Why do you need digital marketing?
If you want any chance of success in today’s competitive market you need to reach consumers quickly and effectively. Your website needs traffic in order to generate leads and sales. To be found online in this competitive market you need to make sure you invest in digital marketing.
As more and more consumers are hooked on their devices, traditional print advertising has been overtaken by digital marketing as the primary means of making sure your services or products can be seen.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is marketing that relies solely on electronic devices to spread the word. This includes websites, emails, search engines as well as TV and radio commercials. Mastering digital marketing is the key to having a successful business and increasing leads and sales.
This article focuses on four essential digital marketing strategies for your small business that you should implement, if you haven’t already done so.
Optimising your website is the first most important step you need to take before spending any money on online advertising, because when customers visit your website and don’t like what they see or can’t immediately find what they are looking for, they’ll be gone in a flash and won’t be back.
Website optimisation involves many aspects and works hand in hand with search engine optimisation (SEO) for top ranking on search engines. Optimising your website should be the first step you take and can help your online visibility. It includes a number of factors including your website design, user experience, accessibility, website speed and web content.
The Website Design
Minimal clean design wins every time. Your website should use relevant colours and visual content that reflects your brand. It should also have a consistent appearance throughout.
The User Experience
Even with a great looking website, users are not going to spend hours trying to figure out how to find products or services. The functionality of your website is crucial for guiding customers to take action by booking a service or purchasing a product. Drop-down menus should function seamlessly, all links should work and forms should be easy to fill out and secure.
The Website Accessibility
More than half of website traffic now is from smart phones. Therefore, your website should look equally great on mobile devices as it does on desktops. The website layout should be responsive and adapt seamlessly to all computer devices and mobiles.
The Website Speed
Time is of the essence in today’s busy world. Research shows that if website pages take more than 3 seconds to load you would lose half your potential customers because people don’t have the time to wait around for the page to finally load. This requires careful optimisation to minimize the size of files, photos and graphic content.
The Website Content
A great looking website will not cut the mustard if the content is not there. You need good quality informative content that will encourage visitors to stay and come back for more. Information on your website should be relevant to your target audience.
Be sure to research keywords and your competitors to find your niche keyword phrases. These keywords should be used in your text content, image tags, links, page titles and descriptions, so that when people search for your content online, search engines index your site.
Unique quality content should be your focus and not stuffing your pages with paying ads or too many animated gifs which will clutter your site and be a distraction for your visitors.
2. Social Media Marketing
Now that you have a great website with quality content, the next most important step is using social media for online marketing. This is how you reach people who do not mainly use Google Search to find what they are looking for, but are interacting on social media.
Marketing on social media provides numerous ways to get your small business noticed. You can create interesting, visually rich posts relevant to your target market and create ads that will reach users who are likely to book your services or purchase your products.
Social media is a great way to engage with consumers and build strong relationships. Interacting with users on social media should be a major focus and requires regular posting to be effective. Not only will you increase your target market reach, but Google is far more likely to rank you organically if your brand is seen as popular and worthy of being shown in organic ranking.
3. Back Links
Linking your website on high ranking websites and online directories is known as back links. Google will rank your site higher if you have quality backlinks. These links to your website should be added in a natural way over time. Google perceives that your site is gaining links and therefor gaining in popularity and worthy of indexing especially when it has quality content. It is however important to make sure these back links are DoFollow links. NoFollow or sponsored paid links on the other hand tell Google not to follow the outbound link, so these links will be of no value to you or your online search rank.
4. Google My Business
One cannot underestimate the importance of Google for marketing your small business online. Every small business should be on Google My Business. You should populate your profile with pictures and up to date info and encourage your customers to rate and review your small business on Google. 5 Star reviews will attract more customers to your business and increase sales.