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Chapter #9 Blog Marketing
When you are advertising your offline business online, another method you may want to consider is blog marketing. Blog marketing is a free way to increase your company's exposure and also to build relationships with your customers.
It provides your customers with an opportunity to learn more about your business, the history, the products, the personnel, in a low pressure environment. Having an established blog can also assist you in increasing your SEO by creating back links and allowing for quick indexing.
When you couple that with RSS feeds you can quickly and easily establish a firm online presence. If you are unsure of how RSS feeds work, that is OK, the important thing to keep in mind is that there is software available that will allow you to easily submit your blog (RSS feed) to other websites which will further increase the number of backlinks that you will have on your website.
If you are unsure of what backlinks are those are basically, other websites that are linking back to your site. What this says to the search engines is that your website is being visited by other websites and that they were impressed enough to refer back to your site.
Having these backlinks increases you're standing with the search engines and will also mean increased free visibility for your website ; when you focus on RSS feeds for another businesses in your local area you in essence great higher quality backlinks which means a higher search engine ranking for you.
This will gain you increased exposure with your target audience in a shorter time frame. When you choose to use the RSS feed software you can change the settings to suit the needs of your business and allow the software to get the word out about your blog.
Providing content to your blog is essential in creating traffic and keeping it updated is as important. If you do not have the time to do it yourself you can hire a ghost writer to do the work for you. The price varies from one ghost writer to another so the best option would be to request samples from several different ghost writers until you are able to find the ghost writer whose work closely matches the tone that you would like for your blog to have.
When you begin work with this ghost writer, it is advisable to test them on a trial basis with one or possibly two articles to start to see if the work they provide you is in fact what you were looking for. From there, you can negotiate a long term rate or business relationship.
Your goal is to update your blog with quality content at least once per day, if this is too much you should aim for updating your pages no less than once per week. This will ensure your blog is continuously indexed and your RSS feeds updated as well.
Chapter #10 Google Maps & Places
When you are looking to optimize your local business listing, Google places and maps is a great way to do this. Formerly Google Local, it is truly a powerhouse for free marketing that is available to local businesses.
Google Places displays local business information at the top of organic search results. Organic search results are the results listed directly beneath the search bar. These should not be confused for the sponsored results that are commonly displayed on the right side of the page.
These local results also include a map providing the searcher with directions to your place of business. Since Google will only show up to 7 businesses on their main page (with maps) being in the top 7 for your keywords becomes crucial to your success.
It takes time and effort to become listed in the top 7 amongst the local businesses in your area, but a good way to start is to visit Google and search for Google Places. Register for an account and click on the link that says "Add a business." Google places does currently only allow one number per listing, so make sure it is your company number and that should someone call after business hours they are able to find out about your operating times, and are able to leave a message should they wish to request more information.
When you are creating your description page keep in mind that you are allowed a 200 character description of your business, so you will want to focus almost exclusively on your product or service. This is not the space for going over your company accomplishments or history. This is exclusively a place for letting the customer know what you have to offer.
This way when they run a search for printing paper, if your business is a printing business, it will show up in the search results. Make sure to maximize your 200 character description by choosing very detailed and keyword rich descriptions.
It is important that you don't waste the space and aim to use as many of your top keywords as possible within your description.
Once you have completed your description you are able to submit the form. If you wish to add the business hours and information you can do that at this point as well.
Do keep in mind that with the new Google Places local business, your listing will not be active until you have verified your account. Normally the verification can be completed by a phone call from Google's computers to the phone number of record for the listing.