It can be difficult for small business owners, especially local businesses, to fully appreciate the benefits of an online web presence. At first glance the internet can seem like an overpopulated version of Times Square, with too many stores and scrolling advertisements to pay attention to. How’s a small business to survive in this big, scary jungle?
Truthfully, the internet isn’t as scary as you might think. The majority of consumers already have an idea of what they’re looking for, and it’s just a matter of connecting with these people through social media sites, which have made it amazingly easy for people to connect based on shared interests.
All the Right Tools, At Your Fingertips
For everything you think you can’t do, there’s a Youtube video or how-to article with step-by-step instructions to show you the way. Building your web presence is a simple matter of establishing a network of friends, and there’s plenty of interests groups on the web. Finding your niche group is just a matter of getting on Google and doing a search, the same way customers will find their way to you.
Getting Your Toes Wet with Online Marketing
- There’s never been a better time – The web is only going to continue shifting towards new trends, so diving right in is the best place to start. Submerse yourself in internet culture and become acquainted with the landscape. There are many Youtube videos and talk show podcasts like “Coffee Talk “ hosted by James Martell, founder of www.theschoolofinternetmarketing.com, geared towards teaching beginners the ropes of online marketing.
- Print advertising isn’t cost effective – Paper ads simply aren’t worth the money for their limited audience appeal, and radio ads are too expensive for small business. When you expand your business online, you can tap into the raw power of Google’s natural traffic, which is a far better alternative. With natural traffic you completely skirt the need to pay for your customers.
- Google has an insatiable appetite – When it comes to fresh, original, interesting content, Google can’t get enough. For example, Sacramento entrepreneur Dr. Jeri Anderson built her chiropractic business almost entirely on the web by using keywords like “lower back pain” and “whiplash” in articles, and she says she can bang out articles on any topic in 20 minutes. The trick is to talk about things that are important enough to share with people.
- Ranking for thousands of keywords is doable – Getting ranked on Google is simply a matter of inserting keywords into quality articles, so with enough creativity you can rank for a limitless combination of search phrases. It’s all a matter of analyzing the target audiences search patterns, and there are many ways to check the popularity of any given search phrase.
- You don’t have to know HTML – With the amazing capabilities of WordPress, you can build all of your sites with very little coding or scripting knowledge. WordPress has revolutionized the management and building of a site, and it’s extraordinarily Google friendly, which means as long as you’re updating regularly with original content (and there’s plug-ins to put that on autopilot!).
- There’s zero negativity to getting started – With all of the free avenues of advertising, you’re simply losing revenue by not having a web presence. Just do it! I guarantee you can find 30 minutes a day to dedicate time to messing around with a WordPress site, or updating your social sites to reflect current promotions.
Diving Into the SEO Deep End, No Lifeguard Necessary
After listening to a few podcasts on how to build a website, you’ll be able to start building your own site and start implementing keyword strategies. Just remember that Google is a quasi-style voting system, where it uses other websites links to you as the basis for judging the value of your content. Quantity doesn’t equal quality at all, so focus on building real, sustainable relationships with no money for advertisements involved.
Benjamin Baker is an enthused guitarist and antiquing addict, collecting old relics like retro signs to share a bit of history with his sons. A father of three growing teenagers, Benjamin lives with his wife in Denver, Colorado where he enjoys camping and fishing with his family.