March 19, 2012 | last updated April 21, 2012 10:18 pm

10 Things I Know About Building Your Business Online

10. FIND A WAY TO THE WEB.

If you can't afford a website, try such alternatives as blogs, landing pages, local directory listings, Facebook fan pages or groups, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and Pinterest.

9. TAKE SIMPLE STEPS.

Business owners need simple instructions to achieve results. Find educational programs that walk you through the "how tos" of online marketing quickly and correctly.

8. MAKE NAVIGATION EASY.

Early adopters' sites can lack fundamental web navigation strategies, resulting in poor navigation, unhappy customers and lost sales.

7. WATCH YOUR COMPETITORS.

Research what your competitors are doing on the Internet. If you don't know how to assess them, find someone who does.

6. BRAND. SELL. EDUCATE. GENERATE LEADS.

You need to have a strong WHAT, as in "WHAT is the purpose of my web presence?" Then you can develop a strong website schema and marketing plan.

5. ENGAGE IN WEB ANALYTICS.

To understand if your website is bringing in business, understand where you've been, where you are and where you want to go. Analytics help you determine if your web presence is working.

4. BUILD A MARKETING PLAN.

Once you have a website, build your Internet marketing plan to generate traffic.

3. EMBRACE SOCIAL MEDIA.

Social media is not going away. You don't need to have a presence in all social media networks, but select one or two that target your audience well.

2. KNOW SEO.

If you don't understand organic search engine optimization (SEO), you'll struggle to develop a strong online presence, social media marketing and a localization strategy.

1. DEVELOP A PLAN.

Establishing a strong web presence requires a measurable plan. It's an integral part of your business development strategy.

Deborah A. Buckley is chief advocate for business growth at eMarketing4us, Inc. in Leominster. Contact her at dbuckley@emarketing4us.com.

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