Hello! My name is Malachi Threadgill, Director of Internet Marketing at ANPI. This week, I figured I would give David Byrd a break from blogging and give our partners some Internet marketing tips.
The days of marketing in the yellow pages and Valpak are ending. Ubiquitous access to the Internet has changed how customers seek businesses. In fact, 85% of consumers search for local businesses online (Local Consumer Review Survey 2012). If your business isn’t showing up, you’re missing out on revenue.
To take advantage of Internet marketing, there are a few things you can do to start. The first thing you need to do is make a list of search terms you’d type in to find your company or services you offer. Test that list. Do you show up? Do your competitors show up? What are terms that people would search for in your area that you want show up for?
Here is a short sample list for a Dallas-based Internet telephony provider:
- Dallas SIP Trunking
- Dallas Business VoIP
- Metroplex Phone Companies
- Best Dallas Phone Services
- SIP Trunking
- Internet Telephony
- Dallas Broadband Companies
Keep adding to this list; the longer the better. You’ll be using it frequently.
The easiest and most beneficial thing you can do today is claim your local listing from Google. If you haven’t already done so, click this link. Follow the onscreen instructions and be as detailed as possible when adding your categories. Use the terms you created for your list and align them with the category offerings. If you can, add pictures or video of your office, interior or exterior photos are fine. Images play a big role in Internet marketing. If you don’t have any pictures, use your smartphone and take some. You can get better pictures to replace these later.
After submitting your information, you will need to verify your listing. You can do this with your phone number or a postcard that will be sent to your address. Now, you just have to wait. It can take up to two weeks for Google to verify and list your business in their system.
Now that you’ve claimed your local listing you can begin the process of Internet marketing. There are multiple aspects of Internet marketing including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), Display Marketing, Social Media, and Reputation Management.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of website design, implementation, and content creation where you create and define content that is search engine friendly. This includes too many variables to list, but I’ll highlight a few that will give you immediate gains.
First and foremost your website footer section should include your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP). For local SEO purposes it’s vital to show the search engines that your company is a local company offering local services. In 2012, NAP ranked 4th on the list for Local Ranking Factors from David Mhim. An example NAP will look something like this:
3130 Pleasant Run Dr
Springfield, IL 62711
(keywords describing your business)
After you’ve taken these two steps, I recommend searching for your local business through a service like yext.com. It’s a fantastic resource to update your business listings on various websites.
This is a great starting point for your SEO efforts. Instead of creating a bulleted list of “Top SEO” benefits, I will continue to write in detail on Internet marketing strategy for agents and partners on Thursday!