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Formulating a cost effective e marketing strategy for your Cumbria based business? Ill have to be blunt; I don’t know you or your business so I don’t have any answers for you…YET! We may have crossed paths because I approached you regarding improvements to your online presence but it takes time for me to understand a client’s business goals and values. I prefer to hold back on suggesting options until I have a sense of how you feel about moving your marketing online.

I also like to get a picture of the types of customers you are targeting, as that will frequently dictate the balance between social media strategies and search engine optimisation tactics that is best for projecting you in front of your chosen market.

The business relationship that I hope to build, will be focused on working out a way for you to get more customers, via your website, Google Places listing and Directory listings.

In a rural county like Cumbria, it is especially important for business owners to understand – or acknowledge the interplay between keywords and the results that show up in search engine results pages; whether that be Google, Yahoo or Bing. People’s habits are changing rapidly and companies that want to rise high in the hoped for recovery period need to take on board the well tried ways of attracting new customers from the Internet. For businesses who are feeling the pinch it is no longer optional. Time and again, online marketing approaches have been shown to give a far better return that traditional advertising channels can no longer maintain.

There are many ways to advertise a small business and your e marketing strategy needs to be a prominent part of your overall plan. A strategy for raising your company’s profile in local search results, when prospective customers are hunting for your service or product, can include a variety of approaches.

Frequently a very straight forward easy win is to optimise your Google Places listing. In countless markets, this is the fastest way of getting a first page listing in the search results.

The second phase may very well be optimising the content of your website to make it relevant to the questions (keywords, keyword phrases and the implied questions they carry) that the man with itch is asking to help him find relief! I have already lost count of the beautifully designed websites that in Google’s eyes are irrelevant and fail to show up in any search results (my own early forays included!) The market research followed by keyword research leading to web design that is ready optimised to answer those questions is so frequently absent.

When the on page factors have been taken care of, that’s the time to really go to town on link building. Getting as many 1 way links, (with a few reciprocals thrown in for a natural feel) back to your website from as many varied authoritative and relevant domains as possible is absolutely crucial. Search engine’s have very decided “opinions” about the value of every kind of link built into their ranking algorithms, and so you have to serve up just what they want. Links from websites, blogs, forums and directories should all be part of the mix; as should a mixture of .edu, .gov ; .com and .org where you can find relevant sites and blogs to post.

The power and value of the big social networks is no longer to be sneezed at. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Stumbleupon and a host of other social posting, status updating and social bookmarking sites have the power to provide powerful backlinks and the added boost of virality.

While email marketing is regarded as old hat by some – the reality is that it is not dead yet. It remains a very powerful way of getting you in front of the buyers, when managed correctly. Avoiding the dreaded label of spam is NOT difficult with the comprehensive tools now available.

Your online e-marketing strategy can be as simple as a low impact steady long term commitment to one of these individual techniques through to a fully coordinated assault on your market with all of the methods supporting each other. Consulting Cumbria Ltd will endeavour to guide you through the maze of options and manage the technical and dreary side of your local seo services so you can concentrate on getting more customers from the mighty Google and his brethren.

(This post was originally published on our Consulting Cumbria website in 2010)