Metzger Business

November 23, 2009

Web Marketing for small local businesses – Does Your advertising reach your audience

Billboard

http://www.flickr.com/photos/simonscott/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

ARE YOU SURE IT REACHES YOUR AUDIENCE?

Traditional advertising has lost a lot of it’d audience. News papers have lost their audiences. Billboards are practically overlooked! Nobody watches local tv anymore. On top of all that all these are expensive mediums in which to advertise and there is a good chance you won’t hit your target market even if you do advertise in the local paper.

So if all these mediums are expensive and they don’t hit your target market as effectively as you would like, what medium brings the best, cheapest, most targeted traffic? Paid Search.

What is Paid Search?

Paid Search is anywhere where you pay a sight such as a search engine to place a little ad and a link that will drive internet traffic to your site.

Who offers paid search?

Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, blogs, you name it the site probably provides a form of  paid search and there a many forms of paid search.

What are the forms of paid search?

There are a number of forms of online advertising such as cpc (Cost per click) you only pay when someone clicks on your add, CPM(cost per thousand)- cost per thousand impressions,   CPL (Cost per lead) – you pay for leads in a more traditional form of lead generation and you don’t own the customer right out but the service can be very effective ie. Service Magic, there is also affiliate advertising but I consider that a completely different animal and not necessarily useful to the small business guy.

What should I use and How Do I use it?

Assuming you have a web site and it does a good job of converting browsers to customers, then CPC – cost per click is by far the cheapest form of advertising available other than word of mouth. We’ll explore CPC later this week in another post. The other advantage of CPC advertising is that usually you can target it to only show to people in a specific postal code who search for a specific term at a specific time of day. This is great if you have a limited budget to spend on advertising and you want to drive extremely targeted traffic. Traffic of this type is often looking to buy. Can you get any better than that?

Using CPM also assumes that you have a web site and it does a good job converting browsers to customers. The problem with CPM is that you will pay for the number of impressions (Number of times users of a web site see the ad) no matter how many clicks you get. The one traditional advantage over cpc is that you can control your costs. However in recent years you can now control you cpc costs much more effectively and generally target your audience much more effectively. However if you find a blog that speaks about your industry and seems to target your local market then CPM might be effective but generally I’d recommend against it.

CPL – cost per lead advertising is generally much more expensive and while you may find some platforms that don’t require you to have a web site most web-based CPL programs will expect that you do have a web site and it should generally be good about converting browsers to customers. The best CPL programs work by consolidating a group of businesses such as home improvement assuring that you meet a set of standards and then offer a number of programs to provide you leads to gain their customer’s business. These sites gamble that they can use other forms of advertising to drive traffic to their site cheaply and then turn over the lead to you to follow-up on. The real value to you is the lead is truly pre-qualified. There are companies out there that don’t do a good job of pre-qualification and you’ll end up wasting money so be careful when using this type of service and check it out thoroughly.

November 16, 2009

Web Marketing for Small Local Business – Other Local Search Directories

Last week we covered an overview of local search and how to register with the local feature of each of the big three search engines. If you want a review on how to register see: Google, Yahoo, Bing.

Today we’ll discuss other local search directories. These directories provide a large amount of local search traffic and are growing in popularity. Each of them has different features and are attractive for various reasons. Today’s blog is simply a listing of the options available. It doesn’t hurt to get listed in all or most of these forms depending on what your business does and the value the local search provides.

  1. Yelp
  2. Kudzu
  3. CitySearch
  4. Craig’s List
  5. Local.com
  6. Service Magic
  7. ibegin
  8. insider pages
  9. Judy’s book
  10. infoUSA
  11. MagicYellow
  12. MetroBot
  13. Search Site
  14. Yellowpages.com
  15. yp.com
  16. YellowUSA.com
  17. acxiom.com
  18. Discoverourtown.com
  19. pinpointpages.com
  20. merchantcircle.com

While these sites aren’t necessarily the most heavily searched sites they are targeting local people who are performing local searches and looking to buy. So when a customer does find your business on these sites converting that person to a buying customer becomes easier. Registering at these sites expands your reach and your personal web.

November 12, 2009

Web Marketing for Small Local Business – Bing Local Video

Filed under: Small Business — Tags: , , , , , — MetzgerBusiness @ 8:43 am

So today I review the process for registering with the last major local search search engine. Tomorrow’s blog will get back to neighborhoods. We’ll be talking about the barber shop.

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November 11, 2009

Web Marketing for Small Local Business – Local Registration at Yahoo

Filed under: Small Business — Tags: , , , , — MetzgerBusiness @ 8:09 am

Today’s video is about how to sign up with Yahoo local. We’ll cover signing up with Bing local tomorrow.

YouTube Preview Image

November 7, 2009

Web Marketing for small local businesses – Local marketing

Filed under: Small Business — Tags: , , , , , , — MetzgerBusiness @ 5:56 am
Google Local Search

Google Local Search

Local search is a fast easy and free way to ensure your business is findable on the web. The major sites that provide local search are Google, Yahoo and now Bing. They all have their own sing up method and none are difficult to complete. The local search feature will not drive huge amounts of traffic to your site but it’s an important first step. The local search registration will be valuable when a customer is looking for you and is foundational to completing the three-step process I outlined yesterday. Lets take an example.

I’m Joe Average and I live in Marietta Ga. When I search the web using Google for “Flowers” from my computer located in Marietta. Google knows I’m in Marietta because I have either previously entered the information or they look at the IP address of my computer which will provide them a proximity. When Google presents the search results one of the first listings will be a Google map with local businesses that might sell flowers in Marietta or the surrounding area. If I’m looking for your particular Flower shop and you don’t show then I’m likely to find another Flower shop.

Two other important points 1) customers have the opportunity to rate your business via local search engines and 2) You can offer a coupon via the local search. These are two opportunities you don’t want to miss. Encourage your customers to rate your business and mention that there is a coupon out there to help encourage them. People love coupons and you can customize it any way you want.

As I mention above this step is a foundational necessity. The Adwords and social networking will truly begin to drive traffic but you want to be sure that you are findable through local search. Additionally on Google you’ll want to complete a profile so if someone searches for your name they can always find you on the first page of Google although it will be at the bottom.

Finally, I’ll post a few short instructional video’s running through the sign-up process for each of these sights. In another up coming post we’ll spend some time reviewing other local search options that will drive traffic such as Kudzu and citysearch.

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