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Small Business Internet Marketing
This article will identify 3 critical yet easy to ignore Internet marketing tactics that can each help a business get more customers.
More importantly, these tactics lay the groundwork for other inexpensive, high-impact online marketing efforts down the line.
- web design
- keyword research
- and Google maps listings.
Web design should be simple, and should follow direct response marketing principles.
Web design does not need to be overly expensive.
While it is common for some web designers charge as much as $5000 or more to build a website, almost every small business should be able to have an effective website build for around $1000.
Unfortunately expensive web design, while it may be attractive, rarely considers direct marketing principles.
As a result, small businesses often spend too much money building their website and leave themselves without enough money to effectively market that website after it is complete.
The primary purpose of effective small business websites is to prompt the visitor to take action by making a purchase, calling the business, going to the business, etc.
Websites should not be online brochures that simply provide information but do not elicit a response from the visitor.
A second key to effective small business Internet marketing is effective keyword research.
Every business needs to have a solid understanding of what words and key phrases potential customers are using to find their service or products online.
Without this knowledge, almost every other marketing activity that a business engages in becomes far less effective than it could be if that business was targeting the correct key phrases.
Keyword research is especially effective for off-line local businesses because, with proper targeting, those businesses can very often shoot to the top of the search engines because they are targeting location-specific keywords, which tend to be far less competitive than more generalized keywords.
For example, the keyword "plumbers in Atlanta" tends to be far less competitive then the keyword "plumbing services".
In the beginning of any Internet marketing campaign, effective and focused keyword research is the key to maximizing your marketing efforts.
The third key for effective small business Internet marketing is having Google maps listings, also known as Google local listings.
Effective Google maps listings provide small businesses with the opportunity to leapfrog all of their competition in the search engines for their targeted search terms.
Google gives local business and service providers preference over nonlocal search engine listings for searches that are done in the area that the business serves.
More importantly, it is absolutely free for any small business to create a local listing on Google, as well as other search engines like Yahoo and Bing.
In order to get the best results, local businesses should also create free listings in other business directories such as Yelp and CitySearch.
Local listings provide small businesses with an excellent opportunity to enjoy increased visibility in their local market at a bare minimum cost.
There are several other small business Internet marketing strategies available to every business owner.
These 3 strategies are all highly effective and all are a great place for any small business to begin its online marketing efforts.
Even for business that don't actually sell anything online...
plumbers, chiropractors, lawyers, car salesman...
the list goes on and on...
these strategies lay the groundwork for future marketing efforts that increase visibility as well as market reach, which almost always leads to more profit for the business owner