There’s got to be a number of ways to better find your potential customers and promote your business, service or product via links across the Internet, right?
So why is it that so many online advertisers continue to stick to the same old tried-and-tested methods? Why aren’t more people stepping outside of the box and thinking of new ways to interact with the target audience and promote their businesses via links?
Try out a few of the promoting ideas listed below and start making your Internet links work for you in different ways and to better effect.
1. Get listed on sites that REAL customers visit
Getting ranked on Google is one of the most important things for any business with an online presence. There is no doubt about it. Google is the most widely used search engine in the world and therefore, ranking on the first page of Google is a must for everyone.
However, there are other great ways of getting links to your site where people who are going to be even more interested in your services or products outside of the Google search. You need to get listed on sites that people are going to when they REALLY want to convert. You need to be visual on sites that clients who are further down the conversion tunnel visit before making a purchase.
Make sure that your business is listed on the following pages if you are looking to link better to your customers and connect your online business to the real world:
Yellow Pages — Yellow Pages is great because it is a directory that huge numbers of people use when looking for services. Therefore, categorizing your business correctly is imperative and getting mentioned on this site is an excellent way of directly interacting with your potential clients.
Google Maps — If people want to find a business close to them, which is common, Google Maps is the site they go to. Get listed on Google Maps and take more advantage of the real customer, in the real world, who is just a few blocks away from walking into your local and making a purchase.
Better Business Bureau — If you get a recommendation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) you are going to gain the trust of many potential clients. Ranking high on Google search might be one of the most essential things for any company, but getting the thumbs up from the BBB can be the difference between your potential customer choosing to contact your business or the business listed below you on the SERP offering the same services, for example.
2. Blog about yourself or topics related to what you do / offer elsewhere
If you own a flower shop, start blogging (for free if necessary) on other sites about flowers, florists, plants and related subjects.
Offer yourself up as a “guru” on the subject in exchange for a link back to your site. This is a great way of reaching people who are interested on a deeper level in the products that you offer. If they see that you are a person who knows a lot about flowers and looking after plants, they might be more willing to trust you and buy from you (both online and in store if they live close by).
3. Connect your business to YouTube with your own Personal Channel
After Google.com, YouTube is one of the most visited sites across the globe. People spend hours watching videos on YouTube and it is time for every business with marketing campaigns online to start taking advantage of this site’s popularity in any way possible.
If you are an artist and you are trying to sell your paintings, make some videos of the painting process, or create a video which acts as a 360-degree walkthrough of your “gallery” of art work on sale.
Whatever happens, whatever your business, there is always something you can put up on YouTube for people to watch that will help to draw more attention to your business.
4. Be online when your customers are online
There is no point being online and tweeting all day long if your customers are not online to receive those tweets or those emails.
In fact, you need to think about when your potential customer might be in the mood or have enough time to want to open up one of your emails and read what you have sent them.
You could try testing out different times of the day for tweets, Facebook updates or email newsletters until you find the perfect social media networking approach for you. However, this might take some time. If you want to make your online marketing really work for your business you might have to approach this particular area of online advertising with a little more expertise in tow.
There are lots of up-and-coming online services, like Crowdbooster, which can help to show you when to tweet and when to post from the very start. However, you might need to take the time to investigate a little into how to get the most out of these programs as it would be foolish to think that you could get the best out of everything within devoting the time necessary.
5. Social network and make links offline… formally known as “in person”!!!
Whatever happened to the networking parties, face-to-face meetings, face-to-face flirting, face-to-face selling of your product / service, face-to-face closing of deals at the end of an evening full of champagne, dancing and business smiles???
Even though a lot of our world today is managed via the Internet, there are still plenty of opportunities to make business contacts face-to-face and to make hard sales in person.
If you own a tourism business, then you need to attend all the conferences on tourism possible. You need to sign up to seminars and training days that relate to tourism and you need to make the most of your time at these events by promoting your business first-hand.
Do you have up-to-date and attractive business cards to hand out with links to your site attached? If not, why not?!
What should you do first about linking to your customers?
Linking directly to your customer has never been more important in our ever-growing competitive world, but finding the most effective way to link also deserves time, thought and creativity.
Begin by using the ideas outlined in this article, but feel free to expand and move forward with your own ideas as soon as the ideas start flowing.
* David Chapman shares more tips about creating effective links for your business via the Webrageous Blog on a regular basis.