Thursday, April 5, 2012

You Have to Start SOMEWHERE...

re: Getting found on the internet.. just a baby step but a necessary one

by Tammy de Leeuw
"The Grouchy Marketing Lady"

I'll be the first to admit it.  Getting to the top of Google, no matter how great the search phrase may be,
is only the first in a series of steps you need to do in order to GROW your list.

Still, if you can find a way to ensure that your locally-based business pops up on searches, particularly mobile searches, then you have gained a huge advantage over your competitors.

This is particularly true if you operate the kind of business that is perceived as a commodity business.   Examples such as pizzerias, car washes, gas stations, auto insurance agencies, or convenience stores come to mind.

High search engine ranking can be absolutely critical to such businesses because a hungry person looking for a nearby pizza parlor probably isn't going to dig through ten pages of Google to find one.  Similarly, someone stuck in a bad area of town with a flat isn't looking for cool videos about a tire repair business.  They just want THE FIRST FAST RESPONSE they can get.

Other kinds of businesses, particularly service-based businesses such as financial planning practices, life coaching, etc. should approach search from a slightly different point of view.

These kinds of businesses thrive by building trust and integrity, which usually takes a bit more time to
achieve .  Search ranking for these kinds of businesses will probably not be a major source of leads, but rather a way to build up credibilty more rapidly.

Ubiquity is often (correctly or incorrectly) associated with quality.    When a person searching for a psychologist or lawyer or financial professional sees the same name popping up everywhere they look, a kind of celebrity effect occurs.  Name recognition can often be a factor in attracting new clients for such businesses.

In the past, I have recommended that every business do at least three things to get noticed online.

1. Get themselves attached to a high profile directory with great page rank, such as SMART GUY.COM.
    Not all directories are created equal.  I have found that Smart Guy's free site will get you to page one
    pretty quickly for ONE search term.  The premium monthly pay option will get you there for ten different
   desirable search phrases.    I just an email from a user of their free account option
"SmartGuy works as advertised... puts me on 1st page of Google organic listing, although I have not received any phone calls or leads as of 2 months on the premium service.  I think this is because SmartGuy is a directory listing and not a direct link to my lead capture mini-site, .
As a directory listing, they have to look for and click on the link to my site.   I am not sure if my business category of "Insurance Company" is the right search category.   On the other hand, the free listing is a bargain even if it means that your business listing category can be sold out over time.|
Libertyville, IL

2. Start a YOUTUBE Channel and put up 2-3 different videos per month.

3. Write and regularly edit a SQUIDOO page.  Squidoo is great for page rank and helps you create useful
    content that can easily be repurposed.

Doing just those three things will go a long way toward getting you found.    Then, it's up to you to develop a plan to nurture and convert those searchers into clients.

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