started follow the picture link above.
In closing after I generated my report I found a few discrepancies where the report failed to show my +1's on Google+, my followers likes and shares where underscored by huge amounts.The local competition location report showed no relevance as it showed JP Morgan Chase and Pharmacy competitors. I will have to check into this more and see why they are ranking as my local competition as they have nothing to do with my business model.
The report does give good info on directories and locations of your citations, mentions etc and lists directories where you can sign up for to submit your business info as well as submit to Competition Citation Comparison websites. I also like the fact it shows your rankings in the organic listings and local listings with great detail.
As with any report its good to manually compare the results and see where exactly you need to improve on. I like this tool and recommend it for the information it provides you about where to list your business info and what you should be doing more of to engage your customers as well as see where your local competition is submitting their info to improve their rankings.
Bulk Index Checker Software
Every once in a while you come across something that really gives value to your workstation and makes life and work a little easier, well I have no problem giving credit where its due. Here is one piece of software for webmasters and Website Administrators that allows you to check what URL's are indexed in the major Search Engines. IndexBear.com has created this free Bulk Index Checker Software for you to use at no charge. Follow the link and put in your name and e-mail address, and they will send you a link to download the free software.
The major Search Engines you can check are:
• Save Results as Indexed, Not Indexed, Error (which got error on checking search engine index)!
• Never get banned by search engine! Unlimited proxy support!
• Proxies can be checked by our software if they are working, no worries about dead proxies!
• Multithreading, YOU control speed of checking, just add more proxies!
• See how many backlinks or pages are indexed, which backlinks are better!
Check the Screenshot of the Bulk Index Checker Software below
There are 9 Lessons with 5 tasks each and 1 review quiz at the end of the tutorials. These lessons range from "Introduction to the concepts in lessons 1-10" "Learn what a variable is and why you need them" to "Learn how + works with strings and numbers".
Code Avengers lessons were designed with the following key principles:
* Beginner terminology - use words familiar to non-programmers
* Less reading more doing – learners want to read as little as possible
* Difficulty level – senior high school students are able to complete the lessons
* Explain the why and not just the what when teaching new concepts
* Incorporate badges, points, levels - everyone loves getting badges
* Quality feedback - effective interactive tutorials must detect and offer helpful feedback when the learners make mistakes
* Practical examples - lessons include examples that are as ‘real world’ as possible
* Games and code challenges – goal is for the lessons to be fun and effective
Code Avengers is great for teachers and students. Founded by Michael Walmsley and co-founded by Andrew Gale, Code Avengers looks to make the site as friendly and easy to use while provide a great learning experience for all its users.
One nice thing I like about the site is it saves your work in progress and if you make a mistake, no problem, they detect it and offer feedback. Check out the Infographic I made below to find out some of the lessons offered within the site.
CodeAvengers.com: Learning to code just got MARVELous
Internet Marketers are always looking for new ways to create new unique content to add to their sites. As we all know content is king and the more unique content, the more targeted traffic.
Infographics are fast becoming the new king of content with new sites that offer Sharing of infographics and sites that allow you to Generate Infographics based on your current ones or their online Infographic Generators.
Below is a list of Infographic generators and resources to help you further Generate and distribute your Infographics that can go viral and send you and your clients targeted traffic.
Update: If you have a link for a good Infographic Generator please let us know about it by leaving a comment below or mailing us. I may do a review on it and include it in this list. I also added Word Cloud Generators towards the bottom of the post. Enjoy these great Word Cloud and Infographic Generators
Visual.ly Infographics Generators
Visual.ly offers data and Infographics and puts them together. Right now their Infographics Generator Tools consist of Twitter and Facebook Infographic generators with more to come.
Chart Gizmo Infographic Chart Generator
Chart Gizmo allows you to create charts for your website, blog and social network profiles, this type of Infographic Generator is good for data and statistics.
Google InfoGraphics Generator
Google Infographics allows you to Generate useful graphics for your page.Google chart tools infographics are static PNG images that you can customize with a single URL request.
Infogr.am Infographics Generator
Infogr.am offers Charts right now, however in the near future they will be offering an online Infographics generator. By the looks of the charts, they should do well with a eye catching Generator for stunning graphics.
Hp color Infographics generator offers an infographic generator to provide small- to medium-sized businesses with a colorful printout to give their companies added impact.
Visuailize.me offers you a way to make your resume into a Infographic. They say text resumes are boring, I agree. Why not make them into beautifully designed infographics that can grab the attention and make you stand out for your potential employer.
Killer Infographics Generator
Killer Infographics has a online embedded code generator for your Infographics, allowing you to share the embedded code in case your visitors want to share your Infographic on their site.
Photo Stats App iPhone Infographic Generator
Photo Stats App is the first Infographic Generator for the iPhone
Dipity Timeline Infographic Generator
Dipity is a Timeline Infographic Generator
Daytum Infographic Generator
Daytum is a online personal data Visual Infographic Generator with a free and a very low paid version.
Piktochart Infographic Generator
Piktochart is a online Infographics Generator that has a free and paid version, easy to use interface with great themes and tools to customize your infographic. You can upload your own photos, add graphics, text, links, symbols and more.
Easel.ly Infographic Generator
Easel.ly is one of the easiest most robust Infographic Generators online. Easel.ly is in beta mode. They have Vhemes which are visual themes, many to choose from and you can add objects, backgrounds, shapes, text as well upload your own graphics. This is a free Infographic Generator and one of the easiest to use.
Word Cloud Generators
Wordle Word Cloud Generator
Wordle is a Word Cloud Generator that has been around for a few years.The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.
Tagxedo Word Cloud Generator
Tagxedo is a Word Cloud Generator that allows you make word clouds into different shapes and pictures. Tagxedo is a word cloud with style!
In closing I'm sure there are a few more Infographic Generators I have not listed here. I will try to keep this list updated as with the explosion of content marketing there will be surely more to come.
Use this Keyword Suggestion Tool to find keywords for your niche. Try out the working tool below. Visit link to download the source code.
I read a article the other day on WebProWorld about Pinterest and how they Monetize their site using SkimLinks, So I figured I would go over and check it out. What I found was a tool that can be very useful for generating revenue on sites without be intrusive to your users and comply with the FTC Affiliate Disclosure<---PDF. SkimLinks gives you a badge so you can dispaly the disclosure in a nice badge located below
SkimLink offers a few Tools and If you have a site with existing products like a shopping site then their Search Widget tools will come in handy which Searches Ebay and Amazon and uses your affiliate link in all products. Give it a try in the widgets below.
Use the Skimlinks URL shortener to make money from links referenced outside your website, e.g. use it to make money from product recommendations in Twitter, Facebook, your email newsletters, RSS feed, even in print. If someone clicks on your shortened URL and makes a purchase, it generates a commission for you in the same way as Skimlinks does on your website.
Want to send all your pre-existing Amazon affiliate links through Skimlinks to take advantage of our aggregated reporting and payments? Now you can!
Just enable this functionality for each domain you would like and Skimlinks will replace all the previously affiliated Amazon links in your content with your Skimlinks Amazon ID, saving you the time and effort of changing all those links yourself.
Link API, Affiliate Link Generator, Build Affiliate Links Manually
SkimLinks Labs-SkimRSS and SkimLinks Wordpress Plugin
SkimRSS is ideal for sites that publish their feed through feed managers like FeedBurner. All you have to do is change your feed address to go through our re-write server and your links will be automatically re-written. Best of all SkimRSS only re-writes your affiliatizable links. It will also use your custom subdomain if you have one.
SkimLink Referral Program
SkimLinks allows you to get paid up to 12% commission (of Skimlinks earnings) for every site you refer to them for a whole year, from the day they log in. They offer you a few ways to refer people.
On Non-Skimlinks enabled sites (such as Twitter, Facebook or newsletters)
In closing, when you are accepted after you sign up you are automatically approved for all their affiliates in their network and you can earn up to 12% on all sales. Im giving it a go on this site and will keep you informed how it's going.
Local Business Website Design, SEO and Internet Marketing Blog
By "Shawn Lippert"