I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday season and a happy happy new year! One thing we all look at in the new year, or at least I do, is how we can do things better. Some go for weight loss. Some go for smoking cessation. I take a look at how things are going for my clients and how I can make life easier. Because I talk to about 20+ health Professionals a day, and at least half you tell me about your frustrations with getting your businesses online, I thought I’d start this new year post with the goal of making YOUR businesses better and easier. Let’s start with the bad so we can move on to the good:
HERE IS A LIST OF THE TOP 5 FRUSTRATING THINGS ABOUT ONLINE MARKETING THAT I HEAR ABOUT ON A WEEKLY BASIS:
- THE “TECHNO-JARGON”
SEO, SEM, AdWords, Page Rank, black hat, white hat. They almost sound like Halloween costumes. I am going out as a Page Rank this year for Halloween! The worst part is that there is new jargon coming out all the time. Who can keep up with it all? Is the jargon really important? Maybe if you wanted to impress people at a party, but people might think you have too much time on your hands. If you are a health pro, you want to be researching new modalities in your field, or helping your patients feel better; not spending your nights trying to figure out exactly what SEM stands for. I think techies are just making things up to mess with the rest of us…ok just kidding.
2. REMEMBERING WHAT DIRECTORIES YOU LISTED YOUR BUSINESS IN
This is a big one. There are hundreds of different online directories out there – some better than others. And that doesn’t include the ones that have been created since I wrote this post. There are only about 20-30 that people regularly use and show up more predominantly in local search. But how do you keep track of it all or how do you know what directories are the ones that people use? How do you remember to update all of them (go you for being ambitious!) if you move, or have new hours of operations, or offer new services, etc. It’s a full-time job just trying to keep this all straight.
3. REMEMBERING USER NAMES AND PASSWORDS
This always starts with good intentions. This is the plan I hear quite frequently, “I will just keep the same password and user name for all of them!” Ya right. By the time you get on to directory #4, you will have had to use an email and not a user name or vice versa at least twice. Or even better, you decided to have the same password for all directories and you picked your password as your dog’s name and the year you are born, sparky78. Great! Problem solved. But now directory #8 would like you to have 10 characters, a symbol, a capital letter and a mixture of letters and numbers. So on the fly you create Sparky*791. Did you write that down? Did you even enter it correctly? Because what you actually entered was Sparky*792. I am sure you can all relate to this. There has to be a better way! Right?
4. WHAT CAN YOU ADD?
The obvious answer is your business name, address and phone number (AKA….NAP) and this is what most people only add. But a lot of the directories let you add a category, short or long descriptions, pictures and sometimes videos. If you only add your NAP then you are missing out. If your business name does not describe what you do, how will Google know to pull up your information when people are looking for your services? And most directories rely on that extra information to be effective tools for people searching. You are going to get missed.
If you do not know about key words and you just add a generic line about your business like, “Free consult and great service”, then this does not tell search engines enough about your business.
5. MOVING: FROM DREAM TO NIGHTMARE IN ONE CLICK
You need bigger space. Great! A lot of my clients have grown their business to the point where they take the time to find the new location. If you’ve taken the time to pack up all of your things, move, and have your grand opening, you’d expect that people will continue to come to the new location. But within a few weeks you notice that people are missing appointments. Frequently. Why? Because they went to your old location. How did that happen? Google told them to go there when they forgot the new address and looked you up. Now you have to find all of the places on line where you are listed, try to remember the login and change the information. That does not get corrected right away. It has taken some of my client’s years to fix these issues. What a nightmare!!!!
Does any of this sound familiar? I know it does to me. So here are some quick fixes for these top 5 online time robbers:
- Techno jargon: unless you are working with someone on a website redesign or marketing plan, let this one go. Just like people pay you for your expertise, leave the head scratching jargon to the pro’s you are paying.
- Directories: Like it or not, this is a manual task. You can:
- Start a spreadsheet and save it online or to your desktop
- Have a clipboard you keep by your desk to write down the directory name, password and login
- Put a sticky on your monitor or computer that reminds you to do one of the above
- User names / passwords: see above because ALL of the information should be in one place to make it easy on you.
- Adding more than NAP: this comes down to time. Put time in your calendar to strategically add your business to directories and make use of their “how to’s” in order to maximize the benefits. Since so many directories are free, do you really want to waste that opportunity? Pictures, bio’s, logos: have them all in an electronic file so you can quickly and easily make your profile spectacular.
- See 2 and 3. If you want to avoid the nightmare of losing business because of a free directory listing, then you’ve got to use a system to track this info! It’s really that simple.