​If you’ve got a website, you should be advertising online too

​If you’ve got a website, you should be advertising online too

Large and small businesses spend billions annually to find new customers and to increase sales. But many small business owners are resistant to spending money on online advertising. Whether it’s concern over budgeting, confusion, or simply fear, not advertising online is often a huge missed opportunity.

Would you build a store with a hidden door and no sign outside?

Obviously no, you’d never build a secret store that no one could find. But that’s exactly what many small business proprietors do when they create their website. They pay to build their site, but then they don’t advertise it.

Sure, they may have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but what’s attracting folks to those? Online word-of-mouth may work long-term but it can be a slow process. Just as most business owners do some type of offline advertising, they should also be doing online advertising.

It’s targeted. It’s affordable. It’s effective.

Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and Bing all provide the opportunity to target prospects that are actively searching for your product or service. No other advertising option provides the potential to match a need or desire with a solution instantly. And often for only a few cents or dollars per click. Sure, a click doesn’t equal a sale - but neither does sending out coupons in your local “Value Pack” mailer. It’s more equivalent to convincing someone to walk into your store - it’s then up to your salesperson to cajole them into purchasing.

According to the “IAB internet advertising revenue report” by PWC “in 2012, Internet advertising revenues in the United States totaled $36.57 billion, a 15.2% increase over the $31.74 billion in revenues in 2011.” Business owners wouldn’t keep spending on something that wasn’t working.

Overcoming fear, uncertainty, and doubt

One of the most common obstacles we encounter when working with small business owners is they don’t know how to setup, manage, and optimize online ad campaigns. It can be a daunting task with a steep learning curve. But that doesn’t mean you should simply ignore it just because it’s difficult. If you don’t have the time to learn, then at the very least hire someone to do it for you.

Aside from their fee - you can quickly hold them accountable for the effectiveness of the campaigns - because you’ll know in short order if what they’re doing is working. Because again, no other advertising option provides the instant feedback loop that online advertising does.

So if you’ve got a website and you’re trying to attract customers, then even if you’re cautiously limiting your campaign to Google Adwords with a daily budget of $20/day - make sure you’re doing something online. With geographic targeting, options to time your ad spend for peak times, and with other automated mechanisms - you can really hone your online advertising so it works for you with just a little effort or expense.

Where else could you advertise to the world for $20/day to only the folks who are searching for what you’re selling? Am I oversimplifying a bit? Perhaps... but it isn’t rocket science. Now go start advertising your business online so people can find what you’re selling.


Sep 30, 2014

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