The Ultimate Guide to Business Building for Window Treatment Dealers

  • By creekmoremarketing
  • 20 Oct, 2017

Tried & True Ways To Grow

INTERNET MARKETING  

This is a form of marketing you can’t ignore. Be sure to have a strong SEO, social media and web presence. Online reviews will be a key factor in your success.

VEHICLE WRAPS

The key to making these work is ensuring your products, services and contact information are BIG, bold and clear. Fancy images and graphics are less effective.

MAILERS

Sending periodic cards or postcards to your customer base can be very fruitful. Many dealers thrive off repeat business, so why not stay in touch with your previous customers?

MAXIMIZING THE COMPLETED JOB              

Top performing dealers have recommended the following:

  1. Take pictures of every completed job. (Some may make great social media/website content.)
  2. Put a yard sign out front, if the customer is open to it. 
  3. Knock on the door of the neighbors next door and across the street. Hand out your business card and introduce yourself. “Hi, I’m Ed. I just installed your neighbors window treatments. If you’re ever in the market, we’d love to help you out!” 
  4. Call the customer a week later to thank them and ask for an online review. 
  5. Send a handwritten thank you card.Top performing dealers have recommended the following:
BNI/NETWORKING GROUPS

Find a group with members in the home services industry. The key here is building relationships. Your best referral sources will be real estate agents, interior designers, general contractors, flooring specialists, etc. https://www.bni.com/find-a-chapter

FIND LOCAL REFERRAL SOURCES  

You can make connections outside of networking groups. Stop by your local interior designer, flooring specialist, general contractor, etc and introduce yourself. Dealers who have created structured referral programs/incentives have been very successful. Always thank your referral sources with a phone call or handwritten card.

HOME SHOWS              

Sign up for a booth at your local home show. The key here is to have someone very outgoing working the booth. Talk to everyone who walks by and offer them a design booklet or business card. You could hold a raffle to collect contact information.

YOUR LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (SBDC)  

This is a free (government funded) program that provides top of the line business consulting to new or existing businesses looking to grow. http://americassbdc.org/home/find-your-sbdc/

ASK “HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT US?”              

Be sure to ask every single customer. If you want to go above and beyond, keep this information in iCM or a spreadsheet.

TV/RADIO/PRINT              

These forms of marketing can be successful or a total flop. It completely depends on the stations or magazines you choose, budget and a variety of other factors. We’ve found that niche/local neighborhood magazines have been successful for some dealers. We typically always recommend Internet advertising if you have a limited budget, as it almost always provides a better return-on-investment.

GOOGLE 360° VIEW/VIRTUAL TOUR  

Build trust with a high-quality virtual tour that lets people experience your location before they arrive. These immersive, virtual experiences inspire greater confidence among prospective customers. We recommend you contact Chris Sardinas at CS3Design Inc. His email address is info@cs3design.com and his phone number is (407) 636-7053. Mention that Creekmore Marketing referred you and you should receive a discounted rate of $650.

ONLINE NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS

Websites like NextDoor or Facebook Neighborhood Groups are excellent ways to get referral business. Claim your business and be sure to stay active in these groups.

ANGIE’S LIST              

We’ve heard good and bad things about Angie’s List. Their program has changed quite a bit over the years. To make it work, it’s important to get a lot of reviews.

HOUZZ              

Houzz works well for interior designers. We haven’t found it to be as fruitful for window treatment dealers. Ultimately, many people use Houzz to get design ideas, but end up going to Google when they’re ready to make a purchase. We feel this may change as Houzz continues to gain popularity. That being said, it has worked for some dealers, so we keep an open mind. 

YELP              

In certain markets, Yelp is widely used and can be effective. We’ve heard overwhelming negative feedback about Yelp from window treatment dealers, so it’s not currently something we recommend.

LINK BUILDING

Getting links pointing to your website from other websites helps your brand gain exposure on Google, Bing, etc. http://www.creekmoremarketing.com/local-link-building-ideas-for-small-businesses

WINDOWTREATMENTWEBINAR.COM              

We host webinars regularly to help window treatment dealers grow. Register at www.windowtreatmentwebinar.com .

UPDATE YOUR SHOWROOM              

Your showroom should be clean, easy to navigate and professional. It should represent your brand. If you haven’t remodeled in a while, you may want to consider it!  

LEARN MORE ABOUT CREEKMORE MARKETING:  https://www.creekmoremarketing.com/window-treatment-dealers         

By creekmoremarketing 20 Oct, 2017

INTERNET MARKETING  

This is a form of marketing you can’t ignore. Be sure to have a strong SEO, social media and web presence. Online reviews will be a key factor in your success.

By Elizabeth Burton 11 Jul, 2017
Like many people of my generation, my very first e-mail address was through Yahoo! Also, like many people of my generation, I haven’t used Yahoo! in years. It mostly functions as a relic of the dot-com bubble now, much like MySpace. But, while you can still access MySpace in the same way you can still access Yahoo!, does that mean you should make an account? If you are wondering if your business should devote time and energy on Yahoo!, Creekmore Marketing has created a quick guide to inform you about what it still has to offer you.

History

Like Google, Yahoo! came out of Stanford University in the 1990’s. It was created by Jerry Yang and David Filo and named “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” It was revolutionary for the time in that it organized search results into a hierarchy as opposed to an index, a move that later search engines would owe to “Jerry and David’s Guide.” Several months after the Guide was created, it was renamed Yahoo! The name Yahoo had actually already been trademarked by several different endeavors up to that point, which necessitated the exclamation point at the end of Yahoo!’s name. Through the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Yahoo! saw massive growth, as many such companies did, through the dot-com bubble, even earning the honor of being the most expensive stock ever sold in Japan in 2000. However, when the dot-com bubble burst, Yahoo!’s value crashed and never fully recovered. Various companies attempted to acquire it, but only in 2009 was it officially bought out by Microsoft. While Yahoo! is still running, it is slated to be fully replaced by Bing by 2019.

Percentage of Overall Search Volume

While Yahoo! may be essentially defunct at this point in time, it does still receive a surprising amount of search engine traffic. While it does still fall behind, it stays roughly equivalent with Bing, earning 11% of the total search queries for 2015 while Bing earned closer to 20%. While that gap may sound large, that amounts to Bing receiving 3,676 million queries in December of 2015, while Yahoo! received 2,201 million queries. While this is vastly less than what Google receives, it is still a sizable number of queries, and places it above other search engines that were created around the same time, such as Ask and AOL.

Reviews

Like other search engines, Yahoo! does not give its users an avenue to review businesses directly. While you can still claim your business’s listing on Yahoo!, the reviews that populate will be scraped from other review gathering services, such as Yelp.

Major Algorithm Changes

Because Yahoo! is so comparatively outdated, little is known about recent changes to their search algorithm. The most recent news that broke regarding it was that Yahoo! actually has an algorithm specifically dedicated to those using it to search on mobile. As for what this entails, the CEO of Yahoo! reportedly claimed that Yahoo!’s mobile search algorithm “provides a richer, more action-oriented set of experiences.” If you read our guide on Bing, this sounds similar to their goal of being a search engine centered around spurring consumer action. Ultimately, though, don’t expect many Yahoo! algorithm changes moving forward. After all, its expiration date is set for 2019 when it will be fully replaced by Bing.

Its Importance for Small Business SEO

I’ll start off by saying this: when was the last time you used Yahoo!? For many of us, it’s been years, and while Yahoo! does get a remarkable number of search queries every month, that has more to do with the sheer volume of people using the internet at any given time than it does with Yahoo!’s popularity. Yahoo! is soon to go the way of the dodo, and so dedicating a lot of time to it when it comes to growing your business will be time you can’t spend on other, more worthwhile search engines, like Google, Bing, or Apple. That doesn’t mean that you should 100% ignore it. Many services, like Yext, can claim your business on multiple, smaller platforms, such as Yahoo!, in one fell swoop, so if given the opportunity to do that in a way that won’t take up much of your time, it is a great option. For as long as it continues to exist, Yahoo! is still another patch in the quilt of SEO, but it’s a smaller, older one, and one that probably needs replacing.

Has this helped inform you more about how your business should use Yahoo!? If it has, or if you still have more questions, contact Creekmore Marketing to figure out more ways to grow your business online.
By Elizabeth Burton 11 Jul, 2017
Google is more than just a search engine at this point: it’s an institution. Google is practically shorthand for the internet at large, and this vastness can make it seem impenetrable. But like anything that exists on the internet, Google was created by people for the purpose of being used by people, and that includes you and your business. Because Google is so omnipresent, making sure that you understand how it works and how your business can utilize it most effectively is incredibly important. Luckily for you, you’ve got experts on your side, and Creekmore Marketing has developed a short guide to Google to help get you and your business acquainted with this digital giant.

History

Compared other search engines and giants of the information age, Google came onto the scene rather late, as a research project started by two Stanford University students in 1996. One student, Larry Page, was interested in how math served to link different pages on the internet, and so decided to create a database of how different pages linked to each other with the help of his friend Sergey Brin. The project, initially nicknamed “BackRub,” was created with academia in mind, to help academics find citations for research, but as we all know, it didn’t stay that way. Part of what allowed Google to become the institution it is today is the innovation that Page and Brin added to their project as part of their thesis: that the pages with the most links are the most relevant, and should therefore “rank” higher on search results. This thesis, which was written up as the “PageRank algorithm,” became the cornerstone of Google’s algorithm, and is still used today to formulate how search results populate. Google was officially incorporated as a company in 1998, and then patented in 1999. Its iconic name came from the number “googolplex,” which is 1 followed by 100 zeroes. You can see this influence still today when you search something on Google and scroll to the bottom of any given page of results: there the Google logo is stylized to have multiple O’s, much like its namesake.

Percentage of Overall Search Volume

Google is far and away the most used search engine in the Western world. In November 2016, Google received 15,303 million queries, whereas its next closest competitor—the Microsoft search engine Bing—only received 9,758 million queries. The total percentage of queries made in all search engines tends to average around fifty percent for Google, although can rise as high as sixty percent. With this in mind, it is a safe assumption to say that if someone is searching something online, they are using Google. After all, “Google it” is shorthand for searching something online in general, whether you are using Google or not.

Reviews

There are a number of ways to have your business receive reviews on Google. The most obvious, and most important, avenue is to get Google reviews directly. The service Google My Business is directly tied with Google Maps, so whenever searchers find your business on Google Maps they are given the option to leave reviews. They can also do so by finding your Google My Business listing through a standard Google search: this brings up a sidebar with your business’s Google listing and again gives the option to leave a review. Google also pulls reviews from other sites, such as Houzz, that are also displayed on your Google listing.

Major Algorithm Changes

We may only be a little over halfway through 2017 at this point, but that hasn’t kept Google from routinely updating its algorithms. Back in February, there was an update that greatly shook up keyword rankings across the board, some positively and some negatively. And then, in March, there was an even bigger update, nicknamed “Fred” by Google’s Gary Illyes. Google does not often confirm algorithm updates, but any time there is a large-scale shake-up of rankings across the board—whether they be positive, negative, or a mix of the two, as is often the case—you can assume there has been an update to Google’s algorithm.

Its Importance for Small Business SEO

It is difficult to overstate the importance of Google for SEO, whether your business be large or small. For small or local businesses, however, Google is perhaps even more necessary than for massive multinational corporations. Because of Google’s reach and resources, small businesses can be found by customers in ways that were unprecedented twenty years ago. Making sure that you are tailoring your SEO strategy to Google specifically isn’t just a recommendation: it’s a must.

If you have any further questions about Google and how your business can work with it successfully, contact Creekmore Marketing today!


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