Keeping up With Internet Marketing

Where to go to learn and what to do about it

It takes many skills to build a house and few actually know all the pieces. It is the same with online marketers. Keeping up with it all let alone mastering all those skills is impossible.

I've spent hundreds of hours trying to keep up with it all. So instead here is my secret to never miss something huge.

The trick is to follow the thought leaders that stay up reading and analyzing everything instead of you doing it.



Local Small Business Lead Gen

Another secrete is just to read the newsletters and updates from the softwares you use.

If you find other great resources checkout these 3 apps/tools (GetPocket, Feedly, Casts) to keep up to date.

5 Google Business Listing Updates

The 5 recent Google My Business Listings updates are:

Message - Receive SMS live chats from customers right from your maps listing.  - How to

Scheduler or Menu Link - Include a link to your online calendar/scheduler. Or restaurants can link right to their menu. - How to

Questions - It's like a Q/A page but on your Google listing and you have to wait for customers to ask questions.  - How to

Posts - It's basically twitter because you can't say much (meant for small updates like talking about the latest sale this Saturday). - How to

Free Website - This is a horrible idea but it's better than no website. I discuss this and other website builders here.

Here is what it looks like on a mobile device.

Most of these changes only show on mobile for now.

If you are going to use a calendar appointment service may I recommend because it is awesome and syncs with your Google Calendar.

Be sure to be measuring the success of your Google listing. Here is a screen shot of the overall metrics they show at first glance. Dig a bit deeper and you can see calls, messages, visits to your site... But be sure to store this data somewhere as they only keep it for 30 days.

Do You Really Need A Website?

​The short answer is no you don't need a website, that thing that costs a ton, sucks money every few years on a new redesign and needs a programmer to maintain.

​I'm going to show you how to despite not having a website you can really amplify leads. I'll show you 6 ways service professionals are killing it right now without a website including getting reviews (the new referral). 

Healthy Distribution of Business

What you need is to know what is working in your business and truly bringing in the sales. Then where where to go next for more.

Because without the numbers you can’t possibly know where you are, let alone where you’re going. With the numbers, your business will take on a totally new meaning.

Michael Gerber

Your ultimate goal as a business owner if to get more sales and, therefore, more sales and profit. If you work backwards from that goal you will find mile markers or leverage points that help you achieve your goal on every marketing campaign.

Source Neil Cummings

This is what is called a KPI (Key Performance Indicator). KPI Think of it as sort of a measuring system to to compare by.


Asking each customer how they heard about you is good but typically impossible to track throughout the day. We'll discuss how to track things automatically.

  • Calls
  • Emails or Form Submissions
  • Texts or Chats
  • Demos
  • In store visits

6 Strategies to Win Without a Website

  • ​Google Maps/Facebook Pages
  • Referral Plan
  • Repeat Buyers
  • Printed Materials
  • Billboards
  • Strategic Partners

A website is typically the easiest way to implement measuring systems. However you can do many without a website as well.

I like to track customer phone calls with You can pick a different phone number for each of your marketing campaigns and you will always know if that nickle-ad is generating any calls automatically. Same goes for the Facebook ad or post card you mailed out.

Source Animated Heaven

  • ​Google Maps/Facebook Pages

​Both Google and Facebook allow you to have a free business listing. Chances are they have already made a listing for your business.

Google search for roofing brings up listings

Google and Facebook have recently added a free chat feature that you can use through email, possibly text. Claiming and updating your listings will give you greater control and insight into those customers views and contacts.

These directory listings will make it so that when someone searches for your kind of business and especially your business name, they can find you.

Google search for Doug's Repair

Often these listings can't outrank a proper website but it is better than nothing. These pages also provide a home for reviews so that when people find you, they can see ratings on past customer experience. 

  • Referral Plan

Most service professionals we work with get the majority of their business through referrals and repeat buyers. This has been and always will be the best source of ready to buy leads. At the very leads asking each customer for a review via the feedback funnel means they are referring you to the entire internet and not just their small circle of friends.

Googles recent update allows 1 bad review to show up in Google search results (including maps). Now is the time to get some good reviews ASAP.​

Google shows 1 bad review

  • Repeat Buyers

You have never needed a website to store and keep handy past customers contact information, make sure that you have a way to contact past customers and vice versa. An email can be worth its weight in gold. 

You could still get emails gathered and stored in Hubspots Free CRM (Customer Relationship Management System). Having an electronic database of your past customers is going to make it a whole lot easier to scale or sell your business in the future.

You could even start an email newsletter using Mailchimps free for 2,000 subscribers plan.​ Email is cheaper to send out then letters and easier to share and get a referral. 

Drag and drop easy

If you have a complicated product like my parents in law fancy security systems, you can create an automated email that teaches new customers how to use all the bells and whistles. ​You better believe that increases customer loyalty.

If you don't have a website, then you have to do lots offline advertising:

  • Printed Materials (On-Product, Penny-ads, Newspaper, Door Hangers...)

Remember those call tracking numbers come in handy. If you want to try having a different number for 1 of your marketing campaigns then you could try the free Google Voice. Get 1 local number for free and forward it to your existing number. Login online and see which calls were through the tracking number.

Keep paying for the marketing that gets those calls.

  • Billboard (Truck/Trailer Wraps, Yard Signs...) 

We once met a business owner that got the highest returns on marketing we had ever seen just from penny-ads and good street side placement of his product and a phone number. You can keep yourself busy without a website. When you go to sell the business having a system in place will be more valuable than a website.

​Don't forget to assign a different CallRail tracking numbers to each effort/campaign. No need to keep spending money on something that doesn't get results in the first 6 months.

 The is no reason you couldn't even hand out different brochures or business cards to be handed out by your strategic partners. You could even make it a game to see who gets you more business and gets a stake dinner in return.​

You can also have events and coupons to draw in customers. Separate details and offers will lead you back to the winning marketing campaign/source.

Have a Website Already, Take it up a Notch?

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "But I do have a website!" when you only have a single page site. The difference between a 1 page site vs. a whole site is that 1 page can't answer all the questions customers may have each of your product offerings. A good site needs to have 6 or more pages with a very detailed page of each product/service. 

Bonus points if your website is optimized for search engines by a reputable local company.

If you have a website these marketing methods will go further. However you can still do a version of each of these without a website. Because you can point people to something you own and control in all of your marketing.

  • Contact Past Customers (Emails(Newsletters,, Calls, Letters...)
  • Guest Blog Posting (who says you can't write for other peoples blogs?).
    • ​Google recently just added the ability to blog from your business listing.
    • Writing on LinkedIn Pulse: This is just blogging but it's on LinkedIn. It shares your voice through your articles and helps you sell your business to other businesses.
  • Giveaways (social media, physical raffles, rafflecopter...)
  • Google PPC Call Only Ads: This helps to get people in contact with you without having to visit your site. I think you have to have at lease a 1 page website but people will never see the site because clicks are calls to you not visits to your website. Facebook is also starting to offer lead campaigns.
  • Online Directories: Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie's List... Get your information on more sites/apps when they are looking. Bing pulls a lot of data from Yelp.

If you ask me, I'd say that yes! You really should have a optimized website. Websites really amplify / support good marketing as well as bring in new business. I hope this was helpful to you and your business!

P.S. Websites can track what got more web form fill outs. We like to look in Google Analytics for SEO, Social Media and Google PPC web form leads. Don't forget that, whichever way you choose to track your KPI, you should ask how your customers heard of you but as a secondary source for the truth. 

Lesson 9 Bonus – The Getting Reviews Course

I know if you opened my email or clicked on my links to do anything I asked for. I’m an internet marketer 🙂

But I was to lazy to check and that is really boring and a bit creepy. So lets assume you didn’t read all my emails or do something I asked you to do.

You’re not the first. My parents in law didn’t listen to me either.

Remember that example I gave about a Google search for “Home security Portland OR”? My parents in law are the first business in the maps section. They haven’t really listened to my marketing advice except for 1 thing, they ask for reviews. And that is the only thing keeping them ranking number 1 in Google Maps. But it will not last forever. They like you need to have a more rounded marketing plan.

UPDATE: As of 8/26/2017 when SFA moved down one in their maps ranking. It is safest to tackle all 7 Pillars of online marketing in your strategy.

Ways you could help me out:

Contact me to work on your marketing plan.

Leave me feedback.

Connect on LinkedIn and leave a personal recommendation.

Buy the The Referral Engine – by John Jantsch. Maybe you will listen to him.

Bonus Tip: Many sites have power reviews and a way to search for them such as Yelp. If you want a reviews with some kick to it, it may be worth inviting them to become a customer.

Go back to lesson 8.

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Lesson 8 Bonus – The Getting Reviews Course

I mentioned before there are a lot of wrong ways to get reviews.

5 things I have seen business owners do that land them in trouble:

  • You incentivized the review (Illegal by the way. An ethical implied bribe is still fine.)
  • You asked for a bunch of reviews from past customers all at once
  • You forgot to make it easy for them (Business card, email, text… to the feedback funnel)
  • You forgot to to make it a consistent part of your business process
  • You left the review or had them write it from your computer/device

To practice what I preach. Would you leave me a positive review? Your choice where.

A) Leave Me Feedback and a review at Google Maps or Facebook


B) Connect with me & leave a personal recommendation on LinkedIn

Bonus Tip: Business owners can actually review other businesses from their Google Maps account. Other business owners understand your pain so be sure to ask.

P.S. I did promise a funny article: The 7 Worst/Best Ways To Get Reviews By The Numbers

P.P.S.Here is the final bonus, learn form my parent in laws and an opportunity to work with me, lesson 9 bonus.

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Lesson 7 – The Getting Reviews Course

Hopefully you had as much fun learning about online reviews as I had making this course. You are a review expert now! 🙂

When this works for your business I ask for 2 things in return:

1. Please share this course with at least 3 people and as many social media sites as you can muster.

2. (Optional) As a consultant I don’t get paid to give out free courses. People love working with me through the other 6 major challenges their marketing plan needs. My lowest monthly service starts at $25 and my highest is $5,000. If you would like to explore becoming one of my clients, I’ll pay you $100 if you even think I waist a second of your time.

Contact me here!

Here is a recap of what you learned:

Be sure to funnel every customer through your feedback system. This will be your competitive advantage on an ongoing basis.

P.S. I know this wasn’t really a 7th day but 6 day course didn’t sound as cool, just kidding. I’ve got a bonus coming to you since I like you so deeply now, bonus lesson 8.

Lesson 6 – The Getting Reviews Course

Many are shocked to hear that review sites filter good reviews out. With Yelp being the most notorious for doing so.

Most common reasons for reviews being filtered out:

  • This is their first review
  • The user has not enriched their profile with details
  • The review is overly positive using some trigger words
  • The review is not given on a mobile device or app (Trick 1: This works great)
  • You incentivized the review (Illegal by the way)
  • Every reviews is from the same IP address
  • Too many reviews all at once
  • You left the review

I’ve only had 2 clients ever get a bad review. And one of those was at Yelp which shows right in Bing search results. So here is a tip for getting some reviews at Yelp.

Trick 2: Yelp thinks it is a social media site. So you can find all your friends/customers on Yelp by simply having Yelp search your contacts. Then you can reach out to them on an individual basis.

Source Thanks Shannon for the idea.

Bonus Tip: Text over a link where they can leave a review. Here is what a client of mine had to say:

“It worked great. And very convenient it wasn’t more than 3 minutes after I texted the link I got a reply that said ‘you’ll find a review up on Google.’”
– Wes B, Roofer

Next is our final lesson, lesson 7. I know I’m crying too.

P.P.S. Angies List matters more and more for service professionals. Here is the easiest way to get reviews on Angies List.

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Lesson 5 – The Getting Reviews Course

Today we are going to dive into some minutiae so hang on.

Have you ever had a truly amazing experience with a local business you just had to share? Or, was your experience less than stellar and you wanted to send out a “buyer beware” message?

I once had a less-than-stellar experience and felt it was my duty to warn others. I wrote a bad review. Later I received a call from the owner demanding I take off my negative review. No apology or asking to make it right, just a demand and a bribe for a free oil change. The business found me because Google My Business Center (Google Maps) no longer allows anonymous reviews.

Now, realize that most people still buy from 4 star businesses. The other 8% only use Yelp, JK.


Here is is how to respond to bad reviews in the good words of Shannon Willoby:

“Let the consumer know you’re sorry they had (x) experience and you’d like to talk to them further to figure out how you can smooth things over.

At that point, take things offline by messaging that user privately. It’s very important that you post an initial public message to that user; otherwise it will look like you never responded to any prospective customers.

Depending on the situation, you might want to get more details from the consumer, offer them a refund, a free product/service for a return visit (and hopefully a better, follow-up review), or at least a discount if they would like to come back and give your business another try.

A heartfelt apology and a desire to change whatever happened to make the consumer unhappy will go a long way in appeasing them and helping you avoid future bad reviews.

That being said, keep an eye on trends in the reviews you are receiving. If people are constantly mentioning that a certain employee of yours is rude, or a certain service is overpriced, or your selection is lacking, take note. Listening to this type of feedback – and making changes where they’re due — can be the very thing that helps your business stay in business.

Note: You shouldn’t ignore the users who are leaving positive comments about your business either. When you have time, a personal ‘thank you,’ whether publicly or via direct message will show your customers that you genuinely appreciate their business.”

Bonus Tip: People can delete or change their review on just about every website. If you send them right to their review link like in the case of Google Maps, they can edit it easily. I highly recommend emailing this to them after you have made it right.

P.S. This is also the reason you need to funnel every customer to your feedback/review funnel. Take unhappy customers offline to be heard, before it escalates.

Next we are going to learn about review filtering and 2 tricks for Yelp, lesson 6.

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Lesson 4 – The Getting Reviews Course

Most websites don’t send you a notification when you get a review. If you are like me and don’t want to miss anything, try these two methods.

1) Most don’t know Google & Facebook both have free apps. The apps will now alert you when you get a new review.

Google My Business App: Android or Apple

Facebook Pages Manager App: Android or Apple

Update: Microsoft came out with a bonus for all those using their paid office 365 for business. It’s called Microsoft Listings and you can track your reviews (Google, Bing, Facebook, Yelp). They now offer a MailChimp alternative and a easy invoice solution along with their calendar scheduler.

2) Manually check each month.

My favorite way is to know about new reviews is just check manually. Using Google Calendar, I set up a monthly reminder. Just click that box “repeats” when making a monthly or bi-monthly event.


3) There are paid services that will alert you, but they are limited to which sites they check and $30+ a month. I’ll trade 5 minutes of my time to save $30, but hey I’m cheap.

P.S. If you have added your review/feedback funnel to your website, checking each site for reviews is a breeze. All you need to do is visit and in a few clicks you have all your review sites up.

Next it’s is all about responding to reviews so share this right now on your social media channels. We will see you next for review filtering in lesson 5!

If you missed Lesson 3, here it is!

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Lesson 3 – The Getting Reviews Course

I often get the question, “Where should you ask your customers to leave a review?”

There are 2 places every small business should be getting reviews:

  • Google Maps – Because it helps you show up in Google searches.
  • Facebook – Because most have left a review there.


There are some other approaches regarding where to get reviews but Google Maps and Facebook are the most important.

The main thing to remember is this: GET REVIEWS VIA AT LEAST 2 SOURCES, PREFERABLY 4. The feedback funnel is perfect for this.


Strategies for picking your other 2 sites to get reviews on:

A. Where your competitors have reviews – Just Google your competitors business name or check on their website.

B. When you Google generic things about your business what sites come up?

For example…

Search: “Home Security Portland OR”

These directory sites come up in this order (first few are most important): Yelp, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, SafeWise(Security Specific Directory), and Thumbtack.

In most cases there is at least 1 industry-specific website, like TripAdvisor, which shows on several searches. You / your business should be there!

Here is a fun graphic I made a while back if you would rather profile the customer before asking.

Bonus Tip: Bing favors and shows reviews from Yelp and Facebook right in their search engine.

P.S. Getting reviews on your website is also known as “getting testimonials”. They are not as important as reviews on 3rd party review sites such Google. Be sure to ask me (reply to this email) about review schema if you have a lot of testimonials on your own website. Done right those can also show in Google search results.

Next up is getting notified when you get a review, lesson 4.

If you missed Lesson 2, here it is!

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