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Google Is Your Storefront

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Why a web site is *the* essential marketing tool for your small business, and how to make it work for you.

Why a web site is *the* essential marketing tool for your small business, and how to make it work for you.

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  • Online ad network Chitika this week broke down over 123 million impressions across their 60,000+ publisher network.
  • If time and budget is limited, focus on Google and the others will fall into place.
  • Search for “Chinese restaurant maynard ma” – 70-90% of first page results are non-search engine directories. Consider putting a very important directory mention on the back of your business card
  • In Maynard, there are two Chinese restaurants. China Ruby has a web site – ugly but functional and with a full menu. Oriental Delight has no web site. Which is a consumer searching Google more likely to choose?
  • Don’t throw away a valuable branding opportunity. Tells your prospects and customers who don’t know better that you don't have a web site.
  • Think TV commercials. Being pretty is important, but there’s a lot more to it.Here’s an extreme example.
  • What does this design tell you about the restaurant?
  • And what does this design tell you, in contrast?
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making your web site palatable and attractive to search engines. There is a large contingent of snake oil salesmen out there who will charge you lots of money to optimize your web site.
  • Consider the outliers.Eg. “tiki bar” in addition to “Chinese restaurant” The Adwords keyword tool provides local search volume for specified keywords, and expands a sample keyword with similar options. Google’s Search-based Keywords Tool – given a web site and a basic keyword, provides suggested keywords with traffic data. Enter your own web site or a competitor’s.
  • RE Tools: Find an SEO expert within your network and ask what tools they use or would suggest.
  • A “last updated” date of 8 years ago says it all.
  • P.F. Chang’s has at least four areas that provide opportunities for frequent updates.
  • EditMe is a great example of a tool that lets you manage a web site right from your browser. Other popular tools are Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal. Avoid the tools that come bundled when you buy your domain from a company like GoDaddy or Network Solutions – they’re usually terrible.
  • A house painter could have a section of the site where each major project is featured on a page. Before and after photos, a customer testimonial and case study of the most recent project featured on the home page. It's a great excuse for the painter to have an entire keyword-rich page of his site dedicated to maintenance and repair of period trim, for example.
  • A great example of this is P.F. Chang’s Chef’s Corner.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Google is your storefront
      Why your web site is the essential marketing tool
      and what to do about it
      Matt Wiseley
      EditMe, LLC
      matt@editme.com
      www.editme.com
    • 2. The web is how consumers find stuff
      Every year, the percentage of consumers relying on Internet search for local services increases substantially.
      Surpassed 60% compared to use of a telephone directory in 2008.
    • 3. The web is how consumers find stuff
    • 4. Search engine market share
    • 5. Local search is still in its infancy
      All non-Internet or mobile products and services we consume are by definition local.
      Internet search is just starting to come around to the idea that most people are searching for something near them.
      How?
      Location awareness
      Search engine business directories
      Maps
    • 6. Directories & review sites own the first page
      Popped up to fill the void left for years by search engines.
      Frequently own the first page of results for a given business category.
      Know what directories you’re in and what reviews have been posted.
      Add yourself to any directory that comes up in a search for your business category.
      Ask your happy customers to leave a review about your business.
    • 7. Not having a web site is like not having a name for your business
      The number of small businesses without web sites largely contribute to need for directories.
      Consumer demand for business web presence outpaced small business web adoption.
      If your competitors have a web site and you don’t, what are you telling prospective customers?
    • 8. Your email address is your web site's business card
      Consumers love local businesses who are willing to use email
      A business email address is one of the best ways to promote your web site.
      DO NOT use a comcast.net, verizon.net, gmail.com or other generic email address.
      Included with your web site hosting, or available from free services.
    • 9. Please don’t design it yourself
      Web design: Part art form, part science – not a technical skill.
      Ask a web professional what they think about your site.
      Ask your customers, too.
    • 10.
    • 11.
    • 12. How to get found: SEO 101
      1. Define your targets
      2. Optimize your content
      3. Build a link network
      4. Analyze and repeat
    • 13. SEO 101 – 1. Define your targets
      Determine what your target customer types into Google to find your product or service. These are called keywords.
      Use the search engines themselves to test these.
      Google Adwords External Keyword Tool (search for it)
      Search-based Keyword Tool: google.com/sktool
    • 14. SEO 101 – 2. Optimize your content
      If Google results were selected by humans, would they pick your site?
      Important information needs to be in text, not graphics.
      Name pages with relevant keywords and hyphens: www.chinaruby.com/chinese-restaurant-maynard.html
      Use target keywords in page titles, headings, links and content.
      META keyword tags are obsolete.
      Do not try to fool the search engines.
    • 15. SEO 101 – 3. Build a link network
      Search engines put a great deal of weight behind the number of relevant sites that link to yours.
      Link building is the act of getting sites that talk about your target keywords to link to your site.
      The hardest part of an SEO campaign.
      Focus on authoritative content sites. Also leverage partners, customers, vendors, blogs, wikis, forums, press releases and social media.
      Put exchanged links in content and in context, not on a “links” page. Ask for the same.
    • 16. SEO 101 – 4. Analyze and repeat
      Use Google Analytics.
      Check in monthly to gauge traffic sources and keywords.
      Make targeted adjustments.
      Consider going deep with an SEO tool like Rhino SEO, WebPosition or one of the hundreds of others.
      More detail at http://editme.com/SearchTips
    • 17. Keep it fresh and current
      Putting up a pretty 5-10 page web site with your contact information is step 1. You are not done!
      Who wants to read a 2 year old magazine or newspaper?
      Currency communicates success and provides opportunities for incentives.
      Search engines love fresh content.
    • 18.
    • 19.
    • 20. But I don’t know HTML!
      No need.
      Every web site should provide the ability to edit its content from any web browser.
      If you're paying someone hourly to make edits, stop it.
    • 21. Content, content, content.
      Don’t just replace content, add it.
      More pages on your site means more opportunities for search engines and other web sites to link to yours.
      Each page of your site is an SEO opportunity.
      Doesn’t have to be a blog. Consider industry-appropriate reasons to continually add content.
    • 22. Use content to establish authority
      You can't outsource the writing of great content for your business.
      A contracted copywriter doesn't have the experience, passion and authority to be writing all of the copy for your web site.
      Let your customers feel like they know you, and make prospects feel lucky for getting you on the phone if they call.
    • 23. We may have scratched the surface
      A lot of other stuff to consider, if time allows.
      Is a mobile site appropriate for your business?
      Lead generation tools: email newsletters, white paper downloads.
      Paid search advertising.
      Business automation. How can your web site serve your customers?
      What is your social media strategy?
    • 24. About EditMe
      Manage your web site in minutes, and edit the content with a single click – by yourself or collaborating with a team.
      The simplest way to create your web site. No technical skills required.
      EditMe is a secure wiki. Add, edit and delete pages directly in your web browser – nothing to install.
      Use EditMe for business web sites, private intranets, online communities, project team sites and more.
      Self service starts at $5/mo. Professional services can also build and customize your site for you.
    • 25. Questions?
      Matt Wiseley
      EditMe, LLC
      matt@editme.com
      www.editme.com