Things have changed in the web world – since everyone can have almost an equal chance on the internet, you need to understand what will increase your odds of success.
There has been a lot of research done, so I’ve gathered the elements here that will help you the most. If you have the type of business that people will search for on the internet, and you don’t have all the basics required in the world of ADD searchers (requiring immediate results), you’re going to lose out to your competitors.
Take a service business for instance – it could be HVAC (or any type of home service), or IT Services, it doesn’t matter. People use the internet to search for your services. They want local, which they see as less expensive and quicker, and they want reliable and honest.
But believe it or not, the biggest thing visitors want, in most cases, is an immediate answer – it ranks over cost and all other factors. If your presence looks big enough and you respond fast enough, people assume you know what you’re doing. An immediate response gives you an 80% better chance of getting the business.
People are looking for efficiency – show that you understand what they need, whether it be your services or how you deliver them, and you’ve increased your odds of success tremendously.
Johnny has a virus on his laptop. It’s his business computer and he is in a panic. He has meetings scheduled, work to do and all manner of things that can’t wait. He can call a geek squad and get some teenager that may or may not know what he’s doing and may make him feel like an idiot for not knowing how to fix it himself.
So he remembers seeing an ad somewhere about an IT company that allows same day service with a drop-off and pick-up at a local store, but he can’t remember any more detail. He searches for computer repair on Google, and adds his local city as a keyword. Luckily, that ad comes up again and he clicks on it.
Now there’s another hurdle – the drop-off places are listed predominately on the site, but he needs a quick way to reach them to find out the latest he can drop off and get it back that day.
If you don’t have Instant Messaging on your site and are not monitoring it, you’re losing business to your competition.
Notice I mentioned that the ad comes up again – that’s because the business had invested in a marketing company that had advised them to be consistent with their ads. Not only had he noticed them before (they were coming up everywhere he visited), but they were there when he returned to find it again.
Sue has sprung a leak – well, not Sue, but her washing machine has started a drip that’s building up across the floor. She has no idea what’s going on – she just knows she needs a plumber.
She gets on her laptop and searches for a local plumber. Now Sue had had a plumber come in to fix her garbage disposal before and found out it didn’t need replacing, just needed a fuse, but the guy had replaced it anyway and charged her full price. So this time she wanted references – and she was in a hurry, too.
When she searched, she could only see the ads, because they’re at the top, and maybe one or two organic (unpaid) listings. Her eyes were immediately drawn to the ad that said “Special Discount Today!”.
She chose that one because the company was also the one nearest to her location and looked the biggest because she figured that they got that way because they delivered good service. When she got to the web site, the first thing she saw was that special discount for the day (which incidentally was good every day) and a big button for references, which she checked out immediately.
The ad was at the top, was near her location, she didn’t have to look any further and the “Special Discount Today” got her attention. But, if you don’t have references, and especially reference videos for more credibility (and for search engine ranking), your prospect may just move on thinking either you’re too small or not good enough for them.
Notice she choose an ad – most people do not care if it’s an ad or an organic listing when they are in need and in a hurry. And even though Google has a disclaimer that spending money on their ads doesn’t help ranking, one of their criteria is Number of Visits, so of course ads help ranking.
She too wanted a quick way to find out how fast they could get there, and the company had a dispatch/secretary sitting there anyway, so they had Instant Messaging set up for her to respond to. Sue could have gotten this far and not seen a big CLICK HERE to Talk to a Real Person, and moved on to the next plumber – she had some time to figure it out.
I was reading a great LinkedIn article by a company that vettes salesmen and helps companies match up with the right one. I thought it was an absolutely brilliant idea and they offered a free consult. I was waiting for my husband who had washed his phone and was in buying another one (yes, I’m trying to embarrass him), so I was using my phone when I clicked to make an appointment.
The appointment sign up screen was a horrible mess – it was poorly designed and didn’t make any sense at all on any screen, much less a small screen. It took me quite a while, a lot of trial and error, but I finally figured out how it worked and made an appointment.
What do you think my preconceptions are of that company based on their web site? Good enough to still want the free consult, but now I don’t have any confidence they know what they’re doing. They’re already fighting an uphill battle.
Preconceptions can make you or break you – why would you put yourself in that situation?
This is probably the most common situation – Naomi is looking for a business consulting company. She has time to find the right one – she wants to make an investment in her future. It has to be the right fit.
She looks through at least 20 sites before she gets tired and/or has other things to take care of. Most are just a picture and some text about how they’ll rock your world. One stands out and she saves it in her Favorites on her browser.
Why, you ask?
Follow along with me – go to Rethink-Inc.com. The Home page has all the right elements:
1) Video – a SMALL professional introductory video. She can tell right away that she likes the person.
2) It’s interactive – actually fun to play with the controls mousing over the colorful circles
3) A link to a Blog, where when she clicked on the first post, she could leave comments – that’s interactive, too! And she can be heard – she matters. She closes the blog (which opened in a new window so she doesn’t have to find her way back).
4) She scrolls down to the bottom of the page to see more and a survey scrolls up: How did you first hear about us? It only takes one click, so Naomi clicks and sends. The web site owner gets really good information from such a small, quick addition – the use and value of Surveys are another whole article.
5) She clicks on one of the circles – and then finds more to play with as she mouses over the top menu action items. Of course both pages have an image based link to all the Social Media sites.
6) The information is clear, bulleted (very important) and inviting.
7) Now she clicks on the FREE Sequence Map – it’s very visible but doesn’t get in your way or scream at you. It’s a way to get something valuable for free AND the web site owner gets an email to work with.
So why did Naomi just save it in her favorites and not make a phone call?
No call to action – no special deal going on.
Now I work with this lady and I know that she is booked up, so in this case, that is done on purpose, but if there had been a countdown for a special class or sign up for a webinar, a way to schedule a free consultation, or any number of things, Naomi may well have been ready for that step.
Make their decision easy – display your professionalism, maybe brighten their day with a little fun, allow them to be engaged (and heard) with the interactive functionality, but most importantly, if you are actively seeking business, tell them what they should do and give them a reason to do it!
Here are the most important factors and elements that we’ve discussed:
1) First and foremost is being seen – Google has changed their focus and are showing results based on the location, so if you’ve got a location near the person searching, and you’ve submitted your listing to Google maps, you’re going to have a big advantage. Listing sites are back in favor, too.
2) Ads are a must for just about any growing company.
a) If your target market would search for you on the internet, you need to keep your
name in front of searchers – and be there if they come back looking for you.
Any good SEM (Search Engine Marketing) company will do more than just run ads – they’ll do your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), submit your site map (list of pages) to all the search engines, set you up with Google Webmaster and Analytics tools, use Google Adwords (and other tools) toresearch your most effective keywords, check your site on all browsers and venues (pad, phone, site), tell you how to drive traffic to your site, submit your location to Google Maps, add your business to listing sites such as Google Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Ask City, CitySearch, and Yelp, add a robots.txt file for the search engines to follow and also do a thorough pre and post analysis, etc. All that should be done is another entire article, but these things should, at the least, be in their project plan.
b) Look for a Certified Google Adwords Partner – their ads are set up with the help of a Google consultant and will perform faster and better in the long run.
c) Facebook ads are good for some businesses, not for others, so that’s a judgment call we help people make. People aren’t looking for ads on FB – but one may catch their eye if it has to do with a hobby, a pet, or a personal solution like dieting, clothing, quit smoking, etc.
The new FB “adjustment” has limited who sees your posts to only the most recent people that you’ve interacted with, which makes FB an all or nothing choice for Social Media Marketers – after all, there are only so many hours in the day.
d) Use a unique phone number or link on that ad only so you know where it came from and you can track which ads do the best. Make sure you track them! Do the analysis to see which ads with which keywords using which triggers are doing the best so that you don’t waste your money.
e) Landing pages for ads must have that call to action we’ve discussed, a reason to buy from you (if you’re selling) and you must address people’s fears – ex: give them a money back guarantee. You should use the Scarcity trigger by giving them a deadline for a free or discounted offer.
You must know your Target Market – WE CAN HELP YOU IDENTIFY your keywords and your demographics.
So many people have come to me saying Ads don’t work for them, that they’ve spent a fortune and gotten nothing back. Now you should be starting to understand why that happens. Most times they didn’t use a call to action, or “squeeze” page to trigger them to make a decision right then – people seldom come back. Once they’re gone, they’re usually gone for good.
3) Ad Text that stands out – some say outrageous, but never make promises you can’t keep. Nothing stands out like FREE or Discount, and the scarcity trigger comes into play if you say “Today Only” or give a deadline. Be aware that might backfire – it’s recognized as a trick (or false scarcity trigger) and people may avoid it for that reason. It’s got to be true – if they come back tomorrow and it’s there, you’ve lost your credibility. I do run the “Discount Today” ads on an irregular basis for companies, though, and it works.
4) Instant Messaging – not every business would benefit from this, but you most likely know if you would or not. If you can’t have someone monitoring your web responses, have your page ask for an email address and/or phone number and tell them they will get an immediate email or call back.
5) Video – there are three kinds. The Good, the Bad and the Power Point.
The good should be used on professional sites as an introduction – you want to spend a little cash on that. It should run around $500 (and up). The referral videos are huge for ranking and for sales – they can be very bad in quality and be very good for you. The Power Point video is for teaching/learning and can be a very effective selling tool as well. All three help your Google ranking, especially since Google owns YouTube now.
6) Interactivity – from a fun web site to a blog, give your visitor a reason to come back or share your site with others. Use LinkedIn, now that they have provided everyone with the Post option – post there and then link to your blog or to a Landing page where you’re promoting something (another whole article).
7) Surveys – just make it simple and you get a better chance of a return. This can provide very valuable information, but you have to track and analyze this as well.
8) Registration – Offer something free in return for email. It has to be value driven with possibly an article or an ad, or most likely a campaign driving it, though. People are getting leary of giving out their email.
Registration for an appointment is huge if that is applicable to your business.
9) Mental Triggers –many books have been written on the psychology of sales.
* Use Scarcity to trigger a registration or maybe as an ad come on – there are many more ways. “Only 3 seats left!” is an example of scarcity.
* Reciprocity comes into play when you give something away for free that has value –
a white paper or a free consultation.
* Authority is triggered when you show you have credentials or expertise.
* Social proof is used by telling applicable stories of people who have benefitted from
what you offer.
* Anticipation often works with Scarcity to provide an impetus to buy.
* Community – if you can show you have a community of like-minded people, that’s
another trigger in your favor.
Address your target market’s PAIN points and their possible objections and you’ll be almost there.
For more information and a FREE consultation, click HERE !
Why does Dawn know all this stuff?
Read: Entrepreneurship Takes a Team for her story.
What Dawn is passionate about and speaks on:
– How to Run Your SMB like a Large Corporation
– TIP – the Time Invested Principal
– Why Your Website is Not Working!
(Is it just a poster or is it a big, bright LED sign on the highway?)
– Tracking and Analysis – the Difference Between SUCCESS and FAILURE
– You Need a TECHNOLOGY PARTNER you can TRUST!
– 99% of ALL Websites Make These 3 MISTAKES
– Are YOU One of the 80% That Will Fail?
– Afraid to Jump? Entrepreneurship Takes a Team!
– Two Easy Ways to Exponentially Increase Profits
– Are you Failing at MLM? There is HELP!
– All Social Media is NOT Created Equal!
– Take your Hobby to a Business
– The Big Secret (to Success) is not a Secret at all!
– Gain 50% More Revenue – Update your Database
– Do It Yourself “Touch” Marketing for Entrepreneurs
– 5 Basic Internet Marketing Ideas for Entrepreneurs
– 10 New Tools for your Internet Marketing Arsenal
– SEO vs PPC – What every Entrepreneur should know!
– The Perfect Web Site – Does it Exist?
– The Decision Dilemma of Entrepreneurs
– Security Tips from the Secret Service
– Google and Facebook are the Bait – YOU are the product!