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Beginner's Guide To Local Business Internet Marketing - National Positions/Tony Ly


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Beginner's Guide To Local Business Internet Marketing - National Positions/Tony Ly

  1. 1. The Beginner’s Guide to Local Business Internet Marketing The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 1
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS Local Marketing in 2013................................................................. Page 3 The Keys to Success........................................................................ Page 4 Google Maps and Local Search................................................... Page 6 Paid Search..................................................................................... Page 7 Mobile Marketing............................................................................ Page 8 Social Media Marketing................................................................. Page 9 Email Marketing............................................................................. Page 10 Coupons & Daily Deals ................................................................ Page 11 Online Customer Reviews............................................................ Page 12 Convert Visitors Into Customers................................................... Page 13 Track Your Results.......................................................................... Page 14 Your Action Plan............................................................................ Page 15 About Local Positions................................................................... Page 16 About Local Positions................................................................... Page 17 The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 2
  3. 3. Local Marketing in 2013 Not too long ago, marketing your local business was simple…but really expensive. Either you had to fork over a lot of cash for that big, attractive ad in the Yellow Pages, or you had spend thousands every month in print advertising and boots-on-the-ground sales. Getting the word out about your business wasn’t complicated, just pricey. But things have changed. Completely. The Internet has revolutionized marketing for local business. Thanks to the web, local marketing is much more effective: it’s cheaper, more powerful, faster return and easier to track. The only problem is that the Internet— as infinite as it is—provides so many ways to market your business. So it’s a little intimidating, if not downright confusing. That’s why so many local business owners give up on Internet marketing before they’ve really given it a chance. But you can’t. Your customers are using the Internet to find your products and services, so you must put yourself in the places where your customers are looking. Still not convinced? Here are a few stats that may surprise you, but are absolutely true. • Only 2% of US consumers use the Yellow Pages to find local products and services (source: Pepperdine University School of Business Study – June 2012) • 90% of online commercial searches result in offline bricks and mortar purchases (Source: ComScore) The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 3
  4. 4. • 66% of American’s use online local search, like Google local search to locate local businesses (Source: TMP / ComScore) We’ve created this guide to help you get started with your local online marketing, so you can start to use the Internet to grow your reach and bring more customers through your doors. The Keys to Success Building a successful online marketing campaign is not as difficult as you might think. It’s all about defining your goals, figuring out which marketing channels fit your needs, and implementing a project plan to execute your stated goals. Of course, the devil is in the details. But you to start somewhere! So here’s a quick overview of local online marketing and what are the keys to a successful campaign. #1. Make Your Website more Effective Your website is your 24-hour salesmen. It drives traffic, informs customers, and engenders credibility. But how do you define “effectiveness”? These are the features of an effective website: • It’s optimized for local search so you rank at the top of Google • It has well designed landing pages so you convert traffic into leads and sales, particularly from paid ads • It features a live chat tool so you can always engage new customers when they land on your site #2. Grow Your Reach On the Web Now that you have an optimized website, you need to turn your attention to your offsite marketing efforts. Namely, how you can drive traffic from The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 4
  5. 5. the sites that matter most. Here are some of the top ways to boost visibility and drive traffic: • Get found on Google, Google Maps and top local directories • Use Adwords for targeted (and carefully designed) ad campaign • Social media and location-services sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Foursquare #3. Bring Customers to Your Door You’re driving lots of web traffic and inbound calls to your business? Great! But all this activity doesn’t always result in sales and profitability. That’s why you need to everything you can to entice potential customers —as well as bring old customers back to your business. The good news is that it’s fairly cheap and easy to engage customers once they’ve already found you and engaged with your brand—it’s getting found that’s most of the battle and requires the most resources. Here are some tips on how to do this: • Use email marketing to promote specials, discount or events that might give customers a reason to come into your store and spend money • Coupons and daily deal sites like Groupon, Living Social and Google Offers to get access to customers who might not find you otherwise #4. Track Everything You’re Doing Internet marketing offers amazing opportunities to track your campaign at every possible step so you always know what’s working, what’s actually creating new business for you, and what’s a waste of time and money. Every online campaign should feature robust tracking and reporting. It’s cheap, easy and incredibly useful. Here are the best ways to track your campaign. • Call tracking lets you connect your online marketing with offline sales so you see what’s resulting in an inbound call and delivering The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 5
  6. 6. leads (such as your placement on Google Maps, or your paid ads, or social media campaign) • Website tracking such as Google Analytics lets you measure your site’s performance so you know how many visitors are coming to your site, where they’re coming from, and what they’re doing once they get there Google Maps and Local Search It could be argued that Google Maps has revolutionized local businesses forever. There are 5 Billion local searches on Google every month, and 61% result in a direct purchase. If you have a brick and mortar business, it’s crucial that you are found at the top of Google Maps and the local search results. The Yellow Pages have been replaced by Google, and getting found at the top of these organic search results can single-handedly transform your business. 80-85% of all Google traffic goes to the organic search results. Meanwhile over 90% of all organic traffic goes to the top three results. That’s why getting ranked at the top of Google Maps and local search is paramount. Google Maps and local search results is driven by two major factors: your onsite optimization and local citations featuring your business data. Here’s a quick list of ways to gain top local search rankings: • Optimize your website for local search by putting your NAP (name, address and phone number) across your site, as well as geoformatting your site and submitting a Geo sitemap to Google and Bing The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 6
  7. 7. • Submit your business data to the top national data providers such as Localeze, InfoGroup, Axciom and Compass Paid Search Paid search advertising—more commonly called Pay Per Click or PPC—is by far and away the fastest way for your business to boost visibility and acquire leads for your business. On average, paid search ad campaigns drive a 7-to-1 return on investment. So the opportunity is certainly there. But every local business needs to careful about how it spends its money on Adwords or any other ad network. That’s because if you don’t have much experience building PPC campaigns, you can quickly burn through a lot of money without much to show for it. As great as Google Adwords is, it’s still in the business of getting you to spend a lot of money and pay for a bunch of clicks, not necessarily make you money. Paid search is a terrific option. But before you start to experiment with an ad campaign, here are a few tips to help you build a profitable PPC campaign: • Perform keyword research (and negative keyword research) to narrow your focus to specific long-tail keywords that are cheaper and more likely to convert • Do competitive ad copy research to write ads that are going to drive conversions • Generate baseline reports so you know what to measure against The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 7
  8. 8. • Setup landing pages for each ad campaigns so you optimize for conversions • Setup call tracking so you can properly track your lead sources Mobile Marketing In late 2012, mobile search surpassed traditional search for the first time ever. This means that more people are looking for local products and services on their smartphones and tablet computers. Which makes sense, because mobile devices cater to location-based services, as people are usually looking for what’s nearby while they’re on the go. Mobile marketing helps you reach a group of customers who are motivated to buy right away. In fact, 90% of mobile local customers taken action (purchase, call a business, sign up for a trial, etc.) within 24 hours! Mobile leads are incredibly valuable. But how do you acquire mobile customers? Here’s our top tips on how to create a great mobile customer experience and tap into the mobile market. Mobile Optimized Website: Over 100 million Americans own a smartphone, and pretty soon the mobile experience will be the default way to browse the web. If you’re going to attract mobile customers, you must have a site (or at least a landing page) optimized for mobile The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 8
  9. 9. devices. Mobile integrations such as click-to-call and click-to-map make it much easier for customers to find you and take action when they do. Mobile Advertising: With mobile landing pages, you can target your paid ads by device to create a geo-targeted mobile paid search campaign. This is a great option for any local business, especially one with a limited budget. Mobile ads are more cost-effective: the clicks are cheaper and the conversions are usually much higher. Social Media Social media is by far the most controversial online marketing channel. Some say social media is revolutionizing the way your business will get found by new customers, while others say it’s all hype and a total waste of time and money. The truth is much more complex. Social media can be used to do tremendous customer service and get the word out about special promotions. For a local business, social media has some real value to help you perform better customer services and get the word out about special promotions. But social media will never be your primary source of lead generation and online sales. It’s best to think of social media as a way to supplement the rest of your online marketing, as it will help you distribute value content to your customers and rewards loyal customers who are interacting with you on a regular basis. The top social media channels for local marketing are Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp. The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 9
  10. 10. For Google Maps and local search results, you must claim your profile and optimize your business page on all these channels. And you should share deals, helpful articles and videos on these sites whenever you can; it’s better to be socially engaged with customers than not. But don’t plan on social media being the silver bullet. If it can generate some referral business for you, that’s an added bonus. Email Marketing Email marketing can deliver big return for a small investment. With the right messages targeted to the right customers, email marketing is a great way to engage customers and boost sales. Every local business should be utilizing email marketing. You work so hard to acquire each precious lead, you should do everything you can to convert more leads into sales and maximize the lifetime value of every customers. 70% of small businesses spend less than three hours per week on email marketing, yet 77% reported that emails delivered a positive return on investment. On average, $1 spent on email marketing results in $40 in sales. So the numbers are clear: email is a profitable marketing channel. Emails give you a special opportunity to communicate with your customers— and not only by selling them something. You can send monthly newsletters which share valuable industry knowledge, specific news or customer support. And yes, you can send out discounts and timely promotions. The chances are, you’ve organically built a solid email list over the years. It’s still to start using it. The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 10
  11. 11. Here’s a list of tips of how to better utilize email marketing for your local business: • Segment your existing email list to see which contacts should be targeted as existing customers or old leads that never bought anything • Implement a contact form on your website to capture leads when people sign up for some sort of value exchange (free trial, free consultation, discounted rate) • Remove any contacts who have specifically requested not to be emailed; spamming is bad for your brand and doesn’t drive sales, anyway • Create a schedule to send out at least 1 email per month, to stay in touch with customers and try to engage people who haven’t bought from you yet Coupons and Daily Deals Coupons are one of the oldest forms of marketing in the world, yet we’re in the midst of a coupon revolution as online websites such as Groupon and Living Social have given local businesses access to millions of new customers. Now technology giants like Google and Amazon are using the same model to help local merchants promote special products and services in exchange for a percentage of the sales made. You might be scared away by online coupon ads. There have been a few horror stories about local merchants losing money by offering a product for a discount and still sharing the profits with the distributor. But in most cases, coupons and daily deals represent a terrific way to boost The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 11
  12. 12. visibility and win over new customers who might have never found you otherwise. According to Merchant Circle, 58% of businesses cited customer acquisition as the top reason for liking daily deals. Meanwhile, 68% of daily deal consumers returned to the establishment even without another discount, and 53% of customers went on to become regular customers. So the value is clearly there. Like email marketing, is a relatively low-risk with immediate rewards. Better yet, all the daily deal distributors have a customer support team that helps you choose the right promotion, write the ad copy and design a deal that will sell. All you have to do is sign up. Online Customer Reviews The Internet has fundamentally changed marketing because now, for the first time, your customers have a voice. If they have a great customer experience, they can take to the web and spread the word. Similarly, if they are unhappy with your product or customer service they easily take to the web and post negative reviews, warning future customers about your business. All the data shows that your local business is impacted by your online reviews and ratings. • 86% of consumers use online ratings when looking to buy a product or service (source: Pepperdine University School of Business Study – June 2012) • 72% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (source: Search Engine Land’s Local Consumer Review Survey – March 2012) The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 12
  13. 13. • 84% The likelihood that a customer would initiate business with a vendor (source: Pepperdine University School of Business Study – June 2012) • Only 3% of potential new customers categorize themselves as “likely” to try a business with 0, 1, or 2 stars (source: Pepperdine University School of Business Study – June 2012) Your online ratings impact your bottom line. That’s why review sites such as Yelp, Google+, Avvo and Trip Advisor have become a huge force in viral marketing. Here are a few tips on how to improve your online reviews and win over potential customers. • Find the review sites that matter to your business. Whether it’s Yelp or Avvo, it’s crucial to know which sites your customers are using to find information about you • Check out your competition’s reviews to see what you’re up against • Claim your business listing on Yelp and the other top review sites • Create an engaging profile with photos and dynamic business info • Use emails, promotions and contests to do outreach to loyal customers to get them to share positive reviews on the sites that impact your business Convert Visitors Into Customers You time and precious resources driving calls and customers to your door, so why would you waste a single lead? It’s not enough to have web traffic; you need to convert visitors into customers. Fortunately, there are many great tools and tactics you can use to improve customer engagement. Here are a few of the best ways to boost sales and customer retention cheaply and easily. Landing Pages: An optimized landing page will significantly increase your conversion rate by guiding customers through the sales process. When customers visit your site, they always The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 13
  14. 14. have a specific goal in mind: they’re looking to sign up for a consultation, buy the discounted product, get newsletters for future coupon, etc.. Welldesigned landing pages give your customers what they’re looking for from the moment land, ensuring they won’t lose interest and you won’t lose an opportunity to gain a new customers. Here’s a quick list of top conversion elements to incorporate on your landing pages: headlines, images, colors, calls to action, page copy, design layout, unique selling proposition, navigation, confidence icons, conversion Incentives and value exchanges. Live Chat: Live chat is an online sales tool that helps you connect with customers in real-time so you can communicate with customers more quickly than via email or telephone. Live chats gives your company a personal touch and improves customer service so you never lose contact with a potential customer. Visitor Retargeting: Only 2% of most first-time site visits convert, so finding a way to bring visitors back to your site is very important. Retargeting can be a big help in this area. Retargeting uses sophisticated ‘cookies’ to track website visitors and display targeted ads when they leave your site. Retargeting allows you to place your local ads where past site visitors can see them as they continue searching the web. Track Your Results It’s almost possible to succeed without setting goals and measuring your results to see if you’re meeting your benchmarks. Your online marketing is no exception. In fact, online marketing makes it easy to track your customers’ activities so you see which of your marketing initiatives is working and which ones needs improvement. But what should you be tracking? These are three things you must be tracking to ensure your campaign is delivering positive return on investment. The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 14
  15. 15. Call tracking: Too many local companies have no idea what’s driving inbound customer calls. There’s a gap in their online marketing and offline sales. Call tracking fills this gap immediately. For a brick and mortar business, inbound calls are the best leads and what you’re ultimately shooting for. Call tracking tools such as Mongoose Metrics helps you setup a new number and track which of your online channels are driving inbound calls. Now you’ll know if it’s Google Maps, paid ads or coupons that are driving sales. Website tracking: In order to make the most of your website visitors, you must know who’s coming to your site, how they got there, what they did when they landed on your and why they did or didn’t become a customer. If you can track your web visitors, you’ll be better positioned to improve your conversion rate and make more sales. Google Analytics is a free analytics platform that can help you track everything you need to know. Conversion tracking: Converting leads into customers is the ultimate goal. Tracking what’s turning your local leads into loyal customers will help you optimize this process and take your campaign to the next level. You can track conversions within call tracking and Google Analytics. The key conversion to be tracking include web form sign ups, click-to-calls, clickto-maps, inbound calls and online purchases. Your Action Plan Local online marketing is growing like crazy, and there are so many ways you can start to use the web to grow your business. It may be a bit overwhelming to get started. So here’s an action plan that will help you improve your online presence and start to drive new customers to your front door. 1. Keyword research: Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to see which search terms on Google Maps/local search results are most popular and what your terms your customers are using to find your products and services. The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 15
  16. 16. 2. Optimize your website for Google Maps and local search: This is not really a step, but rather an on-going project. But you can get started by adding your NAP (business name, address and phone number) at the top and/or bottom of every webpage and an embedded Google Maps on your Contact Us page. 3. Claim your listing and submit your data on top local directories: Simple enough! Submit your data, verify your business and create a profile on Google+ Local, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Merchant Circle, City Search, Super Pages, Yellow Pages and Mojo Pages. 4. Create business profiles on social media and review sites: Create and optimize your business profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, Foursquare and YouTube. Don’t forget to include your NAP info! 5. Create your first email marketing campaign: Start by collecting your contact list of existing customers and leads. Then sign up for a free trial with Constant Contact or MailChimp and create a designfriendly email that promotes a new sale or product. 6. Setup an in-store process for submitting reviews and check-ins for special discounts: Capture in-store reviews on Yelp and check-ins on Facebook and Foursquare to turn happy customers into free advertising. All it takes is a prominently displayed advertisement by your check-out counter! Get a Free Consultation With A Local Marketing Expert! Have you figured out how to effectively use the Internet to drive new customers to your business? Our marketing team is here to help! Give us a call and one of our consultants will give a complimentary marketing audit. In about 30 minutes we’ll be able to review the following: The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 16
  17. 17. • Your current online footprint and how customers are finding you • What your competitors are doing to beat you to new customers looking for your products and services • Which marketing channels are right for your business given your goals, your budget and your industry • What your business can realistically look like with a successful online campaign The Beginner’s Guide to Local Internet Marketing 17