One of the rarely used features of QuickBooks is the ability to market your product or service by clicking on the Google Marketing tools icon. Many business owners wishing to earn their place in the online superhighway have paid thousands of dollars on what is called, "pay per click" advertising. PPC has it's place in the grand scheme of marketing but for the small business owner is not often an affordable option. This article will explore the steps needed to make sure that your business is the one that is found when people are searching for what you do.
I would like for you to try this experiment. Go to Google or Yahoo, your choice. Enter QuickBooks Kissimmee as your keyword search. If you click on any one of the fourteen entries out of the first 20 on pages one and two, you will reach my website or one that will point to my website. This cost me personally, $ 0.00. It DID take about three solid days of submissions and a once a month update on a few sites, but I do not pay for this at all. Now just think, what if a potential customer Googled your type of business in their area and YOUR business was in the first 20 entries 14 times? Would that make a difference for you?
Search engines 'crawl' through cyberspace looking for the number of times these search terms are used on each website. If these terms are on 100 websites, the site referred to is moved up to the top of the list. If you do not have other websites linking to yours, you are further down the list.
'Okay, how do I accomplish this task', you may be asking. This is how.
First, create a website for your business. There are many email accounts that will allow you to use FREE webspace for your personal or business site. I prefer Earthlink because it is free and easy to use with the provided Trellix software.
Second, use GoDaddy or another provider to create a 'redirect' to your website. The free part is great but there is no way that I could help people remember the actual address to get to my website. I created a redirect for my business by naming it after my business and adding the obligatory w and and the dot com. You might pay $ 10 for the year for this redirect, and do not allow them to charge you to host the site, they are not hosting, it's just a redirect to your free site.
Third, create a keyword rich paragraph that contains the following:
a. The name of your Business
b. A description of your uniqueness
c. The locations you wish to specialize in
d. Your phone number and other contact information
A keyword rich paragraph is one that a potential customer would use two or three words to find your business. For me it's QuickBooks Kissimmee, for you it may be remodeling Scranton or printing signs Pittsburgh. What keywords would a customer use to find YOUR type of business?
The name of your business is a given, it's what you are trying to promote. A description of your uniqueness is a reason that a potential customer would choose you over one of your competitors. If you can not think of a reason for a potential customer to choose YOU, then you may want to consider a career change. (your experience, your number of locations, what makes your company DIFFERENT?)
The locations you wish to specialize in means if you live in Kissimmee, use Kissimmee, not Central Florida. Insert additional cities in there as well you do not mind driving to in order to do business. And finally your phone number and contact information.
Fourth, copy and paste this paragraph into each and every FREE classified website you can find. Yahoo Business, Google Business, Craigslist, Oodle, Kijiji and Showmelocal are just a few.
Fifth, create a Face-Book and a MySpace page for your business with this paragraph as your introduction. Put pictures of your product or completed projects on these sites. You can use a YouTube account to actually create a video commercial for your business and post this video on your website, too.
Sixth, and you have to trust me on this one. Write articles concerning basic knowledge of your business. Wait, you may be saying, I make signs, what kinds of articles could I write? It stuck me as I was standing in line at a check out counter at my local grocery chain. I noticed no less than 8 different monthly magazines on the topic of 'hair'. There was 'Sophisticated Hair', 'Glamorous Hair', 'Petite Hair', and two magazines dedicated to 'Black Hair'. How many articles can be written monthly about the topic of 'hair'?
If a publisher can consistently write enough articles about hair to fill a magazine every month, then YOU can write articles about signs, or whatever it is that you do.
Someone, somewhere is looking for an article about what you do, write it and post it.
The interesting thing about these sites that post articles is that they make money through advertisers that pay to be on their site along on the same page with the article. Other article sites will post your articles on their sites, (and yes, they will credit you as the source, they have to) because the more articles they have, the more readers they have and the more readers they have, the more they can charge for advertising. It's called capitalism and it works!
The process to do this may take you 3 full days of submissions alone. But when someone in your city is looking for your business, you will always be in the top ten. And that is something that money CAN buy, but it is not necessary to PAY that money to accomplish.