Three Online “Must-do’s” for Online Presence
We had the pleasure recently of speaking at the annual ITDG dealer conference, a conference for tire dealers and a great group of folks who truly epitomize why independent dealers remain the dominant channel for selling tires in America.
Our topic was social media/online marketing, and our challenge was covering such a large, important subject in a relatively short period of time. We decided to focus on three areas that we believe are of critical importance to any one looking to make an online presence with their business:
- More people on planet Earth own a mobile phone (5.1 billion) than own a toothbrush (4.2 billion). I’m not sure how Mobile Marketing Asia knows how many people own a toothbrush, but in addition to providing a truly gross factoid, they are pointing out the undeniable ubiquity of mobile phones. Also consider that more than half of mobile phones today are smartphones; a percentage that is growing by leaps and bounds.
- 70 percent of all mobile searches result in action within one hour.
- 95 percent of smartphone users looked up local information, and out of those, 61 percent called and 59 percent visited the business.
It is important to understand the difference between a mobile-optimized website and a website that will pull up on a mobile phone. A mobile-optimized site gives the consumer everything he or she needs immediately and is easily viewable on the phone screen. This can be something as minimal as click icons for the phone, email and directions to your place of business or event, as well as your current promotional offers or information you are giving at the time.
This is totally different from your standard website where the consumer has to search around and resize the information to find what they are most interested in – your business!
So we are talking about two different sites – one for mobile searches and your traditional website for the larger desktop and laptop screens. The Googlebot-Mobile crawler recognizes searches from mobile phones and directs users to mobile-optimized sites; though 100 percent recognition is not here yet. In the meantime, make sure your mobile site links to your traditional site and vice versa.
Facebook Graph Search
Facebook Graph Search is a game changer. With Graph Search, a person can check his or her Facebook friends’ views on brands. In the case of our tire dealer friends let’s say you are a consumer considering buying tires from ACME Tire. You can find out if any of your friends “like” ACME Tire and get their opinions. Traditional search engines return relevant content from the entire web; Facebook’s Graph Search returns highly personalized content from the searcher’s own personal network (social graph).
Graph Search will launch system-wide later this year. What should tire dealers do to prepare? First, if you are a multi-store business, manage your corporate page but also build out pages for each store location. Make sure the store information is complete and correct, and links to your corporate page.
Secondly, build your fan base! Facebook advertising is a great way to do this. The more fans you have, the more potential references you will have in Graph Search. Also, engage with your fans; the more interactions a page receives the more likely it will appear in Graph Search results.
Manage Your Local Business Listings
Changes in search algorithms have made it easier than ever for small businesses to harness the power of local search. According to Google, 73 percent of all online activity is related to local content.
More than ever it is important to have your site listed. Brand Recognition continues to be as important as it has been. Things like SEO and Google rankings can play an important role in your businesses life or death.
It is estimated that more than 80 percent of consumers do online research before they purchase tires. If you pay attention to these three areas, you will make sure that they will find you through local business listings, see what their friends have to say about you, and be able to find your key information quickly and easily from a mobile phone.
– Christine Taylor