Free Internet Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Search Engine Optimization
Small business owners today are finding themselves in a position in which they can’t competitively survive without some form of Internet marketing and/or marketing strategies. The biggest problem is that hiring an Internet marketer can be extremely costly, yet finding the time to religiously work on your own Internet marketing strategies can be nearly impossible. So where is the happy medium?
This hub is designed to give a few strategies to increase your businesses Internet presence, without breaking the bank or causing you hours upon hours of pain.
These strategies are a proven mechanism of an approach known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search Engine Optimization is a term used to refer to strategies and techniques developed to improve the overall presence of a business on or within a Search Engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). The marketing goal of any business or company, is to appear in the number one slot (or at least the first page!) of a search engine result. This will improve traffic to your website, which may lead to increased traffic to your store/ business/ service, etc.
So how do you work on getting your business to the first page of a search engine result? Here are a few of the basics to get you started.
Step 1: Consider Using Local Search Engines
The first thing you need to do, if you haven’t already, is to make your company visible on the web. This step requires more than simply having a website, though a good website is a must!
What you want to do is create free page listings for your business. This means creating a personalized business page on a hosted, well known, directory-like website. These listings may contain information such as your business name, phone number, services provided or product information, website address, photographs of your products, etc.
You can create free business listings on Internet pages such as:
Step 2: Make Your Hard Work Count!
The key to getting these listings to make the biggest impact is to first make sure each listing is entirely complete. Don’t leave out your business description, or photographs. If you are going to all this effort, make sure to make it count!
Secondly, make sure your business name, address, and phone number are consistently the same across every page. Many search engines discredit the value of a businesses listing if it is showing a different name, phone number, or address than another page or website on the Internet. Do you best to be consistent with the content you are sharing.
Step 3: Be Patient!
Remember to be patient. Each of these web-pages have their own frustrations when it comes to using the free page listings. It may take up to an hour per page listing, depending on how well you can navigate the page. However, once you complete your listing, it’s done; and it may serve as a permanent marketing source. Meaning, you shouldn’t have to update these pages unless the business has a major change, such as a new location, new phone number, or products/services.
Once you have set up these pages and double checked to make sure they were completed, you will be well on your way to improving your Search Engine ranking!
Step 4: Encourage Reviews!
This SEO tip is almost as important as setting up the business listings. So here it is..... Reviews, reviews, reviews! Encourage your customers to post a review of your product and/or services on one of these new listing pages (Yelp, and Google Places are great places to start!). Customer reviews let each Search Engine know that you have a legitimate business, thus ranking you higher than competitors without customer reviews!
I hope these tips have been helpful. Stay tuned for more small business Internet marketing tips. If there is an aspect of Internet marketing you’d like to learn about, leave it in a comment below and I create a new hub about it!