Facebook Ads for Local Business – How to Determine How Much Profit You Can Make (Before You Launch Any Ads)

Facebook Ads for Local Business – How to Determine How Much Profit You Can Make (Before You Launch Any Ads)

The burning question for you to consider today as an independent local business owner, is “how can I determine whether running Facebook Ad campaigns will work for my local, small but growing business?” and that’s a fair question. First, by ‘work’ we are of course referring to your potential ROI (Return on Investment) and the profitability involved with running Facebook Ads over a fixed period of time.

More simply put – how much money can you actually generate in return for investing in Facebook Marketing? After all, that is the only logical reason you would want to run paid ads in the first place, right? So, it’s a good place to start.

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How & Why Local Businesses Should be using Facebook Advertising

How & Why Local Businesses Should be using Facebook Advertising

Whether your business is a dental surgery, chiropractor, bar, restaurant, gym, or any other type of business with a local clientele, you definitely should be taking advantage of Facebook advertising.

You already know that online advertising is crucial to business success, letting businesses connect with customers all over the world, but of course it can be expensive. When your customer base is local, however, Facebook advertising is an ideal means to target your ideal customers without blowing your marketing budget!

The benefits of Facebook advertising for local businesses

  • You can tweak Facebook ads to target a hyper-local, geographically defined audience.
  • The platform gives you detailed analytics that lets you fine-tune future ads to get the best results.
  • With billions of Facebook users accessing the mobile app while they’re out and about, you can reach customers at any place, any time.
  • Facebook offers high click-through rates, and those rates continue to rise.

Facebook ads for service businesses

While Google AdWords is a powerful tool for attracting people who are searching for your specific product or service, your audience on Facebook is slightly different. They don’t necessarily need your business right now…or at least, they don’t know they do…so your ad needs to make them realise it!

Whether you want to alert potential customers to your new local business, attract more to an existing business, or target visitors to your area, using Facebook ads is perfect for raising local awareness. And here’s how…

Firstly, what’s your objective?

You can, of course, create an ad just to let people know you exist, but the perfect ad has a definite end goal. It might be getting them to buy tickets to a special event at your bar, registering at your dental surgery, or signing up to your mailing list.

Next, you need to think about the audience you’re targeting and make sure you understand how to set up your ad to reach the right people. Luckily, Facebook’s interface makes it easy for you to do just that.

Once you know how you’re going to target your ad to a specific demographic, you need to make sure your audience will actually want to click through. How? Well, one of the best ways is to offer them an incentive to click – whether that’s a discount, a coupon, a competition, anything that people in your local area are going to benefit from.

When you run your ad you can select everything from the target demographic to budget, so you’re completely in control. And with the help of Facebook’s analytics, you can track the progress of your ad, meaning you can tweak and A/B test till you get the perfect formula for your business.

How you can benefit from ‘The Crazy Discount Funnel’

Here’s an example of how our clients benefit from Facebook advertising, with a funnel we call ‘The Crazy Discount Funnel’:

Step 1: We create an ad that offers something of Value SUPER cheap or even FREE.

Step 2: We use a landing page to capture name, email, and telephone details.

Step 3:  We use a thank you page to offer something even better if they act NOW.

21 FREE Stock Photo Sites for Social Media Images

21 FREE Stock Photo Sites for Social Media Images

If you’re looking for eye-catching images to use in your social media marketing, look no further. We’ve put together this resource of 21 great sources for FREE stock photos, and best of all, they’re all Creative Commons licenses, meaning you can share away!

  1. Pixabay

Every image you’ll find on Pixabay is released under Creative Commons CC0, meaning you can modify them and use them in commercial settings.

  1. Unsplash

With over 300,000 high-resolution images free to download, you can search for what you’re looking for or browse the collections.

  1. IM Free

The royalty-free stock photos here are curated into various themes for users to explore.

  1. Gratisography

Interestingly, every photo on Gratisography is by photographer Ryan McGuire, with new photos added weekly.

  1. FancyCrave

Proud of its collection of ‘beautiful photos that can’t be found elsewhere’, FancyCrave releases two new professional images daily.

  1. Kaboompics

The images here are popular with lifestyle and interior design bloggers, and you can even search by colour palette!

  1. Stockvault

While Stockvault also has stock photos for sale, once you select ‘Free stock photos’, you’ll find a vast amount of great quality photos to use.

  1. Negative Space

With 16 different categories, Negative Space makes it easy for you to search and find the perfect image for your social media marketing.

  1. ISO Republic

With free stock photos and free stock videos, ISO Republic adds more CC0 images every week.

  1. RawPixel

Offering paid as well as free stock images, the free collection at RawPixel is vast and creative. Not only does it offer fantastic social media images, it also works on initiatives that make a positive social impact.

  1. StockSnap

With hundreds of images being added every day, StockSnap is a popular choice with social media marketers. Have a look at the site and you’ll see why!

  1. Startup Stock Photos

StartUp Stock Photos, as the name suggests, is geared towards startup businesses, so the images are mostly suitable if you’re looking for images of casual business settings.

  1. Life of Pix

Created by the Leeroy creative and digital agency, the collection of free high-resolution images at Life of Pix isn’t huge, but it contains some beautiful imagery.

  1. Pexels

With a nicely arranged collection of CC0 licensed images, you’ll have no problems finding what you want at Pexels.

  1. Jay Mantri

Jay provides a beautiful selection of stunning photos, all free for you to use however and wherever you want!

  1. New Old Stock

Something a little bit different, New Old Stock offers a fascinating glimpse into the past with vintage photos from the public archives, with no known copyright restrictions.

  1. Refe

You’ll have to select ‘free photos’, as Refe also sells images, but once you do you’ll find 12 categories filled with stunning pictures for social media.

  1. Splitshire

Offering free images all taken by web designer Daniel Nanescu, the site offers plenty of free stock photos for commercial use.

  1. Morguefile

A free photo archive ‘for creatives, by creative’, the site also runs a daily photo challenge, the results of which are added to the library of images.

  1. Picjumbo

Not the biggest collection of free stock photos, nonetheless the images here are ideal for social media use.

  1. Burst

Burst, by Shopify, offers a mix of CC0 licensed images and images that fall under Shopify’s own license.

10 Things Google Looks for When Ranking a Website

10 Things Google Looks for When Ranking a Website

To get your business front and centre of your target audience, you need to make sure your website is working for you. No matter how amazing your products or services are, if potential customers can’t find you, you’ll struggle to succeed!

Getting your website fully optimised for search engines like Google is crucial for making sure it’s visible in those all-important search results, so here are 10 things Google looks for when raking websites – does yours tick every box?

  1. Responsive web design

Visitors need to be able to view your website across all devices, mobile or desktop. That means if the design of your site isn’t responsive, it won’t rank as highly.

  1. Website loading speeds

Users aren’t just looking for a site that’s easy to use and attractive – they also want to be able to access it quickly! It’s about the overall experience, so sites that take too long to load won’t be as successful.

  1. High-quality links

One of the most important factors in your website’s Google ranking, having high-quality, relevant links from authority websites is a must. It’s not just having them there, you should make sure they’re prominently positioned and linked to relevant text.

  1. Keywords in Title Tags

Each page of your website should have title tags, and those titles should have your main keywords included.

  1. SEO optimised URLs

That means short URLs that contain your main keywords, having a consistent URL structure, and submitting an XML sitemap to the search engines.

  1. Keyword Variations in Headings

Use keywords (main and other long-tail keywords) in your H1 and H2 headings, as well as H1 and H2 tags, and your rankings will get a boost.

  1. Optimised image names and ALT tags

The images on your site have to be tagged and named in order for Google to ‘read’ them, and making sure the file names are relevant to your business and that ALT tags are used to describe the images certainly helps.

  1. Quality content

One of the things your website is ranked on is the value it gives to visitors – so make sure the content is valuable! That means long, high-quality, properly formatted, and in-depth.

  1. Engaging multimedia content

As one of the things Google ranks websites on is the amount of time visitors spend on them, make sure you use interesting multimedia content to encourage people to stick around. Things like data, videos, and images are all good – just make sure they’re relevant to your business!

  1. Outbound links

While you won’t want to include outbound links to any of your competitors on your website, look for other relevant information and websites you can link to. In this case, directing visitors elsewhere isn’t a bad thing in terms of Google rankings!

Hopefully this checklist has given you a few things to think about in terms of killer website SEO, and you can start implementing some of the tips (if you’re not already, of course).

How to Warm Up a Cold Facebook Audience & Generate Hot Leads for Your Business

How to Warm Up a Cold Facebook Audience & Generate Hot Leads for Your Business

You’re building up a Facebook following, attracting an audience, and getting reactions to what you’re posting on FB. So why aren’t your sales figures reflecting it? Getting an audience is just the beginning, now you need to turn that traffic into leads for your business.

These days Facebook is huge in terms of active users, with the platform’s own stats showing an average of 1.4 billion daily active users in December 2017, so the audience IS there.

The question for you is, how do you harness that audience to generate amazing leads?

Start with a killer business page…

Your business page is the first step to impressing your audience, and it’s a FREE inbound marketing tool, so make sure you’ve optimised it to be as appealing as possible. Get it right, and your page will be doing half the work!

  1. Use the best visuals: Think carefully about what to use for your cover photo and profile picture, remembering that the cover photo is the largest visual on your page. Whether it’s your employees, your product, some great imagery, or a mixture, make sure it’s eye-catching as well as relevant to your brand, not just any pretty picture. The profile picture is fairly small in comparison, but still important in terms of displaying your brand, so your logo is ideal for this.
  2. Engage more people with a button: Adding a button to your page is a free way to encourage engagement, and you can choose your own call to action – so whether you want people to visit your page, contact you, watch a video, or anything else, use that CTA!
  3. Tell people ‘About’ you: Use the ‘About’ section to give users all the information they need about your business, from the basics like contact details to an engaging paragraph that tells people who you are.

Engage with your audience…

What you actually post on your page is something you need to carefully consider, unlike your personal page that’s full of hilarious memes and cute kitten videos (though they of course can also be OK to share on your business page, depending on what your business is!).

  1. Mix it up: If you post the same thing over again, whether that’s sales posts or links to valuable articles or anything else, you’ll end up boring your audience. Make it a good mixture of different types of posts and check Facebook’s analytics for your page to monitor how your content goes down.
  2. Make it relevant: Make sure everything you share is actually relevant to your audience, and is going to add value to their day in some way.
  3. Get your audience involved: Rather than just talking AT your audience, try posting questions or polls that encourage people to respond. And when they do, make sure to keep that conversation going!

Run Facebook ads…

In terms of great value advertising, Facebook is perfect – you can focus your ads to your ideal audience thanks to the platform’s highly targeted advertising options, and it suits every budget.

Effective, adaptable, and straightforward, Facebook should be a crucial part of your marketing strategy. The only question is, are YOU taking advantage of it in the right way?

AdWords & Website User Experience: How do they affect each other?

AdWords & Website User Experience: How do they affect each other?

If you’re looking to improve an ad’s position, looking at your website’s user experience (UX) is a sensible place to start. As something that’s known to affect Ad Rank, Quality Score, and even the amount you’re spending on ads, it’s an important factor in AdWords success.

How high your ad is positioned in search engine results often depends on how much you’re prepared to spend, so if you want to boost search engine results but keep your AdWords budget as it is – looking at your Quality Score is the way forward!

There are a number of things that increase Quality Score, but for this post we’re going to concentrate on just UX.

Why User Experience Matters

UX matters for a number of reasons relating to growing your business and building a loyal customer base. In terms of AdWords, Google itself has cited user experience as one of the ways to improve Quality Score – even very kindly giving you advice on improving your landing page’s UX, so you don’t even have to guess!

So let’s have a look at what Google considers important:

  1. Content that’s relevant, useful, and original

Everything on your ad’s landing page should be both relevant to your ad and engaging to visitors. Look at the keywords and text in your ad and make sure that when users click through, they’re taken to a page they actually find useful. If they’ve searched for a particular kitchen gadget, landed on your ad thanks to the keywords you’ve used, and are taken to a general homewares page – they’re going to be frustrated and click away.

  1. A trustworthy and transparent website

Make information about your business and how to contact you easy for visitors to find, and be open about what your products and services are rather than expecting them to work for it. If you’re going to ask for personal info, make sure you explain exactly what you’ll do with it and how you’ll keep it private. Transparency and trustworthiness should be something every business strives for, and the fact it helps your conversion rate is a bonus!

  1. Easy to navigate

Once your visitor has landed somewhere relevant and useful from your ad, how easy is it to navigate around? They shouldn’t have to search high and low for the information they’re looking for, and that applies to both computer and mobile users. If there’s anything relevant to their purchase (shipping or returns, for example), make sure it’s somewhere on the page. Another issue is annoying pop-ups or anything else that can interfere with visitors’ ability to navigate and therefore worsen their UX.

  1. Fast loading times

Making sure your landing page, and your website in general, loads quickly can stop visitors getting bored of waiting and navigating away after they click on your ad. An easy to navigate site with fast page speeds makes both Google and potential customers happy, and gets you more conversions.

  1. Mobile responsiveness

Making your website mobile responsive is imperative as more and more people are using mobile to access the internet. Adwords actually assign a different quality score for the same keyword on mobile devices which allows you the opportunity to re-write your ads and make the website mobile responsive for mobile.

Before you even think about paying for a Google AdWords campaign you should be making sure any visitors it attracts will have a great experience once they get to your website. Following these tips will help you do just that, and don’t forget that there are other aspects to getting the best Quality Score possible.

5 Ways to Increase Quality Score in Google AdWords

5 Ways to Increase Quality Score in Google AdWords

You probably already know how important your Google AdWords Quality Score is, because the higher your ad is scored, the more relevant your ad and landing page is to a search query. A good Quality Score means a higher CTR (click-through-rate) – and this is the aim of the game when it comes to any PPC (pay-per-click) campaign.

Knowing your Quality Score needs to be higher is all well and good, but how do you actually go about increasing it? There are certain factors that affect an ad’s Quality Score, and certain steps you can take to improve those factors.

Before we get onto the good stuff though, it’s important to know exactly where your Quality Score lives. The screenshot below is from a client’s AdWords account. In order to view an ads quality score, you need to select the ‘Keyword’ tab. If the Quality Score column is not already visible, you will need to select the ‘Columns’ dropdown menu and then select ‘Modify columns…’

Here are 5 ways you can Increase Quality Score in Google AdWords

1. Use long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are a really effective way of increasing your Quality Score. They’re highly specific and therefore better for pre-qualifying your traffic, higher converting, and less competitive – which all added together helps you boost your ad relevance and therefore your Quality Score!

2. Work on your click-through rate

A huge part of the Quality Score is based on Google’s algorithm that forecasts your ad’s click-through rate (CTR), so you should be doing what you can to optimise your average CTR. The higher your expected CTR is, the higher your Quality Score will be. Google wants to know that its users are satisfied with the ad results they see when they search, and CTR is the perfect metric to measure that. So with any ad you run, consider everything that’s going to increase your CTR, including a compelling headline and the URL of your landing page (does the URL itself have your keywords in, for example?).

3. Ensure your ads are highly targeted

Another of the ways you can improve that CTR is through the text of your ads themselves, making sure they’re fully optimized and highly targeted. Look at things like producing high-quality, targeted copy that reads professionally, split testing your copy to make sure it’s as tight as possible, and writing more ads (while keeping the quality) to prove you’re the solution to the audience you’re targeting.

4. Study best practices…

…and make sure you stick to them! Best practices are ‘best’ for a reason, so keep up-to-date with what you should (or shouldn’t!) be doing. Examples could relate to PPC marketing (like geo-targeting), landing page optimization (like making the page responsive across all devices), or anything else that is relevant to Quality Score.

5. Make PPC work a priority!

It’s no good following these tips if you’re not putting the work into your PPC ads the rest of the time, because you need to be active if you’re looking for AdWords success. If you’re not working consistently to improve and optimise your account, any work you do in trying to improve your Quality Score will just be firefighting rather than proactively boosting your chances of a good score.

A high AdWords Quality Score means you’ll pay less for traffic, create good traction early on in your campaigns, and ultimately expand the areas your traffic comes from, so doing what you can increase that score is essential for your success!

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