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Think Like a Customer, Get More Business

More and more studies are indicating that people Search before they Buy.  Think about when you are shopping in a retail clothing store.  Do you want the sales clerk to swarm around you while you are browsing?  Do you prefer to search on your own, without the stress of the hard sell to interrupt your shopping experience?  Marketing your brick and mortar business is very similar.  When the shopper is ready, by all means, you should be there, ready to answer questions and assist her in making her purchases.  But how can you tell when a customer is ready?

The Great Divide from WebVisible on Vimeo.

 

With the Internet, you can’t!  That is why you need to anticipate where they will look when they are ready to buy, and make it simple for them to contact you and communicate their needs to you.  But where are they looking?  Online!  Specifically, the search engines. According to a Nielsen study, 82% of searchers search online before they make a purchase! This means that you don’t know who they are, or where they are or what they need, until they find you!  If you don’t think local businesses should be spending their advertising dollars on Internet marketing, I ask that you watch this documentary of real businesses who think the same way you do, and real consumers who think differently!  It’s not a about what you feel comfortable with, it’s about getting your business in front of your customers.  Putting your ears and eyes in their world, listening to what they want and being ready for them on their terms.  But don’t take my word for it – Watch the video and then tell me what you think!

 

Happy Birthday, to my Mother, Ana Maria!!!

 

Are You Brave Enough to be a Follower?

Let’s Start a Movement!

 

I recently came across this video and feel it really encompasses the efforts of local Internet marketing professionals.  We are called visionaries, but the thing is, the time is now and in larger cities, the strategies we are utilizing have already been picked up by bigger, popular brands.  The marketing efforts that are becoming so familiar and that are being enjoyed by consumers (Facebook pages, Text Message Coupons, Mobile Ads in Applications, Deal Sharing) ARE available to smaller businesses as well.

When we embrace something as a consumer, we must also realize as businessmen and women that our customers will most likely embrace those same concepts if we utilize them on a local level.  Yet it seems many businesses are waiting.  Waiting for someone else to pave the way.  The businesses that will reap the greatest rewards are the early adopters, the ones the set the bar for everyone else.  Once someone else emerges as the leader, they will get all the credit.  If you don’t believe it, you aren’t paying attention!

 

Chrissanne Long has a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing and is a co-founder of local Internet marketing company Marketing System Blueprints. Her passion is helping local businesses understand the importance of having and improving their online presence. Her company focuses on all elements of a business’s Internet marketing plan, to enhance their Search Engine Rankings (SEO) and Brand awareness across several platforms – Video, Mobile and Social Media.

SEO on all Search Engines for Best Results

Don’t debate which search engine you like the most, use them all for best results.

When conducting research on appropriate keywords for one of our clients, it occurred to me that as SEO experts, its imperative that we see the project from every angle.  This means looking at the company we are promoting from Google, Bing and Yahoo!’s perspective.  Not just the most popular, Google.  

First and foremost, we have to get out of our own heads and into the minds of the people that we are hoping will find us.  We need to be asking the question, “What would I be looking for if I was trying to find me?” In regular conversation, that would be a nonsensical question. However, the fact is that I already know how to find me. It does not matter what I like, or how I prefer to search! What really matters is what my clients’ potential customers are thinking and how they prefer to search! Getting into discussions about the best keywords can be difficult because everyone has their own opinions!  However the results don’t lie.  That is where we need to be focusing.  And not just on the keywords that I like, but the keywords that get results, on all of the different search engines!

Consider who is using Google, but keep in mind that people do use Bing and Yahoo! too.  If you limit your search to just Google, you may be sending the Search Engine “gods” a message that says you don’t want any customers or clients that use Bing or Yahoo! Now, I know that is a bit silly, but in reality, you relly should be focusing on the entire market. I prefer Google. But that is really not important. Yes, there are a lot of people who agree, as the research shows, but there are still plenty of people using other search engines. The beauty is that everyone is focusing on Google! That means SEO campaigns are spending hours trying to figure out Google’s current algorithm. I won’t stop doing that, but I will start planting my SEO campaign seeds a lot more diligently in the less competitive markets of Yahoo! And Bing.

In SEO: Search Engine Optimization Bible, Jerri Ledford states, “Every now and then you need to step away from the crowd and stop doing what everyone else is doing. In SEO, stepping out is usually rewarded with better traffic results. Everyone is doing the same thing. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. What it means is that you should do the same thing in a different way…”

The bottom line is that in order to be successful in any SEO campaign, the focus needs to be on the people that are searching for you.  Forget your personal preferences and consider the many different ways people might find you… or look at it this way… why aren’t they finding you?  Are you promoting your business everywhere people are looking?  If not, you should be!  

Here’s a great tool to get you started. http://www.bing-vs-google.com It gives you two search engines in one. Now you can see the results Bing is providing, and begin to focus on attracting that market to your website too!