It’s not a fad. I’ts not for the big guys. The internet levels the playing field for small business to compete and share visibility with the biggest companies in the world. We are all welcom. We just need a map.
This is not about being a techie or computer nerd. The fact is most of our society are using computers. Remove the “I don’t know anything about computers” obstacle from your list.
Branding does not give you a direct ROI. If you are a big company and have a large budget then in may be part of your marketing strategy. But should never be your only marketing strategy.As small business owners our main focus should be completing transactions while acquiring customers. Cash flowing into our business should be the core purpose of our marketing efforts. How do I get two dollars back for every one I spend? That is the main question.
Consumers are searching for what you do - not who you are. Instead of marketing Acme Grass Masters, you should be marketing Houston Lawn Maintenance.
You first need to take a hard look at your business to get a baseline of what you are trying to accomplish.
Think about the key areas you specialize in. You are going to get a much better conversion and more ready to buy customer if you niche down into your product or services.
Phone number was the number one piece of information consumers are looking for when doing a local search. Website was down in 4th. This translates into local consumers being ready to do business.It is more important that your business info is found in multiple places on the internet that just having a website that ranks high.
Branding and impulse marketing have their place. But how many consumers are you going to convince that they need your service in a split second?
The internet provides the ability for you to be found in the place where consumers are looking that already want what you are selling.
Domain names of acmeventuresllc.com don’t do anything for your companies internet marketing initiatives. You are much better off going for citylawncare.com you domain does not need to be your company name.
Most small business websites start off as a brochure model. These are fine for corporate info but do not mistake them for marketing machines. Most are cumbersome and are guilty of information overload. Visitors do not want to have to look for a solution. Don’t make them hunt for info. Can you tell me how to contact this business within 10 seconds?
Don’t get caught up in having a “cool” web site. Remember that the sole purpose of having your website is the generate business. If you want to provide information or commentary then get a blog.
Alternatively to a brochure site is the landing page. One purpose. Generate a lead. Only two options here call or submit information. You should always attempt to capture a visitors email address, ethically. Having them optin gives you a chance to follow-up and build trust and credibility.
You can also have a hybrid of the traditional brochure site and landing page. Capture their attention and information and then let them browse your site.
Template based can be a solution if you are a do it yourself type or have someone in your business that is willing to tackle the challenge.
Most template based sites don’t require any programming knowledge. But like any application, you will need to spend time learning the functionality and features.
Template based sites can be setup fairly inexpensively, usually will end up around the $20-$30 per month range.
There are some free site creators out there. Anyone that is considering building your own site should give these a try. I don’t recommend these for your business site but it is an inexpensive way to see if you are cut out for a do it yourself solution.
You can outsource your technical work very inexpensively. You must know what you want and be able to communicate it very effectively. Start with a small project. A graphic or landing page so you can experience outsourcing without spending a fortune.
Probably one of the most important pieces to your web site are the effective use of “title tags”. They are also one of the most under utilized. Rarely paid attention to by human readers, search engines rely heavily on the information to determine relevancy for search results.
H1 and H2 tags are headline tags for HTML search engines also look to those for determining relevancy. Bold text and text that link to other pages are sites are also used by search engines. If linking to another site or when you have another site link to you avoid the text “Click Here”. Instead make the link a relevant key phrase like “city lawn care”Put your keywords in the text content but keep it human readable. Don’t over do in and stuff keywords just for search engines.Take advantage of footer text by placing address and local phone number for search engines to determine relevancy to geographic location.
Using an autoresponder or email management is a powerful way to keep in touch with customers. It’s generally easier to market to an existing customer than to acquire a new one.Keep in touch with customers by sending out coupons, news, tips..
An opt in box is essential for you website. Give an ethical bribe such as free report or discount in exchange for their email.
If you are not driving traffic to your site it’s like putting up a billboard in the desert.
It doesn’t matter how nice or compelling your website is. You need traffic to generate customers.
SEO concentrates almost exclusively on getting your website in the highest position rather than an overall marketing on the internet.
There are many paid placement opportunities. One of the most populare is Google Adwords.
Pay Per Click can get your targeted message out quickly. Ad budgets can be as big or small as you like. Some searchers have developed “Ad Blindness”. Meaning they subconsciously block out the ads because their eyes and mind are trained to tune them out.PPC Can be very effective for local businesses because of the network’s ability to control the geographic are ads are shown. If you have a pet grooming business in Kansas you don’t want your ads showing and being clicked on in Chicago.
Of my favorite and most effective ways to target local customers is the use of authority directories and sites. Even though you definitely should have one, the fact is you can begin marketing on the internet even if you don’t have one.
The top and side sponsored are all paid PPC advertisement. Local map section can be optimized for best results. Other lead valves can be used to get your business found in multiple places when local consumers search for your product or service.
Google maps can be a very effective tool for your business to be found prominently on the front page of google. Most small businesses are unaware of this feature. A well optimized map listing can have you on the front page of google within hours sometimes.
Online business directories are highly favored by search engines like google. Directories allow you to post a compelling listing about your business. The main thing to remember is market what you do not who you are.
Free online classifieds are taking over print classifieds. One of the big benefits of regularly listing your business is that search engines place high authority on these sites. So you want to make sure the titles of your ads represent what you do and not who you are. For example if you were a mortgage broker your ad title should be “City FHA Loans” rather than “ABC Mortgage Broker”. Think “What are people searching for”. Chances are it’s not the name of your business but rather a service you provide.
Blogging allows you to share information about your business in more informal format. Sharing your expertise with others is a great way to build trust and credibility. Blogging can be as easy and writing an email or word document.
Videos do not need to be Hollywood productions. Reality TV has been a blessing for lowering consumers expectations of polished productions. A simple short video explaining your product or service and clear instructions of what you want the viewer to do next (visit my website, call today…) will generally be enough.
As you can see, lead valves get your businesses message out to multiple places for consumers to find you locally.
Even with technology available for web site statistics, the multiple strategies for marketing on the internet locally would not reflect accurately in a stats report. If you want accurate information you must ask customers.If traffic stats are presented to you as an accurate reflection or your web presence then the only activity being performed is SEO. Meaning the sole goal is to get your web site to the top. That is not the same as internet marketing.
The creation, care and feeding of your internet marketing can be handled in house by you or staff. Most businesses have more pressing tasks to take care of and unfortunately sometimes it falls between the cracks. Other options include outsourcing these tasks to virtual assistants or engaging turnkey specialist to handle it for you.
Promoter yourself and business.
1. Julie WeishaarNew Horizons 123
2. What You Will Get From Attending1. Know EXACTLY what Internet Marketing is2. Know why it’s VITAL to your success.3. Leave with an Action Plan4. Have FUN!
3. Introduction What Is Internet Marketing Anatomy Of A Web Site How To Build A Website Outsource Your Web Site Design Email Marketing and List Building Driving Traffic SEO, SEM and PPC Local Directories Blogging Online Classifieds Video Outsourcing Traffic
4. 75% of Americans use search engines on a regular basis 56% of Americans use Search Engines every day 40% of all search engine searches are for local businesses and services 92% of all local searches carried out will eventually convert to a sale Search Engines are now THE #1 Media Type Consumers Use To Find Local Businesses. 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% (WebVisible/Nielsen Study )
5. Internet Marketing Defined Really Focus On The Marketing Part ◦ As drivers, we don’t need to know how to change our oil? We still get it done. Don’t Feel You Have To Know How To Build A Computer To Market On The Internet
6. Branding – Traditional Marketing ◦ McDonalds, Apple, Bank Of America. No Direct response. Meant to make you a familiar face. ◦ This is not what we are after. Direct Marketing ◦ Infomercials, Calls To Action, Trackable, Direct Response. Meant to generate an action by potential customers. ◦ This is our goal. Transactions.
7. What do you want to be known for What is your expertiseThink In Terms Of Elevator SpeechNot I’m a _________I help _________ by ___________
8. Who Are Your Competitors How Do People Look For You Where Are Your Customers Fromwhat Product Or Service Do You Make The Most Money
9. What would you type in the search engines to find your product or service? Probably not “city real estate” Probably “city rental homes” or “sell my house fast city name” or “city first time home buyer assistance”. You want quality visitors not necessarily quantity.
10. Survey question: What information do you expect to find when searching for local businesses online? These numbers continue to climb every year with the advent of Mobile Smart Phones 80% 60% 40% 20% 2007 0% 2008
11. Traffic + Conversion =CustomersMiss One Of The Variables You Get Squat
12. GoDaddy.com Register.com Namecheap.com Networksolutions.com Get a .COM! Keep It www.ShortSweetAndSimple.com
13. Trick question There is no main purpose There is a SOLE purpose To generate a customer
14. Generic Templates ◦ Ibuilt.net ◦ GoDaddy Website Tonight Generally $5 - $20 per month Easy to use (sometimes)
16. H1 and H2 Tags Bold and Links Avoid Click Here Text Important key phrases sprinkled in content Do not stuff keywords Take advantage of footer text
17. Aweber.com IContact.com ConstantContact.com Priceless PossibilitiesBenefits are SPAM compliance, better deliverability, easy to segment your lists.
18. Having a website alone accomplishes nothing Like a Cell Phone without serviceHaving a website aloneaccomplishes nothingLike a Cell Phonewithout service
19. Traffic + Conversion =Customers
20. Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural” or "organic" search results. Generally done in the coding of the website. One of the slowest and tedious ways to get ranked well in the search engines Always a guessing game. Search Engines Won’t tell anyone how they rank sites. SEO is sometimes contrary to good marketing principles.
21. Search Engine Marketing promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. Can achieve front page visibility very fast. Can drive targeted traffic very quickly. Can be very expensive if done wrong (or right sometimes)
22. Pay Per Click advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing are
23. Using the power of authority sites to drive traffic to your local business Off page optimization for your keywords at little to no cost Requires some maintenance but worth the results Be findable in multiple places when local consumers look for your product or service
24. What You DoNot Who You Are
25. Ad Titles Are KeyWhat You Do – Not Who You Are
26. Remember, social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are designed for SOCIAL interaction. You don’t want to be the guy at the party trying to sell insurance. Let people know what you do but don’t make it the focus of your presence. You will quickly lose followers if you are all business.
27. Blogger.com Wordpress.com Basic blogs can be setup for free with Blogger or Wordpress. Blogs are easy to setup and very search engine friendly. Can be a mix of social and business. Great way to share expertise and build credibility.
29. Trending Report : 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes 99% of all text messages are read. Average redemption rate is 20% regardless of business type No spam filters.
30. Web site hosting and Mobile Texting accounts have traffic stats You cannot rely on Website statistics exclusively If you are marketing on the internet or using Mobile properly a lot of consumers may never make it to your website before contacting you Just like with Yellow Pages, Billboards, Mail, TV, Radio… You must ask your customers how they found you for the most accurate results