Small Business Owner's Internet Marketing Checklist
Digital marketing is an essential component of any business, but it requires a lot of investment in order to be successful. In most cases, the money you put in will directly correlate with the amount of exposure you get. However, there are cases where certain digital marketing strategies can be more effective than others, resulting in a higher return on your investment.
But as a small business owner, it’s difficult to gain enough traction to break into the big leagues due to your limited resources. A small company has a quiet voice compared to the industry juggernauts that tower over everyone else, so it can be daunting to even think about competing when you’re heavily outmatched. But like any underdog, there are many things in the marketing world that you can take advantage of.
To help you out, we’ve put together an essential marketing checklist that all small businesses should follow to gain maximum exposure.
1. Website Design
A website is the foundation of a good marketing strategy. Think of it as your digital storefront–it’s the first thing your customers see and it should contain everything they need to make a purchase decision. Here are the most important things to consider when it comes to perfecting your website’s design:
- Design a layout that makes it simple to navigate - The goal is to make the browsing experience simple, uncluttered and quick to get where you need to. It should take no more than 2 clicks to get to somewhere on your website. If your website fails this test, consider redesigning its navigation elements.
- Remove excess blocks of text - Huge blocks of text are ineffective for marketing. If you’re attempting to take advantage of search engine optimization by using keywords, leave that for your website’s blog and not its main pages.
- Include essential information - Details such as contact information have to be included on your website. Anything else that is essential to making a purchase or getting in touch with your business should also be placed on your site.
- Make a mobile-friendly website - By 2025, almost three-quarters of the world will be using their smartphones for internet access. This is an incredible number, hence why it’s so important to give these mobile users access to your website as well.
- Be consistent with design and branding - Make sure your website’s design is consistent across all pages. It should also match your existing branding elements for continuity.
- Optimize your website - We suggest optimizing your website to ensure that it loads quickly on all platforms. This involves reducing the file size of images and removing any auto-loading elements from your website.
- Using social media sharing widgets - Adding social media buttons is a great way to boost website engagement.
There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when it comes to strong website design, so consider searching for website inspiration to help you get some ideas on how to design your own. At the end of the day, you want your website to be easy to navigate and suit the needs of your customers. If you personally enjoy browsing your website and find that it’s easy to navigate, then you’re off to a good start.
2. Website Content
Your website needs to have content on it in order to remain relevant. Content marketing strategies can be complex and expensive, especially for a relatively small business. However, with the right approach and investing resources into the correct things, it can be relatively easy to take advantage of. Here are the big website content points to keep in mind.
- Create a blog for your website - A blog is a great place to nurture engagement with your customers. Here are some ideas for your business blog that you should consider using.
- Update your blog on a regular basis - Customers need to see that you’re maintaining your blog. Make sure you update it with new and relevant information to keep up the customer engagement.
- Host evergreen content - Evergreen content is anything that can remain relevant for a long period of time. This can include timeless guides on how to do something or even information on how to use your products and services. If you make this information relevant to everyone, then even non-customers can stumble on your content and discover your business.
- Sharing content on social media - If you want maximum exposure and high engagement rates for your content, make sure you share it on all of the social media platforms that you’re active on.
- Leverage existing content - While it can be tempting to re-write your existing content to make new blog posts, it’s important to stop yourself from making repeated posts. Instead, link back to existing content when it becomes relevant.
- Use different types of media - Text is fine for most content types, but including videos, audio and lots of pictures is a good idea to complement your text.
Content marketing is an important concept to master as a small business. It can drastically improve your engagement rates if you focus on creating content that is valuable to your audience. From excellent production descriptions to evergreen content, there is a lot of potential in content marketing for a small business.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, often referred to as SEO, is another crucial element to any successful internet marketing campaign. In a nutshell, search engine optimization is all about creating a strategy that helps to make your website appear higher on a search engine. This often involves the use of keywords on your website, but these days, SEO is a lot more complicated and involved than adding some words to your site. Here are some of the most important SEO-related tasks that you should think about.
- Research relevant keywords - Make sure you know what keywords you want to rank for. Ideally, they should be words that aren’t too competitive, and they should also be intent-focused.
- Consider local SEO if applicable - Local SEO is important if you currently operate a store at a physical location. This often involves editing your Google Business listing so that your location appears on searches on both Google and Google Maps.
- Look into your competitors - Regardless if you’re focusing on online or local SEO, you should absolutely research your competitors and get to know what they’re doing. Look at the types of keywords they rank for and decide if you want to try and compete with them or avoid clashing and pick other keywords to focus on.
- Review metrics - The services you use to host your website should have some analytics such as where your users are coming from. Watch these analytics so that you know what kind of keywords to rank for and what areas of your website or social media you should focus on.
- Accumulate backlinks from trusted sources - The more websites that link to your website, the better your SEO ranking. Backlinks that come from reputable websites are worth a lot more than backlinks on a random site, so the best way to do this is to work with influencers and large existing websites for more exposure.
- Don't forget technical SEO - Technical SEO is all about making your website easier to find and more accessible. It follows similar principles to good web design, but the idea is search engines will rank you higher if you’re able to show them that you’re easily accessible on all platforms. Technical SEO also involves naming your pages and images with metadata to make them easier to find.
Search engine optimisation is crucial to understand, but there are concepts that can seem both confusing and time-consuming to manage. As a result, you may want to contact an SEO expert if you want to save time on optimizing your website.
4. Social Media
We also need to talk about social media and its important role in the internet marketing world. It’s one of the best ways to increase your exposure, get your name out into the open and also engage with your users. So here are our top tips for helping you get the exposure you deserve on social media.
- Create social media accounts on all relevant platforms - Even if you don’t plan to use every single social media platform, it’s important to create accounts in your business’s name for each one. When creating accounts for multiple platforms, make sure you’re being consistent with your branding.
- Focus on a single social media platform if you have limited resources - It’s often better to focus on just a single social media platform at first if you have limited resources.
- Find reasons to make posts - Make sure you have a reason to post something and don’t do it just to start a random conversation unrelated to your product. It could be to advertise a new product, to link to a new blog post or even to talk about updates to your product line.
- Post consistently - Post something every day if possible to keep a consistent stream of content.
- Engage with your users - Posting publicly on something like social media invites people to talk to you, so make sure you engage with your audience by responding to questions and providing support.
- Share your social media pages - Make sure your social media pages link to your other social media accounts and place your social media contact information on your website.
Social media can be difficult to master if you’re not accustomed to the platforms, but with a bit of research and following our checklist, you'll find that it’s easy to take advantage of social media to grow your business.
By following these important components of your internet marketing strategy, you’ll find that it’s easy to increase engagement and get noticed. While a small company is limited on resources, your creativity, consistency, and honesty will make you stand out from the crowd.
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