No matter what your business, having a website is key to growing it. But to get your online marketing rolling, you have to start driving traffic to the site. Here are some things you can do to expand your online exposure.
First, for a little motivation, Google yourself.
Put your name inside quotation marks in the Search box and see what comes up. If there's not much there, here's how to boost those results.
Start a Blog.
This is just your own take on the things you know about that relate to your services and, most importantly, to the needs of the people you want to reach. There are many free blog platforms you can go with: ActiveRain, Google Blogger, RealTown, Wordpress.com.
For online loan applications,
Focus blog content on things that will interest your audience
Include keywords that relate to your business and where it operates Include in each post a photo and links to other resources Use widgets and key plug-ins for social networks, email sign up and links Get a Second Blog Platform. This is for sharing news and events posted elsewhere. You can comment on these things in your blog, but you can't simply cut and paste info from other online sources – it violates copyright law. Check out amplify.com and posterous.com, for a start.
Here are a few things to do:
- Make your Google Profile complete, with links to your sites, blogs and social media profiles
- Use Google Reader to keep up with your industry and do ongoing research
- For timely info and news, set up Google Alerts on yourself, your company, your competition
- Check if the Google Merchant Center might be a good place to promote your business
Fine-Tune Your Facebook.
Make sure your profile has a photo and keywords that relate to you and your business. Brand your page with your name like this: facebook.com/johndoebusinessexpert. Brand your business page like your website or blog (there's a fee). Look into Marketplace for promoting what you have to offer. Use RSS to get blog posts to your business page. Tab your other social media, videos, business page.
Complete your profile. Get involved in Questions and Answers. RSS your blog to the site. Post books you like. Get yourself a dozen professional recommendations. Add a resume with career accomplishments.
Don't Forget YouTube.
Set up a YouTube channel and profile for your business, then post videos on items of interest to your audience. Incorporate visual elements and stay under two minutes. Upload the videos to your blog and share on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Your 140-character profile needs dead-on focus and a link to your blog or site. Use a photo or avatar. And don't sell – just give links to more information.
All this does take time to set up at the beginning and then work every day. But expand your online presence, and you may very well expand your overall business.