Feeling Optimized Yet?
(Internet Marketing For Business Owners Living in the Real World)
It's 10:38 Monday Morning...
There you are, fearless entrepreneur, standing behind the counter of your local small business, surrounded by tens of thousands of families just dying to drive over and spend some dollars with you.
It's a beautiful morning, the roads are clear, you just polished the front counter (three times, actually), adjusted your hair (twice), made sure the sign on the front door said 'OPEN,' even cleaned the toilet (again).
So Where the #@%#!! Is Everybody?
Not a single customer has come through the door all morning. That lump in your stomach wasn't the energy bar you grabbed for breakfast. Clearly you need to increase your advertising... and FAST.
We All Know Sales Is a 'Numbers Game'
Whether or not you make money and pay the bills all comes down to one thing, and one thing only: how many sales you get.
PLAN A: More sales = more money
PLAN B: Fewer sales = less money
And no one wants PLAN B!
Problem is, most small businesses have never really thought the marketing and sales process through. That said, here are...
The 7 Easy Steps to 'Conversion'
No, it isn't a line dance. It goes something like this.
STEP #1: All sales begin with marketing.
STEP #2: All marketing begins with attraction.
STEP #3: Everyone out there is a suspect.
STEP #4: Attract a suspect and you've got a prospect.
STEP #5: A prospect in the door becomes live prey.
STEP #6: Sell them something and you pay the bills.
STEP #7: Wash, rinse, repeat.
Let's Say You Decide to Advertise Locally
You run a small ad in a local newspaper with a circulation of 20,000. Here's what the next month looks like.
* 20% of readers (that's 4,000) will even notice the ad.
* 20% of those who see it will read it. We're down to 800.
* 20% of those 800 will clip the ad or write it down. That's 160.
* 20% of those 160 will come to your store. That's 32 walk-ins.
* 20% of those 32 will buy something.
* That's about 6 shoppers in an entire month.
* Good luck with that!
What Did That Ad Cost?
Maybe $200 a month on a one-year contract. Divide $200 by 6 sales and you need $33.33 net profit per sale JUST TO BREAK EVEN.
Yes, print media gets your name out there. That's what they tell you, anyway. But it's expensive. And pretty much indiscriminate. Besides, you don't need a fan club, you need sales!
Let's say you're in the carpet cleaning business. What are the odds that the person sipping coffee at the local diner and glancing at your ad on that place mat needs their carpets cleaned...
- Today? Pretty low.
- Some time? Sure, just not today.
- Some day in the future? Most likely. Just not today.
And When Do You NEED Sales?
Right, today. Not some day in the future.
When a local member of the community needs their carpets cleaned, they're probably not going to look on that place mat unless they took it home with them.
Sure, you create brand awareness and name recognition by advertising locally -- and that may get you some sales down the road -- but you can't pay THIS month's bills with 'down the road.'
Marketing For Business in the Real World
When a suspect in your local area needs their carpets cleaned (to pick just one business), what are they ACTUALLY going to do?
The days of local Yellow Pages are long gone. And, remember, our suspect doesn't have that place mat push-pinned to the wall next to their computer.
It's possible they may have left the place mat on the front seat of the car, but do they even remember that you had an ad in there with a discount coupon on it?
No, Bucko, they probably don't. So here's what they're going to do. They're going to whip out their smart phone and type in 'carpet cleaning'.
And Who Are They Going to Find?
Well, that's easy. They're either going to find you, or they're going to find the competition.
We live in an 'instant coffee' world. The modern world is a whole lot faster than it used to be. And most people today are a whole lot busier than their parents used to be. Pretty much everything today is instant this and instant that.
Want to know what the weather's going to be tomorrow? No problem, just look up the weather page in the Boston Globe or the Manchester Union Leader, right?
Seriously, does ANYONE do that anymore? No, you look on your smart phone. Two swipes, a touch, and there you are.
Is the average suspect going to dig through page after page of this week's newspaper looking for carpet cleaning? No, frankly, they're not.
Organized consumers may have saved your coupon. Most people we know just throw them out. As for that place mat, it's long gone.
No, the average very busy person is going to do exactly what average busy persons so. They're going to look on their smart phone. Maybe their PC if they're at work.
They'll take 15 seconds to look at your local Google listing:
1. See where you're located relative to them.
2. Check out your hours of operation
3. See if you have any good reviews.
4. Make note of your phone number
So What Are They Looking For?
They're looking for YOU. They just don't know you yet. They DO notice that your small business is at the top of the search results on Page 1 of Google. That means you're real, you're serious, you're a player.
Then they notice that your business is listed locally, also on Page 1 of Google, with a street address and good reviews. That's called 'third party endorsement.' Other people really liked your business, and that's good.
Everywhere they look, your small business is all over Page 1! This is called dominating Google. What does it mean? It means that you own most of the eyeballs in the area any time someone types in search terms relating to your business. Here are some examples.
'carpet cleaning Nashua'
'Nashua NH carpet cleaner'
'clean my carpets in Nashua'
You get the idea. So does this mean you'll get 100% of the eyeballs? No, you get about 35%. If 1,000 people in a single day are look for carpet cleaning in your area, you'll get about 350 of those views.
And by the way... how many people are still looking at your diner place mat ad?
Sorry... but the truth is that most social trends take about a generation to really take hold. Take the newspaper industry, and we're talking the major city papers like the Boston Globe.
Sales and distribution have plummeted over the past 10 years! And television viewership of cable news channels like CNN and MSNBC are at records lows.
So where is everyone getting their news and information? From the Internet!
So here, as they say, is the $64,000 question. How exactly does Google determine which businesses do (and do not) get top ranking on Page 1?
Enter Search Engine Voodoo, Stage Left
It's called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It's the Internet voodoo that you probably don't quite understand and certainly don't want to mess with. Which is why you've already had a bazillion SEO companies pitch you their pricey plans already, right?
So... can Prism Business Solutions do your SEO for you? Sure we can. And yes, we'll have to charge you for your services, although we're probably la lot more affordable than those other guys.
Operating On a Shoe String But Need SEO Anyway?
Here's what we can also do for you - and it's genuinely small business friendly.
We can coach you on how to do all that SEO voodoo for yourself, one step at a time, with exact and precise, step-by-step instructions that you can easily follow - even if your understanding of using a computer ranks right up there with your understanding of nuclear physics!
Over a period of many months to a year, depending on how fast you want to go, and at bite-sized service fees you can afford, your entire web presence and online visibility gradually rises and rises until your small business is dominating search results on Page #1 of Google and keeping you plain view, right at the top of searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
So, you see, your budget need not be the reason why people in your community can't find you online. And all that lost business no longer needs to go to your competitors.
Fill out the Contact form on the right side of this page and give us a call. We'll be happy to explain the process and answer your questions.