Marketing is an integral part of the well-rounded corporate support we offer our franchisees. Depending on the franchise owner, this level of support can take on varying degrees of intensity. Our most successful franchisees are very involved in their communities, sponsoring events, donating to local non-profits, and networking with other business owners.
But an increasingly important component of our corporate support is online marketing. We offer franchisees support through various vendor programs and training on things like website management, pay-per-click advertising, social media, reputation management, and more! Online marketing is key for the Mosquito Joe business model as many of our franchisees don’t have a brick and mortar storefront. Let’s take a look at some of these strategies and why they’re important for any and all business owners.
Whether you own an independent business or are part of a franchise system, your online presence is of tantamount importance these days. The first thing that comes to mind for many people when they hear “online presence” is a website. Consumers are more likely than ever to visit or search for a business’ website before visiting or deciding to buy a product. Each Mosquito Joe franchise location has it’s own micro-website with information about services, coverage area, special offers, and more. Corporate helps set up the site and has oversight of each one, but franchisees are encouraged to update their website regularly, adding personalized touches to reflect their local business along with any service updates or deals. These updates not only help keep content fresh, but they also help a business’ organic search results on Google.
Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click Advertising
As our online marketing guru, Alexi says, “The best place to bury a dead body is on page 2 of Google search results,” because no one ever looks there. Customers are using Google to research businesses more frequently before they invest in a product or service. It’s crucial for businesses to appear on the first page of search results because the likelihood of a consumer moving to page 2 is slim.
Maintaining a good search position on sites like Google takes consistent maintenance of your business’ website and online platforms. Google makes it even more difficult by changing its algorithm consistently, which means a change in strategy for businesses. Some of these strategies include: using keywords consistently and often throughout your website, using links wisely to include keywords rather than irrelevant phrases, making images searchable by including <alt> tags, and having an overall well-organized website design.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is another common online marketing tactic used to get more eyes on a business’ website. If you search for something on Google, you will notice the first few results normally have the word “Ad” next to them. PPC allows advertisers to bid for placement among these sponsored results when someone searches for a keyword related to that advertiser. Every time a user clicks on the ad, the advertiser pays a small fee to the search engine. Fees will vary depending on the market and keyword. If there are a lot of searches in your area for a certain keyword, the price per click will be higher.
Don’t worry if that sounded like a foreign language! There are plenty of resources to explain (like the links above), and most online marketing professionals will have in-depth knowledge.
Online Reputation Management
More consumers are taking to the internet to research companies and post reviews on sites like Facebook, Google+, and Yelp. It’s important for businesses to monitor these reviews and respond accordingly, whether the customer says something positive or negative. Customers appreciate being heard, and your engagement with customers will reflect positively on you when other people research your business. It also helps personalize your business to talk with customers, answer questions, and address concerns individually. Leaving an open line of communication and responding to customers will increase the likelihood of receiving referrals.
In the world of online marketing, this is just grazing the surface of possibilities to promote a business. Whether you are a storefront or cloud-based business like Mosquito Joe, having a strong online presence is everything in this age of technology. If you aren’t savvy in this field and are exploring new business opportunities, look for a strong marketing team that understands your position and how to make online marketing work for you.
That’s where we come in to help! Our system provides franchisees with an established network of online vendors, training, and materials so their focus can be elsewhere. But whether you have access to this type of Corporate support or are going it alone, these are all things to keep in mind.