seoplus+ regularly hosts “Lunch with Google” events. We have over 40 local businesses registers to learn about digital marketing that works in 2016. The purpose of this event was to educate local businesses and give them tools they can use today to help improve their digital marketing strategy.

We reviewed our client accounts looking for what is working in 2016 and what isn’t. Here is a summary of what we came up with. We included links to tools (mostly free) that you can use to help your business today.

1. Create a Plan – Create a 12-month plan

Find trends: Google Trends

Digital marketing is all about building, measuring and improving, especially in 2016. Gone are the days when you could throw together a plan and get quick results.

2. Monitor – Track what’s working and what’s not working

Monitoring Tools: Google Analytics, Call Rail

There are several free and paid tools that help you make really smart decisions. Plan to review your analytics at least once a month and make adjustments as needed.

3. Don’t be Afraid of Change – Do what works

Inspiration (on what not to do): Arngren

We often meet with business owners who are attached to old branding or old websites. We recommend making decisions based on what works in 2016, not based on personal preference.

4. Social Media doesn’t work (unless you do)

Listening tool: Google Alerts

Content Ideas & Outreach: Buzz Sumo, Ninja Outreach

Most businesses get zero ROI from social media. They tweet, set-up a Facebook page, blog, but nothing happens. To break through the noise, consider paid social media and have a strategy. Set social media goals as part of your long term plan.

5. Get Reviews – 90% of consumers are influenced by online reviews

Review Generator: Review Generator

Having negative reviews can be really stressful on a business owner. We have had clients pay thousands of dollars towards reputation management. We recommend being proactive and regularly ask your best clients for reviews.

6. Be a life-long learner (or hire one)

Tools: Smart Insights and seoplus+ blog

What works today may not work next year. Things change all the time, so we recommend having a system to stay on top of the constant changes. This could be as simple as following a few industry leaders on twitter ( for example) or signing up to a newsletter (like the one listed above).

7. Lead Nurturing – Up to 99% of website visitors are not ready to buy

Free e-mail marketing: Mail Chimp

Free e-book on lead nurturing: Lead Nurturing E-Book

Companies that do this right have a huge advantage over their competitors. Lead nurturing is one of the most inexpensive forms of digital advertising. If you’re looking for a great ROI, start building a lead nurturing program.

8. One Website is Enough – 99% of the time, One website is enough

The biggest problem with multiple websites, is your resources are being divided. Typically you end up with 2 or 3 mediocre websites. Unless you have a long term strategic reason for more than 1, stick with just 1 amazing website.

9. Google it – When in doubt, Google it

University of Google: Google

Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Whether you’re trying to figure out how to set-up a PPC campaign or how to create a website, Google can help.

Too lazy? Click here….

10. SEO generates ROI – 60-80% of website visitors come from organic traffic

Free Website Audit: seoplus+ Website Audit

SEO Yoast: SEO Yoast

According to, businesses spend 10X more money on PPC than they do on SEO. This is because PPC happens fast and SEO takes time. This has created a huge opportunity for the patient marketers of the world!

BONUS: Infographics

Infographics have gained popularity as a great tool to attract inbound links, increase social media engagement, and enforce brand awareness. An infographic can take shape by integrating creative storytelling along with graphics. (credit:

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Derek Cosgrove

Derek Cosgrove

Derek has 5 years of digital marketing experience and is a Senior Account Manager at seoplus+. He specializes in helping local businesses and Shopify stores with their digital marketing.