Why I’m not investing more on my company’s web presence, Excuse #233: “We tried it once and it didn’t work.”
I started playing hockey as an adult. I took a shot on goal a few times and missed. That didn’t stop me from trying. In fact, I hired a coach. Practiced my technique and then once….in a magical moment of the most memorable game of my life, I scored a goal and you know what people say about me today when they see me at the rink? “Hey, isn’t that the guy who once scored a goal?”
Having a bad web promotion experience or hiring the wrong company to do SEO the one time you tried it does not mean you aren’t getting out sold by your competitors who do it right. The rule of small numbers states that 1 or 2 experiences is not a valid statistical sample. For every story of a failed Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or Pay Per Click (PPC) or Blogging or Social Media effort there are 10 stories of raging success.
There’s a multitude of factors that can cause a project’s failures and trying it once and failing isn’t one of them. In fact because we at Surefire Social successfully run internet marketing campaigns for hundreds of home remodelers and contractors all over the country is more relevant then the one time you hired your brother-in-law’s nephew, Sydney to build you a web-based, lead generation engine and failed. Sydney’s experience isn’t a trend…it’s an isolated incident of domestic abuse.
I’ve heard it all. But the first step to changing your course is to just make a decision. An analysis of your website could be that decision that puts you on the correct course and act as the trigger you need. The team I joined here at Surefire has been able to help hundreds of remodelers and contractors who were all in the same boat as you find yourself in now. There are dozens on dozens of guides available online that can help but isn’t it always nice to have someone help walk you through it the first time around? Who knows how to surf the very first time our feet touch the board? So please, let us know how we can help you improve your online visibility or whatever else it may be when it comes to internet marketing.
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While every day is a new opportunity for positive change, there is something particularly inspiring about January 1st. Whether it’s the marketing strategy your business has or focusing on sustainability, New Year’s resolutions are great ways to set goals for the coming year. Unfortunately, it’s easy to set goals that are just plain unrealistic. Don’t waste your resolution; make it achievable to set yourself up for the most successful year yet. Here are four common resolutions to avoid.
What would you do if you had ten extra hours in the day? Most of us would probably spend more time in the office, more time with friends and family, and even eke out a few extra hours of sleep or relaxation. That’s if we had the extra time. Unfortunately, it’s all too common to resolve to overcommit or overexert yourself for the coming year. Don’t forget that there are a limited number of hours in the day. Overextending will only hurt you and ultimately your business. Instead, focus on creating a healthy work/life balance and tackling that priority content creation or social media strategy, for example, rather than everything at once.
- Earning a Specific Amount of Money
While this goal isn’t totally unreasonable, having a clear set figure in the front or back of your mind is the fast track to a stressful 2015. Why? Even if you nail your marketing strategy for maximum ROI, there are always economic influencers that are out of your control. Economic climates change quickly, and it’s impossible to know how they’ll affect your business. Instead, look at last year’s revenue and give yourself a range to shoot for instead of a specific figure. A good goal is usually anywhere from 1 to 4% revenue growth.
- Landing an Angel
If you’re an entrepreneur or part of a startup business, the idea of encountering an angel investor is extremely attractive. Unfortunately, it’s also extremely unrealistic. It’s said that angel investors will seek you out if they think it’s a good match. Don’t waste your time or resources resolving to get funded by one. Instead, focus on building your business slowly and steadily.
- Making the Best Of List
There are all kinds of prestigious lists that recognize everyone from budding entrepreneurs to established home improvement contractors. Whether it’s the 30 Under 30 list or the Top 100 Roofing Contractors list, it’s a privilege and great for publicity to be featured on one. However, hoping to make the list is also an easy to set yourself up for disappointment. You don’t need anyone else’s recognition to have a great business, other than the validation that comes from happy customers. If you’re concerned about your reputation, consider investing in a reputation management handbook.
Whatever your resolution for 2015 is, keep it realistic and achievable to have the most successful year yet.
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Although there is no one-size-fits-all formula for a winning online marketing strategy, there are some general guidelines to follow that can help you determine where to invest your efforts. While ideally your company should have both a great website and the social media content to supplement it, it really comes down to knowing your business and which platforms serve it best. Here are some of the pros and cons of investing your marketing efforts in a professional website versus social media content.
The greatest advantage to curating the perfect website is that you have total say in and control over your brand. The other good news? 100% of people can see and access your site and it won’t cost you a penny extra. You can give your website an even bigger lift in visibility by reviewing guides that help you get found online such as Surefire Social’s Website Audit Handbook. Other benefits include:
- Enhanced marketing: A website gives you more space and features to market your services.
- Better value: Websites range in prices, but you can find several fine options that are inexpensive. Once your site is up, it can also save you significantly on overhead.
- Availability: People can find and see your website 24/7 to learn about your business even when you’re closed.
- Trustworthy: Statistics show that consumers find businesses with websites to be more credible.
The main drawbacks of focusing solely on a website is that you must be willing to commit to maintenance, complex features, and developing a marketing strategy to direct traffic to your site. Thankfully, Surefire Social can help you do all that!
If you’re lacking in reach or simply want a boost in visibility, being active on social media is a great way to expand your audience. Why? There are over a billion people using social platforms and savvy marketers can take instant advantage of this phenomenon. Other benefits include:
- Fast and cheap: It usually costs nothing to set up a simple social page.
- Global reach: There is a 25% increase in the number of businesses that direct traffic to their Facebook pages annually.
- Get in the conversation: Engage directly with your consumers.
- Branding opportunity: Share the culture and human side of your business with consumers.
- Minimal commitment: If you discover social media isn’t working for your business, you can easily delete accounts or switch to a new platform. The greatest commitment social media requires is the time it takes to curate quality content. You can lessen the burden by enlisting the help of a content creation
Social media isn’t without its limitations, of course. You must be willing to give up control and ownership. If you want the best reach possible, you’ll likely have to pay for a boost. You’ll also need to be ready to respond to and engage in a constant stream of open communication, for better or worse.
Websites and social media each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Determining which is right for your business is a matter of knowing your marketing goals and which platform best helps to achieve them. In today’s age, it’s rare to find a business that doesn’t try to optimize both social media and a website.
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Thanks to recent updates from Google, it’s now easier than ever for consumers to find local businesses in their area. Now marketers can use Google My Business as a component of their online marketing plan to enable customers to zero in on your business in their neighborhoods. Overall, the product is great for small neighborhood businesses that are looking to attract more walk-in traffic. Best of all, the additional web traffic that Google My Business generates has no monetary cost; all it takes is some time and effort to set up.
How to Get Started with Google My Business
Almost any local business or local franchise can benefit from having a Google My Business listing. If your business is online-only, however, you can create a Google+ brand page rather than a Google+ local page, which focus much more on the geographic location of your business and enable consumers to find your location.
The first step is making sure that all of the information listed on your free Google My Business page is up-to-date. Then you can add videos, images, and more to make your page more robust and more visible to Google.
Also, it’s important to make sure you use the name of your neighborhood in all of the appropriate places. Your neighborhood should be listed in your business’s descriptor and in the description field of your Google My Business page. On your website, your neighborhood name should be included in title tags, and it’s also a good idea to include an entire web page that is devoted to your specific neighborhood. That way, it’s easier for Google to make the connection between your Google My Business page and your business website.
To learn more about key strategies to use Google in your own online marketing plan, see our Google Magnet Handbook.
How Your Business Can Dominate Local Search Rankings
Besides Google My Business, there are several ways for businesses to improve their search engine rankings. First, establish a website with high-quality content, and post blog articles regularly. Then, make sure your business is listed on Google My Business, review sites such as Yelp, and social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you connect all of this content across the web, and make sure that you’re informing and entertaining rather than selling, you’re likely to notice improved SEO results.
Although most local marketing experts are likely to favor Google My Business, the product does have a few drawbacks—at least for now. Because the boundaries of most neighborhoods are not clearly defined, the results for Google My Business are not always one hundred percent accurate.
But having said that, if Google My Business is not already a part of your online marketing plan, now is the time to get started with it. Be sure to follow the official guidelines for representing your business on Google for further help!
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