What is the Best Strategy for Internet Advertising for Small Business?

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Answered by: Ken, An Expert in the Small Business Advertising Category
Internet advertising for small business can be invaluable for growing your business-if you develop a sound strategy first.

Once you have determined who your "target" ( which demographic your customers primarily come from or will come from) is, and what your competitive advantage (what sets you apart from your competition) is, it's time to develop your internet advertising strategy. This is where things get complicated, for the choices are "virtually" unlimited and ever changing.

If you have a budget in place to accomplish this you may want to seek outside consulting, however no one knows your small business and what you do best as well as you. So.... if you choose an outside service provider to help develop your strategy, you should make sure that they understand who your target is and what your competitive advantage is. If they do not ask you for this information very early on, BEWARE! Remember, they get paid whether they actually help you grow your business or not.

If your budget dictates that you do this on your own, research your competition. Look at their websites. That will tell you a lot about what you have to do to attract customers on the internet. search Google for "keywords" (words that someone would type into a search engine such as Google or Yahoo in order to find a business such as yours), related to your product or service. See who comes up on the first page. Look at their websites. That is one of the places you will want your business information to be if you want the internet advertising for your small business to produce prospects or customers.

Now, take a look at yourself. How do you use the internet to find the products and services you need? What do you search for on Google? Why do you click on a certain link? In other words, turn yourself into a customer, examine your habits and think through what makes you want to contact a certain business. Once you have done this, you are beginning to understand what internet advertising for small business is really all about.

Having said that, there are two things that I see on many company websites that I will never understand. One is websites with "cool" videos that load and play as soon as their site loads. Remember you prospects are not looking to spend "more" time finding your product or service than they used to. They are looking to spend less time. So a fast loading well developed professionally looking website is essential to attracting new customers.

The second thing, which was one of the main reasons the websites for my businesses created more new customers than most of my competition, was content. In other words the message that your website actually conveys to your prospect once you get them there, is what will make your phone ring or your inbox fill up. Business owners who write their own content basically have 2 choices; learn what works and do it or WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY.

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