Internet Marketing Resources For Small Businesses
As a small business owner you want to minimize the number Internet marketing tools you use so you can focus on what is necessary and nothing more. This list isn’t intended to be the end-all-be-all list of Internet marketing tools. Instead, it will help you focus your attention on the tools that will help you get started with the goal of increasing your online presence.
Analytics: What are people doing on your web site?
Google Analytics: Free web site analytics tool that gives you all the web site statistics you could want and more. It doesn’t have as many features as some of the paid analytics tools but it provides most of what you need at a price that can’t be beat. If you want to understand the data provided by Google Analytics beyond the basics, you should check out the book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik.
Email Marketing: Keep people informed of your business.
There are a lot of great email marketing applications available. Most of them provide a free trial. Make sure you take advantage of this time to learn the product and ensure that it has all the features and reporting that you need.
Paid Advertising: Get noticed when people search for terms related to your business.
Google AdWords: When people search Google they are usually presented with paid results at the top and right side of the results page. You can position your ads in these locations by using Google AdWords. AdWords allows you to select the keywords you want to advertise for, determine how much you want to spend, and create your ad copy. There are hundreds of articles on how to setup and use Google AdWords. A great place to start is with own AdWords page.
Resources: What else is available?
WebMarketingTribe.com: A collection of the web marketing articles, blog posts, and news submitted and voted on by site members. There are a lot of interesting articles from around the web related to Internet marketing.
Google Webmaster Tools: Tools to help you find problem areas with your web site. Find broken links, submit your sitemap, and see how people are finding your web site.
Search Engine Optimization: Optimize your site for listing in search engines.
Site Mapping: Site mapping tools are a great way to ensure that Google and other search engines find all of the pages on your web site. There are several site mapping tools available. I’ve had good success with XML-Sitemaps.com, a free tool that crawls your web site, sets page priority and frequency change, and outputs a sitemap.xml file for you to add to your site and submit to Google using Google Webmaster Tools.
Google Local: Add your business listing to Google so people searching in your local business area can find you.
Social Media: Share and contribute to the community you serve.
Twitter: A micro-blogging tool that you can use to keep your followers informed about your company, products, services, events, etc. Posts or “Tweets” are limited to 140 characters which keeps the information concise. Stand alone applications such TweetDeck and Twirl are highly recommended.
Facebook: Facebook’s popularity is at an all time high. You can use Facebook to start a group focused on your company and you can also participate in other groups related to your service/product to assist people and gain recognition in your field.
Linked-in: Similar to Facebook, Linked-in also provides groups you can start and/or join to help people in your field of interests.
Of course there are hundreds of other applications and sites available which provide more information but this will give you an excellent starting point. Just make sure you focus your attention only on the areas you have time for. Trying to accomplish too much at once will spread you too thin and cause your Internet marketing programs to fail.