If you ask the average small business owner about the details of their online strategy chances are you will be greeted with a blank stare. Don’t let this be you!
Most of us have been trained in our business classes that all we need to do is to simply hand over our marketing budget to a media rep who then use those dollars (your dollars) to spread your business’s logo and message via print, broadcast media and easily accessible online outlets.
This relationship has long been desirable for most business owners since they had neither the time nor the inclination to devote much thought to marketing, but if you’re a start-up you don’t have this luxury. Terrified yet? You shouldn’t be.
If you take the time to learn the basics you’ll find that internet marketing isn’t as intimidating as it sounds and it can offer better R.O.I than any of the traditional marketing methods you’ve used in the past.
Move past the jargon, and the fear, and you’ll be able to see clearly that Your Website, SEO and Social Media are the most important aspects of your online marketing strategy
Understand these 3 areas at their root and you can start competing effectively online. Here are a few tips that will get you started in the right direction.
First things first, build a current web design that’s welcoming and easy to navigate.
Just as you wouldn’t set up your brick and mortar business in a dilapidated building, you can’t afford to have a substandard online presence. Visitors are unlikely to return to a website that is poorly designed, out of date or difficult to navigate.
Today it’s easier than ever for a novice to build their own website. However, you’re better off hiring an experienced web developer who can deliver a premium product that looks the part.
If you can’t afford all the bells and whistles, opt for an attractive, simple design that loads quickly and gives potential customers what they are looking for with a minimum of fuss.
Use Social Media outlets as part of your marketing, it’s a must.
Like it or not, social media is here to stay. You should be using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other social platforms to build your brand, interact with customers and position yourself as an authority in your field.
Which social media platforms should you be using? That largely depends on the nature of your business and your market. Don’t try to do everything at once. Have a social media strategy and stick to it. It is better to have a plan than a dozen social media accounts floating around the internet like ghost ships.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO, don’t underestimate it’s power.
Your piece of the internet real estate (your website) isn’t doing your business any good if it isn’t showing up on the first few pages of search results. The few people who do wind up on your website via Google, Yahoo or Bing are most likely looking for your brand but if your brand isn’t big yet then they won’t find you any other way if your site is not well optimized, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is so important.
Search Engine Optimization makes it easier for search engines, and customers, to find your website from targeted queries related to your products or services.
Traffic is only one of the benefits of SEO though, you also gain valuable insights into your visitors behavior through tools like Google Analytics, HotJar and Optimizely. Keywords and quality content are only part of this complex, ever-evolving marketing strategy so it’d be wise to contact an SEO professional or utilize a trusted SEO software provider.
Your website, like a piece of internet real estate is something you will want to develop slowly and test in over time, SEO if done right will yield higher returns and stability over the long run but might be something you outsource rather than take on yourself. Social media, not surprisingly, is becoming a bigger piece of the puzzle every day – don’t get left behind.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community