If you run a business then you probably know a decent amount about the industry you’re in. How to better serve your customers, provide high quality products or services, and attracting new business are things that are constantly on your mind. You also may have noticed that the internet has begun to affect every type of business including those that don’t even have websites. It has become increasingly common for someone to find your business online before they actually talk to you or stop in. With search engines becoming more helpful; your potential customers can learn who you are, what you do, and what others are saying in a matter of moments. This makes paying attention to local SEO incredibly important.
What Is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that sets your business up, to not only look its best online, but it also makes it easier to be found by people searching for what you offer in your area. This can be an incredibly powerful tool in gathering new business, but it can also have negative effects if you leave your online presence unmanaged.
For instance, if you have an Italian restaurant and someone goes to Google and types ‘Italian food in Toledo, OH’, it would benefit you to be among the top results. People who hadn’t heard about you would give you a shot because of your location in the search. If you hadn’t worked on your local online presence then they wouldn’t see you as you probably would not come up as a relevant local search result for their query.
Click to Read 6 Quick Tips About Local SEO
Managing Your Online Reputation
You constantly try to impress your customers to keep them coming back and referring their friends. Your reputation matters in the community you serve. The online landscape can also have a reputation for your business and it is quickly becoming just as important to manage. Small things like having two different addresses listed online or bad reviews that a customer wrote without you knowing can have a huge effect on who can see your business, and what they think about you.
Related Content: Ramp Up Your Rankings in 20 Days with These Local SEO Fixes [Infographic]
What You Can Do
People are searching for local businesses like yours, but you can only get the incredible benefits if they can find you. The good news is there are things that you can do to jump start your improvements.
Look Up Your Business Online
See if anyone is talking about your business or has left a review. Search for your business to see if all of the information is correct and matches.
Chances are you have some sort of social presence, like a Facebook page, but you can create a Google+ local business page to list what you do, and where you are located.
SEO can be a very confusing subject, and you may even want to get professional help with your online marketing efforts. Although just being informed will help you feel more in control and help you manage your reputation. There is a 40 question test offered here free of charge. It takes about 10 minutes and will help you see how important local SEO is and it will get you on the path to being informed. Link: http://moz.com/blog/local-search-expert-quiz
Find out why your customers can’t find you online. Request your free Local SEO and Inbound Marketing audit today!
Instead of one-way interruption, inbound marketing is about delivering useful content at just the right moment the buyer needs it.
David Meerman Scott
The New Rules of Marketing and PR
Inbound Marketing is a Lead Magnet
Inbound marketing relies on digital marketing techniques to connect businesses with potential clients over the Internet. More than just another marketing tactic, it is an entire marketing strategy that focuses on creating relevant, educational, exciting, attractive, and engaging content with your prospects in mind to drive only the most ideal traffic to your site, leading to a higher likelihood of conversions. The strategy also involves retaining these clients for repeated sales in the future.
The 3-Step Inbound Marketing Cycle
Inbound marketing typically follows the process below:
- You begin by creating content designed for one or more of your target personas. Prospects arrive at this content either as a landing page or through content marketing techniques such as SEO, social media, blogs, and direct mail.
- You then nurture these prospects through further marketing in a process that, if effective, should begin generating leads. You can respond to these leads through workflows, email, or telephone — whatever is most appropriate for your business. Once the leads are qualified, you pass them on to your sales team.
- In order to maintain a relationship with customers, it is important that the buying cycle does not end after the first two stages. You can follow up by remarketing, adding relevant workflows, or using additional marketing techniques.
- Finally, you should evaluate your buying cycle and decide if any changes or improvements are necessary.
Inbound marketing is not a marketing magic bullet or another ineffective marketing tactic. It is a long-term investment both in terms of time and resources. You need to embrace a content marketing strategy throughout your company in order to see success. But why should you?
Why You Should Care About Inbound Marketing
For a start, inbound marketing is much more effective than outbound marketing; for example, it delivers 54 percent more leads than such traditional methods, according to the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report by Hubspot. The same study also found that inbound marketing leads to a stronger ROI — inbound marketers who spend more than $25,000 per year save, on average, 13 percent per lead and more than $14 per new customer compared to outbound marketers.
In 2013, inbound marketing had grown by 50 percent for the third year running while outbound marketing continued to deplete. Now, 60 percent of marketers have adopted these marketing strategies, although 19 percent of the remaining marketers are still unsure about where to begin.
Furthermore, inbound marketing is a win-win situation for clients and marketers alike. It provides consumers with access to the high-quality content and information they need or desire, while marketers gain new customers who are seeking them out, rather than the other way around.
Why Not Traditional Outbound Marketing?
Traditional marketing focuses on generating awareness of your brand through means such as advertising. Although outbound marketing can often be effective for B2C looking to build their brand development, it is usually expensive and unhelpful for B2B companies.
To understand why this is true, consider a few statistics: 91 percent of adults who use the Internet utilize search engines to find information. Of this number, 59 percent do so on a daily basis, according to the Pew Research Group. Furthermore, 93 percent of all online experiences start with search engines, according to a study by Forrester.
When using a search engine, consumers see that the most important and relevant results appear at the top of their searches, and they inherently trust these results. In contrast, people tend to mistrust ads, mainly because that they know that businesses have paid to have them appear.
The best way to take advantage of this trend is through inbound marketing. Inbound marketing strategy enables you to provide prospects with content that will appear in organic searches and therefore be viewed as reliable and useful. Plus, unlike outbound marketing, once you have gained a customer, inbound marketers employ the other inbound marketing tactics mentioned in the 3-step inbound marketing cycle above to retain that client in the future.
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The Essential ABC’s of Inbound Marketing eBook.