Most small businesses owners that are actually smart enough* to know they need to be online and have a strong web presence don't have the first clue as to what to do or how to do it. This is not surprising, as the average financial consultant, doctor, mechanic or pizza shop owner did not go to school for local web marketing. After all, there was no such thing more than fifteen years ago, and it's only in the last five or so that it's become not just important, but – in my view – imperative.
*We live in a world where approximately 50% of small businesses don't have a website… much less a mobile-optimized website… much less understand the value of a strong web presence.
Heck, it's been my general experience that most small business owners don't know much about marketing, period – much less web marketing and the intricacies of navigating a constantly changing and radically evolving online environment. Which is an actual shame, as a little bit of local SEO optimization knowledge would go a long way towards helping most struggling small businesses.
And we can help. A lot. As in… putting your business front and center in the search results. Even, as hard as it may be to believe, into multiple slots on page one of the Google search results, as shown in the video below. But I digress…
We undertook a project recently to demonstrate our site ranking prowess – and our ability to not just provide local seo services – but to kick butt and take names while doing so. How does 10 out of 10 page one rankings in Google sound? Yeah, that's right. We can take over the entire first page in many local markets!
Now, it's a fact that there are many SEO firms and web marketing consultants out there, and many that can rank your site on page one – for the right amount of money. Because to some extent, it's about the money. The harder the competition, the longer it takes and the more it costs.
Note that when they promise to “rank you,” they're generally not promising that they can do so for any particular slot unless you're paying the big bucks. There's ten slots on each Google search results page, after all. You'll be lucky if the average SEO guy gets you into one slot on page one. And that's fine. Nothing wrong with that. But…
We are regularly delivering five… or seven… or even all ten slots. Total market domination of Google page one, in other words. See the video proof…
The stats are in, people, and if you still need convincing that Facebook should be a key piece of your small business marketing strategy – if not, in fact, the key piece – then the following infographic should make it all crystal clear.
Here are the key points (as shown), with commentary.
• People aged 35 years and above now represent over 30% of the Facebook crowd.
The “kids” are leaving Facebook for Instagram, Path, Pocket and Pinterest, but that's more than OK, since it's the 30-somethings that have the serious intent and money to spend.
The way the web works now for small and local businesses is this:
1) The vast majority of searches on the local scene are by folks looking to shop locally. See my first infographic series for more on these small business marketing statistics.
2) Despite the impact of social, most people still go to Google first. This means you need to be on page one for the search terms that are relevant to your business. You need to have not just a properly built and implemented site, but a fully fleshed out Google Places profile as well.
3) Even though people don't shop by social media directly (Facebook Stores were a massive flop, for instance), the fact is that social activity and proof have a huge impact on how Google ranks your site and other web properties. The more Likes, Shares, Favs, bookmarks, mentions, etc. that your web properties have, the better. Social signals tell Google that your site is relevant and important, and rewards you accordingly.
4) Believe it or not, when you've done it right, you can have more than one of your web properties showing up on page one for your search term(s). You can have your Google Places profile ranking on Places/Maps. You can have your website ranking, too. You can even have a video or videos ranking as well. It's entirely possible to have multiple page one listings! This means you dramatically increase your chances of getting the click, while reducing those of your competitor.
5) When you are big on page one, you'll get all the leads, calls and sales you want!
So, social media and marketing have a huge impact on everything else online now. If you're not doing smart social marketing, you're actually hurting your website, your Google Places page (if you have one, and you should), and everything else you're doing online. You need social signals these days the way you once needed backlinks not too long ago (though you still need backlinks, too).
Now, to some facts regarding this subject:
52% of small businesses active in social media stated that it created higher brand awareness. That's really, really good, but it could be a much better. From what I have seen, this is from a group that includes many who literally have not systematized their social media marketing efforts whatsoever. They're flying by the seat of their pants, in other words, and making it up as they go. Imagine how much better YOU could do with some expert help.
61% of businesses found that social media marketing brought them new business and repeat customers. That's impressive. But again, for those that are following best practices, my belief is that the number is closer to 99%. We've yet to see social media fail where it's done the right way.
NOTE: If you haven't set up your Google Places page yet, you should do it now. Click the link. Google Places is 100% free to use, and far, far more powerful than any Yellow Pages ad you ever bought – assuming you're on page one. In fact, you can think of it as the “Google phonebook” or online yellow pages in a way. Claim it, fill it with relevant info (products and services, specialities, discount offers, business hours, etc.), pictures and videos. If you need help, contact us. We'd be glad to help.