Online Marketing Education
(Don’t Assume That This is Too Basic…Read It All…)
-Ron Cunningham, 2017
The Extremely Basic Law of Search Results in Search
“Google is the Number One Search Engine” for a reason. The other search tools online copy the focus (in differing ways) that Google uses to stay “Number One”.
What Google does is try to match up as many results as possible for someone searching for information. Then they try to put the results in order of the most likely match to what information the searcher wants.
What happens when someone searches for “guitars”? Every piece of information online that has the word guitars will be in the search results. Now, how does Google put those in order? Since the only thing Google has to go by is the word “guitars”, it seems impossible to prioritize the answers. But, no…
Google does have some ideas about that. It can make some educated guesses. For example, what does Google “know”? It knows that a guitar is an object and not a service. But someone might want guitar repair. Since it wasn’t specified, the object would take precedence over the service. But both would show up somewhere.
Google also knows the searcher location. That narrows it down to give priority to any results that may be “localized” to that geographical area. The process is started.
Google will use all sorts of “tricks” to try to “read” the searchers mind. It won’t ask the searcher to be more specific. It does not nag (in that way). It will look at the user’s previous search history and anything else that might help.
Then it will find information that ties to that search “guess”…
Almost all online marketing is focused on getting results from Google. Why? Because that is the single biggest source of leads and prospects.
But don’t discount other sources. Depending on your geography and type of business, various other sources (that also support your Google Marketing) can bring in a large number of leads. Some will direct to your website, and others will get direct response.
You need to pay attention to a lot more than Google. Google also looks at visibility and traffic elsewhere up to determine your standing in Google.
What is Onsite SEO?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Onsite refers to content in your website.
Google and other Search Engines use information in your website (onsite information) to match you up to people searching for your services and products.
To make this easier you should use keywords in the text such as location and product names, as well as services, to match up when someone searches.
There are also other tools like labels, tags, titles, and other tools and pieces to make your content more “relevant” in the searches.
Links to other sites and social media (like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter) in your website also are good for Google to “see”.
One key to note is that Google and the other search engines can’t “read” graphics. Any text you have in graphics goes unnoticed. There are tags that can be applied to photos and graphics to describe and help google match you to search requests.
The more the content “matches” a large number of search requests, the more likely you are to move up in search results.
My job is to research what people look for when they want to connect with your products and services. Then I will try to get that information in your website.
How can Google get clues from places other than your website that you are right to show up (and show up high) in search results?
There are lots of “tricks” for this. Think about this…
Is there anywhere online that indicates that you have guitars other than your website? Think about other places your business shows up. Here are a few examples:
1. Your Facebook Page – You most likely mention “guitars” in your Facebook page. The address in your Facebook page matches your address in your website. Google can assume it is the same business. If your Facebook profile also matches, and your phone and url match, then Google is more sure that it is you (On the other hand, if you move and forget to change the address in Facebook, Google might think it is “not the same business”).
2. Other directory listings like Yellow Pages and Review sites. (the same matching system applies)
3. Really, anywhere your business shows up and can be matched as the same business works. Blogs, ads in other business sites, etc.
My job is threefold here…
1. Get you in as many places as possible in meaningful locations and directories.
2. Make sure your information matches in those places so Google can see that it is you.
3. Use the same keyword and contents tools as I used in your website SEO (picture labels, etc.)
In this category, you will find Social Media marketing to develop content and reputation for Google and other search engines to rank you.
Client Marketing Audit
This is merely a “picture” of where you and your website stand right now. It looks at:
1. Your website. All the pieces talked about in the Online SEO.
2. Your Search Engine ranking. Where do you rank compared to your competitors.
3. Where else do you show up online? Does the information match your website?
4. Are you active in Social Media?
5. Are your registered with Google? Do you have a profile for Google to use as a baseline for matching profile, business information, and location?
6. Do you have reviews?
This is not a duplication of SEO…
What happens after someone actually goes to your website from whatever source (such as Google)? It is pretty much a waste of money to get a prospect into your site just so they can think “Yuck. What a bad experience! I don’t even know why I would want to do business with this guy. He shows no value to me!”
It is important that you communicate well with the prospect. Make it clear what you do. Make it clear why they should do business with you rather than the other stores who “sell guitars”.
It should also be clear and easy to move around in your website.
Think about your physical “guitar shop”. You don’t just scatter guitars all through the store. They are organized in some way. And you don’t have the restroom for the store right in the middle of a display. You want it organized and esthetically pleasant. And you wouldn’t put guitar strings with the drums. You would have them by the guitars.
And your checkout would be visible and convenient.
Make it pleasant and convenient to buy a guitar from you. That is called User Experience (UX in the internet salesman “jargon”)
And guess what? Just like you need salespeople to ask for the sale in the store and convince the customer that your store and products are better than the rest…
You need to “sell” or persuade in the website. And you need to ask for the sale.
Imagine that you have a guitar store with no salesmen and no checkout counter. Just an owner hiding in an office locked in the back of the store with a sign that says “Leave your name on the lined pad, and I will get back to you.” (Would it matter that your store is beautiful or in the best location)
Think about it. Isn’t that what a lot of websites do? They are beautiful and expensive and raise eyebrows when the prospect clicks into them. But they are a showcase of services that every website has. Home, Products, Services, About Us, Photo Gallery, Contact (leave your name).
With us you will have the well trained and experienced “sales clerk” inside your website to tell the customer why they should do business with you, offer service, answer questions, and to get them to act now!
Social Media Marketing Including Reviews
The better this works, the better your whole system operates. This is equivalent to:
1. Your outside sales rep.
2. Your customers referring people and talking about you and your services.
3. An active version of your website, getting your products and services in front of the customer/client.
4. TV and newspaper ads of days gone by.
5. A lifeline to get people into your website.
As a result, you can’t overlook this marketing as “not that important”. It requires daily attention just like opening your doors at your physical store each day. It requires style and a sales clerk just as your website does.
The nice thing about Social marketing is that it is relatively inexpensive to expand. Posting in 4 or 5 social sites is not much different than posting in one. Much different than advertising on 4 or 5 radio stations…(OMG).
How would you like a bank without a bank statement each month? How would you react to a utility bill that doesn’t tell you how much you consumed? How about a car with no speedometer? Or a car with no fuel gauge to tell how much gas is left.
Then don’t ever buy a marketing program without statements…reports…speedometers. And make sure you know how to read them…and what they mean…
Do I need to say more? ……………..
Newsletters, Blogs, White Papers
These are as important as:
1. Your phone
2. Your sale signs
3. Your instruction manuals for your products
And they serve the same purpose…to communicate, promote, educate, and update about your products and services.
More to Come…
I will be going into more detail in the next chapter of your Marketing Education:
· How do the various marketing tools fit together?
· What does each tool really do?
· What is needed for each tool to work properly?
· How do you know when tools are working…or not working?
· Which tools can you “eliminate” to save money?
· When can you expect a return on your investment?
· What other “tools” can speed up the process?
· Are you “aggressive”, “sustaining”, or just “a hobby”?
· How can you tell if you are duplicating your efforts (and wasting money)?
· How do you build up to the best program?