logo-1Last week, I attended Local University and through a series of blog posts, I am anxious to share what I have learned.  I was impressed and inspired by the thought leaders who generously shared their knowledge and expertise on Internet marketing.

Internet Marketing or online marketing, literally means “advertising online or on the web” and is an affordable way to reach prospective clients easily. You can potentially attract larger numbers of prospects for fewer dollars than with many more traditional methods of outreach.

During the Local U conference, Mike Blumenthal, aka Professor Maps conducted a survey where 2500 American adults were polled.  He discovered that:

Why is Local Search Important

Mike Blumenthal, aka Professor Maps at Local U, shared his research based on a survey.

  • 32% of web users searched for what they needed using a computer
  • 23.7% asked a friend in person or on the phone
  • 16.8%  looked in the phone book.   Really, do they still make phone books?!
  • 15.6 used a search engine from their phone or tablet
  • 7.6% asked their network of friends on social media
  • 4.4% asked a friend while at a friend’s place

As you can see from the numbers above, the world has changed dramatically over the last several years.  We are no longer relying on word-of-mouth or referrals…we are turning to our computers and smartphones to find products or services.  That is why an online presence is so important to success.

Are you making the most of your online presence? Below, I have listed several simple strategies that will help you with your online marketing plan. Oh, and I have listed them in order of importance.

  1. Your Website: Having an online presence makes your business open to potential customers 24/7/365 and is the center of your overall digital presence. Think of your website as the hub for all of your other digital activity: your social presence, your local listings, your email campaigns—none of these is as critical to your long-term success online as your website.
  2. Blog!  Blogging trumps social media. Not only are you establishing a relationship with your readers and prospective clients but also you’re establishing yourself as the expert or the go-to-person in your industry.  Web users are looking for a solution to a problem they are having – provide high quality content and the answers they are looking for. Blog posts encourage visitors to stay longer, return again, or contact you to discuss your services.  Oh, and don’t forget to sync your blog posts with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  3. Testimonials: Add testimonials to your website and ask for recommendations on LinkedIn,  Yelp, and or Google.  Statistics reveal that 55% of clients rely on reviews/testimonials before making decisions. Are you shy about asking for testimonials? Your clients are happy with your work, products and services…don’t be afraid to ask them for a testimonial.
  4. Video: Having a video on a website can retain the attention of visitors ten times longer than a website without video. Create a 30-second commercial, movies or tutorials and upload them to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc. and then embed the video into your website. You can either use your iPhone camera or  hire a professional videographer.
  5. Email Marketing & Newsletters: Your newsletter is your key to building a relationship with your prospects. Send articles, tips, and/or announcement which should be sent on a regular basis to your contact list. Check out Best Practices for Email Marketing.
  6. Online press releases: Are you launching your website, a new product or service? Opening a new office or relocating? Whatever it is, it should be presented as offering something reasonably new.  Click here for more inspiring press release ideas.
  7. SEO: Maximize Search Engine Optimization( SEO) on your website. Web users will not find you if your website is not optimized with keywords or keyword phrases.  Check out this fantastic article on SEO by Joost de Valk, The Definitive Guide to Higher Rankings For WordPress Sites
  8. Social Media Marketing: Add links to your social media platform such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, etc. This allows your prospects to get to know you better, build trust and establish a relationship.  BUT, focus on only 2-3 social networks that are most relevant to your market.

What is working for you? What would you like to add to the list?

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