Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 2023 ? If you’re like me, it sounds like the chyron you see at the beginning of a sci-fi movie, but alas…. it really is almost the year 2023.
This year, like all others in recent memory, brings you as a business owner a new set of marketing challenges. How am I going to reach the younger generation who are becoming my new customers? How will I ensure that my marketing isn’t outdated? Will the strategy I have had for years continue to work? And so on.
Each year marks a new beginning for your company. A blank slate which you can use to write out your plan. Here at OMG National, we work with small business owners all day, every day and understand the challenges you face. Creating a short list of important questions to ask your self or your marketing staff (if you have one) is a great way to begin.
Here are a few of the questions you should be asking, or answers you should be seeking:
- Get the lay of the “land”
Start out by making sure that your browser knows where you are geographically (no incognito or private search settings) and then do a simple Google search for your company name. Most companies should see a Google Business Profile and images on the top right part of the page. How does it look and feel? Is it complete and accurate? Has it been personalized with images? Populated with Questions? Have the questions been answered with a cogent response?
Take note of the review score, is it 4 or higher? Have the reviews been answered comprehensively? What other directory sites are appearing in the panel? Are there sections that have not been completed? Are you able to login to the page? I could go on and on about the Google Business Profile and here’s why. Today, this one simple piece of digital real estate is the single most important component that there is for a local business. Consumers will find it in keyword searches, use it like they once used the Yellow Pages or dialed 411.
The Google Business Profile is like the Swiss Army Knife for your internet marketing. Its utility is unmatched and therefore is the first thing to look for when mapping out your plan!
- Go Explore
So now that you’ve done a deep dive into your Google listing, take note of what else you see on your company name search. You should find your website near the top, your Yelp listing, Facebook page, and a whole host of other directories. The closer to the top they are, the more important, so poke around and see if your information is accurate, if there are duplicate listings, and take note of anything you see that feels incomplete or unattended. Also, take note of anyone with an ad at the very top of the page. If you did a company name search and are seeing an ad, it means that a competitor is paying to siphon away customers who are looking for you directly. It’s dirty pool, but it happens in all industries. Pay special attention to Facebook and Instagram if you have created those for your business. They are a great tool to help you attract business and stay engaged with customers. Once you have a handle on what a customer will see when looking directly for your business, take good notes and let’s move on!
- Coveted Keywords
All businesses have a few key words and key phrases it should be using to better understand the advertising landscape and your company’s place in it. Where does your company appear or does it appear at all when you search for: (main product or service) + (town/city, state) ?
Are you on the Google Maps, if so in what position? Who else is there? Are there ads appearing, are there many? Do you know the local owners or are they a national company or franchise? Perhaps there is a paid directory appearing as a sponsored ad, or organically in a high position on page one. Check thoroughly across page one and two, make some good notes of what you have found.
Once you have gone through this exercise, you will be ready to sit and map out a plan for how you will improve your visibility and make your company look more attractive to consumers.
- Run Your Business, Get Expert Help
Now that you have gotten the lay of the land for what is out there online for your company, speak to an expert. Even if you are a DIY kind of guy or gal, it can’t hurt to better understand what they would recommend. Everyone has certain limitations based on their budget and an expert can help you determine where that budget will make the biggest impact and provide the greatest ROI…..in 2023 and beyond……
- Jesse Lubar, OMG National