In today's competitive marketplace, creating an internet marketing plan is vital to a small business' long-term competitive success. Implementing an internet marketing strategy can increase your name and brand recognition locally and it can greatly expand your sales reach. Once you have a business plan or vision, creating a web strategy is not difficult or expensive to do. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Identify your objectives: Establish your goals. What is your target market? Should you keep existing clients in mind? Establish a budget.
  • Your Competition: Understand who you are in competition with. How are you different? How are they similar?
  • Highlight your Difference: What are the reasons your customers buy your products or hire you to provide a service? How does that differ from your competition?
  • Branding: Select a domain name that is memorable or describes your products/services. It might also be helpful to also think about the solutions your business provides i.e.,
  • Your First Impression: Your web site is your world wide web store front. It should be representative of your business, visually appealing, easy to navigate, error-free and have clear and focused content.
    • Design: A web site should have a simple and clean design. Resist the impulse to over design. Simple colors and images are always the best place to start. Make sure your logo, address, contact information and navigation are easily found and easy to use.
    • Content: Your content should demonstrate your expertise and present a clear call to action on every page of your site. What do you want to tell your potential customers? How are your products and services superior to the competition?
  • Driving Traffic: A web site without visitors is useless. How will you create traffic? This process needs to start with an understanding of your industry keywords. If you sell pest control, some keywords might be pests, bugs, extermination. Website and content construction should support an organic search engine listing by using as many keywords through your web site content as possible. Pay-per-click is another option. This type campaign consists of paying for your site to appear when certain key words are used in a search engine. You pay for each visitor who clicks on that link and is sent to your site.
  • Monitor Results: Identify the strategies that are working.
    • Survey customers to find out how they found your site and what they like and dislike about it.
    • Track sales, leads, visitors to your web site.
    • Determine which marketing strategies are working for you.
Stephen Mandala

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