Small Business Digital Marketing Trends in 2017
As we become a digital society, where people have access to information 24/7 regardless of where they are, too many small business owners are still hanging on to the old way of attracting new customers.
I want to focus on small businesses that rely on a local audience to stay open and how 2017 digital marketing trends will affect them.
As a small business owner you must be willing to take steps to ensure that your business continues to grow in the digital age.
Has Your Small Business stayed up with Digital Marketing Trends?
The one thing that has not changed is how fast things are changing when it comes to marketing your business online.
Although the economy is improving and things are looking better for many small businesses, if you are still not growing or seeing improvement in new customer acquisition, it is probably related to your inability to effectively use the power of digital marketing.
To make matters worse, your phones are probably ringing off the hooks from Local SEO services making bold promises and pushing hyped up Internet marketing gimmicks!
How many Robo Calls have you received this week telling you your Google Local Business Listing has not been updated or is at risk of being suspended? Click the link below for a heads up about these scam artists!
Beware of the latest Google Local Business Listing Phone Call Scams
The Biggest Change Regarding Local Search in 2017
I spoke about this last year and it is still the same as we head into 2017, consumers rely heavily on their mobile phones to search and find local businesses.
Simply put, the businesses that appear on their phone screen when they do a local search will get first shot at earning their business. It is well known that when people do a mobile phone search they are usually ready to do business.
The big question is… “Where are they looking, when are they looking, and how do you put your business message in front of them when they need you?”
The numbers do not lie. The majority of your prospects are using smart phones and tablets to find local businesses regardless of their current location.
The mobile search swing also means big changes in the way Google displays search results in 2017!
Recently Google announced that their algorithm will undergo a major change in 2017 regarding the appearance of search results when people do a search.
For years it did not matter whether you conducted a keyword search from your smart phone or from your desktop computer; you’ll see the same results.
But in a few months this is set to change. Google is preparing to launch a new mobile search index that will be more up to date than the desktop index.
The bottom line is that mobile search results will become their primary index and having a mobile responsive website is more important than ever before!
How do these changes affect small businesses?
According to Google over 40% of local businesses are still not taking advantage of their free Google local business listing. they either have not claimed it yet or are not optimizing it according to Google’s guidelines.
Inaacurate information, wrong hours, old phone numbers are a few of things that may be hurting your chances to rank in the 3-pack and searchers getting bad information will move on to another business.
If you have questions about your Google local business listing let me know. I work on hundreds of them and may be able to help you understand why it is not ranking!
Is your Google Business Listing claimed, verified, and optimized?
Google recently announced that many small businesses have still failed to claim and verify their Free Google Local business listing.
The fact is, you must have your business listed in the big 3 search engine local listings as well as as many directories as possible. Having your business listing show up on page one for the keywords that apply to your business means new customers. When done right it can literally explode your business!
Major Trend Number 2 in 2017 – The continued growth of video viewing
The continued growth in video viewing by online shoppers! With live streaming from Facebook becoming a huge hit you need to take a serious look at how you can reach more people using the power of video marketing.
The fact is, people prefer video and when using a smart phone they will choose a video over reading small text on your web pages.
As a local business owner you can find many ways to use videos and upload them to your website and your YouTube channel. If you do not have a Youtube channel yet, get one!
Here a few ways that videos can help your business:
- Talk about your services and products and put the video on your products and services pages within your website.
- Reviews from satisfied customers. This is powerful and helps review seekers see and hear about your business.
- Connect with your current Social Media audience about events, sales, and special promotions using Facebook live streaming.
- Create “How To” videos to inform potential customers and build your credibility as an authority in your local market.
As bandwidth continues to get wider, videos download fast, are easy to watch, and very powerful for smart phone users looking for local businesses.
Major Trend Number 3 in 2017 – The need for a solid approach for Review gathering!
Put yourself in the shoes of the searcher for a second. They find your business on their smart phone and read reviews that speak harshly about your business. Do you think they are going to contact you? Probably not.
Even if you have no reviews you are hurting your chances because your competitor that has positive reviews will get the first shot at their business.
Are You a Five Star Business?
Study after study reveals that online reviews are a major factor in helping online shoppers decide who will get their business. You must create a plan within your business to engage with all your customers and encourage them to go online and say nice things about their experience with your company.
I am going to help you better understand the importance of having a plan by giving you my Free eBook “Get More Google Reviews”. It is packed with solid information and tips and tricks to getting more online reviews.
Click the following link to get access and download your copy now! Free Get More Google Reviews eBook
If your business is not quite ready for 2017 it is time to speak with a local Search marketing specialist and take a long hard look at why you are not getting new customers online.
The only way to find out what is wrong with your online local presence is to have a skilled outside source take a look at what you are currently doing.
Internet Marketing in your local market can be very confusing. The main reason most small business owners are either not doing anything or are doing it wrong is too much bad information!
Many of these so called consultants are buying “How To” eBooks or taking 2 week video courses and then pitching small business owners with their new found SEO skills.
There are hundreds of get rich quick schemes and do it yourself marketing programs that more times than not, are designed to make the seller rich and do nothing to help you.
Guaranteed top rankings in Google!
This claim is the one that you really need to be wary of. No one can guarantee you top listings in Google, except Google.
I have been doing Search Engine Optimization for 20 years and it infuriates me when people make false promises just to get your money.
Pay Per Click Scam – Another marketing scheme to be wary of is companies that want to give you specific keywords in Google Adwords (pay per click) for a monthly fee.
If you want to do pay per click do it yourself or hire a company that charges a service fee not a set price for specific keywords.
The huge influx of scam artists and inexperienced consultants has left many small business owners shaking their heads and reluctant to spend money on Internet marketing. I guarantee your phone is ringing off the hook with the latest greatest local search marketing system.
The good news is that there are really good small business Local SEO consultants and companies out there.
Be careful, and ask a lot of questions. Make sure they know what they are talking about and not just trying to take your money.
We strongly believe that before you can effectively create a local Internet marketing plan, you must know exactly what is going on in your local market and how well your current online presence is doing.
Your Small Business Needs a Local Internet Marketing Plan Not a One Size Fits All Package!
After we complete a comprehensive analysis of your situation we will tell you where your strengths and weaknesses are, and how competitive your local market is online.
A typical small business Local Internet Marketing Plan will include the following:
- Website Design, Optimization, or Redesign
- Local Business Listing and Google Plus Local Optimization
- Local Video Marketing
- Social Media Marketing including Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube, Twitter
- Reputation Management
- Pay Per Click Advertising – Google Adwords
- Local Search Engine optimization using Content Marketing
Get a Free Local Web Presence Analysis Without The Sale Pitch!
We always complete a Free small business SEO and website design consultation before we talk about a Local Internet marketing plan or what it will cost to implement it.
There Is No Reason You Should Not Have A Powerful Local Online Presence in 2017!
I hope you enjoyed the info above and if you want to talk about your local internet marketing situation contact us today!
To Your Success!