Internet Marketing Isn’t For Everyone

The majority of my professional network is online savvy and knows Internet marketing works. I mean we have all these cool things to get people to find us and using online stuff is the cool thing, right? Well, not all businesses think this way and I know there are a few, including some I’ve spoken with.

Now I know I may get some flames from those who say, “Any business can use Internet marketing!” or “You’re an idiot” or “Take out the trash!” Wait, not that last one, but yes, go with me on this and let’s see where this ride leads us.

Ok, so there’s SEO, social media, content marketing and all kinds of other things to get a business found and convert into qualified leads, right? Well, there are some businesses that don’t know what these are and I’ve talked to some that don’t want or even need it.

What do I mean?

Well, I spoke to a few the other day who rely on referrals and yellow page advertising and do very well for themselves. When I brought up online marketing and things like local search marketing, they said, “Thanks, but no thanks – we have no need for it and we have enough business now.” When I told them a few ways they could increase their leads, they weren’t interested.

They are not the only one, actually. From my perspective, it’s ok if you don’t want to join the online bandwagon, but I believe there are some questions to ask yourself before you turn your back on online marketing.

Don’t Turn Your Back Before You Ask These Questions

  • Are my competitors using Internet marketing? Are they showing positive or negative results?
  • Can I integrate Internet marketing techniques into my existing marketing strategies? How?
  • How many resources and funds will it require to use both current and online marketing campaigns? Is it worth it?
  • Do my current and potential customers use the Internet to find my products/services? Where do they go to look for what I offer?

If you can answer these questions truthfully and still find you don’t need or want to use Internet marketing, then go for it. If you do realize you could use some help with the “online thing,” then get to it or ask me for help – I don’t bite.

My point of this post is this: Not everyone knows about online and the wonderful things it brings business. It’s always better to include why and how it helps by asking these questions, without going into every shiny new online marketing tool or technique under the sun. Then, maybe more businesses will understand WHY Internet marketing is a good thing for them.

What’s your take on this? Do you use online marketing for your business or rely on things like referrals from local customers?

Photo credit: horiavarlan

Google+ Pages Live: Thoughts Now and on the Future

Ever since I joined the beta of Google+, I wondered when Google would add pages for brands and businesses. I don’t have to wonder anymore  – Google officially launched pages in just the last few days and brands are snatching up pages even as I write this.

I went ahead and created a page for my business, Passwater Media, and was happy to see it wasn’t too complicated to create a page. Yes, I still have just the bare bones up there, but working on getting everything setup now. If you want to add my business page to your circles, I say thank you and would love to converse with you there as well as my personal Google+ page.

Future Thinking

Just like Google+ as a whole, I believe it’s still too soon to see how these pages will impact things like search and if the ratio of engagement will outshine others like Facebook pages. Going on that same thought, I do see things Google can integrate these pages with, such as:

  • Google places pages – With these pages, I can see a big opportunity to combine places for a big jump for local businesses.
  • Search rankings – I’m sure big G already has it in their sights, but Google+ pages can give brands a bigger boost in search rankings and what social circles your networks find you in throughout the web.

What’s Annoying?

Right now, here’s just a few things I see that will probably get more attention as Google fine tunes their pages:

  • One admin – Right now, you can only have one admin for each page. Yes, this sucks, but I would suggest having a contact address that’s accessible to everyone in your organization who plans to run the page. That way, if someone gets sick or goes on vacation, you have backup.
  • Confusing to add – For this initial rollout of pages, you will see a +1 button in the upper left corner, just like a Facebook page like. The problem is, this doesn’t “subscribe” you to the page – instead, you need to add that page to a circle. Yep, confusing, but I’m sure Google will improve this as more feedback rolls in.

Search For Brand Pages Right From Google Search

One of the things I see that ties back to the integration with search is Google Direct Connect. What’s this? This new option allows you to search Google by using a + first and then you can directly find a brand’s page on the Google+ network. Try it with your favorite brands and see which have jumped on and claimed their Google+ pages.

How to Claim a Google+ Page

To find out how to go about putting your own Google+ page, I’m not going to replicate the many others who already did this. Instead, here’s a nice post from Hubspot on how to set up your own Google+ page:

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/28624/How-to-Create-a-Google-Business-Page-in-5-Simple-Steps.aspx

All in all, Google+ pages are a good start, but there’s still much left to be desired. I’m sure Google is hard at work getting this done, but I have a feeling they are working even more on how it will all integrate with their number one objective: search.

Have you created your own Google+ page? What are your thoughts on the initial rollout?

Online Marketing – Different Is Better [Photo]

Online Marketing Decisions

3 Elements to Remember In a Effective Google Places Page

One of the biggest things a small business needs is visibility to prospects. If they’re going to create leads and generate new sales, they need to be in front of prospects. In the online world, a tool many local businesses should look at is Google Places.

Although there are other online tools for increasing visibility for local businesses, Google Places shares a relationship with Google and a good Places page helps with ranking for the terms your prospects search for in Google.

Many small businesses have jumped on board and started using Places pages, but many are leaving a few things out of their pages that could increase visibility and conversions into qualified sales leads.

What are these overlooked Google Places elements?

Google Places – Photos

googleplacesphotos

 

With an option to add 10 photos to the account, it’s a good idea to add some visual representation of your business. Think about adding things like photos of staff, your product(s), highlighted customers or even create coupon images and add them to your listing.

 

Google Places – Videos

googleplacesvideos

If you’re not adding videos to your Google Places page, you’re leaving money on the table. With YouTube being the number 2 search engine, behind Google, it’s a good idea to boost your video presence. Think about adding videos of your products (demos), samples of services (home construction, plumbing, etc) or customer testimonials.

 

Google Places – Hours of operations

googleplaceshours

 

Believe it or not, this option is worth the extra few minutes to fill it out. When someone finds you online and wants to visit your business, they want to know when you’re open for business.

 

 

Just adding a few photos, videos and telling people when you’re open are simple, but effective ways to boost the performance of your Google Places page.

Give them a try to see how it works for you. Right now, I’m doing the same and adding these elements to a few of my client’s pages to boost their results.

If you’re looking for more tips or resources on Internet marketing and how it can help your business, subscribe to my email newsletter.

5 Places to Link to Your Social Profiles

Today, I’m mixing it up and doing a video on a topic I get asked about…lots. Most understand how to create a profile on a social network, but many don’t understand why no one engages with them. There’s many reasons, but one is that they don’t link to their profiles from other content.

In this video, I will give you 5 places to link to your social networks from.