Seven Benefits of SEO for Pest Control and Pressure Washing Companies

As the internet impacts just about every part of our daily lives, it is becoming increasingly important to make your online presence known, regardless of the industry you are in. I get many variations of the same question a lot: “Why do I need SEO for my pressure washing company? We are a small operation.” If there is one lesson to learn about the pandemic era, it is that the World Wide Web is our window to the world, both figuratively and literally.

Back in the day, we had the Yellow Pages, where our fingers did the walking. Now they walk along the keys of our keyboards. Statistics tell us that 87.3% of the American population uses the internet. And 81% of the American public uses the internet to search for a product or service.

Of that 81% of those looking for a product or service, only about 25% will go to the second-page listings, so if you aren’t coming up first, you might as well come up last. SEO might be a long-term strategy, but it is an essential one for your company’s visibility. These are just seven of the benefits of having an SEO campaign for your pest control or pressure washing company.

What is SEO?

Some of our clients know what SEO—others give us a puzzled look. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on search engines such as Google and Bing.

Anytime that you ask Google a question or a keyword or phrase, it quickly goes to work matching your words with websites to find the best results for what you are looking for. Google takes the words and content on your pages and then ranks them according to how helpful they are to internet users, which leads to the search engine results page (or SERP).

When someone Googles something related to pest control or to pressure washing, a SERP pops up, and if you are not on that page, it’s pretty likely you will not get a call. If you are on the second page and beyond of a SERP, again… you might as well be on the last.

There are over 200 different characteristics that Google uses to classify where you rank, including:

  • Bounce rates – the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
  • Security – Do you have any security risks on your website that can pose a risk to anyone who visits?
  • Site activity – What are internet users doing when they go to your page?
  • Mobile-friendliness – Can an internet viewer see your website as well on their mobile device as they do on a computer?

Not all these characteristics are equally critical, but they do all work together to form your placement. The key is to maximize all that you can to launch yourself to the top SERP, where your customers can actually find you. After all, you can have the best-designed, most visually stunning and highly informative website on Earth, but all the effort is wasted if no one ever sees it.

7 Benefits of SEO for Pest Control and Pressure Washing Companies
1. Enhancing User Experience

There was a time when advertising was all about having the loudest voice, being the most in someone’s face, and forcing yourself into someone’s daily lives via spam emails, etc… According to the polls, that is exactly what people don’t want. All of those attention-seeking avenues that we once thought were vital? It turns out they turn people away! SEO is about being more targeted and selective and reaching out to people who are already searching for you. SEO tactics are aimed at making the user experience better, not being in their face whether they want you or not. When users are happy, they are more likely to have a favorable opinion of you, and they are more likely to call and schedule an appointment!

2. SEO Brings Qualified Leads, Not Just Leads

SEO is a tool that has your customers coming to you, not the other way around. Your leads from an SEO strategy are people who are already either looking for or needing your service. It doesn’t make much sense to spend resources trying to reach people who may or may not need a service, when you can easily target those who are already in the market and ready to make a decision.

3. Helps You Close Sales!

When you have more qualified leads, and a website built to convert, it leads to more sales – for real. 50% of internet shoppers report that they do a Google search before reaching out to a service or buying a product. When you have a well-planned SEO strategy, you have a greater likelihood of being front and center. Not only does this breed familiarity with you as a brand or service; it can lead to loyalty, meaning you have a customer for life – it’s a win-win.

4. Spend Less and Get More

Pay-per-click ads and pay-per-lead strategies are no doubt effective, but are costly and are never-ending. Once you stop ads, that traffic also stops. SEO gives you organic search rankings that will generate revenue for the long run. SEO takes some time to build (so don’t stop advertising altogether), but increasing your visibility for an organic search will help to decrease the amount that you have to spend on attracting customers to your service through paid ads or traditional marketing.

5. Builds Awareness and Credibility

The higher you rank on Google, the higher you will be on the SERP. When you show up first, it is almost as if Google is endorsing you – whether they see it that way or not, the customer does. But Google is smarter than you know. They aren’t just looking for technical stuff like having the right keywords and backlinks; they want to know what customers’ actual experiences are. That is where online reviews come in. Your reviews and reputation are going to affect how Google views you too. 5 star reviews on your Google Maps page and high ranking on 3rd party review sites like Yelp or Homeadvisor are essential to your SERP rankings.

6. Boosts All of Your Other Marketing Endeavors

It isn’t that you shouldn’t spend money on things like billboards or promotional materials to send to customers, but they aren’t going to be visible when someone is sitting in front of their computer looking for a service. All those things that you do outside the internet are great to build brand familiarity and loyalty so that when your website does pop up they recognize you. But the reality is without a good mix of both, you likely are just spinning your wheels. Like anything else, marketing is a balancing act that requires you to target your customers from all angles, but SEO is one of our favorite ways to drive revenue.

7. Decreased Customer Acquisition Costs

The numbers don’t lie: SEO can help drive more leads for less money than all other forms of marketing. It might take longer and need a lot of persistence, but once you reach that top spot, you will begin to appreciate its power. And the results will last longer than other advertising and marketing tools that you have tried.

Struggling with an effective SEO campaign for your pest control or pressure washing company? That is where we come in!

If you are ready to put your marketing resources into a long-term strategy that will drive more leads, give you more visibility, and cost you less, then we are ready to help you dominate the web. Contact Fu Dog Media today to get started!

The Values of SEO: Working Effectively Behind the Scenes – “Working” Being the Operative Word!

Digital marketing is an industry that is not well understood by many business owners. I hear from customers all the time that they get frustrating cold calls from random solicitors about SEO, and that it all sounds very unnecessary. Usually, we are asked “Is local SEO expensive?” I like to answer that it is only expensive if you DON’T do it! SEO might not make an immediate impact, but the long-term game can make a huge difference.

Is Local SEO Expensive?

When we approach new clients, their first question – and rightly so – is about how much our services cost. And we understand that smart business decisions are all about weighing the costs versus the benefits. However, most people get so stuck on the price of SEO services that they can’t see the forest for the trees.

We can see where it might be difficult to put your faith in our promise that over time, we can enhance your local presence and your bottom line, but we both also know that sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and put in some sweat equity.

Local SEO is a prime example. You might have to put some money out for the first couple of months that might not show immediate results, but we know that your sweat equity in this case will build your business in the long run. Your savvy competitors are already on board with digital marketing and SEO, and if slow and steady wins the race, you better get at it!

If You Aren’t on Page One, You Won’t Be Seen

Statistics tell us that 90% of search engine users will only go to first page results when doing an organic search for a product or service. Most of the time, we have no problem getting our customers to understand the value of updating and redoing their website to be more “mobile-friendly,” easier to navigate, and more appealing.

What they might not understand, however, is that you can spend thousands redoing your website to make it eye-catching – but it won’t catch anyone’s eye if they never see it.

90% of Search Engine Users Will Use Only the First Page Results

If you aren’t found on page one of an internet search, then you are really throwing money away on a new website because the only person that will probably appreciate it is you and the customers who you have already captured.

Throwing the money into making your website spectacular and then letting it sit without the use of local SEO really makes very little economical sense. If you understand the value of your online presence, then it stands to reason that putting in the extra amount to ensure your investment in a new design is well worth it.

In Practical Terms

Sometimes the only way to illustrate the point you are trying to get across is to put it into practical terms. So let’s say you have your mindset that local SEO is a waste of your monthly marketing budget, but let’s do the math…

How much money do you gain from earning just one client or sale per month? For most industries, if local SEO drives just one customer your way, or entices one to reach out and buy your product, you have recouped all the money you put into monthly local SEO.

How Does Local SEO Work?

A study done by the highly-respected Forrester Group found that when you invest in local SEO, you can increase your revenues by as much as 400%. But is that really realistic? Let’s see how it works.

Traffic

When it comes to revenue, driving more traffic to your website is not the only way to increase your sales and leads. If someone is merely attempting to land more people on your website indiscriminately, that is probably useless. But that doesn’t mean that driving traffic isn’t a vector for increased sales.

50% of all of your website views comes from people clicking on your link from an organic search result. Those who engage in local SEO are getting more than 50% of all the traffic on the internet, and those who aren’t are sharing the remaining 50% amongst themselves. If you rank on page one, you are being seen 90% of the time; therefore, you are getting 90% of the 50% if you come up on the first page.

The question then becomes not whether SEO is expensive, but whether you can afford not to use it as a resource to enhance your visibility and your bottom line. How many jobs are you currently missing out on because you aren’t being ranked in the top spot when people are searching for your product or service?

What I can tell you is that sometimes in an effort to save pennies, we end up throwing away dollars. If you aren’t doing some form of local SEO, you are probably missing out on a large portion of traffic and revenue.

Results-Driven

At Fu Dog Media, we don’t just throw out opinions or projections; we deliver real-life results based on analytics and reports. If you are worried about seeing any change, we provide facts, figures, and analyses about the difference we are making. But most of all, you will feel the difference our efforts make in your sales, leads, and wallet – so my question to you is, how expensive is not engaging in local SEO for your business? Contact us today and let’s start dominating the web together!

Web Design, SEO & PPC for Your Power Washing Company – The Benefits of Hiring Specialized Experts

When it comes to SEO and PPC, sometimes the practices we use in the industry don’t vary much. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not important to find a professional who understands the specific nature of power washing SEO and how to best drive traffic to gain tangible results for your business. At Fu Dog Media, we specialize in helping power washing companies gain a competitive edge, more leads, and increased revenue through the use of PPC and SEO.

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Gain Exposure – Book More Power Washing Appointments – Increase Revenue!

Increasing your exposure and sales is all about having a vivid, video- and image-packed, mobile-friendly, navigation-friendly website. Your website isn’t just a place card for your business information; it is a tool that, if laid out properly, converts visitors into booked appointments.

How does your current website stack up against the competition? Pressure washing is a competitive business in most areas, so if you don’t grab them first with your website, someone else definitely will!

Case Studies

Helping Our Clients Wash the Pressure Washing Competitors Away!
3 case studies….

What We Do Best for Pressure Washing Companie

At Fu Dog Media, our goal is not just to drive more traffic to your site, but to also drive targeted views that will convert to sales. Our proven methods will help you book more appointments and grow your business using strategies that work.

We insist on making a good impression via your website so you book more pressure washing appointments and increase your rankings, so people see you more than the competition.

Are You Getting Noticed?

Our website design team understands the importance of first impressions – after all, you only get one shot. We design sites that represent your brand and expertise, while providing vivid imagery and videos to keep visitors engaged.

Mobile-friendliness is one of the most important components of your Google ranking. We ensure that your design looks just as amazing on mobile devices as it does on computers by using our mobile responsiveness test.

And we also ensure that your customers have ease of use and navigational tools to contact you without the inconvenience of having to search. If someone has to go more than one step to find you, they probably never will.

Does your site perform that way now?
Improve Your Visibility

Statistics tell us that 90% or more of Americans use the internet to find products and services, like pressure washing companies, in their area. They also tell us that only 10% of those searching will go to page two to find what they are looking for. Therefore, if you aren’t seen on page one, you will most likely not be seen at all. Investing in a dynamic and innovative web design is critical – but not if no one sees it!

Search engine optimization may seem a bit overwhelming, and the long-term nature of it can be a little hard to swallow – but just like most things, slow and steady wins the race.

Our pressure-washing SEO practices are targeted to not just gain you more exposure, but also to keep you at the head of the pack. It isn’t just about ranking for keywords; there are over 200 factors that Google uses to rank businesses. We work as comprehensively as possible to increase as many factors as we can simultaneously!

Do You Know Where You Rank?
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Online Pressure Washing Booking

When asked, 72% of Americans would rather book their appointments online. In fact, many reported that they would book another company over their current one if they had the option to use the internet to schedule appointments. Also, think about it: you can book appointments in your sleep – literally!

Fill Your Appointment Schedule

Booking online gives people the ease of not taking another step to picking up a phone to reach out. All they have to do is click a button. They also don't have to worry about getting an answering machine and whether someone will call them back.

Potential and current customers can look for a time and day that works, and book it themselves. Not only does that cut down on your need to hire appointment setters to be available when people call; it will help to fill up your calendar quickly and consistently.

At Fu Dog Media, we can integrate your scheduling system so that your customers can see what you have available in real time, which gives them just one more reason to choose you over another pressure washing company. That means more growth for your business and your wallet.

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Boost Your Google Ranking

Whether you found out that you rank highly or not, we can help take your pressure washing business to a whole new level of domination. We have the specialized skills in the pressure washing marketing industry to rank you on page one and keep you there.

It is simple math: more exposure = more traffic = more appointments = more revenue – and we have the proof that our system works!

The Benefits of SEO for HVAC and Plumbing Companies

Plumbing and HVAC companies have a lot of competition when it comes to being found on the internet. In a post-pandemic world, the internet has become an even greater source for the average homeowner, with nearly 80% of all businesses found by doing an organic search. Statistics tell us that 90% of all internet users will only go to the first page of a search, and only 10% go to the second page, which is why your rankings are so critical to your bottom line.

Having an amazing HVAC/Plumbing website is definitely important – but only if you are doing what’s necessary for people to find it to begin with. SEO is a must to generate organic leads in the plumbing and HVAC world, and in this blog, you’ll find seven reasons that SEO is critical to your success.

Of that 81% of those looking for a product or service, only about 25% will go to the second-page listings, so if you aren’t coming up first, you might as well come up last. SEO might be a long-term strategy, but it is an essential one for your company’s visibility. These are just seven of the benefits of having an SEO campaign for your pest control or pressure washing company.

What is SEO?

As a business, you want to retain your customer base, but chances are that you are always looking for new ones, too. In the same way, customers are looking for a company that they can trust. It can be frustrating and difficult with so many options to choose from. How do consumers even know what services a company offers or how to find the right company for the service they need?

They Go to Google!

In the old days, the way to find a company was the Yellow Pages. Now people simply turn to the internet. They go into the browser and they type their search to find a match in their area. SEO impacts the way that search engines rank your company for an organic search. Let’s say that a homeowner has a water heater that isn’t heating. They would likely type “water heater repair” or do a voice search for “water heater repair near me”.

What comes up are the companies that Google deems a great match. How do they know? They use things like keywords and key phrases that are located on websites in the local area. When an internet user types in what they want, Google identifies the sites that have matching content and then up pops the ones that are relative according to Google’s algorithms.

Keywords are important because they tell the search engines which products and services you offer. If you don’t have the correct keywords or key phrases, then Google might not match you with homeowners, and you will probably not come up on the first page of a search result.

As mentioned above, if you don’t come up on the first page, you are missing 90% of internet traffic!

What Other Things Does Google Look For?

It isn’t just about keywords and keyphrases, although they are highly critical. Google also uses algorithms to quantify how relative a site is to an internet searcher, as well as things like:

Bounce rates – How long do viewers stay on your website before they “bounce” to another one?
Security – Does your website pose any security risks that Google might see as a threat to viewers?
Site activity – What are internet viewers doing once they get to your site?
Mobile-friendliness – Can people view your website as easily on a mobile device as they do on a desktop or laptop?

There are over 200 other ways that Google classifies your website – some more important than others – but it is a combined total that gets you to the top spot when someone is searching for your product or service. If you don’t know what those are, you could be making yourself invisible to the people who need to see you in the front and center.

7 Benefits of SEO for Your Plumbing or HVAC Business

It is a simple math equation – the more consumers you reach, the more likely it is that they will reach out; the more sales you make; the more revenue you take in.

1. SEO Provides a Better User Experience

There was a time when advertising was all about the company advertising their goods or services. The key focus was to get their attention through any means possible, like emails and other pop-up strategies. What we have found is that irritating the consumer does not attract them; it turns them off.

SEO differs because it isn’t about who shouts the loudest. It is an inbound versus an outbound strategy. It gives your consumer a more targeted approach, and singles out the people who are actually looking for you. If you offer your plumbing and hvac services to people who need it and are actually looking for it, you are more likely to be attractive to them – they are waiting for you already! Better favorability = they’re more apt to reach out!

2. SEO Brings QUALIFIED Leads

Leads are great if you have the time and resources to follow them up, but let’s be honest: it is much easier when the customer comes to you first – when someone is searching for your product and service, that is a qualified lead because they need you.

3. SEO Closes More Sales

The more exposure you have on the internet to people searching for your product or service, the more probable it is that they will have brand familiarity and choose you. Statistics tell us that 50% of internet shoppers use Google before they buy or decide to call a service provider.
When you use SEO to enhance your ranking, you are more likely to pop up an internet search – and more exposure means more opportunity to close the deal!

6. Boosts All of Your Other Marketing Endeavors

It isn’t that you shouldn’t spend money on things like billboards or promotional materials to send to customers, but they aren’t going to be visible when someone is sitting in front of their computer looking for a service. All those things that you do outside the internet are great to build brand familiarity and loyalty so that when your website does pop up they recognize you. But the reality is without a good mix of both, you likely are just spinning your wheels. Like anything else, marketing is a balancing act that requires you to target your customers from all angles, but SEO is one of our favorite ways to drive revenue.

4. SEO Allows for Better Advertising Spending

When you properly initiate a good SEO strategy, then you don’t have to rely so much on other paid advertising methods, like pay-per-lead or pay-per-click ads. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should get rid of paid advertising altogether, but it does mean that over time you will get a lot of traction for free, and be able to cut back on your advertising budget.

5. SEO Builds Brand Familiarity and Credibility

If you come up first on a Google search, it is almost as if Google is giving you a recommendation of credibility. Getting Google to find you credible isn’t just about inbound and outbound links; it is an entire strategy of SEO that deems you as trustworthy due to things like online reviews, social media marketing, backlinks, and other tools. Also, more people are using Google maps and Google listings than ever before, so if you can get Google to trust you, then you have it made already with the consumer before you even step into their front doors.

6. SEO Enhances Your Other Marketing Methods

It isn’t an “either/or” thing: SEO works with your other marketing methods to enhance your bottom line. If you do advertise using other mediums, it will only further foster your brand recognition and loyalty. When customers continually see your name and logo, they feel as if they already know you, and that is great advertising. Unfortunately, when their hot water heater quits on Monday morning, they aren’t going to Google your business name, which is why both are necessary!

7. SEO Lowers Customer Acquisition Costs

Cost-benefit analyses tell us that SEO is a much less expensive way to lower your lead costs than other marketing strategies and tools. Although it is a long-term endgame, it does work. And when you got it, you got it! When we get your SEO up and running and WORKING – it is the most cost-effective marketing option available!

Dominate with Fu Dog Media

If you aren’t making full use of SEO strategies, you are losing out. Your website can be as spectacular as possible, but it doesn’t matter if no one ever sees it. A lot of our customers ask us if SEO really works and if our results are real – YES! Contact Fu Dog Media today to discuss how we can take your plumbing or HVAC company to a whole new level!

Want to Expand Your Website Conversion? Three Secret Ways Revealed!

A website is your best tool to reach your customer base via the internet. But even if you go through all the expense and time of building an awesome website design, use SEO tools to drive traffic, and update frequently, that doesn’t necessarily mean that getting visitors there means converting them to act and become a customer. There are three industry secrets that are the quickest and easiest ways to expand your website conversion to turn viewers into customers!

Leverage Your Social “Accolades”

One of the biggest keys to building credibility for visitors to become customers are reviews. If you are lucky enough to have people blow up your social media pages with positive feedback and reviews, use it to your advantage. Sure, you can toot your own horn and claim to be the best, but having customers attest to your greatness is an invaluable tool.

Pay very close attention to your reviews on various sites such as Google, Yelp, and any other social media platforms. They serve as proof to potential consumers that you aren’t just saying you are the best – you really are the best!

Another way to lend more credibility to your proven results is to become a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Also, seek any accolades or certificates that paint you as an authority in your field! The key is to make potential consumers feel confident in your service or product – enough so that they want to take action to become a client or to purchase your goods. That way, you will convert visitors to customers at a greater rate and realize a windfall of business and profits!

Chat Functions are a MUST

Communication has changed significantly over the past decade. People are no longer interested in picking up a phone to get information or reach out. If they have to find your number, make a call, sit on hold, or punch in a number to get the right extension, you have a greater probability of losing them!

Today’s consumer wants to either text or chat through your website directly. They don’t want to wait for someone to answer or go through any additional steps. By having a chat function on your website, you won’t run the risk of losing them – you have them captured. If you have a team member available to answer questions or help with check-out, you will be amazed at how quickly your conversion rate will increase dramatically.

Don’t Leave It to Chance – Have a Minimum of Three Ways to Convert!

Obviously, the more conversion tools that you use, the likelier it is that your conversion rate will increase and you will entice consumers to act! But what are the options available?

A Visible Phone Number

Although a phone call might not be everyone’s first choice, it should always be an option. It might not be as efficient, but you want to cover all of your bases and ensure that you are reaching outliers who aren’t the norm.

Chat Function

Again, having a chat feature is a highly convenient way for people to contact you. And it makes it less likely that they will put it on their “to-do-later” list. If they do wait, you are likely to miss them!

Always Make Sure Things Match Up

Google ranks businesses according to the consistency of the information. Because of this, it is critical to ensure that your business name appears the same on your dashboard as it does on your listing. For example, if your company name is Southwest Healthcare System, any other variation – like “SW Healthcare System” – will hurt your ranking.

Make sure that your business name is exactly the same throughout all of your information. That means everywhere your name appears, including things like Facebook, Yelp, and other forums. Also, pay close attention to your address; the same goes for any street name abbreviations.

A Dispatch System

For people who don’t want to pick up a phone, the ability to schedule an appointment is invaluable. If you give your existing and potential customers the ability to book an appointment online, they are really likely to do so — now! Allow them to conveniently pick the time and day, and then make sure to give them the option for a confirmation email or call so that they can confirm or reschedule, if necessary.

Can You Implement These Simple Tools on Your Website?

Adding a chat function, a scrolling review banner, and the ability to book online is a quick and easy fix. If you want to know more about how to increase your conversion rates, customer base, and bottom line, we are here to help. Contact Fu Dog Media and let’s dominate the web together!

How to Optimize Your Google Maps Listing

If you haven’t yet discovered the power of Google Maps marketing, you are missing out on a windfall of free advertising! Google Maps helps customers find you; it sets you apart from the competition, and it can dramatically increase your bottom line. And the best part is — it is all FREE. But most people incorrectly assume that Google will automatically drive traffic to their business just because they are in a specific location.

Physical location is only one of the ways that Google Maps identifies and ranks a business. There are several other things you can do to increase your visibility, but it takes a little bit of work on your part. However, if you do put the time in, the rewards can be well worth it.

Why You Should Rank Higher on Google Maps

According to recent studies, Google Maps is used by 67% of all online consumers. And of that 67%, there aren’t many who will go past the first couple of listings when doing an internet search. That is why it is so important to increase your visibility by being one of the first to show up.

We know that consumers land where they do based on the keywords they’re searching. Keywords help to match consumers 84% more than when they type in a business’s actual name. So embedding the right keywords is one of the best tools to alert Google to match relevant searches with your business.

You also want to rank in the top three Google Maps listings because you get a prominent place just below the map where your information and ratings are displayed. Anything past the top 3 gets hidden under the “more places” tab where consumers need to search further.

How to Rank Your Listing Higher on Google Maps
Adding Yourself to Google Maps

The first step to ranking your business higher on Google Maps is to claim your listing. If you aren’t sure if your listing is visible, or you have not added your business to Google Maps:

  • Go directly to the Google Maps app or google.com/maps and search your company’s name
  • If you find it in the drop-down menu, then you are all set
  • If you can’t, use the drop-down menu to find “add a missing place” and click on it
  • You will be prompted to add your business name, location, and category

Anyone can add a business, so there is a chance that even if you haven’t added yours, someone else might have. The good news is that even if someone else has added your listing, they have no way of altering your Google Maps listing or adding information to it. The only time you can do so is if you are the one who added it, and you can prove that you are the owner of a business.

Claiming Your Google Maps Business Listing

Next, to rank higher on Google Maps, you need to claim the listing. When claiming, you have to provide more than just the name, location, and category; more details are needed. The more that you provide, the higher you will rank. But enhancing your listing can only happen after it has been claimed.

You will need to have a Google My Business account to claim your listing. If you already have an account, simply click on “own this business?” or “claim my business,” then follow the instructions.

Adding More Information to a Google Maps Listing

Once your Google My Business and Google Maps business listing are linked, you are ready to begin priming it for more visibility. Remember: the more information you provide, the higher Google will rank you. Log in to your Google My Business account and your dashboard will appear with several tabs.

Click on the “info” tab. It will have your address, service area, name, category, special hours, hours, website, products, phone number, description, and services. Use these tools to optimize your listing to rank higher on Google Maps.

Always Make Sure Things Match Up

Google ranks businesses according to the consistency of the information. Because of this, it is critical to ensure that your business name appears the same on your dashboard as it does on your listing. For example, if your company name is Southwest Healthcare System, any other variation – like “SW Healthcare System” – will hurt your ranking.

Make sure that your business name is exactly the same throughout all of your information. That means everywhere your name appears, including things like Facebook, Yelp, and other forums. Also, pay close attention to your address; the same goes for any street name abbreviations.

Add a Local Phone Number

Google is not a fan of 800 or 877 numbers because they are often linked to spam listings. Always use a local number with the area code included. It is a simple way to rank higher, and it also helps searchers verify that your business is actually located locally.

Include Your Main and Tracked Number

If your business uses call tracking, always use the tracking number as your primary and your main secondary. That way, you can track the calls that generate from Google Maps to see how well your listing is driving organic traffic. Providing both numbers serves a dual function. You can quantify the consumers that are being driven via your Google Maps listing, but Google also has the main number to compare with your website for credibility.

Keep Hours Updated

As we start to recover from COVID, hours will likely change for many businesses. Make sure that you keep up with your hours listings. Or if you were temporarily shut down, make sure that you update your listing so people don’t assume you are still closed for business. Also, when you keep your hours of operation up-to-date, Google assumes that you are an active business.

Another reason you always want to make sure that your hours are listed correctly is if someone goes to your establishment due to your posted hours and you are not open, that is likely to leave a poor impression. And it might provoke them to leave a negative review, which can severely impact your Google Maps listing.

Write a Description

Make sure to provide a detailed description of your business listing and all attributes that apply. When writing it, stay on-brand to build brand awareness and to create consistency. Keywords will be a critical part of your description, because Google Maps ranks according to your business’s name and also your services or products.

Categorize Your Business Correctly

The way that your category is listed is essential to visibility. Use the primary category to describe the core of your business. Then, check to see if any secondary or additional categories might apply. There isn’t an option to add your own category, but as you type a prearranged set of categories will show in a drop-down menu, which can sometimes be useful.

Add Images

Both consumers and Google love images! It not only signals to Google that you are active; Google is starting to use images that show in local searches. One thing to keep in mind is that Google typically loves what consumers do, and potential customers want to see what you have to offer in real life. If you don’t add photos, your image will appear completely blank and unexciting.

But only use high-quality and engaging photos. Go to the “Photos” tab in your dashboard and look for a blue circle with a plus sign. Once you click on it you can drag your photos and drop them. The same is true for videos. Your goal should be to add a new image or video daily to really increase your Google Maps visibility.

Reviews are a Must!

Consumers want to know what people think about your business, and so does Google. When you open your Google Maps listing up, Google automatically allows people to add reviews. But having the ability to add them – and actually getting people to – are two separate things. Make sure to ask your customers to review your business on Google Maps. When – or if – someone leaves a poor review, you need to respond.

Customers want to know that you care about the quality of your service or product, and answering a negative review is the best way to show that you do. It can seem risky to ask people to review your business in case someone isn’t exactly pleased. But the good reviews typically far outweigh the not-so-good, if you care about your customers’ experience.

Only Have One Google Maps Listing

There are occasions where there will be multiple listings for your business. Make sure to verify that you only have one. If you find more than one listing, make sure to consolidate and delete all but one. And then go over the information to verify that it is all correct.

Post Regularly!

Posting to your Google Maps business listing is one of the best ways to enhance your visibility and ranking. It shows Google that you are active, and it also gives consumers more information about your business.

Using Your Website to Rank Higher on Google Maps

There is a lot of crossover from your business listing to your website. Therefore, your website can be a great tool to enhance your listing.

Your Website MUST be Responsive!

A responsive website functions the same on any screen size or device. Google Maps business listings have a link that goes directly to your website. And research tells us that as many as 60% of internet searchers use a mobile device. A consumer looks unfavorably on websites that make them pinch and zoom, are slow to load, or have broken links. If they have to work harder to see your info, then that can decrease your ranking significantly.

Keywords are Critical on Your Website

If you are a local business, use targeted local keywords to boost your ranking. It will also help to rank your website higher. Using location-specific keywords on your landing pages is important. Incorporate them into your About Us page, homepage, Contact Us page, and even blog post pages. Don’t just add them to your page titles, but also your image tags, URLs, body text, headings, and captions for maximum effect.

Include an Embedded Google Map on Your Website

On your contact page – or elsewhere – make sure to add a Google Map. It is an excellent way to tell Google where your business location is. Just make sure that your address matches your Google Maps listing. The way to embed a Google Map is to first search your company’s name in Google Maps. Then, click “share” and then “embed a map.” Simply copy and paste the Google Maps link to your contact page.

Google Maps listings are quickly becoming the most common way that people find a business. It is a place where they not only find you, but they can find out about you. If you are diligent about posting and follow the above tips, you will likely find yourself in the top 3 and gain a lot of advertising, and all for free. For more great tips on how to increase your traffic and bottom line, contact Fu Dog Media — we want to help you dominate the web!

Fu Dog Media Announced as a 2021 Local Excellence Award Winner by UpCity!

For more than a decade, UpCity’s mission has been—and continues to be—to help businesses find B2B service providers they can trust. The UpCity Recommendability Rating was developed to determine a service provider’s credibility and recommendability, giving UpCity the confidence to recommend them to the more than 1.5 million businesses that visit their site.

Each year, UpCity analyzes and scores more than 70,000 service providers based on their UpCity Recommendability Rating and acknowledges the top national and local providers with an UpCity Excellence Award. The results are in, and we won!

We are ecstatic to announce that the Fu Dog Media team has been recognized as one of the top B2B service providers of 2021 in the Charleston area by UpCity!

Fu Dog Media is a leader in Web Design, E-Commerce Websites, Social Media Marketing, SEO, Graphic Design, Logo Design, and more. We create digital experiences for brands and companies who desire to dominate. Through an in-depth consultation, we find out what makes you light up, what you like, and what your goals are for your project, then create a comprehensive digital strategy to make it happen. Cutting edge design and superior customer service are paramount at Fu Dog Media.

top digital marketing company

Dan Olson, Founder & CEO of UpCity, had this to say about Fu Dog Media:

“Through their many reviews from delighted customers, it’s easy to see that Fu Dog Media provides high-quality solutions to each and every project. Congratulations to Fu Dog Media for winning a Local Excellence Award!”

– Dan Olson, Founder & CEO

This recognition has been driven in large part by our 5.0-star review rating on UpCity. Here are a few of our favorite pieces of feedback we’ve received from our incredible customers:

“Ben and his team at Fu Dog Media were professional and did fantastic work. They guided us through the process and helped us put together a fantastic website! Would definitely recommend!”
– Fu Dog Media customer

“Working with Fu Dog Media has been a great experience from the very beginning. Jyles & Ben took our vision and our goals for our business and were able to make an amazing and cohesive logo and website that truly represents our brand. If you are looking for professional, talented web designers, these guys are it. We are excited to continue working with them for SEO services!”
-Justin and Lauren Photography, Fu Dog Media customer

We adopted the Fu Dog name because we believe your business is sacred and we want to help you protect, grow, and nurture it like we do our own. This philosophy has allowed us to become one of the top digital marketing companies in South Carolina, with the help of our customers’ support. Thank you to the UpCity team and our Fu Dog Media customers over the years for this award!

Do You Need SEO? The Numbers Don’t Lie – Tried and True SEO Stats!

As we head into another year, if there is one thing we’ve all learned is that things can change in a heartbeat. And, unfortunately, the most socialization that we have been able to have in 2020 is social media. But that isn’t all bad, especially for your business.

Although all might have seemed lost for some small businesses when the pandemic dug in its heels, what many learned is if you adapt and find new ways to market, advertise, and offer your product or services in the face of adversity, it is possible to not only survive but to thrive. If you aren’t yet convinced that SEO is critical to your overall bottom line, read these hard and true statistics!

It Takes In-Depth Content to Rank Highly

It used to be that a solid content page on Google for ranking purposes was somewhere around 500 to 700 pages. According to Google, the average length is now 1,890 for top ranking web pages. How are you keeping up? And it isn’t just about word count; you don’t need to drive people to your website, you need them to stay! People want to absorb useful information broken up into sections that are easy to peruse.

local video marketing SEO SEO near you

It is All About the Reviews!

According to Forbes Magazine, 80-90% of all online shoppers read the reviews before making their purchasing decisions. Online reviews are the key to building brand credibility. That’s why making it easier for your customers to add comments can really help your bottom line. Put in the time to follow up with customers to make sure not only that they had a pleasurable experience, but also ask if they’re willing to share.

Make Every Impression Count

The average time a person will spend on an internet search per item is about one minute long. That isn’t much time to captivate them, which is why you have to make your impression count! Finding information has become so liberal that most of us take for granted the wealth that we can consume in just one minute. That also means as a business that your time is ticking. Whatever you have on the internet has to grab attention and do so quickly.

Blogs are Essential

Inside Views reports that business-to-business marketing gains 67% more leads if they use blogs in their campaign. Blogs used to be a way that people expressed their opinions and ideas for the reader. Blogs have a dual purpose now. They not only are meant to engage the reader and provide value-added, they are a signal to Google about the credibility of your site. If you have blogs that readers find useful, it can do incredible things for your ranking and internet traffic. If you don’t, then you are telling Google that you really don’t have much to offer. Blogs are essential, but the quality and relativity of them is even more so.

Long-Tailed Keywords are Getting Longer

Wordstream found that 50%, or half, of all search queries, use four or more words. Tyson Media reports that If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, 40% of internet users will skip you and search again. Long-tailed keywords were gaining popularity years ago. Now, statistics say that more and more people are using voice recognition to do their internet searches. Since it is much easier to say what you want to find, people are using more words than ever before to better pinpoint what they are trying to find. So the more you can incorporate more detailed and target keywords into your content, titles, and meta descriptions, the better.

Google Updates Daily, and you Need to too

Hubspot counted that Google works to change its algorithms about 500-600 times annually. So what worked yesterday, likely isn’t working today. Just when you think you’ve got the rules figured out, the game changes. Google is constantly changing how they classify websites and webpages to remain relative. So watching for new trends and simple algorithms upgrades are essential.

Company Names That Include Strong Keywords get Noticed Locally

Businesses that use a strong keyword contained in their company name are spotted 1.5 times more in search engine results according to the Local SEO Guide. Local SEO differs from national, and it is all about location and keywords. Never before is it more important to use strong keywords in your company name. In previous generations it was all about finding words that come first in the alphabet because companies were listed alphabetically, those days are long, long gone.

YouTube Giving Google a run for its Money

Google might be a mainstay, but new data released by Mushroom Networks indicates that YouTube is now a close second for search engines around the globe. More and more people are choosing video streams over content. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need quality content on your site, but it does mean that you have to have a healthy mix between the two. YouTube is where you captivate your audience; your website is where you drive them.

local video marketing SEO SEO near you

Don’t Underestimate Facebook

Merkle found that there are over 2,000,000,000 search queries on Facebook on any given day. Facebook might be the elderly social media platform on the block, but don’t underestimate it. Although most people downplay how often and how much they rely on Facebook – the stats tell us differently. Keep your presence strong by using the right keywords when you are posting to social media.

Click-Throughs Matter!

19.3% of organic search click-throughs go to the top listings. Ranking highly on an organic Google search is still critical, but getting there isn’t as easy. It takes a good mix of ads with the right content and campaign to get the most click-throughs possible.

Organic Searches are Still a Priority

Marketers say that 60% of their efforts are focused on enhancing their SEO and organic presence on the internet. After decades of things changing on the internet, there is one thing that remains the same – organic search efforts are still a number one priority. It takes approaching your SEO and SEM marketing from many fronts to push your website higher on an internet search.

Content Remains King

55% of marketing experts believe that quality content creation is their number one priority. People are looking for information that hasn’t been cut and pasted. They want something outside the obvious, which is why pages that have 1,890 words or more are leading the charge. The more people get, the more they want. Content isn’t just what drives your organic traffic it is what converts them to become a customer.

People pretty much lived on the internet pre-COVID, now that is where we all live, play, and shop. As we head into a new year, hopefully, full of prosperity and health, now is an excellent time to revamp your website and social media presence. The numbers don’t lie – you can do some amazing things with very little effort if you know the facts.

At Fu Dog Media, we stay ahead of the changing internet tide to consistently provide targeted and effective means to get your company noticed. Contact us today to discuss how we can take your business to the next level and have you dominating the web!

Dominating Google With a Local SEO Company – What You Need to Know

Never before has local SEO been so critical to help drive potential customers to your website. The best way to enhance your organic traffic is to increase visibility by knowing how to attract potential customers. SEO is a fantastic marketing strategy for any company or business who is serious about their web presence.

Local SEO is a type of targeted search engine optimization that focuses on attracting attention in a specific location, typically where your business resides. The first critical step to maximizing your website’s exposure is knowing where your customer base lies. Are you trying to target consumers nationally, regionally or just locally? Once you figure out where to throw the net, the rest becomes a whole lot easier.

Hiring a Local SEO Company to Help You Dominate

When you have a brick and mortar, your physical location becomes super important to your overall sales. 97% of customers look for a local business online before they follow through to purchasing. Therefore, if you don’t come up when they do an internet search, there is very little probability that you will get the physical sale. Statistics also say that about 50% of customers who do a Google search to find a business visit the store that day.

The best way to enhance your local exposure is to hire a local SEO company that is focused on making sure your services are seen in a specific geo-targeted area. Most medium-to-small businesses need to be seen online in their locale, not on a grand scale. So focusing more concentratedly is going to gain you better results.

The advantages of local SEO
  • It tends to be less expensive than national SEO
  • The competition for ranking is lesser
  • You target potential consumers by using keywords that your niche market will be using to find you. The keywords used have very high conversion rates
  • Ranking locally usually takes much less time
  • It is usually easier to stay within your overall marketing budget
Local Search Engine Optimization Marketing Services

Local SEO is an excellent way to get ahead of your competitors, but it is not a once and done type of marketing and advertising plan. To be successful with an organic Local SEO campaign, you have to be persistent – it is a long end game.

The benefits of hiring a local SEO company
  • You will receive more leads, sales, and website visits from local consumers
  • It will increase your visibility over your competitors
  • You can implement more concise geographically targeted campaigns

According to Google, 43% of searches are geographically oriented with 50% of mobile searches using local intent. Local SEO is one of the most effective ways to increase your location-specific presence to drive sales. It is also one of the most critical marketing tools that you have as a locally owned small or medium business.

The key to a successful SEO campaign is that you understand who your customers are, where they live, and what they want. Search engines are continually and constantly changing their algorithms, so you have to know how to evolve with them and update your site and SEO accordingly. A local SEO company should use every tool at their disposal to improve keyword rankings.

local video marketing SEO

Local Video SEO

Are you currently using video as a part of your marketing campaign? If not, you are missing a huge opportunity. People prefer videos over text and find them to be highly engaging and entertaining. Statistics show that 17% of internet users, on average, will leave a website within four seconds. But if they have a video, users will stay closer to two minutes to watch it. Video marketing helps to engage those who you drive to your website to want to stay and learn more. And that reduces bounce rates, which will boost your website ranking.

YouTube marketing is quickly becoming just as powerful and important as other Google marketing strategies. It is the third-highest visited site, and the second largest search engine used. YouTube can be a great contributor to the success of your local SEO campaign because:

  • There are over one billion searches done on YouTube daily
  • Creating a video is pretty inexpensive
  • Mobile users would rather watch a video than reading content on their mobile phones
  • Videos help increase your Google ranking
  • 46% of consumers will usually act immediately following watching a video

So the best campaign for local SEO is one that combines website and video SEO into one coherent strategy. Contact Fu Dog Media today to discuss local SEO strategy. We can work with any company in the USA for local SEO.

🚀Supercharge Your Practice: Tips for Optimizing Local SEO for Dentists

The internet has opened up a new avenue for small businesses and large alike to market their products and services. Dentists are among those who have turned to the internet to generate leads and for digital marketing purposes. The key to a successful practice lies in being among the top ranked practices on Google searches, or even better being top ranked on Google.

There are countless numbers of dentists to choose from, which is why a practice must differentiate themselves from their competitors and captivate their niche market. But what are the ways to best achieve the best online presence in your local care to grow your dental practice?

Perform and Plan Local SEO Research

One of the most difficult things to do for many business owners is to identify the keywords that people are searching to find their product or service. SEO should not be a trial and error practice where you throw things out and hope that something works. Search engine optimization requires using real and quantifiable research tools to find the keywords that will drive the most traffic.

An experienced digital marketing company can help you find the right keyword targets for your Dental Practice’s SEO campaign.

The key to finding the best keywords is pinpointing the user’s intent. You want to find keywords that indicate that a consumer is doing a query in which they intend to make an appointment or a purchase.

When researching keywords, you want to find those that drive traffic that is convertible from viewer to customer. Some viewers are looking for answers and information only, which can be fine because those searches add value to your website ranking. But if you are going to aim to answer questions, make sure that you do so quickly, or they will bounce to another site. And a high bounce rate will put a dent in your rankings.

A “bounce” occurs when someone visits your website and leaves without taking action and interacting further with your site. Your bounce rate shows you the percentage of your visitors who bounce off of your site. Therefore a high bounce rate is bad news!

When using keyword search tools, keep in mind that the main purpose of them is to generate ideas and determine their search volumes from month to month. Dentist keywords can be harder to rank due to the level of competition, but if you find the correct ones, and implement the right strategies, it will increase your traffic and your patients!

Keywords related to dentists are usually location specific like “dentist in Charleston”, or “best dentist in Orlando, FL”. After you have a healthy list of them, you can start to incorporate keywords and key phrases into your content, being careful to use them in subheadings, titles, meta descriptions and throughout the body. If you incorporate blogs, it’s a great place to target your keywords as well.

Before Your Target Local SEO for Dentists, You Need a Great Dental Website Design

Most dental practice websites have basic static pages like Home, About Us, Contact Us, and Services. But to have a successful, high-ranking website that captures more long-tail keywords or key phrases, it’s best to create focus pages for different services such as:

  • Dental Checkup
  • Emergency Dentist
  • Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Invisalign
  • Dental Implants
  • Dental Crowns
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Dentist Open Now

Focusing on long-tail keywords for your dental practice is a fantastic SEO tactic. Long-tail keywords are keywords that are more specific and typically longer than more commonly used keywords. Long-tail keywords like “Invisalign Raleigh NC” get less search traffic than general keywords like “dentist”, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific. 

Using keywords throughout your website in titles, urls, and meta data is important for Google. Each page of your website should showcase one keyword or key phrase.

For instance, if you offer Invisalign, you should definitely have a page or multiple pages highlighting Invisalign and really giving your visitors great content about the service. If you offer Botox for TMJ, there should be a dedicated page for that service, and so on.

Next, you will want to organize internal links. Link your dental secondary pages to the main navigation menu, which is located at the top of each page. That will help funnel Link Equity from the secondary pages to the homepage. Navigation must be clear and easy to access internal pages.

Technical SEO: How to Audit Your Existing Dental Website

If you already have a website up and running, there is likely still a whole lot of work to be done. You must be continually auditing your site to see where it stands and what areas can be improved. If you neglect bugs or errors in coding, they can severely affect your Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs. Some common technical SEO issues that might require your immediate attention on your dental website are:

  • Crawl Errors – these are errors that make it impossible for search engines to reach pages on your website
  • XML Sitemap – Is a list of all of the URLs coming from your website. This helps Google find out what your site is all about.
  • Robot.txt File – Is a file that is meant to teach search engine crawlers against crawling to specific files
  • Toxic Links – Are unnatural or unsecured links that point to your website
  • Page Load Speed – Your page load speed is highly critical to reducing your bounce rate and session timing. Your site needs to load quickly and be speed optimized.
  • Duplicate Descriptions, Titles, and Headers – When possible, eliminate duplicates
  • Broken Links – Broken links happen when URLs addresses change and don’t update or they have added or are missing URLs. Avoid 404 errors at all costs.

Google has now launched a mobile-first index, so creating a mobile-friendly design has become critical. Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking so your mobile design must be on point!

Google has a mobile-friendly testing page that helps to analyze if your site offers an appropriate mobile experience to meet the standards of search engines. They will help to pinpoint pages that aren’t compatible with various mobile devices.

Having a mobile-friendly design is important, but you also have to have the correct content and information that help search engines classify your practice like promotions, events, phone numbers, addresses, and reviews. Make sure to have local elements that will help rank highly in local search results, so that when people are searching location-specific they find you first.

Best Practices for Optimizing Local SEO for Dentists

Image ALT Text

Dental images can significantly help your search engine optimization. Whether it is a blog or a landing page, every page of your website design should contain a relative image. Once the image is placed, you also have to optimize the alt text. The alt text is also referred to as the alt tag and it is a brief description of what the image displays. When possible, include the primary keyword in the image alt to get the highest ranking. If you are displaying an invisalign image, your alt tag might be “Invisalign Charleston SC”.

Body Content

Word count does matter, so optimizing it is critical for ranking purposes. Webpage content should ideally always be from 300-500+ words, but try not to add filler content that isn’t accurate or relative, or Google will flag it as spam. Your dental homepage should include things like the services you offer, where your practice is located, and a call to action that allows people to either phone or email you.

And don’t forget to include your primary keyword, which should be embedded in the first paragraph of your text, and then at least two times in the body with slight alterations to get full SEO coverage.

H1 Headings

H1 headings are what main titles are called and they help to identify the content located on the page. They are meant to give a little more information about where the focus of the content is. In H1 headings, always include primary key phrases and keywords.

Meta Descriptions

In practical terms, the meta description is the most essential component of each web page. The meta description is used to give a heightened explanation of what the focus of a web page is about. It should be kept to between 130 to 160 characters, which includes any symbols or spaces for Search Engine Results Pages.

When writing meta descriptions, focus on writing a very concise and poignant summary of the main page purpose. When possible, include both the primary keyword as well as a CTA (call to action) to get the maximum benefit.

Title Tags

Title tags are a very critical component for SEO purposes. A title tag should only be about 65 characters in total and include the keyword, or key phrase, or both. If you exceed the character limit, it might get cut off, so be careful to follow the guidelines.

Site URL Structure

Keep URLs keywords short and stick to lowercase letters and dashes.

Sound like a lot? Let Fu Dog Media Help!

This is just a quick overview of things you can do to maximize your Search Engine Ranking, but devising the overall strategy should not be completed by trial and error. There are a vast number of opportunities to increase your online presence if you understand what Google is looking for and how to make each page of your website count.

At Fu Dog Media, we specialize in local SEO strategies to catapult your dental practice to high rankings and get you noticed. Once we drive traffic to the site, we also know how to design your website to capture visitors via call, contact forms or other actions. Contact us to help create, design, or revamp your existing website and implement expert local SEO for your dental practice today!

Eight Benefits of SEO for Small Business Websites

For small businesses, especially in the current COVID-19 era, SEO is a long-term strategy that has become a must. Statistics tell us that only about 2% of internet users will go to page two of an organic internet search. That means if you aren’t found on page one, then you are likely not to be found at all.

And the lower you come up in an internet search, the less traffic you drive to your website. The good news is that it doesn’t take a whole lot to further your rankings, especially for small businesses. Unfortunately, SEO strategy planning isn't free. And, if you still aren’t sold, these are eight of the biggest benefits to invest in SEO for your business website.

1. SEO Builds Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is the process of familiarizing yourself with the public so that they become accustomed to seeing your brand, and therefore, when they need your product, they are more apt to think of you versus the competition. Your presence as a company on Google is highly critical to your success.

And the higher you rank on an internet search, the more you will be seen and build brand awareness. When you are recognized more over the competition, there is a greater likelihood that a customer will choose your company over others.

2. Search Engine Optimization Makes Your Website More Convenient and Faster

Google cares very much about the user-friendly nature of websites and rewards those sites that are easy to navigate by ranking them higher. So to get your website to rank highest, you have to put time and effort into making your website as convenient, quick, and satisfying to the user as possible.

That not only ranks you higher than your competitors; it gives internet users a favorable opinion about your website and your product. And it also gives you a better chance that your viewers will convert to customers by following through with purchasing your product or using your service.

3. SEO Helps You Beat Competitors

The best thing that the internet does is level the playing field for small and large businesses. Even if your competitors are bigger than you, with a good SEO strategy, you can excel. If you invest wisely in your SEO strategy, you can rank higher, surpassing even more well-known and established companies. When you rank higher, you are more likely to build brand awareness that will set you apart and target your niche market over larger competitors.

4. Enhanced Conversion Rates

When your website is optimized for SEO, it loads quickly and it is easier to navigate. And being optimized also means that your website is mobile-friendly and compatible with other mobile devices, which means that you can attract a greater audience. When you cannot just attract, but hold users by reducing bounce rates, you are more likely to convert them from viewer to customer.

When the consumer can find all that they need at their fingertips without having to search, they are more apt to subscribe and sign up for things as well. When you can entice viewers to give you their information to sign up for promotions or information, then you can further your e-mail marketing, which is also highly critical to the success of your company.

Also, when you understand who your audience is, you can better target things that attract them, which will help to drive the organic traffic that you might not get otherwise.

5. Search Engine Optimization Helps you Find New Customers

Statistics say that the growth of any small business is as much as two times quicker when they have a presence online. So regardless of what industry you are in, you have customers who are waiting to be found online. The goal of digital marketing is to find potential new customers and that is accomplished by ranking above competitors and making it easy for people to find you.

6. Search Engine Optimization Will Drive More Targeted Traffic

One of the best tools that you have at your disposal is keywords. They tell you what potential customers are searching for. And once you know what your target audience is actually looking for, in terms of words, you can use those words and phrases to match yourself to them.

Being able to pinpoint and target your audience is one of the very best SEO techniques you have at your disposal. When you know what content you need to attract your audience, you aren’t just throwing things out hoping that they will stick. You are using your time and resources on something that you know will work. When you have the right beacons on your static pages for customers to find you, they will.

7. SEO is Highly Cost-Effective

Small businesses typically don’t have an extensive budget for their marketing efforts. That is why bigger companies tend to hold a bigger presence. But if you use your SEO dollars wisely, then it takes very little to make a big impact. PPC or Pay Per Click ads are an effective avenue for you to attract potential clients, but often, it is an expense that not many smaller companies can afford.

The good news is that an effective SEO strategy doesn’t involve paying for advertising, it is a way to use free tools and knowledge to further your efforts. If you can get your website to rank higher, then you won’t need to pay for advertising – your presence in organic searches will be enough for you to achieve success.

8. The Results of an Effective SEO Strategy are Long-Lasting

When you invest in online ads, they are usually only effective as long as you pay for them. Once they are taken down, their effect is over. Investing in SEO has a much longer effect and will help to drive new customers and traffic to your site for the long-term.

A digital marketing strategy is not an automatic win; it is a slow and steady wins the race type of strategy that will have you reaping the benefits long after the hard work is over. Once you raise brand awareness, increase your presence, and drive traffic through targeted tools, you have the foundation to continue to grow exponentially with nothing more than upkeep and tweaking.

SEO is a process, and sometimes a slow one, but the benefits are numerous and long-lasting. You might not see results today, tomorrow, or even next week, but once you do, the benefits are numerous and extend well into the future with very little needed.

Contact Fu Dog Media today to discuss how we can rank your website higher, increase your online presence, and drive new viewers who will convert to customers today.

Customer Spotlight – White Glove Detailers in Charleston, SC

Fu Dog Media just launched a new website for White Glove Detailers in Charleston, SC, and we are so stoked about this new venture. White Glove Detailers has just opened it’s doors for business and with ozone sanitation as one of their core services, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

What is ozone sanitation you ask?

It is a process that completely sanitizes offices, hospitals, restaurants, and any other enclosed area, without using harmful chemicals and toxins. With perfect timing, Jeff Bailey and his team of professionals has become one of the few companies in the United States to obtain a certification in ozone sanitation. It is a Godsend for not just businesses everywhere, but the public at large during these unprecedented times of COVID-19.

What is Ozone Sanitation?

The traditional way of sanitizing an area is to manually spray toxins and chemicals onto surfaces. But the old way isn’t good enough anymore. There is a strong possibility of human error at missing all the cracks and crevices—it might clean viruses, bacteria and germs, but it leaves behind toxic residue that isn’t good to ingest or breathe.

Ozone sanitation works by removing all the air from an enclosed space, sanitizing it, and then returning it completely contaminant free. In essence, it sanitizes anything that air touches. White Glove Detailers saw a hole in the market to provide a more efficient and safer way to keep the public healthy; and they are just in time for Charleston businesses opening back up.

Not Just About Sanitation

Don’t be misled by the word “Detailers” in the name. These aren't your run-of-the-mill car detailers. White Glove Detailers was built on an entirely new philosophy of detailing. It isn’t about wiping down dashboards or running your car through a car wash. What they provide is a service that returns your car’s paint and interior to new condition, specializing in high-end cars. And the ceramic coating that they provide isn’t a once and done proposition. It leaves a shield between your car and outdoor elements that lasts for the long-term. The coating they apply makes your car impervious to all the dirt, dust, and debris that it comes into contact with for a lasting effect.

So Much More Than Car Detailing!

Again, the word detailers might be misleading. White Glove Detailers isn’t just about restoring high-end vehicles to their “new” state—they also tackle glass throughout your home or business. And they give it the same wicking surface that makes window cleaning a thing of the past. No more worrying about soap scum or dirty exterior windows. After the coating is applied, your windows remain streak-free without any work on your part.

And if you have solar panels, the whole reason you installed them was energy efficiency. But how efficient can they possibly be with all the contaminants they likely collect? White Glove Detailers not only wipes them with fine detailing; the coating they apply keeps them clean to absorb the most energy possible for the long-term. Applying coating pre-installation to solar panels gives you max protection and efficiency over the long term.

Who Can Benefit From White Glove Detailers Service?

Whether you are a small business, large business, or car lover, the service that White Glove Detailers provides is unparalleled. When it comes to paying attention to the fine details, White Glove Detailers hits the mark. But they offer an invaluable service that you can’t get anywhere else to clean, sanitize, and make new again. Words can’t really describe what they do to restore your windows, solar panels, and car’s appearance – but seeing is believing. Visit their website today and see what their white glove service is all about.

SEO and PPC Management—The Ultimate Power Couple

SEO is a must for your company, but it takes time to move your target keywords up the search ranking pages. The goal of SEO is to rank your website for highly coveted keywords that will affect your bottom line. If you can include PPC as part of your search engine marketing budget, you can affect your leads coming in immediately. That’s why a mix of PPC and SEO can be awesome together.

Search Engine Marketing – Where do you start?

The best way to develop long-term digital success is to adopt a marketing strategy that combines the power of SEO practices alongside Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC). SEO works by increasing the visibility of your site through rankings. That is achieved by using things like keywords and keyphrases to signal search engines when someone is organically searching to find something within your industry. And it also takes quality content that is both informative and useful to the reader. Some key factors in SEO are:

  • External Links – Backlinks from numerous internet sources that help to foster more credibility and relevance between your site and a specific audience or niche market
  • On-Page Optimization – Using keyword density and metadata that will point search engines directly to your site
  • Off-Page OptimizationMeasures that can be taken outside of your website in order to improve its position in search rankings
  • Online Reputation – Reviews around the web on listings such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, TripAvisor, etc.
  • Page Speed Optimization
  • Mobile Responsiveness

PPC Ad Management

With PPC, you’re dealing with a strategy, whereby, you pay for advertising only when followers directly click an ad on Google, Bing, Social Media sites, retargeting or other paid advertising sites.

This type of digital marketing strategy has a high likelihood of success if your ads are properly managed, tested, tracked, evaluated and adjusted. Pay per click fees are worth it IF you get the leads and convert them to justify the expense. SEO and PPC both help to enhance the exposure of your website. SEO helps you show up in organic search results just below Google Map listings, and PPC helps you show your ad at the top of Google search results.

So, Why Combine SEO & PPC?

The reason that you should incorporate SEO and PPC is that you get maximum exposure with successful PPC and SEO campaigns. You can double the chance of click-throughs to your website by showing up both in the number one ranking in organic results and on the ad for search queries. SEO also impacts if you show up in the Google Map listings as well. If you have a properly designed website, it will be designed for maximum conversions when visitors go to your site. More on that below.

Challenges Specific to Small Business

Small businesses have the challenge of building both their audience and their reputation when starting up. PPC and SEO combined are an excellent way to both gain visibility and to rapidly enhance it at the same time. When you combine targeted PPC adverts with high ranking for keywords simultaneously, you provide two different modalities to establish your site as an authority in your industry. And once you have users, you can start converting visitors into leads.

Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization

Driving consumers to view your site is only half of the battle; you have to make sure that they find the advertising promised via your meta-descriptions and PPC adverts. Getting them there is not enough; you have to keep them there. The key analytic you want to pay attention to is the “bounce rate”. The bounce rate is how many visitors leave your site before they engage. It is the measure of how successful your strategy is working. Factors like load time or aesthetics can both increase the bounce rate, leading to poorer outcomes.

How to Entice the Consumer

The trick is to make it easy for your customers to convert by guiding them through the process. To do that you have to consider four key aspects:

  • How well does your content connect with the consumer – how easily is it understood?
  • Is your link making navigating your site easier?
  • Does the design of your site reflect your company’s intention, and, more importantly, is it what the consumer is looking for?
  • Is everything on your site operating correctly – do you have any dead pages that can lead to frustration?

Successful Digital Marketing includes Both SEO & PPC

Since digital marketing is not an exact science, there is always a built-in element of chance. The key is to minimize it through a successful combination of using SEO and PPC. If you keep in mind the user’s focus and experience, understand that it is not static, and follow the strategies outlined above, you will position yourself to have the best digital marketing campaign possible for success.

At Fu Dog Media, our goal is to create the most effective digital marketing campaign, using all the weapons in our arsenal including SEO & PPC. Contact us today to discuss how we can get your website on the road to success with a successful digital marketing campaign that uses both SEO and PPC.

How to Choose a Payment Gateway for Your E-commerce Store

The key to a well-operating online store is which payment gateway you choose. But for a lot of small business owners, both understanding what a payment gateway is and the ins and outs of the various options can be very overwhelming. If you are a start-up e-commerce store, how are you supposed to know which one will work the most efficiently and be the best cost-effective solution for your needs? Once you understand what a payment gateway is, how it works, and what features can give you an advantage, the decision is clear.

What is a Payment Gateway?

In a nutshell, a payment gateway is a mediator between your payment process, who receives your customers’ payment, and your e-commerce store. When someone purchases from your website, the payment gateway is responsible for securing the data that the customer enters into your payment processor. It serves many functions, such as authorizing payment and ensuring that it has all the necessary information to complete the sale between your store and the customer.

The payment gateway you choose sends the information through a secure channel between the payment processor and the website. And then it works to return the details of the transaction back to your website. In essence, it is what enables your store to function and take payment for goods or services. The only way that you can have an e-commerce store that accepts credit cards, via the internet, is if you have a payment gateway as the bridge between the consumer and your website.

How Does it Work?

You can take a deep breath, you don’t really need to know how the payment gateway actually works. Once you choose which platform you would like to use, the gateway takes care of the rest by walking you through the setup steps. And then, after you have set it up, you can take customer payments with ease.

  • A customer can go to your website and enter what they want into a cart. After, they proceed to the checkout and can provide their payment information
  • From there, the gateway processor takes the information and encrypts it so that it can travel through a secure wire to the payment processor
  • The customer is then directed back to the payment processor
  • The processor guides them to finalize the payment process
  • The processor then verifies that the payment went through, and sends a note to the customer indicating that the sale is complete
  • Then, the customer can choose to continue shopping or to leave the site

The payment gateway works on both ends to both communicate with the processor and the customer, hence the name “gateway”. And it is responsible for securing the data given by the customer.

Which Payment Gateway is Right for You?

A gateway is a critical step during the checkout phase. If you don’t provide an easy and seamless way for people to complete their purchase, you run the risk of losing them before they follow through or what is known as “cart abandonment”. According to statistics, the average rate of abandonment is near 70%. And when you break it down, 27% of those cases can be attached to a poor checkout process, with an additional 8% attributed to offering limited payment options.

When choosing which payment gateway is appropriate for your needs, the first thing you need to consider is which platform your store operates on. That might help to rule out those you can use and those which are not compatible. Then, it really becomes about finding the platform with the options you are looking for. As well as the one that will help to make things easiest and most cost-effective.

Security Issues

The most essential component of your payment gateway decision should be the security it provides. Consider whether a gateway offers a P2PE or point to point encryption to protect customers’ data from threats. And, also ask if it provides something called tokenization? Tokenization allows the merchant to use sensitive data only once with a code that can’t be used again. That way, the data is encrypted, and, therefore, can’t be reused by cybercriminals. It also helps merchants secure private data and be in compliance with security requirements.

Integration Capabilities

The best way to entice users from around the globe to purchase your goods or services is to offer a wide range of payment options. APIs integrate third-party vendors to your e-commerce platform. Try to choose a gateway that will allow your website developer tools to integrate two systems; that will help to save both time and resources. And it will also give your customer many payment options to choose from.

Security Compliance

Payment gateways work by protecting both you and the consumer, and they also have to be security compliant. Be aware of things like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI-DSS and also the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. The GDPR is about transparency and the protection of consumers’ rights. Only chose those gateways that are compliant with all regulations necessary.

Five Popular Payment Gateways and What They Offer

PayPal

PayPal is by far one of the most well-known and used payment gateways on the internet. Although originally being an Ebay affiliate, it became an independent entity in 2015. Many small business owners think PayPal is a great choice because it is highly recognized worldwide and exudes trust from the consumer. And from a merchant’s view it provides total transparency; you can either choose an on-going or a start-up monthly fee. The current rate is $0.30 + 2.9% charge per transaction fee.

PayPal provides a very easy startup process. All you have to do is add the PayPal button on your site and PayPal does the rest. One potential downside is that the consumer has to leave your site to complete the transaction, and then is redirected back.

Features

  • No fees for termination or start-up
  • A dashboard for transaction details
  • You can accept credit cards along with PayPal for payment options
  • It accepts payment from over 200 countries and 26 different currencies
Stripe

Although not as well-known or established as PayPal, Stripe is becoming another popular platform for payment. The key feature that it provides over PayPal is that the consumer doesn’t need to leave your site during checkout. It also has the same standard fees as PayPal. The one disadvantage is that Stripe is not as easy to set-up, so it takes the skill of a web developer.

It was designed to handle the entire process from collecting the payment and then sending that payment to your bank directly. The initial transactions might take as many as seven days, but once set-up, you can receive payments every two days or weekly on a regular basis, depending on your preferences.

Features

  • Transactions can be completed on your webpage
  • No monthly or set-up fees
  • Accepts all major credit cards
  • Money is received as frequently as every two days
  • Accepts money from all around the globe
Authorize.net

Authorize.net differs from both Stripe and PayPal because it does charge a set-up fee and an ongoing fee monthly, on top of transaction fees. So, why would you choose it? The allure of Authorize.net is that you get on-page checkout, so your customers don’t have to leave the site. And it not only accepts major credit cards, but also digital payment options like PayPal and Apple Pay. Authorize.net also has the online award winning support of Advanced Fraud Detection and Synch for Quickbooks, so that you can automatically update your account.

Features

  • On-site transactions
  • Exceptional support and security features
  • Accepts payment globally
  • Option to use credit card, Apple Pay, and PayPal
  • Receive payment in your account every two days
Amazon Payments

The Amazon logo is one of the most recognized and trusted one in the world. And when you use Amazon Payments, you get all of the many benefits that Amazon provides, without the consumer ever leaving your site. It has no monthly fees for use and the same transaction fees as the rest of the payment gateways listed above. Customers who use Amazon Payments enjoy all the same easy checkout experience as if they were on the Amazon site. They just have to login and pay using their existing Amazon account. Many merchants believe that the Amazon brand gives their customers an additional level of security. And you also get to tie your product by adding a HTML code snippet directly on your website.

Features

  • No termination, monthly, or set-up fees
  • Online checkout and brand name exposure
  • Amazon’s fraud protection advantage
  • Accepts all payment method provided on Amazon site
  • Website integration for your site with Amazon button recognition
FuSwipe

The clear advantage to using FuSwipe.com is the ability to save money. The rates for use are less than the other major payment gateways. And with all the cost savings, there is no sacrifice to security. FuSwipe.com also accepts Europay, MasterCard, and Visa.

Once more, the set-up is free when you choose FuSwipe, and there are never any contracts required. For many small business owners there are fast approvals and wholesale rates available. And once you lock a rate in, you lock it in for life. FuSwipe also offers unparalleled customer support for merchants and developers alike.

Features

  • No termination, monthly, or set-up fees
  • Online page check out
  • Advanced security and fraud protection
  • Accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Europay
  • Saves you money on each transaction

One of the most critical parts to the success of your online store is the ease of the checkout experience for the consumer and how much money you make per transaction. FuSwipe offers the same security and fraud protection as other more well-known payment gateways, and it saves you money on each transaction, and consumers don’t have to leave your site for payment finalization. Before you choose your payment gateway, consider all your options. And then find the one that is the best fit.

Contact Fu Dog Media today and we can connect you with a FuSwipe consultant who can give you all the features that the major payment gateways do, while also saving you money with wholesale rate locks for life!

If COVID-19 Has Taught us Anything, It’s That E-commerce Matters – Deep Dive Into Shopify!

The lessons learned from the COVID-19 era will be numerous and very telling going forward in both our social lives and our business ones. The one thing that all businesses, small and large can agree on, is that they learned the importance of E-commerce. If you are considering creating an online store or building on the one you already have, Shopify is a must! With so many different platforms to consider, it can become overwhelming deciding which is best for your needs. When it comes to the best of the best, Shopify is right there at the top. 

Reasons to Choose Shopify for all of Your E-Commerce Needs

Shopify has quickly become the most widely used e-commerce platform available, servicing more than 500,000 businesses worldwide. To date, more than 1.2 million business owners are using Shopify to power their online stores. And once more, over 131 million consumers have purchased goods using Shopify powered online merchants.

A Cost-Free Server Saves You Money

When you use the Shopify platform, they pick up the cost of using the server. Even better, Shopify doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all plan for business owners; you get to choose from many monthly subscription plans to suit your needs. And it is free for the first fourteen days – so you can create your online store first, and then choose the subscription that is right later.

Shopify Offers More Than Just E-Commerce Tools

Unlike other e-commerce platforms, Shopify offers tools that help to track inventory, keep a product database, integrate with social media channels such as Facebook and Pinterest, and calculate sales tax collection. It also allows business owners to use portable card readers when they take their stores on the go to trade or craft shows.

Effectively Handles Large Inventory

Shopify can help you easily handle large inventories with ease and they offer beautiful design options. It can also accommodate a growing business, being able to add more features as you go, when needed. Shopify makes it easy to get your online business up and running quickly, and just as easy to go back and make the necessary adjustments. That way, you aren’t stuck in the creation phase trying to foresee what the future will bring and worrying about whether you can adjust to fit your growth.

Easy Integration With Social Media Creates Added Marketing and Sales Options

Because Shopify integrates so seamlessly with social media channels, it helps to enhance your marketing and advertising exposure. You can manage everything from one source, instead of going into each to update, which can become very overwhelming and time-consuming. By using social media, you are able to increase your selling channels quickly and easily.

Enhances Your SEO

Shopify is an excellent tool to increase your SEO. It gives you the ability to use meta titles, meta descriptions, page titles, and customized URLs to enhance your visibility. Shopify is a platform that provides one of the most advanced dynamic marketing tools for your online store.

Endless Design Capacity

Highly critical to the favorability of your online store is the aesthetics of it. When you use Shopify, you have an endless number of design options and possibilities to increase your brand likability. You can use a standard theme or upgrade to a more professional one with ease. And with Shopify, you can completely customize your site so that it is as unique and engaging as your company.

High Security and Monitoring With no Additional Costs

Millions of people use Shopify for one simple reason; it has unparalleled security. Knowing that your information is safe is highly critical to the consumer, and one of the reasons that they chose one vendor over another. Shopify is one of the few platforms that is being monitored around the clock for attacks. And it also provides add-ons that lower your risk of trojans or viruses. Although other companies provide the same security; they charge for it. Shopify provides the highest level of security for free. When they see the Shopify logo; customers know that their information and data are being protected. That helps you to build trust and loyalty for the long-term. And it encourages repeat business!.

Discounts Available on Annual Plans

Not all businesses want to be locked into monthly rates. So to address concerns about plans, Shopify has discounts on both annual and biennial plans. If you sign up for a yearly plan, you get a 10% discount. And if you choose to use the biennial plan, your discount increases to 20% – they value business loyalty and reward it too.

The COVID-19 era will inarguably teach business owners many things when all is said and done. What is apparent already is the necessity of e-commerce for small and big businesses alike. If you are ready to take your business to the next level and create or build on your online store, let Fu Dog Media, along with the power of Shopify, realize the most profits and growth imaginable. Contact us today to get started!

Getting Ready to Turn Your Open for Business Sign on Again? Come Out Swinging Post COVID-19!

We are living in unprecedented times, which have been extremely stressful and difficult to navigate. But the one thing that we can all rely on is that the COVID-19 era can’t last forever. The good news is that we are all beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And those who persevered and showed fearlessness by forging ahead with their marketing will undoubtedly come out ahead when life returns to normal.

When only the strong not only survive, but thrive; understand that it takes courage and forethought to stay ahead of the fray. Now is the time for businesses to see the opportunity that will present itself in the post-COVID-19 boom. And to be successful, they will seek to take full advantage of it by taking action. What steps are you taking to get ahead of the competition so that your small business can reap the benefits of the economic aftermath of COVID-19?

Reach out and Engage With Established Customers

Out of sight, out of mind, is something that you don’t want to happen. People might be practicing social distancing physically, but they still want to engage with others. If you have taken a hiatus from communicating with your established customers, now is a time to make contact. Reach out and tell them about what precautions you are taking due to COVID-19 to keep them safe.

All those emails about companies' responses to the virus might seem useless, but for many businesses, they are highly critical to give people security knowing that their safety and health is your number one goal. Although COVID-19 restrictions might be lifted soon, the fear will remain. And even though you can reopen, there will be a large majority of people who will forever alter the way that they look at things and the dangers that contagion will present to them. COVID-19 might be almost over for now, but there are threats that it will return, and now is the time to let people know that you are preparing for the future.

Communicate in full detail how you are taking precautions for the here and now, and how you plan to address future threats. The reality is that the steps taken in the COVID-19 era will forever change the way that the public deals with outbreaks and perceives the threat of doing business as usual. As a business owner, put procedures in place to calm and reassure your customers and it will build loyalty for when you reopen and well beyond!

Update Your COVID-19 Policy on Your Website and Social Media

Never before have you had such a captive audience. According to SocialMediaToday.com, the average person is spending 20% more time on social media due to COVID-19. Pre-COVID-19, the average person spent two hours and twenty-four minutes, so that is a significant additional amount of the day that you have to communicate with established and potential customers.

Not only is it important to reach out via things like email marketing, but now is the time to chalk your social media sites full of information about your response to COVID-19. And also, to distribute material about how you plan on protecting those you serve. The key is to provide information that is upbeat, non-threatening, and engaging. Customers want to hear a positive approach to COVID-19 and future viral scares by seeing that you are taking actionable and real steps to stop the spread of the virus, and also to keep them safe. They shouldn’t have to wonder if you are taking precautionary steps.

Or, to think they have to go the extra step to ensure on their own, and their family’s, safety. When you outline what your new procedures are, they have the reassurance that hiring you is a safe way to go. If you are explicit and devise a real campaign to communicate to customers, you will win out over competitors who don’t. Although COVID-19 might be near the end, you still have to respond and let the customers know how your business is forever changing to address not just the current threat, but any that might come our way in the future.

Post-New Policies to be Highly Visible

Don’t leave your customers guessing if you are going to take this threat and future ones seriously by changing policies. Give them the information they need to find safety by posting the steps you are taking to keep them safe. Policies should be outlined in full detail, explaining not just the responses and alterations you are making, but why you are, and how long they will last.

People are growing tired of all the rules and regulations, but if you provide an explanation of why you are taking them and find them necessary, they will go from irritated to finding security. And they will begin to feel good about choosing your company over others that are not taking current or future threats seriously by forever changing the way that you do things.

Announce Your Intentions to Reopen

Although the stay-at-order will be lifted soon, people are still unaware of which companies will open their doors and what changes will be made. Make sure to give people the information they need not just about procedural changes, but also about any hour changes you are making.

It is highly critical to be on top of any hours of operation changes that you have made by listing them on your website, your Google Maps, and Google my Business listings. It has become very difficult to know whether businesses are keeping up with open and closed times when consumers Google business hours. And it has become super frustrating to believe that businesses are open due to the information found online only to find out that the information is wrong and has not been updated.

It literally only takes you about five minutes to change your hours of operation; so do it! Also, when you are ready to reopen, shout it out via email, social media, and whatever media outlets you have used in the past! You want to take full advantage of the post-closing order. When people begin to feel safe to leave their homes, they are going to be excited to go out and enjoy life again. Make sure that you are one of the businesses they go back to once this is all behind us by reminding them that you are open and ready to serve.

Communicate Via the Internet and All Other Ways Possible

It is not only important to use social media outlets and website details to give information in these uncertain times about your company or business; make sure to be very communicative and responsive on the web and in person. Your voice message should be clear about what changes you are making, especially if you don’t have a real person answering your phones.

And any communication you use should also have projections about what the future will hold. You want to ensure that you are highly responsive and engaged with your customers by providing the most information possible, and when possible. And also by having a real person to answer questions to ease the tension of the atmosphere we are all living.

Come Out Swinging

COVID-19 has thrust us all, especially small businesses, into a time of uncertainty where we are all just trying to make it through the storm. But those who show fearlessness in the face of adversity are the ones who will not only survive; they will thrive. Now is not the time to give up and shrink from the public’s eye. Rather, it is the time to engage with your existing and potential customers so that when this is behind us, you have built loyalty, trust, and reassurance that you are there to serve.

And also, that you care greatly about those who put faith in you by responding not just to this pandemic, but to the way that it will forever change the consumer’s psyche about safety and health. Be brave, forge ahead, and make your voice known by every channel available to help those around you find security in such insecure times. Let Fu Dog Media help you take full advantage of the post-COVID-19 era by taking the right steps now to come out swinging.

Is Drone Photography Right for Your Business? 7 Reasons to Incorporate It Into Your Marketing

Drone technology has come a long way in just the past few years, giving small business owners who use it a leg up on the competition. It has a wealth of benefits for small and large businesses alike. And for the small cost of purchasing one and learning how to use it, you reap huge rewards in cost savings, marketing, customer satisfaction, and time management.

It is also an excellent way to reduce risk for many industries since the drone becomes your eyes for hard to reach and dangerous places. These are just seven reasons, of many, that drone photography is not only your window to the world; it can bring your business to new heights!

Drone Photography for new website coming soon: pepperspressurewashing.com

You Can Ditch the Crappy Cell Phone Pics

We are in the business of making you look good online, but we can't do that without great photography. Professional quality photographs make all the difference in your website design and your overall digital marketing strategy and web presence.

Instead of pulling out your cell phone to snap a picture of the $60,000 pool you just built, you can send the drone up for easy, spectacular shots from the air. For roofers, siding installation companies and other construction industry companies, you can get great images of your finished work from your drone to incorporate in your website portfolio, your social media timelines, and to share with future customers as proof of the quality work you do.

Social Media Marketing Exposure

There is one thing that scores high on social media marketing, and that is beautiful full color images and stunning video! Posting your drone in action to your social media accounts will captivate your audience and provide them a post to engage with. Drones allow us to easily create images and videos that can really show off our work. And since social media is all about branding yourself as the latest and greatest, drone photography is an excellent tool to show off how tech-savvy you are. When your competitors are posting bland and static images, you will be stealing their thunder by showing an incredible bird's eye video or photo of your drone capturing your amazing work.

Zoom Down Aerial Video

Zoom Up Aerial Video

Rich Content for Your Website

One of the best ways to increase your SEO rankings and lead conversions is through content that is rich and engaging. But when it comes to things like pressure washing and roofing, there are only so many things that you can say. People are visual. Drone photography is something that offers an amazing perspective and let's potential customers see your work up close and in dramatic fashion. Using drone photography and videos on your website also shows that you are more advanced than the other businesses out there that haven’t incorporated it. Compare two roofing websites, one that incorporates aerial photography and one that doesn't, and you will see a huge difference.

Give Your Customers What They Can’t See for Themselves

When it comes to roofing, gutters, and construction, traditionally, the customer has to have faith in the contractor they choose to do the work. Since the consumer can’t get up on the ladder themselves to see what you do, they have to believe that you are telling them the truth. Once more, although you can take a picture, or describe to them what you see, it doesn’t tell the whole story. And sometimes it is not enough to push them to act when they should.

Drone photography gives them a bird’s eye view of what they would see if they were able to climb the roof themselves. They no longer have to rely on your eyes or your words; they have full images to back up your evaluation and assessment. And when people can see for themselves what is really going on and how serious it is, they are more apt to follow through and invest in fixing the problem before it becomes more problematic.

A Lot of Bang for Your Buck

Unlike other technology that can be both a serious investment cost-wise and hard to tackle, drone photography is relatively easy to grasp and not too expensive. The images that a drone delivers are high-quality, stunning, and in real-time. Typically with the type of businesses who can integrate drone photography, 1-2 new jobs added from drone photography will pay for your investment.

Drones bring your evaluation a little extra professionalism and your recommendations become a little more reliable to accept because people can see for themselves. The small price it costs to use drone photography pales in comparison to the rich benefits that it provides your overall brand and customer satisfaction.

Aerial Photography in Eleuthera, Bahamas

It Shows You Are Cutting Edge

With small business, things change very quickly. What better way to show your customers that  you are on top of your game and on top of your industry?

Updating your technology, along with your website and social media look, just looks like you care about always providing the most advanced products that your industry has to offer. It also creates goodwill when you show your clients you care about investing in them, by investing in yourself. And drone technology is an excellent way to be exciting, new, and cutting edge in any field.

Caribbean Drone Photography for AirBnB Rental

Reduce Employee Risk

Every time that either you or your employee climbs a ladder to get up on a roof, there is a great risk involved. Not only do you want to be safe yourself; you want to limit your risk of a slip and fall accident that can wreak havoc on your workers’ compensation premiums. When you use drone technology, you can send a machine to do the risky work while you sit back and reap the benefits.

Also, there is no need to have a team of people to evaluate, one to capture, and one to spot while the other does the dirty work. You can do the job of many without anyone having to do much of anything besides maneuver a drone where it needs to be to be your substitute. Take the risk out of your risky business and have more peace of mind.

Aerial photography taken for gutterboyzsc.com

Aerial photography taken for gutterboyzsc.com

Drone photography is an up and coming technology that saves time, money, and risk for many industries such as roofing, gutter work, and construction. It is also very inexpensive and requires very little education to operate and become certified.

And best of all, aside from all the benefits that you get personally, drone photography helps to enhance your web presence and your social media with more engagement and excitement. For the small cost of a drone and a little learning curve, you can get ahead of your competitors, so what are you waiting for? Drone photography is worth every penny of investment you make, so get on the bandwagon now and put your business ahead of the pack.

Be Present—Reap the Benefits of Adding Live Chat to Your Website

The coronavirus era has presented a host of challenges for large corporations to small businesses alike. Those who learn to adapt and find new opportunities to accommodate their customer base will not only survive; they will thrive long after, life as we know it, has returned. With people maintaining social distance, and some being in complete isolation, giving your customers a way to reach out without leaving home is essential.

And if you haven’t yet incorporated a live chat to your website to make contacting you easier, now is the time! Live chat is the best way to convert a visitor to a customer. And it is also an excellent way to build loyalty that will far outlive the coronavirus.

Benefits of Adding Live Chat to Your Website

Customers Prefer the Convenience of Live Chat

Even before the coronavirus forced us all to communicate remotely, live chat was an excellent way to provide convenience to the consumer. When people visit your website, reaching out to contact you takes an extra step to seek you out. According to Statistica, “51% of consumers are more likely to stay with or buy again from a company if they offer live chat support.”

And, “20% of the shopping population prefers using chat to contact a retailer over any other communication method.” When you make contacting you for information, ordering goods, or to provide support easy via live chat, you are likely to enhance the consumer’s experience and create loyalty for the future.

Live Chat Software

It Saves Money

At a time when small businesses are scrambling to find cost-effective solutions to cut their operating budgets, live chat is an excellent tool to eliminate the need for a call center. And since it is text-based, you can communicate and help more than one customer at a time. When you are on a call, you have to give someone your undivided attention.

And you can only help one customer at a time. With text customer service, you can have one agent working with many people at once. That cuts down on employee hours since they can multitask and allows one employee to service many people at the same time.

More Quality Control

Live chat allows you more quality control when dealing with customers. If there is ever a question about a previous exchange, there is a written transcript of the conversation. That not only allows you to have the evidence you need about what transpired, should you need it; it gives you a way to keep track of your customer issues so that you can analyze where you are getting things right.

Live chat also allows you to track conversations according to things like keywords, customer demographics, support outcomes, or sales channels. The ability to comprise a database with rich information is an excellent tool to use for further live chat sessions, sales, and marketing.

Being Available When Your Customers Need you Most

There is nothing more frustrating than needing help and not being able to get it. With a live chat, you can be available more hours like during the evening and on weekends. That will make you more responsive to your customer’s needs. And it will also build trust between you and the consumer.

When you provide people with the assistance they need, that isn’t just a Q&A section on your website, it eliminates frustration and hard feelings on the part of the consumer. And even better, your employees can work remotely, so you aren’t paying them to sit in an office idle. Being available when your customers need them is important now, during the coronavirus era, more than ever before. And the trust that you build will last for years to come.

Live Chat Software

It is an Excellent Tool for Service as Well as Sales

Live chat options are excellent for all types of small businesses. They not only help to increase sales, but they also help to provide service to your customers at a moment’s notice. According to Forrester Research, live chat helps to reduce customers from dropping out during the purchasing process.

Therefore, it helps to increase sales and overall profits. “44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.” A live chat is also a great tool to discern where along the chain of purchase consumers drop out most often so that you can pinpoint those weaknesses in the process, and work to eliminate the potential that a customer will not follow through.

Gains Advantage Over Your Competitors

Although live chat is becoming quite popular, not many small businesses have it available to their consumers. If your website offers the ability to support the consumer, and to answer questions, you are going to beat out the competition that doesn’t have the added convenience. When you are available more often, provide instantaneous service, and get consumer's questions answered fully when they need you most, they will always choose you over another provider, period.

Studies show that although 80% of companies believe that they offer their consumers “superior” customer service, only about 8% of customers agree that the same businesses offer “superior” service. So if you think that you are doing a great job providing the service that your customers need, you might want to think again.

You Can Respond More Quickly

The average wait time for consumers with live chat options is about 23 seconds, and usually no more than forty-two seconds. When you compare that to email, where the response time is about forty-five minutes to as much as seventeen hours, that is a huge advantage for customer satisfaction.

And although social media users expect that they will receive support within about five minutes to the same day, the top 100 U.S. retailers take about 24 hours to answer via Facebook, and eleven hours to respond to Twitter. That is a staggering difference between communicating with a consumer who needs support, wants to place an order, or just has a general question. The amount of goodwill that being immediately available builds, is immeasurable.

Take Action, Install Live Chat on Your Site!

Now more than ever being innovative by reaching out to your consumers where they live is critical not just to survive the coronavirus era, but to thrive in the post coronavirus boom. At Fu Dog Media we have partnered with livechatinc.com to provide our clients with the most advanced live chat tools available in the industry. Live chat options not only build loyalty and goodwill between you and the customer; they save you time and money. And they will position you well ahead of the competition.

LiveChat Chats iPad

Contact us today and we’ll set you up with a FREE 15 day trial and install everything.

10 Ways to Improve Your Business While You’re Shut Down

The COVID-19 scare has changed pretty much everything in the nation. And it has people scrambling to adjust to the new business normal. If you are one of the millions of small businesses forced either to shut your doors for a while or to downsize due to the downtime, try to think of it as a positive!

If you put your downtime to good use, when life as we know it returns to the way we used to know it, you will be positioned to fully experience the boom that is likely to follow. Now is not the time to sit back and wait, it is time to push forward, stay on course, and make your business even more amazing thanks to a host of new opportunities that you might just miss if you aren’t vigilant.

1. Evaluate New Opportunities – You’re an Entrepreneur, Do What You Do Best!

The reason you became a small business owner, to begin with, is because of your entrepreneurial spirit. So it is time to conjure it up again! Look around at the new normal and find the ways that you can offer your services in a different way. Evaluate what it is that people need and how you can provide it by pivoting from the “norm”.

If you think outside of the box to find a way to provide what your competitors can’t, you will not only survive the current crisis; you might just find a new way to thrive long after COVID-19 is behind us. The virus is just a temporary thing; the way that you respond to it by adapting how you service your employees can be long-term and profitable!

2. Shoot Video or Get Professional Photography Taken

Now that you probably have a little more time on your hands, it is time to forge ahead and update! If it has been a while since you have freshened your website with quality images, do it now. If you can provide the consumer with a video that is engaging and informative, it will do wonders not just for your brand, but also for your customer’s impression.

One thing that COVID-19 has done, which is predictable, is increase the number of people who are turning to the internet both day and night. So make good use of the increase in audience by engaging potential consumers through the use of eye-catching and professional content on both your website and your social media pages. Spending a little now will do wonders for your long-term branding and marketing!

3. Now’s a Great Time to ask for Client Reviews and Work on Showcasing Your Work

Guess what… if you have downtime, quite likely so does everyone else you have worked with. People are reluctant to provide reviews when life is hectic and busy, but things have changed. The clients that have not responded might be more willing to lend a hand right now. Or, if you haven’t reached out to previous jobs, now is an excellent time to ask for a quick favor!

People are looking for something to do, so give them a review to complete and increase your local presence by posting those reviews to things like Google my Business and Google Maps. If you have previous work that you haven’t showcased, do it now!

People can’t leave their homes to shop or go out to find what they need, so now is the time to bring it to them. Toot your own horn as much as you can, because even if people aren’t making moves right now, they will be in the future. And the more exposure you can get during this time, the better positioned you will be to build brand awareness and familiarity when things start to boom again.

4. Restaurant Owners – Remodel and Spruce Up the Joint!

If you are a restaurant owner, you have likely been hit hard! But instead of sitting back, surge ahead by tweaking your menu design, evaluating food costs and margins, and renovating your restaurant. That way, when you open your doors again, you will have an exciting new look and a fined tuned menu. It will go a long way in making a good impression on your customers.

Also, evaluate the cost of your menu items and think about things like menu psychology when creating your new design. When times were good, it was easy to rest on the same old, same old. With the lull, it is time to go all out and renovate your menu, your menu design, your restaurant and the amount of understanding you have about what drives your customers to choose you.

5. Content is King! Get to Creating!

If I had a dollar for every time a small business owner told me they could write their own blog… My answer to them is, “Sure you can, but do you?” The reality is that most business owners are the perfect authors for their blogs, but because they have too much on their plate, it is hard to keep up. Well, you are in luck! With the newfound time you have on your hands, you can start writing your blogs.

Not only will it help you rank higher in an organic search, now is a perfect time to connect with your audience. Things like “how-to” articles, quick tips and tricks, and everyday hacks are much appreciated. And they will have people returning to your website again. The more repeat looks you get, the more your ranking will increase. As a rule of thumb, the sky's the limit when it comes to adding fresh content to your website. Make this interim time your time to shine with some creative, engaging, and valuable website content.

6. Take Stock

COVID-19 has made the world take stock, not just of their many blessings, but also to how much we take for granted daily. Although you had to shut your doors, they are still open to you. Take the time to go through your inventory and analyze what you have, what you need, and what you don’t.

Don’t let things sit around expiring, get rid of them now so that when you are ready to open again, you have cleared out what is no longer good. That way, you have room to restock and be ready for when you can put the open for business sign back up! It is also a safe way to get some fresh air from your home confinement and maybe a little alone time!

7. Clean Out the Clutter, Organize and Renovate

Do you know who has not stopped working? Contractors. If you have been wanting to renovate or clean out, now is a perfect time without having to worry about losing money due to downtime. And it might also be a fantastic time because you might not have as much competition. And with less competition, comes less cost.

If you don’t have the resources to hire someone for renovations, do what you did when you first opened your business, put your own sweat into cleaning things up. When you are allowed to reopen, it will be like a grand reopening! Surely there are a ton of improvements you can make that cost nothing but your hard work and motivation. So stay motivated and get on it!

8. How Efficiently is Your Business Running?

When times are good, we get too caught up in the day to day operations that we don’t stop to evaluate if there are better and more efficient ways to do things. Look over the way that your business operates to find either easier or less expensive ways to conduct business. Things are going to have to be lean for a bit, so find out where you can cut costs that won’t affect quality.

9. Start a Vlog for Your Business

Most small business owners can appreciate the importance of a blog, but few have a vlog on their website. A Vlog is a marriage between a blog and a video feed that you update with the same regularity that you do your blog content. Video blogs are a great way to document things in full color and vividly. They are also an excellent way to engage with the consumer on a whole new level.

What is more valuable to existing or potential customers than tips on how-to, video step-by-step clips, or even just relating to people in an innovative new way? The more that you put yourself out there, the more your customer will become familiar with you and establish a relationship. And with a relationship, comes loyalty, so you will be bridging the impersonal nature of an internet site and giving your brand an entirely new brand, “You.”

10. Freshen up Your Website

Not only do you want to add new and exciting images and video content to your social media pages and your website; now is a great time to overhaul your site to impress. Most businesses design their sites once and then do very little to update because they lose focus and are caught up doing other things. Not only do you want to beef up your blog, think about new ways to freshen up your static pages with content that is upbeat, creative, and, above all, innovative!

If you have been neglecting your website, it is probably time to make it more appealing. Also, evaluate your website to ensure that people are able to contact you easily. And if you can offer online services that you don’t have now, add them! Your website might be a portal to a whole new business endeavor if you take advantage of all the ways that you can use it to further your business – that’s where Fu Dog Media can help!

Times are tense, I am not going to sugar coat it.

But when times get tough, the tough get going! Use this interim shut-down time to enhance your business from A to Z. After all, your entrepreneurial spirit has led you here, it is time to break it out and let it go full speed ahead! Contact Fu Dog Media to help attack your marketing and web presence today.

Keeping Work and Home Life Separate – 8 Hacks to Avoid Work From Home Pitfalls!

For many who work in the corporate world, the idea of being able to work remotely from home seems like a dream. But like anything in life, with the coronavirus forcing us all to take social distancing measures, working at home can begin to feel like anything but a dream. Although there is an abundance of advantages that come from being able to roll out of bed and be at work instantly, there can also be some substantial disadvantages if not properly planned for.

Being able to go from work to home life instantly is both a blessing and a curse. If you don’t set boundaries, the lines can begin to blur. Studies show that people who work remotely, on average, work as much as 40% more per week than those who commute to an office.

Boundaries are important to reduce the risk of burning out, developing the imposter syndrome, and losing motivation. But sometimes that is easier said than done. If you are someone who is finding themselves having a hard time going from work to home when working from home, these are some quick tips to keeping the two separate and you moving forward.

1. Set Normal Work Hours

Not everyone operates well in the nine to five world, which is why remote working is ideal for many. But once you find out what hours you are most productive, set them and don’t veer from them unless necessary. So you might not be a nine am starter; be a seven am'er.

Just make sure that your hours are set at 8 hours a day just like they are when you are within the confines of a workplace. Or, what you will find is that your workday might start to increase, you might find yourself not staying on task and extending your workday, or you might find that you are working overtime and burning out.

2. Put Mobile Devices Away When “at Home”

Once you have left the office, you likely return home with a sense of accomplishment. When working from a home office, it can be really easy to let the day go on forever. All of those little things you failed to do when at work can wait until the next day, but when you work from home, there is always time to go back and continue.

Commit to putting your day to rest when the day is over. That means putting your mobile devices away and leaving them for the morning. Working from home does not mean that you are on-call around the clock, so don’t get sucked into going back for more. It will still be there the following day when you are back at it during “office hours”.

3. Get Dressed For The Day

What sounds more amazing than spending the day in pajamas? But the thing about not getting ready for work is that, eventually, it becomes monotonous and loses its luster. It is important mentally to separate the day into work and home life, which includes the outfit you wear.

Although it might not seem like a big deal, wearing comfy clothes and pajamas day after day can start to put you into a slump. Even if you aren’t going anywhere, make a special point to change your outfit daily. It is alright to go casual, but not to the point of wearing sweat pants all day, every day.

4. Have One Out of Home Activity Planned Everyday

After a while, living behind the same four walls can begin to feel more like a prison. With technology as it is, you can literally sit home and wait for everything in life to come to you. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Every day, make an activity plan to get out of the house.

Regardless if it is running to the grocery store or hitting the trails for a nature hike, removing yourself from the same monotony will help inspire and motivate you. If you include some exercise in your plans, it will also help to enhance your mood, save you from anxiety and depression, and help you to be more productive and creative.

5. Have a Separate Space for Work

Although the living room couch might be super comfortable to sit down and get your work done, there are too many distractions that might get you off course. Also, it can work to blur the lines of when you are working and when you are finished. Find a room to design your workspace that has ample light and good lighting. A good ergonomic desk with a keyboard is also essential to keep your posture strong. And when you sit up tall, your body receives more oxygen, which will boost your brainpower and make you more focused throughout the day.

6. Get Up at the Same Time Everyday

It might be super alluring to hit the snooze button over and over. After all, when you work remotely, you don’t have anyone standing over you or monitoring when you make it to the office. But it is important to maintain a schedule, which includes a time to get up in the morning. Routine is going to be king to keep on schedule and motivated. It might seem like sleeping late is a great idea, but what you might quickly see is the lines between work and home life blending, and procrastination at its highest. Even if you take a little extra time in the morning for your coffee, set an alarm and stick to it!

7. Listen to Music to Accommodate Times of Stress and Lulls

Although some people might think that music is a distraction, what studies show us is that listening to music is highly motivating and enhances your productivity and creativity. There are going to be the same natural lulls and chaos during your at-home day that there are when you are in an office. Create playlists that help to keep you on task. Whether it is soothing music during times of deadlines and stress, or uplifting music to help you get through those tasks that feel like torture, music is a great way to relieve stress and also to stay focused.

8. Planning Ahead Will Help Keep you on Course!

Working from home is hard enough when it is just you, a computer, and a mobile device, but add some children and pets and what you have is a recipe for a shortcoming. Not only will it potentially make you feel like a bad parent because you have to work, if you don’t have a plan in action, you probably won’t be able to complete your job with the same attention that it commands.

Self-motivating and working from home can be difficult, but you can do it!

This whole pandemic has thrown you into a new way of working. If you were thrust into a new work from home position, it's probably taking some adjusting. Follow these quick tips, and the transition should be smoother and it will help you embrace and thrive in your new workplace.

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