Friday, February 02, 2007

Online Marketing on a small budget

Our last post focused on our new campaign for Plan Your Course and the online campaign we are conducting for it. With this in mind, we thought we would take a look at how to get the most out of your online marketing, even on a small budget.

Your website is a very important stop for many prospective customers looking to find out more about your company and possibly even purchase your products. It may be the case that you feel you do not have the budget to get the most out of your online marketing, yet there are a number of low cost activities you can carry out which can have a big impact. Making the most of your website and all your electronic communications doesn’t have to be wildly expensive.

  • Using a promotional signature in all e-mails you send out may seem like a simple, insignificant addition. However, it can prove to be extremely effective. Information such as your name, contact details, e-mail address, postal address, company logo, and a short sentence to describe your business or tagline can all be included. Most e-mail software allows you to automatically add a signature to e-mails and it is completely free. Just think of all the e-mails you send, and indeed, receive in a day. It makes sense to utilise this form of communication to enhance your marketing message.
  • Getting to the top of search engine listings, or at least onto the first page of listings is extremely important. A good ranking under relevant search terms on the main search engines is an excellent and cost effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website. If your budget extends to it, pay a specialist agency to conduct your search engine optimisation. If not, you may want to take the time to learn this valuable skill yourself. There are numerous books on the subject and Scottish Enterprise also run a wide variety of e-business workshops, some of which are focused specifically on this subject. For a full list of the courses available, visit
  • Get the right websites to link to yours. The quality of your links is much more important than the quantity. Quality links will provide quality traffic, prospects who are actually interested in what you have to offer. Quality links will also help to improve your sites ranking on search engines as the quality of the sites linking to yours is taken into account when calculating your ranking. To find which links will be the most appropriate to link with, analyse your competitors’ links, search for other sites that you wish to link to, make sure that your content will be attractive and relevant to potential links, publish appropriate outbound links on your site and ask these sites if they will reciprocate the link. One your links are in place, monitor your results and build on them.
  • Taking part in the right online community can also bring rewards, particularly for those of you in niche markets. In order to find suitable communities search online, through search engines and related websites/blogs, read trade magazines and ask around. Before you take part, get to know the site and the quality of its contributors. When you do take part, make sure that your contribution is genuinely useful. Your sales pitch can be made elsewhere, don’t be overly commercial on these sites, otherwise, taking part will do your reputation more harm than good.



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