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What's In Your Marketing Plan? A Small Business Guide To Online Marketing

Aug 17, 2007
Many small business owners make the mistake of thinking, "If we make a website using a few keywords, search engine algorithms will guide customers to us." But these days, everyone has a website, every website uses keywords, and it's not difficult to hire web designers to create good-looking, perfectly functioning websites. Online marketing is becoming more difficult and more competitive, particularly for small business owners who seemingly can't compete with huge companies in search engine results.

How does a small business generate hits to its website? Is it possible to use the Internet to increase your market size? If search engines persistently bury your website on page 12 of their search results, there are solutions.

Think about it -- what are your potential customers looking for? Whatever your field, it's likely that they're looking for expertise, intelligence, and creativity. And your customers are discerning -- they can tell when a marketing technique is phony -- and the only reason they so often go with the bigger companies is a perceived lack of alternatives. Many small businesses, in an effort to attract customers, try to emulate the marketing practices of larger companies, thus neglecting to show their own, knowledgeable perspective.

So, how does a small business show that it's not only more personalized and trustworthy than larger companies, but also smarter and more dynamic? You have to speak to your potential customers. You must show them that you have the brains, the ability, and the creativity to suit their unique needs, far better than larger companies can.

In the age of the Internet, there are few things that people respect more than a well-written, informative article. If you're a small business owner, then there's clearly at least one area in which you are more knowledgeable than anyone else. This is what makes you good at running your business -- yet why not also use this knowledge to increase the size of your market?

If you search the Internet for "how article marketing works" you'll find some very good article distribution services that can help you link your website in all corners of the Internet. There are thousands of websites that are always looking for fresh, informative content, and that would be pleased to publish your work.

First, though, you must write your article. Write it carefully, and make it informative; people love to learn new things. But remember, both publishers and readers can recognize a sales pitch, so don't mention the name of your business unless it is truly integral to the content of your article.

The important thing is that each time an article of yours is published, it will come with an "About the Author" box, which will contain a link to your website. Everyone who learns something from your article will want to click on the link. Your article will be like a tease; they will seek more of what you have to offer on your website.

So start writing as soon as you can. And remember, after you sign up for an article marketing website, you'll be asked to categorize the articles that you've written. Don't do this hastily; think hard about the categories customers would associate with the services you offer.

If the service suggests revisions to your work, try not to be offended. They are experts, and to make the changes they suggest is in your own best interest. Your goal is to increase your market size. They want to help you do it. Trust them.

Few businesses are aware of this marketing tactic, so it's best to take advantage of it while you can. With the millions of businesses now marketing on the web, it's important for the small business owner to realize that to simply include a few keywords on your website is not enough anymore.

Plus, through article marketing, you can generate thousands of clicks to your website, which moves your website higher up in the rankings of search engines such as Google and Yahoo. By writing informative articles, and having them distributed throughout the Internet, you can work your way up to page 1 in the search results.
About the Author
Tiva Kelly is an expert at article marketing and offers support to authors at Article Marketer, a highly popular article distribution service. Learn how to market your small business when you submit articles through Article Marketer.
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