Why People Don’t Use the Yellow Pages Anymore

With most local business searches happening online through local search engines and local search directories, local search marketing and local search advertising are more important than ever. A huge part of local search optimization is the local search directory.There are now 100’s of places online to find local businesses, so knowing the best local directories for local search and how to submit to and get listed with all of these local search engines and directories is extremely important to today’s businesses. More and more people are using their cell phones and computers to find their local businesses. The big advantages to this over the yellow pages are the social reviews, more information, and quicker results.

Without a doubt Local Search will eventually replace the yellow pages. You can find the entire white and yellow pages online already. AT&T is beginning to eliminate their database of names and businesses and not even put them into their yellow pages anymore. They know that 86%+ (and growing) of people search the internet for local businesses today.

So, if you are a business still paying for advertising each year for your yellow pages ad, I would recommend shifting some of that money towards Local Search Optimization. There is just so much more bang for your buck today online. The cost to do local search pales in comparison to paying for offline medias, like the Yellow Pages. I’m not saying to stop advertising in the Yellow Pages altogether because some businesses still get clients from it, but that well is going to dry up FAST!! In order to flourish in this ultra competitive world of business, you need to be ahead of the curve and stay there…

Local Search is the future of searches on the internet and this has become even more evident because Google just a few weeks ago is making searches come up with more local results including the local business results and Google Maps. The other major search engines will shortly follow the same guidelines. It won’t be long until it becomes one of the only ways people are using to find their local businesses. This is where Local Search strategies help businesses to get noticed.

The businesses that take advantage of Local SEO before others will have a major competitive advantage. Businesses that don’t get online and optimize correctly can be missing out on a huge profit margin of the cheap cost to be on Local Searches.

Graig Presti Shows 13 Ways To Get More customer Online Reviews

Hello, I’m Graig Presti and I don’t usually do this, but let’s get theoretical for just a second:

Every satisfied customer of yours should bring you more customers, right?  The ideal is for word-of-mouth to do all the work—for your happy customers to refer their friends and family to you, who in turn become customers.

But what if you’re not quite at that stage?  No internal refer system that is set up, no follow up with existing customers that get’s them to pay, stay and refer. That’s when the next-best thing needs to happen: for every happy customer to influence potential customers.

More specifically, short of having your customers actually deliver more customers to your door, the best thing is for your current customers to sway potential ones by writing great reviews of your business.

You work your tail off to do a super job.  Sure, that’s its own reward, because you get paid and your customers get what they wanted.  Everybody’s happy.  But is that the only reward you get?  Or do you also get at least a little public recognition for every great job you and your staff do?

Without online reviews, it’s harder for people to conclude that they should pick you over your competitors.  Plus without reviews you’re far less likely to outrank your competitors in Google.

The bottom line is you need to ask each and every happy customer for a online review.  But how?

This is where even the smartest business owners—the ones who know how important online reviews are to potential customers—often get stuck.  They’re not sure how to ask customers or how to show them what to do, so the reviews simply never happen.

Fortunately, you’ve got options.  13 of them.

I know of 13 ways you can get reviews—reviews that customers either write directly on your Google Places page (AKA “Google reviews”) or write through third-party sites (like Yelp and CitySearch).

It doesn’t matter how much time you have, or how many customers you have, or how computer-savvy they are.  At least some of these methods will work for you.

Here are your 13 ways to get online reviews (not ranked in any particular order):

  1. Organic method—making sure your business is listed on as many third-party sites as possible, so that customers can find you if they feel like writing reviews spontaneously.
  2. Links or clickable images on your site—something that customers who return to your site can click on to write you reviews.
  3. Single-page handouts—a sheet of instructions you can simply hand to customers, which walks them through how to post a review.
  4. Personal email—a simple email with a polite request and a link.  But for Pete’s sake, personalize it: none of that “Dear Valued Customer” garbage.  You can also do this with your email signature: instead of a bunch of fluff at the bottom of your emails, have a little link to where customers can dash off a quick review.
  5. Autoresponder email—if you have your customers on an email list through a service like DemandForce or Smile Reminders, you can have an email request that goes out automatically.
  6. Snail-mail request/instructions—people generally pay more attention to snail-mail, especially if it’s personalized and from a business they know and like.  This method is more work, but you’ll probably bat pretty well if you do it.
  7. Video—a short walk-through, for customers who you think would just rather watch a quick video than follow other types of easy instructions.
  8. Social media—in particular, Facebook.  What’s nice is customers can write CitySearch reviews using their Facebook username, which makes it that much easier for them and you.
  9. QR code on a postcard—hand or send your customers a little postcard that asks them to review you by scanning a QR code with their smartphones.  The QR code would just contain a link to your Google Places page, or a link to your InsiderPages listing, etc.
  10. QR code as a sticker or decal—the sticker or decal could go anywhere in your office or store, and customers could scan it with their smartphones to review you on the spot.
  11. Phone call—kinda old-fashioned, but effective with the right kind of customer.
  12. Part of a little gift that you send customers.  Like a free pad of paper with your logo and phone number on it, plus a request to leave you a quick review.  Or a fridge magnet.  A pen might be a little too small.  The gift has to be something people will actually use, keep on their desk or kitchen table, and see every day.  The idea is it’s a subtle but persistent reminder.
  13. Asking your reviewers to write through a variety of sites.  In other words, if you know for a fact a given customer wrote you a Yelp review, ask that person to write you an InsiderPages review, too.  There are no rules against it.  In fact, the review sites themselves share reviews: I’ve seen CitySearch reviews show up on Bing, Judysbook, Kudzu, MerchantCircle, Switchboard, Yahoo, YellowBot, and YP.  Again, I suggest you only do this with really close, really loyal customers who don’t mind helping spread the good word.

These methods are NOT mutually exclusive, nor do you have to pick one or even just a few.  You can use as many of them as you’d like.  In fact, it’s best if you use a variety of them, so you get reviews on a variety of sites, and so you can determine over time what works best for you and your customers.


17 Guaranteed Ways To Get New Clients From Facebook

Are you having trouble engaging your clients on Facebook? Nearly every day I’m asked how to build fans and engage more clients on Facebook.

Fundamentally, people want to know more about you before they decide to choose you as their dentist. They want to see what values you share with them and how they align with you and your practice. You do the same when we’re considering a purchase, right? We all reflect on our trusted network to see who can help us find the best dental practice.

Today’s social practice develops its community on Facebook to mirror its practice in real life. Engaging with your clients, online or offline, has the most impact on sales.

Here are 17 steps to help you attract and engage your community on Facebook:

1. Define your marketing goals. Dissect how you want your clients to think of you. Describe at least six components of your practice that make you unique.

2. Commit time, people, and a budget. I see many practices hiring a dedicated “social media managers” to handle social media and digital marketing. Content that drives stellar engagement does not grow on trees. It takes a lot of time and energy. They’ll need a lot of iformation, primarily from experst to guide the, as well as a budget for training and Facebook ads. Find a good member’s site to join, so that your staff can learn from pro’s at their own pace.

3. Identify and describe your “ideal” client. What are they interested in? What problems can you solve? What fun things are happening in your area that they’d want to know about? How can you help them choose you?

4. Post high-quality content regularly. It can be content you write yourself or content from others that’s relevant to your clients. Posting times matter, too; test what works for you.

5. Make your updates more interactive. Ask thought-provoking questions to get people talking. Stick to subjects that are relevant to your audience, and always reflect your store’s personality.

6. The “like,” “comment,” and “share” buttons are powerful tools. Include these on your website and blog to foster sharing and make it easier for your client to engage with you and their network.

7. Make use of landing-page apps. Hire someone to guide you in the design, and make sure your marketing language is front and center. Getting people to connect with you does not happen on its own; you must ask.

8. Sharing is caring. Recognize and promote local heroes, members of the community, and causes you support. If those causes have Facebook pages, “like” their page and connect with their community members.

9. If you have a blog (and you should) syndicate it on Facebook. It builds credibility and boosts your online influence. Blogs are the next frontier when it comes to SEO. When you hear talk about “search and social,” blogs are at the core of it.

10. Everyone likes free stuff. Infuse your content with coupons, discounts, and service specials, but don’t overdo it. It’s about community engagement, not broadcasting.

11. Deal with negativity openly and clearly. This is your chance to show the community how you make things right for your clients. Or you can delete it 🙂

12. Include Facebook links and tags in all your offline media. Make it easy for clients to find you.

13. Take advantage of the awesome power of Facebook ads. There has never been a more specific way to laser-target those you want to reach. With the use of ads manager, your Facebook ads are efficient and very inexpensive…but use your budget wisely.

14. Always TRACK. Social marketing goes like this: Create, post, analyze, repeat. When you know what your audience likes, supply them with more of it. Analyze your results to improve your client’s Facebook experience.

15. Know that social media (like all other marketing) is a work in progress. If you make a mistake (and you most certainly will), take responsibility. I’ve seen some pretty big social media failures, and in every case the response has been handled poorly. Be smart.

16. Encourage your offline clients to join your Facebook community. Post signs at all the conspicuous places, and train your staff on how to promote your Facebook page. Recognize and reward them for contributing to your social media success.

17.  Know how to spot a lead when it comes your way. Always respond to comments quickly. It’s a conversation, and people expect a timely reply.


Photos on Facebook Generate 53% More Response

There’s no doubt that we’re moving toward a more visual marketing world.  Potential clients often prefer consuming visual content to reading text. In fact, Facebook users are uploading 300 million photos to Facebook per day, up 20% from earlier this year. Even usage of the photo-sharing tool Instagram, purchased by Facebook in April of 2012, has increased 1,179% in six months.

But as a business, will catering to this new trend in visual content have a positive impact on crucial engagement via social media? Which includes Facebook Likes, comments, and potentially even link clicks to your website?

The Impact of Photos on Generating Facebook Engagement

A recent study revealed that photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post. They also compared each businesses’ average comments-per-photo to their overall average comments-per-post and found that photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post!

This percentage difference is substantial, and it emphasizes a huge opportunity for businesses to use photos and videos as a means to increase Likes and comments, and thus there Facebook visibility. The more ”Likes” helps increase ranking inside of Facebook, which can then cause a page’s content to appear in News Feeds more often, increasing visibility and exposure.

Just take a look at how much more prominently photo posts are displayed on a Facebook Page compared to a link-based post that pulls in just a small thumbnail image. And as you can see, you can include links in photo posts, too:


photo vs link facebook posts resized 600

The Impact of Photos On Driving Clients To Your Website

It’s no wonder photo posts garner more attention from Facebook users! But at the end of the day, businesses care more about how their social network usage is affecting specific business goals (as they should!), such as generating clients from their website .  So, visuals can be used to increase website traffic as well.

Did you know that photo posts received 84% more link clicks than regular posts?? This shows that businesses who are using interesting images to their advantage can increase traffic to their websites — just as long as they remember to include links!

What This Means for Businesses?

1) It’s time to increase the amount of visuals in your Facebook posts.

 This means that you should be making a conscious effort to use high-quality, engaging images in the content you end up sharing on Facebook, including blog posts, website pages, etc. And feel free to get creative. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your photos!

2) Consider hiring a designer or visual content creator.

Visual skills are becoming incredibly crucial in the social world. If a new hire isn’t in your immediate future, perhaps invest in some design training for your team. You can always go to elance.com or fiverr.com and hire someone for really cheap to design things for you.

3) Don’t forget to include relevant links with your images.

Do you have a blog post, ebook, whitepaper, case study, or testimonial that is related to an image you’re posting to Facebook? Include a link to it in the image description. This will help ensure you’re driving solid traffic back to your website from your visual content efforts in social media.


16 Expensive Business Marketing Mistakes that Cost You New Clients

Investing in internet business marketing is critical for a business that wants to grow it’s client base – and ultimately their business. But, simply spending on internet business marketing or business marketing doesn’t guarantee you results. You have to make sure that not only is your business marketing itself effective, but also that you’re not making some of these (unfortunately common) expensive mistakes that can cost you clients. Are you making any of these expensive marketing mistakes?

  1. Not tracking your business marketing. Tracking enables you to know which of your marketing tactics are working – and which ones aren’t. Continuing to invest your marketing budget into tactics that don’t work means you probably aren’t reaching the right prospective clients in the first place. It’s important to track these tactics so you can reach prospective patients who are actually in your target so you can convert more of them into clients.
  2. Not tracking your business marketing through to conversions. Simply tracking having the front desk ask “How did you find us?” IS NOT TRACKING…I REPEAT IT IS NOT TRACKING. It’s 100% guessing. It doesn’t tell you much about how effective your business marketing actually is at getting you clients. In fact 90% of people actually misrepresent how they found you (src: ComScore). If you’re not tracking your marketing all the way through to conversions like calls, or emails, you may be investing in business marketing that isn’t really working.
  3. Not claiming and optimizing your Google+ Local page. Claiming your local listings is an important task for any local business. Google+ Local is even more critical, because your listing there is tied directly to your Google Maps listing, which is one of the top ways that prospective clients search for local businesses on the go via their mobile devices. If your Google+ Local page is bare-bones and “EMPTY” (no video, no photos, no/little reviews, no coupons) or contains incorrect information or negative content about you, chances are it will turn prospective clients away from contacting you.
  4. Driving website visitors to fill out a Web form no one checks. Do you know where all your website contact forms are going? And if so, how frequently are you checking them? If you’re not sure, or not regularly reviewing prospective clients you get from your website, you are probably investing in an important website feature you’re not taking advantage of – and missing out on converting a lot of potential clients
  5. Paying for a website that’s not SEO (Search Engine Optimization) optimized. Simply having a website doesn’t mean it’s helping drive clients to your business. Investing in a website that’s not optimized for search engines and conversions could be costing you two fold. First, it’s likely you’re not even being found when your targeted prospective clients are searching for your business or services. And second, those that do find your website can’t contact you if your site doesn’t have easy to find contact information like your phone number or email address. And By the way, your website company will tell you that they do SEO, they can’t and shouldn’t! Be aware of that. Hire a third party.
  6. Not targeting your internet business marketing to the right prospective clients. Online marketing has powerful targeting capabilities – but targeting your keywords and ads to the wrong people – such as those outside of your geographic area, target age range, or income level ­– or worse, not targeting your keywords and ads at all – is both wasted effort and expense.
  7. Paying for online search ads, such as Google Adwords, that don’t use the right keywords or geography. Search advertising is pay-per-performance, so you might be paying for clicks on keywords that aren’t really working to drive prospective clients from your website. Not all keywords are created equal, so make sure the ones you are bidding on and using in your text ads help your ads show up when people search for your business and services, so they’re more likely to click your ad and convert into HIGH paying clients.
  8. Using misleading advertising, promotions, or pricing. Prospective clients are savvy, and one sure way to turn them off is by using misleading pricing, promotions, or advertising. Sure, you might get more clicks on a “too-good-to-be-true” offer, but misleading advertising might cost you clients– and your reputation, too.
  9. Not marketing locally. As a local business, it’s important to make sure your online marketing targets local consumers. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it also cuts down on you filtering though leads that aren’t from your target area.
  10. Not following up with prospective clients who call you. After all the effort to drive qualified prospective clients to contact your business through your marketing and practice internet business marketing, this is one of the most costly business marketing mistakes. It’s critical to have a system in place that helps (and reminds) you to follow up with people who contact your practice. Whether they leave a message or just aren’t ready to move forward, not following up with these prospective clients can have a serious impact on your business.
  11. Not monitoring and managing your businesses online reputation. Is your online reputation costing you clients? Do you have alerts that go out if someone leaves a review on Rip Off Report.com or Yelp? If you haven’t checked to see if your online reputation is positive or negative, you could be losing many potential clients due to bad reviews, comments, or other content that’s critical of your business.
  12. Not checking your phone number on dental marketing and directories. Is your phone number correct on all of your marketing as well as the directories your business is listed in? An outdated – or just plain incorrect – phone number is virtually guaranteed to cost you clients. Sounds simple right? But trust me, I’ve reviewed 1000’s of campaigns for my businesses private clients and I’d say 50% make this mistake! So make sure to audit (and call to double check)!) your phone number everywhere it appears – whether on a billboard, print ad, or online source.
  13. Poor phone call handling. Is answering the phone effectively a part of your business marketing strategy? It should be. Since a majority of local practices make sales or set appointments via the phone, poor call handling techniques – including rudeness, not providing the right or enough information, or not answering at all – is a huge source of churn for many prospective clients– who may then find a competitor who has better phone skills. Don’t take this lightly. There are plenty of good training programs out there for this. It’s the first thing clients hear and a first impressions is a permanent impression.
  14. Not shopping your competitors. How are your competitors marketing their businesses online? What offers and specials do they run? What do their websites look like? How are their online reviews? Not shopping your competitors means you may be out of the loop on what appeals to your target clients.
  15. Not using negative feedback to improve your business. Nobody wants to see negative things about their business online. But when you do, do you actually take action on the feedback to improve your business? If not, chances are that other clients are experiencing similar issues, meaning once- loyal clients could be turning elsewhere when they search you to book their next appointment (And believe me existing clients “google” you every time they call!).
  16. Waiting too long to contact a prospective client. How quickly do you call back a potential client when they contact you? If your answer is weeks, days, or even hours, it could be costing you. Research shows that the more quickly you contact a prospective client, the more likely you are to close for an appointment or case. And common sense says that the first business to contact a consumer is more likely to win their business. It’s important to make sure that your marketing investment really works – and that you’re not losing valuable contacts and prospective clients due to poor marketing or business practices.

Which of these marketing mistakes might be costing you prospects, cases, and even clients?