Digital Marketing Blog

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Chris Maynard: Web Developer

WebLocal, Inc. is proud to introduce a new member to our website development team, Chris Maynard. We are very excited to be expanding our team in order to best serve our clients!

Chris received his B.A. in Professional Digital Writing from Michigan State University in 2018. He has been creating websites and programs for the better part of 8 years and is very passionate about website design and emerging technologies. Chris has most recently worked for Michigan State University as a Web Developer and Lansing Catholic Lawyers Guild as a Web Designer. He has a wealth of experience in creating, editing, and managing websites.

Chris continues to gain knowledge in website development and design as he keeps up with what is trending and leading in the industry. We are proud to be growing our team with experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled professionals!

In addition to Chris’s professional experience, he worked as a traveling musician for years. He continues to write and play music as a hobby and also enjoys being outdoors. He loves reading, programming AI in video games, and going to concerts too!

We are confident that Chris’s professional and creative experience will make him an asset to our company as one of our website developers. Welcome to the team, Chris!

Ashley Walker: Graphic Designer

WebLocal, Inc. is proud to introduce another new member of our team, Ashley Walker. Ashley will be working as a Graphic Designer. We are thrilled to be expanding our creative team!

Ashley has had a passion for design for as long as she can remember. She has many design talents including drawing, painting, graphic design and fashion design. She found her love for graphic design over 6 years ago while attending The Art Institute of Michigan. Ashley has received many awards for her designs throughout her career. She does wedding planning and décor along with other party events in her spare time. Ashley enjoys spending time with her son and family, as well as crafting, cooking, and running.

Ashley graduated from The Art Institute of Michigan with a degree concentrated in Marketing, Management and Advertising. She is also a professionally certified graphic designer through Sessions Creative College and has received many other professional certifications throughout her career. Ashley plans to further expand her education to obtain a BA in Graphic Design & Media Arts : Web Design in the near future.

Ashley provides her creative talents as our Graphic Designer. She sorts our client provided content and graphics and dictates where the new written and visual content will be placed on websites, video thumbnails, and social media. She also creates company logos for our clients.

We are confident that Ashley’s professional and creative experience will make her an asset to our company. Welcome to the team, Ashley!

Reviews: How To Minimize the Negative and Maximize the Positive

Did you know that reviews left on your Google My Business (GMB) page, Facebook Business page, Yelp, or other directories can either enhance your business or lead to your eventual downfall? You can boost your business by 10% with just five positive reviews on GMB; on the other hand, one really negative review can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars (a). Reviews are that critical. Word of mouth reviews have transformed into online reviews. Also, let’s not forget to mention that negative reviews are much easier for people to leave online considering there’s no actual human interaction. So, with that said, how do we minimize negative reviews and maximize positive reviews and customer testimonials?

Negative reviews can impact your social media and web traffic, but they don’t have to be detrimental. One way to improve your experience with negative reviews, and even minimize them in the future, is by taking the time to respond to the commenter. Your goal should always be to provide the best possible customer experience, no matter the circumstances. So, responding to a negative review in a professional and polite manner while addressing the concerns of the individual can potentially turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer.


“I went into this store today and was treated very poorly by one of the employees. The customer service is absolutely terrible. It’s too bad because I love the products this store sells, but I will not tolerate being treated that way. I highly recommend no one go to this store—you can find one similar enough elsewhere. It’s not worth going if they are going to treat you so disrespectfully.”
– Anonymous

As you can tell from this hypothetical example, this made-up person is very unhappy with her experience at the store she visited. Now, how should the business respond to this individual? Let’s look at a couple examples:

Anonymous, we’re very sorry to hear you had a negative experience in our store recently. We’d like to further discuss this incident with you. If you could call or email us, and provide us with more information about the employee you interacted with, we’d greatly appreciate it! We would also like to offer you a 10% discount on any item in our store. Again, we’re very sorry you feel that you were disrespected by one of our employees—we have zero tolerance for poor customer service. We hope you accept our sincerest apology.


Anonymous, we’re very sorry to hear you had a negative experience in our store recently. We have zero tolerance for poor customer service and will address this with that particular employee immediately. If you could call or email us, and provide us with more information about the employee you interacted with, we’d greatly appreciate it! We hope you accept our sincerest apology.

Again, your goal should be to provide the best customer experience possible. So, if you have an unhappy customer complaining online about a poor experience she had with one of your employees, you should acknowledge her concerns and offer her something in return (whether it be a small discount, for example, or a sincere apology); in most cases, you want the customer to come back. In some cases, you’ll have customers who aren’t going to be happy no matter what. You could provide them with the best customer service ever and they still will find something to complain about. In these cases, acknowledging their concerns in a polite and professional manner will suffice. What you DO NOT want to do is fight back, especially online where you’re on display. People love reading online reviews and determine whether or not they’re going to use your business based on the reviews they read. It’s important to keep in mind that many potential customers are reading reviews as well as your responses. Not only is your response directed to an unhappy customer, but in a way, it’s directed towards all previous or potential customers. Don’t forget who your audience is!

Tell the customer you’re very sorry and that you want to provide them with the best possible experience. Your response should reinforce your brand’s customer service values and communicate that you’re going to address their complaints ASAP. Remember, humility and humanity are important here. Sometimes, customers just need to be reminded that we’re all human–we all have bad days and make mistakes.

Now, how do we minimize future negative reviews and maximize positive ones?

The answer is simple, really–address issues with customers immediately when they arise, especially in person. People are way less likely to post negative reviews when issues have been resolved quickly. Taking immediate action makes the individual with a complaint feel important.

As far as maximizing positive reviews, you can do many things but here are some of our favorite tips:

  1. Invite or encourage customers to leave positive reviews–create an incentive for them!
  2. Simply ask for a positive review as a favor if you know you have a satisfied customer
  3. Ask for reviews on receipts
  4. Re-target past customers by reaching out via social media or email and ask them for positive feedback
  5. Simplify the process for them–ask customers to leave a review on one platform in particular (GMB, Facebook, Yelp, etc.)–this decreases the amount of decisions customers have to make

Apply these 5 simple tips and you’ll drive your online ratings up very quickly! At the end of the day, people just want to be listened to and respected. We’re all human. If we treat each other with respect, we should come to mutual agreements and understandings much quicker.


(a) Luca, M. (2016). Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of Harvard Business School. Retrieved from Files/12-016_a7e4a5a2-03f9-490d b093-8f951238dba2.pdf.

Kristen Redman: Content & Media Specialist

WebLocal, Inc. is proud to introduce another new member of our team, Kristen Redman. Kristen will be working as a Content & Media Specialist. We are thrilled to be expanding our creative team!

Kristen has been designing and creating since an early age. She has dabbled in many mediums including painting, drawing, graphic design and pottery.  For over 30 years, she has created and sold custom pieces locally, and world wide on Etsy for nearly 10 years.  She is an avid photographer; capturing images of the beautiful Michigan scenery as well as special moments for weddings, senior portraits, and other events. Kristen enjoys going on adventures with her two young sons, as well as cooking, reading, and creative writing.

Kristen provides her creative talents as our Content and Media Specialist. She researches our clients presence online, and creates new written and visual content for their advertisements, websites, blogs, and social media.

We are confident that Kristen’s professional and creative experience will make her an asset to our company. Welcome to the team, Kristen!


Chinese consumers spent more than $118 billion on international travel last year.* With our new integrations, we can help Chinese tourists discover your businesses on Baidu Map (Overseas), Fliggy, CK Map, and more.

Existing clients utilizing our directory submission service as part of their plan with us will automatically be upgraded. And of course, for new clients, this will be included.

Contact your local consultant if you would like more information.

WebLocal, Inc. New Grand Rapids Consultant

WebLocal, Inc. is proud to introduce another new member of our team, Kim Whiteman. Kim will be the Grand Rapids Consultant serving clients in the West Michigan area. We are thrilled to be expanding our team of consultants in order to best serve local businesses in a face-to-face manner. As we continue to grow, we take pride in our long-term client relationships and look forward to building more.

Kim has most recently worked as a Major Account Representative for Michigan Office Solutions in Grand Rapids. She has a wealth of experience in sales, marketing, and customer relationships.

Kim is highly motivated and accomplished with over 26 years of experience as an outside Major Account Representative. She is known for building lasting client relationships and being easy to work with. Kim is energetic and goal oriented with a genuine passion for sales and marketing. She is committed to quality account management by building and maintaining client relationships. Clients who have worked with Kim state she is professional and hardworking, has a great attitude, and is filled with a happy, positive energy.

Kim has been married for 21 years and has a spoiled rescue dog as their third family member. She enjoys spending time with her family, playing golf and tennis, and also enjoys traveling.

WebLocal, Inc. is a results driven-company, and Kim is a results-driven individual, which is why we believe she will make a wonderful asset to the company. Welcome to the team, Kim!

WebLocal, Inc. New Lansing Consultant

WebLocal, Inc. is proud to introduce the newest member of our team, Justin Schmidtke. Justin will be the Lansing Consultant serving clients in the Mid-Michigan area. We are thrilled to be expanding our team of consultants in order to best serve local businesses in a face-to-face manner. As we continue to grow, we take pride in our long-term client relationships and look forward to building more.

Justin previously worked as a Digital Marketing Manager for Infinity in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He gained a wealth of knowledge and experience during his time with Infinity. He specialized in digital marketing and utilizing Google Analytics to maximize the ROI for advertising customers. Justin’s experience is perfectly suited for the consultant role at WebLocal – we are confident he will serve our clients very well.

Justin is a highly motivated management and sales professional who has proven his ability to exceed performance goals. He is focused on delivering extraordinary customer satisfaction and building lasting relationships. Justin hopes to motivate people to meet and exceed goals, offer creative solutions, and display strong leadership and organizational skills.

Justin has a wife and three wonderful kids. He enjoys the outdoors as well as new culinary experiences. He embraces new opportunities and challenges that come his way with confidence and gratitude. WebLocal, Inc. is proud to have Justin as a part of the team!

Importance of Proper Representation Online

Anyone who owns a business knows that much of its success is based on branding and marketing. However, not everyone is familiar with marketing their business online. The importance of proper representation online cannot be overstated. Today, we’re going to discuss just how important it is for your business to be properly represented online, as well as some helpful tools that will lead you to success.

Establishing your brand is very important in the success of your business. You want to make sure you maintain brand consistency across all platforms. Wherever you have marketing efforts in place, you will want your brand to be consistent and unique to you. Therefore, you should establish a brand that you are pleased with and stick to it; same goes for your logo. Once you have a logo designed that accurately represents your business, you’ll want to include your logo across all platforms. Stick to the same formats, colors, and designs on your website, social media pages, Google business page, and any other platform you are including in your marketing strategy. Without brand consistency, you could mislead or confuse your audience. Every successful business has a well-established brand. So, maintaining brand consistency across all platforms will substantially help your business’s online position. When you work with Weblocal, Inc. on developing a digital marketing plan, you are guaranteed that your business will be properly represented online as we put an emphasis on brand consistency.

Helpful Tip #1…Make sure your brand is consistent across all platforms you’re currently using as part of your marketing strategy.

Proper representation online is important because more often than not, your business is making its first impression to potential customers online. With that said, your business will greatly benefit from having a marketing strategy in place that positions you ahead of your competitors. When potential customers search a keyword related to your business, you want to be the first to appear. When you are the first to appear, you want to make your first impression on potential customers count. The content included on all platforms should be up to date and informative. You want potential customers to see a well-established, professional business who cares about their image. Moreover, you want potential customers to visit your website and be impressed with what they both read and see. Get started with WebLocal, Inc. today on properly establishing your business online. First impressions matter, so make yours count.

Helpful Tip #2…Make your first impression count by establishing yourself online in a professional and organized way.

Position yourself in front of the competition with proper representation online. You can do this by applying these five helpful tips to your digital marketing strategy:

  1. Know Your Competition – Determine who your competitors are, what their products and services are, and what makes them unique. By doing this, you will be able to identify what areas you need to improve in order to position yourself in front of the competition. Make yourself different than the rest.
  2. Be Different – Now that you’ve determined who your competition is, you can now take the necessary steps to make your business stand out. Provide your customers with reasons to give you their business and not your competitors. What makes you unique? Once you’ve determined your unique selling point (USP), you can implement this in your marketing strategy and stand out amongst your competitors.
  3. Know Your Customers – Learn your customers; what matters to them, what products and services stand out to them, price points they prefer, etc. Once you get to know your customers well, you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
  4. Engage With Your Customers – Make an effort to tell your customers who you are and what you have to offer. Customers are quickly impressed when businesses take the time to respond to their comments or questions online in a quick, professional manner. Don’t just engage with your customers on one platform, but across all platforms.
  5. Keep Up With Trends And Update Your Image As Needed – Keep up with current trends in the digital marketing world and make revisions as needed. The internet is ever-changing and neglecting to adapt to the changes can set you back. WebLocal, Inc. can help you create an image that reflects your unique selling point and stay up with the newest trends in digital marketing.

Contact WebLocal, Inc. today to speak with a consultant who will help you get your business properly represented online and positioned ahead of the competition.

WebLocal Adds Submission to Amazon Alexa to its Directory Network

WebLocal, Inc is proud to announce today a special relationship that allows us access to a global integration with Alexa to give businesses control over the answers Alexa provides about them. With this new relationship, consumers using Alexa for voice search can receive the most up-to-date facts about businesses—locations, contact information, hours of operation, and more—straight from the source: the business itself.

This is all very exciting news for WebLocal and its clients and is a great example of our commitment to our clients to stay on top of the ever changing internet world and to adapt as needed.

WebLocal clients who utilize our Directory Submission service will automatically receive the benefits of the addition of Alexa in the Knowledge Network, and their digital knowledge will sync automatically.

To learn more about WebLocal and how we can help put your business in control of your digital knowledge everywhere, please visit

Tips on Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can seem like a daunting task – posting something new each week, keeping your audience engaged, keeping up with social media trends…there’s a lot to think about.

In today’s world, it’s important to understand the value of keeping up with your social media channels for marketing purposes. Social media posting is a great way to keep customers engaged and up to date with your company.

In this blog post, we are going to discuss five tips on social media marketing.

1. Post Consistently

We can’t stress enough the importance of posting consistently to your social media channels – consistency is key. We advise our clients to post to each one of their social media platforms on a routine schedule, keep their customers up to date with new sales or promotions, and provide any other important information customers might want to hear. Posting often to your social media channels will make your audience feel important and keep them engaged.

2. Develop a Social Media Marketing Plan

In your social media marketing plan, you should outline what your routine posting schedule will look like, as well as the type of content you plan to share. Developing a calendar that outlines the details of when you publish content, and which content you plan to publish, will help keep you on track for success in the social media world.

Your followers are likely following hundreds of other accounts on a variety of social media channels. Therefore, publishing new content as often, if not more often, as majority of accounts out there will help you to not get lost in the mix.

3. Carefully Choose Your Content

The quality of the content you share beats the quantity of content you share. Your audience is not interested in reading long, drawn out posts about anything that does not relate to them. Be picky about the content you share – make it valuable.

Quality content will include:

  • Helpful and informative information
  • Relevant information
  • Entertaining or fun information for your audience

The more frequently you post to your social media channels, and the more valuable the information you share is, the more engaged your audience will be.

4. Interact With Your Audience

Implement this social media marketing tip, and you will quickly notice an improvement in how engaged your audience will be. If you simply share posts with no relevancy, or posts with content that has no value to anyone reading them, you will not have an engaged audience. However, once you start sharing valuable posts that relate to your audience, you will notice more feedback, comments, and reviews on your social media channels. Once you notice this response from your audience, you’ll want to respond to your customers in a professional, positive manner.

Interacting with your audience will included:

  • Sharing posts with content that demands the attention of your audience
  • Receiving comments, tags, and reviews from your audience
  • Responding to posts from your audience in a professional, positive manner

Once you start interacting with your audience on social media, you’ll find that your social media game is now a two-way street. You want to encourage conversation on your social media channels, as well as participate in the conversations that take place.

5. Share Pictures Often

Last, but not least, you should be sharing pictures with your audience on all of your social media channels. We don’t recommend just posting any pictures, but high quality pictures that capture the nature of your company, products or services. Examples of valuable pictures that you could share might include: a picture of a product you’re running a new promotion on, a new hire employee, or someone performing a service you provide. The value of the subject in the picture and the quality of the picture are incredibly important. Do not share any photo that might be blurry in image, too dark or light to see the subject, or low resolution. High quality pictures will grab the attention of your audience members who want something to look at, not read.

Depending on your business’s current situation and objectives, an effective social media plan may consist of different layers that are suitable for you. This might include post engagements (organic or paid) and/or paid Ads, with different objectives available for your Ad choice. Paid post engagements or Ads can improve the visibility of your business simply by paying for your post or Ad to be seen by people within your targeting demographics. If you are looking for more detailed advice, or help with putting together a specific social media plan, contact us and we can get you in touch with one of our local consultants.

We hope you try implementing these five social media marketing tips and share your success with others. You’ll quickly start to establish your brand’s presence in the social media world and build an engaged audience. Get out there and put your stamp on social media.