Local Search Traffic Secrets For Small Business Owners

Local search queries offer small business owners the opportunity to tap into some highly-converting sales leads. All they need to know is how to find that traffic, and in this article we show exactly how it is done.

Many small business owners wring their hands at the prospect of trying to figure out how to put their business on the internet and tap into the millions of prospective online leads that browse the web every day looking for the kinds of services they offer. They usually learn, fairly quickly, that getting traffic to their web site is not going to be easy.

Not only is it NOT easy, for the most part it is down right difficult, which is why the following simple traffic generation strategy should be one of the very first they adopt. Not only does it represent a way to grab prospects without spending a dime, but it also puts you on the map of the two big names in search engine marketing: Google and Yahoo.

Imagine that you own a dry cleaning business in Pasadena, California, and that some web user has just spilled coffee on her favorite outfit. She needs it cleaned, pronto, so she jumps on the web and types “dry cleaners, pasadena ca” into the Google lookup in her browser.

The good news: your business is just what she is looking for. The bad news: you do not have a page on your web site that is optimized for the keywords “dry cleaners, pasadena ca”. You should have one, but perhaps your SEO guy has not got around to it yet…

No matter, you can make up for that oversight by going to Google Local and filling out the form that allows a small business owner to list their business with Google. You provide them with basic information about your physical address, the URL for your web site, and a short description of your business (about 200 words).

Then Google takes a quick look at your web site and generates a Google Map showing a marker at the physical address you supplied. If needed, you can make a correction of the marker on the map. Then you specify a business category, hours of operation, payment options for your business, and any other particulars that you think a prospect might find useful when they are presented with your business profile. You can even add a photograph and a video, if you like.

Submit the information, and you are done. The next time someone types “dry cleaners, pasadena ca” you are on the map. Simple, huh?

Once you have done that, get yourself over to Yahoo Local and repeat the process to add even more prospects to your local business search sales funnel.

So what are you waiting for? Go put your business on the Google Map today by tapping into Google Local. Then do the same with Yahoo Local. It represents free traffic from your immediate neighborhood of people looking for exactly the kinds of services you have to offer. It could not get much simpler, could it?

Business Tips – Get the Most Out of Your Facebook Marketing

Getting the best results with social media takes time and effort. It also takes a lot of trial and error, as sometimes things work well with certain audiences, yet not so great with others. And sometimes, even with your best efforts, you don’t see the results you had hoped for. It can seem like a lot of work, but is it worth it? You bet it is. In fact, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced recently that Facebook currently has one billion active monthly users. Now, your social media reach obviously won’t see anything near these numbers (don’t we wish!). But this should be a wake-up call about just how many people there are out there that you COULD reach. If you aren’t actively engaging on Facebook, you should be, and pronto!

Now just having a presence on Facebook is not all it takes. You need to work it, and work it the right way. Here are our recommendations:

Engagement – It’s all about engagement and getting people to respond to you. Yes, you can post tip after tip, but real success happens when you start communicating and talking with your audience. Remember, the more you talk with your fans the more activity you’ll get on your page; which means the more exposure you’ll get. It’s that simple.

How many of you post a tip or comment on Facebook, then just leave and come back hours later? Next time, try sticking around for a bit; comment on other postings, and truly share with others. When you comment on someone else’s post, you’ll get on their radar and they are more likely to post on your page, plus your comment is now in the newsfeed of their friends. That’s how you get real communication going and that’s when the magic happens.

Devote a day of the week to connect with a unique idea – Recently we added a new feature on our Facebook page called Ask BizEase, where every Wednesday we encourage you to ask any question you want about business. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll do our best to find someone who does. So if you have a shopping cart question, or a question about WordPress or Wishlist Member, whatever… ask your question and we’ll answer it. Not only is this a great way to get people engaged and talking, but it’s a great way to showcase our talents and services, all while helping people at the same time. Try something like this on your own page to see if you can get people talking and engaged. You’ll see what we mean.

Get Personal – Let your fans see you are a real person behind your brand. Let them see the real you. Think about who you want to connect with. Don’t you want to engage with others who make you feel good and share many of the same values? That’s how it works on Facebook, too. People want to connect with those they know, like and trust.

Use Visuals – People are visual and often connect more with images, so add some fun images from time to time or consider adding some pictures with motivating captions. We love to get inspired. You can also have some fun by posting a photo and then asking for a caption or thought about it. That can really get the conversations going. Sometimes adding visuals are a little easier to do on your personal page, but it really can be beneficial on your business page as well.

Have fun – Yes, you can be serious, but also realize that most people come to Facebook to chill a bit. If you’re always business as usual, you lose out on the magic that happens when we have fun together. So make sure you take time to have a little fun and enjoyment while you’re at it.

The Facebook numbers speak for themselves, and success happens when you are in front of the right people and actively engaging them. Hopefully these tips will provide an incentive to do just that.

Business Tip – Help! I Made a Mistake – Now What? Best Ways to Handle Mistakes

You did it this time. In your haste to get your marketing campaign out and announce your next big event, you sent the wrong link or contact information. No one is going to sign up now because there is no way to get to the sign-up page or contact you. Or perhaps even worse, you have a teleseminar scheduled with dozens expected and realize at the last minute, while YOU are calling in, the number you sent out in your reminder emails is off by one number. Now what?

First, realize these things happen all the time. Don’t panic! Instead, take control and fix the situation calmly. Even though it might not feel like it at the time, no one is going to bolt and not show up over a simple mistake. However, if this becomes more of a habit than a one-time occurrence, things need to be changed pronto. Also, understand that how you handle this mistake will often determine the effect it will have on the situation. So let’s talk solutions.

Here are our best tips for handling mistakes:

Get over it already – Believe it or not, you are not the first person to make a mistake. (I know-go figure!) You need to let it go. Fix what needs to be fixed and then move on. So many, once they make a mistake, dwell on it for days or even longer and just can’t let it go. What happens then is you lose your focus on new work and more mistakes happen. You might even be so unfocused the teleseminar you’ve been preparing for months takes a negative turn. Then the mistakes just keep piling up one on top of another. Not a good thing. Realize your mistake, make plans to ensure it doesn’t happen again, and move on.

Reassess your processes – Are mistakes happening because your foundation is lacking? Oftentimes, this is the case. The reason things keep going wrong is because you aren’t properly set up in the beginning. It’s time to review your processes and make changes. Go over your procedures and steps you take and see if changes can be made to run more smoothly. If you don’t have regular procedures in place, now is the time to do it. It’s also a good practice to set up templates for the things you do on a regular basis. Say for example you host numerous teleseminars a year; you should have templates set up in advance with all the vital information so it’s a breeze to set them up and get going. However, you might see you are just too busy in your business and it could be the time to look for an online support specialist to take over these tasks.

Don’t Cover Up – Often when we make a mistake, our first instinct is to run and hide. Some even try to blame others (really bad form!). The best approach is to acknowledge what happened, admit to the mistake, and speak directly to whom it affected and let them know you will do everything you can to correct it if possible, and ensure it does not happen again. You can even outline new processes to show you are on top of things. Most will value your professionalism in the way you handled things.

Feel confident in your business and know every mistake can also be a stepping stone to more success. From most of our mistakes, we’ve learned something positive and were able to grow and make changes that made our businesses better. And if you realize you are just too busy to handle everything, contact us to see how we can help. We take the stress away so you can enjoy more and do more.