Many business owners are overwhelmed when it comes to the internet and they aren’t quite sure where to start. Here is a quick 3 point guide to help any small business get started marketing their business and website online. We are going to assume that the business already has a website and a Facebook page like we’ve talked about.
1) Get Your Site Listed in Directories – Believe it or not, people still use directories to find local businesses. The “big 3” of local business directories are Google’s Places pages, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local. If you do NOTHING else, list your website in these three directories. Don’t be afraid to take a couple of hours setting them up to make sure that you properly optimize them, upload pictures, etc. These are important, very important. If you have time left after submitting your site to these directories, submit your site to directories such as Yelp, Super Pages, Yellow Pages, Local.com, ConnectOrange, Yellow Book, and Mojo Pages. There are billions more but getting listed in these ones is a good start.
2) Get Mentioned on Local Sites – Google and other search engines put a lot of weight on what other sites link to your sites. The more local sites that link to yours the better. If possible, try to get yourself written up in local news stories that link to you, get listed in your local chamber of commerce, get listed in local association websites, and get sites from any other local sites you can get access to. Good places to look are local blogs, local news sites, local job posting sites, local organizations, etc. You may have to donate, you may have to help out an organization, you might have to submit your own pre-written blog post that links back to you – whatever you have to do, it will usually be worth it. How many of your competitors do you think are doing this stuff? Exactly.
3) Start a Blog – Once you get the local listings and the local links taken care of and if you still have time, you can start a blog on your site or off your site. If your site is built on a platform that makes blogging easy, do it on your own site. If not, you can use a site like WordPress.com or Blogger.com for your blog. Write blog posts that add value to your customers in some way. For example, if you are running a restaurant that does catering, you can write posts teaching people how to plan events, showing how people have used your restaurant for their events, etc. If you are a contractor, you can write about how clients can pick the best products, contractors, price, etc. You can even throw in a few “do-it-yourself” articles. And please, please, please link back to your own site and your own services as the answers to the problems or questions that you raise your on your blog. You can check out BrunetteHomeImprovement.com as a great example of this type of thing in place.
These three steps are going to help you in your marketing tremendously (which means I’m following my own advice!). Let us know if you have comments or questions in the comment section below! If you would like help with your marketing, please review our Local Internet Marketing Services. We’d love to help you take your business to the next level.