The Yellow Pages. Angie’s List. Thumbtack. Better Business Bureau. CitySearch. YahooLocal.
You likely pay good money each year to be listed in these directories. The Yellow Pages have been around for decades and were the “go-to” directory for every American household until the advent of the internet. Although the listing were expensive, it continually provided the best return on your advertising investment. That is until the internet, which is precisely why the Yellow Pages have expanded into a wide range of web services. They promise it all: a new website, top rankings in Google, unparalleled exposure.
The strategy they offered you was effective during the days of the physical Yellow Page books because larger ads cost more money. You knew that the more you paid, the bigger your ad and the more phone calls you would get.
But how can they genuinely offer that now?
The large national small business website companies (YellowPages, Web.com, Yodle, ReachLocal) create the same websites for thousands of businesses in your industry. They promise a site optimized for search engines and say they are a “Google Partner” that allows them top rankings in the search engines.
News Flash: Google partners with no one when it comes to organic search results. To get ranked on the first page of Google requires real human beings writing articles, sharing socially, bookmarking to highly authoritative websites, and engaging with other relevant businesses online. This process cannot be automated. This process cannot be executed by software. Google’s engineers can tell when “SEO” is being done by a machine and they change their algorithm to penalize those websites. That is why we use warm-blooded Americans right here in Austin, Texas, to work their tail off for you!
At the same time, how does your business stand out from any of the dozens of other business listings on Angie’s List, Thumbtack, CitySearch, Yahoo . . . ? The short answer is “You Don’t Stand Out”.
Push the Reset Button for This Fiscal Year
But you can stand out to potential customers with word-of-mouth advertising (via showcasing your projects to Facebook users who are in the neighborhoods and income levels that you target). And by building brand awareness you can then stand-out in Google when you are ranked on the first page with the big directories such as Angie’s List, Yelp, CitySearch, and YellowPages.
If a person is searching for a home contractor on Google, they want Google to show them a credible business . . . not another directory. If they wanted a directory of listings, then they would just go directly to that website.
So your challenge today is to take a good hard look at your online presence. Search for your website through the eyes of an independent prospect. How easy are you to find? Do you stand out from everyone else? Are you actually getting business from your website and if so is it worth a fresh set of eyes to re-think your strategy?
Fall is here, school is back in session, and whether this is a time of year to slow down and catch your breath or the phones haven’t let up . . . start planning for fiscal 2016 and take a minute to schedule a strategy session with your advisory firm before your competitors make the tweaks that you are too busy to see.
Many of our small business clients do not know that ReallyLocal Solutions is not only a marketing firm, but we are also a consulting practice. Delivering growth to our clients is not good enough if the growth is not profitable. And when clients have as much work as they can handle, the only way to increase profits is through cost justification and squeezing more efficient processes out of existing employees. That is where our team of CPA’s comes in for an overall business diagnostic.
After years with the Big 4, our consulting team brings their corporate expertise to small businesses where small changes can pay huge dividends and clients are not only more appreciative of busting through their previous cash flow goals but, more importantly, they are thankful for giving them more hours back in their week to focus on friends and family.
So now is the time of year to meet with your new Marketing Advisory Firm. And if you don’t have a Marketing Advisory Firm, we would be happy to have a 15-minute Discovery Call to see if our services fit your needs. These calls are free and our team only dedicates a few hours each week to these calls so we ask that you only reach out if you are a business owner serious about taking your business to the next level and are willing to make process changes to improve your bottom line.