Local Internet Marketing
Most businesses have jumped on the train of internet marketing as they have discovered the value of cheap, targeted advertising compared to more traditional mediums. Not only that, but it offers many companies a much wider customer base than they could previously access.
Just think about it, not long ago if you wanted to sell something in another city or country you would have to open a point of sale locally, which was certainly not cheap. Most businesses couldn’t dream of expanding abroad due to costs, however the internet opened the doors to small businesses as well, allowing them to compete with the big fish.
However, web wide advertising is not always suited to every type of business, especially some types of offline service providers. For example, a restaurant will never be able to service more than the local area and therefore it doesn’t make sense for its website to target the whole web. This is where local internet marketing comes in.
In this case, the SEO plan is designed to target only people interested in the local area. This can be done with the use of geographically targeted keywords, maps and many more.
The advantage of focusing on local internet marketing is that costs are usually much lower than if you were to target the general public. For example, “French restaurant Houston” will not cost as much per click as “French restaurant” and will only target people interested in a French restaurant which is in Houston. On the other hand, a search for “French restaurant” will bring up a very long list of French restaurants all over the world.
Local internet marketing is an excellent option for offline, small businesses that provide local services and their type of business does not allow them to expand globally. Plumbing, landscaping and even cleaning services are all such businesses. On the other hand, web development companies or eBook publishers do not have the same limitations and in their case they should focus on global internet marketing.
One extremely useful way to take advantage of local internet marketing is with maps. The large search engines offer a map service where companies can register their offline address. This has multiple advantages but the main one is that it establishes credibility because people can see the physical location of your business. This also has a positive impact on the ranking of your website but, unfortunately, it is a technique that is often overlooked.
Local internet marketing is an excellent way to reach extremely targeted customers for a much lower cost than if you were to market to the entire world wide web. However, you need to do a little more investigation regarding which keywords your PPC campaign should target and maybe even get some professional internet marketing consulting to show you how you can design and track your campaigns.
The beauty of internet marketing is that you can see virtually in real time how effective your campaigns are and tweak them accordingly. However, you do need some professional advice until you learn the ropes and can handle it yourself.
Using the internet as a way to help you build your business, whether it’s an online or offline business, is an extremely cost effective technique. When it comes to mass email marketing you can literally reach hundreds of thousands of potential customers all with the click of a button and with very little overhead (just the price of your internet connection and website hosting costs).
The low cost of this type of advertisement had a downside, companies started sending out millions of messages to unsuspecting email recipients who then started complaining about spam – unsolicited bulk commercial emails.
The rocketing number of spam emails that were being sent out created a back lash from the public which eventually led to new laws to prevent the abuse of the email message system, the CAN SPAM laws. These laws basically state that you can’t send out a lot of emails to random email addresses.
In order to be in compliance with the law, and not be accused of spamming, there are a few things you need to do:
1. Your email message must have an accurate ‘from’ heading where you put in your name or the name of your company.
2. The subject line on your email must be accurate and relate to the actual content of your email.
3. As the sender you must provide an actual physical address for you or your company.
4. Make sure to clearly label your email if it contains adult content.
5. You cannot have a false header on your email.
6. You must provide a clear, and free, link for the recipient to ‘un-scubscribe’ and if they click on that link they should immediately be removed from your email list and you should never send them another email.
7. Having an ‘opt-in’ list is probably your very best defense against being accused of spam. This method will encourage your website visitor to sign up to receive your emails. They are giving you permission to send them emails. In order to get them to sign up to your list you can offer them an incentive such as a free report or a multi part mini-course that they will receive over a period of a week or so. Whatever you offer them to get them to sign up, make sure it has real value to your subscriber. Take a little time and develop a report that has some real value and substance to it.
These are the basics of the law. I’m not an expert or a lawyer so make sure you take a little time and learn all the ins and outs of the CAN SPAM law so that you can make sure your company is in compliance. Don’t let the new laws scare you off from using mass email marketing since it can be a very effective marketing tool for your business.
If you take the time to find out what all the regulations are and then you follow them, you will be in compliance and you will be able to add a lot of customers to your business which will eventually lead to a lot more sales, and that’s what we all want.
Continued In Part 9…