Small Business Online Marketing is the Answer
Online advertising and marketing boils down to this question: If someone did a Googe or Bing search for a product or service that your company offers, in your area, are you shown?
For most businesses, big and small, being seen on one of these two search engines is the key to breaking through a barrier to the next level with your business. Small business Online Marketing is all about targeting prospects.
Not only that, but you should be seen without potential clients having to take any further action than searching, such as ‘clicking around’ or scrolling. In other words, your business does best when your website can be seen on the first page, ‘above the fold’.
Go ahead, do a test right now. Type a search phrase into Google (or your browser search bar if you use one of the many browsers that use Google search as the default).
Did your business show up?
The only reason I can think of not to be concerned if you are not shown in a Google search would be if you can’t handle any more business, currently, or if you cater to the elderly.
You’ve probably heard the term “targeted marketing” thrown around quite a bit. Targeted marketing refers to picking a method that speaks to or “targets” a smaller segment of the overall market.
An example of a traditional targeted ad would be choosing to advertise in a particular section of a newspaper, such as the sports section – if you are promoting a sporting goods store. This targets not only a geographic audience (those that live in the distribution area), but also an interest, sports or fitness.
With online advertising, you can not only get local prospects, and general interest. You can also narrow it even further. An SEO consultant like myself might choose to use “SEO websites” as a key phrase vs “SEO Services”. Services would encompass many aspects of search engine optimization, while I may choose to advertise that I do a specific kind of website.
Why is this important for small business?
Because with such limited space as the top page of search engine results, you don’t want to try and compete for every phrase against the big corporations with very deep pockets. If your marketing is focused too broadly you may not have enough funds to put the necessary effort into the activities that will result in the search engines noticing your site.
In general, it is more costly to seek top page ranking for less words in a phrase. In other words, less descriptive phrases.
Consider the following key phrases: Olympic sports, olympic sports training, olympic sports training equipment and portable olympic sports training equipment.
As you add more words to a phrase, you add focus. It is focus that may allow you to show on page-one ahead of a big spender.
Small Business Marketing Solutions
So, let’s get back to what you can do about not being seen on Google and Bing.
If Speed is an Issue
The fastest solution is to use Google Advertising. With Google’s pay per click advertising program, called Adwords, we use various phrases that cover your business offerings to trigger text advertising that directs people to any page on your site, or to your social media entities.
The cost will vary depending on the phrase you choose, who your competitors are, what geographic area or location terms you are using within the phrase, and how well your phrase relates to your ad wording and the web page you link your users to from the ad.
This is a nearly instantaneous process! As soon as we finish setting up your account and creating your ad you can be sending potential business your way.
Pretty cool, right?
The Longer Haul in Showing Up on Google
Skipping to the more difficult solution, one that will take a little longer, is optimizing your site for “natural ranking” when someone searches for services you provide.
This is what is meant by Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and the first step is to make your site “Google Friendly”, by making it an SEO website.
It is a combination of embedding words in many places within your site, and writing unique, original text for your pages, which is called “content” in the internet world. Content may also include images, which also play a role in SEO (search engine optimization).
The next steps in search marketing include setting up properties across the internet that link back to your site. These are generally categorized as “social media”, or “directories”. But, it can also be off-site blogs, or video feed sites, such as YouTube.
The costs vary greatly, and depend on how many phrases you want your site to rank for, how large your geographic target is (micro, local, national, or international), and who your competitors are. It also depends on what steps your competitors are taking towards SEO and SEM. Call Colorado internet marketing consultant Jon Camrud for an estimate.
The Bottom Line in Online Search Results
I’m simplifying this for purposes of keeping this article easy for the novice to understand. The bottom line is you are missing an important opportunity if you don’t take steps, as soon as possible, to have your business shown in online search, especially on Google.
The longer you wait, the more entrenched your competitors may become.