Effective small business marketing is the lifeblood of any small business. An unsettling high percentage of small businesses fold within the first year of operation with most of the first year survivors closing shop by the end of the third year.

One of the major reasons that small businesses fail is a cash flow crisis. Effective small business marketing is one of the few business tools available to a small business owner that GENERATES cash.

Effective small business marketing starts with being able to write a simple and practical marketing plan, specifically for your business. This marketing plan then forms the basis of all your marketing efforts and acts as a reference point when you have to decide between two or more courses of action.

The result of following a well constructed marketing plan is that all your different marketing efforts form part of a co-ordinated strategy aimed at attaining your predetermined goal. That is in stark contrast to the marketing efforts of most small businesses and immediately puts you ahead of the pack.

Effective small business marketing naturally comes with some challenges – and advantages. Challenges might include a lack of marketing savvy, a limited marketing budget, time constraints especially if you are a one person business and so on. Anyone who has run a small business should recognise the danger of spending too much time working in the business rather than on the business.

There are many advantages however in marketing a small business as opposed to a corporate giant. These include a lack of a hierarchy of decision makers, no red tape to fight through to get anything done, direct contact with your target market and many more.

Effective small business marketing should and can be the cornerstone of every small business. Your simple yet effective marketing plan is the map that will guide you out of the woods towards a profitable business, irrespective of the market segment you operate in.

By: Le Doc

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Discover Le Doc’s secret weapons for Small Business Marketing

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Caterina Christakos asked:

& lt; br/& WP; If you have été handling all your marketing you-même but the résultats do not reçoivent that you espériez, it could être time to make in the pros. Fortunately, for the companies of all sizes it ya a variété of choice for all the budgets. It ya of great organizations of complete service which can build and put in ? ? uvre a plan of marketing à to start from zéro, and it ya of small virtual agencies which can concentrate mainly on the présence Web of your company. It does not matter the size of your budget of marketing, it ya an option for you. & lt; br/& WP; How much dépenser? & lt; br& WP; If you will engage a société extérieure to help you in your marketing, then you êtes évidemment need d& #39; to increase your budget marketing. How much you can pass à you, but keep à l& #39; spirit that the sociétés of marketing more expérimentés and effective co? tent généralement a little more. The développement complete one of services of parcel of marketing can enter tens of thousands of dollars, especially if you want conçu well, modern advertisements which reach many people. & lt; br/& WP; However, you can obtain the co? ts by fact part of work you-même, then to engage a firm of marketing which is able to work with what you have déj?. For example, if you have déjà fact an important subject d& #39; étude of marché and to have a good sense of the public targets that you wish to reach, that c& #39; is a thing that your distributor n& #39; ? will not have? s& #39; inquiéter. Meanwhile, can-être you have some of the advertisements or the advertising texts déjà fact, and you n& #39; require that quelqu& #39; to help you à to make leave. The clé is to work with a flexible agency of marketing which can function in circumstances différentes & lt; br/& WP; To choose your agency of marketing & lt; br& WP; Here four things which you could ask at the time of l& #39; engage d& #39; an agency of marketing: & lt; Br/& lt; br/& WP; & WP; – Do you Know my target customers? The différents organizations have tendency à to concentrate on différentes parts of the marché. For example, if you sell a product axé on the young people, it is important to work with a company which had succès in the marketing of products for the young people. & lt; br& WP; – Can you how work in several forms of mediums? Aujourd& #39; today, the publicité on Internet is most important by far, it is thus essential for l& #39; undertaken with which you work à l& #39; ease with marketing on the Web. However, they should not leave the others médias derrière. Télévision, radio, and of the advertisements in écrites publications are always powerful forms of the publicité. & lt; br& WP; – Did you obtain résultats? Before you décider à to work with a company, of connaître their antécédents. Ask à what the companies have commercialisé for, and then to make small a enquête on the façon whose these sociétés is commercialisés. If this agency of marketing is sizeable, then they should être able give you at least some names. & lt; br& WP; – What can you make on my budget? With the début of your discussions with an agency of marketing, to announce to them which type of budget which you have à l& #39; spirit, and knowledge this qu& #39; they would be prêts à to make à this rate.

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In this case it’s a WordPress blog
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Tom Bates asked:

Generally, having your business’ website appear on the first page or two of a Google search result generally is a good thing, if your website doesn’t help searchers become customers all the first-page ranking results will do nothing for you. A good SEO placement knows this and will work to create an affordable SEO campaign that’s effective for you.

An SEO placement campaign is only as good as your keywords. Sure, lots of traffic to your website is a good thing, but the kind of traffic you really want is traffic to your site from people who are looking for what you offer.

For example, if you’re an attorney who specializes in wills and estate planning, especially for divorced people, an SEO placement campaign that gets folks to your website who are looking for a real estate lawyer is a wasted campaign — and a waste of your precious marketing dollars.

But if your SEO marketing company creates an affordable SEO campaign that targets people who need estate planning services, you will have spent your marketing budget in a highly targeted and very successful manner. People just looking for an “attorney” won’t come your way; people who are looking for “divorce estate planning,” or “estate planning second marriages” will.

So beware of SEO companies that tout they will get you “on the first page of Google, guaranteed!” Be sure to ask them what they will do to ensure you’ll wind up on the first page or two of results of people who truly are looking for you. That kind of affordable SEO company  — the one that understands targeted traffic — is the one to hire.

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Sam Simon Jones asked:

Many small business owners are astounded to find out that they can indeed profit from giving proceeds, or donating products to charity and intern market there small business.

There are three reasons that giving to charity leads to an increase in profits and the businesses market share: first, giving to charity allows the business to claim valuable tax receipts for their donations. Second, giving to charity builds the reputation of the business, and third, because of this increase in reputation within the community, consumers are attracted to your business.

Giving to charity gives the local small business an opportunity to become a sponsor to an event, or charity. This means one thing – free exposure! With a charitable donation, many organizations offer this exposure to the business. What does this mean for the business? Members of the community will recognize the name, and associate the business with charitable endeavours – and the business name could be featured at large events!

There are five ways that a small business can market to reach a large audience. These ways are: with a website, on the radio, in the newspaper, placing online advertisements and special offers via opt-in email lists.

Reaching a large audience with a small budget can be time consuming, but it is possible. One of the most important developments for any small business is a website. The website should include services or products offered, contact information for the business as well as an option for the reader to join an opt-in list to receive updates, news and special offers. A website can be created for as little as two-hundred dollars by a local professional and hosted for as little as $7.00 per month. Many customers look to the internet as a source of information, and therefore every small business should take advantage of this valuable marketing tool.

Marketing on the radio allows small business to reach a maximum amount of customers in the local area. Radio ads can intrigue the customer to visit the store or business. It is important to offer some sort of incentive, or reason for the customer to visit – this could be a valuable promotion, sale or clearance.

Online advertisements can be placed for free on many websites. Using online classified websites, these advertisements can create a buzz for the business. Websites that allow online ads are local to the user, and often have sections created for services offered, or items for sale.

Regardless of how technologically savvy we are becoming as a community, newspaper advertisements are still successful. Advertising in the newspaper allows the small business to be marketed to the local customer. It is very important to reach these customers, as they are the primary source of income for the business.

Using the website as a valuable tool to create an email list for customers allows the business to contact these members directly with offers that entice them to visit the local business. These customers can be enticed with incentive such as, coupons, special savings offers or clearance sales.

All of these tips are crucial in marketing a small business, and – giving to charity is considered a way to market the small business. Just think about the amount of people that take place in charity events, whether low profile, or high profile – you are still reaching the target audience.

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E- wittas Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services are a cost-effective online search engine marketing services that’s designed to optimize your website for the best search engine placement possible. E-Wittas is a premier Search Engine Marketing Firm of India. We provide services likeSearch Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click Optimization, Social Media Optimization and many more. Our services come with the assurance that we use completely ethical and acceptable methods of providing SEO services.

We aim at improving overall Online visibility for our websites and generate the maximum possible qualified & targeted traffic by way of Search Engine Rank Positions, Qualitative Referrals, Links Partners and various other Online Promotion strategies and finally work on establishing the authority score of the site for effective & lasting lead generation. However, website’s which are not search engine friendly, tend to get lost in the vastness of the net. For this reason you need search engine optimization (SEO) as it helps your site to get not only high rankings in search engine results but also relevant traffic with business seo package, ppc package.

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A major hurdle for any new small business is attracting new customers. Getting the word out about your new product or service can be expensive, but there are some inexpensive methods that will have people finding your business in no time.

Get listed in the Local Search Engine Directories

Most people use the internet these days to search for businesses, including local businesses that they want to patron. Even if your target market is over 50, old and young alike are using the internet more and more to gather information on a business, before they visit or call. If you do not have a presence on the web, than you are missing out on a large number of potential customers.

A great way to be found quickly on the internet is to get listed on the Local directories for the various search engines. If someone is looking for a plumber in their town, they will generally do a search for town name plumber; for example, Philadelphia plumber, or plumber in Philadelphia. For that search, the search engines will display at the top of the page, a map of area plumbers and a corresponding list of these plumbers with links to their websites if supplied. If you list your business with the local directories on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, you will get listed on this map. Many people will choose one of the businesses from this map, especially if you have it linked to your website.

EzineArticles – Article Marketing

To further take advantage of your internet presence, you can submit informative articles to online article directories, such as EzineArticles.com and articlesbase.com. These article directories and others allow their articles to be reprinted, as long as they are kept intact. So if you write an interesting article on your area of expertise, with a link back to your website, this could be reprinted all over the internet. The more links you have back to your website, the higher it will rank in the search engines, and the more people will be able to find your business.

Rent Space on a Billboard

With the wide variety of marketing options available today, some forms of advertising have become cheaper. Renting space on a billboard is not extremely expensive, depending upon location, and can be used to increase awareness of your business. With a little creativity, a billboard can create interest and intrigue for your business. Provide little teasers about your product or service along with either your web address or phone number. People will visit your website just to see what you are all about.

So What Next?
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Let’s face it; the average business owner has neither the time nor the inclination to learn the nuances of search engine optimization. When I was first introduced to the concept of search marketing, I spent endless hours researching forums and blog trying to separate the signal from the noise. There’s no shortage of information and advice for business owners out there in theinterwebz , but finding trustworthy and reliable sources is another monster entirely. I would estimate that I invested hundreds of hours researching reliable sources ofSEO and SEM information, and I am thrilled to this day when I discover new ones. This can be a daunting prospect for a small business owner, regardless of their current level of marketing knowledge. I know when I was trying to grow my first small business, I barely had time to eat and sleep…much less surf the web for hours on end.

The real key to local search visibility is to recognize that your location is your brand. In most cases, searches with local intent rarely reflect brand terms. In the research I have seen, most local searches are industry and/or service based with geographic qualifiers. For example, “boston emergency plumber” or “san diego pediatric dentist” are more likely to be searched for than “city name + your business name”. If people are searching for your business by name, that’s great! You’ve done a great job establishing your brand! But if your sole focus is on brand promotion, you are missing out on some great opportunities to develop relationships with new customers in your area. Recent research has shown that almost 40% of allinternet searches are local in intent. If you want to maintain a lead over your competition, now is the time to take action. The following short-list of actionable items will help get you started:

1. Get listed at all of the major local search engines and telecom directories. Start with Google Local and Yahoo Local. There are also services such as UniversalBusinessListing.org which facilitate your submissions to such sites for a minor fee. If you don’t have the time to manually submit your listings, this is an excellent option.

2. Get links from related local sites, industry associations, and the chamber of commerce. One thing to keep in mind is the importance of anchor text; the clickable words that link to your website. Ask your business partners to link to your website using the phrase you want to rank for as anchor text (ie. “boston emergency plumber”, if you are a plumber in Boston). You could even incentivize your suppliers to link to you in exchange for a discount, as the value of the links gained will far outweigh the short-term costs of discounting.

3. Get reviews from customers and/or suppliers. If you go to Google and do a search for “your industry +reviews”, you should come up with a decent list of sites that contain reviews of businesses like yours. Naturally, some industries are more popular than others. If you don’t find one related to your industry, consider it an opportunity and start your own review site 😉 To continue with the discount idea noted above, why not give your customers a discount for a favorable review? Note that businesses can be given reviews directly on Google Local, but you also want your reviews to appear on reputable third party sites like Yelp.com (for restaurants), TripAdvisor.com (for hotels, etc.) or RateItAll.com (for general consumer products).

4. Consider the impact of universal search. Universal search refers to the use of non-traditional media in standard search results. Search engines generally serve up hypertext search results. With the introduction of universal search, Google now serves up video, photos, news, etc. in addition to hypertext. Get your geeky nephew to help you produce a video for Youtube. Take some funny photos of the hijinks in your office and upload them to Flickr. Ask one of your industry bloggers if you can contribute an article to their site. Submit a press release. Write an article like this and syndicate it. The opportunities are endless, if you are motivated.

Jacob Davidson is happy to share his new found knowledge of search engine marketing with other small business owners. When he is not trying to stay abreast of the latest marketing and advertising techniques, he spends his time exploring the local yellow pages for new business leads.

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Chet Val asked:

Website marketing can make or break both large and small companies in this day and age. There are plenty of SEO companies specialize in marketing websites for a handsome fee. Search engine optimization is the technical term for strategically marketing a compsny website for placement at or near the top of the major internet search engines like Google and Bing. Can a small business compete with big corporations without hiring such a service? The answer is yes… most certainly. The internet is home to unlimited information regarding this topic. The information is there for the taking if you just take the time to look.

Search engine friendly web pages should be constructed using the methods openly described in detail all over the internet. This is the foundation of internet marketing. Proper programming, correct html code, the choice in domain name, unique and descriptive photos, and original content are the basics of a successful website. These well known techniques are within the control of the website owner and can be managed with a few touches of the computer keyboard. However, there are also many strategies that small business owners can use to promote their business without ever hiring an outside source.

It is important to realize that the internet no longer features a magic bullet with instant results. Thorough web marketing can take months. First look to your website’s content. All content on your company site should be unique. It’s better to have less content that it is to see duplicated content. Frequent updates are wonderful and the updates are even better when the content is unique. Your small business product or service is your targeted keyword phrase. You may have more than one. Pages should contain repeated keyword or key phrases at the level of about 2% to 3% of your total words on the page. Overdoing the keywords can get the page accused of keyword stuffing. Then there is link building. Websites thrive on a good mix of incoming links from various sources. Incoming links to the main page as well as links that favor an internal page are equally important. This can be accomplished by submitting the company site to multiple directories. These have lost some of their importance in recent years, but still may count in your favor. This varies depending on the particular directory. No matter what you do, be sure to submit your site using with various titles and various keywords whenever possible. More variety in link titles, the better the result. If you company has a novice writer on staff, write a few how-to articles and submit them to various article websites. These too will build back links to your small business site which can multiply if your article becomes syndicated to other websites. Another source of incoming links is through web forums. Your signature can contain a link back to your company website. The more you post, the more your link is spread across the net. Blogs and blog comments are another easy source for links to your site. Blog commenting is ideal for getting a few more back links usually from the same topic. Social bookmarking is the latest method of link building to take shape. Use of these bookmarking services is recommended but it’s too early to tell just how much benefit is actually there at this time.

These are basic skills that virtually any small business can apply to their own company website without the use of hired help. Take some free advice and give it a try, three months from now you may be surprised at where your site rests in the major search engines. These methods are not easy and they are certainly not magic. But the results should be long lasting and well worth the modest amount of effort.

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Mandy Waters asked:

small businesses should take the following 10 tips from SEO London agency when it comes to effectively using SEO tactics to help expand your business:
1) Keywords and key phrases are a necessity when trying to stay ahead of competition. Companies find that it can not receive high marks by using a keyword. Google AdWords is a wonderful place when it comes to discovering what consumers are looking for. It's also smart for small businesses that use software which helps you see which key phrases are being sought that relate to your business sector.
2) Interesting content found on the website is also a duty. Just look at the products and "fluff" reading does not cut it anymore in these days when trying to please consumers. All content must be informative and interesting.
3) All small business websites should have a mobile website to use that can be used by mobile phone users.
4) Places Google has transformed the way consumers find the products and services. Keeping up with the way consumers search is critical to the success of any business.
5) All small businesses should use some type (s) of the effective strategy of building links. These strategies help business websites achieve high ranking in search engines, and is important for all link building strategies to include both internal and external linking
6) The companies also must use a domain via canonical. This helps to create a method to avoid unnecessary repeated variations of the page that you can sometimes find in the search engines.
7) The cache control of page viewings registration allows a company to see which of your web pages are being tracked. The less a page is tracking the less likely you are seeing at their full potential.
8) Always put pictures on websites is a necessity, even if the website contains mainly texts about the services the company is offering, the photos come with text boxes. The text found inside the boxes can help the site to get a higher search engine rankings.
9) It is important to ensure that the speed of loading a web page at par. Otherwise, consumers often switch to another web page that loads faster.
10) Always make sure there are no broken links within a business website, search engine spiders this hatred.

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