Adwords vs Adwords Express: Which is Right for Your Business

Adwords vs Adwords ExpressAdWords Express is a “lite” version of Google’s AdWords that is intended to help business owners boost their online visibility at a low cost and with next to no maintenance needed.

That sales pitch may sound appealing, but the “set it and forget it” nature of AdWords Express compared to regular AdWords makes it far less powerful or versatile.

With normal AdWords, businesses have far more options to control your campaigns. You can change a campaign’s settings once its been activated, create individualized campaigns based on keywords, control who your ad is targeted towards, and more.

Best of all, you can use the data generated from AdWords to improve your digital marketing over time. For instance, you can find out who your most valuable customer segments are based on demographics. This information can improve your marketing all around.

All that said, not everyone has the time, knowledge, budget or willpower to set up AdWords and give it the attention it deserves. In that case, AdWords Express can make sense, especially as a temporary solution.

To help you decide with more clarity whether or not AdWords vs AdWords Express is the right platform for your business, consider the major differences detailed below.

AdWords Express Can Be Set Up and Running Within a Few Minutes and a Few Clicks

Adwords vs Adwords Express

The main elevator pitch for AdWords is that you can have your visibility boosted on search with next to no effort. With just a handful of clicks and as little as five minutes, you can set up an campaign for ads that will appear alongside Google Search and Google Maps results.

That way, when people search for terms related to your business your ad appears alongside the other results. You won’t be charged for your ad displaying unless someone clicks on your ad.

This functionality is the exact same as Google AdWords but with far less inputs needed and lower overall complexity. You can control your budget, select a business category, create the text your ad uses, and control where a click will lead the search user. That’s it.

For this reason, many marketers refer to AdWords Express as “AdWords on training wheels.” You get to feel like you’re doing the same thing as the big kids, but in reality you have less control and fewer advantages when it comes to finding campaign success.

At the same time, AdWords Express can work great for a self-managed business where the choice is between minimal paid search advertising and none. For instance, doctor’s offices, local businesses, and locally based service providers can all potentially benefit from the simplicity and ease of use AdWords Express offers.

Regular AdWords (Not Express) Can Act Like a Digital Marketing Powerhouse

Adwords vs Adwords ExpressThe biggest differentiator between AdWords Express and regular AdWords isn’t how simple Express is as a product but how astoundingly powerful normal AdWords is.

With regular AdWords, you can create campaign groups based around multiple keywords. You can also filter out keywords that hurt your campaign performance. So, if for instance you run an arcade machine rental service and want to target “basketball arcade game” but filter out “basketball video game,” you can do that.

You can also select specific regions you want to target or people. For instance, if you wanted to choose high-income women who live in a wealthy neighborhood known for throwing lavish birthday parties, you can do that.

With this level of targeting, you filter out people who are likely to see your ad and click on it but not buy. That way, a higher percentage of the clicks you pay for come from likely customers.

Additionally, AdWords campaigns can be expanded across Google’s AdSense and DoubleClick network. With the exact same campaign tools, you can run ads simultaneously across thousands of Google searches and millions of websites.

Why Choosing Between AdWords vs AdWords Express Is Like Choosing What Cheese Sandwich You Want

Adwords vs Adwords ExpressYes, all of the possibilities for regular AdWords vs AdWords Express lead to complexity, but the end result is one of your own making.

Think of AdWords Express as putting a slice of American cheese on white bread and popping it in the microwave for a few seconds. Now, you have a “grilled cheese sandwich” only by the largest stretch of the imagination.

But AdWords regular let’s you choose whatever bread or cheese or cooking method you want. You can have a simple sharp cheddar and whole wheat sandwich cooked in butter on a frying pan, which would be the AdWords equivalent of a few simple text-based campaigns run well.

Or, you could have gruyere and brie cheese mixed together on artisanal bread that has been baked in a woodfired oven and then finished in a hot press. This sandwich is the equivalent of complex multichannel sales campaigns that start from AdWords appearances alongside selective Google searches and AdSense partners.

Not everyone wants this level of complexity nor do they have an astounding vision for a final product, though. Sometimes all you want is a quick snack.

And if all you want is a few ads on a controlled budget to augment your existing Google My Business search appearances, then go ahead and give AdWords Express a try. You can always use the same account to set up more complex regular regular AdWords campaigns later.

Get Professional AdWords Campaign Creation, Management and Strategic Guidance

If you’re scared of taking the training wheels off, Optimized Scribes can help.

We are AdWords certified and have found online success for a huge variety of business sizes and types. You can start strategizing for your killer SEM campaign by taking a look at our paid search advertising and AdWords management services today.

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Can You DIY Digital Marketing? Of Course. But Why Would You?

DIY Digital MarketingMany small business owners try the DIY approach to digital marketing only to find minimal returns for hours upon hours of their own precious time. The result is that they spend more time getting less done and with less to show for it compared to hiring a professional digital marketing agency.

While doing every single bit of your digital marketing yourself is possible, know that it will be gruelling and that you will be forcing yourself to constantly make a lot of hard choices. Some DIY marketing approaches may even tarnish your brand, hurting business and making new customers harder to come by. With so much for you to take care of, you can never possibly dedicate yourself to normal business activities and to the regular attention your digital marketing campaigns deserve.

You Can’t Replace the Time You Spend on DIY Digital Marketing

Time is the only thing you can’t make any more of. Any time you spend trying to market your business online is time that could be spent performing other valuable tasks, like working to improve customer experience.

Say hypothetically that you were to dedicate 100% of your time just to marketing activities. If you spend an hour on a task that generates one lead, you can get 40 leads per week if that’s all you do full-time. Crunching the numbers on the conversion rate for the typical lead, you may find that you spend dozens of hours every week generating just a few $100 worth of value.

DIY Digital MarketingFind ways to generate leads that cost money, not time. You can spend more to scale your digital marketing efforts across an agency staff, but you can’t magically turn back the clock on your own time.

Also, as the numbers show below, the value you get out of all the time you spend likely won’t equal the returns compared to outsourcing your digital marketing tasks. ROI is math. If you find a marketing solution that costs $10 per acquisition and you make $100 profit on that client, you’d be foolish not to continue spending more to then make more.

DIY Marketing Means You Are Not Paying Yourself Enough

DIY Digital MarketingWhat’s your billing rate to yourself? After all, a lawyer or a plumber charges you by the hour. Your time is just as valuable, so what would you need to charge to make ends meet?

You could discover your billing rate by taking your annual salary and dividing it by the number of hours you would work in a year, but this number still leaves out quite a bit. You also have to add on the value of any business activities you handle, such as speaking with clients and all the work you put in. You also have to consider the costs of overhead. Putting a roof over your business isn’t free, either, so there is value you are generating that goes directly to the business rather than your own pockets.

To truly calculate the costs of business, you have to think like a freelancer. A recent, wonderful infographic on the CreativeLive Blog helps you break down your hourly rate and, through their formula, you may discover that it would be surprisingly high, somewhere around $50 to $100 an hour.

Once you know your hourly rate, you can add up all the time you spend performing marketing tasks, like writing blogs and managing social media. Looking at social media, you may spend 10 hours or so a week researching information to share, writing content, creating graphics, publishing, responding to commenters, finding new followers and more — not even including the management of paid ad campaigns. That right there equals $500 to $1,000 a week. Compared to the typical cost of a social media management agency like Optimized Scribes, which is around $200 a week, outsourcing is a bargain.

Similarly, a non-professional writer usually takes 3-4 hours or more to research, write, edit and publish a website blog. That’s $150 to $400 a blog, compared to a content writing agency capable of writing a blog for $40 to $50 apiece, including SEO, research and follow-up.

Put simply: spending your own time performing labor-intensive tasks tells you that you don’t value it as much as you should.

Added Overhead of Social Media Management and SEO Software

Managing a business’s diverse digital marketing portfolio effectively would be impossible without a slew of available tools. With the right software and cloud-based services, you can more efficiently monitor your online reviews, manage social media, review that you’re following SEO best practices, oversee all citation links and more.

Each of these pieces of software accomplishes a lot, but their costs add up. The average business could spend more than $500 a month on user fees alone. Additionally, there is all the extra time spent learning software and practicing how to use it.

A dedicated small business digital marketing agency can afford all of these subscriber fees because they can use their tools to manage multiple clients. That way, they have the best toolset available at a lower average cost, and they can pass the savings onto their clients. Clients essentially pay pennies-on-the-dollar for best-of-breed, agency-level software that helps them manage their digital channels as effectively as possible.

Pros Get You Professional Results

DIY Digital Marketing

The internet has spoiled us by allowing us to try out new things more than ever, but the DIY approach doesn’t always work well in this area. When it comes to trying cute-themed baked goods for your kids’ birthday, it’s okay if the whole thing turns into a horrific mess. But, if the product was meant for your business, the resulting embarrassment and brand damage could cause lasting impacts to revenues. In fact, if you do such a poor job, your business could even go viral for all the wrong reasons.

Instead of trying to learn how to perform marketing through trial and error, you should trust experienced professionals to manage everything for you. Through their knowledge of crafting well-written material, engaging audiences, managing campaigns, and continually improving everything through monitoring, they can generate far greater returns than any amateur still learning the ropes.

After all, your business is like your most important and most demanding kid. And, even though we can try and claim that we can do it all ourselves, we love our kids enough to send them to real professionals when they need something like dental work. Show your business some love by letting someone else do the work for you.

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6 Creative Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List

Grow Your Email Marketing ListEmail marketing remains one of the most effective methods for keeping leads wrapped within your funnel. The only challenge is getting people to actually sign up!

Over the years, expert marketers have suggested many effective ways to get email signups. These include surefire gems like using lead capture forms on your website and gating content behind an email submission.

But what about the more unconventional methods? The ones that pick up all the leftover emails that the most common suggestions overlook?

We racked our brains for some of the most creative approaches you can use to grow your email marketing list, and here are the best six we could come up with:

Add a “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” Button to All Emails

Grow Your Email Marketing List

Not everyone who receives email correspondence from you is a subscriber! This goes double for anyone that sends email receipts through systems like Square or who sends ecommerce invoices.

Capture all those unaccounted for email recipients directly by including a pitch for your subscriber list in a footer or signature line.

Even if you’re just responding to a customer inquiry or complaint, letting people know about your email subscriber program raises awareness and can convert a decent portion of people who fell through the cracks.

Offering them an incentive to subscribe like coupons or killer content makes this tactic even more effective!

Tie an Offer or Incentive to an Email Signup

Two common approaches to email signups are:

  • Promises that signing up will bring value in the form of coupons, sale updates or relevant content
  • Gating premium content behind email capture forms

Why not combine the two? Simply treat your offer, coupon or promotion like you would a piece of gated premium content. AKA: Don’t mention email at all at first!

Instead, dangle a juicy incentive in front of them, like a $5 coupon, a discount, a free audit, or a something similar. Then, when you bring them to the landing page to “redeem” the offer, they find out they need it emailed to them.

This approach nurtures their interest before making an ask, just like many websites do with white papers, swipe sheets and other gated content.

Send a Prepaid Postcard to Prior In-Person Contacts

Grow Your Email Marketing ListThis one is particularly for businesses that do a lot of face to face business, or may have contact lists from the direct mail days, leaving you with only physical addresses to work with. You can close the information gaps in your list by sending out snail mail envelopes containing postage paid postcards. Recipients can then send these back to you to submit their email. Make sure to give them the option to submit online, too!

This approach will likely have a low response rate, but it will get people’s attention. You can improve response rates by offering an incentive such as a coupon or gift they receive upon signing up.

Ask for Friends and Employees to Share Some of Their Contacts

This one’s a bit desperate, but it can actually turn into some mighty effective networking. Simply ask employees, co-workers and friends to sift through their contacts list for potentially qualified leads.

These emails can all receive a special template saying something like: “Your friends thought you would want to learn about us.” Then, give them the option to sign up on your actual subscriber list.

As a side note: don’t just make them into subscribers! This could be seen as invasive and unwanted. Give them the option to opt in; don’t force them to take the time to opt-out.

Import Your Email List From Social Media Followers

Grow Your Email Marketing ListYour followers on social media all have an email address attached to their account. You can find out what these addresses are using some clever tricks.

If you have a ton of Facebook fans, you likely paid a pretty penny acquiring them through Facebook ads. The good news is, you can use a Yahoo mail workaround to get the email addresses of your Facebook followers, which can then be imported to LinkedIn or your email program.

LinkedIn can similarly provide you with email addresses for all followers and contacts. Here’s how to do so, directly from the horse’s mouth.

Again: Do not automatically put these addresses into your subscriber list! Give them the chance to opt-in so they don’t feel invaded.

Curate Amazing Content from Others

Our final tip isn’t completely original, but it still doesn’t occur to many business owners.

When most people think of email subscriber content, they think of inwardly focused sales, tips, announcements and new content.

But potential subscribers may not see the value in these assets. “What do I care about news and commentary from Company X?” they may say.

Instead, provide them a curated, aggregated rundown of already trusted and popular information sources. These will likely be from publishers they already read, but you are doing them a favor and putting it all in one place for them.

These types of news roundup posts work especially well when you close out with something fun or funny for them to look at. Soon, you could have readers opening your emails just to scroll to the bottom for a pleasant distraction to their day.

Got Any Other Ideas to Grow Your Email Marketing List?

Grow Your Email Marketing List

These are the best ideas we could scrounge up, but we know we didn’t cover everything under the sun!

So tell us: what inventive and creative methods do you use to capture emails? Let us know with a reply in the comments below!

Shameless Plug: If you want help with making your email marketing campaigns succeed, don’t forget to look at Optimized Scribes’ services for great content writing and expert email marketing campaign setup using all the latest industry best practices.

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Why a Free Website May Cost You More in the End

free websiteFree website builder tools from companies like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and Jimdo all have their place, but not for professionals. If you intend to run an actual business and generate leads on the internet, then these tools aren’t even partial solutions.

In fact, a “free website” can end up costing you significantly. When you add together what you end up having to pay for all the things missing from your “free” package, then using a professional developer or more in-depth tools emerges as the better deal.

Your cost/benefit analysis should also include all your opportunity costs. Since having a barely workable site and an unprofessional look can hurt your ability to attract and convert leads, your “free” site can honestly cost you thousands in terms of lost business.

So, if you’re considering using a free website builder tool, go ahead and remember to add all these items to your tab before you consider bypassing the checkout.

No Such Thing as a “Free Website” Since You’ll Need Hosting and a Domain

Free WebsiteThe first thing to recognize is that there is absolutely no such thing as a “free website.”

Instead, what you are really building is a free design for your home page (and maybe a few side pages).

You aren’t even purchasing free HTML code! Many website builder tools lock you out of the true source code behind your page. Without access to these files, you can’t take your initial design as a springboard to build off of. Instead, you are stuck with the exact version you are able to create within the tool.

All this aside, even a completely free website design cannot function on its own. You will need a way to host your website, which requires high-capacity servers. Otherwise, a huge volume of people accessing your page at once will knock your website offline.

You also need to register your own domain. Some free website providers may offer a domain to go along with your page for no or minimal cost, but it will have the company branding embedded within. So, instead of you end up with, or something similar. Not exactly a professional look!

Add-Ons All Add Costs (And You’re Still Compromising)

Free websiteWith most website builders, you are going to be missing some or all of the following features unless you are willing to pay additional costs:

  • Use of more than five pages
  • Ecommerce integration
  • The ability to add landing pages or lead capture forms
  • The ability to direct traffic from ads or social media posts to special tracking URLs
  • “Contact Us” page forms
  • Integrated features like chat widgets
  • Control over how your site looks on mobile through responsive design
  • Much more

In addition, you are stuck with the layouts they provide to free users. Customizable layouts or ones not in the free category all cost extra. So, you’re not only missing a lot of what you need to run a viable website, but you’re also compromising on your site in general.

Your Marketing Funnel Ends Up Broken

Without the ability to capture user information or track referral URLs, then you lack a huge amount of information that would otherwise help you boost business.

For instance, without the ability to ask visitors for their email addresses, you can’t add them to your email marketing list. Without customizable social media share buttons, you can’t let people quickly share your content with friends and peers.

In fact, with many free website builders, you can’t even have a blog!

All of these aspects are components of a well-formed and complete digital marketing strategy that builds leads from multiple sources. Using a free website forces you to give up all of these things or accept that they will never be integrated into your site.

As a result, you lose out on countless leads and potential revenue.

People See Your Website and Think “…Nah!”

Free websiteLet’s say you accept all of the above as a sacrifice you are willing to make. “I just need a website,” you tell yourself. “I’m nowhere near the point where I’m worrying about email marketing or getting leads online.”

Even if this is the case, you still hurt the image of your brand and your business by using a free website builder. Many tools plaster your site with ads or disclaimers that “This Site Was Built in ____!”

All of these elements are not only distracting, they are off-putting to most visitors. Someone sees them and assumes you aren’t a serious business.

After all, given the choice between a website covered in ads for some other service and one with complete, cohesive branding, which would you choose?

Build a Website on a Budget Without Sacrificing Brand Integrity or Business

Free websiteYou always have options for building a website within your budget that don’t include free tools. While these tools may be tempting to use, they charge a high hidden price that most people are not willing to pay.

Choosing a more premium service or a custom website also brings in revenue and other returns over time. So, a small upfront investment can pay off in a big way — all while helping you grow and evolve your brand!

If you want advice on how to design your own website using great looking templates or completely from scratch, Optimized Scribes is here for you! We offer audits, consulting, website building strategies, and custom website design and development to suit your needs.

See what a fully-fledged website can do for your business when you contact us today.

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Here’s How to Use Facebook Advertising to Reach and Engage Prospects

Here’s How to Use Facebook Advertising to Reach and Engage Prospects

Whether you’re making new leads or trying to nurture existing ones, Facebook advertising provides a gold mine of attention-grabbing reach.

Facebook’s powerful advertising tools have advanced targeting and audience-finding features. These help you pinpoint action-prone audiences matching your most valuable demographics. You can also use Facebook to reach out to prospects you’ve discovered on other channels.


Between discovering new prospects and engaging with existing ones, Facebook gives you plenty of advantages for nurturing leads.

To help you make the most of their tools, here are some options you have and some best practices to follow that will maximize your chances of success.

Connect Every Post to Part of Your Multi-Channel Marketing Funnel

Here’s How to Use Facebook Advertising to Reach and Engage ProspectsFacebook posts can fuel engagement, but that’s not an end unto itself. To get a prospect to do something that generates you money, you likely have to take them away from Facebook somehow, unless you are an ecommerce business with products you can sell via a shopping tab.

This fact means that each ad or promoted post must contain a call-to-action that brings people to your website. Ideally, the prospect will land on a product listing page or a landing page explaining a compelling offer.

For longer buy cycles, the prospect will be directed towards a contact list signup or an offer for premium content. When directing prospects to content, it should end with a strong call to action to engage in the next step of the sales cycle.

Either way, clicking on your Facebook ad should be the first step in a longer journey. Well-built landing pages are the glue that holds every step together. If you don’t tell your prospect where they’re going next (and why they should go there), then all the “likes” and comments in the world won’t bring you any revenue.

Put simply: make sure your Facebook ads lead to a meaningful conversion action to increase their ROI.

Use Targeting to Find Relevant, High-Value Audiences

Facebook has the deepest information out there about users and their interests. Use this information to your advantage when creating ads and setting their targets.

Options for custom audiences include:

  • Education level
  • Financial situation
  • Home ownership and family status
  • Work details, including specific occupations or companies
  • Age range/Generational group
  • Gender

You can also filter by “interests” to select audiences with a high level of engagement in particular fields. For instance, if your brand happens to have a strong green component, you can add filters for “environmentalism” and “sustainability.”

Try using a broad demographic at first while experimenting with smaller, more-specific demographics in limited A/B tests. Gradually, you can find the best mixture of messaging and targeting to lower your costs per acquisition (CPA) overall.

Build Off Your Existing Customer Base

Here’s How to Use Facebook Advertising to Reach and Engage ProspectsImport your existing marketing lists and CRM information to Facebook as custom audiences for your ads, and you can grow your audience to other like-minded prospects. Even your LinkedIn Connections can be imported, helping you reach business-minded audiences on a more entertainment-focused platform.

Similarly, Facebook can expand reach to people “connected to” your page, meaning friends of people who “like” the page.

Facebook also uses a form of ad retargeting when you add a pixel code to particular product listings or informational page.

These features help you get in touch with your existing audiences while finding others who share their interests.

Make Sure Your Facebook Ads Can Grab Attention

Every Facebook ad should have a few key components:

  • Strong, eye-catching visuals for the banner image
  • Concise yet compelling copy that speaks directly to your audience while encouraging action
  • Some form of request for engagement, like an open-ended question
  • An appropriate call-to-action telling them what the next step is and why they should take it

For an excellent guide, Hubspot breaks down all of these elements in a clearcut way.

Facebook Advertising Puts You in Front of Huge Audiences, You Just Have to Tell Them What to Do Next

Thanks to Facebook advertising’s versatile and extensive feature set, you can find the audiences you need to fuel your lead generation goals. If you can follow best practices for ad formats and sales pipelines, you have just built a prospecting machine.

Want to learn more tactics that help your business succeed? Sign up for courses that can tell you the specific steps you need to take to gain more customers. By mastering digital marketing on Facebook and elsewhere, you can watch your business grow by leaps and bounds.

Want help making the most out of every social media impression? Take a look at Optimized Scribes’ social media marketing services today.

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Google’s LSA and Google Guarantee Revolutionizing Local Marketing

LSA provides many advantages to contractor business owners and consumers alike. For businesses, the promise of a flat fee paid per lead should be music to their ears. Currently, Google charges $25 per actual job quote — not just clicks!

Consumers can enjoy the confidence of seeing reviews and third-party verification for each entry displayed. They also get a guarantee, backed by Google, that the job will be performed correctly. Otherwise, they can get the total cost of the service refunded, up to $2,000.


Google's LSA

While Google Local Service Ads may seem like an unremarkable combination of AdWords and Google Maps services, the consequences are actually much more significant for service-based businesses.

Why? Because no one looks in the Yellow Pages for services anymore, especially not if they’re driving around town. 97% of people look up local business services online when they need something. Seeing a mixture of positive reviews, prominent search results placement and a guarantee of service quality can all dramatically reduce the time needed to find and book essential services.

Consequently, being displayed on Google LSA will help local businesses win more customers and provide them with a huge competitive advantage. As the program expands to encompass other industries, all business owners should be eager to get onboard at the ground floor.

How Do Google Local Service Ads (LSA) Work?

Google's LSA

There are a few essential things to know about Google LSA.

  1. The program only applies to certain home-oriented service industries in certain markets. Current industries available for LSA include:  Plumbers, Locksmiths, HVAC technicians, Electricians, and Garage Door Specialists. More industries could soon be on the way! The program is currently available in 17 cities and will expand to 30 metro areas by the end of 2017.
  2. These are paid advertising slots. Your company must opt-in and sign up with the service in order for your company listing to be eligible for display.
  3. Participation requires verification. Google wants to assure search users that your business is legitimate, so they will work through third-party verification services to establish your credibility and quality as a contracting business. Verification takes about two weeks to process.
  4. Customer reviews are displayed. Consumers generally expect 4-star reviews or better.
  5. Each LSA listing links to a business profile. This profile displays relevant information about your business, including qualifications like trade certifications.
  6. Users will be able to place a call or request a quote directly in search. Businesses are charged a flat rate only for these direct leads generated, not just clicks or views. The current rate is $25 per lead.
  7. Anyone not satisfied with your services will be eligible for a refund, backed by Google. Details on this program are scant, but we predict it will be similar to a performance bond. Google may potentially turn around and request money from the business owner and could penalize their ranking, too. We will update these speculations with actual details as they emerge.

Why Are Google Local Service Ads So Important?

Google's LSAGoogle’s LSA program is a direct response to two needs.

On the business side, businesses needed a streamlined way to get their services in front of an audience of search users. Channels like AdWords tend to have lower performance compared to Google “three-pack” map listings, so now paid advertising businesses can benefit from hyper-local placement at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

For consumers, they needed a way to cut through the noise and not get scammed. Searches like “Locksmith in Gwinnett, Georgia” most often seek to book a service in response to an immediate need. No one wants to go through a third-party lead generation service or get deceived by an illegitimate service provider. Google Guaranteed businesses provide them with added trust and, more importantly, a money-back guarantee to give them 100% confidence.

All these factors combine to create a powerful formula for online lead generation. Having your business displayed as part of the LSA results at the top of the SERP gives you privileged access to potential customers. A guaranteed cost-per-lead also gives businesses predictable marketing costs that sit as a set percentage of business generated, providing easily measured ROI.

Altogether, LSA will revolutionize the way people find and book essential services for their home.

Need Help Setting Up Google Local Service Ads or Improving Local SEO?

Google's LSA

Getting onboard with LSA and raising your chances of being a top listing requires careful planning. You must cultivate good reviews through online reputation management, optimize your Google My Business entries, and maintain contact with leads who request quotes but ultimately do not book.

In short, LSA success requires a well-oiled digital marketing machine that fires up any time someone searches for your business.

Get everything you need to find success on LSA together when you contact Optimized Scribes today.

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Local Search Optimization: Understanding The Basics

Taking a moment to improve your business’s online presence increases the chances of you getting found by local search engine users, which in turn brings you new business.
87% of people who own smartphones use a search engine to find information on goods and services each day. 50% of people who find a local business related to their needs will then visit a store in their community within the next 24 hours. As you can see, getting found in local search matters a lot!
But how can you be sure that you appear on the first page of Google when people type keywords related to your business into their search? Using local search engine optimization (Local SEO) practices improves your ability to appear on the local Google map results and the standard search results.
Ready to get started today? Locally based businesses can use the following quick yet effective SEO strategies to improve their rankings, get found by more people and get more business coming through their doors.

local seo


You should always put effort and care into the design of your business website. For instance, ensure that all the needed links are easy to find and that people can get critical information as quickly as possible. /

Ideally, you will also have several pages of information worth digging into that can encourage people to stay on your site and learn a little bit more about your business.

What does a great user experience have to do with search engine ranking? Simple. Google tracks how people act on a website after they click on a search engine listing. Factors that can influence your ranking include:
  • Bounce rate — How many people click the “back” button after looking at just one page
  • Time on site — How long people spend on your site overall
  • Page views — How many pages someone looks at after clicking through search engine results
The key to ensuring you have a good site experience that encourages people to spend more time is to test and get feedback. Ask others for their opinion, or offers customers a coupon if they fill out a survey. Then, build out your content so that people have more to enjoy with each online visit.


People’s experience on your site also has to do with the way it looks and functions. You will need to use responsive design, for example, so that people with different sized screens can all enjoy a similar, high-quality browsing experience. A large portion of your traffic is likely to come from mobile devices, after all, so you want them to be able to see everything without too much pinching and pulling.
Another factor that affects site experience is how long it takes for your pages to load. There are many things that can slow down your page load speed, including having too large of image file sizes or having your site connect through a redirect.
You can get your site tested both for its responsive design and its page load speed to get tailored suggestions on how to improve.


Your business likely has a few keyword phrases it wants to appear in search engine results next to. For instance, a local hardware store would want to rank when someone searches for “hardware store in Duluth, GA.”
Search engines actually have pretty sophisticated ways to connect these phrases to semantically similar information on your site, like the phrase “hardware in the Duluth area.”
That said, it never hurts to have a few exact matches for priority keywords on your pages. Having descriptive page titles or headers using keyword variations is incredibly important.
You will also need to use meta descriptions that encourage people to click on your search engine listing while using keyword signals for the search engine itself.


Every page you write for your website should be engaging and informative. Let the personality and motivating values for your brand shine through in the words you write.
After improving your main site pages, you should regularly add updated content on your site’s blog section. Updating your site with new content gives Google an excuse to review it and potentially shift its ranking potential.
Using keyword phrases in your content also helps flesh out your connection with certain search queries. For instance, a hardware store writing a blog about “The Best Paint Colors for Your Guest Bathroom” could use keyword phrases like “buy interior paint in Duluth” to help their ranking.


Your Google My Business listing is used to display business information in relevant search results on both Google Search and Google Maps. It uses information you complete along with information found on your website to tell search users about your business.
For instance, if you use the right Schema markup for NAP (name, address and phone number) and business hours, the information will display right in search results, encouraging people to call you or decide when to visit.
Claiming your page makes the information more accurate and complete, increasing your odds of obtaining a higher ranking.


Every link pointing back to your website helps boost your search engine ranking factors a little bit more. You can start claiming easy links on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List and your local Better Business Bureau to get started. Then, you can reach out to local blogs, news sites and other publishers to get guest post credits that include links to your site. Don’t forget local business directories and industry specific websites.
Building out a steady collection of citation links is one of the most effective strategy for boosting your search engine ranking.


Experts have mixed opinions on whether social media directly influences search engine rankings. However, social media pages can drive traffic, help you build citations and serve as an extra page for search engines to find when relevant keywords are used.
Simply put: having an active, engaged audience on social media can help benefit your other digital marketing goals in synergistic ways.


Reviews linked to your Google My Business page can help boost your ranking.
When someone searches for a popular business category, like “Mexican restaurants in Memphis,” Google will typically favor those with active positive reviews over those without.
Encourage customers to write reviews with every purchase. If you can identify your top 20 favorite customers you know by name, for instance, reach out to them directly for a review. Give people a direct link on your site to your preferred review source so that they have just a few steps to take.
Keep in mind that most people would love to voice their opinion, but the more work they feel they have to do, the less inclined they are to do it! Make the process easy, remind them often and connect review requests with a positive experience to build up both your review rating and your local search ranking.


Optimized Scribes has experience helping businesses of all sizes get found more easily in local search, including small businesses like yours!
Become the star of your local community and increase your visibility exponentially when you take a look at our local search optimization packages today.

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