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Web Marketing Matters

Most small business understand that their customers are more likely to find them online than through any other medium. Yet many business websites are still poorly optimized for search or designed to effectively convert visitors into buyers. You need a clear understanding of what it takes to compete online so that you can build your presence and get people interested in what you have to offer. This article outlines what you need to know for web marketing success.


The key to increasing your exposure is to leverage search engine marketing strategies to build your web presence. Search Engine Marketing is a mix of online marketing strategies that can help you get to the top of search engines so you can be easily found online when someone searches for you. People will typically search either by someone's personal name, company name, or keywords that define the expertise, services or products they are seeking. The goal is ofcourse to get on the first page of the search results but getting to the top of the search results requires some know-how. However, getting to the top of the search results requires work and an overall understanding of what it takes to compete online. Here are 3 tips to help you in this process:


SEO is considered one of the more technical areas of web marketing. Although the concept has been around for years, SEO best practices are continually evolving as the major search engines continually update their algorithms to improve relevancy and filter out less useful results. Still, search rankings are fundamentally based on two components: relevance (providing valuable content based on the needs of your audience) and authority (the number and quality of links pointing to your website).


Evaluation and Planning

Working in a small business, you’re always looking for ways to stretch your limited marketing dollars. Price is always a question, and “free” is often an attractive answer. However ... once the costs of training, customizations, support, ease of use (or lack thereof), integration with other tools and web hosting are taken into consideration, “free” tools can turn out to be quite costly.


Web marketing service providers all work differently. They have distinct service offerings, tools, and costs that you will have to evaluate. By using a standard set of evaluation questions, it will be much easier for you to choose a web marketing firm that meets your specific needs. Here are seven key questions you can use when selecting your next web marketing services provider.


There are many web marketing software tools available designed to enhance your marketing efforts. Each offers its own benefits, but finding the right solution to support your online strategy and reduce your cost of sales can be a challenge.


Some marketers are highly proficient in using website marketing tactics and tools. But for those who either lack this expertise, or the time to execute the tasks required, hiring professional marketing services is an effective alternative. It may make sense to outsource only specific tasks, or entire web marketing programs. If you take the time to evaluate your company’s internal abilities and knowledge of internet marketing, as well as the time available to dedicate to marketing campaigns, you will be able to determine the best course for your business.


Website Best-Practices

Business websites can serve a number of functions: they make it easy for prospective customers to find you and contact you online, provide information about your products and services, and help define your brand. But ultimately, all business websites have one primary, overriding purpose: to help prospects buy from you. However, to achieve this goal, you need to have an effective website . Here are eight (8) tips for developing an effective business site:


Landing pages are the “action” pages on your website and have one specific goal to accomplish - and that is to convert the visitor who "lands" on it into a lead or a sale. Unlike an informational page (e.g. a product page, “about us” page or blog post), landing pages are designed to persuade the reader to take a specific action.


Search Engine Optimization

Small business SEO is critical in helping small businesses compete today, even more so than for large corporations who already have a brand name, who have deep marketing pockets and who have many different strategies to build business. Small businesses and even solo-entrepreneurs are extremely resource-constrained to go out and continuously market their business. In fact, over 50% of small businesses have less than 4 employees and most small businesses today even with staff up to 100 employees are partnering with web marketing service providers to help them make their businesses competitive online because they neither have the time nor do they actually know what really needs to market their business on the web. Search Engine Optimization is one of the ways that small businesses need to begin their web marketing journey. Here are seven areas to consider in Search Engine Optimization to help you get started.


Keyword optimization and usage is critical to your website’s marketing success. Across all of your website content, you need to make sure that you appeal to the right audience and get their attention. The key to success is to think like a buyer rather than a seller. You need to think about what words and phrases you would use in search if you were looking for a service or business like yours. Start with those words because they will probably be the most common. Then you can use specialized tools to find related keywords.


If you are a service-based local business, you have a great opportunity to build your local web presence by optimizing your site for local search results. There are a number of ways to use small business SEO strategies to help you optimize your site for local search. These tactics can significantly increase your local visibility and get your business listed very quickly at the top of the search engines, if you apply some local SEO best-practices.


While many people know that they need to optimize their site, many website owners do not know what they need to do to ensure their website is properly optimized. Here is a brief list that will help you get started and will also ensure that your website is conforming to some basic onsite small business SEO practices.


Content has a big impact on SEO because search engines use content as the key driver to optimizing your site. There are a number of factors to take into account when developing or updating content. When these factors are not taken into account, you can really loose out on the efforts to optimize your site with search engines, and in some cases you may even be penalized. Make sure that when you are making changes or creating new content that you follow certain guidelines and that you use a CMS that enables you to manage content changes and SEO updates easily.


As a new website owner, it’s important for you to understand the difference between the two terms people often confuse when they are talking about website ranking. SERPS refers to how well your site ranks when a consumer searches for a keyword in Google. On the other hand, PageRank is actually a trademark of Google, and it refers to how important and relevant the search engine thinks your site is – websites are graded on a scale from 1-10. Once you’ve worked hard to get your site ranked, you want to prevent your website from losing rankings you’re at! One of the most important aspects of small business SEO is to understand the basics and not get tangled up with all the jargon and detail that can make it complicated. Fortunately, the majority of it has to do with common sense, once you have the foundation of what to do and what not to do.


Keyword Research

Keywords are what people type in the search bar when they are looking to find something on the Internet. The search engines use these keywords to find related websites and information to display in the results page. Your website is ranked with other results relative to these keywords. Therefore when selecting keywords, you have to determine which keywords are best for your business and which keywords you want to compete on. This process is both an art and science that requires creative thinking and the tools to research the demand and the competition for the different keywords you are considering. By knowing what to use for keywords and placing them in strategic areas, you will have a significant advantage that will enable you to effectivey compete against all the results. Below is a five step process to help you with your keyword research, anaylsis and selection effort. I call this the process B.I.N.G.O - a process to help you get to the winning keywords!


Content Marketing

This infographic gives you statistics on how content marketing increases marketing effectiveness and demonstrates results.


Web Promotion Strategies

Organic SEO and search engine marketing (SEM, also referred to as pay-per-click advertising or PPC) each has its own distinct advantages. The search results that appear in the right column and often the top two to three spots on a search results page are labeled "sponsored links". Those are paid advertisements and the sponsor pays each time a link is clicked.


Link building is the process of building your online presence by submitting your site or content to popular sites with links back to your site.The more your website is exposed on the internet through quality sites, the higher up the search engines will rank you. There are many ways to build links back to your site and an unlimited number of popular sites to use in your link building campaigns. The problem that most people encounter is where to start since there are many different ways to build links. Here are the basic ways that you can build links as part of your search engine optimization strategies:


One of the keys to success in growing a business is to maximize your online presence. The internet provides many venues for promoting your business beyond your website; one such strategy is article marketing. There is a huge opportunity on the internet to publish articles on different popular sites that the search engines favor and rank highly. The more articles you publish as part of your internet marketing strategy, the more web traffic (and helpful links for SEO) you can get.


Once you've built a well-designed site and have used different web marketing strategies to drive visitors to your site and are even getting people to sign up for your complementary offers, do you have a map where you are taking them next? Below are three tips on what to do after you collect information from your visitors so you can build relationships, educate and promote in the most effective way.


Launching a new website doesn’t automatically draw online traffic.. True, the major search engines now index virtually all new websites automatically, but if a site isn’t properly optimized or marketed, it may end on page 10 of the search results—essentially invisible. If you don’t promote your website with the right marketing tools and tactics, people won’t ever find it. There are more than a dozen effective strategies you can use to promote your website, but you need to make sure that you’ve got a marketing budget and the time set aside to accomplish your goals.


Article Marketing

The key to article marketing is to focus on providing quality content and posting it to reputable, quality sites - not just to get backlinks. Many SEO companies have misused and abused this strategy and there have been many article marking spam operations by people who are looking to increase their ratings. Because of the misuse and blatant abuse of the article marketing services available, there have been many guidelines put into place to deter people from cheating to obtain better rankings and Google as a result, is not viewing article marketing as the best SEO strategy for that reason.


Web Analytics & Measurement

Attracting visitors to your site is one thing, converting them into customers is another. When marketing a website, it is important that you are able to track and analyze results so that you can see what’s working well, what could be improved, and what isn’t working at all. One of the most important areas for analysis is conversion rates (i.e., the percentage of visitors who “convert” into leads or sales). Knowing which traffic sources, what types of content, and which offers convert best is key to increasing your overall site conversion rate.



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