The experts keep telling you, your kids keep telling you and your neighbor mentioned it – you need to get your business on social media. But it’s a pain, takes a lot of time and you have to learn all these new things you would rather not. Still, you should – here’s 3 reasons why:
1) Your Competitors
Any business serving a market share a pie with other folks providing similar services or products. You each get a piece of the pie depending on things like word of mouth, reputation, pricing and so on. If a new business enters your market space, they are not bringing more pie, they want to eat yours. And they’re not messin’ around – they are in start up mode and have to work very hard to get any of the pie. So they will do whatever it takes and that will include building a social media presence. Some of your existing competitors may also want to eat some of your pie and they will do the same. If they all get on social media and you don’t, your piece of the pie will get smaller and smaller. Like it or not, social media is becoming a major factor in the size of your slice of pie.
2) Your Business
It’s no secret that Google is using social media factors as part of their search algorithm. As more and more people rely on Google to find the products and services they need, ranking well becomes more and more important. Maybe you rank well right now for your keywords, maybe even the coveted number 1 spot. But what happens if you wake up one morning and find your rank has slipped to #2 or #3 or #10 or you are on page 2? Can’t happen? Think again. It can and it does. So if business levels drop 10, 20, 50 percent or more, will that be enough to get you to look at social media? Sure – that or early retirement. But here’s the catch: it can take 6-12 months to build up a presence on social media that Google may react to. Can you survive the hit in business levels? Why take the chance?
3) Your Customers
If the first 2 items haven’t convinced you (and they should), think about your customers. You may not be a big social media person, but your customers and prospects are. You can’t argue with the numbers, more and more folks, young and old alike are using one or more social media platforms. Remember the disappointment we felt 5 or 10 years ago when the business we were interested in didn’t have a website? Not having a social media presence is the same thing. Your customers want to engage with you and your business in a way that they are most comfortable with and for many, that means social media. So go on, do it for your customers!
Seriously, if you wait until you are forced to, it may be too late. It takes time to learn and build a good presence. You may find it hard at first and there may be new challenges to deal with. But putting it off is only going to make it worse. Now is the time to dig in and fortify your position – and continue eating your pie!
We are constantly reminded to get on Social Media, write new and unique content, start a blog, optimize keywords, build inbound links, make our website mobile friendly and on and on. That’s because the landscape for internet marketing continues to change and evolve, with Google driving a lot of that change. In the end, we want as many prospective customers to find out about us and buy our product or service. For most businesses, that means ranking well on Google. But who has time for all this? The trick is to break it down in to little manageable pieces. Here are 3 things you can do right now:
1) Sign up for Google+
If you already have a Google account this won’t take long at all. If you don’t have a Google account, get one. They offer a lot of free services to help website owners. Click here to get started. Don’t worry about setting everything up – just get the account open. Next time you have 10 minutes, go back and add something to it. The first step is often the hardest.
2) Look at your site on a mobile device
Is it easy to use? If you’ve already done the mobile thing, great – skip to the next item. If it’s not so good, decide on a date when you want it to be and stick to it. Get it done, or you will continue to fall behind in the race. Anywhere from 30% to 50% of all traffic is now mobile. No more excuses.
3) Check out your competitors
Google your product or service and see what they’re doing. Are their sites more up to date? Are they mobile friendly? Are they on Social Media? By checking out your competition, you can either spot opportunities for you to get a leg up on them or see areas you need to address because you are falling behind.
There’s probably a lot more to do to help with your rankings and overall internet presence, but you have to start somewhere. These 3 suggestions are designed to be quick, free and get you thinking about what you might want to do on the marketing side of things.
It’s not always easy to get reliable information on how best to market your business on the internet. Yet it may be the most important element in your marketing strategy. Here are a few myths that we hear a lot:
1) A Website Should Have A Lot Of Animation To Impress Visitors
This is one of the most common misconceptions about what makes a good web design. Business owners often feel they need to entertain their visitors with fancy slideshows and animations effects. Truth is, your most important visitors are seeking answers to questions and they are at your site hoping you have the answers. Even with the greatest animations ever created, visitors will say “Great, but do you have the information I’m looking for?”. Focus your efforts on understanding what visitors want to know and make sure it’s easy to find on your site through good content organization. Providing useful information is also what Google likes, so if ranking high on Google is important (and it is), make sure you and your designer are focused on content organization.
2) Social Media Isn’t Important For My Business
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest – the list seems endless. Who has the time to learn all these and what good will it do my business? It’s very easy to turn away from social media because it presents many challenges in terms of time and technology. Yet if ranking well on Google is important to your business, you may be hurting your business by ignoring these social media platforms. In August 2013, Google made significant changes to how they rank websites. Their “Hummingbird” release changed the game for everyone. They now consider social media engagement as a significant factor in determining site ranking. If your competitors get involved with social media and you don’t, you will find over time that your ranking begins to slip. Building a presence takes time and if you wait until you fall behind in the rankings, it could be disastrous.
3) My Website Is Fine The Way It Is
Web design technology evolves at a very rapid pace. Think of how often new Iphones or other tech gadgets are launched. A fresh website today could look old and out of date in as little as a year. Take a look at your website and your competitors and be honest about how it looks. What does an old, out of date website say to prospective clients? When building a new site, make sure it is using the latest or upcoming trends to ensure it will last as long as possible.
4) I Don’t Need A Mobile Site
We still hear this and yes you do. Mobile includes smartphones and tablets and account for 30% to 50% of all internet traffic. Many people use their tablets much more than a laptop or desktop. Take a look at your site on a mobile device. If it’s awkward to use, you need to add mobile capabilities with an updated responsive site or a standalone mobile site. Remember, as much as half of your prospects may be viewing your site on a mobile device.
5) I Can Get A Free Website For My Company
Free websites sound great, but they come with a lot of catches. You will find advertisements on your site that are out of your control, a domain name that doesn’t represent your business well and poor search engine rankings. If you use your website as a part of your business marketing strategy, you’ll want to take a long hard look at what you get for free.