SEO is too often underestimated by business owners. As any marketing professional will tell you, it’s nearly impossible to overstate the potential return optimizing your website for search engines can have.
Over the years, search engines have perfected the ability to provide search results that give the best possible answer for a user entering a query. The highly refined algorithm does the work for you of matching your website with the potential customers who are actively seeking something your business is offering, organically.
All you need to do is set yourself up in such a way that you get noticed and highly ranked by the search engines on the results pages.
Search Engine Optimization in an Algorithm-Driven World
Google+ boasts nearly 400 million users, robust tools for monitoring and reporting marketing analytics, and a unique medium for interacting with your business’ community online–yet it’s one of the most under-utilized social media resource for small business owners. Google+ is one social media tool that business owners, especially those whose target customer base is local, should not ignore.
There are 3 major benefits to a business of any size and in any industry to having and maintaining a Google+ business page: visibility, engagement, verification.
The short answer to this question is that Pinterest is not going to be a helpful resource for every business. What may surprise many small business owners, though, is that Pinterest can be a helpful resource for any business.
While these two statements may sound like a contradiction, in practice both hold true individually:
Pinterest is not going to be a helpful resource for every business.
Many businesses will find that the amount of time that would be required to use Pinterest effectively as a platform for marketing their business, generating new valuable leads, or engaging their existing customer base is not going to provide sufficient return to justify their efforts.
Pinterest can be a helpful resource for any business.
Pinterest can be used effectively for any business who wants to use it, as a way to self-promote, to engage with their customer base online or, ideally, to do a combination of both.
While some businesses naturally lend themselves perfectly to the Pinterest platform – think restaurants, landscapers, yoga instructors, etc. – some industries will require a bit of creative thinking in order to create Pins that effectively promote feature products, services, or other content on Pinterest. However, Pinterest can be a useful platform for businesses that may not typically be thought of as “Pinterest-worthy.”
When Instagram first launched in 2010, the photo sharing application service quickly gained popularity, growing to a million users in only two months. While Instagram has been offering advertising spots to businesses since 2013, a lot has changed in the last year for Instagram business users. For one, Instagram Stories have grown in the last year since it was first released to over 150million daily users. Plus, Instagram now offers insightful tools for businesses, including updated business profiles, useful data and analytics, and the ability to turn posts into ads directly from the Instagram application.
With more than 400 million daily active users on Instagram right now and an abundance of new opportunities, if your business isn’t currently using Instagram to grow your brand and reach customers, it’s time to start.
Many business owners recognize the power of social media and the ways that maintaining an active presence online can benefit their business. From developing and promoting your company’s brand, to the ROI opportunities social media presents for lead-generation, most businesses are taking steps to develop a solid social media marketing strategy.
LinkedIn was built to be a professional online networking tool, intentionally designed to connect professionals with one another and companies. But LinkedIn seems to be one of the trickier social media tools for businesses to use effectively. That may stem from a misunderstanding of what LinkedIn actually offers to businesses in the first place.
What does LinkedIn offer to businesses?
The answer to this question is yes, but. Yes, as a business, you should be using Twitter. But it is not enough to just blast out tweets. And if you’re not using Twitter astutely, you’re wasting your time. If you’re not tweeting at all, you’re missing out on an opportunity for creating a level of engagement with your clients that no business should pass up.
As a marketing platform, Twitter is very difficult to use for lead generation. If you’re just looking for the biggest “bang for your buck,” Twitter alone is not going to give you the kind of ROI you are wanting to measure. However, as part of a comprehensive social media marketing strategy, Twitter can be an incredibly useful tool for engaging with your customers.
And when you’re engaging with your customers, encouraging brand loyalty and sharing relevant content, that inevitably leads to quality lead gen.
For businesses, social media is often mistaken as strictly a communication platform. In actuality, social media can be a great tool for your business to not only communicate with customers and leads, but can build relationships with your client base to generate a culture around your business.
And this is possible regardless of whether you sell a product or a service, if you’re B2B or B2C, if you’re in manufacturing, sales, software development, or any other industry, social media can benefit your business.
At its core, an active social media presence for your business allows you to:
• Communicate directly to customers, clients and leads
• Receive invaluable feedback from your customers
• Direct traffic to your website and improve your SEO
• Create and broadcast a brand for your business
Should my business be on social media?
But we are a B2B business, not B2C. Should we still be on social media?
But my industry doesn’t really seem to fit the norm of what I see on social media; we’re not particularly flashy and we offer a very niche product or service. Should we still be dedicating resources to maintaining a social media presence in that case?
Yes. Absolutely, without exception, the data shows that embracing social media and maintaining an active social media presence is beneficial for all businesses, in any industry, across the board. The landscape of social media has changed drastically in the last decade, and these days the opportunities for lead generation and conversions from an active participation on social media are too great for any business to ignore.
Too many businesses still aren’t convinced that publishing blog content can have the return on investment they are seeking from online marketing efforts. Many think that due to the nature of their industry, a blog isn’t the right tool for them or they expect their time and efforts will be wasted.
The bottom line is, that kind of thinking is just not supported by the data. Publishing valuable content online has tremendous and proven results for businesses seeking to grow.
Your small business has been growing and thriving thanks to the stellar service you’re providing and the unique way you go about doing it. Word of mouth has probably been extremely helpful in growing your business, and you’re seeing a great customer return rate.
But now, you’re ready to expand your marketing efforts to reach more people. Clearly it’s time to invest more effort in an online marketing strategy, but knowing where to start is difficult.
If you’ve ever Googled “how to market my small business online,” in all likelihood you have fallen down the rabbit hole of strategic marketing blogs. It’s easy to spend an entire day researching online marketing only to walk away more confused and overwhelmed than before you started.
To make things a little easier, here are 3 smart steps for marketing your small business that are easy to get started on right away. Dip into online marketing with these proven methods and see how even these small steps will noticeably benefit your small business.