Top tips for online marketing on a shoestring: Tip 2

Online marketing is an invaluable tool for businesses looking to increase awareness of their product and engage with potential customers. With an understanding of the resources available and a little bit of creativity, an online marketing campaign can be one of the most cost-effective ways of maximizing your business’s potential. During the Business Startup show at London’s ExCeL centre in May, Simply Business partnered with PR agency 3 Monkeys and SEO agency Distilled to discuss some of the top marketing tips for people starting out in business. We have taken some of the top tips from the day and added some of our own and will be publishing them as a blog series over the next week. You can read the second tip of our seven-part series below.

2. Learn the ins and outs of Google.

With users today relying on Google for everything from their smallest needs to their biggest purchases, performing well in search engines should be one of the primary concerns of your online marketing campaign. If your site is at the top of search engines, you will see more visitor traffic, which inevitably translates to more business for your company.

There are many sites and online resources which can help you to maximise your search engine ranking. SEOmoz is one site with great resources and information to get you started. Tools like “On-Page Keyword Optimization” and “Keyword Difficulty” conduct analyses to identify which queries maximise your ranking potential, and which keywords are best to target. Google Webmaster Tools can also tell you the keywords that are most relevant to your site, the number of hits your site is getting for specific queries, and a list of websites that most often link to yours.

In addition to using these tools, take some time to brainstorm the phrases that potential customers might search when looking for your product. If you are a cupcake business in London, for example, queries might include “cupcake business in London”, “cupcake decorating”, “local bakeries”, etc. The SEOmoz tool, Keyword Difficulty, can then tell you how difficult it is to rank for each query. If you are a new business, it is often effective to focus on ranking for less popular keywords at first, rather than trying to compete with competitors for the most popular keywords.

By understanding which queries drive the most traffic to your site, and by maximizing your ranking potential, you can begin to structure a more focused and fruitful marketing campaign.

Helpful links from this section: SEOmoz and Google Webmaster Tools.

For more information about search engine marketing and optmisation, we recommend the following blogs: Search Engine Land, Distilled Blog, SEO Book, Google Webmaster Central Blog, and SEOmoz Blog.

Read Tip 1: Get a website

Read Tip 3: Understand and measure who is using your site

Read Tip 4: Engage through social media

Read Tip 5: Blog to bolster your authority

Read Tip 6: Harness the power of your customers