The biggest ad budget doesn't always win. The best communication wins.
How are you communicating your value to the public? Are you just telling people what you do? Or are you proving to them why they should do business with you (instead of your competitors)?
When all you do is tell people what you do in your paid advertising, you're wasting money. When all you do is describe your business in your paid advertising using a bunch of fluff words like--
best, integrity, dedicated, #1, for all your _____ needs, we care, service-oriented, OR any other description carries no real "weight"... you're wasting money.
Your advertising must engage people. You need to steal their attention from what they're currently doing. And that's not easy. People are busy. They care about themselves and their family... they don't care about your business. So, if you're not communicating with them in the form of a story that they can relate to or see in their mind, then they're not hearing anything that you have to say.
Be interesting. Share knowledge. Tell people something that makes them happier, smarter, healthier, etc. Be the company people feel best about when they have a particular need or problem that you can provide or solve. Make it automatic for them to think of YOUR BUSINESS FIRST. And that doesn't happen by advertising in the normal, hum-drum manner that you see and hear everywhere. You need to engage people with your advertising and marketing communications.
This is something that most business owners, media people, and advertising agencies don't understand. But that's ok. That's why I'm here to help you with all of it. You don't have learn it. I'll show you. I'll help you understand what works and what doesn't when it comes to promoting your business more effectively.
If it's not engaging, you're wasting your money. Let me know if you need help with your marketing.
Have a groovy day! :)
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
There Are A Lot Of Website Builders Out There! How Do You Choose?
Good question. I'll try to answer that for you. Yes, there are a lot of web designers, developers, and builders out there. But most tend to specialize in bigger businesses. Or bigger websites. Meaning, that those businesses may need a lot of special features within their website or maybe hundreds of web pages. They also build websites for companies all over the country. They're looking for volume and a big payday.
I'll tell you right now... that's not my clientele. I prefer to help smaller, local companies. The ones who are looking for a local website builder who don't charge an arm and a leg. The types of companies I build websites for are the ones who want a good looking and easily navigable website... that can eventually get to the top of the Google and Bing search rankings.
To see a list of some of my clients, along with their website links, click here.
They are in all types of different industries. Which makes it really interesting for me!
Carpet cleaning, plumbing, disaster cleanup, crop insurance, cleaning, real estate, garage doors, video production, grain bin and farm building construction, hair salon, lawn care, children's charity, and even a Charolais bull breeder!
Website builders are a dime a dozen it seems... but let me give you the real deal. Here are some things that my clients truly appreciate...
I'm local. I'm attentive. I have a decade and a half of marketing experience (that means lots of free advice!). When you want something changed on your website, it's usually done the same day, if not the same hour.
If you decide to work with me, I CARE that you are successful. I'm in it to win it... with YOU.
Oh... and I don't charge you $5000 to $10,000 for a website. I charge you a reasonable fee, annually. Because I'm always working on your website and raising your online search rankings. It takes a lot of time and effort to do things the right way in order for your organic search rank to be towards the top of Page 1.
And if you want a complete re-design of your site after a couple years, such as a different style or "look"... there's no extra charge. It's all built in to your reasonable annual fee.
Let me know if you're ready to talk about it. Once you're ready to get started, it usually only takes a couple weeks for me to have a brand new website ready to go for you.
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
Good Customer Service Starts & Ends With Your Employees
You want a thriving, successful business. But that can't happen without great customer service. The business owner may know how he or she wants their customers treated, but they're not always at the center of every transaction. So, your employees need to be on board with your customer service philosophy.
That means training. That means consistent training meetings to keep everything fresh in their mind.
What? You don't have time? You have to make time. Schedule weekly or semi-weekly meetings with your entire staff. They need reminding.
Your employees don't have much of a stake in your business other than they want to keep their job. So, you must instill in them your vision for your business. They must be reminded about what it will feel like to be a part of a business that everyone in your community loves and refers others to.
Customer service is just as important as other parts of your business - sales, marketing, accounting, human resources, your online presence, etc. It can't be left on the back burner. It can't be something that you hope is happening.
I've always said, why not implement some sort of profit sharing within your company? That way, your employees have more of a stake in your success. And isn't making sure your good employees are taken care of... just the right thing to do anyway? But... maybe that's not possible in your situation. I understand. So, help your employees care about what you stand for. And don't be a scrooge, pay them what they're worth. If one of them walked out on you today, would it hurt? If so, maybe they need a little bump in pay or a bit more recognition for the great job they do for you.
You have to give them an opportunity to care about your cause... almost as much as you do. When EVERYONE treats your customers like they are GIFTS... that's when customer service will soar. And what happens then? It translates into repeat business and REFERRALS!
Have a great day!
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
I was a radio marketing and sales guy for a long time. I didn't know anything about Sales when I started selling radio advertising in 2004. Most of the training out there is terrible, too. If they say this, you say that. If they say that, you say this. I didn't buy it. From the very beginning, I wasn't comfortable being a typical salesperson. I just wanted to help businesses grow with better advertising. And I knew I could do it. So, I never pushed or "sold" people. I just talked to people. I didn't do presentations, I did conversations.
When I started my own marketing company, I had to start being the point of contact for my clients who had other media people to deal with. I had no idea they were all this bad. Even when they KNOW that I have been eating, drinking, sleeping MARKETING since 2004... they still try to SELL me. Like the cheesy, old-school salesperson kind of SELL. It's annoying and ridiculous.
A billboard rep emailed me the other day with a spiel about how billboards are basically the best kind of advertising in the world. I nicely told her my client's budget didn't allow for us to add any new advertising at this time, but feel free to contact me in 6 months. She replied with more rambling about the brilliance of billboards and proceeded to tell me that my client would likely keep getting terrible return on advertising investment unless I bought billboards from her. That made me a little angry. Instead of saying, "Ok, thank you for your time, I'll reach out in 6 months"... she decided to go the rude and slimy route.
NO WONDER BUSINESS OWNERS DON'T LIKE and DON'T TRUST MARKETING & ADVERTISING PEOPLE!
In my sales and marketing career, I was "brought up" to be a helper, not a seller. And even when management did push for more sales from the team, I never swayed from just being a servant to those who need me. But here's what I see from so many media reps and ad agencies...
False claims, puffery, irrelevant statistics, fear-based selling, more puffery, and they're all sellers - not marketers. Not one of them ever talks about how to make the advertising actually work. (Hint: It's not about the media you choose)
Now, as I'm growing my little marketing company, I still remain the one who just wants to help. I'll help with all things marketing. Most I can do myself, other things I can't. But I can always tell the kind of advertising that can work or not work. Some of my clients just want someone they can trust to handle their marketing. They get bombarded by so many people trying to sell them some form of advertising, they're tired of it. They need me to help them navigate all of it, be an advisor, be their "front person" to deal with all of these people, create their ads, be a director of creative, make sure they're showing up towards the top of Google, find online leads, keep up with their Social Media, etc.
I chose "9 Yards Marketing" as the name of my marketing company because of the "whole 9 yards" story. Here's a quick explanation of where the saying came from...
The bullets for the machine guns used in American combat planes of World War 2 were in chains twenty-seven feet in length. And if a pilot was able to fire all his bullets off at one target, he was said to have given his adversary, 'the full nine yards'.
When it comes to my experience and capabilities, I can give you the whole 9 yards.
When it comes to service and dependability, I want to give you the whole 9 yards.
Here are a few reasons you might need me:
If you find it hard to trust marketing and advertising sellers and companies because of how they treated you in the past... but you know you need to advertise to maintain or grow market share... let's sit down and discuss your situation. You and I could be a very nice fit.
Thank you! Have a groovy day!
9 Yards Marketing
The Trick To SEO is...
There's really no trick. It's doing the things that need to be done to find favor with Google (or other search engines like Bing). Sure there is a list of SEO tasks that need to be done when setting up a website properly to start improving your online rankings, but that's just one part of the puzzle.
The harder part is the content on your website. When creating and writing content for your website, you need to be mindful of the user. Meaning, how will your words, videos, and pictures help your website visitor best understand HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM?
Your content needs to be as original and unique as it can be. Write content from your expert perspective, not by copying some other website. Google rewards websites with higher rankings when it gives the online user a good experience, doesn't confuse them, is clear with the message, and has the best interest of the website visitor in mind.
Think about why someone needs your product or services. Then, write your content with them in mind, not you. All a website visitor cares about is THEM. They want to solve their problem. And they're looking for the business to help them that seems the least risky and most trustworthy and competent. And when the user has a better experience and learns more and visits more pages for longer periods of time on your website... then Google rewards you for that with better rankings. It's just one part of the complicated equation (or Google algorithm).
Take carpet cleaning for example. There are a billion jillion carpet cleaners out there. You can't copy a typical carpet cleaners website and hope that yours will stand out.
What do people need when they're searching for a good carpet cleaner? They need clean carpets, of course. But what else? They want to know they're hiring a company that will do right by them. Remember, they've been burned before by other service businesses. Whether it was an invoice that was a lot higher than the quote they were given or a certain job was not done to their satisfaction. Your potential new customers are skittish. They're careful. They're looking for any reason to back out of your website and find someone new. So, they're also looking for a few good reasons to start trusting you.
Don't be afraid to get out of the box a little with your website content. Be transparent. Be human. People want a human connection. They want to know that you may have the same values as they do.
Minor side-note: Good video is a great way to help your website stand out and be very helpful to visitors.
2 things happen when your website's content is original, human, and helpful:
1) It will start ranking higher in the search engines like Google. Because it is seen as a helpful tool for consumers to find a good product or service to solve their current problem.
2) You'll convert more of those visitors to your website into customers because you've been helpful, honest, human, and not the same-old-same-old. When you talk to a person's felt needs, then you're already 10 steps ahead of the business who only pounds their chest and talks about themselves.
And did you notice I didn't "keyword stuff" the term SEO into this post all over the place? It's because keyword stuffing is just one of those tricks that may have worked 15 or 20 years ago... but doesn't anymore. Google is smart. They're always dialing in on how to reward local websites that seem to provide helpful information and a good user experience.
Should we get started on helping you rise up in the ranks of Google?
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
You want an affordable website... but still a good one, right? One that portrays your business in a good light. One that can start showing up on Page 1 of Google for relevant searches. You'd also like to change and add content without adding extra expense to your "website budget". And you need your website to be mobile-friendly, too. Yours will be. Who can you trust when you're looking for a local and affordable website builder in South Dakota?
Me. Hi, I'm Duane Christensen. I started the one-man marketing company called 9 Yards Marketing. My wife is my partner though. She's so creative. When I need an idea or a second opinion on anything that has to do with design or advertising copy... she always comes through and usually blows my mind with her ideas.
I do all kinds of marketing for local businesses... but I really like helping people not overspend when it comes to websites, SEO, and other online marketing.
I'll build you a website to your satisfaction, but my services don't stop there. I will consistently update and monitor your website. I will add any pictures or content when you get something new you'd like to share. I will post regular updates on your Google My Business page. I will set up your YouTube channel correctly and create videos for you by using pictures, words, music, and other video snippets. I will make sure your SEO is set up properly and help you climb the ranks of Google and other popular search engines.
In today's online world... your website can't just be built and left to sit idle. It needs consistent updating. Google likes to see a website that is active, updated, and being seen. It likes to see that your site is connected to social media accounts like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others.
Your website should be set up so it's easy to navigate and easy on the eyes. It needs to be solve your customers' problems. What are your customers looking for? Will they find the answers on your website? Will they be more confident in you after viewing or reading your website content? If so, you'll start to win the battle of getting more eyeballs on your website, minds thinking about you, and people trusting you.
Some businesses have an old website that needs to be trashed and start from scratch. I've helped those business go from not being found on Google for their desired keywords and phrases, to being ranked on Page 1 and even #1 on Page 1.
Some local businesses don't have a website at all. These are usually smaller businesses that either haven't had the time or budget to have a website built... or they've contacted a few web designers / website builders, but the price is outrageous. Or they didn't feel comfortable with the people. I've helped small businesses finally get a new website and start to get new business coming in because of their new website. And ranking really well... even if they have a lot of competition.
My clients' website successes comes in part because I'm consistently improving their online presence for them. I don't build a website and disappear. I'm in this for you. I want your web rankings to constantly improve, I want your website visitors to stay there longer, and I want you to convert more of your website visitors into actual customers. Did I tell you than I'm in this for you? Yup. I am. When you're happy, I'm happy.
An affordable website is one that doesn't cost something outrageous up front. And you don't have to pay $150 per hour if you ever want any changes. You just pay an affordable monthly fee. Because your "web health" depends on being consistent with website updates (new content), error monitoring, and a consistent social media footprint. And good social media doesn't mean you have to buy any ads. You can if you want, and I can help you with that, but it's not always necessary.
You get a bunch of spam calls all the time from people trying to sell you their expensive SEO package or online advertising, right? Don't buy. The majority are scam artists. The majority do not have your best interests at heart. Plus, they're not local.
I've had clients tell me that they were pitched websites for $5000, $10,000, and even much higher. And even then... that didn't include any changes or updates when you wanted them. There was an extra charge for all of that. And if you wanted social media advice or help setting anything up... that's right... more fees. Then, in 3 or 4 years, when you wanted to totally revamp your website and give it a completely fresh look or design... then they charge you that huge up front fee again. Yuck. Most local businesses can't afford to do that. And they shouldn't have to.
I have clients who thank me all of the time. They say, "I don't know what we would do without you." And it's because I'm like part of their team. Remember... I'm in it for YOU. Even if I don't do any other marketing for them, they'll call me up to get advice on an idea, or ask if I want to have coffee and catch up and talk a little shop.
If you're local business who would benefit by more people finding your business online, my cost is usually around $300 per month. That includes website build, maintenance, changes, SEO, some social media setup, and a few other things.
I obsess over my clients' web rankings, increasing their website visits, and helping them increase their customer base. I started doing this because 99% of the other website design / building options out there for good, local businesses are too expensive, they don't really care about their clients, they're not local, or they're not dependable. Or a combination of a bunch of those. Small business is important. I want to help expand your dream and my dream of independence and entrepreneurship.
Are you ready to get started on your new website?
In many cases, I can have a new site built for you in just a couple weeks. Give me a shout!
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
I worked my tail off on our farm when I was growing up. It taught me to appreciate nature, hard work, and respect. I wouldn't give up all of my farm experiences for anything in the world.
Looking For An Affordable Website Option in Sioux Falls?
What's an affordable website? Especially for a small business. Prices range from "Holy cow, I wouldn't call that affordable" to "That's so cheap, I'm wondering if they're actually any good at it." I've seen $5000 to $10,000 proposed to small businesses. And that's just to build the site. Nothing extra.
I've also seen 99 bucks a year website offers. Those are usually a "build your own" type of thing. And in my experience, most small business owners don't want to take the time to build their website like it should be, or learn about SEO and how to get it optimized properly.
There are also monthly fee options out there. Anywhere from $500 to $999 per month. Do that annual cost calculation quick. Even though the monthly fee might sound good, that's an annual expense that gets a little high for just having a decent website out there.
Don't get me wrong, maybe you have a complicated situation where you'll have to have a complicated website built. But for most small to medium-sized local businesses in the Sioux Falls area, or other smaller communities, that's not the case.
My pricing is pretty straight-forward... and yes, affordable for most. I've built sites for business owners who want a good-looking site, easily navigable for web surfers, and want to rank high on search engines. That's what most want. But I've also built sites for those who really don't need to rank for any certain keywords, it's mainly for members of an association or something. Then, that fee is a little less.
But I also include a whole bunch of extras with my website design and build. Such as social media setup, maybe a few postings for you here and there if you want, consistent updating to your website, and changes that you'd like to see. YouTube is also a big thing. Or video in general. I can create some videos for you using video snippets and photos that either you or I take. Then, I add music, text, and your logo to it. They can be used for increased engagement on your website and social media. It's also a good idea to have some sort of "Intro" video towards the top of your website's home page. And it's all built in to the annual fee that I charge. And yes... it's affordable. ?
Let me know if you'd like to talk. I'm a "down-to-Earth" guy, grew up on a farm, I know the meaning of hard work, have mucho respect for small business owners, respect your time and money, have many years of experience with local marketing and copywriting, and I love to help businesses grow and succeed.
Call, text, or email. Doesn't matter. However you like to communicate best. I even have a few references you can contact (No, not my best friend or my Mom - actual happy clients) if you'd like. You can learn even more by clicking here "Website Design" ...or clicking the website pricing or website samples page. And even more marketing help up above in the Navigation bar, such as Business Videos, Marketing Strategy, SEO, Radio Advertising, Online Advertising, Social Media, or just searching through more of my blog posts here.
Thank you and have a great day!
9 Yards Marketing
What's one of the biggest reasons that advertising doesn't work for local businesses?
Well... because most MEDIA PEOPLE that sell advertising, don't know how to MAKE it work. They just sell the ads and hand off the copy writing task to someone who also doesn't know how to make advertising work. They think it's the Media that matters. But it's not. It's the message.
They don't understand that it's ALL about the message... and striking an emotional chord with people who are exposed to the advertisement. Awareness doesn't mean much. You can advertise until you're blue in the face, but if all you're doing is just making people "aware" of you... how is that helping them choose YOU instead of one of your many competitors? If a print or digital ad mainly just shows your logo and an unmemorable slogan or phrase of some kind, who is that convincing? Nobody. If a radio advertisement just tells people your name, website, phone number, and "for all your blankity blank needs", who is that convincing? Nobody.
Advertising that creates new customers for you isn't because of the place you chose to show the ad... it's because the message meant something and it made people WANT to do business with you. Something you said, stuck with them. And it made them trust you enough to contact you or buy from you... instead of one of your competitors.
There's a big difference between good advertising that creates new customers... and "Awareness" advertising that just looks or sounds pretty.
Not sure how to WORD your ads? Not sure what your main points should be? What to emphasize? How to emphasize it? That's what I'll help you with.
You can't rely on the "shotgun" approach and hope that something sticks. Like when you're buying ads here and there and over yonder... and not sure what the heck is even working. What's your strategy? What's the core of "why choose you?"
Are you going after the low-hanging fruit that only need you today? Are you going after people who only care about getting the lowest price and then a discount on top of that? OR... are you searching for new customers who want to have a trusted local business they can count on... and don't have to have everything on sale? (aren't those the profitable ones?)
Why not advertise to those who need you today, tomorrow, and 6 months from now? If you found a way to brand yourself strategically to those who will need you 3, 5, or 7 months from now... guess which business they're typing into Google when they need your product or services? YOURS. And when they type in your BUSINESS NAME instead of just a product, service, or type of business... then you've just eliminated all of your competition listed on Google.
Don't underestimate the power of branding in advertising. It's gold when it's done right.
What can I do for your business? If you're a local business, I'll help you stop wasting money on media that you don't need... or create better ads, so you actually get a decent ROI from them. There are so many advertisements out there for our eyes and ears that aren't getting noticed or doing the business any good. Wasted dollars. Too much. And little do most businesses know how easy they could reverse that.
If you'd like to discuss a smarter ad campaign that gets you more bang for your buck, reach out and let's set a quick meeting for the very near future. Hope to hear from you soon! Thank you. :)
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
How Much Money Are You Wasting On Your Marketing Efforts?
Of course, there's a saying, "I know half of my advertising works, I just don't know which half." I'd like to help you fix that.
Most of the problem usually, is because there's no solid game plan. There's no strategy behind the money you throw into the wind, hoping that new customers will come back in replace of it.
The cause of that "waste" is because you've been taught that WHERE YOU ADVERTISE matters the most. But the cold, hard, truth is... the people who believe that... just don't get it. They don't know how to make advertising ACTUALLY work. It's not their fault usually. They've just never been told otherwise... or been taught anything of real substance when it comes to achieving advertising results for advertisers.
Oh, sure... there are better places to advertise than others... but the "degree of better" won't be very large if the ideas you're communicating to the public in your advertising isn't hitting any hot buttons. When you advertise, you have to ask yourself if your "target" is going to give a crap about what you're saying to them.
I'd like to help you do a couple of things:
1) Help you create a smart strategy that gives your advertising at least twice the traction it currently has (and probably a heck of a lot more).
2) Help you be more visible to online searchers... and understand what you need to do and all the things you DON'T need to do.
The first one has a lot to do with your strengths, weaknesses, your competition's strengths and weaknesses, and why your current happy customers truly do business with you right now. If you don't have a lot of happy customers, you're in trouble.
The second one can be accomplished through a smarter online marketing plan. I'd like to evaluate your online presence. There are so many things you can do to your website, your online listings, and any online advertising you're doing to trim the fat and make everything a heck of a lot more efficient.
In the end, your marketing simply needs to communicate things that will persuade people to buy from you. Or at least move them closer to buying from you. But what most business owners think is "persuading"... is usually "pushing" or saying things in their marketing and advertising that nobody really cares about. A good marketing person will help modify your marketing to help it say the things that people will react positively to. I'll help you say things in your marketing that moves people closer to doing business with you. And to do that... you have to start with getting them to trust you.
When all you do is say Who you are, where you are, what you sell, and Buy Now... you're going to be very disappointed. It means you're WASTING A LOT OF MONEY ON YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS. Let's change that. And move the needle.
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
A Different Perspective On Website Building - Sioux Falls, SD
This would be stupid and crazy to most website builders:
But that's what I do. That's why the websites I build for small business tend to perform pretty darn well.
We'll call it "Roywi". Return On Your Website Investment. Because if it's not attracting AND converting people into customers, then it's not doing it's job.
Too many times you'll see a "pretty" website that doesn't help convert a looker into a customer. Then, what's the point of it being pretty, right?
I build websites through "marketing eyes". I think about what it's going to take to make an impact with a prospect of yours. And usually, it's all about the words we use and the manner in which we arrange those words. You want a great picture? You can paint a masterpiece with only a few words.
So, let's build you a website that looks great, is easy to navigate for the online lookers, and moves them closer to being one of YOUR customers instead of one of your competitor's.
Let's discuss your situation and I can share some options with you.
I build affordable websites for small businesses.
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
Because you want more business? More customers?
You call up some place to advertise then. You say, "I'd like to run some ads." And a lot of times, you have no idea how the whole process works. Maybe you place a few ads in a shopping news publication, or put some coupons in some mailing pack, or in a local magazine, or on the radio, etc. And I'm not even talking about all of the online advertising options you have. Your choices are overly abundant, which is confusing as hell. Everyone seems to have the answer for you. But they really don't have the answer, do they? They want your money - YOU WANT RESULTS. They get what they want... but you don't. Happens all the time. Then, whatever place you decided to advertise with, you say, "It doesn't work." But they didn't know how to make it work in the first place. They're only trained in how to take your money and place your ads.
Let's go back to the original business problem you have. You want or need more customers. Maybe sales are down. Maybe you have more competition in the area and it seems to be affecting your number of new leads coming in.
When you don't have as many customers as you'd like, it means your business is not anchored in enough MINDS of the people that could be your customers. So, then you should ask, "How do I get in more MINDS?"
This is what true branding accomplishes. And branding isn't about buying "awareness" ads that you may have already tried. It's about having "bonding" ads created and put in front of people on the proper advertising medium.
In my experience, radio is one of the best platforms to do this. Or good video that shows people what you're really about and how you care about doing the right thing. But how do you create "bonding" ads? How do you get people to bond with your company so they think of you first when they need what you sell?
You get them to like and trust you.
And that's not by telling them that you're dependable, quality, and you have a knowledgeable staff to serve their needs. These are the crappy "awareness ads" that don't work. You have to PROVE those things to people - not cram those cliche words down their throat. You have to tell stories, give PROOF that your product is great or service is superior, play to their emotions, and be sincere as possible. As if you're chatting with your best friend.
These kinds of ads are harder to create. But they work far better. Doesn't it make sense that if we put more thought and time and research into your marketing message, that it will actually work better? Of course it does!
Don't just buy some advertising. Buy the means to help you reach your goals. WHAT YOU SAY in your ads matters 10x more (or is it 100x more?) than WHERE you decide to put some advertising.
If you decide to advertise... first, set an annual advertising budget. You have to. This is a process. You'll get far better ROI if you do it consistently. No more of this "shooting from the hip" and hoping you hit something. When you do it right, you'll love it, and you'll do it forever because of the new customers you consistently attract.
Want more help? Need a plan? Just let me know. I'd be happy to. I can handle all of the media buying, talking to the ad reps, strategy development, copywriting, creative work, etc. I've been the advertising salesperson before. I've been the creative guy before. I know what works and what doesn't. You want someone you can trust. Someone who is in it to win it with you. Let's get together and you be the judge on whether we'd be a good fit.
Thanks! Have a groovy day!
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
Online Reviews: Beware
I'd like to think that most consumers are wise enough to be able to sift through your online reviews to know which are fake, sincere, or just some pissy customer who didn't want to pay their bill or something. I'll remain optimistic, but I thought it was worth writing a little bit about.
I have some really great clients. They're good at what they do. Good people. Good employees. But once in a while you'll see a review that doesn't fit. So, I ask them about it.
I've heard some explanations that just go to show that sometimes you can't please people. At all. Ever. Some people don't like to pay full price for anything. Even if it's the service they asked for. Or they are whiny and mommy and daddy gave them everything, and they're not used to not being treated like princes and princesses. Some people just like to complain no matter what. It's in their nature.
Sorry to vent there... but those 24/7 crab-apples are who I stay far away from.
Here are a few examples of why people leave a bad review that's not warranted:
Didn't pay their bill. Now, they're getting calls from the business trying to collect and they feel they're being harassed. Hey... wake up... and pay your bill! Pay for what you received in product or service!
Disgruntled employee. Sometimes you have to let people go. That's business. Not doing your job... you'll probably get asked to go find another place to not do your job. So, then, they'll put a bad review up and usually make up or exaggerate something about the company or owners. Grow up. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. : )
Complainers. You can't satisfy these people. Nobody can. It's not your fault. It's what they do for a living. Too bad for them, it doesn't pay well.
They didn't understand what they were paying for. These people had something in their mind about what they were getting before they purchased a product or service from a business. So, when the job was finished, they say, "No, that's not what we agreed to." But they just weren't listening. They didn't read the estimate. They assumed they were getting something that wasn't agreed upon. The variables are all over the place here, but there was a miscommunication. I would just advise business owners to be very clear in describing what the customer will receive. Put things in writing. Go over it with them and say, "Do you understand?" "Do you approve of this?" Something to that effect. Consumers shouldn't assume things and neither should business owners. Just go over things a second time to make sure. Measure twice, cut once.
Family Members and Friends of the ticked-off reviewer. It really sucks when you get a bad review that's not a truthful picture of how the transaction went down. But sometimes, they'll get their family members and friends to post bad reviews on your behalf, basically making up their own bad stories so Google or Facebook "thinks" it's real. Now, instead of one bad review, you get 8 of them within a week. Boo. Again... grow up, people.
A Competitor. Your competitors aren't all about appreciating good competition. They're out for blood. And sometimes they go down the darker paths of spreading false rumors or giving a bad review as if they were a customer. These people have a special place reserved for them in heaven where they don't get to ever have ice cream again or something. I'd say "Hell"... but that's a bit harsh I suppose. But needless to say, I really don't like these people. If you want to increase sales and take a bigger slice of your market, then how about just running a good business that treats their customers well? Try that.
I suppose there are many more reasons, but I'll stop there. You get the picture.
So, how do you fix a bad review? Sometimes, you can inquire with the Goog and FB people about getting a bogus review taken down. But don't bet on it. Hard to prove. Here's what you do. Give your customers the opportunity to give you good reviews. People are more apt to search you out when they're pissed off. The happy customers are satisfied with everything, and the thought of giving you a good review doesn't even cross their mind. So, you have to remind them. You give them an easy way to give you a review. Whether it's an after sale email with a survey on it and a button to click that takes them to a review spot, or just asking them if they'd mind giving you one as soon as the transaction is complete.
If you want me to help you set up a "Get Reviews" plan... just let me know. I have a cool and pretty easy system that works well.
Yes, you'll also be asking for some bad feedback... but if it IS warranted... that gives you great information on where you need to improve service. On the flip side, if you're a GOOD business who does good work... then you're going to have about 99% happy customers. Even if just a small portion of those give you a review... those good reviews will far outweigh the bad ones.
And this brings me back to hoping that consumers are smart enough to sift through the good and the bad. If they see a heck of a lot more good reviews, you're going to be just fine, even if there are a few weirdly bad ones mixed in there. Just drown out the bad with good.
But that also takes effort on your part as the business owner who gets a bad review here and there. You need to be proactive in harvesting / asking for reviews. It's the world we live in. And bad reviews and bad word of mouth travels faster than ever now.
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
New Website? Check. Great SEO? Check.
I have a client who initially asked, “Why aren’t we closer to the top of Google? We should be.” That was before they were my client. Their past website and Local SEO was handled by a local advertising agency.
They fired the ad agency and hired me. After I built their new website and planned their SEO around the keywords and phrases they wanted to rank for... their rankings started to shift pretty quickly. I think it was mainly because the advertising agency just didn't care. Their website was managed by an employee. Someone just going through the motions (or not even doing that).
My new client moved from approximately #8 (on average for all keywords, to #3 or #4 after about 4 months. After about 2 years they were at #1 for 5 out of their 6 main keywords. And the 6th one tends to teeter back and forth between #1 and #2. It's been a few more years and we're still right there.
They've gone from less than a hundred website clicks per month to around 300. Guess what that does to your business.
If you’d like to know who this local business is... just ask me. I’d be happy to share their journey.
There are really fancy websites that focus 80% on their look and the bells and whistles... and then there are websites that look great, are easy for people to navigate, and are more SEO-focused. Guess which one results in more sales for the local business owner?
And guess which one costs less?
All I care about is getting you a higher web ranking and moving people closer to doing business with YOU. That takes unique web content and extra planning and thought. Not everyone is willing to do that for you.
If you’d like to discuss your new website and website design, give me a holler!
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
Don't settle for an average website. And by average, I mean, one that doesn't do what it's supposed to do.
Example: You used to put an ad in the Yellow Pages. But just because you were in the book, didn't mean that it would automatically work. No. You needed an ad that "sold" people. An ad that motivated people to give you a try before they moved on to your competitor's ad and gave them a try. It's the same with a website. Just because you have one, doesn't mean you automatically get a "slice of the pie".
Your website design needs to be easy on the eyes, be easy to navigate, be visible to search engines like Google, and it has to communicate easily how you'll solve a visitor's problem. It has to illustrate competence in your abilities to solve people's problems. Just because you have some flashy graphics doesn't mean people will become your customer. It takes way more than that.
You need to talk to people on your website like you're in front of them face to face. Don't robotically write what you think you should write on your website. Don't fill your website full of cliches and empty promises. Be sincere and helpful. That's what will help your site convert more lookers into customers. Of course, it should be designed well, but don't just stop there. The content on your site needs to persuade people to do business with you. You never want to give them the chance to "back out" and search for a different business' website.
So, it's more than just looks and SEO... you also need to be mindful of what kinds of things that your website viewers will be seeing, reading, and feeling. Because it doesn't matter if you get everyone in the world to go to your website first... if they don't get what they need once they're there.
Which brings us to "analytics". If you're getting viewers to your site... but they're not buying... what's the point? Don't obsess with digital data. You'll drive yourself insane. Just find someone who knows how to put it all together for you and explain it all in simple terms along the way. Like me. I'll be happy to give you your web building options up front with nothing hiding in the fine print.
I just like to help good, small businesses have a great-looking website that gives you ROYWI. Return On Your Website Investment!
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
No Website? I Have An Affordable Option For You
If you don't have a website, you may feel you're missing out on some business. You'd be right. Being found in search results will gain you some new customers. But you'll also snag more of those prospects that are referred to you... because they'll need some added proof that you are what people say you are. They'll visit your website and gain confidence in your abilities and add to your "trust factor".
What kind of website to I specialize in? Small to medium sized local businesses. Service businesses mostly. The best websites are clean, nice looking, answer questions that potential customers are asking, and are easy for visitors to find what they're looking for.
And you don't need "fanciness". You just need to be clear with who you are and how you help your customers with the problem you solve (or improve their lives). Your website is a marketing tool. And I'm a marketer. I know how to write website copy and create elements that move the customer closer to doing business with you. Because if your website can't help persuade people that hiring you would be a good choice, then you're leaving money on the table.
I've seen what some web builders charge someone like you to create a website. Wow. Way too much. And they build it and they're done. Anything extra you want is an extra charge. There are also people out there who try to sell you cheap websites... but those websites are so limited in what they can do. And the SEO seems to be lacking. Others might guarantee a page one google ranking, but they fail to say that it might not be the ideal keyword that they'll be ranking you for. Or the design elements on those websites are also pretty limited.
Granted, some web developers are perfect for certain website projects. You may be looking for specific elements in your website that takes specific coding and web developer skills. If you're in need of something a bit more complicated, I'm happy to refer you to those specialists. These are the type of people who can handle huge websites. Like for Sanford for example.
But if you're a small to medium-sized local business, I can most likely help. Here are a few examples of websites I've built >> Website Work That I've Done
I've built websites for businesses in Sioux Falls, Salem, Platte, Rapid City, Harrisburg, Burke, and Flandreau, South Dakota. I'd love to help you out with yours. If you don't have a website, I believe you'll love the benefits of having one.
To get started, go to my contact page, and let me know about your situation. Then, I can give you a call to discuss a few things... and then set up a meeting. Looking forward to helping you out!
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD