Follow These Tips From A-Z For Local Internet Marketing Success
Are you putting internet marketing to work for your small business? Do you know how? If the answers to these questions is no, then this guide is for you. Implement just one of these simple (and mostly free) tips each day and within a month, you’ll see your internet marketing bring you new prospects, insight and sales.
A is for Analytics, a feature that allows you to understand a wide range of activity related to your website and your online marketing activities. Implementing this tip will provide you with information to help optimize your campaigns, ad groups, and keywords, as well as your other online marketing activities, to best meet your specific business goals. Check out Google Analytics for one of the most valuable free tools available. Google Analytics gives you a goldmine of information regarding your website traffic and several other easy-to-use features to help you write better ads, strengthen your marketing tasks and convert more visitors into sales.
B is for Blog, a feature all small businesses should include in their websites. Why? Here are ten reasons you should start blogging about your business right now. In addition to the amazing search engine optimization (SEO) benefits, blogging can improve your credibility, branding and expertise.
C is for Content, the driving force behind all good internet marketing. Think about it. Whether you’re sending an email blast, writing a newsletter, publishing a blog post, developing an ad campaign or sending a press release, content is the basis for each of these tasks. The more you write, the better your content will be. There are also a number of resources across the internet on writing better content for just about any industry you can think of. Find them and read them as much as you can. One site I read religiously is Copyblogger, a website with daily copywriting tips.
D is for Digg and delicious, two of the most popular social bookmarking sites on the internet. When you create new content, submit it to these sites for increased promotion, search engine strength and sharing capabilities. If you don’t already have accounts with these sites, you can register for free and begin using them immediately. You can also find other users who share similar content for inspiration for new content ideas.
E is for Email marketing, perhaps the cheapest and most effective form of local internet marketing. Don’t know how to get started? All you need are the following two things: 1) a free account with MailChimp, a service that allows you to create email lists and send free emails and newsletter, and 2) a signup form on your website or some other means of capturing and collecting your customers’ email addresses. MailChimp provides tools to help you do this, but there are many, many ways to go about building your list. Use your imagination.
F is for Facebook, the world’s most popular social network and a tool fast-becoming the small business owner’s best friend. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, read “How to Setup a Facebook Account” or get started at Facebook. Once you’ve created your page, follow these tips to get people to follow your business on Facebook and these strategies to grow your business on Facebook.
G is for Google Local, another great free tool from Google that improves your chances of being found on the world’s biggest search engine through local search queries. Even if you don’t currently have a website (see here why you MUST have a website to succeed in today’s economy), filling out your business information and verifying your phone number will include you in a map of relevant results for the search terms your prospects are using right now to find the types of goods and services you sell. Do this tip today!
H is for Hootsuite, a free tool that allows you to organize, update and coordinate most of your social networking tasks all in one place, saving you a significant amount of time. Sign up for Hootsuite for free and start promoting your content on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all from one dashboard.
I is for Instant Search, a completely new Google search feature that gives you even more insight into the keywords your prospects use to find the goods and services you sell. If when you type search terms into Google results aren’t instantly appearing, click here to turn this feature on. Once you’ve done so, you’ll see results appear and adapt as you type in your term. The terms used most frequently are those that show up first so you can use this information to develop your keyword strategies.
J is for JPEG, the common file type used to add images to your website. Why are images important in internet marketing? First of all, they make your content more interesting to read and visually appealing. Second, when they are optimized with proper descriptions and keywords, they show up in image searches and make your pages more relevant to search engine queries containing those keywords.
K is for Keyword Research, the first task you should start with on this internet marketing list. Good keyword research not only makes you focus more on the keywords that are most likely to lead to sales for your business, but it also gives you better insight into how your competitors are getting leads to their websites. With hundreds of free and paid tools out there, two of the very best are the free keyword tools from Google and Wordtracker. Use the information you collect in this process to develop your content.
L is for LinkedIn, the world’s largest social networking site for business connections. This is a powerful tool to get to know your local colleagues, competitors and customers. You can answer questions pertaining to your industry, conduct industry research, ask for referrals and make promote your content. You can check out my profile here to get a better idea of how LinkedIn works.
M is for MerchantCircle and Manta, two of the largest business directories on the internet. These free tools are a quick and easy way to promote your business and make sure you show up in more search results, as well as give your prospects and customers another way to find out more about your business. Once you’ve filled out the required information on these two sites, don’t stop there. Search for other small business directories, including some specific to your industry, and create profiles for even greater search engine optimization.
N is for Networking, the action of taking action, meeting new people, building relationships with them and helping them grow. Whether it’s online through networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or with local networking groups in your area, the fact of the matter is that you are not going to succeed on your own. Much of success is due to who you know. By networking with the aim of helping others grow, they will reciprocate and help you grow in return.
O is for Opt-In, the legal and polite way to build your email list. By including an opt-in form on your website and giving your customers and prospects an easy way to allow you to send them future email messages, you are creating a powerful, free asset for your business that you can use to market and educate your list for years to come. Treat this list with respect and it will repay you many times over. If you’d like to opt-in to our email list and receive free email updates from Prevail PR, click here.
P is for Press Releases, a free way for you to write content regarding some interesting topic concerning your business and sharing it with the world. Read this article to see how to write perfect press releases that your local media will publish and spread the word free of charge. You should also spend time promoting your press releases through some of the more reputable online press release directories. Here are 5 you should focus on:
Q is for Quantcast, another free analytics tool that helps you reach your audience in more effective ways. Quantcast gives you full detail into your visitor demographics, website traffic patterns and other sites you share traffic with. You can use this information to tailor your content to demographics you may not have realized you were reaching and see what other websites are doing to increase their website traffic.
R is for Referrals, the absolute most cost-effective way to earn new business. In fact, if you aren’t getting at least 50% of your business from referrals, you’re probably doing something wrong or at minimum, not putting enough time, energy and focus into building your business through referrals. To see how you can get more referrals, read our guide on turning your customers into raving referrals.
S is for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the science of optimizing your website pages for the search engines. SEO is the ongoing process of making your site and your content more relevant for both search engines and the searchers using them. Strong SEO makes it easier for search engines to index your site for appropriate keywords, while at the same time making your site more appealing to users. Successful search marketing will help your site gain top positioning for relevant words and phrases leading prospects to your website.
T is for Twitter, one of the fastest-growing and most popular free internet marketing tools around. Unless you’ve completely stopped watching television and surfing the web, you’ve probably heard about Twitter, but what is it exactly and how do you get started? Check out this article for steps on setting up your Twitter account, this article for 20 ways to get people to follow your business on Twitter, this article for Twitter strategies to grow your business, and this article for all the tools you’ll need to save time and get the most from Twitter. If you want to get more advanced, check out these Twitter bonus tips for small businesses. Be sure to follow us on Twitter here and here.
U is for URL’s, the specific website addresses people use to find your website and other content. In the old days, URL’s were long, ugly and difficult to impossible to remember. Today, URL’s are short, keyword-focused and easy to read and remember. If your URL’s include question marks, long strings of numbers and letters, equal signs and brackets, your website is still in the old days. Check out the URL of this article in your address bar for an example of a good URL.
V is for Video, one of the fastest-growing tools in the local internet marketers toolbox. When Google bought Youtube several years ago, it helped turn online video mainstream. And with the availability of Flip Cameras, the improvement of camera phones and the ease of uploading and embedding video, it’s the perfect way for you to cheaply and easily market your local business to the masses.
W is for Web Design, the science of creating a website that’s not only visually appealing, but helps guide your visitors through your sales funnel from education to making a purchase and beyond. Optimally, your website should follow these web design commandments and not only help make the sale, but capture your visitors’ email addresses for continued marketing and education.
X is for XML Sitemap, another free and easy tool for helping the major search engines index your site better. Think of your sitemap as the table of contents to your website. Click here to check out our sitemap to get a better idea. Once you’ve created your sitemap, it’s a good idea to create a link on your site to allow users and search engines yet another way of finding the content they are looking for more easily.
Y is for Yelp, the most popular business review website on the web, and a free and easy way for you to get valuable word-of-mouth and referrals. More than 80% of searches are local in nature, and in many of them, Yelp results are returned with honest reviews from your past customers. More often than not, these reviews are the deciding factor in whether or not the searcher goes to your local business or to one of your competitors that has better Yelp reviews. Recently, Prevail PR launched SLOpinions, a local alternative to Yelp that contains reviews of San Luis Obispo County businesses only.
Z is for Zoho, a free tool that helps you tie all these tips together and keep your contacts and tasks organized. Zoho offers a suite of online web applications geared towards increasing your productivity and offering easy collaboration between you and your employees and customers.
Well there you have it, the plan for you to succeed in local internet marketing from A-Z. Add a few of these tips to your arsenal each week and you are guaranteed to start seeing some very positive results. If you’d like help setting up or expanding any of these tools, feel free to give us a call at (805) 456-8636 or fill out this form and we’ll give you a free quote.