Archive for April, 2008

Engaging Your Customer

April 22, 2008

To be successful, you need to engage your customer. You need to talk with them, not at them. You need to be open and answer questions. This is one of the harder things to do on-line since you are not on-line 24×7. This is where your web site comes in.

You need to have a web presence on-line that engages your visitor enough so that they become a customer.

Starting Conversations with Contact Pages by Bill Slawski over at Search Engine Land is an excellent article on the subject. Bill specifically addresses the contact page.

“It can also help to start conversations that can provide you invaluable feedback, which can make the pages of your site easier to use, more informative, and easier to find. Listening to the language of your customers can give you insights into their perspective on what you offer, and the words that they use to describe those offerings.”

Bill goes over what to include and why it is important. I have to say, since I updated my contact page, I have gotten more calls and emails.

In addition to your contact page, I think the whole web site needs to engage your visitor. Provide the critical info your visitors need. Make it easy for them to get a hold of you.

Blogging is an excellent tool you can use to interact with your visitor. You should use a blog to provide info, ask questions, answer questions, and so on. Blogging can be done for free-only thing it will cost is your time. One of ShowMeLocal’s features is providing some blog space, so can engage your customer. Take the time to show them you know what you are talking about.

Remember your web presense is your chance to make a good impression, so take some time to organize what you want to say and how you want to do it. You will find it is a very wise investment.

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Geo-targeting for Small Business

April 15, 2008

Geo-targeting does not take a highly expensive computer or military tracking system to run but it does take some effort. All small business participate in some sort of targeting-always looking to get their messsage to the “right” customer.

Geo-Targeting online simply means adding a geographic component to your website or ad and is a very important part of any local business’s marketing campaign.

There was a series of excellent articles on Geo-targeting at Local Point:
Geo-Targeting Primer – Part I – Users
Geo-Targeting Primer – Part 2 – Advertisers
Geo-Targeting Primer – Part 3 – Systems

The articles break up the concept of geo-targeting into 3 components and discusses each one individually. They are good articles but for some beginners, might be too much. Geo-targeting has 3 aspects: the user or your customer, the advertiser or the business owner and finally the system of how do you use geo-targeting.

In this post, I want to introduce the general idea of geo-targeting on your website. This is an important component for the on-line business since the Interent really knows no boundaries. You want to do whatever is necessary to make sure your website or business profile show up in front of the right audience.

Another good article for you to read is The hCard Microformat & Local Search Optimization by Chris smith.

“The hCard microformat is a standard method of semantically marking up your HTML to inform the search engines (and other devices/applications) very precisely about which part of your page text contains address, phone numbers, and other typical directory listing info.”

Chris goes on to discuss how to add the hcard to your website. Now in addition to the hcard, you need to make sure your geographic information is on the web site proper.

The last point is that you get your business listed in directories, (such as ShowMeLocal 🙂 ) that allows for geo-targeted searches. Being able to be listed in your city, state, or region is also very important. Remember want to make it easy for folks to find you.

Anotehr aspect that ShowMeLocal has, that I find useful, is how you can create a network of business listings via your business network. Networking with other businesses in your geographic location is a win-win situation.

So when you are working on your on-line promotions, make sure to remember the geographic aspects of things.