Jack Moore and Bob Misita
In the past, to generate leads, all you needed was a yellow pages ad, business cards and a sign on your truck. You could do it all while concentrating 99% of your time servicing your customers.
Today, generating leads is a bit more complex. It means building your brand in a complex, interdependent online ecosystem that even many marketers don’t fully understand.
The bottom line is that the online world is where your prospects search for solutions to their problems. Although there are many online to search, all they want is a company that:
• Performs the service they need
• Works in their area
• They can trust
Using your online marketing efforts to answer those questions is key. The fact is, Google evaluates your entire online presence, not just your website. It wants to see that your brand demonstrates your:
Your expertise is what you say about yourself. How do you demonstrate your knowledge, especially on your own website? Content is the main ingredient in expertise.
Branded Website Content—The foundation of your entire online brand is your company website, a single site that displays all of the pertinent information about your company. It needs to include some basics:
• Full contact information – consistent Name Address and Phone Number (NAP)
• 5 essential pages: home, about us, contact us, services and service area
• Integration with your social media like Google +, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin
Dynamic Content/SEO— Dubious Search Engine Optimization “tactics” no longer work. Instead, fresh, frequently updated content gets Google’s attention. New tools can help you generate dynamic content for your website. These tools:
• Leverage your team members to generate content as part of their normal day-to-day operations
• Enable you to create service summaries, post photos and generate reviews that integrate directly with your website and become dynamic content that search engine love.
Added Content—There is no limit to the content you can add to your website over time. Demonstrate your expertise with:
• Articles about how to solve different problems
• Pages that describe each of your services
• Blog posts about what you’re doing in your community and industry
• Newsletters that are good resources for your prospects
• Press release about what you’re doing or what awards you’ve won
• General resource guides
Authority is what the internet says about you. This is typically achieved through citations or links. But you have to be careful as citations and links need to be done in the right places and in the correct way.
Web Profile—Your entire online presence needs to be consistent. Starting with Google Plus and Facebook, your website and all of your online profiles need to have a consistent NAP, rather than a call tracking number for each different site. With that:
• Create and claim your local business profile pages such as Google Plus, Yelp, Angie’s List, YP.com, Bing and more. This gives you the ability to respond to reviews and control what each profile site says.
• Create and update social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Build Additional Citations—Building links to your website from other, reputable sites that cover your industry, is imperative. It builds your authority and can improve your overall online performance. But it has to be done the right way. A link from just any random site may be detrimental rather than helpful.
Trust is what your past clients have to say about you. The cornerstone of trust is third-party verified reviews that your past customers leave about you. There are several ways to generate positive reviews:
Request Reviews—Be proactive and request reviews from your happiest customers. Every satisfied customer can build your reputation and help influence prospects to hire you for your service.
Internal Reviews—A few tools are available to get your reviews published directly into your website using the correct formatting (ex. schema). From this schema, Google credits your site with legitimate, third-party reviews (and possibly stars in the search results), which carries more weight than if you put general testimonial content onto your site.
External Reviews—In addition to internal reviews, you also need to build reviews on the online profile sites that you claimed, such as Google Plus, Yelp and Angie’s List.
Monitor Your Reputation—What are people saying about you? Have you responded to reviews that are less than stellar? Tools are available 24/7 that can notify you daily of a review that needs your attention so you can respond timely and appropriately.
By showing your Expertise-Authority-Trust on the forefront of your website, you will be using your online presence to generate the right leads for your business.
Article provided by co-authors Jack Moore and Bob Misita @ LeadsNearby