startup-britainI went along to the excellent Startupbritain event at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy, Brighton recently.  It was an inspiring event with lots of good advice & some great people. I  felt honoured to do a video giving my top online marketing tip but had to think hard – there are so many to choose from. I eventually settled on get a Google Places listing and optimise it for your top keywords & place. I’ve written a few more beginners tips below to answer questions from new business owners at the event.

Tip 1 – Get a website/blog

Pretty obvious, but [Social Media Week] E se fossero i Social Media ad usare Voi?it’s hard to know where to start & what’s the best option. Nowadays you don’t need to spend a fortune on a website to get online. Use WordPress or Squarespace  to power your website or try free blogging platforms like Tumblr.  More about getting a website.

Tip 2 – Learn about Search Engine Optimisation

Perhaps the most important strategy is to rank highly for your businesses keywords on the main search engines. This approach is called “search engine optimisation,” shortened to SEO. For starters read through Google’s official seo starter guide & check out SEOMoz comprehensive Beginners guide to SEO . More about SEO.

Tip 3 – Get listed

Get your website listed in main directories. A link from a directory will help your search engine ranking and get you traffic. Get listed in the free Open Directory Project(www.dmoz.com), Yahoo! Directory (dir.yahoo.com) is another important directory.

Tip 4 – Go local

Create a free listing for your local business on Google Places for Business (places.google.com/business), Yahoo! Local (local.yahoo.com), and Bing Local Listing Center (https://ssl.bing.com/listings/). If you do your business will show up on a map when people do a local web search. More about local search engine marketing.

Tip 5 – Start a Business Blog

Start a business blog on your website. Host it on your own domain to get links back to your site. If you offer useful content and update it regularly,  people are likely to link to it, increasing your site’s Page Rank on Google. Create quality helpful content and be consistent.

Tip 6 – Get Social

Some of the best online communities for business include Facebook (www.facebook.com), LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), and Twitter (www.twitter.com). They are free to join & are now very important factors in getting ranked higher in search engines. What are you waiting for?

Tip 7 –  Include your website address (URL) on everything

Simple i know but make sure all business cards, stationery, brochures, email signatures and literature contain your company’s website address (URL) and links to social media sites. In print leave off the http:// part – you don’t need it just  include the www.domain.com bit.

Tip 8 – Publish an e-mail newsletter

Creating a monthly e-mail newsletter is still one of the most important web promotion techniques, even better if you give links to your social media sites. More about email marketing.

Tip 9 – Send offers, promotions & discounts

Send offers to your customers & website visitors. Your own list of customers and site visitors (who have given you permission to contact them) will be your main contact list. Send special offers, coupon specials, new services, include in your newsletter or promote on social media sites see – Facebook deals.

Tip 10 – Install Google analytics on your site

Install, monitor & measure your online marketing using Google Analytics and Google webmaster tools. If this sounds a little scary get your web developer to do it and set up monthly reports to find out who’s visiting your site.

How does your small business measure-up? If you don’t have a website yet, why not? How do your customers find you online? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  Dont forget to Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter for more monthly online marketing tips.

What’s your top question about internet marketing? I’d love to know so please vote below…

photo credit: Simone Lovati