Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important marketing strategies for small businesses. SEO is the process of optimizing your site structure and content to make it easier for search engines to crawl or “read.” By making small changes to your site and developing content that focuses on relevant keywords, you can work to rank higher on the search engine results page. The higher you rank on Google, the more opportunities you will have to drive new traffic to your site.
SEO is especially important for small businesses because consumers who are searching for brands to buy from locally often use their mobile device to find nearby locations. By optimizing your site and content for local SEO, you can increase your chances of appearing in these local mobile search results. As an added note, it’s also important that your site is mobile responsive, which means that it can easily be accessed and navigated through on a mobile device.
So how do you improve SEO for your small business? You can start with a site audit. Whether you choose to conduct the audit yourself or hire an experienced SEO agency, a site audit is the first step in understanding where your site stands when it comes to search engine optimization. The audit will take a look at your on-page SEO to determine your website’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to search engine optimization. This includes both your site structure as well as content.
Content marketing is at the center of most marketing strategies for small businesses. Content marketing is the process of creating and publishing quality content that is relevant to your target audience and provides some time of value for readers or viewers. The key to developing great content marketing is knowing what your audience cares about most, including their greatest challenges, needs, and desires.
Unlike some paid marketing strategies for small businesses, content marketing focuses on the long-term. You can use quality content to improve your SEO. However, it’s also beneficial if you want to build trust with your audience, promote a positive brand image, and foster powerful relationships with your leads and customers.
In the end, content marketing provides an attractive return on investment for any brand because you can continue to share and promote content long after the original piece is published.
Before you get started with your content marketing, you’ll need to make sure that you have clearly defined your audience and gathered information about them. Creating buyer personas is a great way to ensure that your audience is at the center of all your content marketing efforts.
Buyer personas are generalized profiles of your target buyers, containing data like demographics, challenges, likes and preferences, buying behaviors, and other information that’s vital to getting to know your customer.
Once you’ve gotten to know your buyers well, it’s time to brainstorm some possible content topics. Start with your audience’s greatest challenges. What questions do customers often ask? What do consumers need to know more about before making a purchasing decision? This is a great starting point for developing topics for a wide range of content from blog and social media posts to infographics and ebooks.
When developing topics for your content, it’s important to consider the where your leads are in their buyer’s journey. Different topics and content types work better for different parts of the funnel.
For example, a video that gives an overview of the person’s greatest challenge works well during the awareness stage when the consumer is first becoming aware of the problem.
However, a case study or use case might work better to help those who are ready to make a purchase better understand how your brand can benefit them.
Creating and publishing quality content on a consistent basis is not easy. It requires time and resources to ensure that your content is not only relevant and valuable but of the same high quality that your products and services are.
If you don’t have the resources in-house to sustain a consistent content calendar, it may be time to call in the experts. For example, hiring an agency for blogging services is a great way to ensure that you’re consistently putting out new content that attracts and engages your target buyers.
PPC, or pay-per-click, advertising is a type of online ad model that allows small businesses to display their ads to people searching online for relevant products and services.
Pay-per-click works just like it sounds – you pay each time a consumer clicks on your ad content.
Though Facebook and other ad platforms use the pay-per-click model, we are going to focus on PPC ads that are displayed on Google and other search engines.
You may be wondering, how exactly do PPC ads work on search engines?
Well, advertisers have to bid on certain keywords that are relevant to their product or service offering. The search engine uses an algorithm to determine which ads show up on the search engine results page (SERP) based on quality, relevance, and validity.
Much like SEO, the keyword research plays an important role in PPC ad campaigns as you have to bid on keywords that would most likely be used by relevant leads.
Google Ads (you may have previously heard it referred to as Google AdWords), is the most popular PPC advertising platform. Since the majority of consumers are using the Google search engine to search for information about products and services, Google is a great place to start with your PPC advertising.
Google uses keyword relevance, landing page quality, and other factors to determine your quality score, which impacts when and where your ads are served on the SERP for related search queries.
The first step to creating PPC ad campaigns is conducting keyword research. This is a time-consuming yet vital process as your entire campaign is built around the keywords that you choose.
An effective PPC keyword list should be relevant and exhaustive, including both popular, frequently searched terms and other less competitive long tail keywords. As search trends are constantly changing, it’s important to continue to expand and refine your PPC keywords list over time to make sure you’re getting the best possible return on investment (ROI) for your ad campaigns.
If no one on your team has experience managing Google Ads or creating and managing PPC ad campaigns, then we highly recommend that you don’t try to tackle this yourself. PPC ads cost money every time someone clicks on them, which means that if you don’t know the ins and outs of PPC advertising, you may be wasting your budget on strategies and tactics that just don’t work.
According to Facebook, there are 2 million small to medium sized businesses advertising on this social media platform.
And that should come as no surprise given that Facebook ads are one of the most effective and least expensive ways to advertise your products to nearly any niche audience.
No matter what industry you are in or who your target market is, there’s a good chance that you can reach your target buyers on Facebook.
One of the greatest advantages of Facebook ads are the sophisticated targeting features. While other ad platforms may have you guessing as to who is really seeing your ads, Facebook helps you narrow down your audience so that only relevant consumers can see your ad content. The platform allows you to target your audience based on a number of different characteristics including location, age, gender, online behavior, and other factors.
Social Media Marketing
Using social media channels to reach and engage your target audience is no longer an option – it’s a must! Rather than asking yourself if you should be active on social media, you should be asking yourself how much time and resources you plan to devote to growing your social media audience and fostering your relationships with leads and customers.
The first step in developing a social media marketing strategy for your small business is choosing which channels to spend your time on. You want to consider both which social media platforms your target audience uses most often as well as which social media channels provide the advantages that can help you reach and engage your audience.
Email marketing is one of the best marketing strategies for small businesses. Most consumers are not going to purchase from your brand the first time they visit your site. That’s why it’s important to find ways to keep in touch with these consumers after they leave. Once you have captured your visitors’ contact information, you can nurture these leads. And email marketing is a great strategy for lead nurturing. Before you can start designing and implementing email marketing campaigns, you need to find a way to capture your target audience’s contact information. One way to do this is through a “lead magnet,” which is a compelling offer that give to site visitors in exchange for their email address. This can be a special content asset like an ebook or whitepaper, a webinar invitation, or a special promotion.
Once you have a list of email subscribers, you can start designing targeted campaigns that allow you to build authority and nurture relationships with leads and customers. For best results, segment your email lists so that you can send more targeted content and offers to your subscribers. For instance, you might create a list for subscribers that are in the same step of the buyer’s journey or leads that have similar characteristics.
In terms of email marketing content, there are many different types of messaging you can provide to your email list. Consumers often prefer to get promotions and sale details through email. You can also use email marketing to deliver targeted and valuable content like your blog posts, eBooks, info graphics, and any other types of marketing content you’ve created.