Consider the following consumer behavior:
- “80% of US household now use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services” (KPMG)
- 81% of all business buyers turn to a Search Engine first when looking for a locally based product or service (The Balance)
- Product Research and Comparison shopping happens online, but 67% of those purchases happen offline(Accenture)
- 92% of purchases are made within 50 miles of a person’s home (Ripen)
|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.”|
Consider the following local search data:
- 43% of all searches on the Google network included a geographical identifier.
- 86% of those people followed up with a phone call
- 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.
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.
A website should touch five separate hands:
In the days of old western movies, the good guys wore the white hats and the bad guys wore the black hats.
This is no different in our current world of online marketing.
We have all heard of spam email. Something that is spam comes from someone who is black hat.
Another example of black hat online marketing is using techniques that are disapproved of by the search engines in order to increase your rankings.
Basically, you’re trying to fool the search engines.
White hat is where we play
This is the more difficult route to win online in the short-term; however, it is the most sustainable and ultimately conforms to the guidelines set forth by the online community who represent paying customers to any local business.
Don’t try and fool the search engines
Since it all comes down to the search engines, you must understand their role.
A search engine’s job is to provide the most relevant results to a web surfer for the search query requested. Period.
Back in 1998 when Google was founded they gained tremendous market share for one main reason.
It wasn’t their marketing. It was their algorithm
An algorithm is a mathematical function (equation) the search engines use to determine the ranking of a webpage (notice I said webpage, not website!). Google’s algorithm is so good that by 2002 both MSN (now Bing) and Yahoo! had followed Google’s style of ranking.
Since the search engines’ role is to provide relevant results, the way they determine if a webpage is relevant is very important.
But their algorithm is constantly changing, thereby making it very difficult to completely understand what is needed to rank in the top spots.