In this article I wanted to talk about the importance of online marketing for small businesses. After speaking with some web designers and professional online marketers who help small businesses get placement into search engines have said that many are not interested in these types of services.
Further many have also said that they only relay on referrals! Really. You mean to tell me that you will only conduct your business from referrals and limit your income potential? In all reality you and I know that this is only a stall objecting because some internet marketer is trying to pitch their services.
I would like to point out the importance of online marketing for small businesses are crucial these days. Everybody has a smart phone and when someone is in need of a product or service, these days its so simple to go to Google and quickly search for what is needed.
In my opinion of all of the online marketing methods that are available… Search Engine Traffic is the best because the searcher (online user) has buyer intent. They are ready to buy versus social media traffic where you advertise to a cold audience who at the time may not be interested in your offer.
Search engine traffic that goes to your and any business website that is search for products or services to purchase is where the money is at. I think that this is one of the reasons why Google Adwords clicks are expensive because they are high quality clicks, actual people that have a need or want for something now.
Before Starting Online Advertising
If you own and operate a small business or an online store or whatever, you will need to have a website. But not just any website. A website that is clean, easy to navigate, loads quickly, has a valid HTTP/2 SSL certificate, mobile device friendly and easily conveys your company’s message or a good looking sales page.
There are many other elements that should be added to a website like a photos, videos, articles about your products and services, business phone number a contact lead form or an email opt in form for a newsletter/offer.
Do I Really Need an Amazing Website?
Yes. Think of your website as your 24 hour digital sales person. It works around the clock selling your products or services. It is also providing information to prospects about what you do and why they should do business with you. I don’t know about you but when I go into a store the sales people always dress good and look professional and so should your new updated website.
In many cases this will be the first impression you give off to a new prospect so make a good 1st impression and hope that they will stay on your website and convert into leads, appointments or sales, depending on the type of business you are in. None the less I think you understand the point I am trying to make here.
You will not believe how many small business websites out there even in this day in age that look horrible and it’s obvious that they are not converting online traffic to sales. Many don’t even fit properly on mobile devices and suck up a ton of mobile bandwidth for the viewer. Don’t piss off potential customers with a shitty website.
Now that I have showed you why your website will be the star of your show and your 24 hour sales person, what we will do next is go over all of the ways you can drive visitors to your website
What I consider the definition of this phrase is people who are online looking for something. These people are “the traffic” on the internet. Your job or your marketing person’s job is to get in front of this traffic and show these people your offers. You will see me say online traffic a lot in this post and I just wanted to clear up what it means.
Anyway back to your website, if it is out of date, lacks info, no contact forms and not ready to convert online traffic into customers, then fix that first before continuing here.
Search Engine Optimization
A great way to get new customers to your website is using a method call search engine optimization. Basically Google provides website with high quality traffic as long as that website is on the first page of the search engine results and hopefully near the top of the listings. Whoever is there is the one who is getting most of this high quality buyer intent ‘online traffic’. Books and courses have been written on how to effective use this method to get on the first page of Google or even Bing.
I will not go into all of that here as this is an overview of what is available to you to grow your business using online marketing techniques for small businesses.
When starting a search engine optimization strategy your website has to be optimized with keywords and content like written articles, photos and videos that show what you do and how you offer a solution. Present problems and offer a solution convert the best in my experience.
Now you are probably thinking I don’t have time for that or I don’t want to write tons of content and you don’t have too. There are many online marketing agencies or SEO agencies out there that will do it for you. If you need assistance with this contact us here at Networkrr.com and we will help you.
However search engine optimization for small business website does take time as content has to be created on and off the subject website. Content created off your website is important because that will have l.inks pointing back you’re your website to boost its search engine rankings. A link is like a vote to your site. This will boost it up. You will need many in order to achieve this.
Whether you do it your self or hire someone expect 2- 6 months to see positive results. Compare this to Google adwords pay per click where you can see results as fast as you can create a campaign and launch it. Be careful though, this could be costly.
Google Adwords Pay Per Click
Now that we understand the importance of getting online traffic from search engines there is a quick way to achieve this and that is by paying for the traffic to get visitors to your website, landing pages or offers.
Tread carefully with this. There are online marketing agencies out there that will set up a Google adwords campaign for you, optimize it to achieve low click costs and mange the account for you. The charge a fee which is usually a percentage of your monthly adword spend.
Your other option would be to look for an online course for how to use Google Adwords. I chose this method and in the beginning it seemed a little overwhelming but once I began to understand how to find keywords about what I do and how to create many keywords I think my customers are typing onto search engines, it became easier. Especially after the campaign was setup, all I had to do was to monitor it and delete the no traffic keywords and keep the keywords that were driving me the online traffic I wanted.
To set up a complete campaign only takes a few hours (mostly because of keyword research related to the business) then uploading keywords and setting things up in the Adwords control panel or Adwords editor software which is recommended.
If you decide to buy a course you could be up and running within a week. Just depends on how much effort you put into this.
So as you can see I love search engine traffic and I am sure you will too. This type of traffic will definitely bring new visitors to your website. Not all of them will convert into sales but a certain percentage will. Just depends on how good your small business website converts. This will have to be monitored and improved as you get more data.
Install Google Analytics so that you can see where all of these people are coming from and what they are doing on your website. You can even track conversion through analytics. There are a ton of videos on Youtube.com that explain how to do this. Google Analytics gives you a small snippet of code that you place in the <Header>
ADD IMAGE OF THIS CODE here
Social Media Marketing
Another way to get people to discover your business, offers, services or products is via social media marketing.
The 2 best ways to do this is with Facebook and Instagram. These two networks will be more than enough.
Let’s start with Advertising on Facebook. It is highly probable that you already have a Facebook page. If not you will need to get one if you want more customers.
So as we discussed earlier you was that with Google you can get a lot of free high quality traffic or you can pay for it.
On face book expect to pay for it. Their organic reach to your audience is very small. This is a Pay to Play network using Facebook ads. By publishing ads from your Facebook business page (fan page) your ads will show up in the news feed of your targeted audience. When your audience sees your ad, one of two things will happen. They will either click on it to find out more or ignore it or scroll on.
I have a course that explains everything you need to know about how to set up a Facebook ads account, how to target your audience and how to do everything to be successful at Facebook marketing for small businesses.
In the case with Facebook marketing your website does not have to be keyword optimized and everything we talked about before. Using these ads you can drive traffic to your FB page (cheaper) or to a form to get leads.
Believe it or not but many of your new future customers, clients or patients are on Facebook right now. As soon as you start publishing your ads there they will discover your business. This in itself is a huge opportunity to make more money.
It is even possible that your competitors are not using this platform to advertise for what ever reason. I think one of the big reasons is because the ad manager looks complex and confusing. There is also a learning curve on how to use it correctly which could be quickly learned in a day or two of playing with it.
If you take my course everything you need to know is clearly laid out including videos that explain step by step of how to set up a campaign, manage it and become successful quickly with this form of online marketing using social media.
However if you are busy and don’t mind paying an independent Facebook adverting agency $1,000 to $3,000 or more every month to set up mange the account for you then this option is available if you do not have time to do it or simply don’t want to do it.
Just know that this social network should not be ignored because it is a huge resource of getting so many new customers month after month.
There are several posts on this website that talks about the advantages of using Facebook ads and how to get more customers from it.
Instagram Social Media Marketing
Believe it or not but Instagram is another platform to get more customers! Let me explain why by using an example that I read about recently.
There is a dentist who specializes in teeth whitening for the area where he does business. He started getting before and after photos of his patients’ smiles and posting those to his Instagram account.
In addition to posting photos he also did something to naturally grow his following count. But after he started using Instagram ads targeting his local area, people who did not follow him were seeing the before and after teeth whitening smiles. This lead to more people (potential patients) following his dental practice but also more people making an appointment for the teeth whitening service!
Instagram is all about the photos. The audience on Instagram is huge and it does not matter where you live. This is another resource that your small business or practice can tap into and make more money.
- What types of photos could you take and post that people would like to see?
- What are you proud of about your business?
- What could you show off that would get people interested in what you do?
- What kind of photos could you take to create curiosity?
Using this platform will get your ads/photos into the feed of the audience you target and these people will discover your business. Also as people like your photos but don’t contact you can be re-targeted with another ad so that you stay in front of those who at least like what you do and perhaps later they will do business with you.
Its kind of like branding your business, getting people to trust and like you is important as some people will not do business with those who they do not know.
So use Instagram ads and let everyone in your area who might be interested in what you offer get to start knowing more about your business.
Try to post photos regularly.
Tip 1: When using Instagram, this platform does not utilize keywords, instead it utilizes hashtags #
So in Google a keyword could be: dentist in Dallas
But in Instagram it would be the hashtag: #dentisitinchicago
As well as all other variable you can think of to create more hashtags.
Tip 2: When starting a new Instagram account use hashtags sparingly like only 2 or 3 as to warm up the account or the algorithm pay penalize the account if using 20 hashtags from the start (seems like spam activity) Over time and as you add more photos posts increase the number of # hashtags you use. This will get your account discovered by more and increase your following (audience)
If your old school and still using newspapers or the phone book to advertise in I would like to know more about how that is working out for you. I can assure you most people are online now and search engine marketing and social media marketing with paid ads is where you will find new business month after month.
Yes there is a learning curve to this. You can shorten that by taking the social media courses we offer which include video instructions as well.
What I have not touched upon here is email marketing. This is a whole other method that can be very effective and is different that the online marketing methods discussed in this post. I hope that you enjoyed this information regarding the importance of online marketing for small businesses.