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The Simple, No-Nonsense Guide to Online Marketing for Small Business Owners

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We know that online marketing for small business success can feel incredibly overwhelming even to well-established businesses.

You understand that search engine optimization, social media, and online reviews are an important part of getting your website noticed online — and ranking high in the search engine results.

However, you’re at a loss as to how to make that happen.

This post is here to break down the basics of digital marketing.

Read on to understand how to make it work, and how to take advantage of the online marketing tactics you can’t afford to ignore.

1. Blogging Is Everything

The first rule of small business digital marketing? You have to blog.

Companies that blog have over 50% more website visitors than those that don’t, and 434% more indexed pages (that’s webpages that are crawled and included in the Google search algorithm) than those sites without a blog.

This means that blogging is an excellent way to outrank your competitors in the search engine result pages.

But it’s much more than just that.

Blog posts increase your brand’s authority.

This is because you’re providing valuable information to consumers that they can’t get anywhere else.

This develops a sense of trust in your brand. Blog posts are highly shareable on social media.

They also give you the chance to interact with your readers directly in the comments section.

Plus, when you look at your blog’s analytics — information about the people who are reading them — you’ll have the opportunity to vastly improve your digital marketing tactics as a whole.

You’ll be able to see which subjects interest your readers, your most popular posts, and the times of day people read/comment on your blogs. You can even track how many times they’ve been shared on specific social media platforms.

Remember that blogs don’t have to be strictly text-based.

You can also create video blogs, image-based posts, interactive quizzes, and much more. A variety of high-quality, genuinely useful content is what keeps readers coming back.

2. Don’t Underestimate Your Local Market

Over 40% of all search engine queries are local.

This means that, if you don’t consider local search as a part of your online marketing for small business strategy, you’re missing out on close to half of your potential customers.

How much more could you do for your company — and your employees and client base — with nearly 50% more money?

We’re willing to bet it’s a lot. So, how can you access that local market?

First of all, ensure that your website design is mobile-friendly. Remember that people often search for local businesses and destinations when they’re on the go. To further direct your local market to your business, also add a Google Map to every internal page of your website.

You should also use location-based keywords in your content, whether it’s static content like your homepage or your everyday blog posts. Include the name of your city, your neighborhood, and even any nearby landmarks or popular businesses.

Also, form relationships with other local businesses, and promote one another on social media and in your blog content. When you create content, about every third post — whether you’re blogging or using social media — should be based on local events and news.

You want to show that you’re in touch with your local community and that you exist to ensure that you meet the needs of your local market first.

3. Linking and Keywords: Your SEO Bread and Butter

You can’t climb in the search engine rankings without two things: keywords and links.

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines when they’re looking for certain products or services online. If you include these keywords in your content, and if readers stay on your site and take action on it, you’ll rise in the search engine rankings for that keyword.

This is essential because keywords directly connect you to customers who already want to buy what you have to offer.

It’s much more effective than marketing tactics like a billboard or a television commercial, where you just hope the right people happen to see your ad.

Linking both internally (back to your own website) and externally (to authoritative, non-competitive sites outside of your own) are also a key part of your SEO strategy.

The more sites that link back to your website, the more authoritative and helpful Google and other search engines will consider your site. The more internal links you include in your content, the more clicks you’ll get on your site — meaning higher search engine rankings.

4. Business Listings and Reviews Are Essential

Especially if you’re looking to take your local SEO strategy to the next level, it’s essential that you claim your third-party business listings.

This means filling out your Google My Business profile, submitting your company to online business directories, and claiming your listing on Yelp and other sites like it.

First of all, if you don’t claim your listings, your competitors can (and will) do it for you.

But these listings also provide your past customers the opportunity to leave reviews for your business and products.

Since close to 100% of shoppers read online reviews before making buying decisions, you need to give your potential customers a look at your reputation. Always respond calmly and quickly to both positive and negative reviews.

To encourage customers to leave reviews, offer incentives like a percentage off their next purchase or an entry into a drawing with excellent prizes. You should also include a link to your listings and ask for a review in all your business email correspondence.

Need Professional Help with Online Marketing for Small Business Success?

We understand that sometimes, online marketing for small business success just isn’t something you have the time to handle on your own.

However, it’s simply too important to push to the backburner. Instead, work with a marketing professional to make it happen.

Whether you need assistance with developing effective Facebook ads, web design, or SEO in general, we want you to be able to rely on us.

Together, we’ll create a data-driven and results-focused digital marketing strategy that will help you to build your brand, outrank your competitors, and of course, make your customers happy.

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