Why does my Dallas - Fort Worth small business need an online marketing strategy?
This is a question a lot of local businesses ask. It can be difficult to remove yourself from the days of taking out a classified ad and getting a decent response rate. It was simple, place ad, get business. The world has become a bit more complex and small businesses are the ones effectively losing out. Let's take for example a new pizza restaurant in Dallas. The new restaurant wants to get noticed but doesn't have a loyal following or brand notoriety that already well established pizzeria's in the area might have. Simply typing "dallas pizza" into Google begins to spell the new pizzeria's troubles. The top 3 positions are taken up by yellow page listing sites, or vertical search sites. The two that take up these listings are Urban Spoon and Yelp. After that Google inserts what is known as the "local pack" these are local businesses that match the search query performed by a user. The top listing here will attract the bulk of clicks and phone calls, effectively making it a prime position. The rest of the local pizzeria's will have to settle for what remains of clicks and phone calls after that. There's another thing, when I performed the query not a single pizzeria was advertising, not even the big guys. Why is that a big deal? Well with online analytics systems like Google Analytics we can actually track how well an advertising program is working for online orders by tracking the amount of the order versus the amount of the purchase. Currently this space is wide open for spending, a new pizzeria that had the capability of tracking cost versus spend could very easily and inexpensively outrank all of the other websites with their ad.
Fig. 1 - This is a screenshot of a local Dallas query for 'dallas pizza'. It shows opportunities for rankings and how a pizzeria in Dallas might be able to gain new business from Google search.Click to enlarge.
Now that we know the opportunities inside of Google to gain new traffic and sales, whats the best way to proceed? That's going to depend on the capabilities and marketing budget for each business. For example if you were Grimaldi's and you ranked #1 in the local pack, then your budget would most likely be spent beefing up your outdated website. Once a user lands there we know from research (white paper coming soon) and basic common sense that one of the most important things a person is looking for is a menu of pizza options along with pictures and pricing. Unfortunately Grimaldi's provides a horrific experience with a paragraph abut one time NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on their menu page instead of actually providing what people might be searching for. To get to the menu a user must have Adobe Reader installed and download a large PDF file.
The marketing strategy for a new Dallas pizzeria might be different. Since you don't have the presence and you're building a new website, it's likely that you've spent time and money to build a nice one. So user experience may not be the issue for you, you really just want your phone number to be the first one seen. To do this we'll practice 2 forms of SEO, link building and local seo, and use social media. To begin you first need to claim a Google Local listing and optimize it with a description, address, phone number, and photos of your business. Then you'll want to submit that EXACT Name, Address and Phone number (what we call the NAP) to other local websites, remember those 2 sites ranking at the top of Google for your target query? Make sure you get listed in those. This is a fast and free way to start your search marketing strategy.
As a new business in the area you should have set aside some marketing capital to take out advertisements and such, we want to make sure we're maximizing this for online marketing so we'll be careful where it gets spent. Run a special on a weekday and reach out to local bloggers asking them to talk about the special and link back to your website. If they ask for you to pay them, try to instead offer a free meal in exchange for a review as Google and the FTC might construe this as purchasing advertising and that's not going to be as beneficial to you. You also want to save that marketing capital for some other things like advertising on Facebook, Google, and Twitter which I'm about to cover.
Now we want to take out advertising with our marketing budget. If you can track online orders we'll take out some ads on Google using Google AdWords, before we start we'll want to make sure your Analytics package is set to report the final order value of each order. If you cannot do this, then purchasing ads on Google might not be the best idea. Looking at Facebook and Twitter we're just trying to get some brand recognition out there. So instead we'll want to promote these accounts to local citizens. Make sure that you're actively updating these accounts with real information and not just trying to spam them for sales. Twitter and Facebook's ad platforms differ, so make sure you know how each one works. Let's also look at Reddit, a popular social sharing site. For $30 a day you can promote your website there with a fun and quirky ad targeted only at Dallas locals. This will help generate that initial hit of users to the website.
Remember, I assumed your new pizzeria built a bad ass new website. Hopefully you didn't copy your peers and instead followed logic and built in things your customers will actually want. One of those growing things is nutrition information. Do you have anything that matches a current health trend such as Gluten Free, Vegan, etc..? Make sure to highlight those items on your menu page with text so that if someone types in a long tail query like "vegan pizza dallas" you have a chance at showing up and gaining that new business.
Finally, make sure you use your onsite location to encourage social interaction such as check-in's and uploading pictures of your good food to social media such as Twitter and Instagram. This will help spread the word about your food to local peers inside of Dallas city limits and to those living around the metroplex area.
Now back to Grimaldi's. It's unlikely that your website will outrank Urban Spoon or Yelp for this query so your target should be to overtake Grimaldi's spot as #1 in the local results pack. Their website has a solid backlink profile with a domain authority of 54, so this will be a long battle for you. Make sure you avoid doing bad link building tactics (download this free spreadsheet to see what to avoid) and continue with your local link building and blogger outreach and eventually you'll get there. My estimate is, with a good marketing budget, you could overtake this spot inside of 6 or 8 months if all things remain the same, since I know things change my guess would be best case scenario to plan on this taking about a year and a half.
There you have it, just some quick ways that you can target, identify, and dominate a local DFW area query as a small business.
Want me to build the strategy for you? Contact Me for pricing and package development.
Get the right internet marketing mix with a Dot Media Online Marketing Strategy designed to get the highest ROI for your Dallas - Fort Worth area small business at the lowest cost. We start off analyzing your market, search trends, and current website data and build a comprehensive marketing strategy designed to increase your market exposure and drive fresh, new, relevant traffic to your website.
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Our marketing strategies include SEO, Offline Marketing, Analytics, Conversion Optimization, and Social Media Marketing. We build a strategy that leverages the right mix of online and offline marketing tactics to best benefit your business.
Some tactics that might be used in your customized strategy are:
- Link Building
- Content Marketing
- Local SEO
- Keyword Targeting
- Text Advertising
- Banner / Display Advertising
- Google Ad Words / Bing PPC Ads
- Google Analytics Implementation
- Facebook Advertising
- Twitter Advertising
- Reddit Advertising
- Imgur Advertising
- Stumbleupon Advertising
- Affiliate Marketing
- Classified Advertising
- Directory Links
- Usability Analysis
- Technical Search Engine Optimization
- Niche Social Media
- Pinterest Promotion
- QR Code Marketing
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