Internet Marketing and Maintaining A Business Website Presence is Changing
The other day I was talking with a friend and discussing with him how Internet marketing and maintaining a business website presence has changed. I am writing this blog article with him in mind, but let me share it with you (hint – this blog article is an example of how the internet marketing and website presence is changing).
Dramatic Growth of the Internet
In the beginning (okay I am now sounding like the old guy, but…) all you had to do was create the business website with your product or service offering, clean up your search engine optimization (SEO) and maybe purchase a few affordable paid advertising sources and the sales traffic to your website would come. Especially if what you sold had any specific aspects that differentiated it from the larger Internet universe. However, these days the space is getting too crowded, and as the developing world becomes more and more online capable and savvy, there is going to be an even great growth of Internet content.
I Know The Internet Is Growing Fast, But What Does That Mean For My Business?
When I was searching for an image on Internet growth for this blog article, I stumbled upon a chart by a business called “Pingdom” (www.pingdom.com). In looking at their images, I made my way to their website. Pingdom is a website monitoring service and if I was looking for another performance monitoring service, I would now give their business a quick consideration.
Do you think I would have found Pingdom by searching for “website performance monitoring”? Or do you think I knew the company “Pingdom” before today? The answer is no to both these questions, my relationship with Pingdom did not exist for me until they gave me something I wanted today.
Your company name and your listing of services do not really matter. What matters is how you support what the person is searching for!
The Internet is No Longer about Your Business Service or Products; it is about the Information Needs of Your Potential Customer
Let me give you an example. There are probably hundreds of companies who offer insurance to mining companies. Most of their leads are going to come from word-of-mouth. However, those insured might have a question that they would rather research online than by contacting their representative. Or they might be considering another company if they are not satisfied with their existing mining company insurance provider.
They would then type in Google Search: mining company insurance.
With this search Chubb (Search #1 -http://www.chubb.com/businesses/cci/chubb1682.html) is now in my basket of companies to consider for my Mining Company’s insurance needs. These guys seem to know their stuff. But…
Chubb is not trying to really help me. All they want to do is sell me something. They are just like all the other companies as I click links going down the search page. The company that would hold me and get me to bookmark them is the one that gave me lots of information about mining insurance in addition to their service offering. I know they want to sell me something, but I would see their expertise and graciousness and would remember them and put them to the top of my list.
Companies not seeing the need to better support the questions of those online are missing incredible opportunities. Your business better “get over itself”, it is not about you, it is about the needs of the Internet searcher. Start giving them something beyond what you sell, it is not enough anymore to talk about your business. Start trying to help your customer right away with their search question. If you treat them well, many will come closer and buy your services or products.
eosFirst.com is located in Oakville, Ontario. Garrett Hall and his team have assisted businesses across Canada with their online development. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like us to get your business website content and marketing up to speed.
The Guide To Trading Halloween Candy: Lessons For Your Business
I was reading a local newspaper today and noticed a link to this video. While of course the video is a humorous tongue in cheek guide to trading your Halloween Candy, there are some lessons for business owners.
Lesson One: Get Online – Everywhere and Anywhere You Can
The one thought in viewing this video (outside of its homour) is that everything you need to or could ever want to know is on the Internet.
The Internet is ever increasingly closing in the world. For an example, the other day I was in a line up at the Motor Vehicle Branch and 9 out of 10 people where on their smart phones in the line up. While one year ago there would have only been a few.
Regardless of your business, you need to get online and start to promote all aspects of your company now. From hiring to selling, the use of the Internet is not a “luxury” anymore, it is essential to the success and survival of your business.
Lesson Two: 1.5 Million Hits And Counting For This Video – Give Value
It is very important to offer value to your customers. Give them something they can use. Be as forthright with information as much as possible. If you sell something online give them links to the competitors! Well maybe not, but the idea is to give them all they need to know from you. If you don’t, they will just simply leave you and go to another search and find someone who can.
A business can no longer control the information, more and more it is being controlled by the consumer. You need to give them all that they want or they will go elsewhere, they did not drive 1/2 an hour to see you – they found you in seconds and can leave in seconds.
Lesson Three: Some Candy Is Better Than Others – But You Won’t Know Until You Start Trading
One of the most important aspects of Internet online development is the two way process. Through the process of building your online relationship with potential and existing customers you need to measure the effectiveness of the communication.
While this humorous Halloween Candy Trading video may have been created for the pleasure itself, however it is possible the an important purpose of the video is to draw people in to become Youtube “Buzzfeed” subscribers.
Oh…Another Important Piece of Information
If there are any traders out there who like Necco Wafers or the Yellow and Black Gooey Candies, make sure to send me an email.
The State Of Retail Today With The Greater Influence of eCommerce
The state of the Canadian retail industry can be more fully explained with historical context. A great shift in Canadian retail began with the opening of box stores and most importantly when USA retail giant Walmart entered Canada with the purchase of the old Woolco stores in 1994. On products available at Walmart, there was downward price pressure on these products for other retailers.
In order to survive retailers could no longer “sit in the middle”. The retail store had to move to great value or unique products and/or upscale brand. Probably the most notable retailer who tried to stay “in the middle” too long was Eatons which went into bankruptcy in 1999.
From about 2000 to 2006 the influence on Canadian retail from the larger category and discounter bricks and mortar retailers continued (online internet sales in Canada was about 3 years behind the USA retailers). The influence of online retailers was primary on unique and hard to find items not carried by the physical store retailers. However in the 4th quarter of 2006 something began to change in Canadian retail and things were about to undergo the greatest shift yet!
The USA was ahead of Canada with internet shopping, however in 2006 Canadians started shopping online. For the physical retailer the competition with the larger discounters and box stores was now accompanied by non-physical “Gorilla warfare” internet stores. There was also an influx of online auction sites like eBay and listing services like Craigslist.
These internet stores and selling sites with little overhead (it can cost $50,000 to $200,000 to leasehold a new store and rents are often $4000 to $20,000 per month for smaller stores) and nimble brand positioning were able to offer unique products, often at a more affordable price then the physical stores. So the physical retailers were now competing against the small nimble online stores and the larger value sellers.
In today’s retail environment, retail stores with a unique proprietary product and brand might be able to still be successful, but other retailers without some type of internet eCommerce presence are going to find their product selling to be threatened by the online stores and discounters on both sides of them.
The good news is that retailers are advantageously poised to sell online. They already have a customer base, products, information about products & hopefully even images. If they operate their online sales out of their store, they can also have their internet operation as with little or no overhead. I have seen stores increase overall sales by 20% with little additional investment.
If you would like to explore more on getting your store online, please follow this link.
eosFirst.com located in Oakville, Ontario. It’s President, Garrett Hall, has brought his own retail store from 70,000 to 7 million dollars in sales over 15 years. He eventually sold his store to a large retail company. He has been using his expertise to help other retailers across North America set up or optimize their online selling ever since.