Top 5 Underutilized Online Tools That Help Build Your Business

Smart business owners utilize websites to communicate important information like contact details, service areas and industry expertise in order to give the public a first impression of their business. Once your site is live on the Web, consider how you can best utilize it to maximize communication and outreach.

Online marketing initiatives are plentiful—but often neglected or misunderstood on the path toward business growth. Exploring various opportunities like those below can serve different purposes in reaching a target audience, but all help bring greater awareness to your business name.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO focuses on improving website content so your page best communicates your services and is more easily found by search engines.

Search engines send out “crawlers” around the web when someone performs a search online. These crawlers “read” websites to find content that matches the search terms. Then, they analyze the results using a complex algorithm, and rank websites in a list from most to least relevant.

An effective way to achieve a favorable ranking in results is to incorporate industry-specific keywords and phrases into your website content. Words specific to services as well as your location emphasize the relativity to the topic. Also, updating website material regularly shows your business site is an active and current resource. Your site will also get more traffic on the web, which is yet another component in boosting your SEO success.

Keywords are not just useful in page text. They should also be incorporated into photo captions and image tags. Because crawlers only search text and not images, labeling any visuals on your website gives them additional material to search, as will any third-party links you post, for example, on a page offering visitors additional resources for information. It is a great customer service element and also boosts the probability for better SEO.

2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is a tactic to help businesses place advertisements within search engines like Google. Using this element of online marketing is another way to improve visibility, and is usually done in two ways:

  • As visual ads that incorporate text, imagery and a link to the sponsor’s website
  • Direct links that appear around the edge of search results.

Just make sure your SEM strategy incorporates keywords that coordinate between the ad and the website. Even if an ad is only seen once by a customer, the company’s brand awareness can improve.

3. Local Listings and Directories

A local listing provides your business details in targeted search results through Google or Yahoo Local, for instance. You can also submit company business details to online directories like Yellowpages.com. Both of these options specifically place your business in front of people from surrounding communities, who are also those most likely to use your services.

4. Mobile Optimization

Web-capable mobile devices are a staple in everyday life. A website built for mobile IT means you are truly accessible to your customers, offering a website suitable in functionality and appearance to smartphones. This type of optimization can generate more traffic, give you an edge over competition, and boost customer engagement.

5. E-newsletters

One of the most important tasks for a business is to maintain communication with its customers. Developing a newsletter program with a concrete audience will provide an important marketing asset for your business. Use emails to keep customers updated with useful content by sharing business updates, positive customer feedback and special services on a regular basis.

For industry professionals like yourself, knowing your audience and connecting with your customers is an important aspect for growing your business. The web is a prominent tool in consumer lifestyles, so using it to market your services can be to your advantage.

1&1 Internet Inc. is a global web hosting provider offering small businesses a one-stop-shop for getting online, from private domain registration and email to websites and eCommerce tools.

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