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sbmar
11-16-2009, 11:36 PM
Hi everyone. We’ve got an idea for a business and we wanted to get some other business owners thoughts on it. If you own a B/M business and we offered you the service of getting your business listed in the local business centers of the major search engines, local search engines, 411 services, Internet yellow pages, yelp (etc), GPS services and “X” amount of social networks, tied the social networks together so you can make one status update, and it updates all of your social network status updates (think Twitter, Facebook, Myspace) so you or your employee isn’t spending days doing the work, would a small business owner be interested? The social side is good for branding and building your footprint online. I can go on for days about it but I just was trying to get my point across. We would also advise you on the best practices for marketing your business online without the nonsense that most online marketers give you.

We know there is a TON of information out on the net and most if it is complete marketing B.S. . We’re thinking about offering a free 15 minute consultation over the phone. We guarantee that we can tell you more about how your business looks online than anyone else. We are offering no fluff and no “marketer speak” or internet hyperbole. We are talking about no nonsense approach, straight facts and how it will benefit you, as a business owner.
With Google releasing street GPS navigation on your phone and the ability to find businesses as you are using the service in REAL TIME, it has become vitally important to have your correct information in these systems. Think of Iphone users and their ability to retrieve information on the fly from the search engines. We have the data that supports the importance of it. We CAN verify this. Let me be very clear we are NOT offering SEO services. That is not what we are talking about. Most online marketers are completely unaware that there are two separate algorithms that show the organic search results and the “one box” results in Google. This is why you will see a business in the one box and not in the search results.

If you are running an online business, you can just use the social networking aspect and still reap the benefits. I know that this may come off as “spammy” since I haven’t posted in here before so, to show you that I’m a real person, here is my real email address fsoriano2005 {at} gmail [dot} com
If you had the option to pay a onetime fee or hourly rate, which would you, as a business owner prefer? All this can be done with 2 simple online forms so you aren’t spending days filling out information. You just go to our website and input the data and we handle the rest. Of course if you needed help, we would offer support.

If there other options that you as a business owner would like to see, please let me know. We are open to any and all ideas.

Thank you all for any input you can provide and good luck in all your endeavors.

vangogh
11-17-2009, 12:46 AM
You say you're not offering SEO services, but all those listings your describe are exactly the kind of thing an SEO would recommend and do for a local business. I'm not really following what the difference is. My bad if there is a difference, but I'm not understanding what it is based on your description.

I would add that a listing in those places is only part of the equation. Anyone can list themselves with all those services. That doesn't mean you'll ever get found. Listing is only one step.

I'm not suggesting your service isn't valuable either. It does take time and effort to fill out all the forms to be listed. There's certainly value to that service.

I guess I'm just misunderstanding a little what you're offering that isn't already being offered by other companies.


This is why you will see a business in the one box and not in the search results.

It takes more than just being listed and again this is exactly what SEOs who work with local businesses do.

KristineS
11-17-2009, 01:54 PM
I'm with Vangogh, I'm a little confused as to what you're offering that's new.

I would agree that there are probably brick and mortar businesses that could use some guidance in how to show up online, so I'm guessing you could find customers who would benefit from your company sharing your knowledge.

I'm just not sure you're offering anything that someone with a few hours and a basic knowledge of how to use a search engine couldn't find out for themselves.

vangogh
11-17-2009, 02:40 PM
And again none of the above is meant to say what you're doing is a bad idea or won't work. It's quite possible that what you are offering is different from what I'm thinking. It wouldn't be the first time I misunderstood something and it won't be the last.

Just not seeing the difference at the moment. If you don't mind describing things differently I might be able to offer better thoughts.

sbmar
11-17-2009, 10:50 PM
Yes, we are fully aware that some of the services that we are talking about can benefit from SEO but the majority of them are behind a closed system. Think Onstar, Zenrin, TeleAtlas etc. No amount of SEO, PPC or SMO will get you listed in these systems. As people who do SEO consulting, we know the value of offering that service but the LBC is a separate algorithm entirely. What we are proposing is a one stop shop for getting listed in the closed and open systems.

What we've found over the years is that most business owners don't care about how SEO works and the trivial details associated with it. They just want to be listed everywhere they can be. Were not saying SEO isn't valuable, just it's separate part of the big picture. I can't go into super detail about what we may offer just yet unfortunately. We were hoping to hear back from small business owners on here about their thoughts. We've run it past a few local businesses and they have been really receptive but we wanted to see what the response online would be.

vangogh
11-17-2009, 11:26 PM
I think I understand now. It's the closed system part where there's the difference. Sorry for missing that earlier.

I agree that most business owners aren't that interested in the details of SEO. What they want is results. I suspect they'd like to know some of the details though. At least enough to know their SEO isn't doing anything that can get them in trouble.

Hopefully a few people here can offer some ideas about what they'd like in this kind of system. I guess it would come down to results so I'm thinking as long as you can drive targeted traffic to different sites it's a good idea.

Based on my own experience I suspect most people would sooner pay a one time fee than an hourly rate. The one time fee is easier to budget and to really know the full cost. With hourly I think people question how long something will take.

sbmar
11-21-2009, 03:58 PM
Yea, the closed systems is what the real difference is and the ability to update all the social networks at once is what most people seem to be interested in. We don't touch the SEO part at all.

We plan on giving full details on the service, its that we can't go into details about it online yet....don't want to give all our secrets away... :D

Offering a onetime yearly fee seems to be gaining the most interest also. For the same reasons you stated. They just pay once and boom, done. No worrying about if this company is really doing what they say they are doing at the time they are billing "us" for.

Aaron Hats
11-21-2009, 03:59 PM
Sorry, but I wouldn't be interested in the least. Sounds too much like a "I can put your web site in the #1 spot and keep it there" business proposals...if you can call them that.

vangogh
11-22-2009, 01:07 AM
You do have to watch out for coming across too strong. Sadly there are too many people and businesses that do make those promises and hurt the reputation of others as they do.

I think I'd tone down the success rate and just be honest about being able to help. You will be able to help even if you can't guarantee #1 listings. Of course there will always be people looking for quick and easy ways to be #1 so there is a market there, but it's probably not a market for long term growth.

greenoak
11-23-2009, 10:50 AM
i would like those results..
..but probably wouldnt do it online....BECAUSE since i dont understand it i know i wouldnt be able to judge the claims.....
if i wanted to work on that i would have to have a known persons vouching for the company....like going to vg...because aarons hats said it was good.... or a neighboring store reporting THEIR GOOD RESULTS to me...
ann

vangogh
11-23-2009, 08:32 PM
Ann what you're describing is exactly why claims don't mean much. It's all about building trust with people, which comes from earning it over time and through recommendations of others. Trust is important for any business, but it's even more important online where we don't have the face-to-face contact with the companies we're deciding to do business with.

KristineS
11-25-2009, 01:50 PM
Trust is especially important in the SEO arena. There are a lot of companies out there making promises they just can't keep and also, unfortunately, not a lot of regulation about who can say they're qualified as SEO experts. It's the same thing with Social Media. There are a lot of people out there claiming to be Social Media gurus who barely understand what Twitter is and who almost never use it.

The best protection is to check your facts as much as you possibly can. If something feels hinky or uncomfortable, go with your gut and don't do it.

yoyoyoyoyo
01-15-2010, 04:03 PM
Case in point: most people don't know what they want, web-related; because they don't know much about the web at all.

For example: I had someone ask me if I could design an entire flash site for them, from scratch; and get them ranked #1 on google for a series of VERY general terms, for 200 dollars.

When I explained that i'd have to charge them *at least* 700 for this flash site, and that I couldn't guarantee #1 placement on google... they got mad, and started yelling at me, saying that I was "ripping them off"

lol, thank god I don't have to deal with that anymore.

---

but yeah, case in point: not a lot of people have enough knowledge about the net to...

a) make good proposals for project costs

b) know even enough to know what it is they want or do not want

c) have little or no business sense and think they're going to be a millionaire tomorrow

etc.

vangogh
01-15-2010, 07:39 PM
True. I think it's more than people not knowing what they want or not knowing the web well.

Years ago there was a commercial during the Super Bowl. A group of twenty somethings takes a new website live and starts watching the counter go up as people visit. At first they're excited, but then the counter starts increasing so fast that they have a new problem, that of being able to handle all their new customers.

I don't remember what company's ad that was, but the ad has always stuck with me. It's part of the build it and they will come mentality, which so many people still have. Many people still think all you need to do to be successful online is have a website and the rest is taken care for you.

Combine that with people still believing the web is an easy way to make lots of money for little work and you get people thinking anything more than a couple hundred for a website that brings tons of instant traffic is being ripped off.

There are plenty of people who don't know the web well, but are aware they don't know it well and have more realistic expectations of the people they hire.

KristineS
01-16-2010, 04:05 PM
What's really sad is that there are a lot of people and businesses out there who are preying on people's lack of knowledge. I've seen countless e-books touting the latest scheme for starting a website and getting rich quick. I even saw an article the other day, 5 businesses you can start in your pajamas (or something like that). The only people making quick money from these tips are the people that sell them.

vangogh
01-17-2010, 04:47 PM
Sadly that's true. Of course it's probably been true since the dawn of time. Some will always look to profit by preying on others. Hopefully most prefer to go after the win-win.

Then again if someone tells you all you need to do to make millions in your pajamas is to buy an ebook and you buy it shouldn't you take some responsibility for getting taken. Let's face it many of the get rich quick scams are obviously scams or clearly not going to be able to deliver on what they promise. At some point the buyer needs to take responsibility for what they buy.

billbenson
01-17-2010, 06:13 PM
Well, the govt has one. It's called the lottery. I was talking to the owner of a corner market one day. He said he really didn't make money on them after the costs of inventory. He said he needed to buy X number of rolls at $1k a pop or so. He said he just had to do it to get people in the store to buy beer which he sold for the same price as walmart down the street.

I don't ever recall seeing anybody that looked like they had money buying lottery tickets. I'm sure there are a few, but I bet the demographics have a lot more poor people than people with money buying lottery tickets. It's our government stealing from the poor!

Spider
01-18-2010, 01:52 AM
...It's our government stealing from the poor!Hardly! Since when has squandering one's money been considered stealing? Stealing requires the "victim" to at least object to the theft!

KristineS
01-18-2010, 11:38 AM
Then again if someone tells you all you need to do to make millions in your pajamas is to buy an ebook and you buy it shouldn't you take some responsibility for getting taken. Let's face it many of the get rich quick scams are obviously scams or clearly not going to be able to deliver on what they promise. At some point the buyer needs to take responsibility for what they buy.

I totally agree with that. People do have to take responsibility for what they do. Still, there are segments of the population, the elderly especially, that get preyed upon and I think that's horrible.

I also know that people who are desperate will grasp at any straw they can. I imagine there are a lot of people out there right now who are more inclined to try one of these get rich quick schemes than they usually would be.

Patrysha
01-18-2010, 12:02 PM
I do think it's horrible with the products that are intentional scams, but I also believe that the reason the scammers get away with it is because there are small grains of truth in their sales messages.

You can start with close to nothing and build a business at home with your computer and over time make money. It's not overnight and it's every bit as running any other type of business out there...but it can be done.

The scammers come in where people want to shortcut the learning process and the hard work...but fast tracking doesn't work precisely because the learning and hard work are needed to generate income. You can't buy success.

But some people seem to think they can.

Spider
01-18-2010, 07:55 PM
I feel many people think - possibly correctly in many cases - that while the promise is "get rich quick," even if that's not true, then they must be able to earn some money using the program. If they are out of work at that time, "some money" is better than the "no money" they are earning now.

Perhaps they realise the promises can't really be true, the practical part of the explanation sounds at least plausible and is probably a way to earn a little money until they can find a "real" job.

And, in all fairness - to the seller and the buyer, both - that is probably true in nearly all cases. (Nigerian bank manager asking you to stand surrogate for a deceased account holder, and such, excepted!)

vangogh
01-19-2010, 12:19 PM
That's probably true sometimes, though I think it would depend on the person and the specific 'get rich quick' offer. More often than not I think it's greed or a desire to make money without really working. Again it depends on the specific offer. Sometimes you can see an offer and while you don't expect to get rich instantly like promised, you figure there will still be something useful in the offer. More often, though, I think it's people looking for a free ride.