7 Tips For Retail Adjustment to COVID19 and Survival

The world as we knew it in early March of 2020 is over. Life will never be the same after the devastating onslaught of the deadly COVID19 pandemic which was and still is ravaging the world. Despite this, the retail sector can rise from the ashes like the phoenix with an adjustment in mindset and a new approach to flexibility and innovation.

The retail sector has been hit particularly hard. Prior to COVID19, retail was starting to get pummeled and feel the pressure from online shopping. Now, the retail sector is facing one of it’s biggest, if not it’s absolute biggest challenges. How to stay alive.

As society begins to slowly recover from COVID19, people are reluctant to come out and mingle. Yes, they want their state governments to reopen the parks, because getting out in fresh air and nature is good for the mind, body and soul. Going shopping in the mall……….. eh, not so much.

Most people see the common sense in social distancing. And in a mall you are not going to get that. In a restaurant you are not going to get that. And who really wants a resurgence of COVID19? Who wants to take that chance? Nobody I know. Better to shop online via e-commerce and let UPS and Fedex and USPS deliver.

Retail Shopping After COVID19

Here are 7 tips for those of you in the retail sector so you can survive and one day prosper again.

1 – Re-purpose your current brick and mortar facility

Depending on what you sell in your physical location, re-purpose your store to become more of a mini manufacturing and shipping facility. If  you are in the food business, you can accommodate some shoppers properly socially distanced. However, that’s not gonna float the boat. Offer take out and delivery, or if you can ship your food product, start taking orders and shipping out. Other types of businesses will need to brainstorm and see if this is a viable means of keeping your ship afloat. If you can ship out or take local orders and deliver your products, give it a whirl.

2 – Close your brick and mortar facility

There is no shame in doing so. If you cannot make your shop become financially sustainable, shut the doors before the whole operation starts sucking the life out of you. However, no matter what you sell in your store, you absolutely MUST consider step 3. It ain’t over yet.

3 – Re-purpose your retail brick and mortar business into an online business

This will, down the road, save your business. There is some time, effort and planning involved, but well worth it. Don’t sit on this option too long. Make it happen.

4 – Consider your online options

Depending on your product, price point and ability to ship economically, you have many good online options. Your own e-commerce website, Etsy (handmade, vintage or supplies), eBay and Amazon. Don’t jump into any one option without careful consideration. They are NOT one size fits all.

5 – Build your empire slowly one venue at a time

I have so many new clients who have jumped into this option without advice and consultation and found themselves neck deep in waters they don’t understand how to navigate. Easy does it folks. You don’t want to drown.

6 – Build your brand

Nothing is more important than for you to build your brand. What does that mean exactly? Establish a memorable logo and tagline, and even if you need to trademark your identity, do it. Figure out who you are, how you want to attract customers, and express that in a consistently memorable way across your venues and throughout social media.

7 – Build your influence and your customer base

As you grow, you’ll be building your influence and customer base. As you do this, you can move on to the next phase of another venue to sell on. Start small, get a foothold and then you can move on to play with the big boys in their playground.

What is the new future for the retail industry during and post COVID19?

Online. E-commerce. Period end of story. Either your online endeavors will accompany your brick and mortar efforts and help you float the boat, or, your online endeavors will open up a whole new world order for your empire.

ecommerce

You will need a trusted advisor to help you set all of this up. Someone who is an expert in their field. Expert doesn’t mean top dollar it means top quality and top of the line knowledge. You get what you pay for.

We are in business for 20 years. Navigated many of our clients through the crash of 2008. Very few decided to throw in the towel.

Here is how Maureen McCullough LLC can help you:

  • E-commerce website design – easy for your customers to find what they want, pay for it, and leave testimonials and reviews
  • Website maintenance for enhanced security and to “keep it fresh”
  • Customized Etsy shop design
  • Customized eBay store layouts
  • Establishing your brand – one of the most critical ingredients in your plan for success
  • Highly optimized SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website, Etsy shop, eBay store, or Amazon listings
  • Ongoing optimized SEO tweaking – an absolute necessity in an ever changing, highly competitive fluid environment
  • Product descriptions and product titles – this is a science unto itself, if you want to rise through the ranks, for best visibility
  • Email marketing campaigns to reinforce your brand
  • Social media marketing – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
  • Listing in a trusted Shop Local Directory for maximum exposure
  • Personalized consulting targeted for your business, your targeted audience, and your business goals
  • Longtime experience as an Etsy, eBay, Amazon and WordPress expert

Contact us today to learn one on one how we can help you and your retail business to not only survive COVID19 but prosper!

Call or text us at 201.753.1677

Contact us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NJdesignseomarketing/

Contact us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/maureen-mccullough-llc-marketing/

 

Amazon SEO Expert – 12 Reasons Why You Need An Expert Business Coach

Why do you need an Amazon SEO Expert? Amazon sellers who want business success more than once a year during the holidays utilize affordable expert, personalized niche SEO strategies with titles, keywords, descriptions, marketing, competitor reviews and more.

Here are 12 reasons why you need an expert Amazon Consultant and Business Coach. 

1 –

20 years of search engine optimization experience, with a thorough understanding of how search engines operate

2 –

We carve out a niche for you and your products

3 –

We create a relevant SEO and Marketing plan for your particular Amazon business with your input.

4 –

Identification of ten main competitors and their reviews. Super important!

5 –

Extensive longtail keyword research and relevant usage in your listings of keywords people actually use.

6 –

We minimize tirekickers who come to your listings and leave because it’s not what they thought it was. This takes your rankings out. Not what we want.

7 –

Enhancement of your Amazon titles, keywords and descriptions again tailored to your particular Amazon store and product listings.

8 –

We create a “freshness” schedule for your listings. You are rewarded by both Amazon and Google for freshness with improved search engine visibility resulting in traffic.

9 –

A solid SEO conversion strategy. Which will be tweaked as often as necessary until we achieve what we call “sweet spot” success.

10 –

Utilization of Social Media and landing pages as part of your SEO visibility strategy.

11 –

Regular evaluations of all strategies to see which ones are working for you and which aren’t plus appropriate Plan B’s and tweaking.

12 –

Solid Branding reinforcement across all of your venues. Graphic design that establishes YOUR BRAND to the world.

Because of our extensive experience with longtail keywords, we have had good results that come up in searches as quickly as 2 weeks to 2 months. Some results happen almost immediately.

 

It’s all about search engine visibility. Search Engine Visibility = Sales = Success.  Even though Amazon is NOT a niche venue, your Amazon business will benefit from a niche SEO and Marketing strategy designed just for your Amazon store and your listings.

What is the benefit of deciding to work with Maureen McCullough LLC, in business for 20 years with a proven reputation and client retention rate of 90%?

We draw up an SEO and Marketing plan tailored specifically to the needs of YOUR business which is completely unique.

Your Amazon business needs and deserves a customized plan of action so we can help take your business to the next level of success.

Give us a call or text us today at 201.753.1677 to get started.

Reputation Management – Google Reviews vs. Reviews Submitted via Email Directly

When dealing with reputation management – which is basically summed up as the quality of your online reviews – clients seem to get stuck on whether Google reviews are better or reviews emailed in from their customers are better. After all, a review is a review, right?

Wrong. Couldn’t be more wrong.

Although I understand that some of my clients customers may not be as tech savvy as we’d like them to be, and therefore they may be more comfortable with simply emailing my client their review for a job well done, there’s always a way to make it easier for them to leave my client a Google review.

Why the strong emphasis on Google reviews, you ask?

Instant credibility. That’s what it’s all about. Potential customers look your business up on Google. They see 5 or 20 reviews, most if not all 5 star reviews, and they are much more likely to contact that business than a business with no reviews at all. This isn’t a standard rule of thumb, as many potential customers will give someone a chance even with no reviews.

However in most cases, the 5 star reviews are what trigger the phone calls. It’s instant credibility as opposed to going on a fishing expedition of various websites and searching to see if they have reviews from satisfied clients. No one has time for that these days.

What we do is set up a testimonials or reviews page on our clients websites just to have something there. We post a number of their Google reviews, usually with a disclaimer that the reviews are REAL reviews from real people and they can be verified by clicking here. “Here” being a link back to the clients Google reviews on their My Business listing.

We also put a link on the same page encouraging the visitor to leave a Google review for the client by putting a direct link to the Leave a Review area on their Google My Business listing. This is useful for those customers that my client will ask to leave a Google review. My client simply directs them to the testimonials page on their website, and all they have to do is click that link and leave their review directly on Google.

This cuts down the confusion of “where do I go” for those who are not so tech savvy.

This simple procedure makes it easy to get more Google reviews. It also eliminates the email form which may or may not work, the email going into spam and my client never seeing it, and then passing it on over to me to post on their website. A clunky out of date process at best.

So, for efficient, quick and transparent reputation management we suggest Google Reviews vs emailed reviews. And, responding to all reviews – positive or negative – is always great PR for your business!

If you need help with any aspect of your reputation management issues for your business, do not hesitate to contact us via phone or text at 201.753.1677.

Learn Website Design and More Bergen County NJ

Learn Website Design, SEO, E-Commerce, Social Media, Etsy, Marketing Bergen County NJ

Do you want to learn how to design a website? Learn the ins and outs of quality SEO – search engine optimization? How about designing e-commerce websites? Or become proficient in social media marketing? Do you own an Etsy shop?

We offer one on one tutoring services for all of the above. Learn WordPress from the bottom up, and learn to create amazing websites with full responsive capabilities including e-commerce.

Learn about:

  • WordPress
  • Mail Chimp
  • Website design including e-commerce
  • Facebook and Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Etsy Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Using Google Analytics and Search Console
  • How to keep your website and computer secure
  • How to pick a good relevant catchy domain name
  • Understand website hosting in and out
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Ensuring your website pages are all responsive and look good on all devices
  • More good stuff …….

Find out more here.

 

Why is Website Maintenance So Important?

Website maintenance is one of the most important ways to keep your beautifully designed website safe and secure and make a transparent seamless experience for your e-commerce customers or clients looking for your services.

This is one of the areas that I see many new clients of mine have completely and totally neglected. When I take them on, the back ends of their WordPress websites are in complete shambles. Plugins not updated for weeks or months, WordPress itself not updated, tons of spam comments because either comments were not disabled or because spammers found a backdoor.

Fashion Clothing Retail Boutique

Many of these websites have been injected with drive by malware as well.

Why is this and what does website maintenance have to do with it all anyways?

The reason plugins have constant updates is to improve functionality, apply security patches, and provide improvements in usability and enhancements. Conscientious plugin authors keep up with the latest and greatest antics of those who would attack your website through spam and malware.

Consistent website maintenance, done on a monthly basis, affords you the following positive aspects and peace of mind:

  • On the front end, fresh content creation and fresh visuals are especially important for businesses that rely on visuals to attract new clients and customers
  • In the back end, your website needs constant updating for security reasons – updates, security patches and bug fixes
  • No need for you to have any technical knowledge – no worrying about applications not functioning properly or mistakenly bringing your site down
  • Fresh content is a super important search engine optimization technique since you are giving your website visitors and the search engines a solid reason to come back

Whether your website is brand new and just went live, or you have an established website that’s been out there for some time, there is no sitting back relaxing. One of the biggest reasons that websites fail to generate phone calls, traffic and sales is because the website has not been kept up to date and the content is not fresh.

Old, stale pages and content reduce website traffic quickly. As noted above in bullet point #4, fresh content is a super important search engine optimization technique since you are giving your website visitors and the search engines a solid reason to come back.

Maureen McCullough LLC offers an affordable website maintenance program for small and medium business owners. We work with you to determine exactly what you need, be it just website maintenance alone or in addition to email marketing campaigns, SEO, social media marketing and website marketing.

We combine these services in one affordable package for you so you can have peace of mind and you don’t need to stress over your website in addition to running your business!

Our website maintenance package is perfect for all industries – construction, painters, landscapers, electricians, photographers, bakeries, bars, restaurants, antique and vintage, baby and kids, clothing retailers, attorneys, real estate, non profit organizations and more.

From uploading project images, menus, product images, blog posts, social media and more, it’s all about giving potential clients and customers a reason to visit your website and keep coming back.

Traffic = phone calls = sales.

In business for 18+ years, we have created long term relationships with our clients built on trust. Give us a call or text us today at 201.753.1677 or 551.245.7611 and let’s discuss how we can help you with your website maintenance needs.

Google My Business Reviews Not Showing Up What to Do?

Did a client just leave you a review on Google My Business but it is not showing up? Did you receive the email from Google only to click the blue “Read Review” button and be told the review couldn’t be found?

Frustrating, yes. The end of the world, no. Want to know how to fix this hiccup in the Google galaxy?

These instructions are for the computer.

Login to your Google My Business page. Click on your business listing link. Then in the left column scroll all the way down and choose Support.

In the popup window that comes up to your right, at the bottom choose “need more help”.

Then choose “customer reviews and photos”. After that choose “other requests about reviews”.

You are brought to a Contact Us page. Choose request callback. Enter the information they ask for.

They call you back almost immediately.

When speaking to the rep, explain clearly that your client left you a review, you got the email notification about the review, and when you clicked on the link in the email, the review was not visible. Just remain calm and be polite and professional. It is very easy to become agitated and whatnot because it’s your business. Don’t do it.

They may put you on a brief hold. When they come back on the phone, refresh your reviews page. It’s a hiccup in the system (theirs) that updates don’t happen right away. They’ll tell you it could take 7-14 days for the review to show.

But if you update your reviews screen, there it is! And subsequent reviews show up right away once they do whatever they’ve done in the background.

We have found that requesting a Google callback no matter what the problem was is far better than poking around in the forum and hoping you’ll find the answer. It’s YOUR business and who wants to wait and hope it gets taken care of magically. Take the bull by the horns and address the issue with them. In most cases, it works out quite well.

Still need help? Call or text us at 201.753.1677 and we’ll be happy to deal with Google on your behalf.

 

Would You Benefit from a Business Coach for Your Business?

Bergen County New Jersey personalized business coaching, start up and business expansion consulting. Our innovative strategies position you for success.

You will learn more from us in a one or two hour session than you could ever learn by trial and error. We keep things simple and straightforward. You walk away with a comprehensive business plan tailored to the needs of your business and your goals for growth.

 

small business growth

 

Business Coaching, Start Ups, Expansion Consulting – Take advantage of our 18+ years of knowledge, expertise and know how.

Time is money – why waste it and end up incurring more costs due to mistakes and wrong or outdated information? That’s why you go to a pro, so you can be guided, taught and empowered.

Business Coaching Basic Topics

  • Website advice – domain names, types of website hosting, e-commerce, SSL certificates and more
  • Branding, logo creation, it’s all about sending the right message
  • Social media – which venues are right for your business?
  • Social media handles – cohesive across the board branding
  • Trademarks
  • Packaging and package design
  • Product photography
  • Business cards, brochures, catalogs

What Business Coaching and Consulting Topics do we cover?

  • Start Up Businesses – all phases of development, funding, staffing, deployment, launching, and beyond
  • Existing Businesses – existing business issues, reputation management, business growth and evolution
  • Just an Idea Phase – exploration of all possibilities for your idea, including all listed under Start Ups above
  • Supplier and Wholesale Sourcing
  • E-Commerce – vetting the right online e-commerce venue for you
  • Location, location, location – vetting the right retail location for you
  • Contract Review
  • Business Plan Development and Review
  • Kicking It Up a Notch or Two – Is it time to grow and expand?
  • A/B testing and Market Analysis – what’s working, what’s not working and why
  • Streamlining your processes so you can work smarter not harder
  • Reputation Management

Call or text us at 201.753.1677 today. We provide business coaching and consulting to small businesses across the United States.

How to Handle Your Google My Business Listing Suspension

It’s happening more and more often. As we mentioned in an earlier blog article, Google My Business listings are able to be edited by anyone, from competitors who want nothing better than to take you down, to malicious SEO and marketing companies who want you out of the way so they can build up the positioning of their own clients on Google.

Parts of your Google My Business listing at most risk are your business name and / or address, phone number, hours, categories and website address. That can kill your business in a New York heartbeat.

When someone decides to edit your Google My Business listing, they click on Suggest an Edit. They have a choice of change name or other details such as name, location, hours, etc.
They also have a second, far scarier option. They have the option to “remove this place”. They can choose to mark your business as closed, nonexistent, or duplicate.

This will effectively be a nail in your coffin as your listing most likely will be suspended and could even be removed.

True non-compliance, which you may be honestly unknowing about that will get your Google My Business listing suspended are:

A) You are using a vanity url that forwards to your actual website. This is fine! BUT…… don’t use that vanity url in your GMB listing. Always use the actual website url in your GMB listing.

B) Your business name must be listed the same way it is on your business certificate from your state. Don’t inflate it with keywords hoping that you’ll get found faster. Instead of getting found faster, you’ll disappear because you got suspended.

C) Don’t hide your address.

D) Don’t create multiple listings for your business. If you run more than one “business” out of your house, make the listing for the one that is actually the business, such as your LLC. The other enterprises you run are actually divisions of the LLC.

E) Your business type is of sensitive nature. Better to check with us to see if your business is allowed on GMB.

F) No virtual office locations or mailboxes. Sometimes people do this to rank in multiple towns and counties. That’s what good quality landing pages on your website are for. Not your GMB listing.

G) You run an online business. Not a problem, just be sure to always have your business certificate available to show Google. The business name and address on the business certificate from your state MUST match the information on your GMB listing. Or else.

H) It is entirely possible you actually did nothing wrong and got suspended anyway. It does happen. Your industry may be one that gets spammed alot and the spam filter kicked you off.

The Google My Business reinstatement process is not guaranteed once you have been suspended. It generally takes a long time and a bit of back and forth with Google to become reinstated. And again, there are no guarantees.

GMB listings need to be checked daily. Business owners who are actually running their businesses don’t have time, generally won’t remember, and may not know what to do if some information has been altered by third parties claiming to be contributing an edit. Or worse yet, check in and find their listing has been suspended!

Then the business owner freaks out. Totally expected.

Our service monitors your GMB listing every day. We monitor for suggested changes, and of course for the dreaded suspension. If you get suspended we do not do what many website companies do, which is create another listing!! That just compounds the problem and the reinstatement, if it’s going to happen, just takes longer to happen.

We have a 100% reinstatement record. We understand what Google wants, and doesn’t want. Google will never tell you why you were suspended, playing the safe side that you were scamming the system so why should they help you get better at scamming? We get it. Our service knows what questions to ask, what to look for, and how to work with Google to fix the harm done.

Give us a call or text today at 201.753.1677 if your Google My Business listing has been compromised or suspended. We’ll help you get things back up and running.

Why We Include This Particular Graphic in EVERY eBook

Every eBook we create for free download or as a product you can buy includes this particular graphic that we created. Do you know why?

It’s called the Power of Positivity. In our world of increasingly negative thought processes and actions, I felt it was necessary to kick that to the curb with positive reinforcement.

Everywhere you go, there are people who have gotten sucked into the negative vortex. Angry drivers on the road, dissatisfied in the workplace and feeling there is no outlet, shooting up innocent people in mall’s across America.

At some point in time, this negativity really begins to affect one’s life and one’s business in the worst possible ways. Time for it to stop. Time for us to look beyond all of this and move forward.

Let’s go through our Positive Reinforcement Points one at a time.

You May Not Realize It. – You probably don’t because you are so bogged down in day to day strife and feelings of hopelessness.

You Hold Many Positive Possibilities In Your Hands – You can go through life with a glass half full mindset or a glass half empty mindset. it’s ALL about the mindset.

Manifest What You Want With Positive Thoughts – Yes this is something you can do. It’s not about wishing for a million dollars. It’s about keeping your thoughts positive at all times, and when your fears and worries get the better of you, putting them into the hands of your angels or higher beings that are always around to help you. That’s not hype. It actually works and gives you inner peace knowing that the more positive your thoughts are, the less negativity will be influencing your life.

Let Go of The Drama – Yup. Unless you are hell bent on being the Drama Queen or King, just dump the drama. Your higher spiritual calling does not include drama, so by dumping it you will shape your life positively in ways you could never imagine.

Don’t Take On Other People’s Projections of Their Fears and Anxieties – All too often, like everyday it seems, we are surrounded by other people who have fears and anxieties that are overwhelming them and stopping them from leading happier positive lives. We are surrounded with this 24/7!!! And because we are sympathetic, empathetic, or simply caring individuals, we often get sucked up into that negative vortex. And those fears and anxieties become US. Learn to put other peoples issues in perspective, put them OVER THERE, do what you need to do, but don’t let them become YOU.

Stay Away From the Hype – Instead of following the crowd, following the trends, try following what you know down in your core to be the truth and the true you and your true direction and passion in life. This is called your soul’s purpose. Even if you don’t believe you have a soul, which is fine, you have a purpose in life. Discover that, be true to yourself and do what’s right for YOU.

Surround Yourself with Positive People and Energies – the more you do this, the more positive your life will become because you are kicking negative, toxic people and their energies to the curb. I have personally done this by establishing a positive ring of fire around me. Inside the ring of fire is all that is positive and good. Outside the ring of fire is all the negative crap that cannot ever get past the ring of fire. You’d be surprised how this helps you maintain your positive energy environment.

Trust in the Universe and the Process – you know how sometimes the Universe feels stuck? Nothing is happening, everything seems to be on hold, nothing is moving. We could blame it on Mercury going into retrograde which certainly doesn’t help!! But this is a proven Universal thing. Sometimes the energy is simply stuck and not going anywhere. And then out of the blue things start moving, progressing, getting better. Without going into religious beliefs or consulting our astrologer, things happen for a reason, and they happen in their own good time, when the time is right. Trust in the process. Believe. Be Positive.

Your Business and Your Life Will Be the Success You Want It To Be!

Disclaimer: Although we created this graphic, the stunning image of the globe in the hand with the Universe background we downloaded from Pixabay.com – a great source of amazing artwork of all types. 

1 2 3 4 6