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.


Ted Cantu Asks, "Where Can I Get Decent Web Traffic ??" - WE GOT THE ANSWER

Decent Web Traffic ?
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – The best thing about having a news site is I get to
shoot my mouth off and speak freely. Try doing that on a press release.
You can never truly speak your heart and don’t get
me started when it comes to quotes. I’m going to just jump right into it….
 Look, I get a lot of emails from famous online marketers who swear by,
 “Stepping In Front Of The Web Traffic”.

I’m not kidding… that is what these people tell me. I got emails on top of 
emails and they are all saying the exact same thing. That is the hip thing to
do right now. Just literally buy some software and ---- step in – unannounced in front of all
these traffic streams on Google+, and other forms of social media. They
continue to tell me that if I put my web site link in front of these people I will get web traffic….
 A lot of it… and I will be overwhelmed and this can translate into sales. They got
photographic proof of their bank statements and
they are impressive.

But have you tried this? Have you really tried doing this?
Most people out there are shaking their heads no. I try everything and
although this soundsgreat in theory many of these software programs are
 garbage and do not work. OR…. They dowork and the instruction manuals
are poorly put together. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to get Traffic
 Elixir to work properly. I even got tech support and it never worked out for me.Now
 I see programs popping up for YouTube and they are all telling me to do the
 same thing. “Just Step In Front Of Web Traffic and The Sales Will Come….
And So Will The Web Traffic… !!!!”

Now here is some truth for you. A lot of these Google+ communities are run
 with some kind ofmoderator and they will not tolerate your little spammy
 messages on them. They actually kick youout and block you. Just go
ahead and try it and let me know how it works for you.

I can understand the theory of jumping into existing traffic streams but
 eventually this method of 
attaining traffic is going to get rejected by Google.
 The algorithms will change and you will be back 
at square one again trying
to figure out the never ending problem of getting web traffic. But do you 
know what the REAL problem is?  ITS YOU….   Most businesses are slothful
enterprises that do 
next to nothing in the means of story telling.  Worse,
most businesses have no stories to tell….

So Where Do You Get Really
Hot Targeted Web Traffic?

The  PROBLEM is that we now live in a voyeuristic story culture where people
will spy on your company FIRSTbefore they decide to do business with you. If you
are running 10% off coupons and expecting the phone to explode off the hook then you’re in for
 a lonely and terrifying surprise. Nobody will be clamoring over each other like in the movie,
“World War Z” and beat your door down to do business with you. Oh no chicken little, oh no…. far from it.
 Stories are everything.

I got rejected from this web traffic program recently, (it’s actually happened a
couple of times) because I study everything – and the famous marketer heard about who I
 was. He refused to service me and said thathe wouldn’t be able to teach me too much. When
he asked me how I create web traffic I told him about the extensive amount of writing I do and the
kind of networking I do and he said, “You are creating the most expensive web
traffic around… you are building it.” He went on to explain that he buys cheap web traffic and
that is how he gets around his traffic problems.

But did you know Google is starting to delist websites that have too much phony web traffic?
They are lookingat unusually high bounce rates and will take the sites off the SERPS, (search
engine result pages). If that happens to your one website… I am going to assume that you only
have one web site…. That is going to tank your business.
 And it’s happening to thousands of people daily.

·         35% Of All Purchased Web Traffic Is Fake
·         Google Is Cracking Down On Fake Web Traffic
·         Web Traffic Companies Will Send Bots To Your Site,
and Not Every Hit In Your Counter Is A Real Person
·         83% Of All Companies I Consult With Mismanage Their Web Traffic

So build your empire, build your company and establish your position on
what your company isall about. And by that I mean to ask, “How Well Do You
 Really Know Your Audience?” Most people don’t know their customers or what
they are looking for. Very few businesses have a culture.Worse, they never know.
 A lot of companies I consult with refuse to even enforce a simple emailsign up list
 policy. So money continues to walk out the door after every random purchase and in
store visit.

Getting a person in the door is expensive. Getting them to come back takes
 some effortand this is something that many companies refuse to do. Maybe it’s not
knowing what to do,maybe it’s not in the job description and not the employees
 responsibility. Eventually this is
all going to topple down on the business owner.

WHAT ABOUT THE SERPS? Is Being Number One Still Important?
Search engine optimization is important and being number one in your
field is important.
 That is always going to be the case but you know what’s
 even more important? Your 
connection to other businesses and tangent markets
 is important for lead sources. Keep in 
mind this is different for every business. But
 you want to align yourself with businesses that 

compliment what you are all about.

So if you running a hair salon here is what you need to be connected to:

SALON – MAIN BUSINESSConnect to – nail salon, wedding planner, clothing boutiques, 
club promoters, jewelers

Then the other thing you want to consider is what do these kind of That particular
 market follows pop culture, popular music, trending videos, and what ever is
happening at the moment. They are really into the – “Now”. They don’t care less
 about your 10%off coupon and certainly will not rack up miles on their car to drive
across Metro Detroit just to
save a few bucks.

Here is another example:

ROOFING – MAIN BUSINESS  Connect to – community websites, community
 coupon sites,
 DIY sites, landscaping businesses, deck building businesses,
 window businesses, 

fence business etc.

Instead of trying to spam existing businesses you will have to create
content that other people will want to use, share and distribute to others.
Can you do that? If not, you better findsomeone that can write some content that
you can use to solicit business with. Stories
 are everything. You are surrounded by what you create.

Make sure it’s fresh and refreshing. If I have to read another one
 of your John Lennon,Helen Keller or Morgan Freeman quotes I am going to jump
out a window. We need newwords, new analogies don’t just borrow from other
people and try to sustain a profitable business off the generosity of some other
wordsmith. Create your own brand and establishyour own culture. It’s important.
 There is nothing more important that creating content that you can pass on and
share with other people. The ability to change minds, and to alter the course
of your own destiny belongs in your hands. Do not compromise your
profit potential by being
completely bland and ordinary.

The worst businesses I worked with in the past were jewelry stores and
parts wholesalers. These guys are usually selling their products based on the
cheapest price or the best deal.Can’t toot your horn too loud there and there
isn’t much of a story to pass on.

·         People Love Stories
·         People Surf The Web To Be Entertained First
·         Our Culture Is Fixated On Pictures
·         People Love To Pass Stories Onto Other People

Breaking format helps. Even a lot of the markers that have flooded the
scene in recent years havesubscribed to the 400 word formula when it comes
 to content. They believe that you must stay withinthe 4oo word limit when it comes
 to web content. This is based on the press release guidelines when you use a
professional service. But when you have a website that rule goes out the window and
 in fact it is the longer articles that get indexed first on Google. This is even more of the case
 when the content is original and it
comes from you directly.

I read some time ago that Google only indexes 14% of all websites
based on content. I personally think that number is a lot higher than that.
But let’s suppose for a minute that is true. You know a lot of websites out there right
 now are nothing more than glorified business cards with nothing but an address
and a phone number. There is no news going on there. Rarely if ever do these
websites address anything that is happening in the community or in a niche group.

Keep in mind that these businesses do very little but toot their own horn
about how great they are. This is echoed in social media. When that happens
 there is no chance tointroduce a new thought, joke, or idea and the company or
 brand becomes dull. People stopcaring and shuffle off to the next shiny new thing.
In this economy you need to be flexible andallow some amount of human interest in
your company. If you are sticking to a strict blueprint
of what your brand is all about and staying steadfast to a 
10% off coupon type of regimen you
 are destroying your business.

So to summarize here is what you must do:
·         Mix A Fair Balance Of Human Interest
·         Stay Topical With Current Topics
·         Tell True Stories
·         Make Your Business Relatable To Others
·         Show Case Studies  And Invite Conversation
·         Write Articles Larger Than 400 Words
·         Create Better Sales Offers
·         Connect To Tangent Markets
·         Hire A Good Content or Copy Writer
·         Make Sure Your Stories End Up In Multi Social Media Channels

If you follow this guideline you will be able to attract better people for your business. 
Make sure you create a solid story that you can stick with in your business. Remember 
people are surfing the web for entertainment and are looking for information that is useful.  
They want to look over your shoulder first before they ever call you and this is very important 
to remember.

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