The ‘Internet Marketing’ Industry is being hammered; it’s a highly unregulated, fragmented industry with little oversight, far-reaching best practices and simply poor business models. The results have been businesses with little results, agencies and ‘experts’ with poor communication & execution and simply an industry with a poor image.
Marketing a local business on the Internet seems much more complex than it really is. Let’s face it, you’ll find the 80/20 rule in many areas of most businesses, whether it’s the finance department, operations, sales, marketing or even with human resources. Something I learned early in sales was that 20% of the sales force brought in 80% of the business. Interestingly, the Internet is no different.
I find the 80/20 rule all over the place. Imagine if there were 100 different things out there a search engine looks at to evaluate which website it should rank first, second, third and so forth. You’d suspect that changing the top 20 of them would make the greatest impact, if the 80/20 rule applies.
Well if you suspected that I’m going to say, it does apply, drop the suspense, because I am saying that. But it does get interesting.
While Google is a search engine, which is essentially a mathematical computer algorithm with human programmers, it does consider only metrics, numbers….as in factors that can be measured.
So it’s natural for our industry to try and understand these things and then try to replicate what we suspect the search engines want. Truth is, this is where 80% of the SEO industry plays.
I don’t. Those 20% of the factors I’m talking about can surely be measured. We surely can replicate them and satisfy the needs of the search engine. But the easiest way to do this is with marketing. Real, Old School Business Marketing.
It’s just Marketing
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”
A simple Google search defines marketing as:
The action or business of promoting and selling products or services
At the end of the day, marketing a business requires creating material consumable by your audience and distributed when they may reside.
You hand out your business card at a trade show. You put an ad on the radio in the right time slot. You create a multimedia presentation. You rent bill board space, decal your cars, sign on the front. You get the point.
I’m going to show you how to rank your business number one on Google simply by focusing on simple marketing principals that you’ve been accustom to for decades, except applying the principal of the Internet.
Google’s mission has provided the opportunity for every type of business to flourish in ways that weren’t impossible before.
When people want to find something, buy something, research a purchase, they jump on the Internet – at home or on their phone and do a search. If they don’t see your business in the results, they won’t know you exist; won’t buy from you. It’s that simple.
Whatever you are paying for newspaper, radio or other such traditional advertising – your dollars will go much further online. However, getting Qualified Online Trafficinto your business can be very confusing.
- Web designerswill say you need a new website.
- Search Engine Optimization Expertswill argue that the problem lies in your low ranking.
- Copywriterswill say that it’s your marketing message.
- Social Networking Expertswill say you need to be Tweeting, and Facebooking.
- Yellow Pages Repswill say you must havean ad in the Online Yellow Pages.
- Branding Expertswill say, yes, you guessed it, the branding and positioning of your company is the problem.
And then there are the larger advertising agencies that take care of all of the above. They’ll say everythingis the problem.
I wonder. Who is really on your side? Who is looking at the big picture?
Unlike any other type of traditional advertising (newspaper, magazines, radio, tv),…
èInternet marketingcan be trackedfor results: number of searches, clicks, page views etc. So, you’ll know right away whether your online presence is bringing in business
èSearch engine rankings are self-evident. Higher rankings = more traffic coming into your business than lower rankings (your competitors).
èInternet marketing can be optimizedover time to ratchet up traffic coming into the business. With analytics installed, it’s easy to see where the weak links are and optimize them for ever more traffic and conversion.
There’s nothing pie-in-the-sky about marketing online. It’s safe, can be tracked and is by far the highest return on investmentcompared to any other advertising outlet.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper…
Ø Print Yellow Pages
Ø Search Engine Marketing
Ø Email Marketing
Ø Social Media Marketing
Consider the following consumer behavior:
- “70% of US household now use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services” (Kelsey Group)
|Got Mobile Internet?
“There are an estimated 4 billion mobile phones worldwide. 130 million web enabled phones just in the U.S. This number is rapidly increasing and will exponentially increase local search.”
41% of all business buyersturn to a Search Engine first when looking for a locally based product or service
- Product Research and Comparison shopping happens online, but 67% of those purchases happen offline(Accenture)
- 90% of purchases are made within 50 miles of a person’s home (Kelsey)
Consider the following local search data:
- 43% of all searches on the Google network included a geographical identifier.
o 86% of those people followed up with a phone call
o 61% of those people ended up making a purchase offline
- 25% of all commercial Internet Searches are conducted by users looking for Local Merchants (Kelsey)
- 50% of all Searches are ‘local’ (Bing)
- 84% of U.S. based Internet users performed local searches, or 129 million people, and were looking for a local business
Search Engines drive more traffic to a Website than ALL other mediums combined!
The point is local businesses are transferring their spending from traditional means to an online medium.
You may have tried some online marketing tactics in the past and failed. You’re the norm, not the exception.
Online marketing is easy,just not simple to learn. There is just so much bad information out there.
Incapable people are slamming the industry, and failures are giving the industry a bad name.
Be very careful of those things people tell you that they ‘tweaked’ a website to rank higher. Here is a document put together by Google that EVERY buyer of online services needs to see.
Visit this URL and I advice your to read this document from Google.
Here are a few things from Google’s site:
- Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.
- No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google
- Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do
- Be sure to understand where the money goes
Do you remember when people would visit a family doctor if anything was wrong? That doctor was essentially a jack-of-all-trades in the medical field. Their advice was the end all, be all.
Now medicine has sub-sectors. Doctors specialize into neurology and other medical fields. In fact, there are subspecialties of the neurology specialty.
There is a specialist for everything.
Way, way back in 1995 there was the IT guy. He knew IT, software and websites. He was so smart, everyone looked up to him. Now days I still get called an IT geek, but that is dead wrong.
Just because I work on the Internet, I should know how to fix the computer?
Sure, I probably know more than most, but don’t call me to fix your computer.
You wouldn’t hire a carpenter to sell your house. Don’t hire a web developer to market your website.
Make sure you understand that marketing a website is completely different from creating a website.
Imagine a site that doesn’t speak to the right audience. What would this do to YOUR business?
Imagine if you could just double the call-to-action rates (call you, email you, fill out a form, etc.) on the site with a small investment. How would your business be different doubling the number of calls?
Simple keyword research will demonstrate that people are looking for a product or service – in your area – right now!
Once you have that traffic streaming to your site, you must maximize the conversion and the website is a critical component.