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In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked at some of the basics and themes that should be considered if you're running a social media contest to boost your business's online branding. Such contests can be an extremely effective way of drawing in current and new clients, but only if they're carried out in the right ways.

At Be Locally, we're happy to help with a wide variety of social media marketing needs across all the important channels available, including many that allow for contests or similar promotions. What are some other important themes to keep in mind as you're getting a social media contest started? Here's a primer.

social media contests incentivizing

Keep Things Exciting

One of the key things to remember is that you'll need to keep your contest interesting and engaging if you want it to be successful. This means having good prize offerings, but also ensuring that the overall theme of the contest is something that will capture people's attention. If your contest is too boring or mundane, people will quickly lose interest and move on.

On the other hand, if you make your contest too complicated or difficult to understand, people will also be less likely to take part. Try to strike a balance between the two extremes and come up with something that is both attention-grabbing and straightforward.

Make It Easy to Enter

In addition to making sure that your contest is interesting, you'll also need to make it easy for people to enter. This means having a clear and concise set of rules that can be easily followed.

If your contest is too complicated or requires too much effort to enter, people will simply not bother. Remember that most people are busy and don't have a lot of time to spare, so make sure your contest doesn't require too much of their time or energy.

Incentivize Sharing

Another important theme to keep in mind is that you'll need to incentivize people to share your contest with their friends and followers. After all, the whole point of running a social media contest is to reach as many people as possible.

One way to do this is to offer bonus entries for people who share your contest on their own social media channels. This will help to spread the word and get more people interested in taking part.

You could also consider offering discounts or other incentives for people who refer others to your contest. This is a great way to boost interest and ensure that your contest reaches a wide audience.

For more on how to run a great social media contest that will bring eyes to your brand and services, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC or other online marketing services, speak to the team at Be Locally today.

There are a wide range of strategies that may be beneficial for businesses as they market to clients on social media, and one that's shown success across various industries is the process of running a contest. Social media contests can help generate demand and excitement for your products and services -- as long as they're run in the right ways and for the right purposes, that is.

At Be Locally, social media marketing is just one of several major digital marketing components we're happy to assist clients with. Are social media contests effective? What should you know about running one for your company? Let's go over all the important elements here in this two-part blog series.

social media contests branding

Are Social Contests/Giveaways Effective?

While questions like these tend to have answers that differ depending on things like your industry, company size and goals, the effectiveness of social media contests in general has been largely positive. As long as your goal is to increase engagement and drive conversions (sales, leads, etc.), a social contest can be a great way to achieve those things.

There are a lot of ways to go about designing and running a social media contest. What's important is that you understand how to do it right for your business -- and that's what we're here to talk about today. Follow along through this and part two of our series to learn more, as we move through the process of setting up and maintaining social media contests.

Rules and Guidelines

First and foremost, be sure you're aware of the social media platform's rules and guidelines regarding contests and giveaways. Different platforms have different requirements, so you'll need to take the time to educate yourself on each one you plan to use for your contest. For example, Facebook has a very specific set of rules that must be followed if you're running a contest on their platform.

It's vital to adhere to these rules, as social media platforms can (and will) shut down your contest if you're found to be in violation. In some cases, they may even ban your business from running future contests. Not only is this a huge pain, but it can also damage your reputation and relationship with the platform -- something you definitely want to avoid.

Keep Your Brand Top of Mind

Throughout the entire process of designing and running your social media contest, it's important to keep your brand at the forefront. Your goals with a contest should be to increase engagement and conversions, but also to maintain and improve the image of your brand.

Your contest should reflect the values of your company in some way. It should also be in line with your current marketing goals and objectives. By ensuring that your contest is on-brand, you can avoid any negative consequences and ensure that it's actually helping your business to grow.

Now that we've gone over some of the basics, let's move on to part two of our series. In the next installment, we'll discuss how to create a social media contest that's sure to be a success.

For more on this or any of our other digital marketing and SEO services, speak to the team at Be Locally today.

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on how to identify spam in your web traffic. No one wants spam on their business website in any way, as it risks everything from a worse customer experience to dropping page rankings from Google and other search engines, and taking the right steps to identify and remove it is very important -- which can be done using a few simple tools that help point to likely spam.

At Be Locally, our SEO services include a wide range of specific solutions, and limiting spam is absolutely something we'll assist you with. In today's part two of our series, we'll go over some of the other tools available for identifying spam on your site, plus how to utilize them.

IDing spam web traffic

Pages Per Session

When you have quality, non-spam traffic on your site, it's normal for users to view multiple pages in the same session. If you see a high number of pages per session in your analytics, but a low average time on site and high bounce rate, this is an indication that something is off -- likely that the traffic is coming from bots designed to quickly hit as many pages as possible rather than real people actually reading your content.

Specifically, if your pages per session is sitting around 1.0 or not much higher, that's a sign that you should investigate further as to where this traffic is coming from.

Referral Traffic

Referral traffic is simply traffic that comes to your site from another site -- for example, if someone clicks on a link to your site from another site, that referral traffic. You can find information about referral traffic in most analytics platforms, and it's a good idea to keep an eye on it.

If you see a sudden or significant spike in referral traffic from a site you don't recognize, that's another sign that something might be off -- especially if that traffic doesn't seem to be resulting in anyengagement (like pageviews, time on site, etc.) on your site.

New Users

While some increases in new users to your site are to be expected, such as if you recently ran a marketing campaign that resulted in more traffic, if you see a sudden or significant spike in new users with very little other activity on your site, that's another potential sign of spam.

These kinds of spikes, especially when compared with your past traffic patterns, can help you determine if the traffic you're seeing is real or spam.

By keeping an eye on these key metrics, you can get a better idea of whether or not the traffic you're seeing is real or spam. If you see any red flags, it's important to investigate further to ensure that your site isn't being targeted by spam.

At Be Locally, we can help you identify and remove spam from your site so that you can focus on attracting quality traffic that will result in more leads and sales for your business. Contact us today to learn more about our SEO services and how we can help you take your online visibility to the next level!

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on why it's important to scale Facebook ads for your business, plus some ways this can be done. This process, which involves tweaking or adjusting some of your best ads to cover even further ground, is a valuable one that's utilized by businesses of all sizes. 

At Be Locally, we're proud to assist clients with a wide variety of SEO and related services, including social media marketing programs that cover a variety of channels, Facebook among them. Today's part two of our series will go over some specific approaches businesses may use for scaling their Facebook ads, plus how to decide on which is right for you.

Facebook ad scaling techniques

Increase Budget

As we noted in part one, one of the two primary methods for scaling Facebook ads involves vertical scaling -- adding money to the budget, that is. Here are some situations where increasing your Facebook ad budget might make sense:

Using Automated Rules

Facebook has a set of automated rules that will help scale your ads efficiently for no additional cost, and many businesses can take advantage of these. The more you can tell Facebook about your business and audience on Facebook, the better it'll do at serving you ads that are relevant to them.

Increase Your Audience

In many cases, you'll have strong ads -- and you just need to put them in front of more customers, including those at a wider range of locations. Don't limit your ads to those who may be geographically close to you; consider using lookalike audiences as a way of expanding. Reviewing and updating your ad's demographic targeting is also helpful here, as it'll give you more precise control over who sees your ads.

For more on why and how to scale Facebook ads to your business's advertising benefit, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC, web design or other services, speak to the team at Be Locally today.

Facebook is one of the single largest social media resources for businesses looking to market themselves today, and there are several ways you can capitalize on its power. One of these that's particularly useful for many small and medium-sized businesses, allowing them to increase the eyes on their ads without spending tons of additional money, is known as ad scaling. 

At Be Locally, we're happy to assist clients with a wide range of social media marketing tools in addition to our SEO and web design services, including full coverage of Facebook and all its powerful resources. What is Facebook ad scaling, what are the types of ad scaling you might consider, and what are some specific methods of Facebook ad scaling that might work best for your business? Here's a primer.

Facebook ad scaling types benefits

Facebook Ad Scaling Basics

While there are several methods you might undertake to accomplish it, the goal of Facebook ad scaling is simple: To take some of your ads that have performed best on the platform and tweak or adjust them in ways to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency, so you can cover more ground with the same amount of ad dollars (or a very small increase in some cases).

For example: If you've optimized several different ads to perform well on Facebook, but want to increase your reach beyond what those ads can currently do for you, it might be time for a bit of scaling! Keep reading to learn more.

Types of Facebook Ad Scaling

As we noted above, some scaling efforts for Facebook ads will involve increasing your spend, while others will not. This basic difference is the basis for the two primary types of Facebook ad scaling:

Why Facebook Ad Scaling is Done

Scaling is beneficial for several reasons, the largest of which is your ability to analyze your previous successes and build on them. While some businesses do this with a complete redesign of their FB ads, others take a more practical approach by merely tweaking their best-performing ads and scaling efforts out from there.

Another major advantage to ad scaling on Facebook is the fact that you can easily track which of your FB ads are performing well or badly, including those that have been less successful in the past. While it's certainly possible for a business to simply increase their ad spending and use a trial-and-error method of scaling, many businesses can achieve success with some simple analysis and tweaking instead.

In part two of our series, we'll go over a few specific strategies for scaling your Facebook ad content. For more on this, or to learn about any of our social media marketing or other SEO solutions, speak to the team at Be Locally today.

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on LinkedIn ads and their usefulness within online marketing and SEO areas. While most in the business realm know LinkedIn as a networking and connections platform, some are unaware of how vital this service also is for marketing and advertising.

At Be Locally, our wide-ranging online marketing services include a full range of social media services, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Pinterest and, yes, LinkedIn. While part one of our series went over the entities who often utilize LinkedIn and some important cost factors, today’s part two will go through a step-by-step approach to creating your LinkedIn ads and targeting them directly to the right audiences.

LinkedIn ads optimizing campaign

Campaign Manager

First and foremost, you’ll want to create a campaign manager account, which LinkedIn makes very easy. From the homepage, click the “work” area and select Advertise, at which point you’ll be invited to set up the manager account.

Goals and Target Audience

Once your account is set up, it’s time to talk about general objectives. What are you trying to accomplish with your LinkedIn ad? Are you trying to build an email list, or sign up users for a trial product of some sort? Your goals are the foundation of what will be included in your ad, so you need to know what they are first.

And hand-in-hand with this process will be the identification of your target audience. This will depend on numerous factors, from your company size and type to user interests, groups, skills, job titles and more. There are specific sections within LinkedIn ads that will allow you to optimize for target audiences, including how your choices will impact the size of your market and click-through rates.

Ad Format

LinkedIn offers four ad formats to mix and match from:

Budgeting Factors

Likewise, you’ll have three distinct budget templates to choose from:

Optimization

Finally, once all of the above elements are organized, you’ll be ready to launch your LinkedIn campaign. However, be aware that the work isn’t done – in fact, some of it has only begun. Using your live campaign statistics, such as impressions, clicks, actions and costs, you can spend time revising and optimizing your campaign to eventually find the best program.

For more on how to create LinkedIn ads that will benefit your business, or to learn about any of our social media marketing, SEO or other online marketing services, speak to the staff at Be Locally today.

Many in the business world understand how valuable a platform like LinkedIn is for themes like networking and business connections, but some aren’t properly advised on how important the platform also is for marketing and advertising areas as well. LinkedIn is one of the single best platforms out there for creating business leads and reaching related targets, and one of the top approaches here is utilizing the platform’s robust ad services.

At Be Locally, we’re happy to offer numerous social media marketing services as part of our broader SEO and online marketing packages, including assistance with any part of LinkedIn advertising or related themes. What are LinkedIn ads, what are the business or individual entities who tend to utilize and benefit from them most, and how can you go about setting up a robust approach to LinkedIn ads if they fit your business needs? This two-part blog series will help answer these questions and more.

LinkedIn ads basics cost

LinkedIn Ad Basics

Anyone who spends significant time on LinkedIn will have run into their ads at some point. Ads are mixed in on Google home pages, often seen in your feed with subtle “promoted” or other designations that signal they’re ads.

In addition, text and image-based ads will also show up on the far-right rail of many LinkedIn screens, at least while being accessed via desktop or laptop. And furthermore, ads can even be delivered directly to a LinkedIn inbox as what’s known as “sponsored InMail.”

For advertisers, this means one simple thing: There are several ways to use LinkedIn to get your message out to many different target groups, even those that are not connected to one another.

Who Utilizes LinkedIn, and Why?

LinkedIn ads are popular across numerous fields, but particularly areas like B2B and professional services or products. Some specific industries they’re often used in include:

LinkedIn is great for growing brand awareness in several ways, from increasing content and video views to establishing yourself as a high-authority source in your industry – plus, of course, generating new leads and resulting sales. It’s particularly useful for targeting those in the business world.

LinkedIn Ad Cost Factors

It’s important to know that there is no singular set cost for LinkedIn ads. Rather, you and other advertisers looking to reach similar audiences will submit bids to LinkedIn when you launch your ad campaign – the more popular the target audience, the higher the bid will need to be. You will then also have to specify an objective as you set up the campaign, with seven possible objectives ranging from brand awareness and engagement up to lead generation, job applicants and more.

The average LinkedIn ad across all industries, however, costs under $5.50 per click and under $7.00 per 1,000 impressions – this is one of the lowest numbers of the major social media platforms, with several other controls that allow you to set a specific budget and stick to it.

For more on setting up LinkedIn ads, or to learn about social media marketing or any of our web design, PPC or other services, speak to the staff at Be Locally today.

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on getting started with a Pinterest profile for your business website. Used mainly for online shopping, Pinterest is a massive platform with hundreds of millions of users and excellent e-commerce features, making it ideal for a number of marketers.

At Be Locally, we’re happy to provide a wide variety of social medial marketing services to all our clients, including everything from Facebook to Instagram and, yes, Pinterest as well. We’ve assisted numerous clients with the formulation and building of a Pinterest page for their business, helping not only generate sales directly through the site, but also generate more traffic toward your own site in mutually beneficial ways. Today’s part two of our series will go over a few additional areas to keep in mind.

Pinterest tools frequency analytics

Vital Pinterest Resources

There are several tools within Pinterest that are ideal for online marketers and those looking to build their profile while also selling products. The most important of these are known as “pins,” specifically rich pins – here are a few areas to keep in mind with regard to these:

Posting Frequency

It’s good to post often on Pinterest, with posting topics that are highly relevant to your products and overall business. However, do not spam post or post in bulk, as this will not be viewed positively and may even hurt your profile.

Monitoring and Tracking

Just like with any other area of your online or social media marketing, it’s important to track your progress on Pinterest. There are several basic analytics tools offered by Pinterest to allow you to view the success of various posts, both in terms of basic clicks and advanced engagement data like conversions, click-through rates and more. Utilize these tools regularly.

For more on how to get started with a Pinterest profile for your business, or to learn about any of our SEO, web design or other digital marketing services, speak to the staff at Be Locally today.

While it may not be the first social media channel you look to for online marketing needs, Pinterest is immensely valuable for many in this space. An incredibly popular tool that's primarily used for online shopping, Pinterest boasts nearly 500 million users and has a variety of great e-commerce features.

At Be Locally, we're happy to assist clients with a wide range of social media marketing themes, including getting started with and maximizing your Pinterest platform. What are some of the top tactics we tend to recommend to our clients when they're starting up a Pinterest profile for business? This two-part blog series will go over several.

starting Pinterest target audience

Target Audience

Pinterest is great in large part because of how easily it lets customers find your business and buy products or services from it. Think of it as an online storefront, complete with the eye candy that will draw in customers.

For this reason, knowing your audience is one of the top recommendations we make to clients who are entering the Pinterest space. The better a grasp you have on your audience demographics, desires and other factors, the easier it will be for you to tailor every element of your Pinterest profile to these variables. In fact, you can even proceed with the storefront theme directly: Use the exact same themes you would if you were advertising products in a store window at the mall, only with the appropriate links and directions for online purchasing.

Importance of a Title

The first thing prospective customers will see when browsing Pinterest is titles, and it pays to have robust, descriptive titles for all your products. Your title is your headline, the area where you want to include SEO keywords and draw customers in.

Visuals and Written Descriptions

Also vital will be written descriptions for your products, which are allowed to be somewhat longer than other platforms on Pinterest. While these descriptions won't always show up on the user's device, they can be accessed easily – and also help generate traffic. Think of the most relevant keywords and infuse them into well-written, informative descriptions of your products.

In addition, pay close attention to the visuals used. Pinterest is a very visually-driven platform, one where users regularly post and repin items that interest or appeal to them. Use your imagery to tell stories about and describe your products in simple ways that potential clients will easily understand, showing them directly how you provide solutions to their problems or answers to their questions.

For more on using Pinterest to drive interest in your brand and important digital marketing themes, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC, web design or other online marketing services, speak to the staff at Be Locally today.

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on internal links within the world of search engine optimization (SEO). Vital for allowing internal navigation, but also very important for ranking quality and information hierarchy, internal links are a key SEO concept that must be considered for any digital marketing effort.

At Be Locally, we're happy to assist with internal links and numerous other specifics as part of our comprehensive SEO services, which include everything from local SEO to organic SEO and other specific themes. Today's part two of our series will go over a few more of the general tips we tend to offer clients when it comes to maintaining strong internal linkage in ways that will not only make your pages easy for users to navigate, but will also improve your visibility and rankings with search engines.

optimizing SEO internal links

Topical Relevance

One of the key factors that determines the success of internal links: Their topical relevance, which you should be focusing on as heavily as possible. Anytime you are creating links for a new page, think about which other pages already on your site are most closely-related to it – these are the top options you should be considering for internal links.

This theme has value in both user functionality and Google rankings. Specifically, Google has a metric known as Topical PageRank, which evaluates which links have the most relevance given the other content on your site; however, this metric is not public, meaning you will have to work to find the pages that have the best indicators. These are often those that do well in Domain Authority, for example.

Trim the Fat

Success in internal links isn't just about creating the right links – it's about avoiding the wrong ones, which will actually penalize you in many cases. If you have too many links on a given page, for instance, Google's trackers will become diluted and will give a lower overall value to the entire page. But if you eliminate some of the lower-value links here, such as those that are not engaging or relevant given the page content and aren't likely to be clicked, the sample will not be diluted and Google will assign the proper weight to your quality links.

Unique Links

Finally, do your best to make every single link on your site unique. Links should be natural, organic ways of allowing visitors to navigate to other related pages, using simple language that makes them very easy to understand. Google will detect attempts to manipulate link titles or similar areas, and will drop rankings if so – so don't even worry about that angle, and simply make your links simple and unique.

For more on how to optimize internal links within SEO, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC or other online marketing services, speak to the staff at Be Locally today.

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