Marketing for the modern day is a tough call. Today’s market is really savvy and has long since learned to question things they’re told, especially in commercial advertisements. If you want to really attract an audience, you want to do it in a way that feels organic to the customers; in other words, it’s best if they find you while looking for the kinds of services you provide because they are ready to buy.
This is why Search Engine Optimization is such a critical part of the process for local businesses. Proper SEO helps you rank better in Google – still the #1 most used search engine in the world – and that helps you be found by people looking for you. How do you manage it? Well, there are a few tricks and tools you can use to give yourself an edge.
1. Have A Simple Written Game Plan
If you’ve had any success as a local business at all, you’ve already put some thought into your game plan. You need to know who your target market is, what the best way to reach them is, and you’ve got to have a good idea of how you approach them. If you haven’t worked these out, you’ll end up doing a lot of wheel spinning before you connect with your market, if you ever do.
This is where writing out your game plan can help you. While you can squeeze by on a general plan you keep in the back of your mind, the brain’s really not a good place to store complicated and specific details. Writing down your game plan allows you to crystalize your ideas into a solid plan of action to follow. It doesn’t have to be a big document – 1 to 2 pages is usually enough – but you need to have written down all the basic ideas of how you intend to get the attention of your target market.
Writing things down also makes a stronger impression on your memory than just thinking about it, and that helps you internalize your strategies more. You’ll find that you’ll remember the details more cleanly. Over time, you’ll need to refer back to your written game plan less as the ideas become more instinctual, letting you make decisions faster and better.
2. Use Reporting Tools
Early last year, we picked up SEM Rush as a reporting and analysis tool. We cannot stress enough just how much of a boon that has been for our business. SEM Rush is built to analyze websites, track backlinks, gather keyword research, and a whole host of useful SEO techniques. It gathers all of these things into one place, allowing you to create reports on how your website is doing. It has been an invaluable tool in keeping our clients’ websites in top shape, spotting potential problems we couldn’t normally find without going into the back-end code, or relying one dozens of extra plug-ins.
A good reporting tool like that can take a huge chunk of time off many of the processes of optimizing your website and help you rank better faster than ever before. It’s been so useful, I’d say that it isn’t a question of whether or not you can afford to use the tools, but whether you can afford to do without them.
The answer is no. No, you can’t afford to do without them.
We use SEMRush for everyone of our clients, and they really appreciate the reports that come from it.
3. Talk to Your Customers – Reporting
As we’ve said before, SEO is a critical component to marketing for a small, local business, but it’s not everything. Previously, we’ve mentioned reviews and those are still important, but we’ve talked about that plenty already. Something new to consider is talking to your customers when they come in, or send you an email. Talking to the customers is a good way to build up a personal relationship with them, which will make them feel confident in your business. It’s also a good chance to ask them how they found out about you. Never miss a chance to ask this question of your customers. Knowing how they’re finding you is a great way to figure out what aspect of your marketing you need to focus on the most.
What do you ask customers? A closed-ended question like “How did you find us…on Google, Online Reviews, Social Media, referred by a Friend or an Ad?” will receive more feedback because it jogs a customer’s memory quicker than an open ended question. By listing 3-5 marketing strategies you are doing will provide more accurate feedback as to how your marketing is performing.
4. Review Your Marketing Plan Regularly
Okay, so you wrote down your marketing plan, that’s good. Over time, you’ll start to get down the elements of your marketing strategy, it will start to feel like second nature to you. Don’t forget to check back with it, though. If you have a good plan, some of the details, especially the ones that don’t come up every day, will slip your mind from time to time. Checking back on it quarterly basis is a good way to bring those elements back into your mind. It also gives you the chance to incorporate new knowledge and experience you gain from being in business. Your marketing plan should be continually evolving to meet new demands, new markets, and new tools and techniques.
This doesn’t need to take more than 15 minutes, so schedule in your calendar and set a reminder for only 15 minutes. Review what your customers has said and determine if how your time in each strategy is working. Simply ask yourself what is working well, and what can be improved. Your creative mind will take care of the rest.
5. Connect with the Right People
There’s a stigma against outsourcing to the general public, but it’s not really a bad thing. The trick is to make connections with the right people. If you’re a local business, it’s probably not a good idea to outsource to just anyone. You need people who know how the market works in your area.
The big advantage of outsourcing is getting to make use of the skills other people have rather than needing to learn them yourself. Sure, you can learn to do all this marketing yourself, but did you go into business to be a marketer? No, you went into business to do what your business does. That’s your skill-set. If you have to do the marketing yourself, you’re just taking time away from what you’re good at.
Connect with Us!
That’s where we come in. Atlas Internet Marketing specializes in online marketing for local businesses. We know the tools, techniques, and skills needed to get yourself ahead. From SEO to review campaigns, to Google Adwords and Facebook campaigns, we focus on the top 5 strategies that bring in new customers. We can help you boost your traffic to gather new customers, and get them to give you quality reviews that will attract even more to you. By joining up with us, we can take care of the marketing side of your local business and let you focus your time and energy on the things you do best: making money.
If you want to see how we can help your local business get on top of the online marketing game, get in touch with us today. We’re available for free consultations. We’ll give your website a close analysis and determine the strengths to play off of for maximizing results. If you like what we present to you, then we’ll be all ready to get you moving forward.