Monday, August 04, 2014

TED CANTU: "How Can I Turn My Home Improvement Business Into A Local Sensation?"

SEO:  What Does It Take
To Turn My Home
Improvement Business
Into A Local
Search Sensation?

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – People always come up to me and ask me what it takes to
become a local sensation. What does it take to be found on the search engines and pop
up on page one? There are things you can do that will put you on page 1 in about five
minutes…. That’s nothing new.

The real thing you want to think about is….  “Am I Interesting?” Another thing you will
 want to ask yourself is, “What Value Do I REALLY Have To Bring To People?”. The days
 of becoming number one on the search engines and automatically scooping up all of
 the business is pretty much over in the online world. I mean, logically it doesn’t make sense. Just because you are first in line doesn’t automatically make you qualified to do much of anything.

There are a lot of businesses on the web that have terrible customer service. Yet,
 they are number one on the search engines. These companies have terrible reviews
and people as a whole really do not like doing business with them. This doesn’t mean
they are the BEST under any circumstances. And don’t get me started on the dreaded
 10% off coupon offers.

I walked into a vape shop in Michigan the other day to see what was happening. I hear
these guys are the new bad boys in business and what I found was a lot of the same ol’ scene.
 I found four guys standing around getting stoned on these metal stogies and looking over
confident. Nobody was on the phone making deals, nobody was checking orders on the
 web site and nobody even greeted me when I walked into the shop. This was what
doomed the short lived – “Hydroponic Grow Shops”

 in Michigan before they started all folding up and calling it a day.

If you want to make it as a business in Michigan in this new digital age you
need to do the following.

HAVE PERSONALITY – That personality has to exist in your website, your social media,
and you need to talk about things that are relevant that are outside of your industry.
You have to show people you care about what’s going on in the world you live in.
That could be current events, comedy, news updates, celebrity gossip, sports updates
and breaking news. Step outside of your business and GET SOCIAL.

FIX YOUR SALES OFFER – What makes your company great? Why should a
customer give you the business as opposed to someone else?

HAVE STORIES TO TELL – We used to take on anybody and everybody as a client
because being number one on the search engines was EVERYTHING. Now we are
more selective and realistic. We are only taking customers on that have a story to tell
and that can benefit other people. You have to be topical. Your content should
translate well on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and other forms of social and viral media.

CAN YOU ACTUALLY HELP PEOPLE? – We get calls from businesses who are
 looking to be number one. They have a so-so product, they have a fairly decent price 
but have no testimonials. What are people saying about your products or services? Word
 travels fast on social media and staying true to solid principles really matters. Do
 people have great things to say about your product or service? Does it change lives? 

Are you creating a large fan base?

** We get calls from business owners. “A lot of companies do what you can do – 

why should we pay you?”

Simple. Building websites, web media, publishing content, creating viral media takes

 time and costs us money. This stuff isn’t just going to build itself. So we charge…..
 Fair enough?
The REAL question comes back down to the business owner and that is,
“What do you have to bring to the table?”

Here are two skill sets that you cannot fake. These guys aren’t the cheap and finding
good quality writers can be tricky. Get somebody with some experience. Most Michigan
business owners and entrepreneurs have never heard of these professions so I will
break them down for you.

What a copywriter does is write sales copy. He writes content that makes people want
to buy your services. He writes headlines, press releases, creates excitement and
encourages people to see the value in your goods and services. He is the life blood of
your business. If you can find one who can do the sales writing as well as the SEO and
pump you up in the search engines you struck gold.

A content writer works very similar to a copywriter. This is the guy who will write you 4
page articles that you can run on your website and get you some customers. This is the
guy who is going to get other people interested in your company. He will write you 8 page
 articles and ebooks, PDF’s and special reports. You need a guy like this on your team
that can really state your case and let the people know what is so special about you. These
are hard to find too….. there are various degrees of talent when it comes to writing
original content.

I find anyone that sells parts or things  -- like jewelry, toilet parts, Yamaha ATV parts
and sell things on an apples and oranges mentality and go for the lowest price usually
have a tough time coming up with articles. They have a dickens of a time making themselves look interesting. But you better think about how to make yourself interesting if you want to
compete in this noisy social media world.

And you better learn how to engage people……

“Sounds Expensive… I’ll Buy My Web Traffic… and Do PPC”

Good luck.  Google is getting trickier to work with lately and some of the paid options like 
PPC are becoming trickier to work with. The last campaigns we ran using PPC gave us a 
low return and worse we didn’t see any spikes in our traffic in our analytics. This led us to 
wonder where our money went to and what – if any value—was returned to us. This led our 
company to pursue other paid options.
Some of these options included paid ads on Facebook, and promoted Tweets on Twitter.
We also created media that our selected fan base would really go after and this increased
the views on our pages tenfold. This type of careful planning does take time though and you
have to be strategic about how you find these people and how you get people to engage
and interact with your brand.

From a web traffic stand point it is highly effective. There is something you need to
know about web traffic and that is Google has been paying close attention to bounce
rates. This translates to how long people stay on your site. Remember that the
bounce rate works like a golf score – the lower – the better.

When the bounce rate is TOO HIGH… Google is getting suspicious and
will suspect that you are buying your web traffic from a cheap off shore
company or are feeding worthless bots into your site to increase its perceived
value. Rumors are bouncing around SEO circles and these web sites are
being tossed out of the search engines.


Back in the old days a company had to give themselves a gimmicky name like A-1
GRANITE TABLE TOP SERVICES and pay a fee for a phone directory and they would
be first in line. This used to work for web site domains too. It was easy to be number
 one in home improvement and the business would come automatically. Businesses
worked like this for decades and this was how the game was done. But now in the
search engine world that is no longer good enough.

Now, the customers are voyeuristic. They will spy on you before they even call you.
That means they are going to check on your site, and read your reviews before they
even pick up a phone. If you have negative reviews, bad customer service, trash
talking customers then you will feel the backlash. You need to keep a clean image
and you need to be interesting.

You need someone to clean up your image and to protect it. You can either have your
staff members trained in how to do some of these things or you will have to hire it out.
And if you do I really don’t suggest you hire someone off shore in some other country
 who can’t speak English. Many companies give that a shot first before they hire
someone local. They hire a guy from India, or China who can barely put an English
sentence together and jeopardize their whole business.

I’ve seen companies flop and fall off the edge of the earth by just trying to save a
few bucks a month.Another thing. Make sure you keep good records and get copies
of what ever digital 
media you purchase. Management tends to change hands and when this happens
websites get lost, and problems arise. Never give your hired web help that kind of
power where they can forever clock out your lights.
A lot of businesses don’t even know themselves and they know even less about
their public. In this day and age that is foolish. You have to know your audience and
how they think, and how they will respond. Building rapport is just as important online
as it is in person. Too many companies have little more to offer the public than a flashing
billboard type website that has little more to offer than an address and a phone number.


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