Small Business Marketing (Infographic) – Did You Know Series | Part 3B

Part 1A | Part 1B | Part 2A | Part 2B | Part 3A | Part 3B

So here we are, the end of the road for our Small Business Marketing Infographics – Do You Know series. Part 3B of 3 parts. We hope you've learned something of value along the way.

86% of web surfers look for local businesses to patronize! | So can they FIND YOU to BUY FROM YOU? Take the Google Test to find out how your small business marketing is doing! | Brought to you by imaWebGenius.com

Presumably, you just took the FreeGrader test. If you haven't you can head on over to FreeGrader right now and get your score. The test looks at more than just where you are in Google, but across the web as well. It analyzes your overall small business marketing footprint, if you will.

As shown on the infographic above, what we're looking for is a score of 85-90. A score that high (or higher) is fantastic, and represents a very sold web presence in which there is a high probability of being found in local web search. But if you didn't score that high, there's reason for concern – the lower the score, the greater the concern!

NOTE: the FreeGrader test is really only a loose, rule-of-thumb assessment of your overall web presence. A much more comprehensive online “audit” is usually recommended.

In any event, we think the data we've provided, combined with the tests you've done for yourself, should have done two things for you: 1) convince you (if you needed it) that having a strong web presence is critically important today, and only becoming more so, and 2) that there is no avoiding it if you want to be relevant to your local marketplace (and even in business at all).

So, there are basically two ways to go about fixing a less-than-stellar score from FreeGrader. And if you “flunked” the prior tests (GetListed and Google) too, you've really got a lot of work ahead of you.

1) You can attempt DIY (Do It Yourself). 

As discussed in my article series The Small Business Marketing Catch-22, this is a daunting task, but it's not impossible – just improbable. Most small business owners, entrepreneurs and managers simply don't have the time.

The reality is that if you're not an SEO/social media expert, odds are you're going to have to become one. Why? Because you have to know what to do, even if you're only directing the efforts of others (like the college kid you thought could run your social media efforts).

You may “save some money” over the cost of hiring a professional, except that in place of money, you'll be burning time. Lots of it. And in so doing, you'll be taking yourself away from the things you are really good at (and presumably like to do), only to embark on a very, very steep learning curve that comes complete with an ever-changing, highly confusing curriculum.

2) You can hire an expert. 

No matter how you do it, what's entailed is nothing less than building out a web presence into all the right channels, in the right sequence and using the right techniques, to get the fastest results possible – all without upsetting Google!

See, Google likes it when sites grow organically. In fact, it will give maximum love to sites it really likes. Conversely, Google hates it when people try to game the system and “cheat” their way to success online.

Do even the right things in the wrong sequence – or too fast – and you can jeopardize everything you're working so hard to build. Playing in the sandbox was a fun thing as a child, but being in Google's sandbox is not a good thing.

Now the definition of “cheating” online is a gray one, because one man's perfectly acceptable, if aggressive, web marketing campaign may be another's shameless efforts to buy success. Ironically, Google loves it when you “buy success” – so long as it's the Adwords advertising platform you're buying it with. Otherwise, not so much.

The objective of an effective small business marketing strategy online is to create the kind of web presence that causes a significant portion of all those web searches, calls, leads and visits to come to you. It can be done with “free” methods, or paid ones (the aforementioned Adwords, as well as Facebook ads and other ad networks) or a combination of the two.

The old expression “all roads lead to Rome” is an apt one in this circumstance. In fact, in many marketplaces today, it's entirely possible to utterly and completely dominate it. You wouldn't necessarily know that such a thing was possible just by looking at Google search results. Somehow, all the slots are always filled, right? But just because they are filled, doesn't mean the competition knows what it's doing.

The fact is, very few folks in the local marketplace know what they're doing online these days. While it's entirely possible to have a decent web presence entirely “by accident” in small markets, we do not recommend total apathy and/or ignorance as an effective small business marketing strategy!

What we do recommend is that you take your online marketing and web presence very seriously. Doing it right means having all the leads, business and sales you could ask for – even to the point of “owning” your local market. But not doing it right is fraught with peril. Not only will you be losing out on business you could and should have, with every day you wait you're making the competition stronger and your future chance to “get in the game” harder and harder.

We recommend kicking your small business marketing into high gear with all speed, and we're here to help if you think you need it.

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Small Business Marketing (Infographic) – Did You Know Series | Part 3A

Part 1A | Part 1B | Part 2A | Part 2B | Part 3A | Part 3B

In this, the third and last in our Small Business Marketing Infographic series, we reveal yet another shocking statistic most small business owners should be aware of. That being: 97% of internet users shop online. 57% of these characterize their normal practice as shop online, PURCHASE OFFINE! (NPD Research Group).

We saved the best for last. But I think most would agree that that's a pretty shocking, amazing statistic. Wouldn't you?

Did you know 97% of internet users shop online? 57% of these characterize their normal practice as "SHOP ONLINE - PURCHASE OFFLINE!"! | So can they FIND YOU to BUY FROM YOU? Take the Google Test to find out! | Brought to you by imaWebGenius.com

This basically means that more than 50% of web surfing population is looking for what you have to offer online! 59.29%, to be exact.

In other words… almost 60% of your potential, current and past customers!

And do you think that's going to decline any time soon? No, of course not. It's only going to grow. One day soon it will be 70%. Then 80%. Maybe even 90%. What are you going to do then, when traditional media are – for all intents and purposes – dead and gone?

The upshot here is is very clear… Pay attention please. It goes like this: If they can't find you online, they can't (and won't) buy from you in the real world. It's that freakin' simple!

Worse yet, when they can't find you, odds are they're finding your competition! If you are not a significant presence in your local marketplace, you are actually ceding victory to the other guys, and for all intents and purposes sending business their way. That's very nice of you, of course, but probably not what you had in mind when you went into business.

But the flipside is the good news. It's great news, in fact, because web marketing is better than other forms of marketing in nearly every way. Here are some of the more notable reasons:

  • Fast to implement (no waiting weeks and months for campaigns to start)
  • Completely trackable (no more wondering)
  • Persistent marketplace presence (unlike print and broadcast media)
  • Much less expensive (as compared to traditional media)
  • Near instant results 
  • Much higher ROI, much lower cost per lead/sale

Once your small business marketing and web presence is set up right, it's going to pump business your way for many months (and even years) to come. This is because significant chunks of a comprehensive web marketing campaign are entirely “set and forget!” The cost (and time) is front-loaded. After the hard work is done, it's usually only necessary to maintain it.

If you're used to spending big bucks every month on marketing, it's a good bet that your ad spend will drop. Dramatically. And if you're not used to spending a lot on your marketing, then it's not going to be nearly as bad as “stepping up to the big leagues” used to cost. The web is not prohibitively expensive, unlike traditional media and marketing.

So the moral of the story – and the most important message from this Small Business Marketing Infographic series (which we hope you've enjoyed) is:

Local shoppers will come and buy from you – if they can find you online!

So can they?

Take the FreeGrader test to see what the rest of the world sees when it looks for you online!

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Small Business Marketing (Infographic) – Did You Know Series | Part 2B

Part 1A | Part 1B | Part 2A | Part 2B | Part 3A | Part 3B

In the prior companion to this post, we discussed how and why it's so important to have a solid, effective web presence, and how you can find out if you do (since most small business owners really don't know).

So, are you ready to find out what “the web” (Google and the other search engines, Facebook and social media, local business listing directories and the like) thinks of your small business marketing and web presence? Then take the test! It only takes a few seconds.

One company offers a 100% free test to determine how your company is doing online. It's based on extensive reverse-engineering of search engine and social media results. In other words, by watching the watchers. It measures your overall web presence, and gives you a sense of how well local web searchers can find you online – or not, as the case may be.

So if you've got the courage, head on over to GetListed, plug in your site URL and your zip code, and get your grade. It's fast and easy!

90% of all online shopping-related web searches result in local offline purchases! | So can they FIND YOU to BUY FROM YOU? Take the GetListed Test to find out! | Brought to you by imaWebGenius.com

How did you do? Did you get at least an 85-90% rating? If so, great! You're doing really, really well online. You probably only need to tweak a few things to get 95-100% which is where any business that's serious about their online marketing needs to be.

But if you didn't hit 85-90%, don't feel too bad – and don't despair! The reality is, despite the fact the web is now over a decade old, most small businesses are not exactly kicking butt when it comes to online marketing. They are “lucky” if they reach 25-30%. And I say “lucky” because odds are they're only that high (if you can call that high) by accident. As I've discussed on this blog and elsewhere, most small business marketing strategies are happenstance, not design… and most results, if any, are not from careful planning and dedicated marketing efforts.

While I'm on that subject, here are some easily digestible data points about small business marketing in general. They show two things. First, how bad it is out there for most small and local businesses, insofar as their online presence goes. Second, they reveal just how big the opportunity is for those that get serious about their online marketing (from Marketing Sherpa):

  • 63% of small businesses don’t have a website!
  • 25% of small businesses don’t show up in the search results!
  • 86% of small business owners view Facebook as a valuable website!
  • 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog!
  • 50% of mobile search is now local according to Google!

The above are just a handful of samples from the compiled marketing research data of a variety of studies that proves, beyond any shadow of any doubt, that online marketing works – if “you” work it! And that's how you get a good “web score,” too.

The problem of a poor score at GetListed is not an insurmountable one. In fact, if you know what you're doing and you get serious about your small business marketing, you can begin to fix a poor score immediately – and you can improve it in very short order.

So whether you need to make the final push to get your GetListed score into the 95-100% range, or you need help to make it respectable (oh, and actually make online work for you), you need to get with a small business marketing specialist, create a comprehensive web marketing plan, and implement it!

If you're following the right path, you should see concrete results in short order.

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Small Business Marketing (Infographic) – Did You Know Series | Part 2A

Part 1A | Part 1B | Part 2A | Part 2B | Part 3A | Part 3B

This is the second in our Small Business Marketing Infographic series, revealing yet another shocking statistic most small business owners should be aware of. To wit: 90% of all online shopping-related web searches result in local offline purchases! (ComScore Research)

That's a pretty staggering metric if you think about it.

Now think about the fact that if that if 90% can't find you quickly and easily online – as is the case with most small businesses in the world today – then that business is going someplace else! Very probably for good. Your competition just got richer while you got poorer. Not good.

90% of all online shopping-related web searches result in local offline purchases! | So can they FIND YOU to BUY FROM YOU? Take the GetListed Test to find out! | Brought to you by imaWebGenius.com

In case you're wondering whether having a strong online presence and whether spending time and money on small business marketing is really worth all the trouble, here's some information you might find of interest, as reported by Business2Community:

Search is as popular as ever… More searches are taking place on websites (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and on Amazon.com, which is the top destination for product search). Still, organic search on search engines drive 50% of all referring traffic, compared to less than 8% for social media.

If that isn't compelling enough for you, let somebody else beat the drum I've been beating into my client's heads (or trying to, anyway) for years now. As shown at MarketingCharts:

Search provides the highest quality leads. According to research… SEO leads have a 15% close rate, on par with the close rate for direct traffic, and ahead of referrals (9%), paid search (7%), social media (4%), and outbound leads (2%).

Despite the impact of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media, search is still the single most important aspect of online marketing!

There are many things that can lead to being found online, from lots of content to having lots of people talking about your business. But an effective small business marketing plan must still account for – and to a significant degree, continue to focus on – having a site or sites and content that gets found in the search results!

If you don't know how to do this yourself, you should consult an expert. And even if you do know how to do all this, you should still consult with an expert. Because most small business owners, managers and entrepreneurs will better spend their time working on the things that nobody else can do for the business, while letting those who are experts at small business marketing handle that part of the job!

NOTE: We discuss the above phenomena in the Small Business Marketing Catch-22, which is highly recommended. 

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Small Business Marketing (Infographic) – Did You Know Series | Part 1B

Part 1A | Part 1B | Part 2A | Part 2B | Part 3A | Part 3B

In the prior post of the Small Business Marketing Infographic series, the “front” to the “back” shown here, we posed the question as to whether the 86% of web surfers who are searching online for local businesses to patronize can find you and your business. But it's more than a rhetorical question, because it can be answered with empirical data. In fact, you can (and should) see the data first hand, and evaluate it yourself.

86% of web surfers look for local businesses to patronize! | So can they FIND YOU to BUY FROM YOU? Take the Google Test to find out how your small business marketing is doing! | Brought to you by imaWebGenius.com

When you take the Google Test, you will very quickly see whether your web presence is making the grade or not. First, you'll see if you're showing up on page one at all. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) how many small business owners don't even know if they do or not. Of course, the ones that do show up on page on are usually quite aware of it, because it normally translates into a lot of calls and business!

If you're showing up, let's hope you're in the top 3 slots. Those get 70% of all the clicks. Further, if Google Places/Maps is present, are you showing up there, as well? Google has done an excellent job of “training” the public with their products, and many never look down the page past the map itself. They look for the nearest establishment and click the digital pushpin for more information.

No matter what ways consumers make use of the Google listings, the fact remains that if you aren't showing up for the keywords people are searching for, you're in big trouble. Period. End of story.

The simple Google Test answers the question from the “front” of this infographic. Can they find you to buy from you? 

No matter where you are on the Google listing, and whether you show up on Google Places/Maps or not, your positioning is not written in stone. Rest assured that it can very quickly be improved with the right small business marketing strategy.

Now here's something most small business owners don't know. It's kind of an open secret in SEO circles. Here goes: you can “own” more than one slot in Google! Yep, it's true. So, instead of having just one slot on page one for your keyword phrase, you can have three, or five, or even more!

Think about the implications of that for a moment.

See, if you do it right, you can have more than just your website showing up on page one. You can have secondary sites, videos and even local directory listings appearing there as well. And what do you think that does for? Yep… more clicks! Lots more.

Better still, when you grab multiple slots, you're actually denying the competition the opportunity get all that new and repeat business via Google.

Now it's true that not every market is conducive to multiple listings on page one. In a few, the competition is already too fierce, and you're “lucky” to get a single entry (luck having nothing to do with it, actually). But in many markets all over the USA and beyond, the Google listings are wide open to serious businesses that take the initiative.

Total online marketplace domination is not just possible, it's very, very achievable – if you know what you're doing and you have the time and resources necessary to make it happen. It won't happen overnight. But you'd be surprised how fast it can happen, too.

There's a flip side, of course. By the same token that you can dominate your local marketplace, your competition can do the same.

But whether we're talking a single listing (preferably at the top) or multiple ones, your business simply must be on page one or you might as well forget about getting any action from Google. Most people never go beyond page one, and most pick from the top few results.

And not to trouble you further, but the fact is that the longer you wait, the worse it gets. Those who achieve success in their local marketplace online are thereby positioned to benefit for years and years to come. Those who wait until it's too late will rue the day when they “coulda, shoulda, woulda.” Don't let that be you.

There's more in the Do You Know Small Business Marketing series, Part 2…another test!

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