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Promoting A Small Business on the Web

Ah, those were the days. Being in business used to be so easy. Promoting my business used to be easy too.I was a painting contractor in Los Angeles in the 80’s. The competition was fierce but I knew what to do. To get my business going in a certain area I would drive around, find a good area and start door knocking. Personal contact was my forte. I never went more than an hour before I had a job. Another thing I did was to have my local flyer distribution service pass out a couple of thousand flyers and voila – WORK! It was that easy and that predictable.

But times have changed. If you don’t have a presence on the internet you’re nothing – second rate, behind the times. So you make the investment in setting up a web site. It feels good – hey, look at me I’ve now exposed myself to millions of potential customers. This is going to be easy, I thought. Welcome to the new world of the Internet. After the initial excitement of having my beautiful web site floating somewhere in cyberspace, I wondered why I wasn’t getting any calls. After all, I just spent $4,000 for this beautiful web site; the jobs are just going to start pouring in. Right? WRONG! It just doesn’t work that way, as I came to find out. Because of the staggering number of people searching the web, it has tremendous potential BUT you’re just a drop of water in a huge pond.

How do you stand out? How do you get them to come to your site over all of the others vying for their business? It takes a strategy to create links that point back to your site from hundreds of other sites related to your product. And you have to keep it up. One of the main ways of creating traffic to your site is through the use of article submission. For example, you write a short article about how to handle peeling paint. You then submit it to an article directory so others can find out how to handle peeling paint. They see your site listed on the article so they come to view your site as being an expert on what to do about peeling paint. And so it goes.

But don’t expect people to come flocking to your site immediately. You have to be committed and to stay the course. After all, you are competing with thousands, if not millions, of other people in your line of work and they all want to be in the number one spot when someone searches for a painter, florist, etc. in their area. If you can persist in writing and submitting articles that are relevant to your field, you will see your name moving up in the search engines. It’s wonderful to see your website show up on the first page of a search – and how profitable. The fact is that after the first page of a search most prospective buyers have found what they were looking for and the number of buyers who search the 2nd, 3rd and 4th pages drops off dramatically. So what do you need to do? It’s obvious; get your site on the first page. If there was a magical way of doing this everyone would be doing it no matter the cost because the return is big! How big? As big as the web itself.

If you have not yet researched out article submission as one way of gaining exposure for your product on the web then you should consider it in your marketing budget. It’s a long range strategy that has proven to work time and again. If you can talk about your business for just a couple of minutes, then you can write that same thing down as an article and have an article submission service submit it so it gets out to hundreds of sties that all point back to you as the source. People like to know about things that concern them. If the paint kept peeling on my house, I’d like to know why and the fix for it. So your hard won knowledge earned over the years is important to people. Let customers know you’re the expert and you’re the guy to call to get the job done. It’s not enough anymore to put a sign on your truck and drive around. To be credible, you have to have a web presence.

For me, I rather liked walking up to someone in the neighborhood, introducing myself, handing them my business card asking if they would like to get an estimate on getting some painting done on their house. It seemed much more personable and a much easier sell. But that was then, things change and you have to know how to play the new game without dropping out things that already work.

You can bet that your competitors know how important a high ranking website is to a prosperous future. From my perspective, marketing today is not as simple as it once was. There’s a new game in town and its here to stay. Part of your marketing budget has to embrace this new media. Its’ potential is immense! It would be difficult to over state it. It used to be so easy. But, why not, I like challenging new adventures in my life even if I have to change some old ways of doing things.