Marketing your Business
How technology can help
Marketing and technology: The 2 articles below provide basic informaton on marketing and the internet:
Marketing and technology self assessment (.pdf)
Article on how the web has changed marketing (.pdf)
Branding: Creating a memorable, clear picture of what you offer in the minds of your prospective customers.
Domain Name Basics - What a domain name is, and how to get one.
GoDaddy.com - one of the less expensive domain Registrars
Email Basics Another Email basic tutorial
Web Site: Creating a web site: Your website can be an integral part of the way you do business.
What is a web site? - including a list of types of web sites.
How to create a web site or select a web site design company:
20 Rules of successful web sites
Lists of award winning web sites: webaward.com Webby Awards Web 100
Lists of bad web sites: Worst of the web Web pages that suck (with explanations of why)
Research: Use the internet to understand and quantify your target market. Use the Internet for competitive advantage in managing information in your field.
How to get started
RSS feed sites - Directory What is RSS?
Article on using the Internet for research (.pdf)
Web visibility: Make your company easy to find by people looking on the internet for you or your type of services.
Article on making your company visible on the internet (.pdf) - Highlights repeated below:
Make sure your information is current in Google local. Go to Google, and update the contact information for your business. It only takes a couple of minutes. https://www.google.com/local/add/login?hl=en-US&gl=US You will need to create a Google logon, if you do not have one already.
Look up your business in Yahoo! Local, and update it if it is not displaying accurate information. Go to http://local.yahoo.com and enter the name of your business. If you are not listed, go to: http://add.yahoo.com/fast/help/us/local/cgi_feedback and submit your company. If you are, click on the business name, to get details. A link just below the business description “own this business?” allows you to update your information and provide more details about your business. You will need to create a Yahoo! Logon account if you don’t already have one.
Get listed in DMOZ. This is the topical (edited by humans) directory used by many major search portals, including Google, AOL, Yahoo, and others. List your business by topic, and by regional, in Visalia. Instructions are here: http://dmoz.org/add.html. It can take a while to get listed, as it is reviewed by volunteers. I have volunteered and been accepted to edit the Visalia local section of the directory, to help speed things up for us.
Check your listing with the Chamber of Commerce. Go to www.visaliachamber.org/directory.asp and enter the name of your business. Contact Darlene at the chamber to update your listing. The directory will soon be upgraded with enhanced search, and listings will soon include a short description of your business, and your logo, as well as a web link.
MSN uses CitySearch. Check your listing here: http://local.msn.com. You can enhance your listing for a fee. https://selfenroll.citysearch.com.
Update your information with Dun & Bradstreet. This is free, but be prepared for some annoying marketing follow-up to the email and phone number you provide. https://eupdate.dnb.com/requestoptions.asp You will be assigned a DUNS number and a logon, after which you can provide them with information on your business.
Verizon Superpages provides a free listing here: http://my.superpages.com/spweb/products/business-listing. They require that you provide a credit card as part of the registration process for verification of identity.
For a list of additional directories you can be listed in, check the internet public library directory list: http://www.ipl.org/div/subject/browse/ref80.00.00/ and the Google directory list: http://www.google.com/Top/Reference/Directories/Address_and_Phone_Numbers/ A little searching may turn up some market specific directories that will really help your business.
Make sure your listings with vendors are current. Often vendors provide a list of local dealers or outlets which you can be in. These are often published online.
Search Google, MSN, AOL, and Yahoo! for your full name, your last name, and your business name. You may be amazed at some of the information about you on the internet. Correct any errors where you can.
Find out who is linking to your website, and check to see what they say about you. You can search for inbound links on Google and Yahoo! by typing “link:http://www.yourcompany.com” in the search window. Be sure to include the http:// in the search URL. If your site has no inbound links, consider a link building campaign to get others to link to your site.
Blogging: Provide a personal connection to your target community.
Blog directories: Google Blog listings Blog Catalog
Wordpress - a popular tool
Newsletter: Provide systems to stay in front of your prospects/ customers. Add value to the interactions they have with you.
13 Quick Tips for Creating a Successful eNewsletter
28 Ways to Build Permission based email lists
More newsletter and email marketing articles
Constant Contact - an easy way to manage newsletter mailing
Survey Monkey - Create your own online surveys
Integrating an opt in newsletter link to your web site - Low cost mailing list software NManager pro
An example signup page from our site - built with DotNetNuke.
Podcasting: Downloaded audio recordings.
Podcast directories: podcast.net Podcastingnews.com
Creating a podcast
Search engine marketing: Targeted advertising to web searchers. Using keywords, provides a link to relevant content (landing pages) on your web site.
Basic guide to SEM
Google Adwords Yahoo Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (Getting your web site to show in searches)
What it is
Basic guide to SEO
Google webmaster tools