BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — We recently wrapped up production for Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine’s November issue, which is filled with informative features aimed to motivate owners and operators to run their businesses more profitably.

In this upcoming issue, you will find topics including: lessons learned from experience with site selection, a closer look at this year’s Northeast Regional Carwash Convention, the 2015 in-bay automatic survey results, preventative maintenance and more.

For this exclusive sneak peek, the PC&D team selected an excerpt from the November cover story, “Touching all bases of online marketing,” written by contributor Katie Harris, which compares Internet marketing to baseball to encourage businesses to hit sales efforts out of the park.

“If you are like most business owners, you wear a lot of hats and work hard to stay on top of best industry practices — all while implementing effective online marketing strategies that seem to change faster than you can learn them. However, in a simplified way, Internet marketing is a lot like baseball. The first thing you have to do is get in the game.

“Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you on the bench for too long; if you do, your company will miss opportunities and the competition will pass you by. Now, start putting points on the board by touching all the bases — just like in baseball.”

This article also includes five recommendations to help improve SEO (search engine optimization):

  1. Set up a Google My Business account. This is an easy way to create a listing or claim an existing one, allowing you to make sure the information is accurate and complete. Best of all, it’s free.
  2. Get started with review sites. Once you have claimed your business, you can update information, respond to reviews and upload photos. Love it or hate it, your customers are looking at review sites, such as Yelp, and you want them to find your business there.
  3. Optimize listings. Claim your listing and make sure the information is correct. Now, start optimizing your business information. This will include listing operating hours, adding photos, providing contact information, supplying the website address and more. You may want to look into digital management services, such as Yext (yext.com), to make the process even easier.
  4. Gather reviews. This is much easier said than done. If you provide outstanding service and take care of customers, they will be more inclined to leave a review; however, it also doesn’t hurt to remind patrons that you appreciate their opinions.
  5. Engage with customers online. You’re going to get reviews; and, let’s be honest, you may even receive some bad ones. People are just generally more motivated to leave negative comments. Take the time to respond in a professional manner. Thank customers for positive comments. Also, acknowledge any negative feedback, and try to make these concerns right if and when possible.

We hope you enjoyed this inside look into the November issue. Make sure to check out the entire article as well as the other great features in the November issue coming soon. In case you missed the October issue, or if you just want to peruse through its pages once more, check it out here.