Small Biz News is your FREE Newsletter offering up to date tips and trends for Marketing your small business on the Internet.

October 2005

In this Issue



Fields of Dreaming: a.k.a. If you build it... they will come



Local Searches:
Don't Miss Local Marketing Opportunities



First Things First:
Writing Effective Copy for your Audience is the first step in Internet Marketing and SEO


Small Business Resources:
Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs


Readers' Corner:
Feedback, Ideas, Questions & Answers and more...

Return to DavidWilliams.Biz Home Page

SmallBizNews

Here is your FREE monthly issue of SmallBizNews - a brief and informative Internet Marketing Newsletter offering up to date tips and trends for effectively marketing your Small Business on the Internet. To manage your SmallBizNews Newsletters, ask questions or change your subscription status simply see the subscription details at the bottom of this email.

Be sure to visit our NEW Forum for Internet Marketing as well. We invite your ideas, comments and suggestions. Click here to visit our forum.

Fields of Dreaming

Where are you in the food chain?
If You Build It... They Will Come -

 

According to Google there are 4 billion websites indexed to date. That's almost one web site for each and everyone of us here on earth.

 

And today you have decided to make it 4 billion and 1.

So, do you think- "If I build it, they will come?" seriously?
 

Internet Marketing takes work -

and a lot of it.

The truth of the matter is that it doesn't work that way - unless you are doing something to actively ensure your continued growth and success. Sound familiar? It should, because that should be the core behind your business plan as well. You don't just one day decide to open the doors and sit back and wait for the customers - you adjust, adapt and stay proactive in responding to market demand - the same is true of your internet marketing efforts.

 

A Few Things To Ask Yourself Before Building Your Website

 

1. What is the purpose of your website?
Generally speaking, there are four main types of websites:
 

the vanity site
the brochure site
the lead generator site
the online shop

 

The vanity site is, well... you know. And financial rewards are rarely connected to this type of site so we won't spend a lot of your time talking about it.


The brochure site on the other hand is worthy of some discussion as it can be a very effective tool utilizing the internet for online support to your offline marketing efforts.

 

This may seem entry level and 'cheap' to many readers but the truth is brochure a.k.a. 'bulletin board' sites can deliver a huge return on investment. Consider this, printed ads charge by the column inch and radio sells by the second hand - you can get acres of space and all the time your prospects will indulge you with for a fraction of the cost on the internet.

 

You will refer to it in your Yellow Page ads, your business cards and your brochures. An online presence will give you a credibility that your competitors without a website (getting fewer every day) don't have.

The lead generator site, unlike a brochure site, is larger and a bit more complex showcasing individual products and services on separate pages. The lead generator site is intended to have separate landing pages for a prospects narrowed searches and you want it to generate business on its own. You want people to find your site while browsing on the internet, and having seen your site, feel compelled to call or email you. After that contact is made, hopefully a sale will follow.

The storefront website is even more complex where visitors to your site can actually purchase products and services with the click of a button. Because it involves more sensitive data transfers (credit card info, etc.) it requires secure servers to protect you and your customers while they are making online purchases.

It is important for you to know 'up front' what it is you are going to use for an internet marketing model.

2. How will people find your site?

You already know there are 4 billion sites, so the likelihood that a buyer will find your site without SEO - Search Engine Optimization is somewhat remote. We have already agreed that your online presence is intended to support and even advance your offline marketing efforts - irrespective of the model you chose. It must pay a return on investment.

Therefore, beyond SEO, you must have a strategy to ensure people know your site exists and that there is a reason they should visit it. How can you do that? There are two basic strategies, offline and online.
 

An offline strategy is based on all your offline marketing- i.e. advertising, public relations, networking and cold calling. In every case you would refer leads to your website where they can find out more about what you can do for them, and why they should choose you. Your website would build on your offline promotions giving further details of your service, educating your customer and creating credibility for your business.

An online strategy will be built around visibility. The key elements of this are:

#1 Search Engine Optimization
A strategy to get relevant inbound links to your website
Offline advertising & promotion of your site

3. What are you going to do to make your site 'sticky'?

Marketing World tells us that the average website visit is less than 60 seconds. You must have a strategy to make people linger at your site, get to know you and see the value you can give them if you intend to compel them to pick up the phone and call you.

There are a number of factors in design and development that will help you retain visitors and keep them coming back. But there is probably one key secret to bringing them in.  Are you ready to hear the biggest secret for getting your prospective customers to linger at your site and improve website stickiness?

 

The number one way to make your site 'sticky' is good copywriting, GOOD COPYWRITING and GOOD COPYWRITING.

Time is our most precious commodity and if you want your prospective customers to give you their time and stay longer than 60 seconds you better give them what they want. Remember, it's not about you - if you want to brag get a vanity site... It's about filling a need for your customers and speaking their language.

 

Don't use hype and large flashing letters - that is the equivalent of yelling at them and it is no way to begin a relationship. Answer their questions, give them the head nod effect and they will likely seek you to solve the problem they were searching for the answer to when they began their search.


 

 

Local Searches - Are You Missing Local Customers?

I can't stress this enough so irrespective of being redundant I am going to publish this article again.

In May of 2003 we wrote, "Local Searches are the untapped resource to drive local customers to your business." And in October of 2003 Google debuted their local search and launched local pay-per-click campaigns.

If your site hasn't been optimized for Local customers you are likely missing a large segment of your local market.

As Local Search portions of search engines have evolved they have become more and more efficient at finding relevant local results. And since over 32% of your prospects will search locally for goods and services you don't want to miss this huge opportunity to attract customers within your geographic market.

Take a Proactive approach and list your site with Google Local and Yahoo Local. It's free and thus worth every penny.

Be Sure to Capture Local Traffic on Your Web Site

Optimize your site for
Local Customers
 

Writing Effective Copy

Effective copy writing is the first step to promoting your web site in your internet marketing endeavors.

 

We have recognized an increasing trend in search engine behavior that will one day change the way web pages are written and developed. Pages that used to rely heavily on keywords and metatags to lure traffic will soon become a thing of the past.

 

Trust me on this one as I go on the record to say that soon, the search engines will look at and

review the written copy of the page to determine the page relevance and value to the search query.

 

When this happens - Effective SEO will become what we have been encouraging since day one. Always write for your clients first - Content is Crucial and Content is King.

Writing Effective Copy for Your Clients
Write for Your Prospective Clients First
 

Small Business Resources

US Small Business Administration What's New?

BusinessLaw.gov has been incorporated into Business.gov. Before launching your business, be sure to check on specific laws and regulations in your area.

Small Business Administration

 
   
A wealth of FREE information, regulations and forms for Small Business Owners every where. Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource.
 
 

Readers' Corner

Question:

"I am interested in opening a small business from home. I find your articles very interesting. I'm trying to learn as much as I can before I go forward is there any suggestions as how to get started on the web?" Michelle - Pueblo, Colorado

Answer:

Dear Michelle,

First let me welcome you to SmallBizNews and thank you for subscribing.

 

Your question is valid and it is the question that each and every business owner should be asking before they open their wallets.

 

Above, this month's article focuses on the early stages of internet marketing and highlights some key considerations.

 

There are also some great tools available in the Small Business Resources above.

 

In addition we offer two great FREE Whitepapers for you to download and employ as brainstorming tools. You can get your FREE Web Site Planner and Getting Started Guide from DavidWilliams.Biz on our Free Whitepapers Page

 

And I would be remiss if I didn't at least extend you an offer to serve as your web developer. If I've already put this much thought into it - imagine how hard I would work for you if I was paid :)

 

Thanks Again for visiting us!


 


 
 
 
 
 
Return to SmallBizNews Home Page

Subscription Details

To ask David Williams a question click here.

 

To Subscribe to SmallBizNews click here.

 

To Unsubscribe from SmallBizNews click here.

 

Click here for Affordable Web Design and Professional Web Development

David Williams - Affordable Web Design | Professional Web Development