You have a small business, you don’t sell anything online, but you realize that whether you sell something directly online or not, most people are still searching the internet to learn about your business and what you have to offer.
Beyond that, you’ve heard a bit about Viral Marketing, Google Adwords, Facebook, Myspace, Digg, Twitter, Youtube, and have even heard that businesses are somehow doing free marketing with these online tools. But how can your small business benefit from this latest method for getting in contact with your customers?
As you know, I own a small business with the average ticket price for a sale in excess of a few thousand dollars. My business requires an onsite inspection and analysis of a prospect’s home prior to completing a transaction. So my business doesn’t allow for a direct internet sales approach at this point and quite frankly, that’s part of our Niche. We take the time to learn what you need because we’re the experts and you shouldn’t have to be.
So let’s break down how the internet can help small businesses by looking at the 3 pieces to an online presence.
- Traffic – You need to get people to your website.
- Website – This tells your story and prompts people to take the next step… Whatever that might be.
- Commitment – This is the next step. Whether it’s committing to buy a product, contacting your for more information, or to schedule an appointment, as is the goal with my business, this is the most important piece. Another smaller commitment would be to simply capture a name and email address to keep them up-to-date on products, services, news, and even specials.
For this blog, we’re just going to focus on getting traffic to your website and there are basically 3 ways to do that:
- Organic Search – In other words people type in a search for a product and your business appears. This is often called SEO or Search Engine Optimization or Organic traffic. That simply means that your website is designed to answer the questions that people are asking. That brings up the question, so what are people asking? Well a great tool to use for optimizing your website to find out what are the most popular searches is located at freekeywords.wordtracker.com.
- Online Ads – This is where you have to pay someone else to drive traffic to your website. The most popular way to do this is SEM or Search Engine Marketing. Whether you’re doing Google Adwords, Facebook advertising or the Microsoft Network, you’re paying someone to bring more visitors to your site.
- Viral Marketing – This is your free marketing that has the power to expand itself. Well this can be a tricky one because there are so many ways and pieces to viral marketing these days… The video below will explain this key aspect to online marketing in a bit more detail
In my video I referenced the following tools:
Google Adwords – To buy keywords to market your website. This is paid traffic.
Twitter – Mircoblog (every post has to be 140 characters or less) to keep your followers up-to-date on the latest things going on at your business.
My Facebook Fan Page – Promote your business to all of your friends on Facebook… And all of their friends…
Youtube – Create your own videos to integrate with your content and to provide another way for people to find you online.
Digg – Submit a blog or article for people to “digg” if they like it to push up your blog or site’s popularity.
Reddit – Same concept as Digg above.
Shareit – Share your shareware software programs with the world.
Del.ico.us – Social bookmarking site that allows you to keep track of all of your bookmarks no matter what website your on. It also provides you lists of the most bookmarked sites to help users determine the best content.
Stumlbeupon – Helps you better navigate the web by you telling Stumbleupon what topics interest you and then others will “stumble” articles and blogs in those topics to provide the best content based on the number of “stumbles”.
To your internet marketing success, Bryan