MARKETING

LOCAL BUSINESS ONLINE

A Step-by-Step Approach
Learn:
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

How to attract unlimited business from Google for free How to engage with your customers using the Internet so they pay more and spend more often How to create and use videos to increase sales and conversion How to use Web 2.0 properties like Facebook and Twitter to build your local business How to do email marketing properly to build life long customers How to manage your Internet Marketing campaign properly Where for find the right tools to get the job done

Proven and Consistent Results
Written by: Scott P. Gallagher
For more information, visit http://www.scott-gallagher.net

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

MARKETING: LOCAL BUSINESS ONLINE
Marketing: Local Business Online Preface
Teaching Expertise and Execution White, Grey and Black About me!

1 4
5 5 6

Introduction
90% of online campaigns fail Final Thoughts on why this will work for years

8
9 10

Marketing Toolbox
Overview Old School versus New School Driving Traffic, Conversion & Analysis.

12
12 13 14

Driving Traffic and Conversion
Overview 100’s of methods, why I only teach a handful Websites and something about Conversion Methods to Drive

17
17 17 18 19

Websites
Objective Process – 4 D’s

22
23 28

Search Engine Marketing
Keywords On-The-Page Factors Off-the-page

39
43 43 44

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition
PPC versus Organic 48

Pay Per Click Advertising
What is Pay Per Click Advertising Why Pay for Traffic? Google Adwords General Terminology Account Setup Campaign Setup Ad Group Setup Text Ads – Writing Ad Copy Keywords AdWords Conversion Tracking Specific Local Business Opportunities AdWords Reports

51
51 51 52 52 53 54 57 58 59 61 62 64

Search Engine Optimization
On-The-Page SEO Off the Page SEO Local Off-The-Page Strategies Link Acquisition Strategies Measure and Refine

66
66 85 88 92 114

Targeted Email Marketing
Overview Target Audience Campaign Creation Email Marketing Tools

118
118 119 121 124

Social Media Marketing
Social Networking and Communication

126
129

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition
Social Collaboration Social Bookmarking 142 144

Video
Video Traffic Conversion Video Creation Production Distribution

147
147 149 155 163

Webinars
Objective Strategy Execution

167
167 167 169

The MLBO Workbook MLBO Recommended Resources

172 174

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

PREFACE
I’m glad you’re reading the preface and have not jumped over this. There is important information included in this section and it’ll give you a good perspective on how to get the most from this book. This book is about local businesses This book is written and intended for a specific audience. This audience is the small and medium sized business owner and managers who provides a service to either consumers or businesses, serving a local footprint. This local foot print could be your own street, city or town, state and in some cases, even a national footprint. This may includes courier companies, chiropractors, auto shops, floral, plumbers, electricians, dentists, nutritionists, florists, attorneys, accountants or constructions firms to name a few. While this book can give a good overview for any business seeking an online presence, I will be giving specific examples throughout the book to the businesses above. There are three types of people this book will help. 1. Those interested in learning techniques and employing all the techniques themselves 2. Those interested in understanding the techniques to manage a team of outsourced people or internal staff. 3. Those interested in understanding the techniques to properly hire an ethical, morally sound marketing firm. The local business is unique. The local business is the small and medium sized business. These businesses make up over 90% of all businesses in the U.S. The Internet is a big place and today only a small percentage of people are making money online, but that percentage that is making money is making a lot. On the other token, a lot of businesses are losing a great deal of money. With so many options just in the paid advertising arena, it is said that over 50% of Google adwords campaigns are losing money.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition This book will simplify the online game and identify the strategies that work and those that fail. This book will guide you exactly where you need to invest your marketing budget. This book’s mission is to give you a framework with education and action plan. When you finish this book, you won’t be any expert in Online Marketing, but you’ll know exactly how to improve you current business and generate much more business, all from a virtual world.

Teaching Expertise and Execution
You’ll find most business books you read; online or print, experts teach you their expertise. While that’s great to know the author’s knowledge, this book will not only introduce you to my knowledge, but I’ll also teach you how to do it. You may already know that in order to rank high in the search engines you need links. It’s great to know that .edu and .gov links with high reputation are great, but no one wants to tell you how to actually get those links! I do. In fact, throughout the entire book, I sprinkle some incredible trade secrets that have been kept among my mastermind groups and my company. Like the road with all the car dealerships, I need to participate in educating the business world of what we do. You will need to read every page, every line to find these gems.

White, Grey and Black
While in the day of western movies, the good guys wore the white hats and the bad guys wore the black hats. This is no different in our world of online marketing. We have all heard of SPAM email. Something that is SPAM, comes from someone who is black hat. Another example of black hat online marketing is using techniques that are disapproved of by the search engines in order to increase your rankings. Basically, you’re fooling the search engines. Grey hat techniques are those that aren’t quite white hat nor black. These techniques may be argued either way and generally have some risk associated. An example of a grey hat technique is purchasing links. While Google explicitly deters the sale of links, I’ve subscribed to a magazine solely for the purpose of acquiring a link. White hat is where I play. This is the more difficult route to win online, however it is the most sustainable, has the greatest life and ultimately, conforms to the guidelines set forth by the online community. White hat online marketing is the digital version of old school marketing. Its takes time, effort and intelligence.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Once you get it though, I promise, you’ll benefit from the great improvements in you business.

About me!
My goal is to become an international guru on marketing small businesses online, taking the offline business online. I love teaching, that’s my passion. Its not money I’m after, but freedom. Not the freedom set forth in the constitution, but the freedom of choice as a human. I love the Internet because it provides me freedom. Right now, it’s a Saturday night at 9pm and I’m writing just after putting my 3 year old son down for bed. In a few days, on a Wednesday, my daughter has a performance for her dance group at a Chicago news station. I won’t be in the office. I love the choice to choose when I work, when I play and the ability to put my family first. While I can write all about my accomplishments here, I won’t. I have never enjoyed reading about an arrogant author who says, I’ve done this, and I’ve done that, so read my book. I don’t care what you think about this book actually. I know that I have a business, providing Internet Marketing services to a few specific niches and our clients keep paying us. We must be doing something right. It’s that simple. If you want to check me out, call me to ask about my credentials. Ask for a client name and number; ask them if I know my stuff. Then ask about he conferences I have spoken at. On a lighter note, I’m a father of two, happily married to a wonderful American woman. After immigrating to the U.S. from Canada I begun my entrepreneurial career with my life partner, my wife. Without her, I would have never been able to have the drive and motivation to accomplish my goals of freedom. I’m ever indebted to her and would like to acknowledge her for being such a wonderful, tolerable woman.

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 6 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

INTRODUCTION
“I don’t know Scott, my web guy told me…” I’ve been dealing with small business owners for almost two decades, over 10 years in an online capacity. I can’t believe how many companies do such a poor job on their websites. I’ve had clients doing in excess of $20M per annum and have a website that my kid could design. They’re afraid to fork over $2000 for a decent website. Imagine the conversion once people get to that site. Imagine a site that doesn’t speak the right audience. Imagine if you could just double the call- to-action (call you, email you, fill out a form, etc.) on the site with a small investment. The most common excuse…”My nephew/son/employee did it”. I remember my first site, I shouted “I have a website….I, Scott Gallagher, have a website”. That doesn’t cut it anymore. You can spend less than $1000 and get a great site, but don’t cut corners. Don’t settle. This is very important for the small business. Fact is folks, later in this book I’m going to prove to you that there are 100’s or 1000’s of people looking for your service every single day in your city, no matter how small your city is. You must maximize your conversion. Be careful where you get your advice. Don’t believe everything you hear, or read. Does anyone remember when you’d visit a family doctor if anything was wrong? That doctor was essentially a jack of all trades, in the medical field. Their advice was the end all, be all. Now medicine has sub-sectors. Doctors specialize into neurology. In fact, there are sub-sectors of neurology. There is a specialist for everything. Way, way back in 1995 there was the ‘IT’ guy. He knew IT, websites, software. He was so smart, everyone looked up to him. In 2008 I still get called an IT geek. I don’t know what blue-ray is, how to make a DVD or even exactly what a SATA hard is versus IDE. This is IT. I get so frustrated when my mother-in-law calls me to fix her ‘windows’ PC. Because I work on the Internet, I should know how to fix the computer. Sure, I’m sure I know more than most, but don’t call me to fix your computer. You don’t go to a podiatrist if your back hurts. Don’t go to an IT guy because he knows a bit of web development.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition A website should touch five separate hands. 1. Project Coordinator who understands your business, objectives and goals. 2. Designer who understands art, computer aided design 3. Developer who understands the latest programming code 4. QA, Quality Assurance expert to test for flaws (can be a developer, its just better to have a 2nd set of eyes, like proof reading) 5. Marketer who understands online promotion and your business objectives. Therefore, go to the experts. While I understand how to do each role and could do each role myself, I’m the expert marketer. Not only am I the marketer, I consult with gurus on all facets of online marketing, they consult with me when they need a local based business to gain online exposure in their local community.

90% of online campaigns fail
You’re reading this book because either you want to learn or you’ve tried some tactics and failed. You’re the norm, not the exception. That’s a great place to be isn’t it? To me, this is just an opportunity. Now you’re in good company. Online marketing is easy, just not simple [to learn]. There is just so much bad information out there. My industry is being slammed by incapable people and failures are giving my industry a bad name. The fact is 90% of what I’m teaching you can be found out on the Internet. The problems come with everything else that is out there. What works, what doesn’t. Secondly, most of what you read is not for the local business. This game is different folks. This book will help make you money. I promise, if you follow my steps in this book, you will improve your business. The problem isn’t the knowledge, its execution. Don’t give up. Like any marketing efforts, it takes time and effort. Marketing your local business online requires education in 3 areas.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition 1. Driving Traffic to your website 2. Converting that traffic to a call to action 3. Measuring your activities and tweaking for performance. This book will provide an overview of each of those areas and I’ll be giving stepby-step instructions on ways to drive and convert traffic. For those who require much more I also have a video coaching course that goes with this book. Finally, my business can do certain components for you.

Final Thoughts on why this will work for years
The online landscape changes weekly, that’s no secret. New methods of promotion are being discovered monthly, old methods dissipate. The search engines are changing their algorithm frequently, rankings change hourly. My strategies have stood the test of time and will continue to work for many years to come, likely the life of your business. Don’t try and fool the search engines. Since it all comes down to the search engines, you must understand their role. A search engines job is to provide the most relevant results for a web surfer for the search query requested. Period. Back in 1998 when Google was founded, they gained tremendous market share for one main reason. It wasn’t their marketing. It was their algorithm. An algorithm is a mathematical function the search engines use to determine the ranking of a webpage (notice I said webpage, not website?). Google’s algorithm is so good that by 2002 both MSN and Yahoo! had followed Google’s style of ranking. Since the search engines’ role is to provide relevant results, the way they determine if a webpage is relevant is very important. This algorithm is consistently changing, thereby making it very difficult to completely understand what is needed to rank in the top spots. I don’t like this cat and mouse game. I’d rather be proactive rather than reactive. So, ask yourself the question, with the test of time, what has fundamentally remained constant in evaluating a businesses growth? Marketing. Solid, consistent marketing.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Its about quality efforts folks. Quality of inbound links, not quantity. Quality of social site you’re on, not volume. Quality of your webpages, not quantity of pages. With my processes as a framework, I don’t expect this to change or will ever go out of date. We may add a new strategy, or change a couple of our processes or statistics, but for the most part, the system will remain the same.

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

MARKETING TOOLBOX
Overview
Most of you have probably been in business for several years marketing yourselves to your local community through traditional means such as word of mouth, radio, television, newspapers, yellow pages, conventions, trade shows, charity events among many others. While taking your offline business online is exciting, there are many, many ways you can spin your tires. There are several ways that you spend time and money in areas that simply don’t work. The fact is, your core business probably won’t changes once you market yourself online. Your goals remain the same, and that’s driving people to your business. It’s still an offline business, you need people to physically come to you or you go to them. Marketing online is merely positioning yourself in front of these people when they are researching your service.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Old School versus New School
All traditional forms of marketing, with the exception of direct marketing, is positioning yourself in front of a large audience and throwing your message out, hopefully some mud will stick on the wall. For example, a commercial on a television show is shown to an audience, some of that audience may need your service, other may not. A automobile dealership commercial is shown to everyone, children, public commuters, car buffs, competition, parents, varying ethnicities, college grads…etc. A BMW dealer may show their commercial to the above audience, where maybe a small percentage of that audience is even a potential buyer. This is old school marketing. Delivering your broad message to a large, untargeted audience. The major exception to this rule is direct marketing, which is similar to online marketing, where a marketer delivers marketing material to audience that has requested it. For example, Avon may send out 500,000 newsletters through snail mail to former customers. This entire audience is a potential buyer, for the most part. New school marketing is taking that concept and positing yourself in places online in front of people that have ultimately asked to see your message. Therefore you need a strong message, you need to capture information and you need to be properly positioned. Chances are, you won’t be delivering your message to 100,000 people, but you’ll be right there when someone Google’s your town’s services for Chiropractic, plumbing, accounting, etc. Consider this example, Avon may send out 100,000 marketing letters to former buyers. If 3% of that audience opens the letter and 25% of opened letters end up buying a product worth $30, at 30% margin, their net profit for that campaign is $6,750 (100,000 x 0.03 x 0.25 x 30 x 0.30). Their sales letter may have been in a plain white envelope. Imagine if they added one line of text on the outside of the letter that said something like “Time sensitive information, open immediately”. Chances are, more people will open the letter, maybe even 6% of people. What if the campaign letter was tweaked to convert 50% of readers to buy, instead of 25%. Now the new net profit for that campaign is $27,000. That’s a 400% increase in profit simply by adding a line on the envelope and changing the sales message! While, this is an extreme example their net costs for the campaign did

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition not change either! Online marketing is no different. You must spend your time and money in the right places in order to get the most from this venture.

Driving Traffic, Conversion & Analysis.
Its that simple. You just need to send as many qualified buyers to a central place, convert them with a call to action and deploy key performance indicators to monitor performance.

Driving Traffic
We know people are searching for your services, some are looking online. Soon I’ll show you how to find out exactly how many people are looking for your service online in your area. You need to drive traffic somewhere so you can convert this traffic to a call to action. You really need one central place that ultimately allows you to convert these people. Most businesses have a website that does this, other cost conscious businesses may have a single page on someone else’s site, such as an ad or page in a directory. I believe that if any business is going to employ any online strategy, that they need their own website. Anything less is a waste of time. While you can get a website for under $200, I’m a firm believer that this is an area that should never be compromised. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend more, it just means you need to understand the core components about the functions of a website. Like a sales funnel, driving web traffic is a similar concept. There is a wide mouth at the top that funnels leads to a central place, your website. I will cover many relevant areas that help drive traffic to your website. I will not discuss them all, but show you to focus your efforts in certain areas. While a billboard on the freeway may drive traffic to your website, or an ad on www.yellowpages.com might do the same, 81% of Internet users find the websites they are looking for through search enginesi. Search engines have undoubtedly created more traffic to a website than all other mediums combined, including banners, newspapers, television and radioii. You’ll find that many of the strategies discussed to help you improve your rankings in the search engines will also help drive direct traffic to your website. While there is no proven correlation, I believe this is directly related in the eyes of

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition the search engines. In any event, I’ll be discussing a handful of the best strategies with proof.

Conversion
Like the example provide above with Avon and direct marketing, its very important to convert the traffic you end up driving to your website. Conversion can mean different things from different businesses, but it all comes down to converting that traffic to take a call to action (CTA). A CTA for an ecommerce store is either a purchase or opt-in to their email program. A CTA for a dentist maybe be a phone call, send an email or ask a question on a form or a physical visit to their office. A CTA for a restaurant maybe be an order placed, phone call, email opt-in or a visit. The point is, if visitors are coming to your website and leaving without taking an action, chances are you’ll never see that visitor again. Therefore, the rule is if they don’t buy, get their information. The visitor made it to your site somehow and if you’re able to maximize the conversion with a few tweaks, like the Avon example, for the same costs, you can easily improve profits ten fold. While the concept of conversion has to do with the website, one would argue why I chose to put this after driving traffic. The fact is you need a decent site before you put efforts into driving traffic. However, conversion is something often overlooked and frequently disregarded. Therefore I believe conversion is something that consistently needs to be monitored and tested. A great example I’ll use is one of my own sites. One a single page we added a video. The goal of the site and video is to capture information to follow up with a phone call from the sales team. Using Google Analytics, we saw that the following statistics took place: ∞ Pageviews (# of pages a visitors looks at on a site) increased 90.07% ∞ Average Time on Site increased 77.1% ∞ Bounce Rate (visitors immediately leaving your site) decreased 15.7% ∞ CTA increased 22.1%.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition One measly video helped this. Therefore, I had more qualified leads for my sales team. I will be discussing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), metrics, strategies and figures relating to conversion. I also will be discussing website design and development in this section.

Analysis
Once you understand the strategy of conversion and driving traffic, your job is not complete. Things are changing daily on the Internet. Competitors begin to market themselves, new strategies emerge, old techniques fade and consolidation occurs. You need to have the systems in place to monitor these changes and make amendments to your strategy at the right time to react to these changes.

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

DRIVING TRAFFIC AND CONVERSION
Overview
In this chapter, I will cover several topics and provide some insight to your strategy to employ some of these topics. This is a long chapter, broken into several areas. I will be discussing the terminology and definitions of the basics, search engines, paid advertising, directories, social sites and other methods of online promotion. This chapter will give you a complete overview of the tools at your disposal. I also must make it clear that this is not a complete list of every possible way to drive traffic, however these are methods that work. In addition, many of these methods compliment other methods. For example, Article Marketing will bring in natural traffic from your articles but is also a practiced used in marketing your website in the search engines. Finally, these are in no particular order. I recommend two methods only when time and money are a factor, and that is Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Email Marketing. Although, in order to properly build an SEM campaigns, a few of the other natural methods such as article marketing, directories and videos may be required, depending on your unique situation.

100’s of methods, why I only teach a handful
This is the Internet, the fastest growing, largest medium of information in history. This is larger than newspapers, radio, telephone and television combined. While in terms of users, there are more Internet users worldwide than all those mediums combined, with the except of wireless phones. This is a good time to mention that the mobile phone is huge for the local business in coming years. We are still a few years from being concerned about mobile, don’t discount it folks. That will be a course in the future, I’m sure of it. I remember in 11th grade my economics teacher said to us, if you can figure out a new place to advertise, you’ll become a millionaire. I was 17 years old and it was early in 1992, the birth year of the Internet. He also said good luck to us, since most ideas we already born. Amazing isn’t it, today in 2009 there are still a huge amount of untapped ideas for advertising and some of these new ideas won’t ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 17 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition make you millions, but billions. Consider MySpace founded in 2003 with an average of 230,000 new users a day. Niche social sites are being founded weekly. Each of these sites offer a different service and are new advertising opportunities. On the other hand, we know of the dot com bubble in 2000. This was the time of banner advertising. Companies like Vonage have recently done well with banner advertising, but for the most part, it’s a dead business. You can buy links on sites, sell a link exchange, purchase ad space, rent, trade, beg and plea. This is only online, don’t forget about offline. Business cards brochures, pamphlets, menus, mugs, pens, billboards, television, radio, newspaper, yellow pages, blah, blah, blah. We’re in a world of marketing. My kids love the gimmicks for two seconds after I come back from a trade show. Point is the list goes on, and on, and on with the different ways to drive traffic to an online place, your website. Obviously, some work better than others. Now, in the local marketing arena, I know there are still ways that are untapped. I know one thing, the methods I’m teaching are hands down the best of the best, the methods that drive the most about of traffic that converts. Its not all quantity, it’s definitely a large quality factor amount.

Websites and something about Conversion
A website is collection of web pages, images, videos and other digital assets that are hosted on one (or more) web servers, accessible by the Internet. Collectively, websites make up the World Wide Web, a component of the Internet. At the time of writing this, the official definition of a corporate website is that it’s a website used to provide background information about a business, organization or serviceiii. I disagree with this. I define a corporate website, or business website, a website used to engage interaction among a company’s clients (customers, patients, etc), prospects (future customers) and partners (agents, suppliers, vendors).

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition The difference among the two definitions is the interaction. Web 2.0 is about interaction and the good news here is that 99% of your competition still has a Web 1.0 site, following the definition from Wikipedia. With interaction, we can define goals of a company website and measure these goals. Interactive goals could be a website’s ability to capture a lead, get a prospect to join your mailing list, fill out a form, post on a forum, join your own social network or simply pick up the phone. I call these a ‘call-to-action’ (CTA). Traditional websites, those digital brochure websites, do not measure nor test the call-to-actions on a website. Your website will be designed to maximize the CTA and make sure that visitors to the site will not leave without some sort of CTA.

Methods to Drive
As mentioned a few times, there are several dozen, perhaps hundreds of ways to drive traffic to your website, in both the offline and online world. While this book is entirely based in the Online world, I don’t want you to forget about the offline world. The following chapters will discuss conversion and whether you get people to your website offline or online, conversion works in a very similar fashion. Following I will list several ways to drive traffic to your website, and in the latter I will discuss a few key methods and why those are the methods you should spend your time on.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Online Advertising Email Marketing Social Sites Directories Forums Industry Associations Video Sites Article Marketing Niche Social Sites Bookmarking Sites Joint Ventures Affiliate Marketing Program Webinars Online Yellow pages Online Classified RSS Feeds Blogs Chat Rooms Public Relations Local Websites Charitable Websites

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Search Engines
A Search Engine is designed to search for information on the world wide web. Today,

While there are over 1000 search engines, the above graph supplied by compete.com shows that there is an 800 lb gorilla and some 2lb monkeys. I’m really only concerned today about four search engines, we’ll call them the big 4. In fact, when discussing some strategies to increase your rankings, we only focus on one, and that’s Google. Search Engines drive more to a website on average than all other mediums combined, including other sites, email marketing, webinars, radio, television and banners. Getting found on the search engines is very important, and simple. It all starts with a keyword, a single word or phrase used to find a webpage on the Internet. For example, “small business internet marketing” is considered a keyword. The word “business” is also a keyword. You need to rank at the very least the front page of Google for keywords that people are using while looking for your product or service. In fact, something like 40% of users click on the #1 spot and something like 1.5% click on the #10 spot. You ideally want to be positioned above the fold, the part of the screen that you see on your monitor before having to scroll down.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Email Marketing
Targeted Email Marketing is delivering a clear, concise message to an audience that has asked for it via email. Email marketing is a form of direct marketing as a method of delivering commercial messages. In fact, every email you send to prospect or potential client could be considered email marketing. In the form that refers to driving traffic to your website, the following objectives and goals are the focus of the campaign. ∞ Sending emails with goal of building and enhancing the relationship with current and former clients and to promote loyalty, cross promotions and up selling. ∞ Sending emails with the goal of acquiring new customers. ∞ Revenue stream by providing an advertising space for other businesses. According to a recent study by US Online Marketersiv 47% of respondents claim that email marketing is their best avenue for online marketing. In fact, email marketing returns an incredible $48.29 for every dollar spentv. Be careful here folks. I’m not talking about buying or renting a list of 10,000 local businesses and sending your message to them. That’s spam. We’re talking about building a quality list over time. If there is only one strategy you employ for your business, email marketing is the choice.

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

W EBSI TES
You should know what a website is if you’re reading this, and if you don’t, I don’t know why you’ve read this far. I won’t be explaining what a website is. I will however explain a few things about a (web)site that are important, and things not so important. First, I don’t really care about what your website looks like. It seems this is the first thing people say about a website. Well, its subjective, its art. I’ve been a part of developing over 100 websites, consulted 100’s of companies about their website and have browsed 1000’s of sites, in the last 12 months alone. Half the sites my company produces, I don’t like visually, however the client is very happy and provides great testimonial. We can reference visual art students and have a great argument how even, that’s not the focus. You need to understand this, it’s not about what your site looks like, but what it does. Its about functionality. You are a local business providing a product or service and you have local competition. Chances are, if you’re reading this in 2009 or 2010, you have much more competition locally than you do on the Internet. However, customers and prospects will be visiting your site and your competition and you’d better deliver to them what they want to find. Think of your car and my car in reference to navigation on a website. You may have never driven my car before, you don’t know where the minor functions are like the heat and A/C, or how the GPS works, however you do know there are usually two places the gear shifter is located, one place for the steering wheel, ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 22 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition brake and gas. A website is no different if you consider a web surfer a driver of your website. Items like the navigation bar should be in one of two locations. Your phone number should be in the top right. Your benefit statement and/or image should be centered above the fold. I could write a 100 page book on website design alone. In fact, my wife is a web developer and her school books are 300+ pages of information. Here, I’m not teaching you code or programming, nor am I teaching layout and design, but I am teaching functionality which leads to conversion.

Objective
Let’s simplify this. A local business’ websites goal is to take a web page viewer to take action. Studies show that 94% of people that visit a new website never come back. While this figure isn’t that relevant for the local business, it does demonstrate the importance of the old mighty call-to-action. Lets consider who is coming to your site, and why. There are prospects, clients (customers), venders and suppliers, employees and prospective employees or contractors, sales people, friends and family. We’re talking about marketing here folks, so my focus on the website is marketing to those you want to market to, customers and prospects, employees and vendors. The rest can be contributed to your ego. Therefore, since you can have several different audience groups coming to your site, and you’re marketing a local business, chances are you are not going for the sale on the spot. If you are, you should be reading an ecommerce book and I have the perfect book for you, http://www.onlinebizconsulting.com/. Its written by a friend and she’s an expert on ecommerce stores and marketing them, not me. I’m your guy for local and this means your prospects and customers (clients) are researching you, looking for the phone number, obtaining an address or email or just browsing. The goal here is to create that call-to-action. The call-to-action may refer to a phone call, submitting a form, registering to your newsletter or sending an email to you. Point is, you miss the call to action, you’ve exponentially increased your chances of never seeing that visitor again, or at least for the purposes of their current goal.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition It’s not how pretty your site is, like I said, I don’t care. You’d better nail the conversion. I also want to point out your options to get this done. While I support outsourcing development on the cheap, I believe in outsourcing execution and not expertise. Therefore, regardless of the development option you chose, this chapter is as important whether you hire someone in house, out sources to a development company or out source to a freelancer. As far as costs go, here is a quick breakdown. Hire In House This is where you’ll hire someone hourly to work in your office on a variety of tasks, in this case, a website. You will pay at least $30 per hour and expect your website to take at least 100 hours. Typically, this person has knowledge in your company or design. This is your most expensive option and worst option. Unless you’re a fortune 500, I do not recommend this. Here’s a quick story. I had a client that was a $20 million company with 250 employees that used their IT person to create their site. Four hours per day was spent on the site for over six months. This individual understood programming, but doesn’t understand SEO or marketing. They do or don’t understand sales nor is it their role to keep up on Internet Marketing trends. They used their scholastic knowledge but still had dated knowledge of new open source solutions. In turn, their site looked good but failed in the CTA department. Hire a local or a niche development company For a 20 page website you shouldn’t expect to pay more than $4000. In fact, you can get a very decent website from an exceptional firm for $2000. Anything less, in my opinion you’re trading quality for dollars and losing value. While this may be your best option, be careful. Many development companies have excellent expertise in development, but nothing in marketing. You will still need to understand all the processes in here to ensure you do your job as a manager. I promise you that 9 times out of 10 you’ll end up missing the mark if you simply let someone go with development on your site.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Hire a freelancer This is the best option if you have the time to complete this course. You can get a really decent site built for $150, but expect to pay around $400-$1000. As long as you understand the process and what’s required, simplify this resource any way you want and mould the site to be something your competitors will be envious of. You also control all the inputs. Go to www.getafreelancer.com or www.elance.com to find a great programmer.

Audiences
As mentioned above, the audiences that we want to speak to on your website are most likely: ∞ Customers ∞ Prospects (I call them future customers) ∞ Suppliers / Vendors / Agents ∞ Potential Employees Each audience segment you will have to cater to their needs. You’ll have to consider why each of those groups is on your site and what they’d like to accomplish. For example, a local dentist may consider the following. While a dentist’s customers [clients] may be looking for a phone number, or perhaps interactivity to adjust their appointment. Perhaps they are getting a root canal and want some additional information or simply want the physical address. Help them out, make sure the phone number is visible, Big. With an address, add a link to Google Maps so they can get immediate driving instructions. Most of what you’ll find and read about web development is related to either an informational site or an ecommerce site. Most local businesses can fall into the informational category, but be careful, its not. This is the world of Web 2.0 now and you must engage your visitors in different and compelling ways

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Delivering the right message to the right audience
As some point of time you’ve received a targeted marketing piece in the mail. One of the best direct mail campaigns in history is run by Avon. They’ll send out a million pieces to their list. Imagine if they got 6% of the people to open their offer, and 25% of those people bought. In this case, they’d have 10,000 buyers. Not bad for one mailing with a fixed cost. Now, chances are they’re spending more money on previous buyers and lets assume it costs $1.00 to send out a single piece. Therefore, in this case, each buyer would have to net $100 profit per sale in order for this campaign to break even. Now consider the difference in this campaign if Avon sent the mailer to previous buyers or simply a general audience. Had I received this mailer, I’d never potentially buy, ever and they’ve lost their investment in me. If this campaign was sent to a general audience, perhaps only 1% of the recipients would open the mailer and only 5% of those opened would buy. Now, each buyer would have to net $2000 per sale in order for the campaign to be profitable. This is 20 times the original situation. Doesn’t it make more sense to deliver the right message to the right audience? Your website is the same. Your website has its objective to create a call to action you need to deliver the right message to the people coming to your site. You can’t try and communicate a message to someone who isn’t a potential buyer. Now consider your business for a moment. Who do you sell to? Who buys your product or service? Is there a social class that buys more? Is there an ethic purchasing pattern? What’s the demographics in your neighborhood? Do you speak to couples, husbands? Who make the final decision? For example, a car dealership selling American made vehicles. Studies show buying patterns, where 80% of decisions in families are made by a female. Websites catering to females are much more receptive when softer colors are used. Females are more likely to be concerned about safety, warrantee, quality and after service reputation. Men are more concerned about the community of the dealership, the available colors and options such as a sun roof. They would prefer a repair to be quicker and use OEM parts. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 26 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Therefore, if you’re this dealership, your website should speak about your service department’s commitment to customer satisfaction, how your dealership has all the facts on consumer and vehicle safety, discuss the benefits of the warrantees and how your dealership continually wins in service competitions among your competitors. If you try and speak both message throughout your site, to both the men and women, you’ll lose its effect. If you keep your message consistent, you might lose 50% of those buyers that are men, but you might gain 25% additional female buyers. In this case, out of 100 buyers, you’ll lose 10 male buyers but gain 20 female buyers by delivering the right message to your target group. Think long and hard about your message. Discuss with colleagues, friends, family and most importantly, your existing customers. As questions about the value of your site, what they’d like to hear. Conduct a quick survey of some customers and you’ll begin to understand what message to delivery. Refining this message over time will come later, you just need a place to start. Action Items 1. Identify your audience groups 2. Write five possible profiles of each group 3. Write five character traits of each profile 4. Keep this handy when brainstorming for your site

Converting to a Call to Action
Using the same concept as you need to understand in the previous section, your entire objective of your website is creating the CTA. If you miss this, you’ll lose the visitors possibly for ever. A CTA is an action taken by a website visitor where you establish a relationship, or continue a relationship. You need to accomplish one of the following, or you’ve lost your objective. ∞ Entice the visitor to pick up the phone and call you ∞ Capture their email address for later marketing ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 27 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ Entice the visitor to send you an email ∞ Entice the visitor to fill out a form which is emailed to you ∞ Make a purchase (if you’re set up for ecommerce) Having them bookmark your website is NOT a CTA. So why include this on your page? It gives them an excuse to leave. When considering your website, every single decision you make should be followed by a question of whether that action item helps your CTA. Acton items should be answered to your most important audience group first. For example, if your website’s main goal is to farm new business, using the most valuable real estate on your site (top left) should speak benefits (not features!) about your product or service and how these benefits speak to your target audience.

Process – 4 D’s
We use a four step process in building a website. While you aren’t the expert in design, its very important you’re a part of the process from the start to delivery. You can not rely on anyone to get this better than you, you know your business better than most people. The four steps are: 1. Define 2. Design 3. Develop

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition 4. Deploy

Define
During this step, you will define the goals of the website in regards to branding, design, functionality and sales.

Objectives and Goals
For most local businesses the goal of the website is not to close a sale, but to compliment the relationship building process. Unlike the majority of retailers on the Internet, today the majority of sites on the Internet have different objectives than that of the small, local business. Your goal is to create a CTA, which as discussed is ∞ Entice the visitor to pick up the phone an call you ∞ Capture their email address for later marketing ∞ Entice the visitor to send you an email ∞ Entice the visitor to fill out a form which is emailed to you At this point, it doesn’t matter who the audience is, for new business these are your goals. There will be other goals once we discuss further the audiences, however, each of these above goals apply to all audience groups. Further goals and objectives will be subsections of these goals.

Audience
As previously discussed, you should have a list of potential audiences coming to your site. You should also have your goals of your site defined. Now, with your audience profile list and your goals, add to that list of goals that would apply to other audience groups that you have missed and place these goals as sub categories under the appropriate audience group.

Questionnaire
Included in this course is an 59 question exercise that should be answered. While most development firms should follow this process, having this ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 29 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition questionnaire prepared will vastly help anyone building the site for you. Please refer to the document titled ‘Website Questionnaire for Small Business.doc’

Competition
Doing competitive analysis is a process of doing research on the top competition in your niche. This includes both offline and online competitors. Just because your competition doesn’t come up in the SERPs, or because you don’t necessarily bump head to head with them, doesn’t mean they aren’t competition. This step is critical and you’ll need this later in your online marketing efforts, so take this step carefully. Make a list of your top 10 competitors (at least five). In an excel file, put their name, website address, strengths and weaknesses. Now navigate to each of their sites and simply rate their website on a scale of zero to 10. While of each of the competitor’s sites, make notes about what you like about each one, and what you don’t like. It’s ok to steal ideas, if you rebrand them to appear fresh on your site. Look for common themes among competition. Do they all have a FAQ’s section? They have testimonials, video? What CTA’s do they employ? Do they discuss personal features, show their pictures? What benefits are they selling? Do they appear as an authority in your niche?

Friendly Sites (sites they like, its art)
Most people can relate to this statement, at least my experience of small business owners when it comes to a website. You don’t really know what you like, but you know what you don’t like. We’ve all been there, reading our ‘gut’ to determine how much we enjoy a particular experience. Your website is no different to others. Remember, site design is the least important factor to me. Over 1/3 of the websites my company produced in 2008 I did not like visually, however they all had the right components. Website design is an art, and art is very subjective.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Therefore, don’t necessarily use your judgment either, make sure you get several opinions on your mockups. Therefore, regarding site design, compile a list of at least five websites that you like. These could be competitors, similar companies in other geographical markets, a friends site of just a random site on the Internet. This list will help form a visual of the components you like visually, since this is your vision you’re trying to build.

Keywords
You’ll find in later chapters how important this component is. You simply can not build a website today without proper keyword research. Since a keyword is the phrase used to find your site on the Internet, you’ll need to properly research the right keywords and place those keywords strategically through your site. Basically, what I’m saying if you can’t build a site just quite yet, you need to complete the Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization chapter in order to complete you keyword list and map the keywords to the right pages.

Design
This is the stage where you will begin the design of your site and have the ability to view several mockups of your site. By this time, you should have your list of sites you like, your competitors, keywords (see above), map strategy (see Search Engine Optimization chapter), your completed website questionnaire and your decision on who is going to develop it.

White Papers
Website White Papers is a document that your website concept is put on paper, ready for a design and development to begin. Either your company develops the white papers (in house and freelancer) or your development company will do this. Either way, this is a document you should understand and approve. Included in this full course is a white paper template document named Website White Paper Template.doc. In this document, you’ll define all of the website’s ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 31 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition parameters, including the marketing side of it. Therefore, you can not complete the website white papers until you understand Search Engine Optimization.

Mockups
Once you’ve completed the white papers or your development company completes them, you will then have mockups created. I suggest obtaining at least three mockups. Each mockup should be a different concept, but hold all the fundamentals of the defined CTA’s. Providing that you meet the requirements for the proper CTA’s, the mockup stage is not that important. Here you’ll be evaluating the look and feel and you should get the opinion of customers, friends, family and employees. Keep in mind everyone will have their own opinion and you may become confused. If you find a common complaint among several people, you know you should reconsider that function. Remember each mockup is only a graphical representation of your site and is only an image, therefore you will not be able to navigate around the site. From here, its ‘sliced’ up and coded in HTML.

Develop
Now that you have your road map defined and you have a layout chosen, its time to get your site completed. During this stage, a developer will code your website to be an actual, functioning website. The most important thing to consider here is the method in which a developer chooses to develop a site. For example, the right way versus the easy way. There are many ways to code a website, but anything short of the right way is wrong, in my opinion. You site needs to be free from errors, use proper coding, update to date programming and adhere to the guidelines set forth by the search engines. Therefore, in the later chapters I’ll show you some free tools to determine the crawl ability of your site, to discover broken links and poor coding, benchmarks to measure your code and a quick check to determine how well its designed.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Rather than spend precious pages of why this is important, I’m simply going to tell in which format is the best. To learn why this applies, simply Google ‘CSS versus tables’. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a format to describe the presentation of a document written in HTML (web page language). Table design is another way to present this information and easier to develop, however has many drawbacks. We spend an additional eight hours in our process to develop websites in CSS, however due the benefits we don’t even consider any other design when we’re considering marketing this site on the Internet.

In house or Outsource
Frankly speaking, you’re not the expert in web design. Neither am I, I’m the expert in web marketing. I don’t give myself or my family chiropractic adjustments. I don’t fix my own car and I don’t cut my own hair. Unless you have a web designer with marketing experience and industry experience, resist hiring a general IT person or your neighbor’s kid to program your site. Suck it up and get it done right. Inhouse As mentioned, there are several more cons to developing your site in house. To many times do company try and do this and they fail, exponentially with small businesses since they can’t afford to hire the right talent. If you do opt to do this in house, make sure someone, if not you, have a complete understanding of the marketing side of this project. Site Sell This is a simple, turn key solution to get your site up and running quickly. This is something you can do yourself in a matter of minutes. This is also very cost effective and you do not need programming experience. This is not a long term solution, however is suitable for the goals of this course and you will be able to drive traffic to your site and convert that traffic. Site Sell is an all in one, site-brainstorming, building, hosting and marketing solution. For only $299 per year, you’ll have all the tools to get online quickly and

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition still maintain control of key factors crucial to the search engines. Many other all in one solutions do not cater to this criteria and far too often we see sites drop out of the SERPs because of the platform used. This is the only all in one platform that I recommend using if you’re on a budget. Friend, family You know how I feel about this option. Unless that individual has experience in online marketing and has a proven track records of sites similar to yours, avoid this option. This is your business and you need to invest according, don’t skimp on a few bucks to give a friend an opportunity. Outsource – Development House This is probably your easiest option, while possibly your most expensive option. As previously discussed, this option bring the greatest value of resources to your project. When choosing a development team, follow this advice if you chose. Make sure they have experience in your niche and understand your business slightly before sharing your business model with them Speak with their existing customers, and not customers on their reference list. We all know this is rigged. Do a search in http://www.yahoo.com/ for (link:www.their-domian-name.com) without the brackets and you’ll find all the sites linking to their site. Browse that list and chances are you’ll find several sites they did. This works because you’re asking Yahoo to show you all the sites they have listed that point to their site, and most developers take credit for their work with a link at the bottom of their clients site. Pick up the phone and call one of their clients and ask them their experience. Make sure you respect their time and ask permission to ask questions first. Make sure their own site is designed with parameters they set forth and set forth in this course. ∞ Compare their process to the one in this book.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ Always get at least three bids and make sure your have your requirements set out before asking for a bid. If you developed the white papers, include that in your RFP. ∞ Ask who owns the code ∞ Ask who is responsible for copyright infringements (a lot of firms are under scrutiny for image theft and this gets expensive). Outsource – Freelancer or Contractor This is my preferred method. I’ve spent the last four years perfecting the outsourcing model. The biggest challenge here is management of your resources. You can outsource your site for very cheap and you can easily get just that, a cheap site. Your goal is to get a quality site for an inexpensive price. Notice the difference of cheap versus inexpensive? Cheap signifies poor quality for a fair price, inexpensive signifies fair price with value. Therefore, outsource execution and not expertise. You must drive the ship and manage the project, or you will fail. Out of hundreds of sites outsources, I have never seen an incidence where expertise is outsourced with execution and the value of the site came on top. It doesn’t happen. You are outsourcing to specific roles, not all roles to one person. Where to find a good developer While there are dozens of sites to outsource too, I have found two that I continually go back to. Get-a-Freelancer This is a great site with hundreds of individuals starving for work. You can hire people as low as $2 per hour. I don’t hire these people, I have not found anyone who works for this price and delivers the work I want. I typically look for people with four plus years experience and charge continually an hourly fee of $10. This is equivalent to someone in America who charges $30-$50 per hour. Elance (www.elance.com)

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition This site is typically higher in quality and bid, but requires less management. Here you’ll find people bidding from $8 per hour to over $20 per hour and its not uncommon for outsourcing companies to build your site. Development House If money is no object, this is your best option. The only real challenge is whether you hire someone local or hire a development house in your niche. Frankly, a development house focused on a specific niche, whether they focus on small local businesses or businesses in your industry doesn’t matter, they will have some insight to your business over a horizontally marketing firm. For example, a local development company has a portfolio of ecommerce stores, local stores, a fortune 500 and several service based businesses. You’re a pizza delivery company. What value does this company have over another contender that is located 500 miles away yet only develops websites for pizza delivery companies? What about a local development house that is highly involved in the community, understand the community dynamics and offers services to small, local businesses only? Either way you’re safe, just stay away from the majority, which are development houses that will take on any website.

Deploy
Once your site is completed, its time to get it on the Internet. If you already have a site on the Internet, a lot of this already done, however chances are you’ll have to dig up some of this information. You will need to understand what a domain name is, hosting, email and where to get this stuff done. Domain Name A domain name is a website address that points to your site. For example, http://www.sony.com is a domain name. The http part of the web address stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. This basically tells the computer what type of internet address is coming. In most cases, HTTP is used and from now on, nothing further is needed. The .COM portion defines what is called the top level ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 36 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition domain. Most businesses in North America use .com, some use .net. Organizations, sometimes non-profit, use .ORG. Other countries use other top level domains such as .CA in Canada, .UK in Europe, .CN for China, etc. Government and educational institutes have their own top level domains that end in .GOV, .MIL and .EDU. We can not purchase those. I don’t think you domain name is that important and I believe its best to find a domain name that closely relates to the name of your business. Hosting Hosting for a website is a physical place on the Internet where your site files are located. There are hundred of hosing companies out there. I do not recommend for any small business to host their own site, ever. Even if you have a database backend, host the front end elsewhere. Hosting your own site has some drawbacks, especially to the search engines. Up time and speed (how fast your can deliver your content to the Internet) play huge factors. While you can easily do this, do not try and save the monthly fee of $10. If your site goes down, or you have to many visitors (even more than two visitors with a cable of DSL modem) can have negative implications on your site, both from a conversion stand point and perception of the search engines. We offer a great resource to purchase all of you hosting and domain name needs through Go Daddy resale brand. They are the world’s largest ICANN-accredited registrar in the world, and is three times the size of its closes competitorvi. This company is extremely well priced and offers superb customer service and meets all of the necessary requirements we look for. Their interface is very easy to use and you can do practically everything over the Internet or over the telephone. Visit the site here. FTP FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. While many people associate the Internet to the World Wide Web (WWW), they are wrong. FTP is another component of the Internet, along with email, VoIP (voice telephone), streaming

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition media (typically delivered through the WWW), remote access and collaboration (IRC, IM, chatting, Messenger). While the entire components of FTP are not important, this is the method used to send files from one computer to another. While you can purchase FTP software, its not necessary. In fact, you may never need to use FTP to send your website files to your hosting account. If you purchased hosting through the above link, they have a built in FTP client in your account, or alternatively you can use Internet Explorer. You’ll need a username and password. Once logged in, it’ll appear like a drive on your computer. Type in ftp://ftp.yourdomainname.com or in the case of my blog, I would log in through ftp://www.scott-gallagher.net. . . Email Email is another component that makes up the Internet. This is a method to exchange mail messages in an electronic form. It is very important to market yourself with your company domain name in your email address. Do not use a Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL or Gmail account. Displaying name@companyname.com is very inexpensive and is a small effort to give your company a perception is a strong online presence. By visiting our Go Daddy reseller account here, you can purchase 10 email accounts for less than $30 per year!

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
It is said that search engines drive more traffic to a website than all other mediums combined. If you’re not showing up on the first page of the search engines for your keywords, you’re not in front of you target audience, someone else is. If you’re there, you’ll get traffic. It’s that simple. So get on the first page! There are two ways to drive traffic from the search. This component is called Search Engine Marketing, or SEM. These two ways are (there are actually three, but the third being ‘paid inclusion’ is dated and not very relevant for the local business owner) 1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 2. Pay Per Click (PPC) Before I get into each one, there are a few fundamentals that you must know about search engines. How they work. I won’t get technical, but there is a bit of jargon you must know. There are two sides to consider here. 1. From the eyes of the search engine (algorithm) 2. From the eyes of the person searching (human)

The Search Engine’s Eyes, a Spider and its Web
The Internet is frequently called the web, and what do you typically see when you a web? A spider of course! Well, you got it, the Internet is full of spiders. These spiders are the search engines (bots) crawling the Internet. The search engines crawl the internet every second to find out what’s out there on the ever-changing World Wide Web. Spiders will eventually crawl you website and find you and put you in their index, in turn allowing you to show up. If they don’t know you’re there, you won’t be indexed. Spiders take anywhere from minutes to months to get to your site. There are several factors influencing how often your site is crawled. We want to

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition get your site to being crawled every one to two weeks. While there is no direct correlation, but a site that is crawled more often is usually ranking higher. CNN for example is regarded as a high authority site and is crawled several times a day. Local business website don’t change that often and require less crawling. A well optimized local website will be crawled weekly, whether there are changes or not. To find out when your website was last crawled by Google, go to Google.com and type in your web address. In the listing, you’ll find a link called ‘cached’. Click on this. This will bring you to a cached image taken by Google when your website was last crawled. Once a spider gets to your website it first looks for a file called robots.txt. This is a simple text based file with instructions for the spider to follow. They are under no obligation to follow these instructions you give, but the major search engines follow the more common instructions. This is way to control what pages the search engine sees and which to ignore. Now that the major search engines are working together to follow some standards, another protocol has recently been introduced and this is the XML site maps protocol. Don’t worry too much about either of these. Just make sure you have both a robots.txt file and a sitemaps.xml file on your webserver. You can learn more about sitemaps at www.sitemaps.org. Many coders skip this step, make sure you have them.

Index me please!
Once you have a website, you need to be found, right? While this is highly debated in my community, this is another thing you need not worry about. They will find you, as long as you get at least one link. More on that in the SEO chapter.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition While some search engines allow you to ‘submit’ your website URL (www.scottgallagher.net) to their listing, this is not necessary. This even applies to those software packages that ‘submit’ your site to 100’s of search engines. Folks, at the time of writing this book, only four search engines matter. Between Google, Yahoo!, MSN Live and Ask, they hold 96% market share. Some argue there is only one, Google, who dominates with over 75% market share. They will find you through links from other sites. Submitting a site has never been proven to increase rankings more quickly. In fact, such submissions often require registration or identification, in turn generating a flood of junk mail for you. Using these strategies, you will get indexed. Its up to you to waste your time, I never, ever submit my sites to the search engines. I do want to be clear though, I’m not referring to directories here. For example, Yahoo! also has a directory service as a part of their business. You do need to submit your website to directories, and some are paid, such as the Yahoo directory. I will get into this a little bit later.

What do you see?
The search engines that crawl your site need to identify your site. There are ways to do this. Today for example, a search engine can not distinguish what a picture is. It only sees 1000’s of pixels. It can not tell if it’s a picture of a stop sign with the words ‘STOP’ in it. It sees the text on a page. The search engine can read ‘scott gallagher’ on my blog, but can not tell that the picture of me is ‘scott gallagher’ (yet!). Therefore, the search engine sees the text. The search engine also reads many other things on your site, including the programming code. In the code there should be ‘meta tags’. The meta tags typically included are description tags and keyword tags. You got it, its pretty obvious what to do with these tags. While some search engines don’t even index the meta tags, some do (of the major 4). I suggest using them, but understand, don’t abuse them. Simple marketing folks, use a clear, concise message. Use clear, to the point keywords. Don’t stuff them, you’ll get penalized. Some search engines do have a way of reading images, and they read the ‘alt tags’. If you’ve ever listened to an MP3 and the song name and artist come up in the player, this is similar to an image alt tag. It’s a way to label the image outside ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 41 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition of the file name. In my opinion, this is something that is easy to trick the search engines by stuffing your keywords into the alt tag, so that means there must be people fooling the search engines this way. I recommend using the alt tags, but only properly labeling images. For example, your logo image should have an alt tag like “ABC Courier Logo – Chicago Courier Service”. Here is an example that I ethically got my keyword into the alt image of a logo with my company name. The keyword being ‘Chicago Courier Service’. There is more on this later.

From the view of a Surfer
Too often a website is designed with a search engine in mind, and not a human. While in a later section, conversion and the follow series, I’ll cover in greater details aspect of human visitor, at this point I want to make something very clear. Proper design of a site and its content should always cater to the human reader first. While search engines are improving daily, this won’t stop for decades and their goal is reproduce popularity and mimic human thoughts and behaviours. Someone decided that links pointing to a webpage meant it might be popular, if its popular, it must be decent or maybe good. You’ve heard of the expression, eat at busy restaurants, you know the food is good there. That’s human behavior. The search engine linking theory is the same concept, except us in SEO have discovered some of the secrets. Google doesn’t like that and if we can fool them, they’ll figure out how to avoid that. That’s why some SEO techniques work, and others fail over time. For these reasons, that’s why I believe in employing only long-term, quality tactics. I have found these tactics are the ones that make sense from a marketing perspective, not from a perspective of fooling the search engine. A marketing perspective is satisfying a human, not a computer. Therefore, satisfying a human is getting your message in front of an audience in creative and ethical fashions, such as article marketing and local linking charitable strategies. Once you understand this, you’re off to dominate the search engine in the long term. As far as I’m concerned, this paragraph is probably the most important paragraph in this entire book. Read it again.

Factors used to rank your web pages
While this list can get pretty comprehensive, I consider there to be two major factors in ranking a website. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 42 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition 1. On-the-page factors 2. Off-the-page factors Since we’ve learned about algorithms, each search engine has its own way of ranking web pages through their algorithm. There are common elements among all the search engines, but they all work differently. Try this, do a search for anything you love and check out the big four. You’ll get different results. My strategies tend to satisfy all the major engines, with little fluctuation. Located at www.scott-gallagher.net/tools there is a page called PAGE NAME that’ll show you the different factors among the different search engines. (need to recreate document here) It is estimated that roughly 30% of the weight of your rankings comes from onthe-page factors (content, code, etc) and 70% of your weight comes from off-thepage factors (link reputation, popularity, etc). Before considering both of these factors, put the brakes on. Abraham Lincoln said “If I had eight hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe”. This is true with almost anything. Before you start any project, make sure you have the tools and knowledge to start it properly, otherwise don’t’ start.

Keywords
This is where it starts. The term keyword in reference to Search Engine Marketing usually refers to a word or keyword phrase (combination of words, such as 'Chicago Courier Service') used to find relevant and useful web pages. We will discuss tools and keyword research in later chapters.

On-The-Page Factors
While there are literally hundreds of factors here that have been proven to influence rankings, I live by the 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of your time on 20% of the activities that yield 80% of the results. People will talk about keyword density, word count, word omission, etc. Don’t listen to that. At this point not a single search engine has ever said what they look at. Do what makes sense.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Build content for the user. Build content for the user. Build content for the user. Say this with me now, “Build content for the user, not the search engine”. Now, since conversion is important and I’ll cover that later, you have a fine balancing act now. Develop content that is keyword rich yet flows with the user. Well, when you do your keyword research (later as well), you’ll discover keywords that people are using to find you, so doesn’t it make sense from a marketing perspective to use that ‘lingo’ on your pages? If you were searching for ‘Algonquin Chiropractor’, doesn’t it make sense that the page you land on is about a Chiropractor in Algonquin, Illinois? Maybe the title of the page should say ‘Algonquin Chiropractor’ instead of the doctor’s name, C.A. Gallagher? Who is C.A. Gallagher anyhow? I think the web searcher was looking for a chiropractor, not C.A. Gallagher, while she may be a chiropractor. Later in this chapter I’ll identify the major factors you need to consider.

Off-the-page
Remember back in high school? If you were friends with the most popular kid in the school, your desirability to be a friend from someone else went up. The more friends you have that were popular, the more popular you were. Websites are no different. The more friends you have, the better the rankings. Think of website friends in terms of votes for your website. A vote is merely a link to your website. Now, think marketing for a second. A link from one site to another is merely website A endorsing website B; they are saying this is another page you might want to check out. This is because good websites usually have other sites linking to them. You want better rankings in the search engines, if there is only one thing you do, acquire links. Later I’ll discuss link reputation and how important that becomes. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 44 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Google’s ‘Page Rank’ is very well documented and probably the most discussed of the search engines’ link analysis methods. Google describes PageRank

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important".

Therefore PageRank is given from page A to page B. PageRank comes to a page from the link it receives from a page. The amount of PageRank a page can give is determine from the number of links flowing from it, in general terms it is divided by the number of links on that page. Hence, the more links a page has going out of it, the less value each link is worth. I want you to try this right now. Go to Google and do a search query (keyword) for ‘click here’. Notice what comes up? Adobe Acrobat Reader Download Page??? Did you click on their link? Notice the keyword ‘click here’ is not found anywhere on the page? Why did they rank #1? It’s not only links, but something called ‘anchor text’ and more formerly ‘link reputation’. This exercise demonstrates the power of link reputation which will be the emphasis of our online strategies. Think about the number of pages out there that read “To view this PDF, you need Acrobat Reader. Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader”. That blue text you know is a link and is using the words ‘click here’. That is the anchor text used in the link. To check your PageRank, go to http://www.scott-gallagher.net/tools and use the PageRank tool. You can also install the Google toolbar and navigate to your webpage and the toolbar will display your PageRank.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition The page endorsing your page is also very important. For example, a dentist in Los Angeles endorsing a retail golf store in Chicago versus a Miami chiropractor endorsing a Miami massage therapist. Which scenario will give you the higher endorsement, with all things being equal. Again, think marketing, not search engines. I would say the latter scenario. You have two of the three major factors here. I have identified three major types of relevant links for local based websites. 1. Theme based Links 2. Geography based Links 3. Quality based Links

Theme Based Links
Theme Based Links are links coming to your website that follow the theme of the business you are in. For example, an automobile mechanic’s website can have many types of other businesses link to theirs. An inbound link from a exhaust supplier is a link from another company operating in a similar industry, auto repair. Therefore suppliers are considered theme based. Another example is a link from a car care shop, or automobile race track. While there are varying levels of themes, in this series we only discuss themes as a general concept. If you’re a mechanic, get links from automobile!

Geographically Based Links
Geographically based links are links coming to your website from anything local. They do not need to be themed based. A link from a friend’s business, a local flower shop, restaurant or the chamber of commerce is a great start. The more local websites linking to you, the stronger case you’re giving the search engines that you are a local business operating. TIP: To find great local websites is to get links from is searching for charity opportunities and donate on behalf of your business. While Google explicitly says do not buy links, this is by no means purchasing a link. You are merely supporting the local community and the recipient is merely

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition providing endorsement and acknowledgement of your donation. This folks is exactly what the search engines want to see, this is democratic endorsement.

Quality Based Links
Quality Based Links are links coming from high page rank (high PR) web pages with a small amount of outbound links. Testing has also proven that Google puts a great emphasis on .edu (educational) and .gov (US government sites). This is obvious because these two types of sites are not up for public auction (you and I can’t buy them) and generally viewed with authority content. Therefore, if one of these sites endorses your website, it must be good! Other high quality or high PR sites would be from newspapers, reputable newswires (CNN), other websites with a lot of inbound links and maybe even your own suppliers. Anything with a PR4 or higher would be considered in my opinion a quality based link. To sum this up, get links from local educational institutes and you’ll get all three factors going for you. TIP: Most Universities have student profile pages. If you know a student, get them to link to your business or write some content for the institution to publish on your behalf, endorsing your website.

All Other Links
Whether you’ve search for hours before reading this book, or you do further research after reading this book, you’ll find a lot of varying opinions. You’ll find a lot of people disagreeing with me. The difference is I am never looking for the next thing in acquiring links. For me it’s about marketing, traditional, old school marketing. Therefore, the above three methods are time consuming to acquire one measly link. Social Bookmarking: While writing this book, social bookmarking sites are one the ‘big things’ in SEO. These are websites that allow you to bookmark your favorite websites in a public community. Other people can see your own bookmarks. The theory is that more people bookmark a website, the more popular the website is, and in turn, the more likely it’s a relevant website and finally, bring PageRank into the receiving website. It works, and it works well today. I don’t recommend it for long term gain. It is too easy to create artificial ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 47 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition demand and hide your footprint to the search engines that I believe eventually they’ll be able to pick up those footprints. This strategy however is easy to get many links and will help your website in the short term. I don’t spend much time on this. A partial list of bookmarking sites is located on www.scott-gallagher.net and the complete list is found in the following series. Make sure you’re on my email list, I drop a few in the video series.

PPC versus Organic
In an ideal world you would use both strategies to maximize your site’s profile. Due to budgetary constraints often make this impossible. Trying to do both on a limited budget or with limited resource can result in neither campaign producing ideal results. If this is the case, you must focus on one or the other. Since the majority of users click on organic listings and anyone can pay for PPC listings, I almost always focus my effort on SEO over PPC. However, this short article maybe give some insight into what’s best for you.

Organic Search Engine Optimization
I’m going to identify some of the advantages here of SEO versus PPC. Trust. Studies have found that searches trust organic listings 86% of the time versus its counterpart.vii This is because paid ads are, well just that, paid. Anyone can place an ad on the networks and entire fundamentals of Google, to organize the world’s information, is why their search engine is number one. Their listings and their algorithm is very, very tough to game, and in turn, their results are very accurate. Hence, increased trust. Click Through Rate. I know you’ve clicked on more organic listings in your lifetime than paid. So has your competitors, friends, family. It’s a given and therefore its safe to assume the click through rate on organic listings outperform PPC listings. To prove this, a study I discovered found that search users are up to six times more likely to click on the first six organic results than they are to from any of the paid resultsviii. Another interesting find was a study of eye tracking, a solution to measure where the human eyes go on a webpage (this is discussed in the Website chapter). This study found that over 50% of users start on the top left corner of the listing, varied groups scanned middle left to right and few users started their scanning on the paid resultsix.Finally, another study shows ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 48 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition that 30% of searchers click on paid listings, leaving a whooping 70% who click on organic listingsx. Visitor Value. Trends are showing that more sales are resulting from organic listings than PPCxi.Additionally, the overall conversion rate of a few sites we manage, which are local businesses, is 17$ higher for unpaid search results than the rate for PPC. PPC Awareness. Hundreds of people on the Internet are millionaires, some billionaires, from managing affiliate PPC campaigns. While this is not dead, its much more difficult to do this since PPC has become visible to the average surfer that this is a marketing tool. While I don’t have this statistic reference, I recall reading that only 50% of searches are aware of the distinction between PPC and organic. Frankly, when I’m selling SEO and I ask the question “Do you know the difference between PPC and Organic listings?” the answer is typically, ‘well, not really’. I know this happens more than 50% of the time. PPC Pricing is increasing. This is obvious. This is economics of supply and demand. As more advertiser compete in the PPC world, the supply doesn’t change that much, however the demand is increasing. Therefore, as costs go up, your profit margins shrink. Long Haul Game. Marketing anything is a long term endavor, however, PPC changed that. While a pro and con of each, SEO takes longer to get results, but your efforts stick for a longer period of time. As quickly as you can get an ad up in PPC and begin to get results, as soon as you stop paying, you lose that traffic.

Paid Per Click (PPC)
I can hear your little voice now saying, why would I want to even read this PPC section, I’m sold on SEO. I’m not discounting PPC, its an effective strategy, and as you’ll find in the following chapters, if you have the budget left, even $200 a month, I suggest running a PPC campaign for at least your first 6 months. Results. Your results are instant. You get an account right now, in 15 minutes you could have traffic. Your SEO efforts can take months to get results.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Budget. OK, nothing is free. While we say organic traffic is free traffic, lets not kid ourselves. Organic traffic is not free, in fact its very expensive. Whether you’re spending your time or money outsourcing, its costing you. Hiring someone for $250 a month will not get you decent SEO results. We charge upwards of $1000 per month or more for a small business monthly on SEO. Mind you, for $12,000 per year we, have generated millions in revenue. Easier to manage. OK, so this is a long book and I remember the first time I begun to learn SEO, I was overwhelmed. It has taken me years. I don’t expect you learn SEO like I know it, I only expect you to follow the steps in this book. Even a step by step book can’t simplify SEO to the point that a monkey could do, it still requires intelligence. A simple PPC campaign can be managed in house by someone with little experience in marketing. I’m not saying this person will be successful though, since I heard once over 50% of all online campaigns fail. I think they were referring to PPC. No Contract or Time Commitments. Most SEO firms will require you to invest with them for six months or more. I’m considering offering 12 and 24 month SEO contracts. We need six months of your investment, or we won’t get results. Granted, we’re getting local results now in the first month, we need top placement results to look good for several keywords. We are achieved this in the third and fourth month and by the sixth month, our clients have translated a lot of that traffic into business.

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING
NOTE: This chapter is written and edited by Kristy McDonald, a Stompernet moderator. She is a PPC consultant for local businesses around the U.S.A and manages PPC campaigns for local businesses. I only have book smarts on PPC, not very qualified to execute, qualified to discuss at a high level. Kristie is arguably one of the best PPC managers and executers for local businesses in the world.

What is Pay Per Click Advertising
Many search engines and other high-traffic websites allow you to advertise your business on their site. With Pay Per Click, you only pay when a visitor is interested in your Ad and clicks to go to your website. With search engines, PPC is based on the search term entered by the visitor, which they match to the keywords you choose to advertise on. In theory, the visitor performing the search is rewarded with advertising specific to their needs and the advertiser is exposed to visitors looking for exactly what they are selling.

Why Pay for Traffic?
There are many good reasons to spend a portion of your marketing budget on Pay Per Click Advertising with the major search engines: Quick traffic - You can create a campaign and have ads showing the same day. Highly targeted traffic – with PPC Advertising, your ads are only shown when a visitor searches for relevant terms you choose. Geographically targeted traffic – You can setup your campaign to only be shown to a specific targeted region. Testing of Your Keywords - This is big - You don’t really know which keywords will pull interested, “converting” visitors until you’ve tested them with your target audience. Once you’ve found which keywords are working for you, you can

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition invest the time and energy in optimizing your website for your converting keywords. Higher conversion rates A recent study by comScore has shown that the conversion rate of PPC traffic is significantly higher than that of SEO traffic. This is probably because we can be extremely targeted with PPC traffic and only show on critical, converting keywords.

Google Adwords
There are several search engines offering Pay Per Click Advertising options. There are, in fact, many non-search engines that offer PPC advertising models as well, such as Amazon, Gifts.com & Facebook. We will focus on Google Adwords here because over 70% of the searches today are done on Google. If you are going to try and master one of the PPC programs, you should focus first on Google Adwords and then migrate to Yahoo Search Marketing and MSN AdCenter if your budget and time allow. Many of the concepts and strategies you learn will apply to all the engines with differences only in the technical details.

General Terminology
Search Term = the word or group of words that a User types into the Google search field. Keyword = a word or group of words that Google uses to match up with a User’s Search Term to display your Ad. Keywords can have one of three match types: Broad, Exact and Phrase. A match type tells Google how to decide whether your ad should be shown for a specific Search Term. Keyword Bid = the maximum Cost Per Click (CPC) you are willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad. This Bid is used by Google to determine where your ad will be placed. Each advertiser competes for position with their bid (and their Quality Score, to be explained below).

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Ad Text = 4 Line Text Ad that is displayed in the Search Results when Google matches your keywords to the Search Term entered. Note: there are several different formats your ad can take. We will limit this discussion to text ads because they are the simplest forms, but you can also advertise with Image ads, Video ads and Maps Ads (Maps ads will be discussed later). Ad Group = a way to organize your keywords matching them to a specific Text Ad Campaign = a way to organize your Ad Groups. Several settings in AdWords are at the campaign level, such as Budget, Geographic Targeting and more. Impressions – This is how often your ad is shown on a Search. Click Through Rate (CTR) – This is how often Visitors click on your ad as a percentage of the number of times your ad is shown (impressions). Cost Per Click (CPC) – This is the amount Google charges when someone clicks on your ad Getting Started with Google AdWords

Account Setup
www.Google.com/Adwords 1. Select Start Here 2. Use an existing Google ID or Create a new one 3. Enter Billing Information

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Campaign Setup
Account Organization
Some of the things you can differentiate at a Campaign level may dictate how you decide to organize by campaign. You can set a budget, set the geographic area where you will advertise, set the services where you will advertise – Google Search, Search Partners, Content, and Mobile.

Campaign Name
Be sure to name your campaign with a naming convention that helps you to understand what is included inside and how the campaigns are different.

Budget
Currently you set the budget as a daily maximum within each campaign. Google displays your ads in such a way that you will not exceed your maximum (they are usually very close but their policy is within 10%). This could mean that Google stops displaying your ad at different points during the day if you are in jeopardy of overspending your budget.

Delivery Method
You can select whether Google shows your ad constantly until you run out of budget (accelerated) or if they display your ad intermittently to keep you within your budget (standard). In order to maximize your exposure, I recommend selecting the standard delivery method here and making sure the keyword bids you select (described below) position you in a place on the page that maximizes the amount you are shown during the day.

Networks and Bidding

Search
Within the Search section, you can select to advertise on Google Search only or on Google Search plus Google Search Partners, Search Partners ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 54 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition are the companies that have contracted with Google to display Google Search results on their site. This includes large companies, such as AOL, Ask.com and others – but it also includes anyone that has placed a Google Search widget on their site. Google does not give you the option to display ads only on Search Partners without Google Search. Just recently Google has given us the data separated out for Google Search and Search Partners, so as your campaign runs, you can see how each network is performing for you. If your budget is extremely limited, I recommend displaying ads on Google Search only until you have an idea what kind of traffic, Click Through Rate and conversions you get. You can also select Position Preference within this section. I do not recommend selecting position preference.

Content
Within the Content section, you can select whether your ads will be shown on the Content network. Content campaigns are an advanced technique that you can try after you have your Search campaigns running smoothly. Always, Always, Always separate out your Search Campaign from Content campaigns. These are two completely separate ways to advertise your business and need to be built as separate campaigns. When you are building a content campaign, you can select whether Google chooses where to place your ads based on your keywords or whether you tell Google where to place your ads by supplying the site URL.

Device Platform
Google just released the ability to select whether you would like your ads to show on Mobile devices. There are several ways to advertise specifically to the mobile device. This selection allows you to opt in or out ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 55 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition of that ability and to create separate campaigns for desktops/laptops vs. mobile devices.

Ad Scheduling
I personally don’t like to use ad scheduling. If a potential customer is looking for me, I want to be there no matter when they are looking – and far be from me to know when my customers may or may not be looking. However, you may have data that shows visitors at certain times of the day or days of the week convert better and want to focus a limited budget to those times. Or B2B companies that are not interested in attracting workaholic entrepreneurs may assume their customers only search during business hours. Make sure you have data to support your choice if you decide to limit the times your ad is showing.

Ad Serving
Your options are Optimize and Rotate. I like Rotate because it allows me to Split test ads and determine which ad is working better. However, Google recommends selecting Optimize because it allows Google to show the stronger ad more often over time. They choose the “stronger” ad based on Click Through Rate.

Geographic Targeting
This is the key component that gives the Local Business owner the power of advertising only to targeted customers. You can select where your ad is shown based on zip code, radius, city, metro area, state or country. You can also select an area based on longitude, latitude components. The only limitation to this selection is that Google bases the customer’s location on their IP address. There are some Internet providers, such as AOL that cause the IP address to look as if it comes from a different geographic location.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition I recommend having one campaign that is locally targeted with generic keywords such as accounting services and one campaign that is nationally targeted with location-specific keywords such as Chicago accounting services.

Ad Group Setup
Ad Group Organization
One key to a successful Adwords campaign is to create small, tightly targeted Ad groups. This usually means a handful of keywords that are all strongly related. In general, every keyword in an ad group should appear in the ad text. (See the section on Quality Score for an explanation of how this will help you.) The components of an Ad group are the keywords, ad text variations, destination URLs (landing pages) and CPC bids (Cost Per Click). At the ad group level you can create multiple ad variations, add multiple keywords and keyword phrases, associate multiple landing pages at the ad variation or keyword level and assign the Cost Per Click (CPC) at the ad group (default) level or the keyword level.

Ad Variations
There are several variations of ads you can create. I recommend you start with text ads and move on to other types as you have time to learn the differences. ∞ Text Ads ∞ Image Ads ∞ Local Business Ads ∞ Mobile Ads ∞ Video Ads

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Text Ads – Writing Ad Copy
Writing Ad Copy is only second in importance to keyword selection. Your Ad copy needs to both qualify the visitor and encourage them to visit your site. The problem is that you have a very, very limited amount of space to say what you want to say. Headline = 25 characters 1st line = 35 2nd line = 35 Display URL = 35 The display URL must be the same as the actual domain but you do not have to list the exact landing page.

Tips
Take your visitor to the most targeted landing page possible. For example, if you are a heating & cooling business and someone searches on Furnace Repair, take them to a page that describes your Furnace Repair service – don’t make them search for it when they get to your site. Use Geo-targeting to add one more line below your ad showing the location. If you designate a specific city, metro area or state in the geo-targeting section of the campaign, Google will display the location as an optional 5th line to your ad. This improves CTR. This location name, called a moniker, is not displayed if you use zip code, radius or longitude/latitude options to designate the region. Make sure your ad copy describes the benefits of your service AND contains a call to action. (Don’t use up valuable space with your company name or other information that you can just as effectively share when they get to your site). Remember, you are just looking to get a highly qualified visitor to click on your ad, not to close the sale.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Use Keywords throughout the ad copy. This helps with two things – first it improves your Quality Score with Google and second any keyword in your ad is displayed in Bold which improves the CTR.

Keyword Insertion tool
Google offers a tool that inserts the keyword that triggered the ad into the Ad Copy. It does not insert the exact search term typed in by the user in but instead the keyword from your ad group that is matched to the search term. This can be useful in generating very targeted ads. But be sure to track conversions carefully. We have seen it increase the CTR for an ad but not always the conversions. Also be sure that most of your keywords will display within the constraints of the number of characters.

Keywords
At this point, you have determined many keywords to try via keyword research. You need to take the time to organize your keywords into logical groups which will make up the Ad groups discussed above.

Match Types
Match type help Google to determine whether your ad should be shown when a user types in a search term. Understanding match types is critical to creating an effective campaign. Exact match – Google shows your ad only when the Search term matches the keyword or keyword phrase exactly. Phrase match – Google shows your ad when your keyword phrase appears somewhere in the search term. (i.e., if your keyword phrase is accounting services and a user types in “accounting services in Chicago”, your ad will show. However, if the user types in “services accounting in Chicago”, your ad will not be triggered by this phrase match keyword. Broad match – actually called Expanded match now, this match type causes Google to show your ad on any variation of your keyword phrase including related keywords (i.e., synonyms)

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Google defaults all keywords to broad match if you do not designate a match type. I recommend starting your ad group with exact and phrase match keywords. If you would like to expand your exposure, add broad match. Broad match helps you to be sure you have not forgotten any major, effective keywords and can really expand your exposure. However, be sure to be very diligent about running your Search Query report (described below) and adding negative keywords where necessary.

Negative keywords
During your keyword research, you surely ran into keywords that would be completely inappropriate for your business. You can also add to this list by running a Search Query report (discussed below) for prior searches in your account to see if there were terms that brought non-targeted traffic to your site. Negative keywords can be added at the campaign level or the ad group level. There are also 3 match types associated with the negative keyword. Negative Exact Match means that your ad will not be shown if the visitor types in the exact term. Negative Phrase Match means that your ad will not be shown if the visitor types in a term that has the two or more words in the exact order but with words before or after the phrase. Negative Broad Match means that your ad will not be shown if the visitor types in a term that contains all the words present in your keyword but in any order and with any other words before, after or in between your words. For example, if you sell accounting services, you may decide that you don’t want to show for just the term “accounting” because people that type in that exact search term are typically looking to study accounting or learn more about accounting. Including the negative exact match term, ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 60 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition accounting, would prevent your ad from showing when someone types in accounting but your ad could still show if someone types in accounting services. If you include a Negative Broad match term, accounting degree, your ad will not show as long as the search term contains the word accounting and the word degree in any order and with any other words present. For example “accounting masters degree” would not trigger your ad. Or “degree in accounting” would also not trigger your ad.

AdWords Conversion Tracking
Adwords Conversion tracking (not to be confused with Google Analytics) helps you to determine which keywords and ad copy are working best for your business. Conversion Tracking is a piece of code Google generates which is placed (probably by your webmaster) on a landing page where you send your customer after they have completed a desired action. A desired action can be anything that is meaningful to your business. An action can be an online purchase, a completed contact form or any other action on your website. When a customer types a search term into Google, clicks on your Ad, interacts with your website and then performs the specific action you desire (for example, filling out a contact form), this action is tracked by Google and linked to the specific keyword and Ad Copy combination. This data helps you to determine which keywords are working better for you and which Ad Copy is resonating with your customers. You can then make decisions about your campaign based on what is working for your business. Conversion tracking can be difficult in a service business because the majority of your “conversions” are probably phone calls or even physical visits. However, you should at least have a Contact Form on your website where you can add conversion tracking to catch some of the data.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition There are some advanced methods to track conversions in a service business. One option is to create a special phone number that is only displayed on special landing pages for PPC traffic only.

Installing Conversion Tracking
1. Click on Conversion tracking under the Campaign Management tab 2. Click Create An Action 3. Name the Action something meaningful to you (i.e., Sale, Lead, etc.) 4. Select the type of action (Purchase, Lead, Sign-up, etc.) 5. Google allows you to change the security level to https if this is going on a secure page. 6. Click Save Action & Get Code 7. Copy and paste this code to be placed on your landing page. Google has special directions on this page to help you or your web developer with conversion tracking placement. 8. Place the code as directed. 9. Once you have created a Conversion Action, you will see two new columns in your Campaign dashboard – Conversions and Conversion Rate.

Specific Local Business Opportunities
Local Business Listings
This is actually separate from PPC but is mentioned here because it is necessary to run Google Maps ads. Google allows local businesses to add their business listing to Google. Local Business Listings will show on Google Search Natural Listings and on Google Maps.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Google Maps Ads
Google’s Local business listings will show naturally on Google Maps but you can also create Google PPC ads to show up on Google Maps. These are the ads that show above and below the local business listings. Another unique aspect of ads is that you can create a unique map icon that will help your listing to stand out.

In the picture above, I went to www.Google.com/maps and searched for furnace repair You can see that it brings up several Local Business Listings – A, B, C, etc. and shows the Visitor on the map where these businesses are located. In addition, there is a PPC ad at the top in the blue shaded area. This particular advertiser did not use a unique icon – they selected Google’s default – but by creating a unique icon, you can make your location stand out on the map.

Mobile Advertising
There are several ways to target mobile devices. This is advanced PPC advertising and beyond the scope of this writing.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

AdWords Reports
Running and analyzing your reports are critical to running a successful campaign. You need to look at what is working for you and make changes according to your data.

Account Performance
Account performance allows you to see on a daily, weekly or monthly basis how your account is performing and changing (hopefully improving) over time.

Keyword Report
The purpose of the keyword report is to show you how each keyword is performing. You can select any period of time. I recommend using small periods of time no longer than one week to start and then moving to monthly when you are comfortable with the performance.

Search Query Report
The search query report will show you what the visitor is typing in and responding to for your phrase and broad match keywords. I recommend using this report to find new Negative keywords or identifying keywords you have not thought of.

Geographic Report
The geographic report will show you, down to the city, where your ads are showing and how customers are responding to your ads geographically. This is especially useful if you have conversion tracking because you can tell if folks are responding to your ads differently depending on their location. You can use this information to separate out campaigns by location and applying different budgets and keyword bids. There are several other report types that you may find useful as well. Reports can be run at any time on any data historically. There are also

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition options to automatically generate reports and email them to yourself or others periodically.

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
While this section could easily be 100 pages or more, I’ve condensed it immensely for the purposes of outlining the most pertinent facts and tasks that will get you results for a small, local business. While there is still a lot of opportunity in the local SEO market place, competition will inevitably be increasing over the next several years. By this time you should be comfortable with what is required for SEO and this section will give you the step-by-step on how to achieve those rankings. I will be sharing with you the exact process we use in our Internet Marketing Agency for small businesses, and our clients dominate the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in their respective local markets. Follow this simplified plan, and you will to. There are two major factors to consider and I’ve broken the tasks you should be focusing on in a monthly format. Do not attempt to expedite this process, as the search engines will notice an odd pattern of promotion and slap you around like a rag doll in a child’s crib during a screaming fit. The two factors include On-The-Page-Factors and Off-The-Page-Factors. The first will be completed in month one and should be reviewed during month 6, month 12, month 18, every 6 months. The Off-The-Page Factors should begin in month two and ongoing, however certain tasks can begin in month one to get prepared for link building. Point it, do not start link building until you’ve completed all the factors for On-The-Page.

On-The-Page SEO
The objective of this process is to get the website set up properly to adhere to the published and tested guidelines set out by the search engines. While we discuss requirements for different Search engines, I prefer to focus in on Google. Frankly, at this time I could care less about any other SE, since Google holds over 70% market share at the time or writing this book. I have identified 11 tasks that need to be completed in order to complete the first month. Following is a matrix of those tasks. I’ve estimated the amount of time it requires per task in minutes. These times might not be for you, chances are

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition each task will take you longer, but if you’re well under this time frame, consider going back and perhaps you missed something.

Task Task #
1 2 3 4 Customer Set Up Google Analytics Keyword Research Competitive Research Report Set Up

Description
Set up Customer in Web CEO and run the following reports -Control Site Quality Set Up Google Analytics Account and add code to customer website Conduct keyword research and finalize list of up to 30 keywords Conduct competitive research of up to 10 competitors for the top 10 keywords, input in WebCEO Set up the following reports to be emailed to the client and run initial reports for the client: -Ranking Report -Competitors Ranking Report Set up the following reports to run monthly but not sent to the client: -Ranking Score (less client name, of course) -Linking PagesLink Text Analysis -Linking Sites Overview Map keywords to pages and beging analysing pages Identify any cosmetic changes and major content changes to get approved by the customer Submit Client Website to all directories in WebCEO

Est. Time
30 15 90 30 30

Due Date
Day 1 day 2 day 3 day 4 day 4

5

6 7 8 9 10 11

Strategy Map On-the-page Strategy

60 45 15 60 240 30

day 5 day 5 day 5 day 20 day 18 Day 20

Auto Direcotry Submission Manual Directory Manually submit 8 directories per week, for up to 4 weeks Submission Implement On-the-page Implement all the On-the-page Changes Changes Submit Changes Submit the XML site map to Google, MSN and Yahoo!

WebCEO Set Up
Here you set up WebCEO software for the management of your campaign. 1. In the control panel, click ‘add new site’ a. Add prospect information and manage through use of folders 2. In the control panel, click ‘client manager’. This is the area that allows for clients to access their information online. It creates their online account. a. Add a new client account. b. Create new account using company name. i. For the login, make company name one word ii. ie.--> jetdelivery iii. create your password c. Click next to go to Manage Client’s Sites Tab ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 67 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition i. Find the client site and check the box d. Click next to go to ‘Set access to services’ i. Highlight the site, and click ‘set permissions’ ii. Choose the last 3 boxes (omit submission)

WebCEO Check Ranking Report Setup
(this section can not be completed until you get your keyword and competitors list, found in the follow sections. This has remained here to keep all the WebCEO stuff in one section). 1. Choose ‘check rankings’ from the quick launch menu and chose your project. 2. Choose ‘3. Competitors Rankings’ a. b. c. d. Click Configure in the bottom center Choose the Big 4 Search Engines Click ‘add keywords’ Click ‘add keywords manually’ and copy and paste the keywords

from your map strategy. e. Click ‘add competition’ f. Click ‘add manually’ and add the 5 URL from you research file. g. Make sure the client site is also checked. h. Click OK i. Click START

WebCEO Analyze Link Popularity Report Setup
1. Choose ‘Analyze Link Popularity’ from the quick launch menu and chose your project. 2. Choose ‘5. Linking Sites Overview’ j. Click Configure in the bottom center 1. Choose Google and Yahoo! k. Click ‘add competition’ l. Click ‘import from’ & choose ‘advanced import’ m. Choose ‘ranking’ and the ‘competitor rankings’ and then ‘default profile’. This should bring up the same competitors from your previous report. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 68 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition n. Click OK o. Click OK p. Click START. 1. Choose ‘4 Link text analysis’ q. Click ‘configure’ in the bottom center 1. Choose Google and Yahoo! r. Click ‘add pages’ 1. Choose the root page only s. Click ‘OK’ 1. Click START

WebCEO Scheduler
From the quick launch menu, chose scheduler. You should see a list of your projects, or your one project on the left hand side. a. Chose ‘add a new task’ under the ranking column b. Configure the task to run once a week and ensure the checkbox ‘task is active’ is chosen. c. Choose ‘competitor’s ranking’ in the task parameters. d. If you’d like WebCEO to email you a report monthly, chose that box or simply open WebCEO to check you rankings. No need to publish unless you want others a place to log into to view their reports, or if you are doing this for a client. Go to www.report-viewer.com to download the report software.

Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that provides detailed statistics about the visitors to your website. The greatest asset is that the product is aimed at marketers as opposed to webmasters. Google Analytics can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, PPC networks, email marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Integrated with AdWords, users can review online campaigns by tracking landing page quality and conversions (goals). Goals might include sales, lead generation, viewing a specific page, or downloading a particular file. These can also be monetized. By using Google Analytics, marketers can determine which ads are performing, and which are not, providing the information to optimize or cull campaigns. Google Analytics’ approach is to show high level dashboard-type data for the casual users, and more in-depth data further into the report set. Through the use of Analytics analysis, poor performing pages can be identified using techniques such as funnel visualization, where visitors came from, how long they stayed and their geographical position. It also provides more advanced features, including custom visitor segmentation.

Set Up Google Analytics
To set up Google Analytics, go to http://www.google.com/analytics/. Click on the ‘Access Analytics’ button and then sign into your Google Account. If you have never done this, you’ll need to sign up for Google Analytics by pressing the ‘sign up’ button. I suggest creating a Google account with your companyname@gmail.com. This is a great email address to use for anything that you risk could be spam, such as signing up for social sites. Input the information of the site you want to analyze and once completed the system will generate some HTML code for you. Follow the instructions, and Copy the code block into every webpage you want to track immediately before the </body> tag. Otherwise, supply this code to your deveoper. You’re done! Now you just need to log into Google Analytics to start seeing your data!

Keyword Research
This is a practice to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition While there are over 10.5 billion online searchesxii, users use keywords to search for the pages they want. Remember, a keyword is a single word or a group of words.

Overview
This is the single, most important task in your online initiative. With the wrong keyword research, since it starts here, your pages will be poorly optimized, in correct anchor text, the entire campaign will be wrong. Take the time to properly research. Someone searching for a specific product or service in a local sense will use two key components in their search. The components are: Core Term – This is your product or service. Such as ‘chiropractic, chiropractor, chiro, wellness, etc’ Consider all variations, including jargon and a thesaurus. Geographical Modifier – This is your geographical region. This can be your local town, major metropolitan area, your state (both in abbreviation [DE] and long form [Delaware]), zip code, county, country and even local jargon (Chicago is referred to Chitown, San Francisco is referred to San Fran, Bay Area, etc). In some cases, this may include your airport code. There are four major factors in determining whether a keyword is worth being used. Search Count. This is the number of times a keyword is actually being searched on a daily basis. For example, ‘Chicago Courier Service’ is searched for 590 times per month according to Google. Remember, this is only that keyword, not the combination all the total searches for your service. Competition. This is the number of competitors (number of pages) competing for your keyword. Indexation. This is the number of times the search engine has indexed your keyword. Relevancy. This is often overlooked and not considered by many as relevant. For example, a courier service provider, often called a messenger researches the ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 71 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition phrase ‘messenger service’. While a messenger service is one of the oldest industries in the history of human commerce, the first five spots have to do with technology, and 90% of the front page relate to a communication service, instant messaging. The results are all centered around one true messenger service named ‘Action Messenger’. Therefore, this keyword would have a relevancy factor of maybe 30%. However, ‘Messenger Service in Miami’ would now apply very well. There are a lot of tools out there to do this research, but in this case, the best one comes free! Google AdWords Keyword Tool https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal This is currently the best tool to determine volume of searches. Localized Keyword Tool http://www.scott-gallagher.net/local-keyword-tool/ This is a great tool to build your core terms and geographical modifiers together in a single list.

Keyword Selection Strategy
Geographical Modifiers - Open up the file ‘SEO Keyword Strategy Map.xls’ and locate the first tab named Keyword Ideas. Identify all the geographical locations that come to mind for your city, state, county, country, zip code and airport code. Right now you’re brainstorming only. You need only discover major areas as the localized keyword tool will help you. Make sure you ONLY put geographical terms that are 75% relevant or greater. For example, you live in the suburbs and you’re a dentist. You know that typically someone will drive a maximum of say 10 miles to come to you. Do not try and optimize for that major metropolitan area that is 15 miles from you. You’ll be spending too much effort trying to rank for that big city and the conversions of those prospects will be very low.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition For every physical location (or location pages on the website) that the you have (which ever is a smaller number), we can chose up to 3 physical locations. So, if the client services Chicago and is located in Morton Grove, then choose Chicago and two major business areas around Chicago. Generally these are going to the most populous places. In this case, choose Chicago, Park Ridge and maybe Schaumburg. If you want or require more geographical locations add the pages. Go to http://www.scott-gallagher.net/local-keyword-tool and simply input the radius and zip code for your first search. This will give you every city in the surrounding area. Be careful, this might end up being a very long list. Copy this list to notepad and remove the 3 cities you decide are the most relevant. Your list is now is a list of ‘excluded’ cities and copy this list back to http://www.scottgallagher.net/local-keyword-tool and input this list into the ‘remove cities by entering one city per line’ field. Core Terms – Using the Google Keyword Suggestion tool and your own intuition, develop a list of core terms relevant for your business. Brainstorming. Brainstorm who you are, your company name, abbreviations, your personal name (if people might want to find you associated to the company). Write down generic terms used in your industry and specific product and service names. Put yourself in the searches shoes and ask a few friends the terms they’d use to find your service. Consider variations like “pub” and “bar”. Expand your list. The idea is relatively the same as brainstorming. Next, rather than asking friends about ideas, consult with industry people, family and friends, your web person, co-workers and employees to expand on your already existing list. By showing them the original ideas, it’ll help generate additional ideas. Go through online forums, news sites, reference sites and offline journals. Speak with customers, and ask what they used or would use to find your product or service. In the next section, I’ll be discussing a competitive analysis, which will give you insight on how to determine the keywords that your competition is using. We’ll discuss some strategies that is like going through the trash of your competition. If your website is live already for more than 6 months, go through

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition your statistics (if its set up) to determine what traffic came to your site already with specific keywords. Now you should have a long list of both core terms and geographical modifiers. You next step now is to take this long list, combine both lists and then make it as short as possible! Finally, visit http://thesaurus.reference.com/ and use variation of your core terms to find alternative core terms that you may have not thought of. For example, the core term [money] is referred to as “green back, dollar, dough, tender, loot, peso, etc…”.

Keyword List Compilation
Tip: A good rule of thumb to determine the ideal number of keywords to use is to take the number of pages you can and want to optimize on your site and multiply it by three, and add one. So if you have 10 pages you want to optimize, you’ll ideally want a keyword list of 31 as a maximum. Divide that by two, 15, and that is your minimum number of keywords for a 10 page website. Go to http://www.scott-gallagher.net/local-keyword-tool Enter in your core terms and your geographical modifiers and hit the submit button. Copy this list and paste it in the SEO Keyword Strategy Map.xls’ excel file and save the file. Copy the list from your excel file and go to the Google Keyword tool and paste your keyword list and hit the ‘get keyword ideas’. https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal At the bottom of the list, export that list to a CSV for excel file and open that up. Expand the columns and sort the columns in descending order using the Average Search Volume column. 1. To do this, highlight the entire spreadsheet and click on ‘data sort’. 2. Add a new column and label it ‘relevancy’ and another column called Adjusted Search volume. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 74 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition 3. Right click the column and click ‘insert’ You will need to add a math formula in this new column. If your spreadsheets is set up like the one below, the formula to add in cell F2 is [=D2*E2] {without the brackets). Copy this formula all the down by dragging this cell to the bottom of your list. Here you go through each term, one by one, and add a relevancy factor to it. This is subjective and you want to consider all possibilities. Therefore for example, a divorce attorney located in Chicago, IL would consider the following.

Keywords Adv. Compeition divorce law firm 0.66 family law 0.6 divorce lawyer 1 attorney in chicago 0.8 divorce lawyer in chicago 0.66 divorce attorney in chicago 1 divorce attorneys in chicago 1

Approx S. Vol. Oct. 12100 22200 49500 60500 60500 165000 60500

Approx. S. Vol Avg. 234000 207000 135000 49500 22500 20500 20500

Relevancy 5% 5% 5% 25% 100% 100% 100%

Adjusted Search Volume 11700 10350 6750 12375 22500 20500 20500

Notice this list is sorted merely with the highest number of searches. Obviously, once we put a geographical modifier on the keyword, the number of searches drops significantly. By adding the relevancy factor, the list changes significantly. The reason for this is that chances of someone searching for ‘divorce attorney’ is in your area and can do business with you is very low. I decided to keep the relevancy factor at 5% because of this. It is estimated that 5% of the country’s population lives within 100 miles of area this attorney could service. When there is a keyword that has no geographical modifier, I rarely allocate larger than a 5% relevancy. We’re talking local here. As for words that have the geographical modifier, the core terms may not attract specifically the right service. In this case, ‘attorney’ is the core term. While there are dozens of specialties of attorneys, this phrase is very broad and I know this attorney happens to offer other specialties. I figured one in four people searching could use his services. This is a subjective number, but it helps you identify the long tail keywords that might be much easier to rank for. For example, I would suggest that ‘attorney in Chicago’ is more difficult to rank for than ‘divorce attorney in Chicago’. Based on the number of pages indexed in Google, this is true; 1.4 million pages compared to 396,000 with the core term being ‘divorce attorney’. There is no correlation to me choosing 25% and it turns out there are 25% of the pages with the long tail ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 75 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition keyword versus the shorter keyword. Now sort the list and copy twice as many words as you decided you need. So if you figure your list needs to be 30 keywords, copy 60 keywords from this list to your SEO Keyword Strategy Map file, on the ‘research tab’. Paste them. Now without changing anything, copy the relevancy column and paste that into your SEO Keyword Strategy Map file. An optional step that I like to do is use another tool is adding a factor that is called ‘probability of commercial intent’. This is a feature developed by MSN to let us advertisers know how often a keyword is likely to convert to a sale, or a percentage of web surfers that have intentions of eventually purchasing a service with they keyword. I have a handy, free tool that you can use to combine this all together. I know this is cumbersome, and I’m sorry, but there is currently no solutions that does this all, yet……

Taguchi Keyword Tool
http://www.taguchisplittest.com/commercial_keywords.html You will have to register and get access to this tool. It’s worth it. You can also go directly to MSN to get this data, but this tool makes it simple to take your Google Data and cross reference with MSN to get a better picture. You will need your modified excel file you got from Google and make sure you save that file as a CSV. Now you open that file using Notepad click START Programs Accessories Notepad

Once opened, copy the data to the Taguchi Tool and hit the submit button. Voila! A new report with commercial probability. Copy this data to your SEO Keyword Strategy Map.xls file. Apply the weighted relevancy factor to each of these keywords and you now have a final number associate to your keywords. You’ve used different techniques to determine the best keywords to you. Copy the list of core term keywords already researched in the SEO Keyword Strategy Map.xls document to the ‘Enter one keyword or phrase per line: Upon completion, export the report to excel and go through the report and start eliminating all low volume searches. You should be able to eliminate 50%-90% of your list. This is the list you’ll run reports on as keywords in WebCEO. This ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 76 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition list should not exceed 75 keywords for most business search engines. This elimination is based on volume of searches, competition, indexation and relevance. This list of 75 keywords is inputted into the current excel. A relevancy factor you determine is very important here. Make sure to add the company name as a keyword(s). Print the short list out.

Implement the Keyword Map Strategy
Keyword Map Strategy is the process of taking your keywords and mapping them to specific pages on your website, allowing you properly determine the ‘on-thepage’ factors to apply to each page. While there are varying schools of thought on this one, I represent this task using intuition and there is no magic formula here. Just like art, this process is subjective and pretty difficult to mess up. I know there will be a few heads turned with that comment, so let me explain. Keyword Map Strategy (KMS) is aligning your keywords to specific pages, however you’ve done the most import task and that’s identifying the most relevant keywords to be used. The mapping process is simply taking a keyword and determining what pages you’re going to optimize for that keyword. Whether you map keyword A to page 1, or page 2, I hope the intuition you use is logical enough to ensure that the keyword used is at least 60% relevant to that page. For example, a delivery company shouldn’t map ‘Dallas Delivery Company’ to an employment page. This keyword would be best mapped to a services page or location page. In the latter section, we’ll identify how to make sure the pages is properly optimized for that keyword. First, we take our list of keywords and identify which keywords are geographically focused and which keywords are theme focused. Then we have our site map. This is a list of all the pages on the website as determined in the website chapter. While a lot of SEO experts will tell you that the best strategy is to create your keyword list first then create your site. Since most of my readers already have a website, it makes this step difficult. This is a good time to consider a redesign of your website, but it is not necessary. You will however be creating some new pages, in most cases. .

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition However, I must mention this now and I will repeat it, over and over. Content. The search engines love content, and its not quantity, its quality. Therefore, when designing a website and mapping keyword to specific pages, you need to have the right pages to get ranked. Similar to categorizing links, I have categorized a local based business’ website pages into simple categories. Theme based pages – These pages are those that have something to go with your theme, or industry. Therefore, a plumber’s website that has pages describing the services she offers would be considered themes. A Chiropractor’s site with a FAQ page may be considered a theme based page, however following the laws of conversion this is not a page you really want to optimize. Your homepage is considered a theme based page. Conversion is discussed in the web chapter. Geographical pages – The pages are those that have something to do with your geographical location. This is a step often missed. You will need a specific page for each location you service. Yes, this can blow your website out quickly and provide opportunity to use a lot of those geographical keywords. For example, a service based small business, painter, plumber, electrician may reside in a suburb of Chicago, but provide services typically to any homes within a 50 mile radius. Using the free 5 minute keyword tool described in Series 2: Driving Traffic, will give you a a list of all Chicago suburbs within a 25 mile radius of you’re the zip code you enter. This list gets big, really big especially in Chicago. You may service a town named Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake, Elgin, Schaumburg, Barrington, Fox River Grove and Cary. If you want to rank for ‘lake in the hills electrician’ you’ll need a ‘Lake in the Hills’ town page. We have a client in Chicago with a cab service and they serviced over 50 locations, we created 50 new pages all with fresh content. The development cost weren’t that high when using the CSS design process. This way you can use those geographical pages to map the appropriate keywords when necessary. If a keyword for smaller searches, like “Cary Accountant” isn’t a keyword you want to rank, its still recommended to be a page if that is a place you service. You can map other related keywords to it or not even map a single keyword to it. Chances are, you’ll end up optimizing that page properly for the location keywords anyhow, and since your research may have suggested to not bother in optimizing it, truth is right now the market is so open and I can probably

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition guarantee you that you’ll rank in the top six with that page anyhow with only onthe-page optimization, rather than combining with inbound links with the proper anchor text. General Pages -- These are you least important pages, since they do not necessarily follow the theme of your audience nor have value of a geographical placement. Examples of these pages would be a FAQ or career center (unless you’re optimizing to recruit, which is a great idea by the way). Most people are concerned about how their website can bring them more business. Since its not about the quantity of traffic, its about the quality and more important, converting that traffic to a call-to-action. Therefore, someone looking for a plumber service isn’t concerned about your frequently asked questions on the first page they land on. People do buy unless they have a reason to receive value. Repeat this with me. People don’t buyproducts or services. They buy a state. A state is anticipated feeling you’ll receive from that product or service. This is a benefit, remember that features and advantages don’t sell, benefits do. A FAQ does not properly showcase benefits, in turn reducing the conversion rate of those pages. You want to rank your best converting pages and someone looking for a local service ideally will landing on a page with a geographical location present, the service clearly defined and a USP (unique selling proposition). Don’t try and rank these general pages. If you still have keywords left and no pages left except general pages, don’t try and make them fit. You’ll just end up trying to optimize with strategize that will confuse the search engines and in turn risking penalties.

Implement On the Page SEO
While there are 100’s of identified factors for on the page, I’m going to against a lot of the noise you read. Brad Fallon taught me once, focus 80% of your efforts on 20% of the activities. I’m going to identify a small handful of the big factors you must nail. The others are those that make sense, but watch out, some can take a lot of your time and it’s not even a big factor.

Critical On-the-Page SEO Factors.
While there are several dozen factors to influence rankings for on the page, study after study show that there are a small handful of very relevant factors. As discussed, items like keyword density, keyword propensity, keyword tags, word

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition count minimums, word stemming, capitalization, case sensitivity, pluralization, page size (within reason) and page age to name a few, do not have the same relevancy as the methods discussed. While there is supporting evidence the above holds true in the search engines’ algorithms, I can also support evidence to the contrary of the above methods. For example, understanding the search engines role is to provide the most relevant pages, please argue why any of the above methodologies can or can not show or compare a relevant page versus another. If page A has a keyword density of 4% and the page B has a keyword density of 11% (how many times the keyword is in the content), why is Page A more relevant? Perhaps page B has little content for the purpose of true marketing. Perhaps they want to be specifically clear on their message. Perhaps Page A has created content to support exactly what Google is looking for. Well, you say, then I should give Google want they want. Of course that makes sense, however in my opinion these factors are those consistently being tweaked by the algorithms and have had less and less influence on the rankings. Does your local business attract more visitors because your have capitalized all of the letters in your tag line over your competitor? Don’t you think items like word of mouth influence your visitors to a greater degree than the wording on your signs? Point is, these factors have little influence, while still influential, you must spend your time and energy where is counts, the word of mouth factor.

H1 tag.
This is a piece of HTML code that makes text larger, bolder and more visual on a website. It’s where the human eye tends to go on the average webpage. Since SEO is consistently moving towards traditional marketing, this is a major factor viewed by the human, and therefore a lot of weight is put on it. You must get at least one of your mapped keywords in this tag on each page you’re going to try and rank for.

Title Tag.
This is the text displayed in the SERP and in the top bar on your site. This is the title and will influence a factor called CTR, or Click through rate. This is especially important, since this can improve your traffic overnight with the right title tag. In series 3: The format I use for title tags is to put your most relevant,

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition highest value keyword first, followed by your next keyword and finally if there is room, either your third keyword or your company name. For example: Chicago Real Estate | Real Estate Broker in Chicago | Royal Estates This includes three keywords, one which is the company name and it still is less than 64 characters. Since Google only displays 64 characters, I recommend staying under or around that number for your titles. See the chart on the following pages.

Page name.
While is arguably not that important, for our results is an easy implementation and it follows my line of thinking, its marketing. For example, most business websites have some form of an ‘about us’ page and the URL looks something like this, http://www.companyname.com/aboutus.html. My question is, about who? What about using this URL, http://www.companyname.com/about_ABC_Company.html. This is displayed in the address bar, appealing to the visitor on that page and appeals to the search engine, telling it yet another piece of information about that page. Get your keywords into the URL folks. This is discussed further in the Website chapter.

Content
While this is highly debated piece, below is information from Gerry West that shows that each major search engine looks for a different density on keywords. I’m showing your this not to contradict myself from the above, but to demonstrate the testing that has been done. Google Keyword Density 2-6% Yahoo! 4-9% 6-9% MSN

You can see it’s practically impossible to satisfy all the major engines with keyword density. The fact is you’ll spend way too much time trying to get this right that your paragraphs won’t make much sense to reader. It’s also not that important of a factor that I’m recommending to not waste your time. Do make sure you write solid content for the reader and make sure you get your keywords in there when you can, without being too aggressive or liberal. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 81 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition It is rather important however to get your keyword in the first paragraph of your content, closer to the top of the page, especially above the fold. It also helps on occasion to bold your keywords or italicize them, but be careful. Make sure your bolding and italicizing looks normal to an average reader. Don’t bold for the sake of bolding, it’ll appear spammy to the search engines.

Meta Tags.
Yes, meta tags. Long gone are the days that you put in your keywords into the meta tags and your site will rank. Another debated factor. Its simple, HTML was designed to accept meta tags and the search engines for the most part index the tags, so put them in. While Google does not index keyword meta tag, the others do and it’s a simple, three minute task per page. Google Description Characters Displayed SERPs Description Tag Indexed Description Tag Characters Indexed Description Tag Used as Description Level of Importance of Description Tag Meta Keywords Indexed Meta Keywords Characters Indexed Level of Importance of Keyword Tag 156 Yes 200 No Low No n/a n/a Yahoo! 169 Yes 350 Yes** Very High Yes 500+ High MSN 200 Yes 456 Yes*** Average Yes 500+ Very High

Anchor Text.
Anchor text is the single most important factor in SEO, period. Whether is on the page, or off the page, all the search engines place high value to anchor text, internal, external both inbound and outbound. You need to have your internal pages linking via anchor text, and make sure you get your keywords in those correctly placed anchor text. Since this section is discussion on-the-page factors and referring to anchor text, I will only discuss a strategy for your anchor text plan here within your website. Develop and explain a simplistic anchor text strategy for on the page.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition On the Map Strategy tab of SEO Keyword Strategy Map.xls, input the short list of keywords in column B. This is where you map the keywords to each page and general logic is used here. Each Keyword is mapped to two pages (URLs). Create page titles for each page that incorporate the keywords into each title. This is very important to make a title that fit the follow parameters. I suggest optimizing for Google. Google Submission to listing in index Crawls Web Every … Title Characters Displayed SERPs Title Indexed Title Characters Indexed Level of Importance of Title Tag Yahoo! MSN

1-5 weeks 2-3 weeks 2-4 weeks 30 days 64* Yes 72 Average 4-6 weeks 5-7 weeks 110 70 Yes Yes 110 High 82 Very High

Create a strong H1 tag for each page that usearch engines both keywords in the H1 tag. This must read correctly for a user, not a search engine. Create Meta Descriptions and Meta Keyword list. Follow the following parameters. Google Description Characters Displayed SERPs 156 Description Tag Indexed Yes Description Tag Characters Indexed 200 Description Tag Used as Description Level of Importance of Description Tag Meta Keywords Indexed Meta Keywords Characters Indexed Level of Importance of Keyword Tag DOC Type Statement Boost Meta Robot Tags Supported No Low No n/a n/a Yes Yes Yahoo! 169 Yes 350 Yes** Very High Yes 500+ High No Yes MSN 200 Yes 456 Yes*** Average Yes 500+ Very High No Yes

** If the site is listed in the Yahoo! Directory, the description in the directory takes priority.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition *** MSN will use the first 100 characters of the description and then it will shift to the first text in the body of the document.

On-The-Page Check List.
This is only a partial list of the factors discussed, which in my opinion are the absolute most important factors, period. There is also a document named “OnThe-Page Check List.doc” included in this course for your reference. a. Validate your HTML code so it is “spider” compliant. http://validator.w3.org/ b. Text link navigation at the bottom of the page. Use your keywords as anchor text. c. The Title Tag should be compelling and focused. d. Your description tag needs to work hand-in-hand with the Title to get the searcher to “click” on the listing. e. Every page should have a unique (60% of the words completely original) Title & Description. f. H1 tag should be used and should be very compelling g. Add ALT tags to your main graphics and do not attempt to fool the Search Engines here. h. Place your keyword phrase in the following areas: i. j. Title Tag Meta Description

k. H1 tag to begin the content l. First paragraph of content

m. Appearing in Bold or Italic in the first three paragraphs of content (if possible, not that big of a deal)

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition n. Appearing in the filename (or directory name) o. Used in anchor text to either an internal page or relevant external site. p. Fix bad links and create XML Sitemap and submit to Google.

Off the Page SEO
If this is your first read for SEO, you should still know that off-the-page factors play a significant role in your SEO strategy. This is referred to as inbound links in this course and some refer to them as backlinks. I call them inbound links because our focus is from our own strategy, whereas I perceive backlinks out from our site. Although this is an introductory course, yet intended to provide even the veterans a few tips, I am not interested in discussing the history of links and why they are important. I covered all the main points in Chapter 2 that I find is relevant information for link building. This section is about links. There are nine types of links that I have identified for the local based business. While there are at least another five types of links that I’m not recommending for your business and I felt I should at least explain to the types of links that exist and some method on how to acquire them yourselves. You will also find that others will user slightly different terminology from time to time. Since this is not regulated, yet, the jargon used varies when sometimes it can mean the same thing.

What does a Search Engine look for in a link?
If you’ve read this far, you’ll know that I refer to SEO as a means of ‘real’ marketing. We’re not here to inflate our artificial demand, nor are we here to fool the search engines. Therefore you’ll find a lot of people writing about, and devising, new methods to acquire new links. First it was reciprocal links, then 3way, now there is buzz about creating 4 way links. This reminds me of a recent Saturday Night Live parody, a razor blade with 9 blades. I think I may blog about a 5-way linking methods, coin it with my name. It’s not that hard to devise. The problem, the search engines will catch on, eventually. So, I’ll mention some of the methods that still work while writing this, but I assure you that my sites will

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition stand the test of time and those that are challenging me, I’m confident I’ll be left standing suggesting, I told you so.

Trust, Authority and Popularity
These factors, trust, authority and popularity (sometimes called relevance) are factors all the major Search engines consider while valuating how valuable a link is to a given website.

Trust & Authority
This is a measure of how much trust a search engine gives an originating site to endorse another site. For example, site A endores site B with a link, therefore site B has an inbound link. The search engines use different metrics to determine how much it trusts site A, and the more trust, the more link juice will be passed to site B. The term ‘trust’ is a name given to some metrics used by the search engines that appear to influence the search engine’s rankings in a similar way that someone would evaluate trustworthy and non-trustworthy resources. Considering all of these metrics that are currently known in the SEO community helps us go after a proper optimization strategy to your site in order to be trusted by the search engines. Please note that Trust and Authority tend to overlap in some of the metrics. Therefore I treat it as one concept. Advanced SEP breaks these concepts apart and uses much more complex math. Trust and authority is influenced by: ∞ The age of the inbound link ∞ Links from sites outside your niche with relevant link text, suggesting that your site is the topical authority. ∞ Link from sites inside your niche with relevant link text, suggest that you site is the topical (or one of) authority. ∞ Link popularity in combination with other factors ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 86 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ Links from high authority and highly popular websites This is an increasingly important factor as search engines change and adopt more sophisticated algorithms. Understand that your online footprint and online history, including historical rankings, link building patterns, outbound links patterns, content addition patterns are some historical factors now being considered by the search engines. This affects link trust. It also must be noted, and reminded, that no one person can attest to knowing the magic formula to the search engines. We do know though through testing that the search engines use time based indicators and link quality to determine trust in a link, and ultimately helps you in rankings. Please be aware that some will separate the definitions of trust and authority. If you study several gurus on SEO and their opinions, you’ll find that there is no clear definition on which is which. The point is that the search engines place higher value on some links over others and they determine this though a set of metrics in their algorithm. Tests show that these metrics are identical when discussing trust or authority. Therefore, I’ve combined them into their own section to describe the value of these wanted links.

Popularity
Link Popularity is a measurement of the number of links pointing to a webpage. A search engine will measure the number of links pointing to a site, apply a multiplier (or several) measuring the trust, authority and quality of the links and determine a weight for the inbound links. While I promote link quality over quantity, the more links you have the better. Be careful of this statement because 100 links from one source could be less valuable than one (1) link from another source. You spend two hours acquiring 100 links from source A when spending 90 minutes acquiring one link from source B is much better. Understanding the value of high quality links is important, but a handful of links typically won’t do you any good. Additionally, you’ll find out that different search engines count different links. Yes, not all links are counted. In fact, if Google counts only the links they show us, they would discount over 90% of the links you acquire. This is not true ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 87 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition though, we have proof that Google does value and count links they don’t show in the link:www.website.com query.

Geographical, Theme and Quality Links
While this section is intended as an overview, I’ve already covered the overview of these types of links in the Search Engine Marketing chapter. Below in the strategies section, I explain how to acquire these types of highly desirable links.

Local Off-The-Page Strategies
The problem with most SEO strategies out there is the lack of local focus. This game is different and it is, today, not that highly abused. This will change in 2009 and there will be several new local strategies developing over the next five years. Notice the little map when searching for “Sacramento Bridal Salon”? This is called the local business results. This is new and the search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN) are testing this feature and changing it frequently to boost their local results. This is evidence the Search engines notice their engines being used to find local businesses like you! This is the difference among typical SEO where there are 1000’s of resources and local search. Here you’ll find details about how to get your site listed next to that box and in the regular, organic listings found below it. A search engine will show local results typically when a region name is used in keyword search, or I call the geographical modifier. This could be a city, town, country, state, country, zip code and even airport code in the future. I found no evidence of the airport code being used in local search results yet, however, it ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 88 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition only makes sense that it will. At least here in Chicago, ORD, the O’Hare airport, is commonly used in many sectors of the economy, especially including one of the largest industries in the world, transportation. The follow steps will help you rank higher in the local results. I also highly recommend being on my client mailing list to receive updates of this information as the search engines become better at local results in the months to come. Register at http://www.scott.gallagher.net

Search Engine Registration
As previously mentioned in the Website design chapter, you will need to have a Google Webmaster account. In fact, you’ll now need a Google, Yahoo! and MSN Live webmaster account.

Webmaster Account Registration
Google Yahoo! account. MSN Live http://www.google.com/accounts http://www.yahoo.com Go to (or set up) you’re “My Yahoo”

http://webmaster.live.com

Add and Edit your listings in the Search Engines
Now you’ll been to make sure the Search engines know where you’re located. Go to each of these Search engines and follow their instructions, its very easy. Google http://www.google.com/local/add

Yahoo! http://listings.local.yahoo.com/account (this is not adding you to the Yahoo! Directory) MSN Live http://llc.local.live.com

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Get Reviews
All three of these search engines include in some form a review in their local listings. At this point our testing is showing that more reviews definitely equal a higher ranking. I will explain how to write a review in Google, since frankly I don’t bother with the other two search engines. I’m not recommending avoiding them, theoretically you should divide your time among the search engines equally to their market share. Therefore, ¾ of your time should be spent on writing reviews in Google. 1. Go to http://maps.google.com and do a search for your service with a Geographical modifier. In this example, I’m using ‘Sacramento bridal salon’. You should see results that look like this: You’ll notice all the listings that Google has registered in their database for that keyword. Each listing has zero or more reviews, as a link and beside that link is a link to ‘write a review’. Well, go ahead and write your first review! So, the little wheel is turning and the light bulb goes on, and I’m saying, don’t do it. Don’t start going to write a bunch of positive reviews of yourself. This is way to easy to game the system and Google will slap you around like a rag doll. Like I say, it’s about marketing, right? Isn’t this like a testimonial for your website? I promise you there are literally 100’s of people willing to write a review here. I almost forgot to mention, while Google doesn’t admit nor deny tracking yourIP address, I believe they do, I’ve seen proof. This plays a factor into local search ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 90 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition for the searcher and the searched. I doubt Google (as some say they are) is going to provide user based searches in the near future, however I know for a fact they have toyed with it (in fact, one of my accounts is beta testing this and I had no influence on choosing who is a beta tester). I do believe though for the Internet footprint Google does track IP and account information for those leaving a review. Therefore, unless you have access to 50 unique IP addresses, search engines all from 50 unique computers with 50 unique Google accounts, only write one review for your business.

Review Acquisition Strategies
Think outside the box?! How can you get people to write reviews for you? Don’t discount this step, these are your forms of testimonials on the public search engine, and if done right, Google will handsomely reward you. The trick is to get creative. First, send out a mailing to your happy customers requesting that you write them a review on Google in exchange that you will write them a review, even as their supplier. Do this with you suppliers, vendors, employees, friends, family. You get the point. Make sure you send them the link in your email. To get the link, go back to list of the business and where you see the link ‘write a review’. Right click that link, and chose ‘copy shortcut’. You can now paste the link in an email. TIP: Tiny URL takes a long URL link http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=sacramento+bridal+salo n&jsv=137c&sll=37.0625,95.677068&sspn=55.148262,57.392578&ie=UTF8&latlng=38618320,121400353,5038055490347791793&ei=QGAjSaXOEIvYNpDKyewE&sig2=uMD_ vQ6hYKz6zpcHLLnNUQ&dtab=2&action=open and makes it look like http://tinyurl.com/5zqc86 ‘ Go to www.tinyurl.com

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition It amazes me the apprehension to ask for a referral. Did you know that the form of advertisement is word of mouth, and its FREE?! Of course you did, this is digitizing it. I remember asking for my first referral. I was scared. Then I asked for a reference, and resume referral, testimonial and most recently a video testimonial. I’ve never been turned down and each time I ask, the feedback I get is overwhelming. I never knew that I did such a good job, or it’s that most people don’t want to say no and say great things about people they know. Just suck it up and do this. Businesses search engines run off of referrals. Further strategies are included throughout this book, but fall into other chapters such geographical directories, geographical modifiers and webpage design. TIP: In some search engines, a local business like a delivery or warehouse company, may service a large metropolitan area but for real estate and rental (financial reasons) be situated in a suburb. This plays havoc today with the local search results. Some experts suggest getting a PO box and verifying that address with Google. I suggest paying a tad more than a PO box and use the service provided by a UPS store close to the core downtown of that major metropolitan area. The bonus is that the UPS PO Boxes use a true physical address and require you to put a ‘box #’ in the street address. If you give Google the physical street address and replace ‘box’ with ‘suite’ UPS will still deliver it. Now you have another location to show on your website and a physical street address with suite number to give Google.

Link Acquisition Strategies
While in this section I’ll be discussing the nine strategies that I recommend to acquire links, a lot of these strategies will also vastly increase your online exposure. In turn, increasing your online exposure is directly related to ‘marketing’, the search engines tend to reward this increased exposure through valuing the incoming links. Hence, in this section I’ll be discussing the strategies and what they mean, however in the following chapters I’ll be explaining some of the exposure strategies on how to accomplish each of these strategies. I have also prioritized each strategy from the first steps ongoing, however these are not prioritized in value. They may however be prioritized in order of importance in ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 92 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition some instances, however in other situations they may not. Point is, follow this and you’ll do well in the rankings. I want to point out, that of the nine strategies below, unless they are a great strategy for increasing your online exposure, I will not be discussing the best way to accomplish this. This will come in the later chapters. For those link acquisition strategies that do not increase your online exposure and are viable sources to drive direct traffic, I will discuss the strategy in this chapter. Therefore, if you read about a strategy here, it is a good strategy to increase your SEO efforts only and not a good source for direct traffic.

Overview
As mentioned, building links builds your online exposure. As a reminder, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. Therefore, the following strategies are a must for a complete online marketing campaign, completed over time. The nine strategies are: ∞ Directories ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ Article Marketing Press Release Marketing Social Media Marketing Community Based Sites Social Bookmarking Video Marketing Blogs Link Worthy Content

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Task
Article Marketing

Description

Est. Time

Out Time

Video Marketing

Create 5-7 articles per month with 5-14Marketing: Local Business Online total anchor 120 600 text. 40-60% of links point to front page as per 2009 Edition strategy map. Submit the articles from 2-5 articles per week maximum. Submit articles via isnare.com AND through the Article Marketer account. Take the articles you've written and create 2-5 240 powerpoint slides for each article. Record reading the article with Camtasia and going through the powerpoint slides. Render the new video and submit these 7 videos to the profiles created on Traffic Geyser and follow the video submission strategy to complete this. Create Wikipedia Entries, Squidoo and Hub Page. Create at least two press releases and submit to all topical publicaitons and at least 5 local publications Analyse partner search report via keywords and competitors. Acquire 3 links this month using this approach. 50% to front page Analyse competitor inbound links via reports. Acquire 4 links this month using this approach, 50% to front page, rest to inner pages Create 5 bookmarketing accounts randomly from (at least Digg). Create 5 bookmarking links per month. Use the 5:1 ratio model. Bookmark 40% to home page and 60% to 2nd and 3rd tier pages Research topical and local blogs and engage in the conversation. Using Comment Kahuna to discover blogs with 'nofollow' removed. Research local based businesses and create a list of potential partners. Include local .edu, .gov and .org. Set a monthly budget of $50 to acquire 1-5 local based links, perhaps with a donation, 80% of links sent to front page, 20% to second tier pages

Social Marketing Press Releases Partner Marketing

120 60 90

120

Competitor Marketing Social Marketing

90

60

Blog Posts

90

Research

60

Directories
There are 1000’s of directories on the Internet. There are only two directories I recommend as a must. The other directories, other than acquiring listings in the following specific types of directories, will give you a quick boost in your rankings but submitting them manually is a waste of time. Guess what, for a few bucks you can outsource it or purchase software to do for you in minutes. This I recommend since a few minutes to get 100’s of links might be worth it. I bet though 1000 links from mediocre directories is not as good as one link from a site fitting the three main criteria above. More on these in the general section below. The two directories that are must is www.dmoz.org and www.yahoo.com.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition DMOZ is the Internet’s largest human edited directory. Because humans actually verify the submission and website, Google puts much emphasis on this. This submission is free and it takes months to get reviewed. Yahoo has a paid directory (which doesn’t influence their search engine directly).

Topical / Theme Directories
A topical directory is a directory that focuses on a specific topic. Some general directories, in fact most, have a topical theme available. For example, if you sought out plumbers in a directory, you would look under the topic of plumbing. You can find topical directories using tactics in the Search engines. For example, using ‘plumbing’, the first way to find topical directories (of three methods), use the search engines. Use Google or Yahoo and do a search for ∞ “plumbing” directory ∞ “plumbing” resources ∞ “plumbing” submit your site ∞ “plumbing” add url ∞ “plumbing” links You can replace “plumbing” with “plumber” or “plumbing news”, “plumbing equipment” for better targeting.

High Value Directories
While directories aren’t the greatest links to bring into a site, there are a few sites that are of high value, a high PR and are worth obtaining. While most high value directories are paid, some are free. There are two directories I highly recommend obtaining, regardless of the cost. Yahoo! Directory Dmoz $299 per year FREE http://dir.yahoo.com http://www.dmoz.org

The following is a list of additional directories that I recommend obtaining to help increase your rankings in the Search engines. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 95 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Best of the Web Business.com Microsoft bCentral V7N Directory Starting Point $69.95 per year $149 per year $49 per year $50 review fee $99 per year http://www.botw.org http://www.business.com http://sbd.bcentral.com http://direcotry.v7n.com http://www.stpt.com

Geographical
Geographical directories are those directories that focus in on a specific geographical location. These are important as they associate your business with a geographical location. Every city and geographical area has them. For local search, the more of a niche area the directory covers, the better geographical value such a directory has. To find these directories, do the following searches in both Google and Yahoo! Do some searches using your geographical location(s), including major cities, suburbs, states, countries and even try a few with your zip code or airport code. ∞ “[geographical modifier]” directory E.g. “miami” directory ∞ “[geographical modifier]” resources ∞ “[geographical modifier]” submit your site ∞ “[geographical modifier]” add url ∞ “[geographical modifier]” links

General
While I would not put much effort into submitting your site to a bunch of general directories, please note when you come across a new directory, get yourself in there. These links don’t hurt, but aren’t that highly valued. You can even use WebCEO to submit your site to several dozen or so directories with a push of a button.

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Article Marketing
Instead of sending articles to radio stations and newspapers, in the online world you send it to, you guessed it, a website. A website where an author can send an article to is known as an article directory. There are literally hundreds of articles directories. As an article directory becomes populated with more articles, the article directory becomes more popular with the search engines. Therefore, some directories are better than others. In addition, with 100’s to chose from, its very time consuming to submit the articles to all of them. In the following series, I provide a list of the top 60 sites, step by step solution to outsourcing the submission and article creation for less than $20 per article. Unlike the off-line version, there are additional benefits to online article marketing; most notably is the use of articles for search engine optimization. One would create an article with two or three keywords in mind and submit the articles to the directories with their bio box completed, providing a quality based one way link to your site. Online articles can also be distributed via RSS (real simple syndication), however this will be covered more in the RSS section. Be careful here. While online article marketing has become popular in the last year or so, there has been a lot of junk posted for the purpose of SEO. I do not recommend creating articles for the purpose of SEO. I believe that if you create articles to compliment the traditional method in which has been used for a 100 years, you’ll get the best long term results from the search engines. The theory is that quality content will get recognized and will create natural back links out of love. Anecdote: While on occasion is popular and recommended for article creation, I still write my own articles. In fact, I could have easily outsourced this ebook for my own visions, and would have cost me less than $1000. I chose to spend the 6 months writing this during my evenings and weekends after the kids are in bed because I wanted a very powerful, well written book that has value and substance. You don’t get that with outsourcing, ever. So I still write my own articles from time to time. When I was first starting out, I had written a few articles for trade magazines in the past and was commended on my content. I

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition reworked my own content to be original again and submitted to www.ezinearticles.com, the worlds most popular article directory, and within 72 hours I received an email indicating that my article was approved and won ‘expert author status’. They gave me the right to post this status symbol on any site I own and featured my article on their front page. Folks, this site get ridiculous traffic. The problem, I got so much traffic now my website traffic data is skewed for 48 hours! That’s a great problem!

Article Marketing Strategy
You will need to create articles and then submit them to a variety of article directories with links back to your own site. You can create your own articles, or you can have them created for you. I use a combination of both. For local based sites and while online competition is low, this strategy alone could get you top rankings. I suggest submitting 7-10 articles per month and pointing 40% of those articles to your home page and written with the keywords in mind for that page that you set our in the Keyword Map Strategy. The remaining 60% of the links in the articles will reference the sub pages you’ve set our in the Keyword Map Strategy. Do not submit more than 25% of you monthly article criteria per week. You must make this an ongoing strategy. The tools supplied will help you manage this task.

Article Creation
First, make a list of at least 25 ideas you can write about. This is your brainstorming session. With this list of 25, you can turn that into 100’s of articles. This should take you about an hour to come up with the ideas. These articles ARE NOT promotions of your company. You are creating articles that add value to the Internet community and you merely reference the author as you or your company. So, for example, a Chiropractor may write about the following topics. ∞ Why Chiropractic is important in Chicago ∞ What benefits Chiropractic has on children ∞ How Chiropractors affect the entire body ∞ How Chiropractic influences your well being during Chicago Winters A local Italian restaurant may start with:

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ Italian eating in Philadelphia ∞ Little Italy and its influence in Chicago ∞ How Italian food benefits health (does it?!) ∞ The Perfect Meatball recipe A local plumber may start with: ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ Plumbing, protecting you against fires in Phoenix, Arizona Plumbing education, what’s hot and what’s not. How to clean your drain pipe Why not to your Draino and a good substitute

Get the point? With a little thought, you can write about topic in your field very easily. Now that you have a list of 25 topic ideas, you need to write them! Each article needs no be longer than 500 words for this purpose, or thereabouts. Longer articles occasionally get profiled if the quality is very high. If I had to write 25 articles, that would take me over 50 hours with prep work and writing, so I outsource my articles. Outsourcing your article creation I use two sources. 1. 2. www.getafreelancer.com www.craigslist.org.

While this is a word document attached with this course, I simply copy and past the following article writing requirements into my project requirements. Refer to ‘Article Requirement Outline.doc’ Yes, I pay $4 an article! When it takes me two hours to write one article, this is a bargain. Granted, the articles are not of the highest quality, however they serve the purpose.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Refer to the excel file named Article Management.xls. This tool I simply upload to my Google Docs account, http://docs.google.com, and share with winning bidder for my article creation.

You can see two sides, one for you and one for the writer. See how I give the ‘ideas’ to the writer with the keywords to be used and they give me a title in return with content. I have relationships with enough writers that I can submit 100 articles a week and five days later I get them back for cheap! Once you have the articles back, you simply need to submit them to the directories.

Article Submission
Directory Submission list Articlebiz.com Articlecity.com Articledashboard.com Ezinearticles.com Selfgrowth.com Articlealley.com Articlecube.com Easyarticles.com Ideamarketers.com Buzzle.com Goarticles.com c. Submission Software I use submission software. It’s the easiest and the amount of time it takes to submit to one directory, I submit to 100’s automatically. For those that are on a tight budget, I am listing the top directories that I recommend you submit to. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 100 a. Manual submission b. Outsource Submission Another daunting, time consuming step. There are 100’s of article directories out there. Some have more value than others and each link to your site provides a different value. There is also the question of duplicate content; however increased submission shows that some of the search engines treat duplicate content differently. Therefore, there is still value in submitting to dozen of directories. There are three ways to do this yourself.

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Outsourcing article submission appears to be a logical solutions, however the management of becomes cumbersome. While I use software, I actually still outsource the submission using my software solutions and I feel this is the best, quickest method. While there are dozens of article submission solutions, and I have tested them all, I recommend one that covers all the basis and that’s Article Marketing, http://www.articlemarketer.com/. Below is a step by step instructions to use Article Marketer.

Article Marketing Submission Instructions
1. Log in: 2. Click the blue “Submit an Article” button 3. Insert the article title from the Article Management spreadsheet column marked “Title” making sure that the first letter of each major word is capitalized. a. Use the first paragraph of the article as a template for the “Brief Description” field (editing down as needed to allow for the 400 character, with spaces, maximum) 4. Cut and paste the body of the article in the “Paste Your Article Text Here” field. Make sure that there is only 1 line space between paragraphs after you’ve pasted the text into the field. Do not include any one-line title or subject that may appear at the top of the article Word document. a. “About the Author” field: b. Here is a sample NO HTML and HTML “About the Author” entry for an article: No HTML Scott Gallagher is an International Consultant on software and software implementation. With exceptional knowledge of the internet, Scott is also an

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition expert with Local Internet Marketing for Small Businesses search engines. http://www.scott-gallagher.net and http://www.marketinglocalbusinessonline.com With HTML (this is the code) Scott Gallagher is an International Consultant on software and software implementation. With exceptional knowledge of <a href="http://www.domainname.net">Inventory Software for Quickbooks</a> and <a href="http://www.domainename.net/Inventory_software.asp"> Inventory management software</a>, Scott is also an expert with <a href="http://www.scott-gallagher.net">Local Internet Marketing</a>. With HTML (this is what it’ll appear like) Scott Gallagher is an International Consultant on software and software implementation. With exceptional knowledge of Inventory Software for Quickbooks and Inventory Management Software, Scott is also an expert with Local Internet Marketing. Here is a template you can start with for your bio

[Your Name or Alias] is a [expert status] for [product / service type]. With unique and outstanding knowledge of [keyword(s)], [name or alias] is also an expert with [keyword #2]. Article Categories: You must specify the most accurate categories for the article so that it reaches the correct publishers to be seen by your target audience. Article Marketer may delay distribution if it is deemed that your article has been mis-categorized. Therefore, please use your best judgment. A complete category list can be found at http://www.articlemarketer.com/p_categorylist.php. Check the two ‘accept’ boxes and enter the code Final note: Please be sure that everything is accurate before entering the code and clicking the “Next” button as re-editing articles can delay the review process.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Press Release Marketing
A press release is a written document (or communication) directed to members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value. Traditionally, they are mailed, faxed or emailed to editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations and networks. There are commercial distribution services used to distribute press releases. The main problem with press releases is that they’re poorly done 95% of the time. The most important part of a press release is the hook that will interest readers. A journalist is looking for a story that they know the readers will want to read. Your press release has a story that people will want to read. The best strategy to creating a quality press release is using the Inverted Pyramid method. This is simply a metaphor used to illustrate how information be arranged or presented within the body. The "pyramid" can also be drawn as a triangle. The triangle's broad base at the top of the figure represents the most substantial, interesting, and important information the writer means to convey. The triangle's orientation is meant to illustrate that this kind of material should head the article, while the tapered lower portion illustrates that other material should follow in order of diminishing importance There are many tips and tricks involved in writing a compelling press release and a friend of mine has created an entire book on writing press releases for SEO purposes. While this is not necessary, it’s a great read. Visit http://www.pressreleasefire.com.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Press Release Submission
Once you have created a press release, you need to submit it. Again, if money and time were no object, I’d recommend a different strategy. However, for the purposes of ranking your local business for long tail keywords, this strategy is more than adequate for 95% of small businesses out there. We create a minimum of two press releases monthly and submit them to both online and offline publications. Online We use http://www.free-press-release.com to submit our press releases and we are a non-paying member however we use the registered account. Offline We suggest sending your two press releases to all of your own industries associations. For example, do a search for [your niche] + association in Google and [your niche] + magazine. ∞ Dentist association ∞ Dentist magazine ∞ Dentistry magazine This will give you a list of your industry’s top associations. Compile a list of the top 10 associations, publications, magazines, etc and find who the editor’s email address is. Typically, if you send an email with your press released attached and send it editor@domainname.com, you’ll get the editor. We only email the press releases and typically get about a 40% submission rate. I also suggest building a list of four or five local publications that you believe your target audience will read. Again, this process can be much more complex, however for the purposes of your goals, this strategy accomplishes the goals set forth. Once you have this list, email your press release to each of these publications. You’re hoping they publish it online.

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Social Media
A social network website is a community of people who share a common interest and interested in sharing their ideas and interests with others. Most social services are web-based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact through email, instant messaging and video. Social Networking is a very powerful way to communicate and share information. Such networks are being used everyday, all day long by hundreds of millions of people. MySpace for example has over 246 million registered users. Niche social sites are networks that share a much more refined interest among a group of people. For example, MySpace is a general interest type of networking site, catering to all audiences above the age of 14. Anobii is a social networking site that focuses on people who have a common interest in Books, Amie Street is a music community. Ning is a user defined community and I will bet that chances are there is a community built around your industry. Tip: Ning is a great place to find niche related, topical and geographical social networks. There is a lot of value having your business profiled on these types of networks Social networking began to grow as a main component of business internet strategy early 2005. The increase among social sites in recent years has been staggering. The community is taking a keen interest in this new concept, academic commentators are becoming interesting in studying Facebook and other social network sites. Typical topics of interest include: ∞ Identity ∞ Privacy ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ E-Learning Social Capital Teenage Use Business Use

Social networks connect business people at a very low cost which can a great asset for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to expand their contact

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition base. One example of a social networking site used for business purposes is LinkedIn.com.

Social Media Strategies
As mentioned, social media sites are very new for the Internet and are defining the way web 2.0 is ultimately going to pan out. This strategy not only is good for SEO purposes, they are a great way to get your message out to an audience that is looking for it, hence driving more quality traffic to your site. Therefore, for these reasons, I will be covering this strategy as a core traffic driving strategy in a latter chapter. Please refer to the chapter titled Social Media Marketing: There are several hundred options and I will walk you through the most relevant.

Community and Niche Based Sites
There is no possible way I can derive a strategy here that will adhere to all industries, all small businesses. Therefore, I’ll discuss some of the importance of these sites and how to keep a look out for such sites. First, you’re trying to rank your site higher in the SERPs for a local keyword search. The search engines base their rankings on several factors, one is to determine whether you’re truly a local business in that geographical area. Therefore, in theory, any website that references the geographical area you’re targeting or the niche you serve is a site you want to be on. Throughout this course we discuss several ways to increase your online exposure and acquire links. Many of those strategies accomplish links that would fit into this category, as well as others. For example, http://www.couriersoftheworld.com is a social network (like Facebook) for Couriers. It takes a minute to get on that network and you have a topical link (or ten) pointing to your site. Get involved in the community. Another example is getting listed in a geographical directory . Being listed on the local Chamber of Commerce site, board of trade, village or town site, local newspaper (press releases), non-profit organization, etc. also provide geographical value. The more, the merrier.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition I suggest ensuring you acquire a minimum of 10 local and 20 topical links per month. Chances are if you’re following all of my strategies, you’ll accomplish this through the other methods mentions. Some tricks to find other places to link to is to view the Competitor Link Analysis report in WebCEO. Export that list to excel and visit each site that your competitor is listed on that is either topical or geographical. Attempt to acquire links on those sites. Another trick is do a search for opportunities to provide a local donation. Even donations of $10 will get you a link. While I don’t promote purchasing links, here you’re providing a donation and the organization is giving you credit by endorsing your site. Win-win. Some quick searches are: ∞ [Geographical modifier] charity ∞ [Geographical modifier] donation ∞ [Geographical modifier] charitable organization ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ [Geographical modifier] donate [local school or education institute] donate [local school or education institute] donation [local school or education institute] charity [local school or education institute] charitable organization

While making this list, also consider your favorite local organizations. Think of some advocacy groups, churches, schools, city events that you can give a little money to in exchange for an online recognition. We allocate a monthly budget of $50 and try to acquire a minimum of two of these links per month. Tip: Remember the value of .edu links? Make a list of all the local colleges and educational institutes that have a .edu top level domain. These are your best sources to get links.

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Social Bookmarking
Also referred as Bookmarking, is a method for web surfers to store and organize their bookmarks online. A user will save links to a webpage and they have the ability to share their finds. This is advantageous to the online community because it’ll drive direct traffic the more times your website is bookmarked, increasing its visibility. In the world of ranking, each bookmark is considered a link. The more bookmarks you have, the more links you have. While in my opinion this strategy has left white hat, it isn’t black hat either. There is no deception transpiring; however artificial demand is being created. Therefore I don’t believe this is a strategy that’ll work in the long term, but for short term results (less than one year) I figure its something I should teach and I have defined a full strategy on bookmarking other sites on a time released basis. Advantages With regard to creating a high-quality search engine, a social bookmarking system has several advantages over traditional automated resource location and classification software, such as search engine spiders. All tag-based classification of Internet resources (such as web sites) is done by human beings, who understand the content of the resource, as opposed to software, which algorithmically attempts to determine the meaning of a resource. Also, people tend to find and bookmark web pages that have not yet been noticed or indexed by web spidersxiii. Additionally, a social bookmarking system can rank a resource based on how many times it has been bookmarked by users, which may be a more useful metric for end users than systems that rank resources based on the number of external links pointing to it. Disadvantages From the point of view of search data, there are drawbacks to such tag-based systems: no standard set of keywords, no standard for the structure of such tags (e.g., singular vs. plural, capitalization, etc.), mistagging due to spelling errors, tags that can have more than one meaning, unclear tags due to synonym/antonym confusion, unorthodox and personalized tag schemata from ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 108 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition some users, and no mechanism for users to indicate hierarchical relationships between tags. For example, a site might be labeled as both cheese and cheddar, with no mechanism that might indicate that cheddar is a refinement or sub-class of cheese. Social bookmarking can also be susceptible to corruption and collusion in reference to SEO. The search engines are becoming smarter about discovering who is bookmarking their own sites for the purpose of creating links. This is why I feel this is a grey and becoming a black hat technique and while I have a strategy, do not put much effort into this.

Social Bookmarking Strategy
With the right bookmarking strategy you can Social Bookmarking Sites Propeller.com Slashdot.org Digg.com Technorati.com Del.icio.us Stumbleupon.com Twitter.com Reddit.com Tagza.com Fark.com Newsvine.com Furl.net Google Bookmarks generate lots of free traffic from social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious and Stumbleupon. There are some major pitfalls when it comes to social bookmarking that can seriously hurt your SEO ranking and even get you banned from the social bookmarking community. It is important to remember that social bookmarking is a social community hence the word social in social bookmarking. Again, I want to emphasize that this strategy works, it can be dangerous if you do this wrong or go overboard. Therefore the following strategy is taking advantage of the power of bookmarking, however this strategy is not

intrusive enough to get flagged and is relatively safe. I do not recommend hiring anyone (outsourcing) for this strategy outside of your firm and make sure you monitor each inbound link. I also do not recommend at this time deploying software to do this. A few sprinkles on the Internet to show your entire marketing strategy is normal, and that’s where we want to be.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition I usually only use 4 bookmarking sites and those are Propeller, Digg, Del.icio.us and Google Bookmarks. Create an account at each site over a 4 week period, with FULL disclosure of who you are, your company or the site you’re trying to promote. Please note that this is a powerful strategy when done a specific way. The problem is this way is blackhat and overtime your link will be devalued. My strategy provides the sprinkles out there, but keeps you well below the threshold. Add a bookmark to you own site. Add at least five other bookmarks to unrelated sites. I would not use competitors’ sites, but I use at least two to other local sites and three to any general sites that I like. The power of this comes later as we start to create video for your company, which is extremely simple, you’ll be surprised. Adding more bookmarks is fine, but keep a minimum of a ratio of 5:1. Never bookmark only your own sites as you will be seen as a selfish spammer and you will get penalized. You want to act like you are an average person surfing the Internet bookmarking all kinds of different sites. Once you start systematically bookmarking your own sites and you will start to see some serious traffic coming in. Never bookmark the same site with the same headline and tags in more than one social bookmarking site. Remember, again you want to come across as just an average normal person who bookmarks all of their favorite sites. Why would a normal person bookmark the same site on 20 different social bookmarking sites? This is a dead giveaway and you will get penalized. Never bookmark the same page (the same website referring to different pages is OK) in two different bookmarking sites and always make sure you enter your tags and your title correctly when you bookmark your sites. The search engines are looking for the tags you have on your bookmarks and this strategy can bring you tons of traffic if you are patient and do things right. Once this is done, use Del.icio.us as your preferred site (or pick one of the sites). At this point, you should have four accounts, a month has passed and you have acquired 4-8 links to your site. Not many at all. Once you have your favorite site, continue to add links to your site on a 5:1 ratio (or greater) when new content arises. You can also bookmark several of the strategies we mention here, such ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 110 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition as articles you create, the social sites you’ll end up creating and those all have links back to you. In the Video chapter, I discuss a tool to submit video to 40+ video publication sites, and this tool bookmarks your videos for you. In my opinion, there is nothing that is black hat or even grey hat about the strategy I use. I’m a business that I’m promoting and I want a central location of the pages I feel relevant for my business. Once you start creating multiple accounts with multiple tags and devise a differant strategy, one mess up and the search engines will slap you around like a rag doll and you’ll lose your rankings overnight with penalties. We’ve seen it, we’ve done it a few times. The search engines are only getting smarter and we’re just going to stay far away from trying to fool them. One day they’ll catch you.

Video
With over 52% of all traffic online related to video, Youtube being the 4th most visited website on the Internet, online video is here to stay. In fact, I’m so passionate about this, I’m predicting within five years Google will be as a big player competiting against major networks like Fox and NBC for viewing time in our homes. With video so easy to create and a very inexpensive price tag, you have many options with what you can do with video, whether its intended to drive traffic or convert traffic. Having videos on the Internet is very hot right now. In fact, its so powerful I’ve submitted videos, when done properly, that literally rank in the top three for my keyword in less than two hours. I have some keywords that my money site is ranked 4th or 5th, with three or four of my videos above it. Hence, I dominate six or seven of the top 10 spots. This is so powerful today and in the future, that I’ve dedicated an entire chapter to this. From the perspective of SEO, submitting videos to 40 online publications is very easy and provides valuable links. This is a must and you’ll need at least two new videos per month, if not more. Don’t fret, I promise this is much easier than you think. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 111 -

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Blogs
While this is a strategy that is getting old, there is still value in both online exposure and acquiring links. A blog, a contraction of the term ‘web log’, is a website typically managed by an individual with regular entries. Sometimes the entries will be descriptions of an event, training material, graphics or references to a video. The word ‘blog’ is also used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. You can visit my blog at http://www.scott-gallagher.net. I would hope that you spend some of your time surfing the Internet while related to your business. There are already several community and topical blogs in your niche, I guarantee it. This strategy is pretty simple. Engage on these blogs. Most blogs have the ability to leave comments. Do this. Here’s the trick. In the name field that you can see above, put your ‘anchor text’ that you’ve identified in your previous tasks. You can omit the email field and in the URL field, put the URL that the anchor text is mapped to in your map strategy. Then leave a comment. While leaving a valuable comment, you’ll end up having a link to your site with the proper anchor text. Use my blog right now to adda comment. If you put your name as your signature and leave a positive comment, I will approve your post and give you a free link. While some blogs have the nofollow link attribute to it, I disregard this. I don’t care if they have nofollow or not, since this adds to my online presence. Chances are if I’m browsing these blogs, my local customers might be too. I also want to point out the term value. Please, for the sake of justice of marketing, do not put a comment for the sake of putting a comment. This is spammy, disrespectful and simply cheap. If you’re going to leave a comment,

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition add value to the community and don’t just type ‘I agree’ or ‘Good Point’. Also, don’t promote anything in your comment. Simply adding value to the conversation continues to strengthen your online presence.

Link Worthy Content
This is probably the most obvious strategy of them all, yet it’s the last one I’m discussing. By no means does that mean this is not a valuable method, in fact, this is highly relevant in so many areas. This however, will be accomplished through several of the other methods, such as archiving your email campaigns on your site, archiving your articles, press releases and linking to your online profiles. This is about having content on your site that make your visitors to ‘want’ to link to you. The core fundamentals remain the same as they do in the mission of your company; creating value for paying customers. Everything you do in business needs to quantified with value. This, I hope, I don’t need to teach you. So, why would someone want to link to your site? Quality content. This content can be articles, tools, resources and media that attract links. Not all resources and media have linking appeal. In order to be considered link worthy, it has to appeal to the masses. Here is a quick list of characteristics that attract people, online and offline: ∞ Advice / Tips ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ Originality Humorous Outrageous / Controversial Anything that evokes an Emotional Reaction (politics, religion) Information on a popular topic

Throughout this course I discuss different strategies that will help create this content and I want you to keep this in mind when creating these articles and videos. Be careful about polarizing public opinion, especially if you’re using topics of religion or politics, the taboos (gambling, drugs, sex) and whatnot.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Examples of originality do not conform with being unique. In fact, being unique does not mean you’re original. For example, a local plumber discovers markets herself as a female owned and operated firm. While this may be unique in her target group, its not original. If she were able to devised a new way to layout a piping system in a home with new material, this could be original. Using personal anecdotes depicts originality. Innovations from other niches is original. For example, I brought the first online social networking community to the courier industry on the globe. While there are hundreds of social networking sites out there, I’m the original for my niche. You content needs to be useful, at all times. Like blogging, do not put content up for the sake of putting it up. Don’t add value to the noise.

Measure and Refine
As you can see, creating your online presence is not easy. There is a lot of work involved. Ironically I just got off the phone with a nice lady trying to sell me advertising space in an industry magazine in an industry that I supply services to. While I’m not interested in advertising in the magazine, I know they have a list of 6000+ email recipient that I can market to, for about $300 a blast. This is a good deal in my opinion and I’d do, if I can measure the results. Her response to my question was “we don’t do that”. I was floored. As discussed in my Email Marketing chapter, you can adopt an email marketing software system for pennies a month, and a list of 6000 is cheap. Such tools will let me know how many emails were opened, how many clicks and on what links they clicked on. With such a campaign, I’d be a long term customer as I want to know these figures and benchmark them against other campaigns I’ve done in order to maximize my campaign. Because they offer this, which I think is a minimum, they lost my business. Oddly, I had the same conversation almost a year ago with them, and hence for a small magazine, they’ve lost at least $3000 in revenue from me. Point is, if you’re not measuring your online activities, you won’t know what’s working the best for you. First, you need to decide what to measure. Since this chapter is about SEO, I’m discussing the metrics to measure your SEO efforts.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition There are five areas I suggest measuring. While there are 100’s of metrics you can measure, if you set up processes internally to measure these five areas, you’re already ahead of most small businesses. Rankings. You need to continually measure your rankings against your competition. This is discussed in the section of setting up WebCEO that’s check your rankings. For a small, local business I suggest checking your rankings weekly for your keyword list on the major search engines against your competition list. Referrals and Traffic. SEO is about traffic, and while you can rank high for certain terms, you need to know what traffic is being sent to you from where. This figure is found using Google Analytics already discussed in this chapter. Links. Most of your SEO efforts will be to acquire links. Using WebCEO to measure and monitor the links the search engines are picking up can be accomplished using WebCEO. This is discussed earlier in this chapter. Leads and Sales. Frankly speaking, traffic and rankings mean nothing if you’re not converting visitors to a CTA. This is discussed in the Website chapter and you can measure the CTA using Google Analytics. Costs. If you don’t have money to run your business, you’d better have time. You need one or the other, or both to be successful in business. Your time is worth money, always. Creating a spreadsheet to measure your activities related to tasks is important for later analysis.

Refine Keyword, On-the-page and Off-the-Page Strategy
Like any marketing program, if you’re taking action and measuring your results, you need to use all of that data you’re measuring. With this analysis, you’re enabled to make decisions. These decisions may refine your strategy as you become more skilled, as the competitive landscape changes or new marketing tactics are introduced. I suggest following a three month cycle. Since my SEO program is broken into two main categories, month one and month two+, after your third month, you should revisit the strategies in month one. Confused? So am I!

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Ok, I’m not confused, it just sounds confusing, so let me explain. After 90 days of utilizing your keywords, you should look at them again. You should reconsider your map strategy, as certain pages will be well ranked and others will require a greater effort. Therefore, consider this strategy.

Evaluate your Keyword Strategy
While this becomes a challenge with running a pay per click campaign since your keyword strategy is refined much more often, its much more difficult to make and see changes in organic listings, therefore I suggest doing this step every three months. You’ll be looking for patterns here. Comparing your rankings to your inbound links and anchor text, patterns will emerge. Some search terms will have a higher pages-per-visitor, or time-on-page, numbers over others. Some search terms will have a higher CTA. There is no magic formula here and I can’t provide a concise out-of-the-box solution. These patterns are different for every keyword, every industry, every website. You’ll need to use your intuition here. Additionally, when you look at your Google Analytics, you’ll find search terms that you hadn’t even thought about. Your goal here is to simply determine what changes need to be made to your keyword strategy.

Evaluate your Map Strategy
Similar to the above strategy, new keywords will mean new content. You may need to remove pages due to visitor behavior, or create new pages based on new keywords. You may discover a hole in your strategy, as you follow these steps, the first time will be exponentially worse than your first pass. While pages typically do not need to be re-optimized, if the conversion to a CTA isn’t there, you’ll need to change the content and re-evaluate your map strategy.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

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TARGETED EMAIL MARKETING
Overview
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing which utilizes email as a way of communicating commercial messages to an audience that has asked for the message. Employing a targeted email marketing program for your audience is imperative and critical for any small business, in my opinion. Email marketing is extremely cost effective and very lucrative means to generate new business. One of my businesses, over 90% of my business comes from my email list, which is a traditional offline business. I’ve collected my list over the years and I believe my list is the greatest asset the company owns.

Advantages
∞ It’s Green! ∞ Over 50% of Internet users check their email daily. ∞ An email list provides the ability to distribute information to a wide range of specific, potential clients at a very low cost ∞ Very cost effective, very high Return on Investment ∞ Delivery time is almost instant ∞ Ability to push your message to your customers, such as ‘pushing’ traffic to your website rather than ‘pulling’ them in. ∞ You can track every step. You can track who received the message, who opened it, who clicked on links and who doesn’t want your messages anymore. ∞ An exact Return on Investment can be tracked.

Disadvantages
∞ Spam blockers. As report issued by Return Path, as of mid 2008 email deliverability is still an issue for legitimate marketers. ∞ Many email solutions to choose from, some of which have low throughput rate. The average delivery rate is 56%. I suggest Aweber for autoreponders and double opt-in systems and Constant Contact for ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 118 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition businesses acquiring offline emails for the highest throughput, as high as 97%.

Target Audience
Get the Right Audience with the Right Message! I define a campaign as audience group you market to on a reoccurring basis. You must understand your audience group before creating the campaign. You must also understand the goals and objectives of the campaign. I will discuss a few potential audience groups and demonstrate the goals and objectives of that group. In the second series, I’m much more detailed and provide exact, step by step process on how to build your campaign properly. Potential Audience Groups for a Local Service Based Business Active Clients Inactive Clients No use Clients - 90 days New Clients - 90 days Industry Clients Future Industry Clients Future Clients Future Clients (service driven) General Interest Agents Future Agents Employees Employee Drivers IC Drivers Future Drivers Birthdays Holidays Trade Show Contacts

The point here is understanding your objectives and your goals for each group. For example, you’ll speak a different language to prospects as you would to clients. If you’re selling products or services to businesses (B2B) I recommend two campaigns to start: ∞ Future Clients (sales prospects) ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 119 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ General Interest (prospects, clients, friends). If your selling products or services to consumers (B2C), I recommend one campaign to start. ∞ General Interest

Future Industry Clients, Prospects
This campaign will include all future clients, or rather prospects. This is an ongoing campaign that will be populated with all prospects in the sales funnel, or who would like to receive this information. The goal is to build creditability with future prospects. This is the campaign that will help build trust, loyalty and authority, ultimately resulting in sales. The campaigns could consist of at least three main areas of focus, as follows. ∞ Value Story towards your company ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ Case Studies, testimonials Growth – Future directional story about your company Expected successes in technology, market share PR article

General Interest
This campaign will include who ever requests this information. This is a general email intended to provide valuable community information to cover everyone associated with your company internally and externally in all areas of the business. The goals are to instill brand awareness and the company image. The campaign will consist of five main areas of focus, as follows. ∞ Your city ‘feel good’ story. ∞ Local celebrity profile, volunteer achievements ∞ Individual Profile – Positive story of someone internal or external that touches your company ∞ Did you know? Section – tidbit of interesting and or useless facts and information

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ Quick Recipes / Neighborhood Knowledge ∞ Short value story on your company, sometimes in the form of an ad

Campaign Creation
Creating a campaign is fairly simple. Before you begin creating content for your campaign, make sure you have the following items checked. Email list in CSV or Excel format with at least an email address and name for each entry Delivery method, I recommend two systems Target Audience group and profile of that group with at least five character traits Clear Objective (upsell, cross promote, credibility, etc) Now its time to start creating content. In this example, I’m going to use the example of an email going out to a general interest group for a business providing delivery services to a local market. This is a screen shot of the top half of the campaign going out to sales prospect, customers, friends, agents and associates. This campaign is difficult to keep the readers interested, willing to forward the email to someone else and keep them on your list, so it’s a great example. Like web design, you’re going for a call to action. Make sure you always call for a CTA. In the top section, we put a short introduction stating the objective of the email and immediately go into a strong education piece that your target audience would appreciate. There is a lot of free information out there, I would start with www.about.com or www.ezinearticles.com to find free content to use.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition I almost always add pictures. Visually it’s strong and appeals to the reader and attracts their attention to the articles. While you can not see it in the image, the next section in the middle is a press release style article on the business in discussion. If you chose to discuss a service or product, focus only on benefits to the users. I like to simply discuss what’s happening and nothing that appears to be pushing a product or service. The third section I like to use a ‘local feel good’ story. The news is typically negative and this is a change to spread some love. I call this my ‘local-boysaves-dog’ stories. We’ve deviated a little and discussed festivals, charitable events (great cross promotion strategy), family events and profiled individuals in the community. The fourth section we’ll position on either the left or the right hand side and include useless tidbits of information. A website called Did You Know is a great place to find this information. Showing facts that are related to current events, quotes to important people and sometimes instructions is a great way to ad value to your newsletter. The site’s address is http://www.didyouknow.cd/ The final and fifth section is your chance to build your brand image and place a visual ad. To your left is an example of an ad describing a new service to an existing customer base. This particular ad ran for eight months on the same campaign and had links for a call to action.

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Metrics
I’m just going to quickly cover some metrics on you email marketing campaigns to help you understand.

This is a screen shot of an email campaign for a small brick and mortar local business. The list has been in operation for a year and has a fairly loyal audience. Notice the bounces. Don’t worry about this. When we go into that section, these are emails that no longer exists, have a full mailbox or their settings are set to vacation. The Spam Reports is the number of times your message was reported as spam to the email software firm. In this case no one felt this email was considered spam. In Constant Contact, if you exceed one spam complaint per 1000 messages sent per campaign, your account will be reviewed. They have a very low tolerance for spam, Aweber has an even lower tolerance. If you’re doing everything ethically and follow the can-spam laws, it doesn’t matter if you’re reported. People can chose to say what they want and the fact is you might not be in violation. The Opt-Outs is the number of people who left your list. Anything over a 0.5% is considered high by our standard. Through our testing, the more promotional a message is, the higher the opt out rate is. Therefore, if you exceed 0.5%, chances are you’re being too promotional. Show great benefit to your audience. The Opens is the number of email message that were opened. In this example you see 23%. This is a little low, however the email just went out last night and I like to give it a week before all the numbers are in. We shoot for a 30% open

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition rate. In direct marketing, a 5% open rate is good, so even 23% is pretty darn good. The Clicks is key. This is you CTA. In this example, the CTA for this campaign is 14.6% which is decent. You should shoot for at least 10%, however 20% is great. We can achieve as high as 50% if the position and content is bang on. Test, Test, Test. The Forwards statistic is something that is typically a goal of each campaign. The more forwards you get, the more people you can get on your list. While this is a great concept, the fact is we’ll get two or three measurable forwards per month per campaign. Not much value.

Email Marketing Tools
There are two email systems I recommend and use, while I’ve tested many, they are: Click on logo to get to their registration pages.

http://www.constantcontact.com
http://www.aweber.com/

CAN-SPAM Compliance
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 signed by George W. Bush, amended slightly in 2004, empowers authorities to issue up to a $11,000 penalty per violation for spamming each individual recipient. The most recent amendment went into effect July 7th, 2008. Therefore, most commercial email marketers in the United States utilize a specialized email service to distribute to ensure compliance with the act. In order to be compliant with the act, the following must be adhered to: ∞ Authenticate your return email address ∞ Include a physical address it was sent from ∞ Provide a one-click unsubscribe feature

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ Prohibit importing lists of purchased addresses ∞ Avoid misleading or illegal information

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

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SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social Media is the method used on the Internet to share and discuss information among other human beings. The term Social Media Marketing refers internetbased communication with Social Media sites to promote or market a business, product or service. The social media channels use communication as a means to create word of mouth advertising, listen to customer demands and analyze their behaviors. Tim O’Reilly coined the term Web 2.0 in 2004 as a media conference and since many firms are deploying Web 2.0 applications. While Web 2.0 isn’t a new Internet, it refers to changing times, as since its inception the Internet has vastly changed for businesses. Hence, that is why this course is now a very viable option in the marketing mix for small businesses. Social Media Marketing (SMM) is essentially creating ‘word of mouth’ advertising in an electronic form using web 2.0 sites. These websites include familiar sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. A main component of SMM isn’t simply exposure, but providing unique content. Again, you don’t have to be original, just unique. This strategy can drive an enormous amount of direct traffic from these Web 2.0 sites, in addition, provide several links with proper anchor text pointing to the pages you want to promote. Therefore, this strategy is very important and should be a part of every Internet Promotion strategy. This is not a chapter to skim over, there is a lot of very valuable information and resources here. This ultimately is the final major step in your marketing efforts and will bring everything together on the Internet.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition While SMM is still being defined and marketers are learning new ways to gain exposure using these sites, there are some fundamentals of each sites and I’ve broken these sites relevant for the small business into three categories. 1. Social Networking & Communication Sites. 2. Social Collaboration Sites 3. Social Bookmarking Sites I am going to review each of these sections, provide a strategy for each section and I’m only going to discuss the best sites to use. Today, there are over 200 social media sites that range from Networking sites (Twitter, Facebook) to Collaboration (wikipedia, del.icio.us) to Multimedia (Youtube, Flickr) to Entertainment (secondlife.com, miniclip.com). While there are four sections mentioned, I do not discuss any sites that fall into the entertainment category. While these sites are powerful for some products and services, there is little value for the small local business in most cases. If you feel your product or service can cater to a very young audience embraced in an online community and technology, you might want to consider this strategy. Additionally, multimedia sites such as YouTube are widely popular websites I’ve created its own chapter, which is the second longest chapter in this book, and probably the second most important chapter. This leaves two types of Social Media sites, used for networking and collaboration. Collaboration sites Wikipedia (a user defined encyclopedia site), Social News Sites such as Digg (user driven social content site), Opinions site such as Epinions (user driver site providing opinions on products and services) and finally bookmarking sites such as Del.iciou.us (online personal and public bookmarks). Networking and Communication sites include social networking sites like Facebook (networking of young adults), Blogs like Wordpress.org (a site where you run your own blog, like www.scott-gallagher.net), Mircoblogs like Twitter (a site where user can other users updates of what they are doing. Barack Obama heavily used this in his 2008 presidential campaign), Social Network Aggregation sites like Classmates (a site where users can find old school classmates) and finally Event sites like Upcoming.org.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition You may have already started to see the power here, or maybe you’re just confused! Today we have five times more words in the English language than we did during Shakespeare’s time and those words are very apparent when it comes to the Internet. Not to mention, we’re living in a world that company names (nouns) are creating branding that is so strong these names have become verbs. “Go Google that fact” “Digg that page!” “I’m going to blog on that”. I know there are a lot of new terms here the only way you’ll understand them and learn is simply to take action. I believe, while you might not agree with me, that this chapter poises to be most confusing because of all the new concepts in Web 2.0. Therefore, the best advice I have for this chapter, in fact the entire course, is to take action. See, in my business we do many things that are new and never been done before. Imagine trying to find a book or teacher that has experience in managing 10 separate authors located around the globe, 10 outsourced link builders and dozens of websites to build links to. We needed a collaboration tool (IM, Google Docs), inventory solution to manage the articles, when we can recycle and rewrite, manage distribution and submission, manage which content has an accompanying video and finally a metric system to measure and track progress. We had to develop this solution ourselves, document our processes and execute. There was no possible way we could have educated ourselves on everything before taking action. We have to take action to learn what is required in inventory software, project management software and other components. I will personally run a new process myself for a month or two to make sure the process functions properly. I take action and learn while I’m acting. Then I pass the process to one of my managers to refine and perfect the process and ensure the process is scalable up and down. I believe in participation management and by taking action I’m able to learn all necessary facets. Therefore, while tackling this chapter, follow the steps and at the very least, take action!

Action Plan Summary
While this chapter will require explanation of each of the sites we’re going to ask you to create, this is a quick overview of what your social media marketing plan needs to cover. ∞ Profiles on high traffic sites ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 128 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ Create Groups and additional pages for service/products ∞ Linked to your money and other social sites. ∞ User Generated Content ∞ Profiles on Geographical and Topical site ∞ And/or join geographical and topical groups ∞ Video Content (creation and distribution covered in the Video chapter) ∞ Social Bookmarking ∞ Syndicated RSS Feed (I don’t believe this is necessary today for local sites and therefore not included in this course, however a complimentary mini course is scheduled in 2009 for course subscribers as we’re finding great success with RSS Feeds, especially using your ezine articles RSS feeds when you reach expert author status) ∞ Participate in the conversation for your geographical locations, your service niche, your products or yourself!

Social Networking and Communication
Social Networking and Communication websites today are some of the biggest, busiest, fastest growing websites on the Internet. I’ve heard by reputable gurus that social networking is bigger than the Internet itself. In December 2008 over 50% of the top ten websites in terms of traffic include social networking sites. It has been said that every day there is over 230,000 new subscribers on MySpace. Additionally, if MySpace were a country, today it would be the 8th largest country in the world! It blows me away that there are website communities that are larger than my home country (Canada). While Facebook has now surpassed MySpace in terms of traffic, Facebook has become a marketers’ dream, since this audience is highly educated with demo graphics that marketers find very challenging to reach. Approximately 50% of its users are male and 47% of those males are between the ages of 18 and 34. Less than 25% of the people are below the age of 18 and over 15% are between the ages of 35 and 50! Over 45% of the people on Facebook have already graduated with ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 129 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition a college degree and unbelievably, over 61% of all Facebook users make over $60,000 per year!xiv These facts are for one website and its only 2009! When you are reading this, I bet most people you know have no idea of the value of social sites and how these sites are changing our lives. Did you know how many mobile phones there are in the world? There are 3.3 billion subscriptionsxv. That’s more than ½ the entire population on globe. Web 2.0 is being designed to work on mobile devices, since in 2008 was the first year we received mobile devices powerful enough to do standard computing tasks such as office and surfing the Internet with high speeds and multimedia. This means that Web 2.0 will soon be used to market services in many ways to mobile devices. This isn’t here yet, and like an economic cycle, its not a question of if, but when. I’m not suggesting that today you need to think about marketing your local small business through people’s cell phones, however imagine a world where you’re driving home from work and as you approach your dry cleaners, your phone reminds you to make that next right to get your dry cleaning and the system alerts the cleaners to have your clothes ready for you, or electronic reminders to get the clothes out to you’re ready to leave. A local dry cleaner can use mobile to market their business. Its coming, just not yet. So, I share my short opinions about mobile computing because social interaction on the Internet has proven to be the current big thing, mobile computing is already here and has a bigger distribution of all other mediums combines and finally, at least today, we have access to the most democratic distribution mediums in history. We’re in an amazing time and now is the time you must rethink you business or I promise you that it’s highly likely you’ll be out of business if you don’t retool yourself. Since these are our opinions on electronic social interaction, this only adds to the relevancy of social media marketing. Establishing your profiles now and continuing to expand your online presence means you’ll be in a better position and ‘already there’ when mobile marketing becomes a necessity in a business’ marketing mix. I’m sorry I just spent an entire page on non-actionable items and basically fluff, however I can not empathize the importance of this section, and 80% of the ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 130 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition results come from ‘simply’ being there. I will have an entire course on this section sometime in 2009 for those companies that have multiple resources and are in very competitive local markets, such as professional services like real estate firms. Today, real estate firms pose the greatest competition among local businesses on the Internet and its much more difficult to be found for their keywords since a lot of your competition is already there. On the other hand, Chiropractors have little to no competition, yet boast similar number of direct competitors. Many industries, until I believe 2011 will have many first mover advantages to be found on the Internet on the search engines and social sites. I want to point out that there are dozens of social networking sites. The grand daddy of those sites today is Facebook. While MySpace in the USA today has a bigger membership group than Facebook, worldwide trends show that in April of 2008 Facebook surpassed MySpace and growing exponentially faster. Facebook also a demographic group that is much older and has a higher income. For these reasons I’m discussing Facebook in depth as today and in the near future will be the best source. I’m not suggesting to discount MySpace either. You can spend a lot of time on Facebook, in fact you could spend your entire marketing time budget on social marketing. I suggest following the steps here on Facebook and at the very least, create a profile on MySpace and link your profile and pages to your Facebook profile. I also suggest you create profiles at the list of social sites at the end of this section.

Facebook
I’ve already mentioned a bit of Facebook, about its power and about its foundation. While the goal of these exercises is ultimately make money, we know now new school marketing is not about your message in front of a lot of people, even though there is a lot of people on Facebook. It’s about delivering your message to an audience who has asked for it. I’m not going to spend a lot of time here telling why Facebook is a place you need to be, there is a reason why this is listed number one on the list and if there is one thing you’re ever going to do online, this is it. This is also very easy, once you understand what to do.

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Build your profile
Here’s the biggest point frequently missed in social marketing…talk about you. I remember a sales manager told me once “People don’t care about you, people don’t buy people, they won’t buy just because they like you”. Well, that’s true, but it definitely helps if they like you! Do you remember how many things you’ve bought from people you don’t like versus how many you like? Well, 15 years later I’ve learned that sales manager is wrong. Dead Wrong. People are more likely to buy from you if they like you. Social Marketing is just that, the social side of you, therefore your Facebook profile is about you, your CEO or your salesperson. It’s not about the company. The things you do will drive people to your business. Privacy When filling our your profile, remember that friends and family will be reading this, along with prospective employees, employees, vendors, customers and of course, prospects. Additionally, today people are still concerned about privacy and being on a public profile site. Get over it. Now, if you’re not on social sites, you don’t exist online. Oh yeah, your prospects will find you in the phone book! Ok, I’m completely discounting privacy. Privacy is important to protect your connections among businesses you might own if you want that, or protection of your connections to family if you’re in a business like security. If you’d talk to your client and tell them your children’s names and show them a picture of them on your desk, discussing them on Facebook is no different. On the other hand, do not link your profile to your spouses. This is for security and it’s a tie that is too easily found for identify thefts. Hometown Another point on the profile is your ‘hometown’. Here you can put the town you live in now or the town you were born in. While I use the town I was born in, my objective is to be there when people are searching for my hometown to find me specifically, and later I’ll market myself to them. For local businesses, I recommend using the town you live in. This ‘attaches’ to your town’s global network. Occasionally people searching for your city or town will stumble upon ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 132 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition your page, read about you and possibly need your product or service. If this brings one new sale a month, its worth it (of course, in most cases unless you’re a convenient store owner and your average ticket price is $1.50!). Controversial Topics I suggest avoiding discussing any controversial topics on your profile page since you are ultimately promoting your business. These topics include politics (political stance), religion, sex, drugs and adult topics. While it may such a large part of your morals, values and beliefs that you must discuss religion or politics, please know that taking a position on these two topics will significantly cannibalize your sales for those that disagree with your stance. Well, at least in America! Contact and Email Address As far as contact information goes, I will never post my business email address publicly, anywhere. I have a hotmail account that I occasionally check which I don’t care where its posted. Facebook is not to sell, its to help build creditability and move those interested in your service to your website, where you display your information. Additionally, people can email directly through Facebook. I don’t mind showing any of my contact information for my business. Personal On the personal tab, I strongly recommend completing the Activities and Interests section. This say a lot about your personality. Interestingly if you mention an interest that someone else is interested in, snowboarding for me as an example, snowboarders alike will tend to like a bit more than they did before they knew that. They know there is a culture in snowboarding of trust, loyalty, fun, dedication and honesty. We have our own jargon and we belong to a specific tribe. I also volunteer at a local animal shelter with my 11 year old daughter and this speaks a different message. Now, on the other hand, when someone reads that I’m a snowboarder and animal shelter volunteer, they are less like to decided to NOT deal with me because of my activities.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition All the other sections aren’t quite as important for relating to the emotions of buyers, but still recommended to complete. Education Well, I’m a University Grad and I have a confession. School taught me how to get the minimum amount done to get by so I have more time to go out drinking! School did give me a key to get unlimited interviews with fortune 500 companies and provided me the tools to learn how to learn. I don’t put much value on education though. When interview candidates, frankly, I hire for a cultural fit over experience and education. Since dealing with small business owners for 15 years, I’ve noticed a very common trend. A lot of small business entrepreneurs aren’t college educated! It’s great! Like this course, it’s got no value unless you execute it. You need to ‘do’ something before you’re successful. A degree is just a different starting line than a diploma or a hangover. Don’t fret or be embarrassed about your education. Use this spot to make up something funny and make someone chuckle if you don’t have education. People will never judge your ability to deliver your product or service to a local community because you don’t have an education, but make them laugh…. Work People will occasionally search you out based on your past employment. Consider putting in your previous work information if it helps create creditability for you. Additionally, if you worked somewhere with a large pool of potential clients, add it as well. Picture Do not put your company logo here! This is a common mistake. Your profile is about you, and you represent the company in other ways. You can add your logo in you photo album, or in your Facebook pages. Unless you’re in an extreme situation, single mom in the dating scene who wants to avoid a stalker, or children and teens under 18, then don’t worry about your photo. You should

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition be well recognized. Check out my photo, humiliating myself in this fashion has actually proved to be a great eye grabber! Passwords This is a section that I should move to the front of this book. If its in the front of the book, this was originally on page 168. I can not emphasize how important your password system is. You need to have a strong password. Using a strong password reduces the overall risk of a security breach. Whether you’re using the Internet to promote your business or just hanging out, significant damage could be done to you by people you know or spammers if your password is broken. While each site goes to great lengths to protect you and your interests, its amazing what passwords people us. A good friend of mine allowed me to use her account to a very high profile users group, something worth thousands of dollar. Her password was her business name! Taken right from the Holy Grail of companies, Google on passwords. Everything from this point to ‘Facebook’ groups was retrieved from Googlexvi. The first step in protecting your online privacy is creating a safe password - i.e. one that a computer program or persistent individual won't easily be able to guess in a short period of time. To help you choose a secure password, we've created a feature that lets you know visually how safe your password is as soon as you create it. Tips for creating a secure password: ∞ Include punctuation marks and/or numbers. ∞ Mix capital and lowercase letters. ∞ Include similar looking substitutions, such as the number zero for the letter 'O' or '$' for the letter 'S'. ∞ Create a unique acronym. ∞ Include phonetic replacements, such as 'Luv 2 Laf' for 'Love to Laugh'. ∞ Things to avoid: ∞ Don't use a password that is listed as an example of how to pick a good password.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ Don't use a password that contains personal information (name, birth date, etc.) ∞ Don't use words or acronyms that can be found in a dictionary. ∞ Don't use keyboard patterns (asdf) or sequential numbers (1234). ∞ Don't make your password all numbers, uppercase letters or lowercase letters. ∞ Don't use repeating characters (aa11). ∞ Tips for keeping your password secure: ∞ Never tell your password to anyone (this includes significant others, roommates, parrots, etc.). ∞ Never write your password down. ∞ Never send your password by email. ∞ Periodically test your current password and change it to a new one.

Join Groups and Build Groups
Groups are basically groups of people with like minded interests. You will be searching for groups where your target audience may be hanging out. This is difficult for the local business though, since groups typically are either theme or geographically based. If you are Joe the Plumber in Ohio and you service your community of a few hundred thousand people, joining a national group is a waste of your time. Look for only local groups, and consider your target audience. For example, I’m going to venture to guess that roughly 50% of the household decisions for services like plumbing are equally spread among a husband and wife, however I would guess that a great majority of women do the research. Since this *might* be the case, assuming with the proper statistics it is true, then I would consider joining local groups that would attract women between the ages of 25 threw 50 with an income level above $50k. I can come up with several scenarios that apply to many different businesses where you could find your potential audience. Once you’ve completed the video section of this course, then follow the process in determining the tribe you’re accessing and their characteristics. The same exercise applies here. Once you have your profile mix, brainstorm with some research on how to find those groups.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition When browsing for groups, you can search by your network that you are a part of. You can also browse groups globally. I suggest browsing your groups based on the city that you’re targeting and you’ll be able to find groups where your target audience is handing out. Remember that groups are a great opportunity to: ∞ Find out what your target audience and prospects think about your products or services ∞ Conduct surveys and get people’s opinions ∞ Shape and transform opinions ∞ Announce events ∞ Build your reputation

Facebook Pages & Multiple Profiles
A user with multiple products or multiple businesses will want to probably market these products and businesses on Facebook and create synergies among tasks. The obvious answer is to get multiple profiles. Don’t’ do this. You’re in violation of the Facebook terms and conditions and you’ll risk having all of your accounts banned. The answer is one profile about you and multiple facebook pages to promote your products and businesses. A Facebook page is where you build out your business, or your products. You can have multiple Facebook pages with multiple products or business. Pages are attached to your profile as the owner. On your pages, similar to your profile, you can acquire fans of your page. This is like friends on your profile, however they are fans of your business. A great strategy is to have your happy customers become fans and we simply send out ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 137 Pages (businesses) Landscaping Business Sod Business

Personal Profile

Personal Profile

Pages (services)

Lawn Care

Pond Creation

Sod

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition monthly newsletters promoting our groups and request our customers to become fans if they are happy with our services. This is an electronic vote and later these pages are great resources for testimonials.

Market Yourself and Your Business
Now you have your online profile, joined a few groups, found and became friends with people you know and created at least one Facebook page. Now its time to promote yourself and make some money from this goldmine. Imagine being in a social setting and saying something with value and three people heard you and loved what you had to say. Wouldn’t it be great if your next acquaintance who walked in a day later to this social place and heard the same thing of value that you added? Well, fact is, you went home and they would have missed that. In a digital world you might leave but your value you’ve added stays. Point is, participate. Participate in the groups you’re a part of. Participate on your friend’s walls and write messages to them. Always add value to your posts, don’t post for the sake of posting. Once you do this, people will begin to see you as an authority figure and tend to follow you. The more you post and higher the value of your opinions, over time the more people will follow you. People will see your posts, curious about your profile and click on your profile, and then they’ll click on a link, maybe a picture of your logo or your page. Maybe they’ll see your business URL and are curious. One (1) % of Americans are business owners. Whether your business is successful or not, the perception of the general public is that you’re in a better position than those working (mind you, some days I just want to quite and drive a truck!). The general audience is always curious of success, it’s human nature. They’ll follow you. I would guess that one valuable post in a group of 1000 people will generate 50 new, unique visits to your website, somehow, over the course of a year. If I have 50 new uniques, I’ll get 5 new leads and 1-2 new customers. Think about that, 1000 people frequenting a group, over the next year it could be 1200, or 2000 people and your valuable post will get Digged (or would it be dugg?), bookmarked, tagged, syndicated and perhaps feed to a blog, not to mention the traffic directly from Facebook. Do you think a quality post could generate one new website visitor every 3 days? I know for a fact it does much more. Do the math, and sales is math. Start posting positive content.

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Social Ads (Facebook Advertising)
I’ll never forget my 11th grade economics class at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School in Sudbury, Ontario. My economics teacher, who helped me open my first business at the age of 17 that had five employees, told the class once; “If you can find a new place to advertise, you’ll become a millionaire”. This was in 1992, the official launch year of the Internet, which didn’t become a household name until 1994 or 1995. Point is, my teacher never heard of the Internet at that time, nor did a single student. Imagine, a new place to advertise. Little did he know that his statement changed my life and since then I’ve been passionate about discovering advertising opportunities. Advertising on Facebook provides you advertising opportunities like no other in history. One can target based on location, sex, marital and educational status, graduating college or political slant! You can use another feature to target Facebook users based on words on their profile. You can chose where your ads are place, for example, placing ads on the groups you frequent or certain profile views. Advertising on Facebook is very, very cheap today. Advertising here is very new as well, launched this year. So, you’ve got a website with 100,000’s of new people signing up daily, an estimated 1% of your entire geographical area is a member and for one penny a click, you can advertise in areas that will have a huge potential to close. Take your non-profit organization for example that provides parenting classes to your community. You target married couples from the ages 20-34 located in your geographical area only. No one else will see the ad, so everyone clicking on your ad couple be a potential student. Google adwords has greater exposure but the simular targeting.

MySpace
This is a online community that lets you meet your friend’s friends. Similar to Facebook, you can share photos, journals and interests with your growing network of mutual friends.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition With over 120 million users and over 200,000 new subscribers daily, makes MySpace a lucrative place to hang out. The challenge is the huge number of 14 year olds and low income levels of its users. Following a similar strategy as mentioned in Facebook works with MySpace, however its not recommended unless you have a lot of extra time or money to source this task out.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an online network of more than seven million professionals from around the globe in over 130 different industries. LinkedIn is truly the cleanest network out there. There is very little spam and LinkedIn lives up to claim of professionalism. This is observed simply by doing a people search on the site with a common last name, there are truly a lot of quality professionals. Promoting your business on LinkedIn involves obtaining those recommendations from other people within the LinkedIn network. When this recommendation is received you’re awarded love, the fact that they recommended you appears in your profile. You can search through professionals in specific areas. Job searches for jobseekers and a candidate search for employers and recruiters is also available. You can also view members who graduated from your school, people with specified skills and people from a particular area of the world. Gain visibility on a site where everyone is there for professional purposes. You can use the site to either find potential business associates, or someone may find you and your services instead. I recommend using this site simply to increase your exposure and definitly at least have a profile up there.

Niche Networking Sites
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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition hope so, because you have first mover advantages over your competition if you’re reading this. While social sites have increased in popularity, like the tribal nature and community effect we exhibit as humans is banding together in smaller societal groups. Think of it like this, the Internet is the world of people. Each social site is a different city, MySpace being New York, Facebook being Chicago. There is roughly 2 million people in the city of Chicago, but around 8 million included in Chicagoland, Chicago and its burbs. These suburbs are still communities that make up a much larger audience than its whole and each community shares different values and beliefs. These smaller communities are the niche networking sites on the Internet. I just started a new one a few weeks ago called ‘Couriers of the World’. This is a social site set up for my entire industry for users to come and collaborate, vent and discuss something in common, the courier industry. Since one of my businesses caters to this industry for marketing services, my objectives are obvious. On the other hand, each participant has their own profile, creates content daily for the site and collaborates in a free, safe environment. According to eMarketers, advertising spending on small niche social sites is expected to increase over 75%. This says something. The percentage of total Internet advertising for niche sites also went up from 7% to 8.2%. This indicates that the pool of money in this area is looking at niche sites as a place of growth. Point is, this is a piece of the future, even if its just starting as this course is released. I recommend you find niche social sites and build out a profile, connect to friends and participate in the community. Make sure you add your link in your signature so every time you post something you get a link back to your website!

How to find them
You should already have the skills and know how to do this. Remember in the Search Engine Optimization chapter we discuss ways to find niche directories? This is the same with some subtle differences in the core keyterm. A niche social network site is a website located on its own and caters to a specific tribe. Therefore this could be topical, theme based or geographical

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition based. Since you are a local business, you’ll want to spend your time on geographical sites to promote, niche and topical sites to learn. Search in Google ∞ [geographical modifier] + network ∞ [geographical modifier] + social network ∞ [geographical modifier] + group ∞ [geographical modifier] + online community ∞ [geographical modifier] + profile Before I do any of these searches I check out http://www.ning.com. Ning is an online service to create, customize, and share a social network. I have a few social networks here which are doing well. The search feature isn’t very good at all as you can not set many parameters that you might like, however it does search keywords in network titles. Try several combinations, including your own keywords as searches and see what networks come up. Join them and participate in the community.

Social Collaboration
Social Collaboration websites in the world of Social Media Marketing include a list of several dozen sites that service different applications. While these sites in many ways can be compared to networking and communication sites, the concept is a collaboration of information to leverage a synergy among a mass of people. For example, Wikipedia is the world largest online encyclopedia that is built by its users. Opinion sites like epinions is a place for people to simply state their opinion about a product or service. Following is a list of two places I recommend you build your place online.

Squidoo
Squidoo's goal as a platform is to bring the power of recommendation to search. Squidoo's goal as a co-op is to pay as much money as they can to their

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition lensmasters and to charity. And Squidoo's goal as a community is to have fun along the way, and meet new ideas and the people behind them. This is basically a place to write about things you love, essentially creating pages about a certain topic, placing links on that page to your own site and hopefully build traffic. This is also like article marketing, however you have a lot more functionality on the landing pages than a basic article. I use the exact same style of articles on my squidoo pages as in article marketing. When a page is created, Squidoo calls this a lens. Hence, the webmaster or authors is a lens master. Lens typically rank very high in the SEs. Some of the neat features of a lens is what you can include on a lens is a RSS feed from the lens that you can feed to your company blog, Google Maps (great for tying in your local component and why this is powerful tool), feeds from other sites and previews of your Flickr images.

Wet Paint
Taken from their own website, "Wetpaint powers websites that tap the power of collaborative thinking. The heart of the Wetpaint advantage is its ability to allow anyone — especially those without technical skill — to create and contribute to websites written for and by those who share a passion or interest. To do this, Wetpaint combines the best aspects of wikis, blogs, forums and social networks so anyone can click and type on the web." First, wetpaint sounds like an ideal choice. Look out, they don’t give you any link love, meaning they restrict the value of out bound links to your site, and in turn, do not add value to your SEO efforts. Webpaint however does allow for a great place to increase your presence. The beauty here is the SEs still see your presence online, and while I have not tested this nor have my collegues ever discussed this in public areanas, at this point and for 2009, I believe the SEs value your online presence, even there is no link love. Therefore I can not recommend this strategy based on value and data, but I do recommend it based on opinion at this time and I’m hoping early 2009 I’ll have evidence that his theory is true.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Wetpaint is a awesome because it provides the power of themes, geographical location, wikis and covers almost all web 2.0 properties.

Social Bookmarking
This is a method for people on the Internet to store, search, manage and organize bookmarks of web pages on the Internet. You’re probably familiar with the bookmark feature on your Internet browser, allowing navigating to those pages anytime with one click. Social bookmarking is simply taking that feature and making your bookmarks available on the Internet, so when you are not at your normal computer, you have access to all of your stored web pages.

Digg
Digg is a user driven social content website, not a true social bookmark site. While Digg is a still a social collaboration site, it could probably be considered a social news site. The reason why I have chosen to include it in the social bookmark arena is the fact that their name, Digg, a noun by definition, has turned into a new verb. Like Google, when your company name has become a verb, you’ve done something right. To ‘digg’ a webpage, is to ‘bookmark’ it on the Digg network. The more your page has been ‘dugg’ (or digged?), the higher the perceived value by the SE, in turn increasing your rankings. While the complexity of this strategy goes way beyond the scope of this course, I touch on this concept to at least getting you start considering Digg as a strategy. For example, the value of dugg content has a lot to do with the status of the person who is submitting the content, their popularity and authority. Point is, no one listens until you have reputation. No one wanted to listen to Sylvester Stalone when he held a script called Rocky. It took him several tries to get the movie picked up and read and Rocky became one of the best movies of all time.

del.icio.us
del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site all around. It was one of the first, one of the largest and simply a tool in your internet marketing toolbox you’ll simply need to use several times.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition The concept of social bookmarking is currently a topic of debate among us SEOers. Many people build elabroate schemes with several accounts and a bookmarking pattern, hoping the search engines won’t discover the foot print. The argument is that the more bookmarks you have, the more popular your site must be, then in turn the SEs will give you more authority. This is proven and true. Therefore, the theory is that is you build too many bookmarks in the wrong places in the wrong amount of time, the SEs will discover your footprint and penalize your site in rankings. This is simply not true, and nearly impossible for the search engines to justify this practice. If this were true, then why don’t you go out and bookmark the heck out of your competition and get their site penalized. The truth is that the links you could build up would eventually be devalued in time, and this I buy. However, you’ll never penalize yourself to the point where you’re going backwards. Therefore, rather than teaching any elaborate schemes, I’m taking the high road and saying, yes, were here doing this, but nothing that’s overkill. I’ll explain. Following the common sense application of SEO, there would be nothing wrong for me as a business to build my online profile and bookmark each page I create, bookmark each article and video I submit. Why? Because maybe I want a central location for each of these resources for when I’m travelling or on a sales call. Therefore, since there a very legitimate business reason why I’d do this, I’m not doing it solely for SEO purposes, therefore it’s a practice that should be supported by the major SEs. That’s why I recommend bookmarking all of your own company work that’s online. All of it. I also recommend adding other links to other sites in your bookmarking accounts. I would include some competitors sites (yes, pass a bit of link love to them, at the price of obtaining reputation with the SEs, good trade off imo), several industry sites, government and educational sites. I use del.icio.us to bookmark all of our sites and work. I’ll use all of the 10 or so other bookmarking accounts I’ve created for Traffic Geyser, which is explained in the video chapter. I’ll vary the bookmarks I add to those accounts.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

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VIDEO
∞ 15 Billion Videos viewed monthly ∞ 52% of all web Traffic is video ∞ Video Listings show up in the SERPs within 10 minutes ∞ The human brain is optimized for story telling and immersive sensory experience – this is video! Online video is one of the best venues to connect an audience. This new avenue allows video creators to communicate a message on multiple levels through visual imagery, spoken words, music and visual text. This is a huge potential to reach a massive audience with your small business. This strategy alone can help dominate the entire front page of Google. Do not skip this section. With online video you can also reach a huge local audience for a minimal investment, thus the ROI of online video marketing can be surprising. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau; more than 50% of the US population will watch video online next year. That’s over 150 million! According to comScore, Americans watched 9 billion online videos just in the month of July. While there are many sources for your video to be viewed by many, we’re talking local business marketing and many of the online video strategies you’ll talk about just don’t apply. Online video for small local businesses is more about conversion than driving traffic, yet plays a great role in acquiring links and completing you online strategies.

Video Traffic Conversion
We live in a world of video, yet the internet is still in a place where newspapers were a hundred years ago. Then came television news, and specialized stations broadcasting the news to us in similar formats. The television has completely changed the way we used to acquire and distribute our information from a hundred years ago. The Internet is no different, however today we are in the dark ages. That’s right, the Internet as we know it today will be mocked by our children as they grow up. You think Granny has seen a lot of change since the early 1900’s? The rate at which humans have adopted technology has

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition exponentially increased in time. While I can not support any figures without documentation and supporting evidence, please try and challenge this claim. For the population of Americans to hit a saturation rate of 95% for newspapers took longer than the telephone, which took longer than television and now the Internet is well on its way to achieving that magic number in much, much less time than them all. Ironic isn’t it, that the Internet as we know it today is merely a digital version of a newspaper, at least for the small local business. Follow the trends folks, video is popping up everywhere on the Internet, why not your own business. Let’s consider this. Companies like Google want to organize the world’s information. They have highly paid, MBA and Doctoral grads studying trends all day long. They know where the Internet is moving; at least they are predicting it better than us. Didn’t they just buy the largest video broadcasting site in existence? Ever heard of YouTube? The point is here is that video is, or soon to become a staple of the Internet. Broadband is cheap, hosting is even cheaper, technology is fast enough and video creation is fairly easy and cheap. Video is also a very big thing right now in SEO. Video on your site greatly increases you’re exposure and ability to be ranked. Video also vastly increases your conversions on your site. Check out these stats.

So what does this all mean? Well, here I’m using Google Analytics to analyze the data from a client of mine, who provides a local service to a local area. The data is taken from a week of time from when a video was launched on their site compared to the exact previous week. Did you notice, a small, local business

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition generating over 300 new visits in a single week, and this business does less than $2 million per year and only has a 10% profit margin, prior to marketing online of course! Notice the decrease in new visitors on the site? That’s a typical variation and only means that the percentage of new visitors to a site has decreased. The one interesting fact is the average time someone spent on a site, it decreased after launching a video! This is not alarming either (while its only 3%), because can’t you absorb more from video than reading? Me too. I can argue this went up with the video simply because of this fact. The most impressive statistics is the increase in the number of pages a visitor looks at per visit, a 21% increase. Check out the bounce rate, that’s the number of visitors that comes to a site and leave immediately, it went down! There isn’t a statistic here that indicates the video was not positive to meet the objectives of a website. Now, I’m going to show you how to make dozens of videos for less that $100.

Video Creation
There are three reasons you’re going to make a video. ∞ SEO purposes (improves rankings) ∞ Conversion (converts traffic to a call-to-action) ∞ Social Media Marketing (drives traffic) First, I’m going to discuss the creation process on how to create a video and second I’m going to show you how to implement the video to serve each of these purposes which will includes ideas, scripts and structure for each purpose. Video creation starts with an idea and while you’re going to be creating videos to serve these two purposes, videos you create for conversion can be used for SEO purposes and videos simply for SEO will help drive traffic to your site.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition There are four stages in the development process of video that you’ll need to know. These stages are widely used in television and movie production, so they’ll be familiar. 1. Development (pre-production) 2. Production 3. Post Production 4. Distribution

Development (pre-production)
This is the first task in the video creation chain. This is also the most important part of the process. Some of the most popular YouTube videos are poor production quality. Check out this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsO6D1rwrKc This is a video from Nike. Its done with a cheap camcorder and there is little editing, in fact it looks like I may have shot it with my camera. Yet, it has had over 25 million views. This video we viral, watch it and you’ll understand why it went viral. You’ll have the skills to create as slick of a video as you want, however if you don’t have the Video Message Skills figured out, no amount of special effects or slick production will help you. There are three critical elements to video. The Audience: The Voice: The Structure: Who are you speaking to? How are you talking to them? How your information is delivered.

The Audience
Most people plan their video incorrectly, they create it list it is a television show for television distribution to a television audience. This is wrong! Television ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 150 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition caters to a large audience, geared to speak many different demographics in many different geographical locations delivering many different messages. All internet marketing videos need to be created toward instinctual social interaction, where my friends describe The Tribe Effect. A tribe is an organization of like minded people that are brought together through varying form of web based communication. Social sites are examples of the current places where these tribes hang out. Most Internet Marketing messages are just an extension of traditional marketing from the old school world. In our evolving digital social world, tribes share ideas, such as opinions, attitudes, information, fear, love, encouragement… Tribes need to be marketed to differently than TV viewers. Therefore, your message that you’re delivering must be catered to the audience you intend. For example, if a video is placed on your homepage, you make sure you speak to the audience members you’ve identified when designing your site. From your homepage, you send customers one way, prospects to another. You video message on your inner page, that speaks to a prospect, should speak to a prospect! Don’t talk about a subluxation on a Chiropractic prospect page, explain to them a subluxation is a partial dislocation of the vertebrae. Don’t explain to a previous customer the ingredients you use to make your pizza, they are ready to place an order!

The Voice
How are you speaking to your audience? Every single word of your video has to count when you market to a tribe. Every word must be a part of the tribes most commonly spoken language, the jargon typically used. This language is their spoken language and topic of interest or reason for gathering. Remember, in a tribe network, no one should be treated commonly. In order to stand out, you need to make every word for the tribe count. Its about ownership. It’s about benefits. We all know features don’t sell, benefits do. Its selling without selling. If you don’t get this right, you’ll never sell. Benefits sell. Therefore, when creating your script, talk about what the product or service will do for your customer, not what the product does. If you’re a local lawyer, discussing your credentials does nothing but boost your own ego. Talk about ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 151 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition how you’ll be able to get that DUI removed and give the prospect a peace of mind and a stress free trial. A home construction firm should discuss should talk about how the most important thing they focus on is a timely delivery, so home owners can move in on time, quality workmanship so the owners know they’re getting a well built home that will reduce repairs down the road and within budget, so the home owners has the peace of mind knowing they won’t need to worry about going over budget. Notice the latter example, timely delivery, quality workmanship and budget are all features.

The Message
Have you ever heard of solution selling? This is a buzz term for sales adopted in the late 80’s by some major corporations. This means that when selling one should show the solution to the problems being identified. You video is no different. Like a movie, this is related to the protagonist (the good guy, or solution) and the antagonist (the bad guy, or the problem). Additionally, each video should have three acts. Act One This is where you set the stage, why the viewer in here. You demonstrate what’s in it for them, what the video is about and when we introduce the characters (problem versus the solutions). This act is broken into three parts. Part I This is where you discuss the problem. This is the problem summary. For example, a divorce attorney speaking to prospects would suggest and maybe ask a question about whether the viewer is experiencing challenges, confusion and fear about divorce. A dry cleaner may comment on typical challenges with other dry cleaners about the quality of their competition’s work. Than antagonist is about quality of service.

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Part II This is the solution summary. This is the answer to the problem. For example, the above attorney may suggest that she understands the tribulations in dealing with divorce, since perhaps she has gone through it personally. The dry cleaner may empathize and suggest that poor quality is the reason why they started their business. Part III This is the example summary, how the solution deals with the problem. For example, the above attorney may suggest they have a no cost consultation in a comfortable setting with tea and biscuits. The dry cleaner may identify they have the newest, highest quality equipment and their clothes go through a quality control check prior to being made available to their clients. Please be away the solution and the example are separate in their delivery. The solution summary does not give the ownership, or the benefit. Act II Now the viewer understands all the characters and challenges they’ll face when selecting your service. Now they need to see the characters in action and the results of their efforts. Part IV Here you apply your solution to the problem. You might also reveal additional benefits to the solution. You can also introduce other mini-problems and address them with the solution-benefit immediately. Do this, this and this…. Part V This is the turning point of your video. This is a principal benefit that does not necessarily have an associated problem. Why does this work? Review the reason this technique works. For example, the attorney may suggest that her approach, while different, allows spouses to communicate better, thereby reducing the amount of time in court, reducing expenses and stress. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 153 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Part VI This part you’ll review the benefits of the solution. Add perhaps a bullet point list of all the benefits that were created as a result of applying the solution to the problem. Finish with either a results oriented upside or a user benefit. Act Three Bring it all together baby! Here you’ll discuss the possible outcomes of Act Two, what is going to happen next? Part VI Now is the time to generate that interest in the solutions and its results. For example, with the example of the attorney…now that you have the peace of mind and a stress free divorce, division of equity will be tolerable and equitable, child custody will fair and you’ll have additional money to spend to go on a cruise to find that new husband! (ok, leave that last one out). Part VII This is where you generate hope, anticipation and excitement. Hope is the most important element that keeps viewers engaged in your product or service. For example, the attorney could now suggest the last of stress results in freedom, the freedom to choose whether the stress resides or subdues. The freedom knowing that everything will be ok. Take Action! Now, I know this part sounds mundane and tedious, but trust me, if you’ve read this far you’ve got to have some trust in what I say. Follow these steps. ∞ Create five profiles of the tribes you want your web video to speak to and seen by. ∞ For each one of those tribe profiles, research and brainstorm at least five character traits about each one. ∞ Identify every problem your product or service solves.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition ∞ Write your outline, write a single summary sentence for of the three acts. ∞ Complete your outline, write a summary sentence for each of the eight parts in the three acts. ∞ If necessary, write filler copy. Your script is done!

Production
In the productions stage, you’ll learn how to determine what mode of communication you’ll use in your video, the difference among standards in North America versus Europe and hardware and software tools. Mode of Communication NTSC (National Television System Committee) is the analog television system used in the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan. NTSC was the first widely adopted broadcast color system. After over a half-century of use, the vast majority of over-the-air NTSC transmissions will be replaced with ATSC by February 17, 2009 in the United States, and August 31, 2011 in Canada. The ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) document a digital television format. It was developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. PAL, short for Phase Alternating Line, is a color-encoding system used in broadcast television systems in large parts of the world, primarily Europe and Africa and parts of Asia, including China and finally Australia.

Hardware
You are going to need a video camera, computer and optionally a microphone. Camera’s are a dime a dozen and range anywhere from $50 for a web camera to tens of thousands of dollars. While ideally if money were no object, you can purchase the top of line, but we’re all on a budget in the world of small business. I have outlined three options for you. First, and foremost, the most challenging

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition part of using that camera you may already have is whether it is digital or not. A digital camera has taken the analog video and converted it to those 1 and 0’s so other digital equipment (computer) can read it. If you opt to use your old 8mm or hi-8 camera, you’ll need a video capture card on your computer so the video capture card converts the video to digital. I will assume you have a digital camera since the price is so low these days. Web Cam (<$30) A lot of computers these days have these built in. For under $30 at Walmart, the Logitech QuickCam E3560 is ideal. It has a USB connection and easily imports video onto your computer. The quality is poor, however this isn’t about the quality of the image, its about the quality of the production and you’ll deliver your message well here. Flip Video (<$160) This is a small, true handheld camera. The benefit of this camera over a web cam is that you can bring this camera anywhere and it records the video on the digital memory. It also has a USB connection to your computer for quick video transfer. Camcorder ($200-$1300 for consumer) This is the world you should work in, you get the best video quality for consumer use and you have a great deal of options. I’m going to cover the basic options and why you might want to consider each of these options. There are four basic types these days, DV (digital video tapes), mini DVD (minim DVD disks to record on), HDD (Hard Driver recording) and Flash (memory based recording). Each of these types have different recording methods and have pros and cons to each. DV – This is still tape based. Fast forwarding and rewinding are cumbersome and transfer to the computer is slowest. These are the least expensive. Mini DVD – This is a solution that records to mini DVDs and store up to about 30 minutes of video on each DVD. You overcome the challenges of the DV camera,

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition but limit recording time. Sudden movements are a draw back (like a CD skipping). The price goes up a little. HDD – This is what I use. This is a camcorder with a built in hard drive. The recording time on my camera is over 15 hours. The draw back is I must send my video to my computer to store it, then burn it to DVD. There are still moving parts that can break. Price went up again. Flash – This is a camera with the same structure of the HDD, however there is no hard drive in the camera. Like a digital camera, the video is stored to a flash disk (SD, Mini SD or Memory Stick typically). This is the highest priced camera. Standard Definition versus High Definition Now that we’ve described each type of camera, each has options you can consider. There is now the choice of standard definition or high definition (1080p). It appears this is a $200 option with my research. The advantage of high definition (HD) is that this is the future of television. You know your old (or current) television is almost square, well this has an aspect ratio of 4:3. This means that the height versus length is a 4 to 3 ratio. High definition has more pixels per square inch, making the picture much clearer. The HD camera also has the ability to record in ‘wide screen’, or a 16:9 ratio. This means the length of the picture is much wider than the height. Options I wanted a camera with an external microphone. You can mount the microphone on the top of the camera with a ‘hot shoe’ or a standard microphone input on the side of the camera. I wanted this so I could purchase a wireless microphone and have much clearer audio. My audio doesn’t have that ‘echo’ effect you hear on home movies when I have an external microphone. This was a ‘must’ for me, however turn out that cameras with this option were the top of the line for consumer use and started at least at $650. I bought a discontinued model (last years) that had only lost 1/3 of the recording time from this year’s model. I still get 15 hrs!. I bought the Canon HG-10 if you’d like to know and all my video is shot on that camera.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition You may be persuaded to consider a 3-CCD camera. While I evaluated extensively the 3CCD cameras in the consumer line, not a single review of a single 3CCD camera out performed my single CCD. A CCD is the chip inside the camera that actually records the light. The problems with 3CCD consumer camera’s are their size. While they do separate the Red, Green and Blue colors to its own CCD, they are 1/6th of an inch big, limiting the amount of light that enters. My camera has a 1/3rd of an inch CCD, allowing more light. Professional cameras mostly all have 3CCDs that are ½ an inch in size. My camera did as well as all other 3CCD cameras in daylight yet out performed those in low light (it still sucks in low light thought). In early 2009, in my opinion there is no benefit to a 3CCD camera in a consumer line, professional line is very different. These professional cameras start at around $1500 for a single CCD, DV camera.

Post Production
Post productions occurs in the creation of such video for all stages of production occurring after the actual end of shooting and/or recording the completed work. Post production includes many different processes grouped under one name. These processes include: ∞ Editing the video ∞ Editing the soundtrack ∞ Creating and editing the soundtrack music ∞ Adding visual special effects ∞ Creation of media types ready for distribution In several cases, this process takes longer than any other process, in some cases several weeks to months to complete. For your videos, you’ll end up spending about 8 hours for every three minutes of video, that’s what I average. In this chapter I’m going to show you basics on Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9.0, since its my application of choice. While most video editing software operates on the same principals, the difference is simply finding how to do each thing in new software. For a free version, Windows Movie Maker actually will work well for your applications, however limiting you to certain things like quality title bars. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 158 -

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Software Editing
While I have used three different pieces of software that I have bought in my life, you can actually get away without purchasing any software at all. I can’t make any recommendations for MACs, while I believe it’s a better computer. I’m still stuck in the PC world. I’m making two recommendations, one free and one paid. The difference among the paid options in my opinion is merely the same as your taste difference among Toyota and Honda, or Chevrolet and Ford. The free version is the hand-me-down escort, it runs but not so well! Although, with the basic editing we’re doing, this will serve the purpose. Windows Movie Maker (free with Windows) Windows Movie Maker is video creating/editing software bundled with the Microsoft Windows operating system since Windows Me. It contains features such as effects, transitions, titles/credits, audio track, timeline narration, and Auto Movie. The problem with this application is that it did not support AVCHD. AVCHD is a recording format that my camera, and many other flash and HDD camcorders are moving towards. If you are using Windows Vista (which I won’t touch), it will support AVCHD. Sony Vegas Movie Studio ($55$115) The Sony product is awesome. There are 3 options in this product, basic, platinum and platinum pro. The platinum edition allows for HD editing (if your camera is HD) and more video effects. The platinum pro edition also comes with over 1000 sound effects, which retails for $115. You do not need the Pro edition, which has an unlimited number of video and audio layers and tracks. This is over $500. I think sound effects are worth the extra dough.

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Editing your video
As mentioned, the video section of this course could easily be 200 pages for a manual. This course isn’t intended for creating professional videos, but give you the tools to make a video that you’ll still get the ‘wow’ effect from your friends, prospects and customers. Therefore I’ll be touching on the basics of editing, enough for you to create incredible looking videos for your business, however, understand this is only a beginner level course. You need to familiarize yourself with the interface of the application. While I could show you exactly how to do everything in Vegas, I believe in teaching you how to teach yourself! That’s why I paid $50,000 to learn from University! Point is, I’ll refer to a few techniques that you can watch the tutorial in Vegas directly to learn how to do it in their application. In the videos along with this course, you’ll learn visually how to do it. I’ll be discussing two main concepts here in post production editing. 1. The pass editors process 2. Component element creation, including resources for animations, graphics, audio and music. I’ll also discuss some best practices for audio, titles and music.

The pass editors process
This where we put all of our elements together from our webinars, telecasts, video footage, web cams, purchased media, images and audio. Some will use several different passes along a timeline in order to accomplish this. Several professionals will use four, or five or even six separate passes to bring their video together. I use three because the nature of my videos. Those are 1. Story Creation Pass 2. Title and Audio Pass 3. Mastering Pass ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 160 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition 4. Story Creation Pass When you begin, you’ll have all of your media loaded up on your computer and ready to begin. By this time, you should have your storyboard sketch by your side and simply grab all of the video you want in your production and bring it all onto the timeline of the software in the sequence outlined in your storyboard. Then, starting from the beginning, crop and cut out footage that doesn’t fit from each clip or source, bringing it together in to a video that has no audio, transitions or titles. I like to turn off the audio and make notes of where I’m very confused to what is going on. This is where I may have to add a video component (bullet point, title) to emphasize the point in addition to ensure there is the correct audio message at that point. A great rule of thumb is at any point, the viewer should be able to tell the story with either only the video or the audio. When a viewer can tell this story with once less sensory, the impact of both grows. Rule of thumb, if this pass is a video that could stand on its own, you’ve got a video you can use. Title and Audio Pass After my notes from the first pass, I identify where I should be putting titles and what additional audio components I need. I believe there should always be audio at some point, whether its music or voice over or sound effects. This is when I identify where each of these components go. Frankly speaking, for the nature of the videos you’ll be doing, very basic components are necessary and that’s it! During this pass you’ll identify where and when to use selective titles and reinforce what is going on in your video. This is where you’ll show but don’t tell! There are three types of titles that can used. A lower third title is one used with proper names, speakers or locations. A title card is text by itself over a static background and a super is text that exists over a moving background.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition During this pass, you need to identify places you can ad audio, sound effects, music, stingers, sound tracks and additional voice overs. When using any characters on screen stick with Sans Serif fonts. The reason for this is a little complex but has to do with compressions, pixels aspect ration and display formats. Remember that title animation is very powerful. Movement will always draw the eye and create emotion. Mastering Pass While some professional will definitly break this into two or three different passes, again, for the purposes of our video this step is combined into one pass. During this pass you’ll be adding images transitions, video effects, trim shot for pacing and tempo, retouch the video and add some enhancements. While listening to the sound only, ensure that all voice overs are well heard, sound effects follow the same normalized volume and the music you’re using is well laid out. Finally, you want to consider the different release formats, such as YouTube (320 x 240), televisions (640 x 480), laptops, headphones versus a 5.1 surround sound system, bright versus dark venues. This will be discussed in distribution. TIP: It is said that your video once distributed will increase its organic click through rate significantly based on the thumbnail picture displayed. In YouTube, the thumbnail and anchor text is used as a link to open the video. The tip here is to control the thumbnail image, where in most cases you don’t have control…unless you know what to do to influence it! Notice the thumbnail image I’ve included here, which is from one of my own email videos. This is a ‘how to’ video on email marketing for small businesses. Try doing a search in YouTube for “email marketing for small businesses”. Notice all of the videos, some are of me and some are from friends and competitors. If you wanted to know how to learn how to do email marketing for your small business, which of these videos would you

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition click on? While I can’t prove this, since we’ve learned that the CTR influences adwords performance, I would bet that CTR influences your YouTube rankings. Look at the #1 video for that search. The way you influence the thumbnail is ensuring the exact middle frame is the frame you want for your thumbnail. Therefore, in this video there were 4432 frames. Therefore frame number 2216 got modified. I brought the background down to 80% transparency, added an 20% transparent black background and added white letters, empathizing the keywords. Its that simple.

Distribution
If you don’t get it out there, no one will view it! You can place this video on its own page, embed it on your blog, burn it to DVD and give it way, email it or syndicate it on a public or private hosting site like YouTube. I always send my video to as many video sharing sites as possible before considering any other method. Unless it paid content, all of my free content is distributed on the net somehow, some way. The greater the exposure, the greater chance for traffic. Now remember, video not only about generating organic traffic. Video about showing how you’re promoting yourself, and I assure you, Google is favoring sites that have video. I have seen first page rankings for my videos inside of two hours after submission, I’ve heard of people getting rankings in less than 10 minutes. What this means is that I create video and distribute it to 30 video sites. Discussed later, I immediately syndicate and inform the social networks, social bookmarking sites, podcast directory, a group of blogs and them embedded by own video on my own blog. Instantly I’ve created a huge footprint for the search engines to see. Literally within 10 minutes of hitting the submit button, I’m ranked for my keywords. Now, the videos are ranked and I usually get two or three video sites and my blog to rank. That’s right, I get four or five listings on the front page for about two weeks with a properly optimized video. When this is done right, its extremely powerful for both traffic and rankings. We already know video helps in conversion. That’s why this is so important to act on video.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Therefore, like your website, you need to optimize your video. Thankfully, video optimization (today) isn’t nearly as complex as a webpage. Today it’s still all about the meta tags. These are words that essentially describe your video. In the future, I assure rankings will be influenced by CTR and most definitely user influenced ranking. The tags, title and description of the video are the fundamentals for how your video is found by its users on the video sharing sites. While this is so simple, its amazing how many still screw it up! You must create keyword rich and relevant video titles, descriptions and tags. Title Tags Because of Google restraint in the title’s displayed and Google massive YouTube market share, we recommend using 4-6 keywords in your title tags totally 64 characters or fewer. Example is “Email Marketing for Small Businesses” or “Chicago plumber and plumbing services in Chicago”. Description You have up to 2000 characters to write a short, powerful description of your video, however based on readership and submissions, I recommend staying under 240 characters that is very rich on keywords. Always begin the description with your URL, including the HTTP. Be aware that today most video sites don’t allow for HTML in the description tag making sure you can’t embed a link, but this will allow people to copy the domain and navigate to your page. Also include a CTA in your description. You can also include your phone number. Tags These tags are your keywords. Remember you’re looking to put in long tail keywords, those keywords that buyers are using to find you. For example, ‘Atlanta seminar services’ is a long tail keyword from ‘seminar services’ with a geographical modifier. I like to put in three long tail keywords to remain focused, similar to SEO. One more hint on tags - the TubeMogul "Load and Track" tool shows you how your tags will look on each site as you are uploading videos, and soon will show you the most popular tags and video search terms to help you select appropriate metadata. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 164 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition It's important to keep in mind that most videos are watched in social networking sites, blogs and content sites - not video sharing sites. This means that while you may post your video to YouTube or MetaCafe, many of the views are a result of people embedding that video into another site. The implication is that your video should be hosted on both your website and the video sharing sites for maximum exposure. Also consider submitting your videos to other "Web 2.0" websites that employ voting systems to promote content. We discussed this in the Social Media Marketing chapter. Now its time to add more content to your web 2.0 sites. As your video or article gains more votes, the video will attract even more attention and may even end up in a featured or "top 10" type category which can generate thousands of views in a day. Promotion Here is a list of 10 video sites that are of the more popular ones. Remember there are over 100 video hosting sites, I’m sure over twice that many! It is free to submit to all of these sites. As you can

Video Hosting Sites YouTube.com

Video.yahoo.com see, submitting to several sites can be time consuming and therefore I recommend outsourcing Video.google.com this task. On the other hand, I have a secret weapon You are.tv for you and it’s a (paid) service that submits your video over 40 video sites, several blog sites, over seven social bookmarking sites, and over 16 podcast sites. This solution is called Traffic Geyser.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition Traffic Geyser is an online software application that takes a single video and syndicates it, well, everywhere! Its not cheap, in fact it’s costly at almost $100 per month, however I recommend anyone submitting more than one video a month to invest in this. The founder of this service has a billion dollar idea and makes life so much easier. The beautiful thing here is that Traffic Geyser offers a month for $1 to try it out. If you don’t like it, you pay $1 for the entire month. It’s a no brainer. I challenge you to this, try Traffic Geyser for the one month at $1 and if you don’t get your return on your investment, if your single video with Traffic Geyser didn’t generate a single sale, no matter how big or small the sale is, I’ll give you $10! That would be 10x your original investment! Ok, so no one will go through the hassle of getting $10 from me, but I can assure you there are people going to be trying this with great results. Video is part of my and our clients SEO package, every time. There are reasons why my sites and my client’s sites are dominating the Internet.

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

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WEBINARS
Objective
A webinar, or online seminar is similar to its offline version, just in a virtual room. In an age of rising transportation costs and a society that is moving faster and faster, information inevitably has followed the same trend. Webinars have increased in popularity over the past few years for many different purposes that include employee training, vendor and supplier meeting, customer training and of course the sale department. While a sale is typically not made during a webinar, the objective is to create that call to action, typically completing a form on the businesses’ website to follow up, hence a form to drive traffic. There is the challenge of driving participants to the webinar.

Strategy
My chiropractor offers monthly seminars or talks on topics such as vaccination and wellness for children and families. They have a sign up form on their front desk and it requests their email address, name and phone number. For one hour, people sign up to attend the talks and my chiropractor does his presentation and that’s that. Hopefully his talks create awareness in the participants to understand that chiropractic care is a feature the underlining benefit of a healthier lifestyle, not simply a remedy for back pain. He teaches that the body nervous system connects our organs to our brain through our spin, and a subluxation is essentially ‘pinching’ those nerves, reducing the communication among the organs and brain, in turn not allowing the body to function and health itself to 100%. By removing this subluxation in the spin, the body then heals itself, in most cases better than medication. On a side note, my plug for chiropractic care has been evident in my family several times, most notably the complete elimination of my 11 year old daughter’s frequent nose bleeds. So the question is that this chiropractor needs to educate the local public that his care is not about being reactive to remove back pain, its about being proactive in a healthy lifestyle to prevent disease (or dis-ease). His belly to belly talks complete this.

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Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition A webinar is better solution in some cases. With those email addresses he has been collecting, using email marketing as described above, he can attract a larger audience with no capacity limits to an online webinar. Participants simply register for his webinar on a specific date and time. Upon registration, a preset number of reminder emails go out to the registrants and at the date and time specified, he begins his webinar. Participants get on their computer, navigate to a website to watch the presentation and in some cases call a phone number to listen in. My Chiropractor then, in the comfort of his office or home, provides the presentation. He can even attach a cheap webcam to his computer so his participants can watch him, see the slides (presentation) and listen. While the webinar is going on, participants can ‘raise the hand’ (a process of clicking a button to notify the presenter that they have a question) to alert the presenter of a question or remark. Some applications allow the participants to type in their answers to be ‘unmuted’ on the phone to ask via audio. The webinar can then be easily recorded and uploaded to the chiropractor’s website for later download for new viewers or for those that want to review the same presentation. A webinar is great way to provide education to a general audience a large variety of topics and there are dozens of easy, free ways to get people to attend. After completing the webinar, you offer the participants a free consultation or something else of substance to have their permission to continue to market to them, such as requesting their mailing address and email address in an opt in form. I’m a big believer in webinars for the offline business and pretty much any offline business can provide very insightful topics to viewers, including the plumbers, accountants and mechanics. You topics should never be to promote your service, but provide education. There are many software solutions to provide. They provide a similar solution. I have outlined three choices for you. WebEx – http://www.webex.com ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 168 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition GoToMeeting – http:// www.gotomeeting.com/ Both are great options and I don’t recommend one over the other. Both offer fair pricing and neither are the cheapest solution out there, however both are supported by world class server offering the greatest uptime and reliability. Expect to pay in the range of $0.25-$0.33 per minute per participant. I usually run 10-15 participants for 60 minutes, netting me a charge of roughly $200 per webinar. While this may seem expensive, I enjoy the same benefit as if I hosted an informative seminar in person and the costs to this seminar would exceed the cost to the webinar even before I sent out invitations. In addition, this is a very powerful tool and I typically close 30% of participants, and the value of my customers exceeds $5000 per client, therefore I clearly obtain my ROI. Even so less valuable services, such as a plumber, where the average profit for a plumbing customer can be below $200, with 10 participants and a closing rate half of what I close, you’re still obtaining your return on investment. This is even before considering the value associated to the exposure rather than a direct close.

Execution
You need to plan your webinar for your attendees. First, you should inventory your resources. You’ll need an email list or group to market to. You’ll need an itinerary and plan. You’ll need a host (see above links). You’ll need a presentation and you’ll need a follow up strategy.

Email List and Groups
This is your list that you’ve been building from your websites and social sites. Use your most appropriate list to target your webinar. Chose the best social site groups that you’re a part of and use your message effectively. Make sure you state the benefits of your webinar to the target audience and use the skills taught throughout this book.

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Plan
There are dozens of ideas you could host a webinar on. I’m here to get you to think about your ideas. You’ll need to think like a buyer. Consider the typical questions your customers or clients ask. For a plumber it make be with toilets and an accountant it might be homeowner’s tax and write offs, a grocery store it might be about organic and natural products. Once you have a list of at least five questions you’re generally asked, consider combining two or three ideas, or simply chose one that you can have a presentation on. It may seem like a simple idea would be too short, but once your start brainstorming on the fact that you need to assume your buyer knows nothing. Choosing the example of the plumber and toilet, an idea for a webinar could be as follows. ∞ Demonstrate a typical problem ∞ Agitate the problem using example, stories, anecdotes ∞ Introduce customers, case studies, demonstrate how you can solve the problem ∞ Introduce solutions to the problem, both free and paid (you). ∞ Implement a CTA – demo, sale, contact information, trial, etc.

Distribution
Depending on your time and money, distribution could be small to large. First, and foremost, use your existing email list that you’ve built up of your local prospects. Several strategies on this are discussed throughout the book. I also suggest creating two or three press releases and submit them to the local chamber of commerce, local publications, trade publications and your online blogs and social sites. Leverage the social site’s by creating events and post that event link on local forums and social groups. Drive everyone to a landing page, which is a sign up form page. This page is generated by the webinar host and the URL is provided to you. ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 170 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition This is a killer strategy to help you in conversion. Once you have the processes to implement to drive traffic, using that infrastructure to drive people to webinars has been a very effective strategy for us to help convert a greater amount of deals and earn that respect in my marketplace.

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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THE MLBO WORKBOOK
Website Questionnaire for Small Business.doc
This is a document with over 50 questions to help small business owners brainstorm and generate ideas to create the website white paper document.

White Paper Template.doc
This is a template document to help small business owners collect their ideas and present them in a fashion suitable for a designer, developer, marketer and user to understand.

Password File.xls
This is a basic excel document to help small businesses manage their passwords.

SEO Keyword Strategy Map.xls
This is a complex document to be used in the SEO process. It includes a tab for keyword ideas, a tab to collect Google Keyword Data, a research tab to collect Keyword Discover & Wordtracker information, even though these advanced tools are not used in the course, an advanced tab to manually manage and research Link Competition (from Dan’s keyword file), a tab to collect Competitive Research Information and finally, a Map Strategy tab to manage and map keywords to specific pages, manage the site’s titles, H1 tags, meta tags and the URL for the specific page.

On-The-Page Checklist.doc
A checklist of the main on the page factors discussed in the course. Directly from Stomper, rebranded, tweaked and reworded.

Article Requirements.doc
A cookie cutter script to be used while outsourcing articles.

Article Management.xls
An excel file used to manage the inventory of articles, where and when they are used.

Join the Party!
Thank You for reading Marketing: Local Business Online. Chances are you purchased this book, received it from a friend or partcipated in a promotion event ©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher Page - 172 -

Marketing: Local Business Online 2009 Edition to get these words in your hands. If you received this book from my blog, www.scott-gallagher.net, you are already registered. If you have not registered, do so right now. Frequently I send out complimentary videos to this book providing additional information on certain topics, I also send out subscriber bonuses and a monthly newsletter identifying industry changes, the good, bad and ugly. Visit www.scott-gallagher.net today and register. Its FREE to register and you may opt out of my list at anytime.

©Copyright 2009 – Scott P. Gallagher

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MLBO RECOMMENDED RESOURCES
This is a list of all the resources you’ll ever need to market your local business online! Make sure you’re signed up at http://www.scott-gallagher.net. I will be emailing you this resource list exactly 7 days after you sign up. You need time to read and process before you jump into resources!

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i

Jupiter Communications: Consumer Survey Data IMT Strategies. Wikipedia.org – retrieved November 18, 2008.

ii

iii

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_website#Websites_as_businesses
iv

Ad:Tech Attendees – MarketingSherpa, January 2007 Strategis Marketing, December 2006 RegistrarStats (www.registrarstats.com) eMarketer Oneupweb Study

v

vi

vii

viii

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Enquiro, July 2005 Search Engine Guide, August 2005

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Search Engine Guide, August 2005 comScore (2007) “US October Search Volume. Comscore.com. Retrieved on October 20,

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2007.
xiii

Heymann, Paul; Paul; Koutrika, Georgia; Garcia-Molina, Hector (February 12, 2008).

"Can Social Bookmarking Improve Web Search?". First ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining.

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xiv

www.quancast.com, December 2008

xv

, www.reuters.com Devember 2008 Google https://www.google.com/accounts/PasswordHelp

xvi

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