Business Marketing on the Web

Are you marketing your business on the interWeb?

Do you even know where to start?

Ok – here it is – simple as I can get it.

Option 1 – Basic – no website – Just get your business listed on the Internet.
Do this for sure – to at the bare minimum get your contact on the internet so that people (aka – your customers) can find you when they search online.

– Business directory listing. Go to Google and type in your town name and the word ‘directory’ or possibly ‘business directory’. Look at the first few listings and see if any are business directories. Click on them, check how to add a listing and submit your business. Many online business directories have free listings, or very low cost listings. And they come up very high in the search engines. So now at least your customers can find your business name, address and other contact data.
Add your business to as many business directories as you feel is relevant. There are often many local town directories, sometimes divided by types of business, or industry.
A couple that I am familiar with are:

www.canadianbusinessdirectory.ca
www.weblocal.ca
www.ibegin.com
www.hotfrog.ca
Yahoo Local Listings
Google Local Listings
www.vendorland.ca
www.freebizads.ca
www.canadaone.com

– Chamber of Commerce – if you belong to the local chamber of commerce they usually have a business listing or their own business directory. Be sure your information is on that listing and that all the information is correct.
– Town / City website. Some towns and cities also have their own business listings. Check if yours does, and if so be sure to add your business to that listing.

Option 2 – Free business website.
There are a number of places on the internet that allow you to create a free business website. This is really not a true website – rather it is just a page on their website that you get to put all your business information. You don’t own the website, they just let you put up your information, but they also get to put some of their info (logo, link, etc).
This is not a bad alternative, and in fact can be a good long term strategy to use for advanced online marketing. It is a great place to start.
First choose your online free service that you would like to place your business.
Here are a few to choose from:

http://hubpages.com
http://business.blinkweb.com
http://sites.google.com
www.squidoo.com
www.webs.com
www.homestead.com
www.moogo.com
www.yola.com

Most of these come with some type of built in way to create your page and add a number of creative functions, designs, themes and other ideas. Check them out to see which works for you.
Another alternative is to use Facebook. Yes you heard me – you can create a business page on Facebook. First you need a personal Facebook account. Once signed up (and add all your friend remember – them make good customers) you have to look hard to find the business pages. Down at the bottom there is a link that says ‘Advertise’. When you click on it you then get the option to create a ‘Page’. On the page you can add all your business information like contact data, services and products, etc.

Option 3 – by far the best – Get yourself a real website.
This is not really that hard to do.
First you have to register your domain – which is the name of your website – www.yourbusinessname.com. Go to www.zeddomains.com and type in your business name. If it is available then purchase that domain. Be sure you are getting the ‘.com’ extension on the end. For a regular business I do not see the point in getting any other extension. If you are in Canada – you could get the ‘.ca’ but I would also get the ‘com’ so that nobody else takes it and ‘cybersquats’ on your domain name.
Next you must get a place to host your website. Hosting is where the information is stored that is on your website (pictures, text, etc). You can’t keep it on your computer since your computer is not connected directly to the internet. Go to www.zedwebhosting.com to purchase a hosting package.
Finally you have to build your website. I would suggest you hire a professional to build your site. A very basic website that has 3-10 pages showing off your products and services as well as all the basic contact information should cost your under $1000. Well worth the money to get it done right.

So whether you choose option 1 – 2 or 3 – at least you will start to be found on the InterWeb . .. Just like Corner Gas!

About Jack Zenert

Marketing Specialist. Expert Marketing Speaker. Trainer / Instructor in marketing, business management and succession planning.
This entry was posted in Business Basics, Internet Tools, Marketing Basics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Business Marketing on the Web

  1. Robyn says:

    Great thoughts Jack! I know you’re using WordPress for this site. I’m using and promoting WordPress for most sites lately. Even for non-blogging sites its really simple, tracks your stats, and even sends pingbacks and trackbacks – increasing your ranks in Google!? Just curious to know why you didn’t list that as an option for website creating?

  2. Jack Zenert says:

    Great point Robyn,
    I did consider discussing WordPress as it would have fit in option 3. But I thought to leave this post simple to get the point across that you should have a presence on the interWeb. I possibly will do a follow up post explaining option 3 as there is lots that could be covered.
    Thanks
    Jack

  3. Anne Erasmus says:

    So pleased to see you recommend professional design for websites – we see so many that scream ‘homemade’ and it never gives a good impression! As for business directories, I highly recommend it – we listed with a Small Business directory in the UK (we’re in South Africa) – and it consistently gets us in the top 10 on Google!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *