Along with your business plan, your small business marketing plans is only of the most important long-term plans you’ll make for your small business. Some small business owners choose to ignore that advice, instead preferring to fly by the seat of their pants, so to speak, to “wing it.” While some of those small business owners are successful, they’re not nearly as successful as they could be had they laid out a well-defined small business marketing plan.

Small business marketing strategy step 1: Know your market

The first step in developing a successful small business marketing strategy is to make sure that you have a really solid handle on your target market. Ask yourself: Who are my customers? Once you’ve identified who they are, ask yourself: What are my customers’ problems? What are their dreams and aspirations? The surest way to answer those questions, of course, is to ask your customers themselves. Even if you can’t afford to hire a small business marketing firm that will conduct focus group tests for you, you can do your own simple survey by hitting the streets and talking to those people you plan to sell to (and make contacts at the same time!). You’d be surprised how powerful that simple task is yet how few businesses do it.

Small business marketing strategy step 2: Know yourself

The second step in developing your small business marketing strategy is to get to know yourself (your business), once you’ve gotten to know your customers. Ask yourself: What does my business do? How is my business different than my competitors’? How does my business help solve my customers’ problems or help them achieve their dreams? Answering these questions will help you to define your unique selling proposition – those aspects that set you apart from your competitors.

That unique selling proposition should become your brand – your business’s identity. Your brand is what will pervade all of your marketing materials and what your customers will use to identify you. The importance of diligently developing your brand as part of a successful small business marketing strategy can’t be overstated.

Small business marketing strategy step 3: Analyze your competitors’ small business marketing strategies

Once you’ve developed your brand – that unique identity that tells your customers who you are and how you’re different – you can begin thinking about how you’re going to actually market your business. First, look at your competitors’ small business marketing strategies. Are there obvious gaps that you could fill (and thereby stand out among the competition)? For example, if you see that none of your competitors have websites, you could stand out with a small business marketing strategy online.

Wherever you market your business, it must be where your customers are. For example, small business marketing online will be a waste if none of your potential customers use the Internet. Likewise, you may think that writing a monthly column in your local newspaper would be a great way to advertise your services and establish yourself as an expert; but if none of your potential customers read that paper, that small business marketing strategy will fail.

At this point, your small business marketing strategy will not only be defined by where your customers are and what your competitors are doing, but it will also depend on your small business marketing budget. A full-page spread in a national magazine may be the best way to reach your target audience, but if you can’t afford to shell out tens of thousands of dollars, it’s not the small business marketing strategy for you.

Wherever your small business marketing plan takes you, the careful development of your small business marketing strategy – by knowing your market, knowing your business, and analyzing your competitors’ strategies – will be a critical determinant of your long-term business success.
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Brandon Sheley asked:

When it comes to Internet Marketing with SEO, there are a set of marketing methods to increase the visibility of the website to the search engines to show up on their result pages. The three methods would be Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Advertising and Paid Inclusion. The search engine optimization improves ranking for selective keywords in search results by rectifying the website structure and content to be read by the search engine crawler indexing it. The Search engine advertising is paying the search engine company for a guaranteed high ranking in their search results. Paid inclusion on the other hand is paying the search engine company for a guaranteed display on the search results by including the website in their natural search index.

Internet Marketing with SEO is a collection of experts and firms who are involved in exploring the weaknesses and strengths in the algorithms of search-engines to find the best way possible to promote a particular website. The ultimate aim of the Internet Marketing with SEO would be to get into the search-engine listings and fulfill the objectives of the website owner. When the websites manipulate the algorithms in a way to deliver irrelevant searches for the keywords presented by the user, the websites weed out such websites and premier search-engine Google punishes the websites by excluding them from the search results. This has led to the fall of Google’s market share of daily searches from a phenomenal 75% to 56% over the last few years.

Yahoo! and MSN Search do not automatically punish entire websites, which has led them to an increase in market share of the daily searches. It does take at least a month to index a new page on an old website. This explains the importance of an Internet Marketing with SEO that will help the site to remain on the high-ranking websites while continually trying to manipulate the search-engines to avoid being penalized. That is the reason why they choose to give importance to the relevance in Domain name, URL, HTML tage, Term frequency, keyword proximity; adjacency; sequence and content development to help them pursue their goals for the listings.

A successful marketing campaign will drive organic search results to pages, which also involve the use of paid advertising on search-engines, and other pages, to achieve higher profitability. Internet Marketing with SEO professionals may work in-house for an organization, or as consultants where SEO may form only a part in their daily functions and thus keep up with the changes on the web by interacting with like minded individuals through forums, blogs, attending popular conferences and experimentation on their own sites.


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There’s a saying that goes “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”

Are You Unintentially Planning to Fail?

I realize no small business owner has the intention of failing, but that’s just what many do every day when they launch their small business without a marketing plan.

As a marketing coach and trainer, I see it constantly. People who are so excited about opening their own business. They’re working hard. They’re dedicated. They have a great product
or service, and a small handful of clients who love them.

But They’re Missing One Key Ingredient

An ingredient that could very likely determine their success or failure.

They don’t have a marketing plan. They’re out there “winging it” every day. Oh sure, they’re marketing. They’re doing a little bit of marketing over here, and a little more over

But what’s guiding that marketing? What are they trying to achieve? Of course they’re trying to get more clients or make more sales. But without a plan they’re typically just working toward short-term goals.

Short-Term Goals Won’t Sustain Your Business Long-Term

If they need more clients or sales this month so they can cover expenses, they focus on getting those immediate clients or sales. But they’re not doing anything to ensure the long-term
success of their business.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, 80% of all new businesses fail within the first five years.

In “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber, he talks about a common mistake made by most small business owners: working IN their business instead of ON their business.

Are You Working IN Your Business Instead of ON It?

Without a plan you are working IN your business. You get up everyday and do what needs to be done to make today’s clients happy, to fulfill today’s sales orders and if you have time you
spend a little time trying to get tomorrow’s new clients.

But, if you choose to do as Michael Gerber recommends and work ON your business, one of the first things you should do is create a marketing plan.

Identify what you want to achieve with your business in the next year, then set some goals and create a plan to achieve those goals.

When you have a marketing plan, you have a step-by-step map to reaching your goals. And when you take the time to work on your plan as well as work IN your business you are focusing on creating long-term success while you’re servicing the daily needs of your business and clients.

Having a plan is the only way I know to maintain your focus on long-term success and know what daily steps you need to take to achieve that success.

A Marketing Plan Does Not Have To Be A Big, Thick Document

If you don’t have a marketing plan, now’s a great time to create one. And if you’re concerned your plan needs to be a document as thick as the Bible, let me put you at ease. It absolutely does NOT need to be. Your plan may only be a couple of pages.

The key is to make sure it addressed your goals and a step by step plan to achieve them.

(C) Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa

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Kyle Tully asked:

Abstract: With the majority of all businesses clamoring to get on the web and leverage the power of electronic commerce, a world of opportunity awaits those interested in consulting small business marketing as a profession
br <. /> If you are interested in consulting small business marketing, you know what is expected of you? If I learned anything about SEO and likes working on web pages, I do not make you a consultant. If you think you can do and will work independently, here are some things you should be able to do. Understand your customer

Coaching business owners and senior staff is the beginning, and it comes to designing business plans, develop marketing strategies and creating marketing plans . This is the basis of the program and usually takes some time to iron out, especially if several people to meet and get decisions.
As soon as the address of the company wants to take is known, will change Internet service that includes web design, hosting, search engine optimization, blog marketing, and Internet commerce. You will be asked to give an idea of ??the best and most profitable concepts are preferred.
companies that deal with new companies can be either long-standing beings, but they share a need for consultation with small business marketing. Each of them will be something similar, but have their own identity, and will have to order at Internet companies. Smaller
generally do not have anyone on board who is capable of managing a web site, or the staff is too limited to attempt it. As a marketing consultant can be put under contract to build the website, created in electronic commerce, rankings increase search engine, and manage ongoing. Outsourcing

Depending on the size of retention, is likely to outsource some of the SEO, and article writing. A reliable supply base of quality is essential for every time you build a site. You can bid on the components of competent people working to save his own time for other things. Flexibility and adaptability
do to succeed in this profession. If you feel that your job description should be limited to only certain things will not succeed as a marketing consultant.
Small business marketing consulting is one of a limited number of growth opportunities that offer potential for success in a struggling economy. Everyone wants a website to take advantage of all facets of trade, and this provides a thriving environment for Internet marketing consultant.

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hadi asked:

I have started writing articles (actually more like 3000 word technology whitepapers) and I would like to use them to promote my website and build backlinks. Is it okay to publish the same article body on multiple websites? The purpose would be to have that URL at the end of the article pointing back to my website. Or do google crawl bots frown upon same material published more than once?

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Matt Garrett asked:

“Arachnophobia” was a U.S. summer blockbuster back in 1990, starring Jeff Daniels and John Goodman, as well as an improbably large special-effects generated spider, which had hitched a ride in the coffin of one of its victims, from the Venezuelan rainforest to a small Californian farming town.

Arachnophobia is also, the clinical term for the fear of spiders. Arachnophobics can also dread getting close to areas which might hide spiders.

One would assume that Arachnophilia would be the clinical opposite of “arachnophobia”, referring to those who collect spiders or raise them as pets. Or perhaps it could be used by the media to refer to the groupies of Tobey Maguire, from his role in the Spiderman movies.

But for the purposes of this article we will use it to refer to those owners of websites who are forever searching for ways to get the search engine spiders to visit their websites..

Many people who have websites do not build them themselves and do not have the fully understand how they are constructed. It’s really fairly simple though..

Everything that is visible in a web browser when you visit a website, including the font size, colors and styles (underline, bold, italic etc.) appears as it does because of “coded” instructions given to it by the site designer.

These standard “codes” are enclosed by pairs of “tags” which tell the Web Browser displaying the site how it should appear to the visitor. These “tags” consist of angle brackets, and >, at the beginning and end of each section of text.

The World Wide Web was the brain child of Tim Berners-Lee, of the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, and it’s creation had nothing to do with particle physics, but was instead designed as a medium to easily store, access, update and ultimatley share vast amounts of data.

Tim Berners-Lee was building on the concept of hypertext. Hypertext, when it was originally created, referred to any text that contains links which allow you to move wherever you want within its parameters, without having to do so in strict sequence.

In 1990 Berners-Lee wrote the first version of the “HyperText Markup Language”, now known simply as “HTML”, which is the code from which all present day text based webpages are made.

So What’s W3C got to do with this?

The links in a web page would not always take the user to the link or data they wished to access, as different formats of hypertext were being used. In other words there was more than one protocol and not all matched up.

So in 1994, to help establish true World Wide Web intercommunication, Berners-Lee and other WWW pioneers established the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C.

In the past thirteen years W3C has set many voluntary standards for HTML used to build webpages, enabling those website designers who choose to adopt them to build websites which will be accessible by any computer operating system. It’s because of the overwhelming acceptance of these W3C standards that we now have such a reliable and universally useable Internet.

This is why you can view the same web page in many different internet browsers and still make sense of them, whether you are using FireFox, IE, Netscape, Mozilla, or Opera.

W3C HTML has since been enhanced with CSS, and will eventually be surpassed by W3C’s XHTML.

So just how does W3C compliance help to get your website noticed and better indexed for SEO by the search engines?

Well, that’s where we come back to the spiders. If you want to do well in SEO terms, you need to be a good acrophiliac and make your website prime spider-attracting real estate.

Google keeps tags on over eight billion web pages and does so with several different “bots”, aka “crawlers”, aka (to maintain the integrity of our metaphor) “spiders”.

These include DeepBot, FreshBot, MediaBot, AdsBot, ImageBot, GoogleBot-Mobile, and Feed-Fetcher Google, which for some reason has been excluded from the “Bot” club. That means Google has eight different types of spider scuttling around World Wide Web, deciding what is worth adding to it’s 8 billion pages and what’s not..

Now if you were one of the itsy-bitsy spiders assigned to crawl over, examine and make decisions about all those web pages, you might just feel a bit overwhelmed.. If you could rule out some of those pages as not up to scratch for any reason, you might just be tempted to do so, right?

Well if you couldn’t read the content of a page easily, that would probably do it. The spiders have been trained to read W3C HTML (or CSS or XML) code, and if a site is coded in something else, or errors in the code, the spiders aren’t going to like it quite so much and may go looking elsewhere. Which you don’t really want to happen..

So making your website code W3C compliant keeps those spiders happy and encourages them to come back to your site again and again. Hence SEO and W3C go hand in glove, just check the glove for spiders before putting it on. 🙂

Just remember that spiders do not see what a human visitor sees when they look at a your website. Web browsers can make allowances for badly written code and still bring up a page that looks pretty much the way the designer intended it to look. But the spiders get to see the code in the webpage and will know if it’s W3C compliant or not.

In other words if you want maximize your search engine optimization for your site, take the time to verify your website’s compliance with W3C standards.

you can start by submitting your URL to http://validator.w3.org for a check. If your site scores what you think is an unreasonable number of errors, get your website source code gone over and brought into W3C compliance by an expert.

The first, and non-paying, visitors to your website will normally be the search engine spiders, make sure they want to come again. Making your site W3C compliant will give you the best chance of that.

Making W3C compliance part of your SEO strategy will mean your human visitors will not be far behind!

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Jacqueline Davis asked:

Although search engine optimization is basically optimizing a web page or an entire website with Meta Tags, that is incorporating the title tag, description tag and keyword tag in the right place in the web code for search engine indexing. Once your site has been indexed it has gained the potential of be viewed by thousands of search engine users however search engines change their algorithms from time to time in addition to the growing web community lessening any such potential.

In order to improve that potential and make things more real, websites need to gain online presence or link popularity. Now, here are some list of tasks you will need to do to support the website optimization to improve and gain better web traffic and online presence.

1. After the site has been built and optimized, submit the link to Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other major search engines.
2. Also, submit the link of your website to online directories like Dmoz, Botw and many other fine web directories
3. Also exchange links with other web masters of high quality websites preferably similar to your website.
4. Engage in forums you are able to leave a link of your website for reference
5. Get a free social network page for your website

After your website has been submitted, is just the beginning to online presence and better web traffic.

You need to install some kind of web analytics to study your web audience, your keywords and the effect of changes on your websites. Google has one called the Google Analytics, which is free. This can be extremely helpful to reaching your SEO goals.

Also, consider the following as these can help your search engine ranking and definitely bring web traffic to your website:

1. Blog about the purpose of your website
2. Create community on your website
3. Update your website frequently
4. Let the content on your site be unique and consistent with your keywords
5. Update your keywords appropriately to match your website content, whenever you change any information on the website as it affects your website traffic.

SEO service to a website is very involving with lots of details. Most likely the best thing to do as a beginner is to learn all you can, sit down plan exactly how you are going to tackle the job. But remember that SEO is time consuming and needs patience.

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Jack Ogilvie asked:

If you are having such a website, which is geared towards the normal American customers, then it’s time to move for the internet and start the search for Atlanta SEO services. These are the best SEO services which have been announced in order to offer webmasters great response when they are trying to take their online business to a new height. However, webmasters are often coming across a hard time while trying to select the best Atlanta SEO service for their websites. If you are ignoring Atlanta SEO services due to any reason, then you are doing a big mistake! Keep in mind that such SEO services can really take your online business to a new height and will give you success.

If you are having a maximum number of customers from Atlanta region, and you know this fact very well, then hiring such SEO services can really make a big difference for you at the online world. Such services can really make your website visible to the customers staying in Atlanta. It’s the third largest city, so there are so many people who prefer to live their life with the latest technology known as the internet. These people are searching for their products and services online. So, you are always having a great chance to find more customers for your online business, if you have optimized it properly. Hiring such search engine optimization services will allow you to know what sort of keywords you need to add for your site so that more web traffic will flow for it.

You can even add these keywords for your articles and other announcements in order to make the website more visible on the World Wide Web. Atlanta SEO can really make a big difference for your online business once hired and implemented. These SEO professionals are equipped with high end SEO techniques and latest updates. Adding these techniques for your business promotion will increase the flow of web traffic for your business, and you will generate more revenue. While designing the website it is very important to find company and consultant who can help you to increase the website’s search engine ranks for demographic. They can tell you what kind of words to use in the articles that can ensure that your web site is visible to the people who search from the Atlanta.

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Alex Landin asked:

& lt; br/& WP; If you ĂȘtes a propriĂ©taire of small company, then you know how much it d&amp is difficult; #39; to enter itself the classification Google signal for your words clĂ©s ciblĂ©s. It can that you wish to engage an expert SEO or arranges marketing Internet to take care of SEO for you. But if you n& #39; do not have, here 11 things Ă  to keep Ă  l& #39; spirit that your to optimize your Web site. & lt; br/& WP; 1. & lt; strong& WP; To write for the readers. & lt; /Strong& WP; Well qu& #39; it is important d& #39; to optimize your site so that the araignĂ©es attention, n& #39; do not forget that c& #39; is l& #39; man who will buy your product or service. You of contents ensure is relevant, intĂ©ressant, useful and single. Search engines are not d& #39; to buy your objects, ĂȘtres human are. Well s? R, you must include words clĂ©s in your text, but never as much qu& #39; they make your copy illegible. & lt; br/& WP; 2. & lt; strong& WP; To include a single description and mĂ©ta title on each page. & lt; /Strong& WP; The title of your page is the factor clĂ© of SEO on the spot. Your beacon of description n& #39; your row will not influence, but it will be trĂšs probably what the potential customers see lorsqu& #39; they carry out a research, one can quote the words clĂ©s and a convincing copy that ? will encourage them? to click on the bond towards your site. & lt; Br/& WP; & lt; br/& WP; 3. & lt; strong& WP; Made your single contents. & lt; /strong& WP; C& #39; is the clĂ© for everyone, but it is particuliĂšrement important for the dĂ©taillants on line, in particular if you sell a similar product Ă  what everyone sells. PlutĂŽt that d& #39; to use the description provided by the manufacturer, rĂ©digez your own description. If you made your scan for words clĂ©s, you will know which words-clĂ©s ? exactly? to target in your copy. And it does not matter what you sell, you more likely ĂȘtes d& #39; to obtain entering bonds powerful if your copy is good. & lt; br/& WP; 4. & lt; strong& WP; Be intelligent on the bonds. & lt; /strong& WP; When you subject your site to the directories, not to subject Ă  those of confidence like Yahoo and Aviva. Find the autoritĂ©s your niche of marchĂ© and to ask them to bind Ă  you. DĂ©couvrez the sites are bonds towards your competitors and to know if these sites point towards you. & lt; br/& WP; 5. & lt; strong Words-clĂ©s& WP; the text ancrĂ©. & lt; /strong& WP; Never not to use & quot; click ici& quot; for the internal bonds. C& #39; is a loss d& #39; a good d&amp means; #39; to increase row. & lt; br/& WP; 6. & lt; strong& WP; blog. & lt; /strong& WP; Blog on what you made and read of the blogs d& #39; others in your niche of marchĂ©. That increases your exposure, and to comment on d& #39; others blogs can help you Ă  to obtain new bonds. By commenting on the blogs and on d& #39; others blogs, you will be able crĂ©er of new contents and crĂ©er of the relations with the others in your niche. & lt; br/& WP; 7. & lt; strong& WP; Be intelligent on the communiquĂ©s of press & lt; /strong& WP;. cĂŽtoient with the mĂ©dias of your rĂ©gion which covers your sector d& #39; activitĂ©. To see whether local collectivitĂ©s sites of mĂ©dias bond towards you. support on Distribuer online press, but only when you have new Ă  to divide rĂ©el. RĂ©daction d& #39; a communiquĂ© of press for Every Breath You Take do not gĂȘnent journalists, and you for of need your cĂŽtĂ© & lt; br/& WP; 8 & lt; strong& WP; Be intelligent on the social mĂ©dias & lt; /strong& WP; In two words: NEVER SPAM. The goal of l& #39; use of the social mĂ©dias is you Ă©tablir as nice, obliging, l& #39; autoritĂ© compĂ©tent in your field. If Flickr is relevant for your product or service, then aprĂšs it ya of the photographs. Yahoo Answers is a place idĂ©al to inform people that you know this you speak. & lt; br/& WP; 9. & lt; strong& WP; To use tools search engine. & lt; /strong& WP; Central Webmaster on Google and Yahoo Site To explore will say to you how the search engines see your site. & lt; Br/& WP; & lt; br/& WP; 10. & lt; strong& WP; Be intelligent on & lt; local research/strong& WP;. To attract the local traffic by making so that your address and numĂ©ros of tĂ©lĂ©phone are affichĂ©s in Ă©vidence well on your Web site. List your site in the local directories such as Yelp, CitySearch, and Local.com. Thus ask to the customers of poster criticisms on these sites. & lt; br/& WP; 11. & lt; strong& WP; To find news let us façons d& #39; to obtain traffic & lt; /strong& WP;. It s& #39; acts in particular of letters d& #39; information, blogs, social sites of mĂ©dias, and all that can hold to you Ă  flood if your Google classification goes towards the south. & lt; br/& WP; small companies SEO is difficult, but it can also gratifiant ĂȘtre trĂšs. If you n& #39; ĂȘtes not s? R of your nearest Ă©tapes, to plan to speak Ă  an expert in SEO or professional marketing Internet. Then you will prĂ©parez Ă  to see large rĂ©sultats. & lt; br/& WP;

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Andre Sc Van Wyk asked:

The issue with SEO, which by the way is short for Search Engine Optimization, is that many people are in fact a little scared to get their hands dirty with this activity. This stems from a wide variety of opinions regarding the SEO subject in general, the perceived technicality of the subject as a whole, and possibly the time consuming nature of a holistic SEO campaign. These are valid points indeed, however if one considers that the real starting point of this activity is contained within the website or domain itself then this does offer the opportunity of getting the basics right within any campaign of this nature.

Due to the nature of Search Engine Optimization, as well as the wide variety of focus areas contained therein, the focus on SEO tips to implement will be based upon an onsite perspective. The onsite search engine optimization is often times only considered as an afterthought, and which can make ranking issues a lot easier if implemented from the beginning and even within the conceptualization stage of a project that will become an online entity.

Here is an overview (and very brief) look at some of the onsite SEO tips that one can implement:

User Experience– The issue of user experience is central to Google’s ‘mission’, in that they seek to provide their searching users with the most relevant and most accurate information that is returned for any specific search conducted. One would expect that the sites being returned in the results pages should in fact do the same, and this has been highlighted in recent times with specific changes to the algorithms used which include some of the onsite SEO factors below. Of late even issues of page loading speed have become important too.

Title Tags– The title tag offers the opportunity to provide a very brief name for the page, and allows for the inclusion of what that page is about, but is limited. Accuracy, relevancy and uniqueness is crucial.

Meta Descriptions– the meta description (and meta keywords) provide a behind the scenes description of the page in question, and again gives one the opportunity of providing an accurate and relevant description of the content of that page. One should aim to provide unique meta descriptions for each respective page too, and which in turn should ensure accuracy of the content on the page. The meta description is often the text that one will see within the search results. Meta keywords should also be accurate and relevant to the page content, and one should not go overboard with the keywords.

URL Structure– these should be search engine friendly, as well as user friendly; these can also have a great impact on boosting rankings too. There should also only be a single URL version, of which can be achieved with the ‘canonical’ link attributes or via redirects to a single URL in the case of one page having a number different URLs.

Site Structure & Site Maps– this can again be associated with user experience, and the site should be structure in such way that it does not have too deep directories, as well as providing two sitemaps, one for the visitors and one for the search engines – the latter normally being in XML format.

There are a number of additional SEO tips that can be implemented, however that will probably result in a book being written, so for the purposes of this article the focus remains on the basics of onsite factors that can be directly controlled by the site owner or developer.

As the large majority of us are aware, Google dominates the search engine business, and because of this many folks will want to ‘get onto the 1st page’ so to speak. Trying to game the system will only lead to disastrous consequences, as has been evidenced so many times in the world of SEO. So in short, when playing in someone’s house you have to play by their rules, whether we like it or not.

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