Some time ago, Chris Anderson of cabling magazine wrote the now infamous “long story” article. He argued that the music industry needed to have broad-based “hits” and serve narrow “niches.” So now you’re thinking, here we go again, how does this apply to my business and internet marketing? You apply the same way you do for a lawyer in Fresno, California or an Aston-Martin dealer in Scottsdale (or Scotsdale as I’m known to spell it) Arizona.
The long tail theory applies to smaller businesses and Internet marketing in a very direct way. Successful internet marketing only happens when you know exactly How do people search for you? Search engines are smart, but if they were perfect, they would match the right website to the right person every time and internet advertising would die along with their main source of income (and mine).
Until that day comes, business owners need to clearly understand their customers. The Aston-Martin dealership is a pretty clear case. They practically sell and service a British brand, Aston-Martin. If you have a Ferrari you go next door, a Porsche around the block. They understand their customer. The Lawyer presents the most common challenge.
The lawyer could be like a family doctor, a kind of general practitioner. The attorney may charge by the hour or may charge per case on a percentage or fee basis. Some even work with advance payments like an insurance company. Most of these general practitioners have small, quiet offices.
The problem with internet advertising for this general practitioner lawyer is that it costs money every time someone clicks. If a lawyer who works alone in Fresno, California tries to advertise to people seeking bankruptcy, personal injury, divorce, tax problems, business law, contract disputes, real estate law, workers’ compensation, and trial law, the lawyer will go out of business sooner than later. . anyone can write them a check. The keyword bid for “personal injury attorney” is as high as $15.00 per click in some cities. I’ve seen single keywords like Lawyer for $20.00 per click.
The interesting thing about the Internet is that the people who search know what they want. They enter a search sentence that the search engine breaks down or “parses” to try to figure out which website will help them best. If a person is searching for an attorney with RSD experience and comes to a website highlighting the attorney’s success as a divorce lawyer, guess what happens. The lawyer just spent $8.00 to get someone to click the back button.
In 1998, when I started creating websites, I didn’t realize the importance approach would become my success or that of my clients. Since then, I have expanded my work to help people and companies find focus. What I’ve learned over the years with the Internet applies to people, so I wrote the book. And now that? because most people don’t need to spend $200 an hour for me to train them. Success through focus also applies to businesses and that’s why we incorporate business focus consulting with our SEO programs.
Simply put, we can’t focus your internet advertising if your business isn’t focused. Consider the example of the lawyer. There are some bigger companies with deep pockets that advertise to a wide spectrum of people who surf the Internet. For smaller single practice firms and any other small business, focus is the key to keeping your advertising program on budget. By selecting two (or three at most) key areas, we can create a very targeted website and advertising program. Keep in mind that there are over 2,000,000 searches every day in the Fresno, California area alone, the attorney only wants the one person they can help that day. In Houston Texas there are 400,000,000 or more searches every business day. The search is huge.
Using Chris Anderson’s Long Tail approach, when the lawyer chooses a couple of niches to focus on, we can create an ad for four or more keywords that only costs $1 or $2 per click. We also create a website that highlights those keywords. Instead of 400-500 clicks per day at $8 or more per click where only one person calls the office, we now get 4-5 clicks per day at an average of $1.47 per click and the same person calls the office. The secondary benefit of this is that the lawyer becomes much better in that specific niche of the law. When we choose two or three niches to advertise in, if we find that one is underperforming, it can disappear and put another in its place.
We recently added a client in Costa Mesa California, TruSpeed Motorcars. TruSpeed is an independent service center from Porsche, and has certified technicians for BMW, Mercedes and Ferrari. They also have a Bentley and Land Rover certified technician. When the service manager informed me that we should add Bentley and Land Rover to our marketing campaign, I saw my income increase dramatically. The GM quickly said the right thing and removed my raise. He said: “We’re not going to be the jack of all trades, we only service sports cars, and Europeans, we’re not advertising Bentleys or Land Rover.”
While this may sound strange to some people, this is where the 80/20 rule comes into play. The service manager is trying to get all business and the GM is trying to get the right business. Every time I coach a small business owner, their financial problems are solved simply by changing their focus to get the right business. If you could do 80% of the work you do now and get a raise, would you do it? Of course the answer is yes, so why not?
What happens in business is simple. Business people are customer-serving, sometimes too much. By doing so, they begin to do work that they shouldn’t. Accounting systems do not always show that the company is losing money with a specific type of customer. Accounting systems need to be set up for it, and that can take about six months to set up and get enough data to prove the point. The quickest method (and therefore I would argue the best) is to find the core competition and cut out the customers (and ads) that don’t fit and see if profits and business attitudes improve. So far, in all but one case over 15 years it has worked. The one that didn’t, the owner refused to even try. He said, “I need all the work I can get, I don’t care what brand or what service.”
When a politician runs for office, the winners usually choose an issue or issue and cling to it as if it were tattooed on their foreheads. Does “Change” sound familiar even two years later? Life and business are no different. When you choose an area to focus on and actually do it, he will win and so will your business. If the attorney in Fresno decides to go after farmworkers with pesticide-related illnesses, they may need to branch out a bit outside of the Fresno area and, over time, will become known as the go-to attorney for pesticide exposure cases. pesticides. When this happens, he, too, can earn a much higher income for a lot less work.
Before you open for business today, what will your entire business be focused on? Write down four to six very specific goals for the week, make them realistic, and stick with them. When your business is focused and your advertising is focused, you’ll hit your goals more often and better than your competition. That sounds like success to me. Focus, stay focused and succeed. If you need a little help call me.