If you’ve considered online marketing tools to help build your business, you’ve probably also wondered how quickly you can expect to see results.
Virtually every business owner has considered using Internet marketing, but even technically savvy people can struggle to understand how it all works.
At Be Locally, we specialize in helping our clients build their customer bases and increase profits through online marketing, website optimization, social media and content strategies. And while we can’t promise a hard-and-fast date that your phone will start ringing and customers will come knocking, we can offer some basic guidelines to help you know what to expect.
Factors That Will Influence Your Results
Let’s start with an easy one. How effective are your existing website and online marketing efforts?
If your site is bare-bones, not optimized, with a dated design, little content and no calls to action, you can expect to see an early spike in traffic once your online marketing is put into place. Certainly every little bit helps, but this spike doesn’t truly reflect the long-term results you’ll see down the road.
Next, consider this pressing question: How competitive is your market?
If you’re a Realtor®, for example, yours is one of the most competitive industries around. The more competitive the field, the greater the need to find your niche in it.
Today, every business must find its niche and play to that audience. You can learn more about your niche by talking to your existing customers. Ask them specifically how they found you and what influenced their decision to buy from you rather than a competitor. Ask what problems you solved for them and what questions they had prior to making their purchasing decision.
And finally, the big one: How much are you willing to invest in proven marketing strategies to grow your business?
Dollar for dollar, online marketing is a powerful — and cost-effective — way of increasing your bottom line, especially compared to traditional strategies. Broadcast and other traditional marketing methods can’t touch Internet strategies’ reach, immediacy and ability to target specific demographics.
However, even though you get an amazing “bang for your buck” with Internet advertising and marketing strategies, you are not likely to see quick results. Remember that SEO is more of a journey than a destination.
When Does SEO Start Working?
Based on our research and experience, here’s what you can generally expect to see:
During this period, the Be Locally team begins the elaborate planning and preparing required to flesh out your online marketing strategies. This is when we get to work on in-depth keyword research and analysis, setting up your listings, optimizing your website and creating your content. You most likely won’t see any significant change in activity during these first weeks, but rest assured we’re hard at work launching your campaigns.
As we continue building and tweaking your SEO and content strategies, the search engines begin to take notice. As Google, Bing and Yahoo evaluate the changes, your site will start getting traction in the search results. These incremental improvements mean that more prospects will find you and you’ll start to notice an uptick in activity.
During this period, all of our hard work begins to pay off. You should see a real difference in your traffic. If that difference isn’t converting as effectively as we’d hoped, we go to work on improving strategies for increasing sales.
Here’s where you really begin to see a change in your bottom line. Unless your industry and local market are extremely competitive, you should now see how valuable online marketing strategies really are. Trust us, it may seem like an eternity to see results, but the outcome will be worth the wait.
The Art and Science of Search Engine Optimization
Although your options are limited for helping the process along much faster, you will see more striking results if you adopt today’s best practices for optimization. Of course, that’s our area of expertise, and it’s what we do best at Be Locally.
SEO is part art, part science, and it’s an ever-changing paradigm. Google constantly tweaks and updates its algorithms, so what may have worked even a few months prior can change without warning.
In days gone by, businesses rocketed to the top of the search results using a few general keywords and short phrases. Today, Google’s demands are much more complex and sophisticated. Consequently, keyword-stuffing your web copy and online content will hurt more than it helps.
Online competition is vast and fierce, and you have very little hope of getting traction with generic terms. Instead, we must identify your niche and key phrases that incorporate natural speech.
For example, a prospect might call upon Siri through the car speaker and ask, “Where can I get my oil changed in Provo?” Meanwhile, if your site is optimized for “Utah auto mechanic,” or worse, just “auto mechanic,” that prospect will never find you.
This is where we come in. We conduct extensive research for your business model and geographic sales targets, finding those exact terms that get your best prospects to your front door. We know exactly how your potential customers are searching for your products and services, and that’s how we put you in front of them.
As a part of identifying your ideal keywords, we also identify the level of competition for various words and phrases. If competition is fierce, especially in your local area, you’ll struggle to gain ground against your competitors unless we find the perfect niche for you and optimize for it.
Don’t Forget the Importance of Conversion
We can drive traffic to your website or your front door all day long, but if the sale never gets made, it’s all for naught. The last part of seeing results from your online marketing efforts lies in the ability to convert a lead or prospect to a customer.
A major component of successful conversion is great website design. Your site must captivate your prospects, hold their attention and compel them to take action and buy.
At Be Locally, we are experts at producing marked and measurable results from Internet marketing. Depending on your business model, your budget and your desired time for results, we can recommend the exact menu of services to meet your goals.
Contact us today and let us help you start enjoying the benefits of online marketing!
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