What Can You Do To “Google Proof” Your Local Business?
Hmm. Interesting question.
I’ve suggested for several years now not to put all your eggs in Google’s basket. They’ve been known to wipe out entire business models in an afternoon.
The unfortunate reality is that so many local businesses and internet marketing consultants feel that being on the front page of Google is Local Internet Marketing.
It is also the source of incredible unnecessary stress. You know what I’m talking about. “What if I can’t rank on the first page?”, “What if I can’t get on the Places listing?”, or “I’ve made it to page one… What if I get slapped?”
What kind of business is that to be in? Why would you want to be so reliant on a Giant that thinks about you about 10 million times less than you think about it? Not to mention, one that goes around slapping the very people that made it such a powerhouse?
Simple Internet Math
SEO does not = Internet Marketing
Period. Case Closed.
SEO certainly has value. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an SEO expert. Never have been, never claimed to be, probably never will be.
I’m a Local Internet Marketer
I’m envious of SEO brainiacs. When I hang out with guys like Michael X, Keith Baxter, Brian Horn and they start getting deep into the SEO abyss it’s mind-boggling the amount of information they commit to their brain, information that may or may not be relevant next week and they relish the challenge. That’s what makes them SEO Gurus.
But what makes them stand out and among my top guys to pay attention to is that they know that SEO is only one ingredient in the recipe.
Let’s Remove The Blinders
If you are one of the many Local/Offline consultants that feel that getting a business website ranked on the front page of Google is your ONLY or CORE value proposition, you are leaving a TON of opportunity on the table.
You are limiting yourself and your clients to that finite, highly scarce virtual real estate on page one. No wonder it’s so stressful.
It’s not entirely your fault. High rankings in the search engines has been hammered into our heads from the first day we ever thought about taking a stab at online marketing.
Do What We Sell… Not What We Do!
The Internet Gurus all said, you want to sell your ebook? Got to get on the front page. Want people to read your blog? Got to get on the front page. Want to get leads? Front page.
Want to have any relevance at all? You got to get you some of that Front Page.
The remarkable irony is, when the Internet Gurus go to sell their products, coaching or seminars, SEO and getting on the front page of Google doesn’t seem to even be on the “to do” list.
What do they focus on? The Marketing!
Getting their compelling message found in multiple places where prospects are looking online.
That is Internet Marketing
And it’s exactly the way I do with Local Internet Marketing.
Help Local Businesses make their compelling message “findable” where Local Consumers are looking for their products and services.
And that’s not always on the front page of Google!
Let’s take Mobile Marketing as an example opportunity, and there are many.
The way I use Mobile Marketing has absolutely NOTHING to do with Google. That’s right. Nothing, nada, zilch. If Google went away tomorrow it would have NO impact at all on my Mobile Marketing campaigns.
Let’s look at a Restaurant campaign since they represent an almost endless supply of potential clients.
One of the biggest opportunities with restaurants, and a lot of local businesses for that matter, is getting current customers to come back more often, spend more money and spread the word to their friends and even strangers.
This is accomplished by marketing from the inside, getting current customers to plugin with incentives such as coupons, loyalty rewards, ease of doing business.
You can do this QR Codes, Text Marketing Campaigns, Email Optins, Mobile Apps. When current customers connect make it extremely easy for them to share through simple viral elements like social sharing badges from Facebook, Like Buttons, Forward To A Friend Email links.
A customer is much more likely to hit a button on their mobile phone to send a coupon off to a friend that they received via a text message or push from a mobile app than they are to take a coupon they go in the mail and stick it in an envelope and shoot off to a friend.
Why do mobile coupons have such a ridiculously high redemption rate?
They are not only EASY to use but also EASY to share.
This is extremely valuable to, not just restaurants but many different types of businesses. But even if you just did it for restaurants, there’s more potential clients than you can handle.
And by the way. Since you wouldn’t be competing for those limited spots on the front page of Google, you don’t have to worry about limiting the number of businesses in the same niche you can work with.
Mobile is just one example. There are so many opportunities outside of being a “Front Page of Google Peddler”.
If you are good at Local SEO, then keep being good. It’s an extremely valuable skill.
If you aren’t good at SEO, then get better at it. I’m not suggesting you ignore it. I’m studying it just about everyday for the next two weeks.
What I am suggesting is that you not make it your only value proposition. By getting out of the mindset of being an SEO Consultant and into the mindset of being a Customer Getting Internet Marketing Expert, with a big focus on the marketing, you’ll offer more value to your clients while creating far less stress for yourself.
Most importantly, you don’t set yourself up to let Google decide if your business is successful or not.
Post your comments. Let me know what you think.
Totally agree, Jack. Well said!