Thursday, March 10, 2011
Have you seen my picture on the web? Have I ever seen yours? Is your business visible on the web?
If you are a small business owner like me in a service business your brand means everything. Sure your logo is important for brand recognition, but “people buy from people”, so your IMAGE is just as important for branding your business and helping you to stand out in a competitive marketplace as your company name or logo.
For the last several years most of the business that I attracted to my insurance agency came from purchased Internet leads. Business was good and I thrived, but all things change and that business model started to falter several months ago. When leads were scarce my business suffered; when lead quality became increasing worse, my business suffered. I recognized that my future success depended on developing a new marketing strategy that I could control myself.
That’s what led me to become more interested in my web presence. I Googled my name and found a famous photographer and an NFL player dominating all of the pages; I was nowhere to be found. Then I Googled my image and low and behold there I was back on about page 900 with some old obscure photo from the past. And, of course I had the same results when I searched for my business, Morris Associates, LLC.
At this point I began to look at the web differently and decided it was time for a major shift. The first thing I did was search out every free business directory that I could find. I diligently completed very detailed profiles about me and my business and ALWAYS uploaded as many images and logos as the site would allow. I listed my business in Google Places and created a personal/business page on Google.
While slow at first I began to see results. Suddenly I was beginning to see movement in my placement. I began to attend networking groups such as AZ Power Networking as well as others; I became more active with social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I began publishing articles on the web and on ezines. I started a blog and a newsletter and I continued to build the strongest business and personal profiles possible within these sites and loaded them with images.
Stop for a moment and Google Dennis Morris. Sure, the photographer is still there and so is the football player, but they no longer own the search results! Have you ever met someone and remembered their name but not the business name? Have you ever just decided to check someone out online before doing business with them? Are you visible? Is your business? Now go to Google again and this time search for me in “Images.” First page, row number one, not bad! Click on my image and what do you find? AZ POWER NETWORKING with my full business profile and contact information! With one affiliation with the right group I leaped to the FIRST PAGE! I’m no longer on page 900 and I’m not only just on the first page; go deeper in the search. Click on each photo and you’ll find the source of each posting.
Will my photos and logos make enough of a difference to matter? Decide for yourself. Consider that I have not done any advertising or done any special promotions and I have not purchased an Internet leads in 9 months. Still, my Google Analytics report for my business website http://www.onlineaffordableinsurance.com shows my average website page views up 66.67% for the week and up 21.21% over last month so traffic is definitely increasing.
It’s a fast paced rapidly changing business environment and we all have to keep pace using the most cost effective and productive methods to maintain and gain market share. Take charge of your web presence today. Become more proactive in promoting not only your business but yourself! After all, YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS!