Every small business needs a marketing strategy to develop a constant pipeline of qualified leads to convert into sales. Just building a website does not mean that you will attract visitors and get more customers.
Let’s consider some tried-and-true strategies that can help you successfully and affordably market your small business online in an ever increasing digital world.
1. Update and Maintain a Current Web Design
If you haven’t had a professional web designer evaluate and update your site in 3 or more years, it’s definitely the time to do so.
Not only do design styles change, but the technical aspects of improving your online presence and getting more visitors to your site are constantly shifting. Search engines such as Google generally update their algorithms at least once a year (if not more).
One of the key variables that Google considers in its search engine strategy is the “freshness” of the content available on the site. How often is your site content updated to reflect changes in your business, your industry or your marketing message? Sit down and actually read your site content and if you believe it’s a little stale, so will Google (as will potential customers).
A modern, updated business website reflects your commitment to putting your best foot forward in a drastically competitive online marketplace. Take a look at competitor sites to determine how your site stacks up design-wise.
2. Employ Search Engine Marketing and Optimization
More likely than not, some portion of the traffic to your website arrives there from search engines like Google or Bing. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a hugely important tool in making this happen.
Simply put, SEO uses technology to improve the chances that your content will get noticed. SEO consists of multiple strategies, actions, and best practices, all of which have the end goal of improving your website’s position in search engines.
By optimizing your site and content for local SEO, you can increase your chances of appearing in these local mobile search results and reaching more of your target customers. You can use Google My Business profile to better boost your brand awareness in your local area.
3. Use Email Marketing to Build an Opt-In Email List
Email marketing is a tried-and-true digital marketing strategy to allow you to build a personalized relationship with customers and continue to “nurture” them well after their first purchase. Numerous studies have confirmed that email beats out every other form of online marketing in terms of ROI.
This is why getting your website visitors email address is so important. Think about it – how many websites did you visit TODAY that asked for your email address? Hopefully, to entice you to give it to them, the site was willing to exchange your email for something of value like a free ebook, video course, product discount or offer.
Once a visitor “opt’s in” to your email list, you have the opportunity to “nurture” those prospects by emailing them further value-based content on a regular basis. Just be sure to moderate the frequency and relevancy of the emails. Your email marketing professional can provide you the best advice on what and when to send to email your prospects and customers.
4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
It wasn’t long ago that your small business could leverage social media platforms like Facebook “organically” (without paying) to build a large base of followers.
While it is still possible to build a social media presence from scratch by relying on organic traffic, it will take much longer than by incorporating Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising into your small business marketing mix.
PPC advertising allows your small business to display ads when consumers search for certain keywords in a search engine. You bid on certain keywords like “Italian restaurant near me” or “office supplies new york city” and then create ads around those phrases.
Social media and other online advertising platforms will then use an algorithm to display your ads in the search engine result pages (SERP) based on factors such as keyword relevance and other variables. You then pay every time someone clicks on your ad.
Research shows that by the year 2020, social media advertisements will surpass newspaper ad spending, so if you are still only placing paper-based ads, now is the time to add online advertising into your marketing strategy.
5. Create and Maintain a Blog
Are there ways to grow your website traffic, attract new customers and build loyalty and trust with current customers….without spending a lot of money?
The simple answer is yes – by starting a blog on your website.
The benefits of creating and maintaining a blog on your website include:
- Bring traffic to your site
- Nurture and convert customers
- Differentiate you from other similar businesses
- Build demand and interest in your products or services
In conclusion, limited resources and a small budget doesn’t mean you can’t leverage smart strategies for marketing your small business online to remain competitive. By employing the above tactics you will be able to better attract your ideal customer to better serve their needs with your products and services.