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Internet Marketing Strategy for Business Starts With 3 Tactics

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Search engine results for "Internet marketing strategy for business" often bring up Web sites with exciting claims, but most online successes come from a series of small steps.

Search engine results for “Internet marketing strategy for business” often bring up Web sites with exciting claims, but most online successes come from a series of small steps taken consistently over time.

The Internet is packed with millions of sites clamoring for the attention of people who visit on average about 100 sites a month.

As a result, sites that don’t have million dollar Web promotion budgets find that their audience is small and that search engine optimization by itself is not enough to build a strong business.

“The amount of work you put into them will determine the results you get out of them.”

So what does it take to launch an Internet marketing strategy for a local business?

It starts with three basic tactics, all of which can be done with as little as one hour a month and a small amount of money. But like everything else in life, the amount of work that go into them will determine the results that come out of them.

1. Search Engine Optimization

Software produces Web pages, and software has the ability to add search engine optimization to those pages. How it is applied depends on the capabilities of the software.

Every page on the site should have a “title” that appears at the top of the browser. The title should include the business name (Smith Flowers) and the location, such as “Smith Flowers, Richmond, Virginia.”

The length should be no more than about 65 characters. Otherwise, it will get cut off in search results.

Titles for inside pages also should include more specific information about that page, such as “Floral Arrangements at Smith Flowers, Richmond, Virginia.”

Next make sure that every page has a “meta description.” The description should provide basic details about the page and should not be longer than about 155 characters. Try to use some of the same words from the title, such as “flower arrangements.”

The “headline” at the top of the page and the body text ideally will include those same keywords as well. But don’t overdo it. Keywords that appear six to eight times in total should be enough.

2. Back Linking

This is a “free” tactic where you find a way to place links on other sites back to your site. It may not cost money, but it does cost time.

A great way to backlink for a local business is to exchange links with the Web sites of other local businesses. Let’s say the store is located in a shopping center. Find out which other stores have Web sites and simply ask if they would be willing to exchange links. Visitors to those sites might click on the link to your site, and vice versa.

Other backlinking methods include posting guest articles on other sites, placing links in the signature of emails or profiles that appear on other Web sites, linking back to the site in blog or forum postings and submitting links to either paid or free Web directories.

A look at the thousands of posts on Webmaster forums around the Internet show a great deal of differences in success with each one of these tactics. Try all of them consistently over a period of months to find the ones that work best.

3. Advertising

The third major tactic requires money — but not much. Buying banner ads or contextual ads from major vendors such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN or others is best done with small amounts of money in the beginning. Some accounts can be opened for as little as $10 a month.

Using the keywords from search engine optimization above, such as “richmond floral arrangements,” buy the least expensive ones on those sites and create two simple text ads. Watch how results change by running two different ads that point to the same page on the business site.

Drop the poor performing ad and launch a new one. Watch the audience analytics software for the site to see if these visitors are converting into paying customers. If not, revise the landing page on the site (the page that the ads point to) until conversion rates improve.

These three tactics explore the surface of an internet marketing strategy for business. It is best to master them and use them on a regular basis. Once they become habitual, start research and applying more advanced tactics.

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