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Keeping up with Your Business: Fresh Updates through Google Posts

As a leader in the digital marketplace, Google is constantly changing the way businesses are found on its platforms and can continuously reach the market to promote products, services, and their latest offers, events, and specials.

To compete in Toronto’s digitally-savvy market, part of owning a business in the city these days heavily relies on leveraging the latest and most effective digital marketing strategies to make your brand stand out across Google’s network, such as on Maps, now known as Google My Business, which your potential customers largely engage with.

Through Google My Business, and with the help of a digital marketing company in Toronto, you can add or claim your business listing and optimize it with the most up-to-date information that helps potential customers find your business, such as hours and location; and discover what others share about their own experience from availing of your products and services, among others. With the recent addition of Google Posts to business listings, potential customers can now also see how they can best avail of your most attractive offers.

What are Google Posts?

Google hasn’t officially given it a name, but many business owners and search engine users now see these small banners displayed under a business’ map listing, leading the new feature to be colloquially termed ‘Google Posts’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Posts is a new feature under Google My Business that allows you to create content directly on Google; in just a few, short minutes, your advertisement or content is directly published on Google, and ranks highly in search results for their names.

This feature was originally launched in January 2016 for US Presidential Candidates to use. At that time, posts appeared in a card-like format. Recently, it has been extended to Google My Business, allowing you, or a digital marketing company you work with in promoting your business in Toronto to publish these card-like posts that show on top of search results for your business – much like business cards.

There’s no way to access actual Google Posts from their homepage, as these only appear within search results when triggered by a search for your brand name. When potential customers type into search the name of your business, Google Posts come up along with your business listing. With so much potential from increased visibility alone, it’s essential to keep your business’ Google Post fresh, up-to-date, and optimized with the help of a digital marketing company in Toronto.

Fresh Updates Mean Removal of Google Posts after One Week

With the great power of increased brand visibility, comes also the great responsibility of keeping your business’ Google Posts fresh and up-to-date, as the search engine giant removes these in just one, short week after they are published.

Unlike the information listed in your Google My Business listing, or even on your site, Google Posts are not meant to live on the web forever. Rather, true to their purpose of serving your customers with the latest updates on your newest offers, they are to be removed after seven days.

Think of it this way: nothing upsets your customers more than placing an order for one of your products, signing up for a service, or arriving at your store just to find out that the product or service they’re after has been discontinued, or is no longer available. In the same fashion, after a while of publishing Google Posts, they are no longer considered fresh, nor timely, and as such, would have no reason to exist along with your business listing – especially when they’re meant to boost the marketing of a limited offer.

Naturally, you’ll want a massive hype surrounding your latest product, especially if it’s to be offered on a limited basis, but after it expires, you won’t want a mob of angry customers hounding you for an offer that’s no longer available, all because marketing collaterals were not properly updated.

But even with expiring Google Posts, there’s little cause for worry. In your Google My Business dashboard, you should be able to receive a notification of a post expiring soon. With this comes the opportunity to cook up the next fresh update, or promote a new offer, simply by brainstorming with the digital marketing company you work with and arming yourself with a slew of offers your business can share. Alternatively, the Posts tab in mobile also stores all the old updates you shared, making it easy to review past updates and see which offers your customers loved and really engaged with.

As Google Posts can also be used to promote upcoming events, it’s also easy to create a hype before it and invite more guests. After the event, the Google Post quickly disappears, making it easy to mark calendars and ensure you keep promoting only your business’ latest updates.

Build a stronger presence for your brand online, and serve your customers with fresh updates through Google Posts. Work with our digital marketing company in Toronto in posting timely and relevant updates for maximum reach and engagement. Call us at (416) 619-7935  to create your first Google Post today!

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Complete Customer Experience: Start with AMP Web Design

With the rise of websites, online media and digital marketing strategies – first on traditional desktop computers and laptops, and now on mobile, as smartphones and tablets become the modern consumer’s top go-to device for browsing, shopping and managing their diverse lifestyle – it’s no secret that delivering a complete customer experience is now also determined by the ease in which potential customers can navigate your business’ website.

These days, it’s not just any type of website that helps realize your mission of delivering a complete customer experience in the digital marketplace; gone are the days of sluggish, unresponsive, and unoptimized websites users constantly have to zoom in or out off, or scroll back and forth just to interact with a potential merchant whose products and services they’re considering. In the age of heavy digital interactions and digitally-savvy consumers, websites built using AMP web design cut through the chase and raise the bar for a pleasant and modern online customer experience.

Creating a new website for your business with AMP web design? Build on the best features of the platform with these standards for a complete digital customer experience in mind.

Let Users Explore

With lightning fast loading speeds in an AMP site, it’s easy to encourage potential customers to explore your site, and navigate it both with ease and confidence. Instead of pressuring them with spam-like calls to action, ads, and links to contact or order forms in the middle of a product or service page, allow users to explore the site’s different features first before they make a decision. Because your site’s content flows seamlessly and loads instantly when built using AMP web design, your potential customers can delight in their on-site navigation, ending in a successful purchase, or a well-thought of subscription to services you offer.

Convenient Online Transactions

AMP web design is yet to fully debut and become completely functional for e-commerce sites, but as the platform continuously grows, it’s no secret that a pleasant online shopping experience is tied with fast order processing speeds and instant delivery of receipts or confirmation of orders – instant loading time only an AMP website can give.

As you explore e-commerce with AMP web design, it’s important to incorporate enticing features, such as allowing guest purchases, especially for first-time customers. Many online shoppers will definitely tell you that the real bane of online purchases lies in having to sign up or register in order to proceed with the transaction – and worse, many e-commerce sites don’t make the registration process a breeze. But to sustain marketing, you can allow first time customers to make guest purchases, and after, prompt them to register for the site to access other offers, promos, and products.

With AMP web design, you can easily transform potential customers’ e-commerce experience on your site, maximizing the optimal display of content that promotes your products and services, and the fast loading time it takes for them to view said content. Coupled with fast processing, and allowing guest purchases, users will delight in the ease of use of your AMP website.

Use Efficient Forms

Many online shoppers and your potential customers now use their mobile devices to browse products and services they need online, and even proceed with registration, or better, purchases and subscriptions. Filling out online forms can already feel like such a chore even on desktop computers, but more so on mobile devices as screens are smaller, and users often find themselves scrolling endlessly just to complete registration.

But in reality, the modern, digitally-savvy market living high-paced lives doesn’t have time for that. Instead, they need forms that load and process their order quickly, and aren’t complicated to fill out on small screens. To this end, AMP web design can help transform your potential customers’ experience on your site, as not only do forms load fast when built using this platform, but even better, can be perfectly optimized to suit viewing and filling out using their smartphones.

Apart from the fast speeds and optimal flow AMP web design provides as a baseline for your mobile e-commerce site, make sure to incorporate clear labels, real-time validation, and the simplest possible method of completing an online registration. With these standards in mind, you can keep your customers engaged, instead of frustrated, which can lead them to navigating away from your site, and loss of valuable conversion opportunities.

Optimize for Mobile

Perhaps the most important feature of the modern, mobile user experience, optimizing display of content for optimal interaction on smartphones holds the key to retaining and expanding your customer base in the digital marketplace. When users continuously find themselves having to pinch the screen for zooming in and out in order to fully interact with the information displayed on your website, they’re most likely to navigate away from your site, and cost you opportunities to convert leads and sales.

Redesigning your website with AMP web design is the best new way to deliver an optimal mobile user experience. With AMP web design, you are essentially building a website that is made for mobile use first, easily capturing the majority of today’s market that lives and shops on their smartphones. As content related to your products and services are displayed for optimal mobile viewing, and instantly load to deliver information your potential customers require right at that very moment, AMP web design will definitely elevate the level of customer satisfaction you can provide online, making your business a leader in the digital marketing space.

Deliver a complete user experience to your digitally-savvy, modern customers. Redesign your website, and rebuild your brand with AMP web design. Give us a call at (416) 619-7935 today to learn more and get started.

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Refining the Mobile User Experience with AMP Web Design

With the rise of technology and smart consumerism, it’s essential now more than ever to provide your customers with a pleasant experience on your website, as this largely influences your next big sale, and builds on your position in the market. As websites rise, so do innovations in how they are built – but the threshold remains the same: an ideal user experience, now even more seamless and powerful with AMP web design.

Because your next leads and sales are now mostly determined by how visible your business is in the digital space, search engines such as Google adopt measures in determining if your site is worth recommending to users, in effect boosting your ranking, as well as your opportunities to connect with more users and convert their visits to your website to leads, sales, and return visits. As a smart business owner in the digital age, it’s time to learn all about the latest in web design, and how your website can meet standards to curate and benefit from a providing a complete digital customer experience.

Google’s Standards

Search engines such as Google value 3 top components of websites, ensuring that these perform well and deliver an ideal user experience especially on mobile devices – now the most widely used device for living on the web. These are:

  • Mobile design and usability
  • Page loading speed
  • Responsive design

Satisfying these 3 components gives rise to an ideal user experience, allowing Google to review your site and determine how it can be improved in order to better attract potential customers and keep your established following engaged as new products and services debut. The existence of the perfect website is a myth, but with these 3 factors, your business can be a myriad of steps closer to providing a complete customer experience online.

Ease of Mobile Use

When your website is designed for, and highly usable on mobile, it’s easy for users to navigate your site and connect with your latest products and services. This fosters memorable interactions that prompt them to gravitate towards your business, subscribe to your offerings, and trust your brand with many of their needs over time.

Fast Responses

Fast loading speeds on mobile devices further cement trust in your business, as in the digital marketplace, a fast, easy to use website is the counterpart of a warm welcome you provide to customers in your store. When your site is slow to load, it drives away potential customers, as it appears that your business is sluggish in delivering service people count on you to provide. A good buffer speed is about 2 to 3 seconds, and any slower than that, you could be losing business; and on the upside, the faster your site loads, such as with AMP web design, the more likely it is to retain viewers and convert them to leads and sales.

Designed to Adapt

Finally, a responsive design fosters inclusivity in your brand, as it signals to potential customers that your business is able to adapt to their needs and deliver a unique and complete customer experience across different devices they use to access information about your products and services, and subscribe to them. AMP web design promotes ease of use, avoiding past scenarios in which frustrated users have to pinch the screen, and scroll back and forth to view all the content, easily testing their patience and potentially driving them away all because your brand is much harder to interact with, and derive value from that way.

How to Optimize Your Site for Mobile

The latest innovation in mobile optimization is AMP web design, and as it was conceived to support the mobile user experience, it is the clear winner in terms of mobile design, page loading time, and responsiveness. AMP web design allows sites to be built especially for mobile use, with the complete customer experience in mind. To this end, it accounts for lightning fast loading speeds, as well as content that fits in and flows seamlessly on mobile devices – no longer requiring endless waiting and scrolling just to access information they need.

As you build your brand with AMP web design, there are a few key points to remember and apply to ensure that on top of fast loading and seamless flow, your potential customers will find it easy to discover your products and services.

Short and Simple Menus

For one, make sure to keep your site’s menus short, so as it does not become too complicated for users to navigate, especially on mobile devices where screens are far smaller than on desktop. Next, it’s also important to make it easy to navigate back to the homepage, as your site’s homepage usually lists all the crucial information about your business that they will want to review, and would need to get back to in order to further explore other areas.

No More Clutter

Along with ease of navigation, don’t clutter pages with too much information that will distract potential customers, as this can drive them away from the offers that led them to your site to begin with, in the process costing you business that you could have already had. If your site has an internal search feature, make sure to incorporate filters to help direct users towards relevant products and services, quickly improving the user experience.

Be Relevant

As your potential customers are directed to your business from search results for reasons of relevance to their needs, make sure that your pages are indeed relevant to their queries, and are not mere ‘clickbait’ pages that appear to match the search phrases they used, but turn out to have no connection to their intention. This will only cause them to navigate back to other search results, instantly increasing your site’s bounce rate.

Deliver a complete and memorable customer experience on your website for powerful conversions and sustained sales with AMP web design. Let’s talk about how your business can improve digital customer service when you call us at (416) 619-7935.

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How AMP Web Development Affects SEO and Paid Search

Since Google launched AMP web development as a new way to create websites, it’s already quickly changed the landscape of mobile search. A primary concern for website and business owners is ranking on top of search results, thereby opening more opportunities to convert leads thanks to being more visible to a wider range of audiences. SEO is a big factor in ranking on top of organic search, but with the rise of paid advertising, and recently, the AMP carousel in search results, being a mobile user’s first choice is becoming more than a game of matching keywords and commonly used search phrases with relevant and engaging content.

As AMP results dominate prime positions on mobile search, it’s time to examine how AMP web development is changing the competition long set by SEO and paid search.

How AMP affects SEO

Organic search rankings are mainly determined by keywords, domain authority and website traffic. Because AMP sites are served on top of organic search results, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that AMP does affect SEO. However, Google stated that AMP itself is not a ranking factor – well, at least not yet.

In reality, AMP web development influences clicks, impressions and user experience because AMP itself was conceived as a platform for building a new breed of websites especially for mobile, as these load instantly and flow perfectly even on small screens – essentially what the mobile search market needs. All these boost a website’s SEO efforts, helping it drive business to the top of the first page of search because of complete and excellent user experience. As websites developed on AMP now appear on a carousel above search results, these are likely to enjoy more impressions, clicks and user engagement – factors that spark to online lead conversions, and eventually, sales for a business.

So while AMP web development does not directly affect SEO rankings, mobile-friendliness or optimization is – the very factor AMP sites exist for. Google has steadily pushed for mobile-friendly sites in search results, and in the process, eliminating sites that are not optimized for mobile viewing. Over time, as AMP sites generate more views and direct more relevant traffic from their mobile search audience, these sites are able to cement their authority, and in effect, their rankings on search as well.

Currently, not all content users search for is applicable to AMP. In terms of very specific industries and niche content, there may not be enough relevant AMP pages for Google to build a carousel of AMP search results of. In these cases, ranking on search could still be largely due to SEO and paid search.

On the upside, when your AMP site is displayed as a search result, AMP will be indicated, and as search users become more familiar with the mobile-first dynamics of the web development platform, this can lead to more pageviews, lower bounce rate, and positive feedback due to fast loading time and mobile viewing optimization – all boosting your site’s authority and relevance as a search result, making it still a top option for users.

How AMP affects Paid Search

Google AdWords is a great way for businesses in need of an extra boost in visibility and traffic to appear on top of search results, and drive more business from occupying that prime advertising landscape. The position of paid search results have shifted a lot in the past, and recently, these now appear on top of organic search. Since then, subscribing to paid ads have been a top choice of many brands to beat the competition for ranking on top of organic search results.

But throwing AMP web development in the mix makes displaying search results even more interesting now. Because screens can only fit so much, even paid search is expected to become more competitive, making sure that only quality paid search results are delivered to users.

Brands that pay more to display their sites on top of search results and enjoy more impressions, clicks and opportunities for conversion are now challenged to craft even more appealing, engaging, and quality advertisements so as to land on the first page and compete with both the AMP search results carousel, and organic search results.

For brands, this means that their ability to spend on paid advertising no longer solely paves the way for their site to land on the first page of search results; their ads now also have to greatly improve in quality and be more relevant to users’ needs, signaling to Google that their site is the best possible paid match to a user’s search query – on top of both mobile-first AMP sites and organic search results. For users, access to AMP search results means a mobile search experience that is truly mobile-first, crafted with their phones’ screens and processors in mind.

AMP web development’s faster-loading mobile pages also result in more page views, allowing users to interact with more ads displayed inside sites. For brands that employ this strategy known as remarketing, this means more potential customers see their advertisements, greatly increasing their opportunities for conversions and sales.

Combined Power

To cement your website’s rankings on mobile search, a healthy combination of AMP web development, SEO, and paid advertising can greatly boost your chances of ranking on top of search results.

Building AMP site, or converting your current website to AMP makes your business a leader in the mobile customer experience, and for when Google has enough content to build a carousel of AMP search results, your website ranks on top of search. Displaying ads on AMP sites also guarantees more views, and your business better chances of generating leads and converting to sales, all because of faster loading times and optimal display on mobile devices.

Combine the visibility power of AMP on mobile search with tried and tested SEO and quality paid advertising. Boost online conversions with AMP web development and capture the mobile search market to grow your business in Toronto and in the GTA. Let’s start when you call us at (416) 619-7935.

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The Lowdown: AMP Web Design vs. Mobile Responsiveness

As majority of search is now done on mobile devices, your website has to reflect how well your business packs a complete customer experience on the go, and on the smallest of screens. To support the mobile user experience, two ways of building websites, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) web design and Responsive Web Design (RWD) lead the mobile revolution.

While RWD promotes an integrated, seamless user experiences across devices, AMP web design crafts a user experience that is especially made for mobile. As a business owner in a bustling market such as the GTA, it’s important to weigh your options and decide whether it’s AMP web design or RWD that allows you to give your customers in the digital marketplace the same warm welcome they would receive in-store.

(Re)learning Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design was the first step towards optimizing the modern user experience – mobile being only part of its goal. Businesses that adopt RWD do not just target the mobile-centric lifestyle of the market in the GTA and provide optimal viewing experience and interaction with content; rather, RWD allows for content, including forms and custom applications, on these sites to be seamlessly consumed and interacted with across different devices as it flows seamlessly on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Thus, it can be said that RWD promotes flexibility to accommodate all users and their device of choice – a viable alternative to downloading mobile applications.

RWD is great for preserving the user experience across platforms and devices. It’s perfect for users who first searched for your business online on desktop, and decided your business was worth learning more about as they moved around, switching to their mobile phones or tablets to continue browsing your products or services, and placing their order. This is the essence of RWD, but what it packs in flexibility and seamless viewing and interaction, it lacks in speed and performance, especially on mobile.

Speed is a commonly acknowledged pitfall of RWD; the idea is sound and the vision is great, but the execution is a lot of times flawed. Because it aims to incorporate and present the same user experience in a seamless, integrated manner across all devices, it sometimes fails to account for different processing components among devices, resulting in slower loading times, higher bounce rate, and lower conversions  – putting you further out of touch from your prospects in the GTA.

Discovering AMP

AMP web design is rising as a new way to build websites made for mobile, or made for mobile first. Because AMP sites are innately created and in a sense, automatically optimized for mobile, these perfect the mobile user experience and support the market in the GTA that lives, shops and needs access to information on the go using their mobile devices. AMP web design uses the same core components for building sites as we know them, but requires only lightweight, stripped down versions of HTML and JavaScript, streamlined CSS, and Google AMP Cache to deliver content that is especially made for mobile.

Because of its lightweight properties, AMP web design allows sites to load lightning fast to deliver content on mobile devices that users immediately need. As a business owner in the GTA, standing out in the bustling market requires a competitive advantage ranging from quality of products and services, to now using AMP web design that allows your site to perform faster, convert more leads from the market, and even be found better on mobile search.

Since AMP supports the made for mobile principle, sites built with AMP web design are displayed on top of other mobile search results. As AMP continues to evolve and grow, and more businesses and industries catch on, investing in AMP web design in its early stages to build a site for the mobile user turned potential customer can drive your website to the top of search. This allows you to not merely compete with your competition’s search rankings, but appear on the carousel above them that users see first, and are most likely to choose first.

Choosing What’s Best for Your Business

Some argue that AMP is not directly meant to replace RWD as a way to build websites for the modern consumer; however, as a business owner, it’s no secret that everything is a product of careful cost-benefit analysis, and to invest in two separate, but similar efforts is not the smartest way of maximizing resources. At the end of the day, it’s all about your goals as a business, and the types of interactions your website fosters to deliver a pleasant customer experience.

Choosing between AMP web design and RWD to improve how you do business in the bustling GTA market all still depends on your industry and the types of content and elements that allow you to deliver the best mobile experience and keep your customers happy.

AMP web design is focused on speed and helping your business get found first on mobile to stand out in a busy market, such as the GTA. It’s a straightforward way of delivering a customer experience that largely hinges on viewing content and accessing information on the go. To this end, RWD seeks to preserve and deliver the same customer experience across platforms, providing room for elements such as forms and custom applications that slow it down in most cases, but aim to assure the market that the same brand of customer service is available across all platforms.

If your website still relies on the frills of custom applications that sound great in theory, but are difficult to properly realize on mobile, taking that risk might work for a market that seeks to be entertained first. But the same can’t be said for the large majority that lives on mobile, and therefore needs everything delivered in an instant, and directly in a clean and concise manner that makes content easy to digest, interact with, and decide whether it’s worth delving into to get in touch with the business provider and subscribe as a happy customer.

As a business owner in the GTA, it is important to determine what type of information is available on your website and is consumed by your market that converts their visits into sales. If you use your website primarily to promote your latest offers, maintain a catalogue of your products and services, and provide potential customers with the information they need to decide on doing business with you, AMP web design is a great for connecting with them on mobile. This allows them to view your site and learn about your unique offerings as their needs arise, while they move around.

AMP web design is also gaining ground in e-commerce sites, so shopping on your website and instantly converting leads to sales you can count is becoming a breeze both for you, and your mobile customers. At the end of the day, it’s all about thinking forward and innovating on the customer experience your business currently provides, constantly building on what you have to offer to stay relevant and support the modern market’s needs.

Make smart business decisions to stand out in the GTA’s bustling market, starting with how potential customers find you on mobile search. Convert the modern market to your happy customers with AMP web design by calling us at (416) 619-7935.

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Google AMP: The future of Mobile Content and Customer Experience

As the market moves, so should your business. To thrive in the digital marketplace, your business should be as mobile as the market it serves, and provide a complete customer experience through your website that now doubles as your place of business. A key element in curating a website that converts is web design. Successful digital marketing is no easy feat, and this is why your business needs all hands on deck, including that of a web design company in Toronto that moves with the diverse market in the city and is well-versed in the craft of giving customers a better mobile e-commerce experience.

There are a number of ways a web design company helps your business move alongside the market in Toronto. These include implementing a dynamic design in your website to allow it to flow seamlessly across the multiple devices your market uses to find your business; fostering an inclusive digital market by making your website responsive to accessibility needs; and lately, giving your customers the ‘made for mobile’ experience through Google AMP. Keep reading to learn more about this upgrade, and how it maximizes your customers’ experience on your website.

Own a business that provides a complete customer experience across all platforms. Our team at 360 Business Local has the experience and knowledge to to optimize your website for mobile. To work with 360’s web design team, call (416) 619-7935 today!

All About Google AMP

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an upgrade that can be implemented into your website’s code. This upgrade seeks to revolutionize the mobile experience, making your website load faster on mobile devices, and flow better on the screen for easier viewing. Google’s goal is to deliver the best possible mobile experience to its users. As a business owner, this is parallel to your goal of driving business forward through excellent customer experience on your website.

AMP is geared at helping digital marketers and web designers create mobile-optimized content that instantly loads on all devices. The aim is to largely reduce, or eliminate waiting time for users to access the content they need. Lengthy waiting times discourage users from viewing a website and checking out the products and services that could have best served their needs, had they not been kept waiting too long for the content to load on their mobile devices.

Apart from speed, websites that adopt AMP also improve viewing experience on mobile. Because AMP seeks to fully optimize the mobile experience, it allows content to flow better on mobile devices, almost as if the website was especially designed for mobile first. And with how the market moves around these days and relies more on smartphones and tablets to shop online, sign up for services, and consume content in the digital space, websites might as well be crafted for mobile first.

AMP for Your Local Business

Incorporating AMP in web design greatly benefits your business, as it could improve every customer’s interaction with your website. A web design company can help you transform your website into a conducive place of business, starting with the ease in which your market finds your business and views content, up to how they can purchase your products or subscribe to your services on a purely mobile platform. When your company embraces the value of AMP and incorporates it in your website, your business provides an optimal customer experience.

This is because much of the market in a busy, sprawling metropolis like Toronto is mobile these days; most people want to browse  on the go, and get access to information about products and services they’re looking for immediately. A lot of the market even shops online, subscribes to offers and services as these come up in search results; goes in the direction of establishments that appear on the map; and starts a conversation about a brand and their experience with it.

Recently, Google started incorporating AMP in mobile search results. It’s Google’s way of subtly pointing users to results they can easily view, work with, and see the value of, as these are especially optimized for a hassle-free mobile experience. For businesses in Toronto, it helps to be tagged as an AMP search result when potential customers researching your market looks for you. This way, it immediately sends them the signal that they can easily find what they are looking for on your website, even on mobile. When this happens, you have a higher chance of converting visits to leads, and leads to sales.

While AMP does not directly affect SEO rankings, speed matters. Because AMP is designed to load your website faster on mobile compared to a non-AMP competitor site, your business is likely to rank higher and be found first by the larger chunk of the market. According to Google, if two sites are equal in all characteristics with respect to SEO, but one site loads faster thanks to AMP, the faster site is more likely to rank higher and be recommended first to search engine users as this fosters a more pleasant browsing experience for potential customers.

AMP as the Future of Digital Marketing

As AMP evolves and is constantly being developed by Google to perfect the user experience, many websites are just catching on, and there still remains the question of how long this trend will have traction in digital marketing. Nothing is ever completely certain, but as we are headed towards personalization, increased targeting, and constant improvement of the customer experience as the marketplace itself evolves and goes digital, it’s more than safe to say that AMP is one big step towards these efforts.

As always, it helps your business to go in the direction of what improves the user’s experience and interaction with your brand so as to foster successful conversions, sales and partnerships. Embracing AMP in web design is a sure step in further optimizing the customer experience in the digital marketplace, and the sooner your business catches on, the sooner you reap the rewards of innovation.

Give your customers an experience made especially for mobile with AMP. For mobile web design, call 360 Business Local at (416) 619-7935 today!

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Craft a Powerful Brand with Good Content

Your business relies on its website to tell its story in the digital space; often your website also helps you reach a market that is yet to find you. Employing efficient online marketing strategies in a diverse and competitive space, such as Toronto, requires making the best use of your website through the content you generate and publish, and will constantly evolve to tell your brand’s story. Your business evolves and grows through the information it is able to successfully share with patrons that subscribe to your products and services. A good story will draw your market in, but has to be constantly retold in new ways to keep your audience entertained and subscribed to your offers.

With good content, you tell the story of your brand in order to influence the market in your favour. Leveraging good content in online marketing spins the story in your brand’s favor, setting the tone for the rest of the market, and dominating the conversation. To do this, your business must continuously create meaningful content that fuels your brand’s story, helping you to retain and grow your market resulting in leads, conversions, sales, and closed deals. The standards for what good content is, and how it converts viewers to customers are constantly changing, but in 2017, these are the trends to watch out for and hacks you should adopt.

Create your brand with online marketing content that captures your market. For captivating content marketing, contact 360 at (416) 619-7935 today!

Embrace Content Diversity

Website content isn’t just composed of written text that goes into your blogs and articles. After all, your viewership isn’t entirely made up of readers who will patiently wade through blocks of text to discover your unique products and services. Successful online marketing requires embracing multimedia content creation in order to engage your audience in your brand’s narrative and capture their interest in your well-placed offers.

Recently, content such as videos, especially live ones now available in the form of webinars, podcasts and live streams on various social media platforms, are a hit among audiences. Not only does multimedia content entertain, but it’s also a good way of offering a 360 degree insight into your business. With product videos, infographics, slideshare presentations, tutorials, FAQs, and streaming from your launches and industry events, your audience connects with your brand in real time and see’s your business come to life before their eyes, as opposed to just reading about your latest offers and having to imagine and set up their own expectations.

Multimedia content creation does not have to cost much either. With the rise of the smartphone-wielding generation and taking customer experience on the go, shooting videos and streaming these live at events can be done using mobile apps or your phone’s camera. Producing multimedia content shouldn’t be time-consuming either, as you can repurpose content in other formats and use these in your other online marketing collaterals, such as using the material in video scripts for infographics and blog posts.

Real Content for Real People

In working hard to optimize a website for search engine queries, many make the mistake of creating content that’s easily found, but reads poorly for real people who are on your website trying to determine if your offerings are a good fit for their needs. In the process, you are likely to lose this viewership and potential market if your sole concern is to rank well on a Google search.

Online marketing is embracing the principle of creating real content for real people. In-depth content that is properly laid out, can be easily understood, uses clear language and utilizes high quality, inviting images to support the text is now shown to rank and convert well – even better than content that is aimed at ranking well on search, but flows poorly, is haphazardly arranged and reads awkwardly due to excessive use of common search phrases.

Creating content for the right people is a long process, but as you work on that, you can also use some quick fixes on content that’s already published on your site. These are called content upgrades. To start, you can attach snippets to existing content on your website that’s already performing well. These support content that’s already well-received by your market, you can use upgrades such as bonus tips, downloadable PDFs your audience can take on the go, kits, checklists, worksheets, training videos, and even useful templates. This saves you the trouble of having to completely change content that’s already working for your business all at once, and instead lets you implement useful changes that not only cement your authority on subjects concerning your business’ industry, but also allow you to reshape your site’s content in a more manageable timeframe. By fostering interactions with your audience like these, you can also encourage sign ups for newsletters, email marketing and leads in exchange for access to downloads and access to other content upgrades.

Add a Personal Touch

Much like the localization of search these days, micro-targeting and hyper-personalization are going a long way in building customer trust and fostering good business ties. In online marketing, all it takes is to remember who is it for and why you’re doing business. Always, the goal is to serve the needs of your local community and build trust in your products and services as a staple in their lives.

When you target a demographic in your audience and personalize online marketing efforts according to their interests and preferences, you are able to bring your business closer to them and remind them of your ability to craft unique solutions for their needs. It shows that your business has the best interests of the market at heart, and your business has ties to each set of audiences to prove that.

Remembering important holidays and sending out messages that show your audience you are one with them in commemorating these milestones only takes a little time and is worth the effort in maintaining a solid presence online. Crafting marketing messages according to your market’s location, work information, personal tastes and previous search behavior demonstrates your business’ ability to connect with an audience and prove that your business can supply the market its needs as these arise.

All these efforts can work seamlessly with your larger, general and widely-encompassing online marketing messages. These show how your products and services are needed by and adequately cater to a wide array of audiences, all of whom are drawn in by a specific point that appeals to them at the onset.

Crowd Source and Influence

Tell your market you want to hear from them – and watch the magic as it unfolds. There is nothing that defines the customer experience more than giving your audience a stake in your brand through their opinions that help to shape your business. When you engage your happy customers, they become loyal patrons who will form part of your base following. In time, they will rally your brand and their experiences will shape their peers’ interaction with your business.

This smart online marketing tactic persuades a market you are yet to connect with using what their peers have already said about your business. User-generated content is on the rise these days, and for this to work to your advantage, it should be supplied by customers with good interactions with your brand who can lend their voice to sharing your brand in a simple as a photo, post or tweet shared across their social media platforms. This now works as the new word of mouth, and poses an infinite amount of possible interactions with your brand, each starting with a loyal customer and their social circles.

Taking care of your online reputation is only one benefit of user-generated content. With a steady rise in review submissions, small competitions, use of hashtags you encourage your followers to use on social media when starting a conversation about your products and services, and the gentle prodding of influencers or brand ambassadors, you can also generate content pieces from what they have to say, and use these in review posts, news articles and online marketing campaigns. Not only do you open more communication channels with your market and act on their feedback as these come in, all working towards boosting your brand and improving business; you also gain relevant content you can repurpose and use for future marketing campaigns.

Content is your website’s heart and soul – it gives your online presence meaning, and defines your brand in the digital marketplace. Content is what your potential customers consume, and what makes or breaks every lead you generate and every sale worth closing. Good content makes telling a powerful brand story, piquing the market’s interest and capturing an audience who will follow your business as it grows – all possible.

Leverage high-quality content for your business today, and transform your website into a booming digital marketplace. Contact 360 Business Local at (416) 619-7935 today!

ppc toronto

Get the Most Out of Your PPC Campaign

Marketers have been becoming more creative in finding ways to continue ranking for heavily competitive search phrases, and to stay there. The more ways your site can be found outside of the keywords that users type in search, the more challenging and exciting it is to try to get ahead of the competition.

Pay-Per-Click advertising is one of those ways. Paid search levels the playing field, giving newcomers and those who need an extra boost a chance to compete with top sites that have enjoyed high organic rankings for a long time. PPC advertising is a great tool to help you come out on top, but it’s not free.

With PPC, there’s the additional challenge of getting the best return from your campaign. Because you’re incurring additional expenses to get ahead of the competition, you’ll want to see that you are, indeed, able to stay ahead. To do this, you will need well-structured PPC campaigns that will not just direct the highest possible traffic to your business, but generate leads that convert to actual sales. Here, we’ll learn some pro tips about launching the best PPC advertisements and getting the most out of them.

Learn how a PPC campaign helps you break into the market in Toronto. Call 360 Business Local at (416) 619-7935 today!

Be Present Year-Round

Many businesses experience a peak in sales during a certain time or season. As such, many advertising campaigns are geared towards bringing in the most traffic during those peak times. To get ahead, many businesses think of advertising heavily well before these peak seasons, focusing a lot of their efforts and resources on these particular times and less during the off season.

However, the goal of every business is to stay afloat year-round. This is why it’s also important not to direct all advertising efforts and budget during just one season or peak time. Business owners and digital marketers alike can identify other times that would be good to generate leads using paid campaigns. A good strategy would be to spread out resources and launch PPC campaigns even when it’s not a peak time for your business, or even the industry it moves in. This helps you maintain a solid, year-round presence. While success in business can be predicted through patterns, you never really know who might come knocking at your door as a result of your advertising efforts, so it’s best to keep your options open.

Running PPC campaigns well-spread throughout the year widens your lead time. Aside from bringing in unexpected business, a wider lead time allows you to capture the interest of more conscientious shoppers who like doing their research and spending time getting to know your business before they actually decide to purchase from you. Constant brand marketing efforts help you keep an audience happy and guarantee that they will keep you in mind for when their need of your product or service arises.

Bid All Ways

Some business owners think they should not bid on their brand terms when launching PPC advertisements because that’s what SEO is for. However, SEO efforts only take care of organic search results. Bidding on your brand allows your business to show up in that prime advertising space on top of organic search results. Doing this increases your chances of draw in potential customers: first through your ad on top, and then your organic listing below. When you bid on your brand, you shape your brand’s narrative and control the message. Doing this helps your ad come out on top, in addition to your SEO efforts.

You should also look into bidding on the ‘wrong terms’. A good portion of search engine users don’t know exactly what they’re looking for, and as a result, enter very generic search terms, picking out from the results something that piques their interest. To do this, you will need to get creative with your messaging without being misleading.

Some search engine users could be entering generic terms and bidding only on your specific brand terms would result in your ad not appearing in their search results. Thus, it is useful to bid on general terms and even on ‘wrong’ terms, as these could lead to users who do not have anything exact in mind being directed to your products or services. This could help them realize they have been looking for something your business offers.

Capitalize on your brand terms, but at the same time, think ahead of what your competitors might do. As competition in a big city such as Toronto is tough, competitors won’t resist bidding on your brand terms, and if you insist on bidding only on generic terms or refuse to bid on their terms as well, competitor ads could display above your organic listings, reducing your chances of drawing in your target market.

When crafting your PPC campaign, keep in mind your own brand terms, what your competitors would do, and what your market looks for, especially those who opt for general searches and could be using the ‘wrong’ terms to find service or product providers, such as your business.

Use Your Strongest Links

A PPC advertisement does not just have to lead users to your site’s homepage. A good campaign can be more targeted, using your site links wisely. This helps search engine users find exactly what they’re looking for, allowing your website to draw them in if they see that your ads are directly linked to the exact product or service they are looking for.

No one appreciates being shown links not directly related to their search. To draw the largest possible audience to your site, it helps to use your site’s top links in your ads. Links to your business’ core products or services can be displayed along with your ad.

Along with product or service pages, you can also use related links, such as pages they would navigate to after reading about your core offerings. Links that display more extensive information on related products or services, reviews, news, and store locations, among others, are helpful. These links work as extensions of the products or services you are advertising, and will help you build stronger ties with your audience, giving them the complete experience of doing business with you, and even help to turn them into patrons in the future.

Optimize Your Landing Pages

You’ve drawn your market into your site, now it’s time to keep them interested in your business and keep them happy with what they see once they’re in your website. When they click on your ad and are directed to a landing page that is messy and does not show upfront what they hoped to see based on the ad that drew them in, they’re going to hit the back button and proceed to see what others offer.

When users click on your ad, they should be directed to a landing page that shows exactly what your PPC advertisement says. They need to be able to immediately make the connection. It only takes a couple of seconds for users to realize that they’ve either been directed to your site correctly, or they were only misled by your catchy advertisement.

A good landing page can successfully convert a user’s visit into a sale. Good landing pages are focused, organized and clear. They include a call to action, good high quality images, and displays all information that your ad says it would. Users are also able to make a clear connection between the ad displayed and the products or services they see on the landing page. This will instantly help them decide whether your offerings are worth their time and investment or not.

Change It Up

Every target market is drawn to different flavors. You run an ad primarily to expand your reach, but there is an infinite number of ways you can reach out, and an even greater number of ways your audience could respond to each of your efforts. Where your ad is placed also matters. Each local market in Toronto has its own preference and better respond to ads crafted for them. Depending on where you’re advertising and who you’re reaching out to, you need to change up your PPC advertisement in order to successfully target different markets and bring them all in your business.

Changing up your PPC campaigns shows your market you truly understand their needs and that your products and services are carefully crafted for each of their unique needs. Small efforts such as changing the language and appealing to quirks and tastes that are uniquely local to a market resonate well with your target audience. People respond to being understood and treated well, and showing that your business cares about their needs will lead to building good business relationships and creating a solid following for your brand.

Using PPC campaigns to bring in business is an investment, but a smart use of paid advertisements can effectively direct leads to your site and open more opportunities for sales, profit and success for your business.

Let 360 Business Local help you launch your PPC campaigns effectively. Call (416) 619-7935 today!

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#LoveLocal: Ways to Top Local Search

Every successful business can trace its roots back to a local community in which its ingenuousness and creativity first flourished. From there, small local businesses are able to find their own place in the market and create an identity separate from big players. To target this niche, business owners can focus on local search trends and in effect, better connect with search engine users within a certain radius of their location. This lets local businesses convert more leads to sales and solidify their position as a staple in the community.

Working with a digital marketing company helps you identify local opportunities that your business can use to dominate its market in a big city like Toronto that’s bustling with both competition and opportunities.

Let 360 Business Local help you identify opportunities for your local business. Call (416) 619-7935 today!

Here are four ways a digital marketing company can help your local business find a niche and dominate the local market in Toronto.

Create Niche Content

These days, merely having a website that lists your local business’ products and services is not nearly enough to be found and make a sale. With larger businesses dominating general search terms, it’s important to set yourself apart to be found by your target market. Because your local offerings aren’t necessarily in the business of competing with national or multinational conglomerates, defining your niche is essential to getting found quickly.

A digital marketing company can help you define your strategy in effectively capturing the market in locations your business operates in. This focuses your efforts to bring in sales from the direct communities you serve.

In a diverse market, such as Toronto, the content on your website plays a key role in helping you get found online. Your site’s content also defines who finds you and determines whether they will avail of your products and services.

An effective strategy employed by digital marketers is optimizing content not just according to high-traffic keywords, but also according to local search trends. This is done by pushing area-focused keywords and developing locally-focused content for your website’s product information and contact pages, as well as its blog entries.

When your website incorporates local keywords, your business is brought closer to the communities it serves, presenting you with revenue opportunities you can actually count on.

Aside from keywords, digital marketing companies also lace titles, tags and descriptions with location indicators, further increasing your ranking. Finally, when modifying your website’s code, digital marketers may include a schema markup – it’s an addition to the website’s code that gives search engines more information about your business, aiding your efforts to be found.

Put Yourself on the Map

People now use digital maps, such as Google, to find a place. As such, your business has to appear on the map to be found. New search trends point to increased localization in an effort to better connect search engine users with exactly what they are looking for and what is within proximity to their location.

With the use of location services available on most smartphones or other devices, search engines are able to factor in the user’s location to supply them with search results relevant to their query. When these potential customers are within a certain radius of your establishment, a good map listing will help direct them towards your business.

To reach your business, people need to know exactly where they can find you, and listing your business’ information online makes it easy for potential customers to walk straight on through your doors.

Digital marketers can set up your Google My Business account ,making sure that all information pertaining to your business is properly listed and can be easily found by those looking for related products and services. This service includes populating important fields such as description, categories, location, store hours, contact details, official website, logo, modes of payment accepted and photos of your products, services and place of business. The more information potential customers have about your business, the more likely it appears legitimate and trustworthy.

Use Local Listings

Apart from listings on search engines, online directories and citations also help. Local business listings provide potential customers with information about your business including hours and contact details, helping direct them towards your establishment and opening up opportunities to earn from their visits. Many potential customers regularly check sites or even use apps such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, 411.ca, etc. to find the product or service they desire which is nearest to their location. These users are also reading reviews left by other patrons.

To have more chances of connecting with your market in Toronto, it is important for your business to have thorough listings in these directories as well. A digital marketing company can help you update and maintain existing listings in Toronto, as well as create new listings as new directories emerge. Details such as your business’ name, address, hours and contact information, should be checked to ensure consistency across directories to avoid driving potential customers away due to inconsistent information that makes your business appear unreliable.

Reviews are the New Word of Mouth

Before the rise of advertising and social media, businesses relied on word of mouth advertising that circulated among family and friends. Recommending to one’s social circles a product or service that worked for them was the most trustworthy way to find a business. These days, online reviews work in the same manner.

With more people wanting to gain maximum customer satisfaction and the best value for their money, smart consumerism is on the rise. More and more customers are posting reviews for products and services they avail of, and the effect is two-fold. One, it drives businesses to improve customer satisfaction by innovating on their current offerings; and two, it either encourages or drives away potential customers from your business, depending on experiences of previous customers.

Managing customers’ expectation is no easy feat since many people opt to read online reviews and factor these into their decisions, but a good digital strategy can help you capitalize on good reviews and mitigate the effect of negative feedback.

A digital marketing company can help you monitor reviews as they come in, respond to reviews and build trust in the community. Responding to reviews shows that you care about what your customers have to say and have their satisfaction in mind. A good strategy to employ regarding reviews is asking your customers to post feedback on your business’ Google My Business and social media pages. This help to increases your ratings, boost your online reputation and shows that your business thrives on serving the needs of its local community.

With emerging trends in the digital age, setting up shop in a local market can mean not having to constantly compete with big players who are dominating larger markets. Their reach is wide, but your business can find a local niche, build stable relationships and usher in sales it can really count on. A digital marketing company can help point your business in the direction of its local market, craft messages that target a specific audience it hopes to reach, and help your business become a staple in its community.

Put your local business on the map by calling 360 Business Local at (416) 619-7935 today!

Mobile marketing strategy flat concept

8 Mobile Site Tips Franchise Marketing Companies Need to Know

Franchise marketing companies are finally beginning to understand the importance of having a strong mobile marketing strategy in place. Yahoo’s Gemini platform is specifically targeting mobile users with action-oriented advertising, and business owners around the globe are mobile-optimizing their websites to keep huge swaths of on-the-go audiences happy.

Still, many franchise marketing companies are still not fully aware of the differences between desktop and mobile search ranking factors. Worse still, many are trying to force a rigid, one-size-fits-all approach to cover both mobile and desktop marketing campaigns. Many of these franchise marketing companies are only capable of tracking desktop rankings, reducing their mobile marketing strategy to a stab-in-the-dark approach that wastes budgets without measurable results.

This desktop bias is being left in the dust. In May 2015, Google confirmed that more searches occur on mobile devices than on desktop computers in at least 10 different countries, including the US and Japan. Sticking to an antiquated desktop-only marketing approach means that some franchise marketing companies are leaving over 50% of their clients’ audiences untapped, or at least un-optimized!

Does that mean that franchise marketing companies should customize mobile search strategies?

Yes, absolutely – and we’ll show you how.

Read on for a breakdown of some of the strategies we have observed driving mobile sites to Google’s top-10 positions.

Technical tweaks for mobile-specific strategies:

  • Speed – Your site speed is even more important for on-the-go users. Top-10 ranking sites took an average of 1.10 seconds to load. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can help you rate your own performance.
  • Flash – The popularity of Flash elements in mobile rankings has dropped considerably. HTML5 is the way to go.

  • Keyword inclusion in domain – Don’t overthink this. Domain names should emphasize your branding now rather than keywords, since Google’s Exact Match Domain (EMD) update in 2012 lowered the positive impact of keyword inclusion.

 Building the perfect user experience for mobile users:

  • Bullet points – Use bullet points lists to keep your content scannable. This was something that was consistently found in top-ranking mobile sites. Additionally, these lists were shorter than the desktop counterparts.
  • Internal linking – Mobile content should have slightly fewer internal links than desktop content, because browsing with multiple tabs can sometimes be unwieldy for mobile users. Still, meaningful links are very important. Choose wisely, and position them for easy-clicking.

  • Visuals – Top-ranking mobile sites had less than half of the image content that desktop pages did. High-ranking mobile sites averaged 4 images per page compared to 9 for desktop sites. Show some restraint when using images, and ensure that they do not sacrifice your loading speed!

 Keep your content mobile-friendly.

  • Keep up with keywords – Mobile content keyword rose from 2.7 in 2014 to 5.48 in 2015, more than doubling. This change is notable, but still pales in comparison to the average keyword saturation used for desktop content at 10.22. Keep your keywords relevant, visible, but natural within the text.
  • Content length – Average content length is on the rise for top-ranking mobile sites, though it is still nowhere near the desktop standard. Strong mobile sites in 2015 average 868 words per page – shorter than desktop content, but still more than enough to write a fully-informative piece about your product or service.

These mobile ranking findings should help franchise marketing companies access on-the-go audiences that their previous approach has been neglecting. If you are seeking a franchise marketing company with serious mobile marketing skills, then contact 360 to learn how we can get your brand in front of relevant audiences, wherever they may be!