internet marketing for small businesses – Part 1

Ok, so it’s day 1, your new website has gone live. What now? If you have asked around you have probably had lots of different suggestions on internet marketing for small businesses from different people that may have had some reference to:

Google, Other Search Engines, Keywords, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Local Search, Google Adwords, paid directories like yell.com, Social Networking, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Blogging, Social Bookmarking, E-mail Marketing, traditional marketing like leaflets and business cards.

It makes sense to list the specific aims of your small business website marketing strategy. Also list the things that you are not trying to achieve at this point as that helps you know what to avoid spending time on.

For the purpose of this guide I am assuming you are a small business looking for work locally or an established business looking in to invest more time in to getting leads / sales from your existing site.

What You Are Aiming To Achieve From Your Internet Marketing Efforts:

  • Generate Sales / Leads
  • Generate them very quickly
  • In a cost effective manner

What Are You Less Concerned With At This Point:

  • Long Term Strategies for Generating Business Including:
  • Brand Awareness
  • Repeat Business from Existing Clients (if there aren’t any yet!)
  • Positioning Yourself as an Industry Expert

Depending on your specific business your goals may be a bit different but please do read on.

Now we need to know, out of all the types of website marketing we have available, which ones satisfy which goals. A few points to cover first about Google, Other Search Engines and Traditional Marketing:

Google
Google is currently the daddy of all search engines. Especially here in the UK. A lot of potential clients probably go on to Google each day and type in [your product name / service] + [where they live if applicable] e.g. “Plumber Liverpool”. If it is a product or a service that is delivered through the internet or by post then they probably won’t mention their geographical area. There are 3 ways to get traffic from Google to your website:

  • Rank High in Google for what clients / customers are searching for (involves SEO, Linkbuilding)
  • Have a paid advert come up for relevant searches (Google Adwords)
  • Appear in the local search results (for some searches Google will show a map with local results if it believes it is applicable to that service or product. Usually tradesmen type services)

Other Search Engines
Depending on whose version of the statistics you listen to, Google gets up to 90% of all searches in the UK! Anything that helps you rank higher in Google will help with the other search engines anyway. The other search engines usually don’t get enough traffic to warrant signing up to their paid advertising, unless you are successfully spending a lot on Google’s Paid Advertising. I’d say £10,000+ a month on Google then it would be worth setting up a campaign to spend £1000 a month between Yahoo and Bing.

Traditional Marketing
Having a great website is a great asset but other forms of marketing you do should stand on their own weight. You should provide enough info for people to make a buying decision without having to visit your website.

That being said, harmless ways to direct people to your website include mentioning it on any advertising you do (at the end of the ad so they can go to the site if they are still not sure), in your email signature to be included on all emails, on business cards and leaflets.

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