Everyday more small businesses wake up and realize how crucial it is for them to master Internet marketing if they want to significantly increase sales. Whether you are already dabbling in Internet marketing and learning about it or the concept is new to you and a bit confusing, ignoring it is no longer an option.
Whether you’re a coach or consultant, a service provider, or a bricks and mortar business like a retail shop or restaurant, driving targeted traffic to a well written, compelling website is essential if you don’t want to leave lots of money on the table. There is so much conflicting information to be found about where you need to spend your time and money creating an Internet marketing program that I’d like to help you with a few basic tips.
First of all you are probably not a professional Internet marketer. Professional Internet marketers look for underserved niches and create websites that sell products or information that will serve that niche in some way. They create multiple sites that are not limited to just one topic or market. Successful Internet marketers are masters at finding markets that they may know nothing about, and then finding an expert with knowledge or a product that they can sell to buyers in that market. They are experts at building compelling websites and driving traffic to those websites through online marketing methods and search engine optimization. Many of the courses and programs you’ll find online teach people how to become professional Internet marketers.
Instead, you have a passion or skill around which you’ve built a small or solo business and you simply want to know how to use some of these tactics to drive qualified traffic to your website. So instead of focusing on multiple markets and websites you really only need to focus on a few and they are markets you know well and that are directly related to your business. Here are some simple tips to help you focus on what Internet marketing you need to master for your small business.
Preparing your website for visitors is like preparing your house for a party before inviting the guests. If you get lots of visitors but they come and go and don’t take action then you’ve wasted all the time you spent bringing them there. Before you begin traffic generation:
1) Create a website where the content is compelling, customer focused and talks to the visitor about THEIR needs, challenges problems and the results and benefits they want that you can provide. Avoid language like “welcome” and “we do this and we do that”. People want to know you understand what they want, not that you are telling them how great your business is.
2) Include an opt-in form on ALL key web pages. Ask visitors to sign up to receive a free downloadable or deliverable gift that gives them some knowledge or information they really want.
3) Include glowing testimonials on each page. These are a priceless tool to establish your credibility.
4) Have basic search engine optimization built into your website so that you’ll start ranking in the search engines for your most important keyword phrases. Make sure that includes an ongoing program to develop back links to your website.
5) The fastest way to drive traffic is to invest in pay-per-click advertising with Google or Yahoo. Money buys speed. You can easily find a local Pay Per Click expert to set up your first ad campaign and tweak it until you’ve created an ad that drives a stream of visitors to your site who are qualified and willing to take action once they get there. The great advantage to PPC is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and you can put a limit on the amount you spend each month.
6) Spend time each week on traffic generating activities like some combination of
- social networking (Twitter, Facebook. LinkedIn to start),
- writing and submitting articles to article directories,
- posting comments on highly trafficked blogs in your niche,
- posting to your blog and listing your blog in blog directories, and
- submitting videos to video sites
- submitting audios to podcast sites
Once you decide which activities will work for you, do them every single week. Schedule them into your calendar or train an assistant to do them.
7) Do regular keyword research using the Google Keyword Research tool to find out what your potential clients are actually searching for on the web so you can use those keywords on your web pages and as blog, article and video titles. This is becoming more crucial all the time. A blog post is very likely to come up in the search engine results more quickly than your web page since it has fresh content which the search engines love. Often, keyword research is the missing piece when people tell me their online marketing isn’t working!
Driving traffic isn’t rocket science. It’s not mysterious. It simply requires a bit of strategy and real consistency. So put a plan in place now and in a few months you’ll really start seeing the results of the increased traffic reflected in your sales.© Copyright 2010 Janis Pettit