Yellow Pages Is Moving Away From Advertising Local Business, Starting to Target Nationwide Business

The people that run the different yellow pages companies are not stupid. They know their business model is dying and going obsolete. So it looks like they’re starting to do something about it.

Mike Blumenthal had some interesting stats today showing that the print, local yellow pages book is starting to have more big, nationwide businesses advertising than local, small businesses.

The yellow pages is probably thinking that small businesses can’t afford to advertise in their print book without making money off the advertising, but big, nationwide companies just want the exposure. They don’t care so much about increased phone calls. They care more about brand awareness and it’s another place to advertise and be visible.

It’s a novel idea, to sprinkle the whole country with the same phone book with all these big companies in it. The problem remains that a very small amount of people still use the phone book.

I still predict the yellow pages to go the way of the dinosaurs. But at least this move has the potential to slow down their demise.

Read More

Yellow Page Directories Are Obsolete

For anyone who cares, Super Media and Dex are two of the biggest directory companies in the country. But both are in bankruptcy hoping to save their businesses by forming a merger.

It won’t help them. Why? Because their advertisers aren’t making money off their phone book advertising. There’s not enough people that still read the phone book. And if the directories charged any less money, they would have no profit.

And people don’t go to Google and type in “super pages” or “yellow pages”. They just go to Google and type whatever it is they’re looking for.

The yellow pages are just like CD’s. People used to make boatloads of money. But that time is passed. They would be better off abandoning everything they’re doing and using the money they have to start over doing brand new stuff.

Read More

The True Impact Of What Reviews Can Do For Small Business

I just read a report from Nielsen saying that online reviews by both professional critics and consumers is more trusted than any other form of internet advertising.

For more evidence on why online reviews are important, I wrote a piece back in June of 2011 on Pew Research’s discovery that 58% of people who have never done business with you before will Google your company name to see if there’s any red flags out there before pulling the trigger and deciding to give you their money.

So what’s my main point? If you’re spending money marketing your business online, advertising your company name and phone # to people who have never heard about you before, they’re going to be very likely to go to Google and type in your company name. And if you have good reviews they’ll be more likely to do business. But if there are bad reviews out there, they’re going to be a lot, a lot, a lot less likely to do business.

For most small businesses nowadays, they don’t invest in reputation management and make an effort to get their customers to leave positive reviews because most of those companies don’t have any reviews out in circulation. 99% of the people that call me looking for help, it’s because they have a negative review, they feel pain, now they want to do something about it.

I know money is tight for everyone but if you’re already spending money online to advertise your business, it’s going to suck for you if you’re advertising to people that you’re a company that has bad reviews. That’s all I’m saying.

Read More

People Who Say They Can Get You On The 1st Page Of Google Guaranteed With SEO Are Lying

Search Engine Optimization is The New Pyramid Scheme.

I am so sick and tired of search engine optimization. Mostly because I’m sick of clients coming to me saying that someone solicited their business and told them all these wonderful tales that if they do x, y, and z, they’ll be on the first page of Google for sure without having to pay for any of the clicks. Below is an email that a client sent to me this afternoon:

———————————————

Hi,

My name is Deborah and I am an Online Marketing Representative.
 

The reason for my email is I have come across your site  and decided to run an analysis on your competition and your current search rankings. I also tried to look for your business on various social media sites and really couldn’t find much else about you.

Over the last 12 months GOOGLE has placed so much importance on Content Creation & Social Media Performance that if your business isn’t creating valuable content or even visible across social media platforms you have basically no chance of being seen on any search engine for keywords your customers are using to find businesses like you.

With a solid plan and strategy I honestly believe I can help get your website ranking higher on GOOGLE and getting customers to interact with your business on Social Media to really build your brand.
 
Can I call you and run some ideas I have to help your business grow? 

———————————————–

Let Me break this down:

There is no such thing as a blueprint to have success in search engine optimization. If you apply the same practuces to 10 websites, you will have at least half of them fail to get on the 1st page. At least. Probably more than half will fail. Deborah is making guesses and selling them as a guaranteed result.

Google makes sure that there’s no one size fits all approach to getting any one website on the 1st page. Google is in the business of making money and they make ranking on the 1st page difficult because they want you to pay for website visitors. They don’t want you to get all these clicks for free.

Small businesses don’t need their brand built by social media. They need new customers and increased sales. Period. Next.

All this search engine gobbledygook to small businesses is a pure waste of time. It’s been proven over and over by companies like mine at Customwave and others, that the best approach is to pay Google to be on the 1st page. Then skip over this whole giant “getting on the 1st page of Google without paying for clicks” mess.

You skip that whole entire thing and move onto more important steps like, are the website visitors converting into phone calls and sales leads. Are the phone calls equaling new customers? Do I need to target different keywords to get better quality sales leads? Those are the things a small business needs to concentrate on.

But someone like Deborah won’t talk about making sure that the website traffic or “social media” presence turns into phone calls. Or if the phone calls will equal new customers. She only talks about getting you on Google. Why? Because I bet most of the time, she never gets to the phone call part. Probably because she can’t even deliver on getting someone on the 1st page of Google.

And if you’ve already seen my client on the 1st page of Google, than I have obviously already done something that you can only claim you can do.

I’m so sick of people like Deborah because they get my client’s hopes up and then waste my time because I have to bring the client back to reality and inform them that people like Deborah are a fraud and scam.

I wish these people would just go away back to the pyramid scheme they came from.

Read More

Google’s Stock Price Hits $800 A Share. Facebook’s Stock Price Is $29 A Share.

There should be no question now on who the real internet juggernaut is.

Google shares are at an all time high for 3 reasons: It has the biggest marketing network on the internet by monstrous proportions. The rise of internet-connected TV’s which will increase the amount of searches. And the 600 millions smartphones that are out there in the world running free Android software, which creates advertising opportunities to Google.

Facebook on the other hand, is still trying to climb it’s way back up to what the $38 a share price it had at it’s IPO.

The stock prices are a clear indicator that investors believe Google is here to stay, whereas Facebook’s business model and viability as a marketing company is in question. Any talk of Facebook being in the same league as Google is foolish.

Read More

NY Times Gets Innovative With Their Online Advertising

The New York Times recently has come out with a new platform for it’s online advertisers that has a few people buzzing. The way it works, is that if a story from it’s website is trending on Twitter, that’s where your ad would pop up. Only on trending stories.

The problem though is that display advertising is display advertising is display advertising. Whether it’s on Facebook, nytimes.com, or joesrandomthoughts.com. If a company generates 100 clicks from a story that’s trending on Twitter, those 100 clicks are not going to have any more value than 100 clicks from any other website.

If people purposefully went to the nytimes.com to look for something locally like people do on Google, that’d be different. Then those clicks would be worth a little more. But with display advertising, they’re spontaneous clicks. People clicking and looking at some company’s website they weren’t planning on looking. The ad made them curious and on the spur of the moment, they clicked. It doesn’t really matter what website they did the clicking on.

If I were the New York Times, I’d focus on figuring out ways to increase online website traffic as much as possible. Because more website visitors will drive the cost of the clicks down. If they can lower the cost of the click to below what the competition charges, now then there’s something valuable they can offer advertisers that other publishers can’t.

With display advertising, it’s all about the cost of the clicks and making sure those clicks are taking place in a relevant geo-targeted area. That’s it.

Read More

No Steve Jobs = No More iPhone Dominance, Possibly No More Apple Dominance

I came across an article that has new data from a research company called Gartner that shows Apple has is being decimated by Android in the smartphone market.

Smartphone-Sales-to-End-Users-Feb-2013-GartnerObviously, the numbers that stick out are the ones showing the gigantic increase the Android has picked up in market share the last year.

Apple stock has been going down lately for a reason. Tim Cook is a solid CEO. A solid operations guy and leader within Apple. But he doesn’t capture the imagination or attention from people the same way Steve Jobs did. And he hasn’t proven that he can be a visionary and produce the next great product.

Apple’s top problem is not that they don’t produce great products. They do. The problem is just that the competition has caught up. And Apple is forever without the guy that lead them to such dominance in the first place. It’ll be interesting to see if sales start to decline in their other top products.

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Dish Network Chairman Admits “Cord Cutting” Is Real

Ask yourself this question: How many channels are there on my TV that i never watch? Probably lots. Probably hundreds. And guess what? You’re paying for all those channels you never watch in your dish or cable bundle.

For those new to the conversation, “cord cutting” is the term industry wonks like me have put on the process of consumers canceling their dish TV or cable TV and watching their TV content off the internet.

And it will happen once the majority of Americans learn to connect their TV to the internet and companies start offering channels “a la carte”. Pay only for the channels you want to watch.

So cord cutting would obviously be a big deal to dish and cable companies putting their business models in real peril similar to the record music industry. All of the heavy hitters in the industry thus far have been defiant saying cord cutting is exaggerated and won’t happen. People are set in their ways. They’re used to paying for TV and paying for a whole bunch of channels they never watch. Right. Just like people were used to paying for music CD’s. Just like people were used to paying for newspapers.

Then out of nowhere Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen of Dish Network has broken from the rest of the dish and cable industry in finally admitting that “cord cutting” is real. Interesting. Why all of a sudden publicly admit what you have previously denied?

My guess is that he realizes that if his company continues to bury it’s head in the sand, they’ll go extinct. The dish companies and cable companies need to reinvent themselves.

 

Read More

Most Local Florists Are Leaving Money On The Table

It’s like this in almost every small business industry. There’s only so much supply of internet marketers and way too much demand of all the millions and millions of small businesses that need help in just the most basic internet marketing needs.

I read an infographic by vsplash that showed that despite the rough economy, valentine’s day brings in billions of dollars of business. But unfortunately the small business local florists are leaving money on the table by not being found on the first page of Google, making it difficult for potential customers looking for florists in the local area.

The research shows that 45% of florists websites don’t have an address on their website, an astounding 40% don’t have a local phone #, and a ghastly 90% don’t have at least one photo gallery showing on their flowers! Unbelievable!!

There are many, many more industries in the small business community hurting and really needing help marketing themselves online. This, along with people more and more using their TV with the internet, is why most Wall St. and business analysts predict that the internet marketing industry is going to be seeing rapid growth in the next 5-10 years.

Read More

Video Ads On Facebook The Solution For Advertisers?

The short answer: Nope. All Facebook is doing here is putting lipstick on a pig.

I’ve said this many times. Facebook’s problem is that it’s website is not a destination for where people go when they’re looking for things. Google is one of them. Even yellowpages.com is one of them.

Facebook’s main problem is that the clicks cost way too much money. People advertise on Facebook paying for the clicks because they’re told they need to. That Facebook is the next big thing. But the clicks to calls conversion is too low for advertisers to make money.

In reality, Facebook is no different than any other display advertising network that charges $0.05 for a click when Facebook charges $1.00. Google can get away with charging $2.00 to as high as $10.00 a click because the clicks to calls conversion rate is way higher. Why? Because people purposefully go to Google to get something done. People click on the Facebook ads out of happenstance.

Now Facebook wants to bring video in the mix thinking that this may be the next big thing, but the same problem remains. People will watch the video and may click the ad out of curiousity, but it doesn’t mean they have a need for what the advertiser is selling.

If you’re a small business, don’t give your money to Facebook. Please. Let the bigger companies figure out how to use Facebook to increase sales. You might as well flush your money down the toilet! At least using the toilet won’t waste your time like Facebook will.

Read More