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Michael Dylan
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Michael Dylan is a successful entrepreneur and business enthusiast. He has owned and managed several successful business online and offline.

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Internet MArketing and SEO for Small Businesses Internet Marketing and SEO for Small Businesses - Article by Michael Dylan

Whether your whole business is online or it is just to direct visitors to your bricks and mortar business, marketing it properly online is important. This does not mean that you have to spend a million dollars doing it, or that you have to receive a degree to do it yourself. Obviously there will be differences for different industries and professions, but there are some basic steps that anyone can do to improve their results online.

For example, if you are trying to sell Viagra online you probably will have to spend a million dollars and get a marketing degree to get decent results because it is such a competitive industry. This article is aimed at small businesses that possibly designed their own website or paid a designer that knew nothing about Internet marketing to do it.

website looks professional Make sure your website looks professional
Treat your website like you would treat your business premises in real life. Make sure it looks professional and is designed properly. Presentation is a major factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company. If you have no design skills and your website looks like it was designed by a four year old, it will reflect badly on your name and may scare away potential customers. Many website designers will design your site to begin with and can teach you how to make updates by yourself, so it is just a once off expense.

Change your page titles Change your page titles
A lot of small business have every page title of their website the same. Search engines like Google and Yahoo place some importance in what is written in the title of every page on your site. So rather than just having the name of your business there, change it describe what is actually on each page.
"JoeBloe's" is a much less effective homepage title than "JoeBloe's Business Coaching". Help the search engines out by describing what is on the page with a few focused keywords that sum up each page, and they may help you out by sending more visitors your way.

Search Engine Optimization skills Learn some basic Search Engine Optimization skills (SEO)
Improving page titles is one of the first steps of basic search engine optimization, but there also a lot more simple and effective methods to help improve your search engine rankings. Things like using text for site navigation rather than images, using keywords throughout each page, and using internal linking effectively are all easy steps that can be taken.

submit to web directories Submit your site to industry portals and web directories
Get to know the related websites in your industry and try to get them to link to you. One reason for this is the direct traffic, but it can also help with your search engine rankings. The more links that you have pointing towards your website, the more important it looks to search engines.
An easier, but less effective way is to submit your website to web directories. Directories that focus on a specific niche are better than general web directories and paid web directories are generally (but not always) better than free web directories.

online newsletter Start a newsletter
Spammers have made this technique less effective, but it is still a very powerful way to develop a relationship with potential customers. There are companies like Your Mailing List Provider that make it affordable and easy to setup and send a company newsletter. They're great for letting customers know of new products, for letting them know about sales, or for just reminding them that you still exist.

tempted by the dark side Don't be tempted by the dark side!
There are a lot of tempting tactics and tools out there that will promise you the world or will lead you down the wrong Internet marketing path, but if your web presence is important to you, run from their offers and techniques. Never try to trick the search engines with hidden text or deceptive tactics as they are getting smarter all the time. When you are caught abusing the system, your site is banned from the search engine and you end up receiving no traffic from them! Google has some basic website tips listed on their Webmaster Guide that will explain what not to do.

Start a Blog Start a Blog
Starting a blog is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. It also gives potential customers a reason to come back to your website. Regularly writing about news and new products in your industry will also make your site look more authoritative to search engines as you will have many pages of content focusing on your niche.

These few steps are just a starting point to effectively marketing your business online. Things change very quickly online so there are always new and improved ways of marketing, but even if you followed just a few of the steps above you will be sure to see the number of your visitors increase.

"If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful." Jeff Bezos Quote

This article by Michael Dylan may not be reproduced online in part or whole. Copyright ©

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