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Jan

24

2013

5 Easy Ways to help People Find You Online

Inbound Marketing

Time to go back to the basics. As much as we like to talk about business development and advanced lead generation strategies, sometimes it’s good to kick back, brush up on Digital Marketing 101, and see how your perspective on fundamental tactics has changed over time.

In my opinion, if you can do just the basics better than 90% of the competition, you’ve already got a huge leg up. If you spend too long worrying about advanced techniques and neglect your basic responsibilities, you know what happens? Lost ROI. You know what we hate? Lost ROI.

Here’s 5 easy ways to help people find you online. Traffic doesn’t equal revenue—your conversion rate is more important than your visitor count—but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

1. Get on Google Places

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, if you have a physical location you need to be on Google Places. It’s free, it’s easy, and it lets people find you if they’re looking for services in your area. People can even rate your business, check in, and leave reviews, which if you’re serious about your business, you need to encourage. If you’re afraid of bad reviews, you probably need to rethink how you approach customer service.

2. Choose Useful Directories

I’m not talking about the thousands upon thousands of useless directories (AKA link farms) that used to be so popular for SEO before Google learned how to make users matter. I’m talking about directories real people actually use.

Get listed with your local chamber of commerce, online yellow pages, and Yahoo’s directories. The one you really shouldn’t avoid is DMOZ, a free directory used by Google and many other high profile website. We think directories are going the way of the dinosaur, but for now, there’s still value in listing yourself with a few quality placements.

3. Use Basic Search Engine Optimization

SEO isn’t hard. It’s actually become incredibly easy, no matter how loud “SEO Experts” shout and say you shouldn’t even try without their expensive services.

Want a quick primer on SEO? Here are the basics:

  1. Find terms people are searching for (keywords) relevant to your business.
  2. Work these terms into your titles, page descriptions, and content. Do it naturally, don’t even worry about density.
  3. Avoid using your brand if you’re a small or medium sized business. (Sorry, nobody is searching for "Billy Ray Autoshop" in Google – title your pages something like “Dallas Autobody Repair and Maintenance” instead. And make all your titles and descriptions unique.)
  4. Don’t do anything dumb like buy links, stuff keywords, or spam on blogs.
  5. Register a Google Webmaster account so you can get recommendations on how to continually improve your website.

There. I just saved you thousands on “SEO services.” You can thank me in the comments.

4. Social Media Always Helps

Don’t open more social media accounts than you can keep up with and update, but get with the basics—Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and if you have a physical location, Foursquare. Put your business information and website links wherever you can on these.

5. Blog Often and Well

There’s a reason we always mention this. Blogging is the new SEO. If you blog regularly, and blog things people want to read (actual interesting and helpful topics, not sales pamphlets), and then share your blog on social media, you will get traffic. In fact, you’ll be amazed at how much traffic you get. It’s the best thing you can do for your business.

I always feel like I'm practically begging people to start blogging, but just trust me on this one - blogging is one of the most critical marketing functions you can perform. You’ll get found in search engines more often, your brand awareness will increase, you’ll form better relationships with your customers, and you’ll feel a little bit accomplished every time you get to tell someone to check out the new post you wrote. Blogging is the gift that keeps on giving.

What are some other “basics” of marketing you think often get neglected? Let us know in the comments, or by joining us on twitter @mojomedialabs.

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