What the H is Internet Marketing?

Really, Are You Marketing The Internet?

Do you do magazine marketing when you advertise in magazines? Do you do newspaper marketing when you advertise in Newspapers? No, you market your business. If you sell homes, you market homes and your real estate business. You market and advertise homes and real estate marketing because you sell homes and real estate.

Distinctions Are Important

Okay, so what’s the big deal? First, I’m going to raise some eyebrows, but if you focus on internet marketing, you are going to waste time and money. If you focus on marketing your business and your products and services using the internet, you are going to make better choices. This distinction is very important.

Think of a small business owner who knows he must improve her online marketing results. She is in the retail flowers business and is not getting the results she needs from her marketing on the internet. She is at a critical point. When she sits down at her computer to begin her search to improve her marketing, what will she type into the Google search box?

If she types “flower shop internet marketing” rather than internet marketing, she is on her way to a better result. Note: make sure to use quotation marks in your searches. There are 11,800 results for “flower shop internet marketing” and 5,070,000 results without the quotation marks. You will get better and more specific results using the quotation marks.

Get Targeted

Get targeted early in your marketing campaigns using the internet. If you want to learn internet marketing, that’s one thing. If you want to market your products and services using the internet, here are the things you need to target:

  • What are you selling in terms of products and services?
  • What are the benefits of your products and services?
  • How do you want people to feel about your company and your products?
  • Who are your ideal customers? Create multiple customer personas if you have more than one customer type.
  • How do you build your web presence to reflect your business purpose, style and unique qualities?
  • How will marketing on the internet affect your current marketing?
  • How will current marketing affect your marketing on the internet?

You get the idea. Notice none of these questions are really about “internet marketing.” They’re about your business. If you don’t answer these questions and others that are important to your business, you are ripe for the hype and hucksters. You should not begin building your website or begin SEO (search engine optimization) before answering these questions.

Internet Hype and Hucksters

I Made $123, 817 from My Kitchen Table Last Month – for $29.95, I’ll show you how. Well, if they make that kind of money, it was probably $29.95 at a time. Claims like this are out there when you start investigating internet marketing. This may be a bit exaggerated, but only a bit. It may come in different forms, but you can bet the hypsters and hucksters have targeted you in some way.

Here’s my claim: I switched my real estate marketing from print media and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to natural or organic search (“free results”) on Google, Yahoo! and Bing. I increased my company sales by 400% over 2-1/2 years. I dropped my advertising budget from $50,000 per year to $5,000 a year. It took six months to get good results, a year to recover the cost up to that point and two years to realize great results.

How did I do it? A lot of research, testing and hard work. I spent a lot time and money learning marketing on the internet and SEO. Much of what I tested did not work. Enough of what I tested worked to make the effort successful. So, I built a model. Then, I tested the model on other sites to make sure it worked. It does and that’s why I’ve started this site and the business that goes with it.

What My Journey Can Mean For You

You’re focused on your business and its success. That’s where I started when necessity caused me to jump into marketing my real estate business on the internet. You can leverage my investment in developing that working model. First, come back here often. Sign up for email updates in the box at the top of the right column, or, subscribe to my RSS feed if you use an RSS Reader. Over time, you’ll learn what you need to do it yourself or hire someone to help you market your business using the internet.

If you are ready to get started, call me at 386-295-2049 or use the contact page and we can discuss the options.

 

The Case for Small Business SEO

Do You Need SEO for Your Small Business?

In 2008, for the first time, more people searched online for local businesses than used the Yellow Pages. If your business doesn’t come up in the top of the search engine results, those visitors are going somewhere else. You need SEO to get you in the top results for competitive markets. If that’s where your customers are going, isn’t that where you need to be?

If you’re in a market where there’s strong internet search traffic, SEO will bring a portion of that traffic to your website. How much depends on primarily two factors:

  1. A well designed website that converts traffic
  2. Targeted traffic to the website

Traffic is needed, but what happens when the visitor gets to your site? Is this a place they are excited to be? Can they easily find the information or products they’re looking for? Will they take your desired action?

Do you want the visitors to call you, visit your store or restaurant, order a product, fill out a form or enter a contest? What does the customer need to do in order for you to profit now or in the future? Your website must meet both your needs and your customers needs.

Internet Traffic vs. Print and Broadcast Media

What if I came to you and said,

Your internet advertising traffic cost will go down every year.

Would you be interested? Well, that’s the beauty of building your own media property called a website.

We design the site to respond to your customer needs and generate profit for you. Then we drive traffic to the site using search engine optimization. Depending on the business, we might also use social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. Yes, there’s a cost in time and money to create your web properties, but for the first time in the history of business, we’re investing in our marketing instead of spending money.

The cost for SEO should be based upon the competition in the market. Many business spend too much and many spend too little. What you spend should be tied directly to how competition there is in your market. There’s more competition for used cars in Atlanta than in Daytona Beach. The Atlanta dealer will need to spend much more to generate traffic.

A well designed strategy will reduce your expenses. My real estate business spends 90% less in lead generation than we did four years ago. Yes, we invested in building the site and building traffic, but the cost of sustaining that traffic decreases every year. Imagine the shift in your business marketing and sales when you go from spending money on sales and marketing to investing money instead.

Quick Summary

  • You need small business SEO ┬áif there is sufficient search engine traffic in your market to justify the investment.
  • If there is sufficient traffic someone else is getting that business if you’re not.
  • Your investment will be based on competition and your customer requirements.
  • Your SEO costs for your market should be based on the competition.
  • Over time your cost to market using SEO should go down.

Content for SEO

SEO Tips Image

Content for SEO – The Cornerstone of Your Marketing

 

SEO Content Book and Tea Image

Site design, site structure, links and content determine your traffic, but your content determines whether people stay long enough to respond to your call to action. SEO success without conversion success is largely a waste of time and effort.

Conversion is the action target for the page or post. The action target is what you want people to do. In real estate, a phone call is the desired action. To lead to that action, the phone number must be prominently displayed. Often, mentioning it again at the end of the page or post will reinforce the desired action. Asking open ended questions in the content can lead to the reader picking up the phone and making the call.

Other forms are conversion are capturing an email address through a form, registration for the use of site services, visits to a store or restaurant.

The point of the content is to inform the visitor, but also to lead them to your desired action.

Why Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the fuel for you website. Imagine having your Ferrari sitting in your garage. You have it, but no one knows it. You need fuel to drive it around town so people know. It’s the same with your website. You may have the greatest information, the best products, the best deals – but if no one knows, they won’t visit.