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The Internet Marketing Checklist for Small Business

Running your own business? Looking for new ways to market your products or services online? Then read through The Internet Marketing Checklist for Small Business below, and see if you should be adding a few more tactics to your marketing toolbox.

THE INTERNET MARKETING CHECKLIST FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Website
You have a website, right? If not, create one. In today’s business marketplace, there is simply no justifiable reason to go without a website. Your business website acts as the cornerstone for your company’s online marketing.

Web Analytics
If you are not using analytics to measure the activity on your website, stop everything and install a web analytics program today. An easy (and free) way to do this is by using Google Analytics.

Analytics Schedule
Then, once you have a web analytics package up and running, setup a regular schedule to review the data and make corresponding updates to your website.

Webmaster Tools
Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools and see your website from Google’s perspective.

XML Sitemap
Setup an XML sitemap and submit it to the search engines to ensure that they are indexing every page in your site. A good place to start is Sitemaps.org.

Blog
You have a blog, right? If not, create one. With a blog, you have control of an ongoing communication stream with your target audience.

Blog Subscription
Enable your blog readers to subscribe to your blog either through RSS or email or both.

Blog Syndication
Broaden your blog audience via syndication through services such as BlogBurst.

Awesome Content
Create content that your target audience will truly value and will look forward to. Create useful eBooks, checklists, reports, widgets, tools, etc. that other sites will want to link to. Include awesome content in both your website and your blog.

Online Articles
Build your credibility by posting expert articles online at industry sites and article sites such as eZineArticles.

Answer Sites
Build your credibility by answering questions by your prospective customers at Answer sites such as Yahoo! Answers.

Video/Audio
Explore how you can add relevant video and/or audio to your site.

Website Engagement
Offer customer engagement with your website visitors, whether through surveys, polls, Q&A, interactive tools, forums or otherwise.

SEO
Optimize your site or hire someone to do it, so that you can capture prospects precisely at the time that they are looking for services or products such as yours.

Paid Search Marketing
Complementary to SEO, test a Paid Search campaign. Test different keywords, different ad copy, and different landing pages. When you are ready to take it to the next level, use the multivariate testing tool Google Website Optimizer to test multiple variations of elements on the page.

Press Releases
Issue press releases and submit to online wire services such as PRWeb.

Get Local – Get Listed
If you are a local business, it behooves you to get listed in a multitude of online directories. For example, use Craigslist, Yelp, Google Local Business Center and Yahoo! Local.

Segment Your Site Visitors
This may be a more advanced tactic, but for those ready to take the plunge, try segmenting your audience based on their online behavior using tools such as BTBuckets.

Build Relationships
Capture your prospects’ contact information through your website, and setup a customer relationship management database. Leverage email marketing to offer something of value to your database on an ongoing basis.

Get Social
Socialize with your audience. Identify the most relevant social sites for your business, and then get involved. This might mean the forums on StartupNation. It might mean Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Eons, BusinessWeek Exchange or Mixx.

Differentiation/Unique Value Proposition
And of course none of your Internet marketing efforts will maximize your results without solid differentiation. How are you different? What makes you unique? Why should someone purchase from you as opposed to other options?

These are just a few tips (The list above is by no means comprehensive!) to help you create a great online marketing program that drives your business success. If you need additional help, let me know below or at www.WebsiteMarketingNOW.com. Thanks!

Tom Shapiro
About the Author: Tom Shapiro

Tom Shapiro is CEO of Digital Marketing NOW, a strategy, design and marketing agency that fuels clients' business results. DigitalMarketingNOW.com Twitter: @DigitalMN