As a small business owner, it’s becoming increasingly hard to be heard. The Internet is a noisy place and if you want to drive better online marketing results, you must be strategic in your approach.
If you want to get your brand in front of potential customers, here are five online marketing tips to incorporate:
1. Setup Google My Business and Generate Reviews
Google My Business (GMB) is a free marketing tool from Google recommended for business owners to manage their online presence.
GMB encourages people to find out more about your business and complements your existing website. The tool features valuable information like your business address, website URL, phone number, opening hours and services.
To set up GMB, ensure you have all the required information to benefit from the marketing tool. Optimise the listing to reap the SEO advantages. You can also create GMB posts (up to 300 words) which offer valuable link juice back to your website. Use such posts to promote business updates, products or seasonal specials.
Once you have the listing set up, use social proof as a marketing strategy to validate your business. Do this by asking customers to review your products/services. Reviews lead to higher conversions and help boost online visibility and influence buying decisions.
Make it easy for people to leave a review by including a link on your site to bring customers directly to the review platform. A mix of positive and negative reviews reinforces transparency and credibility, whilst giving consumers a balanced perspective of your business.
2. Leverage Mobile Responsiveness
Mobile-first indexing rolled out earlier this year. Google now rates the mobile version of your site as the business’ primary version. So, if your website isn’t mobile responsive and fast-loading, it’ll get left behind the competition.
To determine whether your website is optimised for mobile, use Google’s free tool to test. To meet Google’s strict standards, consider the following vital factors:
Quality, targeted content produced on a regular basis is paramount to drive online marketing results. To leverage mobile marketing and optimise for Google, your mobile site should have the same high-quality content as your desktop site.
Remember, mobile users have a shorter attention span. However, if you serve valuable content regularly, visitors will consume it if it’s relevant and engaging.
Google uses page speed as a ranking factor for both mobile and desktop. As recommended by Google, websites should take about three seconds to load.
Research shows that a delay of a single second in page response time can yield a 7% reduction in conversions. Speed is essential.
3. Move to a Secure HTTPS Website
Have you made the switch from HTTP to HTTPS?
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) shows Google and consumers the data being encrypted during exchanges between a browser and your website is secure.
HTTPS has been a lightweight ranking signal since 2014, but it’s only in the last 12 months where it’s amplified in importance.
Making the switch shows consumers you value security and trust. It sends out valuable signals that your site can be trusted, safeguarding consumer’s information when they’re browsing on yours.
Google recently set a deadline for all websites to move to HTTPS by July 2018. Sites that don’t make the switch will be marked as ‘not secure’.
4. Invest Time into Content
To succeed online, you need to produce quality content consistently. To get the best results, content marketing, a cost-effective way to generate new leads, must have a solid strategy behind it.
Maintaining a regular blog on your website is highly recommended for best SEO practices. In fact, small businesses who blog increase lead growth by 126%, according to Content Marketing Institute.
Quality blog content draws attention to your site and positions your business as a trusted source. It’s also necessary to establish yourself as an industry expert and shifts your website higher in the organics SERPs.
The following forms of blog content can provide a starting point to increase website visibility and bring in more traffic:
Share your knowledge on industry and product news with readers. An active business blog rewards you with a more credible industry presence, after all – no one knows your industry and products like you do.
Create well-crafted, educational and shareable content in your field. This demonstrates to your audience and potential customers you’re capable of thought leadership on a higher-scale. Consider adding downloadable content, like an educational e-book to your blog too.
Trending topics in your niche can also be repurposed into blog content. Newsjacking involves finding these topic ideas and creating a new spin to cover on your own website.
Piggybank on trends through tools like Google Trends, Reddit.com and Twiter.com/Search.
Offer your audience a sneak preview into your business and its daily operations. Such updates can humanise your brand and keeps your audience connected. Take this blog post for example, which gives a more personal approach for your readers to connect with.
You can use videos and other form of content here as well. A video snapshot answering a client’s question or a staff member at an industry event or community activity offer a good excuse for well-crafted content.
5. Use the Right Tools to Gauge Success
Online marketing is an ever-changing world. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse – invest time in learning.
The basics of digital marketing can be learnt through free apps like Digital Garage. This will help give you the tools to build a strong online strategy.
Take advantage of other free services such as Google Analytics. Testing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts is vital. GA offers valuable insights into what your audience is doing on your website, so you can better tailor content for them. Measure and track results of online campaigns and use the data to benefit your business and its services.
Although content and online marketing are evolving fields, the fundamentals remain the same. If you’re committed to your customers and the results (and willing to put in the hard yards), the work pays off.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson – Senior Content Creator for White Chalk Road specialising in SEO and online marketing. You can catch Jayde on Google+ or LinkedIn to discuss this piece.