Years ago (back in the dark ages, circa 2000), I was opposed to paid ads online unless your website didn’t get traction in the search engines, potential customers didn’t know about your brand, or it was a perfect fit to reach your target audience. There was little competition online in 2000. With a little elbow grease, you could gain visibility in the search engines both locally and nationally for your business and its services and products. Fast forward 17 years (that’s a little over two and half centuries in Internet years). Today, some local businesses have a difficult time being discovered or found by their customer base without some type of paid advertising online.
With increased competition online (over 331 Million Top Leve Domains (TLDs) registered), the addition of something called Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat didn’t exist before 2004) and page layout changes to Google, Yahoo, and BING (MSN) it can be difficult for a small business to be found online locally.
If you need a little help with visibility online, here are 3 options for your small business to reach local consumers online for free or at a minimal cost.
If you run a paid-for campaign, make sure you set up landing pages for each campaign/ad. You want to direct traffic from your paid advertising to the correct landing pages that match your call-to-action or value-statement. Having a carefully designed landing page can make all the difference in a successful and unsuccessful campaign.
And just as important as setting up landing pages is making sure you’re tracking your visitors! You can have your IT person or Web company install Google Analytics on your website for free if you’re not currently using it. This tool allows you to track where people come from (Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, Google Adwords, etc.) and see what they like on your site (pages they visited, their time on your site, etc.). Without tracking, you won’t know what is and what isn’t working.
About the Author: Joe Ippolito is the owner of River Horse Internet Marketing in Savannah, GA, and the owner of BlufftonSC.com. Joe has over 19 years of Internet Marketing experience helping both local and national companies online.
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