Being successful in today’s business world is a significant challenge. We’re a long way from being able to put up a website and start a Facebook page and having that guarantee success. The good news is that you CAN still succeed in business with digital marketing.
How is it done? You need a multi-pronged approach to digital marketing. By having a properly optimized and secure website, along with social media channels and email marketing, you can grow your business and revenue online.
We’ll take a look at some of the best practices that can help you excel. Let’s get started!
First Step: Know Your Audience & Gauge Demand
The key to success in any business is to have a product or service that fits the market. Poor market fit is the top reason that startups fail. 42% of startups said that a lack of market demand is the reason they couldn’t grow their business successfully.
If what you’re offering is “nice to have” but doesn’t solve a direct need, you’re going to struggle to succeed. On the other hand, if you are selling something that directly addresses a vital need in your target market, you’re better positioned for growth.
A big part of finding market demand is knowing exactly who’s problem you’re solving. Think about demographics like age, gender, and income, but don’t stop there. Get into the mindset and motivations of your ideal customers. Pay attention to who your competition is targeting and how they’re speaking to customers.
Finally, test your ideal market in the real world. It’s easy to come up with an ideal customer that doesn’t really exist. When you test your marketing with online ads and other outreach, you’ll discover if there is truly enough demand from your audience.
The Foundation of Digital Marketing: SEO
Once you’ve determined that there is a real market for your product or service, it’s time to lay the foundation of your digital marketing plan. Curious how to grow your business online? The first step is creating a website that’s positioned to do well in search results.
Entire books have been written about this topic, but we’ll cover the high points here. There are several parts of SEO and each one has to be strategically addressed. If this seems overwhelming, you’re not alone – most business owners choose to work with a high-quality SEO marketing firm to make sure everything is set up for maximum return on investment.
Find Your Keywords
Keyword research helps you with on-site optimization, but finding the right keywords isn’t always easy. You can use free Google tools to find out the search volume and competition level of a variety of phrases. However, you may get even more insight by investigating your competition’s online positioning.
There are a lot of digital resources that allow you to enter a website and find out what keywords they rank for both organically and in pay-per-click. Many times you can also find the exact pages that are ranking well.Review the keywords your successful competitors are using. How can you adapt them? Can you add more words so they are long-tail keywords? Can you make them local to your area? What conceptually similar phrases could you target?
When you’ve chosen your keywords, you have phrases to build your content around, both on your main pages and your blog. You’ll also want to use keywords in meta tags, headers, and other important parts of your website. This tells Google what your site is about and what terms you should rank well for so you can start to grow your small business.
Use Local SEO to Your Advantage
Many small businesses struggle to invest in SEO because they feel they will automatically lose to competitors with a bigger budget. That’s not true – in fact, being a small local company can be a big advantage.
Do you provide something that requires local service? Everything from car repair to tree trimming needs to be done by a company that’s physically close to the customer. Take advantage of this to maximize your SEO ranking for locally based keywords. It’s one of the best ways to grow your business!
Best of all, if you claim and complete your Google My Business profile while also implementing local SEO, you may rank highly in Google’s Local Pack. This special feature shows nearby companies that match the user’s search. It contains a map, links to your business, and reviews. Often this area is featured above the natural #1 search result, so it’s a huge benefit!
Local SEO will help you target prospects who are looking to buy now, as well. When someone searches for a specific type of business in their area, it’s a signal that they’ve already decided they need what you offer. That’s why local SEO is so powerful for business growth.
Practice Excellent Off-Site SEO
While many parts of SEO are focused on your actual website, there are two things you cannot overlook when trying to grow a business that are off-site. They are reviews and incoming links.
Encouraging your happy customers to leave reviews, especially on Google or social media, is an important way to build peoples’ trust in your company. Avoid sites that try to charge you for review features and penalize you if you refuse. Instead, stick to Google – especially if your reviews are showing up in the Local Pack.
It’s also important to get high-quality inbound links. Avoid buying inbound links from low-quality spammy websites. Instead, write guest posts and work on being featured by influencers. Link building takes a lot of time and it helps to have good connections, which is why many business owners rely on a professional marketing firm for help.
Don’t Overlook Site Speed and Security
Some of the less fun and attractive parts of SEO take place behind the scenes. If your website loads slowly, you’ll suffer in search engine rankings. Make sure both images and video are optimized so that your website loads as quickly as possible.
It’s also essential to make sure your website security is up to date. Not only does Google use HTTPS and other security protocols as a ranking factor, but your site is also less prone to hacks. Hacks can damage SEO by removing content and causing errors, redirecting users to malware sites, and more. Google will often automatically or manually penalize these sites due to the dangerous content.
Speed and site security may not be as fun or flashy as content, but it is just as important when it comes to successful SEO.
Boosting Traffic With Social Media
Once your SEO is in place, you can look at other ways to kickstart your web traffic and business growth. One of the best ways is through social media.
Small businesses have had a lot of success when they figured out where their customers spend their time online and focused on building a presence and using digital ads on those platforms. What do you offer? Everything from car repair to landscaping can be promoted on social media, but each industry is best on different platforms.
For instance, landscaping is very image heavy and your company probably has a lot of beautiful photos of before-and-afters and completed work. Showcase them on Pinterest and Instagram!
On the other hand, car repair is more hands-on and needs more detail. Explainer videos on YouTube about how to solve common car problems – along with a call-to-action to visit you for more serious concerns – could be perfect for your shop. Revenue from YouTube along with other traffic can be significant.
Facebook ads are robust and allow you to target your audience very precisely, but the audience skews older. If you want younger customers, you’ll need to focus on Instagram or TikTok.
Growing a social media audience does a lot to boost your brand and help people trust you. It can also drive traffic to your website or directly to your sales pages. Using social media together with SEO is a key strategy if you want to grow your business.
Pace Your Growth Carefully For Long-Term Success
Being able to acquire customers is vital to business success, but so is growing responsibly. You don’t want to grow so fast that your customer experience suffers. You also can’t afford to hire so quickly that you end up with employees who are a poor fit. Firing and rehiring is difficult and costly.
Make sure your revenue and expenditures make sense in relation to each other. Even with a lot of cash from investors you can easily spend yourself out of existence if you aren’t careful.
One investment that is well worth it is connecting with a professional marketing firm that can take care of your SEO and digital marketing while you focus on how to grow your business. Working with someone like Local SEO Search can allow you to do what you do best – serve your customers – without losing out on the growth that comes from SEO and social media outreach.
Are you interested in learning more? We offer a free, no-obligation 30-minute consultation. We take the time to learn your business and what makes it unique – and we won’t offer our services if we aren’t confident you’ll get excellent ROI in your first year with us.
Ready to get started? Contact us today!