How Small Businesses Are Cracking the Online Marketing Code…

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When it comes to online marketing, the purpose and objectives are generally the same as traditional strategies in terms of increasing brand awareness and finding new customers.

There are a number of ingredients that go into a successful digital promotion all the way from planning to sales. Perhaps the biggest benefit online marketing has for small businesses is that it enables them to spend each dollar more efficiently to yield a higher ROI.

Related: The 6 Online Marketing Strategies Every Entrepreneur Needs

Here are some ways in which small businesses are making the most out of their online marketing efforts.

Producing strong content

Content marketing is the cornerstone of every online marketing strategy. Producing stellar brand material is a surefire way to create loyal visitors and encourage sharing.

At the end of the day, the most important goal of content creation is to turn visitors into customers. This can start with small objectives like earning a follow on social media, signing up for a newsletter or taking a survey or poll.

Regardless of what type of content you are producing, such as a video, image, blog or social media post, you need to have a clear vision of how your content is going to add value to the life of the reader. Successful small businesses don’t just produce content for the sake of keeping a schedule. Typically, they know exactly what the concerns of their target audience are and they gear their content to address them in a profound, meaningful way.

Take Magnolia for example. This father and son electronic store took into account that a good deal of their customer base is not well-versed in the world of electronics. With this insight, they released a mini magazine called Buyer’s Guide Place. This magazine was similar to a blog in that it educated their audience on subjects like little things to looks for when buying electronics. It worked to highlight the expertise of their team and what they stand for. After years of successfully connecting with customers, what started off as a small electronics store ended up being bought out by Best Buy for $87 million.

They are still producing top-notch, educational content in the form of online expert guides.

Everyone benefits from quality content. Consumers get gratifying material and businesses earn better rankings on the SERPS. Small business can take advantage of their tight-knit followers and cater to their precise interests.

Localized SEO strategy

A good SEO strategy is the key to getting noticed in on the SERPS. Local SEO is extremely important for small businesses, especially ones with a physical address.

Related: 7 Online Marketing Tools That Are Totally Worth the Investment

The end goal of local SEO is to gain high rankings for searches around your geographic location. When users search keywords or phrases in the area, you want your website to be at the top of the list.

Localized SEO is great (but very competitive) for smaller companies such as dental offices or law firms. For example, Abrahamson and Uiterwyk, a Florida injury law practice, has used local SEO to dramatically boost their rankings to increase business. With consistent efforts, they’ve ended up ruling Google’s Map packs and local results for keywords like “injury lawyer Tampa FL.”

“When someone is in need of legal counsel, they are checking the yellow pages less and less. They turn more to Google. With the help of some great local SEO efforts, we’ve managed to be one of the first few names that pop up in the search. This has helped us represent over 15,000 injury victims.” — Erik Abrahamson, Senior Partner at Abrahamson and Uiterwyk in Tampa, Fla.

Currently, only 17 percent of small business are investing in SEO. Now is a great time to jump onboard and find the best ways you can leverage the SERPS to increase your online exposure.

Website marketing

To compete in the rapidly evolving digital landscape, having a strong website is a must for businesses of all sizes. Keep in mind, 51 percent of website traffic comes from organic search. Your positioning depends on the reputation of your website.

Perhaps one of the most important factors that go into a website’s reputation (that influences Google Rankings) is speed. Loading time has a huge impact on how users interact with your platform. Page abandonment drastically increases after each second.

A great way to optimize website speed is to select a good host for your web server. A lot small businesses miss the mark in this area because they’ve put together a site using a basic CMS like WordPress, but don’t have a good technical team to support them. Here’s a good hosting comparison for WordPress sites.

For a small business evaluating a website platform, the free trials are typically pointless. Building and marketing a good website takes a lot of work and resources. Committing to this task is one of the best investments of time and money you can make for your business.

Related: 50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2016

One of the greatest things about online marketing is that it gives small businesses a chance to compete a relatively level playing field as the bigger enterprises. Success is based on smarter, more efficient strategies rather than total money spent. Having a solid content creation plan and SEO approach is crucial in getting your website in front of the eyes of your target audience. No need to rush it, a strong foundation will almost always lead to good results in the end.



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