There are a lot of different ways that you can market your business these days and of course, marketing a business on the internet is a great way to attract customers. However, if you have a business then you will have more than likely been bombarded with phone calls and emails asking for everything from a simple link exchange to ££££’s of your own money for the latest internet marketing ‘phenomenon’.
The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t take thousands of pounds to market your business successfully online and it also isn’t that complicated. It is this constant pressure and bombardment that leaves business owners confused about online marketing. It is for this reason that we have decided to create a guide to successful online marketing for your business online.
Get a website
When it comes to having a presence on the internet, there is nothing more powerful than having your own website. Many businesses still don’t bother with a website of their own and if this is you, chances are that you are losing out on customers every single month because of this.
Websites are an extremely low cost way to tell potential customers about your business and you can actually get a well designed website for just a few hundred pounds these days. You can even get them for free with some hosting companies meaning that the costs are extremely low.
Your website will be the base of all of your other online marketing efforts in many respects so having a well designed, informative website is a MUST.
Get a Google Places Listing
Another thing that you should make sure you do in order to market your business online is to get a listing on Google Places. This is something that Google offers for free to every business out there and it will give you the chance to get found on the internet. You can add a whole range of information on your Google Places listing including opening times, a description, YouTube video, photos and more.
Google Places will often show up in the SERP’s when a user searches for something in particular in your area. You can optimise these pages too so that they are more likely to appear higher up the results. One way of doing this is by getting great reviews on the listing.
Add your business to RELEVENT directories
A lot of people use directories these days for SEO alone but the fact of the matter is that adding your business to these directories is all part of your online presence. Of course, one of the big mistakes that everyone makes is that they actually add their businesses to hundreds, or perhaps even thousands of irrelevant directories and have poor listings on them.
The fact of the matter is that you need to add your business to great directories and only ones that are relevant. This means that if you have a company operating in Sheffield in the UK, it would make absolutely no sense to be added to a directory for businesses for the city of Paris in France. You need to be adding yourself to a business directory for Sheffield. This is not only obvious to human users of the internet, but it is also obvious to Google and they will not rank you any higher usually because of this.
If you are based in the UK, look for UK business directories to add your business to and you can even go more local than that and seek out local city/town based directories. These will be much more beneficial to your business.
Build up a social networking profile
Your online presence is absolutely nothing these days without a social networking profile. Websites like Facebook and Twitter are extremely powerful when it comes to attracting new clients to your business and letting the world know about what it is that you have to offer.
It takes just a few minutes to set up Facebook and Twitter accounts and you will be surprised at how much effect they have on your business. You will soon gain followers on Twitter and ‘Likes’ on your Facebook page and this will give you the opportunity to keep local people informed about what it is that you are doing and whether you have any new products/services or even special offers.
LinkedIn is also a great place to get a profile as this will allow you to communicate with other business people in your local area and allow you to build up good relationships.
Invest in rich media (e.g. videos/photography)
If you’re looking to go that extra mile and gain a lead over the competition, then we recommend that you get yourself involved with some of the forms of rich media around on the internet. Most notably, online videos and photography are extremely powerful when it comes to gaining an online presence and they are also great for SEO.
One of the fantastic things about having a video for your business is that you can distribute it across a number of places around the web. For example, you can add your video to YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even your own website. People love videos and other rich media too which makes them more likely to gain interest in your business.
You can even add videos to sites like Forums and Blogs extremely easily and many directories such as FreeIndex will also allow you to add your videos. Don’t forget you can add a YouTube video to your Google Places listing as mentioned earlier too.
Online videos are particularly useful for restaurant marketing and hotel marketing. VidLocal Sheffield has video listings for restaurants in sheffield and hotels in sheffield.
If you follow the advice that we have laid out for you above and you take the necessary steps, there is no reason why clients won’t begin finding you and using your company for business within a few weeks.
If you’re working on anything like SEO on your website, the trick is to stay patient and remember, building up an online presence elsewhere and linking back to your website will help a huge amount.
There really is no excuse for businesses not to have a decent online presence in this day and age.