How To Grow Your Bozeman Business Online?
If you are a small business owner or marketing executive in Bozeman, Montana, I am sure it comes as no surprise that the internet is a critical part of your marketing strategy. According to the Kelsey Group, 83% of the populations now first search online before buying their products or services. For many businesses, local internet marketing has become one of the top methods for reaching prospects. However, most business owners do not have the time to know where to begin when it comes to internet marketing. I have a friend that has been in the painting contractor business for years. I discussed with him the power of internet marketing, but he described himself a “caveman”. My friend admitted that he barely knew how to email customers a newsletter, or develop a website that markets his business. The key is to find a business partner that can train you in all ways about marketing your business online.
Why do I say find an expert local internet marketing consultant versus doing it yourself? For the same reasons people would advise you to invest your money with a financial advisor. These experts spend years learning and training in the field and know what they are doing. They are professionals. How do I define a search engine marketing professional? A pro is any person who makes a full time living marketing online.
If your served available market is local in nature and your main marketing method is conventional advertising, then you may be wasting your marketing dollars. As I mentioned before, it is becoming more common that your prospects to research what they want on the internet before they buy. You need to be in a position so that a local resident can discover you via the front page of a Google search results page.
Why the big shift to the internet?
Frankly, it is where people are spending more of their time. Facebook is the number two site behind Google. You need to advertise where people are spending time. They gravitate to the businesses online that offer the best and most compelling information relating to their need. They view businesses that do this as the authority on the subject and are much more likely to buy from them.
One website will not give your business the exposure it needs
Just as in radio advertising, it takes frequency to remember a commercial message. Here’s an example from my own personal experience on this topic. During our family vacation last year to Florida, every time we drove by a Subway, my kids would say out loud “Subway, eat fresh”. There were so many Subways in the area, that it became a game to see how many times we could say the tagline, or who could say it first. What type of marketing is going on here? I call it the double whammy. First, any franchisee knows that he can leverage his business with multiple locations. Opening just one store does not make sense. If an owner has multiple stores in the same area, he can leverage his training costs, marketing, and food costs. So have more than one website. Learn from the franchise system.
Secondly, the commercials with the catchy tagline are aired frequently enough for memory recall. The only way for commercials to be etched in memory is frequency. Think of listening to music. You hear a song for the first time, and think afterwards, “I like it”. But who was it? Then you hear it a second time and your appreciation deepens. The song is really great, and you remember only half the band’s name. Finally on your third time hearing the song, you think “that’s a keeper” and buy it on itunes after finally knowing the full name of the new band. That is what is required when it comes to advertising; frequency.
If you only have one website that is poorly placed on the internet it will not bring any traffic of consequence. In many cases, even a website well placed on the front page of Google will not drive the traffic you need if you are targeting a local market. It just depends to a large extent on how much search volume there is for the keywords being used in the internet marketing campaign.
Pay Per Click Campaigns Miss 80% Of Traffic
If you are relying on Pay Per Click ads to promote your business on the internet, you’re missing about 80% of the traffic. Google’s statistics show that about 70% to 85% of the traffic will click on the natural search results and Google Local search results. It varies between these two percentages depending on the type of business you are in. Why is this? Because potential customers need information before they are sold. That is the beauty of the internet. Your customers are looking for an expert.
Your Company Must Have High Visibility, Authority and Dominate Local Natural Search
Customers are looking for the company that comes across as the authority in the market they are searching, and can give the valuable information they desire. Because of the competition online, just having a nice website on the front page of Google is not enough anymore. Key question: what are you doing to become an expert in your area in the minds of your customers?
As a business owner, you have to think in terms of three types of exposure online.
1. Visibility – How many times will they find you on the front page. Visibility builds your brand.
2. Authority – Have you established your company as the expert company in your hometown in your field? If you do your job building your authority online, then potential customers ready to buy your service or product will find you.
3. Dominance. Have you chased most of your competition off the front page of Google in the local, natural search. A good search engine optimization plan can get you there.
Of course a lot of work and time goes into a local internet marketing campaign. Most internet marketing firms do not possess the skill or the organizational structure to stick with a campaign for local businesses and make a profit in the future. “Farm it out” may not be the best advice. You need to consider the experience and the total marketing plan (forums, articles, social media, video, email, etc.) on top of search engine marketing before making a decision on where to spend marketing dollars. After executing a solid marketing plan, your business will become more visible to your client base.
About the Author
Brian Metzger is founder of a Bozeman Internet Marketing firm called HighRoadRetail.com. If you need help understanding local internet marketing and want to find out more about the web 2.0, total marketing, and search engine marketing services Highroadretail.com offers, then click Bozeman Internet Marketing Strategy and read though some of the resources.