The information superhighway has grown over the last few decades and has become available to everyday people. Now more than ever consumers have the ability to take the Internet with them where ever they are in the world, and, if they so choose, seek information about your business services, products and read reviews. Yet many businesses have yet to step into this marketing goldmine because it requires a different level of thinking and requires business owners to step out of the marketing norm of yesterday’s radio, print and TV ads.
Many small business owners understand that the Internet is a field ripe for the picking, but they’re still scared to take that next step to invest their money in marketing. It’s quite understandable that business owners don’t want to waste their hard earned dollars on advertising to folks who aren’t likely to convert into paying customers, but what they’re missing out on is all the potential sales that are just sitting there on the Internet. Even if you’re a business without a single product to sell online, there are multiple reasons business owners need to start marketing online, and if you’re an eBusiness and you’re not marketing on the Internet, shame on you!
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Your Business is Online without You!
The Internet has the power to give consumers the ability to discover businesses, products and services they didn’t know they needed. People all over the world are constantly searching for reviews of your business whether you’re marketing online or not. That’s the big revelation many business owners realize after it’s too late. Your business is being talked about online with or without you, and if you don’t want bad reviews spinning out of control you need to enter that conversation.
Your marketing dollars can be used to help contribute to the online conversation about your business. One of the things you can do is monitor your online reputation by appropriately responding to negative reviews, answering questions about your products, and generally exercise great customer service skills online. In fact, your customer service online is more important than your in-store customer service because once it’s online it’s very hard to erase. Hence why hiring an online marketing company to monitor your reputation is quite important.
Step 1: Check out your online reviews.
Head over to Yelp.com and type in your business. Read your reviews and ask yourself, “would my business be in better shape if I join the conversation?” After you check out Yelp, go to Google and type in your business name and reviews.
Be Found by the Right Consumer
Another big revelation business owners find out is consumers don’t know you exist unless you’re online. Potential customers are growing increasingly less likely to find your business based on driving by the store, looking up businesses in the Yellow Pages, or seeing your ad on TV. The abundance of information available to consumers online makes physically searching for the right business obsolete. You want your business to be where your potential customers are, and they are online. Hiring an online marketing firm to manage your social media presence, website Google rankings, local map listings and online ads takes care of that for you. By guaranteeing your business can be found online, you exponentially increase the possibility that the right information gets to your online customers.
Step 2: Do the Numbers
Ask your traditional ad company what conversion rate they provide. More than likely they won’t know how many people who see the ads they create for you actually convert into a sale. Now read this report which says organic online search leads have a closing rate of 14.6%, while traditional marketing has a closing rate of 1.7% and ask yourself where your marketing dollar is better spent.
Your Competitors Have Higher Quality Products
The Internet doesn’t just allow consumers to find businesses online, but it gives consumers the tools they need to compare and contrast business services. Another thing eBusiness owners need to realize is your business’ online presence is being compared to competitors. Many consumers weigh the credibility of a business based on how professional your website looks. Even without looking at your products, services or prices consumers are getting an idea of the quality your business can provide. If your competitors look better than you, then the idea rattling around in the head of consumers is their products and services are better than yours. This idea is the lens in which consumers then investigate your products, and no business owner wants consumers going in thinking that their services are of less quality. If that’s the case, you have an uphill battle to fight to convince consumers that you’re the right person for the job.
Step 3: Compare your website to your competitors
Head over to Google and type in the keywords you think your consumers are using to find you. When the results come up, take a look at the first 3 websites that pop up, and compare them to each other picking out what you think they do best. After you compare your competitor’s websites, go back and take a look at your website. Once you complete that ask yourself the questions, “why does Google like my competitor’s website more, and how do I fix my website?” When you’re ready to talk, contact us and we’ll give you an in-depth online review and we’ll show you detailed examples as to why your website isn’t ranking, and we’ll give you solutions.