Local Business Search Marketing

All too often, I talk to small businesses that are trying to target their local market and want to do search engine optimization.  They try to target high volume search terms such as ‘lawn care’ or ‘electricians’.  If you are trying to reach your local area through online marketing, there are some simple things that you can do to greatly improve your results…

Google Analytics: Using Goals and Events

Google Analytics is a great free tool for tracking valuable metrics on your website.  It has a bunch of standard reports that can tell you how many visitors come to your site, where they came from, what browser they use, what pages they visited, what your most popular pages are, and what keywords are driving the most traffic, just to name a few.   Today, I want to help you make use of two important features of this analytics tool: goals and events.

The Use of Forms on Landing Pages

Three factors that influence form completion on landing pages:

  • Form Length – One of the major deterrents to completing a transaction online is a form that is overwhelmingly long. If you can’t see all the required fields in one screen, it is definitely too long. Businesses will often ask the sales team what information they want from new leads, and the sales team will send back a wish list. Brutally edit your list of required information down to only what is absolutely necessary.
  • Information Requested – Avoid requesting inappropriately personal information or confusing potential clients with requests for technical information. If someone wants to signup for your e-mail list, do you really need their birth date? Unless you are explicitly advertising your free birthday giveaway, the answer is probably no. If you are soliciting quotes for stump grinding, don’t expect the customer to go out in the yard and count all their stumps and measure them. Just ask for their phone number and address and call them to set up an appointment.
  • Handling of Long Forms – Sometimes it is necessary to collect a lot of information from a customer. Usually, this is only for higher priced items or specialized services where the provider is not local. Take, for example, ordering a customized luxury vehicle from a dealership and having it shipped to your local area. It is best to break down long forms into smaller pieces. Again, the idea is to try and fit all the fields on one screen if at all possible. Typically it is a good strategy to have a very short form that leads to one or more longer forms. This allows potential clients to enter the process gradually and without being overwhelmed. Be sure and let the user know what stage of the process they are in as they progress!