I Really Cut My Digital Marketing Teeth Learning How to Be Successful with Local Online Marketing for Retail Stores.
Years ago I started a small retail company selling computers. It originally formed as a side project out of my garage and over time morphed into the dominant competitor with four locations in the Phoenix market. It took a whole lot of time and effort and there was a massive learning curve.
Now, keep in mind these were physical retail stores – we didn’t sell anything online! I had to identify potential customers and market to them using online channels and then convince them to physically drive to our locations to spend their hard earned dollars. Not an easy task!
I initially was able to drive traffic by simply posting items that we had for sale on social media and people would come in to purchase them but that was just the beginning. I needed to drastically expand the scope of my digital marketing efforts if I was going to be able to grow this company.
I had a good solid base of SEO knowledge from a previous company that I had started that unfortunately didn’t work out so well. While I may have lost a fortune in dollars I gain a fortune in digital marketing knowledge. As soon as I moved my new company out of the garage and into my first retail location I immediately built a website and started SEO Optimizing it. This was an ongoing process and I didn’t stop working on the SEO of my site until the day I sold the company. I was able to outrank Apple.com for the local search terms of “Apple Store [city name]”, “iPhone Repair [city name]”, and “Mac Repair [city name]”. You can imagine just how valuable this was for driving high dollar, paying customers into my storefronts.
SEO was just the beginning. I wanted to drive even more traffic into my stores and I wanted to see immediate results. As soon as I started running an Adwords campaign I ran into a roadblock. Google would let me run ads for generic terms but not for any terms that mentioned Apple or any of their trademarks. While I understood why they prohibited it, it was a huge hurdle to overcome. I tested and retested many different strategies before I was able to come up with a campaign that I could run and see a positive ROI from. I had to play by the rules but also flirt with some gray areas to accomplish my ROAS goals. At the end of the day I was successful and brought hundreds of thousands of dollars through the doors of my retail stores using adwords.