Are you cheated by your Website and Online Presence?
How do you know that your business is getting cheated by your online presence? The first sign is that you rely entirely on word-of-mouth referrals.
Think I’m crazy? read on…
As consumers, we all hope to find a reputable company that will provide a good value, and solve our problems. I’m saddened by how difficult some companies make it to find their services on the web, and even frustrated when I find out that I missed out on a solid vendor or solution – all because their web presence is lacking and it was hard to find them.
Here at FeedbackWrench Web Design and Marketing, we exist to help Small Businesses go from Good to Great.
I actually deeply admire the old-school companies that have survived for such a long time, purely on their ability to execute and perform great work. We deeply desire to help businesses go from good to great, and to help our communities find the best value, most trustworthy solutions available.
The Four ways that small businesses are cheated by their web presence.
They are worthy of trust but have no reviews,
They are an industry leader, but don’t show up with local Google searches.
Their Business has withstood the test of time, but they can’t get a mobile responsive website.
Their raving fans have no outlet to recommend them or help them.
Before I jump in here, I want to remind us how difficult it is for businesses to stay relevant online. Technology is changing at breakneck speed, and revolutionary solutions are coming out left and right. Who would have thought that smart phones, smart cars, dictation functions on a phone, drones, wireless networking, wireless printing, or Facebook would have existed back in 1990? I’m one of the first of the millennial generation, and I know that it’s hard to keep up with technology….
It can be really frustrating, because it seems that no matter how you adapt or invest as a business owner – that investment will become obsolete eventually.
It’s weird to think that YouTube has only been around since like 2006, and it’s overwhelming to consider the prominence Apple’s iPhone has been risen to, in such a short time. It’s strange to think that Barack Obama was using a BlackBerry, and the iPhone had only been released for a short period in just 2008. Nobody uses a blackberry anymore! By the time laggards were ready to finally upgrade – Android and IOS kicked every competitor to the curb!
So I want to acknowledge that investing into technology can be annoying, frustrating, and even futile sometimes.
I have a great deal of respect for businesses that have stood the test of time, regardless of how technology has changed. But we live in a time where those who do not adapt to new technologies can quickly become irrelevant and even lose their business.
That’s why we’ve decided to help businesses go from good to great with their web presence, and business development. The bottom line is that we help people establish a great web presence and then drive sales.
With no further comments – here are four ways that businesses can get cheated by their web presence….
1 – They’re worthy of trust, but have no reviews.
The other day I was talking with a business owner that pulled up in his giant company pickup truck which was fully encased in a beautiful marketing vehicle wrap. My friend had been in business for a number of years, but his online presence was very simple. In fact, when we started to talk about it, he was excited that when you searched his name on Google–he popped up in the local section. He was just glad his name appeared – and had no idea of the potential power his online reputation or SEO and inbound marketing could do for his business.
He had no idea that the web could become his best employee ever..
But he’s been through so many different eras of technology, and has still always done a great job, and he’s built his business on referrals.
If you’ve built your business on referrals, then it is now “mission critical” for you to solidify that trust, with a Google review and an online testimonial.
If you depend on referrals for business, you are ultimately up to the whims of conversational subjects and someone inquiring from your evangelist. Now admittedly, there’s nothing more powerful than an evangelist customer running around and recommending you as the solution to a problem, but it’s usually not sustainable.
When you capture an evangelists testimonial, that person’s enthusiasm and passion for your solution won’t fade as drastically.
Not only will your evangelist “referer” get new long-lasting wings for their recommendation, but it will also be able to be served up at just the right time, to just the right person – using the wonderful tools of Google.
Referrals in the financial services sector
When I spent time in the financial services industry, I was trained to “get referrals” at every meeting. Asking your client’s to provide referrals is still a tactic that works, but times have changed quite a bit, since back in the 1980’s and 90’s. Back then, the internet was still in it’s infancy, and insurance companies experienced massive success – probably because the public was so uninformed. I learned a great deal from my teachers in the industry, but there was always something that didn’t sit right with me.
I worked for two insurance companies that had lots of old-school sales people in their leadership ranks – more on that in another post…. These guys have used the art of the referral to drive Business for like the last 40 years. Applying pressure to people never felt good for me, and I thought to myself “I would be so turned off by anyone telling me to refer them”.
If you’re like me, hounding your current clients and pressuring in them into calling their friends and family, in order to refer their Financial advisor -feels distasteful at minimum, and untrustworthy at worst.
I know that I never felt good about applying any pressure to these clients, that I cared so deeply about–and I felt like there had to be a better way.
The obvious answer is that if I’m so great, they’ll evangelize about me and the way I helped them. But when it comes to meaningful services about intimate subjects such as finances, most friends are not in a position to discuss such intimate subject matter with people they could refer to us. This isn’t always the case, and referral business is still critically important – but there’s a better way now!
The solution is to solidify your word-of-mouth referrals, by capturing a Google review or a testimonial on your website.
This should be freeing for business owners, because you’ll only have to ask you’re clients to jump on a website and provide a short testimonial, which they can do in the comfort and anonymity of their home. Your friends and clients won’t have to intrude into anyone’s lifre, nor do they have to risk sounding pushy.
Not only are Google reviews or online testimonials easier for your people to do, but those reviews are also, no longer dependent on the whims of a conversation.
In fact, when a testimonial is solidified through Google reviews, it can be served up to just the right person, at just the right time.
If you do not have a system or web presence that involves attracting, cultivating, and obtaining online testimonials and Google reviews, then please reach out right away.
2 – They are a leader in their industry, but don’t show up with local keywords
Without the proper web assets connected and deployed strategically, It can be very hard for an organization to show up for relevant Google inquiries.
The bottom line here, is that businesses need to participate in what’s known as inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is an approach that seeks to attract, convert, close, and delight prospects and clients, through relevant online information.
We help small businesses ensure that their web footprint portrays them properly, particularly, in the local regions they need to dominate.
There’s no secret sauce here, except to publish relevant information, that is strategically and tactically aligned to a marketing plan.
Again, I always feel frustrated for businesses when they have worked so hard in their local regions, but their website has nothing to help them show up, in a local, search engine inquiry.
The poor guys are getting screwed.
3 – The business withstood the test of time, but they can’t get a mobile website
It’s always sad when I find businesses that obviously invested a great deal of resources into a website over the last 15 years, but it’s not mobile optimized.
Truly, we don’t really optimize our website for mobile anymore–we simply use platforms that are mobile responsive.
How can you tell if your website is mobile responsive? You can tell if the content easily fills a mobile device screen, without having to pinch and zoom. The idea is that the full site shrinks down to the size of whatever screen it’s being viewed on.
The Business is cheated when their web presence does not have mobile responsive content. The most unfortunate part, is that these businesses that invested heavily into their websites more than 5 years ago, could not have known when they deployed their resources, how important mobile would be to the internet- especially to Google.
If your website is not mobile responsive, Google’s initiatives should scare you into solving that problem.
You will be left in the dust-bin of internet irrelevancy, if you don’t update to a responsive site.
4 – Raving fans have no outlet to recommend them
This sounds kind of bizarre, but businesses need to make it easy for their raving fans to recommend their products. The easiest way to do this, is by creating relevant content concerning the difference you make in the lives of others
When an organization develops and publishes relevant content, and serves it up to their social media, fans are able to spread the news of how their problem was solved.
For some industries this sounds ludicrous, but for others, it’s probably easier to be convinced of this.
For example, We found that being a tax firm that allowed people to easily implement an S-Corp strategy, allowed business owners to save thousands of dollars every year in self employment taxes. The people we helped, loved sharing it with their fellow entrepreneurs, because it made such a difference in their lives. This meant that they’d be able to help their friends – by sharing our company! That’s what you call a “win-win-win.”
Remember, business is all about solving problems or adding value–which means you’ve impacted someone’s life. It might sound cheesy, but remember that what you do, is about so much more than just selling widgets, or providing services – and nobody knows this more than your satisfied clients.
When you clearly communicate the impact you might have in someone’s life, and you do it online in a humble manner, it allows your fans to help their friends and families by sharing your content.
I hope you can tell the depth of our passion concerning small businesses. There’s nothing more enjoyable then helping a business go from good to great, and getting their web presence up to the standard of excellence that they would expect from any employee. As you meditate upon these four ideas, don’t hesitate to start a conversation with us to see if there’s some low hanging fruit available for your business.
Also published on Medium.