Small Business Internet Marketing – “It Ain’t Easy”

Small business owners have the difficult challenge of not only managing their day to day operations to ensure their customers are satisfied, but also deciding how to best market and advertise their company to attract new customers. Before the Internet arrived, the choices were primarily limited to print media such as yellow pages, newspapers or local magazines. Perhaps we all yearn for a simpler time, but you can throw that notion out the window in our 24/7 new media tsunami.

Local businesses need to be highly efficient with their time and money to be successful in today’s challenging economic environment. Larger companies may have the luxury of hiring an advertising agency or employ full time marketing staff that are tasked with implementing a cost effective marketing plan. The typical local business does not have this option and often times the founder or owner is solely responsible for the marketing direction of the company. Owners face the daunting task of navigating through a constant barrage of marketing advice, new services and fancy jargon and trying to determine what makes sense for their company and budget.

All too often, local business owners end up trying out a variety of marketing services that are sold to them by companies using aggressive sales tactics. The local business owner may try out a service for a few months and if they do not see immediate results, they can become frustrated and stop using the service. When the next marketing company comes along touting their service is different and special, the small business owner may decide to try them for a while and the cycle continues.

This “hit or miss” mindset is not a winning formula for the small business owner, as effective Internet marketing plans encompass a few basic areas and can take time to yield results. Many marketing companies that sell services to local business owners typically focus on a specific marketing expertise or service (such as Pay Per Click, SEO, Email software, Directory, Leads, etc,) and either do not offer a full service option or such an option is too far out of reach of their budget.

As a result, it can be extremely difficult for a small business owner to make informed decisions and attempting to research all of this on their own would be too time consuming. A balanced marketing plan that includes a website that converts browsers to potential customers, a steady stream of targeted traffic to your website and web listings around the web and a methodology to consistently communicate and cultivate your existing customers and prospects. It should be easy, but the problem is the tools you need to pull this off are scattered around the web.

The one thing that every business owner should do, even if you do not have a website, is take control of your local business listings on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other directories and review websites. Local Business listings on the Internet can generate traffic and attract new customers. Business owners can claim and manage their listings on most major sites at no cost. Recent estimates suggest that only around 10% of local business owners have claimed their business listings on Google, so there is a significant opportunity for local business owners that are willing to invest a hour or so of their time.

There are four categories of websites that local businesses can get free traffic from:

  • Search Engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
  • Local Internet Directories: Yellowpages.com, Superpages.com, Citysearch.com
  • Review Sites: Directories that have developed a reputation among users to be a good source of consumer reviews. Yelp, Citysearch, InsiderPages, etc.
  • Niche Directories: Websites that are authoritative resources for your particular industry

What exactly is a Local Business Listing or “LBL”?

The LBL is a listing that contains the basic information about a business. Information can include the business name, address, telephone number, business category and other information. All of the above mentioned sites are really just big online directories, databases full of business information. The LBL, simply defined, is your business page or listing within these big directories. Local business owners may not realize that their business is probably already listed in some of these directories,especially if the business was formed more than a year ago. These sites collect information from a variety of sources and information can find its way into these sites.

How do Local Business Search Results work?

All of these sites operate in a similar manner. A user types in a few keyword for a particular location or city and clicks search. The site will display a page listing the results of the businesses that “best” match the search request. Then a user will review the results and may decide to click on one to view additional information. This will take the user to a page dedicated to the specific business.

Business owners can increase the number of times their business is discovered by web searchers by claiming their business listings. There are also many simple things that can be added and edited in the LBL that can dramatically help increase the ranking of the listing for various search terms. The bottom line is these listings can help create a steady stream of potential customers for your business and is quickly becoming a primary source for potential customers to check to see if your business is reputable.

It’s a good idea to have a say in how they are judging your business!

Why Direct Response Advertising Is Less Effective In Your Home Business!

If you are still using direct response advertising in growing your home
business, you may not go far in terms of being successful because there are
more proven and powerful methods of building your home business.

Direct response advertising are the advertising that comes directly to the
consumers of a product with a hyped up sales pitch for the prospects to buy.

The medium that these methods of marketing is used can be seen in the TV
infomercials, Google AdWords, and Ezine advertising.

I want you to know that these methods are proven means to sell any products
of your choice. It worked at the inception of the internet. It is still
working in our day. However, presently the effectiveness of using this method has plummeted considerably.

For instance, if you try using Google AdWords to sell a product, you
will find out that most times you find it difficult to break even on your
campaign, besides dumping thousands of dollars in PPC fees each month.

This is because even though you use highly focused and targeted keywords to
drive the right prospects to your website, these prospects do not buy because they have an array of choices to make, and do not truly know a reliable and
genuine company that may have the quality of products that will actually
solve their problems.

So they simply take a look at your website, click on the back button and
proceed to the next similar product.

Granted, sometimes you have people buying your products, however statistics
have shown that it is becoming more difficult to get 1 out of every 100
targeted people to buy your products using PPC.

I’m honestly in no way condemning the use of PPC to advertise your home
products, what I’m only doing is trying to show you the true picture and also let you know that there is a way you can use PPC profitably instead of
using direct response advertising to get buyers for any products you may be
selling.

Reasons Why Restaurants Are Now Setting Time Limits On Table Reservations

During these times, you may also long lines of customers still waiting to be seated, and servers in waist aprons with pockets taking out their notebooks jotting down notes and wondering how to seat their guests.

Restaurants are now setting time limits for table reservations in order to streamline their service and improve customer satisfaction. By having a time limit for reservations, restaurants can ensure that they are able to serve all of their guests in a timely manner. This also allows customers to know how long they will need to wait for a table, which reduces the amount of time they spend waiting in line.

Restaurants are becoming more popular, and as a result, they are getting busier

One reason that restaurants are setting time limits for reservations is that they are getting busier. With more people dining out, restaurants are finding it necessary to set time limits in order to ensure that all of their guests are served in a timely manner.

Keeping people in line waiting to get a table will not only slow down service, but will also impact customer satisfaction. When customers know how long they will have to wait for a table, they are more likely to leave the restaurant if their wait time is too long.

Setting time limits for reservations allows restaurants to manage their seating capacity more efficiently. This way, the restaurant can ensure that all of the guests who have reservations are able to be seated and that those who do not have reservations do not have to wait too long.

Restaurants also benefit from setting time limits on table reservations because it allows them to better plan their staffing needs. They can staff appropriately based on how many tables they expect to be filled during certain times of the day or night.

By setting time limits they are able to ensure that all of their guests have a great experience by not having to wait too long for a table. It also allows the restaurant to ensure that those who do not have reservations are still able to get in without having to wait too long.

They need to make sure that all tables are being used efficiently so that everyone has a chance to eat there

The efficient use of their table numbers is important to restaurants because they do not want to have any empty tables. When a table is empty, it is not making them any money. By setting time limits for reservations, they are able to make sure that all of the tables in their restaurant are being used. This also helps to ensure that guests are getting seated quickly and that they don’t have to wait too long for a table. It also means that those without reservations can still get in without having to wait too long.

Setting time limits on table reservations is something that has become more popular in recent years as restaurants look for ways to better manage their operations. There are several benefits that restaurants can reap from doing this, including:

Ensuring that all guests are being seated quickly and that they don’t have to wait too long for a table.
Reducing the amount of time that tables are sitting empty.
Allowing those without reservations to still get in without having to wait too long.

They also want to ensure that customers have a good experience by not having to wait too long for a table

One of the most important factors that will keep customers coming back is the experience they have while dining out at a restaurant. This will help to create a good experience for the customer and they are more likely to come back in the future.

Restaurants are also able to reduce the amount of time that tables are sitting empty. When there is no reservation, customers will be more likely to take their chances and go to the restaurant without making a reservation. Since people usually eat within an hour, this means that the restaurant will be able to fill up those tables faster.

If you have a reservation and you are running late, it is important to let the restaurant know so they can adjust accordingly

As a customer, however, if you have a table reservation at a restaurant that sets time limits, then you will need to keep them informed if you are running late. If you are more than 15 minutes late, the restaurant may give away your table to another customer.

There are some drawbacks to setting time limits on table reservations, such as guests feeling rushed or pressured during their meal. However, overall, restaurants find that this is a helpful way to manage their seating capacity and ensure that all guests have a positive experience.

All in all, setting time limits for table reservations is a great way for restaurants to manage their seating capacity and staffing needs while ensuring that all of their guests have a great experience. It is something that more and more restaurants are starting to do and it is sure to continue as people become more and more busy.