10 Effortless Ideas To Market A Small Business

June 29, 2016

I recently delivered a lunch and learn presentation hosted by TEC Edmonton for 45 entrepreneurs. I began working on the presentation about two months in advance. I had only one goal, and that was to have attendees walk away with 10 actionable items that don’t cost a lot of money, don’t require a lot of time, don’t require a lot of marketing experience and will have a positive impact on their business.


There is no end to marketing advice. Veteran marketers quickly evaluate different marketing ideas. For a business owner who understands the need for marketing but is not an experienced marketer, where to start and what to do can quickly become confusing.


When creating my list, it was tough to keep it free, quick and easy. However, I was committed to helping business owners help themselves. My list is nowhere complete, but I think everything on the list should be considered by nearly every business.


I didn’t want presentation attendees frantically take notes and try and keep up with my presentation. Therefore, I created an online “cheat sheet” to help them implement the marketing tactics.


Without further ado, here are my Top 10 online marketing strategies for businesses.



  1. Claim your local business listing: Both Google and Bing enable businesses to register their business with each respective search engine. Doing so will help you appear in searches and maps. You also have complete control over your content.
  2. Register your webmaster accounts: Again, both Google and Bing enable website owners to register with each respective search engine. Registering your website will provide you with analytical information not available in Google analytics, alert you to problems with your website and help search engines index your website.
  3. Set-up Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free yet powerful website analytics application that provides you with information about who visits your website, how people find your website, what people are looking at on your website and lots more.
  4. Define your keywords: Keywords are what people use to find your website. You can influence how people find your website by optimizing for specific keywords. Before you can optimize for keywords, you need to choose what keywords for which to optimize. Keyword selection can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.
  5. Build cornerstone content: Once you have your keywords identified, you’ll want to do some work on your website to ensure search engines recognize the keywords. For each keyword, you’ll need to build a properly optimized web page.
  6. Get customer reviews: Online reviews can significantly influence the decisions your prospects make. I recommend to all business owners to solicit legitimate reviews from your past and current customers. These reviews should then be posted on reputable third party review sites.
  7. Secure your website: Whenever you’re able to provide a safer and better experience for your website visitor, the search engines will look favorably upon you. Add an SSL certificate to your website and protect your web visitors by encrypting the data between your web server and their browser.
  8. Maintain a contact database: Marketing is about making connections with the masses. Acquiring new contacts are expensive, therefore, maintain a database of existing contacts to which you can market.
  9. Make your website responsive: A responsive website is a website that will automatically adapt to any screen size. A responsive website will look good and be easy to navigate on a laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other device. Search engines give bonus points for responsive websites because they create a better user experience.
  10. Ask for opt-ins: An opt-in is someone who has given you permission to send them commercial electronic messages. When marketing a call-to-action, a group of opt-in contacts will convert higher than any other type of list. Building and maintaining an opt-in list not only keeps you compliant with email legislation such as CAN-SPAM and CASL, but it’s good for business too.

That’s the list! Do you agree with it? What else would you add?


As mentioned, my goal is to help business owners help themselves, therefore, I’ve created a “cheat sheet” to provide the steps and details needed to complete each step. You can access the “cheat sheet” here: https://inc.marketing/cheatsheets.

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