Once upon a time, there was a local business owner, let's call him Local Bob, who created a website with lots of great content that was keyword-rich and extremely informational plus his site had a fantastic, asthetically pleasing design. He also made sure that some other sites in his industry or that were relevant to his industry link back to his local business website.
In those days, back when Google only really cared about keywords, content, meta-tags and inbound links, Local Bob's site ranked really high in the organic listing for about 10 keywords. After a year or two, Local Bob noticed that his website was no longer ranking as high in Google's organic listings.
Local Bob started pacing and scratching his head trying to figure out what had happened? Why wasn't he showing up any longer?
What Local Bob didn't realize was that the Internet was changing. With the arrival of social media sites, review sites, blogs, video sites and so much more, search engines had to alter the way they ranked Local Bob's website. Now, search engines like Google weren't only looking at the content on Local Bob's website and his inbound links, they also had to factor in what people were saying about Local Bob's business and how they were interacting with him online. So while Local Bob's SEO investment two years ago had initially paid off, it was no longer getting him the organic ranking he deserved. In fact, he had completely disappeared from sight.
Then Local Bob got a brilliant idea. What if he could guarantee top-priority placement on the search engines?
And he did. Through pay-per-click advertising (ReachSearch) Local Bob was able to guarantee top placement on over 98% of the places that his customers were searching for him. And he wasn't just getting that placement for a couple keywords, he was getting top placement for hundreds of keywords. As part of the service, Local Bob's pay-per-click advertising campaign tracked the visits, calls and emails from his text ads so that it could optimize around the best performing keywords for Local Bob's business and in the end run a more effective and efficient campaign that truly invested Local Bob's money in all the right places.
For Local Bob, just having a small text ad wasn't enough - he wanted to dominate the search results page. But how could he do this?
After doing some research Local Bob learned of the new ways Google was ranking local businesses on their search results page. First, they looked at his website content and inbound links to his website. But now, they were adding another piece to the equation. Google decided they also needed to factor in Local Bob's online reputation and social authority to really give the searcher the most accurate and relevant results possible.
Hmm....thought Local Bob, how can I get found on search engines now. Local Bob had stumbled across a couple online reviews about his business but couldn't remember where they were found. And he had set up a Facebook fanpage and Twitter account but they were currently collecting online dust bunnies because he had forgotten to update them over the past 9 months.
"I wonder," thought Local Bob, "if there is some type of service or product that can just manage my online reptuation and social media presence for me. I don't have the money to invest in hiring someone full-time who will cost me upwards of $30,000. And I don't have the time to do it myself - I have to keep my business running. What can I do?"
After speaking with some local business buddies via LinkedIn, Local Bob discovered a total web presence service that incorporated all of the main elements of Google's PageRank equation, ReachCast. This was his golden ticket to once again having dominant organic results placement that drove customers to his website and through his business door.
Six months later, Local Bob's business is thriving once again, actually it's better than thriving, his business is bursting at the seams. So much that Local Bob's considering opening another location. Between his pay-per-click advertising and total web presence service, Local Bob has become the dominate business listed on the organic search results page. In fact, it's hard to even locate a competitor on the first page for some of his top-performing keywords.
So, what can you learn from Local Bob?
For starters, not doing any online marketing and expecting huge success from your website alone is the equivalent to finding that needle in the proverbial haystack. Sure, you need a website but a static website that hasn't been updated in months or years isn't going to be enough any longer. If you want your business to succeed online, you have to have multiple online marketing strategies in place.
Just as you had multiple traditional marketing campaigns running (such as print, tv, radio), you need a variety of online advertising mediums to really drive traffic to your business.
Second, you have to monitor your online reputation and engage in social media. Facebook and Twitter aren't just for teeny-boppers. Local business owners and major corporations alike are learning that if they really want to create brand loyalty and drive new sales, they have to engage with their audience. How do you do this - through social media of course.
When it comes to your online reputation - do you know what's being said about you? If you aren't part of the conversation, your consumers will continue having it without you. How many sales could you be losing out on every day because of a negative review you didn't even know existed? And what if that review was completely wrong and meant for another business? You have to not only know what people are saying about you, you have to engage in the conversation as well.
It's time to take charge of your Internet presence and get the business you deserve!
Contact TeamBishop today!
If you or someone you know needs help with their online presence, search engine marketing, pay-per-click advertising, total web presence, online reputation management and social media you can contact TeamBishop at ReachLocal. We are conveniently located in Orlando and help small to medium businesses with their Internet marketing strategies.
(new Google equation photo courtesy of ReachLocal.)