Today, the lion’s share of marketing happens online. People look online for nearly every product and service they buy. Television, radio, and print ads still have their place, but online marketing is the wave of the future. Ali Zar explains how to market your small business online, pointing out some of the issues you may encounter and offering suggestions for avenues you should try.
Promoting Your Business on Google
Google takes 90 percent of the search engine marketing share, so, understandably, you would want to use Google for a large chunk of your online marketing. The first thing you should do to set yourself up on Google is to create and verify your business profile. This listing will be the basis for your listing on Google Maps, the local section of Google Search, and the right-side panel in search results, also known as the Knowledge Panel. This listing is free, and it has innumerable benefits for every small business.
Verifying the ownership of your listing can allow you to optimize it and receive more relevant searches. If your business shows up in the featured set of local search results on Google’s first search results page, you are ahead of the game and able to market yourself 24/7.
Build a Website
While search engines and social media are great, your company absolutely must have a website. Companies without a working, up-to-date website may be shunned in favor of companies with a respectable online presence. Even if you feel that your audience won’t want to find your website, it is foolish to cut off this important source of marketing hits.
Good business websites serve as promotional tools. They tell the story of your company and the services you offer. They have up-to-date hours, locations, menus, and contact information.
Running an online ad campaign means that you will need website landing pages. Any social media posts you make should also link back to your website. With all of this potential traffic, you can put into place easy-to-use website traffic analytics to see where your visitors are coming from, how long they stay, and whether they spend money.
Search Engine Optimization
If you are not familiar with how search engine rankings work, it is very important to learn about search engine optimization (SEO). SEO helps to align your pages with Google’s algorithms. SEO has evolved a great deal over the past twenty years, and Google and other search engines now punish techniques that worked at the inception. Take the time to read primers on SEO and look into ways to put it into use on your own website.
Ali Zar believes that every discussion of online marketing needs to include social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, as well as LinkedIn are excellent ways to promote your company for free or at an affordable cost.
With social media’s advertising features, you can target your message to as narrow or as wide of a demographic as you wish. For example, you could reach female pet owners aged 45 to 54 in a certain zip code.
Running sponsored ads means that they will show up in more feeds, and while this can get expensive, the significant improvement in return on your ads will quickly be noticed.
Work on cultivating a friendly, informative social media persona. You want to relate to your customers on a personal level, or at least make it seem like you have. Your company should have a solid brand that is in alignment with your principles and your audience. Any time you can enhance your branding by posting on social media, you should do it.
Local businesses have exciting opportunities on Facebook and Instagram in particular. Many casual surfers find themselves visiting local business social media posts, clicking on the links, and buying something at their stores.
The art of email marketing has also developed a great deal over the past 20 years. Today, the primary goal of many websites is to collect your contact information to add you to their email list. They may tempt you into joining the email list by giving you a special coupon, discount, or giveaway. Once you are on their mailing list, you can receive promotions that are targeted to you.
Be sure that you use a good email list manager and pay close attention to your message opening rates, reading rates, and click-through rates to judge your campaigns’ effectiveness.
Marketing Your Business Online
These are the five most basic aspects of marketing online. If you can master these five techniques, whether on your own or with a marketing agency or consultant’s help, you will be well on your way to running a successful business. Whether you are running a software company or a pizza restaurant, the basics of marketing remain the same. Ali Zar wants readers to understand that they cannot leave online marketing to chance. Keeping close tabs on your online reputation and search results can be a huge help in keeping your company afloat.
Written by William Jones