Driving traffic to a business’s website is a priority for any local business owner. The easiest way to do that is through online marketing. To ensure you get the biggest bang out of every marketing buck, here are five tips to help you be (and stay) successful as you dive into your online marketing efforts.
Make it Useful
Every business should know what its customers want. So, it’s up to you (and your business) to deliver exactly what they need. It only makes sense that you wouldn’t want to waste valuable marketing dollars to advertise products that won’t necessarily pique your customers’ interest. To determine what your customers want, survey them or use tools such as Google Trends, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube to see what’s trending in your category or area of expertise. This will give your online marketing efforts a boost by making it easier for your customers to find, learn about, and purchase the products that are most top-of-mind.
Make it Known
When a potential customer searches for the products or services you offer, you want to ensure your business can be found at all times. A solid SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) strategy is your key to success. Programmatic advertising platforms like Google AdWords, Bing Ads can make it easier for you to reach your target audience with marketing messages that not only inform but also inspire potential customers to take action. Because these platforms automate the marketing process in such precise and sophisticated ways, they also make it easy to track, in real-time, what tactics are working the best so you can make the most of your spend. For example, if your business services a specific geographic area, you wouldn’t want to spend money reaching prospects outside of that service area. Additionally, if you sell products for dogs (and not other pets), you’d want to employ a keyword strategy that hones in on dog owners, specifically. These platforms can help you do this effectively.
Make it Social
Social media is a powerful way to get your business in front of prospective customers and to grow a loyal customer base. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest make it easy to share tips, promote sales, or simply showcase the more human side of your business in a number of creative ways. For example, an interior decorating business could share tips on how to organize “the perfect dorm room” during graduation season or even host a contest showcasing the “best designed” dorm rooms once the Fall rolls around. The point is, social media can engage customers in conversations and interactions beyond your specific products and services alone. It’s also a great way to turn customers into influencers because, if they love your business, they’ll be more than happy to share the deals or other content you post with their followers. Word-of-mouth is still one of the strongest marketing tactics for any local business to leverage. Make sharing easy with social media.
Make it Count
A marketing budget doesn’t appear out of thin air. It’s a line-item in your business’s P&L. Because it’s a business expense, it’s up to you to make every marketing dollar you spend count. Most importantly, you absolutely must maximize your conversions – from calls, clicks, form fills, or even emails. Being able to quickly track and measure ROI is one of the greatest benefits of online marketing. A properly tuned campaign can reduce wasted clicks significantly. It can also help you know, with a good amount of granularity, where a search took place (mobile vs. desktop) or even what time of day a person searched for your business. Keyword attribution is also a great way to determine which keywords (from your SEM campaigns) drove the most traffic to your site. Long story short: the tools available to you today can help you extract the greatest value from every bit of marketing you do to boost your business’s bottom line.
Make it Fast
Today, customer experience is king. Your business website must deliver a great customer experience – one that doesn’t take forever to load. This means making it easy for customers to navigate your site and find useful information on your products and services with the fewest clicks possible. While you’re at it, it’s absolutely critical for your business website to be mobile optimized, not only because more and more searches are happening on mobile, but also because big players like Google have made mobile readiness a key factor in search rankings. Initiatives like the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) can help your site succeed in a fast-growing mobile world.