Imagine yourself as the owner of a business. You’ve got all these great ideas, and you want to share them with the world, but there are so many other businesses out there that it can be challenging for your business to stand out. Even if people see what you have to offer, they might not take action because they don’t know who you are or where to find more information about your business. This is why online marketing is so important; it helps small business owners get their name out into the world and connect with customers on a new level.
But how? To answer this question, we need first consider two things: How does someone actually find something on the Internet? And what should you be doing differently if you’re a business instead of just some random person?
Search Engine Optimization
Well, for starters, people find things on the Internet by searching. For example, if someone wants to buy outdoor gear, they might google “best hiking boots” or “quality backpacking equipment.” If your business sells outdoor gear, you need to ensure that your business pops up in these search results. This is called search engine optimization (SEO).
With SEO, you want visitors who are actively interested in what you have to offer (people who typed into Google that they were looking for something related to your business). So you want keywords—words and phrases associated with what your company does—to be included on your website, in your blog posts, and even in your social media updates.
But simply stuffing as many keywords as you can into everything isn’t going to help. In fact, it can actually hurt your business! That’s because Google is getting smarter all the time, and it can tell when a website is trying to cheat its way to the top of the search results. So make sure that you focus on high-quality content that will be interesting and useful for your customers.
This also includes making sure that your website is designed in a way that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. If people can’t find what they’re looking for on your website quickly and easily, they’re going to leave and go somewhere else. And once they’ve gone, it can be tough to get them back. Hire a reliable digital marketing agency that can offer affordable web design and development solutions for your small business.
But what if people don’t type in the keywords you want to target? What if they’ve never heard of your business before? This is where online advertising comes in. Online advertising can help get your business in front of new customers who are actively looking for the products or services that you offer.
There are many types of online advertising, but the most common ones are search engine advertising and social media advertising. With search engine advertising, businesses can place ads on Google and other search engines that will show up when people are searching for related keywords. And with social media advertising, businesses can place ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that will target people who have already connected with the business’s social media profiles.
In both cases, online advertising is a paid form of marketing where you only pay when someone clicks on the ad to learn more about your business or visits your website. This means that it can be a lot less expensive than offline advertising methods like magazine ads and television commercials. But because people have so much free content available to them, they have pretty high standards when it comes to what they will visit for free. So make sure that your business puts out great content before spending money on an online advertisement campaign.
The Internet isn’t just desktop computers anymore. Businesses need to make sure that their business website is mobile-friendly—otherwise, people won’t be able to find it when they are out and about looking for your business. Google has a specific mobile-friendly ranking factor in determining where businesses appear in mobile search results. It also penalizes business websites that aren’t mobile-friendly by ranking them lower than other sites on mobile devices. So if you want your business to show up higher in mobile search results, make sure that it has a mobile-optimized website.
Another great way to connect with customers is through email marketing. With email marketing, businesses can send out periodic newsletters, updates, and special offers to customers who have subscribed to their email list. This is a great way to keep in touch with customers and let them know about new products or services that you offer.
To start an email marketing campaign, you first need to gather email addresses from your customers. You can do this by asking them to subscribe on your website, including an opt-in form on your social media profiles, or even hand-writing email addresses on business cards and collecting them that way. Once have a few hundred email addresses, you can start drafting your emails and sending them out. But be careful not to spam your customers! Only send out emails when you have something valuable to share, and make sure that the design and content of your emails are high quality.
Business owners today indeed need to be online to connect with their customers. And if your business is small, it doesn’t necessarily have the resources or manpower to do business development itself. But even if you don’t have any digital marketing skills yourself, there are companies out there who can help. Just make sure you hire a reputable one.