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As a small business owner, if you do not take advantage of the Internet, then you are missing a huge opportunity to promoting your products and services. Using online local Internet marketing tactics can transform your small business marketing into BIG business marketing.
Nearly 50% of businesses have taken that first essential step to getting online: building a web site. That’s great but, unfortunately, just having that small piece of real estate on the web isn’t enough. It’s a start, so let’s build on that by reviewing some basic things to do with the web site first. The appearance and the content of your web site should be simple and valuable. Whoever visits your site should find it attractive and should be able to clearly understand your company’s benefits. Try having enough information on the site to answer the most frequent questions that your prospective customer might have. Even more, have information on the site that explains what they SHOULD know, but don’t know to ask about. Again, just putting up a site on the Internet isn’t going to be enough to bring more business, but make sure it is done right.
The key to using your web site to drive more traffic to your business, with phone calls, online purchases, or in-store visits, is capture the attention of people searching for your goods and services online. The number of people using search engines, such as Google, to find local businesses like yours is skyrocketing. Recent studies show that many more people are searching the web for local products and services than picking up the “handy” yellow page book. Google and its rivals have figured that out and they are investing heavily to designing their search engines to cater to that audience. Therefore, you need to do THREE THINGS right now to benefit from that trend.
1) First, construct your web site to conform with what the search engines want to show their users. Specifically, find out what the online searchers are typing into the search box and write your web site’s content to accommodate. That is often referred to in the Internet marketing community as on-page search engine optimization (or SEO).
2) Second, promote your web site in as many places as possible (online and offline). “As many places as possible” includes, but is not limited to, these activities: finding web pages online where a link to your web site can be placed; adding your business information to online local directories; adding your business information to social media sites; creating content in the form of articles, videos, images, reports, etc. and posting it on a variety of online content sharing web sites; and others! With a little creativity, you will find that there are more opportunities to reference your business and link back to your web site than you’ll ever be able to do.
3) Third, manage your reputation online. If you do nothing else, you should be monitoring what people online are saying about you, your business, your competitors, your suppliers, and even your customers (if you’re B2B). Many tools exist to monitor these conversations.
If you want to attract more customers, then take advantage of the Internet by making it easy for people to find your business when they are looking for it. Nowadays, people are using the Internet as their primary source for researching local businesses. If you understand that and implement these three steps, you will be in a great position to attract that audience. If not, your competitors will.
If you are a small business owner that understands the value of the Internet as described in this article, then you’re ready to take action.
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