The Zen Of Local Internet Promotion

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The Internet is very much an extension of your efforts to promote and brand yourself on a local level. You should not look at your Internet marketing campaign as something separate from your local marketing. It should connect to it and enhance it.

Local print advertising space and media time are very expensive. You most likely don't have time to give complete descriptions of everything you can do or every product you sell. But if you can use that media to drive traffic to your web site, then you can provide them with a wealth of information. If you have a professional looking web site and use strong sales copy, you have a good shot at closing a sale. Think of your web site as your best salesman, who will take orders 24 hours a day...and who works for free.

The Internet is definitely the new Yellow Pages. It is increasingly the way people find what they need. It's the way people conduct research on local businesses with whom they are considering doing business. You need to be represented. If you don't stake your claim online and take steps to capture traffic looking for your products or services, your competition will.

Take it seriously. Get a web site up. But then take it a step further. Populate geo coordinate meta tages on your site so that people can generate directions and maps to your location. I can personally attest to doing business at particular retail locations simply because they were the only ones for which I could generate directions.

Optimize your site for the search engines. Ideally, you will discuss optimization issues with the designer of your site before your site is built. But however you have to do it, get your site optimized for the right traffic for your business.

Write articles. You've heard all this before - but that's because the classic self-promotion techniques like writing articles and books to establish credibility work. But still today, most people are too unmotivated or too unorganized to do these things. You can stand out in your field, and use the product of that action to create online promotional material. For example, you could publish a newsletter for your clients and others. You could then publish the newsletter articles to article directories online and use them to drive traffic to your site.

Look for symbiotic ways to join your online and offline marketing efforts. Give patrons to retail locations a reason to leave their email address. Encourage prospects to visit your web site and join your email newsletter for free, valuable information.

Think creatively. Implement aggressively. Measure results. And be systematic.
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