Whether or not you want to believe it, the marketing world is changing. While print and television media used to drive leads and sales, the internet is beginning to usurp their roles. Internet marketing for small businesses across America is becoming a number one priority as more businesses begin to recognize that most of their consumers are turning to the internet for information about products and services. In this article, we’ll provide some information about internet marketing for small businesses and a few internet marketing tips for beginners.
It’s Here to Stay
There’s no reason to think that internet marketing is going to wane in importance any time soon. Almost 79% of North Americans are internet users, and the number is projected to grow substantially. Many Americans own smartphones, meaning that they even use the internet on the go. According to a study by comScore qSearch, there are 4.9 billion Internet searches every month. Boiling down to 1,890 searches each second, that’s a remarkable number. The internet and search engines have become the number one source of information about almost everything, including businesses.
Internet marketing for small businesses is a complex arena with many facets. Though SEO is the overarching factor, social media, blogging, and link building are all important contributors to search engine optimization. Those looking for search engine optimization advice are often surprised to learn the extent of SEO which 41 percent of business to consumer marketers claim has the biggest effect on their lead generation goals.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter are used by nine out of ten online American adults, making them an ideal place for advertising. Creating and maintaining an account can not only have an affect on search engine rankings but can provide valuable advertising to target markets. Small business owners generally recognize the importance of social media marketing with 80 percent claiming to use it. Many elect to hire social media managers, especially knowing how critical social media reputation management is to brand management. Because social media is seen by so many users in such short spans of time, minor problems can quickly explode into public relations disasters without proper management. Business listings management on sites like Digg and Google Places also factors into social media.
Maintaining an onsite blog is important for internal link building as well as for drawing consumer interest. Blogs are known to generate leads, a theory supported by the fact that 57 percent of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blogs. Blogs help consumers relate to a company, enticing many to follow a company’s progress for sometimes months before initiating a business transaction. Blogging also plays into the SEO adage, “content is king,” referring to the importance of quality content for high search engine rankings.
Perhaps the most frequently recognized component of SEO, link building involves the placement of links to a site in the context of quality content around the web. Internet marketing for small businesses largely revolves around this process. Many companies choose to hire SEO companies fully dedicated to the generation of content containing client keywords and links.
Tips for Better Visibility and Results
- Take advantage of the SEO tips offered by web developers and designers. On site optimization can make a big difference.
- Create a complete profile on Google Places so that local searchers can find you easily.
- Pay attention to branding. In online marketing, potential customers see your site before they meet you and immediately make a judgment based on logo, usability, and copy. Make it count.
- Be active around the web, but don’t be spammy.
- Embrace internet marketing and make it count. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon!