5 Ways PWAs Can Improve Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

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Here at Applified Marketing Group we’ve been stoked about Progressive Web Apps leading the future of mobile. Our team has been experimenting with PWAs over the past months to see what these babies can do. And they can do A LOT!

Progressive Web Apps are an even better mobile marketing tool for small businesses than native apps, as they can be shared and used in seconds. Shareability has recently become a core marketing strategy for businesses big and small. While shareability is often connected to content, the same principles stand for marketing your mobile app. When creating content, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to access and share. The more shareable, the bigger the impact for your business. Along those lines, making an app more shareable is a solid basis for your mobile marketing strategy.

How? Let’s start by comparing the shareability of native apps vs. progressive web apps. While a native app can be shared with a link or by name, a user needs to open the app store, find the right app, and wait for it to download, before being able to use it. With every step of the native app download process, 20% of users are lost. Consumers find it tedious to jump through all these hoops, drastically reducing a native app’s ability to be effectively shared by the business or its customers. Instead of going through 5+ steps, the PWA launches straight from a link – with no wait time! Think of all the new marketing possibilities…

 

1. Launch from a URL

The most straightforward way to launch a PWA is from a URL. A user can simply type or paste the URL into the browser search bar, ending up straight in the app. But you can get a lot more creative with it; read on.

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2. Launch from QR code

Users can simply scan a QR code that brings them straight into the app’s home screen or a specific app feature. With the new iOS11, it’s even easier for iPhone users to scan QR codes. All they need to do is open their camera, point at the QR code and voilà! (Note: Android users have been able to do this for a while now.)

How to use this for your business:

  • Attach the QR code to the receipt, so that customers can launch the app and collect their loyalty points after purchase. 
  • Include the QR code in your direct mailers, so that customers can place an order directly after receiving the flyers. 
  • Display the QR code on advertising posters, banners and flyers, so users can check out the app instantly.
  • Print the QR code onto your menu or catalogue, so consumers can jump straight into the ordering feature.  
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3. Launch from Google search

The Google search bar will be the new app store search bar with Progressive Web Apps. In other words, consumers can find your app simply by finding your business in the Google search results. In fact, 60% of searches are now from mobile devices. So you will not only be making it easier for users to find you on mobile, you will make it easier for them to become paying customers. Tip: Make sure that your Google My Business account is set up and completed, so both your business and app are discoverable and rankable.

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4. Launch from text message

Launching the app from a text message can be valuable in two cases: business to customer and customer to customer. First, if you have curated a contact list that includes phone numbers, you can use text messages to send your new app directly to your customers. They will be able to launch it directly from the message and use it within seconds. Second, your customers can easily share the app with their friends and family, allowing them to market the app for you.

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5. Launch from third-party profile

You can include the PWA link in any third-party profile that can help to improve the user’s overall experience. For example, you can link out to your app in your Yelp profile under “Menu” or “Website” or you can even include it in the “Order Now” context. This is possible for any third-party online profile, including Facebook, Twitter, Tripadvisor, Instagram.

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These are only a few examples of how you can share and spread your business’ app with potential customers. You can get creative with this and test different scenarios to find out which ones are most effective in capturing your customers. Progressive Web Apps are extremely linkable and shareable, allowing businesses to make the most out of their mobile solution as a marketing tool.

You Need To Be on This List! Get To Know The Google Local Pak!

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Have you ever heard of Google’s Local Pak – also referred to as the Map Pack or even the Snack Pack?

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Even if you haven't heard of it you have certainly used it or seen it while searching Google for local businesses in your area.  The Local Pack is critically important to your small business' success and how users find you.  So what is the local pack and why do I need to know about it? Let's "unpack" this Local Pack and find out how you can take advantage of it.


1) What is the Google Local Pak?

The Local Pack is a section of Google’s search results that shows the local business related to your query. Whenever your query has local intent, Google will show three local businesses that might answer your query.

For example if I type into Google "bars in Bay Park" the Query shows three local bars in my area

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A little while back these local packs were referred to as the 7-pack, as they displayed 7 of the most popular businesses in the area. In keeping up with growing mobile phone usage, Google cut down their 7-Pack down to just three results, along with some changes to the ways the algorithm ranks local results. Now when you search for local businesses, whether on desktop or phone, you will be shown the 3-Pack.

Even more recently, Google has started trialing a “paid spot” in their highly coveted 3-Pack. Google’s local 3-pack of organic listings may begin to show ads for certain searches, bringing the number of organic listings down to just 2. People are still debating whether this is the right move on Google’s part.


2) Why Should You Care About The Google Local Pack?

The Local 3-Pack appears in the #1 spot 93% of the time when a local search is performed – and 46% of all searches on Google are of this nature. This means that businesses that are optimized for a Google local search have a better chance of ranking at the top of the search results page, almost every single time. In other words, this is a major advantage for small businesses.

According to ThinkWithGoogle, 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day and 18% of those searches lead to a purchase within a day. What’s more, search queries with “near me” in the query have increased 34x since 2011 with the vast majority coming from mobile.

So, what does this mean for you? As a small business, you want to come up in local searches as often and as prominently as possible, and the way to do this is by appearing in the local pack. If you are ranked for Google’s holy trinity, your business will reap the benefits.

There are many advantages that come with the Local Pack, both online and offline. First, it will lead to more website traffic and better SEO outcomes. As Digital Coast Marketing states, “It is not uncommon for a small business that is listed on a few local listings without much traffic to beat out big chains that have a location in that area: that is how strong the effect of your presence on a listings site can be. This is because Google wants to give searchers a good experience by emphasizing the results that are truly local, and it uses these sites as a good way to determine that.”

Due to these online benefits, your business will get an increased amount of foot traffic, bringing new customers and increased revenue. Most people do not go beyond the Google’s first page when searching online, and in a local inquiry, this first page is centered on the 3-Pack. 78% of these local-mobile searches result in offline purchases, which means that every local search query in your area can bring in new customers and revenue.

In a Moz case study, they analyzed where users were clicking when they arrived at their local search results. The research found that:

  • 44% of people clicked in the Local Pack
  • 8% chose to load “more local results”
  • 29% clicked on the organic listings
  • 19% clicked on the paid results

3) How Can Your Business Rank For The Local Pack?

Google’s algorithm takes many factors into account when displaying their Local Pack – for the full rundown of ranking factors, check out Moz’ article. While their algorithm is extremely complicated and mystical, experts point to these three factors as crucial: Business Information, Website SEO, and Online reviews. As website SEO is a complete strategy in itself, we will be taking a closer look at business information and reviews as a way to rank in the Local Pack.

  • UPDATE YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING
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Google is always looking to provide the best information and experience to their searchers. As a result, they want to make sure that any business they display in the search results “answers” the searchers query as good as possible. Key factors like proximity, category, and keywords will help them do so. And simply said, Google draws this information from all the Google My Business listings. If you have not set up a Google My Business listing for your small business yet, now is the time to do so (here is how). You are also missing out on all the rewards if you don’t have an optimized listing, so it is crucial that your profile is a 100% complete.

We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of reviews for small business recently. There are many benefits to generating reviews, but the one we haven’t mentioned yet is in relation to the Local Pack. Online reviews are a crucial part of the algorithm of the Local Pack and can make or break your chance of taking one of those coveted spots. Google takes into account review quantity, review velocity, review diversity and so on. Specifically Google reviews have a real effect on search rankings, and the listing with the most reviews often comes out as the winner.  

Conversion Sciences did some interesting research into Google reviews and their effect on search engine visibility. This is what they found:

  • The listings in the first three-pack have an average of 472% more reviews than the listings in the second three-pack.
  • The top three local listings have more reviews than the next three results, nearly twice as often.
  • 63% of the time, Google’s local three-pack contains the listing with the most reviews.
  • A listing in the top three Google local results has an average of 7.62 reviews, compared to just 1.61 reviews in the second three-pack.

Not only do reviews work magic on Google’s algorithm, they also positively influence searchers decision-making process. Keep in mind that consumers who perform local searches are ready to buy and act quickly. Making it in the Local Pack is a tremendous business accomplishment, but it doesn’t end there.  You are still competing with two other business in the Local Pack, that are probably similar in terms of product or service. How will the consumer make a decision here? You guessed it, the reviews! If you are the business with the most (positive) reviews, you will most likely beat out your competitors and win over that customer. The Moz study we referred to earlier found that reviews attracted the most clicks.

The takeaway? People AND Google love reviews. So once your Google My Business listing is optimized, you need to start raking in those reviews.


Conclusion:

Up until today, you might have never heard of the Google Local Pack – but you have definitely been exposed it is as a consumer. Now you can implement a Local Pack strategy that will also benefit you as a business owner. With your business listing and online reviews, you have powerful tools at your disposition to make the Local Pack work in your small business’ advantage. Google is about to transform your small business.

How Can You Help People Find Your Business? UPDATE YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

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PROBLEM: GETTING FOUND

It is hard to run a business when people can't find you. One of the most important aspects to having a business is making it easy for people to discover you.  Let's face it if we don't have clients we cannot sell products or services and none of us plan on shutting our doors anytime soon.  I am going to share with you the first step on how to be found and the best part... it's free! 

SOLUTION: GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

I know SEO is frightening and overwhelming and often times expensive however it is very necessary. There are lots of factors that go into SEO but we are going to focus on just one simple one today that will instantly pay dividends. GOOGLE MY BUSINESS


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What is Google My Business?

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Remember Google+? Well that is out and evolved into "Google My Business" which gives your business a powerful way to be found.  Google My Business features a built in profile that appears to the right of a user’s search results and shows the following information:

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Business Telephone Number
  • Business Logo
  • Photographs of your Business
  • One-click direction, call, and website buttons
  • Popular times
  • Hours of Operation
  • Reviews

All of the above information is tracked by Google using their mighty analytics and gives the business an accurate pulse on how often customers are looking for them.  Without this profile, a business is severely hampering its growth. 


What is required to create a Google My Business?

Google requires that you have a brick and mortar business location.  If you do not have one that is fine, there are many options out there.  

You can locate a Post Office Box that does not use a “P.O. Box” in it’s address or you can see if a local office building in your area has a virtual tenant program.  Google does not approve businesses for Google My Business profiles that use a P.O. Box in their address.  Virtual tenant programs are widely available in many office buildings at all price points.  

Let’s look at the steps it takes to get your Google My Business account set up!


Getting your Google My Business Account

Once on the Google My Business Page, select “Start Now” at the top right hand corner.

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Next, you will be brought to a map page.  This is where you enter in your business information.

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Once all of your business information is filled in, press “Continue” wherein you will be prompted to verify your business information.

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Google will then create your Google My Business profile and account.  Once that is done, you will be asked to verify the address of your business so that they can send you the verification postcard.

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You can verify later if you like, but I suggest that you verify your business as soon as possible because it will take a few business days (and you may need to submit for verification again in some cases) to complete.  

After you verify your business address for the postcard, you can now access your Google My Business dashboard.

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From the “Home” section of your dashboard, you can add your company logo, company photographs, edit your company info, as well as give you the ability to analyze insights for your business and look at customer reviews (once your business profile is verified).

Google has done many studies on these profiles and the people who are searching for your business have a higher chance of clicking on your website or calling your business if you have the logo and photographs of your company on your profile.  

Under the “Info” section of your dashboard, you can update your company address, telephone number, business hours, website, etc.  You can also unpublish your profile from this page, but why would you want to do that?

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Under the “Photos” section of your dashboard you can manage the photos in your business profile.  From the ones that are presented upon your search results or specific categories (team, exterior, and photos at work).  Many customers use images of your business as an insight to the atmosphere and the quality of your services.  

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Ok, I am all set up, now what?

Now that you have your Google My Business profile up and running, you are one step closer to customers finding your business. Begin asking for reviews from your clients. Not all at once, but have a goal for you and your staff to get between 4-5 a week. Make a game out of it or reward your employees for spreading the word and getting reviews.  

Consistent reviews are a great way for your organic SEO to begin to raise and with the consistent reviews, you will have proactive responses to both good and bad reviews.  

Got it! Ask for reviews! But what if I am too busy to be that proactive?

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Believe it or not, Google has an app that allows you to change your business information, review analytics, and proactively engage reviewers.  It is available on both the Google Play and Apple iTunes Stores.  

Conclusion:

Your Google My Business Page is now set up and your business is ready to roll! Growth and retention await you on your journey as a business.