In the world of online marketing, you need to know that there are often a variety of approaches to accomplish your desired result. In other words, what works well for one business may not work well for another. This is because every business has unique needs and goals for online marketing.
In a recent survey, one of the most common comments about marketing was that it could be confusing. There are so many different approaches and strategies. It’s often hard to stick with one.
So how do you find a marketing plan that works for you? How do you know which approach will work best, especially in a digital world where trends and approaches can change in a heartbeat?
Here are eighteen online marketing tips for businesses to help you get started.
The Importance of Online Marketing & Marketing Tips
First of all, you must understand the value of online marketing. For some businesses, the place to start is with your website. Let’s be clear: your website is not your only online marketing tool. But it is one if not the most valuable tool you have available to you. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to build or redesign your site to deliver everything possible for your customers and potential customers.
The Importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When many small business owners think about online marketing, they think first about search engine optimization (SEO). It used to be that SEO was enough on its own; however, these days, SEO must come as part of an overall digital marketing package. There are just too many changes in the search engine algorithms to rely on SEO alone.
Another aspect of SEO is to make sure your site is easy to navigate. Do everything you can to keep the process simple for your visitors. In other words, don’t lead people down a maze of paths that require them to click four or five times before they ultimately arrive at the page they want.
In addition, be an active member of your local small business community. Look for groups and organizations that welcome new members and work with them as much as possible. For example, if you own a chiropractic office, join a group like the Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce. These groups often have networking events that will allow you to meet potential customers interested in what you have to offer.
The Content Marketing Plan
Content marketing is another important online marketing strategy. You need to make sure your site, blog, or social network profiles offer compelling, useful content for your customers.
What does this mean? It means your content should be interesting and original; it should provide real value to people searching for information related to what you do. For example, if you sell baby clothes, write articles that offer tips on how to help babies with colic or other issues during their first year of life.
Don’t just post sales pitches all the time; instead, post helpful information designed to keep people coming back, so they learn more about what you have to offer. Today’s websites are not static; they reflect dynamic living entities. Your content must be updated regularly to move your site along in search engine rankings.
Posting videos and Photos on Your Website
Photos and videos are powerful tools for building awareness for your business. But don’t limit yourself to traditional uses like posting images on Facebook or YouTube. Remember that the digital world moves fast, so take advantage of every opportunity by following online trends. For example, try posting video interviews with local business owners via LinkedIn or use Pinterest or Instagram for photo contests. The idea is there’s no one way to approach marketing in today’s world because social media feeds change constantly based upon what users want at any given time.
Creating Content for Search Engines
Creating content isn’t easy; however, much of what goes into creating original content will depend on what’s trending. For example, if you operate a pizza joint, explore what new or interesting toppings people ask for. Then use these ideas to create fantastic recipes that customers can post on their social media sites.
You also might try looking at the search results on Google and Yahoo! for the types of things your customers would want to know about your industry. You should create those types of articles or blog posts and everything else that is being searched throughout the web. After all, one of your main goals is to provide useful information so that people who are searching online will find you instead of your competitors.
The importance of good content may not be seen in the short term, but it will pay dividends in the long run. You should focus on creating long-form content rich with useful information while also working to establish your company as a thought leader within your industry.
Don’t just post fluff either because users are getting smarter every day and will quickly move on to sites that provide real value. You also need to create a solid social media presence and establish yourself as an authority within your industry.
Online content is important for attracting new customers, but it’s also integral in keeping existing customers coming back for more. Use videos and photos to show how your business operates or post tutorials that customers can use to do their repairs.
Make People Want to Share Your Content
Getting people to share your content is a powerful way to reach new audiences cost-effectively. You need to make sure that all of your original content is presented to encourage others to share it among their social media circles. This also means you must be aware of industry-specific sharing habits.
If most of your customers are male, it’s probably a good idea to include plenty of images in your posts. In contrast, female customers might appreciate posts that contain a large amount of text. You should also make sure that all links within your article take users to sites they find helpful and interesting and not just to your site.
It doesn’t matter how you do it, but you need those who discover your content to share it with their friends. Therefore, you need to focus on optimizing each post for social media sharing buttons and making sure that all of your posts contain links back to your site.
Invest in a Professional Website
Having a professional-looking website is just as important as having a site that contains tons of great content. This is because your website and blog serve as the primary marketing tool for your business.
If you’re on a budget, plenty of inexpensive website providers can provide you with everything you need to get started, including payment options that allow customers to pay with a credit card or PayPal account. People won’t trust your business in today’s world unless you have a professional website and blog filled with original content.
Make use of Google Analytics
You can’t measure what isn’t being measured, and using analytics is a great way to make sure that all of your hard work in providing useful pieces of content is paying off. Most website providers include a tracking code that you can place within each post to keep track of every click, social media share, and sale.
This will tell you how much traffic your site receives from Facebook or Twitter and which posts are the most popular. You should regularly review this data to figure out the types of popular content you should be adding and when your most active traffic periods occur.
It’s also important to know which blogs or social media posts are leading directly to sales because this will give you a better idea of what type of content is converting visitors into paying customers. Having detailed analytics data is one of the best ways to see what’s working and what isn’t.
Invest in PPC Advertising
Advertising on search engines is one of the most effective ways to get new traffic, but it can also be extremely expensive if you don’t know how to do it properly. You should start by writing a detailed list of keywords that describe your content and include a list of popular search terms related to your industry. You should then run PPC campaigns for each keyword on Google Ads, Yahoo Search Marketing, and Bing Ads.
Make sure that you can track the number of clicks each ad is receiving because this will allow you to calculate the cost per click for your campaign. You can then calculate how much you’re spending overall by multiplying your cost per click by the number of clicks you receive. There are plenty of free tools available that can help you to compare your cost per click with the competition.
You should also track the number of sales each keyword is generating because this will tell you how many people are clicking on your ad and buying from you. If a certain keyword isn’t working, you’re going to want to take it out of your campaign, while keywords generating a very high number of sales should be given more money.
Know your Budget
One of the first steps in developing successful online marketing is to know your budget. You need to know what you can afford so that the size of your wallet doesn’t dictate your marketing approach.
Strive for Quality Over Quantity
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is finding new customers without breaking their marketing budget. This is partially because they try to do everything (advertising online, promoting on social media, SEO, blogging) instead of being good at one thing.
For example, if you are just getting started with SEO, focus your efforts on that first. Once you have a firm grasp of this strategy and start generating results that meet or exceed your expectations, it makes sense to branch out into advertising online or promoting on social media. The takeaway for small businesses should be to strive for quality over quantity when it comes to their marketing techniques to get the greatest benefit from each effort.
Develop Your Message
Your message needs to be consistent across all forms of messaging, including your website, blog posts, landing pages, and general company copy.
It should state your company’s value proposition, instill a sense of urgency, and provide a call to action. Make sure it is targeted to the right audience based on where they are in the sales funnel (i.e., awareness, consideration, or loyalty).
Check Your Site for Technical Issues
In addition to ensuring that your message is consistent from page to page, you also need to make sure there aren’t any issues with code or design that will cause technical problems for site visitors.
An important part of this process is making sure the copy on your site matches your competitors’. If you have an eCommerce website, then this means making sure product descriptions match those found elsewhere on the web and providing user-friendly URLs.
Promote Offline Too
Promoting only online is a good way to ensure your business doesn’t get the exposure it deserves. You need offline promotion as well. Use promotional items and other marketing collateral to promote your site and brand. Business cards, flyers, brochures, and more can all be used in addition to your digital efforts for improved results.
Publish Regularly on Your Blog
The key with blogging is that people need to consistently visit your site, so publishing consistently will give you the best chance of finding an audience. This means posting two or three times per week on topics relevant to your industry or niche market, so there’s always fresh content for those who stop by to find out more about your services.
Don’t Neglect Email Marketing
Email marketing is still one of the most effective online marketing strategies for small businesses. It allows you to connect with customers individually, and it doesn’t require that they visit your site first to take advantage of it.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices
Mobile devices continue to be a major source of website traffic, so optimizing your site for these users will help improve overall results. The larger point here, though, is that no matter how well (or poorly) search engines like Google rank your pages in the organic listings, you won’t see much benefit unless people can access them in their native format (i.e., via the web browser on their phone).
Evaluate Your Competitors
If you want to find out what things your competitors are doing for Internet marketing, then take a close look at their websites. You can also use tools like SEMrush or SpyFu to see the keywords they are targeting and how much they are spending on online advertising. Doing this research will give you ideas about improving your efforts and making your business more competitive in the marketplace.
Stay Up to Date with SEO Techniques & Keyword Research
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a moving target since Google makes changes to its algorithm from time to time. These changes impact how search engines can access and rank your site, so you need to ensure that your SEO efforts are up-to-date.
There’s also keyword research which is an important part of the process since it helps optimize for the right words and phrases. If you aren’t using keywords properly, your website traffic will take a hit. For example, if your business is to help people find sugar daddies in Australia, don’t just use the keywords “sugar daddy” or “sugar babies.” Instead, add in other related words like “single rich men,” and you will see a good result.
Small business online marketing is a complex process that requires businesses to try multiple strategies and techniques before finding those that work for them. Fortunately, there are many ways you can give your site a boost regardless of the size of your budget.
By using these 18 small business online marketing tips as a starting point, you will be well on your way to increasing the amount of traffic to your website, which should improve results over time.
Featured Image by muneebfarman from Pixabay