The Internet is a big place. Yet is has become a vital part of every business’s life, whether acknowledged as such or not. Today’s shoppers’ buying habits have been forever changed, by the wealth of information now available to them on their smart phones, tablets and PC’s.
According to Google’s site, zeromomentoftruth.com, shoppers are now checking the web for information on products they have heard about, to make the buying decision in such great numbers, that a new term has been coined called the Zero Moment of Truth, (ZMOT).
Where traditional marketing defined the buying decision steps as “trigger, response,” now there is a new step. Research. Never before could a shopper find information about a product they are interested in as well as competing products so readily. Now a mom can look up a toy her child mentions, find the correct name, read reviews, shop price, find a location that has it, and buy it, without ever leaving home. And it is happening thousands of times every day.
This is a sea of change of major proportions–it impacts every business to one degree or another. Even yours.
The reason Google is talking about this is to highlight the importance of the content and marketing of a business’s web site.
In a universe of millions of sites, what can a business do to improve the chances that shoppers will find their site? This is a huge question with plenty of experts promoting their services through books, sites, blogs, and service contracts.
As we at *POND Trade Magazine* discussed what we could do to help our industry and its members, we settled on developing a centralized place where retail and wholesale shoppers could find a comprehensive list of products and services available, and where to get them. The result is pondsources.com.
We settled on a directory site as the best format, as it provides a means of finding all the manufacturers of a given product type–something you can’t find in any other way. Thus, a person can compare product specs directly from all the relevant manufacturers’ sites. Not just a sub-set like an individual dealer would list.
There are dozens of categories for all kinds of pond products and services, and new ones are being added all the time.
The vision is that a person in need of a new filter for his pond, for instance, could search here and find all the major manufacturers, with information on their products and links directly to their sites. That way a person can reasonably be assured that they know what is available on the market. They can then search out a dealer in their area, or find online sources, depending on their preferences.
**How Can You Be Included?**
Getting your company listed is FREE. Every company providing goods and services to the pond trade industry can get a free listing on pondsources.com. A free listing includes your company name, address, and a link to your web site. Also included is space for a brief description of your company.
To get your free listing, just go to pondsources.com, and select List Your Company in the menu on the left. You will see a table, with four options for listing types. Don’t get information overload here. You can get a free listing by scrolling to the bottom of the first column and clicking on Order Now.
As you will see there are additional options listed as well, that come with a modest cost. (The most expensive option is just $179 per year).
You can choose to add your logo, much longer descriptive text, and place your listing in up to 40 listing categories. Why so many? If you manufacture an extensive line of products, you can place your listing in categories for most all of your products. If you are a retailer, think of how many products you sell in your store, (your skews). You won’t have any trouble finding lots of categories to place your listings. Plus, read more about all the ways to use the site in the FAQ link on the main menu.
It is our hope that pondsources.com will help you market your business by getting found on the Internet. It will be slow going in a vacuum, but with your help, it can grow in traffic and influence on the web.
If you believe a directory focused on our industry is a good idea, and a benefit to all, you can help. Google ranks sites by, among other things, incoming links. Put a link to pondsources.com on your site. Make it a link to your listing, and proclaim that you can be found on pondsources.com. If you are concerned that your competitors will be there too, consider the lesson of car dealerships. Why do you think dealerships gather in car malls? Because it is better to be included in a centralized shopping area, than not.
If our industry embraces pondsources, we can help improve the quality of pond keepers’ experiences, by providing a legitimate source of information, from a variety of qualified voices. This can only help counteract the cacophony of pseudo experts on the net sharing poor or self-serving pond information. Let your voice be heard at pondsources.com and be part of the solution.
**Write a Short Article**
Another powerful way to get noticed on the is to publish articles on topics of interest. On pondsources, we can publish an article from you, on a topic in which you have expertise. The article will be credited to you as the author, and have links to your pondsources listings, and your web site.