Michelle Symonds asked:

It is surprising that many websites are still being designed without any consideration for how that site is going to attract visitors in the competitive world of the online marketplace. Of course a small business is likely to use traditional marketing and advertising methods to promote their services or product but there is also the expectation of hundreds, thousands, maybe tens of thousands of visitors just finding their website on the internet.

The reality is that no-one is likely to just “find” a website. Search engines want to be seen to deliver useful sites in the top positions. They have a vested interest in doing so to ensure their own success because searchers on the web will not continue to use a search engine that lists useless sites in the top positions. Of course, this gives a huge advantage to large companies with large budgets but where does that leave small start-up businesses. Can they compete with the big guns? 

Well any business must first of all have a great product or service to sell and must be able to present it to a potential customer in a way that makes that person want to buy. But assuming a business has got those things right and has done some traditional marketing and advertising, how can they make it on the internet? 

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO as it’s known, is the process by which a website becomes “visible” to the major search engines and starts to appear at the top of the search engine ranking positions (SERPS). SEO involves 3 main steps: 

1. Determining which visitors to target

This involves researching and analysing what search terms people browsing the internet are actually typing in. The results can be surprising and often the search terms that members of the business initially think of are not the terms that the average browser would use. It also involves an assessment of the competition for certain search terms. If page 1 of Google is already full of established, well-known companies for a particular keyword, then there is little point a small, new business targeting that same keyword. 

2. Specifically adjusting the content and structure of your website for maximum advantage

This is commonly referred to as on-site, or on-page, optimisation and involves ensuring that many elements of the website, such as headings, titles and image descriptions include the target keywords. Also that the main text content includes the keywords in the correct proportion – enough to attract the attention of the search engines but not so much that they consider the site to be spam.

3. Building a reputation for your business throughout the internet

A business is considered by the search engines to be well-known and have a good reputation if it has a substantial number of links from well-recognised sites throughout the internet. One of the many elements that Google uses to determine whether a site linking to your site is reputable is through the Page Rank (PR) value it assigns. Other sites are simply recognised by the search engines as good indicators of reputation, particularly educational sites, government sites and the social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc. 

So that doesn’t sound too difficult when put simply like that, but the internet can be a complicated place and each one of those steps involves many aspects of research and analysis, concerted and ongoing effort to achieve the goal of a Page 1 ranking in Google (which in the UK is the only search engine worth worrying about right now).

SEO has evolved over the past few years and many of the methods used successfully 2 or 3 years ago will now fail to have any impact. Worse, they may even get a site penalised by the search engines. Unfortunately there are still plenty of companies out there offering SEO services that will be next to useless so it is important to be very discerning when looking for a company to help your small business achieve online success. Try to get a recommendation from someone you trust and make sure the company you choose has a proven track record of search engine optimisation for small businesses. 

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Think about the corporate world and look at those huge industries. They haven’t come so far with a magic wand. They have small businesses which you have and with the right methods they have managed to overcome all the obstacles. And now they are the legend of business world. You can also do it. But for that you need to have patience and the right idea for marketing a small business. Here are some basic tips for you:

First of all you need to find the best advertising methods that will work best to promote your business. In that case, you have to consider the budget and time you have and obviously the people you are targeting for your business. Then here is the big question: Should you choose traditional methods or the power of the internet for promoting your products or services?

Traditional methods of advertising a product highly depend on probability. On the other hand local internet marketing only promotes products to people who have shown interested. 84% of people now search via the internet to find a product or service. This means that internet marketing is more effective and targeted to your customers.

Another important thing to consider when marketing a small business is that you need to connect with your customers and build trust. In this age of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking it is much easier to get connected to people. Thus it will be possible to know their comments and recommendation on your business. Ultimately you will know what they really want and can act like that to provide them with what they need.

To do this you will need a website and accounts in different social networks. If you can manage these on your own it will save you money, however will cost you a lot of time. There are various online marketing companies out there that can help you with this, you just need to find one that can offer the best solutions for your business at a reasonable cost. This will save you time and provide you with a great marketing plan that will ensure you more customers every month.

Searching the internet is a great place to start to find a suitable online marketing company to work with. Make sure you check their reviews and terms and conditions, then you can decide which one to pick.

Marketing a small business can be very easy when you have the right plan in place. Once you have this, you can sit back and wait for your customers to come to you.
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Wayne Liew asked:

The small business owners I often depend on m? All traditional advertising such as magazine advertisements, classified ads or posters that are pasted into the streets for their efforts MERCHANTABILITY? N of the small business. Also, use, despite the frequent mention that the commercialization? N social media is the big thing today, the small business owner I tend to shrink the declaration? N off, citing that it is not? N pointing to the global audience, a raz? n which arises from the misconception about putting social media for small business. I'm pretty sure there are some small business owners you out there? they are up n monitoring blogging trends and the growth of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook but est? No doubt if the commercialization? n social media is the type of MERCHANTABILITY? n to work? for their business. In this social media put to the art? Ass of small business, I will share with you 3 reasons why you, as a business owner, you should begin to tap the opportunities offered by these social platforms l ? line media. Get m? S close to your target MarketFirst, let 's bust of the "Internet est? only for the companies' international myth. The obvious truth is, m? S people, including those that are in your local community, est? getting into l? line. This means it is very likely that she will find a service provider or product l? Line. If you can get in front of your eyeballs in Your Search, provide the necessary assistance in the form of profitable content and build trust throughout the process, the probability of them doing business with you be? m? s high compared to a company? to ignore multinational customers often small you or other small local companies that can not show your teacher? a. Taking aid l? Line of a presence also? N you to understand what you are? or looking for things the market desperately est? n hoping to get when dealing with your type of business. If you are the first to meet their needs, recommend? N definitely your business to others and good words about your business apart? N. The death of the commercialization? N MarketingTraditional as traditional ad peri doctor or TV ad est? dying. Ask anyone who has just finished reading further Wall Street Journal whether to take action based on ads they saw. Most of find? N cu hard to even remember? They are advertisements that really caught your attention? N. While the ability of concentration? N d modern humans? A est? m getting? s short, the technology? as listing such as molds, Food? s for reading RSS news and TiVo for television programs? n provide users the ability to skip commercials. Compare this to the social media put to work where you will rec? Process directly with your prospects by providing valuable content something diff? Easily sell the commercialization messages? No, you are m? S probably get better rates and results response. Confidence building and adding LoyaltyValue through? S building the relationship? Ny of creation? N happy? Til can reach m? S to just fill the vacuum, or between you and your target market. As a small business or owner, the commercialization? N social media can help build trust and loyalty with members of the community that you are? pointing. With the help of these social media tools, you can now follow, participate and disseminate within certain targeted community. Trust and loyalty is crucial for small business. Both elements ensure customers Repetition? N as? as the probability of them recommend it to others. Be helpful in l? Line regardless of whether a person be? part of its customer base to contribute? definitely the building of trust and loyalty.

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