The Best Digital Marketing Advice For Local Businesses in 2015

As a digital marketing agency, we talk to many small and medium sized businesses looking to increase their revenue.  Many of these local businesses have the same problems when the approach us.  We thought we would share some of the low hanging fruit so that you can at least have a shot a competing in your local market. Then when you approach us to blow by your competitors we can move that much faster.

Secure All Your Passwords

This is perhaps the biggest digital marketing aspect that no smarty-pants SEO consultant talks about.  It's so simple, but yet very few clients we engage with have all their passwords.  We then embark on a mission to chase them down, typically wrestling them from a scorned programmer who doesn't want to admit that WIX and Squarespace just decided his fate to that of Blockbuster and Tower Records, (may they rest in peace).  Here are the most important passwords all local businesses must secure.

  • Your Registrar - This is the company where you bought and you pay $20-30 annually to keep ownership of that domain. This needs to be registered in your name, with your email address and not your programmers name or email address. You must keep this password safe.
  • Your Host - This is where your website is located.  This is not a WordPress or Joomla password, those are for backend access to your site to make edits. All websites live on a server somewhere, that is your host.  Many times your host and your registrar are the same, like GoDaddy.  That keeps things simple and we recommend that.  We also recommend Go Daddy, while pricey, its worth it, as they have the best support, which is helpful if you don't understand The Internet.
  • Your Google Maps Listing - About two years ago Google started forcing everyone to use Google Plus in order to manage their business listing on Google Maps. It sucks, they should just admit they missed the boat on social media and stop trying to catch Facebook.  Nobody understands Google Plus or cares about it. The executives at Google don't even have accounts.  None the less, in order to keep your Google Maps listing accurate you must create a Google Plus account and then go through a verification process to let Google know you have a real brick-and-mortar business.  They try to make sure all businesses on their map have a real physical address, which makes sense.  Typically they send a postcard via U.S. Mail with a PIN to verify this.

Many businesses went through this PIN verification but do not know who did it for them.  It could have been a departed employee, a web programmer, an old email address no longer in use. You cannot change anything on your Google Maps Listing without gaining access to the Google Plus account that verified it.  In addition, trying to get Google to delete your listing or give you access is a painful process which can take several weeks and months. 

  • Google Analytics - This is another password that is typically set up by your programmer. Often what happens is that your programmer creates it under their own email address so that all YOUR website visitor data is under THEIR account.  They do this so they can sign into one account and see all their clients. It's bad technique. Problems happen when websites are neglected for years and nobody remembers who set up the account.  Then often you have to create a new Google Analytics account, thus wiping out the last 2 years of historical data of who visited your site, where your traffic came from, what pages were most popular, etc.  This is valuable data and like your registrar, it should be set up in your name with your email address.

That should give you a good start. If you are thinking about enlisting the help of a (good) digital marketing agency or consultant it would behoove you to get your passwords in order, otherwise you are paying your agency to find them, instead of driving traffic. 

In a nutshell you cant do anything without your passwords.  You wouldn't treat your banking passwords this carelessly so why would you do it to your business?

Thanks For Reading !