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Are you prepared to do business in the 21st Century?

In the last decade stunning advances in digital technology have begun to force a change in the ways small companies do business. Successful companies are embracing the changes and profiting from them.

Traditional marketing media such as the Yellow Pages and newspapers are dying as new digital outlets take prominence. Younger customers use the Web almost exclusively to find businesses and services. Internet marketing is now an important part of any marketing program.

Today half of all small businesses don’t have a Web site and most existing web sites aren’t very effective.

Large corporations with deep pockets are devoting significant resources to attract new customers through the Internet. But the beauty of the Internet is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to stake your claim.

What makes a Web site effective?

Like any good marketing there first needs to be an effective presentation of the benefits you can offer your customers and a call to action to get them motivated to buy. But much more importantly your site needs to be Search Engine Optimized to get you found.

You see, most people use a search engine, such as Google, to find things on the Web. Search Engine Optimization is a set of processes that will result in your Web site appearing near the top of these searches.

Many business owners think they need to spend a bundle to get a “cool” looking site in order to sell on the Web. Although that may be appropriate for some organizations, any site will only work if it gets found. A simple optimized site that presents a clear message will always out-perform a cool looking site that is hard to understand and hasn’t been optimized to be found by search engines.

What is this going to cost me?

An effective Web site for a service professional will start at about $2,000. This compares very favorably with advertising in a small local newspaper or contracting for Yellow Pages ads. Once your Web site is in place the ongoing cost of maintaining it can be very minimal which makes Internet marketing even more attractive.

I obviously can’t guarantee your results but my customers typically report that their site pays for itself in the first few months. A properly set up Web site also tends to become more effective over a period of time, especially if the content is kept up to date and additional Search Engine Optimizations are periodically performed.

What exactly is Search Engine Optimization?

There are several steps to Search Engine Optimization (or SEO as it is often referred to).

The first step is to find the best keywords much like picking the right classifications for a Yellow Pages ad. I use highly specialized software and online services to find which keyword phrases are right for your organization. The best ones aren’t so common that you will be competing against millions of other Web sites, and aren’t so unusual that no one ever searches on them.

Next I modify the text copy on your Web site’s pages to ensure that they have just the right density of your keyword phrases to appeal to the search engines. This process alone will often get a Web site to show up on the first couple of pages of a Google search.

Depending on your needs there are many other SEO steps I will perform to get your site found:

  • Submitting your site to hundreds of related online directories and search engines.
  • Negotiating with hundreds of other Web sites to add a link to your site. These links makes your site seem more important to the search engines.
  • Getting your business listed on popular local review sites, and getting your customer’s positive testimonials added.
  • Setting up Pay-Per-Click advertising to get your site to the top of the search results from day one.
  • Adding your business to social networking sites, such as MySpace, to gain even more friends, reviews and links.

Are there other ways to profit from a Web site?

Of course! Because a Web site is visible to the entire world you might want to consider adding e-commerce functions that will let you expand your market to the entire World.

A mom-and-pop store is suddenly a 24x7, multi-national corporation competing successfully with much larger companies. And doing it all on a shoe-string budget. A simple shopping cart can have you selling to the whole world over the Internet in a matter of days.

Blogs, newsletters and forums can help you stay in touch with your customers at next to no cost.

(I am not accepting new customers at this time.)

Don’t wait for your competitors to get ahead of you on the Internet.

Email me or give me a call at 650 269-5780 and let’s find out how Internet marketing can work for you.

Menlo Web Design (www.menlowebdesign.com) is a Menlo Park company dedicated to helping local small businesses succeed on the Internet.

(650) 269-5780

Menlo Web Design, Menlo Park, California, (650) 269-5780
Serving local businesses and professional service providers on the San Francisco central peninsula with Atherton Web Site Design, Web Site Design, Belmont Web Site Design, Burlingame Web Site Design, Cupertino Web Site Design, Campbell Web Site Design, Foster City Web Site Design, Hillsborough Web Site Design, Los Altos Web Site Design, Millbrae Web Site Design, Menlo Park Web Site Design, Palo Alto Web Site Design, Mountain View Web Site Design, Redwood City Web Site Design, San Carlos Web Site Design, San Bruno Web Site Design, San Jose Web Site Design, Santa Clara Web Site Design, Saratoga Web Site Design, San Mateo Web Site Design, Silicon Valley Web Site Design, Sunnyvale Web Site Design and South San Francisco Web Site Design.

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