How to build your listing/Marketing Helps
Building your listing is a fairly simple process, but we do want to share some tips on getting the best results.
NOTE: – While this is a step by step process we recommend you collect everything you need and build your ad all at one time. Each time you make a change it goes into draft mode. This is fine when updating later but can get frustrating when building your ad. So we recommend you build it once and then go back and tweak as necessary.
1 – Click on the login button – wow! bet you are glad we told you that!
2 – Sign in with the login and password information you received – We don’t do this to harass you. We actually do this for your benefit. Once you have an account you can access your listing and update it any time you choose. Changes will immediately go into a draft status, for our staff to review and turn on. So, if you have a new phone number, product, email address, or any other change, you can get it done easily and quickly.
3 – Featured vs. Premium
Featured listings are populated on the front page as well as in the search function. Premium listings show up in the search function. As of now the features inside the listing are the same.
4 – Steps for filling out your submission, with suggested things to consider, to maximize your return, and better engage your viewers.
A – Name – This is your business name
Note: Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP); While this seems simple, we would like to emphasize a few points. The term NAP is used in search engine optimization (SEO), and is a very critical component, in your search engine rankings. Google matches your NAP with other listings and references. If you have a Google My Business account, you want to make sure that your name, phone number and the address you use, matches exactly what you have in the GMB listing. If you do not have a GMB account, we highly recommend you set one up. It is free and will help your business. Google will verify your business NAP information. Sometimes you can verify online, and other times Google will actually send a postcard to your address. They take this seriously! When Google ranks your business, they will look at other directory listings and address references you may have, across the internet. If the NAP is not identical, then Google will not recognize the “citation” as valid or legitimate, and will not factor the information into your ranking, or will downgrade it. This can also include the content associated with those sites, so your NAP is really important. Bottom line – make sure the NAP you place in this listing matches your Google NAP. This includes adding llc, inc or any other addition to your name. Be consistent! Doing so will ensure that your listing here is a valid citation, and any links between videos, images or other information is successfully factored into your SEO score.
B – Select “premium”. It should already be checked.
C – Business description
Maximum characters is 1000 – this is basically your elevator speech.
D – logo
Optimum size is 200 x 100 – if it is too wide the edges will be cut off.
E – Schedule
Hours of operation may seem unimportant, but they create an image of the type of business you are. If you have established hours, you project an image of an established, well run and organized business. No hours can mean a lot of things to people, some not so good. So, take the time to put in regular hours when people can contact you. Even if you take care of business around the clock.
F – Address
Remember to follow NAP guidelines here. Fill out your address in its entirety and hit the enter key on your keyboard. This will automatically map your address. You can toggle the “show/hide” address button if you do not want your address to show.
G – Phone number
Once again remember your NAP. You may also toggle the “show/hide” button for phone number.
H – E-mail address
Make sure this an address you check regularly. You may also toggle this off.
I – Featured image
This image will display in the listing search and will act as your banner image. This image is the first look people will see when they search listings. Make sure it is an attractive and compelling image. Remember that it will be displayed side by side with other vendors. If your image is poor quality, too busy, or too plain people may skip over you. Make sure your first impression is a good one.
J – Website
Place your website link here.
K – Video is the first thing (other than name and banner picture) that people see when they come to your listing. Use this opportunity to establish a presence with your visitor. If you look at the video in The Everyday Homemaking listing you will see a video where Vicki Bentley is introduced as the speaker on a “Homeschool Heartbeat” radio segment. Listen to the instant credibility she gets in the first 20 seconds! While you may not have a radio spot, you can create instant credibility as well. While you may be “Bubba and Bertha in the basement with a mimeograph machine” you don’t want that image for customers. While there is nothing wrong with being a cottage, low budget, business, times are changing in the homeschool market. Thirty years ago, that may have been a badge of honor, today it can kill your business. So, if you do not have a video then put it on your to do list and get one done. It can be as simple as one or two customers sharing their reviews of your business, or you talking about your passion for the subject or reason for doing what you do. But don’t waste this space. Remember, video is one of the most powerful online media. So, use this opportunity to finally get a video done, and then use it across your social media platforms.
L – The Image gallery is a great tool to display your variety of products, or the details of your products, for customers to see. Please resist the urge to put pictures of a math book, a grammar book and a history book, or a 1st grade math book, second grade math book, etc. because it is easy. Unless you have a sales funnel, as the cover of your book, then showing each book will not do a lot to sell it. There can be dozens of vendors on here with math books and you want to show why yours are different. Your visitors want to see this too! Show images of how your material is laid out, how lessons are structured or the vivid diagrams and colors inside. Show parents or students using the material or projects that have been completed using the material. Show a student holding a certificate of completion. Be creative! This is your opportunity to shine. Share what excites you, about your material, and visitors will respond.
M – The programmable buttons open up amazing opportunities for you to really put your material in front of the visitor. You can add buttons, label and color them, and then link them to whatever you want. Make a button for discounts, sale of the month, or current special and link to your sales page on your website. Are you used to paying $100 to give a vendor workshop at conventions? Just label a button “demo” and send them to your presentation on your product. Build a button and send people to a page where 2 or 3 students or parents talk about your product. Send them to the front end of your sales funnel. These buttons are cool! They offer you so much flexibility in promoting your products. The best part is you can add them, delete them or change them as your marketing needs and products change. Or create a sale of month button and never change it again – just change your sales page. The options are yours and they are almost endless.
N – Use the social media links to take people to your favorite social media pages. One note of caution! If you don’t have an active social media presence then do not link for the sake of linking. It is really disappointing to go to a company’s Facebook page and see zero to little activity. It is better not to have a page than have an inactive page.
5 – Make sure your images are properly sized and optimized. You have a logo image, featured image and image gallery. Don’t put poor quality images in your listing. If a visitor is bouncing between a couple of vendors then the quality of your images can be a deciding factor. Take the time to get good quality images and it will pay dividends in your marketing efforts.
6 – There are an incredible amount of options on the listings page to really make your business shine. We hope you use each of the components to tell your story. While we call this a directory, we truly believe it goes way beyond your standard directory. It really is a research tool. Our goal is that visitors find the very best material fit for their families. Some may buy from you, while others may purchase from a competitor. Selecting right the first time is good for everybody. Using the tools here helps that process work well. Hopefully, by the time people head to your website, they are 75% of the way to purchasing your products!
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from crayons to calculus!