I’ve fallen on the Internet and I can’t get up...

The interweb offers little help to small businesses. MetroWestWines.com is battling this. And we've got the bruises to prove it.

Excuse me, uh, Google, Google... hello?

The final frontier on the web, in my opinion, is making it work for the little guy. Like us. Like you. Your name Amazon.com? Apple? Yeah, me neither. Marketing across the US and around the globe? No problem. Marketing just to Wellesley, Weston and Natick, like we are? Um, can’t really help you was our response from Google (and countless other so called Internet marketing powerhouses) It's been said that the Internet knows no boundaries, and I guess that's the problem, I don't really want to pay to market to Kuala Lumpur, only Wellesley, Weston and Natick.

Let us build one for you

Our backgrounds here are in technology and marketing for big nationally recognized brands, like Dell. I was a bit shocked when we began to roll out our marketing program, first to raise awareness of our offering, immediate delivery wine, beer and liquor, then to start to drive business, that there was very little available that would let us tailor and target our marketing to specific geographies. No one was rushing to help us out either. Seemed like it was time to blaze a few trails.

We’ve been Yelp’ng

Yelp has been a good starting point.  We’ve added our listing AND advertised on the site as well.  The reason it has worked for us is that Yelp gets good traffic, and people go to the site, either from their desktop/laptops or from their smartphones to look for food oriented businesses in a specific geography. Like... I’m looking for pizza places within 2 miles of me in Wellesley. Yelp can help with that.

Traffic jamming

The Wellesley Patch (no they did not pay us to say this) has worked really well for us.  The reason? Good traffic, and the Patch’s basic model of being “web only” with town specific editions. We have, so far, concentrated our marketing efforts on Wellesley. (And that’s why you are reading this here, right now.) Also, The Swellesley Report and The Wellesley Wine Press blogs have been big traffic drivers for us as well.

The Tao of SEO

Probably the most esoteric thing we’ve done is our efforts in “SEO” Search Engine Optimization. If this is a new term to you, it’s getting Google to notice you.  For example, type “Wine Delivery Wellesley” and you’ll see our site pop up.  This did not happen by accident. It’s the result of a lot of effort on our part to push our way up the “search results” list to move MetroWestWines.com onto as many “first pages” as possible. We have phenomenal placement for a new company and this has been driving lots of traffic and customers to our site, resulting in what we are all looking for: Business!

Social tweet twerps

Of all the social media Twitter has been working best for us. I have a couple of theories why this has worked for us. Twitter is better at allowing us to target specific geographies. Facebook, by contrast, has not really thought out its business media strategy. It’s “pages” approach is pretty weak. Also Twitter is big among the 21-30 somethings. A segment that is turning out to be a strong one for us.

Now you...

As I mentioned in the initial post for this blog, I am hoping that we can get a dialog going here. Are you a small business owner? Have you done anything to try to put your business on the web? How’s it working for you? Or, have you stayed away because it’s just too hard, expensive and the payoff uncertain? There is no set formula to remove these obstacles, if you’d like to join us blazing these trails, please raise your hand now...

Together, we can do this thing

Let's collaborate. No, really. One of the unique marketing moves we’ve made, right from the outset is our “Collaborative Marketing Program.” It works like this:  we offer free advertising space on our delivery receipts to local businesses. We just ask that you distribute our business cards at your location. Have about a dozen partners so far. Interested?

We have only just begun

So, this story will continue to evolve. If you think you’d like to hear more detail or tell us your story or get some free advice from us (for what it’s worth), drop us a line info@metrowestwines.com. Depending on the level of interest from you, dear readers, I promise to keep this evolving story up to date with periodic updates as events unfold.  That’s it for now, see you next week!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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