In response to criticism over Facebook’s profile name policy, the social media network has announced plans to introduce an app that would enable users to register anonymously. Although it’s not strictly regulated, Facebook encourages its users to register their accounts with their real names. That way, Facebook is more likely to find and block users who are harming or harassing others.
With the new app, there would be no limit to the number of anonymous profiles each person can have. If the person discusses several topics, which may have controversial aspects to it, he or she could have a separate profile for each of these topics.
It is possible that this move is designed to expand Facebook’s user base, which has now reached a billion people. However, we’re still unsure whether the new app will be integrated with the Facebook network. According to Mashable, Facebook is considering an app that it would focus on health concerns, giving anonymous users the opportunity to share their concerns openly.
Why the Change?
Facebook may be considering this change in response to Ello, a social network that has sprung up, one that offers users more privacy and no advertising. Although Facebook may be paying attention to networks like Ello, it’s illogical to think this type of network will replace Facebook any time soon. After all, it’s Facebook we’re talking about. In general, users are willing to accept Facebook’s terms in exchange for a robust network of users. By logging into one website, people are able to connect with nearly all of their friends and family members—and that’s incredibly valuable.
Also, Facebook users enjoy this high level of engagement without paying any fees or signing up for any subscription, which isn’t true for networks like Ello. Although some users will see the value in Ello, it’s not likely that they’ll leave all of their Facebook friends for a brand new network.
What This Means for Businesses
For businesses who take part in local social media marketing, the proposed Facebook app may make it more difficult to reach customers through advertising. On the other hand, users who are protected by anonymity may feel more comfortable expressing their opinions about your company, which may give you better feedback and an open conversation about your company.
If your business is part of the health industry, it may be worthwhile to continue to follow this news from Facebook.
What This Means for Consumers
Local marketing experts will have a better idea of the ramifications of allowing people to register themselves anonymously. On one hand, anonymity gives users a more open platform to express their opinions, but it can also stir up negative emotions and give users free reign to post malicious or hateful comments.
Landing pages are a powerful component to any successful marketing strategy. Therefore, they must be given their due justice with time and effort to ensure these pages are written flawlessly. Each page on your website has the chance to produce leads and every time a viewer lands on a given page and isn’t impressed is a missed opportunity. Fortunately, several techniques for creating landing pages that convert into sales can be learned. Here are some best tips for writing effective landing page content.
Talk Up the Benefits of Choosing Your Company
If a customer is browsing your website, it’s likely they already know about the products and services you offer. While this basic information should be clear and easy to find on your website, you need to be emphasizing the benefits. Provide customers with a clear list of all of the benefits of choosing your company over others. Are you prompt? Reliable? Low-cost? Let your customers know why they should choose you.
Use Facts to Convince Customers
Customers are persuaded by facts and specifics, so avoid general statements such as “Your lawn will look amazing!” Instead, go for facts such as “More than 85 percent of our customers said they were satisfied with our work.” Numbers catch people’s attention in a way that vague generalities can’t. Sometimes even a simple chart or graph to illustrate your company’s benefits works well, too.
Write for Skimmers, Not Readers
Anyone who works in the local internet marketing world can tell you that web users aren’t doing a lot of reading on their computer screens or mobile devices. But unfortunately, too many landing pages include large blocks of text that only turn customers away. Instead of writing several hundred words of copy, put your time and energy into coming up with a great headline that will grab your customers’ attention.
Most web users first glance at a landing page’s heading, subheading, photo, and call-to-action button. Then, if they’re interested, they might read through bullet points and short paragraphs. The key is breaking your content into smaller section that can be easily skimmed.
Keep It Simple—and Human
People are much more likely to buy a company’s products and services if you communicate with them on a human level. Your landing page should not seem as if a robot wrote it. Communicate warmth and friendliness by using conversational language. Use short words that everyone understands.
Don’t Forget a Strong Call to Action
Calls to action are important for all marketing content, particularly online, but they can make or break your landing page. In fact, some local marketing experts choose to start with their call to action in mind and then work their way backwards so that all of their copy leads people to the call to action, which may also be a sound strategy for your company.
By now, everyone has heard that last week, Google confirmed the release of the first Penguin update in more than a year. The main reason for this update, according to Google, was to punish ‘spammy’ websites that violated the company’s guidelines for linking. Companies that follow the rules of the road, so to speak, are likely to be rewarded with better search results.
For many local marketing experts, this update has been long awaited.
What Businesses Should Do
Local businesses may want to keep an eye on their Google search results for any significant changes. If you have dropped substantially since the release, it may be best for you to take a look at your website’s external links. It’s possible that Penguin is discounting those ‘bad’ links from your website in an effort to filter out any websites that might be spam.
For more information about linking, it’s always wise to check out Google’s official Webmaster Guidelines.
Unfortunately, even if you make changes to your website, you may have to wait until Google releases another update before the changes have any effect on your search engine ranking.
Optimize Google Local
Besides rooting out any ‘bad’ links you might have on your website, this is also a great opportunity for businesses to reevaluate their SEO strategy. Based on recent research, Google is paying more attention to mobile users’ preferences, and that means local businesses need to make sure to connect with users who are using their mobile devices to look for them.
By updating and maintaining your Google Local page, you can place your business right in front of mobile users’ view. Also, it’s a great idea to claim Authorship of your web content so that people who search for your business online will also see your company’s Google+ profile photo and a link to your Google+ Business Page.
When it comes to optimizing your business for Google searches and setting yourself apart from your competitors, all of these little things matter.
What to Expect from Google
Like most major updates, this Penguin update may take several weeks to fully roll out, and there is no telling how many websites this update will affect. It’s been noted so far about only one percent of all websites has seen noticeable differences. Same went for last year’s Penguin update which affected roughly one percent of queries. The very first Penguin update that rolled out in April of 2012 affected three percent of queries, the largest percentage of any Penguin update to date.
In the meantime as you try to adjust your website accordingly, check out our major search engine guide to learn more about how you can optimize your website for the major search engines, including Google.
Before any customer is ready to make a purchase, they must first believe that business has their best interests at heart. Depending on the products or services you provide, this trust can go a long way. Say for instance someone is looking at your business to install a new roof on their house. That’s an expensive undertaking and one that requires a decent amount of trust in your business to perform a good job. Otherwise, they will turn to a competitor with a better reputation. Truly effective local internet marketing is a matter of communicating your business’s credibility to your target audience in order to build and nurture that trust.
Identify Your Typical Customer
Your website is one of the best resources at your disposal to use to build trust among your customers. But to do that, you need to identify who are your most common types of customers and cater towards them. Being a contractor or home remodeler, a common customer may be homeowners who are established, been living in the same house for ten or so years, been saving up money and are now ready to make a change by upgrading their home. You know what their pain points are and what they’re looking for. Use your key demographics to mold together a design for your website that appeals to them.
This can be complemented by showcasing proper imagery and wording throughout your website. These established homeowners will share different tastes than a newly married couple who just purchased their first home. Consider their interests and experiences. An image of a family with several children and a dog will better appeal to established homeowners. Whereas a photo of a couple with a newborn baby will appeal more to newly married homeowners.
No matter who your typical customer is, your website can best establish credibility when it’s simple and easy to navigate. If it’s too complicated or unprofessional, your customers will get the sense that your company doesn’t care much about their needs.
Make It Personal
Once you’ve identified your top two or three types of customers, you will then be able to target them in a more personal manner. For example, to enable parents to get to know potential baby-sitters, UrbanSitter allowed sitters to post their own personal videos, which helped to build trust. Thanks to the videos, parents could see that these caregivers could be creative and empathetic, and ultimately the personal touch built trust, which ultimately led to more baby-sitting appointments.
Focus On Your Employees
When it comes to building trust, your employees can play a crucial role and can be some of your most important assets. Don’t be afraid to showcase their skills, talents, and personalities at local events or on your website. After all, your employees make up the experience your customers are going to have with your business. Let them get to know your employees so they can better relate to your brand and business.
On the flip side, make sure your employees aren’t sabotaging your marketing efforts by providing poor customer service. Employee customer service training is as important as marketing, if not more so!
Encourage Positive Reviews
Social media is a powerful tool for building trust. Build Facebook like buttons on your website so that customers can easily find your Facebook page and post positive reviews about their experience with your company. Research shows local marketing experts that consumers are much more likely to trust a Facebook review from one of their friends than they are to trust any marketing message from the company itself.
Speaking of social media, it’s critical that you keep most of your posts and updates positive. While most consumers are accustomed to negative news reports, they’re more likely to interact with and share positive content that they find on social media.