A Beginner’s Guide to Website Marketing for Small Business
Many small businesses have already paid to have a website created. This is as far as many small business owners get with online marketing. They have a website. It sits….and sits….for months….maybe years and they are not sure what to do with it.
It’s great that your business has a website but the question is “What are you doing with it”? How are you marketing it to establish your brand identity? How are you using text, images, audio, and video elements to convey your company’s message? Are you effectively informing existing and potential customers of the features and benefits of your products or services?
If you cannot answer all the above questions, this article is for you. Website marketing is critically important for ANY small business whether or not you are selling a product or service online or off.
Optimizing your website for search engines so more people find you
Marketing through search engines, either by improving the site’s natural (organic) ranking through search engine optimization (SEO), buying pay-per-click (PPC) ads, or purchasing pay-for-inclusion (PFI) listings in website directories are the primary ways most small businesses use to get their business found on the web.
Content MarketingWriting articles or blog posts related to your business and submitting them to be published on other websites is another great way to reach your target market for free (not including the time required to generate, assemble, write and distribute the content)
Submitting exclusive articles to a specific site can still reap many rewards including SEO, boosting your credibility, and reaching a market that might not otherwise know about you. Keep in mind creating content (especially video content) can be very time-consuming, so you may want to consider hiring a professional content writer with skills in SEO to assist you in the process.
Promoting your website on social media
Social media is a smart and cost effective way to interact with prospects and existing customers. Work with a social media professional to focus on the platforms where you’re most likely to find your target market and develop a strategy and content plan, and then measure your results to see where tweaks are needed.
A deeper dive into getting started on social media marketing for small business can be found in this free guide.
Advertise on social media platformsPaid-per-click (PPC) advertising on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook is a time-saving way to increase your audience (or “reach”) on social media. Implementing a strategic and targeted ad campaign to the right demographics can dramatically increase your “organic” efforts to build a following, generate leads and/or build your brand on the major platforms.
Another benefit is the ability to “retarget” people who already visited your site with additional ads.
Provide Free, Valuable and Useful Information to Your Audience
Offer downloadable educational resources like eBooks, white papers, webinars, training videos and other value-add information on your website to educate, inform or entertain your visitors. Doing this will help drive traffic to your website and enhance your trust, authority and credibility as an expert in your field on the web.
Don’t forget to pair the above with an effective Call-To-Action (CTA) so that you can collect email addresses and other information so that you can build a recurring relationship with those people who need and value what you can provide them.
In conclusion, website marketing for small businesses is more like a marathon than a sprint. While it is possible to see results from your online marketing efforts quickly, the reality is that marketing, especially the type that generates leads and long-term results takes time.
No matter what product or services you sell, competing in an increasingly crowded and busy online marketplace is not a simple or easy task. The better you can connect with your target audience and develop a relationship with it, the better your results will be. If you provide a great product or service and provide valuable and useful information to your customers, your customers will provide you with referrals, positive reviews and testimonials that will help you stand out from the crowd.