During the 10th annual Small Business Forum, Chris O’Neill , the Managing Director for Google Canada, addressed the audience by highlighting some of the steps that all small businesses, Internet Marketing Agency and would-be entrepreneurs should be taking to expand their business and build a broader customer base. With the holidays upon us, take a moment to review your business practices and make sure that you have all of the online tools available in your arsenal. These online tools will help you take advantage of the heavy holiday shopping season and grow your customer base long term. This is equally helpful for an SEO firm as it is a smal business. Online Presence – Local businesses have yet to take advantage of the power of the web. When shoppers are looking for local businesses they will often search online. This makes it important for local businesses to have an online presence. Having an online catalog of products you offer will give potential customers a way to shop before
hand, leading them right to your doorstep ready to purchase. Google Webmaster Tools provide a free and easy way to make your site more Google friendly. Free Marketing – Google is
the most commonly used search engine when would be shoppers are looking for a particular business. By having an entry for your business in Google’s free Google Places business listing, you have a listing where customers can quickly find out where you’re located and how to contact you. You can use this listing to post coupons, sales, and reviews to build rapport with customers. You could easily implement an
email marketing campaign with your existing email list. Who’s Looking for You? – One of the keys to successfully marketing online is knowing your customer. The web provides a unique way to observe customer behavior through analytics. By answering such questions as “How did they get to your website?”, “What search term did they use?” and “Which pages did they visit?” you’re being given a window into your customer’s desires and shopping habits. Google Analytics is a tool that provides this information and gives the local business owner insight that would otherwise remain unknown. Paid Online Advertising – As is the case offline, you can pay for advertising online with the use of Google AdWords. This tool allows you to reach customers searching for specific terms when shopping online. Depending on your budget, you can have your ad appear on the first page of the resulting pages, giving your business more exposure. Utilize the Cloud – One of the largest costs to many companies, IT expenses can not only break the bank, but they can take focus off of what your business is about. By using applications in the cloud, your employees can share and store documents whether in the office or on the road. With Google Apps, your employees can focus more on growing your business instead of IT issues. The Google Apps suite of online products is free to get started!