I was recently on the phone with fellow EntreLeader and client Gary Hunt from GL Hunt Foundation Repair in Fort Worth, Texas. Gary is like most of our clients—honest and determined to make the most of his marketing dollars. But he’s not always sure how to spend those dollars. He’s not sure what he needs, and that can be scary.
We see this every day. Another one of our clients spent a whopping $16,000 on a website for their business. When the website was done, it didn’t include a single word of computer readable text. You might say, “Huh? Computer readable text? What’s the big deal?”
The deal is that their website had nothing but graphics and flash. There were no WORDS left on the site for search engines like Google to read. Their great big $16,000 website was worth about as much as the paper the check they wrote was printed on.
So to keep you from making the same mistakes, to help you spend your marketing dollars more wisely, here are three easy tips to control your internet marketing.
1. Don’t Give Away the Keys!
It’s really important to have a Google Places profile for your business if your business has a physical address. The hidden power of Google Places comes from the rising use of mobile phones and GPS in your customers’ daily lives. Google Places is FREE and takes just minutes to setup, but every day we see businesses that let someone else set up their Google Places profile, and now they don’t own the account! What happens if that guy gets hit by a truck? What happens if you need to fire him?
Don’t give away the keys! When you create any profile for your business, be it your Google Places page, your website hosting or your email services, always always always make sure those accounts are in YOUR name and YOU hold the keys.
Companies that design websites will often offer to host your website because the effort of moving your website is so great. They can keep clients because it’s just too frustrating to migrate the site somewhere else. If you have a shopping cart, or if you have a blog or anything with a database, it’s a PAIN to move that website. Even though it might seem like it’s easier, don’t let them hold the keys. If they hold the keys, they can dictate to you what you do. If you hold the keys, you’re always in control.
2. Don’t Wait to Create Content!
We see this all the time—companies that INTEND to blog but have just as many excuses for why they aren’t blogging as they have blogging ideas. You can’t afford to wait.
The way Google works, everything you do takes time to make an impact on your search engine rankings. When you wait until you’re ready to blog, when you drag your feet and make excuses and stall, you’re only hurting yourself. Everyone starts at zero, everyone starts on the same day one, so every day you put off creating content on your website is another day before you even start at zero. You can’t afford to waste this time!
Blogging isn’t about being perfect. Blogging isn’t about writing the great American novel. In Dave’s EntreLeadership Master Series, he talks about an HVAC guy who started publishing simple guides to his blog: how to save on your energy bill, how to weather proof your home, your attic, your garage. The list just kept going on. The only way that air conditioning guy could leverage that blog to grow his revenue was by starting. Don’t wait to start, just do it.
He started on day one, with no fans, no re-tweets, no “likes” on Facebook, etc. He wrote content in a vacuum, with no one listening. He didn’t let the growing pains of a new, not-yet-popular, blog discourage him from keeping at it and creating new articles. It paid off in spades when he started attracting business from the people who stumbled across his blog after it started showing up in search engine results.
Producing content is so important that we in the SEO industry often joke that “BLOG” stands for Better Listings On Google for exactly that reason. Stop stalling, get writing!
So much info, so little time. Check out part two tomorrow.
Question: How do you see these two steps helping your marketing?