The online medium can be ideal for small businesses looking to raise their profile of their organisations.

However, some of the marketing methods commonly used by companies online can be relatively complex – such as utilising pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

To this end, SME Web has offered advice on how small businesses can get started with the channel, starting with picking the right keywords.

It stresses that it is generally better to choose specific terms rather than broader ones, as general keywords attract a lot of competition and it is unlikely that a new website will be able to rank highly for these very quickly.

The website also suggests that small businesses should not be afraid to experiment with different key terms and highlights the importance of choosing the right keywords depending on the customer base.

This is particularly relevant considering that many small firms are likely to be operating in niche industries, it states.

William Flaiz of Search Engine Watch also emphasises the importance of carrying out keyword research in search engine optimisation (SEO) – advice that is also pertinent to PPC – potentially by using the wide range of online tools available.

He also states that it is essential to prepare the website for a major search engine marketing push before actually embarking on a campaign proper.

Other tips from SME Web include bidding on keywords rather than simply paying for them and predicting how the company’s most important search terms are likely to be misspelled.

It said that using such phrases can help to attract traffic that is usually ignored by other companies.

Once an SEO campaign is underway, it is a good idea to track and measure its effectiveness by examining search engine rankings at different times, Mr Flaiz states – again, advice that can also be applied to PPC.

Indeed, small businesses may also want to consider measurement tools such as Google Analytics, which can offer a wealth of data on ad quality and success, among other factors.

News brought to you by ClickThrough – experts in SEO, PPC Management Services, Multilingual Search Marketing and Website Conversion Enhancement services.

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