In each of those cases, what’s the first thing you’d do? Ask a friend? Sure, if you have a friend with direct knowledge of one of those queries.
But more likely, you’ll Google it, and see where your search takes you.
That search, and Google’s dominant role in our day-to-day research and decision-making – as well as the various digital and social media tentacles that extend from it – was at the heart of “Marketing Your Business for Results,” an April 5th seminar hosted the Mill Valley, San Rafael, Corte Madera and Tiburon Chambers of Commerce at the Town Center Corte Madera.
The event drew on the expertise of Carolyn Kohler and Lisa Taylor Powers, a pair of local marketing experts who also run their own small businesses, so they practice the tips they preach every day.
Kohler’s Website Wordsmith business specializes in search engine optimization, using web content to help transform her clients’ businesses into magnets for new business, while Taylor Powers’ The Hive Marketing takes a holistic view of a business to provide tailored solutions to help them grow.
The duo often work together for clients, and thus their presentation to more than two dozen attendees was seamless and allowed for plenty of audience questions.
“Your online presence is the first point of contact that someone will have with you and your business,” Taylor Powers said at the outset. “It’s working for you while you’re not awake and while you’re away from your desk.”
The best way to make sure you’re maximizing that presence is to come up with a marketing plan: What are your goals? What sort of website and social media traffic do you get now? What message do you want those visitors to receive?
Because small business owners already have a ton on their plates, and because there are are seemingly infinite ways to reach their customers, from websites and social media to email newsletters and videos, they need to decide how they want to reach their audience. “You can’t do it all, so knowing what are the appropriate channels for your customers is critical,” Kohler said.
Given Google’s dominance in getting people to your website, a business’ Google presence serves as a foundational component to that process, Kohler said. She provided 10 tips to making sure you show up high in search results. They included:
- Get an accurate view of where your business shows up in Google results. Your own search history triggers Google’s search personalization – meaning sites you regularly visit, like your own, will show up higher than it will others – so hit the Apple store to use their display laptop or use a friends to test it out.
- Make sure your business info is consistent, right down to the comma, as it can create listing problems.
- Incorporate SEO into your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) – the concept of placing keywords into the back end of your website so that Google finds those keywords and thus places you higher up in its search results – is critical.
- Create a Google Business Page. Go here for more info.
- Kohler warned attendees to be wary of SEO consultants who say they must be retained long-term to keep your website up to speed on SEO.
- “I have clients who haven’’t touched their website keywords in three years and they continue to show up at the top of the results – it’s all about the quality of the SEO,” she said.
There you go: honest, practical, free marketing advice from a pair of experts, including a free half-hour consultation with Kohler or Taylor Powers – a sure-fire way to get their Google act together in short order – all courtesy the the Mill Valley, San Rafael, Corte Madera and Tiburon Chambers of Commerce.
MORE INFO ON CAROLYN KOHLER’S WEBSITE WORDSMITH.
MORE INFO ON LISA TAYLOR POWERS’ THE HIVE MARKETING.