Don’t think that because you are not a retailer or have a strong presence in your community that you do not need to develop an online presence. It is a fact that most people begin any search for an organization, a service, or a product by conducting online research. You will be invisible to this audience and may be missing out on significant business opportunity by not capitalizing on this comparatively inexpensive marketing opportunity. People simply do not use print phone directories anymore; they turn to search engines like Google®, Bing®, and Yahoo!®
Get online or evaluate your current website. If you’re not online yet, there is a multitude of free website builder tools available online, and typically, they offer templates that are easy to use and will help you at least have a one-page site that can explain to potential customers who you are, what you do, and instruct them on how to get in touch with you.
Compare web hosting packages to find one that fits your needs and budget now and offers flexibility for future growth.
For search engine optimization purposes, you will want the page or pages have a sufficient amount of content, at least 200 words per page.
Use your company name a few times, as well as identify the key terms that customers may use when looking for your company: This will make it easier to find your company locally.
Your website can also serve as a marketing tool. Once you cut your teeth on getting the site up or revising it and using your regular marketing outlets to advertise its existence, you’ll be ready to accelerate your online efforts.
Online marketing doesn’t have to be intense or daunting. You can do a few simple things to get the ball rolling, then proceed as time, budget and skills develop.
Register your site with Google. This will allow your site to appear when a searcher enters keywords related to your company in the search engine.
Look for directories that are industry related or locally collected. Many users may turn to these lists to find area providers of certain services. Typically, if a customer is using this method of finding service companies, they just want to get a phone number to call and speak with someone, set up an appointment, or drive to the local storefront. This plays right into your hands.
Geo-targeting is a search engine optimization (SEO) term. It uses geographic keywords in your site content and in the behind the scenes coding of your website to make sure your site is more likely to be found by the right audience. As you add pages to your site, add content, or undertake online marketing, you’ll want to make sure you target your service region with location-rich keywords (e.g., Oskaloosa Baptist ministry or Italian cultural organizations Chicago).
Geo-targeting offers two distinct advantages:
SEO efforts are aimed at gaining rankings and PPC campaigns provide a way to attract people to your site. But any effort is only as good as the amount of actual business that closes. Geo-targeting to get the right customers to your site is a critical step for a small, local business. You can look at some Web hosting companies for tips to get started.
Once you have a website up and have begun online marketing, targeting a local audience, you can do a few other things to expand your presence, such as:
Adding pages and articles to your site regularly
Hosting a blog on your site
Contributing to other industry blogs and linking to your site
Offering online scheduling or form downloads
There’s no one way to get your local service or community organization online. To move forward, you can begin to
options and set up a website, then plan for success. Find a web hosting company that will grow with you, one that offers marketing services when you’re ready to use them. Bottom line? Get started, take baby steps, and you may open a whole new marketing arena for yourself.