How to Market Your Small Business Part 1


I get asked this a lot, from clients who are interested in marketing their business online, but just aren’t sure how to get started.
Example: there’s a local restaurant that I eat at from time to time, because they have the best burgers I’ve ever tasted. Bar none. But no one. except the locals in this small town have ever heard of them, because… they don’t market.

The owner and I started chatting, and she found out that I help businesses with online marketing, and her first question was, “How do you do it?”

That’s a reasonable question from a busy business owner more interested in checking the fresh produce that came in that morning than learning the ins and outs of online marketing.

I’ve decided to condense the wisdom gleaned from 12 years of online marketing into a quick online crash course. This is the intro.

Lesson 1: Have a great website.

Notice, I didn’t say “expensive.” There are plenty of free templates and websites out there (this is one example!). So, money shouldn’t stop you.

Okay, what makes a website great, then?

It tells people what you do, that no one else can do.

If you cook a killer burger, make that your tagline.

If you are the best master plumber for your city, let them know.

If you have the most beautiful designer dresses ever, showcase them with great pictures – and great words.

Next, make sure you have a call to action right there where they can see it:above the fold (the part of the web page you can see without scrolling down).

Say what you offer, in a few quick words, speaking to your customers.

The call to action doesn’t have to be elaborate. Simple and direct usually works best. In fact, studies have shown that when given the choice between a button that simply says, “submit” and one that says “submit your information” – plain “submit” always gets more clicks.

Use keywords for your business and location. But please, please don’t “stuff” (use them over and over, until it sounds like a parrot spitting out the phrase). Stuffing creates terrible content that no one will want to read; and it can irritate search engines.

Search engines really don’t want to pull up pages full of keywords. They want to pull up quality content that will by its nature have those keywords in it.

Start getting and giving links.

That’s just the start, though. There’s much, much more. In my next lesson, I’ll talk about Email, and offer some tips on improving your marketing with this method.

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