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A powerful local search strategy for your business is an essential component to a well-developed local marketing plan. Local search directories have improved in recent years, with the integration of Google+ and Google Places as well as updates to directories such as Yahoo, Yelp, Bing, etc. Incorporating local search directories into your marketing mix can improve your search rankings and help your business gain higher visibility online.
Maximizing Google+ Local: The Integration of Google+ and Google Places
Google is one of the most important directories to provide accurate and up-to-date information about your business. Google has recently integrated Google Places local listings with Google+, transitioning to a seamless Google+ Local listing. This new approach to local directories provides a social component and allows businesses to capitalize on this budding social network to improve search rankings, drive more local business, and increase sales.
Tips for Managing Your Business’s Google+ Local Listing
Updating your Google+ Local profile requires just a few steps. The first step is to define the main product or service line that you offer, e.g., furniture company in Scottsdale, Arizona. With this, compile the following information about your business: brief description, photos, place of business (physical address), and link to the business website. You will enter all of these details about your business before submitting your Google+ Local listing. You will also be given the option to select categories that are relevant to your business so that Google can better determine when to display your listing to search engine users. Once you have filled out the basic information requested by the local search directories, you should also update the rest of the information on the form such as service area, payment options, operating hours, and videos.
If this is the first time you have filled out a Google+ Local listing or your address has changed, you will also need to authorize your address. After you submit your information, Google will mail you a postcard with additional instructions. Once the postcard arrives after about two weeks, complete the steps listed on the postcard to finalize your Google local search directory listing.
Claiming and Updating Other Local Directory Listings
In addition to Google, there are several other local search directories such as Yelp, Yahoo, Merchant Circle, Angie’s List, Bing, etc. that you should submit your directory listing. Be sure to use the same information that you used in your Google listing so that all of the information aligns across online directories. Consistency will help you maintain quality and will improve your local search rankings.
Do’s and Don’ts for Managing Local Directory Listings
Finally, there are a few things to remember as you complete your local directory listings.
Incentives. Local directory listings are a great place to list special offers or discounts to new customers online. List any specials that you are currently running to encourage prospective customers to try out your products or services.
Visuals. Upload pictures that accurately represent the products or services that you offer. This will allow search users to identify what you do quickly and easily, and it will also provide insight into how your business operates.
Reviews. Manage your reviews periodically to maintain a positive reputation for your business online. Respond to every review – positive or negative – in a polite and professional way. Being responsive to customer reviews about your business shows prospective customers that you care about the satisfaction of each and every customer.
Accuracy. Ensure accuracy across your local directory listings. Consistency is imperative to maintaining a high local search ranking for your target keywords.
Don’t use a non-local phone number. Make sure that the phone number that you use is a local landline and not a toll-free number. Toll-free numbers can make it more difficult for the search engines to track your place of business.
Don’t use a P.O. Box. Make sure to use your business’s physical address and not a P.O. box, as this can also make it more challenging for the search engines to track your location.
Don’t change your business name. Instead of adding location keywords to your business name, make sure to keep it intact to achieve the best search results.
Don’t falsify reviews. Search engines are getting better at identifying false reviews so it is important to ask for reviews from your satisfied customers rather than to create mock reviews that the search engines will notice and eventually de-value.
If you would like to learn more about how local search engine optimization can help your business, please contact Net-Craft.com at 480-563-0558 for a free local SEO consultation.
The term responsive web design has been derived from the currently popular responsive architecture wherein architects create structures that adapt to the movements of the people using them. In a similar fashion, responsive web design is adaptable to a vast variety of devices from large desktop computers to small hand held smart phones. Such web design is the need of the hour because technology is on a tenfold rise; advancing everyday and a wide range of new devices that can access the internet are launched every now and then. There was a time when people gave a lot of importance to the look and the feel of a website, but today it is no longer sufficient to have good looking websites. In fact, using flashy templates that represent the current short lived fad in website design tend to be more distracting than informative.
As to diversify, modern website designs aim at simplicity in design and being flexible at the same time. Often websites that don’t have a responsive design end up with jumbled text or distorted images on a hand held device, which is a negative in terms of search engine rankings. Why? Simply because humans may be able to make out and understand jumbled text, but the search engine spiders are unable to do so. As a result, the performance of the website on smaller devices will be poor and viewers will obviously go to a website that is more adaptable to their device. It is especially necessary to make website designs responsive because you don’t know what kind of device may be used to view your website.
Although the usefulness of responsive web design is quite obvious, it may be a little difficult to implement. It takes a lot of skills and knowledge to create this kind of website design. Different types of responsive image techniques, responsive design and conditional loading and server side components have evolved to help website developers. The technique of server side components, also known as RESS, aims at enhancing web performance with the help of a combination of server side and client side powers. This involves providing somewhat different requests to certain devices for a particular URL but using responsive methods for providing the content.
This process involves understanding each device and its functioning and then adapting the website design according to as many different devices as possible. The function of the server side markup determines the shown content and the responsive techniques of design decide how they will look. The entire process requires a lot of planning and coding, but the results are worth the effort for sure. Plus, if you have a highly responsive website design it will be accessible to a larger audience and hence will increase your target customer base. Due to the fact that mobile technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, it is not really possible to make a website design that is adaptable to each device available in the market which is why web designers lay emphasis on simplicity of layout, UX and coding. At the same time, a lot of effort is made in creating informative and quality content that is unique.
It is not just sufficient to upload pictures of the products and their prices if you are to launch an ecommerce website. Keep in mind that in a physical store, a customer would come to know about all the features and qualities of the product by asking questions. On the other hand, in a virtual market they have to rely on the information given on the websites, and if they do not find the information that they want, they will simply go to another website.
- Do not simply repeat what the manufacturer is saying about the product. Usually websites make this mistake and end up incurring penalties for duplicate content.
- Keep the psyche of your target audience in mind while writing the description. If you are selling products for newborns and babies, try to figure out what a new parent might want. Also, know that selling some products may be more difficult compared to others, especially the ones with higher prices.
- Keep in mind that the style of writing has to be different for different products. Selling sports goods will require a very different style from that of a washing machine.
- Use appropriate keywords to boost your SEO campaign and consider that the visitors will search for the brand, model name or function of the product.
- Do not resort to keyword stuffing because it will make the content hard to comprehend and will definitely put off the readers.
- Try to call the readers to action with appropriate phrases like ‘just three days left’, ‘find out more…’, ‘call now to place order’, ‘buy now to avoid disappointment’ etc. These are some phrases which will motivate a reader to act immediately and place the order, which in turn will increase your conversion rate.
- No one wants to spend a large sum of money on a family holiday to an exotic location when they can spend the day at the beach. At the same time, people usually don’t think of replacing an item that is working fine. You have to tell them exactly why they need to do these things in order to get them to buy your products.
- Stating facts is not sufficient while describing a product. You have to appeal to the emotional side of the customer in order to really convince them. For instance, if you are selling furniture, you can mention that it is easy to clean and hence convenient for a working family.
- Sometimes you may need to mention dimensions and time taken for the product to work. For an example, instead of saying that the product measures 5 inches and weighs 8 oz,, you could say that it is lighter and smaller than most chocolate bars. When mentioning about the time, you could say that it takes less time than making a cup of coffee. Such inferences will help the reader to make associations faster.
- Always try to incorporate links to other information or products that are relevant.
If you follow these simple tips to write product description on your e-commerce website, you will be able to create a successful ecommerce website.
If you would like to discuss the product description text on your eCommerce web site, please contact Net-Craft, an experienced eCommerce developer located in Scottsdale, Arizona.