How to Get Your Business Online During this Covid-19 Era
Now is the time, huh? You have been reading our latest blogs about Covid-19 and you have made the decision to improve your online presence and sales. You want to get your business online during this Covid era.
This blog post has some tips that are going to help you avoid a lot of the problems most small business owners just like you make because they were using seat-of-the-pants marketing.
If you have attended our Small Business Breakthrough Bootcamp or almost any of our in person 90-minute master classes, you are familiar with one of the main rules we created when we coach your business: there are a lot of constant, small course corrections you need to make. If you are already online, these will help you course correct much of what you are currently doing.
This COVID-19 Era is a very unique time in our history.
Covid-19 has caused a 1929-type economic depressive state that was not caused by human business activities. In the most simple terms, the 1929 crash was caused by overextending credit to play in the stock market. The 2007 Bush Recession was caused by a lack of financial constraints in the marketplace. The 2020 Economic Depression was caused by a glacier-like response by the Federal Government to a new virus. In all three cases, small business owners are being left to pivot, adjust and move forward. We are fielding a lot of calls from you asking how to get online and make sales. It is something most of our private coaching clients are already doing, so here are a few tips to help you get started. Of course, you can always connect with us for information more specific to your business and industry.
Imagine how you look online.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, or an office where clients come visit, it is easy for you to take an actual step back and look at your office or store. You can put on the glasses that let you see how your clients are seeing you. You should be doing this online as well. Do your websites and social media pages reflect the same message? Do they look alike so that your guests recognize your visual brand? Picture yourself walking down an aisle at your local Piggly Wiggly, searching for a Diet Coke (if you like, Perrier or Diet Pepsi, that is perfectly acceptable for this example). You are not reading labels. You are not looking for the words DIET COKE (or Pepsi). Your eyes, are being told by your brain to hunt for the logo. It’s like a cougar’s brain telling its eyes to search the fields for “small animal, probably moving, but perhaps still.” The cougar’s brain knows what it is looking for, just like your brain knows it is hunting for Diet Coke’s red and white label compared to Shasta, or the store’s house brand of diet cola.
Another very important thing if you want to successfully get your business online during this Covid-19 era is to make sure you are being consistent. Take a moment and look at the front page of the Yuloff Creative website and then pop over to the Yuloff Creative Marketing Solutions facebook page. You will see that we give you the same look. Now take a look at the Free Marketing Consultation page. Notice that they are similar? We recently corrected this. We made this small course correction to make them look similar. In this case, the Free Marketing Consultation page had to be updated when we updated our website. Here is an important marketing tip: When you change one thing, if you are “doing your marketing right” there are going to be a lot of moving pieces involved.
Make sure your online listings are correct.
If you want to get your business online in Covid-19 era, this is one of the most basic things that every business needs to do. And when we begin coaching a new small business, it is one of the first things we check. And it is one of the things we find that is almost always lacking.
Step one is to ‘claim’ your Google My Business listing. Step two is to fill out your Google My Business profile. This will improve your local SEO a bit. We have done this for countless private business clients. If you have been around awhile or, like us, have changed the name of your business, your address and/or your phone number, you probably have several listings sitting out there in the cyber galaxy. About the only thing I have not changed in 25 years, is the phone number that you use to find me. If you want to hear the story of how changing your name, and then changing it again in 15 months can mess with your online presence, come to our next Small Business Breakthrough Bootcamp.
Are you getting testimonials and reviews? Are you asking for them?
Testimonials (especially video) and reviews are one of the major tools that Google uses to rank your business in local digital marketing results. As your clients talk about their confidence in you and your business and what you have done for them, the search engines will gain confidence as well, and your listing will be moved up in search results. Google wants their visitors to have a good experience with THEIR product, so if your clients want to tell others about the good experience they had with YOUR product, that is a ‘good thing.’ Remember to respond to each positive and negative review that you receive. This not only shows prospective clients that you are communicative, but it also shows search engines that you are an active business they can confidently send users to your website.
Are you writing blogs and thus consistently adding to your online content?
Over 80% of you reading this blog just answered with a sheepish ‘nope.’ And that makes our point early in this paragraph. Your blog posts and the engagement you get on them (and your social media, by the way) are an incredible way to connect with your audience. Google likes it when you add content because it gives them something to give to searchers. Importantly, the posts section on your Google My Business listing we had you set up earlier, is some of the best virtual real estate to own. To use another analogy: If you own Boardwalk and Park Place, you should be busy adding houses and hotels. Google has given you an opportunity to share current detailed information about your firm. How are you handling sales and client meetings during COVID-19? Are you offering discounted services for first responders? Share timely information with your audience and boost your ability to show up in local results with the underutilized posts section.
Take another look at your Home page.
Not only is it important to have up to date and therefore optimized information on your Google My Business listing, but the content on the page your listing links to must also be optimized. 90% of the time it is the front page or HOME page of your website. Make sure your website clearly states what you do and where you do it, and make sure your Google My Business listing says the same. WARNING: This does NOT mean you should “stuff” your website with local keyword ramblings. Every week, when we look at websites for potential and new private coaching clients, we see things like this:
“Financial Services experts for Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Agoura, Pasadena, Los Angeles County, Ventura County and California.”
“Promotional Product solutions for every business in Sedona, Phoenix, Prescott, Flagstaff and any other city we can think of in Arizona.”
“Our legal practice serves businesses in contracts, agreements, liability, employment, trademark, and litigation affairs throughout California including Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco and Fresno.”
This type of content on your pages is entirely counterproductive. You have sacrificed readability and, therefore, engagement by the average human being and are also going to sacrifice your rankings. This is called Keyword Stuffing. Don’t do it. If you want to get keywords into your content, you’ll have to do it organically, and we are here to help you do that.
In this Covid-19 era world, all of the search engines want to ensure that they are not wasting their user’s time. They want to deliver the best results, because that is how they sell ads: they have eyeballs using their product. With that in mind you should do these basic and very easy tactics we have discussed. Notice, I did not say FAST. I said EASY. Your blog posts are going to take an average of 90 minutes to write, then another hour to get it loaded into your website and optimized, then pushed out and syndicated. The good news is that that time is some of the most productive you will ever invest. Every time you use the link back to that blog page in some other tactic, social media posts for example, your time just got more valuable.
Last tips if you want to get your business online in during this COVID-19 era:
Get and stay as consistent as a Stephen Curry, Steve Nash, Mark Price or Rick Barry free throw (they all made 9 out of every 10 they attempted). Engage with your users by responding to posts and answering their questions. And don’t do stupid stuff like keyword stuffing.
Understand that this is a process, not a transaction. You can’t just plop down your credit card and take away your Diet Coke. It is going to take some time to get the search engines to find and love you, so be patient. You can always try it first, and then call us and let us do a lot of it for you. We have a LOCAL SEO program that we offer free to private coaching clients, and keep it inexpensive for other small business owners.
If you would like to get your business online during this Covid-19 era, we want to help you.
We would like to offer you a Free Marketing Consultation. Most small business owners, just like you, that take advantage of this conversation, report back that their 30-minute success call was worth at least $10,000 in increased sales and savings to their bottom line. Let’s begin our conversation by increasing your profits. Go now to www.FreeMarketingConsultation.com