Internet Marketing

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Internet Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

How Can Effective Internet Marketing Skills Benefit Your Business?

What stops most small business owners from marketing their business is knowledge, a plan and a vision of the newest Internet Marketing techniques.

Internet Marketing, as I teach it, is where you as an owner discover there is a need to include new principles of web20marketing to supplement your current plan. These skills will draw people to you and your business on a daily basis, rather than having to spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising expenses.

Evaluate Your Internet Marketing Strategy

Review your current marketing plans and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a business Website?
  • Do you have a business Blog?
  • Is there an Email Address on your Contact Pages?
  • Do you have an online Contact List System?
  • Do you offer an E-Commerce Shopping Cart?
  • Is your website registered on Google and other search engines?
  • How much do you spend a month on Advertising?

If you don’t have an Internet Marketing Strategy and don’t know how to get one, here are some strategies to use and methods you could use for your marketing.  There is no need to do all of them.

Online Marketing Strategies:

  • Social networking sites – setting up your Facebook, Twitter, and Ning profiles
  • Pay per click advertising, Google Adwords
  • SEO (search engine optimization), anchor text, keywords, and linking strategies
  • Monthly and/or weekly newsletters
  • Article marketing and writing content on Squidoo, Hub Pages, and EzineArticles
  • Hire freelance writers to create content for you
  • Set up your own SEO optimized WordPress Blog
  • Email marketing and autoresponders
  • Create Landing pages
  • Social Bookmarking such as Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, Technorati, etc.
  • Create, market, and share Videos and Podcasts
  • Are you open to learning skills that would help bring prospects to you and your business?

Are you ready to make money Internet Marketing?

Now that you are in a position for your income to increase, take time to consider what you will do with the growth and moneykeyprosperity from your business.

Marketing Traditional Businesses website is here to help you get your questions answered as you develop your business with Internet Marketing strategies.  You can go as far as you desire and gain customers and profits as you learn with step-by-step video training.

Blogging Strategies for Traditional Businesses

Businesses Benefit from Blogging

marketing Your BusinessBlogging has moved from the Geek world into main stream Internet Marketing.  Everyone is jumping on the band wagon – Traditional Businesses, Government Entities, Musicians, Moms, Non-Profits – you get the idea.  Why not integrate this huge marketing advantage into your business and marketing plan?

Blogging – Creating your Plan

Many just don’t know where to start.  The whole idea is overwhelming and way outside of their comfort zone and knowledge base.  The first step is to create a plan for your blogging efforts and map out your ideas for your blog.  Many companies skip this step and find that they get lost, the blog looses focus, and ultimately they go back to creating a plan or they fail.    Your plan needs to define what your end goals for the blog are: do you want to provide customer support, provide pre-sale information, provide general information, provide samples of your service/product, the range of how you can use a blog is unlimited, but the main goal needs to be planned.  Mapping your ideas for the  blog once the main goal is established provides a written map to keep the authors on track.  This can be in the form of  setting the main navigation and the main categories up ahead of publishing the blog.  This will keep control of your main keywords and if all posts must fit within certain categories it will ensure that all authors stay on track.

Hosted Blogs (free blogs)

There are several ways to start blogging – they range from free to inexpensive.  Here are some free places to set up a Blog:

Any of these blogging platforms are free to use – they all have slightly different features and benefits.  Using one of these services will allow the business to “test the waters” before really jumping in.  This will allow the business to see if they like blogging, if it will work for them, and find the right employee to undertake the task. These platforms are often referred too as “Hosted Blogs”.  This means that the blogging company provides the blogging platform for free and also provides hosting for free.  The main drawbacks in a system like these are limitations set by the hosting provider (can not monetize, limited plugins, limited themes, can not customise theme, etc).  These limitations may not be a problem at first but as the blog grows they can become a huge issue. The second drawback is the url for your blog.  Generally you cannot have the domain that you are wanting – they will be something like www.your company name.wordprss.com  To get a custom domain you will need to purchase that separately.  The advantage to these types of blogs are the cost is free.  There is no risk involved. Once the business decides blogging is for them then it is suggested that the blog is moved to a self- hosted environment – this can be done without loosing the previous content.

Self Hosted Blogging Platforms

  • WordPress
  • Moveable Type
  • Type Pad
  • Joomla
  • Druple

Self hosting simply means that you are buying the hosting and the domain name for your blog.  This cost is determined by the hosting company you choose to use.  My costs are about $80.00 per year.  I am sure there are slightly cheaper hosting options and I know there are hosting options that are more expensive.  The advantages to a self-hosted blog are many.  You have complete control over what the blog looks like and what content can be included.  There are many more plugins that are available for use and thousands of themes. (Plugins are programs that are written to perform a specific task.  They are easy to install and have been created and shared by web programmers world wide.  They can add very specific functionality to your blog.)  Also the main code for the blog platform is available to be customized and changed.  This is something that you would need to have a “Techie” do or hire a web designer.  Again this would have a cost attached but the advantage is the blog will have your same business look for marketing purposes and it can have whatever functionality your business requires.  You will notice that some of the same companies are listed  – these blogging platforms can be either hosted or self-hosted; the company provides both options.  In the case of WordPress the free version is a www.WordPress.com and the self-hosted version can be found at www.WordPress.org.

Increased Sales and Customer RetentionMarketing reasons for Blogging

Blogging can great impact your online marketing success.  Here are some of the reasons for implementing a Blogging Marketing Strategy:

  • Increased Branding Exposure
  • Better Organic Placement in the Search Engines
  • Wider Variety of  Keywords for Optimal Search Engine Placement (SEO)
  • Blogs Interact with Social Media Sites
  • Blogs Start and Continue Conversations with Your Business Target Market
  • Place Your Company as the Expert in Your Field

Let’s take a look at these Marketing Strategies more in depth.

Increased Branding Exposure

Building trust and loyalty on the Internet is the key to your website success.  Having your Blog branded the same as your Website and other Marketing Materials is crucial for building that trust.  Your brand will become more well known as you build your blog and it becomes successful.

Better Organic Placement in the Search Engines

Organic search engine placement is the ultimate goal for all websites.  Without Organic Placement your website will not be getting much exposure and very few visitors.  Organic Search Engine Placement is simply having the search engine find your site and place it high in the results when someone types in some of your keywords.  This is the Gold!  This is free search engine placement and what companies pay huge dollars every year to achieve.  Having and using a blog will help your company achieve good search engine placement without going to an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company to have them get your site ranked high.  Ultimately this one fact can save your business thousands of dollars every year.

Wider Variety of  Keywords for Optimal Search Engine Placement

It is hard to know what every person that is looking for your services will type into the search engines to find you or your competitors. By having a Blog you are automatically creating more keywords with every post.  The content is changing and growing in volume and this automatically gives the search engine spiders more to index and therefore more to return to a potential customer when they are searching.  You can believe that your competitor will be found more often if they have a blog – so why not your company be the one in your local industry to get the competitive advantage and start blogging?

Blogs Interact with Social Media Sites

Internet MarketingYour blog will become the hub for all your social media efforts.  Social Media are sites that large groups of people gather and share items of common interest.  They range from general interests like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace to specific interests like LinkedIN (for business professionals), Ning sites (there is a Ning site for most niches) and other industry specific sites.  These sites are interactive and all allow a profile of your business to be posted.  All allow images, bios, and links while some will allow very interactive modules to be used.  Most blogging platforms have text widgets (plugins) where code can be pasted into your blog.  These can be used to connect whatever Social Marketing your business is doing back to your blog.  This is a great way to drive traffic as well as get more exposure in the search engines.  Social Media site profiles get ranked by the search engines and as long as they are linked to your blog and company sites then your company is also getting more search engine exposure.

Blogs Start and Continue Conversations with Your Business Target Market

Blogs allow for commenting.  By writing articles that invite comments your company will start in interact directly with potential customers.  A good practice to adopt is to respond to every comment that is allowed on the blog.  Comments can be set for moderation – meaning they need to be approved before getting published to the company blog.  I always suggest this is how comments are handled – your business is in control of the commenting this way.  This filters out the spam comments that will be received.  When approving comments do not delete a comment just because you do not like what is says or is not positive towards your business.  Look at this as an opportunity to positively address a customers concern (others likely have the same concern) and get the conversation heading to a positive resolution.  This shows customers that your company cares and will take an active part in customer service.  Comments are also a great place to find subject matter for another post or article.  They help  your business understand where confusion is and how to market more effectively by being more clear in your message.

Place Your Company as the Expert in Your Field

Becoming the expert in your field is an ultimate goal of any blog.  When a potential customer types a request into the search engine and they see your sites coming up multiple times it really sets your company apart form the crowd.  If you are the expert it builds trust and makes getting the sale easier.  It can also shorten the sales process greatly.  By growing your blog, posting often, and creating great content your business will start to get known as the company to go to first.  There are only positive reasons for becoming the industry expert – and two of them are increased sales and increased customer retention – both things that any business needs to focus on in order to grow and succeed.

Blogging is becoming an essential part of any businesses success online.  It is a huge undertaking but also  has huge rewards if done correctly.  The Marketing Traditional Businesses blog is here for educating business owners about blogging and other online marketing strategies.  For more specific step-by-step instruction feel free to check out the training section.

Online Marketing Strategies for Traditional Businesses

The Online Marketing Strategies That Work the Best

The following marketing strategies apply to any of the following businesses:  Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Brick-and-Mortar, Construction, Cleaning, Services, Health Industry, Sales, Landscaping, Hospitality Industry, Travel, or any traditional or small business.

A recent Forbes study says the best strategy to generate online sales is to start with Search engine optimizationstrategy3 (SEO).

Search Engine Optimization

SEO, is getting traffic to your website from the search engines.  The earlier on the front pages it appears, the more visitors you will receive from the search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing or MSN.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO, looks at how search engines work and what people search for.  Learning to build your web presence for content, HTML coding, proper use of keywords, videos, images and shopping carts will get results on the search engines.

How Do You Learn Search Engine Optimization Training?

You can study SEO on your own or learn from SEO Optimization Tutorials and learn the tips to optimize your site and succeed on the web.  There are practical tips on this blog to get some basic understanding of how to apply this important principle to your business marketing plan.

According to eMarketer, the resource for Internet market research, the next most effective online marketing strategies for small businesses are e-mail, e-newsletters, pay-per-click, viral marketing, and social networking.

Social Networking is Another Key to Your Internet Marketing Plan social-network-success2

Social networking is what makes the above strategy work and is expected to expand as marketers use it more.  Social media marketing is effective and is where networking at websites helps influence your brand reputation.  It increases awareness and improves search rankings and website traffic.

Marketing Traditional Businesses website is here to help you get your questions answered as you develop your business with Social Media and Internet Marketing strategies.  You can go as far as you desire and gain customers and profits as you learn step-by-step video training.

Internet Marketing: Get More with Less Effort

Getting More Mileage Out Of Your Efforts

People often ask, “What do you do once you created your content?”  Creating content and posting to your Blog/Website is just the beginning of a whole process.  After publishing the content people need to know you have posted your next words of wisdom or helpful article.  Here is the process that I use to get traffic to my new content.

After publishing my new article I copy the link to that post directly.  I go to HelloTxt.com which I have preset up to connect to all my other Social Media Sites.  I create a short update and paste the link into the provided box.  Then hit UpDate.  This populates my entire network of Social Sites with my new status update and the link to my new content.  Now all my Friends/Followers  simply click a link and get to my new information.

This is very simple in concept – but it does take some setting up.  However once it is set up then using the “system” is very easy.  Let’s take a look at Hellotxt.com –

Traditional Business Marketing - HelloTxt.com

As you can see HelloTxt connects Continue reading

Internet Marketing: Take Your Business to the Next level

Take Advantage of Free Marketing Opportunities

Learn how to make the Internet Work FOR you – Add Online Advertising/ Marketing and watch your visitor numbers explode.

Here are some forms of Online Marketing that you can do yourself – or have a professional do for you. You do need a website first!Internet Marketing

  • Directory Listings – many are free and some are paid
  • Search Engine Optimization – On-Sight and Off-Sight
  • Paid link from a high traffic relevant site
  • Blogging
  • Micro Blogs – Twitter
  • Video Marketing
  • Article Marketing
  • Social Media Profiles
  • Micro Sites – HubPages, Squidoo

For more training on  Online Marketing

Twitter is your Friend

How to use Twitter successfully!

Twitter can be a confusing technology.  I often get asked, “What’s the point?”  There are 2 ways to use Twitter – the right way and the wrong way.  Many people use it incorrectly (at least for business).

Get Business from TwitterThink of Twitter as a way to build a huge opt-in list of followers.  These are people that are interested in your business, your specialty, your knowledge, and in how you can help them either directly or indirectly.  They are watching what you are doing – learning from observation.  As you build your relationship with these people they begin to trust what you are doing/saying.  As we all know – on the Internet people buy from people they trust – period.

Who To Follow

I follow people that are in the same industry (what can I learn from them), people that are experts in a field that interests me (what can I learn form them), and people that I can see needs help in my area of expertise (what can I teach them).  I also usually follow people that follow me – Continue reading

Web 2.0 and Your Business

Capitalize On The Internet

Get Clients from the InternetThe Internet (Web 2.0) is the next BIG thing in marketing.  Being able to capitalize with  Social Networking on the Internet will put your business ahead of the competition.  Since most people have not looked into marketing on the Internet – part of my business is teaching my customers that getting a website up and running is only the start of marketing on the Internet.  Learning how to promote your new site or business is where the “magic” is at.  This is how your business will profit from Internet Marketing.

The newest phase of Internet Marketing is called Web 2.0 pages or sites.  These are sites that are interactive in some way.  Well known examples are YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook.  All of these sites are used by individuals to do things as simple as sharing themselves with the world to promoting an idea with the world or promoting a business or product with the world.  Why not learn how to make these powerful tools work for you and add to YOUR bottom line?

Social Media plays an important role in your Online Marketing.

Learn more Social Media Strategies…

LinkedIn: SEO Friendly Profile will Get Higher Rankings

Using Social Sites like LinkedIN to Drive Traffic

LinkedIn profiles have so many opportunities for Search Engine Placement and the majority of people do not take advantage of it for their business. Here are some easy things to change on your generic profile to make it really personal to you and your business as well as giving it Google Juice.

Here is a screen shot showing the placement of the “edit” links referred to below.

Drive Traffic to YOur Site with LinkedIN

  1. Make sure your profile name is in the form you are using online. Example: Dorothy Scott vs Dotty Scott. Since I am using Dotty I went into the Account Settings and changed the Dorothy to Dotty.
  2. Change your public profile URL to reflect either your name or your business name. When you are in the Edit Profile mode there will be a link next to your “Public Profile” that says edit – click the link and enter your new profile url. Then use this link on your website, blog, email signature, and forum signatures. Continue reading