Increasing Profits For Small Businesses Through Search Engine Marketing

Written by Dale Goetsch, Search Engine Marketing Consultant

Increasing Profits For Small Businesses Through Search Engine Marketing

The Problem: Increase Profits

As a small business owner or manager, you have one principal goal: increase your profits. Whether you are a sole proprietor looking to increase your own income, or a corporate manager looking to increase shareholder equity, your bottom line isrepparttar bottom line. Whether you need to move more widgets or provide more services, ultimately you need to increase your income by expanding your revenue while decreasing your expenses. You need to reach new customers, and keep your current customers coming back for more.

How do you solverepparttar 128346 problem: Communication

If you want people to purchase your goods and services, they need to know that you exist, and what you can do for them. You need to communicate information about your products and services to as many potential customers as possible. This requires more than just broadcasting your message. To be truly efficient, you need to tell your story to those who will actually want to do business with you. You need to focus your efforts.

How do you communicate: Advertising

There are several media available to you for getting your message across. The most basic is simple word-of-mouth. This costs you nothing, but you also have very little control over how your message is communicated. For a small, local business, this may work fine, but inrepparttar 128347 Internet age, where your customers probably don't come from a small neighborhood, this is not enough.

Traditional electronic media are available to you. Local radio and television spots can reach a great number of people in your community. The question here, however, is just who your message is reaching. These ads are focused on a rather broad demographic: sugary cereals on Saturday mornings, razors and fast cars on sports shows, and so on. If this is sufficiently focused for you, you may be in good shape, except that these spots can be fairly costly. A 30-second radio spot can cost $100 or more, depending onrepparttar 128348 market; a television ad can cost over $1000 forrepparttar 128349 same spot, with network spots going for much more. In addition, there are production costs, with professional actors, editing, and so forth. They are also pretty ethereal--whenrepparttar 128350 ad is finished, it goes away.

Print advertising hasrepparttar 128351 advantage that it doesn't disappear whenrepparttar 128352 reader has finished looking at your ad. They can go back and look at it again. For local coverage, print advertising can be pretty inexpensive. A four-line classified ad inrepparttar 128353 local newspaper costs practically nothing. Even display ads can be fairly inexpensive, given that you will reach a large number of people. For national coverage, print can become quite expensive. The rate sheet for a respected national new magazine charges over $200,000 for a one-page color ad in their national edition!

In all these cases, you have to look at who is being targeted. In print ad, you are looking at everybody who readsrepparttar 128354 magazine or newspaper. Does everybody who reads that publication want to buy your product? If not, then this is probably notrepparttar 128355 most efficient use of your marketing dollar. Even with focused traditional electronic media, you may be reaching a broader segment ofrepparttar 128356 population than you want to--you may not be interested in all women inrepparttar 128357 18-49 group, for example.

What aboutrepparttar 128358 World Wide Web? We've all seen banner ads on websites. These may get your message to a more focused group, but there are problems that come with banner ads. Banner ads have become so ubiquitous that many people simply ignore them. Or worse, they have software that will actually remove them from web pages as they viewrepparttar 128359 pages. Your message doesn't get to anybody that way.

Pop-up ads and their newer incarnation,repparttar 128360 pop-under ad, are often not appreciated by users onrepparttar 128361 Web. Having several browsers opened on a user's desktop can be quite disconcerting for them.

What isrepparttar 128362 most cost-effective, focused way to communicate with your market: Your Web Site

You probably already have a website; otherwise you are probably looking seriously at creating a presence onrepparttar 128363 Web. Your website works for you 24/7; people can always come to your site to see what you have to offer. You reach people who want what you have, because they come looking for you. They want what you have, and they want to hear your story.

Search Engine Basics

Written by JC Anderl

Search engines and directories are one ofrepparttar best ways to round up some targeted traffic to your website. Here arerepparttar 128345 basics of search engines and directories.

Search Engine Vs. Directories

The main difference between engines and directories isrepparttar 128346 way they index sites. Although search engines vary inrepparttar 128347 way they index, they all basically use a "spider" to crawl from link to link and indexrepparttar 128348 meta-tags, keywords, and page words to get their relevancy when a user searches their index.

Directories, onrepparttar 128349 other hand, have actual people look at a site and decide if they will add it to their directory, and where they will add it.

Directory Submission

Submitting to directories involves a different process because it more closely involves people. Although definitely notrepparttar 128350 only ones, two very important directories are Yahoo! and Open Directory.

If your site is commercial in nature, Yahoo! charges $299 for a review that doesn't even guarantee that you will get listed. It isrepparttar 128351 single most important engine or directory, so if you haverepparttar 128352 money, it is definitely a great idea to submit.

To submit to Yahoo! go to Just fill outrepparttar 128353 form and they editors will take care ofrepparttar 128354 rest.

The Open Directory is based on a large group of volunteer editors. It is free to submit your site. To submit, go to,repparttar 128355 web address for Open Directory, and findrepparttar 128356 category that your site would fit in. Take some time and look around, you want to be sure thatrepparttar 128357 category that you pick is definitelyrepparttar 128358 best one for your site. Once you have foundrepparttar 128359 right category, click onrepparttar 128360 add URL link inrepparttar 128361 top right corner.

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