Small Business Internet Marketing – Successful small business internet marketing requires search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO is a buzzword that has grown with the internet era. Twenty years ago no one cared about SEO. Now, if you have a website and want to do small business internet marketing, SEO is a huge consideration to a successful internet presence. There are now many companies that specialize in SEO.
What exactly is SEO? SEO is the art of getting your website to appear on the first page of search results…preferably the first listing. Search engines include Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask, among others. When someone types some words into the search field, the “engine” will bring back several results it considers relevant. Many factors come into play to determine results. Search engines keep their “algorithms” top secret. Why? So that SEO experts can’t outwit them! Companies such as Google want to be able to control their users’ results and provide relevant websites that meet their users’ needs (rather than sites that have “tricked” the algorithm into listing them on the first page).
Before you do internet marketing for your business, you need to be aware that SEO for a local business is very different from SEO for an internet or national business. A “local” business is one that has four walls and a roof (what is known as a “bricks and mortar” business) and is generally not a chain (although it could be a franchise that is responsible for its own marketing).
When you are doing internet marketing for your local business, your goal is to attract customers within your geographical area. In fact, to do local small business internet marketing, you don’t really even need a website (although it helps). Why? Because there are many local search directories! These directories are like on-line yellow pages – only in real time. And most, if not all of them, allow you to list your business in them for free! Usually you can enter more than just your business name, address and phone number. You can list your business hours, a website or blog link (if you have one), general information about your business; some even let you upload pictures!
And trust me, these local search directories will almost always outrank your business website in the search engines (meaning, they will be listed first, before your website, in the search results).
If you want to successfully list your locally-based business on the internet, the local search directories are a must. With correct small business internet marketing, you will be at the top of the search engine listings via the local search directories. And if your business has the most relevant and up-to-date information entered into the directory, new customers will select your business over other, less informative listings. Cha-ching!