Tag Archives: small business marketing

Local Small Business Lead Generation

There are many tools available for small businesses which want to generate local leads. They range from advertising syndication to

1) Marchex Local Lead-I wasn’t able to find positive or negative reviews of Marchex online. They did receive the award for best technology for small and medium business in 2009 from Search Engine Watch (they also have a pay for call exchange). You can contact Marchex for information about their local lead program: 800.684.9294
2) Reach Local-unfortunately there are some negative reviews of Reach Local. It also did well in the Search Engine Watch award for small business technology.
3) Yodle-there seem to be an incredible amount of negative reviews of this service online. I think this is particularly the case with businesses which have $30 to $40 lead generation models versus $150 to $250 or more models. Although there are also issues with a) customer service b) overselling services c) questions of the black box of payment.
4) Web Visible is in this category local business marketing category. They have will create a pay per click campaign & landing page for you. They have a start up fee ($200 to 900 a month) and a monthly minimum of $700.
5) Adoozle-unfortunately I didn’t find any negative or positive reviews of Adoozle online. Their pricing plans seem reasonable as long as you get to keep your URL when you are done. Also, Adoozle is a part of Keymetric. (Although on the downside it seems odd that they only have email contacts listed on their website. I would almost rather speak to someone in India that knew what was up rather than wait up to 24 hours for an answer. Although, contacting Keymetric directly may be more helpfu: (866) 305-9110

Unfortunately it appears you should try the service you are most comfortable with and experiment to see how they serve the needs of your business. Obviously you should inquire about their experience getting the cost AND quality of leads you are looking for. You might also check to see how long their customers usually stay with them, as a way to evaluate the value and overall customer experience. (What percentage stay longer than 3 months? What percentage stay longer than 6 months?)

Directory Listing & Monitoring Services

1) Universal Business Listing ( UBL.org )-USB is a local directory listing service. They have packages from $30 to $49 per year on the low end.
2) Get Listed-get listed is a local listing monitoring service

There are also a host of players in the b2b lead generation space, which could obviously be helpful for small and medium b2b companies (Ingenio Marketing, Five9, KPI Analytics Inc, etc etc).

Hopefully this can help you make your decision with regard to local small and medium business lead generation. If you have any extra to add on this topic feel free to leave your comment or review. Thanks for reading.

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Google 2011: Impacts on Local Internet Marketing

Ethical SEO Tips for Local Small Business

Interested ethical seo or social media and social marketing optimization?

Here is my ethical SEO presentation at Barcamp Birmingham. Here is the black and white version of my powerpoint deck I did for the informal unconference section of Barcamp Birmingham 2009. Its not pretty, but pretty information rich (aka useful) for the introductory or intermediate SEO. Although some of the tips I extemporaneously added that you don’t get here–despite all this I got a request to post the presentation and lots of complements. Enjoy this ethical search engine optimization goodness.

Feel free to link to the presentation here on my blog and embedded the code, which is available at Slideshare on your blog. Also, check out the rest of my local seo and ethical seo posts as well. Check out my ethical link development tips for bloggers. For those interested specifically in issues of local seo, you will want to check out the fantastic local seo tips and techniques. Also knowing your search ranking factors and local search ranking factors is a must.

Matt Cutts, who is head of web spam at Google and guru of search engine algorithms suggests that unethical and whats called grey hat and black hat techniques may be gone from Google the near future.

If you need help with search engine optimization or if you are a social media or search engine marketing firm in need of outsourcing your seo needs, feel free to contact me at (615) 974-9662

Calculating the ROI of a Lead

Calculating the value of a lead and Calculating the value of web traffic

Internet Lead Generation with SEO and Social Media

The nice thing about internet lead generation is that it can be 24/7 365 days a year. I’ve done a calculation here based on 5 days a week. The following (targeted traffic) is worth, in other words not just a bunch of junk traffic, but really targeted traffic based on terms that can generate conversions.

If you are in the real estate or legal area the pay per click costs are around $1.50 per click.

$1.5 x 100 = $150 per day
$1.5 x 200 = $350 per day
$1.5 x 300 = $450 per day

150 x 260 = 39,000 per year
350 x 260 = 91,000 per year
450 x 260 = 117,000 per year

Very important: these are academic estimates. Second, these traffic details aren’t particularly useful if you’re website doesn’t convert users to contact you or sign up for your email list.

What is a lead worth in your space? How do you calculate the value of an internet lead?

What is the value of a lead?

What is the value of a lead worth?

Or more properly what is the value of a lead to YOU and to your business? This is a question which has perplexed small business owners and entrepreneurs for ages, so its not surprising that its one I’m wrapping my mind around right now to grow my business. One way to think about it is the commonly cited 30% of business operating costs some firms spend on marketing, advertising, and public relations services. This provides an interesting guess at what a lead should cost you. However, even in a scenarios where lead costs you 50% to 60% of your operating costs, you can still create a profit if you (especially if you have low overhead costs to offset the high cost of lead generation). Some companies devote large portions of their marketing budgets to creating a gigantic sales force whose entire purpose is to generate leads. This is particularly true of individuals that operate businesses where bricks and mortar real estate is not a significant outlay. The time and resources that you save by having leads generated by other means may well be worth the extra expense. If you think about it, real estate firms are built on the notion that agents are one half lead generation and relationship builder, and one half closer.

Back to the original question on the bottom line dollar worth of a lead. (the ROI of leads if you will) I’ve been toying with this question in terms of my own business, which only earns about $300 to $500 for small business clients for more local oriented marketing and $3000 to $5000 for larger clients that are trying to earn top ranking across the board. So for clients on the low end, a lead is worth about $50, and on the high end might be worth between $500 to $1500. (of course this begs the question of how qualified the lead are. a warm lead is worth this much, a lead via search engines that calls me up might be worth 1/3 of this…assuming I convert on 1 in 3 of the leads.) Derek of Pronto offers this analysis of lead value which is straightforward and helpful:

What is your conversion rate of a qualified lead to client?

Qualified lead would be a client that meets your criteria in terms of potential LTV perhaps measured by number of PCs, vertical or other measure. It should also meet the BANT criteria: Budget, Authority, Need, Timing. They could be the perfect target but if they just signed up with someone else they fail BANT.

And the math

If you spend $1000 on marketing that produces 10 qualified leads that convert to one client with a LTV of $20,000 you have an ROI of 20:1 with a $100 cost per lead. My suggestion is have some reasonable back-of-the-envelope math to get to a value of a lead. That’s your acid test for marketing ROI because in most cases marketing is going to bring you leads, not clients.

It might be helpful to share ideas on the following questions;

What’s the value per qualified lead?

Do you already have a number in mind? If someone came to you and said “I can deliver you qualified leads” what would you pay? I talked to someone the other day who was paying a telesales company $450 and was quite happy. Others have told me they would pay $100. This is btw not the same as a sales commission – a lead is what you give to the salesperson (which might be you with your salesperson hat on). I’d view these as two separate things.

What are leads worth for plumbers and painters?
Painters and plumbers might average between $200 to $600 per job. This means a quality lead is probably worth about $25 to $100. Also, if a plumber is decent or has a relationship marketing process in place you can increase that value by 1.1 to 1.25. (assuming one in ten or up to one in four of your clients can will refer you to other people) Whether you do that by providing great service, expertise, experience, flexibility, discounts, or direct incentives for referrals (free Amazon, movie tickets, deep discounts or $50 for a nice dinner). Actually if that person becomes repeat business, this number can sigificantly amp up.

What is a lead worth for a real estate agent?
Lets say you sell houses that are $175,000. This means for each house you sell you might get $12, 250 for selling a house. So a lead in this space could be worth around $4000. This doesn’t take into account that this person may refer other people, so it might multiply your lead value by 1.2 to 1.25 or more.

What is a lead worth for lawyers and attorneys?
Lets assume you are a personal injury attorney and the client wins on average $15,000 per case for each case you win. That means each win is worth $4,500 for you. So a quality lead is worth $1000 to $1500 for you. A low level lead might only be worth $25, $50, or $100. (more realistic numbers are probably a little lower than that, but with repeat or referal business or a decent in court record these numbers aren’t too far off)

What is a warm lead worth to your small business?
This is an introductory post….and I plan to revisit it. I’m going to ask friends who are in these professions to see if they can help provide clarification on these issues. What do you think….are these about right? What are leads worth in your profession?

Social Media needs Local SEO

Social Media Marketing needs Local SEO for Real Success

There are lots of so called social media experts and consultants out there, but very few who have driven traffic and sales. And many will babble on about engagement, but what does that mean for your bottom line. How do you evaluate the ROI of community engagement on your accounting sheet. Don’t get me wrong, social media is all well and good. Thats part of the package we offer. However, its just one piece of the puzzle. And unfortunately, 95% of social media marketers won’t fess up to this simple fact.

With that in mind, its important for your social media campaign to keep in mind your role as a local small business. Small businesses have a unique role to play in our economy and luckily Google recognizes this. What does this mean for you and your small business? Whether you are a plumber, a lawyer, a real estate agent, a restaurant owner, a african basket artisan, or you run a cleaning service, its important to take into account the role of local search in your overall marketing package.

Google, Microsoft Live, and and Yahoo Local all offer free local listings for your business. And in the case of Google, these listings show up in normal search results when you. And its simply amazing to think that small businesses are leaving this money on the table. Its free small business marketing The opportunity to be frontal lobe mind share, let alone have an almost free lead from search engine results is certainly something to be valued and followed up on.

Once you plug your information into the 3 search engines, you will also want to plug in your information in local search directories as well. If you would like help with this, please give me a call.

What is the ROI of Social Media

Why should small businesses invest in social media as a marketing strategy?

I think it gets back to three core reasons:

• Increased trust
• Enhanced relationship
• Turbo-charged ranking

I believe thats a really good “return on blog.”

What differentiates social media strategies and successful blogs online:

• Content (Useful, funny, sticky)
• Community
• Personality
• Focus and depth
• Design
• Strategy
• Productivity and Integration
• Media buy

I believe these are the seven differentiators to social media efforts online. Those who

SEO Secrets for Realtors, Lawyers, and Small Business Owners

SEO Tips for the Local Small Business Owner:

Here is an assortment of posts I made at Active Rain which reveals several SEO secrets and tips for the real estate agent, attorney, or the local small business owner. Its a great way to provide affordable online marketing and high return on investment that is so critical in tough economic times.

Fundamentals of Ethical SEO for Small Business

Twelve Critical Search Engine Optimization Tips for Real Estate (and other small business)
Social Media and SEO Productivity Top SEO Tips for Saving Time and Staying Productive with Social Media
Tips and Tutorial for Ethical SEO Ethical SEO Buyer’s Guide
Dive into Social Media and Ethical SEO By Paying it Forward: Social media marketing and ethical seo tips for real estate agents

One critical SEO secret is to apply the 4 Ps for better content optimization:

P-Product (product specification, product differentiation, product pictures)
P-Problem(s) You Solve
P-Place (community, city, and state)
P-People (target the type of people you serve, happy customers, and customer created tips)

What is your favorite ethical seo tip or technique for realtors, lawyers, or small business?

Greatest Hits of Local SEO : The Best Blog Posts from A to Z

Local Search Engine Marketing: Can’t Stop that Feelin’ and All the Best Local SEO Superhits

Well, local search begins with the big dogs of search Google, Yahoo, and MSN and extends into other more niche search marketing options. This list includes City Search, Yelp, Insider Pages, Info USA, Local.com, and Merchant Circle. Also, BOTW is new to the local search marketing area with free listings.

A more robust list of local SEO niche websites includes Superpages, Localeze, Acxiom, Trip Advisor, and others. Fully, these constitute the BCS of local search marketing.

Social media is making its impact felt in the local search space. Matt McGee outlines 8 sites, particularly of note are Placeblogger and Outside.In, but all except Stumbleupon and Facebook deserve more local search attention. (Matt knows more about this than I, but I think in most places the user base for Stumbleupon may not be there and Facebook is a walled garden–their effect I think is mostly indirect from a search perspective. Although, Stumbleupon might effect Microsoft + Yahoo search rankings)

Other local listings for the ardent,arduos and zealous search marketer. In fact, such SEM opportunities are bursting at the seems (and waiting in the wings). This Mihm post ranks the Top 10 providers of local info to prioritize your assault on the local search directories. You can even use your local SEO listings to get a free Yellow pages listing.

As you write your local listing you will want to consider these listing tips from the locals only column at Search Engine Land. Once written, these three slightly under the radar local seo techniques can help add relevance and locality for your local sem and seo efforts.

Dev Basu suggests Google Maps on landing pages for local search optimization along in this top 10 list. This 10 link bait ideas for small business list is also helpful for generating SEM tactics and strategies. Dev was kind enough to link to these 10 link bait tips for contractors and incidently B2B small business.

You can learn about the local search marketing factors from the Yoda or Steve McQueen of SEM David Mihm. Business location, reviews, and local citation figure prominently.

Search Engine Marketing and the Small Business

For a more principled look at SEM check out Mr. Mihm’s post the 10 Commandments of SEM for small business. Sugar Rae’s small business launch post is a classic like Jon Bon Jovi or Van Halen–I would be remiss to leave it out of the local SEM discussion. Or to sum up most of the above the presentation called Local SEO: How to Totally Own Google is a great explanation of the fundamentals of local seo along with great local sem tips and tricks. You can spice up your local seo rankings with Video

Best of the Local SEO and Small Business Search Engine Optimization
8 Simple Steps to Make a Page More “Local” by Matt McGee
25 Ways to Optimize for Local Search by Justin Palmer
• Of course you need to get down with Google Maps so check out Blumenthals blog
SEO Igloo is another great local seo blog
Get Listed now has a fancy dashboard that makes the local seo process far easier than it has been in the past.
• David M discusses how Get Listed fits into the local seo marketing space

Make your Small Biz and SEM Efforts Kick Arse!

This is post is in beta. Please bookmark if you like it and return frequently. Thanks, as always, for reading.

Nathan Ketsdever is a small business SEO who dabbles in local SEO. He’s also an unapologetic advocate of hyper local, a Yelp fanboy, and a consumer of most music Jack Johnson and Ben Gibbard. He also loves crab rangoon, a tasty pad thai with a nice peanut sauce, and smoke fired southern bbq (but not all at once).

20 Reasons Your Small Business Should Use Social Media Marketing

Shana of Social Desire just posted this comprehensive list of 20 reasons. To get the last 9, you’ll have to check:

1) Branding – Create a recognizable identity for your product or service. This is extremely important for a small business.
2) Create a buzz – Get the word out about your products and services in a way that promotes online conversation.
3) Online reputation management – Keep an eye on what other people and sites are saying about your name, company, or brand online – and fix any problems, if need be.
4) Establish yourself as an expert – Use forums and message boards to answer questions professionally, honestly, and correctly, which will earn you respect as an expert in your niche. People will look to you for answers.
5) Word of mouth – Customers need to trust before purchasing – people trust their friends and loved ones more than anyone else. So, if they hear from someone trustworthy about your product, chances are higher that they’ll buy. Market your products using word of mouth virtually.
6) Build relationships and become more personal – Use a variety of social media, and you’ll build relationships with customers and potential customers. Trust comes through honesty and sincerity.
7) Open up the line of communication between business owner and millions of potential customers – Millions of people who could possibly become customers? You could not have this easily in the offline world.
8| Small businesses can compete with the large companies – In the past, this was very difficult with the advertising and marketing budgets of large companies. With the right type of viral social media, you could get an immense amount of traffic with quickly-growing natural links, and keep traffic coming for a long time.
9) Social networking with potential clients and customers from all over the globe – With social networking sites such as Facebook, StumbleUpon, MySpace and Twitter, among many, many others, you can hold personal conversations with each of your customers. Tell them about new products, sales and coupons, suggestions and tips – the topics are endless.
10) Get great traffic – Not only great traffic…. but freakishly crazy amounts of traffic. For example, if one of your items becomes viral and makes it to the front page of Yahoo Buzz (a social news site), it could get you 100,000 to 1,000,000 viewers; from Digg around 2,000 to 60,000; and from Reddit around 2,500 to 30,000. Check out some more awesome stats on this great post by The SEO Company.
11) Increase your link-ability – One way to move up in the search engines is to have links from other sites pointed to your site. Natural links – or links that come naturally to your great post, awesome video, or amazing picture, are the best kind for your business. They’ll not only bring in traffic, but should also help move you up further in the search engines.

Launching a New Blog and Need Search Engine Optimization Services?

Pre-Blog Launch Stage One:
Of course you want to think of URL Name, your content strategy, and your promotion strategy.

Pre-Blog Launch Stage Two:
Of course one part of that promotion strategy should probably be search engine optimization, social media marketing, or search engine marketing. Of course you may feel that you need social media training to navigate the rapidly changing world of online communication or may want to outsource using a social media specialist or a search engine optimization.

Pre-Blog Launch Stage Three:
Creating quality and link worthy content for your customers and potential customers. Additional,
Google just redesigned some of its services and offers this submit your content resource specifically targeted at the small business owner. Enjoy!

Geotargeting your local community or why I rank really well for “Nashville Social Media”

Tips for Local Small Business Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a great way to get your message directly to your consumer during one of billions of your (potential) customers make online each year. One critical way to leverage seo and in particular ethical seo tactics is to use geo-target. Geo-targeting allows you to reach your customer while they are making searches for local products. For many small businesses the best target market is their local community, where its easiest to build relationships and trust. (Which after all are the fundamentals of sustainable business development.) For instance, I always get by best business from Nashville Social Media and Nashville SEO, not Ankorage Alaska SEO (No eskimo love).

Everybody Get Your Geo-Local On!

SEO Moz has a great video with several ways to leverage your local community to rank higher in Google, MSN, and Yahoo.

The next step in creating a geo-local strategy is to create great online content, which Google and your customers will eat up. Great content combined with relationships is the touchstone for business success.

Any other tips for local search engine optimization? What say you?