Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
To get your website noticed in the search engines, you need to optimize your website for Google, Yahoo, Bing so that your website will be on page #1 when people search for your business specialty. My SEO Secrets book gives you step-by-step instructions you can do to get your website listed on page #1 ahead of all your competitors.
Compelling Content Updates
Once you have started your business and you have your website on the Internet, if you don’t ever do anything further, your website may be doomed for failure. The thing that makes a site interesting and keeps visitors coming back to visit is compelling content where they can find “waht’s in it for them”. In order to keep visitors and the search engines happy, you’ll want to update at least once a month to keep things fresh and interesting. Writing fresh content can be very difficult unless you do professional writing for a living, so consider handing it off to a professional who writes content every day. This will take the burden off of you and get those updates completed more frequently.
There are 2 types of links associated with your website. “Outbound Links” are the ones where there is a link on your website that links to another website. “Inbound Links” are the ones where another website links to your website. To give your website the most advantage with the search engines, you want as many “Inbound” links as possible because each inbound link is seen as a “vote” of confidence for your website. There are many link building strategies you can use, but one simple one is to ask all of the companies you do business with to place a link on their website to yours. You can reciprocate with them by placing a link to them on your site.
Running a business can go easier when you have others that are involved in your situation where they know details about you and your business. Years ago you had to rely on in-person meetings with individuals and groups. Today, networking with your peers and business advisors is so easy through social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and others. This is how you stay connected and involved with others and they can do the same with you.
One the biggest benefits of Internet marketing is that you can use free services to advertise your business. Sites like Yelp and Kudzu offer free classified style ads where you can upload your business information and place links to your website. Another great place to get free advertising is with Google Places where visitors can find directions to your front door and have the chance to leave reviews. And when it comes to “free”, be sure to take advantage or promoting your business everywhere you can. Place a reference to your website, email address, and all social media accounts on your business card, in your email signature line, and every piece of promotional material you produce.
If you have a little money to burn, then you can pay for some key advertising slots that will increase traffic to your site and bring customers pouring in. Some of the more popular paid advertising ventures include things like Google Adwords, where you purchase text links and pay by the click up to a set amount. You may also want to try Stumble Upon and purchasing direct banner sales on sites with customers you’d like to target. Competitors probably will not sell to you, so it should be related but non-competitive.
Social marketing centers aroung creating content that attracts the attention of your website visitors and encourages them to share it with their social networks. Your message spreads from user to user and is viwed as valuable because it’s coming from a trusted source, as opposed to coming directly from your company. Social marketing is a powerful platform that opens doors for your business to increase its brand awareness and hold conversations with your customers. Social marketing is free for most accounts which can’t be beat as an inexpensive platform to implement marketing campaigns. The dominant social marketing play is to have a business page on Facebook. You can gain additional exposure using Twitter for shout outs, and YouTube for visual communications.
Email newsletters are the essential foundation of staying in communication with your customers. Once your business has established a relationship with a customer, email newsletters are how you keep them informed of what is happening with your business. If you sold them a product, the newsletter is where you tell them about new products. If they bought a service from you, the newsletter is where you tell them about new services. Email newsletters are incredibly affordable, but you need to be very careful to use a professional email delivery company to assure that the effort you invest in your newsletter, does not get lost because the email could not be delivered. While social marketing comnpanies rise and fall, email newsletters will stand the test of time by being a consistent voice you have with your customer.
If your business website is not ranking well with organic search engine optimiization, you can leverage the power of Google Adwords. The process is simple. You establish an account with Google, set a threshold of money that can be spent each day, then create your ad. When someone clicks on your ad, the cost of the ad is deducted from your daily spending limit, and then the user is sent to a page on your website. To achieve the highest conversion rates, instead of sending the user to your home page and making them figure out what to do next, you should send the user to a landing page that is created specifically for your offer.
Now that Facebook has overstepped Google with 500+ million registered users, another powerful way for your business to reach potential customers is with Facebook Ads. The process is to design your ad, target who the ad will be presented to, and then select the pricing and scheduling. The power with Facebook comes in step #2 where you can target specific demographics for your ad. This feature opens up so many segmenting possibilities that you can really narrow the focus of each ad to determine, over time, which demographic offers the greatest return on investment. Be sure to send the user who clicks on your ad to a landing page that is created specifically for your offer. Between Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, your business can reach an audience of incredible numbers.