Helping Local Prospects Find You (Customers, too!)

Getting Your Neighbors To Stop By

We (online marketers) no longer have to persuade 99% of the people we meet that the Yellow Pages phone book is essentially dead as an effective investment of your marketing dollars, and that search engines (read: Google) are the way new prospects will find your local business. Today, nearly everyone realizes we’re all going online to find local services. Local search engine optimization is simply one of the most effective strategies to position yourself to generate more leads from the internet:

  • Increase local visibility by optimizing your local directory listings
  • Produce more authoritative results within the local online listings
  • Redirection to your website is free unlike paid display advertisements

The idea behind local SEO is simple
When you search for a product or service, Google search results can be broken up into two different categories:

  • National (or world) results, and
  • Local results, i.e. just those businesses close to the searcher’s location

The organic results are the regular search results that appear below the paid advertisements (in some cases is hard to tell). These results are calculated by the search engine’s algorithm (computer program) using a variety of technical factors, but essentially the results are telling us these are the most ‘popular’ results in America.

Not bad, eh? Who wouldn’t want that kind of credibility and prestige, not to mention the legitimate traffic benefit, of being on page one in search engine results pages (SERP)? Well it’s a good thing for sure, but (a) competing withe the whole world is tough, and (b) chances are consumers in Los Angeles aren’t going to care much about your business in Atlanta, GA. Clearly it makes sense to allocate more of your time, energy and resources into being on page one of the SERP for those local searches. Generating leads and new business locally is the name of your game!

Get Started
Ready to Take Action? Call me today for a free discussion about your business, your digital marketing strategy, and ideas for how you can rethink your marketing out of industrial age strategies and into the internet age. Done right, internet marketing and specifically Local SEO can help you get more customers, more sales and grow your business.

Three Key Objectives Of Your Website

Every business needs a digital presence (read: website, social media pages) , but that’s not news to you. What may be news to you though are the three key objectives that your website needs to meet when your visitors arrive.

professional image1. Professional Image: 15 years ago qualifies as “back in the day” in internet years. You may recall that any website 15 years ago was acceptable, and there were some pretty awful ones. Today that’s definitely no longer the case. Your visitors will infer many things about your business from the look and feel of your website. Their capacity to “know, like and trust you” starts with how professional, credible and authoritative your site looks. Today’s web visitor assumes that shoddy website = shoddy business, and you don’t want to provide that perception.

2. Unique Selling Proposition: Whatever you sell or service, you’ve got competition. Which leaves your customer with the question “which business should I pick?” Assuming they don’t have some other influencer affecting their decision such as a personal referral, they will tend to look for the best fit for their exact needs.
Website construction and content
You can’t be all things to all people, but you can be very unique and specific in something that you do. That is your unique selling proposition. Whether it’s home delivery, 24 hour customer service, targeting a specific demographic (seniors, military, newly married, etc), the more specific your selling proposition is, the more likely you’ll stand out to a given segment of your audience. As Seth Godin observed in “Purple Cow”, you need to be remarkable and one way to be remarkable is to make your offer very unique and specific.

3. Clear Call To Action: The success rate of your web presence as a lead generator improves greatly for websites which include a call to action. Whether it’s a request to call for a free quote, download a free what-should-i-do-thinking-person-thought-bubblereport or click a specific link or button to move from the landing page to a desired information page, you should want your visitor to take some “next” action. We tend to do what we’re asked or told, so when someone lands on your webpage be sure to tell them what action you want them to take, and make it easy for them to follow that course.

Why Is Your Website Missing One Of These?

This is another worthy article published at Small Business Trends this week that I wanted to share. It’s a good overview of what your website should accomplish, just to make sure you’re on the right track.

The article leaves out one critical component of a good website strategy though, and that’s a solid call to action. Whether you want the customer to call you, leave an email address, download a white paper or report or simply navigate from your home page to your ‘About Us’ page, there should be some clear objective for the page where they initially land on your site. A strategic approach to your website design can help insure that it’s more than an online marketing brochure and that it you are maximizing it’s lead generation and conversion potential.

For the full Small Business Trends article, click here and enjoy!

Things To Include On Your Marketing List for 2013

This article was published at Small Business Trends and reminds us that traditional media still plays a role but we need to continue to shift our marketing dollars into digital, and things like a clean, easy to navigate website, an active blog and a well-maintained LinkedIn page are still the first line of defense for your online marketing success, and social media messages are continuing to become more and more trusted by consumers.

For the full article, click here.

Where Should You Spend Your Marketing Dollars?

How should you spend your marketing dollars to attract new customers and grow your business?
Internet marketing
It’s not news that the way to advertise a local business is changing, but the speed with which it’s changing IS a little surprising.

Digital marketing is becoming an increasing percentage of most marketing budgets, replacing traditional marketing channels such as print advertising, television advertising and telemarketing. Each of these more “traditional” marketing strategies now has a digital replacement being integrated into websites and social media outlets rather than print or traditional television viewing.

According to the 2012 CMO Survey:

• Traditional advertising spend has, for example, experienced a 161 percent DECREASE over the past year.
• Print advertising has declined by two-thirds over the last 20 years, down from more than $60 billion in 1990 to just $20
billion in 2011.
• Statistics show that the average budget spent on telemarketing was cut in half in 2012.

For companies to have success now and in the future requires keeping up with, and moving toward, these constantly-evolving digital marketing technologies.

CMO Survey - Digital Marketing Trends