By Ryan Kane
Every technology integrator, by this point, has heard the term “SEO” (short for Search Engine Optimization) and has been told they ought to be doing something about it.
The challenge is that what you’re expected to be doing is not only technical, it’s a moving target—and requires ongoing, labor-intensive effort. Want to increase your visibility in Google? Research keywords, get more reviews, write regular blog posts for your own site, get your articles featured on other local or industry websites, and so on.
So that’s the core of SEO. It requires your attention weekly and monthly.
But if you’re tackling this yourself, consider looking for one-time, high-impact digital marketing actions. Actions you can take once, that pay ongoing dividends for your online presence.
Here are five quick wins that technology integrators should consider:
1. Add live chat to your website
Contact forms are still very much alive and well, but some customers increasingly prefer live chat as an option. Chat feels less formal, and decreases the barriers to reaching out for a quick question, particularly if the prospect is early on in the research process and doesn’t want to commit to a sales conversation.
There are tons of options here. Facebook Customer Chat is probably the easiest way to get started: it feeds directly into your business’s Facebook page. Any employee who you’ve made an admin on your Facebook page can see the messages come in. Website chats will also flow directly to Facebook’s Messenger app, which you (and employees) probably already have installed on your smartphone. Install it with a plugin (easier) or directly with code using Facebook’s instructions (more technical).
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’d like to offer not only live chat but service online, industry solutions like OneVision and Parasol offer to take care of inquiries on your behalf 24/7.
2. Fix your Google My Business profile
Google My Business is Google’s way of presenting your business to the world in the top right corner of search results. It appears any time people search for your business. As such, it pays to give this feature special attention.
This article from Search Engine Journal offers a full walkthrough of how to optimize your GMB profile. Key points include making sure all the services you offer are listed; verifying your business and confirming your service area; ensuring your phone, address, and hours are correct; and uploading attractive photos. Take the time to do this once, and you’ll be glad you did.
3. Leverage your brand relationships
Most of the brands you carry have a Dealer Locator page. Are you on it? Your rep has probably added it, but it pays to be sure and double check. Not only is this good for SEO, it also adds up to a source of leads, particularly across all the different brands you carry.
Do you know the other visibility opportunities your brands offer? Ask your rep. For example, Control4 gives each dealer the ability to create a Control4 “local microsite”. Make sure to populate this with relevant keywords, as well as adding your website and social media accounts. This is a great way to funnel highly relevant brand traffic to your website.
4. Leverage your client relationships
Your clients love you. Does everyone else know that? Highlighting customer testimonials may be one of the single biggest missed opportunities on technology integrator websites. Make sure you’re scattering your awesome customer testimonials everywhere they’re relevant (and particularly on the home page). What your customers say about you builds way more trust than anything you can say about yourself.
Next, consider encouraging more testimonials by creating a “Leave A Review” page on your website that includes direct links to major review sites like Google. The key is to make this a one-click process: after clicking the link, your customers should land directly on a blank text box to start writing their review. Here’s how to do that with Google.
5. Set up automated emails
Email marketing still delivers the best ROI of any dollar you can put into digital marketing. With that being the case, why aren’t more technology integrators making email a bigger part of their marketing strategy? Maybe you already send your email list tips and offers frequently. But if you don’t, look into automating some of your email communications. With tools like Mailchimp, you can set up “drip email” campaigns that are triggered automatically by actions like a new subscriber being added to your list, or an existing customer being tagged as interested in “home theaters.” Set up a system of automated emails that’s able to follow up with customers on your behalf, giving them tips and offers that might compel them to take a next step, or remind them that it could be a good time to service their system.
By starting to check off this list, you’ll lay a stronger, lasting foundation for your online presence!