10 Digital Marketing Tips for Growing Your Small Business Online | Advanced Digital Marketing Blog, Ireland

10 Digital Marketing Tips to Grow your Small Business Online

Aisling Brennan, 18-Mar-2016

To any small business, growing your business online can be a daunting and confusing objective. However if you focus on the following key points, you'll be on the road to online success in no time:

  1. Start with a high-performance, quality & fast-loading website
    Create a user friendly, responsive, easy-to-navigate website filled with unique, relevant text, image and video-based content. This is the most important step.

    So often clients come to me with really, REALLY crappy websites and expect me to work miracles. Your website is your shopfront. First impressions do count. Your website should look professional, trustworthy to entice prospective and existing customers to browse your goods/services, and ultimately buy from you. Choosing a reputable and experienced web designer is crucial for success. Check out my top tips for choosing a website designer.

    Make sure your content is benefit led and addresses your target market's needs. Monitor Google Analytics to gauge interest levels in the content you have on your site. Split test your LPs to ensure you're maximising conversions. Finally utilise Webmaster tools to identify any errors and ensure your page download speed is within Google's acceptable range. If in doubt, get in touch.
  2. Use SEM to send qualified traffic to your website immediately. Google Adwords Search Engine Results Page Screenshot
    Google Adwords is wonderful in that it's instantaneous and can start delivering qualified traffic to your website within minutes. Once you have a good website, with benefit-driven content that will address your target market's needs, get your campaign live. It's a great short-term strategy for small business whilst you work on optimising your website for search engine crawlers (i.e. SEO) and developing your social media strategy. Learn how to create an SEM campaign or get in touch and we can help you further.
  3. Expand search engine traffic with SEO
    SEO is critical for small business success online. Firstly claim your local listings pages (Google My Business, Bing Local, Yelp, etc.), ensure there are no obstacles to the search engine crawlers accessing your website content, set up Google Webmaster Tools and start your link building campaign. Avoid any black hat techniques as they'll only hurt you in the long term. Check out SEO 101 - A Beginner's Guide for more details.
  4. Build email marketing list
    Email marketing is cost-effective, quick to deploy, mobile friendly and offers a high ROI. Grow your subscriber list by adding an opt-in form on your homepage, collect email addresses at cash register/local events, run competitions on social media/in-store and communicate regularly with company news, premium content and exclusive offers and promotions.
  5. Create social media profiles to widen your client base
    Create social media profiles to widen your client base
    Create business profiles in the social media networks that are most relevant to your business. The look and feel should emulate your website for consistency. Post content that promotes value regularly. Be nice. The goal is to create an emotional connection with potential and existing customers to grow lasting relationships. Read Social Media 101 - 5 Social Media Tips for Newbies for more information on how to do this.
  6. Maintain a regularly updated blog
    Showcase your expertise with a regularly updated blog. Aim to publish new articles weekly. Be consistent. Be personal. Share this updated content across social media profiles.
  7. Split test every online marketing campaign
    Maximise each marketing campaign by running split landing page tests on each campaign traffic to test different offers, designs, layouts, copy, call-to-actions, colours, fonts, etc. I recommend using Adobe Target or Unbounce as my preferred CRO tools. However if you're new to CRO, check out Conversion Rate Optimisation 101 – A Beginner's Guide or get in touch for more details.
  8. Implement a display advertising campaign to expand your reach even further
    Although much derided in recent years, Display Advertising can work really well as an awareness generator. Small business owners should focus their efforts on Google Display Network or Facebook Ads to see if you can make any traction with your target market. Retargeting is a crucial component of any display campaign so ensure you include this in any campaign you run.
  9. Leverage online PR to build your online reputation
    Online PR can be a great, low-cost awareness generator, however it's vital the message is right if it's to resonate with your target publication/audience. Know what's newsworthy, create a concise but value driven message, customise your pitch (avoid press releases at all costs) and include other assets (i.e. infographics/custom photos) to help sweeten the deal. Lastly follow journalists on Twitter to build relationships. As always with small business, start locally.
  10. Benchmark website, PPC, SEO, Social Media against KPIs
    Determine what metric is most important to your business: sales, leads, cost-per-acquisition, conversion rate, ad revenue, bounce rate, Facebook likes, Twitter followers? Then tag, track and monitor the performance of each channel and campaign, via Google Analytics, to determine the success of each campaign. As always if you've any questions about metrics, or indeed any of the above, please get in touch. Good luck!

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