In these tough (and seemily getting tougher) economic times, small businesses are popping up everywhere! Internet marketing for small businesses is one of the (if not THE) cheapest form of advertising available. Well, I mean it’s not the CHEAPEST, printing and handing out flyers is cheaper BUT the return on investment is much greater. So, in the long run, it’s the cheapest!
But, you do have to do your homework. SEO pricing is all over the map. You can find Internet marketing firms that sell services anywhere from $100.00 all the way up $50,000. But be careful what you buy. I’m not saying you have to spend $50,000, far from it. Just be aware of what you’re getting for the price. As the SEO webmaster with Eckweb Designs, Inc., I can tell you that specializing in small business Internet marketing has focused us on low prices with maximum service. Meaning, our clients get the most bang for their bucks.
But, enough of that, let’s get down to some tips, ideas and advice that small businesses can use in their Internet marketing strategies.
1) Visibility – make sure your website is visible to the search engines. The majority of website designers do not know how to create websites for the search engines. Yes, they can create beautiful websites, no doubt. But search engines don’t look at the visual aspects of the website. They look at the coding. You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on Internet marketing for your website, but the bottom line is, if you website is difficult for the search engines to read, it will be extremely difficult to get it indexed and placed on the first page.
2) Roam – your website is just one spot on the Internet. And with over 5 million new websites being submitted to search engines every single day, that spot gets smaller and smaller! How do you combat this? By making your spot larger! That means get yourself on as many different websites as possible! Today, just about anyone can be famous for a while. With all the reality shows and YouTube videos out there, it’s fairly easy! So, where can you roam to increase your Internet spot? Social media sites are excellent. Here are some places…
e) Ladies Who Launch
g) Ezine Articles
h) Promotion World
These are just a very few of so many places! The one thing to remember about roaming, is that you must keep up with them. Think of each of these as a networking group. You can spend your $400.00 (or whatever the fee is) to join a local networking group, and if you go a few times you’ll meet some people but you won’t necessarily get any businesses. But if you keep going, after a while you will begin seeing business. You get out of them what you put in! The same holds true for these types of programs.
3) Go Local – list your website in as many local search engines and directories as you can find, that includes Google Maps, Google Earth, etc. As gas prices continue to climb (or gas becomes scarce – as it did lately in Atlanta) more and more people use the Internet to search for local services BEFORE they get in their cars. So, take advantage of this by getting your website on as many local engines as possible.
4) Gain Trust – there are SO many websites out there that are just fancy brochures. Attorney and physician websites are great examples. These sites are usually so predictable. They show who the attorney or doctor is, what their credentials are and what specialties they service. Oh yeah, and how to get to their office. That’s pretty much it. Now, these doctors and lawyers may THINK that just by providing this information they can get sales from the site. But the truth is, this information will only bring visitors to the site. In other words, the website can get indexed in the search engines, but once visitors come to the website, they need to trust you to convert from visitor to a client. Conversions are the REAL measure of a website’s success, not the number of visitors. There are 2 ways to gain trust via websites…
a) Be useful – don’t just give a brochure of who, what and where you are. Let people know your expertise. Showcase it. Are you a bankruptcy attorney? Then answer questions on your website about bankruptcy. Have detailed, easy to read information on your website explaining the bankruptcy laws. Be useful to the viewers who are coming to your website and you will gain their trust. Don’t just sell your services, educate others about your services.
b) Reviews – testimonials and reviews from others is a great way to earn trust. Encourage your clients to write in reviews on your Google Map and other local directories. Put testimonials from clients on your website. They will pay off.
I know, all this seems overwhelming, it’s alot of work, that’s for sure. But you don’t have to do it all yourself. As a website owner and small business owner, you don’t have the time to do it all. That’s where you look for Internet marketing firms that can help you. The ROI (return on investment) is very high and it truly can be the cheapest form of advertising. At Eckweb Designs, Inc. we keep our monthly fees very low. For the complete marketing package, the monthly fee is only $270.00 per month. You can go as low as $135.00 / month for the basic package. Our services have helped many, many small businesses. Just ask Mickey Arledge of Name-Tags.net or Jim Kelderhause of CertifiedWindowsandDoors.com or Carmela Smith of CoastalClosings.com or Sam Assini of SamAssini.com or Jeff Blum of MagicalSongWriter.com or Ben Cranor of Cranor-Roofing.com, or many others.
Internet marketing for small businesses is the best way to get your business up and running!