Free Internet Marketing Tips for Small Business
I can reflect back to college coursework in the late 80's that spoke of the "information age". Many predictions prevailed on how our lives would be changed by technology and computers. Well the age has arrived and is constantly producing new and innovative ways to communicate. As a business owner it is important to understand how information technology can help you to be more successful.
Many business owners are bombarded with terms like SEO and SEM from companies offering their internet marketing services. So what is SEO and SEM? SEO (search engine optimization) refers to those techniques which enable a computer user to have an "optimal experience" when accessing the content on your website or blog. SEM (search engine marketing) refers to you doing those things that make users able to find you easily when they search for your goods or services.
Small business owners also need to stay up on the latest means of SEO and SEM. Too often those business owners that are resistant to change find their revenue shrinking until the business dies. Even the most tech savvy entrepreneur can be overwhelmed with all the online platforms. Websites, squeeze pages, social media, video marketing, email campaigns and blogging just to name a few. Where do you start?
My first recommendation is always begin with the free stuff. Free sites such as Craigslist and Backpage can provide local exposure free of cost. Depending upon what your goods or services are you could find yourself overwhelmed with phone calls and emails from these sites. From there you can Google "free online ads" and find numerous sites that allow for free online advertising.
Next I would recommend building your social media circle of friends. Facebook has over 800 million users. Just making friends with a few hundred could give your business a great boost. The beauty of this method is its virility ability. Your friends have friends and their friends have friends and so on. Then there's Twitter which allows you to give instant updates on the status of your business. Tweet about a special sale for that day and drive more people to your storefront. Create YouTube videos that tell what you have to offer and why you are better than others in your niche. People today are more rushed and would much rather watch a video than read an article. Make sure your business is listed on Foursquare. This is another ways of getting your customers to spread the word about your business while they have fun playing a game.
Last step is to create a local listing with the search engines. Google, Yahoo, and Bing have listing services that will bring your business to the top of the search results. You can further expand on this by getting listed in the free Yellowpages.com and other free online business directories.
Your experience with these free means of online marketing will help you to better understand how the search engines see your content and what it takes to get on top. Now when the time comes to create or optimize your website search for SEO or SEM services will be educated decision process. Having this knowledge gives you the upper hand should you ever call upon an SEO / SEM firm for help. simply understanding some of the mechanics involved anticipates someone from trying to hoodwink you with tech talk.