Internet marketing offers a low cost way for your local business to greatly expand. It gives you access to markets undreamed of 20 years ago. If you have owned your business for several decades, starting before the Internet existed, you may not feel comfortable with working on it. But you can learn to feel at home on the Internet, and connect your business to its tremendous marketing possibilities.
Start by finding a web hosting company and buying a domain name. Make your current business your domain name if it is available. You will then own this name on the Internet and no competitor can use it. This is the first step in establishing your company’s unique identity on the Web. Research web hosting companies online. Choose one that suits your needs. It will provide you with a choice of templates on which to build your website.
Before you design your site, study Search Engine Optimization. Google and other search engines will help you with information, including advice on choosing keywords. You will also find tutorials explaining SEO online, and lots of good information and advice on forums and chat rooms. When you understand the basics, imbed SEO into your website design. This is like opening the door and inviting visitors to come in.
Pay close attention to the written text on your site. Proofread it carefully. Make sure that it is accurate and reflects what you want people to see in your business. Add some images for visual appeal. Feature your contact information prominently. Make sure your domain name is in your URL, with keywords in all the right places. Include a secure payment system for customers. Now you are ready to publish your local business website. You can add some of the finer points later on.
Once your site is up and running, there are a lot of extras you can add to create a good experience for visitors and motivate them to return. Offer a special sale each month or each week. Start a blog to communicate with customers. Give them expert information that will help them. Let them know about new products in the pipeline, and get feedback from them about your current products. Invite comments and questions. Answer all of these, plus those you get through email. Keep up a running conversation with your customers.
When you have your website in great shape, start a page on Facebook. Here your conversation with customers is more in the social realm. Create some exciting or unusual content on this page, and people will tell their friends about it and hundreds or thousands of new people will hear about your business. Give them an incentive, like a free offer, to visit your website, and many of them may become customers.
Another good way to make your business known on the Internet is to produce educational and instructional videos on YouTube.
Follow these tips and your business will soon be established on the Internet. Once you have opened your doors, be ready for a lot of new customers to come in.
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