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The major search engines, Google, Yahoo! and MSN have become an integral part of most large company's business plans. Fortune 500 companies set aside big budgets for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensuring the return on their Web site investment continually increases. What about your company? Do you think about the Internet when you are reviewing your marketing plan?
Most small to medium-sized businesses don't have enormous advertising budgets. However, you are probably looking for ways to promote your business and don’t want to spend all your money on public relations and/or advertising that won’t actually bring you any guaranteed profit. Internet marketing should be a significant part of small to medium-sized business marketing plan.
Exploring Internet Marketing (from the small to medium-sized business point of view)
Internet Marketing describes online marketing products and/or services. Internet Marketing includes Web sites, search engine optimization, content, newsletters, blogs, webinars and much more. These marketing tools can and should be used to attract prospective customers, grow your client base, increase your sales as well as establish and maintain long-lasting relationships with your customers.
Two of the most important strategies are Search Engine Optimization and Linking. Together, these two strategies can help you drive more traffic to your website. Subsequently more traffic to your site can be translated into more sales and directly affect your bottom line in a positive manner.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the implementation of strategies to earn top ranking on search engines, for your Web site. Search engine optimization begins with your current website. It is not as much about design as it is about content. Search engine optimization requires that you think very specifically, in terms of web pages, not in terms of your entire Web site. First, it is important to determine one or two important concepts (keyword phrases) that you want to promote/communicate on the web page. You should repeat your concepts many times throughout the Web page, without making the content difficult to understand.
It is important to keep in mind how others on the web might view the importance of the keyword phrases you choose. For example, some keyword phrases will bring millions of results and unless you have someone working full time on that keyword phrase you probably won’t get it to the top 10,000. Yet, other keyword phrases are not very competitive and you can get a top ten ranking with minimum effort.
For example, consider the architect that specializes in residential and remodeling. We found that on the national level he has quite a few competitors for the targeted keyword phrases, but since he primarily targets Texas residents he is able to get the site a high ranking in the four major Texas metropolitan areas.
After a Web site has been prepared it’s high time to tell the world about it. The more links on other sites directing users back to your site, the better for your marketing and promotional efforts. The more these links are relevant to your subject the better. Google and most of the other search engines "count" the number of in-bound links in their page ranking systems. A keyword strategy with an aggressive link exchange program, in today’s competitive market, is a powerful approach.
Another reason why you need to build link-to-us or backward link campaigns is to increase traffic directly to your site. A carefully prepared and planned links campaign can save you from relying solely on search engines, and can point prospective customers directly to your Web site.
In short, small to medium-sized businesses should heed the advice their larger counter parts share through example. It is ever increasingly more important to be sure to include an Internet marketing strategy in your marketing plans.