Features tools, and guides to help your local business get a healthy start to your 2016 online marketing planning. Some require technical know-how, but the results will be worth the effort.
1. Google Analytics
While business owners and marketers know that analytics is important, particularly if you need to pull insights on how your company is performing online or discover where issues may lie. Unfortunately, most local small businesses don’t have their analytics’ accounts set up correctly. Overlooked areas include:
Creating multiple views;
Enabling and linking various accounts in their profiles and views;
Setting up measurement goals;
Using segmentation and custom reports.
Google Analytics may seem overwhelming, but two excellent learning resources — Google Analytics Academy and ConversionXL — can help.
Google Analytics Academy offers several free self-study courses complete with videos: Google Tag Manager Fundamentals, Mobile App Analytics Fundamentals, Ecommerce Analytics, Google Analytics Platform Principles, and Digital Analytics Fundamentals.
ConversionXL: Google Analytics configuration articles.
ConversionXL has some detailed articles written expressly to help businesses get started in Google Analytics. Here are two samples:
Google Analytics 101: How to Configure Google Analytics to Get Actionable Data;
Google Analytics 102: How to Setup Goals, Segments & Events in Google Analytics.
2. Google Mobile-friendly Test
Google Mobile-friendly Test: Is your site ready for mobile?
If your business website is not mobile-friendly, 2016 is the time to make the transition. The BrightLocal Mobile Consumer Survey 2015 found that 61 percent of consumers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-optimized site. This test, provided by Google, will help you make that determination.
GTmetrix Website Speed and Performance Optimization tool.
A business’s website speed is important for a quality customer experience and is a ranking factor in search.
You may be familiar with Google PageSpeed Insights, which provides information on the speed of your desktop and mobile website. Another free tool, GTmetrix, analyzes a site with both Google PageSpeed and Yahoo YSlow rulesets and provides a report card with actionable insights.
To understand how the website loads on mobile, GTmetrix passes the URL through an actual Android device for real-world performance data. Video playback of page loads is available for viewing, to see slowdown points.
4. Moz Local
The consistency of company name, address, and phone numbers (NAP) has proven to be an important factor in local search success, as well as providing a good search experience for consumers.
While you can pay Moz to help you add and edit your local citations, you can do it yourself with a bit of effort. Choose “Check My Listings” to see how your business shows up in local search engines and database aggregators. From the list that appears, you can update your listings yourself by clicking on the “Incomplete” and “Duplicates” tabs.
CoSchedule: Editorial calendar for your content and social media marketing
CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop marketing calendar where businesses can assign tasks, collaborate, and promote content through social media. It works with WordPress.
Pricing starts at $15 per month (billed annually) with five social media profiles, or $30 per month for ten social profiles and Google Docs, Google Analytics, and Evernote integrations.