Close The Loop
Local business owners understand the sales process. It’s what keeps the lights on at headquarters. They know all about location, signage, and atmosphere. Potential customers trip an imaginary switch and wheels start turning automatically. All the pieces are in place to produce a desired outcome. At least that’s how it goes in the bricks and mortar world, on the internet it’s a different story altogether.
The objectives of online marketing are the same as on the street. You want to be found, present offers, and close sales. Real estate, signage, and advertising are the drivers of visibility and traffic but they cost money. Further investments in goodwill and customer service bring more visibility and traffic. Digital marketing has a price too but it’s not measured in dollars and cents.
On this page we’re focusing on what happens when potential customers enter the online pipeline. Companies who wish to be in the conversation need to have key pieces in place at critical stages in the process. It’s a game of connect the dots where a combination of assets are deployed to create visibility, generate traffic, and cause a desired outcome.
The Roadmap to Results, an in-depth guide to online marketing is available free of charge in our E Marketing Academy. It goes into greater detail than what we cover on this page. Download your copy now and we’ll be here when you get back.
Connect The Dots
Visibility is the first piece of the puzzle. There are 31 Trillion pages in the Google index and through a bit of magic they are able to display yours at precisely the right time. This is only possible if your content is actually in the index. And that content must contain the ultimate driver- the user’s keyword.
Local businesses get special treatment from search engines. They have a special section on search engine results pages (SERPS). That’s because many businesses are vying for the same audience using the same keyword so Google, for example, looks at over 200 other factors to determine which content would be most useful to the end user. These are called local ranking factors and if you want to close the loop then you need to connect those dots.
Keywords and content indicate relevancy to the users query. Other factors influence the level of trust that Google has in your content. These include the basics such as the title and description of your pages as well as core data that tells Google your business is in fact local. To close the loop you must be in control of that core data.
Your core data is displayed on hundreds, if not thousands, of web pages. These are third parties who are capable of driving traffic to your website or otherwise influencing your target audience. They also serve to validate your core data and content for Google. Essentially, if your core data is in perfect harmony across all channels Google has no reason to doubt that you are who you say you are.
Closing the loop on local ranking factors gets you visible to your target audience but it’s no guarantee you’ll receive Traffic. More dots need to be connected to create an attraction so that interested parties actually click on your pages. Fortunately for website owners the internet is full of free platforms and applications that enable you to stand out in a crowded field. Your own website gives you the ability to extend an invitation and Google can be a key ally in your efforts to project an appealing message.
So, now that you’ve become visible and created an irresistible attraction to your website, visitors are in your house. You still have some work to do but chances are that these visitors are much closer to becoming an ideal customer than they would be if they had come to you via offline channels. One of the great side benefits of online marketing is that consumers are more informed and often make up their mind to buy before contacting you.
What results are you hoping to achieve? Similar to creating visibility and generating traffic, there are levers to pull and buttons to push that move your visitors along on your website. Once you’ve decided on your goal you can devise pathways through your site that satisfy your visitors and lead them to the place where they do the thing that solves their problem and makes them one of your happy customers.
By addressing the items on this page you’ve closed the most important loops to make your online marketing program work. there are many other loops or channels you can take advantage of to generate more traffic and connect with your most ideal customer. You’ll find more information throughout this site, in The Fundamentals of Online Marketing, for example. Check in at the E Marketing Academy as we are adding more tools, guides, and e-books all the time.