Marketing online constantly evolves. Change is good and bad. It’s good if you harness it. It’s bad if you ignore adapting.
I’m sure there are many businesses who wished that printed Yellow Pages were still relevant, especially those businesses who had a lock on the first page in their industry’s section.
Maybe you’re young enough to ask “what are Yellow Pages”? Let’s just say they’re a thing of the past for small businesses.
Back to the topic at hand.
Online marketing has evolved tremendously since businesses started promoting themselves online. You either snooze or you lose. It’s relentless. But, if you adopt and embrace the change, the payoff can be huge.
Now that we’re a few months into 2017, it’s time to share some important online marketing tips for your health, wellness, and/or beauty local business.
This article sets out nine of the most important changes and updates you need to incorporate into your online marketing now.
1. Get Your Website on Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
This is huge and I think very, very important. I just spent several weeks getting my sites (including Yogabaron.com) and my client sites added to Google AMP.
What is AMP?
It’s a Google platform that displays web pages on mobile devices blazing fast. And it is fast. Check out this post on AMP. Whip out your mobile phone and go to: https://www.yogabaron.com/amp/marketing-tips.
It’s fast, isn’t it?
And yes, it strips out some of the content. But that’s the point. AMP is a barebones display platform which makes it fast.
Why should you get your business website on AMP?
Because Google now gives mobile Google search preference to web pages that are on AMP. Need I say more?
If you want to rank higher in Google search on mobile, AMP may likely help.
In fact, I suspect most local business websites aren’t on AMP and don’t even know what it is. Now is the time to gain an advantage over your competitors by getting your website on AMP.
BUT, please note that simply going onto AMP will not sky-rocket your business site to the top of page one on Google. AMP is one of the 200+ ranking factors Google uses to rank websites.
How do you get your website on Google AMP?
It’s not an easy platform to use. You can hire very expensive services to do this for you. I think that service will do an excellent job, but I got a quote from them that simply wasn’t feasible for my clients or even my own fleet of sites.
Yet I managed to switch all my sites to AMP for much less and a few hours of work per site.
How did I get my clients’ sites and my sites onto Google AMP with only a few hours of work?
The great thing about what I did is I could do it myself. I spent weeks testing all kinds of tools and even a few services and finally stumbled upon a dead-simple approach.
Fill in the following form to get instant access to my white paper stepping you through how I got my and my client sites on AMP.
2. Get an SSL Certificate for Your Website
You can tell a website has an SSL certificate if it loads with HTTPS. You can see that Yogabaron.com has an SSL certificate installed.
An SSL certificate is simply a secure protocol. The technical details don’t much interest me. What does interest me is the fact that Google gives ranking preference to websites with an SSL certificate. While the ranking preference started in 2014, it really came to light in 2017 with this development.
Again, I suspect most of your local competitor websites do not have an SSL certificate. Now is the time for you to gain yet another search ranking advantage in Google.
How do you get an SSL certificate installed on your website?
Fortunately, this is super easy.
Ask your hosting company if they provide SSL certificates. If they do, just ask them to install it on your site and do the necessary redirects so that traffic going to HTTP will redirect to HTTPS. More and more hosting companies are making a free or low-cost SSL certificate a standard offering.
If your hosting company doesn’t provide SSL certificates, you can switch to one that does (I use Kinsta hosting which is the best hosting service I’ve ever used… and they do provide a free SSL certificate).
If your hosting service doesn’t offer an SSL certificate and you’re not willing to switch hosting services, then you can buy an SSL certificate from an SSL certificate provider such as Digicert. Once you pay for the certificate, you’ll be given a couple of documents that you just supply to your hosting service who will then get it set up on your site.
If your host refuses to help with any of this, I strongly recommend going with another hosting service because you should get excellent customer service for these types of tech issues.
3. Get “Google My Business” Page Reviews
Let me back up first. If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business (GMB) web page, do so now and set it up. It’s very easy to do and it can generate a lot of business for you.
But, you stand to gain the most business from it if you put a little effort into getting your Google My Business page listing in the top three spots for your industry in your town.
The first thing you want to do with your GMB page is to fill out as many details as possible. Also, add plenty of photos and videos. Fill it out completely.
Next, you need to ensure that your site is listed with the main local business directories such as the Chamber of Commerce, Yellow Pages (yes, they kind of matter online), and other mainstream directories. Be sure that each listing is identical. What these listings (called citations) do is reaffirms your business info and location with Google.
Finally, you need to get customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business page. Generally, the higher-ranking Google My Business pages have plenty of excellent reviews. You need to do the same.
How do you get plenty of excellent customer reviews? I explain this in detail here.
4. Get Your Website “Locally” Optimized
You need to set up your website so that Google knows where you’re located. This is important when it comes to local search rankings.
At the simplest level, you can input your address and telephone number in the footer of every page.
But, like all things online, you can take it to the next level by communicating more strongly to Google via rich snippets for your business address (called local rich snippets). To do this, you need to use schema.org markup, which all sounds very technical. However, fortunately, if you use WordPress for your website, there is a very simple tool you can use that handles all this technical local mumbo jumbo stuff for you.
The tool is Yoast’s Local SEO plugin. I use this for all client websites. It’s super easy to use and set up and handles all of the technical “rich snippets” markup technology for you. In a nutshell, this local SEO plugin will ensure that your site communicates your business’ location to Google.
5. Use Pinterest
As a health, fitness-oriented, wellness, and/or beauty business, Pinterest is an ideal platform for you. In my view, it’s the best social platform for you.
If you’re not sure about this, check out top pins in your industry. I bet you’ll see pins with thousands of repins, which I can tell you from personal experience will generate a lot of website traffic for you.
If you’re not on Pinterest, you should be ASAP. I use Pinterest extensively and generate over 100,000 visits per month for one website (not Yogabaron.com). Pinterest is my #2 traffic source (Google search is #1).
Check out the click volume on Pinterest:
The best part is I don’t have to spend much time on Pinterest to generate this kind of traffic.
Frankly, I MUCH prefer marketing on Pinterest to Facebook. Facebook is a treadmill whereas, with Pinterest, you can generate long-term, passive traffic. When you post on Facebook, you might get a nice little spike of traffic, and then it dwindles.
However, if you add pins that become popular, they can generate traffic for months. The thing is Google gives Pinterest huge search rankings for probably hundreds of thousands of search terms. So, not only do you enjoy exposure within Pinterest, but your pins and/or boards may rank #1 in Google search as well which will drive traffic to your site for many months and potentially years.
What do I recommend you do to make Pinterest work for you?
I’ve pinned over 20,000 images on Pinterest. What I’ve learned is that its quality over quantity. My best 30 performing pins outperform all the rest put together. That’s pretty insane.
What this means you want to focus on pinning quality over quantity. At first, it takes a bit of trial and error, but once you see what works and what doesn’t work, focus on what works. A great way to speed up figuring out what works is to surf around on Pinterest in your industry’s category to see which pins get thousands of repins. Then pin more of that.
My favorite Pinterest (and Facebook and Instagram) tool: Viraltag. I’ve used many social media software tools and platforms including MeetEdgar, Hootsuite, Tailwind, and Sendible. Viraltag is undoubtedly the best I’ve ever used.
I can use it for all social media channels. I can schedule, automatically repost stuff that’s popular and I can pin directly from any website whether or not there’s a Pinterest button on the individual images. The benefits are too numerous to list. If you need a way to streamline and power up your social media, Viraltag is the way to go.
IMPORTANT PINTEREST TIP: Activate Rich Pins for your account. This makes a huge difference. It’s very easy to do. Just follow these instructions over at Pinterest.
6. Facebook Videos
Yeah, I know I just said above that Pinterest is way better than Facebook, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore Facebook. Having a Facebook page can be a good customer source as well if you do it well.
These days, the best way to expand your reach on Facebook is by uploading videos to Facebook.
I’m not talking about posting YouTube video URLs to Facebook. No, instead you want to upload your videos directly to Facebook.
Facebook makes it so easy to create slideshow videos so that even if all you have are images, you can use 5 to 7 of them to create a simple slideshow.
Of course, you can create real videos too and add them to FB. Yes, you can use your mobile device’s video recorder; that’s good enough. You don’t need to build a video studio.
What should your videos be about?
Obviously, it depends on your specific industry, but here are a few ideas:
- Hair salon: Short how-to videos such as how to braid or style your hair.
- Yoga: Short how-to yoga pose videos.
- Spa: Short natural remedy ideas videos (natural remedies are a very popular topic on social media).
- Gym/Personal Trainer: Short how-to videos on various exercise techniques.
Examples of viral videos:
1. Hair Style Video:
2. Yoga Video:
I suggest experimenting with different concepts and see what happens.
Don’t forget to also post your videos to your website, YouTube, and Pinterest (you might as well get as much mileage from your footage as possible).
7. Build Real Links to Your Website
Since Google’s launch, links to websites have been the number one ranking factor. This is, apparently still the case. This means you should invest time and/or money into getting links to your business website.
One way to do this in addition to publishing really great blog posts is to create amazing images, infographics, videos, charts, tables, and content and then offer for free to other websites for them to publish on the condition they reference you as the source.
What kind of sites should you reach out to?
Don’t contact other business websites. Instead, you want to reach out to general info blogs relevant to your industry. If you’re a salon owner, reach out to hair and beauty blogs/websites. If you’re a personal trainer, reach out to fitness blogs.
Blogs crave unique and fresh content. They’ll love getting the free content and will be happy to link to you.
As a business owner who serves a specific industry, you’re in a good position to create amazing content in all forms (text, images, infographics, video). You might as well leverage that advantage and gain exposure and links for creating that content.
Hair salon: Create a “how-to” infographic or long pin that’s a series of images showing you how to do a french braid. Create a video too and accompany all of it with text. Altogether you have an amazing piece of content.
Another example would be the “Top 5 hairstyles for 2017.” Again, this can be an image chart, video slideshow, and text.
Yoga studio: Same concept but come up with a mini-yoga routine. Or the movements needed to enter into a difficult pose.
The point is to think of how you can depict your expertise into images, video, and explained in the text. You no longer have to worry about the tech side of things because today’s mobile phones take good enough photos and videos to produce this content. It’s the concept and the simple fact of just doing it that matters.
Once you have the package of content, reach out to blogs that cover topics in which your industry operates and offer it for publishing on their website in exchange for a link.
FYI, don’t expect that 100% of blogs and websites will accept your content. If you get a 10% acceptance rate, that’s very good.
IMPORTANT: As a local business, you do NOT need hundreds of links to rank well in Google. You need a solid handful or a few dozen at most (unless you’re in a massive city, in which case you may be better off trying to target your neighborhood instead of the entire city).
I love Quora.com. I like as much for getting answers to questions as I do reading interesting questions.
As an expert in your industry, you can be an active participant in your topic. All you do is answer questions and ask questions. As an expert, you’ll probably answer more than you ask.
The reason Quora is so good for marketing is Google ranks Quora really well for so many questions. Quora lets you have a full profile page from which you can link to your site. It doesn’t take long to get recognized as an expert by answer questions on Quora. Just be sure to thoroughly answer questions so that people like your answers… as an expert, that’s not hard to do.
Also, avoid linking to your site in your Quora answers, especially in the beginning. Let your profile do the heavy lifting. If you provide excellent answers, people will check out your profile.
Make it a goal to answer one question per day. In a year, you’ll have a huge stable of answers on Quora which will give you and your business a lot of exposure.
I participate on Quora and am not all that active, yet check out the daily exposure:
The above stats are a result of only 43 answers I’ve provided on Quora. Not bad. The best part is it’s fun. I participate because I enjoy the topic and like providing answers. The exposure and traffic are a bonus.
Wrapping it up
You obviously don’t need to do all of the above, although I strongly recommend getting on AMP and getting an SSL certificate for your website. Once that’s done, it’s done and you benefit for a long time.
From there, it’s a matter of picking and choosing which traffic sources work best for you and then pursuing them. Each industry is a little different so you must cater your marketing in a way that works with your industry.