For all of you small business owners out there, the times are tough and you need to do everything you can to save a dime and increase profits. Now is the time to re-think your marketing efforts and make a real change. I’m not talking about jumping out of bed and being semi-inspired to work on marketing because you read this article, or had a tasty glass of fresh squeezed orange juice then had a marketing epiphany. You need to be truly inspired. This is not a walk in the park.
One of the most effective and most cost-efficient forms of promotion is, by all means, internet marketing. The internet is not only a portal to contact your customers, but also a genie in a bottle that will help you fully understand your customer’s wants and needs. Google analytics and other website/keyword tracking tools provide webmasters with invaluable information on what pages are viewed by visitors, how long they’re on a site, how they found the site, and much much more.
Magazine ads, TV commercials, direct mail and other Stone Age methods provide almost no way to track a customer’s reaction. Ask yourself this: how much time does a potential customer spend reading one of your print advertisements? The answer is you have no idea. On the other hand, if you ask me the same about internet marketing, I will not only provide you with how long they viewed the ad, but also what operating system they’re on, what browser they’re using, their screen resolution, and the color of their underwear (only kidding, I tossed my x-ray goggles in the trash years ago). Ultimately, more knowledge on potential customers provides you with a better ability to tailor your marketing campaign for their wants and needs.
Aside from being able to track customers more precisely, internet marketing is timeless and offers far more bang for the buck. I always tell clients to shy away from print/tv ads because once published or aired, and a short amount of time passes, the ads are forgotten. They’re over quicker than a Clipper fast break (lol, only kidding! A longtime friend of mine plays on the Clippers and he’s going to hate me for this one :)). On the flip side, internet marketing and search engine optimization gets better with time; like a fine wine. As online content remains on the net, and obtains more views and incoming links, it builds “weight” and ranks higher in search engines.
Now, you’re probably wondering where the heck to start. I mean, internet marketing sounds uber-cool, but how should you use the internet to market your business? My answer: A-HAAAAAAA!!! (from the taste the soup scene in Coming to America. If you haven’t seen it, click HERE).
On to the best stuff…See below my fellow ninjas:
If you’re stuck on print ads (they have sentimental value or something odd) and like their look/feel, then banner ads are for you. Creating a cool Flash banner and slapping it on a high-traffic website such as a forum or blog costs far less than a magazine ad and generates a higher conversion rate more often than not. Simply having the ability to animate images is a step above and beyond anything print advertisements can do.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
I’m an SEO geek/fanatic and push this method of marketing to all of my friends and clients. I look at it like this: why would I pay for any advertisement that has a limited shelf life (disappears quickly) and costs more than another, more effective medium? Well, unless I accidently huffed paint on that particular day, I wouldn’t.
Search Engine Optimization allows website owners to truly plan their future. I’m not blowing smoke, I really mean this. By mapping out where you as a business want to be in 5-10 years, you can structure your website and keywords around such. For example, if you’re a broker and want to sell luxury homes in Beverly Hills, you can implement various keywords that directly pertain to your goal. Keywords like the following are a sample: Beverly Hills mansion for sale, luxury homes in Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills estate sales, Beverly Hills real estate broker, etc. Once keywords are implemented, backlinks from relevant sites should be obtained.
Increasing the quantity of relevant backlinks to your site is just as important as keyword selection. In the eyes of search engines, a site with thousands of relevant backlinks will rank much higher than the same exact site with only a few backlinks. More links to your site means more “points” in the eyes of search engines and ultimately higher rank, increased traffic, and most importantly increased profit. The goal is to focus on “do-follow” links to ensure website “points” are distributed to your site.
If I can suggest one thing about search engine optimization, the absolute most important thing, I say you optimize your meta title and meta descriptions ASAP. This is key.
Proper search engine optimization will significantly cut down the amount of money to be spent on marketing in the future. Plus, it will build a stronger online brand.
For specialty products and niche websites, online directories are an excellent medium. They closely resemble an online version of old school phonebook ads and allow company information including phone number, address, a short description, and sometimes keywords to be displayed. Many directories rank very high in search engines, therefore causing business listings on the sites to rank high in return.
There are directories for everything from jewelers to web design companies to restaurants. Do some research and I guarantee you will find directories that fit your product or service.
I hope this article has been helpful to all of you loyal visitors. If so, be sure to share it by clicking the icons below.
The Brainchild Group
The Brainchild Group is top advertising agency that specializes in Social Media Consulting and SEO Consulting for a variety of business around the globe. If you’re looking for a Los Angeles SEO Company, Los Angeles Social Media Consultant or Los Angeles Advertising Agency please feel free to contact us at (310) 876-0874 for more information.