The Internet is where nearly everyone goes today when in search of products, information, services, and of course entertainment; it is no surprise that small businesses take their efforts online in an effort to make their companies “seem” bigger than they actually are in reality. Small businesses, like large corporations, want to attract the greatest portion of their target audience possible, which requires a professional and sizeable presence online, just as all businesses of every size seek to accomplish. How can online videos give your small business that boost you’re looking for – and transform how your target audience perceives the scale of your company’s online presence? Read More
As we talk about extensively in the Local Lead Generation book, it is very important to have certain types of content on the website of a local business in order to help it turn up in search results on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Unfortunately, all too often local businesses spend more time, energy, and money on the design of a website than they do on creating content for the website. This is especially true when it comes to how they list their products or services on their website.
In many cases, local businesses simply create one page called “services” where they list, perhaps in bullet point fashion, all the services that they provide.
Even when they do have a separate page on their website for each of their services (as they should), often there is less than 300 words of content on the page. The content is usually a fairly generic description of the service that could apply to any business who provides the service.
Write a Buyer’s Guide
A better way to approach creating a service detail page for a local business website is to pretend you are writing a buyer’s guide about that service.
For example, let’s say you’re a business broker that sells companies and other types of small businesses. If you were writing a buyer’s guide for business owners that helped them to make educated decisions about selling their small businesses, you wouldn’t make it a mere 300 words long, would you?
Of course not. You’d want the guide to include comprehensive discussion about different styles of security cameras, different types of cameras, strengths and weaknesses of the top manufacturers of security cameras, and recommendations about where in a business to install security cameras.
You’d also want the guide to be illustrated with pictures, graphics, and (since it’s an online guide) videos supporting your main points. You would even want to link to external websites where you sourced the information you used in your guide.
Last but definitely not least, you would want to include information about your company’s security camera installation service specifically, including any differences between your services and various competitors. If you had any testimonials from customers about your security camera installation services, you could include those in highlight boxes on the page.
In other words, you’d want your website page about security camera installation to look a lot like this one–which, not coincidentally, is a page created for the website of a client of one of the authors of the Local Lead Generation book.
Once you add this type of detail to your service detail pages, you’ll likely experience several benefits:
- More traffic from organic search: Thanks to all the detailed content on your new service detail pages, they’ll turn up higher in more long-tail internet searches (i.e., very specific searches often done by people further along in the buying cycle).
- Longer time on page: People will likely spend longer on your website as they read the information on your page, watch some of the embedded videos, and perhaps even visit other pages on your website that you link to in the content of your service detail page. The longer someone spends on your website, the more likely they are to convert.
- More links to your website: If you make your “buyer’s guide” truly valuable and informative, other websites might link to it, which will in turn increase your domain authority and cause the page to rank higher in search results…which will lead to more traffic…which will lead to more links…and so on and so forth in a cycle of traffic and links.
Obviously, creating detailed service pages like this is not easy, otherwise everyone would do it. However, for those who put in the time and energy–or hire someone like the authors of Local Lead Generation to do it for them–the results are well worth it.
Google My Business Case Study: Corrected Listing Yields Immediate Results for Local Cleaning Company
As a local marketing professional that works with small businesses, I’ve always known on a theoretical or intellectual level that making sure a local business has the correct contact information listed on Google My Business is a “best practice” when it comes to search engine optimization.
I’ve even seen many times how, once the correct contact information is listed, a business will get more website traffic from Google search results.
However, I recently experienced in dramatic fashion just how important it is that this information be correct–and how quickly it can make an impact when it is changed.
Here’s what happened:
I was working on a marketing project for a ServiceMaster Commercial Cleaning franchise that involved publishing a new website and updating their local online directory citations, among other things.
It was a unique situation, because some of the online directory listings–including the listing on Google My Business–had been claimed and verified by the corporate office rather than the local franchise owner. So, in order to change contact information on those listings, we had to put in a request to the corporate office rather than being able to change it ourselves.
Shortly after launching the new website, we requested that the URL listed for the franchise on Google My Business be updated so that it linked to the domain of the newly published website. This was done, and immediately we started noticing in Google Search Console that the website was getting clicks from organic search. The franchise office also started getting quote requests from the form on the new website. So far, so good–that’s how it’s supposed to work.
About two weeks later, for some reason, the corporate office inexplicably decided to change the URL in the Google My Business listing back to what it was before. Immediately, the clicks to the website stopped, as did the leads coming from the new website. Since the website was brand new and using a new domain, it wasn’t getting much traffic from organic search results. This created a unique situation, in that the impact of changing the business’s Google My Business listing was more observable than it would have been had the website been an established site that was getting lots of clicks and traffic.
It took about two more weeks to get information on the franchise’s Google My Business page corrected for the second time. During those two weeks, the website got very few clicks and no leads.
Finally, we were able to get access to the Google My Business page and get the information corrected. I know the exact date and time that this occurred, because I was on the phone with my client at the moment it was changed.
Within ten minutes of the time when the information was corrected, my client got a quote request from a form on the new website. Conversion tracking in Google Analytics showed that the quote request came from an organic search.
That’s all the time it took for making this simple correction to have a huge impact on the business.
Kinda makes you wonder how many quote requests the business in question missed out on during the time when the listing was incorrect, doesn’t it?
It also makes it all the more astonishing that so many local businesses are paying no attention to Google My Business whatsoever (or any other local online directory citations, for that matter), while at the same time spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on marketing tactics like radio ads, newspaper ads, or direct mail campaigns. If those folks new how much money they were potentially leaving on the table, it would probably make them sick.
So, the lesson is that you simply must take care of your local citations, and especially your Google My Business listing, before you do anything else when it comes to SEO and even offline marketing tactics.
If you’re new to digital marketing, you might be slightly confused about the concept of inbound marketing. A comparatively new advertising strategy that’s almost exclusive to the internet, inbound marketing is a way of empowering your brand to be discovered by customers. It embraces a “Pull Strategy”, whereby instead of reaching out to your customers, you attract them to yourself. With a good inbound marketing technique in place, you can virtually convert strangers into lifetime customers. Read More
They say that hindsight is 20/20, and in hindsight I think there is a chapter that we, the authors of The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Local Lead Generation, should have included in the book…a chapter on basic sales skills.
Yes, I know that the book was about lead generation, not lead conversion, but the fact is that lead generation is a pointless waste of money if the small business owner (or their staff) does not have the basic sales skills necessary to convert leads to customers. Read More
Many types of proven website offers and giveaways, such as eBooks, are a great way to draw website visitors into your sales funnel. Yet, sometimes the typical offers aren’t quite enough to convert your ideal customers into a signup, email inquiry or phone call. Instead of giving a lower value item to a large group of visitors, for better website conversions try giving a higher ticket item to a smaller group of highly targeted prospects. Read More
Over the last few years, Google has made several changes in the ways it ranks content. It started with the Panda update which penalized sites with low quality content or a lack of content. Then it delivered the Penguin update which punished sites for black-hat link building practices that created more spam than quality traffic. Read More
For businesses of all sizes and in all industries, competing online and coming out on top is tough. Today, the Internet is a highly competitive landscape, and depending on your industry, there may be hundreds of thousands or even millions of competitors you’re up against. There are many strategies you can use to increase visibility and be found by those in need of your product/service, but one of the most important is blogging. Companies who blog typically experience much greater success online than those who do not. Why? Read More
On the Internet, anything can happen. People often make comments that are unfounded, or create reviews that shed small businesses in a less than favorable light for no reason at all. While comments or reviews can certainly be the true feelings of the person who wrote them, they can be very damaging to businesses. In an Internet world where businesses small and large are highly competitive, how can you take charge of online reputation management for your own business? We have a few tips for small businesses below. Read More