Ok, this is going to be a quick discussion. We’ve only got a couple of weeks left in 2022, so I don’t want to waste time.
What are we going to talk about?
We are going to focus on three or four really straight-forward, specific digital marketing tactics your business needs to do to gain new calls and customers. The focus is on those tactics that let you see super-fast results…like “in the next two weeks you’ll get more calls” fast.
Now, I cannot make promises, but these will help to super-speed any other actions you are doing right now.
Ready to start?
Claim and optimize your Google Business Profile
Many business owners know about SEO (search engine optimization). You use content, structure and link authority to prove you are trustworthy to Google. This then gives you better rankings for your website and web pages on Google Search.
Sounds simple, right?
But SEO is a deep set of tools, actions and tactics. Everything from outreach and link building, to structural SEO and technical SEO topics, to content generation and keywords…
It can be exhausting to use everything that you need to use to boost your brand. And, that’s not even taking into account the years and years of knowledge you need to effectively make SEO work for a business website.
Instead of all of that, I’m going to show you something that Google themselves gives you. Google gives this to you for free, to prove authority and provide SEO strength. And that thing is a Google Business Profile.
Your Google Business Profile is more than a simple listing of your company’s information. In all truth, it is THE listing of your business. It gives you a direct connection to your public Google reviews for your business, allows you to update NAP details, allows you to update your hours of service, as well as your region of service, and updates potential regional customers with content.
Whew… that was a long sentence.
But, you got it now. Your Google Business Profile does A LOT!
To begin, make sure that you have claimed your business listing. If not, start there. Run a search for your business name in maps. If it doesn’t pop up, then click on Google Maps exactly in that location (verify the address). Then, right click the pin you made and select Add Your Business.
Then, verify your business. You can verify with a lot of options, but the standard is by receiving a postcard at the address. You then enter a code to verify your business.
Now that you have a Google business listing, you need to fill out and optimize your Google Business Profile. As you do this, make sure to save and store this information for later use. These details, commonly referred to as your NAP details, can be used in other local citations.
The above is a pro tip: Your local citations should have information that is IDENTICAL across the board. This information should also match your website NAP details.
The information Google will need is contact data like email addresses for the business, your website URL and phone number. Google will also like your business hours, region served, descriptions of various parts of your business and a lot more.
One note – fill out everything! If there are special circumstances for your business, claim them like women-owned, minority-owned, curb-side pickup and delivery, etc.
The final part of fully completing your Google Business Profile is to post content.
But, what should you post?
You should post offers and updates for your business services. These should be specials, free estimates or initial actions, as well as new customer deals, and other updates that involve saving money. As well, new services and products can be posted to make your customers aware of them.
The other types of post should be content that boosts your local SEO value. Local SEO means mixing your brand, with your industry, with your services/products, with the region you serve. So, technically, you are doing SEO, but using regional signals to make sure you are associating your brand with the region you serve.
So, why is this all so beneficial? And how quickly are the results felt?
Let’s talk about timing. How is Day One for speed? Usually, once your updates to your Google Business Profile are updated and accepted, you will start to appear more often in regional searches for associated search engine queries. Your business listing will appear more often, and your content in your posts will as well.
And that’s the benefit. You will literally be talking about your brand, how it serves the public and the benefits you offer – for free. You will be offering it to Google, and Google Search will give you love for that!
Fix your website for one big, required, needed thing
Let me start this part of our discussion by asking a question…
If you have a website, what is your website’s goal?
Believe it or not, there are still nearly 40% of businesses in the United States without a business website. Of the businesses that have a website, only about 60% have a unique website layout and all of the necessary lead collection items. Meaning 40% (or more) use marketing services to auto-build a website, or “build from a template” their business website.
I’m just going to assume that you are in the majority and you have a business website. Good?
Alright, now we need to look at the next question…what is your website’s goal? In fact, let’s ask an even bigger question – what is the goal of EVERY business website?
At its core, the only goal of a business website is to convert traffic in sales. Now, before you call me Scrooge McDuck, I also want to point out that even non-profits have that goal.
So, a business website, of any kind, has a single goal of transferring traffic into sales. Yes, I also know that showing your business off as a good thing, building rapport, giving brand information, all of that, is available on the website. But, what do those things do? They are sales tools in many ways.
Like I said, a business website converts traffic into sales.
You need your website to be a lead generation engine. You need to gather that traffic, walk a new customer or client through the process and end that path with a sale.
Does your website do that? Do you use effective CTA (calls to action) like links, buttons and signups? Do you use clear CTAs via visually contrasting clickables and smooth directional paths for your next actions (as in, a new visitor comes to your website…now what do they do?)? Are you using various forms of lead capture like basic contact forms, lead magnet signups, click-to-call buttons and more?
Your business website is a 24/7/365 sales person that you shouldn’t neglect. Your website will never get tired, and will always provide a smooth, clear and ‘great’ experience; as long as you build it to do just that!
What are some areas to consider?
First, make sure your click to call buttons and “contact” links like email and phone numbers use visually appealing and contrasting colors. Make the ‘next action’ stand out. Make it visible high on the page, and throughout your content.
Next, use lead magnets to not only collect leads, but to partition them. So, lead magnets are basically freely downloadable checklists, reports, white papers, etc., that a visitor can download. Usually this happens in exchange for some of their contact details like name, email address, phone number and more.
Not only will lead magnets allow you to collect leads (people interested in your service), but it also allows you to separate those leads. Here is what I mean…
Let’s say you own a roofing company. Roofing companies build new roofs, fix old roofs, repoint chimneys, do gutter repairs and more. Let’s say they make a lead magnet for each of their main services – a “how to know when it’s time to get a new roof” checklist, a calculator tool for gutter repair estimates, etc. Whatever lead magnet the lead signs up for, is the service that lead needs to be completed. This means your followup calls or emails will be hyper focused on their needs, and likely create faster closes on new customers.
Next, use various types of lead generation on your website. If you are a blue collar trades worker, having an emergency button (Emergency! Call Us Now), on your homepage makes sense. Now it is clear that this is the emergency number, and the other is normal business operating hours. Use contact forms, lead magnets, “further reading” suggestions and more for the most bang for your buck for lead generation.
After all this, make sure to use email marketing for automated follow-up. Once you are collecting leads (and even building a customer list of existing contact details), separate these leads into lists and serve them with timed emails. You can include deals, rates, offers, business updates and more in these. Happy customers will not mind useful information in their inboxes – trust me on that one.
Finally, make sure to follow up! I can’t say this one enough. I could build you a terrific lead generation funnel using great ad copy and creatives for Facebook and Google AdWords, build a beautiful and well-written landing page, create terrific videos helping to sell your offer and filling this in with great copywriting, images and more. But, no matter how many leads you collect, if you do nothing with them, all of that other work is all for not. Follow up with a direct call or email, and then follow up with automatic email marketing weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or any other timing.
Start a customer review campaign today
Ok, so let’s talk about customer reviews.
Customer reviews drive higher rankings, allow for better customer contacts and create a better public image in your community.
In many industries, customer reviews can be a huge trigger for gains.
So, how do you start a review campaign for your business?
First, let’s talk about some rules:
- You cannot ask for a 5-star review, but can ask for a review
- You cannot incentive a 5-star review, but can offer something after someone leaves a review
- You cannot buy fake reviews
These rules are cross-platform. So, the same rules for Google Reviews usually apply to Facebook Reviews, Yelp! Reviews, Yahoo! Reviews and more.
Ask for reviews, but not for only 5-star reviews. Give something to good customers who you value after a review, not get the review because you are going to give something. And, never, ever, never purchase a “marketing package” that buys fake reviews.
One tip here: Ask ONLY your most satisfied customers for reviews, then remind them to leave reviews.
Seriously, this works. If you only ask your best customers for reviews, and then follow up with them and remind them, you are far more likely to receive a positive review. If you ask everyone, you will ALWAYS run into someone who has a bad experience of some kind that they might just want to be loud about.
Now, what to do when you get a review…
- If it’s a positive review, thank the customer for them being a customer.
- If it’s negative, reply with a professional, unemotional response to publicly show you are interested in “making things right”.
That simple, right?
Responding to customer reviews can be a problem. Customer reviews are a place where good work plus someone’s bad day could lead to an argument in the making. And your responses to reviews will also validate or counter a bad review.
One huge tip here: Never, ever start any open negativity towards a customer.
That’s not saying you couldn’t bring the receipts when you need to. But your first two replies to any negative review from a customer should be positive, helpful and supportive. However, if it continues, then it is ok to show that you the customer is indeed wrong.
I worked with one business who had this very thing happen. A customer left a negative review on their construction services. I replied with a very warm, helpful ‘where can I contact you for further information and resolution’ style of reply. The customer then came back even more nasty – using cursing, verbal assaults and even a random ethnic slur. Once again, I gave a simple reply, offering support and assistance. In the meantime I asked the client about this particular customer and received their information about the job. The customer replied with a negative, degrading slew of sentences. The final reply involved the facts of the job, how the customer changed their minds about the project after construction was started and then again after completion and then how they asked the bank to cancel the check to my client.
While you don’t really want the situation to go this far, showing everyone watching (and there will be) that your business is still supportive, helpful and warm during these jabs means everything. When you have the facts that show the customer was in the wrong, that’s great.
But, always remember this one rule…
Potential customers watching these exchanges don’t care who’s right and wrong in many cases – they care how you handle things and how people talk to each other.
Happy New Year… and one more thing…
Today we covered some fast wins that you can make in the way of digital marketing for your business. We talked about claiming, optimizing and creating content for your Google Business Profile. We also talked about elevating your business website to be more lead generation friendly. Finally we looked at customer reviews and how to start a customer review campaign.
But, there is one question left.
What should you do AFTER the new year is here?
Keep going. Keep making content on your website and your Google Business Profile. Keep refining and adding lead generation items like better CTAs, lead magnets and other offers. And, keep going after positive customer reviews.
You can also call a professional. If you would like to talk to someone who can help your business this year and into the next, give me a call to get a free consultation at (724)510-7201. You can also visit my website to schedule your free consultation at https://blews.media/. We can talk about your brand, what your business goals are, what you are currently doing in digital marketing this year, and how I can help!
Until next time, have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a productive and growth-filled 2023!