Website Design For New Business

Website Design For New Business

One of the most common challenges I run across working with startup businesses is that they are unsure how to launch their online presence. This article will you a few website design for new business pointers, including first steps towards getting your site launched.

Research Industry Websites

Most clients come to me without any real goals in mind for their new website. While I always work hand in hand with my clients to determine goals for their site, I encourage them to also start researching similar websites in their industry to see what their direct competitors or others in different markets are doing with their websites.

Network with Industry Veterans

Are there prominent players in your industry? Do they have a strong online presence? Often times my clients find it helpful to reach out to others in their industry to see what has/hasn’t worked well for them in their markets. With these learnings, I than work with my client to help craft an initial strategy for their website.

IMPORTANT: a website is like any other marketing campaign. You need to test new ideas, review their effectiveness and test some more.

Think Big But Start Small

I always advise my clients to start small when it comes to website design for their new business. As stated, websites should be tweaked to test the effectiveness of change. Furthermore, it’s often difficult to create mountains of content when launching a brand new website. Thinking big and coming up with a vision for the future is important BUT don’t let that vision stall you from getting your website launched. Websites are not like printed brochures, you do have the luxury of quickly adding or changing content without incurring a large expense.

Design For Effectiveness, Not Just Style

This point is particularly important if you’re embarking on designing your own website. Although high on the list, a “pretty website” should not be the be-all and end-all for your site. You need to design first for effectiveness. Take into consideration your calls to action and make sure people can easily navigate to the important areas of your website (ie: your conversion goals – contact form, download brochure, purchasing product, etc.). There are thousands of themes available for you to choose from, doesn’t matter if you’ve chosen WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Wix, Weebly, etc. as your CMS. Make sure to research and choose a theme that offers robust user-friendly features to help make the process easier for you.

Are you looking for someone to help build a professional website for your new business? Please contact me so we can discuss further.

5 Steps: How To Start A Content Marketing Campaign

When it comes to content marketing, I don’t advise looking at it in a sense of a short-term “campaign” as you may do with your PPC or social media efforts. As the SEO landscape continues to shift, it’s becoming more apparent that long-term engagement with your target audience (content marketing) will become ever more important. In this article I will discuss 5 steps to getting your content marketing underway.

Step 1: Involved Your Staff – Brainstorming Session

Are you a small business with a sales and/or customer service team? If so, tapping into their knowledge will give you a great starting point to gather topics for your first step in content marketing.

Your first step will be to gather around in a room, or conference call, to have a brainstorming session for question creation. Depending on your team size, break into groups. Instruct your team members to think back to all the most common questions they receive from potential, or existing, customers. Now, take 10 minutes and have each group write down as many questions as possible relating to your product or service (they can be basic or specific).

Step 2: Gather Questions & Organize

Your next step is to gather all the questions you received from your brainstorming session and organize into one document. When placing into this document, make sure you review the “questions” as they may need to be rewritten for proper wording.

Step 3: Assign Questions to Staff For Answering

Leverage your staff! If you are a business owner you should be making content marketing part of your job descriptions, and not just for your “marketing department”. Let your current, and future, staff know that engagement across all members is a requirement for the companies future growth. Depending on your company size, most employees probably will only have to contribute answers a couple times a month.

Step 4: Have Answers Go to Your “Marketing Person”

Have your staff send all answers to your person in charge of getting this content on your website. Answers don’t need to be “perfectly written” but you definitely want someone to be in charge of making sure the topics begin discussed answer the question in a clear, informative, way.

Step 5: Post to Your Website

Last but not least, post your answers on your website. Engagement among readers is always preferred so ask your readers to contact you or respond with a comment. Perhaps they will even inspire future content pieces?

These were 5 quick steps to get started with content marketing, I hope you find this useful for your application. As always, no two companies or industries are the same and your steps might be slightly different. Post or comment or Contact Me if you have any questions or suggestions to add to this post.

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Is Work Performed On A Website Tax Deductible?

Website Tax Deductions

Have you ever had a Online Marketing Consultant bring up the topic of website design or development being tax deductible? Well, if you haven’t, you will read in this blog post about how you may be able to receive some tax deductions for work performed on your website.

Keep in mind that I am a consultant for companies or individuals looking to enhance their online presence. I am in no way an accountant but I have spoken to a few CPA’s and all have verified that a small business can take advantage of tax deductions for developing a new website or enhancing an existing one. The IRS rule, Rev. Proc. 2000-50 , is open for some interruption but basically states that companies can deduct costs associated with developing “computer software”.

Computer Software

The IRS defines computer software as : “For the purpose of this revenue procedure, computer software is any program or routine (that is, any sequence of machine-readable code) that is designed to cause a computer to perform a desired function or set of functions, and the documentation required to describe and maintain that program or routine.”

This definition is vague and open for interruption. Because the IRS associates computer software with “causing a computer to perform a desire function” your CPA may be able to deduct parts of development work performed. This rule DOES NOT allow you to deduct for website design (ie: website templates, banner, buttons, etc.). It can, however, let you take advantage of deductions for programs/components/form that are DEVELOPED with some sort of logic behind them. Your CPA may also be able to deduct for software/programs that have been purchased and integrated into your website if they cause the user to make a desired function.

Unsure if You Qualify? Still Other Deductions For You

Even if the work you’re performing, or performed, doesn’t qualify under Rev. Proc. 2000-50 you may still be able to receive tax benefits for website enhancements under provisions for “promotional and advertising expenses”. You will want to consult with your CPA, but expenses can typically be deducted if “they have a clear relationship to the business and its ability to reach customers, manage its brand image or provide information about its products”. Website design is certainly a way to reach your customer and manage your brand so make sure to discuss any online marketing efforts with your CPA when tax season rolls around.

If you’ve hired a website design freelancer you should read my article “Do I Need To Give Freelancers A 1099 Form? before tax season. If you’re looking to have a website designed or developed, Contact Me for a free consultation. If you have any questions or comments about any tax deductions in this article please leave a comment below!

Does PPC Work For Small Businesses?

You hear a lot about PPC (Paid-Per-Click), perhaps even been contacted by Google about AdWords, for small business. So, it begs to question: “Does PPC Work For Small Business?“. If I’ve had a penny for ever time I’ve been asked this question I’d have, well, a lot of pennies. Truth of the matter is it really depends on your business. I had a client approach me a few weeks ago about setting up a low-budget PPC campaign for her e-commerce website. This client sells products with about a 30% margin and the average sale price is less than $20. I told her flat out that a PPC campaign wasn’t right for her small business. In this article I will explain some things to consider to help determine if PPC may be a good fit for your small business.

4. Things to Consider Before Starting a PPC Campaign

1. What Do You Sell?

Do you sell a product or do you sell a service? Is your business cyclical, repetitive or mostly one-time transactions?

I’ve found that the small businesses selling a repetitive service tend to get the most value out of a Paid-Per-Click Campaign. Not to say that companies selling a product or a one-time service transaction can’t have a successful campaign, they just tend to not reap as many benefits. Factors that can make these business types more successful with be discussed below.

2. Where is your Target Customer?

Is your potential clientele base local to your office or are they spread out across a state, region, country, etc.? If you’re selling a product, with an e-commerce store, it may not have as great of an effect as a company who sells a service.

Take for example another client of mine who is an artist that sells custom paintings and drawings; she has sold pieces of art work all over the country BUT most of her business is in the local community. Most of her business is local because clients wanting custom pieces of artwork want to meet with her to make sure they can properly portray a work they want her to create (some which have been portraits). Does your small business have similar characteristics? Perhaps you’re a consultant or staffing company that can assist clients from anywhere BUT do you tend to have more success with face-to-face meetings? If so, PPC can work but you should focus setting up campaigns only in your local marketplace.

3. How Much is Your Average Sale & Profit Margin?

Refer back to the first example I have in the blog post about a client with an e-commerce store looking to setup a low-budget PPC Campaign. What is the average transaction or sale price? What kind of profit margin are you making on a sale or transaction?

If your transaction is only $20 and you’re making $6 you probably will be disappointed running a PPC campaign. Unless, of course, your small business is very repetitive. Alternatively, if your business does high unit volumes making 30% it may also still be a fit. Using our example, if you typically sell a dozen units per transaction, making $6/piece, you may find PPC to be valuable.

The last thing you want to do in PPC if set yourself up to fail by paying out more than you make per sale. Do your research and see what the going average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is for your targeted keywords. If you have to spend $2 per click and only make $6 you will not be able to convert enough clicks and will lose money, plan and simple!

4. What is your Budget Relative to Google’s Suggestion?

(For the purpose of this post I am using Google Adwords, but this applies to Microsoft Ads for Bing and Yahoo, as well.)

First, determine your budget available to spend on a PPC campaign. Next, do your research to see how much Google suggests you spend given your target keywords and location selection. Are you close to their suggestion? If not, do you have more in your budget or less? If you have less, I want you to consider how much variance you have. If, for example, you are looking to spend $20 a day and Google suggests that you should be spending $100 I would strong consider revising your keyword list, location selection, or how often you run the campaign in any given month.

What to do when your PPC budget is lower than Google suggests?

I don’t advise moving forward with a drastically lower daily budget suggestion than Google suggests without making run time modification. Yes, it’s true, you can run a PPC with as little of a budget as you want BUT it doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. Let’s use the example of $20 daily available budget versus a $100 suggestion; why shouldn’t you do this?

  • Conversion rates are typically around 5%
  • You automatically cut out 80% of the potential clicks

So, if you have an average $2 CPC (Cost-Per-Click) you potentially have 50 clicks in any given day (assuming Google’s $100 day suggestion) with 2.5 leading to a conversion. Now, lets take your $20 budget. Since you are only spending 20% of the suggestion you’re missing out on 40 of those potential clicks, drastically reducing your chances of receiving the click that converts. Do you like these odds? I personally wouldn’t count on my ad to always winning those 2.5 clicks is I only have 10 opportunities!

Don’t panic too much if you’re faced with this situation, read my article “What To Do When My PPC Budget Is Lower Than Google’s Suggestion?” for some detailed suggestions on how still run an effective campaign with a lower budget than your competition.

As always, I hope that this article has given you some points to consider. If you have any questions please feel free to Contact Me or leave a comment below.

What To Do When My PPC Budget Is Lower Than Google’s Suggestion?

PPC Budget Lower Than Googles Suggestion

I have received an increasing amount of questions from clients regarding Paid-Per-Click (PPC) budget versus Google suggestion so I wanted to write this blog post to give some suggestions on how to overcome the situation of your PPC budget being lower than what Google suggests. If you’re new to PPC you may also find my Does PPC Work For Small Business? article a good first start before proceeding with this article. If you’ve read the aforementioned article, Click Here to skip the numbers and go right to the 4 Campaign Modification’s You Need to Make.

Example of Campaign With Budget Lower Than Suggestion

Did you know that about 5% of PPC ads are converted into some for of action; call, purchase, email? If you run at a lower budget then Google suggests you will be losing out on part of the click pie. I will use the same numbers/example as on my Does PPC Work For Small Business? article to demonstrate.

The Numbers:

  • You have $20/day to spend and Google suggests $100/day
  • The average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is $2 for your keywords
  • There are POTENTIALLY 50 clicks available on any given day
  • Of the 50 clicks, 2.5 will result in a conversion
  • Your campaign would receive 10 clicks, or 0.5 clicks that lead to a conversion

Do you want to count on your ad always beating the odds? I WOULDN’T! Below are 4 suggestions on modifying your campaign to increase your conversion rate. 

4 Campaign Modification’s You Need to Make

1. Change Your Location Area

How widespread is the ad distribution in your campaign? If over a large area, look to narrow down the areas that the ad show.

  • If running throughout the entire US: move to a region or specific state
  • If running through entire state: move to specific area within the state
  • If running through multiple counties or cities: reduce to closest cities or zip codes

2. Modify Keyword List

  • How many keywords or phrases does your campaign have? Look to narrow list by removing the least pertinent.
  • Are you using generic keywords (Ex: restaurant)? Having more specific key phrases (Ex: sushi restaurant, Orlando sushi restaurant, etc.) will better target potential customers.
  • Keywords are, by default, broad based match. Have you looked at changing list to phrase based (Ex: “Orlando sushi restaurant”) or exact match (ex: [Orlando sushi restaurant])? By changing the match characteristics you can eliminate the less relevant phrases that may display your ad.

3. Add Negative Keywords

Have you added negative keywords? If not, you should! To help see what people are typing to find your PPC ads, go to your keyword list in AdWords and look for the “Details” tab with a dropdown menu. After seeing the dropdown, click “All” and it will display key phrases used to find your ads. Do these look like relevant search terms to find your company? If so, awesome! If not, you should see what words can be added to the negative keyword list to prevent you from spending money on clicks that are not a good match for your small business.

To give you an example, I have a client that sells a product line with the same acronym (SST) as a large automobile manufacturer (Chevrolet). By adding the Chevy and Chevrolet to the negative list we have been able to prevent unrelated clicks on broad based match phrases for his product. Another client of mine, a chiropractor, occasionally receives ad clicks when someone types in “chiropractor + (name of another chiropractor) + location). My client’s ad will display because he is a chiropractor in the location searched, adding this other doctors name to the negative keyword list would prevent future clicks.

NOW, the practice, and effectiveness, of keeping competitors names on your keyword list can be open for debate BUT, when on a low budget, you don’t have additional resources to spend on keywords that may have a lower conversion rate for your business.

4. The Number One Suggestion: Change Ad Scheduling

By default AdWords will set your campaign to run every day, all day long. The number one suggestion I make to my clients with low PPC budgets is to change their campaign(s) “Ad Scheduling”. This can be accomplished in the Campaign Settings under “Schedule: Start date, end date, ad scheduling”. If, using our previous example, you only have $20/day to spend when your suggested budget is $100/day I suggest:

  • Change the amount of days a week your campaign runs. Choose to run the ad 2 days a week instead of all 7.
  • Change display time. Do calls go to voice mail at 5pm? Maybe consider only running your ads during business hours if you find that people who call after hours don’t leave a message.
  • Use a combination of the top two suggestions, reduce the total amount of days and time running.

Conclusion

PPC can be more of an art at times so TEST TEST TEST the effectiveness by linking your Analytic’s and AdWords Accounts. By doing so you’ll be able to see what keywords, campaigns, days, times, etc. are more effective for your small business. Another quick suggestion is to create multiple ads within your campaign to test how different wording, offers, landing page, etc. have an affect on your conversion rate (a blog post will be coming with more information on this topic in the future.).

I hope you have found these points to be helpful, you may also find the related posts below to be relevant. If you have any questions please feel free to Contact Me or leave a comment below.

Related Posts

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What’s the Best Online Payment Processor For My E-Commerce Website?

Best Online Payment Processeor

I’ve built and worked on dozens of e-commerce websites over the years. One of the most common questions I receive from clients looking to start up an e-commerce based business is “Whose’s the best online payment processor for an e-commerce website?”. This is a very relevant and important topic if you, too, are considering starting up a venture! Each offering I’ve worked on has it’s strengths and weaknesses, I will go into detail about the top 5 I work with in this blog post.

1. Authorize.net

Authorize.Net is the most widely used payment gateway on the market. With a user base of over 300,000 merchants, Authorize.Net has been the go-to method for e-commerce sites since 1996. Widely used e-commerce platforms such as Magento, Volusion and X-Cart are designed to accept payments using Authorize.Net easier. Authorize.net also had a strong developer community and API documentation to integration into custom e-commerce platforms.

Authorize.Net has a $99 setup fee, costs $20 per month and takes a $0.10 per-transaction fee. Their fees are higher than some other offerings but the interface is easy to navigate and the customer support is stronger than most other offerings.

2. PayPal

PayPal payments can made using a user’s existing PayPal account or with by a credit card payment (single transaction without a PayPal account). In addition to getting a merchant account and gateway in one, PayPal’s direct payment APIs let you create your own online checkout experience. It also works with the most popular shopping carts.

PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction but there are no setup or monthly fees (PayPal Payments Standard and Advanced – PayPal Payments Pro has a $30 monthly fee.

3. Checkout by Amazon

Checkout by Amazon is a complete checkout and payments service for e-commerce retailers. This option allows existing Amazon customers to use shipping addresses and payment information in their Amazon.com accounts to buy on your e-commerce website. Customers complete purchases quickly and conveniently on your website.

Amazon charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, there are no setup or monthly fees. Rates reduce for website doing heavier sales volume.

4. Google Checkout/Wallet

Google Checkout, now known as Google Wallet, is Google’s answer to PayPal. Google Wallet allows users to pay for goods and services through an account connected to their Google profile. The major benefit is Google’s millions of internet users for their other services, making a purchase through Checkout a simpler process for your future customer.

Google Checkout fees start at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Google’s percentage goes down depending on monthly sales volume (like PayPal & Amazon).

5. 2Checkout

2Checkout combines a merchant account and payment gateway into one, allowing you to receive both credit card and PayPal payments. 2Checkout offers international payments, shopping cart stores as well as a recurring billing feature.

For US seller 2Checkout has a 2.99% plus $0.430 transaction fee. Fees for international sellers are 5.5% with a $0.45 transaction fee.

Conclusion

All companies listed are a good option to choose for your e-commerce site, but I personally recommend Authorize.net due to the positive feedback I’ve received from my clients using their services. I do, however, like Amazon Payments as an option due to quick integration with existing Amazon customer profiles. What is your experience? Leave a comment and let me know!

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How to Build An Effective Chiropractic Website

Building an Effective Chiropractic Website

I work with a lot of chiropractors so I hate to say it, but most Chiropractic websites out there are garbage. It truly astonishes me how many chiropractic offices are missing out on a goldmine of opportunities to build their patient base from online leads or by using their website to re-enforcr information discussed at a screening or initial evaluation.

In this article I will give you 5 Steps to Building A Successful Chiropractic Website. Ideas discussed should answer your questions on how to build an effective chiropractic website.

5 Steps to Building A Successful Chiropractic Website

  1. Have a professional looking website built
  2. Answer at least one patient question on your website EVERY week
  3. Get away from the boilerplate information found from association websites
  4. Put your pricing on your website
  5. Email them links to your website of common questions, what to expect, etc. before their first appointment

1: Have a Professional Looking Website Built

I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve been on for chiropractors that looked like they were built by a 5 year old or dated beyond belief. Look at your website from your consumer eyes….would you want to pay someone $50 a visit or sign on to a care package for thousands of dollars a year if their website looked unprofessional?

Professional services need professional looking websites! You don’t need anything fancy or flashy. A simple, clean, and properly laid out website will go a long way with potential patients.

2: Answer At Least One Patient Question On Your Website EVERY Week

People search online for answers to questions all the time, Google has made billions on providing quality information to people who type their questions into that little box. People in your area are searching for your service, put answers to current patient questions on your website….if they are asking it, others in the area are wondering the same thing and are currently not finding you online.

3: Get Away From Boilerplate Information From Associate Websites

Your unique, so should your website content. Copying and pasting information direction from a chiropractic association website will not help you. Both patients and search engines will know it. Did you know Google, Yahoo and Bing penalize websites thought to be plagiarizing by ranking them lower?

4: Put Pricing On Your Website

What’s one of the most common questions in any business?….How much is this going to cost me?!? People want to know, be honest and tell them on your website. I guarantee that most of your competition isn’t doing it and potential patients will love your honesty. As an added bonus, you’ll save time on tire-kickers who can’t afford your service.

I know what you’re thinking, “my competition will know what I charge and undercut me”. Well, patients have to find you first for your competition to undercut your pricing. Pricing is one of the first topics searched online, be the first office a patient finds online and speak to them before the doctor down the street does!

5: Email Patients Before Their First Appointment

How much time do you spend informing patients about how subluxation causes many different secondary conditions? How many tire kickers do you get in the office looking for a quick fix for no cost? How many calls do you get asking what they need to bring or what to expect before the first visit?

Emailing patients the most common first visit questions and your pricing structure will help save you hours a week in new patient evaluations.

Let your website work for you and help save hours a week. I challenge you to start emailing new patients popular website articles before they visit your office for the first time. Take it a step further and have your CA confirm that they’ve read it when confirming the appointment the day before.

Final Statement

I hope this article gave you some ideas to implement immediately to improve your online marketing efforts. Please contact me after you’ve implemented them, I want to hear about your success! If you need help kick starting your online marketing efforts, please Contact Me for a consultation or analysis of your current marketing efforts.

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How Do Website Designers Get Paid?

How Do Website Designers Get Paid

If you’ve ever wondered how website designers get paid, you wouldn’t be alone. I run across this topic all the time when working with my consulting clients. All website designers and developers have their own contracts, but in this article I will tackle the hot questions relating to:

  1. Payment Structure For Website Designers
  2. Popular Payment Forms Website Designer Request

1: Understanding Different Payment Structures

While I could go on a write an entire post about different payment structures, I’m only listing and discussing the top 4 structures I encounter most when working with other website designers and developers:

  1. 100% Upfront
  2. 50% Upfront, 50% Upon Completion
  3. 33% Upfront, 33% Half Way, Remainder Upon Completion
  4. 100% Upon Completion

The best payment structure is debatable, I always advise my consulting clients to go with options 2, 3 or 4. In most cases a reputable company or freelancer will request a deposit upfront to cover costs they may incur. Receiving a deposit upfront will also give them confidence that you are serious about moving forward with the project and will pay remaining balance on completion since you’re both invested.

1. 100% Upfront

This form of payment is most acceptable when dealing with a website designer you’ve worked with in the past. The 100% upfront structure also occurs more frequently when you’re working on a quick timeline.

2. 50% Upfront, 50% Upon Completion

This is by far the most common payment structure for website designers. Reputable companies and freelancers will take the 50% deposit upfront to cover any costs they may incur with purchasing templates, scripts, graphics, etc. The 50% on completion helps keep them on schedule so they complete work per the timeline stated in the contract.

3. 33% Upfront, 33% Half Way, Remainder Upon Completion

I find that this payment structure is mostly used on larger projects that will take more than a month to complete. Larger scale projects tend to incur more costs and the hired company or freelancer may be outsourcing parts of the projects to other designers or developers.

4. 100% Upon Completion

Similar to number 1, this is most common and acceptable when the project has a quick turnaround time or a prior working relationship has been established.

2: Popular Payment Forms Website Designer Request

Popular forms of payment include:

  • Cash or Check
  • PayPal
  • Credit Card (via Square or PayPal for freelancers)
  • Wire Transfer or Person-to-Person Payment
  • Barter (more common with freelancers)

A paper trail for payments can have tax advantages for your small business, learn how in my article Do I Need To Provide Freelancers a 1099. However you both mutually agree to render payment, make sure it’s stated inside the contract.

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Do I Need To Give Freelancers A 1099 Form?

Do I Need to Provide 1099 Form

The simple answer is yes…if the work provided costs you $600 or more. The same is true even if you pay less than the $600 one one job but hire the same freelancer to provide $600 or more worth of work in any one calendar year. This $600 threshold is per the IRS code and applies to all independent contractors, which is what the freelancer would be considered.

A freelancer is ultimately responsible for claiming his or her income when preparing their taxes, but as a business you may have an added benefit of taxes deductions, under Rev. Proc. 2000-50, by making sure you have all freelancers fill out a W9 and provide the IRS a 1099. You will want to consult with your tax preparer, but in some cases you will be able to deduct expenses related to:

  • Website Development
  • Website Maintenance
  • Online Marketing / Advertising

Requesting the W9 / 1099

It’s best practice to request the freelancer fill-out and return the completed W9 form to prepare the 1099 prior to making full payment. You can obtain the latest W9 form on the IRS website, http://www.irs.gov/instructions/iw9/ar02.html, and the latest 1099 form, http://www.irs.gov/uac/Form-1099-MISC,-Miscellaneous-Income-. You can either download the PDF or email it directly to the freelancer to complete. After you have received the form back, you can then proceed with sending payment. Requiring the W9 to prepare the 1099 affords you tax benefits, but you will need to also provide the independent contractor a completed 1099 form.

Providing a Completed 1099 to the Freelancer

Per IRS laws, any business transaction over $600 that REQUIRES the business (payer) to provide the independent contractor (payee) a completed 1099 form. As the business owner you will need to make this form available to the freelancer you hired by NO LATER THAN January 31st of the calendar year for the tax filing. The January 31st deadline allows both you and the independent contractor enough time to verify all paperwork is correct before filing your taxes.

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Why Should I Engage In Content Marketing?

Why Should I engage in Content Marketing

Content Marketing is the latest rage in online marketing and I have been preaching about it to my customers. So, as you may expect, they have been asking me “Why Should I Engage In Content Marketing?“. You can research the topic and ask any number of online marketing consultants their reasons, but I have listed below just some of the reason why I believe you MUST engage in some form of content marketing.

Quality Lead Generation

“I feel like all the money I spend on advertising is getting me nowhere,” said a recent client of mine. Upon hearing this I went on my rant about how important content marketing is to his business. As the owner of a company in a “mature” industry, he has no competitors putting out quality content that answers potential client’s questions. Great content marketing will attract potentially high value customers, and these customers will come back for more. Simply providing answers to questions you are asked by your customers on your website will GREATLY help your SEO and delver more leads.

Desire for More Information Is Fulfilled

Back in 2010, when about 1/3 of consumers had Smartphones, users searched on average of 5 sources of information before making a purchase. By the start of 2012, when over half of consumers owned a smartphone, that figure had doubled to over 10 sources of information. The way we engage with customers is changing and consumers will now search out for information about your industry, before asking a real person or consulting other media.

You must make the decision to have your small business engage, inspire, educate and inform consumers so their desired for more information is fulfilled. When they find you are a knowledge leader in your industry, you will have their business!

Content Marketing Improves SEO

People have questions, people go to Google to find answers to their questions. Have you ever been frustrated when you couldn’t find the answer to a question? Think about how your customers feel when it comes to something about your industry or business!

By simply providing answers to questions, in the form of individual blog posts and not an FAQ page, you will give Google, Yahoo and Bing the opportunity to deliver the results people are seeking out and this will improve your SEO.

You With Become An Industry or Brand Leader

Producing great, useful, informative content will give you an edge on your competition and make your company a leader. When potential customers see you as an industry leader it will greatly improve your conversions!

Content marketing isn’t done over night, you will have to take the time to develop quality content. I suggest you make it a challenge to yourself, or your team, to answer every question a customer, or potential customer, asks you from here on out!

You Will Save Time On Sales Calls

Imagine going on a sales visit where someone knows nothing about what you offer or how you do business…now, think about how many questions you will have to answer when sitting there with the customer. If you dedicate your time to answers all the most popular questions on your website you will drastically cut down your appointment times

After you’ve built up information on your website you can even follow-up appointment requests with an email that lists all the most popular pieces of content on your website so you don’t spend time answer the same questions over and over with every potential customer you visit.

You Will Save Money & Deliver Strong ROI

Advertising with Paid-Per-Click, Radio, TV, Postcards, etc will only last for a short time span, but your investment in quality content marketing will remain relevant for potentially many years. Moreover, the time it takes for you or your team to answer a few questions a week (which they are probably already doing via email anyway) costs much less than the other advertising methods mentioned above.