All posts by myonecall

My One Call LLC is a Sales Acceleration Firm based in the Denver Area.

Top Lead Generation Sources For Contractors.

Looking at how our contractor clients found new leads in 2014 and early 2015 can help you understand how to generate more sales in the next year.

We work on marketing plans that include primarily long term lead generation programs, because they by their nature generate a better return on your investment.  We also understand that if you don’t have a good size customer base who is referring new business to you, you need to have short term lead generation programs in place.  These will have a lower return on investment, and need to be closely analyzed before you spend any money.  It’s just as easy to lose money on a poorly executed short term lead generation program as it is to make money.

Types of Short Term Lead Generation Programs Ranked by success.

  • Google pay per click advertising.: It’s risky if you aren’t experienced in producing Pay Per CLick programs.  You will need a good landing page, a decent offer on that page, and understand how to set up the ad words program using the right type of keywords ,  lot’s of “ad groups”, the right Geo-Targeting,  the right bidding strategy  and time of day targeting.
  • Door Fliers: For certain industries these can be produce leads. Time of year, service offering, demographics targeted demographics will all be important to the success of a program. Volume is very important as well.  Think 10,000 doors not 500 when budgeting.
  • Yard Signs
  • Print Advertising. Careful here.
  • T.V. and Radio. Don’t do it unless you sell a high margin, high volume product (windows) and only do it at the right time of year
  • Co-op Marketing. Think Home Advisor, or Team Dave Logan.  Once again, you need to be very careful in how you approach these type advertising opportunities. Easy to loser money if you are not prepared to go “all In” on your full sales cycle. You’ll also have to have different expectations on closing percentage.  This is about the lowest form of lead.

Long term Lead Generation Programs:

oddly enough, last years top source has moved to second. That may be based on new demand in the residential construction area.

Number One Lead Source:

  1. Search Engine optimization,  local SEO and web visibility programs. Organic and other internet listings out performed referrals by a pretty good revenue margin last year. Web visibility also includes many other aspects of Internet marketing, including video, YouTube, Social Networks and more.
  2. Referrals from former customers
  3. Referrals from professional’s and networks
  4. Charity and community involvement. As in most things in business, relationships matter.  Although you may not see a large amount of new revenue, it will help your branding, and you are doing the right thing.

More to follow on the long term programs that we see as the most successful, and truly generate 80%  of the revenue for the companies we work with long term. Stay tuned…

See more about our lead generation for contractors here: http://www.salesjumpstart.net/blog/contractor-marketing/

 

Web Visibility Should Be The Goal, Not SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of making sure your website ranks well in the search engine results.  Today, that’s only a piece of driving quality traffic to your site.

Here is a partial list of what areas a good web visibility program will take into consideration when developing a plan to increase your website visitors and the conversion of those visitors to customers. When we provide SEO services we are really providing much more to insure you get results.

  • Untitled designLocal SEO
  • Pay Per Click advertising. (we include this in the majority of our SEO – web visibility programs)
  • Social Media .
  • Should you be on every social network, posting and engaging every day? Probably not, but you should have a profile on all the major social platforms, just from a visibility standpoint
  • Content development and distribution.
  • You Tube channel with educational content.
  • Public Relations.  Yes, both digital and traditional P.R. can be a huge asset to your brand and visibilty.
  • Social Media advertising.
  • Customer reviews.
  • Other web sites. Lets face it, if a prospect searches for your type service and the first result is “yelp”  you should be on yelp.
  • Newsletters and Building an Email list
  • Site promotion on signs, and promotion materials.
  • Online testimonials for other businesses.

Web visibility should be the start of any Internet marketing program. Local search engine optimization is certainly important, but a great program will bring your site quality visitors even with out high individual rankings.  The fact is moving a site up in rankings can take time, so to maximize your investment getting traffic to your site adding and focusing on all of the above will bring in revenue faster.

If you would like a free 30 minute consultation on how visible your business is online, please call us today at

(720) 254-1234

Mike Bayes

 

 

SEO Is Just A Google Popularity Contest

Search Engine Optimization is a Google Popularity Contest. (Updated 02-20-15)

Last week I was asked by a new client “Is search engine optimization really that hard?”… Well… no.

Either is building a house, or running a restaurant, or installing I.T. networks or fixing your car. But in each of those cases most people call a “professional “.  The last time I put a new battery in my car I scraped my hands, and lost a nut in the motor, as well as a piece of the wrench I had borrowed to do the job. (That’s a true story). Yes, I am not a mechanic.

To understand what S.E.O. is about you need to think of your web site as a high school kid who wants to be popular.  Because that’s really what SEO is… making your site popular in search results.

Make your site attractive

 

Shovi Websites   Full Service Web Design   Email MarketingSEO is really a popularity contest. Your site needs to get Google’s (and Bing’s) attention. So, just like in high school the popular kids (as I recall) are attractive, unique, and stand for something.  That’s what Google wants in your site. It should be built attractively with out a bunch of nonsense and clutter. Well organized and very clear about what the contents are about.  In S.E.O. we call this part – on site optimization.  And without it, nothing else is going to help your site win a popularity contest.

Get other Sites Attracted to your site (Play match maker)

Google needs to see that not only are you all of that, but other sites are attracted to you. The more sites that Google thinks are attracted to you the better. Then of course, Google does have some standards of who they deem popular, so they want to know that the sites that you are attracting (based on what your site is about) are also popular and trusted sites. These sites are need to be relevant to your site.

So the more friends (other sites) you have (linking or mentioning you) the more popular your site will be in search results. And those “friends” need to be popular and trusted, as well.

Host the party! Get invited to the events!

If you get all that going for you, they also want to see that you are social.  I mean, you can not be popular if you are not social right?  So hanging out on Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and other social networks is good.  And the rules about Google liking your site then apply to how impressed they are by your social activity.  Who comes to your party, and do they like your party.

Be the Quarterback! Attract a crowd!

 

So is your site the high school Quarterback or Cheer leader?  Or is it the chess club member?  Or is it like I was in high school?  I hung out with just about every group, got invited to a few social events, and spent most my time playing guitar in a garage with 3 or 4 other almost invisible kids.  In the world of Google and search you want your site to be the Quarterback, or Class president.  Every one knows what it stands for, it’s attractive has many

Untitled design (6)

Friends, and is invited and does host lot’s of social events.

Now once your site is attracting the right friends, Google wants to see if they stick around at your “party” or just check it out and leave.  If your site visitors like your site, they’ll stay for awhile, and you won’t see them jumping over to other sites like yours because you have given them what they want to see.

See… it’s easy!  Professionals just know more about how to make a site more appealing to the robots and public, and they know how and where to get the attention of all the other sites that you want to like you.

So as you contemplate all of this, remember,  it starts with your site. Good content that addresses the questions and the curiosity of your visitors.  If you are talking to a SEO firm that isn’t focused on all of the above, and your sites content, your talking to the wrong folks in 2015.

If I can help you with your sites popularity please call me for a free consultation.  303 500 3053 ext 1

Mike Bayes

What’s Your Business Worth?

Answer: Two times cash flow plus or minus some other factors.

You can skip the rest of the blog if that’s the answer you were looking for. Or another formula is, 25% or so of the monthly cash flow multiplied by 60 months. That’s a new formula I just heard of yesterday that makes so much sense it’s crazy! I’ll give you the explanation I heard from Mark Doran ( a client and old friend) who has been a business broker in Denver since 1984

Here’s the background on why I am writing this today.

When it comes to selling a business, there are a bunch of differe
factors. I have had the pleasure (cough) of buying three businesses in my life with values under
$500,000.00 And if you speak with an experienced and honest Business Broker (not that those two attributes are easy to find together in that trade) they will tell you that is about the value of businesses they are going to sell the most.

Why? Because there are an abundant supply of buyers for your business when the price is below $450,000 or so, and they can write a check for half of it and carry the rest. But, when the price starts creeping into the $600,000 or more range, the number of buyers will decrease until you make it well into the area that a corporation may be interested in buying you.

So how do you price your business? When is it to big to sell? When is the right time to sell?

I just had a meeting with a client and another client who is a business broker in Denver, Choicebizops.com . We wanted to understand how they could continue to build their business to maximize the purchase price when it’s time to sell. This is a process I encourage all my clients to go through. The truth is, some day you won’t want to continue running your business due to boredom, retirement, other opportunities, or you’ve just had enough.

So, understanding how to maximize the value of your business is fundamental in running your business. Every decision you make will have an affect on what your business may sell for if
you’re being smart.

There are certain characteristics of a “sellable” business. First it has to be priced correctly.
Second, people don’t buy jobs. Meaning if you are trying to sell a business that the buyers can go get a job and make the same money, without putting out a high risk investment in the tune of $100,000 to $300,000 cash, why would they. Seriously, don’t flatter yourself, your business isn’t that exciting. If they are going to make $95,000 a year owning your businesses, and they currently make $100,000, or have that ability, good luck. Not going to happen often.

Now, if your business can provide the same buyer with a $225,000 a year cash flow, and it’s a better lifestyle than working for a boss, now you have something to sell.

Another principle is you, as the current owner can not be irreplaceable to the day to day function.
(This is of course is in the view of the buyer). You need to be closer to a CEO role than a mid level management role. This can be really hard. But it’s true. If you are making most of your dollars based on you selling, or you being the production person, you may have trouble. If your primary function is leadership, oversight, and senior level, you’re in much better shape. Few will pay $400,000. for a business that they have to answer the phones, and clean the toilets.

There certainly are more characteristics, but lets move on a bit.

So whats the value of your business?

Start with this. Take your cash flow (that’s basically every dollar that you get, one way or another, through owning the business. So your salary, your distributions, your profit, and other little expense items that in fact could be considered income. If that number is $150,000 to $250,000 or so, you may be in the sweet spot. If it’s above that, and lets say $400,000 or above
you may be pricing yourself out of the market. Not that you can’t sell it, there are just fewer buyers for those earning numbers.

Here’s another way to view what your business is worth. This isn’t your accountants formula, this is the best real life view of a small business’s value I have ever heard, and it came from Mark Doran owner of Choice Business Opportunities yesterday.

This is the premise. Most sales of a small business will have terms of 50% cash (ish) and 50% carry for 3 to 5 years for the seller. So the new owner will be paying the seller a monthly sum equal to the carry amount divided by the number of months.

So here’s an example. You sell for $400,000 because you have a $200,000 annual cash flow) you take $200,000 down and carry the rest for 4 years, which is 48 months. So the new owner will be paying you $4167.00 a month to pay off the note. Their monthly cash flow starts at $16667. a month. So there is a very comfortable “cushion” between those two numbers.

With this formula (which will come out to the same amount as the 2 times cash flow) your business is worth about 25% of monthly cash flow times 48 ( may be up to 60 depending on stuff) times 2.

So if your monthly cash flow is $15,000. 25% is $3750.00. Use that and multiple time 48 and you have $180,000 and multiple times 2 and you have your estimated value of $360,000 for a business that cash flows out to $180,000. a year. Hmmm looks like 2 times cash flow.

If your monthly cash flow is $6,000, 25% is $1500 multiplied times 48 is $72,000, multiplied times 2 is $144000.00 value. Two times cash flow
The reason this formula is important is, if you are going to carry 50% (or whatever amount) of the purchase price, you want the buyer to have enough monthly cash flow to be able to pay you, and get through what ever tough periods they run into. And new business owners often will see some revenue bumps as they get behind the wheel. The last thing you want is to take back a crumbling business, or have a buyer who can not pay back what you carried.

So why carry any of it? Because you almost have to. Few buyers won’t want the seller to have skin in the game, and banks rarely will loan money on a small business sale. So let this point sink in, you will in all likelihood be carrying a loan for the buyer.

And finally, why is this important in your day to day life? Some of it is simple, this is why you do all that heavy lifting building a business. This is the pay off some day. If you plan for it, and make decisions based on a certain targeted cash flow, total revenue, and business structure you are far more likely to get there, and not overshot the goal, or have a harsh reality hit when for some unknown reason you decide to sell. Another good idea is that when you are a few years out from selling, all new revenue to your bottom line is worth double when you sell! If you can add $40,000 in cash flow, you’ll see an additional $80,000. in the selling price. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<

So investments in marketing programs that work, make even more sense as you begin the thought process of selling. SEO, advertising, sales help, all can be a huge return during that period.

Although the meeting I spoke of yesterday was only an hour and some minutes, I could write a book on what we heard and learned about selling a business. Needless to say, everything in this post is my non professional opinion, and just what I thought I heard. Some is from the practical experience of buying 3 small businesses in my life as well, but if you are looking to sell, get to a well qualified experienced business broker. If you are on Denver or Colorado, I’d clearly recommend my client.

Marketing and sales is a part of every decision you make as a business owner in one way or another. That’s what makes our service unique. How many marketing, or SEO’s have asked you about your exit plan, and helped you understand what it takes to sell your business when it’s time?

By: Mike Bayes.


 

Why SEO Programs Fail So Often.

Why SEO Programs Fail So Often.

It’s math.  Really, think about the numbers for a minute.

Lets say you are an accountant that offers bookkeeping and tax preparation.  You want to get into one of the top 3 ranking spots on Google for “bookkeeping (in your city)”.

1 + 1 = 2

Why one of the top 3 spots ? Because those are the positions that will actually deliver traffic. The rest will at best bring in a dribble of visitors.

Okay, so how many businesses in your city offer bookkeeping (or whatever you do). ? Maybe 500 have web sites that google has indexed. So your odds start at 1 in 167 that you will be in one of the top spots. Based on that it’s not a bet you want to take.  And these numbers don’t even start weighing in the advantages many websites have over yours before you even get to the starting line, such as, the fact they have had a site indexed and well-respected by Google for maybe 10 years.  Huge advantage to the competitor here.

Now, how many of those other businesses have used an SEO or worked on their site to improve its ranking or traffic? I don’t have the answer to that, so lets just assume that all the other 499 business owners receive just as many emails and phone calls about Google rankings as you do every month, and that they, like you, eventually will give in to the constant buzz and give it a go.

The point being, a bunch of your competitors have already made the original journey down the SEO path, and in maybe 200 of 203 cases are NOT in the top three.  Also add in the reasonable assumption that the businesses currently on the first page, and especially in the top positions, have a good SEO firm they have been working with for years.

One of those 200 is most likely the one I will here from to get help. Why?  Because I rarely work with a business who hasn’t tried SEO, and realized all the unfulfilled promises. They’ve spent  $350 to $500 or more for a year with the constant hope that traffic and sales will start coming, and yet, very little has. Why?  Because of the numbers I just mentioned (the odds), the inherent disadvantages their site had to start and needed to overcome, and possible a SEO firm that was overly optimistic based on 1 or 2 success stories they are part of in an unrelated Industry to yours a few years ago.

Hey…  if you track rankings like we do, you will notice something incredible important.  Rankings don’t change much, or quickly for the top ranked sites under competitive keywords (and this seems to hold even more true for “local” sites).

So, now you have a sense for why most SEO programs fail to delivery the anticipated results. My intent here believe it or not, isn’t

 

to dissuade you from engaging in a SEO program, it is to simply educate you on the odds of success.  There truly are real opportunities to leverage your web site as a lead generating and prospect conversion tool using SEO and other marketing programs, you just need to understand the odds, and be prepared to face those odds with an experience partner, who has proven results as well as utilizing other forms of traffic generation for your site, of which there are many, and some that you may find a far better investment in the beginning as you build a long-term SEO program.


 


Mike Bayes

 

 

 

Google Hang Outs Now Available From Your Web Site

This is Important! >>>>>
This is Important! >>>>>
Google disrupts customer service industry

Did Google just disrupt the disruptors?  The
 tech giant recently announced that it is 
offering the technology for a button that will launch a Google hangout directly from a 
company website.  

 Hangouts is Google's name for its 
videoconferencing service that allow several 
people to join the same video chat from multiple devices, including smartphones. 

  A related service, Hangouts on Air, allows a video conference to be recorded directly to 
Youtube.   Originally a part of its Google+ 
social network, it has since spun off into a standalone service.  

The service was announced on the official 
enterprise blog for Google posted by Stephen 
Cho, Head of Google Apps and Hangouts Technology Partnerships  "With this new Hangouts 
button, apps everywhere will let colleagues, 
partners, and customers meet face-to-face
 anytime, anywhere, and work more effectively together with just one click" Cho explained, "A number of our early partners have already 
enriched their applications with Hangouts".   He specifically mentioned several of their 
partners in the sales and customer service space, "Sales reps working in Salesforce.com can automatically kick off a Hangout with their 
account team through Esna; in myERP, a sales 
rep can start a video meeting with any 
customer prospect.    Zendesk helps support
 agents start a Hangout to consult with other agents and internal staff, while Freshdesk lets a customer service agent Hangout with a customer to quickly resolve support issues".

The hangout start button can be configured by any moderately skilled developer and let you 
specify if it starts up a text chat, a video 
call, a video conference or a recorded on Hangout on Air.   Since the customer has control
 of their own camera settings, this 
essentially allows for deployment of an Amazon Mayday- like customer service button on any 
website or app allowing customers to see and 
communicate with the representative, whether they are using their video camera or not.

It seems that Google has once again put a 
disruptive game-changer on the market.   
As described by the CITEworld blog  
http://goo.gl/KlurVp "Pretty much everybody 
has access to Google Hangouts, and Google is
 letting anybody embed the button. Obviously, you lose some of the really deep functionality for customer service agents to go hands-on 
with customers that Salesforce offers, but 
it's definitely more lightweight and almost 
certainly easier to deploy in an application. 

  There's a move towards using collaboration 
and chat technology for better customer 
service. It's going to be really interesting 
to see if Google Hangouts gets further built
 out as an enterprise offering with that kind of service as the focus".

What will this free application do to the 
large number of startups and small software 
companies have developed similar fee-based 
applications?   No one really knows, but the 
news can't be good.   They will likely either have to either adjust and offer more value
 added services, or incorporate the technology into their own offering.   Clearly this is a development in the customer service technology industry that cannot be ignored.

Companies like www.teledini.com, a client of 
ours seem to like the news.  It will bring 
further viability to WebRTC  and Video applications.

Want To Sell More? Look To Product Development First

Sales is not about convincing people who do not want your service to buy it. Sales is about finding the people who do want your service and letting them buy it.

Odd that this premise is so overlooked in business. I’ve worked with 100’s of small and medium business owners or senior managers who really didn’t get this. And it can be a fatal flaw to a company.

Sales

There is a complete misunderstanding of what a salesperson/group/ division is capable of. I’ve worked with owners of multimillion dollar companies, who really think the simple act of hiring a professional sales person means that sales person should now be able to convert most (or at least a decent amount) of prospects by using the magic they have learned throughout their career, no matter how good a fit the service or product is, no matter the position of the product in the marketplace, no matter the branding of the product. In the mind of the less informed, a sales rep can sell anything.

Add to that the natural and common tendency for owners to have a higher regard for their offering than the market itself, as well as the common optimistic early sales projections and outlook communicated by the new sales force, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

I should note that I have worked with sales people who can sell anything, but they are very rare, and they generally produce much lower customer loyalty. Perhaps these are the salespeople owners are thinking of when their expectations are that a “sales person” can sell anything.

The solution is a well thought out sales and marketing assessment before you go and buy the farm. And this is tricky, because the reality is marketing is primarily responsible for identifying the target market (People who will like your service) finding out how to reach them , and then attracting them to your sales group or funnel.

Yet most companies I have worked with don’t have a budget or an understanding of how these two key disciplines must work together to achieve success. So they put all their dollars in one or the other, or severely under budget one.

So if you buy into this premise, the fundamental success of sales for you company starts with product development. A good sales rep can’t sell a product that is hard to use, or poorly designed. A good sales rep can sell a product that is easy to use, and has a clear advantage for their target market.

So working relentlessly on improving what you sell, will do more for driving sales than anything else you can do.

After that, you must have a marketing machine to get the service in view of the right buyers. Once that is accomplished, sales comes into play. Sales is the last piece of the sales process, following product development and improvement and then marketing.

So if you’re struggling with sales, perhaps where you should be looking for answers is in your product or service offering, or are you asking your salesperson to be both your marketing department and sales department.

By: Mike Bayes

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Lead Generation Is Easy (Not)

Building a Lead Generation Program Is Easy (NOT).

So… I’m asked all the time how to build sales for a business. Should I do Social Media, SEO, Advertising, Direct sales, all of that.

I think the first point to start with any “sales” program is the understanding of one very important principle. So to get to that lets start with this question which is this: Sales starts with and goes no where without what?

There are many good answers to this, you might say..

– A great product, – A sales person, – An offer, – Marketing dollars, and on and on.

But the pragmatic answer is this: Sales go nowhere without “leads”. A lead is a business or person who has been qualified as a prospect AND expressed interest in what ever it is you sale.

This is Important! >>>>>
This is Important! >>>>>

Lead Generation is hard

Now here is the second principle you must understand….Lead Generation is hard, expensive, and can be very painful. That’s why “inbound Marketing” has become such a big tactic. Inbound marketing whispers the promise of easy leads being sent to your inbox, ready for your sales rep to close.

The mistake in this concept is that Inbound Marketing is HARD, expensive and can be painful. like any other form of lead generation, it just has a prettier face.

So if you want to build sales, you have to understand, it’s going to either cost money, or it’s going to take all your time (if you’re a small company).

How much money depends on your service or product, and market. To get the picture on how you should budget (or spend) on sales (and 30% to 50% of that should be in lead generation) you need to understand there are different type sales strategies and customers. Depending on your growth strategy, and your tactics have a everything to do with the cost.

If you’re in a sustain mode, relying on referrals and luck, then your budget is tiny because it costs very little to acquire referred customers.

If you want new “open market” customers, that’s a completely new game. And these new customers are your growth group. You have to sell to them in a completely different way. They don’t know you, so you have to establish trust in the relationship. That takes time and money.

So here is a simple formula you might consider. A new market customer will cost you at least 15% of your Gross revenue. So if you sell $2500. Web sites, a new market customer will cost $325. Also understand that that’s 15% of a new sale, not 15% of your gross revenue. If your revenue is evenly split between referred customers and open market customers (a nice healthy mix), your budget is 7.5% of all revenue. That’s why the first few years of a business is so tough! Your cost of sale is twice to three times what your established competitions is.

The thing that really stops most companies from investing that 15% is the fact that it’s money up front, and it takes time to get the return. If you want 10 new customers in a quarter (or a day, its all just math) you are going to have to invest $3250.00 , it may take 6 months to see the total first stage results (First stage is the original prospect buys, second stage is when they refer others).

So if you have an ongoing program, you’re into the budget $3250 time 6 months before the first months return is final. Ouch! That’s why most start up sales programs don’t have a positive return until the 9th month.

if you do it wrong (which is easy to do) it’s throwing your money away. So you can start to see the pain… it’s hard, and it’s temporarily expensive. Not only that, but if you do it wrong (which is easy to do) it’s throwing your money away. And the first way to do it wrong is by NOT focusing on lead generation first.

For small companies without a sales department or person, you are going to have to outsource your lead generation. Sorry, no choice if you want to grow. You’re also going to need to put some dollars into it. So if you don’t have 15% of the expected new revenue ready to spend, your not ready. If you want to add $1,000,000.00 in sales in the next 3 to 12 months, you need $150,000.00 in funds. Sorry, that’s the truth. And of that 30% to 50% should be in lead generation.

The bottom line in a successful lead generation campaign is this: If you don’t have the money, it’s not going to work 95% of the time.

So if you do have the money or time where should you spend it for the best return on Investment? Well, that’s a whole new subject, which I will write about soon. But, here’s a big hint, you should start with Lead Generation.

You can generate leads with:

Social media campaigns managed by a professional firm with a great track record.

• Search Engine Optimization
• Email campaigns that drive qualified prospects to euth your site, or your online presentations
• Advertising on any media
• Trade shows
• Direct sales
• Co-op marketing
• Networking
• Referral programs

And a bunch of other tactics. All of which, falls under business development, because any of those tactics have to be implemented well, and will need to be integrated with other parts of your business to be successful.

That’s what I do with companies. What I call business development. And that starts with assessing budgets, strategies and tactics to be uses, and finding decent measurement metrics and tools.

It’s hard, it’s expensive, and it’s painful at times. It’s also the way 95% of businesses grow, and owners become wealthy.

Your choice is to recognize the challenges, and do nothing, or boldly go where few small businesses go, which is find the money and courage to grow.

Monthly SEO Check and Web Presence maintenance

Monthly SEO Check and Web Presence maintenance.

From time to time we are asked what we do monthly to check on a web sites SEO status. So, instead of boring you with a narrative I thought we would just post some of the instructions I give to our SEO people. It’s in no way completely inclusive, but if you want to D.I.Y this is a good guide.

On Site:Home Page and Main keyword page.

- Meta Tags:  The Title and Description

Google Web Toolkit

  • Does it contain the keyword(s))

  • Does one of the two contain a local intent keyword if a local company.

  • Find the meta tags by right clicking on a blank part of the page. Click on “page source”  A new page will open.

- Does the home page have a G+ icon that goes to the business G+ profile?

If not, refer them to this link on how to add a business page: http://www.google.com/+/business/

Mention that when the Business profile is complete, they should add the G+ badge to their home page. Instructions are in the G+ business page information.

- Does the home page have at least one out bound (external Link) to a high authority site? Example:  Check our B.B.B. ratings and a link to their B.B.B. page

- Does the site have good quality content?

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator)

Internal pages should be added from time to time, and a page from the main navigation should have at least 700 + words.  The information should be useful and well written.

- Does the site have a Blog?  If yes, is there new valuable content on the blog? Are blog titles used that will be easy for the search engines to identify what the blog post is about. Are they using a SEO plug in for a word press blog.

- No blog?  Add one. They can pay content writers to produce blogs. (average cost $70 to $129.00) or write their own.

Site Structure: Is the navigation clear and using a silo system for main search topics ?

Site Load Time:Does the site load in an acceptable time.  Check GWT  for speed test.

NAP (Name, Address, Phone)

Does the site clearly display the local businesses Name address and phone number on the homepage and contact form.  Suggest they use http://schema.org  mark up for their address. Their web master can do this very quickly.

If its a local company are they using a local number? Add one if they are using a n 800 number.

Google Web Master: Is there a current site map on G.A.?

Reputation Management:

Search for business name on Google.

Check all first page results for any positive or negative reviews.

Here’s what you find under My One Call LLC

What ever review sites show up (Google, Yelp, Youtube)  you should encourage the web owner to ask for more positive reviews on those sites and make them aware of any non positive mentions or reviews.

MOZ Rankings: Go to MOZ.com and log in.

Run an open explorer report on the main URL. Note and communicate the Page Authority, and Number of links. Down load a monthly back link report.

Competitive assessment:  Search for their main keyword and city (if Local)  Note the top ranked sites.  Make a note of the top three. (do not include directories)

Go to moz.com open Site Explorer.  Add top three competitors to “compare link Metrics ”Copy report to client.

Run Open Site Explorer for the top three sites. Look for linking opportunities.

Provide a brief summary of work completed this month or period.

Social Mentions

Continued Web site presence on My One Call LLC sites

Tips and updates.

Research

Links

Site review

Reputation check

New Keyword ideas

New content ideas.  (FAQ page)

Rankings for main keywords.

Traffic reports.

By Mike Bayes

My Google Plus Profile: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MikeBayes/about

More about us www.salesjumpstart.net

Want to learn more about Google Plus and promoting your business?

Try these two G+ Guru’s (my words not theirs)

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JesseWojdylo/posts

Stephan Hovnanian is a true G+ Master! https://plus.google.com/+StephanHovnanian/posts

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Using Google+ Communities for Business

Have you ever considered building an online community for your business?   There are many ways to do this- from building and hosting your own using open source software to using an online community builder or building one with tools on the existing social networks – Facebook and Linkedin, for example, both have offerings in this area.

One of the newest, and potentially most significant players in this market is Google.   First launched in December of 2012 Google Communities provided an easy set-up, but a minimal feature set.   It had the advantage, however, of a large audience of potentially interested members, having been built as an integral part of Google+.   I have built several communities on Google+ – including one with over 20,000 members, so I know some of the ins and outs of this technology and would like to help save you some time and do what I can to help your community be a success should you decide to build one.

English: Google+ wordmark
English: Google+ wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

First, it is important to understand the difference between what Google calls “communities” – but goes by many names in the industry (“Groups” on Facebook other services, “online forums” with some other technologies) and a “page”.  A page is a way of promoting your business that is offered by Google, Facebook and Linkedin.   A page is like a simple website with an administrator can post information and users can comment.  Users cannot, however, initiate a post.  With a community users can both comment, as they can on a page, but they can also initiate posts.    Communities can also be either public or private while most pages are public since they are used for promotional purposes.

This can make the moderation of these communities a little more complex than just the standard customer relations function of addressing and managing comments as you would have on a page.  Let’s take a hard look at Google Communities – both its strengths and weaknesses to see if it could be to the advantage of your business.   I’ll also try to give you a few tips on building your one community on Google+ should you decide to go that route.   First its strengths:

Advantages to Google Communities

1.  It is a snap to set up.   It is so easy to setup a Google community it will probably take me longer to write this post.   The is a bit of an exaggeration, but you can get the basic setup finished in five minutes or so, and improve it from there.  The setup is just not a big deal.

2.  It is good for relationship building.   Since users can initiate posts, there is less of a “pearls before swine” quality to the engagement.   While you will want some moderation guidelines, basically your members can say whatever they want whenever they want.  This will have the effect of having the relationship be more “authentic” – you are basically putting yourself out there.

3.  It can enhance your stature in a subject area.   Since you will be managing a community where people can freely express themselves, you will have to be fair and allow a different views to be expressed – in some cases possibly from competitors.  .  Depending on the subject area, this may help you to be seen as an expert in this area.

4.  You will learn from it.   Since a well managed community will have a variety of views being expressed you may learn some new things and get new ideas.   With a “page” setup you might just be hearing what you want to hear.  Sometimes when a discussion gets lively on a community some great ideas can be generated, and new ways of looking at things can be revealed.

5.  There may be some SEO Benefit.    Google indexes posts in its search engine your business might get a bit more exposure through it.  In addition, with Google Communities you are allowed to display up to 10 links on the Community home page and these can be links to your business or other resources for your members.

7.  Hangouts and Hangouts on Air.   While the technology for communities themselves may be more or less traditional – and even have less functionality than most systems, there is an important exception.   Hangouts – Google’s name for video conferencing, is integrated with communities and is an amazing technology.   These hangouts let you meet in a live videoconference with up to 10 people which can take your community to a whole new level.  There is also a “Hangouts on Air” – currently not as well integrated but still possible, that lets you “broadcast” these hangouts and record the to Youtube.   This alone may be reason for you to select Google communities if you have a subject area and population of potential members you feel could benefit from this kind of video presentation.

Disadvantages to Google Communities

1.  It is hard to get new members.  Don’t expect an immediate flood of member requests once you setup your community.  Since they are so easy to set up there are tens of thousands of them – maybe more.   You may have to build your community one member at a time at first.   It is also possible that your best potential members aren’t active on Google+ at all, and even if you persuade them to join they won’t participate much.

2.  Moderation can be a challenge.   It would be nice if these things “ran themselves” but they don’t.   Posts that are low quality or off topic are frequent, and you may have to use your best diplomacy skills – or your hammer –  to address these.   It is not uncommon for “drama situations” to break out and it is even possible for whole communities to “melt down”.   As community owner, you will be responsible for this.

3.  It’s Time Consuming.   Managing your community – including approving new members, participating in discussions,  moderating disagreements, encouraging quality and posting your own content can be a major time sink.   This must be weighed against the advantages of having a community.

4.  Communities compete with each other.  Google set up communities so that anyone could start one on any topic – and they can even have identical names as other communities.  This means that there are many overlapping and competing topics all competing for the same audience.   The is particularly true of the larger communities with broader topic areas – it is probably best to not compete with those communities unless you are willing to invest substantial effort.

5.  Spam is a major issue.  Google communities are absolutely plagued with spam.   They have a spam filter that is pretty good at weeding most of it out, but you will still see it.  There is also a problem with “near spam” –  posts that are just bad for whatever reason.  While this is mostly an issue on the public communities, it is not unheard of on the private communities either.

So should you do it?

The answer is, of course, “it depends”.   Don’t do it “just because you can” however, anyone can set these up and an empty community won’t do you any good nor will one you work on extensively that never gets “traction”.    Think first about precisely what you want to accomplish with your community and then carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages listed above.   At this point in the development of communities it is unlikely that a broad topic will work unless you are already a recognized authority in that area and have a ready population of followers.  That is not to say private communities won’t work, however, or even public communities in niche topic areas.

Going for it?  Here are a few tips.

So if you have weighed the advantages and disadvantages carefully, and you think it can help your business or practice area, here are a few tips to help you get started:

1.  Set up the community completely before you invite anyone.  As we discussed here, the initial community setup can be done in just a few minutes, but doing it right can take considerably longer.   Get everything ready.  Have some good web copy for your descriptions, set up your posting categories and write some moderation guidelines. – you will need them later.

2.  Have content ready.   Consider “seeding” your community before you even invite anyone with a few interesting posts that set the “tone” of the kind of posts you want in your community.   The last thing you want is for new members to to join an empty community.   It might even be a good idea to have several posts pre-written for future postings.

3.  Identify Prospective Members.   If you are already active on Google+ identify everyone in your circles who you think might be interested in your community.  Make a special circle for these prospects.   If you aren’t active on Google+ it may be a tougher slog, but do some searches on your topic area and build a circle based on this interest.

4.  Invite your best prospects.   Try to get a commitment from as many of the people you know who might be interested.  Write them and tell them what you want to accomplish and enlist their support.   After you have done this, send an invitation to these prospects.

5.  Start engaging.  Try to get a conversation going with these initial members.   Use your best content if necessary.   Do whatever you can to “make it interesting”.

6.  Invite a “second wave” of prospects.   Now take the rest of that circle you have built and invite those potential members.   Write a good introduction about why you think will be a good community.  Continue promoting your community however you can as an ongoing effort.

7.  Select a Moderator.   Ask one of your members to help with moderating the community.  This will not only reduce your workload a bit, but will have the added benefit of making your community look a bit more “established”.

That’s about the best advice I can give you.   The rest is up to you.  Wishing you the best!

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