Every local business dreams of getting more customers to call them or walk through the door, and online marketing is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to make that a reality. But with all the different types of online marketing available to businesses today today, it can often be confusing on where you should start to get the most out of your efforts. While there are several ways to diversify your online marketing, here are five fundamental online marketing tactics that will get you off on the right foot by establishing your presence online and driving potential customers to your business.
Show Off Your Business With a Great Website
A business website is the most valuable piece of any small business’ online marketing strategy. So, it’s no surprise that nearly one in four SMBs plan to spend more on their company website in 2013. That’s because a website is one of the few places online that you own 100% and can use as a home base for all of your online marketing efforts. A business website gives you the space to share detailed information about your business, products, and services with the bandwidth for extra content like videos, images, and your business blog that can help your visitors decide to choose from you. And, when the content on these pages is optimized for search, they can help local searchers find you online. Plus, having a website, or more specifically a landing page on your website, is a great way to get the most out of your online advertising. By driving your ads – including search, display, retargeting, and social media – to an optimized landing page, you can help increase more conversions and increase the ROI of your online ads.
Learn More About Small Business Websites:
- Ask ReachLocal: Does My Small Business Need a Website? [VIDEO]
- 7 Things Every Small Business Website Needs
- The Foolproof Guide to An Effective Landing Page [EBOOK]
Build a Presence on Local Directories
Local directories and listings are great places to market your business because they can help you get found in local search, build your online reputation, and provide a snapshot of your business for potential customers. Most of these local directories offer your business a profile page for you to add details about your business, like hours of operation, locations/service areas, contact information, and photos of your business, that consumers look for when researching local businesses, all for no to little cost. There are also several directories directly tied to major search engines and their map listings, where you should definitely consider claiming your business listing. These include Google+ Local, Bing Local, Yahoo! Local, and Yelp.
Learn More About Local Directories:
- Google+ Local: What You Need to Know [EBOOK]
- Geography 101: The Basics of Getting Found in Local Search
- 5 Steps to Getting Your Business Found on Apple Maps
Reach Consumers Searching for Your Business
Search engine advertising is one of the essential types of online advertising that you should be doing to reach consumers who are searching for your business, products, or services on the top search engines. With search engine advertising, you can show a text ad to target searchers in your area based on your target business keywords, such as the types of products or services you offer as well as your business name. Plus, a well-managed search advertising campaign can also be a great companion to your SEO efforts by increasing clicks even with a high-ranking organic listing.
Learn More About Search Engine Advertising:
- Why SEO Isn’t Enough: 6 No-Brainer Reasons to Use Search Advertising
- Search Advertising 101: Dos & Don’ts for Writing Text Ads
- PPC: 7 Basic Tips for Choosing Good Keywords for your Search Advertising
Retarget Consumers Interested In Your Business
Retargeting is a great way to boost your search advertising efforts. Site retargeting and search retargeting are two display advertising strategies that target consumers who have clicked on your search ad or who have visited your website, and then shows your display ads to them based on what they previously showed interest in. This not only keeps your business is top of mind, but retargeting is also becoming a preferred marketing method among consumers. In fact, a recent study found that 40% of consumers browsing the Web would rather see ads that are targeted to their interests than those that aren’t.
Learn More About Retargeting:
- Retargeting: Your Search Advertising Sidekick
- 3 Ways Search Retargeting Can Boost Your Business
- Display Retargeting: Expert Interview with Brian Kim [VIDEO]
Spread the Word on Social Media Sites
Social media is a large part of consumers’ lives online. In fact, a recent study found that in the U.S. 27% of time online is spent on social networking. And now, social media sites are creating more features for businesses to get their message across to more consumers. For example, Facebook is continuously updating and adding new features that provide new functionality for its users as well as for business and brands on Facebook. Timeline created more opportunities to create and share stories, and the new Facebook News Feed updates offer more customization for what updates users see. #success“>Twitter also offers new options for small businesses to market to consumers based on their topics and tweets. Having a presence on these and other popular social media sites is a great way to connect with people who already support your brand, build a community of new advocates, and boost your SEO efforts. Plus, as 70% of U.S. adults trust product or brand recommendations from family and friends, managing your reputation on social media sites can help ensure that what consumers share about your business is positive.
Learn More About Social Media Marketing:
- 7 Types of Customers on Social Media (And What They Mean for Your Business)
- Social Media 101: Getting Started on Top Networks
- Ask ReachLocal: Do I Need Pinterest for my Business? [VIDEO]
Are you using these types of online marketing as part of your marketing strategy? What other types of marketing do you find work for your business? Let us know in a comment.