The Internet has become a major force in the world of commerce. It has come to the point where small businesses can run entirely without having to set up a brick and mortar shop (as evidenced by sellers on Facebook and Etsy). If the Internet is capable of supporting the most obscure independent sellers, imagine what it could do for an established local business looking to expand their client base.
Place the power and reach of the Internet at your beck and call with effective online marketing tactics to promote your business. Level the playing field against bigger brands and take your business to new heights (of revenue).
Four Basic Online Marketing Strategies
To generate more leads and increase opportunities for sales, you can rely on these four basic online marketing tactics.
Optimize your website
Whether you let your designer make a few tweaks or do an overhaul, it’s imperative that you:
Research the common terms or phrases your target audience uses when searching for information, products, or services related to your business. These are the keywords you need to include in your site content. Choose about 10 or 20 keywords and focus on getting them to rank on Google (or any other search engine). If you run a real estate brokerage, for example, some of the best keywords are “brokerage,” “real estate agents,” and “selling my property ”
However, keep from using keywords too often, i.e. keyword stuffing. This is considered a black hat practice and can get you penalized by search engines.
Make it mobile-friendly
The majority of people who conduct online searches use their mobile devices. A website displays differently on a phone than on a desktop. Making it mobile-friendly simply means you are making it viewable on mobile. Grab this opportunity to attract more traffic to your website and reduce bounce rates.
- Speed up loading times – In a well-known fable, the turtle wins the race — not in this case. People prefer websites that load almost instantly and will immediately bounce from a website that makes them wait too long. Additionally, Google has started penalizing sites if they do not load fast enough.
- Page Titles – Your pages should contain titles that include keywords so it is fully optimized. The page title of a service page, for instance, should include the type of service it’s about and the location where you’re offering that service. For example, if you’re a real estate developer, and you’re page describes your interior design services, your page title can say “Interior Design Services in New York City” or “New York Real Estate Agents” This ties in neatly with the local search engine optimization, or SEO, technique (more on this below).
- Meta-Descriptions – The meta-descriptions are the snippets that appear below the page title in the search engine results page. These are also great platforms for you to utilize your keywords. Write an engaging meta-description to entice audiences to click on the link, and include a keyword to increase visibility.
Localize your SEO
SEO generally focuses on on-page and off-page strategies to get your website noticed by search engines. One of the pillars of SEO is the use of keywords. As previously mentioned, keywords can lead your potential customers to your website.
However, one- or two-word terms, or short-tail keywords have high competition rates. To have a better chance at visibility, going for longer terms with three to five words, or long-tail keywords is more feasible. In addition to lower competition rates, long-tail keywords are also more targeted and often used by consumers who are further along the buying cycle. One way to turn generic keywords into more effective long-tail ones is through local SEO.
Localizing SEO simply means you add geo-specific information to your keywords. So instead of using general terms like “estate agent” or “brokers,” you focus on keywords like “best real estate brokers in New York City” or “exclusive houses in Brampton.” It’s that simple, but also quite powerful. This narrows down your target market and will get you higher rankings. Search engines make it a point to show consumers businesses located (or servicing) areas near them. It can effectively draw traffic to your website and increase the number of calls and sales you receive.
Local SEO is especially useful for service providers that cater to local customers. Seek the assistance of companies, like Local SEO Search, that provide expert SEO services in Calgary and across Canada to maximize your strategies.
Register your business to local listings
Below are some of the advantages of adding your business to local online listings:
- Increased accessibility – can put you on the map and make it easier for potential customers to find you information, reach you, or locate your place of business. Websites included in online listings earn as much as 35% more clicks.
- Enhanced reputation – Local listings are also a platform for users to leave feedback where they can leave star ratings and detailed reviews. Online reviews are especially a helpful asset. The digital rendition of word of mouth advertising, online reviews are considered equally trustworthy as personal recommendations by 85% of consumers (according to surveys).
- Augmented SEO – Being included in online business listings can boost your ranking in search engines. The more information search engines have on your company, the better. This allows them to identify your website as a trusted and reliable source.
Consider registering on the following platforms:
- Search engine listing, e.g. Google My Business and Bing Places
- Better Business Bureau
Important: Information should be accurate, consistent, and up-to-date across all platforms. Misleading or inconsistent information can make it difficult for consumers to collect the data they need and makes you seem unreliable to search engines.
Content marketing is another one of the pillars of online advertising, along with SEO. Content is the beating heart of your website. Without it, the best-designed web pages are merely pretty spaces devoid of use.
When a consumer looks for goods or services, they want information to help them make a decision. By providing both potential and existing customers with useful, up-to-date, and reliable information, you can earn their trust and their patronage.
In addition, search engines prioritize websites with quality content. Exceptional content establishes you as an expert, authoritative, and trustworthy source in your industry, which ultimately, improves your search ranking and online visibility.
Two of the must-have content in your website are:
Product or Service Pages
Create one product or service page for each of your offerings. These pages should contain important details about goods and services.
Blog posts should make up the bulk of your web content. Ideally, your blog post should be about 1000 words long (longer blogs attract more audiences) and should be updated with a new post once a month. Write about topics related to your business or field, e.g. news, events, how-tos, or guides.
High-quality content possesses the following aspects:
- Useful (i.e. answers the questions of readers)
- Free of spelling and grammatical errors
If you are not confident in your writing skills, hire professional content writers or a website marketing agency that has content marketing in the package. Check ContentWriters or Fiverr.
Take your marketing strategies to the next level by including a dynamic mix into the package. Online marketing can work wonders for your lead generation and conversion rates, making it a worthwhile investment for any company.
As a local business owner, you can make sure you cement your place in your local community. With the help of Internet marketing, you keep your business alive and poise it for growth and expansion. If you need the assistance of professionals to implement these strategies, look for a trusted partner who can take you all the way to the first page.