Starting a new business is a challenge. There’s finding the right location, buying furnishings and equipment, hiring people, business planning, marketing planning and more. Recently though, there’s a new barrier that’s entered the mix for business startups – small business SEO.
People are online. For most, if not all businesses, people are using the internet to find products and services. They may be using search engines or social media like Facebook to start their search or find out more about a business. How are your potential customers and existing customers using search?
A New Barrier for Small Business Startup?
Is there a new barrier to entry for starting a small businesses. If a high percentage of your customers and potential customers will come from the internet, you must be able to get your business in front of those people. If you can’t, because of costs or resources, you may not be able to generate enough business to survive.
Starting a business today without an internet presence visible to your customers is like building your store in the middle of the desert. No one will see you.
Choices for Internet Marketing
Your choices to establish a presence depends on where your customers go online. Here are the basic options:
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Traffic
- Ads on Other Sites
- Small Business SEO
- Local SEO including Google Places, Merchant Ciricle, etc.
- Facebook Pages and Facebook Ads
Several of these choices are an ongoing expense. You will pay every time a searcher clicks on a PPC ad. Ads on other sites will be expensive, often hundreds of dollars a month for one site. Small business and local SEO will require time and money to set up and maintain. Facebook Pages are free to set-up, but take time and resources to make attractive for your customers, and, Facebook Ads will require a regular expenditure.
So What Do I Do?
You, or someone you hire, must do the research to find out where your customers are online. I’ll admit freely that if there is significant search traffic, I will pursue SEO for small business because the costs of the program decrease over time. While building traffic through local SEO, pay per click advertising may be needed. If your business is suited for Facebook, you need to have a solid presence there, but Facebook will not be effective for all markets.
Basically, find your customers online and meet them where they are!
When starting or buying a business, due diligence is required to be sure that the investment will be profitable. Today, due diligence includes research and analysis of online marketing requirements.
Small business SEO and internet marketing can make or break a new business. Make sure you know how it will affect yours.