Archive for June, 2012


Mobile Marketing: Can Your Customers Find Your Business On Their Phone?

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Mobile Marketing: Can Your Customers Find Your Business On Their Phone?

 

Mobile Marketing and AdvertisingThe use of mobile phones has exploded in recent years and there are now more than 5.6 Billion phones on the earth, almost as many as there are people on earth. The mobile phone is no longer just a means of communication; it is a way to connect with others socially, send text and photo messages, search on the Internet, send and receive e-mails, get directions and maps for current locations, take photos and videos of important or silly events and even have a conversation with, like John Malkovich does on that iPhone commercial.

And, things are not slowing down but speeding up.

Here is one of the most important things that every business needs to realize when it comes to mobile phones: can your business be found using mobile search? As your potential patient or customers are driving down the freeway at 65 miles per hour and they yell at their “Bluetooth” device to “find a dentist,” or “where can I get a hair cut in Sparks, NV?” who shows up? It is astonishing how many business listings are incorrectly noted with old or outdated phone numbers, addresses, contacts, locations, etc. Many do not even have proper photos or directions.

Most businesses couldn’t be found with a personalized mobile Google bot on steroids!

Look, you know that going online is a must for every business and is unavoidable. It’s just so hard to keep up with one more thing to deal with in local Internet Marketing. Your eyes get glazed over just thinking about trying to update anything. So, lets start with the basics.

The first place to go for any business is now Google+.

Really you ask? Yes. Google+ is going to become the business social center and is determined to make a dent in Facebook’s current standing, especially with business because money is involved and it isn’t about the latest cat video.

There are at least 3 other major apps that people use to find local businesses: Yelp.com, Foursquare.com, and Dibbs (at gotdibbs.com). They all know that this is the next battleground that needs to be won for the heart and soul of businesses who are listed online.

There will come a day when it will be more important to be found on the first page of the mobile listing than the current search engine listing on your computer. Why is that? It is predicted that 85% of all searches for products, services and businesses will be done from mobile phones before 2015.

I hope you just realize what you just read. That is a dramatic shift away from desktop and laptop computers towards mobile phones and iPad-like devices. These searches are not the same type of listing as “first page rankings” you are familiar with. It has to do with “proximity” to the users actual physical location. Most mobile searches are for products and services that are close to where they currently are while they are using their phone and the internal GPS gives away their location to the invisible satellites above.

That presents another major problem.

Most websites are set up for easy viewing on desktop or laptop computers with a minimum screen size of around 15 inches. They do not work well on 3 or 4-inch screens. Someone who finds your business’ website that is not optimized for mobile viewing has to do a lot of scrolling, zooming and searching to find what they’re looking for. In our increasingly impatient world it’s very easy to lose a customer because of this.

Obviously this must be dealt with, but it isn’t as complicated or expensive as you might think. To get a proper mobile version of your website can usually be done in less than a week and it will be easily viewable on any device. Here are some things that you want to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure that very clear and proper information is easily viewable and is fairly large.
  2. They must be easy to navigate with large tabs that can be clicked on by a person’s thumbs.
  3. It’s best to have large, clearly marked buttons for the map, driving directions, “email us” and “call now” instructions.

It is also advisable that you have an easy way for people to shop and buy your products on their phone, as this is becoming the preference for more and more people. For those who charge for their services, the ability to take credit card and payment information on a phone has never been easier. Gone are the days for the need of a bulky credit card reader to swipe them as they can be easily slipped through a small device attached to your phone.

The costs associated with creating a mobile website from your existing website are fairly minimal and the advantages are obvious. In most cases the increase of just one new customer a year would cover the expense.

By following this advice you will be ready for the onslaught of the number of people trying to find your website on their phone. I have watched the analytics of a number of my customers and seen a rather rapid increase in the number of searches done from mobile phones. When I inform my customers about this they are always surprised because most of them did not think that anyone was searching for them on mobile phones. Most of them think that it’s just for businesses like restaurants, bars, hair salons and gas stations.

That just isn’t true anymore.

Kelly Smith is president of The WebSmith Group in Sparks, Nevada. If you need help with either getting your website properly listed in the appropriate search engines or creating a mobile website that will drive more customers to you, please give him a call at 775-722-4949. You can also reach him at http://www.TheWebSmithGroup.com (and yes, even on your phone).

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Grow Your Business with Niche Marketing

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Niche Marketing will Grow Your Business

Niche Marketing is the perfect way to grow your business. In a previous tip we mentioned how important it is to build your own website and use Facebook to drive traffic to your website. Driving traffic is always the number 1 goal of anyone with an online presence. But what is the point of having 1 billion people come to your website that had no interest in your products or services? Wouldn’t you rather have people that were interested in it coming there and had a reason for wanting what you have to offer?

This isn’t the radio or TV you know, where we blast the ad to millions hoping a few will buy from us. The internet is the most perfect system for finding exactly who or what you are looking for. It also works that way in reverse.

In fact, let me ask you a question:

How big do you really want to grow your company?

This is not a pie-in-the-sky question but one that may change your life.

Living in a small town requires you to be a jack of all trades in order to serve enough people to meet your needs and income. The biggest hurdle has always been to find enough people to buy what you sell.

In the old days there was almost no way in the world to reach anyone outside of your city limits without dramatically increased expenses. You had to be a very large company to be able to afford the marketing and advertising it would require to reach all those potential buyers.

The Internet has changed all that. Let me give you a secret: if you can find some teeny-weeny ultra small niche that you can be profitable in, you can make more money than you ever imagined before in your life. You can also target local marketing options to reach local customers.

So if you’ve ever thought that you would like to build a much larger company and not be a jack of all trades to all people, and you would just rather focus on a very small market, give me a call at 775-722-4949 and let’s get started on building your dream by niche marketing.

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Foursquare, Yelp, Dibbs: Can Customers Find Your Business on Their Phone?

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Foursquare, Yelp, Dibbs: Mobile Marketing of your Business to get found online

Lets talk about Foursquare for a moment. Mobile usage has increased drastically over the past couple of years and it is projected to be the dominant way that people search the Internet by 2015. In fact, some people predict that over 85% of all Internet usage will be over the phone.

What do people mostly use their phone for? This will include such things as maps, search, e-mail, social media, etc. Everyone has known that this was coming, but most didn’t realize how fast it was approaching. One company that tried to be a forerunner in this technology was Foursquare, a place for you to check-in on your phone to let others know where you are located. It took off like crazy and then fell off the radar just about as quickly.

FOURSQUARE APP FOR IPHONE AND ANDROID

An article on the “Top of the News” details some of these changes and how they have come out with a new app for your phone that directly competes with Yelp and Dibbs. “Instead of loading up the app when you arrive at a restaurant or bar and checking in, foursquare wants to be the app that you use to find new places to go. The all-new foursquare is all about discovery.”

I applaud this action because I didn’t find Foursquare to be that valuable before. Now I do.

But for you as a business owner, sales manager or marketing person, this should also be very important to you. There are 2 things I wish to discuss: proper business listings and mobile websites.

Proper Business Listings

In order for people to find you on apps like Foursquare you need to have your business properly listed to show your location and relevance to their search. If you are a pizza restaurant, bar, spa, hair salon, etc. and somebody types in those search phrases, unless you are properly listed under that category and with a correct business maps listing, they’re going to go to your competitor! That is the first thing that needs to be taken care of is making sure your business is properly listed in the appropriate search engines.

 Mobile Websites

Because of the changes in mobile technology and the fact that more people are using it, your website must be able to be visible on the small screen. Nothing is more frustrating to a mobile user than to have to zoom, scroll and find their relevant information on something that was designed for a large screen like a computer. Far too many websites do not meet the needs of the mobile user. You can test it out yourself: go to your phone and open up a search window, type in your URL and see what you see.

Properly designed mobile websites must:

  1. Be easily navigated
  2. Have the exact relevant information right up front
  3. Must use large tabs that can be clicked on by persons thumbs
  4. Have easy features like pushing on the “call now” button so that they can call you.
  5. There also must be a very clearly marked button for the map and driving directions for them to find you.

If you need help with either of these suggestions by getting your website properly listed in the appropriate search engines and creating a mobile website that will drive more customers to you, please give us a call at 775-722-4949. You can also reach us at http://www.TheWebSmithGroup.com (and yes, even on your phone).

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Facebook Ads and Comments – Do They Work?

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

An interesting article today was posted on Reuters.com about how most comments or ads on Facebook do not sway people’s opinions. It said that 4 out of 5 users have never bought a product as a result of advertising or comments on the site.

Did I understand that correctly? Four out of Five? 80% did not buy?

That means that 20% of the people did!

Facebook-ads-work

20% of 900 million people is a lot of people and that equates to a lot of purchases! Maybe something’s wrong with the numbers but I wouldn’t be complaining about that ratio if it’s true.

If you sent out a direct mail campaign, you would be lucky and consider yourself fortunate if you got a 1% return. Now obviously, we’re talking about a slightly different dynamic because it isn’t 20% of any campaign, is 20% of all of them, so we can’t look at it the exact same way.

We actually have to look at it from the perspective of what Facebook IS, and not compare it to everybody else. Facebook is highly social in nature and when businesses try to oversell their products or services, it will result in a backlash of your company. On the other hand, many products and services have been successfully recommended if done in the non-salesy, personal-experience-type fashion.

Google probably has a much better click through rate because that is why people go to Google: to search for things.

That’s not the same on Facebook.

I agree that Facebook has a problem when it comes to figuring out how to properly monetize and increase profitability. The current trend in their stock IPO reflects nervousness the people have regarding its future. I’m going to go out on the limb here and claim that it is worth about $10 a share, but I am not a stockbroker so don’t listen to me.

I have a recommendation for people who want to advertise on Facebook and reap the benefits that can come from it: advertise like you’re marketing to your best friend:

  1. Think in terms of how you share something with a close personal friend.
  2. There can be no heavy handedness or deception.
  3. You want them to be happy with you after the purchase from your recommendation (because they will tell the world if they aren’t).
  4. Make the recommendations should be personal and subtle.

It was a big deal a couple of months ago when General Motors decided not to continue to advertise on Facebook. There are some who claim that is part of the problem as to why Facebook stock has fallen. All it really reveals is that there are certain products that work better on Facebook than others and apparently big-ticket items like automobiles were on the wrong list.

So what products sell best on Facebook?

The consensus seems to be “impulse buys”. Something you would buy on a whim or an instant recommendation. Automobiles are not an impulse buy for most people. Neither is a house, furniture, vacation plans, cruises or any other high ticket item.

You want to market something that brings instant gratification. Something that makes you feel good or look good and isn’t too expensive. Products that are fun and exciting and geared towards individual purchasing them for their own use and pleasure.

I hate to put a dollar limit on these types of things to back up the suggestionsand I currently do not have any research to back this up, but products that are lower in cost sell much better on Facebook. From $9.99 up to $99.99 is a quick and easy range to think about. I’m not saying that higher ranges will not work, but the lower the better.

Remember, people are not going to Facebook searching for products to buy, these must be impulse buys.

And always remember that Free is an excellent thing to sell on Facebook. It’s a great place for people to join your group for free, sign up for free download, get any kind of free consultations, or watch free demonstrations, etc. Once you get them to sign up or join, you can sell them something later. Just don’t try to sell them on Facebook if its a high ticket item.

If your business needs help setting up a proper social media campaign to reach millions of people that go on a daily basis on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others, then contact us here at TheWebSmithGroup.com at 775-722-4949 to get started right away.

We’ll even give you a Free analysis to get you started! How can you beat that?

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