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Full Transcription Below:

Valerie V:            Ready and I will send you an email with the recording. If you want a PowerPoint of the slides I’ll happily do that for you in exchange for something from you, not money. Just happiness. You could email me and say I want the PDF of the slides, because sometimes people just want to share the information with their colleagues, or business partners, or whoever they work with or work for. And that’s totally fine with me.

Valerie V:            I don’t send you the exact slides, but I will send you the PDF of the slides. All right. So, here we go. It is 2020. Oh, should I say welcome to 2020? All the 2020 jokes are super old. My kids keep saying, “You have 2020 vision.” All right.

Valerie V:            We are going to talk about, at the end of this presentation you’re going to have, the last slide is going to be your plan, your online marketing plan for 2020. So, you will have kind of, a summary of everything I talked about, and what’s important, and how to hit the highlights.

Valerie V:            The website I’m going to be referring to for this whole presentation, if you need more information, is ASNMarketingPlan.com. That is our new website. For those of you who know me, you know that our name of our company is LTC Expert Publications.

Valerie V:            This year since we have our registered mark from the United States Government we will probably be changing our name sometime this year. Probably end of first quarter or at least second quarter to Approved Senior Network. And all of our projects, plans, everything that we do, all of our marketing will fall under that umbrella. So, you will see a little bit of change there, but it’s the same team and we were not bought out we just changed our name, so that we could match all the products and services branding, new branding.

Valerie V:            All right. On the agenda today. Social media basics. Which social media accounts are best for your business? Learn how to combine your offline and your online marketing. Paid versus organic online marketing. Content is queen, but engagement is queen and she rules the house. Walk away with the start of a solid marketing plan for 2020. Oh, and generating leads through social media and your websites. Tips, tricks, and terminology to help you smash the competition online.

Valerie V:            All right. So, that is on the agenda today. And we’re going to start with this. Some of you already know the answers to this, but it never hurts to revisit. The first thing I want to tell you, which I’ve been saying for a million years and I have to remind myself all the time, you are not your customer. So, just because you think it’s cool, or you like it, or you would buy that thing, or you would love to see an ad look this way doesn’t mean that’s how your market feels, or your consumer that buys your services feels.

Valerie V:            So, just remember you are not your customer. So, the things that you think are cool, chances are it depends on your generation, it depends on who you’re serving. They may have no idea what you’re talking about. So, who typically buys your service? Are they male or female? What is their age? Are they high income or low income? What zip codes to they live in local to you? Are they married, widowed, divorced, or single? Do they have children or no children? And do they have a car or no car?

Valerie V:            These are all things that you should kind of, know just based on the suite of clients you currently have. You should know if the people who buy your services live in a high income or a low income area. You should know if they’re in a middle income area. You should know typically the age. You should know all of these things. And if you just took a look at your current population of clients, you would get a great picture. If you wrote everybody down in columns, you put these in columns and just put a check mark by each one that applied to them, you would know that they’re all in the age range of X and they all are in this cluster of zip codes, and most of them are widowed, and most of them have adult children, and most of them still drive a car, or maybe they don’t.

Valerie V:            And then for private pay senior care, and this could be home care, assisted living, nursing home. It could be any kind of private pay senior care. It’s usually the adult child of the aging parent that you’re marketing to, not necessarily the senior. They are also part of that decision making process, of course, but who’s the person who makes that initial phone call?

Valerie V:            Usually an 80 year old adult is not going to call you up and say, “Hey, I just shouldn’t be living here alone anymore. Could you send some help?” Because they want to stay in their own home and they’re not going to make waves about that. Right? So, usually it’s the adult child who starts getting worried and they pick up the phone and say, “What can we do to help my mom?”

Valerie V:            They’re usually, if they’re private pay they’re middle to high net worth. I mean, if you take Medicaid that is not a private pay person. So, they would maybe be at a lower income bracket, but your middle to high net worth folks are the ones that are going to be able to afford consistent, long-term, ongoing, in home care.

Valerie V:            They have some disposable income. Chances are they have a good credit history. The person who calls you usually over age 40, there could be some 30 year olds in there, but they usually have aging parents, so typically they’re not your 18 year olds.

Valerie V:            Female. I would say usually, but men has become more and more of our adult children, and family caregivers are male these days. But I would say it still teeters toward being a majority female. And they’re probably living in middle to affluent zip codes in your local area, and of course they probably have a car. And marital status isn’t always an issue. Especially for the adult child.

Valerie V:            But it’s interesting to know if you’re serving a more single population, or if you’re having more couples that are needing care. Just interesting to know. Doesn’t really affect, maybe how you market so much, but it could. So, just kind of, having an idea in your head of what those things really are is a good idea for your marketing plan.

Valerie V:            And then also, what disease processes do they have? Take a look at your suite of client’s right now. Do they have Alzheimer’s disease? Dementia? Stroke? MS? Severe arthritis? Parkinson’s disease? Have they had an elective surgery and they hire you to help with post-op care? Do they have low vision problems? What is it that’s keeping them from being able to take care of themselves at home and hiring home care?

Valerie V:            If you make a list of these, maybe they were just … Congestive heart failure might be another one. And I know that I’m not the only person who’s told you this, or harped on this, or said this in a webinar, but if you would take the time to make a simple Excel spreadsheet and have their basic diagnosis here, and the last date of hospitalization, if you can keep them out of the hospital for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and keep them healthy, then you can present that information to any clinician who will be happy and impressed that your home care agency actually, number one, thinks about these things. And number two, you’re willing to track the data and let them know that you took the time to do this. You know you can keep people out of the hospital. So, if you would just keep track of this bits of information they would help you so much understand more about your client base, and that persona. Everybody has a persona.

Valerie V:            My business has a different persona than your business. I know exactly who I want to have as a client, give or take a few things, and so that’s who we market to. All right. So, where are these people? We know that we’re talking to the 40 somethings, typically female, and they all have aging parents, so where are they? And where are the seniors? Where are they? Online. We’re talking online. Where are these people?

Valerie V:            And you may love Instagram, but I will tell you right now they are not on Instagram. And they are not on Twitter. They might be on Pinterest. They might be on YouTube sometimes. They’re definitely on Facebook. They’re definitely on Google. And they’re definitely on television. Most of them. Not all of them.

Valerie V:            Some people only have one choice and that’s cable television, but a lot of them are cord cutters these days, so they’re doing everything over wifi. So, still a lot of television, a lot of Facebook, and a lot of Google. The rest of these is a super gamble. They are not on Snapchat. You’ll find one out of a 100 clients of yours are probably a big Snapchat user.

Valerie V:            I have Snapchat on my phone, but it’s not for me, it’s so that I know what my kids are doing. So, Instagram, you may love it. It may be the thing that you enjoy the most about your day, but you are not your client and I guarantee you most of them, even though billions of us have an Instagram account, including me. I probably have three. I never use it. I do use it in an automated fashion. I do not physically go on Instagram very often. It’s not even where my clients are. So, I don’t use Instagram.

Valerie V:            I am 48, almost 49 years old, but in Twitter? Yeah, because we’re in marketing we have Twitter. But do I go on there every day and look at Twitter? No. Pinterest? Pinterest is a good female demographic and it’s usually for happy stuff. Inspiration, crafts, weddings, babies, redecorating, interior decorating, gardening. People don’t go there for, and I hate to say this, but folks, come on. I’ve been doing this 12 years and some of you have been doing it longer than me. They don’t go there for downer Debbie stuff. Or Debbie downer stuff. Whichever.

Valerie V:            They don’t go there to talk about nursing homes and home care. They go there to escape. So, Pinterest is, yes, a good demographic for the clientele for adult children of aging parents, for females specifically, but that’s not probably where you’re going to get a lead. Unless your a huge Pinterester.

Valerie V:            Now, the next question you should probably have is, “Well, shouldn’t we have all these accounts anyway?” And I would say yeah. You should have all these accounts anyway. And you should post to them. And you should automate the posting to any of these where they’re not going to make you a buck.

Valerie V:            The ones you should focus on are the ones that you need to actually, physically and mentally understand and be involved in. The rest of these, automate it. You’ve got a presence, you’ve got back links, you’re good. YouTube? I’m of the opinion that you should go to at least some length to make some videos for yourself that are of you talking, just like I do. I’m sitting here in my office space. You’ll probably hear my dogs bark before too long.

Valerie V:            I think you should do that. Even if it’s in a professional studio answering your about us, or frequently asked questions. I think you should have some videos. But I don’t think that everybody’s going to be a big YouTuber. You don’t have time for it.

Valerie V:            And for television there are ways to have your own TV channel, but the only … And we have a couple of them ourselves, but the only way to do that is to be someone who makes videos all the time. And I have very few clients, maybe two, that actually will take the time to make videos. It’s a lot of work.

Valerie V:            So, these people are on Facebook, Google, and we’re going to talk about that. So, here’s your answer. You’re going to focus on Facebook in 2020, you’re going to focus on Google stuff. YouTube? If you want to make videos. Absolutely do it. Television, they’re here on TV, but I would not suggest that you do any TV advertising. I would suggest that you just watch this space and see what happens, because you can’t advertise really cheaply here. All right. But it’s not something we’re going to talk about today, because it’s too new. Especially for the stuff that we do it’s crazy new. But these two right here for online marketing and a little bit of YouTube mixed in, absolutely. I believe in it, I know it. We do it every day and I see it.

Valerie V:            All right. So, let’s talk about Facebook. For your Facebook basics you need to have a personal Facebook account even if you don’t plan on ever going on Facebook and having friends on Facebook, and it’s not your gig, that’s okay. You’re not your client. Remember? So, your clients are on there. Grandmas, grandpas. Facebook’s demographic gets older by the day, which is good news for us, because there are so many of us.

Valerie V:            And that is a good place to find adult children of aging parents who are looking for help for their aging mom or dad. So, you need to have a personal Facebook account. You can set the security setting so that no one even knows you’re there, but you need to have one. And you need to have a Facebook business page. There is a difference between a personal Facebook account and a Facebook business page.

Valerie V:            If you have setup your Facebook business account to say first name, home. Last name, care services. Then you’ve done it wrong. It should be a Facebook business page, and that’s against their terms of service, so you need to change that.

Valerie V:            Anyway. Facebook business page. You should post to that three to five times per week. Actually, Monday through Friday every single day. 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM is a great time for you to post to Facebook, and in the evening. 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Great time, because people look at Facebook on their lunch hour, and when they get home from work after dinner. Those are the times people are hitting it.

Valerie V:            So, three to five times per week is, like I would say a minimum. It doesn’t have to be something that you took a lot of time to think about. It could be anything. And I put some examples here of Touching Hearts At Home of Gainesville, because they do such a good job with this. And we help them. They are clients. Full disclosure. But they are really good about sharing their offline marketing with their online audience, and they do have a nice online audience.

Valerie V:            You want to share relevant and engaging content, and share company news. So, if you look at the first little picture there, I know it’s small, but that is a picture of the folks at Touching Hearts At Home of Gainesville. They’re at an event and it’s at Clear Sound Audiology. Home hot cocoa bar. Oh, Touching Hearts At Home hot cocoa bar. Dang. That’s a nice idea.

Valerie V:            Anyway. So, if you are going to do an event, you’re going to do a combo event, you’re going to do a health fair, a senior fair, a senior expo. You’re going to be doing a job fair. For goodness sakes, take a few pictures of your table, the people that attended and post it on Facebook. Do it.

Valerie V:            You need to show people that you have an involvement and you can be trusted. If you hide behind your website and nobody even knows who you are on your about us page, then to me, in 2020 that’s … I know that people don’t want to put themselves out there sometimes, but to me that’s a whole lot of shady. I’m just going to say it right now. Shady. Put yourself out there. Home care, senior care, assisted living, it’s a huge trust issue.

Valerie V:            If I’m going to have you take care of my mom, then I want to know that you’re not afraid to get your butt out our community and be visible. You’re not hiding behind your website and behind your phone. I want to see you out there. I want to know that you’re invested in this community. So, company news is super important.

Valerie V:            And you can see at the top January is national bath safety month. That’s just kind of, a generic post. Anybody could find that, anybody could do that. We do that for them. And then the one underneath that says, “Every morning should be happy. We can help with all senior care challenges. Give us a call today.” That’s their phone number and their website, and that is actually a video. Of course, it’s a screenshot, so you can’t see it, but it’s a one minute or less video. And those videos, it’s just sort of, it goes to music. There’s nobody talking in it. And it’s kind of, like a slideshow video. It’s not hard to make, but we do one on different topics every other week. So, twice a month we put up a video.

Valerie V:            These are not hard to make, but it’s just the time that it takes to make them. And then know what to put with the post, and then make sure that the phone number’s there, and all those things. So, we do that for our clients, but two of those short, little videos that answer a frequently asked question, or are inspirational, those are the things that you want to look at.

Valerie V:            And then the final little picture on there is something that they kind of, tacked to the top of their Facebook business page, and it’s just an inspirational quote. Something very kind and compassionate about the human spirit. And people love that stuff. The more happy you can be in your Facebook posts, more inspirational, the more people will engage. And that’s what it’s all about.

Valerie V:            If you look at the bottom of my page here, I’m just going to give them a shout out. The bottom of the screen is a link to their Facebook page, if you want to see more about how they engage with their audience, and how we help them engage more with their audience.

Valerie V:            So, they do a great job, we just enhance that. But anybody can do this, it’s a matter of wanting to take the time to do it. But in the end this works. This absolutely works. It builds trust, it builds authority, it shows that you care, that you’re compassionate, and that you’re out there in the community and you’re working hard for people’s business.

Valerie V:            If you hear a dog, it’s just Layla. Or little dog. They both are going to probably go crazy. Okay. So, we got that. Facebook. Let’s talk about Google. All right. Google is more complicated. You know that if you type in home care blah, blah, blah. Whatever your city, state is, you want to be the person on the first page of Google.

Valerie V:            So, these are different companies and different screenshots, but I wanted to show you all the things that make you … This isn’t everything, but this is a lot of the stuff, the big ones that get you to the first page of Google.

Valerie V:            First of all, you have to have a great website. You cannot have jankstore, 2005 website. If you haven’t updated your website in three or four years, it is time. Even if you love the way it looks, the platform that you’re on in the backend is way outdated.

Valerie V:            Technology flies by us. I mean, Google’s updating junk every six months, and Facebook too. Or even more than that, I think there’s an algorithm change a day on Google. Big changes come in chunks and so, we are always trying to keep up and adjust our marketing strategy to help our clients.

Valerie V:            And so, one of the things that we know, because we develop websites for so many people, is that your website is outdated after three or four years. It’s not because someone hasn’t been taking care of it. We take care of our client’s websites. We do nightly backups, and make sure all the plugins are up to date, and we do all that. But technology changes and if the basics of your website is becoming outdated, it’s important to update it.

Valerie V:            It will not keep up with speed requirements, it’ll start having things that break. You’ll be spending more money on getting your web developer to fix the backend then you would if you just cleaned the slate and put a new website up. You probably also rank better if you have a clean, up to date platform.

Valerie V:            So, I just put an example of the website up at the top. It needs to be mobile responsive. So, you can see a tablet there, a laptop, a big screen, and a phone. I know those pictures are hard to see, because they’re far away, but you need to make sure it looks good on all of those things. So, that’s your website.

Valerie V:            Content. Right below the website picture there’s a picture of a blog post, just as an example. Every website should have the ability to blog post. So, if you just put up a six page website and you can’t ever really add to it, or put a blog post up, they’re static pages, they don’t do anything, you’re not going to get anywhere with that.

Valerie V:            It’s great to have it, but the days of using your website as a brochure are over. You should be blog posting, and if you don’t have the time to do it, hire somebody to do it. So, when people hire us we blog post for them twice a month, or more. People have us blog posting every single week, which is fine.

Valerie V:            We have professional writers that write the content, and we do it, but you can hire a professional writer to write content for you and do blog posts if you don’t have time. Here is a caution about content. Your content that you put on your website needs to be unique to you. It cannot be content that was borrowed or copied from someone else.

Valerie V:            So, I’m going to use ClearCare. I don’t have anything. ClearCare’s fine. I don’t use them. I know they’re a big company. Lots of you use them. That’s awesome. And I know they have a content database, because our clients will send that content to us. And it looks pretty, and it’s a nicely written piece, just know that if you take that information and you post it on your website it is the same exact article that 400 other people are posting on their website, and it has zero value. Zero value to you.

Valerie V:            If you have the same content as 400 other people have on their website, it is not going to help you. It’s a duplicate content penalty. The first person who posts it is the person who gets the credit for it. The first website that posts it. That’s it.

Valerie V:            So, it doesn’t do any good to scrape content from someone who’s actually giving it to you, which is super nice, don’t get me wrong. And those will be great as flyers, those will be great as leave behinds or handouts, but as far as content on your website, it’s interesting and so that’s fine too, but it’s not doing you any good SEO wise. Just know that.

Valerie V:            All right. Next thing on my list is … Oh, well, I typed in the keyword phrase home care Gainesville since we’re talking about Google, and I’m back to our friends at Touching Hearts in Gainesville. So, I typed in that and I don’t know where the were before they came to us, they were probably on the first page, maybe they weren’t. But right now they are already at the bottom of the first page of Google.

Valerie V:            Now, this is a franchise. It’s not an independent home care agency, but they are now for home care Gainesville Florida, they are on the first page of Google in the very bottom slot. Sorry, couldn’t put the whole screen up there. It was too long.

Valerie V:            The first 10 spots are on the first page of Google after that spot number 11, you can see below that, there are ads where it’s a little green and it says ad, those are ads. They don’t count. And so, they are organically, not paid, organically they are on the first page of Google, which is fabulous, because Florida, tons of competition.

Valerie V:            And then Google My Business. Google My Business. How many of you have a listing on Google My Business and you own it, and you know you can log into it? Huh? Huh? Huh? Give me a yes. Give me a yes. Give me a yes I can, yes I can. Because you need to be able to log into your own Google My Business page.

Valerie V:            You should never let someone else own it. Never. You should be the owner, unless you’re a franchise organization. Wait a minute, I got to see, somebody’s flashing at me. I’m going to answer a couple questions. Google My Business. You must own this listing if your a independent person. You must be a manager of it, if you’re a franchise owner you should always be a manager of your own listing.

Valerie V:            Take control of the situation. This is how people find you. All right. “How would you prioritize one Facebook, two Google, and three television as far as importance?” Okay. I’m going to say … I hate to say this. You should never put all your eggs in one basket. Right?

Valerie V:            Google’s always going to have a fair amount of importance, because it is the monopoly of search. So, yes, Google’s probably one of the most important, but it’s not the only important thing. Facebook is probably number two, but Facebook is … Google … I would not obsess over … My phone just came on, because I said the word Google. Hold on. It’s listening to me now.

Valerie V:            Google is not the be all end all. You can get tons of business off of Facebook, if you’re engaging and you are participating. If you don’t show up on the first page of Google, it’s not going to kill you. It’s not going to ruin your business by any stretch of the imagination, if you’ve done your marketing correctly.

Valerie V:            Oh, somebody asked, “Don’t you have to have an email account with Google to use this?” You should have a Google account whether you use it or not. But yeah, you have to have an account to be able to have … To claim your listing you have to have a Gmail account and you have to be able to log into it. So, yeah, you got to get with it.

Valerie V:            You don’t have to use a Gmail account, or the Google account, you just have to be able to log in. Google yourself and see what comes up. If you type in Caring Hearts of Rochester New York LHCSA number 2270, you could Google this just to get straight to it without having to look around, than you will see this business listing here.

Valerie V:            We are managers of our clients, if they want us to be managers of their Google My Business. We never own them. Just remember that. You should own them. If a SEO company or directory listing company says, “Oh, we want ownership of this. No. No sir. No sir. Sorry. No.” Because you’ll leave their services and they’ll own it, and you’ll forget about it.

Valerie V:            All right. Here we go. Blog posts should be posted at least twice a month, if not once a week. Best place to put a testimonial? Well, we’ll talk about testimonials. I’d say … Facebook is now recommendations, it’s not really testimonials. Google’s always going to be the winner there, but it’s hard. You have to have an account to leave a testimonial, so a lot of your older folks won’t do it, but we’ll talk about that.

Valerie V:            All right, moving on. So, these are the things … And citations. What is a citation? A citation is your name, address, and phone number. This right here, this [inaudible 00:28:03] on my business listing, Google’s like a directory. This is a directory listing and that is called a citation.

Valerie V:            So, on the web you should have the same citation, the same exact, you see how it says 90 Allen’s Creek Road building two, suite 300? It needs to be exactly like that across all of the directories in the world.

Valerie V:            So, if it’s the same, if it’s just like that, it has the same comma, the same suite spelled the same way with a lowercase s or whatever, then if that’s the way you want it, then make it so. It should be on the bottom of your website, it should be on the contact page of your website, it should be that way in Google My Business, it should be that way on any directory listing local to you. Caring.com, care.com, assistinghomes.com. Whatever thing you put your stuff on. Make it all the same, and then by all means, if you change your address, you are going to have to update it in every place that you have put it.

Valerie V:            Citations are important. You should get 75 of them, or 50 of them. And I’ll tell you more about that. All right. Websites. Blog and content writing. I already talked about that. I’m not going to go through all that again. Client referral forms. That’s actually just a contact us form, but they’re longer.

Valerie V:            So, a lot of our clients have two kinds of forms on their website and you might too. One is a contact us. It’s just a simple form. Name, address, phone number, what’s your problem? Put it in here, comments or whatever, and you get spam out the wazoo. Even if it’s got a CAPTCHA on it.

Valerie V:            People are crazy and they just are crazy. But if you have a long form that makes it so that people have to pick and choose things, like the age of the person who needs care, and the location of the person who needs care, and what’s their current living situation? What types of care do they need? Bathing, transportation. You make them pick things, that’s what I call a conditional form, that’s what we put on our websites. Then that eliminates the spam, and because the people who do all the spamming just want quick and easy forms.

Valerie V:            I don’t even know what the point of it all is, but anyway. They just want quick and easy forms that they can use a robot to fill out and go, but on these ones that are a little bit longer, a couple of things. Number one. Cuts down on spam. Number two. They are genuine leads. You know somebody took the time to fill out that form. It’s a little bit longer.

Valerie V:            I mean, we’re talking maybe five or six questions. We’re not talking about an application or anything. If they took the time to fill in those five or six questions, then chances are they really are looking for help. It’s a good lead.

Valerie V:            So, we always put that kind of form on our clients site. Yes, they have our generic contact us form and all they get is spam, basically. Or solicitations through that. But the long form is always a good lead. So, I would highly recommend that.

Valerie V:            Job boards and career pages. Yes, you should have career pages. Of course, a job board’s kind of, more like, you list your jobs and then you can change them in and out as needed. If you do it right, they’ll show up in a Google search. But you just can’t rely on that as the only way to do recruiting, of course. But anyway. You can have that.

Valerie V:            Analytics? Yes, you should have Google analytics on your website, you should know what it says. You should have professionally managed social media, if you don’t have time to do it yourself. But even if you do have time, or even if you have professionally managed, you should take the time to actually engage yourself and know what’s going on.

Valerie V:            Reputation management. This is your reviews question. You need to have reviews in a lot of different places. Google’s always going to be the king for this. Yes, you should have lots of Google reviews. Yes, people have to log in to leave a review, and yes, it’s painful and a pain in the butt, but you can get reviews from excellent employees, and I emphasize excellent employees can leave you a nice review. You can use referral sources. Adult children of aging parents.

Valerie V:            In fact, we have a way that we just send out a little survey, and people answer a survey and it’s all online, and then if they leave a great survey or if they say lots of nice things, then we send them the link to all the different places they could leave a review. Well, we narrow it down to two or three.

Valerie V:            Approve Senior Network, which is the website we own. On that site you can manage your reviews. You can look at them and decide if you want them to be live or not. Google, you cannot, if they put a lousy review my recommendation is that you answer them with the facts, not emotion, but with business facts.

Valerie V:            Especially if it’s a disgruntled caregiver, which happens all the time, you need to put the facts in a very professionally written way. Don’t do it instantly. Give it a minute, think about it, write it up, let someone else read it, and then reply to them with enough information that doesn’t give out anything personal, but that shows the reader that this person’s basically an idiot. Okay? But be professional.

Valerie V:            And then same rule applies with Facebook. Now, here’s a caveat with Facebook. On Facebook people can recommend you or not recommend you. It’s hard to understand how to ask for a recommendation. I do have some text you can send people, but the thing is, if you get a bad recommendation you can turn off reviews on Facebook completely, or you can leave them on and respond to it just like I said about Google. But always actively respond. Don’t leave a one star review hanging there with no rebuttal. That looks super bad.

Valerie V:            I read a thousand reviews. We do VRBO’s a lot, and I’ll read a review about the property and if I see a one star review, you better believe I’m going to read that one star review, because I want to know if there’s roaches or something weird.

Valerie V:            And if all the other reviews were great, and the one star review has a rebuttal about how they tried to rectify the situation, but obviously the person wasn’t satisfied, then I kind of discard that review as someone who’s picky, or an idiot, or something like that.

Valerie V:            So, people are smart enough to make up their own mind, but you have to respond to these reviews. On Facebook you can turn reviews off completely and not have any reviews. I don’t recommend doing that, but in the case where you have a couple of disgruntled caregivers or crazy family members that just go on, and on, and on, turn them off. Just turn them all off.

Valerie V:            There’s no way to delete one, but you just turn it off, if you want too. All right. Next thing up, ADA accessibility. Your website needs to now be ADA accessible. If you’re not sure what that means I’m going to talk about it in a second.

Valerie V:            Mobile responsive, that’s pretty common. Schema markup. Schema, schema, schema. That is how you tell Google who you are and where you are. Kind of, works with that Google My Business thing. It’s your address, your name your phone number and address, but in the backend there’s some code that goes with it, your web developer should know this already, and that little bit of code tells Google what that is.

Valerie V:            Is it a blog post? is it your address? Is it an article? Is it a survey? So, schema markup needs to be there. SEO. That means telling Google on the backside and on the front side of your website who you are, what you do, and where you’re located. If you’re not doing SEO, or if you’re search engine optimized for the wrong words, that’ll screw you up.

Valerie V:            So, if your whole website is search engine optimized for the word home health aide, then guess what? You’re not showing up in the right place, because all of the job seekers are the only people looking at your website. Don’t do that.

Valerie V:            And then chat. You know you can have chat on your website now? Of course, you probably already knew that. You usually have to spend a little money for that, but I’m going to tell you what we do. Oh, so sad for the dog.

Valerie V:            All right. Let’s talk about ADA compliance. ADA compliance, there’s a whole litany of stuff that you can read about why you’re … And you can scare yourself to death, so please don’t scare yourself to death about ADA compliance. But it is becoming what I would say is kind of, a lawyer ambulance chaser situation where, if your website is not ADA compliant people will try to sue you.

Valerie V:            Now, I’m not saying anybody’s going to sue you. But what I am saying, is that big companies have been sued because their websites are not ADA compliant. There’s a bunch of articles on our website you can read about it. They can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip, so I don’t know who they [inaudible 00:36:51] going to sue on the small side, but it is very possible.

Valerie V:            And considering that every single person that you service is someone who is disabled in some way, pretty much, you should probably have an ADA compliant website. Don’t you think? So, what happens is, when you add ADA compliance, if you’re a big corporation they pay anywhere from, I don’t know, $10,000 to $50,000 to have their gigantic, complicated websites ADA compliant. You don’t need to do that.

Valerie V:            You need to have it built into your website, and it doesn’t take $50,000 to do that for a small website. So, what you need, is a text to voice screen reader, so that if somebody is blind the text to voice screen reader will read to them.

Valerie V:            You need text enlarging capability for people with low vision. Screen contrast options. There are a lot of people who are color blind who can’t see some of your colors, and you probably didn’t take that into account when you made your logo. So, having some screen contrast options is nice.

Valerie V:            ALT text for ALT images. So, in other words, your images that are on your site, if you looked at them on the backend, the title and the description of the image should be home care in St. Louis Missouri, or two elderly ladies receiving home care, or something. If you don’t have alternate text on the backside of your images, then not only is that bad for SEO, but the screen reader can’t read to the person what that image is about. So, you’re leaving them in the dark, literally, about that.

Valerie V:            ADA accessibility statement for your website. Once you have this in place there’s a little thing at the bottom, like with privacy policy, terms of use, and then ding, ding, there it is. There’s your ADA accessibility statement.

Valerie V:            And generally speaking when you have this, now this is what it looks like on the right hand side. I’ll show you a little … I think I have a screenshot of it coming up. But when it opens up on the websites for our clients that have it, this is what it looks like. And the person can choose which accessibility options they want.

Valerie V:            There are some examples at the bottom, if you go to caregiverprohomecare.com, or ASN Marketing Plan. So, any of our websites that we have, any of the ones that I’ve ever … Approvedseniornetwork.com, ASN Marketing Plan, Valerie V. Show. All of them are ADA compliant. And we’ll talk about that more too.

Valerie V:            I think I have a question. Yeah. “Does a mobile app need to be ADA compliant?” You know what? If you have this on your website, it’s already on … Well, okay. If you have a mobile app for your home care business, that would be different than just having your website be mobile responsive.

Valerie V:            If you have ADA compliance on your website and someone looks at it from a mobile device, you can look at caregiverprohomecare.com from your mobile device right now, or asnmarketingplan.com and you will see there’s this little thing right here, this little wheelchair guy, he’s on that screen. So, it’s ADA compliant, whether you’re looking at it on a phone or you’re looking at it on a big screen like I am right now. Always ADA compliant.

Valerie V:            For a mobile app I do not know the answer. That’s a different kind of situation. I would assume that would be great, but if your website is ADA compliant on a big screen, it’s also ADA compliant on a phone.

Valerie V:            Oh, here we go. So, why ADA compliance? It’ll increase your target audience. So, people who couldn’t understand your website, or even view it or listen to it be read to them before will now be able to hear your website, see your website, look at your website.

Valerie V:            It improves your SEO, because you got to go in and make sure all those pictures have alternate tags, and text behind them. And everything has to be laid out correctly. It may help your reputation, because frankly if you’re in this business, you probably need to have, at least for the low vision people, some alternate way to read.

Valerie V:            Better overall website usability, because you have to go in and clean things up, and it means you can avoid penalties now. I’m not saying anybody’s going to get any penalties, as far as getting sued, but there are some links at the bottom. Five reasons your website should be ADA compliant. 10900 ADA website requirements, and SEO web accessibility from Search Engine Land.

Valerie V:            So, Business News Daily, Search Engine Journal, and this blog. And there’s more. Kylie Jenner’s been sued, Target. I don’t know. So, I think it’s something to really think about. Especially if your website is old, and needs to be redone anyway, you need to add this on.

Valerie V:            All right. Let’s talk about chat. Chatting with clients from your website and Facebook. All right. So, an added complication of Facebook is that people try to message your page and see if you’re hiring, or if you put up a job post they’re going to try to message you.

Valerie V:            So, you kind of, need to understand how messenger works behind the scenes. That’s an entire webinar in and of itself, and I’m happy to do it. You can set some automated stuff up, so that it looks pretty, but you need to be one of those people who checks it once and a while, because if you don’t check it nothing’s going to happen. It’s just dead.

Valerie V:            But a lot of people message through Facebook now, so you should probably have messenger turned on and you should understand that people are trying to text with you, or get a hold of you through there. What we did, was we came up with a plan for all of our clients who, if we’ve done their website, in fact, actually, anybody. Any of our clients can do this.

Valerie V:            I’m not sure about franchises, it depends on how strict your franchise is, but any of our clients pretty much, as long as they have a viable website that’s not a jankstore, then you can add this chat to your website.

Valerie V:            So, if you go to approvedseniornetwork.com right now on your phone or wherever you’ll see a little chat bubble at the bottom, and there’s this little woman holding … This little, old woman holding this phone and it says … Oh. Hi [Dorina 00:43:08], you can turn your camera off. Hi Dorina. I can see you. I don’t know if she knows I could see her. Anyway.

Valerie V:            You can see this little chat bubble at the bottom and if you open it up this is what it looks like, “What can we help you with? Please enter your information.” And then I hit send. So, what we do for our clients, is we put this on there in their colors. You can see that’s orange. It doesn’t have to be orange. It can be any color. The color of your logo or whatever.

Valerie V:            And then we put powered by, and we put their business name there with a link to their website, not our website. So, that’s how … I’m going to help Dorina here turn her and video off for her. Hold on a second.

Valerie V:            That’s how we take care of that, but you can have that there, and then the next thing to know about that, that you’re going to want to … Here we go. Let’s do this. Stop video. There you go. I stopped your video for you.

Valerie V:            Okay. So, the next thing you’re going to want to know about this, is, “Well, who does this go to? Or where does it end up?” Well, in our case it can end up wherever you want it to, but most of our clients want to be notified by text or they want to be notified by email, but that is there.

Valerie V:            And we don’t charge extra for this. If you’re in one of our programs this is available to you and anybody who comes to your website can … This will be more robust at some point. Right now it’s just basically name, mobile number, and message. And then you’re notified, and we can automatically reply to this person for you, just saying, “Hey, I got your message. I’ll be in touch shortly.” Just so they know that they’re not waiting around for you to answer in case you’re busy.

Valerie V:            So, there’s lots of cool things we can do with this, and you do not have to subscribe to LiveChat or any of those other chat services out there, if you’re one of our clients we do this for free. And our clients didn’t know about that till just now, so hello.

Valerie V:            Let’s see. Yeah. So, Facebook messenger, learned about that a little bit, and then add chat to your website. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’ll help you a lot. Okay. Does anybody know who this guy is right here? Who knows who this man is? Type it in there. His first name. You don’t have to put his whole name. I don’t even know how to spell his last name. Who is it? Who is it? Who is this man? Come on. I know you’ve sat at home and watched dumb infomercials in your lifetime. Look at the background. It’s Ron Popeil.

Valerie V:            Ron Popeil. The pocket fisherman. Oh, actually, you know what? I used this picture, because he’s doing the … This is the one where … Oh, the rotisserie thing where he says, “You can set it and forget it.” Well, that’s not what you can do with Google My Business.

Valerie V:            Wait a minute. Okay. So, Ron Popeil had this infomercial and I’ve seen it, I don’t know why. I guess because I worked night shifts for so long. You can set it and forget it, and it was his rotisserie thing. Well, you can not set it and forget it when it comes to any of this stuff. You want too. I know, because our clients want to set it and forget it, but you can’t.

Valerie V:            So, for Google My Business I’m going to say this again. Please own your own listing. Take charge of this situation, because if you don’t getting a hold of Google and getting it straightened out is like your worst nightmare. Trust me when I say no one else but you should own your listing, and it’s okay to add managers to help you. It is not okay to give them ownership.

Valerie V:            Know how to log into your listing, update it regularly, add photos, location, service area, add blog posts. We’re going to talk about that. Ask for reviews, which is a super big challenge. Add everything the system asks for and get more citations. We talked about citations. Those are those business listings on other directories.

Valerie V:            Wait a minute. Let’s see. Oh, it doesn’t … I didn’t talk about it. Okay. Blog posts. So, when we have a client who gives us access to their Google My Business page what we do, is we take all the blog posts that we put on their website, which is usually twice a month to four times a month, and we put those blog posts on their Google My Business page. Your competition is totally doing this, so you need to do it too. You need to blog post. So, that’s another thing you don’t have time for, so let somebody else do it. Yeah. I’ll do it. I’ll do it.

Valerie V:            But that helps you show up better. It does increase your visibility. So, if you think reviews are hard to get, they are, but start blog posting. Big pictures, cool stuff, stuff you’re out doing out in the community. That is important. All right. So, blog post to your Google My Business listing.

Valerie V:            All right. I put this up here, not because you need to go do anything or buy anything, but I wanted you to see this. This is a directory. This is a directory listing. This is a citation, so on Approved Senior Network … Hi, Maddy. The kids are home from school.

Valerie V:            On Approved Senior Network you can do a free listing. This is what I really want you to see. You don’t have to do either of these things. All of our clients are expert level members, which I don’t even list here, because I get tons more stuff. But this is a basic free listing. It doesn’t cost you anything to go on and list yourself here. Do it. Go get another … I mean, it can’t hurt to have as many back links as possible, and as many listings as possible about your business.

Valerie V:            So, go ahead and do this. We have had a huge influx of people putting their listings on here, and you can even search for your business before you do that and see if it’s already in there, and if it is you can claim your listing and go ahead and jazz it up, make it pretty. If you need help you just let us know, but do the free thing. It’s another directory listing and it can’t hurt anything.

Valerie V:            All right. Content is still king, but engagement is queen, and the queen rules the house. Oh, look she’s moving. The queen definitely rules the house in this case. Content is everywhere. It’s on websites, blog posts, in articles, it’s on social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google My Business, video and audio, newsletter and email.

Valerie V:            So, all those things matter when it comes to your clients and engagement, and prospects out there. People finding you. It’s everywhere. So, this is just a rundown of what we do. You can do this for yourself. I’m just giving you kind of, our pattern of how we work. We blog post educational content two times a month. We send all those blog posts out to social media. We put engaging content like memes and inspirational stuff … Hi, Sam.

Valerie V:            Sam’s home too. Send engaging content to Facebook. We do that five days a week. We put two videos per month on our client’s Facebook business page. They’re branded to them and they’re theirs to keep. Their logo, their phone number, their website.

Valerie V:            And then we do a newsletter one time a month, and it’s a hand done newsletter. It’s no longer automated. We went from 10 years of automation, down to one person dedicated to 100% newsletters. And so, every month we have one set of newsletters that goes out on the first, another set that goes out around the 15th, and we have one person who’s our newsletter guru and she takes the content from your blog and puts it in your newsletter.

Valerie V:            So, anything like this that you’ve sent over to us, that’s been blog posted, will also end up in your newsletter. And we do it all for you. What you do. This is what our clients are asked to do. We just give them examples. Send us some company news sort of like this. Send us caregiver of the month. Send us your thoughts and observations as an article, or something that comes from your heart or from the desk of Mary, or whatever.

Valerie V:            Recognize people for their excellent work on your staff, and send networking pics and info. So, all of those things matter, and they add up to more engagement. And engagement is queen, so please don’t hide the fact that you’re supporting your local charity. Take pictures of your booth or whatever, and post them and tell people how much you care about your local community. It does work.

Valerie V:            What does a monthly newsletter look like? Well, I had to chop this up, because it’s too long and I have a little screen. So, this is the top of a monthly newsletter. So, this is an example of one. So, it starts with who you are, where you’re located, your phone number, your Facebook, your link to your website, and then this is company news that someone submitted. Company news again. And this is an educational article, and then another link to your website. And if you want, you can have Approved Senior Network at the bottom, if you have a listing there, and then their office address is in two different locations. They have two offices.

Valerie V:            So, this is the top, this is the bottom, if you put them together it would be one long email. And that goes out once a month. This is the top of somebody else’s newsletter, just to show you different colors. So, they’re all branded and colors are all based on the exact colors in your logo. But we do that, it’s easy. And there’s a million services out there. Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact. We don’t use any of those. We have a free CRM that all of our clients have access to. We build the newsletter in their CRM and we send it from their CRM. So, it’s all inclusive, they see everything.

Valerie V:            Paid versus organic results. A lot of you want to know whether you should be doing paid advertising or not. I have always been a fan of organic ranking. And the reason I’m a fan of it, is because it builds your empire. And by that I mean, if you do blog posting, and Facebook posting, and you’re sending your posts out to other social media you’re building your online presence, and it’s not going to just go away. It’s there forever. So, it’s website, plus content, plus social media, and links, Google My Business, citations, all of this builds on itself and it’s so important to keep up with this.

Valerie V:            If you do nothing at all your competition will blow you away in seconds. Isn’t that what Steve [inaudible 00:53:10] says? Your competition will blow you away. This is what will happen if you ignore your online presence. I mean, some of our clients will tell us they get half their leads from online, because people are desperately searching for a solution to their problem, and you can be that solution.

Valerie V:            Paid advertising. It does work, it is faster, but here’s the deal. It’s expensive, and as soon as you turn it off all that work you did is gone. It’s not building anything, except for maybe getting more clients, which is great, but it’s not building your content strategy. It is just a fast way to get yourself out there.

Valerie V:            Now, I don’t disregard that, I think it’s important and we do, do it for a lot of people. And that’s fine, but you can never replace paid advertising with organic. You have to be doing your organic work, and doing that stuff, that’s so important, that’ll never go away. Doing just paid advertising would never be my recommendation.

Valerie V:            As soon as that Google ad words account is turned off, your listing is gone forever. You can turn it back on, but you got to have money to turn it back on. So, Facebook paid ads for recruiting is a great way to recruit. If you’re tired of spending tons and tons of dough on other platforms out there, signing contracts that are long, we do Facebook paid ads for recruiting all the time, and it’s amazing. And it is a numbers game.

Valerie V:            I know how hard this is. We’ve been doing it for clients for a long time now. It is a super hard thing to do, and I do not want that job ever. But it is a numbers game and it’s a marketing game too. It’s not just marketing for clients that you have to worry about, it really is marketing for recruits, because guess what? It used to be that caregivers needed home care agencies. They really needed the work, they really needed to find a good job. Now it’s the other way around.

Valerie V:            Now there’s lots of caregivers, or I guess there’s few caregivers is not what I mean. Fewer caregivers and lots of home care agencies, and so the caregivers have got everybody over a barrel. “If you don’t pay me 50 cents more per hour, I’m going over here.” Or they just don’t show up, or it’s just craziness in the recruiting area.

Valerie V:            So, what we do is, we have a specific way we do ads for folks that is different from the way Facebook wants you to do the ads. Ours is a little different. But it is a form that they have to fill out, it is a lead, it is in the CRM, you can communicate with them through that, you can text, email, call. We do everything through our CRM. We do not house applications, full applications. We are not a ClearCare online, we don’t want to replace ClearCare online. Our CRM is just for marketing and recruiting. That’s it.

Valerie V:            So, you’re welcome to use it when you’re one of our clients. And then we do paid ads on Facebook for leads too. And that’s all about the story. I won’t go into story ads, but it works really well. And then Google ads for leads. I’ve never been a fan of Google for home care, because as soon as you put that ad up job seekers are hitting it.

Valerie V:            Same rule applies for Facebook, but we can … It does tone it down a little bit on Facebook. But the Google ads, I mean, we put in … If any of you are familiar with doing Google ads, you could put in 100 negative keyword phrases and you’ll still get job seekers clicking on those ads.

Valerie V:            It doesn’t matter what you do, you’re still going to get job seekers. Even if you say, “This ad is not for job seekers,” they still will click on it and fill out a form. So, that’s the reason I don’t like Google ads.

Valerie V:            However, we have had some changes recently. Google’s gotten a little bit better and a little bit smarter about some things. So, in other words, I can turn off the ability for people ages 18 to 20 from seeing your ads. Now, Google doesn’t know how old everybody is, but they do know how old a lot of people are. So, it helps if you take out that younger population who’s job seeking, and they may or may not have had any experience, you can kind of, just take those people out, because that’s not who you’re looking for.

Valerie V:            So, we can do a lot more with Google than we used to be able to do. So, we do now run Google ads for leads for our clients. Minimum spend on any of this is $300 a month. That’s $10 a day. And if you know anything about Google ads or Facebook ads, you’ll know that the competition is pretty huge. So, I’d say you get more bang for your buck out of Facebook, but some people love Google more. And that’s okay. We do either one.

Valerie V:            So, recruiting and ads for leads, and the whole thing that you have to know about leads is this. I don’t care if you buy them from Care In Homes, ElderCareLink, Assisting Homes, whatever they are. There’s a million of them. A Place For Mom. They’re expensive and they don’t always work. They don’t always follow through. They don’t always have the money to pay you, sometimes they’re majority Medicaid clients, sometimes you have to adjust things, and zip codes, and territories. So, you cannot guarantee that everybody that fills out a form is going to be able to afford home care. It’s just not a question you can ask.

Valerie V:            Facebook is especially tight on what you can ask people. They will not let you ask them if there’s a medical diagnosis involved, and they will not let you … Well, you can sort by income, but that doesn’t work either, so there’s all kinds of things you have to watch out for. But paid advertising does work. It’s not going to save your life, if your business is failing, but organic is the way you build your empire.

Valerie V:            So, how do you keep all of this organized? Now, you all have your own CRM’s, you have your own organization, you have spreadsheets, you have whatever you use. I’m just showing you what we have. I had to black out all the names here, so sorry about that, but we give all of our clients access to a free CRM and what that shows you, this is somebody who just started, and that’s how many leads they’ve had come in from their ads, and they have the opportunity to talk to people, and see all the marketing, and the contacts, and everything.

Valerie V:            So, this was one screenshot. This is the bottom of that page. So, this’ll show you how much money you’re spending on Facebook ads, how much you’re spending on Google ads, how much traffic you’re getting your Googly My Business page, and at the bottom there is Google analytics.

Valerie V:            I know it looks kind of, small, but I had to scroll way out to get it all in there for you. So, you can see here that everything you’re wondering about, “How much am I spending this month so far on Google ads? How much am I spending on Facebook?” If you do both. Or, “Well, how is my Google My Business listing doing? How many actions, how many calls have come from it?” You can see all that right here in your dashboard from the CRM.

Valerie V:            And then your Google analytics, right now it only shows you the last 12 months of action, but hopefully that’ll be updated. And we have other ways that we report Google analytics. This isn’t the only way, but it just gives you a good snapshot month over month as to how traffic’s going.

Valerie V:            This is inside of a lead. This is what it looks like. Sorry, I had to black everything out, but on the left hand side you get first name, last name, email address, phone numbers. And this is the same for recruiting. So, whether you’re using this for recruiting or using it for leads you get all their information. There’s a couple more tabs up here with general info and additional info, and there’s more information to be had there.

Valerie V:            And then in the middle here, this is why i wanted to show you this is, this is where the communication happens. So, in the middle here you see texting going back and forth. That’s right. Texting. So, these people are texting back and forth. An ad went out, the person responded, and this is the automated response they get in a text, because 99% of people who touch your ads are on a mobile device.

Valerie V:            So, “This is Beth. Thanks for requesting a call. I’m sure I can help. Watch for my call and if you inquired after business hours I will call the next day.” And then an email goes out to the person. Then the person responds to her via text, “My mom is in the hospital’s mental health facilities since October. She was home for about 10 days since …” And it goes on and on, but I won’t … You know.

Valerie V:            So, they’re texting back and forth, and the final outcome is they set up an appointment to see her in the home. So, this is the kind of leads you want. This is what you’re looking for. So, in this system you can be logged into the CRM, you can email this person, you can text them, and you can call them up in the right hand corner, if you see where my little thing is … Hi, Sophia.

Valerie V:            You can click on that call button, if you had a headset and a microphone, and you can just call them straight from here. And then you can put in tasks, notes, and appointments right here. So, any notes about the client, any tasks that might be for another office person, or if you want to use the appointment setting feature you can. You don’t have to. You can use your own junk. It’s fine. We don’t care what you use or don’t use, but we teach you how to use all of it.

Valerie V:            So, this is what the inside of a lead looks like. So, that is the CRM. All right. So, here is your 2020 marketing plan. This is the slide that tells you what you should be looking for and what you should be doing. First of all, you need to make sure you have a solid up to date, not janky website. Make sure your website is ADA compliant. Please look into that.

Valerie V:            Focus on Facebook and Google for online marketing. Make sure you own control and update your Google My Business listing. Make sure you have a chat feature on your site, and messaging in Facebook set up properly for more leads.

Valerie V:            Every time you attend a function take a photo, write a blog post, add it to social media, add it to Google My Business, blog post on that Google My Business. Add a monthly newsletter. Make it happen. Send it out to all of your contacts.

Valerie V:            Understand the value of organic content and post, post, post, but post good stuff, not random junk. And then use the advantage of paid advertising only when you can comfortably afford it. It’s not a miracle. Buying leads and paid advertising does not create miracles. Only hard work can do that. So, hard work, but taking everything you’re doing offline and turning it into something people will read online.

Valerie V:            Just think about it, if 500 people come to a senior fair there are 50,000 more people who didn’t get to attend that senior fair, that would love to read your stuff. And the only way they’re going to read it, is if you put it online. So, do that.

Valerie V:            If you want to talk to us you are welcome to. So, the first thing on your to do list this year should be to go to ASNMarketingPlan.com or call me at 888-404-1513. Leave me a detailed message, but if you go to ASNMarketingPlan.com you can read everything, you can see all of our stuff, you can read through all the plans and the stuff that we do, and you can fill out a form instead of picking up the phone and making a call. And then Bob Costello will be the person who will answer you.

Valerie V:            In fact, he’ll be the person that answers, or calls you back, or texts you, or emails you no matter what. So, ASNMarketingPlan.com is the website, if you want to see everything you can do all of that yourself. The challenge is finding the time to do it all yourself. And then you can call us at 888-404-1513. And Bob will get back to you.

Valerie V:            Everybody, I hope that this was informative. I’ll leave this slide up there for another minute, so you can see it. And if anybody wants the PDF of the slides just email me and we’ll make that happen for you. I’m happy to give you the PDF.

Valerie V:            I think I have a question or two. If anybody does have a question you can type it into chat and I will answer that. “Please refer more free listings.” I don’t know what that means. More free listings?

Valerie V:            Oh, there’s lots of websites you can go. You can actually … Why don’t you do this. The easiest way to do that, is to go to Google and put in free directory listings, and look at the hundreds of free directory listings that come up.

Valerie V:            We do have a list of the top directories you should be listed in. There arr probably a list of … I have a list of 50, I have a list of the top 100, and then I have a list of directories you should be in by city. And it’s only the top 100 cities in the United States.

Valerie V:            The question is, “Did I miss the additional information on schema markup?” Nope. You didn’t miss it. I didn’t go into it, because it’s kind of, a techy, geek thing. But behind the scenes on your website there is something called schema code, or there should be. Not everybody has it. And if you’re a WordPress website, you can get a plugin, and add the plugin and that’ll help. But what you should know about it, is … Hold on.

Valerie V:            What you should know about it, is that it helps Google understand and read … The Google is a computer, right? So, it’s reading your website. So, what the schema markup code does, is it helps Google understand what it’s reading. That means if it’s an address, if it’s a phone number, if it’s your website address, if it’s a blog post, an article, a picture, if you have the right markup code on the backside of your website Google understands your website, it indexes it better, and it loves it.

Valerie V:            If you are someone who uses Google analytics you can go into search tools and you can and test, you used to be able to anyway, if your website has correct schema markup code, but this is something a web developer would do and it’s something that you should ask them about, or you can ask your SEO specialist to look at your website and say, “Hey, yeah. You got it.” Or, “No. Hey, you don’t.” Because you can tell by just, kind of, looking at a website.

Valerie V:            “How long does it take for organic posting to start having impact?” It depends on a couple of things. It depends on where you’re located. So, if you’re in Miami Florida, it’s going to take a really long time. If you’re in West Winnemucca Nevada it might only take, maybe a month or two.

Valerie V:            But I would say everybody should give organic results six months. If you are nowhere to be found, you need at least six months. If you’re already kind of, page two, page three, you should give it a little time, but you should also do a little bit of forensics and know, “If this is an old website what can I do to make it not old?”

Valerie V:            So, if you have an older website you want to spiff it up, clean it up, maybe get a new build. If you don’t need a new build that’s fine. If it’s a new website then I would say blog posting with the correct SEO on every blog post and you need content every time, and SEO every page of your website. The title tags, the backend description. All of that stuff has to be looked at.

Valerie V:            If you do all those things you should just take a few months for you to get to the first page. And if you are with a franchise you have to remember they have a giant website behind your website. So, the information that you’re putting out there is attached to a much bigger machine, and so you’re going to get results, probably a little faster than someone who has an independent six page website that they just started blogging on.

Valerie V:            So, we’re talking hundreds and hundreds of pages, or thousands of pages on a franchise site versus your six page website, plus a couple blog posts. So, it’s a lot of things to take into consideration, but organic is never fast. Gosh, I remember a day when we could put a video on the first page of YouTube 10 minutes, on the first page of Google in 10 minutes. Today it’s months. Or it’ll show up there quick, and then it’ll disappear. Weird stuff. But you have to be consistent, and it is worth it, because once you’re there, as long as you don’t do something to screw it up you’re there and you just add to that.

Valerie V:            But including Google My Business in all of that is really important now. So, anyway. “Do blog posts need back links?” No. Your main website needs back links. So, your main base URL needs back links, not every blog post.

Valerie V:            So, a back link is a link from another website to your website. Blog posts, it’s hard enough to get back links as it is, but getting them to a blog post is even harder. So, what I would do, is I would make sure I went and had at least directory listings, as many as possible, and you can have … We do it in bulk for our clients. So, we just say, “You want us to do it? Yes or no?” They say, “Yes.” We say, “Here’s the charge.” And they’re like, “Fine.” And we just go through and do it one time for them.

Valerie V:            And if they move and change addresses, then we go in and do it again. So, we can update their address everywhere. And that gives you back links to your website. And then you can go in and do other directories that are more … Like care.com, caring.com. Of course, you’re going to have to talk to somebody and it’s kind of, a hassle, but you can get free listings, I believe on almost all of them.

Valerie V:            But internal linking is different. So, if you have a blog post and you would link it internally, and let’s say you have a blog post about Alzheimer’s disease or five things to look for in Alzheimer’s disease or something like that. You link it to your Alzheimer’s disease page. That’s called internal linking, and that’s super important too. So, you should always internally link whenever you can from your blog post to another page on your website.

Valerie V:            Anybody else have more questions for me? You’re welcome to type them into the little chat. Questions for me anybody? I’m going to call it in just a second here. All right, if that’s it? You’re welcome everybody. Thank you so much for joining me and you’ll see this go up on other websites coming shortly. Thanks for joining me today. Happy 2020 and let us know if we can help you. Thanks. Bye.