Timothy Moreland describes himself as a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a passion for economics. Tim has seized the opportunity to follow a lifelong dream of opening up his own business by using his varied talents to assist local businesses in improving their web presence. By utilizing his unique skills in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), targeted marketing for the web, and the crafted use of Local Business Center Listings, Tim has developed a must-read report for every small business titled Dominate Your Local Market. Intrigued, I decided to ask Tim some probing questions regarding why this business and why now? Tim responded as follows:
Q) Why is launching this business in the middle of a deep recession a good idea?
A) I think a business like this makes a lot of sense to begin in a recession. One of the chief aims of our partnership with clients is increasing their return on investment from marketing efforts. In many cases, this means reducing their advertising budget. What could be better in a recession than reducing costs and increasing revenue? Profitable businesses can expand sales and production, and thus, higher more employees. Profitability is exactly the correct recipe we need to escape our current climate of high unemployment.
Q) Why are SEO, targeted marketing, and business center listings important in today’s business climate?
A) Today’s consumer has tuned out traditional marketing strategies. When a commercial comes on the TV, we know we are being sold something, and people do not appreciate having their time wasted with a lame sales pitch. On the other hand, consumers still want to learn about products before they buy them. As a business owner, this opens up the possibility that customers will come looking for you! When they do, you better be highly visible. Think about this: 82% of consumers search online for local products and services. How does this process look? They jump onto Google, type in something like “Pittsburgh Spa”, and then look at the top 7 results that pop up on Google Maps, as well as the first page of Google (maybe the 2nd, at most). The businesses that have implemented strong SEO campaigns, and optimized their Google Maps listing are going to capture thousands and thousands of eyes every month that the other local Pittsburgh Spas are missing out on. The businesses that resist investing in Internet marketing are the businesses that will not be around in a few years.
Q) How would you define “results” for your clients?
A) In general terms, I measure results for a client based on two criteria: increased profitability and high satisfaction with my service. At the end of the day, I will show a client how much traffic I have brought to his website and how many of those turned into sales. If he is bringing in more money in sales than he invested in my online visibility services, then we have created a win-win scenario and a very satisfied customer.
Q) Why should a client come to you for these services versus just doing it themselves?
A) Time and expertise. Technically, a business owner could teach himself every single thing that we could do for him, and then he could implement it himself. That learning process in itself would take weeks, months, or even years. Unfortunately, we all have only 24 hours in a day. On my side, I have a team of dozens of experts devoted to fulfillment of a client’s project. The owner would likely need to quit working on anything else related to his business in order to deliver similar results for himself. I do not recommend that. It is the same reason most businesses higher sales people or accountants. A business owner certainly could do those functions himself, but why would he?
Q) You claim that your firm, Moreland Web Consulting, can provide the customer a better “bang for the buck” in their advertising and marketing budgets. How?
A) This varies depending on what exactly we implement for a specific client. In an overarching sense, we never try to sell anything to a client that we do not think will improve their return on investment. Sometimes, this may mean that we cannot work with you, because we honestly may not be able to help improve your profitability. Other times you may just need to automate your email delivery, which we can do for you. In other cases, a client may be able to implement “everything under the sun” and have it all increase profitability. We can do this, too. To answer your question more specifically: one key aspect of Internet marketing is the ability to track your results. In contrast, companies spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a Yellow Pages ad in the phone book or a TV spot, but they have no idea how many extra customers were a direct result of that ad, if any. With Moreland Web Consulting, we can tell you exactly how many customers visited your website, where they came from (a Press Release, a YouTube video, Twitter, Google, etc.), and capture their email address for you. The conversion to a traceable marketing campaign allows a business owner to measure the “bang for the buck.” In addition, statistics tell us that phone book ads and other traditional forms of marketing probably are providing a very, very low bang for the buck compared to creative Internet marketing techniques and SEO.
Q) What is the one thought that you want to leave the small business owner with?
A) Over 60% of local searches on the Internet result in a sale. These sales are going to the businesses that have committed to a strong SEO and online visibility strategy. If profitability and survival are things you care about as a business owner, then you must start taking, at the very least, small steps to improve your online presence. The Internet is not going anywhere; in fact it is becoming increasingly popular. Moreland Web Consulting can help any business, anywhere, capitalize on today’s Internet-savvy customer.
I would like to thank Tim for taking the time out of his busy schedule to respond to my questions. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America as evidenced above. I strongly urge all small business owners to take the time to download and review Tim’s report Dominate Your Local Market; it may be just what the doctor ordered for not just survival, but growth, in today’s very competitive business market.
Moreland Web Consulting