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Internet Marketing 101 For Starting A Business

What is internet marketing? Internet marketing is a broad term that encompasses many strategies to promote a product or service online or through other digital channels. Also known as digital marketing or online marketing, internet marketing includes any marketing campaign that is related to the internet or any digital platform such as search engine optimization(SEO), social media marketing(SMM), email campaigns, pay-per-click(PPC), and a multitude of other types of marketing. The goal of internet marketing is to drive traffic to your website or leads to your business and increase sales.

There are so many methods to market on the internet that it borders on the ludicrous. If a small business owner has the resources and is looking to the internet to promote their business it would be wise to hire a professional. The options are endless and without guidance even the savvy business owner will waste money on tactics that do not work for their particular business or on a campaign that was not implemented correctly.

OK, so you own a small business or want to start a business but you do not have the resources to hire an internet marketing expert. There are a few tasks that absolutely must be accomplished and these are the bare minimum.

  1. Acquire a dedicated desktop computer or laptop. This laptop will be headquarters for the internet presence for the business. Pics, invoices, ideas, research, job planning, and a hundred other details. This is a priority.
  2. Create a Gmail account to be used for the business and only the business. This is in part a temporary and in part a long-term solution to the need of having an email account. Temporary in that you have an email to communicate with customers now and in the long term it will be used for google analytics and other tools necessary in the future.
  3. Use that Gmail account to complete a google business profile and a bing business profile. Bing and Google are the top two search engines so a company profile is necessary to be recognized. You have to complete the profile. Logo, company hours, pics all have to be added. Incomplete profiles are virtually ignored by search engines. 
  4. Social media can be the bane of your existence and the communicator of your message all at the same moment. First, figure out which platforms work best for your business and choose one or two and create a page or account. You can expand later. Use that new Gmail to stay organized.
  5. It is time to address the elephant in the room. You are going to need a basic website. The first thing to be aware of is that there are no free websites. It may be free to build but it is not free to publish. Stay away from google’s free website builder. You are wasting your time. If you are on a tight budget I would recommend Jimdo. This is not, I say again, this is not a long-term solution but Jimdo is fairly easy to manipulate and is good for the short term. Jimdo will cost approximately $100 to $150 to create a basic informational website.

This small list only scratches the surface and in no way guarantees instant success. I am sure we could squabble if the above are more or less critical than other tasks but this is a good beginning. If the goal of the business is to grow in the future then an effective internet marketing plan will have to be implemented.