Search engines might just be a small business owner’s best friend. But only if the business owner has taken the time to get online and use tools that will make it convenient for customers to find them. Jewel Burks, a Google Entrepreneur-in-Residence spoke at Intuit’s QuickBooks Connect Chicago event to cue small companies in on the tricks of the trade when vying for online customers.
“My job is to help you guys harness the power of the web to find more customers online,” says Burks, who is also founder of Partpic, a software company that helps users locate replacement parts for industrial equipment.
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Here are three things she says entrepreneurs can do to attract customers and increase sales.
Get your business online
You can’t do anything until you have an online presence. Even if you haven’t built a website yet, you can still make it possible for customers to see you. Visit Gybo.com and claim your listing so that your business is represented properly in a Google search.
Set a budget for online advertisement
Before you spend a dime, you want to understand your budget. If in the past you’ve done billboards or commercials, think about how much you want to put toward Search Engine Marketing.
You can use the Google search network or the Google Display network where your ads will appear on related sites. Customers will see your ads on other sites and it might prompt them to click on your site. “Think about where you want to start so you can be narrow and focused,” says Burks.
In order to get the most benefit, it’s important to consider geographic targeting – where you make your ad specific to where you are located.
Define your target persona
Who is your core audience? The more you understand your customer the better you can target that person. Be as detailed as you can be. Consider, age, gender, parental status, marital status, location, interests, etc.
“You have this one person who comes straight to see you when they get paid, they never complain, and they always tell their friends to come spend money with you,” says Burks. “This is your target customer.”
What about your future customers? They are just like your target person, but they don’t know the name of your business. They don’t know what your service or product is called. You want to figure out what they might type into a search engine to find your business.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article, where Burks will discuss social media, Google Analytics, and how to be mobile ready.
For more great tools and resources for online advertising campaigns call 1-877-763-9802 or visit AccelerateWithGoogle.com