Increase Your Business Connections
Online marketing techniques that a virtual assistant or small business can use for marketing an online business are evolving daily into a broad mix that can help to enhance your presence on the web. Online marketing is specifically used as a way to attract traffic to your website, which in turn should ideally lead to new customers and thus increasing your revenues.
One of the largest benefits of online marketing for a small business is the fact that it can be very cost effective as you can implement most of the techniques yourself. Thus if you have a tight budget, some of these online marketing methods can be of benefit to your business.
Setting up a Website
It goes without saying that in any VA business one of the most effective online marketing techniques is to create a website and get an online presence. Whether you do it via having a formal site or via a blogging site does not matter. The important thing is that you have to be on the web.
Clients will not take you or your VA business seriously if you don’t have web presence. They might probably think that you could not be knowledgeable on conducting business via online and internet based technologies if you don’t even have a web presence.
Setting up a website is not that difficult. In short, it requires 4 basic steps;
- Registration of a unique domain name
- Finding a hosting company (most of the time hosting companies also include domain registration)
- Utilising a Web page development / programming software to build your site
- FTP software to transfer your site files on to your web space (host’s server) so people can view your site
These days you really don’t need to know much about HTML coding anymore if you use a decent web design software tool. Some web hosting companies also offer tools to help you quickly design a website.
Your website however needs to convey your businesses message and inform existing and potential customers of the features and benefits of your services.
View your website as a great way to establish your business identity and as the Internet “equivalent” of an offline brochure or catalogue.
Article marketing is the practice of posting keyword-focused articles on article sites that then syndicate your content. The reason why this is one of the important online marketing techniques is because some of these article sites have a significant readership following and can result in a traffic boost for your website, which in turn can promote your business to a wide audience.
Article marketing was and still is one of the most powerful online marketing techniques available. Not only does it do wonders for you and your business, it’s also free. And contrary on what you might think, it is not that hard to get started.
The key however is to write helpful, informative, easy-to-understand articles that can actually help readers
Online press releases are similar to article marketing, but instead of writing a piece on just about anything, a press release involves placing a newsworthy story about your company, website and/or your services on the web.
A press release is more time sensitive (much the same as news), and is generally used to create short-term buzz for a particular event or to promote a certain aspect of your business for a specific purpose.
Popular press release sites and distribution networks mostly offer both a paid and/or free submission service
As with off-line networking, online networking is one of the most important online marketing techniques to build contacts for your business. Online networking is primary through joining forums, chat groups, social sites etc. That is where you connect with as many people as possible to learn more about the VA industry, new technology trends, business in general, marketing techniques and so much more.
The golden rule however is to do diverse networking. Do not only subscribe to VA forums and chat groups alone (although that is pretty important too), but also build some networks on business forums, marketing forums, women’s forums etc. as many job leads can come from these different networking platforms.
Learning how to blog is a great way to promote your business online. Blogs can be used to get the attention of search engines and drive traffic and interest toward your business website or they can act entirely as the online presence for your business on their own.
The word “Blog” is short for weblog and is an online publication in the form of a log or journal.
It is relatively easy and inexpensive to start and maintain, with time probably being the most required resource. If blogging is handled correctly as one of your online marketing techniques, it can increase your customer base, your traffic and your search engine ranking, thus it can ultimately increase your sales.
Search Engin Marketing (SEM)
SEM means marketing an online business either by
- Improving the site’s ranking through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the active practice of optimizing your web site by improving internal and external aspects in order to increase the traffic your site receives from search engines.
- Buying pay-per-click (PPC) ads : These are ads that you place for your website with a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo. You determine the amount you are willing to pay per click.
- Listings in website directories It’s similar to offline yellow page listings. These web directories may be general in nature or related to a specific topic. You can get free listings in some online directories, like DMOZ but most worthwhile international directories now charge for a listing. Most SA based directories are still free of charge.
Requesting links from non-competing, quality companies related to the VA industry is one of the simple but effective online marketing techniques available.
Links allow you to get quality traffic while increasing the prestige of your business. Visitors that enter your site from a link that they find on another site are predisposed to believe that they will find something of value there – if not, why would the site take the time and effort to link to it?
Added benefits of online marketing via link building is that they can give a tremendous boost to your link popularity, which is a major factor in determining how your site gets ranked in search engines.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an engagement with online communities to generate exposure, opportunity and ultimately increase your sales.
Social media marketing is not just the latest buzz phrase in marketing, but the truth is it is a new venue that you can use to market and promote your services. (It is also a highly sought after niche area for many VA?s these days)
Benefits of online marketing using social media for your Virtual Assistant business includes
- Generate exposure for your business
- Increase traffic to your site
- Can result in new business partners
- Can help to raise search engine rankings
- Generate quality leads
- Reduce overall marketing expenses
The Internet has greatly enabled VA businesses to prosper because of the reasonably low cost to start and maintain a web presence and the ease of spreading the word via effective online marketing techniques.
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