Small Business Online Marketing Tips: Get Free Advice from a Search Engine Marketing Manager

by Christopher Spellman on June 21, 2011

Looking for online marketing tips for your small business?  We’re posting top online marketing tips from consultants and small business owners nationwide.

Today’s small business marketing tips come from Alex Hanson, Search Engine Marketing Manager with inSegment, a full-service online marketing agency.

Here are Alex’s top five tips on how to create and maintain a competitive online marketing strategy:

1. RESEARCH BEFORE STRATEGY: Identify your customers and get to know where they spend their time before you craft your message and strategy. Too many small business owners skip the planning phase and try Facebook or Twitter, reach only some of their customers, then give up because they don’t see a positive ROI.

Niche or interest-specific spaces like forums or podcasts may be much better channels to reach your customers. Just ask them.

2. SET UP YOUR TRACKING INTELLIGENTLY: If you advertise through multiple channels, set up your tracking to allow apples-to-apples comparison. On the micro level, this means a smart “Google Adwords” structure that lets you compare the cost-per-conversion of one set of keywords to another set.

On the macro level, this means setting up “Google ” so you can quantify the value of a visit from search, Facebook, display ads, or any other channel and compare ROI.

3. OPTIMIZE: Optimization is a bit of a buzzword, but it’s incredibly important to online marketing. Once you can look at organized, easy-to-understand data, you’ll easily see the channels that aren’t performing.

Form a hypothesis, test it, and see how the data changes. You’ll need to cut some channels, but with smart optimization, even channels with negative ROI can be rehabilitated to high profitability.

4. TRANSITION THEM TO CHEAP CHANNELS: If a customer comes through pay-per-click search, try to get the person to sign up for your email list, “like you” on Facebook, or even bookmark your site. Expensive channels are not a problem if you bring the customer back through cheap channels and track their lifetime value.

5. MAKE THE BEST OF NEGATIVE SOCIAL MEDIA ATTENTION: Use this negative attention as an opportunity to prove that you respond quickly and courteously to your customers’ concerns. Potential customers will trust you more for fixing an issue.  This is one of the surest ways to build brand equity on social media, especially if the complaining party ends the conversation with a “thank you.”

Thanks for these great tips, Alex!  If you’d like to contact Alex or his company, please see below:

Alex Hanson
Search Engine Marketing Manager
inSegment, Inc.
(781) 453-3550

Stay tuned for even more tips from the pros on small business online marketing.  In the meantime, check out our top small business online marketing tips — great small business training you don’t want to miss!


And if you get stuck, don’t be afraid to hit the Panic Button.  It’s the only help desk for small businesses online.  No nonsense.  No kidding.

Don’t forget to watch our training videos.  Don’t know what a P&L is?  Don’t know how to prevent bankruptcy?  You can’t miss these videos, available to you 24/7.  Go to our Learn section to watch as often as you like.  Besides finding great small business online marketing tips, you’ll learn highly valuable tips you can’t afford NOT to watch!

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