Over the past few years, digital marketing has become a major priority for many small businesses. Previously a “nice to have”, digital marketing is now a “must have”. The proliferation of social media and online services like Google into our daily lives means that the vast majority of small business target customers can now be reached online.
One issue with digital marketing for small businesses is figuring out which channels to concentrate their efforts in. Digital marketing is growing increasingly broad as relatively new social networks like Snapchat continue to redefine an evolving landscape. Meanwhile SEO strategies have to be regularly tweaked to keep up to date with Google’s algorithm updates. The challenge for small businesses is to stay abreast of the latest trends in digital marketing and then choosing which digital activities to invest their resources in.
Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
To help you develop and hone your digital marketing strategy, here are 3 digital marketing tips for small businesses to consider for the future.
Ranking in local search queries can be a big win for small businesses — think “best pizza near me”. Taking the steps you need to rank for local searches does not have to be a major outlay either. The first thing you will need to do here is optimize your title tags and meta descriptions for local searches. If local customers are important to your small business then you should edit your title tags and meta descriptions to include the name of your locality. You should also ensure that your small business is added to relevant online directories. It is absolutely vital that your small business is listed on leading directories like Google My Business (GMB) and Yelp. Local directories dominate page one search results, it is up to you to make sure your business is listed. Ensure that all your details are accurate and consistent across all directories.
Optimize Mobile Usability and Page Speed
Nearly 60 percent of searches are now conducted via mobile. Unfortunately, as many as 91 percent of small business websites are not optimized for mobile visitors. The problem here is that visitors might find your site in search results but if they click through to a site that does not display correctly on mobile then they will quickly leave your site. Similarly, Google is increasingly placing an emphasis on page speed (and of course fast loading pages also help improve user experience and conversion rates), so becoming acquainted with page speed best practices and identifying quick wins to speed up your site is a great area of focus for the rest of the year and into 2018.
A high bounce rate can harm your site’s ability to rank. You are also losing out on potential customers here. Mobile optimization is essential and, if anything, it will only grow more important as the number of people using mobile devices continues to increase. Again, ensuring your site is optimized for mobile visitors does not have to be a costly endeavor. If, like many small businesses, you are using WordPress, there are a number of plugins and themes you can use to get the job done. It might cost more if you need to hire a web developer, but mobile optimization is a must. Do not get left behind.
As we have stated, there are many different channels you can leverage in your digital marketing campaigns — SEO, PPC, email marketing, content marketing, and blogging to name but a few. Whichever route you go down, you should make sure to measure your ROI. New research shows that 45 percent of small businesses are not measuring the ROI on their digital spend. Small businesses are much more limited than larger companies when it comes to resources meaning ROI tracking often gets overlooked. However, it is not a very clever use of resources to invest in digital marketing and ignore ROI.
Without tracking ROI, you will not know which campaigns are working and which are underperforming. Measuring digital marketing ROI does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. Your starting point here should be Google Analytics. Setting up how to track conversions on your site through Google Analytics can be done in a few hours. If it sounds daunting, it need not be – there are countless guides online that will walk you through each step. Similarly, if you are using PPC campaigns, it is relatively straightforward to track conversions and usually involves little more than adding a line of code to your site. You shouldn’t need any major technical expertise to get setup with PPC conversion tracking and, again, there are walkthrough guides available here whether you are advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google AdWords.
Cafe Owner Photo via Shutterstock