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A Beginner’s Guide to Building a Better Business On-Line aka Internet Marketing

March 22, 2010

So I’m taking a business class from Women’s Economic Venture and tonight’s class focused on Internet Marketing with guest speaker Sam Benner (website to be added asap).

He discussed building websites, explained search engine optimization (SEO), and encouraged people to take advantage of social media tools including Facebook, Linked-in, Twitter and blogs.

There’s tons of info on the web on this topic; what follows is what I gleaned from his talk and thought readers might find of interest also. Most of it is great for beginners.

A solid SEO foundation optimizes every page with tags of key words, so everything on your site should focus on these 2-3 key words; keep them on each page.

Check out the competition–go see their sites. Compare content–how rich is their content compared to yours?

Don’t listen to anyone who promises you top placement on Google or other search engines.

Know why and where and how long folks come to your site: use Google analytics–it’s free.

He encourages social media participation; connect your social media presence to your website. Keep in mind that social media is public and will follow you. Post what you want to have public; don’t post what you want to keep private.

You can control what the public sees in your linked-in and your facebook profile–so do so! Google yourself and see what your customers see, and figure out how to control what comes up first and what they see.

Facebook recently surpassed Google in user interactions: it’s seen 202% increase in use. Two thirds of users are out of college, and the baby boomer demographic is the fastest growing segment–many of them to see photos of their family who is already using it.

Facebook ads are all being generated by what you say on your profile. Change your facebook status from singe to engaged, for example, and the ads on your profile immediately reflect that by targeting your needs: do you want to lost weight and get fit? need a place for a reception? or a wedding photographer?

Video is a useful tool and every business should have a video to teach people about what you do. In a 90 second clip, you can engage your audience and ensure they get a complete message; no worries whetherthey visit all the “right” pages.

More than 1 in 8 viewers make a purchase after watching a video about a product.

Videos show up rapidly in the top positions in search engines which can now “read” the audio to find key words.

Blogs started as an on-line diary but now they some have evolved to be on-line communities. A blog is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get a website–and they

People DON’T want to start with commercial websites–they want to find a blog and learn from someone they feel they can trust. So as a business you should find the bloggers who are already interested in your business and engage them, contact them.

Twitter, he says, is controversial. Whether or not you want to use twitter, register your name and your business name. How you get followers will be based on what you say and whether they think you will be talking about ideas that interest them.

Beware of using it as your personal soundtrack. No one wants to hear about the personal details of your life. Be funny, be real, provide content of value, and you’ll get followers. (And, I’d like to add, participate in the conversation; don’t just broadcast what you’re selling–no one wants to listen to a 140 character commercial!)

Sam encourages everyone to get a Linked-in profile going, especially for Business to Business uses and referrals. Ask for referrals and testimonials.

Who uses social media? The average person spends 2.5 hours a day! Wow!

Social media is infiltrating search engines, so a business better not ignore it. The more social media channels you master and use

Every website should have some motivation for visitors to “join” and give you their email so you have it for marketing purposes. Make it easy for YOU, the business to be reached. When you do an email blast, have a point to it, say something, and make sure it makes it easy for them to travel back to your website. Don’t over use this–that’s spam and we all hate it.

One last word based on the Q & A: Where you host your site does matter; if the site goes down or gets hacked YOU go down too!

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 23, 2010 6:19 pm

    Rebuilding my RSS feed after unsubscribing from hundreds!

    Found you in my comments… “Oh yeah…” need to check back in at Art Predator.

    Love this, totally: )'(

    I got my ticket.

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