digital marketing company toronto

The Trust Factor: Shaping the Customer Experience through Reputation

Anyone in business knows that the customer is the most essential element to success. How the customer journey is designed, down to their actual experience and resulting feedback can make or break your business in a huge city like Toronto. With the rise of the digital age and the growing conversation online, it helps to tune in and listen to what your customers have to say.

But how exactly can you do this? It’s simple: by looking at their customer reviews, improving your process based on their feedback, and gathering a fresh round of testimonials that will in turn, help persuade a new batch of customers.

That cycle paints a nice picture, but in reality, it’s easier said than done. For starters, how do you get your customers to review your business? More importantly, how do you ensure that their reviews are genuine, converting, and can be easily solicited after greatly improving the customer experience? With the help of a digital marketing company in Toronto, here’s how you can get customer reviews that will help you do business better:

Start with What You Have

You’ve certainly come across more than one happy customer in the past, and they’ve probably said a nice thing or two about their experience. With no fresh reviews on hand yet, you can recover and repurpose these existing testimonials. Dig through your social media pages, check emails or the comments section, and pick out a few that may have been buried in the past years.

When published for a fresh audience and likely, your potential customers, these refreshed reviews are sure to be part of their decision-making process. People love to trust products and services others have tried in the past, and live to tell the story. In addition to reviews found just about everywhere on the Internet, such as Yelp, your Google My Business Listing, social media, and a ton of others, digital marketing companies in Toronto recommend making these testimonials available on your website through a dedicated page.

Keep Your Clients Well-Informed

It’s true what they say about honesty – it really is the best policy. When you’re certain you’ve promoted a hassle-free and satisfactory customer experience, make sure the happy customers you serve know that you will be asking for feedback. This way, they are not surprised, or feel like they’ve been “put on the spot’, and as such, are prepared with what they want to say.

To establish this practice at the start, your digital marketing company in Toronto recommends having past testimonials visible on your site, as well as discussing these with customers as you work together. For instance, you can mention that you really appreciate any feedback they can give as they use your products and services. You can also say that if they’re getting great results, and they’re comfortable with sharing their experience, you would like to ask for a testimonial to put up on your website.

Just make sure that they have time to think about what they want to share – rushing your customers can result in weak and less converting testimonials, so give them ample time!

Timing is Everything

Timing really is everything, and you don’t want to catch your customers at a bad time. For instance, don’t ask for a review or testimonial while the work is in its initial stages, such as when you still have a lot of pending deliverables based on a product or service plan they contracted from you. Doing this can leave them with the impression that you’re only putting your best foot forward so far for the positive feedback.

Instead, digital marketing companies recommend that you ask for reviews from your customers when they have experienced great results from your work. This doesn’t mean you have to wait for everything to be over, but at least when there’s tangible progress they can note.

Another key point is not to ask ask for a review or testimonial directly, but instead ask your client how they are progressing, or what their experience has been like so far. When they get back to you with happy or promising answers, that’s when you know that a good testimonial could be asked. On the other hand, if they sound like they’re struggling to see results, you can still turn the customer experience around, with a good review coming up in the end.

Know What to Ask

As with any digital marketing hack, asking for testimonials has a caveat. It’s easy for some clients to provide direct feedback, but not so much for others, especially if they’re not yet getting the results they hoped for. So while easing in, it’s important to know not only what they like about the experience, but how it can be improved, so you can deliver an even better customer experience.

When asking for testimonials, or leading the conversation towards it, make sure to ask the right questions. To be really powerful and converting, you’ll want customer reviews that include specific results, as opposed to generic phrases and otherwise empty reviews that use staples like, “great service”, and its variations.

Digital marketing companies have observed that the more information potential customers gather about your business, the easier it is for them to decide whether they want to bring you business. By incorporating specific results past customers achieved, they’ll have a better idea of what they can expect and gain when they choose your products and services among others in Toronto.

Additionally, empower your customers to influence others with integrated calls-to-action in their reviews. Statements such as “if you’re thinking of hiring these guys, go for it, you won’t regret it,” are powerful; not only will your customers be able to influence others, but this creates a level of trust among your potential customers, since they the invitation to subscribe comes from people external to your business.

Join your customers’ conversation about your business online, and discover from their stories how you can better form part of their success in Toronto. Get in touch with us at (416)-619-7935 to shape an established online reputation.

amp web design

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.

web design company toronto

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!

online marketing toronto

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!

digital marketing company toronto

#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!

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Embracing Changes in SEO by Adapting to New Digital Marketing Trends

With the rise of targeted ads, paid campaigns, community building on social media platforms and increasing localization of search results that search engines supply its users, it begs the question: does SEO still work?

These days, paid ads are displayed on top of organic search results and are seen first by those who need a quick fix. This challenges the practice of optimizing a website according to search trends and high-traffic keywords in an effort to be constantly found by those who need it. Many brands also maintain communities on social media and use these platforms to release product and service information while driving user satisfaction. With all these emerging trends, reality is, good SEO alone isn’t all that it takes to get your local business found in a big city like Toronto and match you with potential customers. To make your website rank and get your business found, SEO companies are now challenged to look into balancing efforts for ranking organically with that of paid advertisements and leading the conversation on social media platforms.

Here, we’ll walk through the changes in online marketing and determine how an SEO company’s efforts to get your business found in Toronto can drive your business to the top as it embraces other emerging trends in digital marketing.

Looking for an SEO company that does more to get your business found? Contact 360 Business Local at (416) 619-7935 today!

Changing Search Result Trends

While websites are constantly working on being found, search engines such as Google are striving to streamline search results in an effort to better match users with exactly what they’re looking for. For example, users who are looking for businesses that carry products or offer services they need are now more likely to be matched with a business that’s within a certain radius of their location.

Paid results and advertisements are now also listed on top of organic search results, not just below. This may sway users not searching for anything specific or are in a rush to find a suitable match towards the paid results, as these are seen first.

Organic SEO search results are then shown second to those that pay Google to advertise their sites. To compete, SEO marketers are challenged to optimize websites in order to rank in organic search, ensuring your website still appears on the same page as paid results. Competing with paid search results can be challenging, but digital marketing pros work hard to be constantly updated on changing search engine trends, and will continue to optimize your website according to these trends and stay on top.

The Rise of Social Media

Using search engines isn’t the only way businesses and their target market connect these days. Most businesses now have active social media profiles and engage with their audience directly through posts, tweets, snaps and reviews. Likes, retweets, mentions, replies and views now also count towards measuring the success of a business’ online marketing efforts. Some people might believe that using social media to direct traffic to websites is a more effective method, as social media news feeds tend to have the latest information, but relying solely on social media to get you business isn’t always your best bet.

While regular social media activity can direct traffic to your business and build credibility, the uncontrolled nature of the environment can bring negative feedback to light. Negative comments, whether with merit or are unsubstantiated, can greatly impact your business as soon as these are published; potential customers will have to like what others have already said about your business in order to trust you to provide their needs. This is where the support of SEO marketers comes in handy: we know how to work with both organic searches and new platforms, such as social media, to direct traffic towards your business with the aid of a good reputation. Many SEO companies including 360 Business Local now offer social media management services. This includes regular posting on your behalf to your business’ social media profiles by advertising offers and promoting website content.

SEO companies also incorporate the same keywords that business’ sites rank for into their social media profiles and posts. In turn, this directs search users to businesses’ social media channels, encouraging them to connect and stay updated on latest news and offers. Digital marketers incorporate links to the company’s social media profiles, allowing them to build an online community and use their newfound following outside of their keyword rankings and site visits as another way of measuring the success of their online marketing efforts.

Rankings Still Matter

It’s no secret that SEO companies are increasingly challenged these days to direct traffic to clients’ websites organically despite the popularity of paid search results and social media. To stand out, websites that still rank well for high-traffic keywords must develop quality content that puts them on the same page as the paid search results, encouraging search engine users to scroll down and find in these well-ranking sites for a closer match to their search phrase.

Search engines are gearing towards localizing results to make their users’ search more actionable. For instance, Google’s location services enables it to give its users results that point to local businesses within their reach, driving actual sales and keeping users satisfied with the answers they get. This incentivizes digital marketers to track and push for local keywords on your website. By doing so, businesses grow closer to clients who are most likely looking for services and products they can access from their location, thereby making your marketing efforts effective and converting more leads to sales. To make your business rank in local searches, SEO companies optimize content on your website according to your business’ local reach and send out content that carries location-specific keywords.

SEO companies may also get creative with the services they offer and the efforts they employ. Most companies now manage paid campaigns on top of organic keyword search efforts. This allows businesses to gain the best of both worlds and maximize their rank in search results. Some even offer social media management services, posting content from your website to your business’ social media profiles, responding to customer queries, listening in on trending conversations in your industry to build your brand’s community online.

SEO is no stranger to change. With the evolving dynamics of online marketing and the constant rise of new ways to engage an audience, the field also keeps on adapting creative new ways of doing what it does best: connecting businesses and potential clients who are yet to find each other.

Stay found by mixing SEO with paid ads and social media. Get started with 360 Business Local by calling (416) 619-7935 today!

online marketing

Start Fresh: Constant Reinvention for Best Online Marketing

The way people react to and digest information they find online is now a factor in how a website is received by an audience and ranks according to their preferences. Websites that remain constantly relevant to its target audience rank well, and those that don’t are pushed down in search result pages. Older websites are then challenged to reinvent themselves and discover new ways they can adapt to trends to come back on top. A great way to adapt to new online marketing trends is by relaunching your old website with new features that appeal to your target audience.

Here, we’ll learn about a few useful tips to keep in mind when preparing for a website relaunch, as well as what we can continuously do to make a new and improved website a success in the market.

Prepare for your website relaunch with a top online marketing firm. Contact 360 Business Local at (416) 619-7935 today!

Pre-launch Audit

While some website managers opt to wait for real-time information about how well their relaunched websites are performing, it helps to conduct an audit on your website in its testing stage. This aims to catch and correct errors on the new website before it goes live.

A pre-launch audit allows owners to compare the changes made between their old and new site and ensure that the point for the relaunch is satisfied. This also helps owners see the difference in their past and current online marketing efforts, tracking their growth and recognizing the potential a relaunched website has in attracting visitors and converting these visits to profit.

A typical pre-launch audit looks at five different factors: current analytics, technical issues, site content, internal links and benchmarking against high-traffic keywords.

  • Integrating Analytics

Since a website relaunch is not the same as building a completely new website from scratch, it’s important to make sure that your site’s analytics continue to show data from the old site and its relaunched version. To make the best decisions based on your site’s performance and track the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts, you need to be looking at data that integrates both versions of your website. This allows you to determine whether your relaunch efforts succeed in bringing new traffic to your business. Failing to integrate data from your old site will result in a skewed measurement of performance and may cause you to make misinformed decisions regarding your online marketing efforts and targets.

  • Catching Technical Issues

As with anything that’s new and may be untested by a large audience, a relaunched website can also be susceptible to technical issues.

Business owners or their web design firms should catch potential errors before the new site goes live. Watch for factors such as the time it takes a relaunched page to load successfully, the functionality of newly integrated commands and the appearance of its new layout and ability to display newly added elements such as design and images.

Needless to say, a relaunched website that proves to be far from fully functional defeats its own purpose and negatively impacts a business’ online marketing efforts. If your relaunched website experiences technical issues, it’s more likely to drive site visitors away, instead of being able to use your new site as an effective marketing tool for conversion.

Whether as the owner you opt to redesign the website yourself, or you choose to work with a web design firm, it’s important to turn your test site inside out and repeatedly test for any of these technical components to make sure your online marketing efforts truly succeed with a relaunched website.

  • Checking the Market

The goal of re-launching a website is to improve online marketing efforts and generate more leads and sales. To successfully determine an online marketing strategy, it helps to check how your market moves and what appeals to your audience.

You can check for trends by looking at high-volume keywords and top sites that are able to effectively direct search engine users to their business. You can also check how your old site ranks for these high-traffic keywords and track your improvement with a relaunched website in the long run.

  • Reviewing Your Content

Perhaps the single most important reason that drives business owners to relaunch their website- content – which makes every site what it is. Content determines how websites are found and how a business’ online presence ultimately leads to the success of its online marketing efforts.

Business owners with poorly updated websites are driven to relaunch their websites, repackage their content and introduce their business to potential clients through a fresh version of their site.

When updating your site’s content, it’s important to review what was already published before and create continuity by organizing upcoming content according to what your business’ market is abuzz with. Updated, relevant and trending content guarantees the success of your online marketing efforts, as it helps potential clients find you better and assures them of your standing in the market.

Successfully keeping content fresh requires reviewing your SEO efforts and making sure that your site has content for what it’s supposed to be found by search engines for. This means updating your list of keywords and making sure that your site’s articles, images, descriptions and titles reflect the keywords you want to be found and bring in business for.

  • Building Links

As with encountering technical issues on your site’s elements, internal links are also susceptible to issues in relaunched websites. When sites are redesigned and their code is updated, some links may be broken in the process, failing to redirect from one page to another. A website is as strong as its internal links, much like building blocks.

Each section of your website should be connected to form a whole to make sure that all parts of it are found on search engines, especially that searches these days are becoming more specific to better match users with exactly what they need. It’s important to test your redesigned site’s links, making sure that its pages are connected to effectively market your business online as a whole. An example is checking for links between blog articles and product or service pages, and these product pages to contact forms for closing deals. The more links your site has, the more likely potential clients find everything you offer and encourage them to do business with you.

Maintaining Your Efforts

The real test of your online marketing strategy and efforts begins when your website is relaunched. From this point forward, you will need to continuously audit your site, update content and track your rank and performance against high-traffic keywords and see how much your business is improving. You will also want to track how well your relaunched site converts leads generated online to actual sales you make. Maintaining a functional, high-traffic website is a constant challenge and it will always take innovation to stay on top of the game.

Take your business to the top with online marketing. Relaunch your website with 360 Business Local! Call us at (416) 619-7935 today!

3 Writing Techniques Web Marketing Companies Use for Engaging Content

In the world of internet marketing, we know that content is king. But not all content is created equally. Though some web marketing companies release blogs, articles, and web pages that warrant this royal title, others make their readers want to commit regicide. This brief writing guide will help you clean up your content, engage audiences, and express your brand message exactly as intended. Read on to learn 3 writing tips from our content marketing team.

1. Practice Brevity

“I’m the dude, so that’s what you call me. That or, uh His Dudeness, or uh Duder, or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.” – The Dude

If your content is going to grip readers, you need to “get into the whole brevity thing.” Brevity is defined as the “concise and exact use of words in writing or speech.” It’s what authors of fiction strive for when they set out to write “tight prose.” No wasted words; all killer, no filler.

Brevity improves the value and readability of your content. A 500-word article written by somebody who practices brevity will automatically have more substance than one published by a long-winded writer. Long, verbose sentences are rarely effectively. They confuse and bore the reader, distracting them from the point you were trying to make and stripping power from your calls-to-action.

If you’re familiar with Yoast SEO plugins, you’ve probably heard of the “Flesch reading ease score.” Flesch reading ease measures the textual difficulty of your content. The higher the score, the more readable your content is. Writing is rewarded for short sentences and words with less than two syllables. This tool can help you assess how well you’ve practiced brevity, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on.

The best tools will always be your own eyes. Here are some examples you can use to sharpen your brevity skills. The unnecessary words are in bold:

  • “The bucket slowly made its downward descent into the well.”
  • “The waiter apologized for the unintended mistake in their order.”
  • “I moved the sofa to the empty space on the other side of the room.”
  • “The three-day weekend gave her a temporary reprieve from work.”

The words in bold add nothing to these sentences; “reprieves” are temporary, “descents” are always downward, and “mistakes” are always unintended. Don’t make your reader jump through verbal hoops without any payoff. Keep these examples in mind as you proofread your own writing.

2. Finish Sentences Strong

When you’re telling a good joke, you’d never lead with the punchline. And yet, this is something many content writers are guilty of. They load their sentences in the wrong order, leading with the punchline and then filling in the gaps. These front-heavy phrases go out with a fizzle, rather than ending with a bang. A simple change of order can make all the difference.

Here’s an example that’s pertinent for web marketing companies.

Don’t tell your readers that “you can easily increase your search visibility and improve your bottom line by optimizing your meta tags.” This sentence forces the reader to ingest a lot of words without knowing what you’re talking about.

Instead, swap the order: “Optimizing your meta tags is an easy way to increase your search visibility and improve your bottom line.” Now, we know the sentence’s topic from the beginning, and it ends on high note. The meaning is clear and the reader is excited about the possibilities.

3. Vary Sentence Length

Falling into repetitive sentence rhythms is one of the most common mistakes content writers make. When all of your sentences are the same length, the reader starts to tune you out. It’s like a drummer playing in straight 4/4 time compared to a jazz beat that morphs and syncopates – the latter is much more engaging.

Shorts sentences are impactful. But long sentences have their charm, too; they lead your reader on a (hopefully) rewarding journey through your piece. Your content can really sing if you use them in conjunction.

This tip is very easy to implement. Count how many words you use per sentence in any given paragraph. If you notice that the numbers are very similar, it’s time to practice some variety. Craft sentences with a mix of short, medium, and long word counts to maximize the impact and readability of your copy.

To be continued…

These 3 tips will be wonders for your writing, but we’ve only just begun! Check back later this month for part 2 of our content writing clinic.

To learn more our content marketing strategy, click here or call (416)-619-7935.