No matter what you hear or read, local SEO is alive and well. It’s the reason you’re here reading this blog post. You obviously want to know how long local SEO and better search rankings will take.
You might be wondering how long is it going to take to see page 1 and top 5 search rankings. This is a common question I get asked during almost all of my calls and emails from potential clients. It’s understandable as you want to know when you can start seeing more traffic, leads and clients come your way.
The problem with trying to answer this question is that it’s too difficult to correctly predict. There are too many search rankings factors to do this.
With that said, I always give a potential client a rough estimate of when they can expect to see page 1 results. Once our SEO work begins and a few months go by, I can see how the search rankings are improving and give a better idea of when page 1 and top 5 results will occur by.
But first, I need to look at a few factors.
Search Ranking Factors At Play
There are so many search rankings factors, but when determining how long a potential clients website will need to rank on page 1 and the top 5, I look at:
- what search terms you want to rank for
- is your website well optimized for those search terms
- how many websites/webpages rank ahead of you for those search terms (direct competitors and directories)
- how many business listings does your business have and are they consistent
- how many and what type of backlinks does your website have
- how long has your website been around
- what type of content is on your website
- does your website have great local SEO content
- have you changed business addresses or domains in the past
There are 200+ search ranking factors, but these are the ones I look at when determining how long it will take to rank a website.
With every potential client, I always suggest a three month trial period of our services to show them what kind of results they can expect to see after 6 and 9 months. If after three months we don’t see much improvement, it’s not a good sign. If that’s the case, which it rarely is, I offer a partial refund for the three months.
It’s risk reversal. We have to perform and generate better search rankings in those first three months. If we haven’t, then I don’t feel comfortable receiving money for not doing our job.
New Websites Vs Existing Websites
With this three month trial period, you might be wondering if that is enough time to improve the search rankings to page 1 and the top 5. Rarely will this happen, unless you are already ranking somewhere on page 2 and have an existing website.
Existing websites are, for the most part, going to take less time to rank. Why? Because an existing website has been indexed by the search engines, has business listings and backlinks created along with quality SEO content on the site. It’s built up existing credibility with the search engines which is going to take a lot less time to rank than a new website.
A new website doesn’t have the credibility and thus, is going to take a longer time to get to the top of the list. In all cases, SEO is a long term investment. Once you rank higher, you stay there as long as you update your website.
SEO As An Investment
With traditional advertising or even pay per click (ppc), you always are paying money. That’s not the case with SEO. Depending on what industry you are in, once better search rankings are achieved, you only need a few new clients to pay the SEO services off. Even better if you offer a service where the lifetime value of a client is high.
With all potential clients though I do suggest running a ppc campaign in coordination with an SEO campaign. Yes, it will cost more but with a ppc campaign, you will get targeted traffic to the site right away. Then as the search rankings improve and they get more organic traffic, we can reduce the spending on the ppc campaign.
Running a ppc campaign will also tell us if the website is good at converting so you can generate new leads and clients. If not, then we will have to make some conversion adjustments.
I hope I’ve been able to provide a detailed enough answer to the question of how long will it take for my website to rank higher with local SEO. If I haven’t, please contact me today and I’ll be happy to answer any further questions you may have.
Brands are supposed to be things, not people right?
You see, all brands were the creative idea of a person. A real human.
So what about your brand?
Does it have a heart? A voice? A personality?
Is it faceless?
Here’s where I am going with this.
Lee Clow who is regarded as one of the top Advertising Creative Directors ever explains brand personality for you:
“Brands are very much like people. Do you think that brand is interesting? Would you like to have them over for dinner? Are they always the same or are they sometimes funny and sometimes serious?”
These were his words in the great documentary ‘Art & Copy‘.
To sum it up, your brand is person. And it should start communicating like one.
If it speaks directly to your target market, even better.
Read on for two great examples of brands doing just that and how you can give birth to your brand.
Before you do that, tweet this link out for me if agree with what Lee and I have said so far.
Would anyone invite your brand over for dinner? – Click to Tweet
Brash To The Bone
Old Spice for years had always been, well, old. I never used any Old Spice products growing up. Neither did my friends. Probably because we weren’t their target market.
They also were pretty boring. Same sailing ad after another.
That changed in 2010 with the famous “Your man can smell like me” campaign. In case you’ve been living in cave, here’s one of the commercials.
Even though the ads were geared towards women, I decided to try some Old Spice body wash last year. When I turned the bottle around, I burst out laughing in the shower! Here’s why…
If you can’t read the picture taken from my crappy iPhone 3, here’s what it says.
“Cleans hair, cleans body then wails on it’s pecks. Does it’s job and drives away in a sports car.”
Talk about speaking directly to their target market in a fun and entertaining way!
What’s also interesting is they treated the body wash it self like a human. Doing human things like wailing on pecks and driving a sports car. Awesome stuff Old Spice and a nice touch.
Axe has dominated the hygiene world amongst males ages 15-34 for some time now. They speak to their customers like a person which creates a connection.
Because of this they’ve had a stranglehold on male hygiene products. That was until Old Spice decided they needed to humanize the brand.
Since then Old Spice has done a bang up job by giving the brand a personality. All because they communicated like a real person.
Another great example of brand personality is Newcastle’s Facebook timeline image
I really like the stand they’ve taken.
One of the things written in the Meaningful Marketing Manifesto is that you should support good causes because you want to and not because you want more followers. They’ve stated that in it a bold way.
The brand alignment is also bang on with their ‘No Bollocks’ tagline.
Both examples are bold and in your face. Shocking for most because brands were things and not people before.
They’ve made me laugh and created an emotional connection. All because they communicated to me like a real human being.
Don’t be boring and Forgettable
How often does this happen to you.
You click on a website or read an advertisement and after 10 seconds of reading, you’re bored and on to the next thing?
I’m sure it’s happened often.
Why does this happen? They don’t have a brand voice. They’re blurting out their message like a robot speaking monotone. I suppose robots can only speak monotone but you get the point.
Those brands don’t understand that people are craving a connection. It’s like being able to talk to your favorite actor, actress, athlete or someone you admire. If they’re boring face to face, they might be your favorite anymore.
You want to see their human side. It’s the same with brands in this socially connected digital world.
Many brands are creating meaningful connections. Simply by having a voice and a personality.
Giving Birth To Your Brand
It’s really simple.
Start talking like a human being in every marketing and advertising piece the public sees!
Let your hair down. Stop standing up straight and being all proper. Being polite will not generate an emotional connection with people.
It’s like this. The last thing you want to do is fit in. By giving your brand a personality and a voice, you’ll be a breath of fresh air and stand out from the competition.
What do you think?
Is there anything holding you back from giving birth to your brand?
If you’re already doing so, tell me about it!
I’ll be discussing more about brand personality in future posts. If you’ve liked this post, subscribe to my updates so you can receive them straight to your inbox.
Advertisements are everywhere.
On the TV. On the radio. In a newspaper or magazine. Even in the bathroom.
Yep, we can’t even escape advertisements when we go to the bathroom.
This cleaver company decided people want to be advertised to when they’re going to the bathroom!
Resorting to this reeks of desperation. In fact I can’t think of a worse way to advertise. People are wiping their butts with your ads. Talk about hitting an all time low.
Would you really want your brand to be aligned with toilet paper and crap?
I can imagine the thought process went something like this:
“We’ve tried everything else to get people’s attention but nothing’s working. Eureka! Let’s create some advertisements that are going to be smeared in crap and flushed down the toilet!”
To convert people in new customers and regular customers into evangelists, you have to hit it where it matters most. The heart…not the ass.
Read on to discover what it takes to emotionally connect with people.
There are two things I want to discuss in my next two blog posts.
This one you’re about to read will discuss how to determine what matters to people. From there you will be able to create a deeper connection with people through your future advertising and marketing.
The following one will discuss the importance of maintaining a consistent brand image.
Creating emotional connections
Both topics have been on my mind for over a month now. It hit me while I was watching a squash tournament. I’ve recently become addicted to the game of squash. For those that don’t know it’s a game that it played in a boxed off court very much like racquetball.
My closet friend Adam wanted me to play more and I have been. I don’t have enough time to play golf anymore so squash is an awesome alternative.
One of the things I enjoy about squash is the social nature of the sport. It’s like anything I suppose. But squash players love to talk after the game. More on these conversations in a bit and why every conversation you engage in is important.
Since advertisements are everywhere it’s not surprising they’re plastered on squash courts. Personally I don’t pay much attention to them since I’m busy trying to beat my opponent.
They also don’t connect with me. Being a marketer and consumer I try to think about how marketing can be done better.
In this case I wanted to see how the squash advertisements could generate more meaning. Adam – who got me into squash – also owns Victoria Transmission Auto Care.
Last year he was toying with the idea of sponsoring a court. Thankfully he decided to resist the urge to interrupt. He also felt that sponsoring a court didn’t align with his brand image.
I agreed. They’ve been marketing the company beautifully the last two years. Organizing things like their popular ladies nights, focusing on being an eco friendly shop and educating young drivers on car care and safety.
It didn’t make sense to slap his company’s logo on the squash courts. There just wasn’t a connection there.
We are in an age where interruptive advertising and marketing is becoming more ignored. You can even say hated. The brands who focus on people’s hearts and aim to out care their competition will do exceedingly well in the future.
Adam feels such strong bond to the game of squash and the people who play at our club. He simply wants to give back to them. If his business can benefit from this, even better.
So it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I discovered a way he could do that.
Every Conversation Is Important
We were watching a big squash tournament at another squash club in town. The players from our club remarked that they didn’t like the courts. They were dimly lit and the walls were very dirty.
Our clubs courts’ lack in areas as well. The lights are not the same color and often burnt out. Our walls get marked up from the ball and they have the odd chip of cement missing. From time to time dust balls are seen on the court.
With that said every player from our club we talked to hated the courts. This is something that comes up often in my conversations with fellow squash players. The condition of the courts matter deeply.
It’s the same in golf. I worked in the golf industry at a very nice private club. Everyone I knew who played at the public, municipal and executive courses in the city wanted badly to play the course I worked at.
They fell the same way as my squash friends. Being able to play on nice squash courts and a nice golf course means an awful lot to people. It touches them where it matters most. The heart.
You can see where I am going here. Adam wants to grow his business and make an emotional connection with our fellow squash players.
The best way for him to do that is to sponsor the court. But instead of plastering his company logo on the wall, he should focus on making the court he sponsors, the nicest and cleanest in the city.
It’s really no different than the adopt a highway programs many states in the US have. Local businesses adopt a mile or more of a highway. It’s their responsibility to ensure that stretch is kept clean. Since it’s their name on it, they want to do a great job.
Stealing this idea he would make sure the walls are always clean, the lights are bright and always replaced. Too make a major impact, the floors could be waxed or completely re-done.
Before you start to think that this is far too costly. Think about the lifetime cost of a customer. In his industry, it’s a lot. It would only take a few people to become lifetime customers for this to pay off.
All these things would no doubt make a definite impact. Any player that steps foot on the court would take notice of Adam and his business.
Principles of Meaningful Marketing
This is of course theoretical idea. But it touches on two key principles of meaningful marketing.
1) It creates a deep connection
2) It improves people’s lives regardless of the product or service it sells
Deep down I want to inspire you to do more than just slap your logo on something, call it day and hope people patronize your business.
That’s what everyone else is doing. Be different and stand out from the competition by creating more meaning with your marketing!
All you have to do is listen to your current clients and see what matters most to them. In any conversation you will find those things that your clients care deeply about.
In this example all I did was pay close attention to the conversations I was having. Looking for something that other squash players felt deeply about. Remember earlier when I said every conversation you engage in is important? The conversations I have with other squash players is evidence of this.
This example is what out caring your competition is all about. Once people know that you care about them, they’ll start to care about your business.
What do you think?
Are there any ways you can create a deeper connection with people and have your business grow at the same time?
Image courtesy of Gail from Flickr
Be sure to subscribe to my email updates. You’ll receive my next blog post on why having a consistent brand image is important.
Advertising your business is a must.
When you’re new you want to tell everyone why they should check you out. I can’t blame you there!
Maybe sales are sluggish and need you more clients.
Perhaps you have a sale or product you want everyone to know about.
No matter the reason you have to get the word out. Advertising does just that.
Sure I think internet marketing is great but advertising can be effective.
But the cookie cutter “Here’s my business and contact information, please call us” advertising doesn’t work anymore.
Let me explain.
Advertising needs to engage
It’s a fact that I dislike 95% of advertising. Almost all advertisements lack creativity and can be ignored. Actually all advertisments can be ignored except website pop ups! I’ll save that for another day however.
I’m sure my feelings on advertising are shared by many others.
How often do you say to yourself after seeing an ad “Yeah, I want to start doing business there” or “I must find out more” and call that business or visit their website? I bet I’ve been on more dates in the last year which for the record has been a measly two.
As a society we ignore advertising. It’s been jammed down our thoughts for far too long. How often do you even take the time to look at ads anymore?
So how you can break through the noise and engage people with your advertising? What does it take to get some serious return on investment from any advertisement you run?
I’ll show you a great example in a second so read on!
Before that happens do me a favour and tweet this if you’re on Twitter
Break through the noise & create engaging advertisements – Click to Tweet
Introducing Meaningful Advertising
Once in a while I flip through my local paper to see if anything catches my eye. A month back I found this advertisement.
Let’s be clear, it’s goods but it can be better. I’ll explain why later but it’s a step in the right direction.
So what makes this ad meaningful and better than the majority of ads?
- It educates
- It never tries to push
- It opens the sales funnel
Meaningful marketers are always willing to educate potential clients. They’re thinking about their clients and what questions they have. In this case it’s something as common as using eye drops.
People are generally looking for information on your product or service before buying. Often times they’ll do research on the internet. The best way to get in front of them and answer any questions is by blogging for business.
This ad is essentially what a blog post would look like. It’s meaningful because it educates someone and improves their life. After all no one would engage with this ad if they didn’t know how to use eye drops since that’s the title!
It never tries to push
Since the begin on advertising companies have been pushing their products on us. That has to change if you want to engage more people.
During the advertisement not once do you see “See us for all your eye care needs” do you? The concept is certainly there but it’s subtle.
This is the same thing done by Victoria Transmission Auto care with their car safety classes for young drivers.
Dr. Taylor could have easily peppered this ad with more pushing. But he didn’t.
At the bottom of the ad his clinics contact details are listed. That’s the only time. He didn’t even offer a call to action which is very passive. Too passive though.
He’s simply educating people. If the reader wants to know more, perhaps they’ll visit his clinics website or call him next time for an eye care appointment.
It opens the sales funnel
Too much focus is put in closing the sale now a days. I know it’s all about sales but if you’re too pushy, people will shy away.
When people come to a website or see an ad, they want more.
Can they see photos of your products? Can they read or listen to what satisfied clients have to say? How about learning more about your particular area of expertise?
By letting people see those things you are opening the sales funnel. You’re inviting them to learn more.
Without doing those things it will be tough to open the sales funnel. Chances are they’ll flip past your advertisement and leave your website within 10 seconds.
When you open the sales funnel your ROI greatly increases. People will read your ad and stay on your website longer. This is taking advantage of every person who engages with your marketing.
An Opportunity Missed
I did say this ad was a step in the right direction towards meaning. There is something missing here.
The odds of someone needing an eye care appointment at the time of this ad are slim. That doesn’t mean they won’t think of his clinic when they do. But how could he make sure they don’t forget about him?
Drive them to his website for more education. Since the chances of someone remembering his phone number are low he needs the reader to take action and visit his website for more education on eye care. This will also help build trust and credibility with the new visitor.
The next step after awareness in the sales funnel is turning someone into a lead.
Here’s what Dr. Taylor could do to increase his leads.
Call to action
Dr. Taylor and the Mayfair Optometric Clinic need a better call to action to start with. Something simple could be “Visit our website for more eye care and health tips”. No matter what you want to get people back to your website.
If he is putting in the effort to write an article for an ad, why isn’t he blogging? Someone who actually reads this ad all the way through is engaged. What do you do in this position? Give them more! By inviting those readers back to his site for more articles on eye care and health.
Email opt in forms
Email opt in forms offer a person to get updates from your site. It’s a simple way of lead capturing but very overlooked. If he is utilizing an email newsletter they could grow their email list. This obviously gives them the ability to market to that engaged person for a lifetime and hopefully turn them into a lifetime client.
Hopefully you’ve learnt a lot on how to increase advertising ROI. It takes more to stand out from your competition. By creating advertisements like this example, you’ll be well on your way to more meaning and more sales!
What kind of offline advertising do you do?
Do you see a good amount of ROI from it?
If you’ve made it this far you should get my Meaningful Marketing manifesto. It’s somewhat of a bible that will guide you to marketing with meaning. Simply enter your email address below to instantly receive that and all my updates.