When you own a small business, you have to be able to compete with big businesses for the same customers. While you probably don’t have the marketing budget of a large business, there are steps that you can take to reach customers before that get to the big guys. One of the best things that you can do is to market online. While marketing your small business online can be a boon for small businesses, many entrepreneurs have no idea how to go about it. If you’re a little confused about what you should be doing in small business online marketing, here are a few factors for you to consider.
When you have a small business website, you need to get as many people to that website as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by getting search engine traffic. You can get organic search engine traffic, you essentially get people looking at your website and your business for free. In order to get search engine traffic, you have to optimize your website for search engines. Write great content for the pages of your site, and base that content on keyword phrases. Make the layout of your site appealing and easy to navigate. You also should create a sitemap for your site at the search engines so that they will be alerted when you make updates to the site, and they’ll find all of the pages.
When you are trying to market your small business online, you should also consider paid marketing opportunities. By paying to get visitors to your site, you can rapidly bring people in and start getting customers. This is often much more effective than using mass marketing techniques like television or radio, because you can zero in on customers you want. Consider signing up for a pay-per-click account with Google or a similar program. With this type of campaign, you will select keywords that will trigger your ads, and then people will come to your site after clicking on them. Choose plenty of keywords, make your ads appealing, and be consistent with your marketing message.
Common Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
When you are marketing your small business website with these methods, there are some common mistakes that entrepreneurs tend to make. If you can avoid these mistakes, your marketing budget will go a lot further. One of the biggest mistakes that you could make is not targeting your local market with online advertising. You don’t want to simply market to the whole Internet at once. Most advertising programs will allow you to focus in on a geographic area.
Another common mistake that entrepreneurs make when marketing online is not tracking your results. The nice thing about using online marketing efforts is that you can see what happens easily. For example, by using Google Analytics, you can see where your visitors are coming from, where they’re going when they get to your site, and a lot of other information. You can use this information to improve the performance of your site and your marketing efforts.
When marketing your small business online, you should also make sure that your online reputation is strong. Look at forums, review sites, and other places regularly to see what people are saying. Once you know what people think, you can take this feedback to heart and make any necessary changes.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Ben Sawyer is online marketing consultant for a few small business websites, helping them to improve their online presence. He lives in New York.