9 Web Marketing Tips To Help Your Small Business
Web marketing is one arena where small businesses can compete against larger companies within the same field. While the size of a budget does influence the amount of money that can be directed towards marketing costs, on the Internet, every company performs on the same stage. With these web marketing tips, you can help your small business thrive and succeed.
1. Build Out Your Brand
Establishing a recognizable brand image is critical to the growth of your company. Part of a building a brand is associating the name and image of your company with quality in the minds of your customers. When people see a brand image they know, they are reminded of the reasons they trust the company, and they may feel compelled to choose your products or services over those of your competitors. To begin building your brand, place your logo on company social networking pages and use the image in all of your marketing materials online.
2. Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget
To compete against larger companies who may have a marketing budget that is exponentially larger than your own, choose your marketing avenues wisely. For example, paid search campaigns are one arena that can be easily won by throwing large amounts of cash at keywords. Instead, your money may be better spent on other strategies that stretch the value of your marketing dollars, such as content marketing or natural search engine optimization improvements. You can also use social networking sites directly to speak to customers instead of paying to advertise on them.
3. Stay Ahead of Search Engine Updates
When a search engine updates the way it returns search results for keywords, businesses everywhere can experience massive losses or impressive gains in rankings. For buying-orientated keywords in popular niches, this can substantially change the amount of a traffic directed to a site from search results. To avoid being on the losing end when Google releases an update, keep the content on your site fresh and interesting. Update your pages frequently, and optimize each page according to best practice standards. Quality content never goes out of style, and search engines will reward you for making it enjoyable for visitors to read your site.
4. Engage Your Customers
Social networking sites offer your company the opportunity to interact with your customers in ways that were not possible a decade ago. Customers with problems can contact you directly on Twitter, giving you the chance to positively resolve their issue in a very public way. You can use Twitter and Facebook to open up a dialogue with your customers to find out what they want from your company and get feedback on the services you offer. When your company releases new products or has news to share, you can post the updates on social networking sites. Customers that find the information useful may share it with others, and you can use this to your advantage by announcing sales and deals to people willing to connect with your company on social sites.
5. Combine Strategies
To succeed with web marketing, you need to use more than one strategy. A killer web page is great to inform customers about the services you offer, but without marketing they will never find your page to know about your company in the first place. You need to combine social, search and content strategies to reach your customers in every way possible. Additionally, within each marketing area there are more approaches to take.
6. Include Testimonials
Potential customers that read glowing testimonials of your company are likely to be interested in learning more about what you provide. Testimonials are powerful, and you can feature them on your site by linking to review sites such as Yelp, or you can ask your customers who give you feedback if they are willing to allow you to display their comment on your site. Google reviews are also important to building trust in your company. It is a good idea to stay aware of the reviews your company has received, so you can make improvements and learn what is working for you and what needs to be changed.
7. Update Old Content
Today, visitors to your website will arrive expecting to learn something from you in addition to finding out more about contacting your company or the services you offer. You can give them a reason to work with you by refreshing your existing content. You can create videos to feature on your site, and you can integrate content that is likely to be shared on social networking sites. Adding useful content helps build your brand image as well. When you provide potential customers with tips or tricks that are relevant to what they knew they needed when they searched for your site, you begin building a trusting relationship with people that may ultimately convince them to give you a call to find out more about your services or products.
8. Test New Site Features
The changes you make to your site by incorporating new web marketing strategies should be tested for viability. Customers become used to the way a site operates, and changes often cause a temporary dip in sales as people learn to interact with your site in a new way. To minimize the impact of changes on your company, test each feature as you roll it out. User interface changes can lead customers towards the areas of your site you want them to see, and you can try out the placement of calls to action within your content pages to discover any changes that should be made.
9. Try Different Approaches
As the web marketing industry grows, new and innovative techniques are being developed to help you expand your business. Even if the tried and true methods are working well for your company at the moment, you can stay one step ahead with a willingness to try out new ideas and take different approaches to the same problems. If you are unsure of where to go next with your web marketing strategy, consult an Internet marketing company. The industry is old enough at this point that many companies are highly specialized in a specific area, so you can benefit by finding out the different approaches taken.
What other tips would you give when it comes to helping your business gain more exposure through web marketing?
image: small business/shutterstock
Mark Saghy is passionate about small business. He continues to learn new information that he shares through blogging. Mark Saghy works as a marketing executive with Exhibit Deal, a wholesale trade show display company. You can follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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