The Stationers Guild

Get Listed: Can your store be found?

As readers of this column are well aware, I have long been preaching that local stationers need to take a far more active role at promoting their store online. Whether one has a website or not, it is absolutely critical that your store be found when people are searching for products and services you sell.  

I have recently come across a useful and easy way to determine how well your store is positioned for online search.  Simply go to getlisted.org and type in the name of your business and zip code to see how well you rank.  GetListed.org quickly determines how well your store ranks on five prominent search sites (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp and Best of the Web) and, most importantly, provides you with the essential hyperlinks to claim your business, update your existing listing and add photographs and reviews.  This is by far the most effective tool that I have seen to determine how well positioned your store is for Internet search inquiries.   Find out now!

What do GetListed.org search results mean for my store?    If your listing score is below 25%, I would drop eveything and take action now!  Just follow the useful hyperlinks on the website and create a unique identity for your store in cyberspace.  If your listing score is above 50%, give youself a pat on the back, and take action over the weekend to get your listing to the next level.  Please note that getting a listing score above 50% is almost free and may require about an hour of work on your computer.    If your listing score is above 85%, treat yourself to a glass of champagne and then do what is necessary to get to 100%. 

With the easy roadmap provided to you by GetListed.org  your local store will certainly rank in the top 5% percentile of all local listings (probably closer to 1%) for small business.  Furthermore this can be done for a total cost of under $200 a year (only Best of the Web is a tad expensive).  For those on a famine diet, Google and Bing are free.

Over the next several weeks, I will be unveiling a new strategy for Guild members to radically transform your store and online presence by opting into some of the new technologies that are reshapping the ways local businesses market themselves.    As I wrote recently, I believe that our industry (which I broadly define as personalized stationery and custom invitations) has reached a crossroads. Vendors and dealers can follow the path of least resistance and chase Internet price points down to levels which either puts them out of business or permanently compromises the integrity of their brand and/or the reputation of their business.

Experienced stationers operating through legitimate storefronts continue to be the most effective resource to promote brand awareness. Unfortunately, most of these stationers do not recognize the threat posed by the Internet and/or lack the skills or interest to promote their business effectively in this new medium.   As such, I have decided to reorient the focus of the StationersGuild to help dealers optimize their web presence within their local community so that they will have the best listing in targeted local “search space” for keywords like “wedding invitations,” “business cards,” or “stationery.”

Participation in this program is strictly voluntary, but best results and best pricing will be achieved if we act together.  Many of the programs (like getlisted.org ) are free and I will be assembling information from credible resources on the internet if you wish to implement these programs yourself.  For those who prefer to let the “pros” do it for you, I am in the process of putting together an outstanding talent pool to get the job done at rates that are probably far less than what you are currently paying for Yellow Page Advertising. 

I would love to hear from you and will be sending out a newsletter and survey shortly which goes into the program in more detail.  Ask yourself:  Are you equipped to handle mobile search?  Are those affiliate programs working for you?  Are you updating your site regularly and employing proper Search Engine Optimization strategies?  If you answered no to one or more of these questions, the new StationersGuild strategy could be right for you.

Richard W. May
Founding Member Stationers Guild

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