Small businesses have a digital marketing problem. How does a small business avoid being washed away in the constant tide of online buying, selling and marketers hawking every conceivable item?
The Internet provides advantages for both customers and proprietors in that you can search for exactly what you desire. There is no bother of endless phone calls, driving to malls, or poring over mail-order catalogs. A quick keyword or 3, and hundreds of results vie for attention on the screen. Making sure your company is one of those results near the top is a combination of factors. Specificity in product offerings, Search Engine Optimization of web content and linking to and from related topics and sites.
The only way to get noticed on the Internet is to have a listing or presence. Whether a dedicated website, ads on relevant sites, or by word-of-mouth. Oftentimes targeted digital ads are cheaper than space in a print publication, as well as being available to a wider audience than a dedicated website may be. Rates are often available for daily, weekly, or monthly terms, increasing flexibility and allowing a tight budget more leeway.
Word-of-mouth advertising can be very cheap, but the returns may be difficult to quantify. Sponsoring web shows such as podcasts or webcasts can be a great and cheap way to gain word-of-mouth exposure. Many times, a podcaster will be so happy to gain sponsorship that you can negotiate rates for very little, but make sure to approach a podcaster that has a show that relates somehow to your business. Don’t overlook resources like Google’s Ads either, as they can be slightly pricier than similar options like banner ads, but are far more effective than pop-ups, banners, or pay-per-click ads due to their specific targeting.
When a potential customer decides to look up a product that you sell, is he or she going to find your site or listing? Being specific in the terms you use on your site or listing is key, as keywords drive the search engines like Google and Yahoo. If your company sells shoes, it’s not enough to put the word “shoes” on your site. It has to be anticipatory to the searches that potential customers are doing. Most customers have an idea of what they are looking for when doing a search. Customers will search for specifics like “imported Italian leather shoes.”
Specific focusing of terminology and product listings is a need for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Specific keywords drives Search Engine Optimization along with their repetition or locations on a page. If the term “Italian Leather Shoes” is seen 15 times on a website, it will pop up higher in listings. It would be easy to go overboard on this if it were the only criteria, but it is only one of many methods search engines use to list websites.
Our article on Keywords, located here, is a great reference to optimizing your site for maximum Search Engine Performance.
With a clear idea of where you want to go with digital marketing, it can be a valuable tool to expand your business on the internet. Be careful not to go overboard, as all marketing eventually crosses into the zone of limited return. Customers are looking for what they want. It’s up to you to ensure they run into you. The only way they will is for you to ensure your business is at the places they are going to go. Let LeadUp.Solutions help design a website that has your key metrics in mind.