In honor of small business week, we’d like to share some tips on how to market your small business online. Just because you have a small business doesn’t give you the right to make excuses for not marketing. There are so many different, creative approaches that can be done to market your small business that can be extremely cost-effective. Here’s some ideas we thought of:
Have A Professional Website to Capture Quality Leads
Before you do anything related to online marketing, look at how well the website you currently have is converting. Look at Google Analytics, how high is your bounce rate? Is it within your industry standard or is it high? If you have a high bounce rate, consider redesigning and rewriting the pages that people are bouncing off right away. Make sure your calls to actions are strong on each page. You should have a primary goal for each page and the steps the user should take should be clearly laid out and easy to follow.
Is your site mobile friendly? If not, consider moving to a responsive design. This way your website will automatically scale to fit all mobile and desktop devices and be more user-friendly. Google favors mobile friendly design and therefore responsive sites get better visibility and more mobile traffic.
Make Blogging One of Your Primary Focuses
The list of benefits of blogging can go on forever. Your blog is your hub where you can share important information related to your product or service. Blogs also allow you to create more pages that can get indexed in the search engines. Where do people usually go to find information? Search engines like Google. If your blog comes up because it was properly optimized and provides educational information, that person will most likely remember your brand when it’s time to buy or is in need of your service. Pull your customers in with educational information instead of only talking about your company and specials.
Build Up Your Email Lists
Email marketing is cheap and effective as long as you have the right content that people are interested in. Create separate lists that are tailored to different offers those people are interested in. For example: If someone subscribes to your blog, create a blog list. In that email campaign, only send out emails that provide your hottest blog topics from that month.
If someone downloaded a coupon for Air Conditioning repair, create a list only tailored to AC. Distribute emails with information and specials related to Air Conditioning specifically instead of all of the services you offer. The more personalized your email lists and email campaigns become, the higher the conversion rate will be.
Build A Strong Local Presence
If you’re a local business, this part is a given. List your business on all of the high authority local directories such as: Yelp, Google+, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, and Merchant Circle. Once your listing is out there, be sure and keep it up to date with current business information. This will help search engines recognize your location which will help drive more local traffic to your website.
Actively Maintain Your Social Media Accounts
This doesn’t mean you can just setup a Facebook page and expect people to engage with you. You need to be active and post relevant, useful information that your followers are interested in. Some social media tips to consider:
- Post multiple times per week
- Optimize your profiles with accurate, up-to-date information
- Provide social media only specials to track ROI
- Follow other companies and engage with them
- Share useful information not just from your blog, but other resources as well
- Promote posts that are important and make sure to target people that match your buyer persona
Sponsor Local Events
These types of sponsorships work particularly when it’s related to your niche. This way you’re communicating directly with people that are interested in your product or service. Types of local sponsorships could include:
- Community Events: There are plenty of community events to sponsor. Think of big holidays coming up. Are there any festivals happening? Look into how you could become a sponsor for them. Make sure you can get a link back to your website if you become a sponsor. This will help build authority to your site which can lead to higher rankings.
- Nonprofit Organizations: If you partner with a nonprofit organization and decide to be a sponsor for their annual event(s), this can bring a lot of great brand awareness to your company. Again, don’t forgot to ask about them linking to your website. Depending on the event and how much you’re sponsoring, your logo and branding will be shown quite a bit throughout the event. Create something with your logo on it to give away to people. Something that people will most likely use.
On-Going Search Engine Optimization Strategy
Organic rankings can be difficult to come by especially if your business falls in a competitive space. That’s okay! Having an on-going SEO strategy will help produce keyword rankings over time. Don’t listen to a company that promises rankings in one month, chances are they using negative SEO practices which can get your website penalized. The best way is to combine quality backlinks, social media, and content marketing to help build those keyword rankings. Some ways below:
- Content Marketing: Build your presence in the media. When you sponsor those local events, write a press release about it! This will help boost your overall website traffic as well as build brand awareness in your community. Create relationships with bloggers in your industry. See if they allow guest posts? If so, allow them to guest post on your blog as well.
- Local Citations: As mentioned above, get listed on as many local directories you can! Make sure they are quality directories. Cite your full business name, physical address and phone number as much as you can, particularly on other local websites.
- Quality Backlinks: Custom link placement would be your best option in providing quality backlinks. You can find relevant sites by searching in Google or going through your competitor backlinks using Open Site Explorer. Or, find a quality link provider, such as us, to help you build up your backlink index in a safe and effective way.
Owning a small business is so important to our society because you’re providing opportunities, stimulating the economy and most time doing so with quality customer service and valuable products. The tips above provide cost effective solutions to help you brand and market your small business online. Do you have other ideas that I didn’t mention above? I’d love to hear your small business marketing strategies! Let us know in the comments below, and happy small business week!