Owning a small business is a big task. Initial planning, hiring employees, creating budgets, and marketing is only the beginning of the immense workload on the shoulders of new small business owners. But even if you’re not a startup and you’ve had your business for a while, marketing is an on-going hurdle you must jump over on a regular basis. Here are a few tricks of the trade that can help any business with their online marketing…
1. Optimize your Website’s Title Tags
I put this internet marketing for small business tip as number one because it is one of the largest unknown or misunderstood SEO tactics out there. Besides overall content, your title tag is the most important SEO factor on a webpage, says SEOmoz.org. And it’s true. When Google crawls a webpage for keywords to rank it under, it gives weight to the title tag first. So if you’re spending all this time on your website but your title tags are un-optimized, it’s like building a car and forgetting the wheels. You’re putting a lot of time and effort into something that could go a LOT farther with just a simple tweak. For more information on SEO title tags, read our blogpost on how to create the perfect title tag for each page of your website.
2. Install Google Analytics on Your Website
Tracking and analyzing your traffic, keywords and viewer behavior is absolutely necessary. Without doing this it’s like conducting a study without looking at the results. A huge part of internet marketing for small business is knowing what is working and what’s not, where your visitors are coming from, what they’re clicking on, what pages they stay on the longest, and which pages have the best traffic. Google Analytics provides a bucketload of useful information that can help you improve your site and your rankings. Plus it’s free and easy to set up. Read our Google Analytics tutorial here.
3. Learn from your Competition
This doesn’t mean copying every move your competition is making, but sniffing around to see who may be a threat to you and learning from their success as well as their mistakes. For example, find out where your competitors are getting inbound links. If they’re good, legitimate sources, try and get links from the same websites. If they’re using black hat link-building tactics, you can report them. Either way, checking this out is nothing but beneficial for you and your business. Your competitors are never to be underestimated–ignoring your competition can come back to bite you in the rear someday when they outrank you and bump you off page 1 for a keyword. Use Open Site Explorer to find out your competitors’ link sources, and be sure to also check out their websites, find out what keywords they’re ranking for and their search positions, etc. Do your detective work!
4. Get On Free Local Business Directories
If your business has a physical location, then make sure you’re listed on the top local business directories such as Yelp, Google Places, Bing Local. Being listed on these directories not only increases your online presence but can majorly boost your website traffic. But don’t start paying to get listed on directories all over the internet; low quality paid link directories are a form of black hat marketing and can get you penalized by the search engines. So if it’s free, and it’s trusted, go for it! Local business directories have sky rocketed in popularity, and are more important to be a part of than ever to gain local customers and traffic.
5. Social Media; It’s Not About 100,000 Likes
Last but not least is social media, one of the most buzzed about marketing tactics there is. Social media is in fact hugely important, but for perhaps different reasons than you may have heard. We have a tendency to focus solely on gaining a mass amount of followers, fans and likes, from absolutely whoever we can. This is not a smart goal, however. The purpose of social media for your business is to build relationships, especially for small businesses. It’s about being able to promote to your target market. Garnering a huge amount of fans that don’t really have an interest in your company will most likely end up hurting you; when you put a bunch of time and effort into your marketing tactics via these social media platforms, you don’t end up even reaching your target audience. Acquiring a following of target consumers that you can market to and build relationships with is your ultimate social media goal.
Follow these 5 internet marketing for small business tips, and soon enough you’ll see an increase in your website traffic, visibility, inbound links, search engine rankings, reputation, etc. Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you should live with small results!