Search Engines,Promoting Your Business Online and More!
This post I wanted to touch base on a topic that is dear to me – Marketing businesses online. This week I wanted to share some thoughts based on some client meetings I had with clients old and new. I think you might find some of ideas I share as something to consider for your own business, whether it be home based or in a commercial location.
There is no secret that many people today hop onto Google, search for a keyword or two to find a local business that can help them find EXACTLY what they want. Christmas shopping this year was dominated by people shopping online, shipping gifts to their homes and finding that special something for friends and family.
So this past week I met with some clients concerned that they didn’t have the best listings on Google or were frustrated with the fact they don’t appear near the top of Google when their customers search for the prefect gift. Three years ago, everyone wanted to be listed on Google and see their website on the first page of the search engine listings. Search for “Fishing Rod” or “custom cake pan” and if their website didn’t show up in spot number 4-6 or better, they were disappointed.
Having offered Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services for years, I realized that this past 12-16 months, it was no longer acceptable to JUST focus on the website. Even those who did were sadly disappointed and frustrated. The advice I gave then and still give included:
- Adding regular content on a regular basis. Give the search engines a reason to come back every week to new content. Many small businesses still ignore updates.
- Make sure that you understand that today, its critical that you also consider promoting your companies with Videos, Articles on Blogs, product pictures on Pinterest, regular daily tweeting on Twitter, a corporate page on Facebook and maybe a product oriented Blog. Few people do this. Yes its work….but it WORKS.
- Engage people and customers. Don’t just flash a sign saying “We are Here!”. That doesn’t work and doesn’t build relationships.
Its critical today that you dedicate time and effort to managing an online presence. If you are working flat out in your business, its going to be hard to dedicate time to managing your brand and building the content required. The sad part….most of us EXPECT to see huge gains in traffic and business once we launched our website. But its not enough.
The Internet and especially the Search Engines are changing daily. Do a quick search and you will see your competitors listings for their Yellowpage entries, their Better Business Bureau listings, their 411 website listing, the Map location link on Google, Comments made and content added to Facebook, details from their Google+ Hangouts group, and maybe even sponsored Keywords that they bought using Google Adwords. In fact, there are only about 2 million places that you can promote your business OTHER THAN Google and Bing search engines.
In the early days of the Internet (WWW), people developed a website with blinking text and a picture or two. And that was as far as they went. Don’t fall into the trap of just creating an online postcard for your business. Its simply not enough. Put yourself in the mind of your target customer and think about where they hangout. It would surprise you how many methods there are for reaching customers.
I meet many clients who struggle getting the word out to their customers. Its ALOT OF WORK. No one said marketing was easy, took little time or could be done in an afternoon. Quite frankly, it takes person hours and an investment of money like regular marketing techniques. But instead of 10 traditional ways to market, there are about 8,000! Sound crazy? Not really.
In order to promote my own business, I have a webpage (www.eldoren.com), Blog (gfcurrie.com), Pinterest page, Facebook personal and business page, Google+ page, Twitter feed, YouTube channel, Podcast (and I subscribe to over 40 podcasts on all sorts of topics). I also sell products on Ebay (online Auction) and use about another 30 types of sites and services to get the word out. Now granted, I have lots of experience and love to market and promote, but I still have to establish my “brand” and “persona” online.
Technology is getting easier to use but it can be very complicated. For some. But its certainly worth evaluating and trying out. Understand that what we did 1 year ago is already very different than what we do today. This summer and fall of 2014 I expect new methods of marketing will show up. With more new tools and software products and services we can use. So when you step back and wonder why your website isn’t working 100%, consider what other ways you can use to increase awareness and bring visitors into your business. Don’t be afraid, think of yourself as a new explorer heading out to sea in a new ship to the “new world”. Experiment, get your ears wet and have fun. But don’t look backwards….look ahead and the new world and the new changes.
Last thoughts…as a typical consumer, I like to see awesome pictures of products, I love to spend hours on YouTube, Listening to Podcasts, checking out new images on Pinterest. Like many consumers, I love interaction and eye candy. So if you want MY BUSINESS, what are you doing to hook me….the consumer who spends thousands online and offline each year? What could YOU do to get my dollars? Something to think about.