When starting a new business, launching your brand online is a no-brainer. However, knowing how to build an effective digital marketing strategy often creates some doubt among small business owners. With so many moving parts to online marketing, where should you get started? And are you really capable of handling your digital marketing efforts on your own?
To provide you with affirmation (or make you reconsider your strategy), here are several signs that you're doing digital marketing for small business right:
1. You've made your website the foundation of your online presence.
Before you get carried away with social media, you need to create a website to serve as the foundation for your online presence. Ultimately, all of your other online marketing efforts (social media, email marketing, SEO, etc) will be implemented with the goal of driving traffic to your website to learn more about your business. Therefore, without a website, all of your other marketing efforts will be unproductive.
With so much business being conducted online these days, it's unusual to come across a company that doesn't have a website. In fact, research shows that 56 percent of consumers don't trust a business that doesn't have a website.
You should think of your website as the storefront window for your business. For many consumers, your website will be the first impression that they have of your company, so you'll want to make sure that you put your best foot forward.
2. Your website offers a user-friendly experience.
Having a visually appealing website is just one part of the equation. Equally as important as the appearance of your website is its functionality. Does your website offer a user-friendly experience regardless of the type of device used to access your website?
Google has made it abundantly clear that the user-friendliness of a website is some of the top criteria taken into consideration when determining rankings. When designing a website, you must take into account that more consumers will be accessing your website from a mobile device than a desktop computer. Responsive website design will offer a premium user experience, whether consumers are using a desktop computer or mobile device to access your website.
Speed is another critical factor that impacts the user experience. If the pages on your website take longer than three seconds to load, you can expect that your visitors will click elsewhere.
If Google Analytics reveals that your website has a high bounce rate or that visitors aren't sticking around on your website, you need to improve the user-friendliness of your website.
3. Your content is optimized for SEO.
Creating quality content takes time, so you'll want to make sure that your website content, blog posts, and social media posts produce results. Knowing which keywords and phrases that your target audience is typing into search engines will help you to be more strategic with your content. Put yourself in your customers' shoes and think about what they're searching for online. Make a point to naturally incorporate these keywords and phrases into your content to improve your search ranking and attract the right traffic to your website.
You can find a number of free keyword research tools on the internet that will allow you to identify the best keywords and phrases based on your niche and industry and map out a content calendar. Some examples of these free tools include Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Google Correlate, and Keyword In.
4. You focus your social media efforts on the channels that your target audience uses.
With so many social media channels to choose from, it can be tempting to want to establish a presence on all of the major networks. However, is it really possible for your business to be able to maintain an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and five other social media networks?
Before you jump head first into social media, take the time to research where your target audience hangs out online. Once you make this determination, focus your social media efforts on those channels. Having an active presence means consistently publishing fresh, value-added content, engaging in conversations, and responding promptly to questions and comments.
To be able to effectively reach your audience on social media, you need to offer a mix of organic and paid content. You'll be able to maximize your ROI by running campaigns on the social media platforms where your audience is most active.
5. You've taken advantage of a listing distribution to include your business in hundreds of online directories.
To help your customers find you, your business needs to be included in as many online directories (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, etc) as possible. Submitting a business listing to each individual online directory is tedious and time consuming. Instead, use a listing distribution to make a single submission to hundreds of online directories. A listing distribution also allows you to manage all of your listings from one central location, which helps to ensure the accuracy of your business listings.
With so many consumers using their mobile devices to search for local businesses, having listings in online directories will greatly benefit your local search strategy and get more traffic walking through your door.
Are you confident that you have the right digital marketing strategy in place for your business? It never hurts to get a second opinion. Our team at New York Ave can conduct an assessment of your current digital marketing strategy to make you aware of what's working for your business and areas that need improvement.
Contact us at New York Ave to learn how the right digital marketing strategy for your business will allow you to engage with your customers on a relevant, frequent, and personal level.