We work with a lot of small businesses. But small or large the one question that everyone always asks is: How do I get people to find my web site? Not to be flip about it, but there are two ways:
1) Do a good job providing search engines what they need to have your site show up in organic search results. That is, if someone types in a phrase at Google or Yahoo or MSN , you want to come up at minimum in the first 3 pages of the search results, but best would be on the first page. This is not easy. It takes research, it takes structuring your site properly, it takes writing lots of good content and it takes building incoming links. Read Feedthebot.com for some straightforward tips on how to implement Google’s webmaster guidelines for getting good organic search results.
2) Spend money to market your site. This includes using pay-per-click services like Google’s Adwords, Yahoo’s Search Marketing and other services. It also may include off line marketing such as buying ads in newspapers, magazines and yellow pages that include your web site address. It could also mean radio and television advertising.
That’s it! I’ve boiled it down to 2 big categories. There is some overlap such as paying sites to link to you which would fall in to both categories, but in general, that’s all there is to it. It’s the specifics that get hard. Getting these things done can cost you a lot of time, or money. Sometimes both. So, whenever we talk to clients about a new, or redesigned web site, we always talk about the marketing. What are the expectations for the site? How will those expectations be met? Do you have staff and a budget to help meet those expectations?
But say you have some time and not very much money. Say, you only have $100 or $250 to spend. The blog SEOish offers the views of 7 top web marketers on what they would do with a limited budget. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them. They don’t agree with each other! But it makes for an interesting quick read.
One of the tips that I do agree with use some of that money to buy some good books in order to learn all you can about this field whether you hire someone to help you or not. Among the books mentioned several times is one of my favorites, Aaron Wall’s SEO Book. (Disclosure: That’s my affiliate link, so if you click this and buy the book, I get a little reward). Get it. Read it. Read his blog.