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Posted 17 June 2019

8 Benefits Of Hiring A Marketing Agency

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Let’s face it, we’re all busy. Do you need additional marketing help? Do you need specific expertise? Or maybe you just can’t find the right talent.

Here are eight ways you know it’s time to hire a marketing agency.

  1. Sales are Stagnant
  2. It’s Not Getting Done
  3. You Don’t Enjoy Marketing
  4. You’ve Realized You Don’t Have the Skills
  5. The Sales Department is Complaining of “No Good Leads”
  6. Your Marketing Results are Hit or Miss
  7. You Wonder What is Working
  8. You’d Love to Hire a Complete Marketing Team, but Lack the Budget

If any of these apply to you, then read on…

Marketing is increasingly responsible for more and more. More productivity, more effectiveness, more leads, more sales, etc. Marketing teams are feeling strapped with limited resources, smaller budgets, and there isn’t adequate training available. If you keep your entire marketing team in-house, you could wind up spending your entire budget on payroll and still not have all of the skill sets needed, on the other hand, if you outsource all of your marketing, quality and control become concerns. All industries are struggling with this dilemma and it’s something that every company, manager, and employee should weigh carefully.

Despite the challenges of finding performance-based agency partners, marketers are outsourcing at record rates. According to Accenture’s “Turbulence for the CMO” report, CMOs are turning to a large mix of agency partners and marketing service providers, outsourcing “between 45 percent and 75 percent of marketing activities.”

Companies can realize the following benefits by hiring a performance-based marketing agency:

  1. Cost/Risk: At much less than the cost of one full-time executive, you get an entire team of experts, and can expect cheaper ad costs and software costs, among others. Minimize the impact of marketing staff reductions.
  2. Access: With the right firm, you still get complete access to all of your data and insights — no hidden fees/total transparency. Access expertise in marketing strategy and implementation, as well as creative design, focused on the specific job or project on hand.
  3. Time: You save on all of the time it takes finding someone — or trying to learn the entire Internet marketing field yourself.
  4. Experience: Get an outside perspective on your business. Your team will benefit from the experience the marketing team brings to the table, such as familiarity with your target market and the many marketing channels and opportunities available.

Deciding whether to hire in-house marketers or a marketing agency has the potential for predictable, scalable revenue growth. If you’re on the fence, here are my top 8 reasons to consider outsourcing some of your marketing to a performance-driven agency like DUBUB Marketing Agency.

CMOs are turning to a large mix of agency partners and marketing service providers, outsourcing between 45 percent and 75 percent of marketing activities.

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1. You get more than just marketing expertise

What if you could have predictable, effective marketing systems that generated and nurtured sales leads? By outsourcing some of your marketing, you get marketing talent, leading-edge strategies, shared experiences, and access to advanced marketing technology. You can seamlessly synchronize the end-to-end customer experience, and touch each stage of the buying cycle with agile, timely, and relevant marketing campaigns.

The marketing skills gap is very real. 75% of marketers say their lack of skills is impacting revenue in some way, and 74% say it’s contributing to misalignment between the marketing and sales teams, according to Oracle.

Clearly, the game is changing and marketers need to master the new rules. An agency helps you bridge this gap, and provides a team of diverse people that have the education and the experience.

And, one marketing person can’t do it all. (Nor should they.) And if they do, can you afford them? With an agency, you get access to versatile professionals with proven backgrounds in business strategy, marketing, content marketing, communications, business strategy, graphic design, web design, internet marketing, and SEO. Because of these vast skill sets, they add great value when they contribute where needed.

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2. You want to be nimble and manage costs

Fixed cost are huge. People, systems, and facilities account for the largest part of the internal marketing budget. And the cost of a bad hire can easily cost a company over $200,000!

By comparison, marketing agency resources don’t need a full-time salary, benefits, and other overhead. When you hire a good agency, that team should provide a wide-range of strategic, tactical, and technology skills.

By outsourcing some or all of your marketing activities not only save your money in salaries and overhead, but our outsourcing partner can also save you money in direct purchases on marketing programs (e.g., printing, media buys, advertising, marketing technologies, etc.). By leveraging their suppliers, a good outsourcing partner can save a company 10 – 30% in their overall marketing spending. Here’s an example below. Just one direct hire cost a company about $120,000 (salary and overhead). A marketing outsourcing team typically cost less than that and one top of that you gain access to a full cross-functional team.

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3. You get access to the latest technology

Marketing departments are often technology-deprived, or they have a mixed assortment of incompatible marketing technologies. While companies have access to over 4,000 marketing technologies available to them, how do they know which ones to pick? And it’s often the case that marketing organizations are at the bottom of the IT department’s priority list, so there might be a lack of support and guidance. A performance-based marketing agency that can provide you guidance as well as implementation service and support are extremely valuable.

Marketing tools increase efficiency, productivity, and performance. There are tools you can find for free or of little cost, but often they are limited on producing results. But performance-driven agencies give you access to premium-level services, software, and analytical data reports.

Also, consider that advanced marketing automation tools do not provide marketing services. They require a professional who can interpret marketing data and make smart decisions in order to achieve results.

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4. Your existing staff becomes more efficient

Some companies try to get around hiring in-house marketers, social media personnel, content writers, and SEO experts by just having existing employees pick up the slack. Dumping the marketing burden onto existing employees (who may or may not be skilled in the area) increases the likelihood of burnout and reduces productivity in the long run.

As well as, your marketing efforts will lack consistency and effectiveness even if they have all the necessary training.

If you outsource some of your marketing needs, you maintain momentum with critical projects – they’ll never fall to the wayside, drop down the priority list, or become forgotten. And when employees leave the company, they will most likely take the project assets with them (in the form of tribal knowledge). When you outsource your marketing activities, you have one centralized team as your partner.

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5. You don’t need to train agencies

It’s the marketing leader’s job to produce results, including drive quality sales leads, increase website traffic, build followers and subscribers, yet they often lack the skills, technologies, and strategies to pull it off.

Forrester Research stated in its report, “B2B CMOs Must Evolve or Move On,” that 96% of marketing leaders believe the breadth of skills required to succeed in marketing has increased, and 44% say they can’t find the right combination of people and skills in the job market.

Performance-driven agencies, like DUBUB Marketing Agency, provide a unique, holistic approach that allows clients to launch multidisciplinary campaigns with one “highly qualified contact.” Your dedicated resource is accountable for strategy through deployment. You don’t have to train your existing staff members because your agency has the depth and breadth of skills needed.

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6. You can easily scale your marketing efforts

When the economy tightens, companies tend to cut costs. Marketing is often the first to go because they are seen as a “discretionary” expense. And when times are good, marketing often gets more funding. It goes against the objectives of the CEO responsibilities, and that’s maximize stakeholder value.

But reducing and expanding the marketing budget is expensive. In the short-term, reducing or canceling marketing activities incurs cost. In the long-term, costs associated with attrition, staffing and erosion of knowledge base are more expensive.

Under a traditional in-house operation, the only way you can increase the output of your marketing team is to hire more employees. Agencies like DUBUB Marketing Agency already have cross-functional professionals on the core team that have been senior management with some of the top agencies, design firms or companies in the world.

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7. Stay current on the latest marketing trends, without a learning curve

Digital marketing agencies must constantly be up to speed and follow the latest developments across digital marketing trends on a regular basis. It is part of their job description.

What in-house marketer has time to read up on all the latest social media, SEO, technology, content marketing, and branding news? Usually, they are so buried in day-to-day tasks, there is no room to continuously grow, change, and evolve. The majority of reputable digital marketing agencies take education very seriously. I invest time to stay abreast of the latest trends, tools, technologies, and strategies to serve you better. According to the report above from Capgemini, only 4% of companies align their training efforts with their digital strategy.

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8. You benefit from an outside perspective

It’s easy for in-house Marketers to lose sight of the big picture. They tend to be immersed in the day-to-day activity and wearing many hats. They can’t see the forest for the trees. Employees may find it hard to express new ideas or bring up concerns, for fear of losing their jobs. But we’ve seen amazing results by collaborating with marketing team members.

Sometimes you can get too close to your business and not see your marketing strategies, programs, or materials from your audience’s perspective. Even though you may know your business inside and out by living and breathing it each day, your perspective is still one-sided. To market successfully to your current audience – and capture new markets – you need to step out of your shoes and into your target markets’ or customers’. Having a group on the “outside” supporting your needs helps to give you the customer’s perspective, not just your company’s.

Whether it’s planning, copywriting or designing, the right outsourced team will have experience with a variety of different marketing and communication strategies, techniques, and tools. You can rely on their lessons over the years to find the correct solution for your business challenge.

The Bottom Line

Companies of all sizes use outsourcing to help build their business and stay nimble. By outsourcing some or all of your marketing, you have flexibility and access to trained professionals and advanced marketing technology.

Here’s an example of an outsourced marketing campaign. The first month of the campaign, we may only do one blog post that attracts 84 new followers on social media, and generates 16 leads. The second month, we may publish two more blog posts, add two content offers, attract 192 new followers, increase our search engine ranking for eight keywords, which generates 37 leads. By the sixth month, we may have published a total of 30 blog posts, created 10 content offers, have a total of 1674 followers, and are showing up on page one of Google for five keywords, and generate over 240 leads. The compound effect from creating those assets over time didn’t just double the leads in the second month, they generated 10x the results in only a few short months. So you can see the value–right?

When you are hiring a marketing agency, you should assume that you are getting senior-level marketing professionals with a wide-range of skill sets. When picking agencies, some companies worry about product knowledge and try to find vertical industry firms. Your employees should have product/service knowledge to provide guidance and edit for content. Your agency should provide you with an outside viewpoint on where to find your market and how to talk to it.

The ideal situation is to have at least one point person working internally who can collaborate with the marketing agency to help them understand your brand voice, key messages, content, and demographics. A performance-based agency will have lots of ideas on to contribute based on trends, statistical data, and competitive analysis, but we find the best results come from working with a dedicated staff within our client’s company.

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Posted 14 June 2019

Why Social Media Is Important For Business Marketing

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Let’s start with one simple fact: your business needs a social media presence.

It doesn’t matter if you run a small local shop or a big national company. Social media is an essential piece of your business marketing strategy.

Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, it’s no passing trend.

What you might not know is that you’re ready to get your company’s social media off the ground right now. You don’t need to know every intimidating buzzword or have the magic number of followers. You can get started immediately—and even enjoy yourself in the process.

Here are six reasons why investing in social media is a wise business move.

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BUILD AWARENESS

If people don’t know about your business, they can’t become your customers. Social media boosts your visibility among potential customers, letting you reach a wide audience by using a large amount of time and effort. And it’s free to create a business profile on all the major social networks, so you have nothing to lose.

Define what you want to get out of social media to develop a social media strategy. Do you want new customers to discover your services? Do you hope to bring more local shoppers into your stores? By keeping your strategy specific, you can determine which social media channels are the best fit for your business.

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COMMUNICATE AUTHORITY

Customers are increasingly savvier and more discerning about which businesses they support. Before making a decision, they’ll do a quick search to browse your website and social media.

Will they find an empty storefront or a rich source of information? Setting up robust profiles that you update frequently with relevant content will build your brand’s authority and make sure you make a positive first impression through social media, showing that your business is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and approachable.

Look for ways to demonstrate your expertise as a thought leader in your industry—like writing pieces related to your expertise or expanding on your company’s mission. By showing what your business offers and values, you will establish confidence in potential customers.

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SHOW AUTHENTICITY

Customers aren’t interested in businesses that publish dry, corporate-style social media posts.

Instead, let your brand’s personality shine through in everything you share on social media. What does your brand voice sound like? How does it represent who you are?

Practice getting your tone just right, whether it’s casual and funny or formal and friendly. Be true to who you are, not who you think you should be. Followers want to see real people behind your social profiles. Show them.

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ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT

Social channels evolve, constantly releasing new features, and this rapidly changing environment can be intimidating for some business owners.

But remember: you don’t have to do everything. Play with new ways to connect with your audience, and give yourself permission to learn as you go. One day, you could post a series of Instagram Stories to give customers a behind-the-scenes tour of your office. The next, you could host a quick Q&A session via Facebook Live video streaming. Over time, you’ll get a better idea of your followers’ preferences.

You can create engaging video content for social media with a simple setup—good lighting, a smartphone, and a tripod. Also, do a test run before you go live to make sure your internet connection or hotspot has enough speed to avoid delays and interruptions.

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PROVIDE SUPPORT 

Social platforms have successfully broken down barriers between companies and their customers. Now, instead of calling a customer service line, many people turn to Facebook or Twitter to solve problems or find information.

Develop your reputation as a responsive, caring brand by offering support through social channels:

  • Create a system for tracking customer comments, questions, and complaints on social media.
  • Respond as quickly as possible to questions and concerns.
  • Go out of your way to be positive and helpful.
  • Listen to criticism and make customers feel heard.
  • Know when to resolve public conversations in private messages.
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GROW AFFORDABLY

Marketing costs add up, and not every business can afford huge campaigns. But you can get a lot of value for your dollar with social media advertising. Your business, regardless of size or budget, has an opportunity to grow your audience and reach your objectives through ads on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

When building an ad campaign, know who you’re trying to reach and what goal you want to achieve so you don’t waste any of your budget on unhelpful advertising. Avoid overly salesy ads, and opt for content that educates or entertains (or does both at the same time).

Social media is a crucial part of your business marketing, but it doesn’t have to be stressful to manage. Take the first step, create a profile, and start engaging with your customers.

How has social media proven to be a wise business move for you? Tell us in the comments below!

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Posted 13 June 2019

Things To Consider Before A Rebrand Project

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So, you’ve established that you’re in need of a new brand identity–which is, of course, not only a highly visual choice, but also a conceptual one. You’ve just made some important decisions, and building a brand is a large undertaking–so congratulations! We’re glad you recognized that there are a lot of resources out there, and we’re happy to offer our expertise and help in any way we can.

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In the case of a rebrand, attempt to identify what your current brand/logo is lacking. Are you seeking a rebrand because you have changed the core mission of your organization? Are you considering a name change? Or are you craving a refreshed look and feel?

First and foremost, our advice is to define the brand in the clearest, simplest language possible. This will make things easier when collaborating with others who are probably not as knowledgeable about it as you. Pare down your mission, values, and purpose. Think about what you do and why it matters. Who is your target audience and who are your key competitors? Think about what differentiates you from your competitors, and how you help your target audience with what you do and who you are.

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Consider what factors make you distinct, and tell your brand story. Remember: narrative draws people in and makes them feel connected. How did your brand come to fruition? Why is there a need for it? What is the ‘personality’ of the brand? If you had to drill it all down to a few key descriptors, what would they be? Keep it concise, and be as honest as possible with yourself. This will ensure that your brand is coming from an authentic place.

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What feeling or message do you want your logo to convey to those who view it? This can be a hard question to answer–it is sometimes difficult to drill down on a specific emotion. The more specific, the better. Keep in mind, however, that a visual portrayal of emotion is often abstract and subjective, and everyone may not see the same thing. A tagline can help further define/focus a brand and augment the visual identity. Additions such as photography can add emotion as well.

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Recognize the power of design. Realize that even if your initial ideas are good ones, unless you’ve had design training, and/or are well-versed in creative software, you probably don’t have the ability to produce a robust visual identity single-handedly. Also, even if you have specific colors or imagery in mind for your brand identity and logo, we recommend keeping an open mind. A designer may think of an option you love that you had not previously considered. Also, thinking about what existing brand identities appeal to you and why can be helpful in the design process.

Building a brand is a process, and a clear, consistent brand takes time to create. If you’re looking to get the process started, get in touch with us today!

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Posted 12 June 2019

The Importance Of Branded Marketing Materials

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In the ever-growing digital landscape of marketing and advertising, printed material has become a bit of an afterthought in the minds of many businesses both small and large. Contrary to this trend, branded marketing materials remain as relevant as ever in helping promote your company and generate leads. Research from Vistaprint.com shows that a whopping 52% of people said their impression of a company is more positive after receiving branded materials, and almost 50% said they use those materials every day. It is clear that branded materials can make a great impact on potential clients, so how do you integrate these into your marketing strategy?

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Business cards:

It isn’t hard to see that business cards are still as important as ever. Business cards have been a staple in peer-to-peer marketing since the start of, well, business. A well-designed, well-made business card can seal the deal in a face-to-face pitch better than a later visit to a website or viewing a search ad. Business cards act as a reminder of an in-person interaction, and will keep your company in the forefront on their next related work project.

Stationery:

Envelopes, letterhead, postcards. Professionally designed and well-printed stationary is a sign of the quality of your business. The effort taken in mailing any promotional materials or simple letters with consistent branding adds value to your company’s image. 

Folders:

Something often overlooked than can really tie all of your materials together. Instead of presenting proposals and project materials in a stack of assorted papers, consider a branded folder to keep everything organized. Keeping your pitch materials together in a neat, branded folder can make the difference between your bid being on the top of the pile or the bottom of the trashcan.

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Extras:

Pens, notepads, flash drives, anything you can think of. DUBUB Marketing Agency has had great success and overwhelmingly positive feedback by giving out branded task and note pads to potential clients and influential connections. Something as simple as a daily task pad can help make a big sell when your potential client uses it day to day, and will keep your brand in their mind. Just remember to ask yourself: Will your client actually use this, and will they use it often?

Branded marketing materials are the extra touch that can add a lot of quality to your brand and help your company win clients. These simple pieces can often be forgotten in the sea of digital marketing, but that little extra can mean the difference between a potential lead trusting the legitimacy of your brand, or not.

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Posted 11 June 2019

Research Shows Having A Bad Website Can Hurt Your Business

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Here’s a sad scenario.

Someone sends a prospective client your way. They’re a warm, maybe even a hot lead.

Before contacting you, they do what everyone else does — they visit your website to check you out.

But then, nothing happens. They don’t call for an appointment. They don’t email you.

Nothing. Just crickets.

What happened?

Your poorly designed website scared them away.

Instead of giving them confidence you know what you’re doing and can actually help them, your site did just the opposite. It created doubt, uncertainty and a general feeling of uneasiness about you and your company.

So they click the back button on their browser and go somewhere else — probably to one of your competitors with inferior services to yours, but with a better website.

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What Makes A Good Website?

Rather than just give you my personal opinion, we scoured the internet and compiled data on this topic from a variety of reputable sources. Here’s your Executive Summary:

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10 Scientifically-Backed Ways to Increase Sales by Making Your Website More Credible by Jayson DeMers.

Key takeaways:

  • Prominently display your address and phone number + make it easy for people to contact you via email or contact form.
  • Have your website professionally-designed. It shouldn’t look like it was built by a 6th grader.
  • Provide a good user experience when they visit your site. Make sure your content is organized and easy to navigate. Get rid of superfluous content and other distractions that don’t contribute to your overall message.
  • Display testimonials from actual customers, with their pictures if available.
  • Keep your site’s content up to date. Visitors also want to see content that is current and relevant
  • Profile the people behind your company. People do business with other people. Prospective clients want to know who they’ll be dealing with. Tell your story. Let people get to know you.
  • Make sure your content is free of typos and errors. Nothing screams amateur like misspelled words and grammatical errors.

(Source: Forbes.com)

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Just Say No: 7 Website Design Mistakes That Can Hurt Conversion by Maricel Rivera.

Key takeaways:

  • 75% of consumers admit that they judge a business’ credibility based on their website design.
  • Poor website loading speed can be extremely harmful to businesses. Most consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. 79% of shoppers reported that they would not return to purchase from a slow loading website.
  • Websites must be mobile-friendly and optimized to adapt to various interfaces. According to comScore, the number of users accessing content online through their mobile devices has surpassed those who use a desktop.
  • Website clutter is a a huge deterrent. Ex: Too many Flash animations, ad prompts, auto-play videos, background music, etc.
  • Once again, site navigation is a factor that hurts conversion. Confused, frustrated prospects don’t buy.
  • A missing or confusing call-to-action. You must let your visitor know what you want them to do next. Don’t assume they’ll know. Be direct and specific. Gently nudge them where you want them to go.

(Source: Business.com)

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10 Small Business Website Errors That Drive Customers Away by Brad Shorr.

Key takeaways:

  • Quickly explain what’s in it for them. Avoid droning on about endless features, benefits or all your accolades. Prospective clients are interested in one thing, “Can you help me?”
  • Make sure to use credibility elements such as customer testimonials, BBB and other well-known accreditations. Otherwise your visitors have only your marketing propaganda to go by.
  • Your site must be mobile-friendly. As mentioned above, more people today access the Internet from mobile devices than from desktop computers.
  • Creating user-friendly website navigation is far more complex and nuanced than meets the eye. Good navigation is intuitive and simple, and makes it easy for visitors to quickly find what they need.
  • Eliminate fluff and weak language. “We’re the best,” “we’re the cheapest,” “we’re the most innovative,” tells your reader nothing. Provide details about why your company is different or what they can expect when they do business with you.
  • Stay away from cringeworthy, cheesy stock photos that everyone uses. These make you look phony and amateurish. When possible, use your own custom images. It’s ok to use custom stock imagery if it’s professional and high-quality, but be prepared to dig a little bit to find the good stuff.
  • As mentioned above, your site needs to be mobile-friendly. Mostly to provide a good user experience to your visitor, but also for search engine rankings. In April 2015, Google publicly stated that it’ll give preference in the search listings to web pages that are mobile-friendly vs. those that are not.

(Source: Forbes.com)

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What Different Consumer Groups Really Want from Local Business Websites by Myles Anderson.

Myles Anderson surveyed 800 people in all age groups. Here’s what he discovered:

  • The 4 pieces of website info most likely to influence a consumer to use that business are: (1) Details about the business (e.g., company origins, products, services, people), (2) Business proximity, (3) Clear address and contact details and (4) Customer testimonials.
  • The 4 biggest negatives for a local website are: (1) Poor quality content, (2) No phone number displayed, (3) No prices displayed and (4) The business not being local enough.
  • Most consumers of all ages prefer to contact local businesses by phone after viewing their website.

(Source: SearchEngineLand.com)

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