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Small Business Internet Marketing – What Are The Vital Skills?

If you’re a small business or one man band then there are several key concepts you need to learn related to small business internet marketing. This article gives you a brief overview of the skills that you will require.

Copywriting

Copywriting is the art of selling to people through writing and flows into all areas of internet marketing. You need to know how to put an offer in front of people that is compelling enough for them to want to buy. Copyriting should be used in everything you do, from writing articles to creating videos, to socialising on social media sites. If you can get copywriting right, you’re on the way to making money.

Basic html

HTML is the code that sits behind all web pages and websites, and to learn small business internet marketing, it’s essential you know some of the basics. Just simple things like being able to put a link on a blog post or in an article, or how to put an image on a webpage will be a massive help.

Writing articles

Learn as much about writing articles as you possibly can. All internet marketers need to be able to write about their niche and it’s also one of the most popular methods of gaining free traffic for small business internet marketing.

How to setup a website

The main website of any internet marketer is their blog. You need to know how to set this up and some of the basics of cpanel (the control panel for websites). Sure you can outsource, but if you’re just starting out that can become an expensive option until you’ve made a few pennies.

List Building

All your effort in small business internet marketing should be focused on building a targeted list of followers. You need to do this by providing value to them so that they get to know, like and trust you, then you can start selling your products. A highly responsive list, one you’ve built a great relationship with, is one of the cornerstones of your business. With a good relationship you’ll be able to sell to your list over and over again.

Traffic Generation

Paying for traffic for a beginner can drain your account very quickly, so it’s not something you want to get into for starters unless you’ve got a big budget. Writing articles, creating videos, using social media are all forms of free traffic generation.

Back links

To get high rankings in search engines you need to have links from other websites pointing back to your website. This makes search engines believe that your website is worth ranking and offers something of value to their clients. Comment on high traffic blogs, comment on forums, talk about your website (and provide links) in social media, write articles, create videos, and all of these will provide links back to your website.

Content Creation

This will be one of your main activities as it relates to all areas of small business internet marketing. Create great content about your products or services. This includes article writing, video creation, podcasts, blog posts forums commenting, in fact anything that gets your message, ideas and products out on the internet. Above all provide value in your content, something that will build a relationship with your potential customers.

These are some of the essentials you need to master in order to become successful at small business internet marketing. Once you’ve mastered these, look at outsourcing some of the more repetitive tasks. Your main focus should be on marketing your products., however you need to know the basics in order to tell outsourcers how to carry them out.

How do you learn all these skills?

Check out The Six Figure Mentors [http://thesfmblog.net], an internet marketing training company with a private community of active internet marketers. There’s no sales pitches just pure content and learning and you get to interact with hundreds of like minded people.

Small Business Online Marketing Overview

Small Business Online Marketing, also referred to as Small Business Internet Marketing, web-marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), or e-Marketing, is defined as the promotion or marketing of products or services throughout, over, or across the Internet (or World Wide Web).

Online Marketing is an absolute necessity for virtually every Small Business to achieve success because it is critically important to be where your customers are – online! According to recent surveys, over 81% of people search online before making a purchase.

The “live” and interactive nature of online marketing offers the opportunity to elicit instant feedback from a global marketplace of potential customers about your marketing initiatives, as well as to build virtual communities of customers and others interested in your goods and services.

Internet marketing is relatively inexpensive in comparison to the cost of other media to reach your target audience, customers, and to conduct marketing tests and surveys.

In many ways, online marketing represents a “great equalizer” between large multinational conglomerates and small internet startup businesses. Indeed, when Google filed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) for a public stock offering, the founders of Google alluded to the desire to build the company in such a way that it that would foster fair competition for search engine rankings between all publishers of web-content. The secret algorithm that Google uses to rank search and “sponsored listing” (i.e. AdWords) results is constructed so as to reduce the impact of large advertising budgets.

Small Business Online Marketing can be conducted in a myriad of ways, including websites (web pages), blogging, Social Media (Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, Tagged, Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Profiles, Windows Live, etc), Affiliate Marketing, Local Internet Marketing, paid advertising (Pay Per Click, Pay Per Action, sponsored text links, etc), article publishing, email marketing, user forums, and more.

Small Business Online Marketing techniques have been dramatically affected by improvements in the telecommunications infrastructure (i.e. widespread adoption of broadband – reportedly accessible by over 90% of U.S. based households as of 2010), as well as continual advances in personal-computing power (i.e. better, faster, and less costly technologies widely available, and easily accessible to consumers).

Key Benefits of Small Business Online Marketing include:

· Ability to build and strengthen customer relationships through the conduct of “virtual dialogs”.
· The ability to perform geo-location specific marketing campaigns (e.g. Local Search Marketing – Note: 1 in 3 searches are now “local based”)
· Ability to develop Customer Communities using Social Media.
· Customer-Centric dynamic content delivery (i.e. the delivery of user-targeted marketing content based on individual user search and other online behaviors).
· Demographically targeted marketing content.
· Rich media and interactive content delivery
· Low cost barrier for participation and “entry”.
· Abundant opportunities for highly effective “no cost’ marketing campaigns.

Why Small Business Internet Marketing Is Important to Local Businesses

Small Business Internet Marketing

The world is changing. The way in which we receive information is far greater now than ever before. Apart from television, printed media, radio and other visual media, probably the most important form of media in our lives is the internet. It truly has revolutionized the way we think, the way we use technology and the way we gain information. Big business has seen this for years, but only in the past few years have small business started taking control of the way they are presented on the internet. Small business internet marketing is becoming the number one way of being recognized and found.

Consider twenty years ago, how was a plumber found by a customer? Perhaps by word of mouth, but generally, the first place people searched was in the Yellow Pages. Yellow Pages was the Google of the pre internet revolution. Now Yellow Pages is probably only used by 30% of searchers. The other 70% belongs to internet search engines and two thirds of those by Google.

Google is effectively the new Yellow Pages.

Thus, it is vital that small businesses need to have some form of web presence. And not only that, it is essential that they are easily found by searchers.

This is where internet marketers come into their own. For years, most marketers have tried their hands at affiliate marketing, but that industry is fast becoming even more competitive and harder to achieve good results. Rather than waste their talents and their knowledge, many affiliate marketers are coming across and marketing for small local businesses. A need is being met by experienced hardened marketers who have competed across the globe.

Now, they simply have to compete locally and this is far, far easier. In fact a local business should easily be able to be ranked on the first page of Google for its industry name along with the town it is situated in. And this is generally what customers are going to be typing in to find them.

So a search in Google for a plumber in say Atlantic City is simply going to be “Atlantic City plumber”. It shouldn’t therefore be hard to rank high for that keyword. Type in “plumber” without the location, and the competition is sky high.

However, a small business doesn’t even necessarily need to have a website. With Google places, an account and listing can be grabbed free of charge and that business can advertise there. No cost, no website to maintain, and effectively that listing can be its web page as there are things that can be added and included on the profile.

Depending on the business type, it is more advantageous to have a web site in order to better describe services and products and to have a virtual presence that people can view and gain an idea of how professional the business is. It also allows a greater chance of a clickthrough as often the business will be shown in both the Google Places section of the result page and also the organic search as well. The more presence, the greater chance of click through and therefore the greater chance of business.