Hey Super-trainers, here’s a nice guest blog post by SEO Ninja, Neil Venketramen from www.PersonalTrainerMarketDomination.com
A few weekend ago a small company called Children’s Furniture Store (CFS) finally pulled the plug and shut down their business.
As fitness professional what would you do if this happened to you? All your hopes and dreams would literally be wiped out with just one act.
They are closing their store down because of one single act. Literally Google’s latest SEO change called PENGUIN update forced their hand.
Here is an extract from their release on their site as to what happened and why they closed. (Courtesy of constant contact)
Wow, what a decision. It would cost too much money and time to rebuild their website to restore sales and cash flow again.
There are some important business lessons we can take away from this story. By the way I am assuming that this is not the only company that probably will shut down its doors because of these latest Google changes.
But irrespective of what happened to them lets focus on your fitness business for a minute.
According to Dan Kennedy the worst number in business is ONE.
If you only have one lead method right now that accounts for 80% of your leads you could place your business in serious jeopardy.
This company was relying purely on SEO for leads and sales. One wave of the Google stick and it disappeared overnight.
But before we start out and try to build other lead sources lets take a step back.
Do you even have a lead source that is constant and generate leads for you on a regular basis in place?
If you don’t I think you just may have bigger problems and I would strongly suggest starting there first before building more than one stream of leads to help grow your business.
Lets assume for a minute that you use the website for generating most of your leads.
But the way if you do not have a website or your website is not generating some leads or building a list, which you can market to at a later stage, I personally believe you will be in serious trouble in the next 18 months.
The entire world is moving online. If you do not have solid and effective presence you may go out of business at some point.
But wait a minute. You may be already successful without a website.
Sure you may be in a great position now. But what about 18 months from now? Are you willing to take that risk by not building a solid web presence and growing your business online?
Your business will slowly die without an online marketing presence. And if anyone tells you otherwise then do yourself a favor. The person who says you do not need a solid website or strong marketing presence, DO they have one? How are they communicating to you everyday?
Okay I am glad I got that off my chest ;)
If you have a website then how are you growing and protecting your online marketing asset.
Here are some questions to ask
1. Who is doing the SEO work for you? Are they reputable company? Do they have a list of clients where they can prove they doing an awesome job?
2. How are they ranking your website. Can you trust the quality of their work?
I know you may be outsourcing the work or doing the work yourself but ultimately you have to ask some very important questions to make sure you continue to have a strong marketing funnel that supports your business
At the end of the day if you do not have the high level understanding about this area then you always going to be at the mercy of an outside company to grow your business for you.
I want to be clear. I am not suggesting that you do the actual work. I am only suggesting that you take responsibility for understanding what is going on in your marketing and that it makes sense for your business.
As Peter Drucker one of the most famous management guru of our time has said there is only two things that are important in your business and that is marketing and innovation.
Do you have the marketing insight to help your business grow or die?
Childrens Furniture Company was responsible for their failure.
This is a harsh thing to say especially Google forced them out of business but the fact remains they were irresponsible.
They took investor money. The investors (especially family and friends) have poured their blood sweat and tears to lend them money to run the company hoping one day to get paid back and earn a small return on their cash flow.
But the company was irresponsible.
They outsourced the most important part of their business (marketing) to an outside company without taking any responsibility for understanding what this company was doing.
The end result.
They mismanaged investor money and are out of business.
The question you need to ask yourself is this, are you unconsciously mismanaging your business and slowly driving yourself out of business.
Do you really understand what is required to market your company and are you taking full responsibility for it despite you outsourcing some of the work.
And if you do not have a marketing strategy in place then what is your responsibility as an owner.
It is time to start today. Just ask a few open-ended questions. Dig a little deeper and ask information such as
1. What are my keywords to drive my business forward
2. How are my competitors doing
3. What is the big picture for my website. Are we making steady progress
4. What are the SEO strategies that you using and will it help me grow my business or get penalized over the long term
5. Am I building a list of customers to be able to continuously market to them over the long term
Any SEO service provider should be able to educate you on your business specifics every single month and use should use some of your gut instinct and education on marketing to know whether you are in the right direction
And by the way now is the time to pay more attention and dig deeper in your marketing to protect your most important asset in your business that is ultimately responsible for your success.
To your success
Great Post Neil. Very important to do due diligence when hiring an SEO company. Another good question to ask before hiring someone would be “how long have you been able to sustain the ranking of keywords for clients?”
@Neil great post.
Creating contingencies is crucial to success. As Tony Robbins says, “Expect the best but plan for the worst situation.”
Those are wonderful questions to ask. Asking the right questions is one of the most important skills an innovator and successful business owner can do.
@Greg love that question brother.
WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for fitness marketing