Google Testing Local Marketing in NZ

Google seems to be testing Local Marketing in NZ with more changes.

Not only have we all gone through local marketing algorithm changes very recently that has rejigged all the rankings but I noticed other changed that won’t appeal to marketers.

Verify your Google Listing. Firstly there is absolute confusion globally about Google’s request to verify Google + Local listings. Some say it is only applying to Australia. Others say it applies to USA. Others are suggesting it is a global requirement. Basically -no verification and your listing disappears!

Is that why Absolute Discos / Absolute DJs Google + Local listing and its reviews have disappeared? I will test and see

Is that why this listing for Absolute Discos has been relegated to the middle of the page? It had held spots #1 to #3 consistently for all its keywords, through all the most stringent of Google algorithm changes, since 2003 until recently.

Google Maps Displaying a Single Result. Secondly Google Maps are only displaying a single result. Where are the multiple markers we are used to? Downunder we’ve been on holiday since Christmas and returned in February. Blink and Google changes! Or have I just missed the old news?

Google Changes February 2014

New Ad Format. Notice is the New Ad Format. The colour has gone! The ads are each labelled with ‘Ad’.

On occasions Google and YouTube make changes then revert to its status quo.

Watch this space!

Quick Tip On Responding to SEO Telemarketers

Want a Quick Tip on Responding to SEO Telemarketers?

Are you plagued by offshore and local SEO companies touting their services?

Ask them this one question and it sorts them out quick smart.

They will hang up if they don’t know the answer.  One call yesterday prompted this article. Please read on!

Want a SEO Telemarketer Quick tip

Want a SEO Telemarketer Quick tip?

Firstly go to their website. SEO companies who are just not up with the play still include dated methods in their menu of services e.g. posting to 50 or more directories.

Comment: Only local marketing directories matter. In NZ and Australia there are only a handful – approximately 10 key ones. Even in the USA it is not worth the time to cover more than the 10 main ones. There are many other Social SEO and other traffic methods.

Then you will need to cover these 2 things in the conversation:

1. Ask them how they will technically handle Google Plus Local  set up since they are based in a different suburb and city.

2. Tell then you are asking as if they can answer appropriately then you will know that they have earned your trust to give them your business.  Listen for the words ‘cleaning cookies’.

Reason? There is a cookie issue to take care  with Google + Local. If they cannot answer effectively without sidestepping the issue then they are not worthy of you giving them business.

Their telemarketing script. They will try to talk about keywords. That is irrelevant to this conversation. Instead they should be explaining that Google cookies the computer that is used to create the account and any ongoing work. The  telemarketer needs to be able to explain what they do to resolve this i.e. how they clean the cookies through 2 specific methods. A genuine company will allow for genuine concerns in their telemarketing campaigns.

When I cover these 2 things – every time they hang up. Clearly they are not companies I want to do business with. I assure you this will also screen out suitable companies for you, too even if your company is not marketing to other local businesses.

Not sure what a Google + Local listing can look like?

The Google + local search result looks like this (G+ local are local listings at the top of search results and look like traditional results except they sometimes include maps, and they include local businesses):

Auckland DJ hire Absolute Discos Absolute DJs Auckland
Auckland DJ hire Absolute Discos Absolute DJs Auckland

Here is an example of a close-up view of the Google + Local profile for the listing using Absolute Discos Auckland aka Absolute DJs Auckland NZ (a highly reputable Auckland DJ hire company, a premier Auckland DJ hire company).

Auckland DJ hire Absolute Discos Absolute DJs Auckland

Auckland DJ hire Absolute Discos Absolute DJs Auckland

When you click on the Google + Local links the profile looks like this with hours and contact details, product /service info, map, photos and genuine testimonial reviews posted by clients:

Auckland DJ hire Absolute Discos Absolute DJs Auckland

29 Essential Website Pages for Professionals Speakers Consultants Trainers Authors

What are the 29 Essential Website Pages for

Professionals, Speakers, Consultants, Trainers, Authors?

Are you a Professional, Speaker, Consultant, Trainer, or Author? Are you thinking of creating or revamping your website? What pages will you include and exclude to be sure you attract and satisfy your market’s needs? What pages would you include as part of your website planning and your website briefing? This is your shortcut – this article will make planning your website simple!

You may ask yourself why a Social Media consultant would write on this topic?  Setting up websites is part of my learnings and doings! Imminently I may be setting up  website for another client. I’ve become a consultant who embraces the fusion of the digital trends: websites to local marketing, social media to video marketing,  mobile marketing and interactive offline technologies. So I not only write, but also get involved in strategy and technical aspects. So websites are just one piece of this marketing mix so that I provide a strategy / frame work ready to generate leads and revenue.

After to many years of using a blog style website that does not meet client needs nor mine, that is exactly what I am in the midst of.  I have also received enquiries about how to go about the website planning. (Would you like me to create a more focussed product for you on with checklists for all considerations, website theme 0ptions and step by step processes?). Some of the core things we need to think about when planning the website are:

* BRANDING – colours, font styles, emotive triggers, look and feel, creates affinity with your market’s suspects and prospects e.g. the retro look appeals to the young and the young at heart! I’d use it for various niches and different markets’ psychographic profiles.

* PERSONAS  & YOUR TARGET MARKET’S KEY PROBLEMS – who is your target market? what are their key concerns? how do they try to solve their problems?  when where and how do they spend time? what is business life (or personal life) like for them? what are their demographics? what are the unique  market segments?

* MARKET GAPS - what questions and info needs does the completion not fulfil? what experience level does the market need that you offer?

* MONETISATION OF KNOWLEDGE – how will you make it simple and easy to provide info that the market wants? what parts will be free, a low  entry, mid and high level product offering be to suit various market affordability? what services will complement this?

* SALES FUNNELS - the ways you will take visitors through seeking information to enquiry and sale

* PRODUCTS & SERVICES- from self service online training products, mentoring & coaching services to speaking, consulting, and done for you services

What Pages Will You Add to Your Website?

From the thinking and planning of your website it will become clear which of these types of pages you will need to add to your menu. See if you can create these 21 types of pages on your site. Select from these:

1. HOW WE WORK / VALUES / OUR CLIENT PHILIOSOPHY or MANIFESTO – Try to communicate what your business/brand’s DNA is. Add in how you like to work  with clients from a process viewpoint as well as your philosophies. Use these to attract clients who are a mutual fit.

2. SERVICES – CONSULTING / SPEAKING / TRAINING MENTORING COACHING/ DONE FOR YOU Be results focussed. Examples you could  include: ‘pick my brains sessi0ns’, monthly contracted mentoring, professional audits & assessments, strategies, analysis, projects; training topics, timeframes and outcomes; professional services & customised solutions you offer to save clients time and effort.

List all your services, have a description on each, and link to a page for each.  Do the same if you offer products, rather than services.

Individual service – The more detail you can give on each service, the better.

3. FREE OFFER for LEAD GENERATION – free time limited consultation, free ebook / audio/video/webanr/ hangout, free mini review

4. FREE RESOURCES / LEARNING CENTRE – Define relevant, useful, and unavoidable jargon terms you think customers should know.  Explain concepts you’d like your customers to grasp – for their sake and for yours.  Even cannibalise some of your FAQs and use them here.

5. PRODUCTS - books, downloadables, online self service products you offer (usually training)  that you offer. These are delivered on autopilot from a coaching site, learning management system, membership site or even via email using an autoresponder series of emails. Training can be delivered using email, videos, pdfs, audio, webinars, hangouts, Skype. Define the process that gets prospects to sign up then buy. Use online training as a cost effective way of delivering what is more expensive the one on one training and coaching.

6. BOOK-SPECIFIC PAGES - book reviews, order pages / order links, Amazon links / display

7. MEET OUR TEAM or WHO IS or ABOUT US – This is a page everyone expects to see.  It’s also one that you can pretty easily optimise with keywords from your industry: These examples can be adapted to professional services aslo: ‘Our Trainer Team’ or ‘About Social Media Strategists’, ‘Meet Your Lawyers’

8. ABOUT / WHO IS / INDIVIDUAL BIOS – Have a page for each team member, alliance, employee. Professional, medical services may add in technician, agent, doctor, nurse, lawyer, paralegal, etc.

9. WHY HIRE US / ME – show what kind of credibility can you provide clients? how you are one step ahead of the competition?

10.WHAT DOES [YOUR NAME] DO - describe what you do, how you do it and for who. Make it really clear who you want to attract as clients and how you will help them.

11. SPEAKING CALENDAR / WHERE IS  [YOUR NAME] SPEAKING? – this verifies your experience, demand and availability.

12.BOOKING PAGE - for consulting appointments as well as for speaking engagement. WordPress has great plugins to do this very thing well!

13.SPEAKING TOPICS, DATES, TOPIC OUTLINES BENEFITS & OUTCOMES, ARRANGEMENTS - tell them how it works!

14. FAQs – You could have a general FAQ and one (or several) for more-specialised questions using keywords for your target markets.  You could have ‘For First-Time Website Owners FAQs’, ‘Common Questions on Hiring a Sales Trainer’

15. TESTIMONIALS – Ideally you’d mark them up with Schema or hReview-aggregate.

16. IN THE MEDIA – Have you been featured in the local paper, or did the local news reporter stick a mic in your face for 15 seconds?  Show or mention it here.

17. PHOTOS – Be sure to name the photos relevantly, and try to include captions.  Don’t overdo it.

18. VIDEOS – There are several types: you speaking or training, interviews, talking about your products and services, how to’s etc.   Embed your videos on the page.  See if you can name your page something like ‘x in action’ or “Videos on How to ____.”

19. KEY  RECOGNITION or AWARDS  – It’s fine to mention little stuff until there’s bigger stuff.

20. QUALIFICATONS or CERTIFICATONS – Same idea as with the “Awards” or “Recognition” page.  Use what you’ve got.

21. COMMUNITY or GIVING BACK  – Describe what you do for charity.  (Do something, if you’re not already.)

22. COMPANY HISTORY MUNITY – Stories sell! Stick to the story; on other pages you can talk about what makes you great.  If there’s not much of a history yet, consider doing a Values page.

23. TERMS of TRADE and financing – if applicable.

24. CASE STUDIES – Describe what you did for a specific customer or client (with his/her permission, of course).  Include pictures if you can.

25. SNAPSHOT OF OUR CLIENTS - ideal if you have some well branded clients!

26. PORTFOLIO / SNAPSHOT OF RESULTS– Most applicable if you’re a contractor, designer of any kind, or consultant.

27. REQUEST A QUOTE and link it to an enquiry form using form creator or plugins or to Google Docs or a survey tool

28. SALES FUNNEL PAGES - these are optin pages, sales pages, download pages designed to take people from asking people to giving you their email address to get a freebie to downloading it or to ‘selling people ‘ into ordering a product to receiving the digital product.

OTHER WEB OPTIONS:

29. MOBILE APP consider setting up a mobile app. Mobile apps are not mini websites! Apps are tools designed to deliver one specific item or is for one specific purpose. It might be a tool to solve a client problem while they are on the go, to provide helpful how-to content, reminder info. Think about what and where your prospects go with their mobile phone and ways you can simplify their life! For example, a recruitment company may choose to have an app to give a checklist of ways to prepare for an interview, tips on how to relax before getting there, keeping a positive mind-set, or on being focussed.

Is now a good time for you to brainstorm what you want to include in your new website? What have I missed off this list?

© Jenny Wilmshurst – please ask for permission to reproduce or share. There are requirements!

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Social Selling Sales Automation

Social Selling and Sales Automation

are buzz words of the 2009 era and are of vital relevance for ROI in 2013, 2014 and beyond.

However what I am finding is that  Sales Trainers are very unaware of Sales Automation’s existence.

I also sense weariness about Social Selling.

Benefits of Sales Automation

However the combo of Sales Automation prospects and educates the client about products, services, solutions to their problems – all on a sales autopilot. Many companies are missing out on leveraging these tools!

Sales Automation warms up prospects in the sales process long before the need to see or hear from a Business Development Manager. So it saves companies’ time, resources. Sales Automation is great for prospects as they are in contact with the sales team when they feel emotionally connected with the company and readied for contact. It uses their  BDM skills in a way that optimises the sales communication. Sales Automation definitely increases ROI!

How does Sales Automation work?

Prospects receive information about issues that are relevant to their business. They opt in to receive these from a supplier’s  website. This information is related to problems that the prospect wants solved. The prospect successively receives email offers to access more and more relevant problem solving information.

The information follows a logical sequence according to a buyers journey. So the information covers questions they typically ask at the early to mid stage of a buying process. Each stage correlates to scoring points. This is so that the software can calculate buyer readiness.

So when a prospect asks for each piece of information they are also scored for readiness to discuss buying. This indicates a stage in buying behaviour automatically.  Once the software calculates a predetermined points level, it alerts the sales rep of the need to make contact with the prospect, Typically this would be to further qualify the prospect, answer detailed questions and make a time to meet, to demo or interview for a proposal.

Check out the Sales Automaton infographic for a quick tour of what Sales Automaton is all about!

Marketing Automation: Sales or Marketing Tool?

by Pardot.

New Web Project Flow Chart

Web project flow chart

Courtesy of visual.ly

Are you starting a new web project?

Wondering where to start with getting a new site up and running or redeveloping a new site?

How helpful would a New Web Project Flow Chart be?

This infographic leads you through the pathway from

1. Business Analysis (getting to know you and your market) Defining your goals, processes, objectives, target market, success measures.

2. Website Plan Information architecture, user experience (what your users will need and want to do no your site), look and feel of the site, what functions you will add to the site, online marketing

3. Content gathering and production Creating and collecting images, videos, downloadables, written content for the site

4 Wireframe and Website Design Creating the wireframes and design options of the Home Page

5. Website Development Coding the site and assembly of elements on the local server. If using  a theme, the developer can customise elements an

6. Testing Quality Assurance, usability testing and if needed copy testing with the market

7. Launch and promotion Deployment and publishing of the website. Launch of the online marketing plan.

8. Maintenance and support Content updates, training, customer service, technical support, technical updates,

BEFORE you approach a web developer you will need to:

1. Do your market research and marketing planning, define your branding philosophy and develop  colour scheme and logos that tune into your target markets. Affinity with your market will make or break the success of your venture. Write up notes as if you were developing a business plan. I prefer to use PowerPoint with at least one page per key plan item. Bullet point your notes for quick writing and review.

2. Find websites with the look and feel you are after. Screenshot them. Keep a record of their url. Note what you like about them

3. Find features and functionality  in specific sites and recording information using  the same method above

4. Find 3-5 competitor sites. Make sure your colour scheme and branding is unique compared to your competitors. Do at least one thing better than your competitors do.

5. Define the goal of the website. What problem dos it solve? To describe your web development as successful, what will it be like?

6. Itemise what tasks you will do and what the developer will do. Allocate budget and very general timelines

Then pull these items together in a way that can brief the web developer simply and effectively

Blog Post Topics that Work

‘How do I write blog topics that I know will work  for my clients and prospects?’

‘I just can’t get the time to write a blog post’

‘How will I know that my blog posts are relevant?’

Sometimes business owners struggle with the idea of what blog content to write about or getting the time to write about relevant blog topics.

Here are 3 ideas that can cut that problem at the knees, make your writing more meaningful for your reader and faster for you to write.

1. LEVERAGE CURRENT, RELEVANT, REAL MARKETING SITUATIONS WITHIN BLOG POSTS

Many times a week your prospects and clients will either ask for specific information, or you end up providing them with specific information as part of the buying decision-making process or part of the sales process.

These are the most market relevant topics you can ever write about.

They are current, topical, and fill a need right now. You can guarantee that even if one client or prospect has a need for that information, so will many others who you do not yet know. This is part of the beginning to creating relevant content. Later on you can rebuild this type of content into a logical sales funnel that leads these prospects into becoming clients on autopilot.

2. PLAN BLOG POST THEMES

If you reflect upon your business,  you will notice topic themes that make sense to write about. Imagine  you are in front of your idea client. They are asking you questions on the topic. What are they likely to ask you?  Write these down as sub topics. You can now add these to a content calendar. You can use a theme per week or month depending on how many questions you can muster.

3. SOLVE PROSPECTS’ AND CLIENTS’ PROBLEMS WITHIN BLOG POSTS

Topics that solve problems or pre-empt problems will hit your prospects and clients emotional buttons best. These types of posts will build rapport. When you clearly explain the problem, the solution and rationale behind the solution, and ask them to take action if they need your help, then you have set yourself up as the ‘go-to’ person in their minds. This creates a natural way for clients to lead themselves to ask to buy from you.

AN EXAMPLE FROM A MARKET SITUATION THIS WEEK

The other day I picked up my recently repaired computer. It suffered physical damage and viruses (virus protection failure!). I had multiple questions and concerns about avoiding viruses despite having active well branded virus protection What will happen when I load my old data, how well protected will my old data be? Should I set up more valuable data on a second computer that will not go anywhere near the internet? Which is the best current virus protector? Which terabyte brand and range is best right now?

In the course of these discussions one of  the most interesting aspects was the answer to which terabyte brand and product range. I learnt that some cheap product ranges within brands do not have the correct plugs to be able to hook up to enable the data extraction. This is vital if needing to have viruses removed! How many of us would know what pitfalls to look for in buying  a portable hard drive? The rationale behind why this IT provider would recommend only certain ranges was powerful! It makes perfect blog post fodder for clients with data protection issues!

VERIFY BLOG TOPICS?

Some bloggers and marketers also research blog topics. They can do so by asking their  client base via research using online survey tools. Others also like to do keyword research using keyword research software like Market Samurai or Google Planner tools (Google Keyword tool has gone and now the service is incorporated with Google ad planning tools).

Keyword Research and Social SEO are each full topics! So a light mention here is important for you to be aware of these concepts.

WHAT WILL YOU DO NEXT?

So what will you do to set yourself up to capture your best blog ideas?

Will you find a calendar you can post them to?

Will you mindmap the ideas?  on paper or on mindmap software?

What will you do to check how valuable these topics are to your market?

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