We need to stop thinking that there is ONE killer and absolute way to bring in customers online. Thinking this assumes that everyone is the same and does the same thing and thinks the same way. Well, we know what ‘assume’ stands for. We know that there are many factors that go into connecting with customers at the right time. The right time would be THEIR time. Yes, that means when they are ready and looking for you. Let’s break it down and see how the online tools help us. Yes, there is more than one and you need to be taking notes.
If you just want to jump to it, go to localsearchdoneright.com. They have more information on this subject.
‘Places’: Since nearly one third of all searches are location based, this is a must. Google places, Facebook Places and Bing/Yahoo Business Portal. If you have a physical location for customers to come to, this should be priority one, even before your own website. Why, because of mobile searches. When someone searches from their phone, these are the results that come to the top of the page. Yes, this ranks above SEO, backlinks and all the other traffic getting strategies.
If you know what you are doing and have the time, get started. A word of warning, it is VERY evident the ‘Places’ pages that are done by a professional and ones done buy business owners. You also need to think of your time, do you really want to spend you time on this or meeting your customer needs? Do what you do best and get help with this.
Next on the list is your own web site. If you have one, learn to understand the stats from the site. This will help determining what is working and not. You should have a goal beyond, “Providing Information”. It is good to have valuable content, but use it to collect visitor information. Use it to build a list of current and potential customers that will continue to feed your business. Remember, it takes 5 to 7 ‘touches’ for a potential customer to get to know you and feel like they want to spend some of their hard earned money on you. Don’t let a customer, that may never visit your site again, get away without sharing their contact information. This alone can dwarf all other forms of marketing for income potential. Remember, have a full plan for your site and what you want a visitor to do when they visit. Also, there are companies that promise front page results for search engines. Beware, many of these use black-hat techniques that can get your site banned from all the search engines.
Facebook and Twitter. Get on, get them tied to your main site and start sharing. Over 500 million poeple on Facebook and several million on Twitter. You can not afford to ignore these. It is even possible to use these tools for B2B communications. Your goal here should be to get them on your list. That means directing them back to your site and having them provide yo with some contact information like email, first name and mobile phone if you are doing texting promotions. There are rules that these companies have if you want to use them for your business. Get to know them or bring someone in that does. You need to play by their rules.
Business Directories. There are more here than I can count and they very per industry. You need to be listed in all of them. Don’t do them all at once, as that can raise red flags with the search engines. Do a few a month and, over time, you will start seeing results. These listing help build credibility and tie into other applications. Some examples are 4Square and YP.com
We have covered a lot of information and only scratched the surface. Unless you do this for your profession, you should consider hiring one or more professionals. If you want more information, visit localsearchdoneright.com. They have a free report and a video that can give you more ideas on what you need to do.