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Is Your Business Lost Online? A Guide to Marketing With Articles

Aug 17, 2007
There's no way around it -- in today's marketing environment, virtually any small business that hopes to compete must have a website, and must use it well. If you are a small business owner, and don't already have a website, it's not difficult to get one. If web design is not your area of expertise, there are countless affordable website designers, both in your local community and reachable on the Internet through search engines. Creating your website is the first, most important step toward marketing your small business online.

Still, simply to have a website -- even the most well-designed, easy-to-use website -- is not enough. If you do a Google search of your competition, you'll find that they all have websites, and many of them are higher in the Google search results than yours. Don't let this bother you. In a moment, I'll tell you how to move your website higher in the search results.

First, how do you attract customers away from larger and older businesses? It's simple -- you must earn the respect and trust of your potential customers. In the Internet age, in which we are bombarded with so much meaningless information on a daily basis, there are few things people respect more than well-written, informative web content. As an expert in your field, you are the ideal person to generate content that will interest your customer base, earning their trust and respect.

In order to do this, of course, you must write articles. This is easier than it sounds. Just think of issues in your field that you can write about. It is your area of expertise, after all. For instance, if you own a business that makes and sells jewelry, you could write about the virtues and drawbacks of different types of jewels and beads, or about how to spot fake merchandise. A little research may be necessary, but most of the information is already stored in your mind.

Organize your articles to contain as much interesting information as possible in a small space -- if you go over 700 words, you might be rambling. Make them witty and engaging. Most of all, don't come off as if you are advertising or giving a sales pitch. Publishers and readers can usually spot advertisements with incredible discernment. You're trying to earn trust, not push people away.

After you have your articles, do another Google search for "article distribution service" and sign up for one of the services that you find. These services help you to categorize your articles -- which helps maximize your potential market size -- and they will probably suggest ways to make your articles better. Take their suggestions as much as possible; these services know what they're talking about.

After you submit the final, categorized version of an article, the service will make it available to thousands of websites for publication. Most major websites are constantly looking for new content, and your article will almost certainly fit somewhere. Depending on the website, once your article is accepted, you could potentially reach millions of customers. How's that for an increased market size?

The key to this formula is your "About the Author" box, which will be included with every one of your articles that gets published. In this box, your readers will find a link to your website. If a reader finds your article enjoyable and informative, she will inevitably want to view your website, and your "About the Author" box will make this easy.

Not only is article marketing an efficient, cost-effective way to lead people to your small business, but, importantly, the more clicks you get, the higher your website will rise in the results of Google and other search engines. If your articles are well-written and abundant, you will soon find your website rising toward page 1, among the larger companies. Your service is already better than theirs -- why not also get the marketing edge?
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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