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Free online business tools for marketing your business on the internet
I just found out a new way to use the Google keyword tool to market any business. My thanks go out to Melissa Cohoe: her presentation yesterday evening to the members of my home business showed a technique that was new to me. Simple to implement, free and effective, these Google business tools will supercharge your business.
The Google Keyword Tool
If you have an online home business, you are probably already familiar with the Google keyword tool, but did you know you can use it for offline business as well? Melissa described a way to use it as a research tool to automate your search for prospects.
If you’re not familiar with the tool, search for “Google keyword tool” and it will take you directly to the tool: you’re ready to use it. Type in a phrase that you want to search for, and it will respond with the following information:
- The phrase you requested and a group of similar keyword phrases
- Competition for each phrase (low, medium or high)
- The number of global monthly searches for each phrase
- The number of local monthly searches for each phrase.
You can pick phrases you like (say medium competition, global searches over 1,000 per month for online work, or local searches over 500 for offline work) and use those phrases as a tool to grow your business. For online business, incorporate these keyword phrases in your blog post or article – you probably do this already – but did you know you can use these keywords to grow your business offline, too?
You can grow your online business or your offline business using Google Alerts in combination with the Google keyword tool. Best of all, once it’s set up it is automatic, but you can still change it when you need to.
Start by selecting some long-tailed keywords that look good according to the keyword tool. (“Long-tailed keyword” is just a fancy way of saying a keyword phrase containing two or more words – preferably three or four.)
The procedure I’m about to describe can generate a lot of email, so create a free Gmail account that you will just use for this activity. Once you have the account set up, create a Google alert for each long-tailed keyword in your list, making sure to enclose the long-tailed keyword in quotes. If you don’t use quotes, you’ll find that Google will generate an alert for each word of the phrase rather than the complete keyword phrase.
Set the frequency of the alert to suit your needs. You can always change this later and, of course, if you find new long-tailed keywords you can add new alerts accordingly.
Google will now search for any appearance on the internet of your long-tailed keyword and send an alert to your email. You will find out who is looking for this information on forums, for example, or posting about it on blogs or websites. Do you see how this beats searching for prospects yourself?
The three parts to this process (all free) are
- The Google Keyword Tool
- Google Alerts
Depending on your needs and your choice of keywords you can use these online business tools for either online marketing or offline marketing. For example, if you are looking for local personal fitness trainers as a market for your fitness business, choose the appropriate keyword phrases and let Google search the internet for you. You will find a list of prospects.
Building a home based business, it seems, is no longer an option, but for many people a necessity. With unemployment rising and businesses failing, nobody can be sure of paid employment in the future. Failing to act when a good opportunity presents itself could be disastrous for your financial health.
With so many businesses to choose from, how do you pick the best one for you? So much has been written about evaluating opportunities that it can be difficult to sift through the information, but there are really only three issues to examine. Nothing can guarantee success, but ignoring these three factors is likely to lead to failure.
If you don’t believe in the business yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? Belief in the business and its potential falls into three parts:
When we read about being passionate about the business, it’s easy to lose sight of just what is meant by that. You can convince yourself you’re passionate about a business simply because you think it will make money for you, but unless the product aligns with your own interests, the passion will be short-lived. I might convince myself that a business based on goldfish food was exciting, but I have no interest in goldfish, so why would I want to do that?
> Your Sponsor
Is the person telling you about this opportunity someone you know, like and trust? If not, is it someone you believe you can get to know, like and trust? If not, don’t bother: working with someone who annoys you will make you miserable: it’s like working for a hated boss in the corporate world.
Testimonials are valuable, because they confirm that other people have experienced the product or the business and are pleased with the results they have attained. Make sure the testimonials are genuine, though, because these days a lot of scams are promoted. If you can, contact some of the people giving the testimonials and see if they are believable: your instincts will generally be good here – is this someone you could know, like and trust?
Here again, there are three separate aspects:
Is the product or business in alignment with recognized trends? For example, the product that I am currently working with is directed at eliminating the current increase in obesity and Type 2 diabetes. These are world trends that represent major health threats, and are in alignment with my interest in health and fitness.
Are there competing products already on the market (this is a good thing)? What is the unique selling proposition (USP) of this product? Given the competition, is there sufficient market to make the product viable, and is it price-competitive?
> Growth stage
Is this a mature company with limited growth potential or a new company recently launched or about to be launched? If the latter, does it come from a team with a track record of successful companies, or is it somebody’s first venture?
The last thing you want from a new venture is to be left alone with limited tools, no training and no team. This is a recipe for failure, as I found in my first home based business. If the opportunity has passed the first two tests, support is the final requirement.
I mentioned the product USP earlier, but what is the unique selling proposition of the company itself? What is it about this company that makes it preferable to others you may have looked at?
What training and marketing tools are available? At the very least you should expect your own website, autoresponders and banners. With the best companies, most of the marketing and training you need will be supplied – your job should just be to find people who are interested enough to evaluate the opportunity for themselves.
Is there a team of people like yourself to work with, or just a corporate entity? You should have access to others who can support you and offer suggestions to help you build your business. Additionally, you should expect a significant part of your business to be built for you through spillover.
The compensation plan should be generous, of course. I have yet to see a company that claims it has anything less than the best compensation plan around – that’s one of the reasons I left it so far down on the list. You should at least be sure to understand how it works, but some of it you will have to take on trust – just as with any job!
I have left the most important item until last. How open is the company to allowing you to earn money in other ways? Some traditional companies penalize you severely if you reach a certain level in the organization and attempt to add another income stream. Stay away from them: these companies are interested in their own profits at your expense. I’m not suggesting that you promote two companies that are in direct competition: that would be stupid. I am suggesting, though, that promoting two companies in different fields or two that complement each other might be in your future best interest.
The Ideal Company
Like I said, the ideal company for you will depend on your own interest or passion. My main passion is health and fitness – I have now lived long enough to recognize that without those, life is hardly worth living. And now I have been fortunate enough to discover what I believe to be the ideal company for me.
From now until June 20th., we have a pre-launch special for a limited number of people who are serious about building a business. If this happens to include you, and if the health and fitness industry is high on your interest list, go right now to this link
You’ll be glad you did!