A recently conducted survey reports that almost 55% of searchers don’t know which links in the search engine results page are Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. Can you find The Google Ad Words PPC ads in Google’s results in the screen shot below?
I will say that I immediately noticed the tire shops in the snack-pack (the 3 local listings with their star ratings) and hardly noticed the Fletcher’s Tire ad at the top. (more…)
Many local businesses face expanding competition from a growing number of big box stores and online retailers. It has become all too common for local consumers to visit a local business, benefit from the knowledge of sales person and the opportunity to examine stock, only to leave the store and go buy online. How can local businesses compete against online giants and national chain stores? One way is to woo buyers by touting the advantages of buying local.
Shopping within one’s own neighborhood offers buyers an opportunity to invest in their local economy and build community. When reaching out to prospects through marketing messages, local businesses should talk about more than a product – especially if big box or online competitors are selling the same, or a similar item. Local businesses should remind buyers that buying local means face-to-face customer service and support. The advantages of buying local can be promoted even further by integrating community benefits into the list of selling points. Social media postings can offer a great opportunity to do this. (more…)
Coming home to a box on your doorstep makes anyone feel like a 5-year-old on Christmas morning. Walking into the house, running to the drawer with the scissors, frantically opening the box, and realizing that the thing sitting in the box does not live up to the expectation you had in your mind. Now you are feeling like a 5-year-old that wanted a remote controlled car and received a sweater. An expectation was set as soon as you read the description and added that item to your online cart; now you are an upset customer who will probably never trust that store again. (more…)
“Best Burger in Town” “Rated in Top 10 for Past 5 Years” “#1 Seafood in the Midwest”
Everyone has read one of these slogans before on a menu, billboard, or poster; but did you buy into the propaganda or did you see it for what it was, setting an unrealistic expectation. Setting realistic expectations is the key to keeping your current customers and gaining blissful, new business. (more…)
Is it really that difficult to start and implement?
Most businesses have a pretty good handle on what their customers are saying about their product. However, it’s often what customers are not saying at checkout or during the sales process that could make a huge difference. If you don’t ask you’ll never know and if you don’t know how to ask it’s very hard to start.
If you’ve never created a survey before the project can seem daunting. You can get a running start thanks to some really AWESOME tools available. Before you rely on the tools, which I’ll share later, you need to ask yourself some pretty simple questions. (more…)
The last update to Google’s Penguin update was Version 3.0, which landed back in 2014. Last time Google said penguin would affect less than 1% of US/UK searches. With that being the case, then Penguin has definitely grown up in 4.0. Google announced the new version on September 23rd, 2016, stating that Penguin is now part of their core algorithm. (more…)
Search engine optimization practitioners theorize each day what search engines use as ranking leverage. There are about 200 factors that search engines take in to consideration and none of these factors are on public display. It’s the SEO practitioner’s job to assess each site and do their best to follow best practices to help their account score the top placement on search engines. Best practices include making sure factors such as click through rates, page speed, link signals, etc. are worthy of a ranking ‘point’.
One factor that does in fact result in ranking placement are reviews. ReviewJump founder, Tyler, analyzed over 22,000 local business listings to see if the theory of having reviews has an impact on rankings. The result of his research? The theory is true. Reviews = rankings. The listings that populate higher on search results have significantly more reviews than those not making the ‘cut’ for the 3 location listing pack. (more…)
Smartphones have massively changed the way we use the Internet. Our smartphones are nearly an appendage, and we turn to them compulsively in fleeting moments. Late-night searches for “pizza near me” are nothing new. What is new is the complexity of business transactions taking place from smartphones. Indeed, there are billions of dollars to be made in the micro-moments (I-want-to-know and I-want-to-buy moments) when prospective customers grab a smartphone. (more…)
Today’s consumers always have choices and usually a lot of them. It’s not difficult to do some last minute shopping while standing in any store just to get a price check. Pull out your phone, do a quick search, and instantly become educated about more options. It can feel hard to compete with that. However, a recent Google and Ipsos research study shows, “90% of smartphone users aren’t absolutely sure of the specific brand they want to buy when they begin shopping.” What should you do? (more…)
As a local business owner, where do you focus your efforts to grow your business? Your answers might include things like keeping costs down, motivating your sales force, buying new equipment, or making product improvements. These are all great ideas, but there is one common problem with these efforts. Notice how they all tend to focus on your business and not your customer?
Of course, improving your business will ultimately allow you to better serve your customers, but that does not happen automatically. As long as your focus is on your own gain and benefit, you will miss the opportunity to connect with your customers and communicate in a way that inspires them to action. In order to grow your business you must win new customers and keep current ones. You do that by challenging yourself to think like a customer.
Here are three questions to help you connect with your buyers by thinking like a customer: (more…)