Case Study #1: Nashville Business Increases By Big Numbers

This case study is about a company located in Nashville, Tennessee that was referred to us.

Before I got my hands on their web presence, they were really lagging behind in comparison to their competition, and boy is there a lot of competition. In a city like Nashville, companies certainly need to apply online local marketing in order to just compete, let alone bring in any of the share of customers that are searching online for the service.

So what did I do to help them? Well, let me enlighten you!

5 Steps to Local Marketing Success

I’m about to list for you the basic foundation of a successful online marketing campaign. In a city like Nashville, some of these steps should be implemented in greater quantities because of the city size.

Generally, the bigger the city which means more competition, which means you need to do more than the others to get to the top and stay there.

Step #1: Get a basic listing on both Google and Bing

Along with Yahoo, Google and Bing and the most used search engines by consumers. Get one on both sites, and be sure to optimize each description to include keywords related to the service/product and location. i.e. Nashville, tree service, limo rental, rug cleaning, etc…

Step #2: Build Citations to match Google and Bing listings

Your Google and Bing listings will count as what’s referred to in local marketing as a citation, which is the listing of it’s name, address, and phone number all over the web. The more citations a business has, the more likely it is to be listed in the Google map listings when people search for local services.

Step #3: Optimize the website to make it easy for customers and search engines to locate it

To make a website easier to find, it needs to be optimized for both search engines and customers to find. This means it needs to have the words and phrases on it that customers are using to search for a service so that the search engines know where to place it in the results. If people can’t find your company, you probably aren’t going to make many sales online.

Step #4: Make it obvious for customers to want to utilize the service or product they are searching for

Just because people can find a website though, doesn’t mean they will stick around. Your website needs to have contact information to make it easy for you to be contacted, contain informative content that answers questions, and help people in some way. Everything needs to be simple to digest or else that back button will get clicked often.

Step #5: Acquire local and relevant links

Links are what power websites and basically give them a vote. When you earn a link from a website it serves as a vote, which sends a signal to search engines like Google and Bing that your website is a good source for it’s niche. If enough websites that are relevant to the industry and location are linking to a website, it’s a good sign to the search engines that it is credible and one of the best options for a result.

Nashville Case Study Conclusion

After applying these basic steps, this Nashville business increased it’s bottom line and the amount of interest it generated online each month in comparison to the competition. It’s amazing what a process like this can do for a local company, and especially one that has no idea what they are doing when it comes to marketing online.

If you like this case study let me know and I will do what I can to bring you more content like it. I myself like case studies and feel that they are a great way to learn more about a topic. Talk later.

Why Google Business Listings Are Critical to Crushing Your Competition

Google has become the 800 pound gorilla for search. Sure, people still use Bing, Yahoo, and many others, but most searches start with the big G. Because of this, it’s more important than ever for local businesses to have at least a basic Google My Business listing. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well that’s exactly what I’m about to explain in this article.

How Google Map Listings Function

If you have ever performed a Google search for a product or service in your location, you have probably seen 3 listings in a little box above all of the other listings. These are called map listings, and the three companies that are listed in them get a surge of calls and inquiries above the other ones in their industry. And it’s obvious why. They can easily see reviews, the business’ phone number, how close the company is to their location, and what services they provide.

You have to reminder that people are busy these days and also impatient. This typically leads them to select what is practical, and Google map listings are just that.

Some people will go a bit further and look at all of the organic listings, which in simple English means the ten websites listed on the first page of Google when you search for something.

The Importance of Google Map Listings For Better Business

As you may have already been able to see, it can be quite beneficial to have a top three listing in the Google maps.

Not only will this attract more business inquires, but it creates a new level of trust on a subconscious level. Think about it: what makes these three businesses good enough to be placed here above all of the rest? Sure, some people will look past the top three listings but for the most part, those wanting to move fast mostly choose one of the “best.”

Ultimately, whoever is at the top will receive most of the lion’s share of business; it’s all in the numbers.

What’s the Best Way to Market Online?

There are many different ways to market a business online. Most work, but only if you work them. The bigger catch is though, you have to put work into mastering one, maybe two at a time – Otherwise, you may not see such a successful marketing strategy.

Our experts have tried just about every way to market you can think of, including social media, video, blogging, SEO, paid ads, and so much more. In that time of experience, we have concluded what works best for specific types of business models, and the best methods of implementation.

All of this leads us to this blog post today in which we are going to share our favorite way to market online.

This answer may be a little broad and non-satisfactory to many, but that’s okay.

So then what is the best way to market online?

The answer, my friends, is organic SEO.

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and in this instance, organic simply means that you assume the position is a natural way. i.e: relevant & trustworthy links, shared content.

Organic SEO can take much longer than paid or social media marketing, but it brings a much great ROI and can work for you for years.

Proper organic search engine optimization yields a coveted position at the top of the results when potential customers perform a relevant search. This means more traffic to a website and increased conversions (if the site is compelling, of course,) all without doing any work.

A well-positioned website is like a billboard that advertises for you 24/7. Organic SEO can help accomplish this. But what does the organic SEO process look like? Well, it can be a little complicated, but here’s a preview:

1.) Organic SEO mostly surrounds the optimization of a website. Essentially, what your site says along with what other websites are saying about that site.

In English, this means that it the content on it talks about the service or product being provided along with the location, and there is a decent amount of content in place.

Other websites that talk about your website provide a “vote.” Meaning, when another website links to yours, it provides a vote of confidence and in return, a higher position in the SERPS.

2.) Organic SEO depends on views from visitors in order to stay on top. Not only does a site need views though, it needs views that last more than just a few seconds.

In order to make visitors want to stay on a site longer, they need to be able to find what they are looking for, and fast. This means that a site should have content that answers questions, informs potential customers, and should include a call-to-action that compels them to become a customer.

This subject obviously goes a lot deeper but for now, we don’t want to sound too confusing.

We hope you got a basic understanding of organic SEO, and will stick around for future follow up posts.

Explained: Why Local Businesses Need Mobile-Friendly Websites

Have you ever been out in public and taken notice of the hoards of people that seem to have their cell phone glued to a part of their body or two?

While this is not really a good thing, it serves as a good illustration of how often people really use their cell phones, which includes for searching for local services. Ahem, this means you mister local business owner.

With this ‘fad’ becoming more popular in the coming years, it’s more important than ever for owners of local businesses to make sure their websites are mobile-friendly. Buy why?

First things first, Google -the largest and most common used search engine – is designed for human search, and to make their experience the best possible. This means that if a search is happening from a mobile device, the results returned to the user will only be sites that are optimized for mobile search, which can translate to a lot of lost business.

This reason alone is important enough make the decision to move to mobile.

If you want people to have a good user experience on your website, meaning:

  • They don’t have to scroll up, down and all around just to access your information
  • They can easily tell what your services your business offers and the locations you serve
  • They can easily contact you to request a quote or schedule a service

Then you are going to have to be more than sure that your website operates well on mobile devices of all shapes and sizes.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you currently have a website that is mobile-friendly, you can easily use Google’s free testing tool to find out.

Website Evaluation #1: www.nashvillebouncehouserentals.com

strategy

Every now and then we like to do website evaluations for business owners that are looking to increase conversions. This gives them insight on how to attract prospects in the first place, and then covert them into customers by making it easy and obvious to do business.

This insight has proven to be quite valuable, not to mention profitable for the companies we have worked with in the past. And now we’re bringing this information here you to you right now.

The subject? www.nashvillebouncehouserentals.com

We wanted to choose a bounce house company in the Nashville area, mostly because it’s such a hot spot right now. Or at least we have heard.

Anyways, we selected this business because they had the most optimized website in the market, therefore, proved to be a perfect prospect for this post. Here are the key ingredients to take away from this website that will help increase conversions, or in other words – convert prospects to customer by having a few elements in place that make it easy and obvious for them to want to do business with the company’s website they are on.

Easy-to-Access Contact Information

Pay close attention to the contact form on this website and how the phone number is listed at the top of the website. The phone number is also clickable, which will increase conversions alone because people can conveniently call the number to request a free quote.

Also notice the word free here, as it is an irresistible offer that compels a larger number of people to call.

The phone number is also listed several times throughout the content on the home page, meaning that people can consistently access it without having to scroll up or down the page.

Mobile -Friendly

One of the most important aspects of having an online presence nowadays is a mobile-friendly website. This means that the website is responsive to cell phones of all types and tablets, and users don’t have to scroll around or deal with small fonts just to access the content.

Optimized for Search

This website does a great job giving visitors information about the services they offer, locations, serviced, and presented other information people may be looking for.

Simultaneously, it is optimized to show up in the search results by including keywords that buyers would use during their search for these services.

End

These are the most important things that the nashvillebouncehouserentals.com website did right in their marketing, but they are not the only ones that contribute to the overall success of the company.

The best way to understand what was discussed in this post is to first read the entire thing, and then to read again while looking at the website so you can get a first-hand visual of what we’re talking about. You can access the website right away, right here.

Get these right for your company though, and you will also achieve top rankings for your business that translate to more exposure, customers, and sales that grow by the month.

Thanks for joining us for this cool case study today.

Let us know if you like this type of content better that our original, and we will start doing more like it.

Is it Necessary to Market a Business Online?

This is one of the biggest topics on the minds of most business owners these days and is something that I get asked about a lot, therefore, I decided it would be beneficial to provide a simple answer.

In short, the answer is yes. So allow me to explain.

If we look at how fast technology is growing and the large numbers of people that are using it to access information at their fingertips, we can see a demand from that alone to be found online. Think about it.

Yes many people may still use local newspapers, magazines and other forms of advertisement to get more business, but that’s just marketing to far and few that either don’t want to use technology or they just know a better way. Either way though, it doesn’t include the majority of people which ARE using the internet to meet their needs.

So in a sort of long-winded response, yes; it’s becoming a necessity for companies to have an online presence but not just that, an online presence that is visible to potential customers.

3 Big Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners

"MARKETING" Sketch Notes on Blackboard (advertising management)

Searching for a local business on the internet now far outweighs doing a search in the phone book, wouldn’t you agree?

Sure, many offline marketing models are still slightly effective and so are word-of-mouth referrals. But for most people, it’s just easier to search online.

With that being said, it’s now more important than ever for small business owners to consider their presence online; how many reviews they have, how many places customers can actually find them, etc. Otherwise they are going to have a hard time competing the other similar companies in the area that do.

So here are 3 big tips to help you get started today.

1. ) Get on Google

At the very least, small businesses need a Google Local listing. Over 70 percent of local search starts in Google, and the majority of those searchers will see the top three Google listings first which you guessed it, brings them a huge chunk of search.

To get a Google listing, simply go to the Google browser and scroll to the bottom of the search engine where you will see a clickable link labeled ‘Business.” Or simply do a Google search for ‘Google My Business’ and then click get started.

2.) Have a Website That Converts Well

Not all searchers will just use Google to find the information they’re looking for. Many will push past the local results to the organic ones, meaning the list of the ten websites on the first page of the search results, that are listing beneath the local listings and ads.

Many people want more information about a company, their prices, even work history, so you need a website that contains all of this. More importantly, you need:

  • A clear, visible phone number at the top of the site
  • A contact form for people to request info. through as an alternate method than phone
  • A list of services offered, and reviews and testimonials from previous customers always help

3.) Be Listing Where Your Customers Are Searching

If you have ever performed a search for a local service yourself, you may have seen organic listings than include Yelp, Yellowpages, Angie’s List, BBB, Superpages, Thumbtack, etc.

These are all known as third-party directory sites, but matter a lot because they are well-known websites that customers are constantly leaving reviews on, which will definitely matter to people that are considering your services.

With these sites being increasingly important, it’s a good to have your business listed on all of them to kill two birds with one stone. Let me explain.

  1. Being listing on these sites means that when other people use them for search, your business can be found.
  2. These websites are so authoritative and popular, not to mention important, that they show up on most first page search results for local services in any location throughout the United States. This gives you twice the chance for people to find your listing on this platform.

Being listing in more places gives people the perception that your business is trustworthy, seeing that it’s listed on all of these trusted websites.

I hope you’re starting to see the bigger picture.

What Should I Do Online as a Local Business Owner?

Remember back in the day when all you could do to find a local business was pick up the phone book or get a referral from a family member or friend? Yeah, well those days are about gone.

Sure, people still get referrals from loved ones but for the most part, they turn to the internet. And why not when they have a mobile device right by their side?

Because of this, owners of local companies should be on their toes about getting their business listed where their customers are searching. In English, this means that they need to have their name, address, phone number, and website, placed on the websites that customers are using to search for local products and services.

This is where business owners need to invest more time or money, meaning time to learn how to do the task themselves, or money to pay a professional to build and manage it for them. And from experience, it’s usually much easier to hire someone rather than try to gain the skill yourself not to mention, it takes away a huge learning curve.

So then what should local business owners be doing online to build a presence?

Summing up from what was just mentioned, business owners either need to find someone to help them with a quick Google search, or do many more searches in order to learn the skill of local marketing for themselves.

It won’t always cost as much as it may seem to hire a professional, but it is a lot more worth it in the end. Think about it; owners of businesses like tree and carpet cleaning companies specialize in what they do, so why would they even flinch at the idea of paying a professional to do a job like this.

If you are someone that is dead set on trying to figure things out for yourself though, here is a rough outline of what you should be doing online to gain more exposure for yourself in hopes of attracting more customers and sales.

  • Get a basic Google my Business listing and optimize it around your service’s products, keywords, and location. The important thing here is to get the NAP listed, which translates to name, address, phone number. – this my friend, is one of the most important things to have in place.
  • Use the exact same NAP to build more citations (also known as mentions of your business) on other 3rd party web directories. Examples of these include Yelp, Foursquare, City-Search, Facebook, and well, you get the picture. THIS is also a crucial part of what determines the amount of exposure a business receives online.
  • Try to find the websites of other local companies in the area, and see if you can work out a link arrangement. Just like you need web directories talking about your local site, you also need links from relevant, authoritative websites. These essentially count as votes and as you can guess, more votes can equal more exposure.

I know, I know – this is a LOT of information to take in at once, but it’s important to know if you need to marketing a local company online.

See why we suggested hiring someone to do this for you? 😉

3 Hip Tips for Entrepreneurs

There are over 20 million people in the world that refer to themselves as entrepreneurs. Maybe you are one of them. If so, maybe there’s a chance you would’t mind getting some tips from one entrepreneur to another.

You can never learn too much about business if you are an entrepreneur, which is why I make it a point daily to read a related book, or study somehow. Over time, this information has given me an advantage in my field, which is pretty competitive. Because of this, I needed to stand out, and what better way to do this than to acquire more knowledge than your competitors?

Here are 3 big things I have learned so far:

1.) Move over for mentors

Mentors are a MUCH bigger deal than most entrepreneurs think. Instead, the majority of them stick with the mentality that they can be successful on their own, which only prolongs their progress – take this from me personally. It took me 3 years to give in and finally find a good mentor.

Once you do find a good one though, it makes up for all the time you spend (of could have potentially spent) trying to figure things out on your own. Save your valuable time by learning from other people’s mistakes so you can fail forward faster and reach success.

And sure it will cost money to hire someone to mentor you, but the ROI is more than worth it in the end.

2.) A business requires investments

Whether it’s time or money, any business typically requires both to be a smashing success so you may want to start seeing as investing rather than spending resources.

To get any business model off the ground, you have to be willing to invest the time doing the grind or forking out the money for another professional to do so for you. Either way, both are usually a must for a company, product, or service to grow.

3.) Attitude is everything

Where focus goes, energy flows, which is why it’s crucial to always maintain a positive attitude. Sure, it’s super simple to get down on yourself, especially when working towards a huge project like starting a business, but you just have to.

For too long I was too negative, and I could really see how it started to affect my overall mindset and business. Then as hard as it was, I formed a new habit of always remaining positive and seeing the good in everything and BAM; the difference was like night and day.

Like magnets, we attract what we focus on good or bad – like attracts like, dislike attracts dislike, etc. Think about this the next time you approach your business with a crummy attitude.