Mt. Shasta, California, August 5, 2009: The Siskiyou Newspaper Group (Mt. Shasta Herald, Weed Times, and Dunsmuir, California editions) reported on our own Arthur Cronos public workshop about Ecommerce for local business …
[from the article]
Internet marketing is the wave of the future, according to Weed small business owner and e-commerce specialist Arthur Cronos.
“If you’re business is not capitalizing on effective internet marketing, you could be losing a ton of possible revenue,” noted Cronos, who recently led a day-long workshop intended to help local business owners develop their web presence.
Gathering to glean some of Cronos’s pearls of wisdom was a group of local entrepreneurs looking to infuse new energy into their businesses. The answer, as far Cronos is concerned, lies on the web.
In a lively and engaging presentation, Cronos stressed the importance of incorporating the internet as a marketing tool for all businesses, even ones that appear to be unlikely candidates. He noted that 12,000 new buyers are discovering the internet on any given day.
How does the business owner effectively target his or her customers?
How does that person build a database of clients and maximize their return on their advertising investment?
My new WebNova.Net Affordable Website service is online as of today. There seemed to be a crying need for a quick-and-easy website service, for the large number of business folk who know they need a website, but just don’t have the time to follow the step-by-step in my book, and who don’t have the resources to engage me for a full-blown marketing design for their business.
Since so many customers do a search of local business before visiting or calling — and this trend is accelerating with the growth of smartphones — it’s become *essential* to have a location online. Even if it consists of nothing more than What You Offer, some prices or a FAQ, and contact information, you *must* be there, because to the searchers, if they can’t find you … you just don’t exist.
The Affordable Websites service is something I worked out that will do just that.
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Something odd is happening online, which greatly affects local business marketing online methods. Here are the facts …
Most people search online, even when they’re looking for a LOCAL business … especially with the ongoing tidal wave of smartphone use.
Smartphone Consumers Search a Lot
Statistics from the Google report “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users,” 2011:
- 95% of smartphone users have searched for local information
- 61% of users call a business after searching …
- … and 59% visit the location
- 90% of these people act within 24 hours
The Three Waves of Google
Google, and other search engines have generally gone through three modes of operation, all with the intent of delivering up to the searchers the information that’s most likely to satisfy –
- In the beginning, google simply used title, keywords and meta description .. but it was subject to abuse, and became completely unreliable as the sharpsters got wise and gamed the system
- Then google began to rely upon inbound links, thinking that if external sites thought the current site was important, then that was a ‘vote’ and this worked until sharpsters got smarter and smarter about how to game the system by manipulating external sites
- And in 2011, and in 2012, google is turning toward two other things as a way of gathering votes, on the expectation that these new ‘vote-gathering’ approaches will be harder to manipulate
The Increase of Mobile Phones
Right now, there are about 1.25 billion computers in the world … and 3 billion cellphones. And the trend within the cellphone users is to migrate overwhelmingly to smartphones. By 2013 there will be more people searching via smartphone than via normal desktops and laptops. (Sources: Gartner, 2010; Google Internal Data, 2011; Cisco, 2011)
Since Google’s prime directive is to make happy the searchers, Google is already rewarding folks who have a specialized mobile site, and penalizing those who don’t. People who buy Google’s ‘adwords’ advertising now pay less for their clicks if they have a mobile site, and pay more for their clicks when they don’t. And you can bet your bootie that search results are working the same way … ESPECIALLY google’s mobile search results, which is growing in importance every single day.
The Increase of Social Marketing
As described in my book (“Marketing Online, Clear and Simple,” available on Amazon), making money using the internet only happens when three essential steps are done.
If you are a local business marketing online, here are the essential steps: First is having a location online, a website. Second is some METHOD of engaging visitors in a conversation … otherwise, statistics tell us they visit once, and then never ever return again. And third is a METHOD of increasing traffic to the site.
Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Digg, and Redit all provide a METHOD of engaging visitors into a conversation, and they all provide a METHOD of increasing traffic to your site.
And social site usage is booming.
The Rise of Local-Business Online Methods
Most local business owners are too busy handling the alligators of daily operation to engage in the rather long and changing learning curve of effectively learning online methods that actually work. Some of them “get a website” but never do the other two essential steps, and then wonder why “the website” doesn’t make a dime.
However, this is going to shift a lot in 2012.
The increase in smartphone usage will provide more local-business searches. The increase in social marketing, including people who run local businesses, and the local “chatter” from their customers … will increase search methods leading to greater foot-traffic into local businesses.
Further, the hijacking of first page search results by online sharpsters will become more difficult, and less profitable. That business model usually amounts to the sharpster seizing google results with the intent of grabbing the results, and then sending the buyer to the seller’s website, while extracting some profit in doing so. That model will become more difficult.
However, the “local” searches for a local business marketing online, such as “divorce attorney in pittsburgh,” will still be effective, and the rise in smartphone searches will make this kind of search more effective. Google development of Google places and local search results will support the accuracy of this kind of search.
The Result: A Boom for Local Businesses
And this represents two opportunities …
- If you are a local business, it will be worth your while to (a) get an effective website, (b) create a conversation system, (c) engineer a traffic-building system.
- If you are an online consultant or web-builder or marketing expert, you will most help your clients with their local business marketing online if you can help them with the “Three Step Marketing” Formula (described in my book), and especially with traffic and promotions using a mobile site, a facebook business page, and the new QR-Codes to snag even more smartphone users.
Is this only for big businesses? Or folks with lots of money?
Not really. Sure, big businesses will have web-gurus, but that’s unchanged from the past, and LOCAL searches won’t be much impacted. Local businesses will either have more money and less time to spend, like attorneys and doctors and hardware stores, and they can hire out the work … or they’ll be smaller and have less money and more time for smoozing on Facebook, like a musician and a hair salon and a local coffee house.
Need Help with your Local Business?
Contact me for a free 15-minute Discovery Session.
The CopyDragon mobile site is now online.
When surfing with your mobile phone, just go to CopyDragon.com as usual. Our website will immediately know that you’re using a mobile device, and route you to an optimized website that’s easier to navigate on the phone.
Note to google (only): the CopyDragon webwriter’s mobile site is located at http://copydragon.com/mob/
[this post reprinted with permission from "MarketingOnlineClearAndSimple.com"]
Resident of Mt. Shasta, California, local marketing heavyweight Nikolas Allen, raves about Arthur Cronos new book “Marketing Online, Clear and Simple,” available now on Amazon in print and Kindle editions.
“Totally stoked,” says Mr. Allen, “and ready to dig into “Marketing Online – Clear and Simple” by local author Arthur Cronos ! Thank you for the gift, Mr. CopyDragon!”
Mr. Allen, thank you and you’re welcome!
Nikolas Allen (http://bamsmallbizconsulting.com) has the knack of presenting marketing how-to in a crisp and easy-to-understand fashion, and is the brains behind some of the best marketing programs currently earning money for local business owners in Northern California’s Siskiyou County. His online blog is well worth regular reading for the outstanding, insider marketing content he delivers week after week.