10 Small Business Internet Marketing Tips
Looking for some basic Internet marketing tips for your small business? While there are hundreds of suggestions we can make, here's a list of 10 tips that we think 90% of small business owners will find useful.
1. In the words of Ron Simon, "What the hell are you trying to do?"
What is the goal of your website? Ultimately, it should be to drive more business, but how exactly will it do that? Start with one goal - such as increasing the number of phone calls - and branch out from there. It's important to set goals, but it's just as important to come up with a system for measuring those goals.
2. Evaluate your website's content - Content is King.
What does your website say? Is the content unique and useful? Will people learn anything when they visit your site? When was the last time you added new content? Does your website have content worth reading? Does your content match your business goals?
3. The <title> tag.
Visit your website. Look at the very top of your browser window. What do you see? Does it describe the page you're looking at? Is it a unique description? Does it contain the keywords you want people to associate with that page of your website? If you're a local business, does it contain your key local search keywords? If you can't answer 'yes' to all these questions, hire an SEO expert to help you.
4. Call tracking and analytics.
You can't improve upon what you can't measure. Analytics provide a tremendous amount of incredibly useful data, such as where your website visitors come from, how long they stay, and what they do on your site.
- Google analytics is free and pretty darn good, and we recommend it. We also recommend you make sure you can track every lead that's generated by your website.
- If you don't have a dedicated phone number for the website that you can track calls on, visit CallRail.com. Their technology will help you track every call you get, where the call came from, who called, how long the call lasted...etc.
5. If you're a local business, take advantage of local business directories.
There are a few great local business directories that are completely free. Try out the free Whitespark local citation finder, and consider paying this company for their citation service.
By the way: Your SEO company should be helping you get listed in all the local business directories if you're a local business. If you're a national company, we don't usually recommend local business directories...
6. Benchmark your competition.
Visit your competitors' websites. Do searches for keywords related to your business. Find out what others in your vertical are doing and saying. This is a great way to get ideas and take stock of your own company's online marketing efforts.
7. Every Company Has An Ugly Website.
A lot of business owners love their websites, but the first step to improving your website is to admit that it has some deficiencies. No website is perfect, and every website can use improvement.
Fix your company's ugly website by paying for user testing, by asking your customers to give you feedback, and by asking your friends and neighbors to give you harsh criticism. It's not a fun process, but it will help your site get better.
8. Start blogging.
Every business, and we mean every business, has something to gain by blogging regularly. The list of benefits is long, but here's a short list of reasons small businesses should blog.
9. Post videos on YouTube.
While there is some debate about just how professional your YouTube videos need to be, here are some stats to consider:
- YouTube is the world's second most popular search engine
- YouTube is where a lot of consumers go to learn about how to fix or diagnose something
Whether you're an auto repair shop or a custom embroidery shop, there's probably a way to promote your company on YouTube. Just make sure you think about very specific topics you can cover...a video tackling a really basic topic "How To Change A Tire" probably isn't going to get noticed. But something super specific that's unique to your market? That's a great YouTube video idea.
10. Read as much as you can.
There are hundreds of excellent marketing resources. Some of our favorites include:
- The Moz Beginner's Guide to SEO - If you really take the time to learn the information given, you'll know as much about SEO as many "professionals" do.
- The Complete Guide to Link Building with Local Events - An excellent blog post explaining why every local small business owner should invest in small business marketing.
- YouTube and Video Marketing for Small Businesses - This article lays out the basics, and explains that any business will benefit from posting video in one way or another.
- 6 Effective Small Business Social Media Strategies - There's simply too much to talk about when it comes to social media, but this post is a good intro. One point we'd like to highlight: Social media is NOT free marketing. Social media is time consuming and therefore very expensive. Don't let it distract you from marketing activities with better ROI.