Online (digital) marketing is one of the key ways in which a small business can grow its brand and build a loyal base of customers. While the topic of online marketing may seem complicated, it is not as difficult as it first seems. If you are wondering how you can use online marketing to help grow your business, then you’ve come to the right place! This guide helps you to demystify the process and provides online marketing tips for small businesses.
Identify Your Goals
To know how to market effectively, first, you need to know what your goals are. For example, it might be to bring more visitors to your website, to spread the reach of your brand, or to target a new audience. Understanding your goals will help you create the right strategies to achieve them.
Good Website Design
Your business website is like a shop window. You want people to look, be interested and see what you have to offer, and then buy. That is why good website design is vital. A sluggish, dull website is one that will put visitors off, and they are not likely to hang around long enough to learn about your products or services.
Make sure your website is uncluttered, easy to navigate so people can easily and quickly find the information they want, and has a fast page load time. If you have a good website that functions well, it gives visitors trust that your products or services are good quality too.
Already have happy customers? Contact them and ask if they’d be willing to write a testimonial that you can then use on your website. If you have someone who is not sure whether to buy from you or not, being able to read what your existing customers have to say can be very convincing, and encourage them to make that purchase.
Blogging is a great online marketing strategy as you can create content to do with your niche that provides values for an audience. When you help someone solve a problem with a blog post, they are more likely to become repeat visitors to your blog and see you as an authority. Also, if you create great content, people are more likely to share it. It helps bring more visitors to your website and more custom to your business.
Another benefit of blogging is that it helps your website rank more highly in search engine results. Search engines regularly crawl websites and index the pages, and whenever you add new content, it gives search engines something new to index. The more content you have, the more weight it carries, and search engines will rank your website higher than another that does not regularly add new content.
Blogging also gives you the opportunity to do some guest posting. This is where you write an article on a relevant topic to do with your business, put a link in it to your website, and publish it on another website or blog. The advantages of this are that it puts you in front of a new audience, one that might not have found you otherwise. Having a backlink to your website from another also helps search engines to rank your pages, and the more backlinks you have, the higher you will be in search results.
To begin guest posting, you first need to find blogs that accept guest posts. This can be done by manually looking at each different website and contacting them, or by using a service such as Guest Post Tracker, where you can find a list of blogs that accept guest posts.
Social media is a great way to communicate directly with potential customers, so as a brand, you need to participate in conversations and look out for trends that have anything to do with your niche. While it is okay to plug your products and services now and then, the best approach to winning friends and influencing people is to join in with what they are discussing. You might also start new conversations and ask people opinions on a topic, or comment on any news in your industry.
Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or more, keep present by adding something at least once per day. Doing so will increase your ‘likes’ and followers more quickly.
However, you do need to make sure your business profile looks professional. Use good quality images and your logo, and write a clear description of what your business is about. You want visitors on your profile page to be able to know quickly what you do, and what makes you stand out from the competition.
Social media is not just a way to grow awareness of your business, but it also puts you in touch with influencers and advertisers too. Develop beneficial relationships with them as this can help take your business plans further because you are open to new opportunities.
Use keywords that are related to your business niche and use them throughout the content of your website. For example, a window company might use the phrase ‘window replacement service’ or ‘buy new windows’ a few times throughout any written information on their website. The key is to use these words and phrases, but so they blend in well with your content. You don’t want to put people off by keyword stuffing, giving them clunky writing that interrupts the flow of reading.
To get keyword ideas, consider what potential customers are likely to type into a search engine as a way to find your business. You can also use a keyword tool, such as Google Keyword Planner, to give you a list of relevant keywords and suggestions, as well as showing how often the terms are searched for.
Implementing a few simple online marketing strategies can generate new interest in your business and bring you new opportunities. Online marketing success does not happen overnight, but if you have the right strategies in place and put in consistent effort, then you will soon see the rewards of your hard work. Keep the momentum going and build a buzz for your brand, and you will see your business grow.