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The Small Business e-commerce solution

Marketing and Promotion of your Web Site
This is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the internet. There seems to be a mentality that unless your site appears in the top 50 listings of all the major search engines and directories your site is doomed to failure. What a load of garbage. Once again, the 'experts' are at it again. Here are three golden rules to keep you on track.

For a small business, the first golden rule is to treat your web address as you would your phone or fax number. Wherever you see your phone or fax number, you should also see your web address. This includes all your stationery, advertising and promotional materials. There are not exceptions. If you take this approach, you'll ensure all your customers are fully aware of your web site and can visit to gather further information whenever they need to. Small display advertisements or classifieds in the local paper can suddenly permit potential customers to find out all about what your business offers simply by going directly to your web site. This can add immense value to such advertising activities.

The second golden rule is to ensure you have listed your web site with any local community directories. Technically, these directories should be promoting their site to the wider community which would benefit all those listed within that directory. The more listing such a directory has, the more likely that people will use such a directory to locate those businesses offering products and or services which will satisfy their immediate needs.

The third golden rule. Don't worry if your site isn't appearing in the top 50 listings of major search engines and directories. With an estimated 1 billion web pages currently being dealt with by the major search engines, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to realise that gaining a top listing is virtually impossible. Anyone who tells you otherwise is an 'expert'. In reality, to gain the maximum benefit from major search engines or directories, you need to ensure your site actually contains words which would uniquely identify your web site. When a search engine visits your site, they typically only look at words which help make your site unique. The problem of course, is that millions of other web sites would probably also contain these words. Therefore, someone who types in the search term "restaurants" is likely to get millions of results. If they type in "restaurants australia" then they'd still get thousands of listings which still doesn't help your site. If they type in "restaurants australia sydney" then technically only restaurants within Sydney Australia would be listed. They could refine their search by including a suburb as well, which if that's where your Restaurant is located, it should come close to putting your listing up there within the top listings.

What does this tell us? It tells us that you must ensure the pages of your web site contains enough specific (local) references (words) which would allow a potential visitors to find you among millions of other listings. Using the above example, if the words "restaurant australia sydney yoursuburb" are found within the pages of your site, you are likely to be picked up in a search. It's that simply. When someone does a search, they know full well that they need to be as specific as possible to ensure they only see listings for sites of which they actually have an interest in.

Therefore, as you're preparing the content of your site, you need to include all those words which someone may use to find your business amongst the 1 billion or so web pages now located on the internet.

Again, use the forums to ask for
clarification, ideas and suggestions.

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