As a former massage therapist and yoga teacher both careers steeped in the ethos of service, I understand that the idea of “selling” your business might be distasteful. It’s not what you are about-if you are a service business, it’s because you enjoy that business whether coaching, chiropractic or whatever. Marketing is a word that especially to women can seem really smarmy, heavy sales pitch and force. Here is the least you need to know:
Reason #1: Buying Decisions are Being Made Online
*Source: Forrester Research Inc. report, entitled “U.S. Cross-Channel Retail Forecast, 2012 To 2017.”
“By 2017, 60% of all U.S. retail sales will involve the Internet … either as a direct e-commerce transaction or as part of a shopper’s research on a laptop or mobile device.”*
And local searches, where potential clients are looking in their area for a service or business is even more internet based. Folks first do a bit of research online, then they go to the store or pick up the phone.
Use Google and see the first page of results-all and I repeat all of those business must be doing search engine marketing or they wouldn’t land on page 1. They are using a web marketing company or consultant- it’s never an accident. An analogy is the idea that one can win a Miss American pageant without getting your hair styled and without wearing makeup! It’s not impossible but highly unlikely. Your website basically functions as your clothing, your self-presentation of what you do.
Understand that the only customers to your website are coming via other marketing- business cards, networking, word of mouth, or advertising (which is expensive,) they already know your business name and website.
Search engines provide “organic search,” a large number of new potential customers who are actively searching for your service or product, who haven’t yet discovered you.
Reason #2: Your Business Has to Be Sustainable
“Page 1 results garnered 92 percent of all traffic from the average search, with traffic dropping off by 95 percent for Page 2,” according to Searchenginewatch.com.
A search engine marketing specialist will help you to figure out what you website needs to bring new business-does it have a clear “call to action” for example?
- We spend so many hours/years even– learning our skills and often marketing especially online options and via search engine marketing is not covered in our courses.
- If you can’t cover your expenses-rent, supplies and more you won’t be able to help those who need your service. And that’s really disheartening.
- If those people on their mobile phone can’t see you site because it’s not mobile optimized they’ll go to the next choice!
- 87% of American adults own a cell phone. (Source: Pew Research Center) – See more at: http://www.localytics.com.
- Search engine marketing, specifically optimization of a website or blog is a great way to get eyeballs on your pages, rather then being buried at page 5.
Reason #3: Social Media can Support Your Small Business
Not every business needs to be on Twitter, perhaps Pinterest or Instagram is better for your visually based business- like interior design. But some social media involvement is really helpful. A web marketing consultant might recommend that to you engage with social media because it sends signals to the search engines in terms of relevance. The more shares via social media seems to impact rankings. For example I was on page 3 for a term, a new search term that I want my business to rank for and it was a tweet that showed in the results of all things.
Pluses of Social Media:
- Build familiarity with your brand and then:
- Drive traffic to your website or blog (you do have one?) for further info
- Generate ideas on customer desires in terms of your service offerings
- Promote a sale or special event
If you have questions or are looking for a web marketing consultant, give me a call or via contact form is best.