Hey everyone! This is Casey from BizIQ. Today, I wanted to give you a little bit of insight on what goes on in an online marketing campaign for a small business.
Now, to be specific, we’re talking about what we refer to as organic search. That essentially means showing up on the top of the page in Google, without having to pay them for advertising.
Now, you might think if you build yourself a nice website, get yourself set up on Google Maps, and maybe even put together a Facebook page, that you’re done.
Unfortunately, online marketing doesn’t work that way.
So we’re going to break it down into three main categories to make it nice and simple:
1. WEBSITE DESIGN & OPTIMIZATION
The first key component to discuss is your website design and optimization.
Now the day your new website is built, if you’re working with a professional, it is designed and optimized to the standards of online browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox, as well as search engines like Google.
The thing is, though: Google is constantly evolving how they evaluate websites.
So, you might be ranking #1 on a Tuesday, and then on Thursday, you’re down to #7. You want a professional watching these sort of things to know when they need to make an update to your website, so that when you drop a couple of positions, they know what to do to fix it.
That’s why you want someone constantly monitoring your website, not just building it, and forgetting about it.
2. ONLINE DIRECTORY LISTINGS
The second key component would be your online directory listings.
Now, when I say “online directory,” I’m essentially referring to the phonebooks, but a digital version. So think of yellowpages.com, or yelp.com, even Facebook and Google Maps, are technically business directories.
On a directory, you’ll find a profile for your business, that has your name, address, phone number… Business hours, a link to your website, and maybe a category to put your business under.
Now, it’s a great step to make sure all of the major directories have a singular, correct, live listing for your business. However, it’s gonna take a little bit more than that, because these directories are always trying to get more information about businesses, so they’re going to pull data from all different types of sources.
What this means is they might have an incorrect phone number from some source that could even be your competitor.
That’s right: Your competitor could go onto Google Maps right now, and suggest that your business is actually closed!
Google takes user-suggested content very seriously, and could very well mark your listing as closed. Now, if you have a professional, who’s regularly monitoring and submitting your business information across listings, you can avoid your competitor ever successfully marking your business as closed.
Now, whether you want to manage your listings manually, one at a time, or use an automated service, something like Yext, you want to make sure that your business listings are constantly being submitted, they’re updated, they’re live, and accurate across online directories, GPS systems like TomTom, and even voice search systems like Amazon Alexa.
3. ONLINE REPUTATION
The third and final key component I’d like to discuss is your online reputation.
Now, we know word-of-mouth has been essential for the success of businesses for centuries, but what I want you to think about is that online reviews are the new word-of-mouth.
In fact, 85% of potential customers will read reviews online about a business before they call or walk into the store.
Your reviews can also help in three major categories of online marketing performance: Visibility, traffic, and your ability to convert.
While there are many things that go into where Google ranks your business, they have said that, all things else considered, a higher-reviewed business (a higher rating business), will show up higher in search results than one with lower. Again, all things equal.
When it comes to traffic, or the number of people that click on your listing, a higher review-rating makes you stand out.
Psychologically, if you saw a business with fifty reviews, and a 4.7 rating, a business with 2 reviews and a 5.0 rating, and then a business with 13 reviews, and a 2.5, who would you click on?
You’d probably click on the person with 50 reviews, and a 4.8 out of 5. It’s a very high rating, and your first thought was to click on that business. So the amount of clicks, or what we refer to in the industry as “traffic,” goes up with a stronger online reputation.
And finally, the most important part about online reputation is that it provides the context for your potential customers to understand just how high of a quality your products and services are.
This is what we refer to as “building your value,” and helping you convert traffic into sales or potential sales.
Because your online reputation is so impactful in your business’s performance, you want to make sure that your constantly monitoring your reviews that come in, working to acquire new ones, and then, the important part, responding to the reviews you get, whether they’re positive or negative.
Now, it is extremely important to have a dedicated professional who has the tools and resources to monitor those new reviews, and let you know when they come in. Also a professional will know the best way to reach out to your customers, and get you new reviews.
And finally, they will also work with you to explain the best way to respond to positive reviews, and the best way to respond to negative reviews. So just like your website, and your directory listings, your online reputation is a constantly-evolving endeavor that requires maintenance.
Time is Money. Here’s How to Decide if You Should DIY
Now, based on what I’ve told you so far, you might think to yourself, Okay, these are pretty simple, actionable concepts that I could probably handle by myself.
And you could be right.
The question you have to ask yourself, though, is do you have the time and resources necessary to learn and implement these best practices on your own?
Just consider that the average marketing coordinator makes about forty thousand dollars in the united states. So, if you wanted to go part-time, maybe that would take you down to twenty thousand, or even ten thousand dollars.
Just to give you some context, here at BizIQ, where we run campaigns just like the ones we’ve outlined above, we charge about $499 dollars a month, on average, which takes you to just under six thousand dollars a year.
So, if you went with an agency, you’d be saving a lot more money than hiring someone in-house for a full-time, or even a part-time position.
I really appreciate all your time today. If you have some more questions about what we talked about today, just reach out to us.