It wasn't that long ago that many small businesses thought being in the online yellow pages was enough to have sufficient online presence. We know these days that having a website is a must for all small businesses and if you don't have one you are giving your competitors the edge.
We also know that consumer demands have evolved further so now having a website isn't enough, small business now must have a complete online marketing strategy. Here are five strategies of an online marketing campaign that all small businesses should consider:
It's no good putting a website up and hoping customers will magically find you. Achieving search engine optimisation (SEO) takes some work and mainly involves getting the keywords right and placing them in the right spots. There are two types of keywords: head keywords and long tail keywords and it's the latter that should be the focus for SEO. Some research is needed to pick the right keywords for your small business online marketing strategy and Google's keyword tool is not a bad start.
2. Social media
Like I said at the start, having a website is not sufficient for a small business online marketing campaign. When we speak of social media we are virtually talking about Facebook and Twitter right? Facebook does get bad press from time to time but small business can really take advantage of it's aspects: it's virtually free advertising if you create a business page, you can let people know updates of your products and services within seconds and it allows you to personally interact with your fans. What other traditional marketing medium allows you to do that? You can have targeted paid adverts on Facebook for very little outlay.
Twitter is a great business marketing tool but needs to be updated regularly. It is regarded as probably the best medium to drive traffic to your website as long as you are not spamming.
Using social media for online promotion really is about trust marketing which if you are a business owner with an online presence you must know about and use.
3. Online article writing
This is what I'm doing now, ie using an online article platform as a means to build trust. Now there are quite a few online article sites out there that businesses can use to build industry credibility and market their website. Obviously Hubpages is one, there is also Squidoo, Ezine, Inforbarrel and many more. Don't underestimate the power of effective online article writing to get potential customers to reach your landing page on your business website.
4. Using video for SEO
Virgin airways say their ticket sales have increased 30% since using video on their website. Using Youtube as part of your overall online marketing strategy is a great way for customers to 'meet' you and hear you speak. Make sure you message is appealing and enticing though so they click on your website link which should be below the video. Using video can be highly effective for SEO and shouldn't be overlooked.
5. Use images for SEO
If you have images on your website then you should be using keywords relevant to your website in their alt-image tag descriptions. For instance if you are selling blue widgets then you will probably have a picture of a blue widget on your website so make sure you describe the image 'blue widget' in your image description fields. Why is this important? Because images enhance SEO given Google has a image search function. Lets say someone does a Google search on 'blue widgets' but hits the image link up the top of the page. They will get pages of images of blue widgets. If you hover over an image you will get the website of where that image comes from. Wouldn't you want to have an image on your website come up?
These are just five methods of increasing online traffic to your website and should be considered in any business plan.