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About SEO services in Surrey BC, and White Rock, Delta, and Langley. Affordable search engine optimization and GMB optimization services.

How to Promote Holiday Offers Free on Your Local Google Listing

Did you know you can post expiring coupons, videos, and update posts on  your company Google My Business listing?

Did you know that you don’t have to pay for online advertising to benefit from local search traffic?

Your Google My Business listing is the ultimate key to driving more local traffic to your store. It’s free to have: you’ll soon notice a rise in online traffic when you create your online listing.

The best thing about your local Google listing is that you can change it whenever you want. That means you can use it to make the most of seasonal promotions so that anybody looking for your services in the area will immediately be tempted by your offers!

This quick guide will show you how to get your free listing – and how to use it for seasonal promotions, too.

How to Claim Your Google My Business Listing

There are just a few quick steps to claim your free online listing:

1. Visit www.google.com/business and select the Start Now button.

2. Create or sign in to your Google account for your business.

3. Follow the instructions step-by-step to create your listing.

4. Verify your listing to make sure you appear in local searches.

When you’ve completed the above, your free local listing is live!

Everybody Loves Something for Free

The great thing about using your local Google listing to run holiday promotions and offers is that both you and your customers benefit!

Your marketing budget is kept low and your customers will receive money off (or free gifts) when they make a holiday purchase. It’s a win-win situation!

Some businesses feel that running offers can devalue their product offering. This can be true if your shop always has some discount area or constant sales.

However, irregular seasonal offers can be a great way to tempt back wayward customers as well as finding new ones. Customers feel they’re getting a bargain when they see discounts or special offers and that can be enough to help them choose your shop over another.

With that in mind, let’s look at how to boost your holiday offers without spending any extra money on marketing.

How to Promote Seasonal Offers on Your Local Google Listing

Now you’ve got your online listing it’s time to make the most of the free marketing opportunities.

1. Add a Post About Your Seasonal Promotions

You can add an offer in your post as an update, or specifically as an OFFER.   Update your Posts by going into your Google Business account and selecting “New Post” on the left-hand menu and choose the “Offer” tab in the new pop-up.  Add an image, and in “offer title” and “details” give information that is memorable and grabs attention as this is the first thing people will see of your offer.  You can add a start and end date, an optional coupon code, terms and conditions, and a link to your offer redemption page.

If you do a regular update post instead of offer, it’s similar. Add in a short amount of text and an image that shows off your related promotions. For example, if everything is ‘buy two get one free’ in a certain range for the holidays, include this in your post. You may also include coupon codes for your online store.

Once the post is published it will show up under your Google My Business listing when a related search is made.

2. Promote Your Holiday Event

Are you open late for a special evening shopping event? Do you have a special networking dinner for your business customers?

You can use the Posts function to add a new event, too. In the pop-up, just choose the “event” tab. Add the details, such as date, location, and start time, and hit publish.

Users will be able to click on this promotion to book their place on the event. This will help you to manage your attendee list so that you know how many to expect.

You can also create a list from those who have expressed an interest in the event to send further targeted marketing communications about the event and related products.

3. Shout About Your Seasonal Products

There’s one more function of ‘Posts’ on your listing: the What’s New section. This is the perfect place to shout about your holiday-related products.

Add a post as above: the What’s New posts have more space for additional information, images, and even videos. This is a great way to tempt local shoppers to visit your website and your bricks-and-mortar store during the run-up to the holiday season.

Ask an Expert to Help

If you’re having trouble setting up your local Google listing to make the most of free seasonal marketing opportunities, it’s time to speak to an expert.
free offer in GMB
A GMB and local SEO expert will be able to use the perfect keywords, based on customer psychology and keyword research, to make sure your free online promotions are effective in boosting sales. Get in touch with our team today to find out more!  Need help?  I will post your offer FOR you – not cost or obligation.  Just book a call time here.

Here’s a sample of a posted offer in GMB.  Take advantage of our special offer we posted on our GMB listing.

Dragon’s Den, Websites, and Arlene

Rant about Misunderstanding of Websites by Smart Business People

When watching Dragon’s Den Wed. Nov. 19, 2014, (see video episode below) a BC man shocked everyone asking for $2 million for just 4% of his business.
(Disclaimer: these are not direct quotes – but by memory).

What does his company do?
Generate traffic and leads to real estate agents and companies.

How does he do it?
Through creating well-optimized websites, ranking them, getting traffic to them, and generating leads from them for the real estate firms.

He said it takes a year to build the search positions through SEO (& website), but once done, it can bring huge returns.
This sounds like a long time for people, but he’s right – real estate is a VERY competitive niche in search engines, and there are SO many keyword phrase variations.

Frustrated rantAnyway, Arlene Dickinson, who I respect as a business person, just didn’t get it this time.  She said there must be huge competition of other companies trying to do the same thing.  The man (Morgan Carey) said, No, amazingly not.  Very few deliver comprehensive web services to real estate agents.
Arlene then kept smirking in disgust as if the man knew nothing, and insisted,
“Come on, there must be many who are making websites for real estate agents.” and later she muttered something like,
“You’ve been had. They just make websites. Alot of companies do that.”

Here’s my rant.
1. She wasn’t listening.  That’s one of my beefs with these know-it-alls. They are awesome at business in general, and their respective fields they do business in, and investing, but it gets annoying when they suddenly know all about an industry having done no market research about it themselves, and less than the person pitching to them.  I remember several occasions when they were adamant about something, but very wrong.  We all make mistakes. Now the main one.

2. To continue – I could tell she wasn’t listening, because she thought they “only did websites”.  She didn’t seem to get this. She should know marketing. You can’t bring leads to agents if ALL you do is “websites”.  Websites do not bring more leads or business.  THey need TRAFFIC and CONVERSION to contacting the agents.  In competitive niches, there is a HUGE amount of work between the “A” of “website” and the “Z” of “leads”.  Let me educate a little.

* Make website  (majority are not made with search engines in mind, nor with marketing conversion in mind).
* Optimize the website for search, and for marketing purposes (they include great tools like a CRM integrated with it).
* Establish a web presence beyond the website to increase reach and exposure to the brand and website
* Populate those external web properties with content that establishes the company as an expert in it’s field
* Drive traffic to the main website from other web properties through social media, syndication, press releases, etc.
* Make and rank VIDEOS to help ranking and promotion, and other marketing activities.

She’s right that there is no shortage of freelancers and companies “just making websites”.  But she totally missed the main point – anybody nowadays can make a website – it’s the integrated tools for marketing, the traffic and ranking combined with that which has very little competition.
What is still very rare?  Being able to turn that website into a money-making machine for your business.  THAT skill has very little competition. Business owners have no patience for that skill to get put to work, nor the budget for the time and work it takes to achieve it.
The reason? They don’t understand it.  They don’t realize all the work involved between “making a website” and getting to the point of getting lots of leads through that website.

So, in the end, the business owners decides:
1) I don’t want to take the time it takes to make my website visible and effective, or to educate myself on what is really needed.
2) I don’t want to invest in experts to get my site more visible through other web properties.
3) I only expect a website to solve my problems, and some basic on-site SEO (rather than continual content marketing from external sites which are required also as part of “seo”)   At this point, I must say that many web design companies are deceiving.  They leave the impression to business owners that a “well optimized website” will rank them in search engines.  So they advertise, “search friendly websites”, or “includes SEO”.   What they MEAN, is they intend to make the website structure search friendly, and perhaps add the meta tags needed.  This IS necessary for search rankings, HOWEVER, it is only the required FOUNDATION for good rankings.
Without on-site SEO, you will NOT be ranked well.   However,
WITH on-site SEO, it is USUALLY NOT ENOUGH to rank well (unless you have very little competition in your city).
What is required is OFF-SITE optimization of external web properties – (create them, brand them, populate with content that LINKS to your site, get Social Media buzz about them).
Nowadays, even ranking well is not enough – an online REPUTATION is needed to get more conversions from traffic to prospects and sales.

THIS is where (1) those who rank well and (2) those who don’t differ.
(1) is willing to invest time or money in the ongoing external content & brand marketing (Offsite Optimization).
(2) is NOT willing to invest time or money into ongoing external optimization.

Conclusion?
Don’t follow the mistake of Arlene and equate these statements
there are tons of people doing websites”   with
we make websites AND optimize them AND work at it until it gets LEADS for the business“.

There’s a whole lot more time, effort, and expertise separating those statement, and few are really doing comprehensive packages (partly because many businesses aren’t willing to pay for it).  That’s why the competition is a lot LESS than people realize.

Please leave your comments or observations.
No disrespect to Arlene – a far better person and business person than I, I’m just pointing out how even smart business people don’t get the difference between “just doing websites” and even SEO, and overall optimization of not just the website, but other web properties to make it all work together to get leads.

People know that Marketing is needed beyond websites, but perhaps this is where the confusion happens.
Modern SEO is a form of marketing, they are not separate services anymore, but integrated.  Many good marketing activities WILL increase the rankings of the website, and good marketing content on the website will increase conversions.  So part of any good SEO package will be what is often considered in the “marketing” category.  But the focus in external optimization are the parts of marketing that increase search rankings – popular articles linking to your site, social media buzz about the site, videos, etc.

Optimization of the website is crucial and is a foundation of good search rankings.  But then the broader activities need to BUILD on that foundation for it to be complete.

Call us for the latest SEO packages and deals.   778-578-1202

If you see the Dragon’s Den episode with Nanaimo’s Morgan Cary, you’d notice how he says they do way more than websites, but people only hear “you do websites”. This is very typical – it’s the only part people can understand and relate to, and it’s what feeds the GoDaddy model of cheap websites – and people wonder why they get no customers – because it takes MORE than just having any old brochure website to get new customers – it needs to speak the language of both search engines and target customers.  (There was a video here, but was removed from Youtube).

We helped a real estate agency in New Westminster with website + SEO.  It does take time, and while researching a system, we did come across this company mentioned in the video, but not everyone can afford their excellent high-end system, so we chose a plugin instead that feeds the property info, and has some better SEO features than most out there.  I assure you, boiler plate real estate sites (which ARE in abundance) are NOT good for SEO (in spite of some company’s claims) – since they are either framed, or don’t allow for individually optimized pages and urls.  There really are very few real estate websites that are really designed with search engines in mind – but it takes more effort.

Getting Started with SEO

Some ask me how to do SEO themselves and where to learn SEO online.

Of course, you can do it yourself – just like almost any profession out there. You can even be your own lawyer in court if you want to – there’s nobody saying you HAVE to pay an expert $400/hour to use their knowledge for much better chance of success – but most people don’t.

I’m not saying search engine optimization is that complicated, but most professionals that know what they’re doing, only know that from thousands, I mean 1,000’s of hours beyond the basics of SEO, of reading all the latest Google updates, experiences of others, experimenting and testing themselves, learning from past mistakes by self and others, spending lots of dollars on tools and tips.

Of course, you can do all that yourself to reach where other professionals are at.
Why not?  Start today.
Here are the best online resources to start your learning: (I will be gradually adding to this list).

  1. Download and read the latest from Google’s own starter guide on search engine optimization, which includes Mobile sites.
  2. Follow this mini SEO course on searchengineland.
  3. Be sure you are a member of LinkedIn, and join some of their industry Groups, like SEOMoz, and SearchEngineLand.
  4. Bookmark those two sites.  SEOMoz and SearchEngineLand.
  5. Download a handy free SEO tool for Firefox plugin here:  SEObook
  6. Get started with free software to research keywords, track your ranking, etc.  Google Analytics and Search Engine Console hooked up to your site is a must to track – but it can get complicated.  Good data in an easy-to-read and follow format isn’t free anymore, so the only real valuable search intelligence tools are paid subscriptions like SEMRush or ProRankTracker.
  7. For local businesses that need to show up in Google Maps better, learn how to optimize your Google My Business listing for best visibility with this constantly updated GMB tutorial.  It’s a thorough step by step course, so it’s not free – but it’s valuable practical knowledge.

More coming.  Stay tuned.

Of course, getting your website optimized for search and getting found in Google can be boring, tedious work for most business owners just trying to keep on top of their day to day business activities.  It’s not a typically enjoyable activity for the extrovert or person not wanting to go through a whole new learning curve.

Let Found Online Solutions do it for your.  We will.

  • get your local business found in the Google Maps 3-pack in most cases for various search terms
  • get your local or national website discovered on the first page of Google for your targeted terms.
  • help you build and keep tabs on your online reviews and reputation.

Book an appointment today with Duane- I’m sure you will learn something. I’d love to get to know your business and do a visual audit of your web presence and where it can improve to reach your goals.

Small Business SEO Workshop

Small Business Website and SEO Workshop Training in Surrey
*What you must know BEFORE starting your website to get the most out of it.
May 23, 24 in Surrey.
See details here.

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Small Business SEO Workshop Training in Surrey

Attention small business owners in Surrey. 
How valuable would Page One of search results be for your business?
Just one new customer from the web would more than pay for this night!

Come learn how to optimize your web presence for local search and jump ahead of your competition for valuable traffic.

  • Hands on  (bring a laptop for best results)
  • Step by step – but in 3 hours, we can only start with an overview of SEO and foundational keyword research
  • You will see your local search ranking start to rise in just weeks if you implement it
  • Only $20 + HST = $22.40   (better to pre-pay since space is limited)
  • Space is limited to 13  people to give more of a “personal coaching” effect.
  • Click here to See our LinkedIn SEO workshop recommendations by past attendees

DATE: 29 September 2012

TIME: 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

LOCATION:

Wired Monk in Cloverdale, Surrey

Boothroyd-Heritage 1873
16811 60th Avenue
(168th & 60th)
Surrey , BC , V3S 1T1

Please call me, Duane, or my assistant Janelle and let us know if you are coming.  778-578-1202

Or, pay online here.

Surrey SEO company

Surrey has a new SEO company

Are you a small business in Surrey, BC that needs to get more customers?

Do you want to be where the traffic is – where most people are likely to find you?

Well, good news.  A new small business was registered in BC late 2011 called Found Online Solutions.

Found Online Solutions (FOS) exists for the “little guy”.  Many web marketing, website design, and search engine optimization companies in Surrey and greater Vancouver are suitable for larger companies that have a big marketing budget, but seem out of reach for small local businesses.  Many of the SEO packages offered by the other metro Vancouver SEO companies are really good, but include elements that would be paid for that are not necessary.  FOS likes to take the obscure offline business and get them online, and to the top of search engines for local search results.  We also consult for local marketing

It was started by Duane Palmer, a Surrey resident who graduated in Spring 2011 from BCIT with a Senior Management Certificate in New Media Design and Web Development.  Before that, he spent thousands of dollars and hours studying and experimenting with internet marketing, keyword research, and search engine optimization.  In his previous work with a non-profit, one role was to make an in-house private membership site and a project-specific website for finding volunteers and raising funds.  His specialty now is making custom lead-generating sites for small businesses that are well optimized for local search, and helping local businesses get listed and ranked well in Google Places for their main keywords.

Call Duane for a no-obligation consultation to briefly:

  • review your business marketing goals
  • choose your main local industry keywords “house painters surrey” or “surrey chiropractor”
  • show you how many are searching for your type of industry
  • determine the value of that traffic to your business
  • review your online competition
  • determine what it would take to get your business to page one of Google or other search engines
  • give proven ideas to turn internet traffic into leads and customers with a marketing website

604.825.0431