When you open a small business, you know you are taking on a lot of new responsibilities. However, something you can’t afford to overlook is the importance of having a digital marketing strategy in place.
Unfortunately, if your skills don’t lie in the digital marketing arena, you may find this somewhat challenging. Don’t worry. There are some tips you can use to help ensure your digital marketing efforts are successful and that they help you achieve your business goals.
Local Search Marketing Is a Must
Nothing will rival a solid local search marketing strategy for a small business. Local marketing efforts include claiming and optimizing your business’s online listings. By doing this, you can feel confident your business will appear in local searches.
While there is a lot that goes into local search optimization, when you get it right, you will put your business on the map, which ensures local customers can find you when they need the services or products you offer.
While local search is not a new marketing concept, it can be a bit complicated. It isn’t something that will provide results overnight, either. As a result, it is a good idea to consult with the experts. You can even set up a virtual meeting with local search marketing pros to help guide your strategy and efforts.
Optimize Your Business’s Website for Search Engines and Humans
Do you have a website for your small business that looks like it is right out of 1997? It is high time to fix that. Your consumers want to see modern, fresh, and easy-to-use designs. They want instant results. The attention spans of modern consumers are shorter than ever before. If you have an unattractive website design, if it loads slowly, or if it is confusing to use, they are going to leave and likely go over to the competition.
It is important to have a website that loads quickly because if it doesn’t, consumers are going to abandon your site. Also, be sure that your site is easy to navigate. You need to add clear calls-to-action that are going to let your customers know what to do next, too. An example of this is a button in the header of your main page that says, “call today,” “get directions,” or something similar.
Don’t forget about the importance of mobile optimization, as well. If your website is not optimized for mobile use, Google is going to penalize you. Be sure you have invested in mobile optimization to avoid this.
Use Link Building Strategies
One of the best ways to let Google know that your website is popular is by using link building. If you engage in link building, the right way, acquiring several top quality links rather than many low-quality spam links, you will provide proof to Google that the website for your small business is relevant and that it is high quality. At this point, Google will know that they should let your website appear in local search results.
It is a good idea to find bloggers and local business owners who will be willing to link to your website. Make sure you return the favor or even write a guest post for a local blog. Don’t forget about various local news sites that may run an article that will link to your website if you have a special event or promotion coming up.
Use the Right Keywords
Regardless of what industry your small business is in, you need to use keyword research as part of your digital marketing strategy. There are so many ways you can use business keywords. It is also a good way to discover what words and terms people use to search for the products and services that your business offers.
You can use tools like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Keywordtool.io, or Google Trends to discover what keywords you should use. Make sure to use the keywords you find on each page of your website. Just be sure you use these words naturally, so they make sense with the content you are posting in your blogs.
Request Email Addresses
When you go purchase something at a store, there is a good chance the cashier is going to ask for your email address. Most people will be willing to give you this with no issue. It is really that easy. When customers are checking in or out, be sure to ask them for their email addresses. Once you have it, you can send them messages about products, specials, and new promotions you are offering. You can even ask for reviews in your email, which are going to be beneficial.
Because online reviews can help you show up in local search results, and encourage customers to spend more money, this is a step you can’t afford to ignore. It is important to start collecting emails and give your business the boost needed to help it stand out from the competition.
Remain Aware of Your Online Reputation
Reputation management is not something that is reserved for just the biggest brands. As a small business, you need to know what your customers are saying, as well.
You can use Google alerts to help you with this. When you create Google alerts, you will be informed anytime there are new articles published that mention your business. It is also a good idea to use social media monitoring tools. When you know what is being said about your business, you can join in the conversation and fix any issues that may pop up. The goal of reputation management is to keep your business’s image and brand as problem-free as possible.
Getting Your Digital Marketing Efforts Off the Ground
If you want to get your digital marketing efforts off the ground, you have to use the tips and information found here. This will help you create a plan that meets your business needs and ensures that your online presence is found and used. Keep in mind, digital marketing isn’t a one-time effort. It is something that requires your ongoing attention.
Also published on Medium.