I’m a guest author for Contracting Business magazine, which focuses on business solutions for heating and air conditioning contractors.  My latest article was entitled, “20 Things I’d Do Right Now if I Were an HVAC Contractor“.

After rereading this a few times, I realized that  most businesses are not doing the majority of what’s on this list and that it may be helpful for any marketer to review.  So, I decided to update the list to make it a bit more relevant.  Enjoy!

  1. Make my website (systems and content) my largest marketing investment in 2011.
  2. Treat my website like it was my storefront. First impressions count.
  3. Use less of the stock imagery that every other site uses and invest in some original or altered imagery that differentiates your story from everyone else’s story (we just tried to do this on the new Junta42.com home page.
  4. Remove all moving text, scrolling text or counters from my website (I know, hard to believe that this still is happening).
  5. Develop consistent “how-to” information in the form of a blog or article series to both deliver to my customers and attract new customers through search engines.
  6. Send out an opt-in enewsletter to my customers, and include those helpful blog or article posts, linking customers back to my site for more information (here’s some enewsletter stats that may help you).
  7. Spiff my employees a couple dollars for every opt-in email address they get to sign up for the enewsletter.  Make it a competition.
  8. Follow all my customers on Facebook and Twitter. I will include those helpful articles on my Facebook and Twitter accounts so people continue to follow me and appreciate my expertise.
  9. Develop an “INSERT YOUR INDUSTRY NICHE HERE Playbook” as a trusted guide for my customers. I would make it available for download on my site, but also make some printouts to take on home visits or to pass out at shows (for an example, see the Content Marketing Playbook).
  10. Start experimenting with some “how-to” video and integrate those with my blog posts.
  11. Take video of my customers communicating their biggest pain points and post to it to my blog/Facebook with their permission.
  12. Have an analytics report sent to me every week. Notice where my traffic is coming from and figure out why it’s coming from there. Focus on conversion statistics, not just bulk traffic.
  13. Keep a list of the top 20 keyword variations that drive people to my site and consistently know where I am on Google at all times.
  14. Figure out how to use FourSquare for my business.
  15. Make sure to ask my customers for positive reviews on Yelp (if I focus on local business).
  16. Do a press release at least every month on something going on in my company or my involvement in the local community. In that release I would link to specific keywords, which would help my search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.
  17. Make sure I have a solid Google Maps listing.
  18. Create Google Alerts (or use my reputation management system) for my brand name, my competitors and anything related to my products or services in my area. Make sure I assign people to champion particular keywords and respond when necessary.
  19. Start looking into Quora and how my content evangelist can assist with customer/influencer questions.
  20. Take my advertising budget, cut it in half, and invest the rest in assets (content) that I can use to attract customers to my website for a long, long time.

If you liked this article, you might like 10 Reasons Your Content Stinks and How to Fix It.

So, what are you doing?