What happened in 2014? 4 Things Local Small Biz Owners Should Know

WHIBO

2014 is over and as a small business owner you are probably thinking "what the heck happened to the year!?". Don't worry we did the digging for you....here is what we learned from the past year:

-Registering your business with Yelp will help increase your web presence immensely.  Yelp has over 70 million visitors each month.*  Make sure your physical address is correct and that your products/services are categorized correctly (remember to think as if you were someone searching for you). Completing this small task makes a big difference for your company's web presence and helps potential customers find your company when they do a google search. Tell them to leave a review! I will explain why later! *(http://www.littlejackmarketing.com/blog/2014/01/using-yelp-to-increase-local-visibility/)

 

  • Mobile Optimization

-A majority of initial business research is being done when we are on the run, meaning we are not in front of a desktop computer. 35% of all web search traffic is being done on smartphones and/or tablets*...this number is only going to grow. If your website is not designed to view well on these devices then you are losing business. I cannot tell you how quick I am to exit out of a site that makes me zoom in to each and every button just to get to where I want to go. Responsive Design is the answer to this problem and is something you should have implemented asap. *(http://gs.statcounter.com/#desktop+mobile+tablet-comparison-na-monthly-201409-201411)

 

  • Reputation Management
-"79% of consumers place equal weight on both online reviews and personal recommendations."* I touched on this earlier with Yelp but managing all of your consumer facing outlets should be a key focus for the upcoming year. It is great having a robust social and digital presence to stay connected with your customers but if you do not actively respond to bad feedback/reviews your large digital presence can HARM your business instead of HELP. I was recently speaking to a prospect who spends over $50,000 on PPC advertising and $0 on reputation management.  I searched for his products and his ads popped up and under the organic search results were different directory sites with pages of 1 out of 5 star reviews.  After seeing those search results next to your paid advertisements, do you think your potential customer is more likely or less likely to buy from you? *(http://www.brightlocal.com/2013/06/25/local-consumer-review-survey-2013/)
-2014 was the year Facebook (FB) made it clear: you must pay to play. Organic FB Page posts only reach between 5-10% of your OWN fans. Pretty crazy.  FB says this is because more content is being created and it also claims that FB uses an algorithm to pick posts most relevant to the user for a better user experience. Long story short FB is a great marketing tool with the ability to hyper target your desired customers, but to take advantage of this you must pay. Couple this with the increase in Social Media being used as a major influence to purchasing behavior* and you have a fantastic opportunity for some serious ROI with paid FB marketing.  *(http://www.visioncritical.com/new-data-how-social-media-drives-purchasing/)
Happy New Year and let's talk soon!

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