If you run a business you’re smart enough to learn any of the following internet marketing tips that will enable you to begin to market online effectively.
1. You Should Have An Open Source Website Content Management System
Basically, open source is free stuff. A content management system is simply a means by which non technical people can edit website content and even change your website design. If your website has a CMS, it will mean YOU can edit the content yourself, dialing out the web design company and so saving your business money. In years gone-by a good CMS cost THOUSANDS OF POUNDS. Now, you can get excellent content management systems for FREE.
There are a lot of Open Source CMS on the market today. Usually they are simple to set up (although you might need a bit of technical know-how) and easy to configure. A lot of them come with many kinds of templates that let you change the design of your site easily.
To add to that, you can easily add what are called extensions to your new cms that will add functionality to your site (like a forum, booking system or a poll).
To compete in Google today you need to be regularly adding good content to your site to attract visitors. A content managed website makes this easy and enjoyable and ultimately puts you back in control.
2. Google Local Business Center
Yes! You can get to the top of Google – guaranteed! And for FREE (albeit in the Glasgow area and based on the number of competitors already featured). You can also get free directions to your business. It only takes about 24 hours to get listed above that pesky competitor who’s been there for the last 7 years! Try it out at Google Local Business Center before they do!
3. Google Analytics
Track your visitors for free. Find out where they come from and where on your site they go. You can even find out which exact keyword combination visitors typed into Google that lead you to get an email from your website. For most this is the only website statistics program you will ever need. And yes! It tracks everything, including visitors from Yahoo and MSN and other websites. Sometimes you get what what you pay for, and on some occasions, you actually get a lot more. Try Google Analytics FREE for yourself.
4. Get a Blog!
You’re website needs a blog! Yes, you might not know what this is – but everyone’s doing it (at least everone who is generating lots of visitors to their site!). A blog is ideal for your news section in 2009 and lets anyone in your organization easily add content to your site if necessary through a simple online interface. As mentioned, we use it for our news section and basically it lets you add fresh news content easily without any wwebsite expertise and to boot it allows you to, via blog techy stuff, instantly promote whatever article you’ve written worldwide to blog search engines everywhere.
We use Wordpress. It’s free, too, and probably the best! It takes minutes to install on your site and can be configured in about 4 hours to look and operate like the rest of your site (like ours). Download a copy at Wordpress for your site.
What? You don’t have a website? Then you can set up a free blog on Wordpress.com or Blogger (not ideal – but using this method you actually don’t need anything apart from an email address).
5. Organize Your Own Domains
Domains can be confusing. My advice? Set up an account with 123Reg.co.uk and manage all your domains here. Just the domains, mind. Get the hosting elsewhere. Open an account for free and start adding domains (web addresses) you want to own (domains cost about Â£10 for 2 years depending on whether it is a .com or .co.uk etc. Then, organize hosting, but not through 123. Why not try out…..
6. Organize Your Own Hosting
Through a reliable host, you can organize your domain/s through a plethora of packages. There are a bazillion hosts out there, a lot of them good. At the time of writing however I believe Rochen do not support .asp, which might be a problem for some.
However if you are following any (or all) of the advice on this page (ie open source CMS or blog using PHP/MySQL) make sure your host suppots these platforms.
Basically if you organise your own hosting and domains it really puts you in control. If you’re in control you call the shots with your web development company. It’s not a hard thing to learn how to do, either.
7. You don’t have to pay to get into or (free traffic from) Google. All you need is a link from a site already in the index (ie already in the Google results pages). Get a link from a good site, though, and your site could be completely spidered in a week. Then you too could enjoy more free stuff from Google – traffic! Kiss goodbye to all those seo companies who say they will get you into Google for only Â£39.99! Sweet! Check out our very popular free guide to search engine optimisation.