The Annual Search Engine Strategies – New York conference has recently drawn to a close, and one of the panels was focused on providing some Search and Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners.
The panel, made up of Stoney DeGeyter, Matt McGee and Jennifer Laycock, detailed some great advice for the prudent small business operator in today’s online marketing landscape.
Stoney DeGeyter, a leading proponent of “destination search engine marketing”, encouraged website owners to drive visitors to pages within their sites that best matched their searches. It seems obvious, but many small business operators fall into the trap of sending everyone to the homepage, where visitors get lost or distracted – neither of which are good for conversion.
He also highlighted the importance of addressing purchasers at every point in the buying process. Whether they’re researching, making final product comparisons or ready to buy, your site should be designed to take them through to the purchase irrespective of their place in the process.
Covering your bases through cross sells was also raised a key strategy. By presenting related products, it can help business owners maintain the attention of a buyer that isn’t necessarily sold on the product they initially visit – potentially saving the sale.
Jennifer Laycock, Editor in Chief at Search Engine Guide, then discussed the importance of “you” in marketing small businesses, recommending business owner involvement in online community to gain buyer attention. The social aspect to small business marketing helps owners to overcome bypass budget constraints to reach their marketplace.
Matt McGee, SEO manager at Marchex, reinforced the value of communities, encouraging business owners to explore unconventional approaches offered by the social web. He highlighted the value of participation in networks such as Yahoo! Answers and lists offered through Google and Yahoo! groups to build reputation, but warned against abuse through spamming.
In the highly competitive online space, the underlying message behind the three panelists recommendations are -
- Understand your market and tailor your marketing to stand out from the competition
- Participate in the growing convergent media environment to build reputation and connect with customers.
Thanks to David Utter from WebProNews who seems to be the only person to have shared the insights from the Small Business Blitz session at the conference.