SEO, Social Media, Pay Per Click, Local Search Results…to many small business owners, these are obscure terms that represent an unknown nightmare to tackle when you have your hands full just running the day to day operations of your business. What does it all mean…?
Let’s put it this way, 15-20 years ago, all a small business owner had to do for local search results was pay a monthly fee to appear in the Yellow Pages, to show up better you just paid more. The yellow book is dead and has been replaced with the internet. Today, consumers have gone online to find their sources.
Nearly All Consumers (97%) Now Use Online Media to Shop Locally, According to BIA/Kelsey and ConStat (See full article here)
So the big question is…CAN YOUR CUSTOMERS FIND YOU ONLINE!!!??? If not, you have some serious trouble! And just because you have a website, doesn’t mean it is showing up when people search for you locally. In 2011 Google released “PANDA”, a major change to it’s search engine algorithm. In a nutshell, Panda is looking for quality search results, if you are trying to cheat with keywords, copying articles from other websites, or not updating your website, you simply will be a lot less likely to show up in the search results.
Here are a few questions for you to ask yourself about your web efforts to see if you need to do something about it:
1- Are customers calling you because they found you online? This one is pretty simple, if they are great, but if not…you might want to continue.
2- Has it been more than a year since you changed anything on your website? If not, the search engines see you as stagnant, not involved or interacting with your customers.
3- Do you have a blog that you post original content to at least a few times a month? The search engines love to see a website that is adding original content on a regular basis. Original means you wrote it, or you had someone write it for you. Copying content from another site is the FASTEST way to get Google to blacklist your website. You can link to other articles (as I have done above), but your article has to be new information, that your customers will value.
4- Do you use Social Media that can be tied to your website? In other words, your social media “handles” should be similar to your website. The search engines look to social media to see if you are interacting with the world, but they can’t make the connection as well if you don’t make it easy. My website is www.PIPMarketing.com, my Facebook page is www.facebook.com/pipmarketing and my Twitter handle is @pipmarketing.
A couple of weeks ago, a company in England found my sign website (www.PIPSignworks.com) searching “Signs Orlando” and placed an order to have a sign ready for a convention they were coming to. It works, signs are such an important part of my business that I have created a separate website for them to show up in search results…and it works.
The solution? We have opened a new division, PIP Social, to help our customers with this challenge and can now help our customers build websites, set up blogs and teach them how to be successful with them. We even have managed Local Search SEO Programs where we will blog and post to social media to help you build up your online reputation. Our programs are in the range of what it used to cost to run a successful Yellow Pages ad years ago. At the very least, you need to look into your online marketing and ask yourself if it is doing everything it can and should be doing for you.
If you would like to learn more, call Dale at 407-847-5565