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15 Quick Online Marketing Wins for Small Business

small business marketing ideasDoesn’t online marketing seem like rocket science at times?

People just share a bunch of fluff ideas and theories, but none of it really makes sense to you as a small business owner or manager. You know you need to do more online, but where do you even start?

Well, we work with small businesses like you.

No fluff. No crazy theory. Just actionable things you can do quickly to start boosting your online presence. Here are 15 of the most important online marketing wins we’ve compiled just for you small businesses.

 

1. Quicksprout

Screenshot 2015-04-24 08.39.16

Throw your URL into this online machine (totally FREE) for some great small business marketing ideas, info and tips on what you can do to up your online marketing game. What will Quicksprout tell you about your websites?

  • SEO score – how your search engine optimization ranks. It provides tips on how you can increase your score. We’ll discuss a bunch of those below.
  • Site speed – if your website is slow, then people are likely leaving your site and Google is keeping it from ranking higher on the search engine because it’s slow. (tip: get better website hosting)
  • Above the fold – what are you showing people above the fold before they even scroll on the page. Do you have your contact info up there? You should.
  • SEO Analysis – areas you need to fix on your website, such as heading titles, images with alt text, missing metadata, etc. We’ll discuss how to fix a lot of those below
  • Social media impact – it will check to see how popular you are on social media.
  • Backlinks – how many sites are linking back to your website. This impacts your authority, ranking and popularity online.
  • Indexed pages – the amount of pages Google has actually indexed (seen) and included in their search engine.

2. Use An SEO Browser

An SEO browser shows you how a search engine views your website. This is important to know because you may have a lot of media on your webpages but none of the text is actually being seen or indexed. Google and other search engines need to see actual text to make sense of your website.

Here’s the browser we use: http://www.seo-browser.com/

Enter your website URL and click for the “simple” tool.

Take a look at the text. Is it descriptive? Do you have enough? Does it even include what you’re about? Your products, services, features, benefits and locations.

3. Google Business Listing

small business marketing ideas

Claiming your Google business listing is really easy. It takes about 10 minutes and will definitely boost your exposure on the entire search engine. With a Google business listing, you can be discovered on Google Maps, provide a phone number for people to call on mobile directly, collect reviews, provide business hours, and more.

Where do you claim it? Right here: https://www.google.com/business

Also, I wrote an in-depth post on how to claim your Google listing. You can read it right here.

4. Get Other Online Listings

No, Google’s not the only place you need to list your business. Here other websites:

Why these sites? The more places your business is listed online, the better. It’s free to list on major sites like that and other apps pull from those directories. Apple’s Siri pulls info from both Bing and Yelp.

Another small business marketing idea related to this – get listings on market specific websites. If you’re a roofer, find roofing websites to list your business on.

5. Already Have Listings? Check Them

Do you already have your business listed on websites, such as those listed above? If so, then you need to double check that all of your business information is consistent across all of those sites.

WHY? 

Inconsistent information will actually hurt your exposure on search engines because the search engine doesn’t know which listing is correct. Instead of trying to figure it out, it will just push you further down.

Read up on the important attributes of listings and citations over at Moz’s wealth of knowledge.

6. Find Broken Links

What is a broken link? If someone tries to click on a link (to a page or anything else) and it sends them an error – the most common being a 404 error.

Example:

404 error

Broken links keep visitors and search engines from being able to find valuable information across your website. If you’re not constantly checking your website, then a few broken links could slip through your hands.

Throw your URL in this simple tool to check your website for broken links: http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/

How do you fix these links?

  • Broken link check highlights the incorrect hyperlink
  • Determine which page or reference that link is supposed to point to
  • Adjust the hyperlink reference to point it to the right page
  • Example: <a href=”url”>link text</a>
    • Change the URL in the code to the correct URL of the page

7. Add Redirects for Old Pages

If you update any pages on your website or update your entire site, you might change some of the links. For example, yoursite.com/important-info might be changed to yoursite.com/important – but you didn’t think about links from other pages or other sites pointing to the yoursite.com/important-info.

Those links will produce an error because that page no longer exists, and you could miss out on some serious SEO juice.

To make sure you don’t miss out on anything, you need to set up a redirect from that old URL to the current URL.

yoursite.com/important-info –> yoursite.com/important 

The redirect knows to send the old link to the new link.

How do you set this up?

8. Mobile-Friendly Test

Hey, if you didn’t hear, Google just released a massive update to boost websites that are mobile responsive on search results. If you have a mobile-responsive site, then you’ll likely get pushed higher to the top of results.

Not sure if your site is responsive? Throw your URL in here for a quick test from Google: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

What if it’s not?

  • Speak with your website developer/provider and ask how you can adjust your website to be responsive
  • Ask our Genesis team about a responsive retrofit of your website. We’ll do it for you for an affordable price!

9. Find Keywords

 

Search engines are guided by keywords. When you search something online, you type keywords/keyphrases into a search engine and it pairs you with the most authoritative and relevant information for your search.

So, your small business website needs to include keywords about your product, service, location and other necessary factors.

If you’re a baker in Nashville and you’re trying to show up on Google when people search “bakers in Nashville,” then you have to make sure that keyphrase, or a variation of it, is on your website (not just once, but multiple times).

How do you find the right keywords? Brainstorm some by considering these:

  • What products or services are you selling?
  • Which locations are you targeting?
  • What might someone search to find you?
  • What specialties do you provide?

Going with the baker example, here’s what you might come up with:

  • We sell wedding cakes, birthday cakes, specialty cakes, etc.
  • We service Nashville and surrounding suburbs, like Franklin, Brentwood, etc.
  • Someone might search “wedding cakes in Nashville” or “best cakes in Franklin”
  • Our specialties include a wide variety of cakes, some interesting flavors and designs.

You want to find the right keywords for your website that match what people are actually searching. Once you find those keywords, you want to sprinkle them in to your website – on your homepage, on other pages, in your page headings, in your page URLs and in your metadata (meta title & meta description).

Sujan Patel provides great insight about discovering keywords in his blog – 5 Tips for Conducting Semantic Keyword Research. It’s a great read and is mighty beneficial.

We also wrote a more in-depth blog about finding keywords and researching – view it here.

10. Research Your Keywords

So, in the last one you came up with a list of suitable keywords that fit your niche market, location and focused on your products or services. Now, you need to make sure the keywords you’re targeting are actually worth your time.

What do I mean? If no one is searching for the keywords you chose, then you’re floundering in an open sea.

You want to boost your website for maximum exposure from keywords that actually get traffic. You don’t have to go for the most competitive ones first, just try for the “low-hanging fruit,” as we like to say.

How do you research keywords for your small business?

  • First, use an online tool: Term Explorer (my favorite), Google keyword planner, SEO Book.
  • Dump in the keywords you brainstormed in the last section.
  • Let it process the information and wait for some numbers (for Term Explorer, you’ll need to send keywords over to the Analyzer to get the full rundown).
  • Check for two important numbers: Competition and Search Volume. Each have different scales for competition – but the lower, the easier it is to rank for. Then compare difficulty with the search volume.
  • Select keywords that are middle of the road difficulty or below, and have a monthly search traffic around 20 or more. Remember, get the “low-hanging fruit” first.

11. Include Keywords On Your Website

You’ve got some keywords. You know the data. Now what?

You need to incorporate them on your small business website. Here are all of the areas you can include your keywords:

  • Page URL
  • Page title
  • Page headings
  • Paragraphs
  • Alt text/tags
  • Metadata

I’m going to use a post from Backlinko as an example of what I mean (by the way, you should read Brian Dean’s posts on Backlinko):

Look’s like Brian is targeting “SEO copywriting,” so let’s see where he’s used the keyword.

Page URL:

Screenshot 2015-04-23 00.53.58

Page Title:

Screenshot 2015-04-23 00.54.52

Page headings:

Screenshot 2015-04-23 00.55.59

Paragraphs:

Screenshot 2015-04-23 00.56.26

Alt text:

Screenshot 2015-04-23 00.59.48

Metadata:

metadata

Now, take note of how Brian has added the keywords to his page. They’re all natural. They aren’t stuffed in there for the purpose of only ranking.

The tendency is to stuff your page or post with the keywords you’re targeting but not actually provide valuable content. Instead, focus on providing great content and then sprinkle in keywords as naturally as you can, like Brian did.

12. Expand Your Content

If you only have a 200 words on a webpage, then you’re not giving a visitor much insight or value, and you’re not providing Google with a complete picture about your website.

I tell all of our clients to push for at least 500-600 words per page (depending on what the page is for). If it’s a products page, then obviously you don’t have to have that much. But if it’s strictly an informational page, please provide as much as you can.

Why?

  • The more words, the more you educate, teach, inspire, show, demonstrate, entertain and help a visitor.
  • The more words, the more Google can receive an accurate picture about your website and its contents.
  • More words also means you can sprinkle in more of your keywords naturally, without sacrificing quality.

Medium found that the ideal length for a blog post is 1,600 words. Crazy, right? Maybe not so much. Here’s the story: https://medium.com/data-lab/the-optimal-post-is-7-minutes-74b9f41509b

13. Add A Blog to Your Small Business Website

I know, blogging seems to be all the rage right now. Maybe you didn’t know that, but it’s true. Everyone is going nuts about it because it really can boost your online marketing, especially as a small business.

Adding a blog to your website generally isn’t too difficult. If your website operates on any major CMS (content management system), such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and ModX, then you can add in blogging functionality. Just ask your website guy or girl.

Why add a blog to your website?

  • A blog can showcase what your business is all about
  • Blogs can answer some serious questions that your customers/clients have
  • Blogs can reveal your brand, your authenticity, your story
  • A blog is a great place to share success and failure (again, authenticity)
  • A blog is great place to teach and inspire
  • Blog = more indexed pages for Google to read (means more exposure)
  • Ongoing content also tells Google you’re active, and Google likes active
  • A resourceful blog provides value to the web and people want value
  • A blog means you can create more content for your website, which means more opportunities to include keywords
  • Popular blogs mean social shares, more engagement and more traffic

14. Coming Up with Blog Ideas

 

A blog really sounds great, but goodness, where do you even find ideas for all the blogs? We’re glad you asked.

For this one, I’ll let Kevan Lee take it away with his jam-packed blog – 95 Blogpost Ideas.

Some of my favorites include:

  • Case Study – share with people how you’ve accomplished something awesome through your small business and what you learned.
  • How-to – teach people how to do something because people actually enjoy learning, especially when it’s presented in a process and logical manner.
  • A cheat sheet – we all enjoy simplification. Create a cheat sheet about something in your industry to help people simplify their life.
  • Before-after – show people what a project was like before and after you worked on it. Wow some folks.
  • A link roundup – do you know some helpful resources online that people should check out? Provide people with great links to great websites that will help them.

15. Get On Social & Automate Some

If you don’t have social media accounts for your small business, go ahead and snag them. Once you do, go ahead and link them to a social media management tool, such as: Buffer or Hootsuite.

I use both of those applications. Totally FREE!

Once you connect your social accounts to them, you can actually schedule your posts (and do a whole lot more, of course). But the great thing is the automation.

You say you don’t have time for social media? Well, now you can go in each day or just once a week and load up as many posts as you want, and let them roll out over time.

What should you share?

  • Relevant business info
  • Photos of your business
  • Newsworthy content
  • What others in your industry are sharing
  • A few sales messages (keep these to only 30% of your total messages)

How often to share? This is my rule of thumb for each account:

  • Facebook: once a day
  • Twitter: as much as 8 times a day
  • Google+: twice a day
  • LinkedIn: twice a day
  • Instagram: once a day
  • Pinterest: 2-3 a day

 

Wow, that’s a lot of information. If you can knock out those within the next month, you’re going to set up your small business website and marketing for some serious wins. Online marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. It just takes a bit of time and a tad of knowledge.

Go forth and conquer!


Looking for more ideas? Here are 25 must-haves for your website. Fill out the form and download the eBook for free!

25 website must haves

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