Gone are the days where you could launch a website into internet space letting it drift along with nary a care (or update). If you do, your site may suffer the same fate as the space probe Cassini: crash and burn! (minus the scientific achievement of it all).
And into today’s hyper-connected, consumer-driven atmosphere it’s become a necessity for business owners to learn how to navigate this new world.
To stay competitive small businesses need to develop an effective online marketing strategy. Focus on these 7 digital marketing solutions to rocket your business into the digital age.
1) An Engaging Website
Your website is command central for all your online efforts and digital marketing. Regardless of what other advertising avenues you use — online and offline — this is the potential customer’s landing zone.
Like it or not, your website is a reflection of your business. It’s how most consumers form their first impression. So you want to make it count.
An old coupon, an expired discount, or references to your MySpace page are tell-tale signs of a neglected website. Even the look and feel can be a turn off if the site seems outdated.
If you haven’t updated your website recently there are some simple and cost-effective ways to freshen it up. Put it at the top of your to-do list.
2) Create a Blog
It goes hand-in-hand with the website, but it needs to be mentioned separately because it’s so important.
It’s also referred to as content marketing.
And the basic idea behind the blogging craze is perfectly summed up by Erika Heald, a content marketer and social media consultant. She says “Content marketing is using content to build a relationship with your audience over time so you are top-of-mind when your product or service can solve their problem.”
Of course, not every business owner has the ability or desire to write (you didn’t major in English for a reason!). That’s when it’s time to consider outsourcing your website blogging.
It’s a great way to ensure your blog is kept fresh with original, relevant, and professional content.
3) Make Mobile a Priority
Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer a question of “should we?”
And it’s especially important for small businesses since the majority of mobile searches are for local products and services.
67% of mobile users say they’re more likely to make a purchase if the site they visit is mobile-friendly, according to a study conducted by independent market research firms.
That’s a lot of potential for sales. But if your site can’t be viewed on mobile devices, that’s a lot of customers you’ll never see.
If that’s not convincing in itself, consider the following fact. Mobile-friendly sites receive a boost in Google’s search engine rankings.
The bottom line: Go mobile or go home.
4) Digital Marketing Solutions Must Include SEO
Now that you have an out-of-this-world, responsive website, you need to get people there.
Search engine optimization is not merely researching keywords for your niche (although that is at the top of the list). It includes optimizing on-page SEO, using heading and meta tags correctly, understanding the latest Google algorithms, and utilizing internal and externals properly.
Not sure how optimized your website is? Perform an SEO audit to find out how you stack up against your competitors.
5) Focus Locally
If you haven’t verified your business and claimed your Google My Business listing do that as soon as you finish reading this post. It’s FREE.
Verify that your phone number, street address, ZIP code, and e-mail address are accurate and up-to-date. If a searcher has the option between yours or your competitor’s, make yours stand out the most.
We suggest you:
- Have your main phone number in the listing
- Make sure your address is the same as the address on your site
- Add profile and cover photo images
- Represent your company’s open/close hours accurately
According to Search Engine Watch, 50% of online searches are for local businesses and 67% of those result in a purchase.
Of all the digital marketing solutions with a local bent, this is one to get done.
6) Social Media Marketing
Were you holding your breath, hoping we wouldn’t go here? It’s understandable. For many small businesses, the idea of using social media to promote their business is a little intimidating.
Every social media platform has its advantages. But as far as digital marketing solutions in the social arena, Facebook is a great place to start.
The Facebook advertising model is already well-established. It has proven to be an effective marketing platform for small businesses. It allows companies to target specific markets without breaking the bank.
7) Analyze Your Analytics
Regardless of size, the bottom line for any business is ROI. And the only way to measure your return on investment is through data.
This is one area where technology and digital marketing solutions can be used to your advantage. All you need to know is what to look for and where to get this invaluable information.
For the small business owner, one of the simplest sources to turn to is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics helps you track the number of first-time visitors to your site plus how many are returning visitors. Returning visitors is a good gauge of how well your content interests people.
You can also look at which pages on your site receive the most visits. Evaluate which content to keep and which needs to be re-worked or deleted based on these telling numbers.
You also want to be aware of your site’s bounce rate. A high bounce rate is a sign that your homepage is not intriguing enough for browsers to stick around. This is another reason to consider a website redesign.
Finally, by using Geo data Google Analytics will tell you if your local SEO strategy is successful. The information allows you to fine-tune your target areas.
Ready for Take Off?
To master any online marketing strategy you don’t need to be a rocket scientist. You simply need to develop digital marketing solutions that are clear, consistent, and cohesive.
Most business owners want to focus on one thing: their business, not all of the above. That’s understandable. And sometimes the best solution is to hand over the reigns.
That’s where we come in.
All your digital marketing solutions are available in one place. Find out how we are launching small businesses into new digital frontiers.