Ten Things To Avoid When Doing Online Marketing For Local Business
I had talked to many local business owners, and some of them told me that they already promote their website but still got few leads from it. So they think online marketing is useless for their business.
Unfortunately I found them missing something or misunderstanding about online marketing. Here are the second five common mistakes local business owners make.
6. The website was “dead”
You got a professionally designed website since day one. But there’s few updates since then. No new blog post, no new page. Or you update it by less than once a month.
Since you stop loving your website (rarely update it), search engines like Google will stop loving it too and judge it “dead”. Therefore they rarely come back to craw your site either. The consequence, page rank will be dropped dramatically, fewer visitors will go to your site which end up with no leads.
I suggest you update your website at least twice a month and consistently. Then you will want to Ping your website’s RSS feed after every update in order to notify the search engines to come back and craw your site.
When will you stop updating it? Never unless when you stop loving your site or when you don’t want to get leads from it.
7. The website is not capable of capturing the leads
Because I find many local business websites have poor call-to-action. A successful website should have multiple call-to-action modules which will double the chance for visitors to become leads by calling, emailing or filling out a form.
Check your website now. Do you have your local business phone number, address listed on the homepage and all other pages? Do you have a web contact form with which visitors can email you directly? Do you have any kind of leads opt-in form which will allow visitors to subscribe your newsletters or special offers?
If not, your site is weak in capturing the leads even though your site gets tons of visitors everyday. Check with your web master to see what’s your leads conversion rate. It it’s lower than 3%, you got lots of room to improve it.
Also capturing new leads through your website is one thing, to keep them on your list and eventually convert them into clients is another thing. And you will need a email marketing strategies which specifically for local business to build your relationship with your existing customers and your leads.
8. Purchase banner ads and leads from third party websites
That’s great that you did purchase banner ads or leads emails. At least you are doing something to promote your business online. But there are lots of issues to consider when you do that.
Let’s talk about banner ads first. Banner ads on the website are like the ads on the prints (newspaper or magazine). It usually doesn’t really matter whether your banner is eye-catching or not if you put in on the wrong site.
If you want to get highly qualified leads from your banner ads on third party site, you got to make sure your potential buyers are hanging there on that sites frequently. And meanwhile, those sites are not your competitors which means they are not providing the similar products or services as you do. Best scenario is that your product line is highly connected to what they are offering to their client base.
Therefore you have to do a lot of research on the sites where you want to put on your banner ads. It also takes time for you to monitor the quality of leads from those sites.
Next is about buying leads information from third party. You will find that there are quite a few sites which sell leads online. For example, some are selling insurance leads and most of them claim that their leads information is exclusive, which means they won’t re-sell it to more than one party.
But the thing is how could you know that the leads you got from them are original and exclusive? Even if they’re exclusive, do you know the expected conversion rate of those purchased leads? I can definitely tell you that it has very poor conversion rate, probably lower than 0.1%.
Because you couldn’t control the quality of leads. Since those companies won’t let you know how they get those leads. Most of the time they can collect leads from a certain internet marketing campaign. The prospects gave out their contact info for an exchange of something free or a certain deal which is not necessarily related to your niche.
Besides, those purchased leads didn’t know you so that they wouldn’t expect your call or email. They will even most probably report your emails as spam. Therefore the conversion rate will be very low.
My suggestion: run your own online marketing campaign to get highly qualified leads for free. I will teach you how in chapter five.
9. Business website in the local telephone web directory
And you think thatâ€™s online marketing. Actually it’s not. But somehow you got a back link from local telephone provider’s web directory. Go to your local telephone web directory, and what do you find?
Of course there are hundreds maybe thousands of competitors which are listed on the same page of that local web directory. How will your business stand out and easily be picked up? Chances are you won’t.
Or may be you could spend extra couple of dollars to feature your name so that your name will be listed ahead of others. You could also invest more dollars for a nice big banner ads.
But still you will have just one “back entry” for visitors to your site. With online marketing, you could literally have hundreds and thousands of “back entries” to your site for free! For example, why not submit your site to hundreds of business directories and classified sites.
10. Post sales pitch everywhere on the internet.
Many local business owners couldn’t tell the difference between marketing and advertising. They know once they put up a newspaper ads or TV ads, people will call to do business with them. They think it’ll work the same way on the internet.
Maybe not! Today’s savvy buyers have access to so many options that they wouldn’t mind spending more time comparing and investigating before making any decision. So if you use your advertising mindset to put your sales pitch everywhere on the internet, chances are people would not only ignore you but de-value your product or service.
But if you could deliver valuable information and offer a free sample BEFORE people make buying decision, you will not only earn the credibility but build a strong relationship with them. Sooner or later they will become royal clients.
As I had written in chapter one, the purpose of online marketing includes building trust and professionalism. And you will have hundreds of chances to prove to them that you are the best in your niche, but only with online marketing.
Need a competitive research done for your niche?
Although there are a lot of online marketing stuffs to do, it doesn’t mean you should wait until everything is ready. Why not start it today?
“Promote Your Local Business Online In Less Than 20 Minutes”
See you in the next chapter,