Archive for the ‘Local Business Marketing’ Category

Elements Of Change: The Offsite Megatrend

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As competition increases on a daily basis inside the webspace…The greater the importance of not only creating real value…but making sure that your web presence is solid…and that you have a website that actually earns it’s keep.

One of the most important questions I ask before we agree to take on a project is:

“Are you interested in having a website purely as an ego trip…or are you committed to building your brand and empire?”

Having a website is not an idle proposition: It can’t just be a “sign in the middle of a cornfield.” And the monthly costs can be fairly large. If your site does not cause an action to be taken that begins your sales process (ringing the phone or clicking a link) Then you may be wasting good money each month.

And this is where the offsite web person plays a pivotal role. The first contact a potential customer has with your company other than meeting one of your team members is your website. And when considering cost effectiveness and speed of delivery, The offsite web expert is the top choice, hands down.

But What About A Local Developer?

Of course there are advantages to having a local website developer…but there are many other points to consider. Such as:

* Are you comfortable with the soft issues? These being someone not in your employ inside your operations…actually observing your processes and procedures firsthand?

* Could an assistant used by them possibly present a security issue? I have witnessed the substantial harm done firsthand by “non employees on site” with access to company workstations installing Keyloggers, Malware, and other malicious software. As a person that is data security sensitive, I can only inform the threat. It is of course, left up to you if you choose to risk it.

The real advantage of the internet is anywhere, anytime access. Anything that needs to be addressed can be done online, quickly, and with minimum exposure. And face to face meetings once a month or so with the development person or team are easy and productive. Personally I advise clients to always use an offsite developer, as this allows in house IT to control what is accessed… and when. And in fact…we have clients right now that find this model to be such an advantage in their markets that they don’t even want it discussed outside of company circles.

So this is indeed a megatrend…and I see only growth over the long term for offsite web development and managed IT services. Consider for your company the advantages that can be had here, and if it fits into your goals for the future.

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Internet Marketing WORKS For Local Business!

Now more then ever profitable opportunities exist to promote your local business on the Internet. Through search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, email marketing and local listings, you can connect with a willing audience. Your customers are turning to the Internet to find local products and services. If your competitors have an online presence and you don’t, guess who gets to take home the prize

Below are several crucial techniques for promoting your business regionally:

  • Listings in local search engines and directories
  • Pay Per Click advertising in Google and Yahoo
  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization

Local Listings

Even if you do not have a web site you can still promote your local business online. For example, you can list you business and contact information with the local search engines of Yahoo and Google. It takes an hour at the most to get a free listing on the two most popular search engines. Your listing will include an interactive map that can direct customers right to your front door.

Another important resource that accepts free listings is Superpages.com, as does the local version of AOL.

And don’t overlook regional and industry specific directories. Many accept free listings, or charge a nominal fee. Once again, for most a web site is not a prerequisite.

Pay Per Click Advertising

If you do have a web site, than you need to promote your local business through Pay Per Click on both Google and Yahoo. With Pay Per Advertising you bid on keyword terms that your potential customers would use in a search. An example is “Tacoma Wedding Photographer.” The cost per click depends on how competitive the term is. You only pay if a prospect clicks on your text ad and goes to your site. This is referred to as performance advertising, where you only pay if the ad performs.

The appeal of PPC is you can get it going within an hour. You set the budget, you determine what keywords are relevant, and you determine your price per click. You can also target when and where it’s used. The general consensus is that PPC generates a higher return on your investment over traditional offline advertising.

Search Engine Optimization – Free Traffic

For those that like a challenge there is search engine optimization. SEO is the ability to optimize your web site for high search rankings. If you can optimize your site properly, you can benefit from an endless stream of free, targeted search engine traffic. It takes time and effort, but the results can take your business to a whole new level.

If you are selling nationally SEO can be a real challenge. For a local business it can be relatively easy to rank for terms that relate to your business and location. (ex. Fargo Wedding Photographer) But done right, SEO is very effective in the generation of quality leads.

Local Email Marketing

Another tremendous marketing tool is email. For virtually nothing you can communicate with both prospects and your existing customers. Email is an excellent method to convert prospects to customers. It can also significantly increase the lifetime value of your existing customers by simply alerting them to upcoming sales and promotions.

Knowing the power of email communication, I find it hard to believe how few use it to promote their local business. Now listen up, start collecting your customer’s email addresses today. I can guarantee they will respond favorably to joining your list. We all like to be informed on bargains and special offers.

The future of your local business will depend on the Internet. It is estimated 40% of searches online are local in nature. The Internet is the perfect resource for finding local products and services, which is why your customers are searching online. Now is the time to get your business positioned to reap the rewards.

 

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Our Mission

Our mission is to show business owners how to REALLY use the Internet to generate leads, land customers or clients, and drive growth and profits in their business.

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The McQueen Organization

825 N. Tower Road
Fergus Falls, MN. 56537
Phone: (218) 332-0162
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