As LocalTrifecta grows, as we welcome new clients, and increase our revenue, which we have done increasingly since starting just over a year ago, it’s important for us to keep balanced.
Just received a couple of postings for a non-profit entrepreneurial organization based in Surrey. SEEDS Business Development Centre has been around a good number of years is is approaching its 100th graduating class. I’m on the board of directors and the mission of the organization is fantastic.
I received an interested an interesting email this morning from Yelp entitled "Your Yelp Updates for the Week of May 2". The email was dedicated to a survey they had conducted with Yelp BUSINESSES and their interaction with the Yellow Pages. Below in an excerpt from the email:
Most Business Owners Agree: Yellow Books are Irrelevant
"Internet directories have led to a dramatic decrease in the number of business owners and consumers who use phone books."
Last week, we presented a survey to gauge how business owners feel about yellow page phone books in the digital age. Only 24% of our 3,500+ respondents said "Yes" to the question, “Are yellow page phone books still relevant?”
That's quite a find. Here are some others:
1) Most business owners don't think yellow page phone books are useful to them:
“Yellow page phone books are useful to me as a business owner.”
Agree - 11%
Somewhat Agree - 17%
Somewhat Disagree - 19%
Disagree - 52%
2) Only about 10% of business owners use yellow page phone books more than once per month; 3 out of 4 don't use it at all:
How many times per month do you rely on a yellow page phone book to find a local business?
“Zero” - 75%
“Once” - 14%
“Between two and four times” - 8%
“Five or more times” - 3%
3) Very few business owners believe customers find them using a yellow page phone book.
Estimated percentage of customers who find me using a yellow page phone book.
“0%” - 43%
“1-25%” - 47%
“26-50%” - 5%
“51-75%” - 3%
“76-99%” - 1%
“100%” - 0.1%
The conclusion: Business owners have clearly observed the shrinking relevance of yellow page phone books. As we continue to move away from printed phone books, online and mobile directories will continue to grow as the customer's choice for local business information.
Our personal experience with business owners would match these results. In fact here in Vancouver the numbers are even more definitive in the uselessness of Yellow Pages (and CanPages). So where are all these consumers going? Google indicated there are almost 2 BILLION local searches PER MONTH in Google alone ... its crystal clear that the search engines have replaced the Yellow Pages (and have for YEARS). Its only recently that business owners seem to have caught on to this. Call us today to learn more about how Local Trifecta can help you leverage the internet to GROW your business!
We are in the process of helping a potential client understand how internet marketing can impact their business when they drop this bomb:
As noted we are not coming up on any searches which is not good.
What exactly are you going to do to increase traffic? Key words are just a small part of SEO and SEO in our definition is separate from conversion once you get them there.
Somewhere along the way we have failed this potential client ... keywords aren't a small part of SEO they ARE SEO ... the right, intent driven keywords, will ultimately generate the most qualified traffic to a site.
The most critical component of SEO is to ensure your targeting the right keywords. Once we have those keywords selected (through PPC intelligence and client collaboration) we do the on-site and off-site optimization. This increases/improves the position for the site in the search engine results and ultimately improves traffic.
There is a huge difference between traffic and conversion ... which is again why keywords are so important. We need to ensure the intent of the keyword search matches the content, delivery, and call to action of the page that traffic is driven to. Again this is a collaborative effort but core metrics and analytics will provide preliminary data on intent based on click through to a call to action, time on page, bounce rates, and other metrics.
So ... are keywords SEO or is SEO keywords? YES
Special occasions can be big business for any retailer – especially on April Fools Day.
Although a year old the following study by eMarketer demonstrated the mind shift in businesses to focus on online advertising rather than more traditional advertising like print. By far the biggest increase in spend of businesses was in WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT! What can we infer from this? The clearest inference is that most companies have websites that arent working or are outdated.
This was validated by our own research ... we interviewed local businesses in the lower mainland - on a scale of 1-5 (1 not important and 5 very important) local businesses overwhelming agreed that the internet would be important to the growth of their business (avg 4.45). In addition most business agreed that potential customers were using the internet to search for their business(avg 4.15).
Perhaps most interesting was the facts that almost every business we spoke with indicated their sites were critically bad at generating business/customers (avg 1.60). This was further demonstrated by follow up questions regarding conversion tracking (75% of businesses don’t know if/when/or where they are making money from their advertising) and almost all businesses were not using the internet to increase the lifetime value of their customer base (95%).
This demonstrates the need to not just have a website (since most aren’t performing well at all) but to have a website that can be found and has a definitive goal of converting traffic to customers (ie conversion marketing).
B2BOnline further validated these findings by demonstrating where increase in marketing spend were being allocated and more importantly ... where that marketing spend was being transferred from.
The top areas that will see increases are Web site development (cited by 57% of respondents), search (55%), webinars, podcasts and online events (50%), email marketing (49%), social networks (47%) and blogs (44%).
Areas that will see budget cuts include print advertising (51%), printed vertical directories (50%), direct mail (37%), outdoor (34%), TV advertising (31%), sponsorships (30%) and events (28%).
However, while budgets are increasing for digital marketing, there are still barriers to investing in online, the study found. Foremost are lack of resources (cited by 55% of respondents), the unproven value in some marketers' industries (25%) and lack of executive support (25%).
If that was 2010 and focused on the US market how will this impact the Canadian market? US businesses spend, by far, more on internet marketing advertising than local Canadian businesses (http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1005622) ... the challenge is convincing Canadian businesses they are missing a massive opportunity AND how they can cost effectively transition their marketing spend.
Everybody, I am sure, has heard of this quote “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”.
This is true for every aspect of our personal and professional life and is even more true for our marketing initiatives. When it comes to social media and facebook you MUST have a plan or strategy in place or you will fall victim to what I call "the facebook hook". What was meant to be 5 minutes checking status updates and stalking old girlfriends/boyfriends turns into 2 hours of facebook hypnotherapy.
Here is a recommended 6 step strategy to building your facebook fan page:
Like any business strategy, marketing strategy, advertising strategy or any strategy at all you need to know WHO your targeting and WHY ... which will ultimately lead you to WHAT you want them to do ... your objective, as a business, shouldn't be to "get fans" or "likes" but to build and solidify customer and client relations and retention AND provide a sales funnel!
2). Design Strategy
There are some ugly ugly sites out there ... facebook makes it so you page wont be ugly ... but it sure can be boring. Below I have some examples of really cool facebook pages from a design point of view. To really ENGAGE your market you need to do something different ...
http://www.facebook.com/1800flowers (SUPER sneaky offer available when you LIKE the page!)
http://www.facebook.com/LocalTrifecta (ok ok ... maybe not yet but we have a strategy in place! kind of ...!) While your there you might as well "LIKE" us :).
3). Content Strategy
Any internet marketer will tell you "Content is King" this is true when it comes to optimization and true when it comes to social media. Content is what keeps you coming back for more, encourages you to "like" a page, entices you to share with others and evokes feelings of happiness and well-being ... maybe not that last one ... but the first 2 for sure ...
4). Promotion Strategy
How, Where, When and WHY should you promote your newly created fan page!? From facebooks Ads to installing "Like" buttons on your actual site you CAN engage more of your customers and potential customers if you make it easy.
5). Engagement Strategy
Although strikingly similar to your content engagement takes it to the next level and asks "How do I make this CDC"? (Consumer Driven Content!) This is web 2.0! Rather than YOU having to do all the work encourage your customers to participate! Ask questions, get survey's, make absurd suggestions, ASK ... and ye shall receive ...
6). Conversion Strategy
Finally ... with all that strategizing (yes I realize thats not really a word) in place to penultimate strategy will come back to your objective ... WHY would any business create a facebook fan page ... ultimately it should play a roll in increasing the life time value of your existing customer base and/or facilitate in generating new business! Ensure all your strategies in some way or another build on this strategy!
If you own a small business, and you’re on Facebook, do you have a business Fan Page?
Seeing as LocalTrifecta Internet Marketing is a small business, with a focus on helping other small businesses attract and convert more customers online, I think what the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), and Federal Government have done is wonderful.
A number of months back, I was researching some statistics of small business in British Columbia.