If you’re a small business who wants to stay afloat and even thrive during these trying times, you’re going to need a website.
However, just putting up a website and hoping the traffic starts to pour in won’t do you any favors.
You need a quality, functional website, along with effective website marketing strategies to drive traffic and new customers to your site.
By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to start generating new leads and customers for your local business through your website.
Before you start to implement any of the digital marketing strategies below you’ll need to have a professional website in place.
Your website is where you’ll be funneling all of the traffic to, once you implement the digital marketing strategies. It’s how you’ll realize the benefits of video marketing. It’s how you’ll capture leads and turn them into customers. It’s your home base on the web.
Without a website, all of these strategies will be much less effective.
Here are some of the elements that every small business website needs to have:
- A professional design
- High-quality copy, images, and even video
- An engaging opt-in box to collect visitor information
- An email autoresponder to communicate with your visitors
- Relevant business information
- An informative blog to execute a blog marketing strategy
If all of that sounds like a lot, don’t worry. It’s much easier than it sounds and can be accomplished in a single afternoon.
If you prefer to bypass all the technical steps of setting up your website, then get in touch today (link to contact).
A lot of small business owners are looking for the magic bullet marketing method.
One that’ll bring your business an endless amount of leads, or one that transforms your business overnight. I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but this doesn’t exist.
If you’ve been researching online marketing methods on your own, then you’ve probably come across more than your fair share of these promises. But, no matter how seductive they are, don’t believe the hype.
The overall goal of your web marketing strategies should be to get your business in front of the people who are looking for what you’re offering. The strategy that works the best for you will depend upon what kind of business you run, who your target audience is, and where they hang out online.
Consider some of the following questions when you’re evaluating which strategies below will work best for your small business:
- Where do my customers spend time online?
- Are there any authorities/experts they trust?
- How do my customers’ shop: online or in-person?
- Where do they prefer to buy goods?
- Who is my target customer? Where do they live? What’s their budget?
Spend some time with the questions above, as it’ll help you get a clearer picture of who your customers are, and how you’re going to market to them online.
For example, an auto repair shop will have a much different customer base and digital marketing strategy than a cupcake shop that specializes in events.
There are no one-size-fits-all approaches to online marketing. Facebook marketing won’t save you, neither will SEO, PPC, or content marketing.
But, a blend of the above might position your business as the go-to business in your local area. Or, one of the methods below might single-handedly transform your business.
The results will ultimately differ depending on your business and your customers.
Below you’ll learn about 7 cutting edge small business website marketing strategies. You’re welcome to try them all or experiment with one or two until you find out what works for your unique business needs and challenges.
There are a ton of different small business online marketing strategies you can implement.
However, the following 7 strategies are the most effective and have been proven to work time and time again.
Let’s jump in!
One of the best places to start is optimizing your small business website for local keywords. Your potential customers are searching for keywords related to your business every single day.
If your website isn’t optimized properly, then it won’t rank for these keywords, and your customers won’t know you exist.
The simplest way to get an idea of where you’re at is to head over to the UberSuggest SEO Analyzer, and run your domain through the tool.
This will give you a breakdown of any SEO errors you might have, along with website optimization tips.
Keyword research should form the foundation for your local SEO keywords. Essentially, keyword research allows you to see what keywords your potential customers are searching for, along with the keyword volume.
You can even uncover what keywords your competitors are ranking for, so you can target the same keywords and outrank them in the search results.
Depending on what keywords you’re ranking for, it can take a while to start to see results. But, once you’ve claimed those top keyword positions it can be a passive source of leads and traffic. Plus, you get the bragging rights of claiming the top keyword spots in your local area (although not directly related to your bottom line), it can be a great way to cement yourself as an authority in your local area.
Here’s how you can get started with keyword research:
- Head over to UberSuggest and type in a keyword related to your business + local area.
- Then, comb through the list of keywords to see if any are low competition and have a decent search volume.
- Add these keywords to your site. You’ll add these to your title tags, headings, and throughout your content.
There’s a TON more that goes into SEO, but this will get you moving in the right direction.
Ranking your business in Google My Business listings is one of the most helpful things you can do to drive traffic to your site.
The moment a person searches for a local business, Google My Business listings are one of the first things they will see. Google My Business results display before the organic search results.
So, you can even pull in traffic just with your GMB listing alone.
Your Google My Business listing will pull all of your business information together from all of your Google properties.
Best of all it’s not very difficult to optimize and rank your GMB page either.
Here are a few optimization tips to keep in mind:
- Complete all of the information on your profile
- Include accurate and grammatically correct business information
- Add a post to your profile
- Choose the right categories and area of service
- Verify your business listing
- Get reviews from real local customers
- Add high-quality images
Google Adwords is one of the longest-running online advertising channels in the world. No doubt you’ve come across a Google Adwords campaign before, as the ads display in nearly every search result.
Maybe you’ve thought about running ads before, but you heard that it’s expensive? Maybe. Ultimately, it depends on the keywords you’re targeting. If you’re going for very high competition keywords, then it’s going to be difficult to create a profitable campaign.
But, local markets and much smaller, which means much less competition across the board. I bet a lot of your competitors haven’t even thought twice about running locally targeted ads.
With Google Adwords, you bid on certain keywords and create simple ads with a headline and some text. Google will then assign your ad a quality score, which is based on your click-through-rate (CTR), the higher your score the less you’ll pay to bid on ads.
Another great advertising platform is Facebook. Facebook has quickly risen to become one of the most effective advertising platforms on the planet.
One of the big reasons is due to its advanced targeting features. You can narrow down on a specific person and run ads solely to that individual. Plus, almost everyone in the world has a Facebook account, so there’s a very large user base as well.
Creating Facebook ads is fairly straightforward as well. The only elements you need are a headline, an image, a few words of copy, and a link to your website.
You can also test multiple versions of an ad at once, so you can continually optimize and create an ad that’s profitable for your business.
Chances are, the first ad you create won’t be successful. But, by committing a small budget and continuously refining your ads, you’ll get to one that works and ends up being profitable.
If you don’t feel like getting into paid advertising just yet, then you can start by building up an organic social media following.
You don’t have to invest a ton of time either. Just having your profiles linked and integrated into your website, plus posting content and engaging with new comments can be enough.
Some people even use social media as a search engine. So, instead of heading over to Google, they’ll use the Facebook search bar, or even browse local hashtags and locations on Instagram.
So, if your business doesn’t show up using these search tools, then it’s like you don’t even exist.
There are a lot of other uses for social media besides just growing your followers and sharing about your business, for example:
- You can use your social media channels to respond to customer support requests. Other channels like email can be slow, but with social media, you can solve issues instantly.
- If you run a service-based business, you can share customer testimonials and case studies.
- You can run contests and giveaways, to bring new potential customers into your world (more on this below).
Not every business will benefit from growing an organic social media audience. But some small businesses are built for it.
For example, if you run a local clothing boutique you can use Instagram to show off your current inventory or even reach out to influencers to promote your store and latest fashions.
Another great way to utilize visually-based social media platforms is to run contests. A contest can help you acquire new fans and followers, and bring new people into your world. If you’re a service-based business and you run a contest, the winner might even end up becoming a customer for life.
If you’re trying to get people off their computers and phones and into your actual business, then you can try this strategy.
Coupon deal sites like Groupon have been around for a while. But, they can still be incredibly effective for local businesses.
These sites have massive audiences that are grouped by various locations. This makes it easy to target potential customers in your local area. Plus, coupon sites operate on a limited-time basis, so it gets customers off their couch and into your business very quickly.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of using a coupon site like Groupon:
- Exposure to a massive online audience
- Locally-targeted advertising
- New customers through your doors
- A massive increase in brand awareness
However, there’s one big thing to keep in mind. With Groupon and other deal sites, you won’t be making money off the deal. Unless you’ve significantly marked up your product or service, you’re going to lose money on the deal.
The ultimate goal of using a coupon site is to generate exposure for your business.
The worst-case scenario is you invest a bit of money, get new customers into your place of business, and get a ton of new visitors to your website. These visitors can even become long-term customers if you employ the strategy highlighted below.
One of the best things you can do for your business is to start building an email list (link to the third post).
Most people who visit your website won’t buy from you or become a customer right away. But, when someone visits your site you don’t want to lose that person as a lead forever.
The solution is getting them to join your email list.
Once they’re on your list you have their permission to continue following up with them and stay in touch until they’re ready to buy.
One of the best ways to get people to join your list is to offer some sort of incentive, or what’s known as a lead magnet. This can be anything, but it needs to be compelling enough for your visitors to want to subscribe.
Some of the most common lead magnets include:
- An automated email course
- A free consultation
- A subscriber-only coupon
- A newsletter
Once your subscriber is on your list you can send them value-add emails that improve their lives. Then, every once in a while you can promote your products or services.
Email marketing offers you an incredible way to stay in touch with new and existing customers while building a deep relationship.
To learn more about this topic, read this article 7 Reasons Why Email Marketing Is Important.
Now is one of the best times to transition your small business to the online world. You’ve learned 7 different small business marketing strategies that you can apply today.
To recap here are the 7 strategies:
- Optimize your website for local keywords
- Set up your local business listings
- Run a local Google Adwords campaign
- Run local Facebook ads
- Grow your social media profiles organically
- Use coupon deal sites
- Create an email list
Keep in mind that you don’t have to pursue every single one of the strategies above all at once. Pick one or two that best align with your business and goals, then execute. The best way to find out what works is to implement, test, and refine your strategy based on your results.
Overall, as a small business owner, you’ll get the biggest instant return by optimizing your website for local keywords and creating your GMB page. Both of these cost zero money and can lead to great results.
If you’re looking for expert assistance in setting up your website or implementing any or all of the website marketing strategies above, Fill this form or Call Us at (805) 870-5687 to get a free 30-minute consultation.
Our goal is to help small businesses thrive and grow in this changing world.
Owner of More Buzz Online, LLC., an internet marketing consultant, and blogger. With 10+ years of digital marketing experience, he’s passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships, content, and software to scale digital growth.
Larry lives in Southern California and writes about internet marketing for small businesses and professionals as well as blogging like a business owner, not another writer at https://morebuzzonline.com/blog.