Tag Archives: search engines

7 Components of Internet Marketing for Small Business

7 Components of Internet Marketing for Small Business

7 Conscious Steps to Connect with Website Visitors

Internet marketing for small business, also known as web marketing, online marketing, digital marketing and online small business marketing is comprised of many components. Internet marketing encompasses several disciplines, involving everything from websites, email, search engine optimization (SEO),social media and more. There is no one-size-fits-all for internet marketing campaigns. Depending on your business and your target market, finding the right balance between the many options available may take some trial and error but this effort will often lead to great results in internet marketing.

Inbound marketing components are used in concert with your website to convert visitors to customers. When visitors come to your website inbound marketing works to turn those in-coming prospects to customers. Inbound marketing works under the premise that your social media fans and website visitors are expressing an interest in your product or service purely by coming to your website or social media pages. The  same can be said for phone calls coming in from direct mail campaigns and other marketing efforts. Inbound marketing puts practices in place to respond to these hot leads through office procedures, marketing automation software, online contact forms, visitor tracking and through email marketing.

Components of Internet Marketing for Small Business

1. Websites

Some small businesses still don’t have websites – yes, really! Many small business owners do not pause to consider that people search the web for everything. Even if a business is not selling online and the majority of customers or members don’t come from internet marketing campaigns people search for phone numbers, hours, etc. Having information online and available also establishes credibility.

Do you need to make updates? Businesses lose credibility points from visitors if they see a dated website design or information that isn’t current. Outdated information can be frustrating to the visitor and make it seem as if keeping your information (and your customers and prospects) in the loop is not important to you.

What steps can you take to get your website current?

2. Getting Customers to Your Website

Is your website address on everything? You have your website address on your business cards of course, but do you also have your domain name on your company vehicle, in tv ads, radio spots you are running and on all of your social media profiles? Are their places your customers frequent where you can post your website address? Do you include them in ads, social media pages plus blog, and email signature?
Where can you add your website address ?

3. Relevant Content / Keywords

Do you have information on all your products and services posted on your website? We’re you hoping to get back to that someday? Search engines rely on keywords people use when making a web  search query. Adding the words and terms to clearly describe your products and services helps answer customer questions and it helps your website be discovered on search engines.
What products or services need more details on your website?:

4. Calls to Action

In every marketing effort a clear call to action helps to increase responses. Some websites require an email to access content, others offer a live chat option to answer customers in real time. Most website calls to action are requests to fill out online forms, including quote forms, make an online purchase, email, or pick up the phone. Online forms help to capture emails, phone numbers and other contact information of prospects. A clear call to action leads the customer smoothly onto the next step to connect with you.

Web savvy visitors have become hesitant to offer up emails or other contact information readily. Offering an item of value for free in exchange for emails or phone numbers is a great way to be able to follow up with interested customers. Some of the free value added items to offer your customers are e-books, free consultations, free trials and discounts . The key is to create a truly valuable item that your customer benefits from. Offering a download of a one page Top 10 list from your industry and calling it an e-book is not an authentic way to begin a trusting, long lasting business relationship— make sure you are giving value. Be careful not to ask for too much information from them. If you plan to send emails capture their name and email, don’t try and get their snail mail address just in case you need it in the future. The less information a visitor has to fill in the better.
What calls to action can you add to your website?

What can you say or offer to entice visitors to leave an email, call, or fill out a form?

5. Blogging

Company blogs serve as an outlet to post new information about products and services. They also help to educate prospects and customers about how your product or service can help them and they can recognize the value your company offers to them. Blogs can give updates to warranty information, announce new products, company press releases, samples of completed work, customer case studies and industry news. Adding a blog to your company website demonstrates your leadership in the industry and assists with search engine optimization. Consistent blog posts show search bots that your website has current information that should be indexed. Every time you update your site or blog you increase visibility to search engines.

What can you write about that will include your keywords within the context of your blog?:

6. Landing Pages

To highlight a special promotion, product, or service, create a landing page with a strong call to action. Landing pages are stripped down versions of your website that focus on the service or product you are promoting and that promotion only. The page should offer quick bullet information about the item being promoted. Include your logo, a form to complete the purchase of the promotion or a form that gathers information and has a follow up to the customer such as a free download. Landing pages have unique URLSs and are usually associated with a specific email, advertising, or internet marketing campaign. Landing pages can be tied directly to each media used in a campaign. This helps to provide data on what marketing methods received the most activity. You can then use this data for choosing the same or similar marketing methods for future campaigns. The unique URL’s make it easy to check analytics nd gather all kinds of information.

What information is of interest to your website visitors?

What can you offer in exchange for their contact information?

7. E-Mail Marketing

By now you have probably figured out what you will be doing with all of the emails you are capturing. That’s right, email marketing campaigns! There are a variety of ways to stay connected with your customers when you have their email. You can send individual personal emails, weekly or monthly e-blasts or e-newsletters that offer discounts, product updates, etc. You can also create automated emails when visitors perform a specific action on your site. Emails can also be formulated to send at specific times along the sales chain. Creating a process that responds intuitively to customer inquiries serves the customer quickly and makes efficient use of everyone’s time.

How will you use the email addresses you capture? (e-newsletters, send coupons/discount, etc.)

Another large component of internet marketing for small business is social media marketing for small business.  When fed well and frequently, social media marketing campaigns can drive visitors to your website.   Set your intentions and be conscious of how your internet marketing will boost you company brand and sales. If you have question or need help getting an inbound marketing campaign going,  please give us a call. If you are interested in getting more of these detailed small business marketing tips be sure to check our workbook format e-book Mastering the Art of Marketing for Small Business for 2015.

 

Can A Small Business Blog Increase Website Visits?

computer screen with connection graphics website design with list of blogging basics: • Integrate your blog with your website. • Include tags in your posts. • Include comments on your blog.  • Promote your blog.  • Include share buttons in your blog. Absolutely! A corporate or small business blog is one of the best ways to share information about your products and services, current events and sales promotions or press your organization has received. A happy accident of sharing this information is that your company blog posts add relevant content to your website which offers a better chance of appearing in search engines such as Google and Yahoo. A third benefit is when you add scheduled corporate blog posts your small business website will get higher marks from the search engines because not only is the content relevant, it is current. Relevant plus fresh content equals SEO (search engine optimization) or higher search results.

Not every visitor who comes to your website from a search may result in a phone call or a sale but like all advertising, marketing and sales, it’s a numbers game. The more people who engage with your blog and your corporate website the more likely you will enjoy increased company sales from your blogging. By posting relevant blog content you become the trusted source for your visitors and existing customers for information on your product or industry.

Proactive planning can determine how often you should post a new blog entry

editorial-calendar-graphic-connectiongraphics.comThere really is no on-size-fits-all formula for small business blog posting, anymore than there is a one-size-fits-all marketing plan for small business. It really depends on the goals you have set for your digital marketing. It also depends on how much time you have to feed your blog or the budget to outsource it to an marketing company.

Now, there are success stories about small business blogs that have become income generators in and of themselves.  If your corporate blog attracts 1000’s of daily website visits you may want to plan daily blog posts. However most small business blogs primarily serve as information tools, and as a portal to add relevant website content to increase website visits through SEO. The way Connection Group approaches client blog scheduling is to determine the role of the blog in each small business marketing plan. We recommend creating an editorial calendar for your blog posts. Our e-marketing packages that include blog posting, e-mail newsletters, and social media we develop a monthly plan. For instance if your company hosts an event for small business owners every January all of the content scheduled for the month of January will include information about the event. All of this will be in your editorial calendar. Including your blog updates in a small business editorial calendar helps you know what you will be covering each month and will help keep you on a schedule. Whether you write blog posts daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly a plan is a must.

Embrace the power of content on your small business blog

Each blog post should offer insight into your corporate philosophy, industry standards, details on a product or service you offer, or changes that may effect the customer. Seek content that will increase the visitors understanding of the subject. Help your customers make educated choices and purchases. Just as the visitors to your small business blog are researching, be sure to research the content for your corporate blog posts. Research but no stealing! Sharing the most current information available is important just avoid plagiarizing others work.

When you are satisfied with the information you have written for your blog post, add an image. Statistics from 3M corporation and Zabisco state that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are transmitted to the brain 60,000 times faster than text! Increase your website visits by using original graphic designs, photos or videos to connect and engage with your audience. Select only images that that are free from copyright. See the article in our e-newsletter about copyright issues and images.

Your blog is posted – Now, how do you increase your website visits?

integrate your blog with your website  blog and navigationIntegrate your blog with your website
The first step is to make sure your small business blog  part of your corporate website, not a separate page. There are many free blogging software options available and it is very easy to tie them into your existing small business website. Contact your web design and development company to create a seamless integration of your blog and corporate site. The biggest benefit is if you have a visitor to your blog, in the eyes of search engine tracking, you have just increased website visits. Other benefits are a custom designed blog will be consistent with your corporate brand and your complete website user interface is built into the blog so the visitor can easily click over to other website pages.

Include tags in your posts. Tags help people find your information more easily when they are searching the web. For instance for this blog entry on our website I would include small business blog, and small business website design and development as tags. Because we offer those services and those services are discussed in this blog adding them as tags show our website and our blog are relevant when people search for small business blog or small business website design and development. When visitors click on a tag in our posts they will see a list of previous posts that relate to those subjects.

Include comments on your blog. Comments show that you are open to feedback, good or bad. Allowing comments on your blog shows your visitors that you want to communicate with your customers. Comments may also help you determine what your visitors are looking for, give you ideas for future articles, and  comments may use keywords that will come up in searches too. Do make sure you moderate your comments though! Even with strong spam filters blogs are petri dishes for spam – check them regularly. We set up our comments to be pre-approved prior to posting just for this reason. As visitors begin to interact with comments you will build a community and advocates for your brand on and offline.

share buttons for blogInclude share buttons in your blog. Make it easy for viewers to share your website content. One share from a high ranking social media influencer can increase website visits astronomically. The ability to share across social media and email is how videos and blog entries go viral – this is an easy way small business blogs can get noticed.

Promote your blog. When you have posted a new blog entry promote your blog in all your marketing outposts. Social media is a great platform to share your blog posts, twitter, Facebook business pages, Linkedin profiles and industry specific groups and social media channels get the information to targeted groups. Include your blog link in your email signature and add a snippet of your current blog posts to your email newsletters.

Are you a small business who doesn’t have time to blog?

Connection Group understands that small businesses are limited with time and resources to implement all the marketing components that will help build their corporate brands and increase website traffic. We have developed a variety of e-marketing packages to suit the variety of requests our customers need. We’re here to help you build connections and reach your target audience – if you just need a monthly blog entry, a combination of e- mail marketing, social media and blog management we have monthly packages that will suit your small businesses goals and budget. We offer a free half hour consultation to discuss what digital marketing elements will fit you best.

Give us a call or shoot us an email today. We appreciate feedback on our blog content and encourage additional insights readers can share to help other visitors learn more. Please add your comments or questions below.

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