Having a business website is as important to a small business today as having a Yellow Pages listing was 20 years ago. Hear what Rick Noel , CEO of eBiz ROI had to say to when he sat down with Ann Parillo, host of the Schenectady Today Show.
Internet Marketing for SMBs
The preceding video, focused on Internet marketing for SMBs, is an excerpt of the 676 th episode of Schenectady Today hosted and produced by Ann Parillo.
This video is on Internet marketing for SMB’s (Small Medium Businesses), was taped on 21 June 2011 and runs just under 9 minutes.
The topic of Internet marketing for SMB’s focused specifically on the importance of a business website, promoting a business website on the search engines, analytics for business websites and the importance of website analytics for measuring (ROI) return on investment and getting listed in Google places so that your business shows up on the map.
Ann: Rick, tell me a little bit about what you do because it seems as though life is changing so much, business is changing. If you own a business and don’t have a website you’re missing out because I know the first thing I do when I hear about a business is try to find the website and it’s like you don’t have one? Then I wonder, why not? So talk about that.
Rick: Exactly. Thank you and for having me on the show. Today, business websites are in expectation of users. People go online for anything from looking for the hours of the business, perhaps a phone number.
Rick: Menus, that’s a great application. Now, in fact, not only do people go online now home, now with the technology, people can use their phone with its GPS and look up which restaurants might be close to them for instance. So having a business website is critical. But I think the big thing that inhibits people from getting started, and when I say people, I mean entrepreneurs or solopreneurs, small businesses that don’t have an IT staff and they …
Ann: if you’re a small business, you don’t usually have an IT staff. It your kid probably that your IT staff.
Rick: exactly, in fact my father can attest that I provide IT support for the family. But the businesses have to find a place to start. They have to pick a name, a domain name, which is like a phone number as it’s unique to your business, except that a domain name oftentimes has linked to your brand. And when I do when I work with clients this to say when you’re overwhelmed take a step back and look at the business objectives that you have for your website. Business objectives could range from anything from getting your brand out there, making people aware of your restaurant versus having the ability to capture leads if you’re an insurance person or financial planner, you want to get people to enter their information so that you can contact them, add them to your newsletter. Or it could actually be e-commerce selling products and services online.
Ann: now what is the issue with the need to get certain words in the beginning so that Google or chrome or whatever is searching is in a find you? How does that happen?
Rick: That’s an excellent question. That’s a big question because as a lot of businesses understand, and consumers like yourself understand as they use the Internet through search engines. They find information about products and services that they’re looking for. When you go to the search engines, you enter words that are relevant to what you’re searching for.
Ann: you think it’s close enough to get what you want, right?
Rick: You hope, right?
Ann: With a little + in between it or something to make sure you’ve excluded all the other junk
Rick: well that’s the hard part and that’s a search engine challenge how do you search through the billions of web pages and the businesses challenge is how do I get to the top of that list.
Rick: and getting to the top of that list, there’s two different ways that businesses can do that. The first is called organic, or search engine optimization, which is what you were alluding to before when you mentioned some of the techniques that people use to put keywords in the title of the page and make sure that those words are prominent in their page so that the search engines can figure out very easily what the business is about.
The second way the businesses can give the top of the search engines is just by paying for that privilege and they can pay …
Ann: and they do pay?
Rick: and they do pay for each visitor area and in that case…
Ann: there the ones that are usually on the top? I think they’re kind of like separated almost because they probably got their money and there.
Rick: exactly right. So it doesn’t matter if if you use any of the three big search engines, and Google isby far is the biggest, and you’ll notice that on the top of the search results at the be in a slightly different color. It’s very subtle and Google spends a lot of time testing which colors work the best in the be on the side. Those people will bid on an auction system.
Rick: Yes, yes, and it’s not just how much they bid, Ann, it’s also how much click through the they get because when Google gets paid when, if we use Google as an example, Google gets paid when somebody clicks on your ad. So the good news is that if you’re a business owner, you only pay for the performance of somebody going to your website.
Ann: I see
Rick: so you can show your ad to 1000 people …
Ann: But if only 10 look at it ..
Rick: but if only 10 people click on it and go to your website, you are only charged for those 10.
Ann: is there a large charge for that? Is that something that, say I come to you and, and there’s other people and not just you know, Rick is here to explain it, if I go to you and I say here’s a good idea and here’s a website and here’s the words you put in there, can I make money on my website by putting ads on it?
Rick: that’s a good question and it goes back to the business objectives part. You have to look at all of the map from a business perspective. For instance, if you’re paying $10 for a visitor to your website, and the average conversion rates are about 2% it varies depending on what it is that you’re trying to do in terms of leads versus sales, but if you’re paying $10 and 2% of the people coming to your website buy that means you got a get 100 people for $1000 to get those two sales. So if you’re an attorney with the average lifetime value client is very large, that it might make sense and people and people pay $45 for bidding on a keyword such as mesothelioma.
Ann: Really? Oh my goodness! Learning so much!
Rick: The nice thing is that you can really do the math and then using what’s called analytics, which something that all business owners I have websites should have analytics, which in layman’s terms means the ability to see how many people are coming to my website, where they coming from and what they do when they get there. And once I have that level of visibility, I can make better business decisions to say that I’m willing to bid two dollars because of the way the math works, I need to spend no more than two dollars for this type of visitor to make money.
If I’m selling Callaway golf clubs and 50% of the people I come to my website buy, then I might be able to afford to bid higher.
Ann: but if you’re selling widgets or little things that don’t add up to much, then you have to rethink this.
Rick: Exactly right.
Ann: What are some of the tips.., I know that you have a blog, and we did put the blog up there, and its business tips, and are these types of tips you give? Are these the types of business tips that you’ll find on your blog? Is that something that only you write on or do you let other people respond to you?
Rick: I am open to invite your members in your viewers to guest post on my blog. I would certainly entertain that. I have 65 posts and each post is like a mini article. Most of the articles are do-it-yourself style articles. Simple videos like how do I create a Facebook page.
Ann: you do have a very nice page and I did look at it.
Rick: Thank you Ann, I appreciate that, as do you. The other thing to think about is that … I guess one tip that I’d like to give all businesses before we end the segment, and this is a freebie and everybody likes freebies. Free perpetual advertising is the way I look at it, but if you think of Google, and Google maps, which you may have used sometimes like when you search for a restaurant on Google, say “restaurants Schenectady,” what you probably see the search result is like a map with pushpins on it.
Ann: Yeah I know. I always check on it to see exactly where it is. Now I got it.
Ann: Yeah but one time it was wrong
Rick: That’s true, I have been …yeah that GPS device is a wonderful friend but it’s not always a friend!
Rick: but you can put your business listing into Google for free, it stays there, it’s perpetual. You don’t pay per individual user. If you sign up for, and you claim your business, and is a process for claiming your business because Google probably has a listing for your business whether you know it or not.
Rick: because they source information from different data sources
Ann: and it’s all there
Rick: but you want to make sure that it’s reflective of your brand, so for Google for instance you can upload 10 pictures, you can upload five videos, just like you do on http://www.annparillo.com/, you have a lot of interactivity going on, you got videos you’ve got pictures, behind the scene making of the show so before people ever show up they can go to your website and have a whole wealth of information.
Rick 24 x 7 x 365 days a year
Ann: You don’t even have to be there, right?
Rick: You don’t have to know. Then you augment that with the newsletter which is a great thing for businesses. If you are out at events and you are collecting business cards, when you click those business cards asked those people if you can add them to your mailing list.
Ann: Yes I always do that, because I like to do that otherwise. I do have a disclaimer at the end of my newsletter that says if you don’t want to receive this, please let me know and I won’t feel bad, honest, I really won’t feel bad. But I do cry a lot (just kidding). Rick, such a pleasure to have you on. Let our viewers know little bit more about it. So many people now, because of these economic times, are going into business for themselves so this is a great way to augment your business by getting it out there. Thanks. Here I
Rick: Thanks Ann.