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The Beginner’s Guide To Internet Marketing For SMEs

So, let’s say you want to purchase a new…well, anything. My first guess is that you’ll hop onto the computer and open up good old Google to search for retailers that sell what you’re looking for . And you’ll probably only stick to the first five pages of the results. So, if you’ve got a business, it’s really not enough to be offline; you need to be online. And prominent.

internet

                                                                    Image by dhester
Yeah, you’ve probably heard all the clichés: to be online is to be able to access customers all over the globe; social media allows you to publicise, trend and communicate your goods/wares/business to anyone and everyone; forget billboards, you need to purchase online ad space to get your business noticed. And it’s all true.
Internet marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will help your business rise in the search engine ranks and attract more visitors to your business.  Because let’s face it: no one uses the yellow pages anymore.
Here’s how to get started…

Websites

Business mogul and blogger, Dana Fox of The Wonder Forest stresses the importance of creating a neat and informative website for your business.
“Think of it this way: Your website is your business card. It is your brochure, your flyer, your billboard. It is the very first impression somebody gets to see of your company, which is also why it’s important to have a website that is nicely designed.”
Whilst creating your site, focus on your business’ keywords. These will include your business’ name, what you sell and who you sell to. Make sure the website URL includes your business’ name and/or relevant keywords. Additionally, each page of your website should link to every other page to ensure that all of your pages will show up in search engines.
Now, make use of those keywords. Format your website appropriately inserting the keywords for your business in the title tag, the header tags and the actual content of the page. Make sure you also insert Meta tags below the title tag. The keywords in the Meta tag include searchable words for your website whilst the description tag is the summary for your business. Make sure to keep your description short and snappy and informative, without stuffing it full of your keywords.

Content

Tailor your content to search engines by using an html text format. Avoid JavaScript, flash, java and frames which are not search-engine friendly. If needs be, supplement such scripts with text so they can be indexed (processed and appear) in search engines. Likewise, images will need to be indexed with alt attributes.
However the most important thing to consider when making content, whether that’s your product pages, blog articles or promotional videos, they should be made with your customers in mind, not the search engines. Make sure your content is relevant, informative and interesting to your target audience and you’ll not only get traffic but also conversions.

Social Media

So, you’ve got a website. The next step is to link it up with a Twitter feed and a Facebook page. As with your site, include your keywords in the ‘About’ section, Mission Statement and Company Description of your Facebook page and similarly the description of your Twitter feed. Make sure links to all social media platforms appear on your website and try to use the same logo on each of your platforms for cohesion.
The most important thing is that you engage your followers with thought-provoking tweets, statuses and enticing offers. Respond within good time to queries and stay on top of all your social media platforms, regularly checking the analytics to see what’s popular with your followers.
Never spam them. Avoid this by tweeting and posting with breaks. A tweet or a status every few minutes will overwhelm your followers.

Help & Advice

If the thought of SEO makes you just want to ignore it, don’t think it’ll go away on its own. For more in-depth information on SEO and what it is check out this handy resource that explains the ins and outs in more detail.
Otherwise if you’re still left in a quandary you might want to bring in the professionals.
Are you just getting started with SEO? Share your thoughts, worries or queries below.

Featured images:

License: Creative Commons
image source
Jennifer Leung loves blogging, creating websites and designing graphics in typical geek fashion. She also likes to read and watch horror movies.

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