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Increase Sales with Local Internet Marketing

The early days of local Internet marketing…

When my wife and I first moved to Wenatchee in March of 1999 it was almost like a dream come true. Here we were living in the Apple Capital of the world and one of the sunniest parts of Washington State with over 300 days of sunshine each year.

We loved the weather and smaller town atmosphere. We really enjoyed it and it was an exciting time.  Plus we arrived in the still early days of the web and the local newspaper was just getting its feet wet in the online world.

I recall being the first residential test guinea pig in Wenatchee watching the three GTE techs hooking up the 115K ISDN connection to our home office. They had never done this for a residential customer and it was quite a sight as they took the better part of a day to get the work completed.

Those were the days of expensive banner ads and what I refer to as the wild west. I vividly remember discussing a potential banner buy with an account executive at Double Click. This was at the peak of the bubble, right before it burst and prices were sky high and just plain ridiculous. 

Local Internet Marketing in Wenatchee

I operated and worked from a home office, taking calls and emails from around the globe. The fax machine was still in use at that time and it wasn’t uncommon to come home to a pile of paper having to do with orders, questions and operations. This was during the Internet boom and our business was booming and cruising along. 

We found needs in the market and we filled them. Simple but true.

So all this leads to one question: As a small business owner in Wenatchee and Central Washington, how do you increase sales with local Internet marketing and market your business on the web and actually make it work?

There are Two Sides to this Web Coin:

Side A: If your business is located anywhere in Central Washington like Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Chelan, Cashmere, Plain or anywhere in between, and you have a product or service that isn’t restricted to being local, then you must seriously consider testing a ‘regional’ local Internet marketing strategy when it comes to your marketing on the web. 

Side B: If your business is really focused on the local or regional community in Central Washington, then a local web strategy will probably fit you better. Why – because you need local business, not business from outside the region. Local means people that are only going to shop and spend their money with a business that resides in their local area like Wenatchee or Cashmere.

With all that said, I can relate to both sides of this coin due to years of experience, testing, failing, succeeding and doing both sides from Wenatchee.

The bottom line is that if you want to increase sales with local Internet marketing and stay up with the ever expanding web, then you’ll need an Internet marketing strategy that is designed for your business. Not a cookie cutter approach. It may be a local internet marketing strategy and it may be a boader strategy. Either way, you need to target your market and focus versus throwing the wide net.

To your web marketing success,

 Dave Krygier

PS – Should you get stuck in the mire of web workings and require some assistance to make your way to safe ground, give the Small Business Mechanics a jingle. They have the tools and experience to help your business plus you may even see a bonus or two…

How Do I Increase My Sales – Offline to Online Anniversary Post

How do I increase my sales but lower my advertising costs the small business owner asks the man sitting across the table. The man simply states that in order to increase his sales the small business owner needs to change the way he thinks.

Well this is much easier said than done for most business owners and managers as they are shuffling their way through daily grind of small business.

Clickandmortarblog.com Offline to Online Marketing Anniversary Post
Have you been thinking inside the box too much lately?

When I first started to write on this blog in February of 2010 I was in search of ways to help offline small businesses get online and develop ways to attract, capture and convert prospects into customers utilizing online resources.

It was quite the search and ultimately I put together the pieces to be able to provide small business owners ways to connect their offline marketing with the online world and visa versa.

Why would a small business owner continue to struggle and pay countless thousands of dollars per month and year only to find that the marketing and advertising is not working?

Fear of loss of business? Not knowing other ways to create new business?

A little of both? Probably.

In a recent conversation with a business owner he mentioned that his agency didn’t know the difference between marketing and advertising. I mean this came as quite a shock considering the thousands of dollars this man had invested with this advertising company.

The confusion that is spread across the land of small business is so vast that it amazes me that most small business owners are able to make a profit.

So where does this lead us today when we broach the topic of Offline to Online Marketing? How does a small business owner with a limited budget and resources really do both?

This is the question we must face and answer plus we need to ask these Five Tough Questions:

  1. Is the Offline Marketing and/or Advertising really working and has it been tested?
  2. Is the Online Marketing and/or Advertising working and has it been tested?
  3. Is there a mix of both that has tested and proven to bring in new business?
  4. Is the Marketing and/or Advertising showing ROI?
  5. Is there marketing in place to connect and keep current customers in your world?

It still surprises me as to the number of small business owners who don’t test their advertising. Yet they continue to spend and spend and spend, even when they don’t really know if it’s working!

The Online World has Changed

In the past four years the online world has changed dramatically with the uprising of local, social and mobile channels.

Local Search Optimization and Marketing has had a big impact on small businesses that rely on the local community for traffic and sales. From maps listings to directories to reviews and more. It’s an ever-changing landscape that can be red one day and then green the next.

Social Media Channels such as Facebook, Pinterest and Linked In are impacting small business in ways not even on the radar back in 2000. Mobile Technology and Search has been the biggest shift that I have seen since 2009.

More and more business people and consumers are using mobile web enabled devices and replacing their traditional desktop and laptop computers.

It’s like the wild, wild, west when it comes to mobile and the changes coming so frequently that it’s virtually impossible to keep up unless you are plugged and tuned in daily.  So the next time someone asks you or you ask someone else, how do I increase my sales but lower my advertising costs, know that there is hope right around the corner. There is hope and our friends at Small Biz Mechanix are paving the way to help small businesses connect the offline to the online world.

Stay close and stay tuned as there are plenty of updates on the way.

To your small business success,

Dave Krygier

Local Marketing – Will Your Business Survive?

Local Marketing is today’s topic here at Click and Mortar Blog headquarters. And when I say local, I mean local as in 1 to 50 miles of your location.

The web has forever changed the landscape how we as small business owners market to our prospects and customers. This landscape is further changed as more and more small businesses struggle to figure out how to integrate their offline efforts with online channels.

Add to the confusion the rapid growing mobile and video sectors and media sales people yelling, “we’ve got what you need and you need to buy from us” and you have one big info overload headache coming on.

With all the changes coming down the pike, it’s really amazing that anyone can keep up. For a local business owner, manager or even hired gun like a business consultant, you need to be on top of all this stuff and if you’re not then your business’ reputation might be suffering.

Not only are we needing to embrace the weavers of the web, but we also have to be really concerned with our reputations, because the consumer now has the power to praise or persecute.

It’s no longer just the better business bureau but now citation sites and reviews are becoming the norm with Google + Local, Yahoo and Bing filling in the gaps really fast.

Much harder it is today for businesses to get away with lousy service and quality issues because their mishaps, shortcomings, oversights and lack of attention to the customer will forever be shown for all to see.

So you can hopefully see how important it is to have a solid foundation in your business and this way your reputation won’t haunt you.

With all that said, let’s talk turkey and get down to the bottom of all this.

Local marketing is no longer just offline media as in newspaper, radio, television, direct mail and billboards. Local marketing has merged both offline and online channels which means you as the business owner need to narrow your focus and engage your target market.

Engaging your target market means that your efforts need to be more focused than ever before with an eye out for what people are saying about you.

This brings me to the topic of reputation.

If your reputation stinks, then you are going to have a tough time growing your small business and all the local marketing you can do will be like swimming up river. No longer can you leave a customer hanging or in a lurch as citation and reviews have become the norm, allowing the consumer(and business) control over what they really think about your business.

If on the other hand your reputation is good to great, then you’re off to the races. Because all you need to do is maintain, monitor and continue to grow by using positive reviews to boost awareness and increase traffic.

So what can you do about it?

1. First work on your foundation. Get all the cracks fixed, leaks plugged and foundation in solid shape. Do whatever it takes to make your small business’ foundation a solid structure that can support your sales and local marketing efforts.  This means from the person answering the phone, to those that answer email and deal with live customers, patients and clients, it’s very important that a positive, uplifting message is left for all.

2. Set up a system for capturing customer reviews. In some cases you might direct people to Google. In others you might direct them to Yelp, Kudzu, Insiderpages or a specialty site that pertains to your industry. No matter how you do this, it’s important to continually work on getting positive reviews and if a bad review ever shows up you can deal with it immediately.

So build a solid foundation and then engage the people who come across your doorstep. Treat people right and the reviews they leave you will help build and reinforce your existing foundation. 

Until next time.

Dave Krygier




Local Marketing and the Future of Your Small Business

I recently attended a conference that was focused on all things that had to do with Local Marketing and the web as we know it right now, and what’s to come in the near future. It was three days of speakers, videos and PowerPoint presentations along with lots of networking. Which was worth the trip alone…hint, hint, hint.

Of all the topics that were presented, three hit home with me and today I am going to share with you one of those three. It was titled ‘Local Social’ and it is what local marketers will either embrace or be left in a ghost town.

Local marketing and the ability to utilize the web have come light years in the last ten years. I wonder what it would have been like at The Tiny Store to have such awesome tools  and avenues to develop and grow business? We’ll never know or maybe we will…

Web two point oh is now evolving to another level and engaging the searcher like never before. You probably already know this but I’m going to dig in and cover it anyway.

Search engines are starting to embrace the patterns and behaviors of us humans, aka the searcher. Combine this with the social media element and you have a very interesting chemistry that brings forth a new way of doing business.

This also brings even more to the surface as we become inundated with more and more information.

Thus the ‘Local Social’ comes into play and as we meld the search engine with social sites and other citation/review sites. Now it’s a little more complex than that but hopefully you get the picture.

It’s a new day for the offline small business that relies on the local folk for their livelihood!

So if you run and operate a small business that relies on the surrounding local community, then listen up and pay attention for a few more minutes, because this is serious stuff!

1. If you desire to attract and capture new searchers and visitors – you need to develop as many positive testimonials and citations (reviews) as possible.

2. You need to make sure you are listed on ALL of the local directories.

3. You must take action now and not delay another day!

Why you ask?

Because the race is on and the small business owner does the work and works the plan will be the one who rises to the top and dominates in his or her local marketplace. Yes, that’s the way it’s going to be moving forward. But now the small business can go head to head with the big national box and can stay out in front and win!

Guerilla tactics are us! (Thank you Jay Conrad Levinson)

Now there is more to these steps, if you are curious to find out – check in at SBM and see if the “Local Social Plan” for Small Business Owners is still available. Depending on when you read this, it may or may not be still on the market.

So waste not any time my faithful reader. Take action now and go make it happen.

Stay tuned and plugged in,

Dave Krygier

Offline to Online Marketing

In today’s post I’m diving into the topic of what I call Combination Marketing. So if you are involved in a small business that has been using traditional media and you desire to jump online and combine the two, this might be just what you need.

Combo Marketing is a mix of using online and offline marketing methods to attract and reach your target market.

If this is new to you then let me give you a brief example:

Let’s say you own and operate a small restaurant that currently uses direct mail but also has a simple website with menu, about us and contact info.

You would simply start using your website and a social media site like Facebook to get started. Once you are ready to go you would place specific response mechanisms on your direct mail pieces that direct people to your website or Facebook.

Once the searcher clicks and takes action, you end up with a new reservation, a take out order, an inquiry, a new subscriber or a phone call.

This is a simple explanation and one of many roads that you can take, but it gives you the basic idea of offline to online marketing.

But even though combo marketing allows you the small business owner to possibly get more traction and results faster, you still need to pick your battles and focus, especially if you are on a limited or restricted budget.

Here are a few of many different strategies that you might consider using when implementing offline to online marketing:

Strategy #1
One of the strategies I like is to use a Dedicated URL that is short and relates to your business, products or services. URLs have become so inexpensive that for as little as $10 a year (and sometimes less), you can test a URL to see if it pulls and has any weight. This simple test will show you if it pays to expand and put more money behind the URL.

I also recommend that you combine this URL with one offline channel at a time, like a direct response postcard or classified ad.

If you want to take it a step further and dig down one more level, create a separate landing page for each and every ad or promotion that you create.  This allows you to create and track individual pages to see which ones are performing and which ones aren’t.

Strategy #2
The second strategy is what I refer to as the ‘Mobilizer Campaign’ and it’s whole purpose is to drive traffic and leads through a mobile website. The idea being that mobile users will search and arrive at your mobile site that directs them to specific pages that you have created for them to see and take action. These pages are response driven and need to have incentives and reasons for the searcher to click and take action.

For more information about these and other offline to online marketing strategies, along with the ‘BITS Program’, contact The SmallBiz Mechanic and get started today.

Dave Krygier


Local Search Marketing

This post is focused on the search side of local Internet marketing and I want to start out making sure you understand the difference between the two. Local search marketing is really focused on the search side of the equation – both paid and organic. The key here is to be visible to your searcher when they come looking for you on their desktop pc, tablet or mobile device.

Local Internet Marketing is the entire package that includes paid advertising, PR (news and press releases), social media, organic search, email marketing, and anything else the web can do to help your business.

If you are like most business owners I’ve come across, all they want to do is sell their product or service and if the Internet can help them do that in some way, shape or form – then make it so!

For many small business owners the Internet (especially local search marketing) really seems to finally be catching on. This is especially the case for those enterprises that realize how important the web has become to people who are searching for local goods, services and information.

If you have chosen to market your product or service locally to people in Spokane, Spokane Valley or in Posts Falls and Coeur d’ Alene, then putting some time into local search marketing will increase your visibility and allow more searchers to find you.

If on the other hand you have a desire to make your gadget, widget or info available to anyone, anywhere, anytime – then you’ll need to take a different road and use a much more broad ‘SEO for business’ plan. More on this in a future post.

Ok – let’s get back to local search and how this can help your small business.

There are three different channels to market to and you need to determine which ones are most important to you and your business. I have listed them out by order of importance based on a retail/service operation that relies on foot and phone traffic to keep the doors open.

Channel#1 Is the Local Community (like Spokane or Spokane Valley), so focus on this channel first and work on driving as much traffic as you can handle to your location and phones. As of this writing this is primarily done through Google, Yahoo and Bing. So make sure your listings are current and all pertinent info is accurate with active links. Note: email and social media are important and I’ll dig into this later so you can see how these two interact with your local search marketing plan.

Channel #2 Is the Tourist and Visitor. If your business is more reliant on this channel then we bump it to the first slot and focus more on attracting people to your company through local, regional and targeted search. You can also use third party sites to gain more visibility so always consider what sites you can link to and which ones will link back to you. Note: Think like a tourist when developing this channel. How do you search when you travel?

Channel #3 Is the Regional Community which shops, visits family and may utilize medical facilities and other companies to service vehicles, electronics, appliances and more. This channel is one that you need to think out side the box and network as much as possible to gain additional links to the web pages and social media sites.

Remember, the search engines, directories and social media sites create the visibility so searchers can find you. So basically you have to list your business in directories that show up in the search engines and also optimize pages on your website, so these rank for certain keywords and key phrases. Add Google + Local, Maps, Phone Links and Video to the mix and your local search marketing will come together.

As always keep it simple, stay focused, be persistent and keep in touch with the SmallBiz Mechanic if you get stuck or need help.

Dave Krygier



Local Internet Marketing & List Building

I’ll never forget the day when a colleague mentioned to me that Google was going local. I had been struggling for more than five years to geo target in our region but continued to get people from Australia, The Netherlands, California and even Antarctica coming our way.

Our presence on the search engines at the time was rock solid but boy to get more local exposure was like pulling teeth without a dentist.

I mean The Tiny Store had Microsoftees, Boeingites and the local teckie crowd crossing our doorstep and this continued to grow, but I still continued to search for ways to bring more local searchers our direction.

We did just about everything you could think of offline and online to attract new business, and this was why we were so successful during that time of economic ups and downs.

We stayed consistent. We experimented. We succeeded and we failed. But in the long run, it all worked out and our list of clients grew year after year.

This leads me to you and your business – local Internet marketing and your list.

You as a local merchant or service provider can maximize your ROI by focusing on developing and cultivating your own list of subscribers and clients.

Local Internet Marketing can bring exposure and make you visible to more people in your region versus those that are in areas you don’t service or care to sell to. So all that energy and time that you put into local Internet marketing can bring a solid return, if you develop a list of subscribers and clients.

List building is where the ROI is. Your list doesn’t have to be huge in order to see ROI. It could be relatively small but your conversion could be really high depending on how you position your offers. The great thing about building a list of local subscribers and clients is that you can utilize both email and direct mail to better connect, grow and test your way to success.

So all that money you put into local internet marketing through pay per click, directories, search engine optimization and Google + Local will pay off if you capture new leads and bring them into your world.

How do you do this?

Simple – place a lead capture(opt in) form on each and every page of your web site and use an email auto responder to do the heavy lifting.

Next – setup a separate URL and use this for tracking any leads developed through direct response marketing.

Lastly – develop a simple email campaign with a mix of messages that deliver great content   along with the occasional sales letter, page or video.

Remember – keep it simple. Stay within your budget and always test, test, test.

To your local marketing success,

Dave Krygier




Local Internet Marketing – Connecting the Dots

When it comes to local Internet marketing you really need to connect the dots if you are going to be visible and gain exposure in your local community.

Over the years I’ve seen so many businesses guess with their marketing like they are throwing darts at a dart board. I don’t want to seem like I’m beating a dead horse but guessing with your marketing in this day and age of the Internet is like traveling across a country without a map.

Local Internet Marketing for a small business has expanded and grown so much in the last  five years that the possibilities for visibility and connection are extremely high, if you take the time to do the work and put the puzzle together.

When it comes to local Internet marketing you as a small business owner have more online tools available to you today than ever before. Tools like local directories, maps, links to phone numbers, google places, email marketing, social media and the good ole’ search engine organic listings.

If you happen to live close or in my neck of the woods, Eastern Washington or Northern Idaho, then you already know that small business is a big part of the many local communities that comprise this region. But one thing to consider is that local web-based marketing in a town like Spokane, Washington might be a bit different than say Sandpoint, Idaho.

This leads me to how you can connect the dots and develop a local Internet marketing strategy for your small business.

Basically what you need to do is come up with a plan that works specifically for your small business, not some cookie cutter formula that is mass produced like fast food.

Your strategy for local Internet marketing should be designed and customized to fit your business needs. Why – because all that matters is your business and ROI.

Remember, it’s all about keeping it simple, clear and concise, not complicated and confusing.

The Three Main Components (or pillars if you prefer) to local Internet marketing include local search optimization, email marketing and social media, but not all three are a fit for every small business. So what you need to carefully consider is which one of the three will be the most important and bring you the most ROI as soon as possible.

Then once you have determined this you can move onto the next most important component and then finally tackle the third one. This way you don’t get overwhelmed and  inundated with too much information and not enough results.

With certain strategies all three work well together. In other cases you might only use one or two.

Let’s look at the options you have available to you and your business:

1. Local Search Marketing includes organic and pay per click, directories, maps, places, phone links, videos and anything to do with the search engine. Remember visibility is key, so make sure to cover all the bases.

2. Email Marketing includes capturing leads and cultivating relationships with subscribers and existing clients. This is done through links and forms on your website pages, on your blog, in advertisements, articles and social media sites.

3. Social Media Marketing is currently one of the easiest and best ways to become visible to your local market but you’ll need to research and determine which channel is best for your business. Because not all social media sites are the same, you might find some that can help you achieve better rankings and faster ROI than others.

Ok – so that ends today’s commentary on local internet marketing. Stay tuned for part two in this series where I’ll dig further into email and combo marketing and how you can take advantage of the two together.

Dave Krygier

Secrets of the Tiny Store