What do you really need at your website – Traffic! Read on and you will find out how low budget internet marketing for small business can drive traffic to your site.
You have finished building your new website and you have published it but there are no visitors. Unfortunately with the vast number of websites out there people are not just going to stumble upon your site by chance, you have to send them there. Low budget internet marketing for small business can be achieved by starting some kind of advertising campaign or by getting your website listed in the search engines.
There are numerous ways of advertising your small business website online with a low budget, these are the methods I have found to be most effective:
Pay Per Click advertising involves paying another website which receives regular traffic to advertise your site. This can be a very effective way of advertising online, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad so as long as it is well written you are paying for targeted traffic. Also you can set a daily budget to prevent over stretching your advertising funds. Some sectors are more suited to this type of advertising than others, if there are lots of competitors in your market it can be expensive.
Article submission is an excellent way to promote your website if you are on a budget – it is free! You simply have to write an article on a similar topic to your small business website and then submit it to online article directories. At the end of your article you include a resources box which can contain details about your website and the web address. People may read your article and then visit your website to find out more details, also you get a backlink from the article directory.
Ezine advertising is another good way to promote your website. People only subscribe to ezines if they have an interest in the subject matter so if you can find an ezine relevant to you site you can achieve good results. The larger the subscription to the ezine, the higher the cost to advertise. But smaller ones often get better readership, more people actually open and read the content from top to bottom.
Search Engine Listings
If you have an online marketing business opportunity advertising your site is a good way to get traffic in the beginning and depending on your sector you may get good long term results. However the best low budget internet marketing for small business is getting your website ranked highly in search engine listings.
There are two ways to improve your search engine rankings, on page and off page optimization. On page optimization refers to the design of your website. Your site should be based around one or more keyword phrases that you want to rank for in the engines. The keyword phrase should be included in the page title, in the meta tags and at the beginning and end of the main body text. Off page optimization basically involves getting links pointing to your website. All the major search engines place a high emphasis on the number and quality of links a page has when calculating it’s ranking. Most of the links on your site should be at least partly relevant to your subject matter and links from highly ranked sites are more valuable. If you ask for a link exchange make sure that your site’s keywords are in the anchor text that is displayed on their site.
Paying for advertising can have almost instant results but getting ranked in the search engines takes time. You should be able to get your site indexed and displayed on MSN within a week or so of getting a few links however it will take longer before your site starts to show up in Google searches, just keep adding links and be patient. A good reciprocal linking campaign is the best low budget internet marketing for small business, it is free but it will be time consuming.
Small Business Internet Marketing Tips
If you’re a small business owner, you probably don’t have a lot to spend on marketing. Many businesses are not taking full advantage of low budget internet marketing for small business, some methods cost little or nothing to implement.
1. Business Cards. For less than $20, you can have a virtual billboard that promotes your business. Surprisingly many businesses forget about this low budget internet marketing for small business method, it can be a great way to promote your business. When ordering your business cards, think about how you can use the space effectively. Some of the best business cards that I’ve seen include specific URL’s on the back for accessing free information, tools, resources, or product demo’s. I’ve even seen some with coupons on the back that turn business cards into a customer staple – giving them an incentive to have your business card handy at all times.
2. Invoices. Do you send your customers an invoice in print or electronically? If you do, use the invoice to promote your brand, product or service. This is also a valuable touch point to thank your customers and prompt them to learn about the other things you offer.
3. Emails. Nothing in low budget internet marketing for small business performs as well as your very own list of customer emails. Customers who offer their email address want to hear from you. Do what you can to encourage customers to provide you with their email address. You can always provide a small incentive like a pen with your business’s name on it, free information, or a white paper addressing an area of growing importance. Once you have this email list, communicate to your customers on a regular basis and encourage them to do more business with you. Satisfied customers are likely to forward your emails to others, growing the size of your customer base.
4. Thank You Notes. A number of small businesses are very effective at communicating with their customers. These businesses use every shipment as a vehicle to promote their products or thank their customers. You should consider doing this also. 5. Online Coupons or Offers. When you have a particular product to sell, you should offer information about it on your website. Additionally, offer an incentive for prospective customers. When individuals are on your website and take interest in your product or service, providing an incentive to buy can drive considerable response rates. 6. Free Samples. Giving away free samples is one of the most effective marketing tactics available today. Even if you have a service business, offering up a method for prospective buyers to try a derivative of your service without paying for it can lead to increased trials and conversions. Large consumer product companies know that once a consumer decides that he or she likes the product, they will become a customer for an extended period of time which more than pays for the cost of their promotion.
7. Encourage Referrals. Small businesses that leverage the power of referrals experience strong growth. When you have others suggesting your product or service it’s like having your very own sales team. These referrals are even more powerful because, like word-of-mouth, the prospect is being encouraged to buy from an existing customer, associate, expert, or influencer. One way to get referrals is to ask other vendors to distribute information about your business to their customer base in exchange for you doing the same.
Marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot. Use your own business to communicate your marketing messages and increase lead generation. These simple methods are effective for any small business owner regardless of industry, product, or service offering. Implement some or all of them to see the power of effective low budget internet marketing for small business.
Email Marketing For Small Business
Email marketing is a good low budget internet marketing for small business method. However many small businesses make the same mistakes over and over again. If done correctly, email marketing is a very effective low budget internet marketing for small business medium that can generate new leads and build continuous contact with your customers and prospects.
Take care of these top 7 mistakes and you are on your way to new sales!
1. Underestimating Current Customers List – This is by far the biggest mistake we see. Marketers just disregard their current customer list, and leave money on the table. Even worse, most have no systematic way of capturing their customer’s email and contact details in a common list. A consolidated customer email list can be easily used to market new products to existing customers or to get repeat orders if done regularly and consistently. Existing customers have seen your product and service before, and are more likely to buy from you again.
2. No Specific Target – One big, long message for everyone is no longer smart or effective. Nothing works the fast way. Now the trend is to do personalized, 1 to 1 marketing. If your standard message is for all prospects in all industries, chances are that it does not address anyone’s needs. It is best to send several small, targeted emails to focus groups, which you can track to see what works in which industry.
3. Using Cheap Lists – Using 300,000 emails from a $100 CD is bound to fail. These email addresses are mostly defunct, and are generally acquired through snooping and email extraction from forums. Most will not be from your target market anyway. Just sending a blatant marketing message is a sure-fire way to get yourself banned from major Internet Service Providers. Anti-spamming laws are catching fast in most countries, so beware of such tactics. You can either buy a good list of your target group from reputed list brokers, or start compiling your own list of all past and current prospects, customers, vendors, suppliers, contractors to market to them.
4. No System To Measure Response – Marketing just continues to send out message after message: No ROI, no measurement of efforts, and no mechanism to evaluate the response of past messages. No wonder these efforts hardly bring in any results or prospects. A systematic measurement system is very important. With emails, you can tag each and every link, email account and email sent, so that when it is opened or clicked you immediately know who is interested, who is keen to buy and what product. With a good measurement you can call those few that spent time with your message, or on your website, and by knowing their browsing behaviour you can customise future messages for them.
5. No Clear Goal Or Strategy – Start with the right goal and marketing strategy. Your first goal should be to establish trust and credibility within your target market. Secondly, get the prospect interested enough in what you are selling, so that they are willing to give you their contact information. Thirdly, your marketing message should be sent out regularly so that the prospect expects it, waits for it, and it shows that you are consistent, reliable, and trustworthy. Remember, marketing exists to generate leads, prospects and help sales and delivery teams to close deals, not for any other purpose. So focus, and strategise on these lines.
6. Boring Marketing Message or Ad copy – A long repetitive message is no way to capture the prospects attention. You can’t watch a boring movie even if you paid for the tickets, so who is going to read your unasked for marketing email if you are not even addressing the problem. Most messages spend countless paragraphs talking about what they offer, their products, services, and me, me, me. There’s nothing in the message to catch the reader’s attention. You need to talk about the problems faced by your target market, their industry, and their issues. Once you establish a bond by acknowledging that you know about their problems, they will be more amenable to your message, and products.
7. Dropping Prospects Half Way – It is a proven fact that a new prospect will take an average of 5-7 different interactions before they build enough trust on you, your company and your products or services before thinking of buying from you. So if you drop prospects after meeting them once or twice, thinking that they are not qualified or do not seem interested, you are losing sales too quickly. Continuing to hand hold them and stay in constant contact will help you in the long run, as you will be familiar to the prospect. People love to do business with people they know, and not strangers. Email is the most cost-effective way to stay in touch.
Email marketing has been proven to be an effective low budget internet marketing for small business method time and again, if done correctly. With its low costs and high effectiveness, email marketing helps to build long term relationships with your target audience. Use it wisely and you will see the benefits for yourself.